Best Budget-Friendly Men’s Fall Essentials For 2019

Key pieces for a sharp Fall wardrobe don’t have to be expensive, and a few wallet-friendly updates can add a ton of style to your overall look. As we mentioned in our previous Fall Essentials piece, the key thing to think about with your fall wardrobe is changing temperatures, you want items that layer easily or can be versatile enough for varying temps. Like with the rest of the items in your Essential Wardrobe you want pieces that will have you looking sharp no matter your height, body shape, or age.

Here are our picks for the Best Budget-Friendly Fall Essentials for 2019!

 

H&M Wool crewneck sweater – $20

A simple versatile item that can be worn a ton of different ways, from casual to dressy.  We love the one from H&M, it’s budget-friendly and super stylish.

H&M Wool Crewneck

H&M Merino Crewneck

 

The Tie Bar Wool Knit Tie – $25

An easy way to add some texture and personality to dressier looks, these simple additions are great with suits or chinos.  We love the options from the Tie Bar specifically, the bang-for-the-buck is outstanding.

Tie Bar Wool Knit Ties

Tie Bar Wool Ties

 

H&M Quilted Jacket – $79.99

Budget-friendly quilted jackets are very tough to come by but this one from H&M hits all the marks. A solid price, great casual style, and a nice light weight make for a very versatile jacket for your Fall layering.

 

Suede / Perlon / Wool watch straps – $5-$20

A super simple (and cheap!) way to mix up your accessory game. Try something in suede or perlon for some added texture and style to your watch.

Suede Straps

Leather and Suede Nato Straps

Perlon Straps

Wool Straps

 

Uniqlo Corduroy Jeans & Chinos – $39.90

We discussed these in our previous Fall Essentials video, and for good reason, a few solid pairs of pants can really set your rotation up nicely. We really love the corduroys and chinos from Uniqlo because they’re super affordable and great quality for the money.  The range of colors is great too, so make sure you invest in a few pairs to mix up your rotation from denim.

Uniqlo Corduroy Jeans

Uniqlo Chino Pants

 

Leather Lace-Up or Chukka Boots – $130 – $250

A solid and versatile lace-up boot or chukka boot is an indispensable style foundation for fall.  Keep in mind that affordability is relative and you get what you pay for. Ultimately, It’s tough to find anything of quality below $150 or so. The picks below are a great mix of quality and affordable prices.

Picks:

Johnston & Murphy 1

Johnston & Murphy 2

Kenneth Cole 1

Kenneth Cole 2

Clarks

 

Wool Scarf – $13-$60

Easy warmth when you need it and it can be a great accessory.  Go for solid black, grey or navy for an understated look or opt for a pattern like plaid or a bolder color for more of a statement.  Wool blends and cashmere are the most comfortable.

Picks:

Uniqlo 1

Uniqlo 2

Gap

H&M 1

H&M 2

 

Uniqlo Suede Belt – $30

You’ve hopefully got a few casual and dress belts in leather already, but adding a suede version is an easy way to change up your accessory game and add some nice texture to your outfit. As another option, a nice braided leather belt is a cool update as well.

Uniqlo Suede Belt

Uniqlo Braided Belt

 

Flannel Shirts – $30 – $50

We discussed the importance of great casual button-ups for fall and there are a number of good flannel options that are perfect for the cooler months.  You can go for a solid color or a bolder plaid and these are great as a layer under a denim or bomber jacket or just worn on their own. We love the ones from Uniqlo the most but there are other great picks we love below as well.

Picks:

Uniqlo

Gap

J.Crew Factory

 

H&M Blazer – $70

Another super versatile jacket, we love that this blazer can add a bit of polish to any casual outfit, like with denim or chinos, or it can be dressed up with some trousers and a tie. The checked pattern is a nice way to add a bit of personality but in a subtle way and you can even layer a sweater underneath for added warmth.

Picks:

H&M 1

H&M 2

Uniqlo 1

Uniqlo 2

J. Crew Factory

Best Budget-Friendly Chinos For 2019

If you don’t know by now, chinos are an absolute must-own, especially for the Spring and Summer months.  They’re super versatile, very comfortable, and a key part of a stylish Essential Wardrobe.  There are a ton of versions out there but we wanted to highlight a few of our absolute favorite budget-friendly chinos.  For more chino goodness, check out 3 Ways To Style Your Chinos and our Chino Fit Guide.

  

Uniqlo

Uniqlo’s chinos are the perfect affordable basic, they’re good quality, have a very clean design and come in two excellent fits, a slim fit and a straight fit.  Plus, they also offer free hemming in-store and online. For $40 these can’t be beaten.

Uniqlo Slim Fit

Uniqlo Straight Fit

  

J.Crew

J.Crew is slightly more expensive, still very well-priced at just below $70, but their heavier chino fabric is very good quality and they offer a ton of great colors.  We recommend their slim fit or straight fit.

J.Crew Slim Fit

J.Crew Straight Fit

5 Best Budget-Friendly Spring Essentials

Finding the right budget-friendly Spring essentials is all about choosing the right affordable brands and focusing on the right accessories you can add to your outfit to really elevate your look and supplement your Essential Wardrobe.

Here are our picks for the 5 Best Budget-Friendly Spring Essentials for 2019!

 

  

1. Polo Shirts

We’ve always been huge fans H&M polos, the fit is great and they offer awesome bang for the buck. Get a range of basic colors (navy, black, grey, light grey) and wear them until Fall.

Picks:

Polos

Alternative 1

Alternative 2

 

2. Braided Leather Belt

A low-key way to mix up your belt style without doing anything crazy. These belts are best for casual looks and we recommend options in dark brown, light brown, or black.

Picks:

Belt 1

Belt 2

Belt 3

3. Silk Knit Ties

An easy, affordable way to mix up your tie routine. Silk knit ties add texture and a bit of casual flair that’s perfect for spring occasions (weddings/parties) or the office.

Picks:

My Favorite Knit Ties

Alternative Knit Ties

 

4. Chino Pants

Obviously, we love chino pants for Spring and Uniqlo chinos are the cream of the crop for budget-friendly options.  The fit and price are excellent and they even offer in-store hemming for free.  They come in slim and straight fits.

Picks:

My Favorite Budget-Friendly Chinos

Alternative 1

Alternative 2

 

5. Canvas Sneakers

A classic casual sneaker option that’s both stylish and affordable.  Solid colors like white and navy are super versatile but don’t be afraid to mix it up with a fun checkerboard pattern or some color.

Picks:

Sneakers 1

Sneakers 2

Sneakers 3

Sneakers 4

Sneakers 5

The Best Men’s Lightweight Jackets For Spring 2019

Even though winter is over the temperatures in Spring can vary greatly.  So, that means having the right kinds of versatile, lightweight layers in your rotation.  Here are our picks for the Best Lightweight Jackets for Spring 2019!

We listed all of our favorite styles down below, check ’em out!

 

  

Lightweight Blazer

Super versatile and goes with pretty much everything, a lightweight blazer in cotton or a cotton/linen blend is the perfect way to dress up casual and business casual in different ways. Neutral colors like navy and grey match easily but you can also go for one in earth tones like olive or tan. Plus, these jackets transition into summer easily as well.

Picks:

Canali

LBM

Brooks Brothers

Banana Republic

J.Crew

  

Lightweight Bomber

Obviously, we’re huge fans of bomber jackets, they’re flattering for every body type and an absolute must-have for Spring. Look for one in a cotton blend or unlined nylon.  If you’re not risking rain, we recommend a light suede version as well.

Picks:

Paul Smith

Everlane

Gap

J.Crew

H&M

Suede:

Valstar

AllSaints

ASOS

 

Nylon Jacket

Look for a zip-up style that’s a bit sporty (anorak/tech style), Harrington style, or a bomber style. It works well with all types of casual looks and also is great for unexpected spring rain/weather.

Picks:

Patagonia

Hill City

Everlane

Uniqlo

H&M

5 Men’s Spring Style Essentials For 2019

Spring is here and it’s time to take a look at your wardrobe. Depending on where you live in the country it could still be cool or already getting warm. That means versatile items that layer well to keep you warm or make it simple to dress sharply when it’s warm out.  Don’t forget to check out all of our picks below!

5. Chambray Shirt

One of my favorite essential pieces, its rugged look is perfect for the transitional wardrobe. Wear on its own with chinos or layer it under a sweater or a bomber jacket.

Picks:

Zegna

Saturdays NYC

Amazon Goodthreads

J.Crew

4. Leather Chukka Boot

The perfect versatile boot for your casual and dressy wardrobe.  I recommend dark brown leather (as opposed to suede) for versatility and protection against any spring rain.

Picks:

Clarks

Budget-Friendly Clarks

Johnston Murphy

Allen Edmonds

3. Lightweight Jacket – Denim or Nylon/Cotton Bomber

Temperatures can be unpredictable in Spring so a versatile, lightweight outer layer is just what you need.  These jackets work just as well with a button up as they do with a t-shirt.

Picks:

Levis

J. Crew 1

Topman

APC

Gap

J.Crew 2

Bonobos

Paul Smith

2. Sweatshirt

A baggy hoodie is not what we’re talking about, we mean a well-fitting crewneck sweatshirt. It looks great casually with chinos and denim and is a great alternative to a sweater.

Picks:

J.Crew

Everlane

Todd Snyder

Rag & Bone

1. Chinos

Your go-to pants for Spring, they’re super comfortable and durable. There are versions at every budget and come in stretch and non-stretch varieties these days.  Go with basic colors like khaki, navy, grey, and olive for maximum versatility.  For more tips, check out our full chino rundown.

Picks:

Rag & Bone Fit 2

Bonobos

Uniqlo

J.Crew

Gap 

5 Shirts Every Man Should Own

Building a stylish, versatile wardrobe starts with a solid foundation, and with shirts, you want to find simple, versatile options that are timeless and go with everything. Don’t be afraid to buy multiple colors of the same shirt to take out over-thinking about wardrobe. These are the five essentials shirts that every man should own!

Don’t forget to check out our shirt Fit Guides for more info.

1. White dress shirt

Simple, timeless and will go with everything.  Every man should have a few crisp white dress shirts in his closet. Wear with everything from a suit to jeans.

2. Oxford

Another classic, make sure to get these in blue or white.  Oxfords are the ultimate casual staple for jeans or chinos and can be easily dressed up for business casual with a blazer.

3. Black T-shirt

I love the versatility of a black t-shirt.  It can be casual with jeans and sneakers or even dressed up with a blazer or suit.

4. Chambray shirt

This shirt has a cool, denim-like vibe and is perfect with chinos or as a more casual substitute for a dress shirt with a blazer and a tie.

5. Solid colored polos

Make sure you have a good rotation of solid-colored polos in basic colors like black, grey, navy, and white.

Bonus: Henley

A henley shirt is only recommended if you have a trim to medium build.  If you’re a bigger or athletic guy it’s not the right shirt for you.

Shirt Picks

White Dress Shirts:

Burberry

Brooks Brothers Milano Non-Iron

The Tie Bar

Uniqlo

Zara

Oxfords:

Norse Projects Oxford

Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Oxford

Club Monaco Oxford

JCrew Oxford

Uniqlo Oxford

Chambray:

Brunello Cucinelli

Saturdays NYC

JCrew

Banana Republic

Amazon Goodthreads

T-Shirts:

James Perse

Rag & Bone

American Apparel

Uniqlo

H&M

Polos:

Brooks Brothers

Lacoste

James Perse

H&M

Uniqlo

Henley:

Rag & Bone Classic Henley

Rag & Bone Giles Henley

John Varvatos

James Perse

J. Crew

H&M

How To Take Care Of Your Jeans

Knowing how to take proper care of your jeans is not only going to keep your go-to jeans looking sharp and clean for a long time, but save you money in the long run. So, in this video, we’re showing you all the tips and tricks on how to take care of your jeans!

Don’t forget to check our deep dive on all things jeans and our Fit Guide.

Jean Picks

Designer Slim Fit:

Tom Ford

RRL

JBrand Tyler Taper

Diesel Buster

Budget-Friendly Slim Fit:

Uniqlo Slim Fit Selvedge

Levis 511 Stretch

Gap Slim Fit

Designer Straight Fit:

AG Graduate

JBrand Kane 

Budget-Friendly Straight Fit:

Uniqlo Regular Fit 

Levis 514 Stretch

Gap Straight Fit

 

 

The Dark Wash Jean

Jeans, Denim, Blue Jeans, whatever you call them – the bottom line is that they’re a staple in every man’s wardrobe. But that doesn’t mean most guys know how to choose the right pair.

Every day, I see looks of dissapoinment slapped across people’s faces as the men in their lives waddle around in poopy-pants, flop about in the moo-moo version of jeans or show off their twig and berries.

Let’s fix this.

Have questions? Curious what others think?

Join us in the comments section of the video above.

Every single man, no matter their size, age or body type should have a few pairs of dark washed jeans in their closet. They work for nearly all occasions outside of a formal setting and look good with virtually everything- especially my list of men’s wardrobe essentials. They’ll never steer you wrong and are likely the pants you’ll wear a majority of the time.

The 5 Aspects Of Jeans

1. Wash or Rinse

This dictates how light or dark the jeans are as well as how they’re treated. Light wash = lighter colored. Dark wash = dark.

My preferred wash is dark blue, sometimes called indigo, depending on the brand.

Because of the title of this article, you know I’m recommending that you own dark wash jeans. The reason is because this wash looks great on everybody, hides skinny or thicker legs better than any other color and can be dressed in a casual or less-casual way. I love them so much that I put them on every single one of my clients.

2. Style

This is also called the “cut” and sometimes also called the “fit” of the jeans. Depending on your body type, you should be wearing a certain style. We’ll get into that in a minute, but the most common styles are (in order of slimness):

  • Skinny
  • Slim
  • Straight
  • Boot Cut
  • Relaxed

3. Size

The waist and inseam (leg length) measurements of the jeans. Ex: 32×32 (inches).

If you’ve seen my Fit Guide, you know appropriate jeans sizing, but here’s a quick refersher:

  • They should fit your waist without needing a belt. They can even be slightly tight, as denim will loosen as you wear them.
  • The inseam (length) should leave a slight or full break where they meet your shoes. Anything shorter will look odd and anything longer will bunch at your ankles and throw off your proportions.

4. Denim Type Or Fabric Blend

Denim material can be blended with a variety of other fabrics. Some jeans may have two to three percent spandex and others might have polyester blended into them.

A quick thought if you go with spandex blends:

  • Spandex blends, while a little more comfortable and forgiving in the thighs, tend to stretch out and not retain their shape as well as 100% cotton blends. I’ve definitely seen some “poopy pants” as a result of this.

It’ll depend on what you prefer, I can go either way on this – some of my recc’s below are blends, some are 100% cotton.

5. Fit

I get asked all the time “How should men’s jeans fit?”

Here’s the the trifecta of how your jeans should fit, regardless of age or body type:

  • You should be able to pinch a minimum of 1 inch of fabric, but no more than 1.5 inches on either side of the thigh.
  • They should fit your waist without a belt.
  • They shouldn’t be too short or too long – having a slight or full break. 

Check out my Fit Guide for more in-depth info.

The Best Dark Wash Jeans For Your Build

A quick note about your height: It doesn’t matter. My clients range in size from 5ft 3in to almost 7ft and I’ve never put them in different jeans because of their height. These are the best jeans for short men, tall men, medium-sized men and so on. The only thing that matters is your build: slim/regular or larger.

Slim or Regular Build

You’ll want to get a “Slim” fit. Slim-fit jeans tend to slightly hug the thighs, knees, and calves while tapering down from your knee to ankle.

A lot of my slim & regular built clients initially believe this style will make them look too skinny. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just that they’re used to wearing super baggier clothes to try and hide their slimness, which, coincidentally, just makes them look slimmer. A proper fitting pair of jeans just looks right, regardless of your build, and doesn’t make you look one way or another – I promise.

Things to avoid:

  • Don’t make the mistake of thinking “Skinny” fit is the same as “Slim” fit. “Skinny” fit jeans are usually skin-tight and not appropriate
  • Avoid “Straight Fit” jeans. Like the name implies, the leg of the pants are looser and will be cut straight down from the knee to ankle. This cut will look terrible on you. 
  • If you can pinch more than an 1.5 inches of denim on either side of your thighs, you need to move down to a slimmer cut or get the legs taken in. If you can avoid it, don’t rush to the tailor. Try a size down first or another brand. This is costly for a tailor to do. Having too much fabric on your thighs will make you look smaller, shorter or wider than you are.

Designer

I’ve personally worked with and touched each pair of these jeans (in all sections) and they’re awesome. The fit is very accurate, the pocket placement and stitching is great. Diesel runs a little larger in the waist, so go down a size (ex: if you’re a 34 waist, get a 32).

Tom Ford Slim-Fit Stretch Indigo Denim Jeans
RRL Slim Fit Selvedge Jeans
JBrand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
JBrand Taper Tyler Fit in Blue Hood
Diesel Buster Jeans

Budget Friendly

I love these because the quality in relation to the price is very good and you can never go wrong with a classic like Levi’s and I love Uniqlo’s wash and they also offer free hemming!

Uniqlo Stretch Selvedge Slim Fit Jeans
Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans

Larger Build

The classic “Straight-Leg” fit is perfect for you. No matter a man’s build, but especially in your case, it’s all about balancing your body’s proportions to make sure your bottom half complements your upper half.

There are a few great brands out there that offer straight-legged jeans with a slightly roomier thigh area which will hopefully solve your frustrations with finding jeans that fit properly.

Things to watch out for:

  • Avoid any cut of jean (all pants in general, for your build) with a taper in the legs. A taper will make you look really top heavy.
  • If you can pinch more than an 1.5 inches of denim on either side of your thighs, you need to move down a size, go to a slimmer cut, try a different brand, or get the legs taken in by a tailor. Don’t get the legs taken in if you can help it, it’s costly for a tailor to do. Having too much fabric on your thighs will make you look wider than you are and completely throw off your proportions.

Designer

The wash, quality and fit of these are great and I use them all the time for my larger clients because it makes them look really sharp.

AG Graduate Jeans
JBrand Kane Jeans 

Budget Friendly

Just like I said for the slim to regular built options in this category: I love these because the quality in relation to the price is very good and you can never go wrong with a classic like Levi’s and Uniqlo’s wash is great and they offer free hemming!

Levi’s 514 Tumbled Rigid Jeans
Uniqlo Selvedge Straight Leg Jeans
Gap 1969 Straight Fit Jeans

3 Ways To Wear

Ashley-Weston-Dark-Wash-Jeans-Look-1-Full

Levis Sunset Pocket Tee
JBrand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
Allen Edmonds Wide Basic Belt
Vans Authentic Sneakers

Ashley-Weston-Dark-Wash-Jeans-Look-2-Full Ashley-Weston-Dark-Wash-Jeans-Look-2-Detail

Brooks Brothers Suede Barracuda Jacket
J. Crew Garment-Dyed Henley
JBrand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
Allen Edmonds Wide Basic Belt
Vans Authentic Sneakers

Ashley-Weston-Dark-Wash-Jeans-Look-3-Full Ashley-Weston-Dark-Wash-Jeans-Look-3-Detail-2 Ashley-Weston-Dark-Wash-Jeans-Look-3-Shoes

Modern Fit Travel Tailoring Virgin Wool Suit
Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Spread Collar Sports Shirt
JBrand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
The Tie Bar Knitted Tie
The Tie Bar Cotton Pocket Square dark Charcoal Tipping
Johnston & Murphy Fielden Cap-Toe Dress Shoe
IWC Portuguese Automatic Watch

Outfit Inspiration