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December 15, 2021

Why "more"? Well, we made a list of expensive products in 2017, and we thought we'd introduce a new series that fans of classic, high-end products would love to know about.


1. bespoke shoes

bespoke shoes

The first expensive item worth its money is a pair of bespoke shoes. If this isn't your first time here on our website, you've probably already invested in a pair of high-quality men's shoes.


At first, spending $300 on a pair of shoes may seem like a lot, but once you've climbed that mountain, you ask yourself, "What else am I going to get if I spend $500, $600, $700 or $800?" And then you invest in more brands.


Maybe you buy shoes from Crockett & Jones or Edward Green or a brand like Carmina. Or if you don't like the English style. Maybe you go for something by Stefano Bemer or something that looks more Hungarian, like a Heinrich Dinkelacker boot. You may have even purchased a custom shoe that cost more than a thousand dollars. For that, you get a high level of craftsmanship and exactly the look you want, and if you don't have problem feet, that's great. But as a clotheshorse, you will certainly enjoy the experience of working with an artisan, designing a shoe, looking at the design, being inspired by pictures and videos, and creating something truly unique for you.


Not only will the fit be superior, especially for a loafer, but you can choose the leather, the waste treatment, and small details like the shape of the broguing. In addition, you become a supporter of the craft, and that's great. What is the cost? Well, it depends. It's probably hard to find custom shoes under a thousand dollars, and you have to compromise. You might find very few under $2,000. If you go above that, you can spend up to ten thousand dollars or more if you choose really expensive alligator skins, for example.





2. a camel hair polo coat

mantle

A camel hair polo coat usually has a unique style. Typically, it has lapels, patch pockets with flaps, a half belt in the back, stitching at the cuffs and a slit in the middle. It also has that natural camel, caramel, beige look that really stands out against the gray, black, and navy coats, and it pairs very well with any shade of brown.


There was a time when Ralph Lauren was pretty much the only company where you could find a coat like this. Today, there are many other places where you can buy such a coat. Or, of course, you can have it custom made. However, many of these coats are not made from real camel hair, but from other wool. So why would you choose camel hair and not wool? Camel hair is a different material. It is quite soft, but also extremely warm. And it has a different texture than a wool fabric in general. It also ages differently than wool, especially around the edges of the sleeves for example.


3. Creed Green Irish Tweed Perfume

Creed perfum

It's really hard to find a perfume that is suitable for all gentlemen, because it's a personal thing. But Green Irish Tweed by Creed comes pretty close. And everyone in our office liked it. On the one hand, it's a woody and earthy scent. On the other hand, it's quite bright. We called it a classic fragrance, and in our review we also found it to be worth the money.


In my opinion, it's more of an autumn-winter scent. But I could definitely imagine wearing it in summer as well. I find it suitable for the office, evening events or social occasions. On my skin, it lasts about six to eight hours, which I think is pretty good. Sometimes even my wife comes in the next day and can still smell that I put Green Irish Tweed on the night before. It's a classic and mature fragrance that starts at $300 for just 50 milliliters. Of course, that's just the retail price, and you may be able to find it for less, but be aware that there are fake scents out there.


4. a cashmere scarf (in the right size).

cashmere scarf

The fourth expensive item worth investing in is a high quality cashmere scarf of the right length and size for a gentleman to wear with his clothing.


I know you can find pashmina or cashmere scarves at street vendors in New York for $5. But, of course, that's not what I'm talking about here. A high quality cashmere scarf has long, rather thin threads that make it very soft on the skin, but it also doesn't flake off as quickly as cheap cashmere.


At Fort Belvedere, we source our cashmere primarily from Mongolia, and each hair is between 14 and 6.5 microns thick, about 35 to 50 millimeters long. That's about one and a half to two centimeters. What color or pattern you choose is, of course, up to you. I've found that subtle classic patterns like herringbone or houndstooth are great. Solid color scarves also work well, especially with many patterned coats.


5. a quality office chair

High quality office chair

Most gentlemen who work in an office spend a lot of time sitting down during the course of a day. A low-quality desk chair will not only feel cheap and uncomfortable, it won't provide the support you need and will harm your body in the long run.


The problem with some designer chairs is that they are all sizzle and no steak. They have a cool shape, bright colors, and certain gimmicks, but at the end of the day, they're not ergonomically designed and they're not good for you. In our office, we rely on a brand that has been synonymous with quality office furniture for decades, Herman Miller. Personally, I've been using the Aeron chair since I started getting lower back pain from sitting in a bad chair. It comes in three different sizes to fit your height and weight. You can make all the adjustments you need. It's comfortable and has an iconic design. I like the adjustable lumbar support and the mesh fabric that keeps the body temperature at a comfortable level; unlike other chairs, I overheat regularly. In total, I can adjust it ten different ways, and it costs around $1,400 when fully equipped. I know that's not cheap, but your back will thank you.



6. a leather chesterfield sofa

Leather sofa

To be honest, a leather Chesterfield sofa is one of the easiest ways to bring the classic gentleman look into your home. Not all Chesterfield sofas are created equal. But how can you tell quality from crap? First of all, quality Chesterfield sofas are built on a solid wood frame. Specifically, a solid hardwood that has been kiln dried, which means that the moisture has essentially been sucked out because it has been dried at higher temperatures, and that means that the frame won't twist over time and make your furniture look awkward or uneven. Solid maple or beech wood is usually used, but any type of hardwood will do.


Next, the best Chesterfields have really deep tufting. Many cheaper specimens have very shallow tufting. This is one of the best ways to tell a high quality piece of furniture from an inferior one.


Of course, when it comes to sitting on a piece of furniture, comfort is most important. And the better manufacturers offer a wider range of different foams and different comfort levels, because different leathers have different stiffness. Therefore, they must be combined with different foams to achieve the perfect seating experience.


To sit comfortably for a long time, you should use the traditional method of using metal coils under the foam that are hand-tied together in eight different places. You want each coil to be individually hand-tied by the furniture manufacturer, not a hand-tied coil pad that is pre-made and simply shipped from China. Also note that many inexpensive Chesterfields come with only a tufted pocket and tufted sides, but with individual seat cushions that are not tufted. Tufting is expensive, but using individual cushions is just much more price aggressive.


Personally, I think a tufted seat is much more attractive. In my opinion, the tufted seat should be comfortable and soft. Sometimes they're built into the couch, and there's not enough foam, and you can't specify how soft you want it, and that's not something I would enjoy or buy.


Another very important aspect of the Chesterfield is, of course, the leather. Yes, you can use fabric as well. But for the classic gentleman look, I think leather is the best choice. My first choice here is a high quality, domestically dyed, hand stained leather that is waxed and open pored. This type of leather is much more expensive because it is uncorrected, not sanded and not glued. A high quality, super soft and supple leather that is completely unprotected will not last longer than an inferior leather with a protective finish, but it feels much better, and when I sit in it, I enjoy it very much.


If you buy unprotected leather, make sure it's not exposed to sunlight because it will fade much faster than, say, protected leather. If you have kids, pets, or eat on your sofa, you might want to buy something that fits your lifestyle.


I've looked at a lot of trustworthy companies. In the U.S., I think Hancock & Moore offers an excellent product. That's what I personally have in my house now, and that's what I would order again. The chair we have now is almost 20 years old, and it's still in good shape. It sits comfortably, and it's just a fantastic Chesterfield-style sofa. They are expensive. Their retail price is usually somewhere between $14,000 and $25,000. But in this industry, it's normal to get a 50% discount even from your regular dealer, so the actual street price is more like between 7,000 and 12,000 $, depending on what quality you choose.


Hancock & Moore selects its skins to match across the couch. With other companies, you may get couches with different colors because the leather comes from different dye lots, and I personally don't like that.

7. a japanese or german cooking knife

Japanese cooking knife

Even if cooking was not one of the classic tasks of a gentleman in the past, it is a matter of course for the modern gentleman. And as a home cook, of course, you need high-quality tools.


If there was only one knife I owned, it would be the chef's knife. It was originally designed to cut meat, but now it has become a universal kitchen tool. Whether you're cutting beef, slicing carrots, or mincing garlic, it will do the job. Japanese knives are usually made of thinner, layered steel that is ground at an angle of about 16 degrees. The steel is often harder, which means it takes longer for the blade to dull, but it's also harder and more difficult to sharpen. That's why I have my knives sharpened by a professional. German knives, on the other hand, are generally a little thicker. They also have a great tradition of knife making and are ground at a 20 degree angle. They are generally made of softer steel, which means you need to sharpen them more often. But it's less likely to chip if you might drop it.


I find it better for heavy work and working with bones because I don't have to worry about the knife chipping, which is a problem with the Japanese knives. Personally, I also prefer the German boning knives over the Japanese ones because they are really nice and flexible, but not too flexible. They get the job done with a minimum of waste.


8. Vitamix Professional Series 750 Blender

Vitamix Professional Serie 750 Mixer

The eighth item that is worth the money, not just for men, is a Vitamix blender. You can use it to make salsa dips, vinaigrettes or other sauces. It's good for drinks like daiquiris or smoothies. It's also great for purees and especially soups. And why? Well, you get a super creamy texture without adding cream or other fats. You can even make homemade flours, nut butters, and more.


There are different models, but they are all very similar. Some have some pre-programmed settings, others do not. But they are all very powerful, and you can find these big 64 ounce canisters. And the best part is that when I'm done with it, I just add water and detergent, put a lid on it, and let it run.


It feels very sturdy and durable, but it should be because it costs almost $600 and a replacement canister is $100, which seems ridiculous because it's mostly plastic with a few metal parts. But at the end of the day, they know they have a quality product that does what it's supposed to do, and they price it for the consumer's value.


9. A stainless steel Rolex sports watch.

Rolex

In our opinion, a men's wristwatch is a very personal thing. It depends on your personal style, lifestyle, environment, profession and how you want to be perceived.


Personally, I am not attracted to Rolex watches in general. However, for many men, Rolex is a good buy, if not the best buy, when it comes to sports watches. Why is that? We explain in our Rolex watch guide. In short, Rolex makes consistently popular watches that have wide appeal and social cachet. If you buy the right watch, you can bet that it will increase in value over time, and you can buy a watch today at retail price and probably sell it in 10 years for the same price or more.


At the time of writing, a stainless steel Rolex Datejust costs about $8,000. You can also find the Rolex Cellini line, which is more of a traditional dress watch that is really expensive with a retail price of $20,000 or more. But you can find them relatively cheap on the used market, for example. So the Cellini is not a Rolex watch that I would consider an investment watch.


If Rolex isn't your thing, you could look at the JLC Reverso, which might interest you more. You could also think about the Patek Philippe Calatrava, the Nautilus, and so on. Holy Trinity does indeed make great watches, but we won't cover them here today.


However, if you want to learn how to pronounce brand names correctly, we have a guide for that you might enjoy.


10. a selection of evening loops

Men's bow


At the time of writing, many people around the world are still locked in, and the idea of a black-tie or white-tie evening may seem tempting, but it seems too far away to really enjoy. At Gentleman's Gazette, we always take a long-term view of things, and we know that when all this is over, we'll have time to enjoy formal dinner parties again.


Most men will get by with a single black bow tie that they can wear again and again. But as a clotheshorse, it's really nice to change the look of the tuxedo depending on the material used, be it velvet, silk satin or grosgrain with wide ribs. Of course, you can also change the shape: a big butterfly, a small batwing, maybe a diamond shape. There are simply many nuances in an ensemble that is usually dominated by rules and dress codes. It's simply an opportunity for you to shine on a personal level.


A quality black men's bow tie will always be tailored to your exact neck size. There are no adjustments, and it can have one or two ends.


What's the difference between a Fort Belvedere evening bow tie that costs over a hundred dollars and a bow tie you might find on Amazon for under $20? Again, it's the quality. The sheen that our silk has, the feel and the stiffness are just so much better than the stuff you get for under $20. Also, the ability to match it to the lapel of your tuxedo is really nice.


You also don't have clunky ties, so you can work with wing collars, and it's just nice to be able to untie the bow tie at the end of the day. And being able to tie it yourself gives you the opportunity to add a personal touch to your black-tie outfit.


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