1. And... we're back. You'll notice that all of your images are back as well, as are our beloved emoticons, including the infamous :foo: We have also worked with our server folks and developers to fix the issues that were slowing down the site.

    There is still work to be done - the images in existing sigs are not yet linked, for example, and we are working on a way to get the images to load faster - which will improve the performance of the site, especially on the pages with a ton of images, and we will continue to work diligently on that and keep you updated.

    Cheers,

    Fok on behalf of the entire Styleforum team
    Dismiss Notice

Affordable fashion

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by joshxfoo, May 1, 2002.

  1. joshxfoo

    joshxfoo Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    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?
     
  2. davei

    davei Senior member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    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 [​IMG] 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.)
     
  3. joshxfoo

    joshxfoo Member

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    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.
     
  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    33,384
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    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.
     
  5. jetLab

    jetLab Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    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
     
  6. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,528
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    New York City
    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?
     
  7. jetLab

    jetLab Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    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.
     
  8. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,528
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    New York City
    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.
     
  9. Dragonfly

    Dragonfly Member

    Messages:
    20
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    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..
     
  10. LDawg

    LDawg Active Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2002
    DFly, what store in SF did you friend buy them from?

    TIA,
    LDawg
     
  11. tlexmark

    tlexmark Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Location:
    Southern California
    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?
     
  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    33,384
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    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
     
  13. tlexmark

    tlexmark Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Location:
    Southern California
    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.
     
  14. jetLab

    jetLab Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2002
    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).
     
  15. Mike C.

    Mike C. Senior member

    Messages:
    1,528
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    New York City

         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.
     
  16. Michael

    Michael Senior member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2002
    Location:
    Athens GA
    Like someone mentioned, bluefly.com. Also if you have Nordstrom Rack or TJ Maxx (big city TJ Maxx are worth shopping at, but smaller city ones, like mine, aren't), try there. Things you'll need:


    Good black casual dress shoes. Skechers makes a pair I really like, they're pretty comfortable and stylish, I got them for 60 bucks.

    Nice black dress pants-THAT FIT-this one's pretty self-explanatory. Go with flat-front, obviously. I picked up a pair of Kenneth Cole flat front pants for 6 (yes six) dollars at Nordstrom Rack.

    Non-plain khakis. Get something with a pattern.



    Whoops friend's here, finish post later.
     
  17. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

    Messages:
    33,384
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Jeans by companies like Energie and Paper Denim tend to be more fitted around the seat and thigh than jeans from the Gap, for example. And design features like the flare on bootleg jeans tends to be more extreme. The real difference, however, is in the finishes. The "fade" on a pair of Paper Denim jeans, for example, is a lot more "natural" looking, more textured than Diesel jeans. The denim may have subtle tints in them that require an involved dyeing process. That is what is generally meant by more "sophisticated" - the increased difficulty of the treatments.
     
  18. tlexmark

    tlexmark Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Location:
    Southern California
    Ah hah. Now I can see and begin to understand. I think. I just have to get my hands on a few of the labels you mentioned to really know what's happening with that wacky denim. Who knew it would be so varied.

    Well, aside from all of you fine folks.

    Thanks, Mike C and LA Guy.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by