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When to spend & when to save on clothes

Fit to be 'tied'
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Fit to be 'tied'

For men's basics, it's trickier because they have fewer options -- and often less room in the closet. There's the power suit for work, the polo shirt for weekend casual outings, khakis or jeans. It's the male uniform.

Novo says men should have at least one custom-fitted classic suit, most likely in black or gray, for special occasions, be it as a wedding guest or funeral attendee. But for everyday wear to the office, they can go for the two-for-one deals that men's stores specialize in every spring, fall and holiday. Also, department stores offer quality suits and slacks from quality name brands.

One of the more perplexing items to shop for is the men's dress tie. They can be very expensive. Novo suggests buying quality, keeping the colors bold and classic, and staying away from cartoon and novelty ties.

"Stay with style, and spend a little more," Novo says. "I always notice a man's tie."

McNeal says, "No one wants to look at a Bozo tie."

Women should not forget they can dress up a drab outfit with a scarf, many which run for less than $20.


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