Take for instance this:
These pants, recently purchased for $5.49, the cloth is seersucker, but with really narrow stripes, almost like pincord. They're certainly not all cotton, which really is a shame with seersucker, my guess is maybe 60%cotton/40% polyester. But the cut of them is trim and sharp, no egregious wide legs. They have no label at all, which leads me to believe they're half of a suit.
This weird Lacoste tennis shirt, with a pocket and plain (i.e. not banded) sleeves, in the palest shade of yellow known to man...
...coton/poly blend. Made in U.S.A., which is good, except that Lacoste shirts are supposed to be made in France. Free from ebay.
and, as always, bring the whole thing alive with accessories. Lately I've been very happy with this particular paisley pocket square (heisted from dear old Dad 15 years ago):
and ribbon belt ( Polo, $0.99)
My point is, while polyester may be less than desirable, it's presence in a a garment needn't necessarily be a deal breaker. True, that thick, double knit, rubbery stuff is an abomination, but some of those cotton or wool blends ain't half bad when used with a clever eye. Remember, Clint Eastwood didn't look half bad in all those "Dirty Harry" flicks.
Dressing well is all about having an understanding of style, pattern, color and proportion, as well as some dash and a good deal of disregard for what the chumps will invariably say about you. If you don't get that, than the greatest tailor in Naples won't be able to help you, but if you do get it, really get it, you can practically pick your clothes out of the trash and knock 'em dead every time...or at least shop at the thrift store. It's amazing the things that most people throw away.
Style doesn't care about money.
p.s. a million points to Michael Williams at A Continuous Lean for giving Jack McCoy the credit he deserves. I always thought that dude dressed well...he's got Mike Cutter beat by a mile.