Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

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nimo956
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Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by nimo956 »

I haven't really bought new work clothes in the last 8 years, and I've been thinking about completely overhauling my wardrobe. All of my dress shirts and pants have way too much fabric, and look baggy in general. My SO affectionately commented that I dress like I'm wearing a potato sack.

I've picked out 3 pairs of shoes from Allen Edmonds, and went to a local haberdasher to have 6 pants and 10 shirts made to measure. The shoes are like $300 each (on sale), the pants range from $250-$300, and the shirts are around $150-$175. The total is going to be close to $5k.

I have the money, and can afford it, but this is the most I've ever spent on clothing. I currently max out my tax-advantaged accounts and save 40% of my gross salary. I'm 31, and my net worth is around $350k (aim to retire in 10-15 years).

Do people think this is too extravagant, or is it worth it to buy quality?
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AlohaJoe
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by AlohaJoe »

nimo956 wrote:I have the money, and can afford it
I don't see a problem.

In a year or so you'll be able to decide for yourself whether it is worth. I like wearing nice clothes. Other people don't. They spend their money on things that I probably think are frivolous. Even if you decide a year from now it was a waste of money...it's not like you haven't wasted money before, right? And it's not like this would materially affect your life in any way.
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corner559
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by corner559 »

When I buy clothes I don't pay outrageous amounts but will spend up to 150 for a nice shirt and the same for pants. I also shop at Old Navy and Gap for things and have found that up to a certain point you get what you pay for. My clothes from Old Navy and Gap don't last long and don't do well after multiple washes. I typically will toss the clothes after about a year. The stuff I pay more for lasts for 3-4 years and more which more than makes up for all the time, hassle, and money I'd have to otherwise take to replace those articles of clothing annually.

Paying more (depending on brand) is absolutely worth it not to mention you'll look a lot sharper.
mmcmonster
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by mmcmonster »

nimo956 wrote:My SO affectionately commented that I dress like I'm wearing a potato sack.
There's something to be said for dressing for success.

Even if your job is something where how you look shouldn't matter, you may get significantly farther or taken more seriously if you're sharply dressed.

As a physician, I notice that most of my colleagues just throw on whatever they find in the closet before going to work. I wear a jacket, dress pants, shirt and tie every day. I have a significantly easier time dealing with administration and the patients frequently comment as well.

Every time I go through contract negotiations it's a walk in the park compared to my colleagues. I can't help but think that at least part of that is due to my professional 'outfit' that they see every day.
Lindrobe
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Lindrobe »

I do think that the expensive clothes last longer. I buy clothes from Banana Republic and Loft for work (I am a CPA), but on the weekends I wear cheap t-shirts from Target. The cheap t-shirts don't last very long. When I do shop for work clothes, I only buy when there is a sale.
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bottlecap
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by bottlecap »

Nothing wrong with spending money on clothes, especially for work. You don't have to get top of the line to look nice, however.

You could do it for cheaper, however, sounds like you've already done all the "work" anyway.

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mrc
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by mrc »

corner559 wrote:... My clothes from Old Navy and Gap don't last long and don't do well after multiple washes. I typically will toss the clothes after about a year. ...
No offense to corner, but this just blows my mind. Disposable clothing. Do we buy this stuff because it's cheap, or do they make stuff this way because people will buy it? Retail is in trouble, and clothing even more so. But there has to be something between a $150 shirt and something you throw away after a year.

I think it's worth it to purchase quality clothing.
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camillus
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by camillus »

nimo956 wrote:potato sack
I'm no fashionista, but I understand that one of the basic elements is "fit." The current basic style in dress wear is "slim." To achieve this, you could research your body type and styles go to Kohl's or JC Penny and get clothes that fit your body well. If your clothes fit, they and you will look good.

I agree with above posters in that if you can afford it, go for it. Beware a principle from The Millionaire Nextdoor - one status symbol begets a lifestyle. Watch out for that luxury car that fits your new look :-)
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climber2020
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by climber2020 »

There's a distinction between expensive and good quality. I'd definitely pay more for good quality, but I've found that they're not always directly correlated.

Example:

Brooks Brothers dress shirts are expensive, and they look nice. But the quality is garbage. I received several shirts a little over a year ago as a gift, and they're falling apart already. All of them. Meanwhile, my $25 Van Heusen dress shirts from Kohl's are over 4 years old and still holding up very well. Same treatment of clothing and frequency of wear, yet the shirt that cost 3 times more ended up being a piece of trash.
kjvmartin
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by kjvmartin »

My boss wheres JC Penny Stafford dress shirts. They fit him well.

They do not fit me. I have to find a shirt with a different fit, so I pay about 2x each shirt. Charles Tyrwhitt, on sale, is excellent.
sambb
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by sambb »

personal appearance matters in some fields
sschullo
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by sschullo »

AlohaJoe wrote:
nimo956 wrote:I have the money, and can afford it
I don't see a problem.
Same here. The last time I went to Beverly Hills to purchase some Facinabe apparel was because of the "Wealth Effect" in early 2000. Time to through out old shirts, old sport coats, shoes, socks, EVERYTHING and start over. I was lucky, as a woman friend of mine volunteered to shop with me at Boss in Beverly Hills. What a treat. I spend $2300 on classy sport coats, shirts both formal and causal and more to come. It's was a lot of fun.

I am finishing up at the Outlets nearby. I bought a pair of really classy Ecco white shoes ($200), and people have been commenting on those shoes and the classy shorts I also bought.
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Leemiller
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Leemiller »

Some people have body types that need more custom tailoring than others. I've known some men to continue to wear sloppy looking, ill fitting clothing and it's not a good look. I'd also note that in men's clothing paying more often gets a visibly nicer material. Up to a point, you can tell a cheaper shirt or suit at a glance.
cherijoh
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by cherijoh »

nimo956 wrote:I haven't really bought new work clothes in the last 8 years, and I've been thinking about completely overhauling my wardrobe. All of my dress shirts and pants have way too much fabric, and look baggy in general. My SO affectionately commented that I dress like I'm wearing a potato sack.

I've picked out 3 pairs of shoes from Allen Edmonds, and went to a local haberdasher to have 6 pants and 10 shirts made to measure. The shoes are like $300 each (on sale), the pants range from $250-$300, and the shirts are around $150-$175. The total is going to be close to $5k.

I have the money, and can afford it, but this is the most I've ever spent on clothing. I currently max out my tax-advantaged accounts and save 40% of my gross salary. I'm 31, and my net worth is around $350k (aim to retire in 10-15 years).

Do people think this is too extravagant, or is it worth it to buy quality?
I think it is definitely worth it to buy good quality clothing, but there is also the snob effect where the cost goes up but the quality doesn't change appreciably. (Or as climber2020 points out, the quality can even go down! :annoyed) And even good quality can be a bad buy if it doesn't fit you well.

However in your case, you are paying the big bucks for made-to-measure clothing. Assuming that your weight doesn't fluctuate too much, having well-made, good-fitting clothing should be well worth the money. Men's business clothing isn't that trendy so you don't need to be too worried about it looking dated next year.
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by ddurrett896 »

nimo956 wrote: I've picked out 3 pairs of shoes from Allen Edmonds, and went to a local haberdasher to have 6 pants and 10 shirts made to measure. The shoes are like $300 each (on sale), the pants range from $250-$300, and the shirts are around $150-$175. The total is going to be close to $5k.
Do people think this is too extravagant, or is it worth it to buy quality?
Allen Edmonds = YES
Pants/Shirts = NO

Allen Edmond is my go to because they are quality shoes that can be re-soled in the future (love the Strand and Mcallister)

My $30 Jos A Bank dress shirts get the job done and look great at ~$30 each. I've got more compliments on a $30 pair of slacks from JC Pennys than any of my suit pants combined.
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djpeteski
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by djpeteski »

The most expensive garment I ever purchased was my wet suit. I get to wear it about 20 times per year for about a half hour per shot. I think your clothing is a far better deal.
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by livesoft »

Yes, it is worth it to buy more expensive clothes than a potato sack.

I think the OP skipped all the great quality clothes that don't cost what they spent on new clothes. But the OP will be able to tell us if it was worth it for them because they already spent the money. So I expect an update in the next one or two months reporting on whether it was worth it.
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desiderium
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by desiderium »

This is caring for your human capital. Dressing well, with good fit and attention to details shows respect for your professional role. People notice. Your clothes will last, particularly the shoes.
czr
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by czr »

Did you lose a sack (or many sacks) of potatoes in weight the last 8 years? I buy a couple work shirts/pants every year but make sure they have a good modern fit for my body type. Since your SO affectionately called you out on it and you trust her, have her double check your purchases.
reisner
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by reisner »

I'm not rich enough to buy cheap stuff. I buy the best I can find at a price I can afford (I am a great bargain hunter) and keep it a long time, even have it repaired. If an item begins to show some wear, it still shows a lot of class.
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by bloom2708 »

I like expensive clothes, I just don't like paying for them. :oops:

Last week I bought a near $100 pair of North Face pants at the thrift store for $5.99. Expensive and inexpensive at the same time. Win win.
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hookemhorns
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by hookemhorns »

It's been a great investment for me. I work in financial services in a role that has an element of B2B sales. The first impression the client makes, as well as their ongoing assessment of our/my professionalism, is extremely important. Likewise, the people I see who dress poorly get routinely passed over despite their otherwise high qualifications and competence.

Some will say "it doesn't matter because I work in (insert non-client facing job here)." The truth is if you have aspirations to advance to a senior, high responsibility, and thus higher paying role then your appearance does matter. Every senior job has an element of marketing to it, even if it's just convincing people within your own company to invest in something, pursue a certain project, make a change, whatever.

If you dress sloppily and do not maintain a professional appearance you are putting an unnecessary cap on your career. You didn't mention it, but this also extends to trimming nails, getting a good haircut, and maintaining a healthy body to the extent you can.
fposte
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by fposte »

mrc wrote: No offense to corner, but this just blows my mind. Disposable clothing. Do we buy this stuff because it's cheap, or do they make stuff this way because people will buy it?
Both. Microtrends and sport shopping make for pretty successful business models. Even our donated clothes are too crappy for a lot of impoverished areas of the globe. And did you see the recent essay about a legendarily crappy couch from West Elm and how store employees said that a couch in light use should last from 1-3 years?

This is a nice short video pointing out some differences between cheap and well made clothes when looking at the clothes.

And yes, I do some buying at Old Navy; I don't have to sport businesswear at work, so some cheap stuff is useful, especially in the heat of summer. But it's eyeopening how much better and longer the good stuff lasts, and how different it is to buy clothes to wear for a decade.
mak1277
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by mak1277 »

climber2020 wrote:There's a distinction between expensive and good quality. I'd definitely pay more for good quality, but I've found that they're not always directly correlated.

Example:

Brooks Brothers dress shirts are expensive, and they look nice. But the quality is garbage. I received several shirts a little over a year ago as a gift, and they're falling apart already. All of them. Meanwhile, my $25 Van Heusen dress shirts from Kohl's are over 4 years old and still holding up very well. Same treatment of clothing and frequency of wear, yet the shirt that cost 3 times more ended up being a piece of trash.
Interesting comment. I have had precisely the opposite experience. My Brooks Brothers shirts last significantly longer, and show less wear, than any other brand I've ever bought.
BackOfTheNet
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by BackOfTheNet »

As far as Allen Edmonds. If you don't know, here are two potentially cheaper ways to get them.

2nds: Shoebank.com

"3rds": There is an eBay seller (dabondo1 ) that sells a variety of factory rejects or shoes that have been tried on. They will accept 60% as a "best offer" on all the listed prices. The nice thing here VS shoebank is that you get to see the exact pair of shoes you are buying and decide if the defect is worth it to you.
stan1
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by stan1 »

Well fitting clothes do not need to be expensive. The large shirt makers now have multiple fits: extra slim, slim, athletic, regular. I buy them on sale when the price is around $50 each. Those options get me close enough to a shirt that looks good without being custom. It took a few tries but I've also found washable trousers that fit well (it helped when fitted came back in style).

Suits should always be tailored.

I always try to look just a little better than my customers, coworkers and managers. That's not hard to pull off.
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goingup
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by goingup »

Yes, I think it's worth it. The transformation in your appearance may be shocking. Your boss will think you've found a new job and your wife will wonder if you've got a girlfriend. :wink:
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sunny_socal
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by sunny_socal »

I buy shirts that carry an MSRP of $50-100 (Quiksilver, Vans, Hurley etc.) Just get them from Nordstrom rack or wait till they're on sale, cost is $25-40. They look great since they are youth oriented brands and are very high quality.

I never buy department store brands, they are complete junk in every respect. (I can't think of a single thing I'd purchase at Sears, except maybe a wrench, but even tools are best purchased elsewhere...)

Walmart has Wrangler shorts, they appear to be excellent in fit & quality, just $15! Deal of the century.
Last edited by sunny_socal on Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
poker27
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by poker27 »

100x yes, its worth it. However, not everything is worth the price tag. I had a single custom shirt made to 'try out', and it cost $150-200. I could not stand the material, and it just felt cheap. I would rather wear my Charles Tyrwhitt shirts for sub $50. I have maybe 10 pairs of Allen Edmond shoes, I could not recommend them enough. Just please make sure you get them shined from time to time.
multiham
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by multiham »

As long as your weight doesn't fluctuate up and down and you don't buy anything trendy, I think this is a great investment in yourself.
JDot
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by JDot »

You can so do this cheaper, and I would if I were in your shoes. Actually, I pretty much am in your shoes. But it will require a little more upfront work. The trick is knowing which brands and corresponding sizes that work for you. After you have this info, you can bargain shop online. For instance, I know my exact size for Brooks Brothers shirts (size and style/cut). After finding this info, you can casually scan ebay and buy "new without tags" or find a shirt someone wore a handful of times (before figuring out it didn't really fit). My last two Brooks Brothers shirts were purchased like this for $20-25 each on ebay.

I know my exact size for Allen Edmonds and did the same for shoes.

The trick really is knowing your size/cut for each item and then just buy that. $5k in after tax dollars, depending on your tax bracket, is a lot of money even with a good income. (I suppose this is relative though) It's clear from your post that you're interesting in retiring early. I think learning to do stuff like this will benefit you in the long term. If you want to retire early, it would be beneficial to get used to doing stuff that others aren't willing to do. Just my opinion.
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by flamesabers »

nimo956 wrote:Do people think this is too extravagant, or is it worth it to buy quality?
When buying expensive clothing I ask myself two questions: Can I afford it? And will I get a lot of use out of the clothing?

If the answer is yes to both questions, I don't worry too much about investing in good clothes, especially since I'll be using them for work or formal occasions. I don't think I ever bought $5k of clothes at one time, but I have bought a lot to maximize the benefits of sales and discounts.

If you worry you're spending too much for each item, I recommend shopping around to see if you're paying the market value for these types of quality clothes. It's always possible you may be spending extra money to pay for the store's extravagant advertising expenses rather then the quality of the clothes.
Andyrunner
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Andyrunner »

As others said, there is a big difference between price and quality.

I prefer Lands End and Charles Thyrwitt shirts. Great price, high quality, last forever. As far as dress shoes, I can't imagine spending $300 on shoes but I have heard EAllens are the best. I still buy $90 shoes on clearance for 40% off and they last me 3-4 years. I buy $300 suits for work that last 5-6 years.

I really feel bad for women, their clothing is generally made cheap, are expensive and the style changes a lot more frequently then men. I am wearing the same ties as 10 years ago, my wife could never pull this off. In fact now that NY and company and The Limited closed, she has no idea where to get work clothes.
Lindrobe
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Lindrobe »

Andyrunner wrote:I really feel bad for women, their clothing is generally made cheap, are expensive and the style changes a lot more frequently then men. I am wearing the same ties as 10 years ago, my wife could never pull this off. In fact now that NY and company and The Limited closed, she has no idea where to get work clothes.
This made me laugh. I am a woman and will be interviewing for jobs soon. Yesterday I tried on one of my old suits that is about 8 years old. It looked ridiculous! The pants now look like clown pants since women's pants now have much slimmer legs. I ordered two new suits immediately from Banana Republic. The old suits just no longer cut it!

Back to the OP's post--my husband also loves Allen Edmond shoes and buys them from the outlet center in Wisconsin. He just ordered a new pair last week during their Memorial Day sale. He shopped through shoebank.com, called the outlet center, and the very next day the shoes arrived! Not sure how much he saved by ordering from the outlet, but might be worth looking into.
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Carefreeap »

climber2020 wrote:There's a distinction between expensive and good quality. I'd definitely pay more for good quality, but I've found that they're not always directly correlated.

Example:

Brooks Brothers dress shirts are expensive, and they look nice. But the quality is garbage. I received several shirts a little over a year ago as a gift, and they're falling apart already. All of them. Meanwhile, my $25 Van Heusen dress shirts from Kohl's are over 4 years old and still holding up very well. Same treatment of clothing and frequency of wear, yet the shirt that cost 3 times more ended up being a piece of trash.
I learned this lesson early. From age 13 I was responsible for paying for ALL of my own clothing. At age 16 I bought a few designer pieces at Marshall's thinking they would be better quality. Nope; many designers sell crappy clothing because they want you to buy into fashion changes every year and will put their name on anything to make a buck. They care about design and not quality.

It's important to note that not every brand is like that but to point out that" getting what you pay for" isn't universal. Many of these brand name companies have sold or gone under different management and the change isn't always good.
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Carefreeap
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Carefreeap »

hookemhorns wrote:It's been a great investment for me. I work in financial services in a role that has an element of B2B sales. The first impression the client makes, as well as their ongoing assessment of our/my professionalism, is extremely important. Likewise, the people I see who dress poorly get routinely passed over despite their otherwise high qualifications and competence.

Some will say "it doesn't matter because I work in (insert non-client facing job here)." The truth is if you have aspirations to advance to a senior, high responsibility, and thus higher paying role then your appearance does matter. Every senior job has an element of marketing to it, even if it's just convincing people within your own company to invest in something, pursue a certain project, make a change, whatever.

If you dress sloppily and do not maintain a professional appearance you are putting an unnecessary cap on your career. You didn't mention it, but this also extends to trimming nails, getting a good haircut, and maintaining a healthy body to the extent you can.
The flip side is that in some industries dressing too nice has a reverse effect.

When I worked as a middle manager for a public agency my boss' boss took a dim view of the expensive suits I wore to Board Meetings. I don't know what he was assuming but it was a couple of years later when I mentioned that I was wearing hand-me downs from my MIL (an executive senior service in the Fed govt. and a clothes horse) that his jaw dropped and started treating me a little better. I don't know if he thought I was just a spoiled princess or that I was on the take. :annoyed

And I did have three attempts of minor bribes by some of our lessees. I pretended not to understand what they were offering but did report the situation to my direct boss.
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J295
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by J295 »

I understand the "complete overhaul" mentality ... just get it done mindset. However, if I were you I'd consider easing in with the purchases .... not due to the $$, but instead to make sure you get what you like/feels and fits well ..... sort of like a "test drive" in purchasing some of these items ...

For example, I'm retired and have landed on Foot Joy golf shirts and Ecco golf shoes that fit me perfectly, so that's what I buy. That's after experimenting with some other brands.

FYI, I had Allen Edmunds for a long time in my professional career, but that was back in the day of suits and nice leather shoes .... they looked and wore great (and I even had them resoled on occasion when the sole wore out prior to the leather ...... but, a number of years ago I switched to something much more comfortable and more along the lines of business casual (high quality, but much more comfortable).
badger42
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by badger42 »

It's very situational. I work for a tech company where senior management up to and including the CEO tends to wear pretty ' basic' clothing. If I wore a suit nobody would take me seriously. You're much better off with jeans and a t-shirt here.

At the same time, if expensive clothing for the weekend made me happy, I could afford it and would buy it. It doesn't, so I buy expensive bicycles (think US-made Titanium) instead.
stoptothink
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by stoptothink »

corner559 wrote:When I buy clothes I don't pay outrageous amounts but will spend up to 150 for a nice shirt and the same for pants. I also shop at Old Navy and Gap for things and have found that up to a certain point you get what you pay for. My clothes from Old Navy and Gap don't last long and don't do well after multiple washes. I typically will toss the clothes after about a year. The stuff I pay more for lasts for 3-4 years and more which more than makes up for all the time, hassle, and money I'd have to otherwise take to replace those articles of clothing annually.

Paying more (depending on brand) is absolutely worth it not to mention you'll look a lot sharper.
I'm currently sitting in my office, wearing a pair of Old Navy khakis that I purchased off their clearance rack (like $6) over a decade ago. I don't understand how people get so little wear out of clothing. I have clothing, from budget brands (Old Navy and the like) which I have owned since high school (I am 36) and are still in decent enough condition for me to wear to work (khakis and polos). I don't recall ever having a shirt fray at the cuffs, like I have heard so many times. I understand I am an outlier, my wife goes through clothes at a rate exponentially higher than mine too.

I spend next to nothing on clothing - maybe $200/yr (mostly on athletic shoes) - and I am pretty high up the corporate ladder in a megacorp (thankfully one which khakis and polos are the daily attire) and don't negatively stand out among my peers. For me, it is all about fit. I am muscular and lean, it is difficult to find clothes that fit my neck/chest/shoulders/arms/backside without looking like a potato sack everywhere else, and I don't want to pay to have clothes tailored, so I stick to what fits. I do have two custom suits which I wear when doing larger public appearance for work, but my employer paid for them. Old Navy slim fit seems to work good for me, and lasts me literally decades. I have no experience with almost all of these more expensive brands, but I see no need as I get so much wear out of the more budget-friendly stuff and in my work environment, the look fits in. Your experience may vary.
afan
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by afan »

You can get the same clothes, same brand, same models, same sizes for a fraction of those prices. Ebay, thrift shops and clearance sales. If the combination of your build and your need to look elaborately dressed require it then have the clothes altered after buying them at 50-90% off retail prices.

I.get a good enough fit by trying on at the thrift shop or paying attention to measurements on eBay. I would never consider having shirts tailored. I know the current style is close fitting. By ignoring such styles I avoid having to replace my wardrobe every time fashion changes. More money left to buy shares of VTI.
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Bogle826
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Bogle826 »

nimo956 wrote:I haven't really bought new work clothes in the last 8 years, and I've been thinking about completely overhauling my wardrobe. All of my dress shirts and pants have way too much fabric, and look baggy in general. My SO affectionately commented that I dress like I'm wearing a potato sack.

I've picked out 3 pairs of shoes from Allen Edmonds, and went to a local haberdasher to have 6 pants and 10 shirts made to measure. The shoes are like $300 each (on sale), the pants range from $250-$300, and the shirts are around $150-$175. The total is going to be close to $5k.

I have the money, and can afford it, but this is the most I've ever spent on clothing. I currently max out my tax-advantaged accounts and save 40% of my gross salary. I'm 31, and my net worth is around $350k (aim to retire in 10-15 years).

Do people think this is too extravagant, or is it worth it to buy quality?

not sure whether somebody have mentioned this yet, but the real answer is slow down on your purchases.

1) allen edmonds are nice, but they are far from the best bang for your money shoes. there are many style options and lasts (shoe/foot shape) that may be better suited for your needs. allen edmonds are pretty traditional, so if you want something more fashion forward, there are european brands that offer a more elegant last in a similar price point. do you own a pair of goodyear welted shoes or know the benefits? it may take sometime to get used to them. my other point is that your curiosity may take you to higher price points - hand-finished burnished, superior leather etc...

2) if you haven't experienced made-to-measure or bespoke, the biggest mistake you can do is rush into it by buying 10 shirts. when you're going bespoke, you are paying for the smallest details such as "x" on the chest, slope shoulders, sleeve circumference, mop buttons etc... also, the cloths you pick will be highly personal as well - certain fabrics are more ideal depending on your lifestyle.

the best thing to do right now is pick up A pair of AE (don't worry about these deals, they come around often enough) and purchase One shirt.
Goal33
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Goal33 »

I probably would stick to one outfit at a time and spread that cost out, but there's nothing wrong with wearing nice clothes. Unless of course you're a software engineer in the silicon valley coming to work with Allen Edmonds. Might be a bit unnecessary.
PNW1
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by PNW1 »

As many other people have pointed out, fit is king. High quality, excellent garments that don't fit you well are a waste of your money. Working with a good tailor can be an excellent way to acquire well-fitting clothing. Upper body fit is more important than lower body fit, and is harder to buy off the rack. It may not be terribly Boglehead-ish, but I would encourage you to have some dress shirts made for you by a tailor with a good eye and who is willing to help you understand what will look good for your body. If you've always worn loose clothing, try something slimmer. $150 per shirt is not out of the norm at all. I'd get maybe three shirts to start out with; many tailors will balk at measuring and creating a pattern for just one shirt, but you may find after wearing your first bespoke shirts that you want to change some things for the next ones. You're putting a lot of eggs in one basket if you have ten made up all at once before you have a pattern and style really nailed down.

$250 - $300 for high quality bespoke trousers isn't out of the question, but for most body types it's pretty easy to find off the rack trousers that fit pretty well. Being too long doesn't matter; hemming is cheap and easy. They just need to fit your waist and the thickness of your legs. Maybe get one pair of bespoke trousers and see how they fit, then see if you can find a similar fit in some off-the-shelf trousers once you know what well-fitting ones should feel and look like. Even if you decide to purchase more trousers from the same haberdasher, by starting with just one you'll have the opportunity to make some changes if you need or want to.

I actually think Allen Edmonds sells a ton of shoes that are a great choice if you're going for a traditional look. Many, but not all, of their styles are classics that will look great for decades, and if you take good care of them they'll last a very long time. Whatever shoes you buy, I like the idea of having at least three pairs of shoes that you wear regularly. If you tend to "rotate" through your shoes, usually not wearing the same pair on consecutive days, your shoes will last through more wearings. Letting them sit for a day or two gives them a chance to dry out and not support an odorous, shoe-eating bacterial colony. I think shoe trees are an inexpensive investment in your shoes as well.

Although you didn't bring them up, suit and sportcoat jackets really benefit from being made for the individual who's wearing them; altering them well is difficult. To have one made, though, you need to make a lot of choices. There are immediate choices like fabric and gross style; single or double breasted, notch or peak lapel, etc. But the list goes on. What kind of venting do you want? How high should the armholes be? How wide do you want your lapels? How many buttons? How high should the buttons be? What kind of pockets? Choice of button material? And then there are questions about canvassing. Full floating canvass? Half-canvassed? Fused? There are so many things to consider.

A word of warning: this can easily become a rabbit hole. In retrospect I think that I overspent on clothing by following a similar path when I was about your age. I appreciate the experience that I gained by doing it, but I wish I'd have been a bit more Boglehead-ish in my approach. :)

Good luck!
mmcmonster
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by mmcmonster »

I'm a little surprised at what some of you are paying for clothes (and a few of my neighbors, for that matter!).

On work days I rotate among 3-4 slacks, ~30 button down shirts, and ~50 ties. I buy roughly a pair of slacks a year and maybe 1-2 shirts a year. 2-3 pairs of work shoes will last me 2-3 years. Ties ... last me a decade+ so far.

I get my shirts and slacks at Macy's, for the most part. I don't think I've ever paid more than 30 bucks for either slacks or a button down shirt. About $50 at most for a pair of work shoes. But I only go clothes shopping with my wife and when there's a sale or she has a crazy coupon.

Again, I dress fairly well for work (slacks, button down shirt, tie, sports jacket) compared to those around me. Thankfully I don't have to compete with the neighbors who are spending $200 for custom-cut shirts and $500 slacks. :shock:
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Elsebet
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Elsebet »

I work in IT and buy thrift store clothes because no one cares what I look like, only that my code looks/works perfectly and that I troubleshoot problems in my pajamas when called at 3am. :) I don't want to be a manager/exec so I feel I don't have to try and impress on that angle.

I actually am interviewing and the potential job requires me to be on-site at customer locations on occasion., if they were to make an offer I accepted I guess I'd have to have a set of "less frumpy" clothes for that, but I'd still try to get them at the thrift store.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca
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gasdoc
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by gasdoc »

I have five sets of scrubs that I ordered online, and had altered to fit. I look lots better and more professional than the surgeons and anesthesiologists that grab worn out scrubs off the shelf at work. I probably paid $200 for the entire "wardrobe." :happy

gasdoc
Cuzz35
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by Cuzz35 »

mak1277 wrote:
climber2020 wrote:There's a distinction between expensive and good quality. I'd definitely pay more for good quality, but I've found that they're not always directly correlated.

Example:

Brooks Brothers dress shirts are expensive, and they look nice. But the quality is garbage. I received several shirts a little over a year ago as a gift, and they're falling apart already. All of them. Meanwhile, my $25 Van Heusen dress shirts from Kohl's are over 4 years old and still holding up very well. Same treatment of clothing and frequency of wear, yet the shirt that cost 3 times more ended up being a piece of trash.
Interesting comment. I have had precisely the opposite experience. My Brooks Brothers shirts last significantly longer, and show less wear, than any other brand I've ever bought.
Bought a full wardrobe of BB stuff out of college since my wardrobe was lacking. I have one shirt that didn't fall apart within the first year. Pants didn't last much longer either. I only buy their polos every once in a while when they are on sale.
mak1277
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by mak1277 »

Cuzz35 wrote:
mak1277 wrote:
climber2020 wrote:There's a distinction between expensive and good quality. I'd definitely pay more for good quality, but I've found that they're not always directly correlated.

Example:

Brooks Brothers dress shirts are expensive, and they look nice. But the quality is garbage. I received several shirts a little over a year ago as a gift, and they're falling apart already. All of them. Meanwhile, my $25 Van Heusen dress shirts from Kohl's are over 4 years old and still holding up very well. Same treatment of clothing and frequency of wear, yet the shirt that cost 3 times more ended up being a piece of trash.
Interesting comment. I have had precisely the opposite experience. My Brooks Brothers shirts last significantly longer, and show less wear, than any other brand I've ever bought.
Bought a full wardrobe of BB stuff out of college since my wardrobe was lacking. I have one shirt that didn't fall apart within the first year. Pants didn't last much longer either. I only buy their polos every once in a while when they are on sale.
I have a suit from BB that still fits, and still looks good, after having it for > 15 years. As for the shirts, perhaps you need to try a different dry cleaner or consider a different washer/dryer.

I'm never going to have a bad thing to say about BB clothes.
mrc
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by mrc »

Woke up to this on the radio: "Would You Rent Your Clothes?"
Globally, only around 20% of clothes are re-used or recycled. The majority go to landfill or are incinerated. In the USA alone, the amount of clothes being thrown away has doubled in the last two decades.
This article describes entrepreneurs considering both renting and composting. Reading this thread, it does strike me that over the last 5 years at least, it has become more difficult to find good quality clothing at any price. I find the "fast fashion" trend nauseating.
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JonnyDVM
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Re: Worth it to buy expensive clothes?

Post by JonnyDVM »

I think there is definitely a sharp uptick in quality when you go more expensive vs and I don't buy the cheapest shirts anymore, however dropping $250 per shirt feels way over the top. $75 or maybe $100 is as much as I'd ever spend. I would defintely not drop 5k in one sitting on a wardrobe upgrade. That being said if you save 40% of your income and this is what you want to spend the rest on- then absolutely go for it.
I’d trade it all for a little more | -C Montgomery Burns
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