The $1500 Wardrobe – Shirts and Sweaters

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Shirts and Sweaters – The $1500 Wardrobe Part III

Creating a versatile, sharp wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight.  By far, the best course of action is to go slow.  But for argument’s sake, let’s say you have to start from scratch, today.  Over the next 5 days we’ll see how far a strict budget of $1500 can go.  It won’t be easy and some corners will have to be cut, but the goal is to end with a setup of clothes that can have someone looking great in almost any situation.  Remember, we’re playing with a total of $1500 here.  So there will be an obvious focus on real affordable stuff, which can last with reasonable care.  Also, remember that 90% of looking good is fit, so a well tailored $200 suit will look better than an ill fitting $1000 suit every single time.

Dress Shirts:  Target Merona White – $22.99 | Target Merona Fine Stripe – $22.99

They’ll serve you well.

The white, semi-spread dress shirt is going to be #1 on your list, and the option from Merona is borderline indestructible, has a nice sized collar, and looks great either with a suit or under a sweater.  They’re now offering a fine stripe option that’s incredibly sharp.  Same collar too, and it looks extremely good tieless.  Plus, unlike a pale blue, you just can’t find a fine stripe (with the stripes all one width) at a thrift store or discount shop for dirt cheap.  $23 for a dress shirt is too good of a price to pass up, even if they aren’t all cotton (these are 60/40 blend).

 

Casual Oxford: jcp Oxford Cloth Button Down in light blue – $20.00

Your new, upgraded casual button up.

Most guys have a stockpile of casual button up shirts in their closet, even if they are going through purging their wardrobe and upgrading the rest.  Think about how those old oxfords look under layers.  Do logos get hidden behind the Merona Kensington’s lapels? Can louder patterns you don’t wear anymore work when only the collar shows under a V-neck?  Keep what you can because we’re already starting to get pulled by those $1500 budget reins.  But if you’re going to buy a new casual button up shirt, make it this one.  Light blue, a nice trim fit, and a soft oxford fabric, all for twenty bucks.

 

Polos: Old Navy Tri-Blend – $7.49 | Jersey – $9.74 w/ ONTAKE25

Sizing down in the jersey polos usually = a great fit.

Here’s to hoping Target brings back the original design for their plain, Mossimo Polos this upcoming spring.  In the meantime, Old Navy polos in their tri-bend or jersey cotton-blend are good options, as long as you size down.  It’s not really polo weather for most of us, but a few are always nice to have on hand.  Plus, you can easily score T-shirts for cheap at the thrift store.  The 25% off Old Navy code ONTAKE25 expires today, Wednesday 11/7/12.

 

Sweaters:  J. Crew Factory Merino V in navy – $34.50 & khaki – $34.50

Don’t underestimate the power of a khaki/camel sweater.

Forget cashmere.  Skip lambswool for now.  What you want is a sweater that’s going to be thin enough to layer but tough enough to stand up to repeated usage.  These can suffer from some piling, but overall, they’re as good as it gets for the price.  The merino wool doesn’t scratch, the sweaters can take a beating, and the V-necks dip but don’t dip absurdly low.  If Khaki doesn’t look good on you, try the heather grey, warm garnet, or heather vine options.

TOTAL COST: $152.21
CASH REMAINING: $168.94 (is it okay to panic yet?)

Upcoming Categories: Thurs – Pants, Fri – The Rest.