Truth be told, I’ve never had a longterm plan for Well Spent; no specific goal for the site, much less any kind of eventual exit strategy. I just really hated the job I was working back in 2011, and really liked looking at clothes on the internet, and hoped I could somehow make a living doing that, instead. And, shockingly, I have – something for which I still feel incredibly fortunate and grateful. Well Spent has also been instrumental in the formation and success of my other company, BDBC. And I feel incredibly fortunate and grateful for that, too.
But while the site has been great to me in many ways, I haven’t always been great to it – especially as of late. Between running BDBC, being the father of a very energetic 18 month old, and the myriad other responsibilities that come with getting dangerously close to 40, I’ve had to neglect Well Spent more and more over the last two years. Hence the increased irregularity of our posting schedule, lack of in-depth features, and dearth of social media content. Simply put: I just don’t have time anymore to make this a place worth visiting every day.
So, rather than drag out the inevitable for another two years, I’ve decided to shut down Well Spent. Or, at least, the Well Spent website. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I know it’s the right one.
I want to thank anyone who’s ever read, commented on, and / or shared something from this site. I want to thank the many advertisers who helped keep us afloat. I want to thank all of our wonderful contributors. And, of course, I want to thank Nick and Reed for their years of humor, eloquence, and dedication. I couldn’t ask for two better guys to run this thing with. Please don’t hate me for making it go away.
Speaking of Nick and Reed, keep on eye on the Well Spent Instagram, where they’ll be posting all kinds of good stuff starting in the new year.
For our final act on the site, Nick, Reed, and I will be highlighting our personal, all-time favorite things (something we get asked about a lot). The clothes and accessories that, after almost a decade of obsessing over, writing about, being gifted, and buying and returning (or selling), we consider to be the best of the best.
My Favorite T-Shirt: Velva Sheen
T-shirts are probably the thing I’ve bought and returned (or sold, or gave away) the most over the last decade. And of the dozens and dozens (not an exaggeration) I’ve tried, nothing has ever topped my Velva Sheens. The weight, the fit, the construction – to me, they’re the perfect tee. Done and done. Get ’em here.
My Favorite Button-Up: orSlow
If I had to choose a single favorite brand, it would be orSlow. From the incredible fabrics, to the meticulous construction, to the perfect fit (once you figure out their admittedly tricky sizing system) – it just doesn’t get any better to me. Their button-downs are my all-time favorites. I just wish they came in more fabrics. And while they can be very expensive if you buy them from Western stockists, you can get them for less than a Gitman from Rakuten.
My Favorite Sweatshirt: Our Legacy / John Elliott / Battenwear
My favorite crew neck sweat is a toss-up between Our Legacy’s Great Sweat and John Elliott’s Raglan Crew. I’ve tried Ricksons, I’ve tried McCoys, and they’re very nice, but to me, the OL and JE just fit and feel better. I also like that both brands come out with new seasonal colorways to go along with the core heather gray and black. And, they’re fairly easy to find on sale, too. Just a heads-up, the OL runs big (I wear a 46 – the smallest size), and the JE runs small (I wear a large). OLs look to be sold out for the season, but you can get the JE here.
Funnily, I don’t like the OL or JE hoodies (JE’s doesn’t fit as well as the crew, and it doesn’t have drawstrings, which is a must for me, and the OL hoodies are, like, $300, which fuck that). For me, there’s no better hoodie than the Battenwear Reach-Up Hoodie. Everything about it – fabric, cut, weight – is perfect. Get it here.
My Favorite Jeans: Momotaro
What can I say, I’m still a sucker for sick fadez. Yes, they’re spendy as hell, and there are probably lots of more affordable and (almost) as good options, but I still just love my Momos. Selvedge denim was my gateway into menswear – it was the thing that got me super into clothing over a decade ago. Momotaro was my grail brand then, and it still is now. Plus the 0306 “Tight Tapered Fit” fits me perfectly. Buy a new pair every three or so years, wear them to hell, repeat. Get ’em here.
My Favorite Pants: Stan Ray / Barena
The two or three days a month I’m not wearing a pair of Momos, I’m in either Stan Ray or Barena. Stan Rays are tough as hell, great fitting, and super well priced. And the Barenas have my favorite loose-on-top / tapered-on-bottom fit – particularly the Arenga style. They’re pricey, but worth it (and not that hard to find on sale). Get the Stan Rays here and the Barenas here, here, or here.
My Favorite Outerwear: Jungmaven / Patagonia
There are a dizzying number of chore-coat style jackets out there (and I’ve written about most of them), but my personal favorite is Jungmaven’s Olympic Jacket. Three reasons: 1) the fabric is this super thick hemp twill that drapes beautifully and really forms to your body when you’re wearing it. 2) it’s got a shorter, boxier fit than most other brands (Vetra, A Day’s March, Corridor, Alex Crane, EG Workaday, et al.) And 3) it has a hidden placket, and I love me a hidden placket. Get it here.
They’re ubiquitous, and kinda basic (like, in the bitch way), but fuck if a Patagonia Down Sweater doesn’t make life just a little bit better. It’s the closest I’ve come in adulthood to feeling like I’m wrapped in my childhood blankie. You can wear them all year long, from chilly summer nights to brutally cold winter days. And, you know, Patagonia – traceable down, recycled content, and all that other good stuff. Get it here.
My Favorite Accessories: American Trench / R.T.CO
It might sound silly, but once you’ve tried a really good beanie, you suddenly realize that not all beanies are created equal. American Trench’s are in a class of their own. They have the perfect ratio of weight and length, so you can wear them in lots of different ways (Cousteau-style, Ghostface-style, etc). Plus, the fabrics are super luxe, and the prices are fair, too. Can’t recommend these enough. Get ’em here.I discovered the German eyewear brand, R.T.CO, while I was in Paris with my wife, several years ago. All of their stuff is designed in Berlin and handmade in Italy, and just fucking great. I picked up a pair of the Iora sunglasses and have worn them almost every single day since. Get ’em here.
My Favorite Stores: End Clothing / Rakuten
To me, End Clothing is the be-all end-all of men’s stores (pun intended). From the brand assortment, to the specific items they pick from those brands, to the product and model photography, to the streamlined checkout process, all of it makes shopping an absolute joy. If there’s a thing that’s in the world that’s good and wearable you’ll almost always find it at END.
Unless it’s a super obscure Japanese thing, in which case END. might not have it, but Rakuten probably will – and you can get it tax free! I’ve purchased more things from Rakuten in the last five years than all other stores combined – and saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars in the process. Yes, the website is ugly and hard to navigate. And yes, the checkout process can be confusing and a little anxiety-inducing. But once you figure all that stuff out (starting an account instead of checking out as a guest really helps), a world of crazy affordable Japanese treasures awaits. Go forth.