What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. Yes, you’re reading a website right now devoted to affordable men’s style. And the stuff you’ll find in this post is expensive… when at full retail. But that’s not the case right now thanks to clearances, sales, promos, etc. Many of these items are still a reach, even when on sale, but all are noticeably more attainable thanks to the steep markdowns. Cheaper alternatives are also included for each item below.
The Suit: Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece Super 150s Striped Wool Full Canvas Suit – $432.99 w/ BC1818 ($1698). Top of the line, full canvas, made in the USA suits, now at Suitsupply-like prices. Yes we’re going with the stripes. I don’t know when stripes fell out of favor, but as long as you keep the stripes relatively low contrast and not spaced too far out, you’ll avoid looking like an extra in Dick Tracy. This suit nails the good-striped look, and that bit of subtle pattern looks terrific when going tieless. Gives the eye something to work on, being that in this case, you don’t have a piece of cloth tied around your neck. Cheaper Alternative: SuitSupply Mid Grey Stripe Lazio Suit – $359
The Shirt: BrooksCool Vista Blue Stripe Non-Iron Regent Fitted Dress Shirt – $67.15 w/ BC1818 ($92). Mr. Suit Model is wearing a $225 shirt. That’s… a lot of money. So the BrooksCool alternative for $67 seems like a comparative bargain. Yes, it’s stripes on stripes (or, stripes UNDER stripes). But the widths between stripes on the suit vs the shirt are so different that they’ll look great together. Visual depth without clashing. If you’d prefer a non-button down collar, try this one instead. Cheaper Alternative: Spier and Mackay White Fine Twill Button Down – $55
The Sunglasses: Ermenegildo Zegna 57mm Sunglasses – $99.97 ($275). I walked into a Zegna store once. I picked up a sweater, and was surprised to see it cost as much as my… rent. For real. If you ever want to feel your eyes almost bulge out of their sockets, give Zegna prices a look. Sunglasses are a bit different though, since those big fancy brands usually sell the licensing to one of the big eyewear giants. Which is the case here. On sale via Nordy Rack. Those blue lenses sure look sweet. Cheaper Alternative: Kent Wang Knox Sunglasses – $55
The Pocket Square: Made in Italy Mungai Punto Quadro Linen Pocket Square – $27.20 w/ SUMMER20 ($45). Almost thirty bucks seems steep for a plain white linen pocket square. But we have a theme going here. Cheaper Alternative: TheTieBar Linen Pocket Square – $12
The Watch: Hamilton 40mm Railroad Automatic Embossed Leather Strap Watch – $479.97 ($945). All class. Simple. Timeless. Swiss Made. Half off. Cheaper Alternative: Orient Bambino Retro – $120
The Socks: Nordstrom Over the Calf Merino Blend Dress Socks – $8.90 ($14.50) on sale at Nordy tomorrow. Yessir. Over the calf, lightweight but strong, merino wool to keep your feet cool, dry, and comfy. Cheaper Alternative: No need. Allready rockin’ with the best here.
The Belt: Made in Italy Nordstrom Marco Burnished Leather Belt – $49.90 ($79.50) on sale at Nordy tomorrow. Not bad for a made in Italy, versatile belt. Cheaper Alternative: TheTieBar Belt – $35
The Shoes: Allen Edmonds Bond Street Cap Toe Oxford – $139.97 *** UPDATE SEE INFO BELOW ($425). Rolling with these again… because they’re $140. That’s like DSW house brand Italian shoes pricing. A slightly elongated (but not over stretched) cap toe dress oxford. Got some questions about that “mahogany” leather. It doesn’t appear on many other models, so, is it… weird? Got a pair on the way for an in-person. Still though. For $140 with free returns? Made in Port Washington Wisconsin. Cheaper Alternative: I mean, $140 for USA Made AEs seems like a deal, no?
The Briefcase: Tumi Alpha Bravo Aviano Slim Briefcase – $249.90 ($395) on sale at Nordy tomorrow. The Nordstrom Anniversary sale starts tomorrow. This is one of the picks. Full post coming tomorrow morning. Cheaper Alternative: Allen Edmonds Grey Fulton Slim Full Grain Leather Briefcase – $139.97 ($450)
*** Bond Street Mahogany Leather Update!
Heads up guys. Check out what’s going on over on threads with this. Just got my pair delivered today and this leather is… smooth. Has a bit of shine to it, but not patent and not glaring. The optomistic side: Reminds me a little of cordovan. The pessimistic side: will remind plenty of corrected grain. Yes, I know that sounds weird to say. But there we are.
I don’t think it was the right move for AE to go with this style of leather. They will get enormous hate for it. Is it a cost cutting move? I have no idea. But I think it’ll serve a lot of guys very well. When worn with a suit, I think they’d look great. Boardroom like and all that. But not dressed down. They’re too smooth.
It feels to me that they’re going for a younger audience here. Someone who’s not into dress shoes, but wants a pair of sleek, smooth looking, clean and mean dress shoes. Low maintenance. Flexible. Lightweight. And all of those things result in a “WTF is THIS?” from longer term AE customers.
Bottom line: This is a departure for AE. It could be bad, but to many it may not be.
Super “just the facts ma’am” bottom line: If you don’t like them, send ’em back. Live and learn though. Will stick with more tried and true shades/calfskin products in the future.