The Ten Suit Plan

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Braak

Let’s figure that you can wear a suit three times before it needs to be dry-cleaned.  And let’s assume that, out of seven days in a week, on at least one of those days, I’m going to be painting or dressed down or what have you, and not need to wear a suit.  Jeans or something, who knows?  That’s six days a week.

If I want to wear a different suit every day, and ensure that my suit-cycle doesn’t synchronize with the days of the week (so, Monday is the gray suit, Tuesday is the blue suit, that’s bad), and I want to do my dry-cleaning once a month, then I need ten suits.

So, now, whenever I buy a dress shirt, I make sure I can wear it with at least two suits, which means in theory I’d only need five dress shirts — if I bump that to six, I can do my laundry once a week, on the day when I’m not wearing a suit, and be ready to go again next week.  In theory, though, since I’m wearing each suit three times, I could go for a week only wearing two suits, meaning I’d need at least nine shirts.

If I make sure that every tie I get goes with at least two shirts, then I only need five ties.

I have three suits; I’d need seven more.  Plus another four dress shirts, and six more ties.  (I think I should probably have twice as many ties as there are days in the week in which I wear a suit, because the last thing you want is a reputation as the guy that always wears the same six ties.)

Fortunately for me, I can buy a suit off the rack and expect it to fit well, so I could fill out my seven remaining suit-slots for less than a thousand dollars.  But even MORE fortunately for me, I can also find thrift-store suits and expect THOSE to fit well — this is seven suits, best-case scenario, for seventy dollars.  Worst-case (that is, I’d have to buy the suit and have it tailored to fit) for $420 dollars.

Ties are pretty cheap; I like paisley ties (both because I think they look cool, and for the symbolic value), and since apparently nobody else does, I can find these for eight or ten bucks at Ross.

So, actually, the most expensive part of this plan is the shirts — I like a bright, crisp shirt, which rules out the thrift stores.  I can get these remaindered at Ross, too, for like ten or twelve bucks — but correct sizing is a big problem.  To make sure I get shirts that fit, I’d have to take the hit and periodically get a shirt at $14 or $24.

I can accomplish my ten-suit plan for….between $200 and $540.

That’s not such an investment, to ensure that I’m better-dressed than all of you.

  1. braak says:

    Shoot, pocket squares. I need to account for pocket squares.

  2. Jeff Holland says:

    I support all of this, with some notes:

    1) Really, paisley? Huh. Okay then.

    2) You have that nice black tie. That nice black tie will pretty much solve like 80% of your tie issues. It’s a good tie.

    3) You should throw a casual day into your schedule. This casual day would simply be “no coat.” Because you don’t want to look like a slob, now.

    4) You should also invest in a few more shirts – Old Navy will do the job more cost-effectively than, say, Express (my preferred cool-fitted-shirt retailer)

    4) Yeah, you do need to account for pocket squares.

    5) And I’m assuming suspenders, too (don’t lie – yeah you do). And vests. Vests are good now, as long as you don’t make a thing out of it. (Target comes in handy here)

    6) There’s a great $2-per-item drycleaners in Norristown (next to the Burger King on 202), so make a note of that.

    7) Also: Linen. I’m assuming you’d want to wear a suit in the summer at some point. You’ll need a linen suit. $$$$$

  3. braak says:

    I have suspenders. I like suspenders, they’re great. It’s like wearing three ties at once.

    I’ve got a black vest, too; that can switch in on basically any pair of suit pants except for the brown suit.

    And I do have a summer suit; it is seersucker, which I think is kind of rad, but no one else appreciates. Linen suit, hmmm.

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