Buy Man Wear At Department Stores, Not Boutiques

If you need to fill out that whole corporate casual section in your closet, save some bucks by shopping in a department store. Blueprint for Financial Prosperity writes:

A nice button down shirt (for someone in their twenties) should cost you between $20 and $30 a piece. I usually try to go with wrinkle-free or iron-free shirts because they require little to no ironing.

Personally, we’re urban, lazy and enjoy returning clothes by mail., but people living in more normal parts of America where they have things called malls may find this useful.

Also, if you’re unable to live without a new piece from Banana Republic or Express, trying hitting the department stores first. Get your basics covered and then, if you have money left over, go to one of the boutiquey joints.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Timbojones says:

    I prefer thrift and vintage stores.

  2. Timbojones says:

    Used clothes FTW!

  3. RumorsDaily says:

    Thrift and vintage stores don’t have my size. Damn my long legs. Sure, I can see better in a crowd, but it’s a pain to buy a pair of pants.

    Also, when you buy new clothes, you can be moderately certain that nobody ever died in them.

  4. SpamFighterLoy says:

    My first reaction to this post and the linked post: Well, duh!

  5. Sam Glover says:

    For the record, a “good” button-down shirt costs a lot more than $30, and is definitely not wrinkle- and iron-free. If you’ve ever ironed your own shirts, you can tell there is a world of difference between a $20-30 dress shirt and a $70-100 dress shirt. A more expensive shirt is made of better, more durable fabric that holds its (usually better) color and shape for longer, and wears far better.

    However, if you just are too lazy to care for your clothes, a friend of mine buys the nice wash ‘n’ wear shirts and has them tailored so they fit like a much nicer shirt. Still, it’s easy to tell a wash ‘n’ wear shirt from a good-quality shirt at 100 paces.

  6. Sam Glover says:

    Also, if you shop the sales racks at BR, you can easily spend less than $20 on their dress shirts, which are far better than a JC Penney shirt. And if you are careful, you can find superior-quality shirts at upscale department stores like Neimann Marcus. I just bought a $150 Alexandre dress shirt for $45 at Macy’s, for example. Not bad!

  7. duckcreek99 says:

    Where can I find regular jeans? I bought a pair at Wal-Mart, just like the ones I bought before, but a size smaller (I lost weight). I went home, tried them on and my belly button shows! I am too old for this! I just want a cheap comfortable pair of regular blue jeans with regular legs, not flared out.

  8. I’ve never seen a dress shirt on the BR sale racks near me and certainly never any of the dress shirts that sell normally for $60. I understand Sam’s perspective since he’s a lawyer but your typical professional, especially one in their 20s, will likely not appreciate the “differences” between a $20-30 shirt and a $209384029384029384932 one.

  9. RumorsDaily says:

    YouTube… when?

  10. RumorsDaily says:

    Wrong place, sorry.

  11. Lars says:

    Outlets are your friends. Brooks Brothers outlet basically sells the same quality shirts as their flagship stores for $40-50. At least in MA that is.

  12. Not to sound snotty, but one more thing about the superior quality of more expensive shirts (and clothing in general) – Banana Republic and Express are certainly not “boutiques.” Gucci, YSL, Dolce – those are boutiques.

    Incidentally, if you want to spend a little more (50-100 range depending on sales and style) for a wonderful, no-hassle shirt, the Brooks Brothers non-iron and INCREDIBLE. High quality, come out of the dryer looking pressed. They wrinkle like a regular shirt, but no need to iron. Great stuff.

  13. billhelm says:

    wow, groundbreaking material here.

  14. Anonymously says:

    Meanwhile, ABC just had a report where a Neimann Marcus t-shirt for $95 developed rips after only a few washings.

    If I had my choice between whether a laywer can tell if I look good at 100 paces or whether I can spend an extra couple days on vacation, I’ll take the vacation time.

  15. max andrews says:

    I find express dress shirts very reasonably priced. I had taken many trips to various department stores in search of some dress clothes I could wear to my cousin’s Bat mitzvah. I couldn’t find anything I liked or that was reasonable at Macy’s Nordstroms, etc. But I was crusing the mall with my friends and for the first time, looked around an express for men. It took me about ten seconds to find the best looking and most comfortable pair of dress pants I’ve ever had, and they were only $50. I also got two nice dress shirts for $25 each, and a few pairs of jeans that I love.
    I more recently went to the NYC express store and had a less than stellar experience, but the clothes are still good.

  16. Falconfire says:

    Any shirt over 30 bucks is buying into hype… not truth.

    There are a number of studies on the internet and by consumer rags that show unless your buying 100+ dollar shirts, the 90 dollar ones are made by the exact same machines that the 20 dollar ones are and just get a differenrt lable.

    If you want to bet me on it, Ill take you to where Gucci AND Walmart makes theirs. Same place, same line.

  17. spitrowski says:

    I find this whole discussion to be very metrosexual. When did all men become so gay? Anyone spending that much time worrying about how fresh and vibrant their shirt looks should be pickle smuggling (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  18. I used to buy Banana Republic dress shirts- which do exist, and can easily be found on sale for $30. I have since graduated to seeking Ben Sherman and Ted Baker dress shirts. You can find Ted Baker shirts normally for $250 in the $50 at Saks & Neiman Marcus Outlets. ANd anyone who can’t tel lthe difference between a $200 Ted Baker shirt and a $30 JC Penny Shirt is blind.

  19. Triteon says:

    It’s not where you shop or how much you spend, it’s when you shop. I found some great Kenneth Cole shirts– $120 list retail– on clearance at Dillard’s (of all places) for $15 a while back. A fine shirt that doesn’t get washed, because good clothes are dry cleaned.

  20. Falconfire – I would love to bet you on it, because the chances of finding a Gucci shirt for less than a couple Benjamin’s at retail is just beneath snowball(hell) range. Walmart shirts are made in China, Cambodia, Laos, whatever, anything from Gucci will be France/Italy, where skilled workers are getting paid a living wage in decent conditions.

  21. Shirts made by a tailor, are the best. You get to pick the fabric, which determines the price. Plus, you get a unique piece, custom made to your measurements.

    There’s no comparison between a shirt that actually fits. and is of superior quality, and a shirt off the rack, that was mass manufcatured for a generic body type.