The Guide to Quality Menswear

Quality Menswear is something that’s less discussed upon. Should we buy cheap/low-quality clothing that would not last long or should we shop for expensive/high or moderate quality clothing which may last long? Before we dig into it, we have to consider our budget, not all of us are loaded with money to spend on clothing.

Cheap/low-quality wear

We often consider Cheap/low-quality wear for a shorter period of time, as we can change them periodically without having to worry about the money spent. For example buying cheap/low-quality suit, tie, blazer, or even shoes. This is often done by people who aren’t very particular about how they’ve dressed up or just plain ignorant gents. But what they forget that it hurts in the long run. As the cost per wear of an expensive shirt is lesser than a poor quality cheap shirt.

Expensive/Average quality wear

The second category is expensive/average quality wear, most of the high street or mediocre fashion brands are guilty of this. With rising manufacturing and logistic costs, the companies find it difficult to maintain quality. For example a polyester shirt or synthetic leather shoe. You pay for the logo but not the quality. This is majorly done by the people who are highly brand conscious, but less into dressing well. As consumer menswear, it is up to us to have the knowledge on Cost per wear and brand value Part-I to choose the right piece in our budget.

Moderately Priced/ Good quality wear

The key to Moderately priced/ good quality wear is we need a little patience and a bit of knowledge. By patience I mean, a man must look around and try what makes him feel good and worth his hard-earned money. By knowledge I mean, he must know a little about his fabric and the right sizes. We men often buy a size larger. A Levi’s 511 is a perfect example of cost per wear, its a classic with great brand value and fit. Jeans is a piece of clothing on which you can spend a little, like a pair of Selvedge denim.

what to avoid

  1. 100% polyester
  2. Synthetic leather
  3. Expensive man-made fabrics.

The above 3 are the biggest sins of cost per wear as they are just not worth it. The 3 are cheap man-made materials that cost very less and of poor quality. Just for the sake of the brand name we end up paying more. Some people are just blind to fall into the rut of “BRAND” centric shopping.

what to prefer

  1. 100% natural materials like cotton or linen.
  2. Real leather
  3. wool or silk

The above 3 are the most important thing to consider in menswear when it comes to quality. You might get a higher initial cost, but they are totally worth it in the long run. As these would last longer and have a higher quality look and feel. Plus you don’t have to change the way your closet looks every now and then. Always remember “Classic pieces over Trends”.

Reading Labels

Reading the instructions and fabric labels are as important as choosing the item itself. The label reads exactly what is it made of right from the outer to the inner shell. It could range anything from wool to cotton to polyester. If it says the outer shell is polyester and you’re paying a high price for it, it’s not worth it. Polyester is a man-made fabric and absorbs more heat, it makes no sense paying higher prices. Most of the linings or inner shells are made of polyester these days as it cuts cost. If the outer is made of wool, cotton, or linen, it is quite obvious that it’ll be expensive as these fabrics are natural. This would give you a lower cost per wear and longer lifespan.

Some Natural Fabrics

  1. Cotton
  2. Linen
  3. Wool

Some Man-Made Fabrics

  1. Nylon
  2. Polyester
  3. Acrylic

Brand Value

The retail or online market in menswear has a plethora of options, which makes it more difficult to choose. The wider range and never-ending trends make shopping a hassle. We should stick to classics known for their quality. For an example for my Indian reader, we can always rely on brands like Raymond and Titan, as these have been around for years and are affordable with decent quality. We always have renowned menswear brands like Levi’s, RayBan, Casio, Hushpuppies, and the list can go on and on.

Below are some honorable mentions

“YOU MUST BUY THE BEST THAT YOU CAN AFFORD”

A MAN must always invest in Classic pieces like white sneakers, a pea coat or a nice timepiece to name a few. As these classic pieces will anchor his whole look. In Cost per wear & brand value Part II we suggest if even other pieces are average and inexpensive, the anchor pieces will always make them look classy, elegant, and well put together.

Cost per wear explained

To explain cost per wear I would like to take INR (Indian rupee) a hypothetical example. For instance, an average quality, off the rack Button-down oxford cloth shirt costs 1000 INR and you wear in 10 times a year would bring the cost per wear to 100 INR whereas a nice tailored cotton shirt will cost 1500 INR but you would wear it often considering the fit, quality, and bundle of compliments that you would get and you wear it 30 times in a year would bring the cost per wear to 50 INR per wear. Hence it never hurts to buy slightly expensive clothing which is high in quality. Cheap clothes look and feel cheap and may cost you more in the long run.

What to spend on and what to skimp on

Accessories are something that I highly recommend everyone to spend on, Shoes, belts, pocket squares, ties, sunglasses, etc. As these upgrade your outfit and can take you from an average to a dandy. The thing that you can really skimp upon are T-shirts, socks and flip flops. you can prefer these in plain cotton and rubber respectively as these have a lower life expectancy.

Of course, use your head and choose wisely

Buying quality stuff should not be rocket science and neither should burn a hole in our pockets. We must prioritize and shop according to our needs and budget. A 150$ polyester shirt from the high street store might not last long, but maybe a well-tailored 75$ cotton shirt might last longer. You can prefer shopping for good quality suiting and shirting and take it to a good tailor. This would not just fit well but also look great, this especially goes for my Indian readers where tailoring is quite affordable. Things to keep in mind

  1. Tailoring goes a long way
  2. Do some window shopping before you buy it.
  3. Wait for the sale season, but not when it’s a statement piece.
  4. Go for quality, not the brand.
  5. Accessories are important. Period.

This Guide on menswear is made to help readers to take a wise decisions before buying a certain piece of clothing or accessories. As many times we just go out there without considering the fact if it’s worth it or not. I believe its helpful and do leave me comments or let me know if there’s anything specific you would want me to write.

2 thoughts on “The Guide to Quality Menswear”

  1. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal site now 😉

    1. Hey there, Thanks for your comment. Yes, you would see more high-quality content here. I am truly glad to see that I can motivate others.

      Keep Writing

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