Originally published – July 8, 2013
Congratulations, you’re all grown up. You get up and go to work everyday to make a living. Maybe you work in an office, or maybe on a sales floor. Maybe you have to drive around and meet clients. Maybe you sling coffee, or pour drinks, or make spreadsheets, or draw cartoons or create inventions that will change the world, like Nutella. Mmmm Nutella. Maybe you just need something for church on Sundays. Regardless, there’s one thing you must do.
Put on a shirt.
It’s necessary. There is no getting around it. (Shut up life guards and professional wrestlers, this article ain’t for you.) Now how can you do that, put on a shirt, without spending a fortune? A Hugo Boss or a Brooks Brothers can go for $150 – $200. And looking around more, you can find shirts for triple that. Now, I’d love to be the guy that has all his shirts tailor made, but let’s be real. I’ve got kids. I’m not having bespoke clothing anytime soon. But at the same time, I don’t want the right out of college – JC Penny’s Essentials shirts for $15. (Actually, I think I have a couple.)
So here is a little help on how you can have some good quality shirts without spending a ton. You know I love lists, so….Top Five:
So, I’m throwing this site in because, honestly, you need white shirts. And they have them for $20. It’s not their best cotton, and you have to iron them, but did I mention they are $20. Yours are old and yellowing in the pits. Replace them. Now.
Pros: Variety of collar and cuff options. I recommend the Windsor Spread. The straight is really long. Grab both a regular and french cuff. The price, obviously, is nice. Free monogramming is also pretty classy. Plus, white is your go to shirt.
Cons: I wear an 18 in the neck. They have tons of sizes, but the slim fit stops at 17 1/2, and they get blousy at 18. (I do find it funny I need “slim” anything.) Also, this is their lower end cotton and not wrinkle free. I send them to the cleaners.
I know, you’re wondering how Costco made a list of nice shirts. I’m a little bit shocked myself. But I saw a buddy at work in a really nice spread collar shirt. I ask him where he got it and sure enough, Costco. Evidently he snagged his shirt while shopping and they GAVE him a free shirt. I hear they have an amazing business culture there. Not only that, but it’s a nice shirt. It makes me wonder who makes them. If you know about Costco’s Kirklands brand, there are rumors of its couterpart brands being pretty good. For instance, I hear Kirklands Vodka is really Grey Goose. Who knows, maybe their shirts are Gucci. Probably not, but you don’t know.
Pros: Price is $17.99, wrinkle free and good materials. Great back up or weekend shirt.
Cons: Low stock and hard to find your size. Also, there is a very small selection, maybe 12 different shirts.
So, Nordstrom is known for their high end quality clothing.The Rack is the clearance portion for Nordstrom. It makes the list because you can scoop up those $150 shirts for $50 or $100. Still kind of pricey, but you get the quality for a fraction of the cost. Think of it like an upscale Ross. Hmm, Ross did not make my list….
Pros: Name brands, quality materials at a fraction of the cost.
Cons: Still costs some money and you have to dig for it. I personally don’t love shopping at Ross or The Rack because it feels like a mess to me. If I’m going to treasure hunt, I’d rather hit a thrift shop, ya know whaddimean? But I can’t deny the deals you can find.
Joseph A. Banks? Isn’t that where your dad shops? Yeah, I know. Banks is known for a traditionally look – translate to old. But really, they have some great stuff and really great sales. Speaking of sales, their deal of the day section online makes the list for buttons downs and polos. I’m not kidding, there are some steals. I prefer their Traveler and Executive line. The Joseph line is their high end, but I found they fit a little small, hard to tuck in. Shop right and you can find their $95 shirt for $15 or $20. Check their sales and their Deal of the Day and you can find some amazing buys.
Pros: Great price and quality. They have slim fit, wrinkle free and casual shirts. Their sales are great and they have locations everywhere. You don’t like it, return it to the store.
Cons: Deals change daily so you have to be vigilant. Free shipping occurs after $95 so do some serious looking. Plus, you have to shop the sale, which makes me feel a little like shopping at Kohls.
I’ve mentioned this company before and I’m a fan. Some how, I magically got a catalog in the mail. It was a pretty compelling offer, shirts for $34.50 that are normally $160. So I tried a non-iron slim fit french cuff. It’s my new favorite shirt. What’s more, I used a visa gift card that caused my order to bounce out. They called me the next day, replaced my order and verified it. All with a super nice British accent. Because, yeah, they are located on Jermyn Street in London, which is like the Rodeo Drive over there, I guess. I’ve ordered three more sense. I would recommend the wrinkle free.
And here’s another tip. In your browser put in http://www.ctshirts.com/ and then type a letter. See if anything auto populates, like Mack or Chester. There are different offers for each address. One has a free tie with shirts at $39.50, another has free shipping.
Mack may be the only one working right now. But there regular site has a great sale going on too.
Pros: Great price, style, quality and selection. Great customer service. My favorite so far.
Cons: Since it is a special, not every shirt is included. Also, many are on back order and have an anticipated arrival date. I waited a month for my new shirt, but it was worth it.
Since you have to wear a shirt anyway, might as well be a nice one.