13 Comments.

Hey Gents,

Just wanted to take a moment to admire a little detail I discovered on some of the J.Crew shirts I picked up recently. This plaid button-down has a chambray lining on the inside of the collar band, along the sleeve placket, as well as on the side seam detail.

If you’re anything like me, you can appreciate the little details of a well-made item. These details are often hidden; the wearer being one of the few who actually notices.

Katie of Fifth&Brannan incorporates little details into her pieces, almost as a special gift to her customer. In fact, her target market is the kind of man who can appreciate small things such as this.

Superior quality is worth the money

In sticking with the theme of wardrobe minimalism, when you find a piece you really love, get it… even if it happens to cost more than you would normally spend. It’s okay to spend money on a well-made piece if you’re absolutely certain you love it, know it will last years, and will use it often.

My point is this: When faced with a choice, buy fewer, but superior-quality items. If you’re the type to appreciate one-of-a-kind, personalized details in your clothing, spend a little more for them, especially if the garment is well-made.¬†We can’t always buy these higher-priced items, but when you find something that you examine and try on and love, and sleep on, and still can’t stop thinking about, just get it. You’ll be happy you did.

What quality items do you have in your closet? How many sub-par pieces can you replace with one really great, well-made piece?

PUBLISHED October 11, 2010


Barron is the Founding Editor of Effortless Gent and the Cladright Association. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr.



  • Adamslisa01

    I love this times a million! I will always pay more for quality clothes, like J.Crew, because I know it will last…not to mention the quality of the fabric looks way better than, say, a Wal-Mart shirt. Not knocking Wal-Mart…okay, yes I am…there’s a difference, just not everyone cares.

    Glad you shed some light on this awesome point. I see my wardrobe as somewhat of a collection, because that’s what it is, essentially.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Thanks Lisa! That’s a good point, viewing it as a collection. Cloth quality, construction, details… all of that play a role in the price for sure. Most of the time, it’s worth it.

  • Dan

    Excellent points here. I like how you typically associate a picture or specific item of clothing in many of your posts so that people who read it generally understand how to practically apply what you’re talking about. That’s why I keep coming back to this blog. Cheers!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Hey Dan,

      Appreciate the kind words. I figure that’s the easiest way to make sense of my ramblings: be specific and add pictures. Thanks for coming back, and also for saying hi.

      PS I found your other comment (Timex watch post a month back) and finally responded. Sorry I overlooked that!

      • Dan

        Awesome, thanks – I replied back as well!

  • http://www.whatshouldmenwear.com WhatShouldMenWear

    It’s about time guys started appreciating fine quality and small important details instead of “where can I find clothes quickly and cheaply”. Good post, thanks!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      In the short term, it may be more expensive, but if you buy a classic, quality piece, you can wear it for years and years. Thanks for the comment :)

  • Dillon

    Great Post. I am new to your site and referred here by Dappered but i must say i’ve been enjoying your posts more and more each day. Keep it up man, great site.

    On topic, i’ve been noticing this in some of the new J.crew shirts, I attempt to buy a shirt or two each season and this past season i was pleasantly surprised. As a college student it becoming increasingly difficult to defend myself when my roommates and friend find receipts in my room but i stick to my guns in that i truly believe Quality > Quantity. I admit i frequent J.crew a bit more then old navy or target but they are surely not forgotten in my wardrobe.

    Great post.

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Hey Dillon,

      If faced with the choice (and assuming availability of adequate funds), I always choose quality over quantity. I’d much rather spend my money on something durable, well-made, unique, and exciting to me, instead of something shitty and uninspired. J.Crew consistently does it for me, and so I’m loyal to them.

      Sure, some of the more budget-conscious may scoff, but everyone has different priorities and I think people should do what pleases themselves. So frame those receipts! And wear those shirts with pride! haha.

      Glad you found us; appreciate the kind words, and thanks for checking out the site.

  • http://twitter.com/UrbanSophistic Troy Lilly

    I’m about to overhaul most of my wardrobe this month. You’ve been posing some great questions and theories in the “start here” section. I truly do love tiny details like these in my clothes. But I’ve always equated a good wardrobe with lots of clothes, and I rarely buy expensive must-have items. This post definitely challenges that mindset. Maybe I will splurge on a few handmade shoes and perfectly tailored jackets instead of going the quantitative route.

    Thanks!

    • http://effortlessgent.com Barron

      Hey Troy,

      I used to think the same way, lots of clothes = good wardrobe. But as I got older I realized I only wore like, 1/4 of what I actually owned, which meant a lot of wasted money and space. Over the years I’ve been getting rid of more and more, and only keeping what I really loved and wore all the time.

      A good wardrobe is one where you have enough to outfit yourself in any situation, not necessarily the amount of stuff hanging in your closet. It also has everything to do with buying the best quality you can afford. Interchangeability (is that a word? it should be) is key.

      Thanks for reading!

  • AK

    Thank you for this great post! Makes me sad I didn’t come across it earlier!
    Are there any other brands like J-Crew that are accessible in the US and share the same attention to details and quality? My style is more influenced by European style. I used to own a lot of pieces from Zara, but now I am looking for something of higher quality (I’m entering my 30’s soon). I’ve found that most items in J-Crew or similar brands are more on the preppy side. Any other brands in the US for the like of me?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/paulabrahamsmusic Paul Abrahams

    Out here in Australia its hard to find the quality that European English and American gentleman have for choices. Buying over the net is doable if I know exactly what I’m buying. SO by the time a quality garment is imported here, then add retail… you can imagine. I once waited a whole winter to pick up a Canterbury of New Zealand Black Wool Over coat from a high end retail store here. Original RRP was $750, I eventually bought it for $150…. ah bargains! It only gets worn a dozen times each winter but I love it.