moving on from updating the casual wardrobe, volume 2 tackles workweek attire. this part of James’ wardrobe needed more updating than his casual wear. 5 minutes in to compiling this collage led me to two conclusions: 1) men’s dress wear is expensive and 2) our relatively modest budget wasn’t going to go very far if I didn’t do some high/low mixing.
I opted to save where I could, like with dress pants (good pairs can be found at all sorts of price points) and ties (he has plenty, so one or two to replace threadbare ones sufficed). I was willing to spend a little more on dress shirts, especially the non-iron variety. in addition to the classic white dress shirt, I also picked some spring-appropriate colors like a very light lavender. where I chose to spend the bulk of the wardrobe budget was on jackets, shoes, and belts. jackets go over everything you wear – they’re immediately noticeable. what good is a smart dress shirt if your jacket is so ill-fitting? the same with shoes. everything can be top notch from the ankles up, but scuffed shoes can ruin the whole look. james is particularly hard on his shoes. I’ve convinced him to pony up for better quality shoes up front even if they’re more expensive because they’ll hold up to the daily grind better and last longer, ultimately costing less than buying a cheaper pair more often. I opted for a classic blucher and a sleek loafer. belts might seem like a weird thing to choose to buy at a higher price point, but james wears his every day and on average, they last about 4 months until the leather is worn through at the one hole that’s always used. he was in need of true dress belts anyway, as he only had one, with the other belt he owned being too casual. I chose one in black and one in brown.