Buying list for 2017
I am not sure if it has anything to do with new year or if I just got a bit more mature in my sartorial purchases. I decided however that I would write a blog post on my buying list for this year as I have finally created one. It is not as easy as it might sound. We are very often buying and making the decision based on a impulse. It has not been well thought through hence we buy stuff we do not really need or want. Sale offers which nowadays arrive by email in a newsletter on a monthly basis invite us to take the advantage of “new products” or “spring/summer/winter/christmas sale”.
Creating a buying list of things we REALLY need or simply has always wanted is a good starting point. It will narrow down the number of purchases to only very particular products. It will help focus on where to get it for the best price (therefore get the most out of our money) rather than on a very general aspect as “what to buy”.
I imagine that as a menswear enthusiasts you browse Instagram or Tumblr constantly looking for inspiration and/or good offers on products you like and are keen to purchase. As many different products there are on the market each of us have slightly different taste and preferences. Because of that we all have a different hierarchy of things we like most. This is a kind of a list already, even if it only exists in your head now. The difficult part now is to put this “list” against our own wardrobe and put the items in descending order. Start with those you really need. With clothes, obviously, almost nothing is super needed but you know what I mean. If you start a job when a dress code is required you most likely be in a need for classic, navy suit. Or if you already have one you might need a cooler version of it for summer. Continue until you have maybe 6-10 things on the list. Put a price (approximate is fine) against them and sum up. Are you able to spend that much within a year? If not simply spread it over the next 2 years. The same applies to bespoke orders. Although it might even be more difficult as you have to plan well ahead to take into account the making time (anything between 6-12 months). There is no point in ordering summer suit in February because it will only be finished about July-August or September so you will have to wait with wearing for next year anyway. Plan carefully then.
In the beginning of the previous paragraph I said that we often browse the internet and look for things we like and then mentally apply a hierarchy to them. I did the exact same thing and created my own, short for now, list of things I would like to purchase. Here it is.
- Dark brown suede chukka boots
- Brown suede a-1 bomber jacket
- Navy suit (possibly bespoke order)
- Original, vintage field jacket
- Colourful, lightweight scarf in green or brown colour
- Raglan overcoat
- make use of the gun check fabric I purchased last year
- plain pocket squares
- lightweight sleeveless cardigan
I have not added any underwear, socks or shirts which I consider secondary items and will probably get them anyway. They are all of less importance and usually cheaper so no need to really make big plans for them.
The first item, chukka boots, in my opinion is a must. I can’t believe I still don’t own a pair. You can literally wear them day-in and day-out during weekends and depending on your work dress code probably also during the week. The classic dark brown version is so versatile. Exactly 2 years ago I even did a post called Chukka boots review (and part 2 here) in which I listed many brands and models that I like. My favourite way of wearing suede shoes is with flannel trousers or flannel suit. Combination of those two fabrics is in my opinion absolutely brilliant. Chukkas work great with khaki chinos and denim and off white cords or chinos too!
During last edition of Pitti Uomo I visited the stand of well know Italian brand Valstar which is best known for their suede bomber jackets. Bomber jacket is a very classic item and they come in different colours although the brown is probably most versatile. Valstar’s version is called Valstarino and is their take on the A-1 model. What I like most about it is that is buttoned rather then zipped and it has two front pockets, also buttoned. In UK you can find it in the online retailer Mr. Porter. Another brand that makes beautiful suede bomber jackets (and field jackets too!) is Stoffa. They can either be found in US or in Scandinavia at MARCUS MALMBORG through their Trunk Shows there.
Navy suit do not no explanation. As surprising as it is I currently do not own a classic navy, formal suit. I have a dark blue one from Suitsupply, few striped double breasted ones and two grey: single and double breasted. On top of that quite a few sport coats which seem to be my favourite. Navy and especially herringbone is much needed and most likely is going to be my next bespoke order.
During my last visit to The Vintage Showroom in London I discovered the original field jackets. One of their big advantages is not only that they simply look much cooler that the modern variations but most often they are longer. It is important because I like to wear them with sport coats or jackets in general. They need to be long enough then to cover the jacket. I already own one by M&S which I showed here but it is not long enough for my other coats and I can’t wear them as often as I’d like. Deep army green would be my preference and I actually quite like the earlier models like M-43 for example.
Last item on the list: colourful scarf. I wear my blue Gutteridge scarf almost every day as it works well with every jacket I have. The double breasted brown-ish herringbone overcoat needs something more vivid and I wear it with orange scarf usually. I would therefore like to have another one maybe in green. Scarf though is not 100% priority though. Depending on the other orders I might prefer to make use of the fabric I own for a classic sport coat in English gun check fabric.
As I summary I would like to advice you to make yourself a list of your clothing priorities and stick to it when considering next purchase. Prioritise stuff you have always wanted or really need and just buy it, regardless if something else is on sale. You won’t regret it and I think it wearing it would only be more enjoyable. That’s the whole point in the end, isn’t it?
Thanks for reading! Until next time.
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