For $50, You Can Buy …

July 6, 2011

For $50, You Can Buy …

Menswear bloggers, including me, all too often want to write about the best and most awesome things they know about, which usually means things that most people can’t afford. This makes for great reading, but little in the way of practical direction. You’re trying to build an awesome wardrobe, after all, not a .jpeg collection. 

So in the interest of writing about affordable things, I thought I’d start a new series called "For $50, You Can Buy,“ where I’ll try to find decent items that cost $50 or less. To be sure, the stuff in this series isn’t going to be made from the finest Italian silks and English wools, handcrafted by tradesmen in "Old World” workshops. However, they will be very good and, most importantly, affordable to almost everyone. 

A word of caution: deal hunting can be a dangerous game. Before you build a collection of 30 ties you found on sale, realize that you could have built a collection of 10 ties made by the best tie makers in the world. Be realistic about how much you plan to spend on clothes, have a vision of what kind of wardrobe you want to finally achieve, and act accordingly. For some, that might mean Drakes of London ties and John Lobb shoes. For others, it may mean things I’ll feature in this series. Either way, you will be well dressed. 

The first entry in this series is this Brooks Brothers tie, which can be had for $39.75. It’s in a classic repp stripe design, but made with varying weaves, which gives it a textural interest. Most importantly, though the picture doesn’t demonstrate this well, it gives a very, very good knot. From my experience, Brooks ties knot as well as many ties in the $100-$150 range.  The width may seem a touch too slim (I usually prefer 3" to 3.25" myself), but it’s not too far off from the classical standard. Many Drakes of London ties, after all, are 2.8" wide. Wear this with a white or blue button up shirt, and a sports coat in any of the classic colors, and you’ll be good to go.