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

Men’s Fall Style Essentials For 2019

Fall and cooler weather will be here before you know it and it’s time to start thinking about transitioning your wardrobe.
A 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.

One quick note, while I love them, you’re not going to see henleys on this list because there are only a select few men that actually look good in them. We did an in-depth article on henleys previously and you can check out why I feel so strongly that only certain men can wear them.

Now, onto our picks for the Men’s Fall Style Essentials you need right now!

 

Denim Jacket

Classic, stylish and easy to layer, a denim jacket is a great pick for fall. Make sure the fit isn’t boxy – you want a slim fit. Also, we recommend a medium to light wash as they pair easily w your dark wash denim and with other go-to fall pants like chinos and corduroys.

Picks:

Uniqlo

AllSaints

Levis

Everlane

 

Crewneck sweater or sweatshirt

I love these because of their casual vibe and versatility, they can function as an outerwear piece over a tee or be layered underneath something else (like that denim jacket we just mentioned) when it gets colder. Stick with solid colors like light grey, charcoal, black, dark green, and burgundy.  You can go with cotton options or look for lightweight merino wool versions.

Picks:

H&M

J.Crew

Brooks Brothers

Todd Snyder

 

Suede or wool bomber jacket

Yes, our love of bomber jackets is well documented, and for good reason, they look great on everyone. The softer, more textured material or wool or suede complements the Fall season.

Picks:

Officine Generale

APC

H&M

Brooks Brothers

 

Casual Collared Shirt

We love a solid flannel or a check pattern and you definitely should have one or two of these in your closet to mix in with your wardrobe. These are great on their own or layered underneath a sweater or jacket or both if it’s chilly. Don’t forget: the length of the shirt should hit around mid-crotch/mid zipper. This allows you to wear untucked for a casual look or tucked in for a more polished look.

Some of our absolute favorite collared shirts come from The Tie Bar and they just launched a new line of fall casual shirts and, just like all their other shirts – they’re fantastic! They fit true to size, come in various sizes for all body types and are very high-quality relative to the price. Dorian has, over the last year or so, completely replaced his collared shirts with ones by the Tie Bar.

Picks:

The Tie Bar Casual Shirts

 

Chinos or corduroy pants

Both are classic go-tos for the Fall season. The darker autumn colors: dark green, darker brown, burgundy are perfect for this time of year and the thicker material makes them extra warm.

Picks:

Uniqlo

J.Crew

Rag & Bone

Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Chinos

 

Suede or leather Boots

Fall is the perfect time for suede footwear and to break out your boots. Chukka, desert, or work boots in light or dark brown suede are super versatile with denim or chinos.

Picks:

AllSaints

Allen Edmonds #1

Allen Edmonds #2

Johnston Murphy

Best Budget-Friendly Men’s T-Shirts For 2019

That’s right, it’s t-shirt time again! As we’ve discussed in the past, t-shirts are a critical essential wardrobe item, no matter what time of year it is.  You can wear them on their own, layer them and wear them casually or dressed up. Now that it has warmed up it’s the perfect time for us to share all of our favorite picks for The Best Budget-Friendly T-Shirts For 2019!

For more t-shirt basics, don’t forget to check out our Essential T-Shirt Guide and our T-Shirt Fit Guide.

T-Shirt Picks

Uniqlo – $9.90 or 2 for $17.90

Great fit overall and, like all things Uniqlo, we loved the quality for the price.

J. Crew Mercantile – $14.99

We didn’t really love the overall fit as it was quite roomy in the body and sleeves but for those of you broader guys or those who carry a little bit more room around the middle, this would probably a great option for you.

Topman – $10 or 2 for $16

We weren’t big fans of the roomy fit, which almost fits a size up from what’s listed, and material quality which was quite thin.

H&M – $6.99

An ultra-budget option, the H&M t-shirt was quite thin and had some fit issues in weird places, like a tight armpit and billowy sleeves as well as a very long body.

Zara – $17.90

At almost $18 we weren’t fans of the expensive price and firmly believe that t-shirts aren’t really something men should spend a lot on.  The fit was quite tight around the middle and almost tapered in the body, so not the best fit, even for tall, slim guys. Fabric-wise, it had a weird stretch composition that we didn’t like and, overall, this was our least favorite of the bunch.

Banana Republic – $18

Another fairly expensive option, we did think that this option had a pretty good fit, despite a few issues with the sleeve width.  If you’re a more athletic guy with bigger arms this would probably be a great option for you.

Express – $22.90

While on the trim side, the overall fit was pretty good.  Our biggest problem with this option was the price, at $23, it was just too expensive.

The Winner: Uniqlo

By far our favorite of the bunch, the combination of fit, price, and quality made it tops in our book.

Dorian’s Outfit Details & Sizing

Shirt Size: Medium

Jean Size: 32×32 

Height/Weight: 6’3” 185lbs

Jeans

Shoes

Watch – Rolex Submariner Date

Watch Strap

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

Should You Wear A Polo Shirt Under A Sweater?

It’s officially polo shirt weather but you’re probably still needing a layer here and there. In this week’s edition of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re going over a few rules when it comes to layering a sweater with a polo shirt. Here’s how to do it right.

Layering Tips

  1. Skip the polo under a sweater
    Wear a button up dress shirt or an oxford underneath a sweater, a polo shirt shouldn’t be worn over a sweater as the collar of the shirt doesn’t have enough structure. This goes for all types of sweaters – crewneck, v-neck, and shawl collar sweaters.
  2.  Wear a blazer, bomber, or Harrington instead
    If you do want to add a layer over a polo shirt, try a bomber jacket or Harrington jacket instead, they are better suited to the style of a polo shirt.  A blazer can be worn over a polo but we recommend sticking to a polo that has a neat, structured collar and stays put underneath your jacket.

 

 

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