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Shopping in a tough economy

ProfessorShak

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Reading the papers, feeling the low service of NYC subways, and seeing the cuts being made in my organization, I can’t help but think that even though may not end up becoming doomsday, the economy, and therefore spending habits will most probably suffer.

Normally, every month I can budget $200 – 400 for personal items at my disposal. But with my wife being outsourced and losing her job and the foreshadowing of rising costs of EVERYTHING, money has become tight.

So what words of advice can be shared to those of us who need to think long and hard and more than twice before making even a small $400 purchase.

EDIT:
Ok here is a real life example:
I have a relative, just graduated from college. Pretty much has no money. He hasn't owned a suit in 5 years and has a job interview in two weeks at Alliance Bernstein next to my buidling in Midtown NY. He didn't tell me what job but he said he wants this position. All he has are sneakers, jeans, and casual shirts.

In a competitive economy he can’t rely on his education and interview skills alone. Business casual won’t work so he needs a suit. My uncle is only lending him $1500.
He came to me and I came to you, but with a more general question.

He visited the forum and said ‘everyone here is too rich for my blood. Who on earth pays $2400 on a suit and $600 on shoes when you’re gonna be making $40k a year’ And most of the guys here don’t condone cheap purchases from Macy’s

So what strategies, not just for him but in general, can be given to allow us to remain stylish in a struggling market?

"You've gotta spend money, to make money" - Tom Hopkins
 

ProfessorShak

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Originally Posted by yfyf
They're just clothes. Much as it pains me to say it, there are a lot of other even more important things in the world.

But clothing is a NECESSITY. However it comes down to how much you're willing to put down for clothing. If you've been used to buying a $2400 Zegna, how much lower are you willing to go if you're funds are tight or you don't have a job to pay for a new suit? What strategies can be used to overcome this?
 

why4009

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Originally Posted by ProfessorShak
But clothing is a NECESSITY. However it comes down to how much you're willing to put down for clothing. If you've been used to buying a $2400 Zegna, how much lower are you willing to go if you're funds are tight or you don't have a job to pay for a new suit? What strategies can be used to overcome this?

Clothing may be a necesssity, however, it is to cover your various parts of your body and to keep you warm, dry, etc. Clothing was originally intended for practical purposes. Our egos/society have made it into something bigger than the original intent.

Sometimes the poorest/most poorly dressed people in the world are the most happiest/content/evolved. Unfortunately, I am not one of them.

Try thrifting and eBay if you want to live it up responsibly.

None of this was meant to be a flame or an insult. And no animals were harmed in writing this post.
 

embowafa

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The way I see it, how is the economy going to get out of this funk if good people like us don't do our best to keep the wheels turning??

A lot of places are extending their sales due to low demand....I'd keep an eye out for those and try to take advantage of them.
 

Joffrey

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You don't need a new suit if you don't have a job.

Word of advice? When times are tight, take care of necessities (mortgage, car and credit payments, load up on savings) before you think about unessential items.
 

Bob01

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Thrift Stores/Ebay - then taking them to a tailor? All of my Allen Edmonds picked up on Ebay have been under 70 bucks including shipping.

Check out the thrifting threads - with some luck and hopefully not alot of time, you can get some awesome things for next to nothing.
 

iron_ball

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We say it over and over: fit and appearance are paramount. Give me $1500 and I can put together at least one knockout interview outfit, suit, shirt, shoes, tie, and belt. So something's fused, so something's made in China, so something's glued instead of Goodyear welted. So what? I'll get a $400 suit and a $30 shirt and get them tailored to a T, I'll get a $100 pair of shoes with a sleek line and thin soles, and I'll go in there looking like a king.
 

james_gsx

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For $1500 you can probably visit a store like Nordstrom and pick up a decent suit, a pair of Park Ave's, a white shirt, and a few ties for less than $1,500. It won't be bespoke or full canvass, but he will look good and it will be a good start.

You can even find a Hart Schaffner Marx at Nordstrom Rack for $400 - granted I wouldn't buy any shirts or ties there but you can find a decent suit for a good price. I'm sure you can even find something that fits decent at Macy's or even Jos A Bank.
 

Charlie

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for that money, BB - 2 for 999, still have 500 to spend on the rest.
 

Eagle

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I made it through a 32year career wearing primarily HSM and BB suits and sport coats, BB OCBD's and dress shirts and AE shoes. In most cases, purchases were made during sales or when items were on clearance. Many of my AE's were bought as seconds. Your money can go a long way, when you shop smart!
 

chrome_dout

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I remember seeing $300 BOSS suits at the Neiman Marcus Last Call @Woodbury. There were just racks and racks of nice suits and shirts for such low prices, I don't see how you couldn't find a decent suit for the $3 - 400 range in this economy.
 

Doc4

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In tough times, there will be some cachet in NOT wearing overtly flashy or expensive items. The guy who makes sure you see his Rolex = douchebag. The guy who wears a $50 Timex (provided he picks an analogue one with leather strap), OTOH, is approaching hard times sensibly.

Sprinkled here and there within this forum is the greatest sartorial wisdom one can find: a properly tailored suit trumps a poorly tailored one anyday ... even if there's a four-figure imbalance in the prices of the two suits. Looking good is not about tossing money around, it's about knowing how to look and how to get that look (at any price level.)

So ... buck up, kiddo. Get a decent suit, and get it properly tailored. Game, set and match.
 

PandArts

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Originally Posted by Doc4
Sprinkled here and there within this forum is the greatest sartorial wisdom one can find: a properly tailored suit trumps a poorly tailored one anyday ... even if there's a four-figure imbalance in the prices of the two suits. Looking good is not about tossing money around, it's about knowing how to look and how to get that look (at any price level.)

+100 well said!
 

koolhistorian

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There are a lot of good suits that are not A&S or what ever, see T. Mahon's blog - The English Cut. Also there are good suits on the Ebay - look at A. Harris store, and there is also Filene's, Simms etc. where yoi can find decent things at very decent prices. Ron Rider has great shoes at great prices, the web is full of good things, you just have to do your homework. Not every one is full of money, but we manage to find the best possible deal!
 

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