Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Thoughts on skimping and spending

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Thoughts on skimping and spending

    I see Joe dusted off the ole "Skimp or Spend?" post. Here's a few thoughts I've collected up for while...

    Suits: Right on. Half canvas and 100% wool are the key things. From a big guy perspective, Spier & Mackay and SuitSupply won’t work because they max out at size 46 or 48. I recommend Hart Schaffner Marx, which can often be found on sale in the $500ish range at Nordstrom Rack or Saks Off Fifth. Saks’ store brand “Made in Italy” suits have a good rep too at the same pricepoint. Then there’s always MTM. I have a great suit from Enzo, and I think Joe has recommended Black Lapel in the past.

    Shoes: ”I'm glad to pay those union dues. Just don't judge me by my shoes.” With apologies to The Band, I’m afraid we are definitely judged by our shoes. I would take a different tack than Joe – spend on function, skimp on form. By that, I mean spend on the shoes that you wear daily and need to earn your living: dress shoes for the office worker, work boots for a tradesman, sneakers for retail, etc. Also, spend on athletic shoes to maximize your performance and prevent injury. Skimp on shoes that you want/need just for looks or to complete an outfit, like dress shoes that you only wear with a suit a couple times a year. Or maybe white sneakers for the weekend. I think Joe has mentioned it before on the site, but suede is your friend when skimping on dress shoes or boots.

    Outerwear: Looks on target to me.

    Blazers: Personally, I find a brown sportcoat with subtle pattern more versatile than a navy blazer. YMMV.

    Chinos: I have gone through so many pairs of cheap chinos, and they just never hold up. YMMV. Being naturally a “skimper” wherever possible, I have found the second hand market to be very productive for finding high quality pants at low prices because chinos, and khakis in particular, are so ubiquitous. Orvis khakis for $3? Yes, please! Walk into any thrift store, and half the men’s pants rack will be khakis. You do have to sort through the old, pleated Dockers and whatnot, but the gems are there (or will be next week). Ebay, Poshmark, and Grailed are great for chinos too.

    Jeans: Yes sir. I keep coming back to Levi’s. High value quotient, and I guess the fit just works for me. I’d put Carhartt in this category too. Shout out to Prison Blues for Made in the USA jeans at Levi’s prices.

    Polos: I’ll go with Joe’s advice here. You know, I haven’t found a polo shirt I like yet. Maybe I’m just not a polo shirt kinda guy.

    Casual shirts: I don’t know, cheap OCBDs just don’t do it for me. They look cheap. The collars aren’t right. I’d spend a few bucks more for at least Land’s End or LL Bean. Brooks Brothers has been running multi-buy deals on their shirts lately. I mean, you could just splash out once on a multi-buy for white, blue, striped, and wild card like pink or yellow in whatever fit you like, and you’re pretty well set for a decade or three. BB’s OCBDs look better as they age.

    Dress shirts: I just picked up an MTM shirt from Proper Cloth for $50 with their newbie discount and couldn’t be happier.

    Sweaters: Let’s throw sweater vests in here too. I agree you can get by with a skimp and stick to merino. This is another area ripe for second hand pickings to level up to better brands and maybe cashmere.

    Watches: Watches are basically man-jewelry, right? The best advice I’ve seen is either “go big” and invest in a watch that will hold its value, like a Rolex, Omega, etc or keep it cheap, let’s say under 2 or 3 hundred.

    Ties: Full disclosure – I’ve never owned a Tie Bar tie. I’ve never had the need to buy a Tie Bar tie since I’ve filled out my tie collection with high quality ties sourced from thrift stores for a dollar or two a pop. Ties are the easiest things in the world to thrift. You stop in, move the old 90’s splatter paint ties and ugly Christmas ties out of the way, and look for the good stuff. In and out in five minutes, and if you’re lucky, with a Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece rep stripe, Italian silk print, or chunky, solid-color wool tie. And if that’s too much trouble, Poshmark and Grailed abound with good ties for a few bucks more. I’ve had lots of ties over the years. Cheap ties just suck. They’re hard to tie, hard to get a good looking knot, and just look cheap. So skimp on ties, but skimp smart.

    Sunglasses: I got nothin’. Man, remember when AO Original Pilots were like $50? I wish I bought a pair back then.

    Belts: My belts suck, not gonna lie. There’s a lot of leather shops out there making full grain leather belts for reasonable prices. I think that’s the route I want to explore.

    Cars: sure

    Booze: Spend on brown? Or just find a good supply of Buffalo Trace.

    Skincare: Men care about skincare? Doesn’t crusty, leathery skin as you get older add distinction and manliness? I like the “sleep, drink water, and wear sunscreen” plan.

    Haircuts: Its amazing how much friendlier your barber gets and better your haircuts get when you leave in a nice tip.


    Fitness, etc: Kind goes with the shoes thing. Get the best shoes you can afford for whatever activity you’re doing. And helmet, as required. Everything else, I don’t know. For the super-skimper, get a beat up used copy of Pavel’s “The Naked Warrior” off Amazon for a couple bucks and never look twice a gym again. Unless you actually like going to a gym, in which case, its probably spend-worthy.

    #2
    I mostly hated that he qualified almost every single category. Some were helpful like if you have a hard time finding chinos which fit, but most seemed geared towards not kicking up a shitstorm from denim heads, watch nerds, etc. Take a stand man, you’re supposed to be an expert.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by whereismurder View Post
      I mostly hated that he qualified almost every single category. Some were helpful like if you have a hard time finding chinos which fit, but most seemed geared towards not kicking up a shitstorm from denim heads, watch nerds, etc. Take a stand man, you’re supposed to be an expert.
      Well, you're not wrong. Equivocating on a few of these categories might be an admission of the limitations of the "Skimp or Spend" methodology. Even Joe said at the top that these are more "guidelines". But to stick up for Joe, I did think that his advice on jeans was a pretty unambiguous "Skimp". Its kind of common sense that if someone is getting into one of these things as its own hobby - denin, watches, boots, cars, etc - than you're automatically sliding into the SPEND category. And yet, even dedicated enthusiasts who aren't complete snobs have to acknowledge that some things provide a lot of value for the money and are good entry points into the hobby. Like Levi 501 Shrink-to-fit jeans or Orient watches. But I don't know. "Buy the best you can afford" and "Buy quality over quantity" is probably the best advice overall and applies to all this stuff.

      Comment


        #4
        I’m going to throw out a somewhat diverging thought on sweaters, but I am a big fan of sweaters as outerwear so YMMV on the quantity you need. In any case, I think skimping on merino for your office attire is fine, but getting at least one well made Shetland or Aran sweater (typically $60-150 depending on maker) is a necessity. The texture and visual contrast can’t be replicated IMO.

        Comment


          #5
          The whole thing looks like it trying to fit a square peg in a triangle hole. Especially if you consider the prices listed. I mean, I can easily spend significantly less than $ 30 on polos. For the shoes, the cheapest pair are the kill shots!? The sunglasses have a pretty big range.

          I did a quick count, there are 18 categories and 10 have a qualification in the heading. Others could arguably be qualified either as relative or both. I think the problem is two fold: one man's skimp is another man's splurge and buying clothes isn't that simple.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Marc99 View Post
            I’m going to throw out a somewhat diverging thought on sweaters, but I am a big fan of sweaters as outerwear so YMMV on the quantity you need.
            Originally posted by ryn View Post
            The whole thing looks like it trying to fit a square peg in a triangle hole. Especially if you consider the prices listed. I mean, I can easily spend significantly less than $ 30 on polos.
            I think that's really the takeaway. You really can find quality for most of these items at low price points, with a couple of exceptions. The "budget" created by the relative prices on this list prioritizes things that fit with the Dappered aesthetic, though people's preferences, climate, body shape, comfort level, job demands, etc will change what you want to spend your money on. Living in hot-humid DC, with the added dimension that I'm a stay at home dad during the summers (I'm a school teacher), It's worth it for me to find several rayon or linen shirts with camp collars and tinnitus-inducing, loud AF prints, which isn't on this list, but I know where to find em 😜
            Last edited by andrewrg; April 1, 2021, 07:45 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Wait around and buy high quality everything on the list in the clearance section, for about 70-80% off, is how I do it; so it's all "spend" but not really.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by andrewrg View Post

                I think that's really the takeaway. You really can find quality for most of these items at low price points, with a couple of exceptions. The "budget" created by the relative prices on this list prioritizes things that fit with the Dappered aesthetic, though people's preferences, climate, body shape, comfort level, job demands, etc will change what you want to spend your money on. Living in hot-humid DC, with the added dimension that I'm a stay at home dad during the summers (I'm a school teacher), It's worth it for me to find several rayon or linen shirts with camp collars and tinnitus-inducing, loud AF prints, which isn't on this list, but I know where to find em 😜
                Yes sir. That's why I thought this would be an interest topic to bounce around in the Threads. There is no one "right" answer, which Joe does acknowledge in his intro. I addressed a few of those issues in my critique. Speaking as a "big and tall" kind of guy, almost nothing from Dappered-approved places like J. Crew, Bonobos, Gap, etc is going to fit, so I just have to adjust expectations accordingly. Like the dress shirt I mentioned... Do you know hard it is to find a bog stock basic blue, semi-spread collar shirt with a 19" neck for less than $50? And not in some "Buy 4 shirt for $200" deal. Its nuts! In that case, MTM was the way to go. It costs a bit more, but not tons more.

                Originally posted by Evenflow View Post
                Wait around and buy high quality everything on the list in the clearance section, for about 70-80% off, is how I do it; so it's all "spend" but not really.
                My hat's off to you, sir. I have found that clearance sections tend to be filled with a lot of XS and 3XL sizes and oddball colors/patterns that won't sell at the more usual 20-30% off. Shopping clearances can be almost as frustrating as thrifting. I guess I don't have the patience to wait to grab EVERYTHING at 80% off. But every now and then, lighting strikes and its a beautiful thing.

                Comment

                Working...
                X