Good deals can be found outside of the thrift shop as well…
Shirt: Uniqlo OCBD (older model), sale $19.90
Sweater: J. Crew Lambswool Fair Isle, clearance ~$40
Scarf: Moon of England Limited Edition Cashmere Houndstooth Scarf, STP ~$30 (these are not as nice, in my opinion, as the Johnston’s of Elgin ones often available at STP for about the same price)
Vest: Lands’ End Wool Blend Down Vest, clearance $50
Uniqlo’s OCBD is on sale for $19.90
Uniqlo’s OCBD is currently on sale for a hair under $20. They’re not the best, and they’re not the worst, and at $20 I think they’re well worth it if: 1) you don’t plan on wearing it with a tie as the collar points are a bit short, and the roll isn’t that great (bow ties are ok in my book, since they cover up a bit of the roll); 2) you fit well into their S, M, L, XL sizing—for what it’s worth the L fits someone who’s a 16/34 quite well, and comes in a bit slimmer and shorter than Brooks Brothers’ Slim Fit OCBD. The latter is a bonus if you ever plan on wearing yours untucked.
I own several of these OCBDs from over the years (they used to be a fuller cut) and they hold up really well to hard wear and frequent washing (no loose threads or buttons yet). They’re a great affordable, casual beat-around shirt.
So I’ve been wearing a lot of white T-shirts lately while working around the house. I’ve got my own washer and dryer now too, so I’m much more cavalier about wearing and washing whatever white T-shirt is to hand.
I wrote some time ago about my tireless quest to find the perfect white T. So far, my favorite is probably Brooks Brothers’ white Supima cotton undershirt. But it’s pretty expensive for a white t-shirt since you have to buy 3, and a 3-pack costs $40. I bought the 3 that I own at a thrift store new in the packaging for $3. I left some behind because I wasn’t sure how much I’d like them, and regret it to this day.
The day I wrote my white T-shirt post I had just picked up some 'Premium Cotton' white Ts at Uniqlo on sale for $7.90 and promised I’d check back in with you folks about how they were getting along. Now, several washes later, they’re holding up well and constitute a pretty good value for a white T-shirt—especially if you can get them on sale. They’re a little thicker feeling than the Brooks Brothers ones, and even though both are made of 100% cotton, the Uniqlo one doesn’t feel as if it breathes quite as well as the BB one. It’s a prefectly serviceable white T-shirt though, and I’ll probably pick up a few more the next time I’m at Uniqlo.
Not long after the Uniqlo purchase, I also picked up one of the white T-shirts from Everlane using some credit that they had given me. The Everlane shirt is the most expensive of the bunch at $15. Of the 3 brands mentioned in this post, it’s the only one made in the USA, and is considerably thinner and noticeably softer than all the others. Also, it looked a little more off-white or creamy in color to me than the bright white of the Uniqlo and Brooks Brothers shirts. I somehow immediately got a little streak of green ink near the collar of the shirt, and now wear it mostly to cook or do other kinds of work where I don’t care if my shirt gets dirty or not.
The Everlane shirt is probably the most comfortable of the bunch, but the thinness of the fabric would make me feel a little self-conscious about wearing it around all the time in public. It’s slightly more see through than the others. But $15 for a plain white T-shirt is, to me at least, a bit much to be asking for such a thing. That said, if you’re savvy and have a broad social network, Everlane does offer referral credits for people who sign up through you and make purchases. If you’re successful with that they become the cheapest of the three, by which I mean free.
Dusty pastels from Uniqlo are an affordable way to break into the Cucinelli color palette without breaking the bank. The color of the pants is not represented too well here, as I adjusted the colors a bit, but if you’re looking for those dusky pinks, dirty minty greens, and sun-washed lavenders and Cucinelli’s price point is too high (many of us are mere financial mortals, after all), I say definitely give Uniqlo a try.