For any given price point, you could conceivably be faced with a range of options when buying clothes.  For example, if you have $20 to spend on a shirt, you could buy a new, cheap shirt at retail price from a place like Wal-Mart, a mediocre shirt at clearance prices from a place like Jos. A. Bank, or, if you’re persistent and lucky, a much nicer shirt secondhand at a thrift or consignment store.

The shirt pictured here was the middle option, and it turned out to be a poor choice.  I got maybe nine months’ wear out of it before the sleeve ripped at the elbow and it had to be thrown out.  My better shirts bought secondhand will last many times as long.

Suit: Oxxford, consignment store, $60

Shirt: Jos. A. Bank, clearance, $20

Tie: American Living, clearance, $5

Shoes: Johnston & Murphy Aristocraft, thrifted, $15

Total: $100

If I’d paid retail prices: $4000 or more.

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