The $1500 Wardrobe – Shirts & Sweaters

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Shirts & 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, some corners will have to be cut, and not every last stitch of clothing (like underwear) will be covered. But the goal is finish with a setup of clothes that can have someone looking great in most situations.  Remember, we’re playing with a total of $1500 here.  So the  focus will be on real affordable goods which can last with reasonable care.  Also, remember that 90% of looking good is fit, and tailoring costs can vary wildly. So those haven’t been added to the final cost.


The Blue 100% Cotton Dress Shirt: Claiborne Slim Fit – $24.99 ($50)

Claiborne Slim Fit Blue

Half off in many stores, and wait until they drop to $25 (since they almost certainly will… soon) if you need to shop online. 100% cotton, a fantastic collar for going tieless if you so choose, and a nice light-blue shade. The fabric isn’t the thickest, but the all-cotton makeup means it won’t scratch like most thin, poly-blend dress shirts. Really nice fit off the rack. No tailoring need for most.


The Crisp White Dress Shirt: Merona Ultimate Dress Shirt – $24.99

Merona Ultimate Hierachy

Yes, these will need some tailoring if you want them right up on your torso, but they’ll do fine without under a blazer or suit jacket. The 60% cotton / 40% poly blend is surprisingly soft and smooth on the all-white option. It’s oddly smooth. Almost slick. Collar is outstanding, and man they’re durable. Bought one of these something like 4 years ago and it’s still going strong. Part of the white dress shirt hierarchy.


A couple of logo-free polos: Two Mossimo Mercerized Polos – $16.99 x 2 = $33.98

Mossimo Polos

When executing a wardrobe refresh, spongy, bulky, pique golf gear or brand logo’d up polos should probably be one of the first things to hit the donation pile. You want something that’ll fit close (without being tight), is smooth, and looks dressed up enough that you could wear it with chinos or even a pair of suit pants on a warm day. And again, no logos. Now, could these be the return of the well loved Mossimo Athletic fit polos? They might be even better. With a mercerized finish (read: smoother with a bit of sheen… hopefully not too much) they can play dressed up or dressed down, since they’re all solid with no marling. 100% cotton.


Two Slim Merino Vs: J. Crew Factory Merino V Neck – $38.15 x 2 = $76.30

Factory slim Merino Vs

Color choice can be up to you, but blues and greys are awfully versatile. And versatility makes for a good foundation. These sweaters from Factory have gone for cheaper in the past, but under $40 for a slim at the sides, warm but not bulky, perfect-dip v-neck is more than fair. Wear the white shirt from target, with this medium blue V-neck, under the Charcoal suit from Claiborne and you’ll have a just-enough color poor-man’s three piece suit thing going on. By the way, you’ll need the code BIGSALE for the 30% off. Ships free if you buy two since free shipping kicks in at $75 right now.

TOTAL COST: $160.26

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