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Managing Wants and Needs - Help Me Choose!

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    Managing Wants and Needs - Help Me Choose!

    As a young individual working as an intern, my monthly income is pretty much nonexistent. That makes upgrading the wardrobe a frugal challenge. As a result, I find myself making a lot of lists. Lists of what I would like to purchase, lists of areas within my wardrobe which are lacking, lists of deals and coupons. LISTS!

    I certainly don't NEED anything, but there are definitely areas which would benefit more from an upgrade than others. That being said, I have a small amount of money left over for some purchases and would like some advice and opinions on where to use it. Below is a reduced list of items/ideas that I'm considering.


    Pants // Bonobos Washed Chinos in Congo, Cappu-Chino, Corner Pocket, or Graham Slacker

    + $63 (Using $25 off first purchase of $75 or more)

    Shoes // Allen Edmonds Strand, McAllister, or Neumok

    + ~$200 (Upcoming Rediscover America sale)

    Shoes // Giorgio Brutini Cap Toe Oxford


    + $85 (places offering a lower price don't have my size)

    Fall Boots // Wingtip Boots such as Sebago Hamilton

    + I'd love some affordable suggestions


    Fall/Winter Jacket // Gap Cropped Wool Peacoat


    + $89 (Using %20 coupon I have)

    + Would love suggestions of similar options from other places!

    Fall/Winter Boots // Chippewa 6" Apache Lacer


    + ~$130

    Sweaters // Mernio Wool V-Neck

    + Looking for somewhere to get a few colors at a good price

    My biggest point of conflict is if I should or should not jump on the Allen Edmonds sale. I've wanted a pair of walnut colored oxfords for a while now and during this sale would be an ideal time to buy. However, with fall/winter coming, and being that I work in NYC, oxfords aren't exactly an essential item - especially when considering the fact that I don't own any boots that would be suitable at work.

    So all, share your thoughts, help me out, and let me know you guys manage your own wants and needs. Good times!


    Those Chippewa boots don't seem very work-suitable to me in the sense that you don't look like you're ready to hit the trail right after work. I like some of the Florsheim boots (see recent threads) or Sebago Hamiltons (what I have) for that. But none are what you'd call dress boots, if that's what you're in the market for. However, if the Chippewa are for trudging and serious outdoor wear and you are that type of person, I'd go for them. Also you may be able to find a pair of Frye or Timberland boots that straddles the line between work-friendly and outdoorsy in your price range.

    Not quite sure why you'd want a cropped peacoat. Isn't the idea that the thing is supposed to keep you as warm as possible? If you are legitimately in need of a winter jacket for those horrible NYC winters, I'd prioritize warmth over fashion. Something with thinsulate would be nice (but pricier than what you're looking at). On the higher end, Schott makes great wool coats from what I've heard. On the low end, I'm thinking what you found might be as cheap as you can get but like I said, it may not keep you very warm.

    Sweaters: Look at Banana Republic, Marshalls, and J. Crew Factory.

    No comment on the AEs. It really depends on your finances and how often you'd wear them. Walnut oxfords look great but I agree that it's a pretty big want and I'd try to fill your perceived needs first. The thing is, these AE sales come around about twice a year (iirc), so by the time the weather is warming up another sale shouldn't be far!



      Super reply!

      Regarding the boots, I should say that I work in a phenomenally casual office where most people are in some form of jeans or chinos and a solid colored cotton tee. I'd definitely like to have a pair of beater boots I can trek through the snow in and not be forced to change out of them once I arrive at work. I do prefer the look of the Hamiltons or some of the Florsheims, but my fear is that these wouldn't be winter-suitable or would get destroyed quickly. I could very well be wrong though! I'll also check into Frye and Timberland.

      As for the peacoat, you are probably right. I do own a Thinsulate lined North Face for the days it gets really freezing, but if I'm going to invest in a second jacket, function should probably be carrying more weight than form. Wise advice.

      I'll do some searching to try and verify that the AE sale is more than once a year. Then I wouldn't feel nearly as bad about holding off!

      Thanks for the extensive reply, really great info in there. I'm learning a lot every day.



        There are less expensive chinos than Bonobos, and you can find AE shoes for under $75 on eBay every day. If you don't have a disposable income, I would pursue value options much more thoroughly so that you don't become indebted when it could've been avoided.

        There will be seasons in life where you consider what you'll do when you have more money, and when you have the money, it's important to stay disciplined with it so you don't run out of it. Don't feel bad of you have to hold off on some purchases, and don't make tons of smaller purchases that could've paid for something really nice. If that makes sense.



          For what it's worth, I've worn my Hamiltons 3-5 days out of a week, in 1-2" water, while horseback riding, on muddy trails, canoeing, and standing for countless hours teaching or walking around the hospital. They definitely took some wear after I wore them camping, but some cleaner, conditioner, and AE brown shoe cream and they looked as good as new! AE doesn't always run two sales but you can count on Nordstrom running a sale and also on the AE Shoe Bank running a sale each year in addition to their rediscover america promotion.

          Note: I do live in the south and haven't had to contend with snow in these boots.

          If you want to pool your boot and shoe resources together, you could splurge for a pair of Red Wing Iron Rangers or Wolverine 1000 Miles boots. They look great pretty much anywhere IMO, the horween leather will take a serious beating and clean right back up, they're recraftable and goodyear welted, and both gorgeous (For ~$300).

          Also, not merino wool but I just saw these and might go try one on: jcp™ Cotton/Cashmere Striped V-Neck Sweater



            There will ALWAYS be another AE sale... Buy yourself some nice boots to get through the winter and pass on the AEs for now. Pass on all the other shoes for now. Just get the winter boots. (By the way, in a snowy area, winter boots should have some tread on them...)

            $63 for some chinos is a lot. I would have a hard time justifying that myself. There are a lot of good options out there for under $40.



              Get on the Banana Republic e-mail list. Like every week or so they have an online sale code. The best one is a 40% off any one item code. So sweaters, chinos, shirts, whatever, that single item will be 40% off.



                Agreeing with nicholas on the AE: If you feel you won't really have the opportunity to wear them, that gives you time to scour eBay/thrift stores for good quality used pairs at under 100$.



                  Great responses everyone. This is exactly why I come to Dappered - informed, genuine, and reasonable insights. Very much appreciated.

                  First and foremost, I'll be focusing my funding on a nice pair of winter boots. Those are definitely the most essential item of anything I listed. I think it would be wise to ensure I buy something of good quality that will last. Buy it right, buy it once. Second will be a few sweaters, provided I can find things at a reasonable price in XS. On that front, you guys gave some suggestions I'll be looking into. The peacoat is contingent on remaining funds, and I can certainly do without it. Everything else will be put definitively on hold.

                  Despite making a minimal amount of income, I should still devote a percentage of it to saving. I haven't been doing enough of that. Incidental costs are also always an oversight for me, and they add up quickly.

                  Again, thanks guys! Off to sign up for the BR mailing list and search for some boots.



                    BR definitely has a 30-40% off "sale" every day.



                      When it comes to shoes, I would really think carefully if you need what you think you need. Back in February I bought a pair of the AE Strands at Nordstrom for $260. I thought I would use them as my office shoes. Very handsome shoe no doubt, the only issue is it doesn't work practically for me. I work in chino's/blue jeans environment. Those shoes look really out of place with either of those pants, so the end result is that I bought a pair of suede oxfords that go much better with either and I haven't worn the Strands in about 6 months.



                        For Merino/V-Neck


                        Wait for sale, they usually do at least %30 off your order, there was a %40 off one item last week.



                          for chinos and vneck, check uniqolo in SOHO, since they carry your size in various colors combination, and their prices are within you budget as well.



                            I second Jackbauer24's recommendation of Uniqlo for sweaters. They are usually inexpensive, but sometimes they have sales where the things are less than $20. Also, for a solid, very warm, good-looking pea coat that will unquestionably be worth the money, check out an army-navy surplus store. They are all over the place and they have legit coats at low prices. The one I bought in 2001 has kept me warm every winter since (including seven in NYC) and is still in great shape, despite my not having been that nice to it on some occassions.



                              Sounds like it's a sweater search weekend! I've been meaning to stop by Uniqlo, but just haven't had the free time. Love me some Uniqlo and really enjoy walking around Soho searching for some deals. I got a nice v-neck sweater from H.E. (Mango's male division) last summer (I think on sale and student discount - don't remember) that fits me well. Definitely looks like I have a lot of good places to check out from all of your suggestions.