Seventy Five dollars. That’s a lot of money. It’ll get you a couple pairs of Levi’s, a nice dinner out, or a couple months at your local gym. Seventy Five dollars. It is a lot of money, especially if you spend it right. Ten picks follow, all for $75 or under, and some of them are much, much less.
1. Bespoke Post’s “Sweat”Box – $45.00 (sold out)
That’ll work. Incredible job by Bespoke Post and Blue Claw Co. once again. The Duffel is made in the USA, has almost 2500 cubic inches inside, and good looking enough to use as your main weekender / get-out-of-dodge bag. Used to use American Crew Forming creme myself for years. It’s a nice mix of hold + low shine. And a pound of protein powder on top of that? Sure. Not surprisingly, these are sold out. But, we got one on the way for an in-person + giveaway.
2. This American Life Podcast: Blackjack – Free
The MIT Blackjack team. A church group who counted cards known as the “Holy Rollers”. And a woman who lost so much money that she decided the best course of action was to… sue the casino she lost it to. An hour worth of Blackjack talk as told by the expert story tellers at This American Life.
3. Jack Spade Narrow Stripe Card Case – $26.25 w/ SOS13
Just different enough. A little warm weather appropriate color, but not so much that it’ll get shelved when the leaves start to fall. Ships free as well. Code SOS13 takes an extra 25% off sale items and expires today.
4. Stafford Prep Short Sleeve Button Down – $19.50 ($26)
Now that we’re in the dog days, many of us have gotten tired of our usual rotation of polos and t-shirts. No doubt that a short sleeve button up can go wrong quickly, but this one gets it right. A nice sized button down collar, a warm weather pattern, the contrasting placket is good, and it’s fitted and short enough that it actually looks pretty good untucked. Key here is to SIZE DOWN. Size shown: Small. Can be tucked in and belted for a cleaner look as well. One drawback… there is a little Stafford Prep logo tag at the waist, but that might be able to be taken off with a sharp scissors.
5. Zara Buckle Loafers – $39.99 ($89.90)
Well… these could either be outstanding, or terrible. The recently featured suede single monks were outstanding. Those were made in Spain, the suede was solid quality, and they were a steal during this ongoing summer sale. But cheap suede always trumps cheap leather. And while these have that Italian man having an espresso at a cafe on a Saturday morning look to them from a distance, who knows what they’ll look like up close. At least they ship and return free.
6. “Candle by the Hour” coil candles – $25 – $35
Looks like something you’d have been more likely to find in Ben Franklin’s house instead of your Grandmama’s. Candles don’t have to be all girly. 20 min. per inch of exposed beeswax and the flame goes out once it hits the clip. Seems like it should have been a part of some sort of diabolical James Bond execution scene. Once the flame gets to a certain level… poof… in comes the swinging double bladed axe. Or something.
7. Flint and Tinder “Captain’s Log” – $14.00
Not cheap, but looks like a cross between a Field Notes notebook and a moleskin. 80 pages (Field Notes have 48). Made in the USA. At the end of a long day, it’s always good to write down some thoughts, all while enjoying a cup of tea… earl grey… hot… and OHMYGAWDNERDALERT!!!@!@!!@
8. Barbancourt Haitian Rhum 8 yr – $24.99
Brace yourself for quite possibly the worst endorsement ever: tastes like a blend of light brown sugar, grass, and sweaty socks. This stuff is… funky. If you’re used to something dark, dessert-like, and as easy as Zaya, this’ll take a bottle’s worth to get used to. But when you do get used to it, you’ll really appreciate this complex liquor produced by one of the tragically snake bit areas of the world. Not something you’re going to sip neat in the fall and winter, so ice it up now with maybe a dash of orange bitters and a lemon twist. Aged in oak 8 years. From cut sugar cane instead of molasses. Looking forward to trying the 15 yr at some point.
9. Gustin Made in the USA Japan Grey Oxford – $69.00
Expensive to the point of it being an investment, but nowhere near as expensive as other Made in the USA OCBDs. Gustin is the USA made selvage denim Kickstarter success story that many know about, and they’ve started to get into shirting now too. They’ve since moved off Kickstarter, but have kept a similar model for selling their clothes. You pledge to buy a product, and once a threshold is tipped, then Gustin goes into production. If a certain pair of jeans or a shirt doesn’t get enough people to sign on to buy one, it doesn’t go into production and your card isn’t charged. And so far… it looks like its working (you can see all of the successfully funded jeans / shirts on their site) Standby for a review of a pair of their denim later on this week. (Meanwhile, there are much cheaper OCBDs from L.E.C. over here, and UNIQLO over here.)
10. UNIQLO Dry Button Down Shirt Collar Polo – $19.90
Another winner of a polo from UNIQLO that happens to not have the Michael Bastian name on it (seriously UNIQLO, make some more of those). One issue a lot of guys have with their polos is a floppy, curly, uncontrolled collar. One solution: A button down collar. These are a 75% cotton / 25% poly blend that is engineered to dry much quicker than a standard all cotton polo. Not super soft like jersy, but not scratchy either. And certainly not weighty like a fat pique polo. Great placket too. Sizes are scattered. Shown above: Medium, is sold out at post time. Here’s hoping they restock.
For other best bets under $75 from previous months, click here.