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Affordable fashion

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I just recently started taking an active interest in how I dress and look, so I'm looking to build up my wardrobe. My budget, however, is extremely limited: I am a high school senior, getting ready to go to college in the fall. Basically, I'm trying to build up a core wardrobe on about $700-$1000, starting essentially from scratch. So I'm looking for any suggestions on brands that I should keep an eye out for as good quality, but affordable. To give you an idea of price range, I've been looking at Polo, Banana Republic, and J.Crew, but Polo seems like it might be slightly more than I can afford. Yes, I know, this puts a severe damper on quality issues. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 18
Josh: you don't mention what sort of look you're going for, or how many pieces you need. "Starting from scratch" means alot, I'm sure you're not naked right now (well, at least I hope not There's the stereotypical college A&F/AE look, the preppy Polo look, etc. so you could go in one direction, or just slowly add well thought out, high quality pieces a bit at a time. One thing I remember from my college days: NEVER pay full price for anything. There's always sales (store markup is about 50%, so they're still doing well with a 25% off sale), outlets, clearance items, etc. If you have a little self control, shop around or wait a bit and you can get something for less. Check through some of the older posts, there was a thread about essential summer items which was interesting. If you really have nothing but t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers, I would at least recommend a couple button down shirts (New & Lingwood is very nice and not overly expensive), a comfortable pair of all leather shoes (Cole Haan would be OK), some flat front pants (something other than khaki, which everyone wears), and a jacket of some sort (denim, 3/4 length mackintosh, or maybe a safari style.)
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
thanks davei. by "starting from scratch" i do, in fact, mean that I have little more than jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers. and not even nice jeans, t-shirts, or sneakers. So I need a lot. I would like to avoid the A&F/AE look at all costs, leaning more towards a clean but casual appearance, without giving up uniqueness. There are some outlet stores about an hour from here (in Michigan City, Indiana) that I think I'll try to check out one of these weekends. I'll also check that essential summer items thread. I'm mostly looking for some good button-down shirts, some chinos, maybe some jeans, perhaps a few polos, a jacket, etc.
post #4 of 18
Actually, you can stretch a budget of $700-1000 pretty far. First of all, you probably want a slim black or charcoal suit with flat front pants. You don't really need an interview suit at this point, and the suit will probably be used for dress-up dinners, weddings, etc... so either color is probably fine. You can use the pants and jacket separately for a more casual look, so you'll get a lot of use out of the suit. Just remember to always clean the jacket and pants together. If you know your size pretty well, Emporio Armani suits are on sale at the Giorgio Armani outlets for about $400 (including shipping), down from about $800. You can phone them. Otherwise, Kenneth Cole and DKNY suits can usually be found for under $500. The next $100 should buy you 2-3 pretty good quality shirts at an outlet or on Bluefly.com (you usually don't try shirts on at the store anyways). Make one a white dress shirt - very versatile. A pale blue shirt and a striped shirt that you can wear with both jeans and wool pants will round that out nicely. If you go to a Nordstrom Rack, you can find a good quality pair of black laceups for about $100. You'll need a tie or two. Again, never buy ties at retail. Bluefly has great deals on Gucci and Donna Karan ties. Buy one solid tie with some texture or one with a subtle pattern. You will hardly ever need ties, so one should be enough ($50). Just make sure that the suit/white shirt/tie combination work. Now we've spent $650. You'll need a couple of pairs of jeans. If you know your size and style (I personally like dark, distressed Kratts), Diesel jeans last forever can be bought at a Barney's Outlet for about $70. Anyways, I advocate not spending over that much for jeans. Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole Reaction make perfectly acceptable jeans (try a straight leg boot leg jean) for about $60. Even if you buy these jeans at retail, and you shouldn't, You've got $200 left. You'll need a pair of sneakers - these are not the worn out runners you wear around now. Try a pair of Diesels, or old school Pumas and Adidas sneakers. They're pretty ubiquitous; but my guess is that the look hasn't played out just yet. Let's say that sets you back $80. With the remaining $120, you should be able to get a jacket. I saw a whole bunch on Bluefly for that price or less from Diesel and DKNY. Try a slim, blazer style jacket in cord or washed cotton for a hipster feel. Oh, damn, I forgot to throw in another pair of flat front pants. I would go for a pair of pinstriped flat fronts. Anyways, hope that helps.
post #5 of 18
Hey I'm in high school too. For US$1118 I was able to buy the following: Prada Sport nappa leather shoes Prada Sport bike shoes Prada Sport athletic jacket Prada Sport pique polo shirt Prada Sport teflon vest jacket Samsonite Blacklabel long sleeve shirt distressed Energie jeans black bootcut Energie trousers
post #6 of 18
JetLab: Where can I find Energie bootcut jeans? Do you have any links where I can look at them on the net? I'm looking for a nice pair of distressed bootcut jeans. Did you used to post as Junior Jet Set on the GQ Forum?
post #7 of 18
Nope I never really posted in the GQ forums. Energie is not as well known outside Europe but they've got a website: http://www.energie.it If you don't live in a big city its probably hard to find them.
post #8 of 18
Thanks for the link. I don't understand why they don't have a NYC location; if they did I would be there now buying a pair of these jeans. Does anyone know where they sell these jeans in NYC? Where did you get yours jetLab? And where is Junior Jet Set? Does anyone remember his wacky posts on the GQ Forum; I miss them. I though he was you because you listed all that Prada Sport stuff.
post #9 of 18
Hey Mike C., I was looking for Energie jeans too in NY.. but couldn't find them... Last time I got them was in Boston, and a friend of mine got them in SF... it kinda sucks I still couldn't find them here..
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Hey Mike C., I was looking for Energie jeans too in NY.. but couldn't find them... Last time I got them was in Boston, and a friend of mine got them in SF... it kinda sucks I still couldn't find them here..
DFly, what store in SF did you friend buy them from? TIA, LDawg
post #11 of 18
Hi, new to the group, had to ask one question. What's so great about these jeans? I don't get why everybody's in such a fever to try and get some. How are they any better than Diesel and all the other brands people mention a thousand times a day?
post #12 of 18
Energie Jeans are, imo, about the same quality as Diesel or Replay. The washes are a little more sophisticated and the cuts a little more "advanced" than Diesel cuts. Their bootlegs are great. I buy them as a compromise between Diesels, which are incredibly durable, but which have become a little too mass market in their design, and Paper Denim, which are incredibly well cut and have terrific washes, but which, frankly, are not made for extended wearing. I think that people on the forum tend to favor Energie and other such brands because Diesel has become rather ubiquitous
post #13 of 18
Yeah, see, that's what I'm not understanding. How are a pair of jeans more "advanced" in cut? And how does sophistication fit in with jeans? Darker colours? I'm not trying to be difficult or an ass. Just...trying to figure out why certain jeans are so saught after.
post #14 of 18
I bought my Energie jeans in Toronto. They are just a good alternative to Diesel and the cuts are more European. Energie is the brother label of Miss Sixty. All the clothes are for men which is kind of important for guys to know because their clothes can look feminine (D&G style).
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Yeah, see, that's what I'm not understanding. How are a pair of jeans more "advanced" in cut? And how does sophistication fit in with jeans? Darker colours? I'm not trying to be difficult or an ass. Just...trying to figure out why certain jeans are so saught after.
     What we mean by a more advanced cut is that it is a more fitted cut. For example try on a pair or Levi's 501 jeans, and then try Diesel. The Diesel will just "fit" better; just as a $1200 suit "fits" better than a $200 suit.     As for "sophistication," what LA Guy means is that the fading and wash of the jeans is just better, with more attention paid to details. Compare the wash of Diesel with the jeans that have the faded part painted on; one would say the Diesel is more sophisticated.
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