The Rest – The $1500 Wardrobe Part V
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 Watch: Seiko Solar Classic – $77.04* or Invicta Auto – $80.99
Do prefer to be dressed up? Or are you more of the casual-but-still-sharp type? If you’re the more dressed up type, consider the Seiko (and picking up a springbar tool and extra watch band on the side). Its case shape says vintage, even though it’s absolutely not. Mega affordable, powered by light, and from a trusted watchmaker. At first glance you’d think it wouldn’t look right with a polo and jeans, but it has that heirloom “I wear it all the time with everything” kinda look to it. Meanwhile, for those who are more active or don’t want to have to worry about matching leathers… there’s the dirt cheap submariner homage from Invicta. Japanese automatic movement, links that say “sport” instead of “jewelry”, and a coin edge bezel. Should go with everything. For the sake of the math here, let’s stick with the Invicta price since it’s more versatile.
*You’ll need the code 30OFFNOV to get this lower price on the Seiko, although these Amazon codes don’t seem to be working for everyone.
The Ties: Whale Blue Silk – $15.00 & Black Silk Knit – $15.00
A blueish grey tie you can wear with either a navy or charcoal suit, plus 007s tie style of choice. Really. A black, silk knit tie looks darn good over a blue
shit shirt (thanks Paul in the comments) with a charcoal suit, and extra sharp with a white shirt under a navy suit. And don’t be afraid of a 2 3/4″ – 3″ width… we’re thankfully rebounding from the suspender-thin tie trend. Another place to find neckties for super-cheap is your local thrift store. Even in areas where you’re not going to find high quality shoes or Italian suits amongst the racks of old sports jerseys and company logo golf polos, you can almost always find a vintage tie that’s worth wearing in the 21st century.
A floppy, splayed collar can really detract from the lines of an otherwise well tailored shirt or suit. You want your collar to be under control, and standard collar stays are a start, but these are the next level. You can position your collar however you’d like with these things. Some have pointed out that you can just buy rare earth magnets for cheap along with some iron alloy collar stays to replicate what Wurkin Stiffs do. Had a pair of the real deal for a few years and they get used almost every single day. Makes a huge difference.
TOTAL COST: $130.99
CASH REMAINING: $3.43
Well all right. Just enough left over for an espresso or something. Obviously, this isn’t a 100% complete, head-to-toe underwear + socks + tees + etc… setup. But when it comes to upgrading a wardrobe that might have been neglected for a few years, this would hopefully be a solid jumpstart for $1500. Coming up on Monday, some second guessing + alternatives. What would you have changed? Spend less on the suits + shoes? Make a high quality belt a priority? Leave it all in the comments below.