Yeah, I said it… ebay. I hate that shit. No, seriously. I mean I really hate it. There’s nothing worse than finding something you love, getting really excited, and placing a bid, only to find out that some creeper in Montana outbid you in the last 3 seconds. That’s why I stay clear away from the whole “auction” idea.
You probably already knew that when you do a search on ebay, you can select the “buy it now” option. That means no annoying bidding, and no creeper from Montana screwing you out of Brittany Spear’s platform shoes from 1999. But what I bet you didn’t know is that there a few key items you can get on ebay for ridiculously low prices that can seriously help upgrade your style game.
1. Ties (search: skinny ties, bow ties, pre-tied bow ties).
Skinny ties, bow ties, bondage ties (no, I’m just kidding… we aren’t talking about that kind of tie here)… they’re all over ebay. I bought a pre-tied bow tie in black silk from a company in China for… get this… $.99. That’s right. $.99. Not even a dollar. You can’t get get a cup of coffee from McDonald’s for $.99 now. Shipping was even free. You aren’t even going to find a tie for $1 at Goodwill. This one doesn’t smell like cat pee, and the quality is decent. For those of you with the dapper skillz to tie your own bow tie (I’ll be posting a video on this shortly), you can also find those for a few bucks. *Disclaimer– most of the ties you’ll find for that price will be “silk.” For some reason, it’s much harder to find cotton/cloth ties for under $10.
2. Dress shirts (search: men’s slim fit dress shirt)
This one was the biggest find of all. I put in “xs men’s dress shirt and was expecting to find a couple used pieces. Instead, I found page after page of Korean/Chinese companies selling what looked to be decent dress shirts in various colors for around $11 (with shipping). Now, I’ve spent a lot of time honing which brands work for me and which don’t. An extra small shirt from Alfani is like… four times bigger than an extra small shirt from H&M, and even those shirts within the brand vary from model to model. So I took a gamble and ordered the small. I got the shirt two weeks later, and it’s now one of my favorite dress shirts. The sleeves hit in just the right place, it’s fitted but isn’t too tight like so many of my other shirts post-cruise, and the length was spot on (which is nearly impossible to find). The quality is about what you’d expect for a $10 shirt, but again, it’s new, its cheap, and the fit is fantastic. *Disclaimer– these are “asian” sizes (their term, not mine!). They run VERY small. I’m normally an extra small in SLIM shirts here, and the small in China is about one cheesburger away from being too tight. Order at least one size up, and make sure you’re ordering the US size and not the “Asian” size (a US S is an “Asian” M).
3. Pocket Squares (search: pocket squares)
These run about $2-3. If you go to JCrew you’re looking at at least $30. Even a TJ Maxx find will be at least $8. My theory on pocket squares is that you’re only looking at about a quarter inch of fabric. Most people aren’t going to judge you on the thread count… and if they do, they’re douchbags. If you don’t know how to make your own, ebay is a great place to build your stash.
4. “Leather” Jacket (search: men’s slim fit leather jacket)
Proceed with extreme caution here– I was NOT a fan of the fit here. Leather jackets are tricky. Faux leather jackets are trickier (maybe I’ll do a post just on leather jackets soon). They have to fit better than any other jacket you own. If not, you look sloppy and ridiculous. I ordered this jacket in an extra small, and unfortunately, I ran into the problem I almost always run into when I buy leather jackets… it was too long. A leather jacket should hit at your belt, and not below it (ouch). And, while there’s some wiggle room with other types of jackets, you have to stick to this rule. However, if you’re taller than I am, I highly suggest doing a search for “men’s slim leather jackets.” Worst case, you spend $25 plus shipping on a jacket you can’t wear… Not the end of the world.
5. Suspenders (search:.. uh… duh.. suspenders…)
I’ve decided to try rocking the suspenders again, since my girlfriend says she likes them. It’s been a long time since I’ve done it, but I’ve seen some great fashion posts using them with bow ties, or just open collar dress shirts. A quick ebay search yielded cheap suspenders in just about every color/print you can imagine for a total of about $4. You’ll probably want to go with the clip-on ones, like I have on here, unless you’re feeling swanky enough to get buttons tailored onto your pants (which I’ve done before). If you get the clips, you can wear them with anything from jeans to suits without having to permenantly alter your pants. *Disclaimer- I recommend a bland color like gray, khaki, black or navy, unless you’re really bold. Anything too bright or colorful is going to be limiting and (unless you’re REALLY good) detract from the dapperness of the outfit.
So there it is, folks. No bidding required. Now, if you’ll excuse me, ebay is calling.