How to spend your tax refund… with style in mind

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The $1415.50 Style Splurge:  Spending half this year’s average Tax Refund

Now, before all the armchair Suzy Orman’s get their knickers in a twist, know that this is an annual tradition. And it’s hypothetical. We’re not even, again, hypothetically spending an entire average tax refund. So, for the love of Dave Ramsey’s tighty whiteys, let’s all take it easy. Now w/ that said, the average refund this year is $2,831. That’s a lot of money, and one hell of a 0% interest loan to provide Uncle Sam. Most of us aren’t getting back anywhere near that, but for farts and snickers, we’ll cut half off this year’s average (for the savings account) and fake-spend the rest.  Because really, what’s the fun in hypothetical splurging if you can’t do it responsibly? Top Photo Credit


Martenero “Ace” Aviator Automatic – $485.00

martenero ace white dial on

Yep, you’ve recently seen these guys. Nope, we have no affiliation with them what-so-ever. Martenero is a small watch brand with just two models (the simple “Founder” and the Aviation inspired “Ace” seen here), but each one can be customized in a bunch of different ways. You pick either a black, white, or grey dial, the color of the second hand, a black or brown leather strap, and finally one of eight NATO straps (solids & colors are available). We’re coming up on summer. That means getting outside, getting away, and maybe getting a little dirty. You’ll be favoring a sport watch more often than not. With a screw down crown, 100m water resistance, Miyota automatic movement, and tons of good looks, these assembled-in-Brooklyn timepieces should be a faithful companion through this summer and years beyond. Efforting a full in person soon. Many thanks to the guys at Worn & Wound for providing the above pic. ($930.50 left)


Suitsupply Copenhagen Cotton/Linen Blazer in Blue Check – $349.00

suitsupply copenhagen cotton linen blazer on

That’s a lot of money for a blazer… but it’s half canvassed, just half-lined (perfect for summer), and has a whole lot of personality (without getting insane… thank you tonal plaid). Wear it with everything. Even dark denim at night. ($581.50 left)


Mitchell Leather Large Valet Tray in Standard Leathers – $69.00

Mitchell leather valet tray on

From the same Milwaukee company that makes the money-clip wallet. A place to organize your daily carry clutter once the day is done. Four different color combinations, with the natural nubuck + navy base shown above. 8.5″ x 7″ so it’s plenty big, and sturdy as hell. Looks so good that you’ll (weirdly) look forward to putting your keys there, and thus, won’t have to go searching through drawers for them ever again. ($512.50 left)


Tw0 UNIQLO Button Down Collar Dry Shirt Polos – $45.80 total

UNIQLO Button down polo duo on

Don’t knock the button down collar polo until you’ve tried it… Also, as a personal pique-hater, it’s worth noting that this is NOT your average, spongy, gross-feeling thick pique cotton. It’s much lighter than that, but still feels strong. It’s not the softest, but in the broiling heat of summer, it helps keep you cool and your pits dry. All while the collar stays at attention and frames your face. ($466.70 left) (UPDATE: Well now, looks like these are surprisingly still on sale for $14.90 a pop… let’s just consider those savings applied to shipping so the countdown of cash doesn’t have to change.)


Ransom Old Tom Gin – $36.99

Ransom Old Tom Gin on

The next evolution in gin. Or would it be devolution? This is what most gin looked, and tasted like in the mid 1800s. Unlike the London style, Old Tom gins have mellow malt backbone and amber color. The juniper and freshness of gin’s usual flavors still come through with ease, but it’s got more meat on its bones. Makes for a nifty Martinez. ($429.71 left)


ratio/clothing Slim Fit White Pinpoint – $89.00

Ratio Pinpoint on

A splurge, but as good as it gets for double digits. You get a custom fit through a precise, but not overly invasive measuring system. Neck sizes down to the quarter inch and sleeves to the nearest half inch. No more of that 32/33 off-the-rack garbage. You also get to pick your collar, placket, cuffs, the type of pleats you want on the back, and whether or not there’s a pocket. Send customer service an email, ask for the 2nd button to be lowered to 4″ (instead of 3.5″) and you end up with a perfect shirt for going tieless. Their pinpoint cotton is crisp, but not scratchy in the least, and nice and airy for the warmer months. Made in the USA. More over here. ($340.71 left)


Meermin Suede Wholecuts – Low to Mid $200s (depending on exchange rate)

Mermin suede whole cuts on

Those… are something. Keep the rest of your outfit simple (cotton blazer, jeans or chinos) and let those things have their moment. Ordering from Meermin is a bit tough, since they’re overseas, so be prepared to do some research on how to get the right size. The VAT gets taken off for U.S. customers, but you do have to shell out big time for international shipping… so it’s more or less a wash in the end. Goodyear welted. Made in China? More on Meermin over here and here.  (let’s call these shoes… $225? … $115.71 left)


Warby Parker Polarized “Downing” – $95.00

warby parker summer 2014 shades on

Retro without looking like you’re in costume. Gotta love those blue lenses too. $95 for non-prescription, $150 if you want them to throw some prescription lenses in there. Polaraized too. ($20.71 left)


Jomers “Sagamore” Made in the USA web belt – $20.00

Jomers Web Belt on

Made in the United States. Woven cotton with Italian leather trim. Really nice feeling belt all around. Three colors. Ships free. ($0.71 left)


ZZ Top Sharp Dressed Man – $0.69

Well, it’s appropriate. ($0.02 left… stash those pennies in the couch cushions for safe keeping.)

Okay fellas… how’d it shake down for you this year?  You getting a little back?  Hit it on the head and you’re even with Uncle Sam?  Getting a big fat refund and have plans for it?  Leave it all in the comments below.