Pants – The $1500 Wardrobe Part IV
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.
Jeans: Levi’s 511 (slim), 514 (sorta slim), or 505 (straight) – $35.20 w/ GIFT20 ($44)
There’s hardly a better value in men’s style than a pair of dark wash Levi’s. Once reserved for working (on the railroad or otherwise), denim can now be dressed up quite a bit… as long as it’s dark and free of fading, rips, and tears. Pair it with a sportcoat, or with a collared shirt + sweater combo, and don’t be afraid to wear dress shoes with your dark denim. For the real slim guys, try the 511. If you’ve got a good chunk of muscle on your legs, try the straight fit 505. 514s are somewhere in-between, but know that the rise is pretty low and plenty don’t like that.
Chinos: Gap Straight Fit Khaki – $41.97 w/ GAPMORE ($59.95)
As great as Bonobos are, they’re pricey. And not in the budget right now. You’re looking for a straight or slim fit cotton pant that can work in a business casual workplace, yet is a shade that won’t make you look like a Best Buy employee if you wear a blue polo with it. The standard, almost graham cracker like khaki color that is synonymous with late 90’s Dockers is an okay shade… but muted versions of brown, green, even red look better on most. And don’t give up grey either.
Wool Trousers: Wear your suits more often (or, wear the pants separately)
While a pair of suit pants worn away from its jacket mate looks much better than the reverse situation, why not just wear the whole thing if given the opportunity? Meaning: If you bought a suit or two, don’t let them rot in your closet. Get em’ out and wear them. If you think it’ll look too buttoned up for the occasion, lose the tie. And practice really does make perfect, even when it comes to wearing a suit. Guys who wear a suit only once or twice a year, no matter how nice the cut, fabric, and tailoring is, don’t always look the most comfortable. You gotta live in the thing a little bit. So while stand alone wool trousers aren’t a bad idea for plenty, consider wearing your suits more. If you do choose to wear the suit pants on their own with say, a sweater + button up, try to do so sparingly. You risk wearing out the pants well before the jacket.
TOTAL COST: $77.17
CASH REMAINING: $134.42
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