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While there's no doubt that living within your means is wise, there is also a saying that "cheap is dear." Buying certain top-quality items that cost more initially can actually save you money in the long run. There are items that men should always spend more money on, such as particular pieces of top-quality clothing, shoes and haircuts.
High-quality items not only look nice and last longer, but they also make you feel good. They can enhance your well-being, productivity and appearance along with increasing your motivation. While it's definitely worth it to exceed your budget for some items, you should only spend top dollar on a few key pieces and accessorize with less expensive ones.
There's a lot to choose from in the world of men's style. A recent CNBC survey revealed that when it comes to online shopping, men outspend women by 20 to 30 percent per transaction, with menswear and related accessories being the main purchases. Prices in the clothing and fashion industry vary greatly and often depend on the company's advertising and brand value. Simply put, you may pay a higher price for the same item offered by another company.
It's important to note that items that cost more money don't always indicate a higher quality. Before buying, research the item thoroughly and read reviews, customer ratings and feedback. You'll also want to determine where the item was produced.
Some things to consider when deciding whether or not to splurge on an item include:
Since there's no better investment that a man can make than in himself, buying certain top-quality items offer an excellent return on investment that far outweighs their initial cost. Here are five of the best top-quality items for men to buy along with some price and quality guidelines:
An expertly-tailored suit makes a great first impression, gives you confidence and establishes you as a man who is in control. A good suit is essential for any professional man, especially those in certain industries that frequently deal with high-powered clients or high-dollar deals. Higher-quality suits are made with better fabrics such as wool, cotton and linen, which alters and drapes nicely. Suits offered by men's wardrobe franchises, available off the rack for around $100, are mass-produced, constructed with cheaper material and made to fit just about anyone.
Here are some more disadvantages to buying a cheap suit:
Buying a higher-end suit ensures it will be the right fit for you and be made with better and more durable materials.
Higher-end suits usually come in two categories:
Things to look for in a top-quality suit include:
Use your judgment and knowledge of quality indicators to determine if the suit you're looking at is worth paying top dollar for.
Every put-together man needs a professional-looking bag, whether it be a piece of luggage, briefcase or messenger bag. While backpacks may offer the ease of carrying, they definitely don't look professional when paired with a suit.
A sturdy and attractive bag is a must for any professional man, especially one who travels frequently. Think about all the wear and tear it will receive from trips in the elevator or subway, and even being stuffed into tiny compartments or under the seats of an airplane. A quality bag should look and feel great while being durable and able to stand by itself.
Common materials from which men's bags are made include:
A leather briefcase or bag has a timeless style and gives men a perfectly put-together look, especially when paired with a really good suit. A high-quality leather bag is designed to age well and remain attractive and durable for many years to come with proper care. It should be soft and supple but still sturdy enough for everyday use. There are many types of leather bags available on the market today.
Always purchase a bag made from genuine full-grain or top-grain leather, as these are the most durable:
Avoid bonded leather — which is made from scraps of leather that are glued together to form a solid piece of leather — and genuine leather products as they are thinner and flimsier. Products made from these types of leather tend to easily peel and rip.
When choosing a bag made of synthetic materials, such as high-quality canvas or another durable material, be sure that it is sturdy and able to withstand the elements. Take the time to feel the fabric for thickness and durability. If it feels thin and flimsy, chances are it will rip easily and need to be replaced before too long. With a higher price tag comes features and materials that are better made and more durable, such as sturdy zippers, locks and handles and thick, padded straps. Higher-quality men's bags will be comfortable to carry, easy to open and close and carefully crafted.
This important accessory will elevate your status as a man who has it all together, and a good bag is worth paying more for since it will provide many years of use. Look to spend around $250-$500+ for a well-made and attractive men's bag.
3. Leather Jackets
The classic leather jacket maintains a timeless style that's been around for decades, and if you buy one of high quality, yours will be around for just as long. It's definitely worth it to spend the money on a quality leather jacket since you'll be wearing it for many years. A top-quality leather jacket will look and feel good and is one of those rare products that actually gets better as the years go on. It should be durable and able to stand up to the elements.
The higher price of a top-quality leather jacket should reflect in better and more durable materials. Features on a higher quality leather jacket include sturdy buttons, zippers and topstitching along with a quality liner, rather than a cheap synthetic one. Well-made leather jackets usually have two separate liners, made of good fabric, located in both the sleeves and the body. Like bags and shoes, always opt for either full-grain or top-grain leather, as these are the most durable.
You can expect to pay at least $500 on a good leather jacket, with that even being on the lower end of the cost spectrum. However, given the classic style and durability, the higher initial cost is well worth it for the number of years if use it will provide. The cost per wear is probably less than any other piece in your wardrobe.
Spending more for shoes that are both comfortable and stylish is definitely worth it, especially for men who are on their feet for long periods. Cheap shoes are often uncomfortable, fall apart easily and need to be replaced frequently. With basic care and maintenance, your shoes can look good and last for a very long time.
Higher-quality shoes are usually made with better materials such as leather, suede, canvas and rubber. The eyelets, lining and laces are usually sturdier and nicer looking as well, and the overall look and comfort level of the shoe is higher with features such as padded insoles and Memory Foam.
It's recommended that you try out a few styles of less expensive shoes until you find the ones that best fit your style and preference. Once you've got it down to a few styles that you know you like, then it's time to go ahead and spend the money on a more expensive, higher-quality pair. Look for shoes with a stitched welt and that can potentially be resoled. It's essential to have shoes in both black and brown and in different styles that match each type of trouser you have.
While it's important to choose styles you enjoy wearing, you should have some basic classic styles such as:
You can expect to pay between $100 to $400 for a quality pair of shoes.
A good haircut makes as important a statement about the man wearing it as any piece of clothing or accessory. It shows that you're professional and care about your appearance, and it lets others know you pay close attention to detail. While the price of your haircut doesn't necessarily need to be high, be sure you're getting a trim regularly every three weeks. This way, you never look as if you've just had your hair cut or that you need a haircut. For most high-quality barbershops or grooming centers, you can expect to pay between $25-$30 per visit.
It's definitely worth it to find a licensed barber or stylist who is experienced with cutting men's hair, has knowledge of modern styles and who will give you a good haircut. It's also to your benefit to find a stylist with whom you can establish a longstanding relationship and who can offer you advice about what styles and products would benefit you as your look changes throughout the years. A recent men's grooming survey revealed that 71 percent of men are loyal to a single barber or stylist and have been going to that person for an average of over seven years.
While it's perfectly okay to have your hair cut at the local walk-in salon franchise, men's barbershops and grooming centers offer an atmosphere that often can't be found in regular unisex salons. Many feature complimentary or add-on services that enhance your experience, such as hot towels and straight razor shaves — which provide a nice reward and something pleasant to look forward to.
At Penner's, we have everything you need to dress sharp, from shoes made of quality materials like buffalo leather, snakeskin and suede, to sport coats and custom-made suits. Our in-house tailors, many of whom have upwards of 25 years experience, will ensure a perfect fit with free alterations at the time of purchase. Order online, purchase over the phone at (210) 226-2487 or visit our San Antonio store to work with our professional staff. Our family-owned business has been making men look good for over 100 years.