Clothing, maybe a bit of Class, a little unique, smaller price tag?
April 20, 2014 8:29 PM   Subscribe

So, for the longest time, I have coveted some of the vests sold by San Fransisco alt clothing store Five and Diamond such as this. I like getting occasionally dressed up and I tend to favor stark contrasts of a white collard shirt with something else (a vest a tie etc.) when I do. I am looking for something like that but, as in the linked vest, with a little extra pizazz That being said, I don't get dressed up often enough these days (nor do I necessarily make enough money) to rationalize dropping that much money on a single item. Anyone have cheaper ideas of where to find similar items?
posted by sendai sleep master to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Ah. Something like the tradtional etsy steampunk vest?

These guys can apparently build to order. (via google)

I looked up two of the measure-folk-at-hotels-in-the-states-and-make-the-suits-in-Asia guys, and found that custom vests from them run $125-400. Which is something of a null result, but I was curious.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:22 PM on April 20, 2014

I'm not much of a vest guy, myself, but I do love traditionally tailored clothing. In the internet age, there is hardly ever a need to buy something at full retail (other than finding a very unusual size, or going true bespoke). I routinely find items that would normally cost two or three grand, selling for roughly 10% of that. Sites like eBay, Etsy, etc. are good starting points.

The linked item strikes me as something aimed specifically at the Steampunk set, so I imagine there's a subculture upcharge at play here. Is that something that appeals to you, specifically, or do you just want a dark, striped vest? If the latter, there are any number of places (online, thrift shop, local menswear store) where you could find an equivalent -- and probably better-made -- item. Heck, you might even find an actual vintage vest (maybe not from the 1800s, but certainly from the early-mid 20th century) that isn't much more expensive than the one you're currently lusting after. If the former, a quick search of eBay found at least one full page of more costume-y options, almost all of which were < $126.

When trying to figure out if a piece of clothing is worth a given price, I find it helpful to calculate a rough "cost-per-wear." If something costs $126, how many times will I have to wear it -- within approximately a year -- before it becomes cost-effective? Using a cup of nice coffee as a unit of worth, that vest would have to be worn ~ 40 times. Am I comfortable "renting" something at $3/wear? Depending on the item, absolutely. But what if I think I'll only get to wear it a handful of times? The same item looks a lot less desirable when the ratio is say, five uses at $25.
posted by credible hulk at 9:55 AM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thank you for your very thoughtful answer, credible hulk.

I'm not necessarily looking for something specifically Steam Punk, I'm more interested in something that is just a little embellished or left of center. Not theatrically of a sub-culture but something outside of the pale blue and greys that everyone at the office might be wearing on the weekend. I think your suggestion to dig into ebay/etsy is a good one and I will take a look!
posted by sendai sleep master at 5:05 PM on April 21, 2014

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