On my path toward frugality and simplicty, on my quest toward wealth, I’m often forced to choose between price and quality. (The middle path — a moderate amount of money for moderate quality — never appeals to me.) Sometimes I choose to spend a lot of money in order to obtain the best quality, reasoning that, for example, the best-made messenger bag will last a lifetime, whereas I’d be replacing that cheap five-dollar bag in a few months. Sometimes I choose the cheapest route if I don’t believe the added cost brings a corresponding increase in quality.

Seattle Simplicty has recommended some clothing reference books, and I plan to put them on hold at the library.

A reader asked: “What do I look for in clothing to know it’s going to last? Is it fabric, the way it’s threaded, the brand name or where it was made?” I learned how to select quality clothing by reading books from the Chic Simple series.

These books include Chic Simple Women’s Wardrobe, Chic Simple Men’s Wardrobe, Chic Simple Work Clothes, and Chic Simple Dressing for Occasions. The series does have its detractors on Amazon, though; some people feel they’re light on content and contain an outdated sense of fashion. Yet another reason to borrow them from the library.

Another book I’ve heard highly recommended is Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion.