Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

17th trait – The modern man buys the best clothes that he can afford.


Time for the next one on the list:

The modern man buys the best clothes that he can afford.

A man is a member of a tribe. You may believe that it does not matter how you dress, but it does. You may think that people should not judge by appearances, but they do. You might well consider yourself to be special and above the hierarchies of social status, but you are not.

Too many men today think that stepping out of the house dressed as if they had just rolled out of bed is acceptable. You can get away with it; nobody is going to say anything to you, but you will have created unnecessary hurdles for yourself. Dressing well communicates respect both for yourself and for those around you. It signifies that you are prepared to make an effort, and if you make an effort while the majority of men do not then you are already out in front of the pack. Just as the modern man shaves every day, he also makes a sartorial effort appropriate to the circumstances.

Two things are thus necessary to execute this effectively. Firstly, one must know how to dress. I have posted before on the pitfalls of accepting just any old advice about fashion. I also find that most salespeople in good clothing shops do not know what they are doing. I was in a Paul Smith shop recently where I watched a sales person selling a man a suit. The suit was ill-fitting across the shoulders causing it to bunch up towards the neck. The customer could not see this but the staff member assured him of the perfect fit of the garment.

To know how to dress one must observe, whether it be well dressed men on the street or in magazines or online. My favorite online fashion site for men is The Rake and my favorite online purchasing site is Mr Porter. I could write extensively on how to dress but this is not the post for that. Perhaps a series in the future.

The other thing necessary is good clothing. If you buy cheap clothing you will look cheap, you will feel cheap, and it will cost you more money in the long run. Poorly made clothing wears out quickly. A cheap t-shirt may not survive a couple of washes before it completely loses any shape it once had. However, we are all at different stages of personal economic realities. What is affordable for one man may not be realistic for another. Thereby you need to purchase the very best clothes that you can afford, remembering that it will save you money in the long run.

Purchase clothing strategically. There are classic pieces that every man should eventually own. A coat, a jacket, a suit, various types of shoes, knitwear, shirts, casual shirts, pants and trousers, the list goes on. In 2004 I purchased my first coat, a wool/cashmere black Hugo Boss coat from their flagship London store. It cost me something in the region of £700 which was a fair whack at the time. Not only do I still have it but it looks as good as the day I purchased it and it will never go out of style. It gives me pleasure every time I wear it and it often elicits comments of approval.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, over the years I have added to my wardrobe, always purchasing the very best that I could afford and then some. It takes time to do this but that is part of the satisfaction. Young men of today are taking a greater interest in dressing well than was the case twenty years ago which is to their advantage. Learning how to dress well is daunting but the modern man does not give up easily. He makes the effort to learn and takes pride in his appearance. He is judged accordingly.

The modern man buys the best clothes that he can afford.


Something crazy on impulse.


18th trait – The modern man does not live with his parents.


  1. Windy Wilson

    I cannot give proper attribution, but “Dressing well is the best revenge.”

  2. BTampa

    For the younger men in the audience, I have noticed that the current fashion in suits is tight-fitting. Don’t fall for it. The resulting look is of a boy trying to wear a suit he has outgrown. It makes you look silly and emasculated – and I suspect that is the purpose.

    • Adam

      Traditional cuts are always the way to go. They became traditional for a reason.

  3. dearieme

    The modern man inherits the best clothes his father could afford.

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