Suits & Blazers – The $1500 Wardrobe Part I
Welcome to the 5th year of us doing this. Creating a versatile, sharp wardrobe doesn’t happen overnight. The best course of action is to go slow. But for argument’s sake, let’s say you need a major wardrobe makeover, stat. Over the next week we’ll see what a strict budget of $1500 can do.
Despite prices going up everywhere, we’re still sticking with a $1500 budget. The outcome might not impress the menswear snobs, but why care? The goal is to balance quality with affordability… accessibility with versatility. Not every last stitch (like underwear) will be covered. We’re not burning the clothes you likely already have. The goal is finish with a setup of clothes that can have someone looking great in most situations. The focus will be on affordable goods which can last with reasonable care. Also know that since tailoring costs can vary wildly, those aren’t a part of the final cost.
The Charcoal Suit: Suitsupply Napoli – $399
And with the first item, we’ve already demolished more than a quarter of the entire budget. But hear me out. The last few years has seen a shift from a polarized world of people who live either super casual or super dressed up… to something in between. “Smart Casual” is one of the easiest ways to look smart in these early parts of the 21st century. Most just do not need more than one or two suits in their closet. Especially if their budget is limited. So, we’re going with a versatile (and serious when it needs to be) charcoal. Dark enough to look good with black shoes, yet looks great with brown shoes. And there’s hardly a better suit, in terms of quality for the price you’ll pay, on the market. It’s an interview suit, a wedding suit, a fancy date suit, and God forbid a funeral suit. It’s also accessible by everyone through the mail (actually, UPS). Ships & returns free.
The Smooth Cotton Blazer: J.C.F. Chino Sportcoat – $64.35 w/ YOUWIN
Hugely versatile, this thing can be worn with everything from beat up jeans to pressed wool trousers in a pinch. The cut is fantastic, and despite having a fused (read: glued) construction, it moves great. Armholes are decently high. Just half lined in the back, so it breathes. Button stance shows just the right amount of shirt. The tail isn’t chopped too short. And the sleeves have non-functioning buttons, so it’s easy to tailor. What’s most surprising, is that J. Crew Factory’s competitors don’t make anything all that similar. Other brands have a tendency to produce jackets with either super-short tails and/or functioning buttons. Not here. This formula, frankly, just works the best. Full review here. Currently at $99, and the extra 35% off code YOUWIN works on it (exp. today, 11/9). That’s as low as it’s gone for, ever, if memory serves.
TOTAL COST: $463.35
CASH REMAINING: $1036.65
NOTE: Yes really. That’s all we’re putting in this first category this year. One suit, one sportcoat. In years past, we’ve done multiple suits & sportcoats (full disclosure: the dude writing this is a full-blown sportcoat addict). But while both of these pieces would see lots of use, they’d also be the right play in 95% of situations that arise.
Upcoming Categories: Shoes, Shirts & Sweaters, Pants, The Rest.