Dress Like a Baller for a Fraction of the Price (Brand + How To Guide)

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Hopefully this guide will save monkeys some money and avoid the fuckups I made. Basically, you can score expensive $$$ clothing for way way less than what you would think. This doesn't mean cheap, but it does mean you should be able to find $8000 suits for ~$700 - $1200 by the time you finish with this guide and shirts that are $500 - $700 for ~$100/$150.

We're going to be searching the vast universe of the interwebz to find you dope shit at great prices, so please obtain the below first:

  • You need to know the measurements of a shirt that fits you best.
  • Measurements of a suit jacket that fits you best.
  • Measurements of pants that fit you best.
  • Some level of patience.
  • A good tailor you trust. You don't want someone nuking your Attolini/Kiton jacket!!!

Measurements

For the measurement portion, here's a good guide: How to measure a garment. There are also loads on YouTube if you're still lost.

Tailors

Since you almost always want things tailored after buying them, here are some general rules of thumb...

  • Nailing shoulders on a sportcoat/suit jacket are the most important thing as an error in fit here will cause the most issues for your tailor.
  • A lot of pants can easily be let out, but bringing them in can be a little tricky since pocket positions start moving.
  • If you're in good shape and have a solid V taper, you WILL run into issues buying suits because you'll end up buying a "large" suit jacket that comes with pants that are too big in most cases. Can be a huge pain.
  • If you're in-between sizes or unsure what size to go with, always size up because it's easier to bring something in than to let it out.

Where to search:

  • Lyst.com - Good aggregator. Can sometimes miss things though. I like starting here usually.
  • The Real Real - Used site but look for NWT. That means new with tags/unused.
  • eBay. Look for items that are new with tags or have a factory defect. A defect can be something as small as a tiny discoloration which can makes an 80%+ discount (!!!) totally worth it. eBay is where you'll likely find the best deals.
  • Discount retailers/outlets. Yoox, Shop the Finest, Barney's, Nordstrom Rack, Saks, etc... can have good deals occasionally.

General Notes on Wardrobe Construction:

  • Think every piece through when you first start buying. Try to pick up pieces that work well with other things you own.
  • Blues, browns and greys are nice because they pair up with a variety of colors.
  • Knits can be hard to take care of and fragile.
  • Don't buy trendy bullshit, at least initially. Focus on classics. This is where you'll get the best bang for buck too. Grab a sportcoat that's a season or two old and save some srs $$$.

Brands to Look For (Traditional Business Clothing)

  • Cesare Attolini - Some of the best clothing available. Their cut is more structured than what you'd usually find from an Italian made suit. Not as structured as a British made suit but definitely moreso than say...Kiton/Isaia. Anything made by them is amazing. I've had great experiences with their suits, shirts and jeans. With patience you can find a full Attolini suit for $800 - $1400. Keep in mind these usually have a sticker price of $8000+ new. Shirts/pants can be found for $100 - $200 all day long.
  • Kiton - Same deal as Attolini quality wise except with more of a classic Italian slim fit. I've had great experiences with their sport coats and pants. Generally easier to find at lower price points NWT than Attolini too.
  • Oxxford. Very well made American suits. Personally not a fan of the cuts but quality is on par with the above.
  • Brioni - I don't have much experience with them outside of a few suits but they tend to have more of an "old man friendly" cut. Good if you're on the heftier side of things. I've been more impressed with the Kiton and Attolini pieces I've picked up but Brioni is very good quality wise too.
  • Isaia - My favorite brand. Great quality and you can find their stuff at amazing prices NWT. Just scored an unworn $3000 sport coat for $400 the other day that was about a season old and I probably overpaid slightly. They have a classic Italian slim fit and are known for their fun patterns. Amazing sport coats. Shirts are solid quality wise too but I'd probably rather opt for Attolini/Kiton before Isaia.
  • Zegna/Tom Ford - Zegna has a ton of different quality levels. Stay the fuck away from ZZegna. Their Couture line is really nice but I've never had great luck finding good deals on Zegna stuff and IMO it's kind of boring. Throwing Tom Ford in here because his stuff is made by Zegna. Hard to find good deals on because he's a little trendy right now. Pretty aggressive cut, generous lapels, etc...IMO you're definitely paying a bit of premium for the Tom Ford brand.
  • Eton. Just throwing this in here for their shirts. They are my favorite because of the built in collar stays and wrinkle-resistant fabric. Amazing shirts and you can find them new for as little as $40. I prefer them to my Attolini shirts, especially when travelling, just because of how easy they are to take care of.

Other brands:

  • Brunello Cucinneli - I love their clothing. Known for their knits but they have tons of gorgeous pieces. If you're in an office environment that allows business casual then look here for sure. I have a sport coat from them that I love too.
  • Paul Smith - Makes some fun stuff. They've had a few different sub-brands and quality on those can be hit or miss. I have a shirt and wallet from them, both well made but for the price I would rather more Kiton/Attolini.
  • Canali - Well made. Have some experience with their jackets but IMO you get more bang for buck when buying NWT elsewhere.
  • Etro - Cool shirts and widely known for their paisley patterns. Not impressed with their suits/sportscoats for the money personally. They have some really cool overcoats and jackets that I love. Only buy at steep discounts!
  • Eidos - Made by Isaia as their less formal line of clothing. Have put out some really cool pieces and can be found cheap NWT on eBay.

A note on accessories:

I recommend buying most of your accessories like watches and ties used - ESPECIALLY watches. Get good at feeling out watch prices and buying them, and you can make some decent cash while owning great pieces. I have a 6 figure watch collection that I can flip for 30% - 40% more than I paid. All it took was some patience. Ties you can find all day at a fraction of what they go for new.

Hope that helps!!!

Comments (55)

May 13, 2019

this is great, thanks for posting

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May 13, 2019

Thanks for fixing my horrendous formatting. thanks

May 13, 2019

Interesting and useful post. The fashion section needs more action like this.

May 13, 2019

what are some of the best websites to find used watches?

    • 1
May 13, 2019

Not necessarily used per se but websites like Jomashop have good discounts on real watches.

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Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

May 14, 2019

Can confirm Jomashop is solid. I bought a (new) Hamilton for a few hundred (which was roughly 40% off what I was finding elsewhere). They also have a ton of sales so it's only a matter of time until the one you've been eyeing gets hit with a 30% discount.

    • 1
May 13, 2019

WatchuSeek, eBay, etc...

May 14, 2019

Chrono24 bruh

    • 2
May 14, 2019

Check the forums - RolexForum dot com and OmegaForums dot net are good ones to start with. I bought my Omega on the latter and was very pleased. They are typically better prices than buying in the "grey market" on some sites mentioned by others and the users are vetted by the community. You can buy with confidence after doing a quick check of the sellers' references.

I'd recommend doing your research on the "grey market" sites before buying as I've heard some horror stories.

    • 1
May 15, 2019

Chrono24. Bought a bunch from them

Cash and cash equivalents: $138,311
Financial instruments and other inventory positions owned: $448,166

May 16, 2019

Huuuuge +1 on Chrono24

May 13, 2019

Any suggestions for investment-grade watches outside of the norm (Rolex, Patek, Cartier, etc...)

May 13, 2019

Sohne is great and one of my favorites, same with Baume & Mercier. Rolex is by far the most liquid though.

May 13, 2019

I got an automatic Tissot a while ago. Not really a brand known for luxury with the watch only costing ~$1,000, but I get complements on it all the time and it looks more expensive then it actually is.

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May 15, 2019

I bought a Tissot as my first real watch and it is always solid. Minimal to no maintenance required and just has a clean look. Tissot makes the movements for many swatch group watches, so you get the same movement for cheap. Its how I met my girlfriend, so its always a nice conversation piece when i'm with her,

May 14, 2019

Omega, Breitling, IWC, Jager, A Lange & Sohne (grail)

As mentioned, Rolex is most liquid and the sport watch market is on fire... GMTs and Submariners have increased 33% in the past few months in the secondary market on the forums...

    • 1
May 14, 2019

What do you think about Vacheron Constantin?

Jul 3, 2019

I love my Baume & Mercier Clifton. Classy and not as common as some other watches in its price range. Saving up for either a Rolex or a JLC, but that wont happen at least until next bonus time.

Most Helpful
May 13, 2019

I am a huge advocate of buying secondhand and on eBay in particular.

The most important thing I feel you need to watch out for is the seller rating. Do they have generally good reviews (95%+) or are they a new seller? This is the only major point of caution I would be careful with but it is pretty simple.

I get a lot of NWT or NWOT stuff through eBay. Recently I scored an awesome Baume & Mercier Classima (from the watch snob recommendations thread) for about half off of new retail. A penny saved is a penny earned!

    • 3
May 13, 2019

Yep! And when you're being taxed a penny saved is more than a penny earned! :)

May 13, 2019

Best place to find Brunello?

May 13, 2019

The sites I listed will have it. Scored an NWT Cucinelli sportcoat for like 15% of retail sticker the other day! :)

May 14, 2019

Real Real has a ton of Brunello. If you're in NYC they have an awesome store in SoHo so you can try everything on as brands like this are a little tricky to size. Got a Loro Piana jacket there for about 1/4th of the price.

May 13, 2019

reading this likely just cost me thousands of $$$s.... I will now go waste a ton of money on clothes I don't need 99% of the time since I work in sweats/t shirt 364 days out of the year.

damn you! amazing post :-)

    • 1
May 13, 2019

You know me haha. Same boat!!

May 14, 2019

Although this post is useful, It's really much easier than that. The way to go with suits is THAILAND. Search for Tony Tailors, 25 eur tailored shirt and 250 eur a full Casmere tailored suit (cotton ones are even cheaper).

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May 14, 2019

Quality is not remotely comparable. Brands like attolini and Kiton are the Ferrari of suits.

May 14, 2019

Quality is def comparable if not better. I tried both, and buying a cashmere suite in my city would cost you a minimum of 5.000 euros.

May 14, 2019

I agree with this, with the caveat that you have to know what you are doing. I've had a bunch of stuff made on various trips to Thailand over the years, and the difference in quality has been stark. A few shirts that somehow or another still fit me decently despite my packing on quite a few pounds and suits that have lasted for years, and some other shirts that came out with sleeves too short and collars too skinny.

Take the time to do your research, and you can come out of it paying $400 for a suit that seems like it should cost $4,000.

    • 1
May 14, 2019

Great post. Seems I've had better luck than you with Canali: fits perfectly though the shoulders and needs minimal tailoring overall, so they kind of "have me at hello."

May 15, 2019

I have to ask this, is this all you wear or is this more bus casual/work wear? If not I would probably think you're the biggest d bag try hard ever. There's a certain vibe when it looks like you're trying too hard

May 15, 2019

Unless they're super nerdy about clothing, then they won't know how much your clothing costs. The only way someone would be able to tell you're wearing an Attolini polo for example would be by looking really hard at the buttons and button holes or the way it's sewn together. There's nothing overtly flashy about most of the brands I mentioned. Not like they ever have logos on display, etc...

Pull anyone off the street and they'll have no idea what Kiton or Attolini are.

Same reason I never buy flashy watch brands or anything gold/icy. Attracts the wrong kind of attention IMO.

May 15, 2019

Honestly, proven strategy by most of my coworkers; sign up for the Nordstrom credit card in the spring and get early access to their 1/2 yearly sale in June. You can get almost everything you need for 50-60% off (designer/high quality suits, dress pants, accessories with free tailoring for guys and gals) and your purchases accrue to points you can use towards other purchases or tailoring on any products.

Not to make a pitch for them, but its hidden gem but it works damn well and keeps money in your pocket - goal achieved.

May 16, 2019

Anyone can make this for Europe? Great post.

May 16, 2019

All of it applies to Europe. Most sellers on eBay are European and almost all the brands above are italian.

May 16, 2019

Do you really need to spend $800+ on a suit to look good? Couldn't I just buy a SuitSupply suit and tailor it? I'm just wondering what my marginal gain is if I upgrade brands to more luxurious ones in terms of look and quality

May 16, 2019

You absolutely do not. Suit Supply is great; pretty much the best bang for buck on a new suit.

Quality wise, the way a suit moves is pretty noticeable at the higher tiers and some of the fabrics are really cool (not even talking about super #s). By no means necessary though.

May 17, 2019

TLDR;

protip: fretting about your clothes is for the ladies, yo.

May 19, 2019

Makes networking way easier because people take you more seriously.

...if you're at a conference and a guy with a sohne approaches you then you are definitely not telling them to fuck off. :)

May 20, 2019

If I don't know what a sohne is.... can I tell him to fuck off anyway?

May 19, 2019

.

May 31, 2019

Thoughts on shoes? Both casual and for work?

Thanks

May 31, 2019

If you're ballsy...you can buy used and get a $1500+ shoe for like $100 but if you value hygiene then factory seconds are the best way to get good bang for buck. I'm not a big shoe guy as I have a weird fit. Almost all my stuff is Lobb.

Random thoughts on brands:

-Edward Green: Pricey but amazing quality wise. Better value for the money than John Lobb IMO.

-John Lobb: Great brand. Prices have gone way up and Edward Green is better for the money. Neither shoe is cheap though.

-Vass Custom. Relatively inexpensive way to get a custom shoe.

-Allen Edmonds. Used to be a better deal but quality has dropped over the last few years. Best way to buy them is via their dedicated site for factory seconds as you can get shoes way cheaper than normal.

-Random fashion brands like Ferragamo, Gucci, etc.... I'd personally rather just spend more and get something by Edward Green or John Lobb but YMMV.

Jun 10, 2019

What do you estimate your wardrobe is worth?

Jul 3, 2019
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Jun 27, 2019
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