Old Money in 2014

As you may remember, I noted that we wouldn’t be highlighting many products on this blog. The philosophy of Old Money is not about shopping. It’s more about being and doing than buying and having.

But even OMG’s (Old Money Gals & Old Money Guys) need to buy clothes.

In 2013, we introduced you to Mercer & Sons shirts because of their durability, enduring style, and overall value.  They also offer exceptional customer service. For example, when you order your shirts from Mercer, you’ll probably speak with David Mercer, the owner of the company. It’s a family-owned business, and every transaction is personal to him and his wife Serena.

As we go forward in 2014, other vendors will be introduced selectively. The blog will still remain focused on the culture and philosophy of Old Money, articulating it’s values, priorities, and habits, as they’re presented in The Old Money Book. But from time to time, we will provide information about where to purchase in order to get the best value for your money.

Please note: if you have had direct experience with vendors whose products and services align with Old Money Values, please let us know. We’re very interested in companies and craftsmen who provide great products and services. If you’re not certain of just what Old Money Values are and How Old Money Does It, read The Old Money Book.

Here are some things to understand as we introduce these vendors:

Their products will probably not be the cheapest available.  The best value is rarely the cheapest. The best value is the product that provides the most satisfaction in terms of function, style, and price. Function is how well and how long the product performs. Style relates to the aesthetic qualities of the product: how good it looks. Price is simply what you pay for it. Value may be said to equal function plus style divided by price. If something looks good, lasts ten years, and cost $100.00, it’s a better value than something that looks good for a week, lasts only a year, and costs $50.00.

Their products will not be made in sweatshop or slave-wage conditions. The women and men who make these products are paid a living wage.  They may or may not be unionized, but, as most of the companies we’ll introduce you to will be family-owned businesses, the workers often have the opportunity to express concerns to the owners. They work with them on a daily basis, often side by side. (If you’ve never thought about the wages involved in manufacturing a t-shirt that retails for ten dollars, consider becoming informed.)

For you, it means you may pay more for these products, but not always.  You may have to save your money over a period of time in order to make a purchase. You may have to be more selective in what you buy and how much you buy. You may buy less. You may have to adopt a more traditional, less fashion-forward style of dress. You may have to take care of the clothes you purchase and make them last longer.

None of these requirements are a bad thing. You’ll be a smarter shopper, less of a consumer, and more of an investor, not just in clothes, but in everything you buy.

And that’s very Old Money.

– BGT


4 thoughts on “Old Money in 2014

  1. Byron, you mentioned in the book that a good clothing resource for women is Ralph Lauren. Are there any places you recommend similar to Mercer and Sons, for women? Their shirts sounds incredible.

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    1. Hi Simone,

      One of our readers, Amy, provided great insight into this in a comment a few weeks ago. I’ll try to locate the comment if time permits. Amy, if you read this, could you advise?

      In the interim, you might look into Brooks Brothers, Lands End, and LL Bean women’s collections. For something more elegant, I’ve heard some good things about Thomas Pink Shirtmakers and their classic styles for women.

      Happy hunting! Thank you, – BGT

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      1. Hi Simone! Mercer & Sons seems to be best known for their oxford cloth button down shirts that men wear to the office, so I assume that’s the kind of thing you’re asking about. For women in this category the obvious choices are Polo Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers. Southern Tide makes some nice women’s ocbd shirts in basic, solid colors like white, blue and pink. Vineyard Vines also has good women’s shirts in both oxford cloth and gingham. Ann Taylor usually has good, basic shirts and blouses that are appropriate to wear in more formal offices and their clothes are generally pretty high quality and last for many years.

        Orvis, L.L.Bean and Lands’ End tend to be a little more casual and outdoorsy, and although Orvis does have some dressier shirts for women they are mostly of the non iron, wrinkle free variety which I, personally, do not like (although I may be in the minority on that). I don’t have any experience with Thomas Pink, but if Byron recommends them I’m sure they’re worth looking into. Good Luck!

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