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Is it frowned upon when you build a wardrobe with cheap items? - Page 2

post #16 of 20

Rugger hit it spot on.  The key to looking good is fit, coordination, and non outdated clothes.  Some advise on how to look your best on a limited budget based on personal experiences.


Fit:  Do not not make the mistake that most people make and wear clothes that are too big, simply because they feel more comfortable.  You also do not want clothes that are skin tight on you.  Find something that is in between.


Coordination:  I am in the same boat that you are, I have a low income as well.  My appearance improved drastically once I learned about how to coordinate colours.  What colour pants, shirt, sweater, jacket, shoes look good together.   It is not just the colours but also shades of colour.  For instance when will a light blue shirt look good, when a dark blue shirt will be too much.  You could wear the most expensive shirt and jacket but if the colours do not match, it will look awful.  So take the time and do some research on how to best combine colours. 


The last point is wearing outdated clothes.  Thrift stores are great places to find bargains.  But what you make think of as a bargain may well not be.  I thrifted an Armani jacket on ebay for 10 dollars.  The jacket is in excellent condition, except for one problem.  It is horribly outdated. (Which is the reason why I won the jacket at such a low price) The shoulders are two inches larger then what I normally wear (what some people call linebacker shoulders), the lapels  are large and sit very low.  It is also very baggy.   No matter how much I have tried to make it work, it does not. 

post #17 of 20

 Keep searching the thrift stores for good sport coats/clothes. A lot of people don't bother dressing up anymore and would rather dress sloppily when they go out so they give away some nice stuff.


I found a nice (light blue) sport coat a few weeks ago which I'm having tailored right now. I got another one this week (tan) which I might have to have a little work done as well (the sleeves are a little long and it's a little tight in the chest).

post #18 of 20

Track the thrift thread to see what other people are buying and holding onto.


I've had awesome luck with the thrifts, though my style is a bit outside of the norm for SF and probably outdated as well. But then, I'm also heading towards a 20-year high school reunion this June.

post #19 of 20
Thinking back to my time long ago as a student (mid-late 80s), about half my clothes came from thrift stores. The others came from saving up for sales, or for the services of a long-defunct inexpensive tailor.

Of course, back then, while you had to wade through 70s awfulness, you could score some remarkable quality. So I recall a 1960s 3-piece bespoke suit in 18-20oz tweed from a good (albeit Edinburgh not London) maker in perfect condition for £20. It didnt fit well enough, and while I considered having it altered, I ended up giving it to a friend who for all I know is stilll wearing it. And somewhere I have a navy chalkstripe 1940s DB suit in classic Jimmy Cagney style, also for peanuts at the time - but also not fitting quite as it should - that I hope my son will inherit and may even wear.

One great thing about cheap used clothes at this point in your life is being able to make cheap mistakes and learn from them, without worrying about your boss, clients or work colleagues. Far better to discover that something doesn't suit you,or fit into your lifestyle, for 20 bucks rather than 200 or 2000.

For example, I had two or three "gunclub" or houndstooth type tweed jackets before I worked out that while I like them in principle and on others, I don't myself feel that they suit me. If I hadn't learned that as a student at 5-10 pounds apiece, I'd probably have a bespoke one now sittting unworn and neglected in my cupboard.
post #20 of 20
Thrift stores (charity shops here in the UK) were a staple for me whilst a student. They gave me an opportunity to recognise quality and fit, find out what I liked and didn't like, and make a few mistakes too, all without breaking the bank.
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