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Finding affordable menswear? (chicago) - Page 3

post #31 of 135
Thread Starter 

Well, I like the shoes. What are you going to do. A certain amount of style is subjective. 


Our monthly budget is super tight. We are trying to get out of debt and prepare two kids for college. Quite frankly, I took the money for the AMEX earmarked for this pay period to buy a new shirt. Probably shouldn't have done it. 


That's why I'm looking at places like MW. I don't have much choice. 

post #32 of 135
No I agree with you about the grandpa shoes.

Well we all have choices and priorities, myself I wouldn't break my back putting my three kids through college, I'd rather help them set up a business or have them work for me, I went to college and looking back it was a huge waste of money......mainly on rum.
post #33 of 135
Thread Starter 

That's a whole other conversation! :D


Look, if I had my way - I'd spend thousands on a new wardrobe. I would love to do that. Maybe someday. 

post #34 of 135
Thread Starter 

This company is linked off of this site, actually - anyone know about Indochino?






That looks nice. I have my measurements. I could save up for something like this and wait awhile. 

post #35 of 135
Originally Posted by tdellaringa View Post

This company is linked off of this site, actually - anyone know about Indochino?


That looks nice. I have my measurements. I could save up for something like this and wait awhile. 

Indochina, see what I did there, has had more horror stories then good from what I've seen. I would opt for a in person mtm before online. Easier is something is wrong to have a qualified tailor and the person familiar with the measurement system they are using to do it then yourself with a tape measure and a mirror.
post #36 of 135
Originally Posted by tdellaringa View Post

That's a whole other conversation! biggrin.gif

Look, if I had my way - I'd spend thousands on a new wardrobe. I would love to do that. Maybe someday. 

It sure is!

Well you know the thing is though to start somewhere, try and maybe do one very nice sport coat a year or one nice suit, after 5 years hey you have 5 really nice suits or so. Something like a tweed jacket is good because you can wear it 9 months out of the year (at least here in NYC). You don't need a ton of clothes, try to go for the quality, you heard about the news anchor who wore the same navy suit for a year and no one noticed?

For business all I think you absolutely need is is two H lesser suits a tweed jacket and what 5 shirts? 2 pairs of shoes....boom! Thats pretty much it and you would get maybe 5 years out of that rotation.

Now doing a bit of quick math, even if you bought those suits, sport coat and shirts from me and you got two pairs of Crockett and jones shoes, based on a 5 year lifespan, you are only spending 225 a month. For the tweed and H lesser suits that 5 year span is quite conservative, you may even get 10 years out of them. Its not that crazy when I bet most people on here spend at least 225 a month on clothes and think a bespoke wardrobe is unattainable.
post #37 of 135
Thread Starter 

Well, I have shirts, 2 good pair of pants, and now 2 pair of shoes (even though everyone hates the one). I just need to get a jacket. Truth is, jackets are rarely worn where I work at my level. But I like to dress up. 

post #38 of 135
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of a fifty year old man, manager at an insurance firm, that doesn't own a jacket. What is your size? How tall are you?
post #39 of 135
Thread Starter 

Couple things. 


I only recently was promoted into this position. I have been essentially a principal software designer for the last few years. 


Second, I've recently lost 40 pounds. I HAD jackets, but nothing fits anymore. I literally dumped my whole wardrobe. Not that it was a bad thing, the clothes I had were shit. They didn't fit right for one. 


I'm 5' 7", so I'm also short which presents challenges. I am also muscular though. 


At MW I was trying on 39 Short, Trim fit or 40 Short Trim fit, and those were fitting nicely. 

post #40 of 135
You're on a budget. If you find a simple dark blue jacket at MW that fits you great, grab it. Don't let anyone here dissuade you.
post #41 of 135
post #42 of 135
Thread Starter 

I like that one, it was one of the ones I was hoping to find. They didn't have it at the store I went to. I think I can have it sent to a store to try it on. I actually like it with that vest, and they have that vest too. 


Edit: Reserved it in store, I will go try it on and see what the deal is. Not sure a 40 will fit, that's the only one close to my size they have. 

post #43 of 135
Originally Posted by tdellaringa View Post

So, I'm not quite sure I get the disdain of Men's Wearhouse. While I realize they carry some substandard, overpriced stuff - on the other hand they do carry some good brands and you can certainly stretch your dollar there. I bought two really, really nice pair of trousers there in December that I love, and I have gotten a lot of compliments on them (and so far, they are holding up well). Paid $80 and got one free. 

I was just there looking at the blazers/sport coats. They do have Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole and T. Hil. - some pretty nice stuff. (Nothing in my size today though). Looking at T.M. Lewin, I don't see much difference - especially in pricing. They have one sportcoat currently in my size for $200 on their site. 

Not trying to be contentious, trying to understand. 

I think you have to realize too that some of us are VERY stretched on a budget. This month I have $220 to spend - for me, that is a lot more than I normally have. And I just spent $100 of that on these J. Shoes (only my 2nd pair) 


If I don't find a way to get a blazer with my remaining money, it may be months before I can get one. 

A quick look at Land's End in dress pants, I didn't see much that appeals. A lot of ordinary stuff. I honestly think MW has a much nicer selection of pants - at least at the moment. 

Buy-one get-one-free generally indicates low quality. Brand names don't mean quality (and CK is the only brand cited above that sometimes is good quality). It's debatable whether Men's Wearhouse sells any high-quality clothing.

TM Lewin often has good prices on quality shirts.

Lands' End's products are fairly ordinary, but it has an unusually wide range of fits for pants.
post #44 of 135
Thread Starter 

I get what you are saying, but I feel like I've gotten good value there at times. Here's some real quick photos of the trousers I got as part of the two for one. (Yes, they need to be ironed). These are Joseph Abboud, 100% cotten with a really nice herringbone. They are insanely comfortable and fit me perfectly. I've gotten lots of nice compliments on them. I wear them a lot and so far they hold up well. The second pair is brown and has a slightly different texture. 


Sure they are made in Vietnam, so the quality is not like something made in Italy. But I am very happy to have these two pairs. 


post #45 of 135

Have you thought about thrift stores? There is a Salvation Army on Clybourn that sells gently-used clothes. I believe they select their clothes, because most of the stuff is in great condition. 


The thing you're going to have to forget, though, is expecting to pay $5 for a shirt. With nicer selection comes higher prices. Good shirts can be found for $10, and the more expensive brands are closer to $15-20. I've picked up shirts that were probably worn twice, dry cleaned, and then donated. Great deals can be had. 


Ties run from $4-$9. You're going to find at least seven BB Makers ties and every single of the five times I've been I have seen one of Brioni, Zegna, RLPL, or Turnbull & Asser. You just have to spend about five minutes pawing through Croft & Barrow and Kenneth Cole Reaction. 


Plus 69 cent Saturdays, it's mostly a gimmick, but you might get a Zegna and J.Crew or Banana Republic for $15.68, if you look at it that way. I'm just about half your age, so I guess I can get away with a wider range of the designs and colors. 


Side story: I'm chilling one day, waiting for someone when I notice that we're parked outside a shabby thrift store somewhere on the West Side. First thing I pick out is a pure cashmere BB Golden Fleece sport coat in my size for $1.60. Second one is a Loro Piana cashmere sport coat (that I left behind) in not-my-size. In and out in five minutes, thank you. 


Second recommendation is to go to places like Nordstrom Rack, Last Call, etc. and try on some brands you like to gauge your size. You might even find deals to your liking then and there (Hickey Freeman or Samuelsohn suits for ~$300 and as low as $200). Then, be on the lookout for deals and snap them up. The subreddit frugalmalefashion on Reddit is pretty good for this stuff. 


Anytime I have a free weekend I go to Chicago to do this sort of thing. I've learned so much from just going out "in the field". I usually pick up a shirt and a couple of ties to sell on eBay to cancel out my costs, but it's also a hobby. 


My dad signs up for rewards accounts and lets family and friends who visit use his coupons and account to gather rewards. They get a nice discount and he gets money into his rewards account. 

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