These days, ‘luxury’ has become little more than a byword for ‘exorbitantly expensive’, but an item’s price tag is seldom proportional to its true worth. Retailers might class a £500 designer logo T-shirt as ‘luxury’. Does that mean it’s worth the money? Unsurprisingly, the answer is no.
Of course, not everything classed as luxury is overpriced. There are those rare few pieces that really do live up to their lofty price tags. These are the luxury pieces worth forking out on; the ones that provide a return on investment through longevity, timelessness and cost per wear.
At Ape, we’re staunch advocates of quality over quantity. Far better, in our opinion, to buy an expensive piece once than a cheap piece multiple times. With that in mind, here are the key menswear items we feel fully justify their luxury price tags.
Your underwear might spend the majority of its life obscured from view by your legwear, but that’s not an excuse for penny pinching. A quality pair of boxers or briefs is the first part of any good outfit, not necessarily because of how it looks but because of how it makes you feel.
Comfort and confidence go hand in hand, and the superior materials used in upscale underwear go a long way in facilitating that. And, hey, if they do happen to look great when you take your trousers off that’s no bad thing either.
Whether you’re a frequent flyer or more of an occasional adventurer, a good bag is a must. This is the sort of purchase you only have to make once in a lifetime (provided you get it right first time) so it makes sense to really sink some capital into it.
We love a good canvas or leather weekender. It’s the sort of bag you can call on for anything from vacations to business trips and is one of those rare pieces that just gets better with age. Check out brands like England’s own Bennett Winch for some high-end, handmade options.
In the increasingly likely scenario that we find ourselves living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, it’d be reassuring to know that your watch will always keep ticking. A proper automatic timepiece can offer you this valuable peace of mind, and doubles as a useful bartering tool if you find yourself being held to ransom by a roving group of outlaws.
In all seriousness, investing in a quality automatic watch is a rite of passage for many style-minded men, and one that makes a great deal of sense in terms of having something to pass down to children, grandchildren and beyond. Plus, well, it’s just nice to have a beautiful watch, isn’t it?
There’s only one redeeming quality of cheap fragrance: it’s cheap. Beyond that, it fades quickly, has little to no presence in terms of sillage and invariably smells terrible. Considering a fragrance often becomes a person’s signature in a way that no other piece of clothing or accessory can, it would be counterintuitive to cheap out.
Spend a bit more money and you’ll get a signature scent that lasts well on the skin and clothes, and projects itself nicely. It may seem more expensive at first, but when you find yourself having to use less, the price begins to justify itself.
In terms of wear, shoes get more abuse than anything else the average man is likely to wear on a day-to-day basis. If you buy cheap ones, this will be evident in how frequently you find yourself replacing them.
Crafters of proper handmade shoes are meticulous in their manufacturing, using superior techniques like Goodyear welting for the soles, and exercising a much higher degree of attention to detail. In short, these shoes are built to last in a way that mass-produced footwear simply is not, and for that reason, they’re well worth splashing out on.
Raw Selvedge Denim
It may seem silly to spend good money on legwear that causes you extreme discomfort for several weeks, but you need to look past the initial teething period when buying raw denim. Yes, they take a bit of breaking in, but this is only because raw denim jeans are made with thicker, heavier fabric and will ultimately last longer than those cut from lesser cloth.
A good pair will improve with age as they fade and whisker, and can be easily repaired and patched up as and when they develop excessive signs of wear. Look after them and they’ll look after you, as long as you buy a decent pair to begin with.
If you’re going to treat yourself to just one luxury item, make it a made-to-measure suit. Not only will it hug your body in all the right places and make you look like the best version of yourself, but it’ll fill you with a certain type of confidence that only a well-cut suit can.
Chances are you’re not going to wear it every day, but it’s there when it’s needed and can be mixed and matched as separates when the dress code calls for it. Buy one with timeless details in a versatile colour and there’s no reason you won’t still be wearing it 30+ years from today (just keep in shape).