The $1500 Wardrobe – Suits & Blazers

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Suits & Blazers – The $1500 Wardrobe Part I

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 Navy Suit:  Suitsupply Napoli Plain Navy Super 110s – $499

Suit Supply Navy

Ow. A THIRD?!?  We’re blowing a full THIRD of the entire budget right out of the gate? Yes. We are. But a well cut, durable, timeless navy suit is the backbone of any guy’s wardrobe. You don’t got that, you got nothin’. And even at $499, these are worth it. The quality is great, the fit is athletic without being tight, and the shoulder pads, lapel width, and button stance are all timeless. Half canvas gives it durability and the flexibility of the jacket (unlike stiff fused-suits) is fantastic. Ships and returns free in the US, so before you consider going cheaper on your foundation navy suit, at least give Suitsupply a shot. And don’t let it rot in your closet it. WEAR IT. Get the most out of this thing. We’re spending a third of the budget on it after-all. Feel free to wear it sans tie for a casual look.


The Cheap Charcoal Suit: Clairborne Suit Separates – $115.18  w/ PINECONE

JCP Claiborne Charcoal

And here’s where we’re going to cut some corners. For lack of a better description, this is your funeral suit. If you’re going to get by with two suits, skip the black and go with navy and charcoal. That way, if you need to attend a serious, subdued event, you’ll be prepared. A light grey worsted would look best in spring and summer, but you can always get one of those later. The Clairborne option from JC Penney is by far the best mega-cheap suit on the market. It’s fused, sure, but the fit is surprisingly good. You’re best off headed in store. JC Penney still hasn’t fixed the description on the website, and it says that “both pieces (are) constructed of polyester.” But numerous people have reported that yes, they are in fact wool. And that’s obviously key. PINECONE expires today, but these dip under $125 every few weeks. Full review here.


The Cotton Casual Blazer: Stafford Prep Chino – $19.99 w/ PINECONE

A step up from Target's Kensington.

Would have been nice to turn to the now-extinct Clairborne Smooth Cotton Peak Lapel here, but, those are long gone. The thicker, more relaxed chino option from Stafford Prep is still a step up from the (also extinct) Merona Kensington, but still really affordable. Be prepared to have a little tailoring done since they come in Small/Medium/Large sizes instead of chest sizes. Totally unlined. Dirt cheap and on clearance. Wear it with grey chinos in the summer or jeans + boots in the fall & winter.

TOTAL COST: $634.17

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