We Got It For Free: Dapper Classics Socks

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of our readers founded Dapper Classics, a company dedicated to supplying men with high-quality over-the-calf socks. Over-the-calfs, as you may know, have the advantage of not slipping down your leg over the course of a day, so your pale, bare calves won’t be exposed when you sit down. That’s one of the quickest ways to ruin a well-tailored look, in my opinion. Mid-calf socks are acceptable with jeans, and no-show socks are fine with shorts, but with anything like a coat and tie, there should be no other option but over-the-calf.

Harry, the company’s founder, sent me a few of their solid navy socks and one pin dot. All were made in North Carolina by a third-generation, family owned mill. A nice distinction for those who care about American made goods, but I was mostly concerned about their products’ construction. On the one hand, 65% of their socks’ fabric is made from mercerized cotton; which is good. Mercerization is a chemical process that increases cotton’s luster, strength, affinity to dye, and resistance to mildew. On the other, the rest of the materials are synthetic – mostly spandex, but also a little bit of nylon. Some synthetic material is necessary for socks to retain their shape, but over a certain point, they can become less durable. Not so, at least for the time being, with Dapper Classics. I’ve worn and put these through the wash about ten times, which is more than the number of times in took for my Gold Toes to start breaking around the cuffs. These Dapper Classics, however, look as good as the day they arrived. 

The real advantage, however, is in how cool they wear. Dapper Classic’s socks are made on a 188-needle machine, which makes them nicely thin and smooth. The weave also feels quite open, so much so that if you spread your toes and wiggle your feet, you can feel the air whiffing through. These seem to be more breathable than the cotton socks I’ve worn from current leading brands, such as Marcoliani, Bresciani, and Pantherella. They’re also quite comfortable around the calves, which is the main reason why I’ve avoided Gold Toe. Those come in at about $5 a pair, which is considerably less than the ~$25 that Marcoliani and Bresciani charge, but they put a deathly grip on my legs and leave them itchy at the end of the day. 

My only gripe with Dapper Classics that their pin dots aren’t as well made as they could be. After a few washes, the dots started to fuzz. I’ve found this to happen on some of my other pin dots as well, namely those from Pantherella. In fact, Marcoliani’s pin dots are the only ones I’ve found to hold up well over time. For what it’s worth, however, Harry at Dapper Classics tells me they’re aware of this problem and are working with the manufacturer to fix it. This is a young company, after all, just two months old, so a few bumps on the road are to be expected.

Dapper Classics sells their socks for an even $20, with free shipping included. That’s a few bucks less than the current leading brands, and are seemingly just as respectable in quality. As I said, they also have the advantage of wearing cooler, which can be a blessing for men who are prone to getting sweaty feet on hot days. Harry says they’re also working on a 80/20 merino wool range that will retail around $22. It’s nice when I’m able to recommend something on its quality, and not just price, but it’s best when I can recommend something because of both. I’m rather pleased to say that I’m able to do that here. 

Over-the-Calf Socks
A reader emailed us yesterday about a new over-the-calf socks company he’s starting, and his message reminded me of this photo of Yale’s swim team in 1941. Of the four students pictured, two are shown wearing what seems to be over-the-calf socks, and one is clearly not. 
Over-the-calf socks are superior in that they stay up on your leg. Mid-calfs or anything shorter, on the other hand, get pushed down throughout the day as you walk, sit down, or otherwise move around. With dress trousers or even chinos, I recommend over-the-calfs for precisely the reason you see above. Even if you’re not sitting on the grass as this Yale student is doing, your pale, hairy legs can be exposed when you simply cross your legs or sit down on a chair. It really ruins an otherwise sharp look, in my opinion. 
For the moment, I recommend Marcoliani and Bresciani over-the-calfs, which you can buy though Kabbaz-Kelly, Howard Yount, and A Suitable Wardrobe. If you’re in San Francisco, I also recommend The Hound, who sell them for a couple dollars less than what you can find online. At $22-35 a pair or so, however, they’re pretty expensive. I’ve mostly phased my purchases over time - purchasing them whenever I get the urge to buy something, but not wanting to waste money on impulse buys. 
Less expensive are Pantherella and Gold Toe. The first is decent, but the second less so. I’ve found my Gold Toes to be considerably less comfortable and durable, but at least they’re priced accordingly. 
Anyway, the reader said his new company aims at making something that competes with Pantherella in terms of price, but exceeds them in terms of quality. He’s sending me a few pairs to check out, so I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Over-the-Calf Socks

A reader emailed us yesterday about a new over-the-calf socks company he’s starting, and his message reminded me of this photo of Yale’s swim team in 1941. Of the four students pictured, two are shown wearing what seems to be over-the-calf socks, and one is clearly not. 

Over-the-calf socks are superior in that they stay up on your leg. Mid-calfs or anything shorter, on the other hand, get pushed down throughout the day as you walk, sit down, or otherwise move around. With dress trousers or even chinos, I recommend over-the-calfs for precisely the reason you see above. Even if you’re not sitting on the grass as this Yale student is doing, your pale, hairy legs can be exposed when you simply cross your legs or sit down on a chair. It really ruins an otherwise sharp look, in my opinion. 

For the moment, I recommend Marcoliani and Bresciani over-the-calfs, which you can buy though Kabbaz-Kelly, Howard Yount, and A Suitable Wardrobe. If you’re in San Francisco, I also recommend The Hound, who sell them for a couple dollars less than what you can find online. At $22-35 a pair or so, however, they’re pretty expensive. I’ve mostly phased my purchases over time - purchasing them whenever I get the urge to buy something, but not wanting to waste money on impulse buys. 

Less expensive are Pantherella and Gold Toe. The first is decent, but the second less so. I’ve found my Gold Toes to be considerably less comfortable and durable, but at least they’re priced accordingly. 

Anyway, the reader said his new company aims at making something that competes with Pantherella in terms of price, but exceeds them in terms of quality. He’s sending me a few pairs to check out, so I’ll let you know how it goes. 

(Source: menoftheivyleague)


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. 
For $50 You Can Buy …
It’s been a while since I did one of these entries, so I thought I’d make up for it by building an entire ensemble for fall, head-to-toe, out of things you can buy for under $50. 
Shirt: Ralph Lauren Rugby has this "antique striped shirt" on sale for $49.99. I’m not crazy about Rugby’s designs when they have a bunch of collegiate stripes and emblems, but this one is simple enough. It also looks like it could go quite well with most casual ensembles. 
Pants: Sierra Trading Post has a bunch of Bill’s Khakis in a variety of colors and fabrics, and this vintage twill in olive would make for a nice fall chino. They cost $79.95 right now, but if you sign up for their DealFlyer newsletter, you’ll get their “special coupon” notices. Lately, they’ve been giving 35% off any one item, which brings these down to about $52 (hey, I’m just $2 off, cut me some slack). Depending on how skinny your legs are, these may need some tapering, however, so you should account for that cost. 
Belt: Narragansett Leathers makes handsome, custom-made belts for under $50. They have a variety of styles, but I like their plain 1.25” belts the most. If you want something more unique, they also have double ring and hoof pick belts for about the same price.
Shoes: It’s hard finding shoes for under $50! Obviously, if you’re willing to pay $100+, and look on eBay, then all sorts of decent options are available to you. For under $50, however, I’ll recommend these Land’s End chukkas. I’m not crazy about the stitching on the back quarters of the shoe, but they’re advertised as being full grain leather, and only cost $49.95. 
Wallet: I really like Chester Mox wallets. They’re completely handmade, built from Horween leather, and produced by a family in Los Angeles that has been working with leather for over a decade. Right now they’re running a promotion where they’ll etch your name or initials into the wallet for free (use the code FREEPRSLZ at the end of the Paypal checkout process). They have a bunch of designs for under $50, but this model only costs $35. A customized, handmade wallet for $35 ain’t bad. 
Watch: Big faced Timex, you got two of those. Well, at least that’s how many you can have for $50. Get the Easy Reader model for $20.24 on Overstock.com. If that one sells out, just check out their other Timex options. Many of them can be had for about $25 each.
Socks: You can get a pair of Gold Toe socks for about $3 at Belt Outlet. Read my review of them here. 
Key fob: This is a bit of a superfluous purchase, but the leather is 225 years old, and it was found at the bottom of a sunken ship! For $24, it’s a pretty cool thing to carry around. You can read more about the special leather in this old article I wrote. 
There we have it. Head-to-toe everything you need for fall, and nearly every item costs less than $50. It’s not the most sartorial of looks, but not bad for a budget. 

For $50 You Can Buy …

It’s been a while since I did one of these entries, so I thought I’d make up for it by building an entire ensemble for fall, head-to-toe, out of things you can buy for under $50. 

  • Shirt: Ralph Lauren Rugby has this "antique striped shirt" on sale for $49.99. I’m not crazy about Rugby’s designs when they have a bunch of collegiate stripes and emblems, but this one is simple enough. It also looks like it could go quite well with most casual ensembles.
  • Pants: Sierra Trading Post has a bunch of Bill’s Khakis in a variety of colors and fabrics, and this vintage twill in olive would make for a nice fall chino. They cost $79.95 right now, but if you sign up for their DealFlyer newsletter, you’ll get their “special coupon” notices. Lately, they’ve been giving 35% off any one item, which brings these down to about $52 (hey, I’m just $2 off, cut me some slack). Depending on how skinny your legs are, these may need some tapering, however, so you should account for that cost. 
  • Belt: Narragansett Leathers makes handsome, custom-made belts for under $50. They have a variety of styles, but I like their plain 1.25” belts the most. If you want something more unique, they also have double ring and hoof pick belts for about the same price.
  • Shoes: It’s hard finding shoes for under $50! Obviously, if you’re willing to pay $100+, and look on eBay, then all sorts of decent options are available to you. For under $50, however, I’ll recommend these Land’s End chukkas. I’m not crazy about the stitching on the back quarters of the shoe, but they’re advertised as being full grain leather, and only cost $49.95. 
  • Wallet: I really like Chester Mox wallets. They’re completely handmade, built from Horween leather, and produced by a family in Los Angeles that has been working with leather for over a decade. Right now they’re running a promotion where they’ll etch your name or initials into the wallet for free (use the code FREEPRSLZ at the end of the Paypal checkout process). They have a bunch of designs for under $50, but this model only costs $35. A customized, handmade wallet for $35 ain’t bad.
  • Watch: Big faced Timex, you got two of those. Well, at least that’s how many you can have for $50. Get the Easy Reader model for $20.24 on Overstock.com. If that one sells out, just check out their other Timex options. Many of them can be had for about $25 each.
  • Socks: You can get a pair of Gold Toe socks for about $3 at Belt Outlet. Read my review of them here.
  • Key fob: This is a bit of a superfluous purchase, but the leather is 225 years old, and it was found at the bottom of a sunken ship! For $24, it’s a pretty cool thing to carry around. You can read more about the special leather in this old article I wrote

There we have it. Head-to-toe everything you need for fall, and nearly every item costs less than $50. It’s not the most sartorial of looks, but not bad for a budget. 

We Got It For Free: Gold Toe Socks
I’m somewhat of a sock evangelist. To me, some of the worst sartorial transgressions have nothing to do with flip-flops and hooded zip-ups. If someone doesn’t care much about their appearance, I say let them be. The worst transgressions are when someone puts in the effort, but then skimps on things they think the rest of the world won’t notice - like socks. 
It is noticeable, however. Cheap hosieries will frizz, have an ugly, matte cotton appearance, and look much like colored gym socks. They also tend to be short and have weak elastic banding, so they slouch and sit near your ankles, thus leaving your pale, bare calf exposed when you sit down. Moreover, because they’re made of cheap materials and have poor construction, they’re quicker to develop holes at the toe seam. Given these problems, I’ve never understood why men are more willing to spend another $100 on a shirt or tie they don’t need when the same amount could go into rehauling their sock wardrobe. 
So when the nice folks at Belt Outlet offered to send me some Gold Toe socks to review, I happily obliged. They sent six pairs: over-the-calfs in wool and mercerized cotton, as well as mid-calfs in tweed, pima cotton, and two kinds (1, 2) of wools.  I’ve been wearing them for a month now and by far the best performers have been the over-the-calfs in wool or mercerized cotton. 
First Dimension to Quality: Do Your Socks Stay Up?
There are two primary dimensions to the quality of socks. The first is whether they stay nicely stretched over your leg the entire day. In this regard, Gold Toe’s over-the-calfs are best. Since they don’t sit below the calf muscle like mid-calf socks, they won’t be pushed down by your calves as you walk. The only downside to over-the-calfs is that they’re more likely to stick to the back of your trousers if you’re wearing lightweight wools with a bit of nap, like flannel. This shouldn’t be a problem with most of your trousers, however. 
Gold Toe mid-calfs were OK. They perform better than many other mid-calf socks in their price range. Throughout a day, I would only have to adjust my socks maybe two or three times. If left alone, they wouldn’t slouch so low as to expose my calf, but they would fall down enough that some of the excess material would bunch a little at the bottom. 
Second Dimension to Quality: Material Composition
The other important dimension is the material composition in a pair of socks. Wool here is the best since it helps keep your feet warm during the winter and wick sweat in the summer. It also has more “spring back” than cotton, so the material won’t flatten out at the end of the day and look shiny. If you do buy cotton socks, I strongly recommend the mercerized versions. Mercerization is a chemical process that increases the cotton’s luster, strength, affinity to dye, and resistance to mildew. Contrast this with the pimas, which are more likely to flatten out, get wet, stay wet, feel slimy, and then bunch up in the process. 
The problem with Gold Toe’s wools, however, is that they’re mixed with more nylon than higher-end socks. My Marcoliani socks, for example, are either 100% wool or an 80/20 mix of wool and nylon. These Gold Toes are around 60/40. When nylon is added to a pair of wool socks, it improves how well the socks stretch, which adds to durability, but when too much is added, the material is more prone to break. After two washes, for example, I can already see some breakage at the cuff. 
Conclusion
Despite the breakage, the big advantage here is the quality to price ratio. Gold Toes will cost you about $4-7 a pair, whereas Marcolianis will cost about $20-25. Many men just aren’t able to spend that much for socks. For them, I think Gold Toes are an excellent buy. I recommend the over-the-calfs in wool or mercerized cotton in navy, as those will match anything. They’re only $6-7 a pair, which is pretty affordable. I guarantee once you give these a try, you’ll suddenly realize the inadequacy of your current hosiery. If you don’t believe me, read This Fits’ recent experience.  
To learn more about socks, check my extensive article here. 

We Got It For Free: Gold Toe Socks

I’m somewhat of a sock evangelist. To me, some of the worst sartorial transgressions have nothing to do with flip-flops and hooded zip-ups. If someone doesn’t care much about their appearance, I say let them be. The worst transgressions are when someone puts in the effort, but then skimps on things they think the rest of the world won’t notice - like socks. 

It is noticeable, however. Cheap hosieries will frizz, have an ugly, matte cotton appearance, and look much like colored gym socks. They also tend to be short and have weak elastic banding, so they slouch and sit near your ankles, thus leaving your pale, bare calf exposed when you sit down. Moreover, because they’re made of cheap materials and have poor construction, they’re quicker to develop holes at the toe seam. Given these problems, I’ve never understood why men are more willing to spend another $100 on a shirt or tie they don’t need when the same amount could go into rehauling their sock wardrobe. 

So when the nice folks at Belt Outlet offered to send me some Gold Toe socks to review, I happily obliged. They sent six pairs: over-the-calfs in wool and mercerized cotton, as well as mid-calfs in tweed, pima cotton, and two kinds (12) of wools.  I’ve been wearing them for a month now and by far the best performers have been the over-the-calfs in wool or mercerized cotton. 

First Dimension to Quality: Do Your Socks Stay Up?

There are two primary dimensions to the quality of socks. The first is whether they stay nicely stretched over your leg the entire day. In this regard, Gold Toe’s over-the-calfs are best. Since they don’t sit below the calf muscle like mid-calf socks, they won’t be pushed down by your calves as you walk. The only downside to over-the-calfs is that they’re more likely to stick to the back of your trousers if you’re wearing lightweight wools with a bit of nap, like flannel. This shouldn’t be a problem with most of your trousers, however. 

Gold Toe mid-calfs were OK. They perform better than many other mid-calf socks in their price range. Throughout a day, I would only have to adjust my socks maybe two or three times. If left alone, they wouldn’t slouch so low as to expose my calf, but they would fall down enough that some of the excess material would bunch a little at the bottom. 

Second Dimension to Quality: Material Composition

The other important dimension is the material composition in a pair of socks. Wool here is the best since it helps keep your feet warm during the winter and wick sweat in the summer. It also has more “spring back” than cotton, so the material won’t flatten out at the end of the day and look shiny. If you do buy cotton socks, I strongly recommend the mercerized versions. Mercerization is a chemical process that increases the cotton’s luster, strength, affinity to dye, and resistance to mildew. Contrast this with the pimas, which are more likely to flatten out, get wet, stay wet, feel slimy, and then bunch up in the process. 

The problem with Gold Toe’s wools, however, is that they’re mixed with more nylon than higher-end socks. My Marcoliani socks, for example, are either 100% wool or an 80/20 mix of wool and nylon. These Gold Toes are around 60/40. When nylon is added to a pair of wool socks, it improves how well the socks stretch, which adds to durability, but when too much is added, the material is more prone to break. After two washes, for example, I can already see some breakage at the cuff. 

Conclusion

Despite the breakage, the big advantage here is the quality to price ratio. Gold Toes will cost you about $4-7 a pair, whereas Marcolianis will cost about $20-25. Many men just aren’t able to spend that much for socks. For them, I think Gold Toes are an excellent buy. I recommend the over-the-calfs in wool or mercerized cotton in navy, as those will match anything. They’re only $6-7 a pair, which is pretty affordable. I guarantee once you give these a try, you’ll suddenly realize the inadequacy of your current hosiery. If you don’t believe me, read This Fits’ recent experience.  

To learn more about socks, check my extensive article here

John from Reading sent us this picture of an outfit he wore to work the other day.  In many ways, it’s a pretty quiet, straightforward work outfit, but John was proud to point out that he’d spent only $150 or so on the whole ensemble, soup to nuts.
Here’s his breakdown:
Jacket - Lands End Overstock - $500 down to $80 Shirt - Gitman Brothers - Thrift Store - $3 Trousers - Bills Khakis - Warehouse sale - $20 (I live in Reading PA) Belt - Brooks Brothers - Salvation Army Family Store - $1 Shoes - Cole Haan - $200 down to $50 Socks - Gold Toe - Clearance bin - $3 Tie - 100% Silk, made in USA, UPenn store - Flea Market in a retirement  home - 25 cents Silk Pocket Square -  Yard Sale - 50 cents
That’s something we can get behind.

John from Reading sent us this picture of an outfit he wore to work the other day.  In many ways, it’s a pretty quiet, straightforward work outfit, but John was proud to point out that he’d spent only $150 or so on the whole ensemble, soup to nuts.

Here’s his breakdown:

Jacket - Lands End Overstock - $500 down to $80
Shirt - Gitman Brothers - Thrift Store - $3
Trousers - Bills Khakis - Warehouse sale - $20 (I live in Reading PA)
Belt - Brooks Brothers - Salvation Army Family Store - $1
Shoes - Cole Haan - $200 down to $50
Socks - Gold Toe - Clearance bin - $3
Tie - 100% Silk, made in USA, UPenn store - Flea Market in a retirement home - 25 cents
Silk Pocket Square -  Yard Sale - 50 cents

That’s something we can get behind.

Eight Days of Style
Reader Lucy wrote to us to ask that we suggest eight super-basic, affordable Hanukkah gifts for her boyfriend “to replace his stained light-wash jeans and Nine Inch Nails t-shirts.”  We’ll offer one choice for each day the oil burned.
Get him some socks!  For the most basic of socks, we recommend Gold Toe.  Quality at an affordable price.  Keep those gym socks off his feet for about $3 or $4 a pair.

Eight Days of Style

Reader Lucy wrote to us to ask that we suggest eight super-basic, affordable Hanukkah gifts for her boyfriend “to replace his stained light-wash jeans and Nine Inch Nails t-shirts.”  We’ll offer one choice for each day the oil burned.

Get him some socks!  For the most basic of socks, we recommend Gold Toe.  Quality at an affordable price.  Keep those gym socks off his feet for about $3 or $4 a pair.