10 Best Bets for $75 or Less – August 2011

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Seventy Five dollars.  That’s a lot of money.  It’ll get you a couple pairs of Levi’s, a nice dinner out, or a couple months at your local gym.  Seventy Five dollars.  It is a lot of money, especially if you spend it right.  Ten picks follow, all under $75, and some of them are much, much less.
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1. Banana Republic San Marcos Wingtip – $78.75 w/code BRSUMMER25

Also available in brown

Not quite under $75, but they ship free and return to stores free, so… we’ll fudge it.  Not worth it at $140.  Still a little too much at over $100.  But with their 25% off purchases over $100 code BRSUMMER25, these now reduced to $105 shoes come down to a very fair eighty bucks.  Why is it fair?  Don’t expect much from the quality.  But, as a rotate em’ in every now and again pair, they look pretty good.

 

2. NFL Preseason live Subscription – $19.99

No cable, no problem.

Some will love this, some will hate it.  For those of us that ditched cable or satellite long ago, but still love sports, it’s getting harder and harder to find a game that you can kick back and watch.  The NFL is offering live streaming of every single preseason game for $19.99.  Some love preseason because all of these guys are out there fighting to make the team.  Some just don’t care for it.  But being able to watch any team, or any player (Tebow drama anyone?) for twenty bucks?  Awesome.

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3.  Bruno Magli Wallet – $42.00 (reg. $69.00)

Not quite a pair of shoes... but still.

Because it’s trim, has vertical card slots, and it’s as close as many of us will ever get to owning a pair of Bruno Magli shoes.  Take your socks off.  Drape it over your feet.  Okay, now that’s as close as many of us will ever get.

 

4. Ralph Lauren Custom-Fit Gingham Oxford – $43.99 (reg. $95.00)

Available in blue too, but you can wear pink.

Holy hell get a load of the regular price.  Almost $100.  Part of Ralph Lauren’s “Last Chance” Sale.  It’s the much slimmer “custom fit” which is absolutely key.  You’ve got plenty of time to wear this well into the fall.  Think black moleskin blazer on top, maybe a knit or wool tie of some kind, dark wash jeans, and some interesting lace ups.  Update:  Sizes are getting real limited, real fast with these.

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5. Timex Weekender Slip-Thru – $32.00 w/code SUMMER11

Three cheers for Timex.

The good-looks to cost ratio is re-damn-donkulous.  Seems like a few Targets out there have them as well.  Free shipping kicks in at $75, pre code, so you can get two of these, shipped free, for $64.00.  Update:  Amazon just got these in for a few cents less, and free super saver shipping even if you order just one watch.  So far the black, grey, and Burgundy stripe among others appear to be available.  Credit Ryan N. in the comments.

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6. A fine merino wool v-neck: Bloomingdale’s – $29.50icon ($78) | Express – $69.50

Merino = tough to beat

It’ll be the first sweater you reach for when September shows up.  Fine knit merino is lightweight, durable, and easy to layer over and under anything.  Two points about the Express sweater:  1. wait for a sale, and 2. wear a shirt under it.

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7. The President is a Sick Man – $14.85

Or, the story of Grover's mouth tumor.

Summer reading that won’t leave you brain dead.  Comes with one of the best sub-headlines ever: “Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth.”  President gets a huge cancerous growth on the roof of his mouth.  Country is in the throws of a financial crisis.  Letting the world know could cause a financial panic.  So they end up digging the tumor out on a boat, then lie through their teeth when a reporter dares to tell the story.
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8.  Ron Zacapa 23 Dark Rum – $34.99 – $55.00

The affordable-ish 23 is on the left.

If you’re into sipping rums, this is one of the top, relatively affordable and attainable bottles out there.  A slight step above Zaya (but that’s just one opinion).  This isn’t the kind of rum you dump coke on top of.  On a couple big ice cubes now, neat when fall finally arrives.  Mapely, spicy, lots of caramel.  Less vanilla than Zaya, but it’s still there.

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9. INC Launch Plain Toe Chukka – $89.50 (but can easily be had for $67.13)

Also available in brown

Best bet?  Maybe not.  Slight risk with the highest potential?  Absolutely.  Haven’t seen these in person quite yet, but INC continues to move away from their over-embellished bad habits to embrace smoother and plain styles.  Wait for a sale on these.  $67.13 is 25% off.  We’re due for a One Day Sale anyway.

 

10. ratio/clothing Blue Windowpane dress shirt – $73.50 w/code DAPPERED

If you've got em', worth all 7500 cents.

Instantly became my own personal favorite shirt.  Fits better than any other shirt I’ve ever owned, the fabric is something else, and the pattern is nothing short of perfect.  Made in the USA.  Kinda like it.  Just a bit.  Yes, by chance it has been featured a lot.  (No, they’re not paying us to do so.)  If you don’t like it, go to Russia.
For other best bets under $75 from previous months, click here.