The article “22 Things Under $100 That Every Man Should Have In His Closet” was originally published on The Huffington Post site on Oct 17, 2013.
This is my reply.
At the risk of revealing my lack of fashion sensibility, I HAVE to give my two cents on this article (or rather, my $1176.65, since that’s how much all these sub-$100 suggestions add up to). Below are some of the recommendations from the article linked above, followed by thoughts from someone (me) who definitely understands the extreme value that TJ Maxx and Burlington Coat Factory have to offer.
#1. A DARK TWO-PIECE SUIT and #2. A LIGHT TWO-PIECE SUIT
While I agree that both types of suits are cool and necessary, its pretty much impossible to find them at the “under $100” price, unless its a stroke of “clearance” luck, in which case the selection will be limited in color and fit. Think Napoleon Dynamite, but without the pizazz.
#4. TIMELESS SUNGLASSES
#5. A WHITE BUTTON-DOWN SHIRT
The day I pay 85$ for a plain, white button-down shirt is the day I hit the lottery.
#9. A JACKET YOU CAN WEAR IN THE RAIN
I have a jacket I can wear in the rain. I also have a jacket that I can wear when it’s NOT raining…or when its really cold, or when it’s just brisk. It’s called, “my current jacket”.
#10. SHOES YOU CAN WEAR IN THE RAIN
Ditto for the shoes….except they’re called “sneakers”. Did I mention I reside in Arizona? The “heavy” rain season here sees just over 1 inch of precipitation on average, which is why the top story on the local news every night during summertime includes a reporter doing a live shot in the middle of a “downpour”.
#11. A WORK BAG THAT HOLDS YOUR COMPUTER
Laptop bag….when was this article written, 2005? Are people really still lugging laptops around regularly? I thought the CLOUD was addressing this specifically…we’re in the era of tablets, and a bag this size is unnecessary.
#12. A NICE WATCH
I LOVE watches….but they’re primarily just a fashion statement/accessory for most men at this point since every phone can give you the time.
#15. A LEATHER WALLET
Like the laptop bag, it seems as though society is moving away from this accessory (and for good reason), as these days there are more and more multi-function phone/tablet cases that also include slots for credit cards and even (gasp!) cash. Why kill a cow just so I have a place other than my pocket (which is where the wallet goes anyway!?!) to keep my money?
#16. A QUALITY LIP BALM
Since when did Chapstick fall out of the “quality” lip balm category? Plus, pretty much everyone I know calls it Chapstick and not lip balm. If it was good enough to use back in the 80s when skiing, or while riding horses on the beach, then its good enough for me NOW.
#17. GYM SHORTS THAT AREN’T SHINY BAGGY BASKETBALL SHORTS
The gym shorts are just out of CONTROL here. $64???!!! FOR GYM SHORTS??? WITH LESS FABRIC??? C’mon people. I grew up in the era of the Fab 5 and Michael Jordan. Fist above the knee or worse? NOT HAPPENING.
#18. …AND GYM SHIRTS THAT AREN’T DIRTY OLD FRAT SHIRTS
Same goes for the fancy-pants workout shirt. If we’re going this far, then why not just grab #6 on this list and hit the elliptical? May as well SWEAT IN STYLE. Your dry cleaner will love you.
#20 COLLAR STAYS
Those collar-stay things….whoops. Apparently you’re suppose to keep those IN the collar? (This explains a lot)
#21. A DOPP KIT
I’ll give $20 to any guy who can prove they knew that their shaving/toiletry bag had a name before seeing this article. Mine is suede, not the recommended leather though, and I call it my “Diop“ kit instead of a Dopp (for obvious reasons).
So lots of great suggestions from this article. However, I am noticing 2 glaring omissions from this list of things under $100 that every man should own:
No Ralph Macchio jokes here….just talking about a plain, old-fashioned black belt for a man’s pants. Also….
2) A BROWN BELT
How in the world would a guy who adheres to this type of list NOT need any type of belt?? And brown (like the author details in the original piece) goes with MORE things than even black does.
Also….REVERSIBLE (did you notice those pictures are of the SAME belt?). And here are the specs on this glorious trouser binder:
“One belt, two looks [A DUAL THREAT!]. This 32mm two-sided smooth genuine leather belt adds interest and character to your everyday style. [Wait, did that just say interest AND character? SOLD.]
It reverses from brown to black to easily coordinate with your clothes. Features a steel buckle with logo detail on the strap keeper.
Sizes: 32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 47 [I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say the 38″, 40′, and 47″ sizes are the TOP SELLERS]
Color: Brown / Black
IMPORTED” [THIS is where the value really lies! You obviously can’t get this kind of quality and craftsmanship in the U.S., except maybe in the Fashion District in Downtown L.A.]