Monday, November 1, 2010


My old pair of C&J Audleys - looking the business still after many years.

Being an avid reader of the exploits of my friend over at mostexerent, I am struck by how often the issue of value vs price comes into play, and agree fully with PG's succinct explanation of it;

"There really is no cheaper alternative. You get what you pay for. "

Pg hits the nail on the head here for me in an issue that I think more and more defines the sort of peron you are - living within your means is the most liberating stance you can take in the evolution of your style, but to live within your means doesnt mean settling for what is cheapest, it means having less but having better. A single great cigar, once a month, with one great meal is better than a hundred cheap smokes. Likewise with clothing, to be "cheap" often does you more disservice in the way you treat your own things. If you have two great pairs of shoes and three well cut suits, all of which you treat with something like reverence for the joy they bring you to wear, you will always look sharp.

So, for myself at least, after many years dealing with all things classic menswear, I have come to this conclusion - cheap is always just cheap. Less, but better, is the path of the quality man.


  1. i agree ......that's why i've got rid of the mediocre stuff collected over the years .nowadays i'll go for classic and practical over flashy and unusual anytime .....nothing spectacular there ,but you should check some of my latest post on RIVETED..cheers

  2. Now is the point when I feel I have to ask: how many pairs of shoes do you own? Do you actually have less, or have you instead blown a small fortune on an inordinate number of handmade, "boutique" dress shoes?

    I do agree with your sentiment but it seems most blogs espousing this viewpoint go just the opposite: instead of one nice pair of Alden boots, for example, they own ten. They justify the expense by telling themselves they have invested in quality, but really what they have done is to trick themselves into spending all their money on something as frivolous as shoes (and other clothes).

    Not to put you in that box, just playing devil's advocate

  3. It's a good point, Adam - I work in the industry, representing a shoe brand in Australia, so I have access to more than the average guy. My collection has been very big, and is getting smaller as I learn the benefits of a lean wardobe and go through the consolidation phase of the acquisition/consolidation process we all seem to get trapped in.
    As far as it being frivolous to spend all your money on shoes, I would say spending all your money on any one thing is imbalanced - to spend it all on a car, a mortgage, or beers on the weekend would be just as bad, in my reckoning. It seems to be a common thread that the acquisition of money or weallth is the only true justified act, a frame of mind I abhor and one that I see get more and more people in to serious spiritual trouble. In all things, balance and balance in all things.
    Of course, to spend it all on your wife is never frivolous, so I think I am justified in my actions….

  4. so Ethan, can you share the ED method of polishing? The shine you get is awesome.

  5. Just a garden variety spit polish, Someotherstyle. The key is patience and practice.


  6. One of the problems with discussing value is that largely, knowledge of how things are made and what they are made of, and what is high quality and what is not has frankly been lost. Part of the problem is that the whole relationship between quality and price has been lost; consumers can no longer depend on that to help them make decisions. Another part is the loss of knowledge of basic materials such as woven goods and leather. When I was young, my father used to take me along with him when he got suits made in New York City and told me to pay attention to the way the tailor was putting the jacket on him, how the shoulders had to fit, the types of fabrics he was choosing ("flannel and tweed are great for warmth, but they're too soft to have made into pants; they don't wear well")and so on. Choosing 'fewer but better' becomes very difficult if you don't have real product knowledge.