Monday, March 12, 2012

How low can you go?

When you own a house that's closing in on 100 years old, there's always a list of things that need to be done. Lots of the list is hopefully small, but once in awhile a bigger thing needs taken care of and it's usually enough to throw schedules and routines out of rhythm. That's what's been happening in my world the past two weeks, but fortunately the worst is over and done with.

Because this is a blog about style on a budget (or a bargain), I've often thought about making a post featuring an ensemble with the absolute bare minimum invested, just to see what I could pull off. Over the years, I've purchased shirts, trousers, ties, and even shoes and a couple suits and sport coats for a single dollar each, but I've never tried to combine them all into something that would add up to be a single outfit comprised of items purchased with Washingtons.

windowpane and blue

I thought of the above just last week, because I came darn close without even really trying to do so. The jacket is an older Jos A. Bank piece that I picked up over the winter during a blowout sale (for $1), and it was the first time I wore it. Obviously, it's not top-end quality, but with an infant who still sometimes spits up without advance notice, I'm not going to sweat it. The tie is a Polo Ralph Lauren linen number, also purchased for a dollar, and the cream chinos and vintage Florsheim wingtips below (both unpictured) were the same price.

windowpane and blue closeup

The only thing that really bumps up the average price is the shirt (Lands' End), which was purchased off ebay in a lot and came out to $8 including shipping. The pocket square is a lovely vintage piece from Yankee Whisky Papa, and it worked absolutely perfectly here.

I've never been one to fawn over designer names (although I certainly get a kick out of finding them on occasion), and after putting this all together I felt like it all came off pretty nicely. When I realized that I'd probably only invested about $25 total in the ensemble (give or take), including undergarments, it made me feel even better.

After all, I've got a college fund (and a nearly 100 year old house) to worry about.


  1. Really liking the varying shades of blue, as well as the shirt and jacket windowpane. How old would you guess the jacket to be? I've found some excellent old pieces from JAB made in America, and while on the site just now, saw two pair of patchwork madras pants only $34.99. While they're marked down from $125, they might be worth a look.

  2. It's such a shame! You won't find great stuff like that in Germany for so little money!

    Such an amazing jacket for 1 $???

    I'm going mad!

  3. Sweet. Fit over fancy names, every time. Great ensemble, glad you're not gone.

  4. A wonderful outfit for spring. Has it sprung where you are?

    I love the idea of putting together my cheapest outfit. $3 shoes, $1 tie, free shirt (gift, but used)... I'm afraid it all goes up from there, though.

    1. I don't know that winter ever truly hit here. It's kind of frightening, actually. I was only able to wear my peacoat for a single week, otherwise it's been about 20-30 degrees above normal. I am kind of dreading what summer will be like.

      The uber-cheap ensemble is a fun concept I might revisit. I'll have to look and see whether or not I have a full body of $1 items that even go together...

  5. Great idea for a post. I often stop and think about how much of what I have on was thrifted or otherwise acquired cheaply. The Hickey Freeman suit, Allen Edmonds shoes, Brooks Brothers shirt and no name tie I wore to my sister's wedding cost me a total of $14.

  6. Oy, a 100 year old house??? My 18 year old house requires all my cash. Although, yours is probably built better.