Now much income before spending $xx on a suit or shoes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jmatt, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. jmatt

    jmatt Senior member

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    (I also asked this on AAAC - the difference in responses may be interesting)

    I figure this forum will be a bit biased toward higher purchase prices, but in reading past threads, I had the following question:

    What should one's annual income be in order to spend $XX on shoes or $yy on a suit?

    Shoes? $300 (Allen-Edmonds), $500 (C&J Handgrade), $1000 (Edward Green), $3000 (Bespoke)

    Suits? $750 Abboud, $1500 Canali, $3000 Oxxford


    Yes - I know sale prices on all can be had. The question relates to price actually paid - not to any particular brand.

    In other words - how much should I make before spending $300 on a pair of shoes? $500? $1000? $3000?
     


  2. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My advice: Buy the best quality you can afford. There's no way to assign a number to these things. An unmarried man might make $30,000 per year and afford $4,500 bespoke suits, if he made his clothes a priority and had few expenses. But another man might be making twice that and just be paying his family's bills.

    As you mentioned, the question doesn't take into account the availability of high-end goods on discount. My beloved Corneliani can often be found for $500 and less. That's certainly affordable to most men, and a much better investment than $200 for a fused piece of department store junk.

    When top-notch clothes can be found at such prices, the question becomes "how can you afford not to buy quality items?" Why buy cheap suits/shoes/etc. that you'll replace in a year or two when you can spend a bit more and get goods that could last for decades?
     


  3. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    Exactly.

    Plus you get:
    1. better style that often lasts past 1-2 seasons
    2. possibly a chance to design/develop your own style via MTM or bespoke.
    3. better service from a more professional store/vendor
    4. higher confidence knowing you have quality
     


  4. jmatt

    jmatt Senior member

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    Of course there are no "right" answers. I'm curious about OUR opinions.

    For example, I'd suggest a reasonable price for shoes would be about 0.3% of annual income. $60,000 a year = $180 a pair. $100,000 a year = $300. $200,000 a year = $600. At $500,000 a year - $1,500 (but probably no limit at this income level)

    Suits - probably double the shoe price. $60,000 a year = $360 for a suit; $100,000 = $600; $200,000 a year = $1,200; $500,000 or more - sky's the limit.

    Just my opinion. I wonder how far off base I am from the rest of you?
     


  5. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    I think it's hard to do percentages as one might invest in clothes instead of other hobbies like sports, audio, cars, etc. so the % can be higher.

    From a conservative view point I think 0.3-0.5% of income might be reasonable.
     


  6. jmatt

    jmatt Senior member

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    I think it's hard to do percentages as one might invest in clothes instead of other hobbies like sports, audio, cars, etc. so the % can be higher.

    From a conservative view point I think 0.3-0.5% of income might be reasonable.

    That's obviously similar to what I suggested. I'm wondering if we're in the middle range? Do people think a $100,000 income will only support $100 shoes, or perhaps at $100,000 it would be reasonable to spend $2000 on a bespoke shoe? Or is $300-$500 at a $100,000 income where most SF members would rationalize a reasonable purchase.

    Just curious. I certainly realize everyone's situation will be different, but am wondering about attitudes, given people are on this forum in the first place.
     


  7. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    As much as you can without disturbing your domestic tranquility.
     


  8. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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  9. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    Of course there are no "right" answers. I'm curious about OUR opinions.

    For example, I'd suggest a reasonable price for shoes would be about 0.3% of annual income. $60,000 a year = $180 a pair. $100,000 a year = $300. $200,000 a year = $600. At $500,000 a year - $1,500 (but probably no limit at this income level)

    Suits - probably double the shoe price. $60,000 a year = $360 for a suit; $100,000 = $600; $200,000 a year = $1,200; $500,000 or more - sky's the limit.

    Just my opinion. I wonder how far off base I am from the rest of you?


    Ugh. You're joking right? Granted the cost of living here is cheap and I have no need for a car b/c I can walk everywhere, but:

    jackets (don't wear suits): usally $1000 (online), but have paid just under 3k for bespoke
    pants:350
    shirts:400
    shoes:500 (of course that's gonna increase soon cause I'm now [​IMG] with EG and Lobb)

    Hint: I don't make 200k a year (under 100 actually). I'm also single and have minimal expenses. Having to walk around in shoes that cost $200 is my Room 101. Not because they're $200, but because they suck and are fugly.
     


  10. BrooklynMike

    BrooklynMike Well-Known Member

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    You should also take into account how many of each item you need. Since my workplace is very casual, I only need 2 suits, and some shirts and ties for networking events and special occasions. So, I will spend a decent amount on those items because I need relatively few of them.
     


  11. summej2

    summej2 Senior member

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    My advice: Buy the best quality you can afford. There's no way to assign a number to these things. An unmarried man might make $30,000 per year and afford $4,500 bespoke suits, if he made his clothes a priority and had few expenses. But another man might be making twice that and just be paying his family's bills.

    As you mentioned, the question doesn't take into account the availability of high-end goods on discount. My beloved Corneliani can often be found for $500 and less. That's certainly affordable to most men, and a much better investment than $200 for a fused piece of department store junk.

    When top-notch clothes can be found at such prices, the question becomes "how can you afford not to buy quality items?" Why buy cheap suits/shoes/etc. that you'll replace in a year or two when you can spend a bit more and get goods that could last for decades?


    Exactly. I spend a smaller and smaller portion of my income on things as my income goes up (this is why an income only tax will always be regressive). For example, when I was in high school I could afford to blow all my money on my photo and hi-fi habit. Now I have quality equipment and just make minor purchases now and again. The same holds true for clothes. When I'm retired I plan to spend little on clothes, though I know I'll be in a very good financial situtation.

    The trick is not to waste money on expendable items when you are less prosperous. I tell people that my finacial strategy is avoiding or minimizing depreciation and obsolesence. Buying vintage Knoll furniture is a good idea because I can always sell it for more then I paid for it. Buying a vintage Hasselblad is the same. With clothes, $60 on a discount pair AE or $30 for a used Paul Stuart coat not only cost less than going to the mall, it avoids obsolesence and saves money in the long run.
     


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