Author Topic: Buy it for life clothes for men  (Read 3087 times)

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Buy it for life clothes for men
« on: November 08, 2018, 08:01:17 PM »
I searched but did not see such a thread here, but I'm almost certain there was one.

Anyway, I am very pleased with the several pairs of Darn Tough socks I bought two years ago. $20 for a pair is expensive, but they are indestructible, very comfortable, look good, and will last forever. I am looking for other men's clothes that will hold up as well and look good doing so, even if they are on the expensive side. I am looking for the whole gamut--jeans (BLACK only!), flannel shirts, dress shirts, polos, business casual attire--chinos, shoes, etc. I rarely wear ties; my job does not require it. However a sport coat/blazer would be of interest.

I pick up a shirt or two at the thrift store occasionally, and I also used to buy a lot of clothes from L.L. Bean. However, I think Bean's clothes have declined in quality in recent years; flannel shirts bought less than a decade ago are unraveling, and I don't really wear them all that often (It is always HOTTT! in th HELL A area).

I've looked at Patagonia, and did not see very much that appealed to me. I have one J. Crew pair of khaki slacks, and they seem to have held up quite well. Anyone heard of Proper Cloth?

Any suggestions appreciated. (I'm 6'1" and fairly slim) 

use2betrix

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2018, 08:21:49 PM »
I got a couple pairs of darn tough socks for Christmas a couple years ago and knew nothing about them until a few weeks ago. I wanted to get some more socks and realized ďthese darn tough socks Iíve worn a ton for a couple years still look, feel, and smell brand new.Ē So I looked into them more and learned about the warranty and quality. Of course, the price too, but after some realization of the quality, that was easily justifiable.

Along those lines - this year I have really got on board with a lot of ďbuy for lifeĒ clothing. It is NOT cheap, but the quality is easily there. For boots, I recommend red wings heritage line. Hand crafted in the US and can be re-soled. I have two pairs of iron rangers and a pair of moc toes. They age beautifully.

For clothes, my very first suggest is https://www.blueowl.us their return policy and customer service unreal. I have bought a TON there with flawless experiences. With your height and build you are good for these types of clothes. For flannels, they are the highest quality I have found. I just bought a Gitman vintage flannel that is extremely high quality.

Two other brands I love are Freenote Cloth and 3sixteen. They are both carried at blue owl, but both have their own sites as well. Depending where you live, they may have physical shops nearby. 3sixteen makes an amazing Jean jacket (type 3) which isnít a ďdressĒ blazer for sure, but it looks very very clean. Itís selvedge denim and again, ages beautifully. I have a pair of chinos from Freenote that look very nice.

HoustonSker

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 08:32:04 PM »
For shoes and boots, hit up Allen Edmonds seconds at shoebank.com.  The shoes are heavily marked down and generally have minor cosmetic imperfections.  I have multiple office shoes and boots from them, they can be resoled and last a lifetime if properly maintained. 

For blazers, I buy from eBay, specifically J Crew as I know my size.  For you, likely 38 long.  Good luck

Bucksandreds

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 04:27:46 AM »
I checked our blue owl and man are those prices high. Explain to me how one is better off paying $80 for a T-shirt at blue owl over paying $8 for one at T J Maxx? The $72 difference invested is far more than $72 when you need to replace the TJ Maxx shirt in 5 years. If you just want brand new expensive Ďbuy it for life clothingí then Iím all for living life on your terms.  I just donít think that itís frugal.

Cranky

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 05:44:19 AM »
There's a lot to be said for buying clothes at the thrift store - you can really tell what wears well and what doesn't.

chemistk

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2018, 06:01:42 AM »
Darn Tough wearers - How does the quality compare to Smart Wool? I wear synthetic wool socks year-round (super sweaty feet - only things keeping my shoes from being swamps) and can burn out a pair of Smart Wool in about 2 years, and the less expensive Sam's band synthetic/merino wool socks in about 9 to 12 months.

The toughest T-Shirts I have are ones I got for free in high school (Glidan, I believe). Followed closely by a bunch of Hanes t-shirts I bought at Walmart in college.

The best shoes I've had have been Asics, each pair has lasted me around 6 years.

Dress clothes? A few off-brand (or no tag, so who knows?) sweaters bought secondhand.

Pants? Puh-lease...if anyone can show me a pair of jeans that doesn't wear out after 2 years, but are business appropriate, point me in that direction!


use2betrix

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2018, 06:41:41 AM »
I checked our blue owl and man are those prices high. Explain to me how one is better off paying $80 for a T-shirt at blue owl over paying $8 for one at T J Maxx? The $72 difference invested is far more than $72 when you need to replace the TJ Maxx shirt in 5 years. If you just want brand new expensive Ďbuy it for life clothingí then Iím all for living life on your terms.  I just donít think that itís frugal.

You bring up several good points, and to an extent I agree with them all. While the quality of material is easily there in their t-shirts over something like TJ Maxx, thatís one example Iím not sure I would push for blue owl products over cheaper items.

There are some other items and reasons that I can justify say a $150 flannel over a $50 flannel. I own some flannels in both of those ranges. First, I believe the $150 flannel would easily last 3+ times a long as the cheap one. Not only that, is because itís so much thicker/heavier, it will perform better keeping you warm. Also, less likely to tear.

Also, many of these products are made in the US by US companies. A lot can be said for supporting craftsmen within our country. Not only that, in terms of waste, you arenít tossing old warm out clothes as often because they last longer.

Another good example is boots. As mentioned, I have a pie of Red Wing Moc Toes. Many companies make imitation Mocís. Walking through the mall last week, I saw another brands ďidenticalĒ shoes on a shelf. I picked them up, and they weighed 1/3 as much. The material and the sole was complete garbage. My wife and I just laughed because these were at a relatively ďname brandĒ store.Ē I am 100% positive my red wings are so much better built that they would outlast something like that enough to justify their value. My work boots are steel toe Thorogoods, also a moc toe, and made in the US. These are also expensive, but around $60 less than my red wings. Even with these, I can easily see a difference in the quality of the leather.

Again - Iím not going to come on this website and encourage everyone that they need to buy these expensive clothes. They have their ups and downs for sure, but I do think that in many senses the costs can be justified for certain items
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 07:43:31 AM by use2betrix »

Bird In Hand

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2018, 07:35:00 AM »
I find that most clothing lasts me a long time regardless of price.  Recently I purged a bunch of old trousers and dress shirts from my closet that I'd owned for 20+ years.  They were all in VG/excellent condition, but they didn't fit properly (now or then).  I've never worn out a blazer or sport coat -- probably because I don't wear them frequently enough.

Some clothing does wear out fairly frequently for me.  But I'm not convinced there are viable alternatives.  For example, my jeans tend to wear out in the knees after a few years of heavy use...but to make them last longer would (likely) require a heavyweight denim that isn't comfortable, or some synthetic material that doesn't breathe as well as cotton.  My socks cost $1-$2 a pair and wear out in 1-2 years.  I still think I'm coming out ahead $$-wise versus the $20 darn tough socks.

I am able to find reasonable quality clothing for such low prices that I'm almost never tempted to look at more expensive options and do a painstaking (for me) cost/benefit analysis.  A couple years ago I picked up several pairs of jeans at the Levis outlet for $5-$10 each, and I expect they will last me more than a decade in rotation -- despite the questionable materials and workmanship.  Over the last year I bought a few very decent quality dress shirts on Amazon that were discontinued patterns, for ~$15 each.  I also bought a $120 made-to-measure dress shirt for a special occasion, and the Amazon shirts are nearly the same quality.  All of them will probably be in my wardrobe in 10 years.

I don't wear leather dress shoes or leather work boots very often.  If I did, those are likely the items that I would consider buying very high quality/buy for life.

J Boogie

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2018, 08:07:24 AM »
In general, the quality of manufactured goods overall has decreased over the past few decades as MBAs have shown that greater profits can be made by taking a lot of shortcuts. Companies used to consider quality their first priority and profit more a less a way to continue following their north star of quality.

Companies have bet on the consumer not caring enough about these shortcuts to stop buying cheap products. And they were right. We quickly recover from the hangover of broken, shoddy garbage and we are ready to get drunk on cheap crap soon again.

And then when we see appropriately priced goods, we balk and we think of the baseline price in our minds. But the baseline is based on this now ubiquitous model of profit first, and only as much quality as we need to avoid jeopardizing our profits.

Filson.
Taylor Stitch.
Red Wing.
Mission Workshop.

I think the "hipster" trope is finally fading. It doesn't make you a hipster to reject the decrease in quality that can occur when things are mass produced and prefer higher quality. Maybe it does if you aren't really utilizing these goods, but simply using them to boost your image or a further a narrative you have about yourself, but who cares? If you believe in quality, good for you.

J Boogie

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2018, 08:11:14 AM »
  For example, my jeans tend to wear out in the knees after a few years of heavy use...but to make them last longer would (likely) require a heavyweight denim that isn't comfortable

I wear heavy jeans, and they're extremely comfortable after a week - like birkenstocks, they conform to your body. They last me 3+ years, except my smartphone in the pocket tends to be the area that can lead to wearing out if it's daily wear. I wear them hard as hell, and the knees are totally fine. Buy some heavy raw denim and they'll just get better with age.

They are not comfortable in hot/humid seasons/regions. I go for chinos and cut off chinos during the summer.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2018, 08:34:39 AM »
I wear heavy jeans, and they're extremely comfortable after a week - like birkenstocks, they conform to your body. They last me 3+ years, except my smartphone in the pocket tends to be the area that can lead to wearing out if it's daily wear. I wear them hard as hell, and the knees are totally fine. Buy some heavy raw denim and they'll just get better with age.

They are not comfortable in hot/humid seasons/regions. I go for chinos and cut off chinos during the summer.

Yes, I should have clarified that heavier weight denim isn't comfortable for much of the year primarily due to heat/humidity.  I tend to wear lighter weight denim or chinos during the warmer months.

It doesn't sound like your heavy weight jeans last longer than my medium/lighter weight denim.  Also, different bodies and movements have different effects on jeans that cause them to wear at different rates.  I do a fair amount of crouching and kneeling when I'm playing with my kids, and that's probably why the knees go out sooner.  I also have knobby knees.  :D

DS

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2018, 09:01:32 AM »
Regarding Darn Tough - I'm a proponent of them and they are definitely durable, but not "indestrucible" and won't "last forever." They've lasted me about 1000 miles of hiking per pair to give an estimate of durability. If you mean you can use the warranty to get a replacement forever that is accurate.

Definitely interested in hearing more about jeans! Hard to find some good jeans.

Zoot

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2018, 09:08:08 AM »
Following this thread with interest on behalf of DH, who would, in addition to recommendations for durable clothing, love recommendations for sources that have durable 28" inseam pants.  :)

Bird In Hand

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2018, 09:30:42 AM »
Definitely interested in hearing more about jeans! Hard to find some good jeans.

Someone else can probably talk much more intelligently about denim weights, selvedge vs non-selvedge, raw vs sanforized, etc., and the effect on durability.

But when I scoured the clearance racks at the Levis outlet I did find various denim weights even among the same styles.  One pair of 514's was very lightweight denim (maybe 6-8oz?) and another was medium (probably 12oz).  I bought one pair of 508's which had surprisingly heavier weight denim -- my estimate is 18oz based on comparing it to a pair of 20oz denim I have in another brand.  It set me back $7, and I expect it will last many years.  Especially because it's too heavy to wear for much of the year so it doesn't get as much use as my other pairs  :D

For me, 9 times out of 10 I'll choose a better fitting, more comfortable pair of jeans over a more durable pair.  I haven't found one yet that checks all three boxes, regardless of price.

Dogastrophe

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2018, 09:42:34 AM »
Big fan of Darn Tough socks, but as stated by DS, they are not indestructible.  I have around 200 hiking miles and countless everyday miles (~2 yrs) on my favourite pair and they are are starting to show wear in a couple of spots but they are still looking good.  I've worn holes through Smart Wool socks but they are still pretty durable. 

Tilley hats are almost indestructible and have a no questions asked life time warranty.  I have a heavy weight cotton one that I bought in late 80s that will likely outlive me (Tilley marketed them as "put in your will" hats).

I've always had good luck with clothing made in Western industrial countries.  25 years ago I had a pair of made in England Doc Martens - wore them almost everyday and got close to 8 years out of them.  Replaced with a pair of made in Thailand which were falling apart after a year.  Made in Maine New Balance shoes, even with their 20%+/- offshore content are night and day better in quality than comparable Nike / Reebok / etc.

I will gladly pay a bit extra for made in Canada, USA, western Europe clothing.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2018, 10:40:02 AM »
Definitely interested in hearing more about jeans! Hard to find some good jeans.

Someone else can probably talk much more intelligently about denim weights, selvedge vs non-selvedge, raw vs sanforized, etc., and the effect on durability.

But when I scoured the clearance racks at the Levis outlet I did find various denim weights even among the same styles.  One pair of 514's was very lightweight denim (maybe 6-8oz?) and another was medium (probably 12oz).  I bought one pair of 508's which had surprisingly heavier weight denim -- my estimate is 18oz based on comparing it to a pair of 20oz denim I have in another brand.  It set me back $7, and I expect it will last many years.  Especially because it's too heavy to wear for much of the year so it doesn't get as much use as my other pairs  :D

For me, 9 times out of 10 I'll choose a better fitting, more comfortable pair of jeans over a more durable pair.  I haven't found one yet that checks all three boxes, regardless of price.

I buy $20 jeans at Kohlís. Maybe they last 3-5 years and I buy a new pair. Low end clothing has become insanely cheap over the last couple of decades. High end clothing can be a hobby/lifestyle and if you enjoy it then you should do it. I just canít imagine that outside maybe a great pair of work boots, it would ever save you money in the long run. Especially if you calculate the future value of the price difference between low end and high end. Again, I pay money for sports events and drink alcohol and bought a $360,000 house in Ohio and a new $18,500 SUV. Iím going to live on my terms whether itís frugal or not. My net worth not counting investment gains raises $5000 per month because I live way below my means. Buy whatever clothes you want. Just be mindful of the costs/benefits.

J Boogie

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2018, 11:39:49 AM »
I wear heavy jeans, and they're extremely comfortable after a week - like birkenstocks, they conform to your body. They last me 3+ years, except my smartphone in the pocket tends to be the area that can lead to wearing out if it's daily wear. I wear them hard as hell, and the knees are totally fine. Buy some heavy raw denim and they'll just get better with age.

They are not comfortable in hot/humid seasons/regions. I go for chinos and cut off chinos during the summer.

Yes, I should have clarified that heavier weight denim isn't comfortable for much of the year primarily due to heat/humidity.  I tend to wear lighter weight denim or chinos during the warmer months.

It doesn't sound like your heavy weight jeans last longer than my medium/lighter weight denim.  Also, different bodies and movements have different effects on jeans that cause them to wear at different rates.  I do a fair amount of crouching and kneeling when I'm playing with my kids, and that's probably why the knees go out sooner.  I also have knobby knees.  :D

I should clarify, by 3+ I mean I've had a few pairs of raw denim for over the past 3 years and only one pair has a tear near the cell phone pocket. All the other pairs show minimal or even "desired" wear (raw denim enthusiasts tend to fetishize the wear-in process and the "patina" that can only be "earned" by wearing them, rather than the stonewashing and artificial fading effects done by clothing companies).

I fully expect my fleet of raw denim to last a decade or more, and I wear them for all types of stuff. Remodeling, woodworking, playing with my toddler, anything. It's the cell phone in and out of the pocket of the tighter fitting ones that seems to shorten the lifespan funnily enough.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2018, 11:40:20 AM »
Buy whatever clothes you want. Just be mindful of the costs/benefits.

That's kind of the rub.  My heart tells me that buying high quality clothing aligns more closely with my values, especially when it comes to avoiding the "disposable" mindset (buy cheap stuff, replace it often).  But my frugal brain wins out almost all the time.

If I weren't still in accumulation mode, I think I'd be more likely to dabble in "buy it for life" clothing.

PiobStache

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2018, 12:36:20 PM »
as MBAs

For dress clothes I have them bespoked.  Classic clothes never go out of style and I have odd trousers that look brand new that are a decade old.  Suits and jackets ditto.  You pay more up front but get a properly fitted product, well made, of superior material and workmanship that will last indefinitely.

Signed,

An MBA

rothwem

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2018, 12:36:20 PM »
I don’t know how you guys keep clothes that long. Usually my stuff doesn’t wear out, it gets stains that make the clothing unpresentable in most situations. My last favorite pair of pants, a set of stretchy Levi’s 541s in “graphite” (now discontinued) were stained with white caulk on the crotch that made it look pretttty bad, and that was after only about 6 months.

I only paid $39.99 for them, but I was pretty bummed. I would’ve been suuuuper bummed if I had stained a set of nudie raw denim jeans though.

So yeah. Most of my clothing is firmly in the “disposable” category. I usually get a year or two out of my Levi’s and a couple years out of my button ups, though I rarely wear them for anything dirty and I wear an apron in the lab at work. My tee shirts get deodorant stains from heavy wear usually, or I get more free T-shirts that displace my less favorite ones.

I will spend some money on decent shoes though. I’d hardly say the shoes I buy are “buy for life” though, because usually super durable shoes are super uncomfortable. I have no idea how people wear RW Iron Ranger boots for more than a hour at a time. I have Allen Edmunds dress shoes that have lasted for 5 years or so, but I wear them about 3x a year so I’d be pretty pissed if they were worn out already...

bocopro

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2018, 01:06:13 PM »
Full disclosure: I'm a lady. Hi!

I'm excited to follow this thread as I often buy clothes for my dear spouse (who happens to not be a lady).

We have slowly started moving towards "buy it for life at least the long haul" clothing.  Overall, I recommend it, even if you start slowly (like, with kitchen items - I started with name brand hot mitts - seriously. Those things, at $15, seemed more expensive than my $0.50 dish towel, but come with 100% less burns.)

One caveat:
Doing this implies a bit of privilege, and some disposable income, which we currently have, which is why I felt comfortable starting. I understand the nature of this upfront expense is tough for some (like me in my younger days - I bought many a $4 cheap-cotton shirt back in the day).

Motivation:
I think, especially for women's clothing, (though I can't speak for the folks in the men's dept.) fast fashion has become the norm (including multiple rounds of "new arrivals per SEASON). Textiles are wildly, grossly un-sustainable and the size of peoples' closets has just grown exponentially, which has contributed to mass amounts of textiles in landfills, and they are shockingly slow to degrade.

This article, which is long, really got me thinking about the whole thing, and we're slowly converting:
http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/sustainablefashion/

Anyway, something about this resonated with me, so we are going for it. On to a few recommendations:

1. Without shame, I'm going to start talking about underwear. Oh yeah. ("Oh yeah" is exactly what I said the first time I put on a pair of Ex Officio undies.) Seriously, they make them for guys and gals and  they have lasted for years with 500+ washings already logged. They look brand new. Plus, infinitely more comfortable than anything that comes in a Hanes plastic pack.

2. Return and various "worn wear" policies in general - REI, Patagonia, & LL Bean come to mind here. Not to be abused, but sometimes they will actually fix your original coat, which is much more fun and sustainable than switching you out for a new one.

2.5. On the LL Bean note, the LL Bean Boot - had a pair for a decade, brand new looking. Also, warranty is excellent so if by some accident yours are not, they will fix/replace them. Mine have gore-tex material inside: extra lovely for cold feet

3. Reasonable luck with Frye made shoes/boots - if they feel too silky or thin, no go, but if they seem durable, they are.

4. Patagonia Fjord Flannel Shirt - oddly specific, but also very durable.

We haven't had good luck on belts, under shirts, or oddly: shoe laces, so if anyone has tips& tricks, reply!

Caution note:
You can take this too far (into "I just love luxury goods" territory); I've had a coworker defend BMW's as "longer lasting" than my Honda - is there evidence for this? Not sure..... I'm also in the wedding stage of life, and if anyone else tells me "A diamond is forever" or some variation of "spending money on this megawatt diamond now so we don't have to upgrade later" (thanks, De Beers....)


« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 02:11:18 PM by bocopro »

J Boogie

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2018, 01:56:57 PM »
I donít know how you guys keep clothes that long. Usually my stuff doesnít wear out, it gets stains that make the clothing unpresentable in most situations. My last favorite pair of pants, a set of stretchy Leviís 541s in ďgraphiteĒ (now discontinued) were stained with white caulk on the crotch that made it look pretttty bad, and that was after only about 6 months.

I only paid $39.99 for them, but I was pretty bummed. I wouldíve been suuuuper bummed if I had stained a set of nudie raw denim jeans though.

So yeah. Most of my clothing is firmly in the ďdisposableĒ category. I usually get a year or two out of my Leviís and a couple years out of my button ups, though I rarely wear them for anything dirty and I wear an apron in the lab at work. My tee shirts get deodorant stains from heavy wear usually, or I get more free T-shirts that displace my less favorite ones.

I will spend some money on decent shoes though. Iíd hardly say the shoes I buy are ďbuy for lifeĒ though, because usually super durable shoes are super uncomfortable. I have no idea how people wear RW Iron Ranger boots for more than a hour at a time. I have Allen Edmunds dress shoes that have lasted for 5 years or so, but I wear them about 3x a year so Iíd be pretty pissed if they were worn out already...

Dark raw denim is about as stainproof as it gets. It's susceptible to bleach, but that's pretty rare.

If you get caulk or some sticky crap on there, you can scrape or even grind it off without worry.

Denim for me is area #1 to go for quality. Taylor Stitch jeans are like 100 bucks or under if they aren't selvage (which doesn't really contribute to the longevity, it's more of one of those telltale signs of quality - but the MBAs at Target have caught on so I wouldn't consider it such a sign anymore :)

Why? They look better, they feel better, they last longer, and you can beat them up as much as you want.

Often, stitching is a weakness that fast fashion completely flubs. Buttons come loose. Seams come apart. The quality of the thread, the design, and the execution all play a role.

Yeah, you can sew a button back on a pair of $40 jeans. But you're playing whack a mole. Sew a button back on a garment that's worth your time.


use2betrix

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2018, 02:27:28 PM »
Full disclosure: I'm a lady. Hi!

I'm excited to follow this thread as I often buy clothes for my dear spouse (who happens to not be a lady).

We have slowly started moving towards "buy it for life at least the long haul" clothing.  Overall, I recommend it, even if you start slowly (like, with kitchen items - I started with name brand hot mitts - seriously. Those things, at $15, seemed more expensive than my $0.50 dish towel, but come with 100% less burns.)

One caveat:
Doing this implies a bit of privilege, and some disposable income, which we currently have, which is why I felt comfortable starting. I understand the nature of this upfront expense is tough for some (like me in my younger days - I bought many a $4 cheap-cotton shirt back in the day).

Motivation:
I think, especially for women's clothing, (though I can't speak for the folks in the men's dept.) fast fashion has become the norm (including multiple rounds of "new arrivals per SEASON). Textiles are wildly, grossly un-sustainable and the size of peoples' closets has just grown exponentially, which has contributed to mass amounts of textiles in landfills, and they are shockingly slow to degrade.

This article, which is long, really got me thinking about the whole thing, and we're slowly converting:
http://www.anthropocenemagazine.org/sustainablefashion/

Anyway, something about this resonated with me, so we are going for it. On to a few recommendations:

1. Without shame, I'm going to start talking about underwear. Oh yeah. ("Oh yeah" is exactly what I said the first time I put on a pair of Ex Officio pair of undies.) Seriously, they make them for guys and gals and  they have lasted for years with 500+ washings already logged. They look brand new. Plus, infinitely more comfortable than anything that comes in a Hanes plastic pack.

2. Return and various "worn wear" policies in general - REI, Patagonia, & LL Bean come to mind here. Not to be abused, but sometimes they will actually fix your original coat, which is much more fun and sustainable than switching you out for a new one.

2.5. On the LL Bean note, the LL Bean Boot - had a pair for a decade, brand new looking. Also, warranty is excellent so if by some accident yours are not, they will fix/replace them. Mine have gore-tex material inside: extra lovely for cold feet

3. Reasonable luck with Frye made shoes/boots - if they feel too silky or thin, no go, but if they seem durable, they are.

4. Patagonia Fjord Flannel Shirt - oddly specific, but also very durable.

We haven't had good luck on belts, under shirts, or oddly: shoe laces, so if anyone has tips& tricks, reply!

Caution note:
You can take this too far (into "I just love luxury goods" territory); I've had a coworkers defend BMW's as "longer lasting" than my Honda - is there evidence for this? Not sure..... I'm also in the wedding stage of life, and if anyone else tells me "A diamond is forever" or some variation of "spending money on this megawatt diamond now so we don't have to upgrade later" (thanks, De Beers....)

I have several products from tanner goods, including a belt, and they are all very high quality. Far more durable than a similarly priced belt I have from a department store. Also, made in the USA. Iíd like to check out pigeon tree crafting belts as well, looking for a black one eventually.

Bucksandreds

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2018, 03:58:28 PM »
Buy whatever clothes you want. Just be mindful of the costs/benefits.

That's kind of the rub.  My heart tells me that buying high quality clothing aligns more closely with my values, especially when it comes to avoiding the "disposable" mindset (buy cheap stuff, replace it often).  But my frugal brain wins out almost all the time.

If I weren't still in accumulation mode, I think I'd be more likely to dabble in "buy it for life" clothing.

That is the rub. High end clothing is probably better for the environment and definitely more Ďsustainableí but itís also worse for FIREing. Pick whatever you want but you canít have both.

Cranky

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2018, 05:22:36 PM »
I can make a lot of flannel shirts for $150.

TomTX

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2018, 06:22:41 PM »
I searched but did not see such a thread here, but I'm almost certain there was one.

Anyway, I am very pleased with the several pairs of Darn Tough socks I bought two years ago. $20 for a pair is expensive, but they are indestructible, very comfortable, look good, and will last forever.

Conversely, I have a pair of Darn Tough socks and I am unimpressed with the durability. It took maybe a year for me to have patches which were so thin you could see through them. They did get heavier rotation than most of my socks, but we're talking maybe 4 days a month. I got annoyed and didn't wear them much after that. I should see if they will just wear through.

Edit: I just noticed I'm wearing the Philmont Tshirt I purchased in the '80s.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 06:25:39 PM by TomTX »

use2betrix

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2018, 06:59:25 PM »
I searched but did not see such a thread here, but I'm almost certain there was one.

Anyway, I am very pleased with the several pairs of Darn Tough socks I bought two years ago. $20 for a pair is expensive, but they are indestructible, very comfortable, look good, and will last forever.

Conversely, I have a pair of Darn Tough socks and I am unimpressed with the durability. It took maybe a year for me to have patches which were so thin you could see through them. They did get heavier rotation than most of my socks, but we're talking maybe 4 days a month. I got annoyed and didn't wear them much after that. I should see if they will just wear through.

Edit: I just noticed I'm wearing the Philmont Tshirt I purchased in the '80s.

Beings they have a life time warranty, essentially, in the long run, they would be cheaper than virtually any other sock in existence.

weirdlair

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2018, 09:36:13 PM »
...

2. Return and various "worn wear" policies in general - REI, Patagonia, & LL Bean come to mind here. Not to be abused, but sometimes they will actually fix your original coat, which is much more fun and sustainable than switching you out for a new one.

2.5. On the LL Bean note, the LL Bean Boot - had a pair for a decade, brand new looking. Also, warranty is excellent so if by some accident yours are not, they will fix/replace them. Mine have gore-tex material inside: extra lovely for cold feet

Just FYI...LL Bean changed its return policy: http://time.com/money/5141609/ll-bean-new-return-policy-changes/

Quote
L.L. Bean said the changed return policy is a result of ďa small, but growing number of customersĒ who were abusing it and expecting refunds for heavily worn items that were years old or bought second-hand, according to a statement released by the Maine-based company Thursday. Customers will now have a year to return items with proof of purchase.

TomTX

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2018, 05:48:57 AM »
I searched but did not see such a thread here, but I'm almost certain there was one.

Anyway, I am very pleased with the several pairs of Darn Tough socks I bought two years ago. $20 for a pair is expensive, but they are indestructible, very comfortable, look good, and will last forever.

Conversely, I have a pair of Darn Tough socks and I am unimpressed with the durability. It took maybe a year for me to have patches which were so thin you could see through them. They did get heavier rotation than most of my socks, but we're talking maybe 4 days a month. I got annoyed and didn't wear them much after that. I should see if they will just wear through.

Edit: I just noticed I'm wearing the Philmont Tshirt I purchased in the '80s.

Beings they have a life time warranty, essentially, in the long run, they would be cheaper than virtually any other sock in existence.

Does DT pay shipping both ways? Otherwise, it's cheaper for me to just buy Costco socks and throw them away when they get holes.

use2betrix

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2018, 07:20:40 AM »
I searched but did not see such a thread here, but I'm almost certain there was one.

Anyway, I am very pleased with the several pairs of Darn Tough socks I bought two years ago. $20 for a pair is expensive, but they are indestructible, very comfortable, look good, and will last forever.

Conversely, I have a pair of Darn Tough socks and I am unimpressed with the durability. It took maybe a year for me to have patches which were so thin you could see through them. They did get heavier rotation than most of my socks, but we're talking maybe 4 days a month. I got annoyed and didn't wear them much after that. I should see if they will just wear through.

Edit: I just noticed I'm wearing the Philmont Tshirt I purchased in the '80s.

Beings they have a life time warranty, essentially, in the long run, they would be cheaper than virtually any other sock in existence.

Does DT pay shipping both ways? Otherwise, it's cheaper for me to just buy Costco socks and throw them away when they get holes.

Iím not sure, even my DT socks that are a couple years old probably have 90% of their life left.

Another thing to consider is performance. About a month ago, I did a fast paced 5 mile run in 90 degree weather with around 80% humidity. Afterwards, I looked like I just got out of a pool. I pulled off my shoes, then my socks, and my DT socks were 90% dry. Regular cotton socks would be drenched. I showed my wife and she was also amazed at how dry they were compared to the rest of me.

yakamashii

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2018, 07:29:46 AM »

We haven't had good luck on belts, under shirts, or oddly: shoe laces, so if anyone has tips& tricks, reply!


A major problem I have with clothes and durability is that, by the time I figure out that I really like something and that it lasts a long time, it's often not available at stores any more. For example, my favorite summer undershirts are Uniqlo mesh tanktops. I have three left from 2007, which, to me, is when they were at their best. They've probably changed suppliers and subcontractors a dozen times since then, and the new undershirts they roll out just don't do it for me like the ones they had in 2007. I wish I'd known that then - I'd have bought ten.

undercover

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #31 on: November 10, 2018, 07:34:11 AM »
Haven't read the thread but BIFL clothes doesn't really make sense. Your interests and style will change and probably your weight to an extent. Yes you can have "timeless" pieces in your closet but the price tag of them doesn't really determine how durable they are.

use2betrix

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #32 on: November 10, 2018, 08:38:13 AM »
Haven't read the thread but BIFL clothes doesn't really make sense. Your interests and style will change and probably your weight to an extent. Yes you can have "timeless" pieces in your closet but the price tag of them doesn't really determine how durable they are.

In relations to fashion, price tag doesnít always determine durability. I.e. Iím not sure a Gucci sweater is going to be more durable than a wal mart sweater.

That being said - in many cases, high quality, DURABLE, clothes will only be available at higher prices. Boots are a good example as Iíve spent nearly a decade wearing steel toe leather boots. $200 dancers last far longer and perform better than $40 wal mart steel toes.

Mr. Green

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #33 on: November 10, 2018, 09:30:46 AM »
Nothing you wear on a frequent basis will last a lifetime. Simple friction will take care of that. Maybe a jacket. Underwear and socks? No. I have two pairs of Darn Tough socks I wear for hiking and they've held up well but they're starting to wear in places. They do have a lifetime warranty so I suppose that's technically buy it for life, since they'll send me replacements for free. The longest I've gotten out of a frequent use article of clothing is about a decade.

koshtra

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #34 on: November 10, 2018, 09:46:43 AM »
Yeah, I think that with clothing -- as with computers -- only the high end and the low end are good buys. It's the middle range that's absurd. If you buy a pair of socks for ten bucks that last six months you're really getting screwed. Either buy your six-month socks for a buck or your lifetime socks for twenty-five.

But the reason I try to buy durable clothes has more to do with how much I hate shopping and deciding than anything else. Not having to shop for this particular item again for ten years? That's worth a lot to me :-)

Dee18

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #35 on: November 10, 2018, 10:13:41 AM »
My local TJMaxx sells Darn Tough socks at more than 50% off.  I donít like the feel of them, but I buy them for my sister who does.

EnjoyIt

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #36 on: November 10, 2018, 10:55:41 AM »
Definitely interested in hearing more about jeans! Hard to find some good jeans.

Someone else can probably talk much more intelligently about denim weights, selvedge vs non-selvedge, raw vs sanforized, etc., and the effect on durability.

But when I scoured the clearance racks at the Levis outlet I did find various denim weights even among the same styles.  One pair of 514's was very lightweight denim (maybe 6-8oz?) and another was medium (probably 12oz).  I bought one pair of 508's which had surprisingly heavier weight denim -- my estimate is 18oz based on comparing it to a pair of 20oz denim I have in another brand.  It set me back $7, and I expect it will last many years.  Especially because it's too heavy to wear for much of the year so it doesn't get as much use as my other pairs  :D

For me, 9 times out of 10 I'll choose a better fitting, more comfortable pair of jeans over a more durable pair.  I haven't found one yet that checks all three boxes, regardless of price.

I buy 7 For All Man Kind jeans.  They are priced at about $100-$150 a pair on sale but compared to anything else I bought in the past they last much much longer.  Just about everything else would fall apart after about 6 months while these jeans that I wear just about every day last about 3 years plus they fit and look amazing in my opinion.  After about 2.5 years the color seams to fade and they get a little bit of a stretch to them that makes them hang a little looser.  So when that happens I look for another sale and purchase again.  I keep the older pair as work jeans cause they are still in good shape.  Something I don't mind getting filthy with grease or paint. 

Unfortunately the last pair I received seams to just not be of the same higher quality as I am used to.  I may have to start looking for another brand.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2018, 02:38:33 PM »
I just picked up some fly and dry shirts from MJ Bale and they are amazing. Fit well and I just wash them at the end of the week, hang up and let dry. No wrinkles, no ironing (donít iron or you ruin the special fabric), no dry cleaning. I took them away in luggage all rolled up, hung them in the shower, steamed up the bathroom and the wrinkles came out. Yes, they are pricey but if your job involves nice shirts and you travel or hate ironing and donít want to pay for dry cleaning, these shirts are great. Iím hoping their the last dress shirts I ever have to buy.

adventurestache

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2018, 03:18:25 PM »
Does DT pay shipping both ways? Otherwise, it's cheaper for me to just buy Costco socks and throw them away when they get holes.

Darn tough doesn't pay to ship the socks to them, which costs maybe around $3/ pair depending on which socks you have. Also, they give you store credit instead of shipping you back the same pair. Still worth it in my opinion.

use2betrix

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2018, 03:46:21 PM »
One item I just thought about:

In 2008 I bought a light, Northface jacket for around $120. It feels like goretex. Not sure if it is, does say ďApexĒ on the sleeve.

This has been my go to fall, winter, spring jacket, except for super cold weather, for 10 years. It has no holes and virtually no where. Iíve worn it for everything.

Come to think of it, it is hands down the longest lasting item in my closet. I would suggest it to everyone.

use2betrix

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2018, 03:59:09 PM »
I just picked up some fly and dry shirts from MJ Bale and they are amazing. Fit well and I just wash them at the end of the week, hang up and let dry. No wrinkles, no ironing (donít iron or you ruin the special fabric), no dry cleaning. I took them away in luggage all rolled up, hung them in the shower, steamed up the bathroom and the wrinkles came out. Yes, they are pricey but if your job involves nice shirts and you travel or hate ironing and donít want to pay for dry cleaning, these shirts are great. Iím hoping their the last dress shirts I ever have to buy.

I have some express dress shirts. They look nice and fit amazing, but my gawddd is the material and workmanship cheap. Fortunately I only wear them once a week or so, otherwise itís be worth higher quality.

big_slacker

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2018, 05:49:11 PM »
At the risk of being called a spendypants yuppie scum. Keep in mind that I'm an actual mountain guy and test this gear out in the proving grounds that are the PacNW cascades. Mountain biking, hiking, offroading and bushwacking. Although I certainly wear them to my office job as well I LOVE quality clothing that stands the test of time and outdoor use.

American Giant original hoodie, $75: I've got two, one I've had for 4 years and one for a year. The 4 year old one is not close to worn, I imagine I'll still have it in another 4 years. Thick, double material on wear points, beefy zippers, etc. These are built to last.

The North Face thermoball puffy: Get last year's on sale, use activejunky for 10%-15% I've had it for 3 years now and worn it all over the cascades and alaska Light, packable and a great all weather top layer (not waterproof, but dries super quick. Use a rain shell for real rainy weather)

The North Face surgent full zip hoodie: $70 (7% cashback on activejunky) I use this as general/office wear as well as for a top layer for mountain biking when it's chilly but not jacket worthy. It's awesome, I crashed tested it and it's held up.

Kitsbow Icon or Icon V2: $220 The price tag is shocking, but this works as a jacket for hiking, mountain biking or general adventure in 3 seasons. And it's durable AF.

Mountain Khakis slim fit khaki: $90 but super thick canvas, bombproof pants.Double stiched, reinforced at wear points (knees and back of the heal for instance) and just burly. 

Darn Tough socks. Yeah, they're $20 socks but they're f'in worth it. Same with smartwool Phd.


« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 05:50:54 PM by big_slacker »

imolina

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2018, 08:17:31 PM »
Besides quality you get your clothes to last longer if you take good care of them, for instance: If a small hole comes fix it right away, hand wash delicates, don't use too much detergent, use vinegar instead of softener, wear your clothes twice (if possible), don't use dryer, etc.

ketchup

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2018, 08:27:38 PM »
The only clothing item I have that's anywhere close to "BIFL" is my jacket.  It's a Columbia and my mom bought it for me when I was in high school, so I have no clue what it cost.  But it's at least 10 years old now seeing daily use in the (Chicago) winter and it still looks brand new.

The rest of my clothes have worn out reasonably fast, but that's mostly because I have a pretty small inventory.  I generally have around 6-8 shirts and 2-3 pairs of pants that all see use just about every week.

Yeah, I think that with clothing -- as with computers -- only the high end and the low end are good buys. It's the middle range that's absurd. If you buy a pair of socks for ten bucks that last six months you're really getting screwed. Either buy your six-month socks for a buck or your lifetime socks for twenty-five.
I feel like I've run into this with shoes.  People talk about great shoes that last forever and are like $150-200.  I've happily gone with $18 Costco shoes that last a little over a year, but then decided to get "better" shoes about a year ago for $50 and they are already basically trash (multiple visible holes in each), and I'm just pissed off about it.

ROF Expat

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #44 on: November 11, 2018, 12:30:04 PM »
I like to get value for my money, which often (but not always) correlates with BIFL.  Not all BIFL clothes has to be astronomically expensive, and cost often has little relationship to quality. 


Among the clothes that I consider BIFL or at least extremely good value for money: 

LLBean duck boots.  I had a pair last over 30 years, although many of those years I lived in climates where they didn't get worn much. 

Orvis Ultimate Khakis.  I think I bought my first ones about six years ago and I still wear them regularly today. 

Columbia PFG fishing shirts (the heavier cotton or synthetic ones).  The first ones I bought are over ten years old now and I still wear them. 

Alden, Brooks Brothers, and Church's dress shoes.  In all three cases, I bought classic men's cap toes and wore them several days a week for many years and many resolings before the leather uppers gave out. 

Wigwam ironman triathlete pro socks.  They seem to last forever.  I don't know when I bought my first pair, but it has been over a decade and still haven't worn through one. 

Wood n' Stream shoes/boots.  I've only had them for a couple of years, so I hesitate to mention them, but these are made in America boots (part of Weinbrenner, I think) that seem to have all the quality of Red Wings and I paid about $150 a pair (a pair of chukka boots and a pair of oxfords). 



lefty

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #45 on: November 11, 2018, 01:29:34 PM »
Besides quality you get your clothes to last longer if you take good care of them, for instance: If a small hole comes fix it right away, hand wash delicates, don't use too much detergent, use vinegar instead of softener, wear your clothes twice (if possible), don't use dryer, etc.
This is the answer. I have cheap clothes and they last me for years by taking care of them just like it is mentioned above.

PoutineLover

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2018, 01:55:24 PM »
Following for brands that are unisex and for my partner. I like to buy things that will last because it's better for the environment and they look and feel better along the way. I will spend more for stuff that I feel is worth it, and I'm trying to have less but nicer stuff in general. I've donated or gotten rid of lots of stuff that either isn't my style anymore, doesn't fit or wears out, so when I do spend more money on something I want it to last and be timeless. I also don't use a dryer, handwash delicates, and repair holes, so that probably helps things last longer.
 I think Costco is a good source of cheaper but pretty durable clothes, Columbia makes great jackets for a reasonable price, and I just got Vivo barefoot shoes that seem like they will last and plus they feel great, but they were kinda expensive.

TomTX

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2018, 02:15:03 PM »
I think Costco is a good source of cheaper but pretty durable clothes,

I am very upset the changed the cut on their Kirkland men's jeans. They used to be awesome for me. The size I wear in the old cut... now in the new cut is way too loose at the waist, and way too tight at the crotch.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #48 on: November 12, 2018, 01:00:20 PM »
Dress clothes version:

Suits -- Brook Brothers.  Mine are going on six years and counting and look great (although I've lost some weight and might need to buy some new ones).

Dress Shoes -- Allen Edmonds.  I alternate between three pairs that I've owned for three years now and they look good as new.

Slacks -- Dockers.  Can't go wrong.

Dress Shirts -- Brooks Brothers will give you a solid 3-4 years of wear, maybe more.

Belts -- Allen Edmonds.  Again, the leatherwork is just as good as it gets.


Car Jack

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Re: Buy it for life clothes for men
« Reply #49 on: November 12, 2018, 01:44:11 PM »
Just a heads up to do your homework.  I went looking for a new pair of work/hiking boots last year.  I use them in the woods for chainsaw duty, so they do get worked.  My first round online just to see who has what and where to go found a good crop of potentials.  Then I went to the stores.  Contrary to what even current advertising might have you think, some of the premium USA made boots are NOT made in the USA.  At a Red Wing store, I looked at literally every single boot style on display.  Not one was made in the US.  Bob's store has very nice Chippewa boots for a few hundred dollars, made in the USA.  Get not much below this price point and it's made in the far east.

Now, I'm not saying that US stuff is flawless and Asian stuff is crap.  But sorry....I did see quality differences.  I ended up doing a local tour of the stores.  I really didn't find what I wanted made in the US (those Chippewas weren't what I wanted.....heel way too high).  I ended up finding some Cabela branded hiking boots in the bargain room, discontinued for a good price.  Made in the far east, but for what I paid (1/10 what the Chippewas were), I'll live with them.  They've worked moderately well.