I know I've been leaning a bit heavily towards WIWT posts over more specific articles, but today's outfit offered me a great chance to show you all just what you can do with a very tight budget. This whole outfit cost me easily under $100, but looks good enough for any day at the office or even a job interview (although I'd add a blazer).
This shirt is actually a recent purchase from Target of all places. I usually only go to Target for basics...I'll take a $12.00 Target V-Neck tee over basically the same thing from J. Crew for $50.00 any day. That said, I tend to steer away from pants or dress shirts, or anything that I would prefer to order in a 'slim' size. However, I was browsing the other day and noticed that their Mossimo OCBD's were labeled 'Tailored Fit,' as opposed to 'Classic Fit,' like the rest of their dress shirts. On top of a cool price point of $23.00, I couldn't resist grabbing one. Considering it was just an impulse buy (I didn't even bother trying the shirt on in the store), I'm pretty happy with the purchase.
You do make some sacrifices for the cheaper price, but if you're just looking for a little bit of a change in your rotation and aren't ready to drop the appropriate amount on a quality shirt, this is a refreshing option. The fit is spot on while standing straight, although the shoulders bunch and pull a bit if I raise my arms (slightly weird armhole dimensions, from the looks of it).
|Weird bunching at the shoulders...can't win them all.|
I'm sure the shirt isn't going to last all that long, but it looks decent, is a soft comfortable material, and will hold me over great for now.
I got these Chinos from J. Crew Factory, and they are a great example of how well you can just by patiently waiting for sales. J. Crew Factory prices are already significantly lower than J. Crew's normal goods, but they put up sale codes all the time. Earlier this summer they had a helluva combination of deals going on and I managed to get a few of these broken-in slim fit Chinos for just around $20.00. They are a tad bit loose around the thigh, but I like the width through the knee and the amount of taper in the lower leg, and the extra room up top is barely noticeable. This khaki pair is just about the most versatile thing in my closet, and I wear them all the time.
I may have talked about these shoes before, but they were a great eBay find. Brooks Brothers shoes tend to run over $300.00 new, and I got these for about $40.00 (if I remember correctly). The soles will need replacing soon, but I've had them for about 8 months, they look spectacular, and fit like a dream. For that price, I couldn't ask for any more. Threw on some bright blue socks from Gap (rang in at around $6.00). Along with the tie, I think they add a colorful dimension to the outfit that makes it seasonally appropriate and breaks away from the khaki/blue-white-OCBD uniform of the masses.
Lastly, the tie is my latest pick from Tie Society, part of my $11.00/month subscription. I've touted Tie Society plenty of times here, but I'll just reiterate that it's a great way to keep your tie rotation fresh and new without actually having to buy tie after tie. I do wish this wasn't a polyester tie (personal aversion to poly neckwear), but the colors and patterns are very madras-esque, which has recently become one of my favorite summer looks.
So, adding up all the prices:
Shirt - $23.00
Pants - $20.00
Shoes - $40.00
Socks - $6.00
Tie - $11.00
With a grand total of exactly $100.00 (give or take a few depending on the accuracy of my memory as I write this on a Tuesday morning). Just goes to show, you don't need to shell out hundreds for a solid outfit. As I mentioned, if I was to wear this for an interview, I might add a blazer, which does jump the price up a bit, but with the availability for affordable yet stylish blazers from brands like Uniqlo, H&M and Zara, this shouldn't be too much of a stretch either. Just remember, it's all about fit. A well-fitting outfit like this one, for $100.00, will look way better than a $1,000.00 ensemble that drapes and droops like a pillowcase, and will leave you with some $$ to actually do something while wearing it.
|Just schemin' bout savin' all that dough...|
Now, to be perfectly honest, I did add some of my own accessories when I wore this to work (tie clip, watch, bag), which you can see below. I left them out in the rest of the post to illustrate the 'budget' look, but here's the final product:
OCBD Shirt by Target
Tie via Tie Society
Belt by Levis
Watch by FormFunctionForm
Chinos by J. Crew Factory
Bag by J. Crew Factory
Socks by Gap