Investment Clothing: Buy Less, Buy Better

Posted by Ethan M. Wong on

It’s no surprise that we love menswear, and the reasons are countless. For example, there are so many distinct niches like ivy style, Italian tailoring and vintage milsurp; you can even mix and match these to your heart’s content.  On the psychological side, it’s been reported many times that dressing well (not necessarily more formally) makes you more confident. And we definitely like to look good. In any case, menswear a pretty great hobby that can involve many parts of your life, resulting in crafting personal style to having a profound effect on your surroundings. However, this definitely comes with a few caveats.

As someone who has been passionate about menswear for a long time (with extremely varied interests), I can tell you that overdoing it is definitely a big issue.  I’m sure other guys in the industry can attest to having closets on the brink of self-implosion. I’m happy to say that I’ve calmed down in recent years and that’s because of one simple mantra: “Buy Less and Buy Better”.  In other words, you should think of clothing as an investment rather than something to satiate a simple thirst. And like with any investment, it takes careful, specific thought and a sizable financial payment, but the result will definitely pay off. 

Trust me, your wallet, closet, and your style will thank you for it.  

Here are some tips and things to keep in mind when making the switch to investment clothing.


Keep things classic

Impulse buying is never a good thing, since it leads to regret and unnecessary closet space. And more often than not, this is because the purchase is made due to a trend.  Obviously some trends are good, but one way to combat buyer's remorse is by ensuring that what you buy is classic and versatile for your attire. A great leather or suede jacket in a classic design will stand the test of time and can be worn with everything, from your well-worn jeans to your crisp grey trousers. In most cases, you only need one jacket that will serve all of your needs, so why not make it a classic piece?

gurkha trousers



Keep it Intentional and Specific

Even if something isn’t necessarily classic (a man can only have so many navy suits or OCBDS), the purchase should definitely be a piece that you genuinely want. The piece should be something that you’ve thought long and hard about, not something that you’ve had a passing fancy for.  In some cases, like with us, an investment piece allows you to customize the garment, from the color and cloth to how it fits on your body.  You no longer have to simply settle for an easy fix; the investment will be made exactly the way you want! 

Not only will this prevent an impulse buy that you may regret, but rather will result in a buy that you’re going to love and wear for as long as you can.  You know your style better than anyone else, so if you’re sure you like it, it’ll be worth it. The clear and specific intent makes it a better purchase.


Better Materials and Quality Made Garments

Fast-fashion is a harmful medium in which to obtain your clothing. On one hand, it only serves to fuel your temptations and usually results in cheap, mediocre pieces that may not fit you well that will hardly stand the test of time (both in terms of life and style).  You really do pay for what you get, which may be good in the short term, but will almost always result in you having to throw it away (which is bad for the environment).  

And let’s not forget that menswear doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it has profound effects on the world.  As a whole, investment clothing is built to last, not just in terms of style, but in the way it’s manufactured.  Sure, the prices may be higher than what you’re used to, but you’re getting premium materials (no synthetics here), more quality control on the finished product, ethical labor, and special details and designs. This gives you a product that will last the normal wear-and-tear life (with proper care, of course) and won’t need to be replaced every year or in some cases, just flat-out thrown away. A fast-fashion company is only concerned about profit and making something that is easily digestible, not a garment that is special and intentional.  That’s why investment clothing is the way to go, from a great leather jacket to a sharp bespoke suit.


In the rare cases that you may need to pass on your piece, just know that you’ll get a better resell value with an investment garment than a fast-fashion or a cheap one. This is mainly due to the previous fact: great clothing is made well.  As a result, it will retain a bit of its value, like a well-maintained watch or car, making it worth passing on when the time is right. The same can’t be said for cheaply made clothing, which is literally made to be replaceable and to fill a temporary need.



Supporting Craft Business is Important

The only reason cheap clothing and unethical labor continue is because people keep paying for it. There’s nothing wrong with wanting stylish clothes, but the way you obtain it matters.  By supporting craft business and high quality garments, you are taking a stand against what fast-fashion stands for, shoddy materials, workmanship and all. As you buy something that was carefully made with the best materials, you are saying that you support this artisanal, ethical approach to clothing which has been a method that unfortunately has almost been lost to time.

Craft Business, especially when it’s custom, has something else that makes it superior to a fast-fashion brand: a story.  You see this most commonly in stand-alone cafes and restaurants, but it’s completely relevant in menswear. Instead of corporate garment that was made for the masses, you’ll have a garment that involves everyone, from the (usual) historic design, to the care of the workers, to your own personal story, woven in as you select the materials and customize it to your preferences. Buying from an artisanal brand helps continue their own story and helps others take part in it as well.  This is what we like to practice here at Craftsman Clothing.

Hopefully as more people decide to “buy less and buy better” with investment clothing, we can see a return to form: a world that doesn’t think about clothing as something trendy and replaceable, but as a garment with thought, intention, and story.

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