One of my favorite hyper-specific blogs, Yellow Baggers, covers only the East Coast clothing discount chain Daffy’s. Or did… because they’re reporting that Daffy’s will close this fall.
Daffy’s customer experience was a bit of a nightmare, and much of their stock was awful, but they were and are legendary in menswear circles for their periodic infusions of $20, $30 and $40 pairs of Incotex and Mabitex trousers. I bought a few myself there on a visit to New York once.
Sad to see a retailer biting the dust, but we can only hope someone else will pick up the slack.

One of my favorite hyper-specific blogs, Yellow Baggers, covers only the East Coast clothing discount chain Daffy’s. Or did… because they’re reporting that Daffy’s will close this fall.

Daffy’s customer experience was a bit of a nightmare, and much of their stock was awful, but they were and are legendary in menswear circles for their periodic infusions of $20, $30 and $40 pairs of Incotex and Mabitex trousers. I bought a few myself there on a visit to New York once.

Sad to see a retailer biting the dust, but we can only hope someone else will pick up the slack.

Spotted: Incotex at Daffy’s
For those of you in the Northeast, our friends over at Yellow Baggers (a blog that only covers menswear at the regional discount chain Daffy’s) are reporting that they’re getting in the one product that’s worth visiting Daffy’s for - Incotex trousers. They’ve only seen them so far in the Philadelphia store, where the blog is based, but if you’re in New York or Philly, hopping down to your local Daffy’s and looking for Incos (distinguished by the signature belt prong loop above the fly if the tags are cut) is a great idea right about now. Prices are $20-35, down from $100-200. Yellow baggers also notes that Daffy’s has a 20% off Friends & Family sale going on now through the end of the weekend - the coupon is on their Facebook page.
If you’re not in the Northeast, then look for a flood of Incotexes on eBay and the Styleforum Buy & Sell board, at about twice Daffy’s prices.

Spotted: Incotex at Daffy’s

For those of you in the Northeast, our friends over at Yellow Baggers (a blog that only covers menswear at the regional discount chain Daffy’s) are reporting that they’re getting in the one product that’s worth visiting Daffy’s for - Incotex trousers. They’ve only seen them so far in the Philadelphia store, where the blog is based, but if you’re in New York or Philly, hopping down to your local Daffy’s and looking for Incos (distinguished by the signature belt prong loop above the fly if the tags are cut) is a great idea right about now. Prices are $20-35, down from $100-200. Yellow baggers also notes that Daffy’s has a 20% off Friends & Family sale going on now through the end of the weekend - the coupon is on their Facebook page.

If you’re not in the Northeast, then look for a flood of Incotexes on eBay and the Styleforum Buy & Sell board, at about twice Daffy’s prices.


Strategic Frugality
If you’re just starting to build a better wardrobe, funds can be limited, so it’s good to know where you should focus your money. Not all clothes are created equal. Skimp on some things, and you’ll look terrible; skimp on others, and few will notice. The key here is to be strategically frugal. 
Where You Can Skimp
Knit ties: Supposedly, there are only a few knit tie producers in the world and they all make ties around the same quality. I haven’t confirmed if this is true, but all the knit ties I’ve owned - from Lands End to Charvet - have been only differed in material and design. If you stick to a reputable brand, you can get a good knit tie for about $20.
Socks: Over-the-calf Gold Toe socks can be had for about $3 a pair. Sierra Trading Post also sometimes sells Pantherella socks for $6, and those are a bit more comfortable.
Belts: The starting price for a decent belt is about $50 (e.g. Equus Leather and Narragansett Leather). However, if you go to some place like Kohls, you can get a serviceable belt for about $20. Just make sure they’re full grained leather on both sides.
Pants: If you happen to live on the East Coast, check Daffy’s for Mabitex. They cost about $25 for chinos and $40 for wool. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years, the rise has been getting shorter, and since they’re often factory seconds, they sometimes have loose stitches or poorly made seams. Just pay close attention when you buy. 
Casual shirts: Lands End Canvas’ Heritage shirts can work in a pinch. I hesitate to fully recommend them because the collars are so skimpy and the stitching, though durable, isn’t particularly well done. However, if you don’t plan to wear these with sport coats or ties, they’re passable and can be had for as little as $12. 
Where You Can Splurge
Suits, sport coats, and outerwear: This is where I think you should concentrate your money. An excellent sport coat or jacket can really make an ensemble, and even the most untrained eye can spot a cheap suit. Put a really nice jacket over a mediocre button-up shirt and pair of chinos, and you’ll look great. 
Shoes: Cheap shoes are false bargains. A well-made pair of shoes can last you thirty years while cheap shoes last for three. Get full-grain leather shoes that are made with Goodyear or Blake/ Rapid construction, and learn how to properly take care of them. Doing so will mean they’ll look better with age, not worse. 
Briefcases and bags: If you work in a traditional business environment, it’s worth the money to spring for a nice briefcase. Like the nice suit and shoes, it reflects a certain level of professionalism and competence. 
Sweaters: Poorly made sweaters will lose their shape quickly and pill more easily. Own fewer sweaters, and buy the best you can afford. 
That Said …
That said, there are smart ways to work with a limited budget for the things above. 
Bags: Avoid materials that try to be what they’re not. If you only have a limited budget, a well made canvas bag will be better than a cheap leather one. A $50 leather briefcase will always look like what it is. 
Sweaters: Similarly for sweaters, stick to merino wool, lambswool, or cotton. Many companies sell cashmere sweaters at basement-level prices, but they don’t last very long. 
Shoes: If you’re buying from a lower-tier brand, aim for suede. The differences in quality from the low- to high-end suede are much smaller than it is for smooth calf. The soles and grommets might still give out, but at least you won’t get those really ugly creases you see on corrected grain leathers. 

Strategic Frugality

If you’re just starting to build a better wardrobe, funds can be limited, so it’s good to know where you should focus your money. Not all clothes are created equal. Skimp on some things, and you’ll look terrible; skimp on others, and few will notice. The key here is to be strategically frugal. 

Where You Can Skimp

  • Knit ties: Supposedly, there are only a few knit tie producers in the world and they all make ties around the same quality. I haven’t confirmed if this is true, but all the knit ties I’ve owned - from Lands End to Charvet - have been only differed in material and design. If you stick to a reputable brand, you can get a good knit tie for about $20.
  • Socks: Over-the-calf Gold Toe socks can be had for about $3 a pair. Sierra Trading Post also sometimes sells Pantherella socks for $6, and those are a bit more comfortable.
  • Belts: The starting price for a decent belt is about $50 (e.g. Equus Leather and Narragansett Leather). However, if you go to some place like Kohls, you can get a serviceable belt for about $20. Just make sure they’re full grained leather on both sides.
  • Pants: If you happen to live on the East Coast, check Daffy’s for Mabitex. They cost about $25 for chinos and $40 for wool. Unfortunately, over the last couple of years, the rise has been getting shorter, and since they’re often factory seconds, they sometimes have loose stitches or poorly made seams. Just pay close attention when you buy. 
  • Casual shirts: Lands End Canvas’ Heritage shirts can work in a pinch. I hesitate to fully recommend them because the collars are so skimpy and the stitching, though durable, isn’t particularly well done. However, if you don’t plan to wear these with sport coats or ties, they’re passable and can be had for as little as $12. 

Where You Can Splurge

  • Suits, sport coats, and outerwear: This is where I think you should concentrate your money. An excellent sport coat or jacket can really make an ensemble, and even the most untrained eye can spot a cheap suit. Put a really nice jacket over a mediocre button-up shirt and pair of chinos, and you’ll look great. 
  • Shoes: Cheap shoes are false bargains. A well-made pair of shoes can last you thirty years while cheap shoes last for three. Get full-grain leather shoes that are made with Goodyear or Blake/ Rapid construction, and learn how to properly take care of them. Doing so will mean they’ll look better with age, not worse. 
  • Briefcases and bags: If you work in a traditional business environment, it’s worth the money to spring for a nice briefcase. Like the nice suit and shoes, it reflects a certain level of professionalism and competence. 
  • Sweaters: Poorly made sweaters will lose their shape quickly and pill more easily. Own fewer sweaters, and buy the best you can afford. 

That Said …

That said, there are smart ways to work with a limited budget for the things above. 

  • Bags: Avoid materials that try to be what they’re not. If you only have a limited budget, a well made canvas bag will be better than a cheap leather one. A $50 leather briefcase will always look like what it is. 
  • Sweaters: Similarly for sweaters, stick to merino wool, lambswool, or cotton. Many companies sell cashmere sweaters at basement-level prices, but they don’t last very long. 
  • Shoes: If you’re buying from a lower-tier brand, aim for suede. The differences in quality from the low- to high-end suede are much smaller than it is for smooth calf. The soles and grommets might still give out, but at least you won’t get those really ugly creases you see on corrected grain leathers. 
If you’re in the New York area, the blog Yellow Baggers offers regular reports on what’s for sale at local discount chain Daffy’s. The store is generally dire, but some relationships with some European manufacturers and local boutiques mean that from time to time there are boatloads of great stuff at remarkable prices. My last visit netted me three pairs of Mabitex trousers for $29 a pair.

If you’re in the New York area, the blog Yellow Baggers offers regular reports on what’s for sale at local discount chain Daffy’s. The store is generally dire, but some relationships with some European manufacturers and local boutiques mean that from time to time there are boatloads of great stuff at remarkable prices. My last visit netted me three pairs of Mabitex trousers for $29 a pair.