Style Newbie – His first major splurge

How much? Oh boy. Will he regret it?

I’m not a baller, but I can pretend to be

Christian Davis is a 24-year-old Los Angeles based writer who up until now has focused mainly on writing about video games.  Really.  He recently began wanting to dress better, and he’ll be cataloging his process for us here on Dappered.  He might be new, but he’s learning quick.  For more, you can follow him via his tumblr.  

Listen, I spent stacks of money on one shirt and I’m not ashamed. If anything, I felt….alive in a way. I know Dappered is all about affordable menswear, and I support that 300%. My closet is built up of affordable items and that’s how I’ll continue to shop. Though, at times, I think it’s ok to splurge on something that you really, really want. A piece of apparel that you know you’ll appreciate and pass on through generations of your family like some sort of sacred heirloom.

Yes, it’s that serious.

I recently went to a pop up shop in downtown LA. Thus far, that is still my favorite moment of 2013. For those who don’t know what a “pop-up shop” is, it’s essentially a farmers market for men’s clothing and accessories. Just you know…without the farmers market prices. It was a small, personal meeting of people who loved the same things I did. I got to meet co-owners and creators of brands and engage in some casual conversation with them, crack some jokes, and respectfully walk away from their $225 jeans. There were a lot of great vendors there such as Baldwin Denim, Rogue Territory, 3Sixteen, Apolis, and TaylorStitch just to name a few, but there were about two dozen brands there packed shoulder to shoulder selling great products.

Taylor Stitch Fabric Close

The siren song of a perfectly fitting, well made OCBD…

I didn’t know what I wanted to buy when I was there but I knew I would be walking out with something I loved, but I just didn’t know what. California based company, TaylorStitch, helped me make my decision when I saw their selection of Blue Oxford Jack OCBDs (Oxford Cloth Button Down). Again, much like my Navy Blazer discovery, it was the last one in my size (36) and the guy who just tried it on put it back for a bigger size not 10 seconds before I got there.

I was prepared to buy this shirt and eagerly brought out my wallet and asked the vendor how much it costs (not noticing the list of prices behind me). He sort of kicks me in the face. I expected something around $60-$70. $80 would be pushing it. I thought that was expensive, but reasonable due to the event. I didn’t expect $135 (after taxes). My heart sank slightly and I was unsure if it was real love or just lust. The thought of investing more than $100 on a shirt was new territory to me and I’m fairly certain it was something that I swore I’d never do in a past life.

As these thoughts were swirling in my head my body continued to hand the TaylorStitch vendor my card and pay for the clothing. My body knows better than I do apparently.

This would be my first OCBD which is again, another thing I learned was a staple in any man’s wardrobe. I’m estimating that in the past month I’ve already worn the shirt a solid 15 times and I’m probably off by a few. Obviously, I love this shirt to death.

The shirt is pre-shrunk so it fits me perfectly, it’s got a tailored fit, it’s handmade, has high armholes and my absolute favorite thing about this button down is how the shirt looks tucked and untucked. I have the constant struggle of getting dress shirts that are just too long. If I un-tuck them, they’re easily hovering above my knees and I’m stuck with something similar to this.

Hell no.

This oxford sits just below the below the beltline untucked and it’s just perfect.

just below the belt

Now, I’m unsure if spending this much money on a shirt is normal in the #menswear world, but I felt like a baller. The BEST baller. Everywhere I go I feel like I’m the best dressed because of this shirt alone. There are some great details on this shirt that just make me feel great, such as the slits where the collars are buttoned to the shirt. They’re not just a straight line and have a small dip in them to make it easier for them to get in. All my other shirts are just regular slits.

Pffft, I’m clearly too good for that now.

I’ve got this extra layer of confidence when I wear this button down and not to downplay other companies or brands, but I didn’t get that same sensation when I wore Target’s blue oxford OCBD which only costs $22.00 and looks very (and I mean VERY) similar to the one I purchased. Could be the quality of the material, could be the the shirt length at Target was exceedingly long, it could all just be in my head, or I’m just trying to justify spending so much on a shirt. Don’t ruin this for me!

I don’t want to go and say something cliche like “you get what you pay for”….but……I really did this time. I got a shirt that goes with every piece of clothing I own, is a staple in my wardrobe, and the fit, the most important part, is perfect or unimaginably close to being perfect. Will I spend this much on a shirt again?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! No; not anytime soon.

splurge layered

Cardigan – H&M, Blue OCBD – Taylor Stitch, Knit Tie – Thrifted YSL, Trousers – Topman,
Loafers – Target, Bag – Rogue Territory

It’s far too impractical for me to do that consistently. The amount of money I spent on that one item could have been several from JCP, J Crew Factory, H&M, etc… I don’t regret it one bit though. It’s fun to splurge on something every so often. It’s the equivalent of eating at that super fancy restaurant you saw in Bon Appetit magazine or getting that Platinum Reserve whiskey at your favorite whiskey bar. It’s a special occasion sort of thing and in my situation, my first pop-up shop. I haven’t even gotten into the Rogue Territory Tote ($40) or the haircut I got from Imperial Barber Products ($56 after tip) OR going to Topman’s Top Shop afterwards and spending another $198 on pants alone. Like I said….special occasions.

The conversations that have spawned from this shirt are great though and make it all worth it:

“Hey Christian, lets go out to a couple bars bro!”

“Sorry guys, I can’t. I’m broke..”

“You were broke last week though.”

“The struggle….it’s real man.”

As I go home in my $135.00 shirt.

What was your first major splurge in the world of style?  Did you regret it?  Have a few days of buyer’s remorse?  Or did you never regret it?  Leave it all in the comments below.