I completely disagree with that. It's quite easy, provided you aren't a snob about brands, fused sport coats / suits, or welted shoes, and accept that FIT matters more than anything else in terms of how you look.
Let's assemble a basic wardrobe:
-2 suits, maybe a navy and a charcoal. With luck and watching sales, you could get this done for $200, with less luck $250, much less luck $300, by shopping clearance at Jos A Bank (provided you don't have a difficult to fit body type). Fit matters most.
They absolutely have normal colors, 100% wool, like solid navy and solid charcoal, in a variety of cuts, pleated or non-pleated, normal sizes, pop up in clearance regularly. Occasionally, even a signature gold (half-canvassed) pops up in clearance.
-3 sport coats. With luck and watching sales, $225-$300, JAB. Same comments as above.
-10 dress shirts. Watch sales, you can do this for $250 total, from either lands end or JAB.
-10 ties. $100-$200. $10-$20/ea on amazon, 100% silk. amazon.
-3 belts. $150. Wait for AE to have a sale and you can do this from them.
-1 pair black oxfords, 1 pair brown bluchers, 1 pair brown chukkas, 1 pair brown loafers. You could do this for under $400 if you bargain hunt for something like Cole Haan. Otherwise, if you just have to have non-glued shoes, $800-$1000 on shoe bank, $700-$800 ordering from beckett simonon. End of last year, Paul Evans did 2 pairs for $400, for sleek, patinad (or not), blake stitch, full grain leather.
Let's add this up. Using my pessimistic numbers, that's $2200+taxes+whatever shipping costs may be if any. Let's say I counted on too many discounts, and that the number after taxes and shipping is $3k.
So? That's a basic business wardrobe, and if you concentrate on FIT the most, you'll still look good, and that really is not that expensive in the scheme of things.
Of course, if you think fully canvassed bespoke suits, bespoke shirts, and yohei fukada shoes are required to "dress well", then sure, it's not affordable for most.
So, I decided to do some research on historical prices. Check this article out. https://www.dummies.com/education/h...emembering-what-a-buck-could-buy-in-the-1960/
It highlights how most things were actually MORE expensive then compared to wages. The real difference is houses, which these days is extremely dependent on area. Live in LA and the average family cannot buy a home; live in Houston as an example, the average family can easily buy a home.
Cars? People forget how many more options cars have now. Basoc, low option cars these days are actually cheap. You don't need a $60k suburban to haul your kids adojnd -- a $25k minivan will do it just fine.
Bringing it back to clothing, if average family income was $7k, and an average business suit was as low as even $25, think of that ratio. That's 0.36% of your income for one suit. Let's say now you make $50k, and you grab a suit for $150, thats a flat 0.30% of your income, and average family income in the US now is well above $50k.
Things aren't perfect these days, but they are far from the doom and gloom many preach.