10 Best Bets for $75 or Less – October 2011

Ten items worth your attention.

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.
.

1. Ratio Clothing Ogden Plaid – $73.00 w/ code DAPUNDER75 ($98)

And now it's under $75.

The new Ogden plaid shirt from ratio looks terrific, but at $98 it was too spendy to make the monthly list.  Talked with Eric over at ratio/clothing about this predicament and he provided a solution.  The code DAPUNDER75 is good for $25 off ANY one of their new plaids through November.  It’s a one time on one shirt per-customer, but you don’t have to be a first timer to use it.  The shirts are totally customizable so if you don’t want a full spread you can get a semi or button down.  Also made in the USA.  Full rundown on Ratio over here, and a huge thank you to Eric for the code.

 

2. L.L. Bean Signature Canvas Cloth Pant – $49.99 ($69.00)

Red, but not fire engine red.

Sturdier than a standard chino and a deep red color called “currant” that’s fall and winter appropriate.  A deep and dark tone like this is how those of us who prefer to (wait for it) stand out quietly wear color.  Ships free.  A black overcoat or peacoat over a checked dress shirt, wool tie, and maybe a tie bar would look pretty sharp here.

 

3. J. Crew Factory Laptop Bag – $64.50

Cheaper now that it's on the FACTORY side.

Wait… wasn’t therebut I thought… Well okay then.  Looks slightly different, but it’s basically the same thing.  Mine is holding up extremely well.  Ships free, no code required, but if you hang on for one of those once a month or so extra 30% off sales, it’ll dip to under $50.

 

4. Timex Oiled Leather Strap – $60.00
icon

Looks incredible from all angles.

Black plated case with an oiled leather tan strap.  This is the stripped down version of their just released Intelligent Chronograph in the same color scheme.  42mm in diameter so it’s not tiny.  Ships and returns free through Nordstrom thanks to their newish shipping policy.

 

5. Lands’ End Canvas Tartan Pocket Square – $9.50

Ships free too.

Looks like it’d go more than well in the pocket of a light grey tweed blazer.  All LEC purchases (no minimum spend requirement) will ship free through October 31st with the code SIMPLE and pin 7059.  And that’s your reward for actually reading these things.

 

6. Banana Republic Merino Wool V-Neck – $44.63 ($59.50)

When on sale, it's the best for the price.

If $45 is still too steep, hang out for a 30% off sale.  Stay patient and maybe a 40% off could roll around.  At that point they’re a complete steal.  V isn’t as deep as the silk/cotton/cashmere.  A new favorite.

 

7. Fossil Black and Brown Vintage Briefcases – $55.00

Not fake old. Actual vintage.

For those who prefer their work bags more traditional than the soft sided canvas type.  Part of the “Fossil Finds” section, which has to be one of the more unique bits of retail on the web.  It’s a bit like Fossil’s own consignment store.  There’s only one of each, because they’re actual vintage cases that somebody found in Chicago.  Could you find something similar for cheaper at your local thrift store?  It’s worth a try.

 

8. Calibrate Cotton Sportcoat – $74.97icon ($195) & INC Cord Blazer – $55.99 $79.60* ($99.50)

Sorry taller guys, no tall sizes available.

Both are trim fits and the Calibrate claims to be unstructured.  Haven’t seen the Calibrate in person yet, but it was going for almost $200 at Nordstrom.  That’s a lot.  Calibrate stuff seems to run a little short in length, so if you’re on the tall side it might be risky.  Free shipping and pre-paid returns though.  Praise for the INC over here.
*You’ll need the code PRESIDENT for an extra 20% off to get this price.  UPDATE:  The price just went back up.  Was down to $55.  Free shipping kicks in at $75, so, at least it ships free.  Might want to check in store.


9. Club Room Knot Cuff links – $16.00 (in store only)

Not a bad impulse buy.

Sure you can get more for less if you jump on Ebay, but if you don’t want to horse around with that, you might be able to catch these on sale in-store at Macy’s.  Gives you an opportunity to use your french cuff shirts a little more often, or, a good excuse to get your first french cuff shirt (and maybe a custom one?)

 

10. The Very Best of Ray Charles – $12.09

40 tracks for twelve bucks.

People who get bent out of shape when a restaurant carries Pepsi instead of Coke, and people who don’t like Ray Charles.  Can’t trust em’.  Invite some friends over for poker.  Maybe a beer sampling party.  Here’s your soundtrack for at least some of the evening.

For other best bets under $75 from previous months, click here.