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8 Fashion Essentials for Under $100

8 fashion essentials for under 100 1 8 Fashion Essentials for Under $100

We here at EveryGuyed we know that sometimes the world of fashion and style can be intimidating as hell, and just as expensive. So with that in mind, we’ve assembled a list: eight fashion essentials that every man simply must own, and that can be had for under $100 each. So no more excuses or lamenting that you have nothing to wear; it’s time for you to start building a real wardrobe.

A Plain Dress Shirt

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Perhaps the most essential item on this list, the dress shirt is a versatile, global sartorial icon. Best of all, it matches almost everything. A plain white dress shirt can be had for as little as $30, and for that price, there’s not excuse for not having at least two in your closet.

Sign of Quality:

Removable collar stiffeners, which allow the collar to retain its shape while being worn. Quality shirts will have removable stiffeners, while cheaper shirts have the stiffeners built-into the shirt. Removable stiffeners should always be removed before washing, and reinserted after ironing.

A Polo Shirt

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Once the summer heat hits there are few alternatives to the t-shirt, and one classic that has earned its slot in your closet, is the polo shirt.

Tennis champion Rene Lacoste felt that the traditional tennis uniform – featuring full-length button-up shirts – was hurting his game. Renowned for his ferocity on the court, he wanted something that would allow him to move as he liked. The result was the first Lacoste tennis shirt.

Later adopted by Polo players -who give the shirt its name – the shirt is made of pique cotton, a great material as the mercury rises. Pique lets air through, yet is stiff enough to let the collar pop up to block the sun.

Sign of Quality:

Tennis tail. A polo shirt is cut longer in the back than it is in the front. When Lacoste designed his first shirt, the tail was longer to allow it to be tucked into a player’s trousers. The loose front grants freedom of movement, while the back preserves modesty during play. A shirt that still follows this design is a sign that both cutter and designer had this functionality and tradition in mind during production.

A Belt

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Overlooked and under-appreciated, the belt is an essential piece of your closet.

That said, you’re looking for something that can keep your pants up, without being uncomfortable. Leather, or canvas are both great options here. Tough, but breathable and flexible, leather belts offer something you can wear everyday without issue. Get at least two belts, and mix both materials and buckle styles so you have some versatility build into your wardrobe.

Sign of Quality:

Stiffness and sturdiness. Avoid anything too stiff or soft. Softer belts will be prone to stretching and warping, where stiffer ones will be uncomfortable for some time. Reversible belts are available, and like any other product, they vary in quality.

A Pair of Jeans

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They’re everywhere: an American icon despite being popularized by a German trader, and derived from the pants worn by Italian sailors.

Once banned from schools and cinemas, these simple denim trousers are now renowned the world over as the definitive casual pant. The perfect choice for a lazy afternoon, or a casual day at the office, no closet is complete without at least one pair of great jeans that you feel you can wear almost anywhere, anytime.

Levi’s shrink-to-fit 501s are probably the single most ubiquitous style, and are available for as cheap as $50. Wear them often and before you know it they’ll have an unmistakable character that makes them look custom made for you.

Sign of Quality:

Made from selvedge denim. In the 1950s, Levi’s began retiring its hand-operated looms, which were purchased by Japan once it began producing its own premium denim. These looms require more fabric, and hand-operation.

The resulting jeans are of higher quality, stiffer, and carry the telltale ‘selvedge’, a clean, natural edge along the outseam of the jeans, visible once the cuffs are turned up. Today, competing selvedge jeans from nations like Sri Lanka and China can cost as little as $80.

Neckties

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Deserving an article all on its own (which we here at EveryGuyed happen to have), the necktie is one of the most noble, most essential additions to your closet.

Varied in design and construction, silk neckties can be had for as little as $25 from most men’s retailers, with knit ties and other variants available for as little as $15. As an accessory that’s going to be worn everyday, buying three or four to start is not only practical, but also affordable. Keeping a collection of ties around ensures that you’ll always have a tie to match your outfit.

Sign of Quality:

A seven-fold tie. Most modern ties are made of silk scraps and polyester and cotton machined into the liner, then sealed by hand. Uncommon due to its complexity, and the cost of silk, the seven-fold tie is made entirely by hand, from a full square yard of silk. The necktie’s liner, structure and weight are drawn from the folding of the silk, and produces a rich-feeling, luxurious tie.

A Scarf & Gloves

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In the past it was considered unheard of for men to go outdoors without a hat, scarf, and gloves. Then JFK attended his own inauguration without a hat. A wave swept the nation, and men started going hatless, scarf-less, and even gloveless.

While it might be a bit much to sport all three (except on a really cold winter day), a good pair of gloves and a warm scarf will never be a bad purchase. Though available from nearly anywhere, a reasonably good pair of leather gloves and wool scarf rings in at less than $50 each.

Sign of Quality:

Leather gloves, wool scarf. Knit gloves can still let the biting wind through, and ski gloves almost always have too much bulk to be a practical choice. Though there are a variety of leather alternatives, real leather gloves, especially with a lining, are the only sensible option for standing up to the everyday chill.

The scarf is the most visible item you wear on a cold day, and is the only thing protecting your neck, so invest in one that’s wool, and in a color that contrasts your winter wardrobe nicely. Get a scarf that’s tightly woven to keep the cold away, and no longer than the distance between your shoulder and ankles.

A Sweater

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There’s not much to say here, the sweater is a classic piece of clothing that has never gone out of style, and has never lost a touch of practicality.

Follow the same rules you would for shirts and suits – buy the most versatile colors, like charcoal, brown, black, and navy blue first, before moving onto unique colors and patterns like argyle.

Sign of Quality:

Cashmere wool. The wool of the Cashmere goat is naturally light and thin, but unusually soft and warm for its weight. Though heavy-knit and cotton-blend variations of cashmere exist, pure cashmere sweaters are ideal, even if they are a little more costly.

A Sportcoat

8 Fashion Essentials for Under 100 8 Fashion Essentials for Under $100
A tailored coat made of coarse material such as tweed or houndstooth, a sport coat is a brilliant cold-weather alternative to a jacket.

The classic All-American vision of elite east coast schools involves educated young men resting in the Quad, a book in hand, a girl in arm, and a tweed coat on their shoulders. The best part is, anybody can emulate this look.

Rock the Ivy League style with a simple sportcoat available from any department store or retailer for around $90. Add a varsity sweater for that authentic college boy style, or pair it with a casual shirt and roll-up the sleeves for a more high fashion look.

Sign of Quality:

Working cuff buttons, also known as Surgeon’s cuffs. Most suits today are made with the cuff buttons stitched shut so they cannot be undone.

Comments

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Author

Xiaoli Li
Xiaoli Li is an often-missed former editor at the EveryGuyed network. He's currently working as a freelance writer, and probably yelling at a soccer game somewhere out there.
Xiaoli Li

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  1. I’ve never heard of a seven-fold tie being under $200, much less $100. And a sport coat with working button holes starts at $250, with a quality one being at least $700. And if it doesn’t have working button holes, it’ll cost you at least $50 to have it done. I like the idea with this post, just seems like you’re stretching it a bit too far.

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