The Affordability of Dressing Well

Recently, I had a brief conversation with a fellow waiting at a bus stop who was wearing a pair of sneakers I had never seen before. I am not a sneaker aficionado but found the styling of his sneakers unusual and eye-catching. The man was perhaps in his mid 40’s, wearing a branded sweatsuit along with these attention-grabbing sneakers. He eagerly volunteered the name of his sneaker brand (I have since forgotten it). What I did remember was his proudly revealing the price he paid for them. $280.00.

Dressing well is no longer an issue of affordability, but of choice…

Dressing Well

Wow! $280.00 for a pair of rubber-soled gym shoes. For that amount, I thought, I can find four or five top quality suits, along with all the accessories by thrift shopping. I also thought of how much more impressive this gentleman’s appearance would be if he made a similar choice.

Thrift Shopping for Menswear - Tips and Finds
This blazer, scarf, shirt, and slacks cost a grand total of $38.00. All thrift shopping purchases!

Dressing well nowadays is no longer the sole province of the ‘well-heeled.’ It is a choice that is available to nearly all modern consumers. In an age when a pair of Nike Air Jordans can cost $200 per pair (while costing Nike about $16 to manufacture), classic forms of tailored clothing such as suits and sportcoats no longer seem so expensive.

Tom James Suit
Tom James Suit Purchased Second-Hand on eBay for $20.00

A ubiquitous, ghoulish, Affliction t-shirt (Google it, I don’t want to show one here) sells for $40.00-$50.00. So does a classic L. L. Bean 100% Cotton Oxford Dress Shirt. Now, popular styles of casual clothing compete ‘toe-to-toe’with more traditional tailored clothing when it comes to price. Dressing well is no longer an issue of affordability, but of choice.

Double Breasted Sportscoat
Hart Schaffner & Marx Thrifted Sport Coat: Purchased for $16.00 on eBay

Thrift Shopping to Dress Well

Thrift shopping makes that choice easier than ever. There is a glut of low-cost high-quality second-hand tailored clothing that awaits the value-minded shopper. My post on how to buy used suits shows you how to choose the highest quality menswear when thrift shopping. I dare say that you can make a better impression with a few well-chosen thrift-shopped items of clothing than you will ever make with a single pair of $280.00 sneakers!

Thrift Shopping Affordable suits and sportcoats
Lauren Ralph Lauren sport coat purchased at Goodwill Thrift Shop for $6.00.

Every outfit seen on this page cost no more than $40.00 total. The silk and cashmere blue windowpane pattern sport coat I am wearing at the top of this post was purchased for only $8.00. That’s the beauty of thrift-shopping! It makes dressing well a very affordable option. In urban centers where we live in such close company, dressing in a tasteful and appropriate way is a form of good manners. It shows respect for ourselves and those around us. I hope my posts on this topic inspires more to consider the choice of dressing well, affordably. -SplurgeFrugal!