12 expensive products

12 Expensive Products That Are Worth Their Price

If you follow gentleman’s Gazette on a regular basis, you know that we always encourage you to invest in quality items because quality items get better with age versus cheap items deteriorate over time.

Also, we encourage you to look at the cost per wear of an item, not just the upfront cost, because most of the time, a quality item is less expensive in the long run. That being said, not every costly thing has to be new, sometimes you can find quality items that used to be expensive but you buy them used that way you can enjoy the quality benefits without having to go all-in on the money.

Sven Raphael's Leather Weekender

Sven Raphael’s Leather Weekender

Leather Weekender

Most quality leather bags will likely run you around $1,000 or more simply because of the high-end leather. Ideally, you want it to be leather lined without having the extra weight.

I’ve received lots of compliments from my leather weekender because it has a beautiful leather, it’s a classic brown tone which is nothing special. However, it is chrome tanned in Italy and has a nice pull-up effect. What that means is if I pull on the leather, it creates a different effect. Also if I scratch it, I see a scratch mark but then if I rub on it with my finger, it secretes some oils, and the scratch mark is hardly ever visible. This kind of leather creates a beautiful patina over time that is lived in and unique to you and the experiences you had with your bag.

I can use it when I travel over the weekend or just as a carry-on, or as a bag that I bring to go to the gym. Because of the leather, this kind of bag will be unique. No one else will have one like you, and it’s just much more stylish and elegant than a nylon bag or a canvas bag. It will also last longer and therefore, the cost per wear is low.

Quality OTC Socks

At $40, it is relatively expensive, and if you go with materials like silk or cashmere, you go out to 75 or $100- $120. Apparently, you can buy a pair of socks for $1 less, the problem is, especially over the calf socks, is that they always slide down. On top of that, the material is cheap, the seams are thick, the socks are uncomfortable, and you have to wear them all day.

It’s probably no surprise you that I’m wearing $40.00 socks from Fort Belvedere because I designed them myself and was sick and tired of socks that would slide down, so I came up with a design of high-quality yarns with socks that stayed up with the right elastics. On top of that, I wanted two-tone colors because they make it much easier to combine the socks with your outfits and your shoes.

At the same time quality socks that are more expensive come in different sizes. For example, Fort Belvedere offers four sizes, so you get exactly the right fit for your foot. Because we use a very expensive high-quality long staple cotton yarns, they will last longer, and the cost per wear is as low or lower than a cheaper pair of socks.

Sven Raphael Schneider's Tweed overcoat

Sven Raphael Schneider’s Tweed overcoat and Burgundy Red Suede Unlined Leather from Fort Belvedere

A Classic Overcoat

Yes, you can find overcoats for less than 200 dollars but a quality overcoat from natural materials such as wool, or cashmere, will run you at least a thousand dollars or more. Not only does it keep you warm during the cold months of the year, but it’s also very stylish. You can wear it on top with a suit, a jacket, or just your regular sweater. If you buy a classic overcoat such as a duffle coat in Ulster, or maybe a paletot, you’ll get something you can wear for years to come.

In my opinion, the best value is a hundred percent wool overcoat out of a heavy wool. If money is no object for you, go with a cashmere blend which is softer, usually not as heavy, and it wears out more quickly. If you can just invest in one overcoat, I suggest going with a navy or dark blue overcoat, a paletot which is very simple with a peak lapel that is double-breasted because the extra layers keep you warm. If you’re on a budget, overcoats are a great item to buy second-hand because they don’t fit as snugly because of the heavy fabric, they drape better, and they’re just more forgiving than a suit would be.

Mainly, all the overcoats in my collection are vintage, and I was able to get quality pieces at very low price. It ranges from a vintage Chester Barrie paletot overcoat with a velvet collar to a British warm or just a Casentino style double-breasted navy overcoat that I have found at Bobby from Boston.

Well-Fitting Gloves

Usually price point wise, you have to invest between hundred fifty dollars, if you want to go with peccary leather, we’re talking more about three hundred plus dollars. First of all, your gloves should fit tightly, and it should be made of a soft glove leather that stretches with the movements of your hands. You also want quirks between the fingers because it increases the range of movement and makes it more comfortable. To learn more about the glove leathers, please check out our glove leather guide here. You want them to be finally sewn either by hand or by machine, and you want something that just gets better with age. For example, lamb Nappa is soft and very sweet, but it will wear out more quickly than peccary leather which is made to last.

For example, I’ve had a pair of peccary gloves for over 10 years. I would wear them outside in the winter, they got all wet, but I could wash them and dry them, and they’ve developed a patina over the years. They’re too big and don’t fit me well that’s why I decided to create my own but overall, the leather is top-notch, and that’s how a peccary glove will age over time.

Precious Metal Cuff Links

Price-wise, it can range all the way from 300 dollars up to $25,000. So why should you invest in a pair of cufflinks? It’s  one of those few jewelry items for men apart from a ring that looks very dapper, elegant, and classic. Most modern cufflinks these days are made in China, the not made out of precious metal, they look cheap, gaudy, and they’re quite loud. On the other hand, classic cufflinks, for example, knots or some with precious or semi-precious stones as well as cloisonné enamel cufflinks are made by real artisans and craftsmen that put all their knowledge into it, and because it is made of a precious metal, it will last you for a lifetime, and you can even hand it down to your children and grandchildren.

If you invest in a piece like Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, or Tiffany, you also pay for the brand name and their experience. How much you should invest in a pair of cufflinks is of course entirely up to you but just a comparison; on the one hand, you have a pair of Tiffany cufflinks in 18 karat gold, they’re hollow, they’re not solid, and they cost $2,700, on the other hand, we have a pair of monkey fist knot Fort Belvedere cufflinks, the shape was hand-carved and it’s an actual rope knot and you can see how it’s beautiful and twisted, they’re also solid and therefore much heavier than the gold cufflinks from Tiffany’s.

I think both of them can be worn for a lifetime and because the plating is so thick, it won’t rub. The Fort Belvedere cufflinks only costs $325 so whether it’s worth it to spend more than $2,000 for a gold version of a brand name is again up to you but what I am trying to explain to you is that you can find quality items that will last, and you don’t always have to go with a top dollar amount to get it.

Malachite Pinky Ring

Malachite Pinky Ring

Pinky Rings

They’re just an excellent addition to a classic gentleman’s wardrobe, and it’s not something a lot of other people will wear. The problem is, it’s challenging to find classic shapes in delicate materials such as sterling silver or gold on the market today. Either you have to go custom and spend several thousand dollars on the ring, or you go vintage, but it costs a lot of time, you often find lots of crappy rings.

Personally, all the rings in my collection right now are vintage, they range from sterling silver, all the way to solid 18 karat gold and everything in between. Because so tricky to find new ones we’re currently working on them so stay tuned. In the meantime, have a look at our signet ring guide.

Mont Blanc Fountain Pen Nibs

Mont Blanc Fountain Pen Nibs

Montblanc Meisterstück Fountain Pen

Of course, there are lots of other great manufacturers of fountain pens. Italian ones such as Omas, maybe Parker, or you name it. However, the Montblanc Meisterstück pen has been around for a very long time. It’s a very classic status symbol for many, but it’s also a perfect item that will not wear out prematurely. It has a nice gold nib, and it writes very beautifully. At one point in time, I owned over a hundred Montblanc fountain pens because I was a collector and fountain pens are actually what got me into men’s clothing.

Today, I reduced my collection a lot, and I only have three Montblanc fountain pens; one is a meisterstuck 149 which is their biggest flagship model, and it has a 3b nib which is quite broad, and I use it for signatures, another one has just a b nib, and I use it to write or take notes and then have a vintage piece which is very old, it was made out of celluloid, it had a solid brass telescope mechanism inside versus the modern meisterstuck fountain pens are made out of resin and inside is like a plastic lever mechanism.

That being said, the old fountain pen doesn’t work so well anymore because the seal is not tight because they used to have cork inside. The new ones seal very well, and they probably will last you for a lifetime. Interestingly over the time, the price has steadily increased to now almost a thousand dollars. When I started, they cost about half, but even then, you could find them used on eBay the problem is, there are lots of fakes out there especially for Montblanc, so I suggest you only buy from trusted sources.

Goodyear Welted Shoes

Which style you want heavily depends on what kind of lifestyle you live. A Goodyear welted pair of shoes is usually made from a higher-quality leather than a glued pair of shoes. It also has a more classic last that will stand the test of time and it can be resold which is less expensive than buying a new pair. Now price wise, you can spend under two hundred dollars or three thousand dollars on a pair of Goodyear shoes, of course, the difference is the quality of the leather, the patina, or the hand coloring, the finish, also the bottom and at the details are gonna be much more intricate on higher-end shoes.

More expensive shoes will probably have a hand-stitched good year welt, they’ll have a nice waist, and a lot more time went into your construction of that shoe. Of course, if you spend two thousand dollars or more, you also can get a custom Goodyear welted shoe, and that’s just an incredible experience because it is perfectly suited to your foot and your foot alone.

Is it worth spending $3,000 over two hundred dollars? I think it’s a very personal choice, but if you have a foot that works with most lasts of higher-end companies and they usually come in different widths and different shapes, you find something that works for you, it’s a much better value to go that route. That being said, it will never be as comfortable as a bespoke shoe.

High-Quality Belts with folded edges

High-Quality Belts with folded edges

Quality Leather Belts

I know belts are probably not something you might deem expensive because you can find them for $10 but you can also find some for $3,000. In my experience, a quality belt cost upwards of about a hundred and fifty dollars. The difference of course with quality belts is that they all have a high-end leather material on the inside, as well as on the outside, and also on the lining.

Now, most belts today including quality belts are edge painted which means the leather is cut on the edges and then burnished and painted to create a uniform look. The high-quality belts are thinned out at the edges which means you need more leather and then they’re folded and sewn together. It’s just a construction that lasts much longer than an edge-painted construction, and it’s a true hallmark of a quality leather belt. Another detail about the quality belt is its buckle. Most belt buckles on the market today are made of a material called zamak. It’s an alloy made out of the zinc, aluminum, magnesium, and copper, the problem is, it will age very poorly, and it scratches very easily so, over time, you have to throw your belt away even though the leather might not be worn out but the buckle just looks crappy. A higher-end buckle is a solid brass buckle. Over time, brass develops a patina and because of that, it’s often gold plated, or platinum, or palladium plated, for more formal dress belts that you would wear with a suit. Now the plating and thickness of the buckle can have a huge impact not only on the longevity of the buckle but also on the price.

In my opinion, a solid brass buckle with a nice thick coating either gold or palladium, is probably your best value for the money. If money is of no concern to you, you may want to look into solid 925 sterling silver buckles or solid 14 or 18 karat gold buckles. Now that’s a whole other level, and the buckle itself will be worth more than the entire belt itself. Is it worth it getting, a sterling silver buckle versus a solid brass and pay three or four hundred dollars more? It depends. It’s an actual luxury item, and silver just develops a patina that you won’t see on a plated brass buckle.

Professional Camera

I know most people today use cell phones, and they think they are pro cameras, but they’re not. A pro level camera has a large sensor; it allows you to get a razor thin depth of field which means the amount is in sharpness versus the out-of-focus areas; just creates a stunning look and in combination with the increased sharpness and the color rendition, it’s just a very different experience.

Personally, I use DSLR cameras such as the Nikon D850 or a Nikon D500. It has the advantage that it comes with interchangeable lenses, but overall, you need to invest between about five to ten thousand dollars to get a nice DSLR with a range of lenses that allow you to photograph everything you want. In my opinion, it’s worth it because with a business where I use it, but even for just personal use, I would recommend investing in a more upscale camera.

Of course, if you’re rich, you want the very best in quality, you have to go with a medium format digital camera such as a Hasselblad, however, bear in mind that these pictures oftentimes have a hundred megapixels, so you need a whole ecosystems of computers, cards, and everything that work together, so you can develop a workflow and actually get those pictures. It’s more something for a pro photographer, not something for an amateur.

Folded, double sided edges that go all the way to the edge with sewn card slots - 2 hallmarks of a luxury wallet

Folded, double-sided edges that go all the way to the edge with sewn card slots – 2 hallmarks of a luxury wallet

Luxury Wallet

A wallet is something you wear every day, you pull it out when you maybe pay for a business meal, and overall, it develops a nice patina if it’s made of quality leather. A cheap wallet on the other hand just falls apart, and it looks older. In my opinion, a portemonnaie should always be an attractive item that you like wearing, that has a nice touch, a nice feel, and it’s something that lasts. Let’s say you invest $285 in a Fort Belvedere wallet which is made of the highest quality leather there is in Germany, if you break it down to the cost per wear, you probably end up at 5 to 15 cents a day depending on how you treat it and how long it would last you.

Google Pixel 2

Google Pixel 2

Smartphone

Personally, I use my smartphone every day. I do lots of business dealings with it, and because of that, I always buy the top model when it comes out and then I’ll use it for two years. At that point, I can sell it for 200 bucks or pass it on to a relative. For example, just here today I bought the new pixel 2 XL phone; with taxes and everything included, it costs me over a thousand bucks, however, if I can use it for two years and I break it down, it costs me only about a dollar and 40 per day.

Personally, I’d love to buy a modular phone so I could do exactly what I want without creating too much waste because as you know, with the technological advances in the smartphone market, we’ve new things coming out every month almost, and because of that, we have a lot of old phones that are just discarded which is a huge waste and a big ecological problem. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a more eco-friendly option out there, so you have to stick with what it is.

Why do I go with a Google phone rather than iPhone? I’m just not part of the Apple ecosystem, we use a lot of Google products, and it simply works for us. Also, I like the fact that it doesn’t come with any kind of bloatware such as on Samsung, LG’s, or Huawei where security and other updates are necessary, Google phones usually receive them first.

What expensive items  are worth their price in your book? Please share in the comments below.

Summary
12 Expensive Things That Are Worth Their Price
Article Name
12 Expensive Things That Are Worth Their Price
Description
A list of luxury items any dapper gent should invest in.
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Publisher
Gentleman's Gazette LLC
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63 replies
  1. Shane Richardson says:

    Ok, I’m canceling my email subscription. For those of us that have a family to support yet make a comfortable income, I’d never spend $1,000+ on an overcoat or $150+ on a pair of gloves… or anything else in this list … Mont Blanc isn’t that important to me, trust and believe. This site should be renamed “How to be Pompous for the sake of being Pompous”
    I don’t need people to compliment me on the things I own.

    Reply
    • Andrew says:

      You may have missed the point of this well thought out list. Truth to tell, many men already have many, if not all the items listed. Further, the items need not be brand specific but instead of similar lasting quality. The word pompous is uncalled for and may be your justification for deciding to do without. But trust me, during your life, in the end you will have paid a lot more for your “stuff” and have nothing to show for it–not tradition, not legacy, not certain memories.
      And certainly, nothing of value. Yours is what fills the shelves of the Good Will Store, or Salvation Army Thrift and never sells. You may be the pompous one after all.

      Reply
      • João C. says:

        How very well said. I still live on a low income because I am still taking my PhD but I ALWAYS invest in items that will last for a lifetime. My 7 or 8 old and not very dapper 20 euro scarfs I used to buy take you nowhere and I have many just sitting there. My 200 euro scarf will last me a lifetime and holds meaning and memories. I usually agree with 3/4 of the items and investments Mr. Schneider proposes and also with the idea of “buy less or buy second hand, don t buy cheap”. Compliments from Portugal!

        Reply
      • Blake says:

        “Well thought out list”?
        Were you reading the same thing here? This article could be summerised as “high quality costs more”.

        And if you don’t think pompous is an appropriate word to describe the Gentleman’s Gazette, I don’t know what reality you live in.

        Reply
        • Sven Raphael Schneider says:

          We provide content for men interested in classic clothing, no matter if they are poor students, family fathers or investment bankers. Of course, not every guide will be applicable to everyone, but we trust our readers can determine if a guide about expensive items is suitable for their budgets or not. After all, we do not force anybody to consume our content.

          Reply
          • GS says:

            Hear hear. It’s nice to know what’s out there. I’d never heard of Goodyear Welted, but a search for them here in the UK revealed a brilliant company I’d never heard of: Grenson! And yes, the shoes are expensive, and I may or may not buy from them, but I am happy to have seen what they have.

            Reply
          • JC says:

            There is simply no way that the quality of leather accounts for a bag costing that sort of money. And vegetable tanned leather is far superior to chrome tanned. Where a product is hand crafted, high prices can be justified, because you are paying for the skill of the artisan, but a lot of things that appear on your lists are factory made goods of not especially expensive raw materials. For example, both gold and silver rings are not at all expensive in terms of materials. Nor are sensibly sized gemstones. In short, one would be paying for ‘brand’ value. I consider this to be the opposite of a ‘gentleman’s’ approach to ‘things’; that is to say modest, discreet, and mindful of form following function. I do appreciate reading what you have to say on style, even if I take a lot of it with a grain of salt, but so much of what you have been promoting of late seems to me to fall outside of what would be of interest to a gentleman.

            Reply
    • Dr. M.j. Farooqui says:

      Dear Sir,
      We are talking a different cattle of fish here. Things of discerning taste!! If one doesn’t want to be part of this upwardly mobile exclusivity, that’s fine. I personally enjoy reading his articles. They are informative to say the least!!!

      Reply
    • Phillip Hallstrom says:

      The article states they are expensive, no one is claiming these items are for every one or that they are affordable. They are high quality items that will last you a life time. Things that people will save up to buy because they appreciate quality.
      Yes a tee-shirt and sweat pants are a lot cheaper than a bespoke suit but I am going to guess that you wore a suit to your wedding. If you don’t value the cost of the items on this list don’t buy them.
      A lot of people will buy things from this list and its not because they are trying to be pompous. They simply see the value in buying quality items that last a lifetime or more.

      Reply
    • Carl says:

      Would you go to an Aston Martin dealership and berate the sales staff for offering expensive cars? The Gentlemans Gazette is a place for those who enjoy fine things and want to learn more about them, though price and quality aren’t always mutually exclusive they are often related. There is a huge difference between a $1000 overcoat and a $200 overcoat, which many of us appreciate learning more about. It’s a shame you feel the need to call this post (and by extension, website) pompous. I get tremendous value from Raphael’s posts, and having met him several times I can attest to his humble and warm nature.

      Reply
      • JC says:

        The old adage is that if you have to ask the price you probably can’t afford it. The sorts of people strolling into a luxury car dealership with genuine intent are hardly concerned with ‘value’. To imagine that those of us who are not Russian oligarchs or the like can get tips on buying luxury goods and somehow end up in front in the long term is, I think, a conceit.

        There is a price curve for most purchases where an ideal balance is found for value and cost. Too far either way and this ideal outcome is lost. I think, and others seem to share this opinion, that Sven thinks erring on one side is preferable. This is objectively not so.

        Reply
  2. ROBERT SHERMAN says:

    I’m somewhat inclined to agree with Shane. While I enjoy reading the emails and often do go to the specific articles referenced, there are quite a few suggestions that strike me as form over substance. While I agree that a pair of custom-made shoes would have some arguable avantages, when I can get 15 or 20 pairs of perfectly acceptable Rockports or Florsheims at the same cost it makes little sense to me spending crazy money for the hand-crafted pair. Also, in my experience the leather soles even on a pair of quality shoes have several disadvantages – they wear more quickly and can be quite hazardous in wet conditions. While I have had shoes and boots that I’ve resoled multiple times, after many years of experience I find that a quality, non-slip rubber sole is so much more practical. It may not give you bragging rights, but you can be well turned-out without spending a fortune – something that a less cynical read of the information on this site might believe is impossible. There is a time and place for spending money on quality for quality’s sake, but a smart person needs to know where it makes more sense to economize.

    Reply
      • Kenneth says:

        In response to Craig C. this is particularly true if one can afford to purchase a pair of Goodyear welted “cordovan (not the color) leather” shoes, which will indeed last a lifetime. The money one saves take a vacation to somewhere like Morocco, Switzerland or Brazil.

        Reply
    • Phillip Hallstrom says:

      I can agree with most of this. Although I will say I think the idea of buying shoes that cost $3k is for someone who is going to spend $30k on shoes. Then is makes sense because would you rather have 10 perfect shoes of the highest quality or 100 pairs of shoes that are high quality but not “perfect”. I personal would be in the middle if I had such a disposable income. I would agree though that most people fall into the lower end and the real decision most people make is between $50 and $300 in which case the quality difference is much more noticeable and can actual be seen as an investment where as buying bespoke is more for people who can afford it.

      Reply
    • Richard Martin says:

      I have found the information in this article to be very on point. I would suggest that you can watch for sales and get bargains to follow these rules. While I wear Florsheims (the designs that are Goodyear welted) I certainly would not recommend any dress shoes with glued on soles…they just don’t last.

      Reply
  3. Ernie says:

    I enjoy reading the recommendations. Quality really does last longer. My Alden Cordivans cost a mint but that was 10 years ago. Except for new heals every couple of years they fit and look great. I’m a little disappointed that the Mont-Blanc 149 is on the list. I find them ostentatious (I have one). I keep it in a drawer. Pelikans are a better writing tool and they are the understated gentleman’s pen.

    Reply
    • Stephen Clay McGehee says:

      Another vote for Pelikan pens. They are top quality and understated elegance, and I really enjoy mine. I like the idea of having a top quality item that means something to the owner, and there are bonus points if it is not easily recognized for what it is. Owning one or two such items is quite sufficient.

      In my case, it is a Rolex watch. It is what the sales rep referred to as their “entry level” watch, and it is quite plain and simple. I’ve worn it daily for not quite a year, and so far, no one other than my wife has recognized it as a Rolex. That is exactly the way I like it. When I put it on, I know the history, heritage, quality, and engineering that I’m wearing, and I get a very real psychological boost from wearing it.

      A gentleman doesn’t flaunt his position. Keep it simple. Price and quality are closely related, but only up to a point. Once you pass the point of diminishing return, you’re just spending money to try to impress others with how much you can afford to spend impressing others. That is definitely not the mark of a gentleman.

      Reply
      • W.F. Walker says:

        David Ogilvy, the famed advertising executive, in his book, “Oglivy on Advertising,” tells the story of finding himself, on a transatlantic flight, seated next to the president of Rolex. Never one to let a possible contact go to waste, he tried to break-the-ice by asking, “How’s the watch business?” “I wouldn’t know, the president of Rolex replied, “I’m not in the watch business, I’m in the luxury business.”
        Although he was obviously referring to marketing strategy, quite often, luxury and quality are distinctions without a difference. Above a certain price point, items cease being commodities.

        Reply
  4. Quatorze says:

    I think the subject was luxury.
    Yes, one can be smartly turned out, sartorially and financially, by buying smart and putting the money where it will do the most good. I don’t need anyone’s approval on my choices, but I will splurge on something that is quality. Bespoke shoes and clothing does cost the earth, but, if one can manage it now and again, the investment is sound. That said, a bit of shopping around will show that there are tailors who are less expensive, though equally as good as those on London’s Savile Row. Those $200,00 gloves can be sourced from a quality Italian maker, who often is the supply source for high-end shops, at a third of the price – even with shipping.
    Of course family and one’s own financial stability comes first, but if one can splurge from time to time, the point was that some things are worth the money.

    Reply
  5. MARK IN OZ says:

    Dear Raphael,

    I don’t know if things really need to be so expensive or not , I will though suggest really good quality underwear . Two other important things are the best you can afford with linen for the the bathroom and bedroom for your own sake . Also for the times when someone is asked or chooses to stay .

    Reply
  6. Joseph says:

    Great list…
    There are some brand exceptions.. however fine men’s quality is classic and not for everyone. The classic watch was not on the list as well as the classic rainwear most gentlemen will wear.

    Reply
  7. Tim Cogswell says:

    In my judgment, some of the comments above are a bit unfair and perhaps unwise as well. Quality is not binary; there is not low quality and high quality with nothing in between. Understanding why higher quality items are considered such (and cost more), will help one make wiser choices when purchasing those “in between” items that most of us wear and use.

    The knowledge I have learned here about garment related and fine accessories has served me well; though many of the fine items reviewed I will never afford to purchase. Plus, on account of this site and a couple of similar others, I now know more about attire quality than the vast majority of most clothing store clerks do. And that’s a good thing.

    Reply
    • Phillip Hallstrom says:

      I agree 100%. what most people don’t realize is that price per wear is often a bell curve. At the low end doubling what you spend might triple the quality but when you get towards the high end you could spent 10 times and much and see a return of only 50 percent.
      This is actually what the idea MIL-SPEC comes from because the military typically buys thing with the best price to performance ratio. Sure they could buy the best of the best but they would get a very poor return on investment. (of course this is not always the case and there are many exceptions).
      The best place to see this applied with a bell curve I think are computer parts because there are solid numbers for performance and you can see how at the low end performance is the main difference and at the high end it is primarily the cost that changes,

      Reply
  8. Jay Deputy says:

    I completely disagree about the “pompous” aspect surrounding some of these comments. One does not have to support the named brands. One does, however, need to understand quality products which tend to last much longer than lesser-expensive counterparts. I purchased a razor in the early 1980’s in London, and I still use it today. It is made of solid nickel and brass. The razor in those days was around $150.00, and except for the blades themselves, the razor has paid for itself many times over. Why write with pens which are plastic and throw away when in the long run, a good fountain pen provides pleasure in writing, and is economical. Quality products pay for themselves over time. This is also to say people who purchase quality-related products set standards for a “life well lived.”

    Reply
  9. Bill says:

    I had a Mont Blanc Meisterstück about 30 years ago – it was nothing but trouble. It kept leaking, and I had it in repair 6 times, and they couldn´t fix it. In the end I sold it and I havn´t touched a Mont Blanc ever since. My sister later told me it was a common problem at the time, which, considering the price, soured me even more. Vintage pen people will tell you everything past 1960 is rubbish, since they started to cheapen the manufacturing and the product deteriorated. I have since taken a liking to Vintage pens like the Parker Vacumatic or 51, altough I do think quite highly of Lamy, especially the 2000. It seems modern fountain pens are just not considered items of daily use as it was in the times when pen and fountain pen were the same thing.

    Reply
  10. William Dickmam says:

    You should buy the best quality you can afford. You will only cry once! That the advice I’ve given to my children, granchildren and now my great grandchildren.
    The constant theme under Stephen`s articles is that knowledge is the best currency for our purchases. Most of us can’t always afford to buy the highest quality or the most expensive but it sure helps to know the difference.

    Reply
  11. tootone says:

    I would add a quality mechanical watch. That can be a $75 Seiko 5 from is the most vertically integrated watch company in the world, or a Patek Philippe that costs as much as a nice home.

    Sailor fountain pens beat Mont Blanc at a fraction of the price.

    Reply
  12. Victor Naves says:

    I’m very sorry for my English, because I’m not a native, I’m a Spaniard. In my opinion this page is a delight for all the gentlemen with good taste and a will of living in a determinate way.

    Of course I’m not a rich. I’m a medium- medium- just medium class guy with very high standards who learn very much from the articles that reads here.

    I started my own collection of all king of mannish gear when 18 year old, more or less, now about 54, and at this time I own more than the goods listed below. I could add several good watches -not a Patek Phillipe or a Vacheron, of corse-, not a Montblanc, I prefer a couple of Pelikans, but four long coats, several good goodyear shoes, dozens of shirts, gloves, and so on.

    Yes, on the long run, cheap things are expensive.

    Thank you, mr. Schneider.

    Reply
  13. Simon says:

    The accusation that the article is pompous is false – the article clearly says:

    “That being said, not every costly thing has to be new, sometimes you can find quality items that used to be expensive but you buy them used that way you can enjoy the quality benefits without having to go all-in on the money.”

    i.e. you can always buy 2nd hand and pay less.

    You would perhaps be better off suggesting the article lacks sufficient punctuation:

    That being said, not every costly thing has to be new. Sometimes you can find quality items that used to be expensive but you buy them used. That way you can enjoy the quality benefits without having to go all-in on the money.

    Reply
  14. Kenneth says:

    I can pretty much agree with the majority, if not all of the positive commentary written by these gentlemen. In my humble and short opinion on the matter buy the “best you can afford at the time” notwithstanding the priority commitments in one’s life. Some quality items can occasionally be purchased on sale depending on retailer, and others it sst makes sense to spend the money if yo have it withot lacing yorself at a material discomfort nless yor ok with “crying only once”. In that case no ambivalent buyer’s remorse appreciate the purchase… Nevertheless, knowing the difference in what distinguishes the quality of a particular purchase as such is value in and of itself. I think that knowing the difference one is better equipped to make an informed choice and purchase (not such a short opinion after all).

    Reply
  15. anthony salt says:

    to be fair im aa carerwho as to run a car and home on 107 a week,.
    buti have a yellow lined leather barney & taylor wallet brand new secound hand £15,
    a vintage mint condition brown cordovan penny loafers £4.50 secound hand shop,
    3 0vercoats 1, sears oakbrook heavy brown/green wool with dogtooth lineing,
    a black crombe,
    a real covert brown full lehgh, with 3 stitch rows and velvet c0llor
    vintage scalfs and ties
    30 vintage american cuff links, swank. anderson, ect
    welted broug boots,
    trilbies and fedororas ,
    all vintage classic wear secound hand cheap.
    a vintage pouromount full grain brown leather suit case ive converted into my flugelhorn case (a Taylor PHAT BOY FLUGELHORN , THAT PUTS ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS IN THE BIN,) LOOK IT UP, THAT IS HORNY

    Reply
  16. Rob San Diego says:

    When I was struggling to get ahead I lived in my car while working three jobs. I’m still rather frugal and don’t consider myself to be rich or pompous, but I do enjoy nice things now that I can afford some.

    I purchased a quality pair of beautiful brown wholecut shoes before a trip to London and enjoyed the compliments I received from the ladies I met there. I didn’t buy a whole fancy wardrobe, just the shoes, but they made a big difference in the way I looked, the way I was looked at, and the way I felt (confident amongst strangers).

    I still get compliments for them; they are a good investment that I’ll enjoy for the rest of my life. Quality does matter.

    Reply
  17. Damian Young says:

    Thanks for taking the time to do the article. Personally I would have left the pinky ring out and put in a quality watch as I think it is well worth spending the money on a great watch which will last a lifetime, that’s just my personal opinion.
    Always love reading new articles that come out in Gentleman’s Gazette, keep up the great work

    Reply
  18. David says:

    I’m curious to know what basis you’ve come up with for the $5k – $10k ‘guideline’ for a dedicated DSLR? While the true professional lines can run expensive the two most common manufacturers also offer entry level and enthusiast lines at a much more attainable price. The professional models are built with the extreme in mind, so what the the other models ‘sacrifice’ to keep the prices reasonable would not be noticed, or not be important to the casual shooter. And it is still a world of difference over that cell phone snap! And if you really take an interest in photography, you’ll have extra money for some photography classes!

    Reply
  19. BERCMANS says:

    I bought last year a Loden coat in Germany via Internet at ‘alpen-lifestyle’. (Klassischer Lodenmantel von Steinbock) and I continue in German : 80%Schurwolle 20%Alpaka. This is a classic overcoat you can wear on a suit, jacket or sweater. I’m astonished that Mr. Schneider as a German doesn’t mention this overcoat which is really superquality and is typically German/Austrian. You can wear a Loden as long as you live because it’s a classic and hence never out of fashion.

    Reply
  20. Larry N Bailey says:

    Sven’s articles and video’s are an excellent way to learn about style, quality, costs and care for men’s products. If taken as an educational site one can only profit from the knowledge. To call this free education and knowledge “pompous” is to reveal a character that is unflattering and mean spirited.

    Reply
  21. Mosfek T says:

    * In my opinion, any items that you use extensively are worth the quality price because it’s “you” who will enjoy the higher quality product.
    * I think it’s completely acceptable that there will be a diverse set of opinions on the ‘expensive items that worth the price’. For me, I invest in quality footwear, watch, phone, eyewear, leather goods, furniture, and undergarment as I use them daily or don’t plan to replace them often.

    Reply
  22. KL says:

    Everyone has to recognize what is affordable for them and what is important to them. That being said there were a few items that I thought were a bit over the top. I spend many years in the military and was able to visit places such as Hong Kong, Korea and I spent time in Europe. Having spent time in those places I saved enough to purchase a couple of handmade suits (two of them which I still wear today). I have foot problems and although I know they may not be to best made custom made shoes with proper care (polishing them regularly and keeping shoe trees in them) they have served me for well over ten years. I truly believe with proper care most items will give you plenty years of good service. Now a few of the items were just over the top for me; the pens, belts and even the wallet were just too much. I own a Gucci wallet which is probably 25 plus years old has to be one of the dumbest purchases I have ever made

    Reply
  23. Pietro says:

    My mentor, Gerofono Noseital has asked me to list his comments to the article. Here they go:

    Socks.
    I only wear knee-length socks in any color provided it is black. Shorter socks look horrible, so horrible that Queen Victoria obliged British senior lawyers (the Queen Counsels) to wear not one pair, but two pairs of white silk knee-length socks. Fancy colored socks sadden any properly attired gentleman, while white socks are hanging crime. When black sock won’t do, one ought to comply with the “no-socks-rule” as one does on yachts.

    Precious metal cuff-links
    Perfect after 18:00 o’clock. Not to be seen before that time. The lack of such type of cuff-links during business hours does set a part the gentleman from the likes of Russian Oligarchs, those who order Romanee Conti on ice and crushed mint.

    Signet ring.
    If one wishes to wear one, it should bear the Coat of Arms of one’s family. If one’s family does not have a Coat of Arms, best doing without such a ring.

    Top Coat
    British Warm, the coat of senior officers of the British army, still reigns. Sadly, they are quite difficult to come by. If one was lucky enough to have sourced the required Merton fabric (heavy, very heavy at 32 or 36 ounces) one should commission this coat to a proper British tailor, like Henry Poole. Then one is to be ready to bid farewell to 3 thousand pounds. At least.

    Leather Weekender
    Sven, I pray, do change the picture in which you appear with the damned bag. The thing does not look the part, especially with the strap hanging loose below the bag. Surely you know that Tanner Krolle sells wonderful ones that impart to their wearer a more orderly and pristine look.

    Reply
  24. Attila Karpati says:

    I agree that a quality product (watch, shoes, etc.) would be more expensive, than a low quality one. But there are luxury products, when you pay the trademark. I think there are as great fountain pens as the Mont Blancs. But MB is a luxury thing. Why would I buy that? And my biggest problem is: what is the message of these stuffs? Because I can buy it? It is like a Ferrari. I would feel myself uncomfortable in a Ferrari, because the other people. I am not a St. Francis, but I have social sensitivity.
    Sometimes people say that to buy quality and longlife products is very eco-friendly. Then I see their huge luxury car with big consumption.
    Well, there are very good and long life things in affordable prices. But I won’t give a cent for the trademark itself.

    Reply
  25. Ash says:

    The items of style are often expensive for their quality. Nobody should fault the writer for his tastes, though, and condone some amount of marketing. Of course there is much knowledge to be gained on various man-style issues in the articles, which I personally find very interesting and eminently readable. Everyone has to find his own level in terms is affordablility, though, quality items last longer and do come at a price. You choose what you please.

    Reply
  26. Barly says:

    I agree completely on the leather bag, the shoes, the belt(s), and the wallet. However, the belt and wallet are, in my opinion, just ways for normal people to own products made by high end designers whose actual clothes they could never afford.

    The camera, if you don’t know/learn how to use it (read, if you are going to shoot photos on AUTO setting), it is a waste of your time and money.

    The overcoat comment was weird because the guy admits he bought most of his second hand. The one I wear was like $350. It’s still in great shape. I may spend $1000 on one someday but I certainly don’t think it is a requirement for dressing well or obtaining a good quality item.

    Fountain pen is a totally random suggestion. What the hell am I going to do with that?

    Rings? Kinda gay…

    Lastly, you left off a watch. If you really want to be put together, why are we not including a nice watch? I’ve personally given up on watches because I find them annoying, hate the watch tan in the summer time, and can get so much out of an apple watch or other smart watch now that an old style watch just is not practical.

    Reply
  27. Yaakov Tolwin says:

    Hello Sven,
    I appreciated the article very much. I would just like to point out that the Piston seal on your vintage Montblanc can be replaced. There are many craftsman out there who will do it, usually for under $100. So don’t give up on your old pen yet.

    Reply
  28. Gregory says:

    Thank you for this very interesting article, Raphael! I have invested in many of your Fort Belvedere products which are also very well made. However, I am especially interested in the leather duffle with the pull up effect. Could you mention the manufacturer of that bag?

    Reply

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