Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans
There comes a time in every young man's life when he thinks to himself, "I look like a slob and I should probably do something about that." The college days are over. You're settling into a new job or career. That really cool "Less than Jake" shirt won't really be appropriate in most of the social situations you'll find yourself in and it doesn't even fit like it used to anyway. But if you want to start building your wardrobe into something respectable, where do you start? One obstacle is shopping. It's tedious, boring and most guys can't even stand the thought of it. It's also expensive, especially if you want to buy quality items that will last. But there are a few rules you can follow that will help you build up a suitable wardrobe with as little pain as possible.
For one, when you talk about classic men's fashion, there are certain things that never go out of style. Think about a blue oxford shirt, a navy wool tie, dark brown cap-toe Oxford shoes or a herringbone jacket. These things have been in style for decades and they probably will be for decades to come.
Second, buy quality when you can. It may seem silly to spend $450 on a pair of Alden or Allen Edmonds shoes. But think of it this way: Take care of those shoes and you can probably wear them for 20 years. The cost evens out to buying numerous pairs of crappy shoes over time. Once you have a solid pair of brown shoes, that means no brown shoe shopping for 20 years.
Third, another thing that will help you save money is making a list of everything you need. When one of those items goes on sale, buy it.
For some more notes on what makes a basic wardrobe, there are some helpful blogs out there, including Put This On (at www.putthison.com), A Suitable Wardrobe (http://asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com/), Die Workwear! (http://dieworkwear.tumblr.com/) and the London-based Permanent Style (http://www.permanentstyle.co.uk/).
Mr. Wick's The classic men's clothing store, from the various styles of shirts and ties you'll find on its shelves down to the hardwood floors and decor. When you try on shoes here, you don't just saddle up on the nearest stool; you're escorted into a side room, complete with a wooden end table, decorative lamp and a couple of shoe horns to choose from. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable and very helpful. Prices are high, but not exorbitant. Ties in classic styles can be found for around $75. There's also a wide array of suits, belts, hats and sport coats. Most of the items are fairly expensive for a young man on a budget, but if you need a quality item in a pinch, Mr. Wick's is a great place to go. Suits here start at about $350. 5924 R Street. Cash, check or credit cards. 501-664-3062. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.
Bauman's The word here is expensive. If you're not looking to spend $100 on a shirt, maybe Bauman's isn't the place for you. However, if you've got some disposable income and don't recoil at the site of a $900 price tag dangling from fine Italian leather shoes (these are at the upper end of the price spectrum, of course; other pairs are available for much less), then this is the ticket.
The owners of Bauman's pride themselves on selecting the best quality items at every price point, so while some things might be on the expensive side, you can be confident that these are quality items that will look good and last.