Shirts and Sweaters – The $1500 Wardrobe Part III
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. (Which is the budget we started with, seven years ago when this experiment began.) 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 to 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 Dress Shirts: Nordstrom Tonal Texture – $39.90 & Solid Trim Fit Dress Shirts – $55
Go with the subtle, tonal texture on the white, and the plain solid for the blue. Why the slight tonal texture? Because it’s visually interesting (without straying too far from the middle ground) and it’s on sale. Look, cash is increasingly tight with this experiment. So, we gotta squeeze a bit. If you wanna go solid on both, no skin off my nose. Meanwhile, it’s tough to beat the quality for the price on these. Plus they ship and return for free. Neck and sleeve sizing.
The Versatile OCBD: GAP Slim OR Standard Fit – $29.70 @40% off
Oxford cloth is a little thicker, and less pressed/crisp looking compared to a poplin or twill dress shirt. Which makes it hugely versatile and can easily be dressed up or down. Why GAP instead of UNIQLO? Because you get two fits to choose from, whereas UNIQLO’s shifting of fits continues to peeve people off to no end. Going with a white OCBD here, but light blue wouldn’t be a bad play either. 40% off codes are quite common at GAP, so, shouldn’t be too tough to get your hands on one at this price. Plus they’re widely available in brick and mortar stores too, if you don’t want to shell out for shipping.
The Versatile, Logo Free Polos: Banana Republic Don’t-Sweat-It Polo – $29.70 per @ 40% off
These things are bonafide hits. Incredibly well reviewed. From reader David P: “This polo is amazing. Fit and fabric/material is spot on. Similar to Uniqlo’s performance/dry-fit polos but nicer. I’m in love with these things.” No button down collars, but, UNIQLO dumped that detail as well. They claim to be wicking and anti-microbial, but the description says 100% cotton? Get one in that jade shade as well as navy.
The Merino V-Necks: UNIQLO in Light Grey & Beige – $29.90 per
Wait for a sale. They’ll get $10 knocked off at some point in the not too distant future, and at that price, they’re a steal. The really nice thing about UNIQLO’s extra fine merino is… wait for it… how fine it is. It’s a super thin, yet strong layer that regulates temperature. Meaning: It’s a nice extra layer that doesn’t put the “sweat” in sweater. Why the beige pick? Because a lighter beige like that is pretty much “camel,” and camel is a classic color for sharp-dressed gents. It’s more versatile than you think too. Looks great with jeans and an OCBD, plus it’ll jump nicely underneath a conservative charcoal suit. If you’re camel shy (?) go with a dark green or a medium blue.
TOTAL COST: $243.80
CASH REMAINING: $383.37