One topic I really wanted to write about is how to be classy, or appear that way, when you don’t have a lot of money. When I was a car salesman, I had to wear suits every day, and that alone made me want to live a life of class, and appear that way. However, I thought it cost money. All you need to do is spend wisely, and jump on opportunities when they present themselves.
The first thing I’ll get into it dress. Gentlemen, you would do well to go get professional measurements done. It is usually cheap, if not free, at places such as Men’s Wearhouse (it took me far too long to realize how punny that name is). Ladies, something tells me you all are born knowing your measurements, additionally I know very little about your professional wear, so sorry. Now on my 20th birthday, I asked for one thing; a professionally tailored suit. When all was said and done it was way too expensive for me, or most people to afford a second, unless they are Jordan Belfort.
When I started selling cars, I realized I needed a second, third, and even a fourth suit. Enter Burlington Coat Factory. With stores in virtually every state, Burlington is a must for budget suits. On average, from my experience, these suits tend to be between 5% and 10% the cost of a professional suit, and they actually look good. For the best results, I would recommend getting these suits tailored so they fit you like a professional suit.
The next topic will be alcohol, because let’s be honest, when you see people “Balling” they always have some sort of expensive liquor. The first thing I’ll say, is if you like a certain kind of alcohol, drink that. Don’t drink any suggestions I make simply because I like them. Now part of this lesson here is drinking something that tastes good. We all know in high school and college we bought the lowest priced alcohol because, well, we had no money.
We had our Jose Cuervo, our Jim Beam, our Jack Daniels, our Natty Ice, and our Captain Morgan (or God forbid, Admiral Nelson). Again, if you like these, that’s great, but allow me to expand your pallet. For tequila, most people know Gold and Silver, they are the most common types in the states, and they are the ones most found in your mixed drinks. Historically, Gold was given because of the color tequila turns when it is aged, however, a marketing tactic for some cheaper brands (ahem, Mr. Cuervo.) was to add coloring to their silver tequila.
Silver tequila is rarely aged, making it’s tequila the most pure, 100% Agave. Now in my experience, I have found that silver tequila is better for sipping, in addition to mixing. You also don’t have to do the whole Lime, shot, salt thing (another marketing campaign to make cheaper tequilas more tolerable). My top choices are Don Julio and 1800, I could sip them all day. For bourbon, there isn’t really a historic reasoning for the differences, like there is for tequila. It usually matters more on how long they’re aged, and how they are aged, IE Single Barrel. Typically these single barrel bourbons tend to be the “best,” because the contents are from a single barrel of aged bourbon, as opposed to mixing together several barrels together. A good bourbon is smooth, and not harsh on the back of your throat like what you probably first experienced with bourbon.
Now a good budget bourbon is tricky, as its not made to be cheap. The best two I have found are Blanton’s Single Barrel (On the list of the top 15 bourbons everyone should try) and John J. Bowman Virginia Bourbon. Both are reasonably priced for the taste, and look classy to have in your home. Before we get into whiskey I need to explain something. If the bottle says “straight bourbon whiskey” it is bourbon. Not whiskey. Additionally, not all whiskey is bourbon, its an ingredient, and until recently, a geographical qualification that makes a whiskey a bourbon.
Jack Daniels actually has some good brands of their own Single Barrel Whiskey, but we’ll look at a couple others which I like. George Dickel is the second most popular brand of Tennessee Whiskey, behind Jack Daniels, of course. And like Jack Daniels their whiskey is made to bourbon standards, for a better quality. My next choice is one you should not sleep on, Crown Royal. As one of the most well known Canadian Whiskeys available, it is incredibly popular in the US, very cheap, and looks classy as hell. Now, I am not a beer guy, but I do know a little bit to help you out, and my biggest tip is IPAs, however, my top pick is a lager. IPAs look classy, and for beer drinkers, it is one of the best tastes. Local brews tend to be cheaper in your local area, but you may like a local brew from elsewhere.
My pick? The Narragansett Lager.
This company is a lot bigger in the Northeast than it is here in the DC area, however you can still find some stores who carry it. At a low price for the quality you get, its a clear winner. Rum is the last category I will get into. If you’ve had rum, its almost likely been Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. What it brings to the table in price, it really sacrifices in taste and texture on your pallet. It is really only good for mixing. In general white rums bring the most flavor in the rum game, but there are plenty of flavors in spiced and dark rums. My choice is not one rum in particular, but really one brand. Abuelo has many ages of rum, and all of them rate very well. Additionally you can probably find it in your local store.
Finally, I’ll talk about jumping on opportunities. Now this section is not about taking a job, or something like that. This is more of where you find something decently priced, or being given away, and you decide to get it. A couple of examples I have are due to my job, where customers just gave things away to me. One customer asked if I wanted a “broken” liquor cabinet. Now, if you read the last section, you know for sure that I said yes in a heartbeat. And after some minor repairs, it is currently fully stocked in my living room.
My second example is a doozie…
At some point, a customer of my company had her baby grand piano broken by my company and asked them to just throw it out, which of course they did not want to do, because it is a piano. Fast forward to now, and I asked my boss if I could have it, which he said yes. After some minor repair work to the broken leg, I now have a beautiful, slightly out of tune baby grand piano. These are the kinds of opportunities you need to jump on if you see them. Yours may not be as grandeur as mine, but if you’re on the receiving end of something even slightly nice or classy, then you’ll already be ahead, instead of putting yourself behind by purchasing something similar on your own. The point is, keep your eyes open.
Now these tips I’ve provided will help you to get started on your journey to having class without cash, but I’m sure you’ll pick up many more ideas along the way, with the people you meet, and the situations you encounter. But remember, the best thing you can do, is have class, don’t just act like you have it. To sum it up in the best way I can think…