Dressing Well On A Budget | Affordable Men’s Fashion Tips

Despite what you may think, dressing stylishly and well doesn’t have to involve a lot of money. We’ve talked time and again about how achieving style has everything to do with choosing the right items for a timeless essential wardrobe and nothing to do with how much you pay for something. Whether it’s the right budget-friendly denim and chinos, or affordable accessories that add a bit of personality, you can dress well on a budget, no matter what it is. Another bonus: women care more about how you dress, not what you spend on clothing, trust us.

So, with that, here are a few simple ways that you can dress well on a budget.

 

The Right Fit

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on clothes if they don’t fit they’ll look like crap! A well-fitting $75 bomber will look way better than an ill-fitting $2000 suit. If you handle this part properly, you’ve done 80% of the hard work. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with Fit Guides for nearly every wardrobe item in your closet.

 

Nail The Details

Small tweaks like well-chosen accessories (watch, pocket square, a tie bar, or watch band) will elevate an average look to a new level. These items can all be super affordable and when put together with a well-chosen, well-fitting outfit they’re really going to take your style to the next level with a bare minimum of investment.

 

The Right Shoes

There’s no quicker way to ruin a solid, stylish outfit than with a bad pair of shoes. Plus, it’s a fact women will notice your shoes and regardless of how much you spend, they should be clean, in good shape, and timeless in style. Don’t forget to consider the right shoe choice for the situation you’re dressing for. A shoe that’s too casual or overly-dressy with the wrong outfit is just as bad as shoes that are in terrible shape.

 

Dress for the situation

Dressing out of touch for the situation just makes you look like you’re trying too hard or you’ve got no taste, and neither one is something you want to impart to an observer. Whether you spent a lot or a little, if you’re overdressing for a barbeque or underdressing for a work event or wedding, nobody is going to care about your budget, they’re only going to notice how out of place you look.

Do Women Care How Much You Spend On Clothes?

One of the most common comments we see and hear time and again is “Women only care about men who spend a lot on clothing.” Now we believe that style is made up of a lot more things than just the clothes you wear and we talk a lot about how to build a stylish essential wardrobe on any budget. But, it is a fair question to ask.

So do women care how much you spend on clothes? Tune in and find out what we think!

Style and money are unrelated

Fit, and to a lesser extent, materials, denotes how “rich” you can look. You can be wearing a $5k suit but if it fits poorly and isn’t properly tailored, you’re still going to look like crap. But if you’re wearing a $500 suit that’s tailored perfectly and fits your body type well, you’re going to look like a million bucks. Dressing well in clothes that fit you isn’t expensive. Dressing poorly in designer clothing is very expensive and a complete waste of time and money, not to mention, no women will care if your suit is expensive if you look like a mess in it. Since we’re talking about fit, we’ve got Fit Guides for everything, so don’t forget to check ’em out!

Designer Doesn’t Always Mean Good

Covering yourself in designer labels to show how much you spend on clothes actually just shows a lack of class and tact. Wearing a $500 Gucci T-shirt is silly for two reasons: one, they’re knocked off so easily that often people assume it’s fake anyway, and two, did you really just pay $500 for a $2 shirt with a Gucci logo screen printed on it? To women, it makes you look like more of a sucker and its incredibly off-putting. Looking good is about the details and subtlety – women pick up on these more than most men know. 

Dress Within Your Means

We mention it a lot around here but it bears repeating, style is achievable at literally any budget. If you’re spending more than what your means allow on your clothing, that’s an instant alarm to a woman. It shows you’re either insecure or irresponsible financially. Either way, very unattractive. Be honest about your budget and stick with what works for it, it’s a much, much better look. Don’t believe us? We’ve got recommendations for budget-friendly denim, chinos, and more.

Dress For The Situation

If you’re wearing expensive clothing, but it’s inappropriate for the situation, women will be repelled. Wearing your brash, iced-out Hublot watch to a black-tie affair is just gauche. Flashy shows of money like this are inappropriate and they send up red flags like “insecure”, “ignorant”, “tacky”. Subtlety and class are infinitely more important to women, even when they don’t know it. EVERY woman, regardless of who they are, would jump James Bond’s bones because he’s subtle, confident, and elegant in his style. Remember that. 

The Verdict: Absolutely Not

Take it from a woman (and an incredibly accomplished one at that), the right women care about so many things that aren’t money and how much of it you spend (or pretend to spend) on your clothing. Style is about so much more than just what you wear and women know this. Style can be achieved no matter what your budget is, even if it’s zero, so don’t forget that!

 

5 Style Hacks Women LOVE (and will notice!)

Sometimes a few simple hacks can make a huge difference in your overall look, and trust us, women are definitely going to notice. The great thing is, these are super simple, in some cases, cost zero money, and are tricks that anyone can pull off.

Here are 5 style hacks women LOVE, and will notice!

 

Tuck in your shirt in the front just a bit

A small move that adds a little bit of polish but never looks too formal, this quick trick is a super-easy way to show you’ve got some serious style skills.

 

Add a watch or slim metal cuff

A little arm candy is really sexy and adds a noticeable, stylish touch to your outfit. Make sure you use good judgment and don’t over-accessorize though, it can look amateurish. We’ve run down a few more accessorizing tips, our favorite metal cuffs, and watch tips in the past as well.

 

A black or navy bomber jacket

There’s something really sexy about this item, it’s just a style that compliments every man no matter his body shape, height or age. Obviously there are other jacket styles out there but this one is always so irresistible because it looks so fresh and understated.  It’s great casually or dressed up and goes with every type of pants.

Picks:

Officine Generale

APC

H&M

Brooks Brothers

 

Stick with a simple outfit formula

Sometimes (ok, most often times) less is more. At the end of the day, it’s when you look like you’re trying too hard that turns women off. Our favorite formula women will definitely love? A great-fitting tee, tucked slightly in, some slim dark wash jeans, a bomber jacket on top and a pair of fresh kicks on the bottom. Understated, stylish and very sexy.

 

A fresh haircut

Yup, it’s that simple, and there’s nothing sexier. It might not seem like a big deal or even noticeable, but trust me, women notice. We’ve run down all of the best haircuts women love before, (and a few women don’t like) so check those out!

Back To School Style Mistakes Men Make

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some style tips to help you look your best this Fall. We see a lot of these common mistakes young guys make by either trying too hard or not trying enough. You want to find a balance between effort and casual dress, all while staying comfortable.

The good news is a little birt of effort in the style department goes a long way, so all of these back to school style mistakes are easily avoidable.

 

Socks and Slides

There’s no excuse ever. Pick up some Vans slip-ons, they’re just as comfortable and low-maintenance, plus they’re much more stylish.

Slip-On Picks:

Vans

SeeVees

Sperry

 

Too many logo tees

Leave that for all the annoying kids who are decked out in their logo tee, pants, and socks. They look ridiculous, don’t join them. Stick with the basics and go with something from H&M and Uniqlo, they make our favorite t-shirts that Ashley uses all the time with clients.

 

Not Putting In Any Effort

Your wardrobe doesn’t have to be fancy but you should care about what you’re wearing.  That’s why we made it easy on you and put together a list of all the essentials you need for a stylish back to school wardrobe.

 

Basketball Shorts All The Time

Why? Unless you’re on the court or on the couch you shouldn’t be wearing basketball shorts.  Grab some dark joggers instead, they’re just as comfortable and look a lot better.

Jogger Picks:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Too much hypebeasting

It reeks of trying too hard. If you want to sprinkle it in here and there, totally fine. But don’t jump in with both feet and wear all the trends at once, all the time. Again, we did a back to school essentials article that sprinkles in just the right amount.

 

Not caring about grooming

Look, there might be days you don’t want to style your hair. Fine, no problem, throw on your favorite baseball cap. But, here’s no excuse to have overgrown, unwashed hair or neglected skin. Your overall appearance, especially when it concerns hygiene, will be a huge make it or break it situation when it comes to people wanting to hang out with you. Check out all of our grooming tips in our grooming section. From haircuts to skincare, we’ve got all the tips you need.

 

Wearing only workout gear

Unless your an athlete and it’s absolutely necessary because of your schedule, then there’s no excuse. It’s lazy and looks like you might be hiding a less than desirable physique. You wanna feel just as comfortable? A pair of some Adidas Ultraboosts, black joggers, a tee or a hooded sweatshirt, and a bomber jacket will look 100 times sharper.  All of our picks are right here.

Men’s Back To School Essentials

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some picks to help you look your best this Fall. We know that school can be stressful and the last thing you have time for is thinking about what to wear. However, we can all agree that you still want to look your best which is why picking up these pieces will take the guesswork out of what outfit you should wear because they all can go together easily and stylishly.

The key to solid back to school items are ones that are comfortable, stylish, inexpensive, and versatile, and these back to school style essentials will have you covered for the entire year.

 

 

Sneakers

You need a good everyday sneaker that’s comfortable, stylish, and affordable. We’re huge fans of the Vans Old Skool sneakers which come in a bunch of different colors and patterns, though I love the black and white ones the most. If you’re going to get a pair of white sneakers, I’d opt for leather like the Stan Smiths which are easier to keep clean than canvas kicks.

Picks:

Vans

Stan Smiths

More Sneaker Picks

Jason Markk sneaker cleaning wipes

 

Well-Fitting Jeans

Some well-fitting slim jeans in dark indigo, black or dark grey will get you through the entire year and beyond. Remember you only need to wash them every few months if you let them air out every day on the back of your chair or on a hanger.  Want some fit tips? Check out our jeans fit guide.

Picks:

Levis

Uniqlo

J. Crew

 

Pull-Over Hoodie

A pull-over hoodie is super comfortable and versatile. You can wear it on on its own or you can layer underneath your jacket when it gets cold. Definitely skip the logos here, leave that to the kids who look ridiculous in their all logo fits. One note, we’re not fans of the zip-up hoodies because they tend to look sloppy and have this weird bunching in the front when you sit.

Picks:

Champion

J.Crew

Uniqlo

H&M

 

T-Shirts

Pick up 5 or 6 of these since you’ll pretty much be wearing this every day and stick with basic colors like black, white, navy, and grey. Remember fit is king. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitting t-shirt and jeans outfit – it’s unbelievably attractive and that simple knowledge on fit will instantly set you apart from everyone else.

Picks:

Uniqlo

H&M

Amazon Goodthreads

The Best Budget-Friendly T-Shirts

 

A Versatile Jacket

Our favorite being a bomber jacket – whether it’s leather, nylon or cotton. It doesn’t matter what your size or build is, this jacket looks great on every guy and it’s super easy and comfortable.  It’s really easy to add layers, like a hoodie, underneath when it gets cold. Also, it just looks cool-as-hell so wear in and out of school.

Picks:

H&M

Gap

J.Crew

Bonobos

 

A Casual Button-Down Shirt

Versatility is key here and you want one that you can wear untucked or partially tucked in the front. Casual button-downs are shorter in length then dress shirts so they should hit around mid-crotch. Pair this with your jeans and sneakers, maybe throw on your bomber jacket for the ultimate, “Oh this? I just rolled out of bed and threw this on.” It looks cool, stylish, and like you put in zero effort in the best way possible. We recommend solid oxfords and darker, fall plaid casual button-downs.

Picks:

J. Crew

H&M

Uniqlo

5 Shirts Every Man Should Own

 

Crew Neck Sweatshirt

We like sweatshirts because there’s a casualness that compliments your on-campus fits and you can throw them in the wash instead of having to have them dry cleaned.  As with hoodies, skip the logos and keep them clean and simple.

Picks:

Champion

Everlane

Uniqlo

Todd Snyder

 

Backpack

Like everyone, you need something to carry your notebooks, laptop, and gear every day and just like your clothes, it’s important to pick up a backpack that keeps you organized, looks sharp, will last you all year, and won’t break the bank. We’ve discussed the ins and outs of our favorite backpacks before, and the key is finding the right size and style.

Picks:

Incase

Herschel

Aer

Everlane

More Backpack Picks

 

Sunglasses

The right shape can instantly up your style game, but the wrong shape can really work against you. Stick with a classic style that compliments your face shape.  Check out this article for more on how to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape.

Picks:

Ray-Ban

MVMT

Crap

Warby Paker

Additional Picks

 

A Second Pair Of Pants

A man can’t live on denim alone so it’s wise to consider a few more options. We definitely recommend chinos, they’re comfortable, stylish, and affordable. If you go for chinos, go with navy or charcoal grey as that’ll go with everything. If chinos aren’t your style grab some sharp jogger pants for a different option. Go with black or charcoal as they’ll not only look the best but it will keep them from looking too much like your workout gear.

Chinos:

Bonobos

Uniqlo

J.Crew

Gap 

Joggers:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Top 5 Men’s Sneakers of 2019

You asked for it and we delivered! As you probably know by now, you can wear sneakers more places than ever these days and that means it’s even more important to give your sneaker purchases extra consideration. That said, this isn’t an excuse to just wear your gym shoes everywhere! Choosing the right pair of sneakers is more than just wearing athletic shoes with jeans or chinos, you’ve got to find the right balance of style and color and also consider the shoe shape.

With that, here are our picks for the Top 5 Men’s Sneakers of 2019 plus a few extra picks we really loved!

Nike Retro Sneaker

We love a good retro sneaker and this version from Nike is a new update on a classic silhouette. It’s got a suede and nylon upper and comes in some very cool bright colorways. A great casual shoe for chinos, jeans, or shorts.

 

Vans

You can never go wrong with a classic skate shoe vibe and this Vans sneaker is a total winner. It’s really well-priced and comes in two basic colorways that will go with everything in your closet.

 

Adidas Ultraboost

One of our absolute favorite running sneakers, this recently updated version of the Adidas Ultraboost is crazy comfortable and comes in a ton of great colorways. We love the bolder versions but the classic triple white, triple black, and grey are always stylish as well.

 

Wolverine High Top

This definitely isn’t a basketball sneaker. As we mentioned earlier, dressy and casual shoes are pretty interchangeable these days, and a nice leather high top can work with a variety of different looks. Wolverine is known for their boots and the leather is really excellent and the shoe is very comfortable. They also come in a sharp low-top version as well.

 

New Balance

Another great retro-inspired sneaker, this one mixes in technical materials and a sleek monochromatic colorway to give it a cool vibe that’s a great middle-ground between retro and modern. It’s definitely got an athletic vibe but it’s still sleek and sporty enough to work with denim, chinos, or shorts.

  

Koio Suede Sneaker

A suede version of a sleek minimal silhouette is a great way to add a bit of extra style and texture to your sneaker rotation. We were fans of their classic white leather sneaker from Koio and this suede version is excellent. We love the monochromatic design and the suede is very soft and high-quality. and there is a range of great earth tone colorways to choose from.

 

Nike Epic React

In a similar vein as the Adidas Ultraboost, the Nike Epic React is a super light and comfortable modern running sneaker that combines technical looks and a versatile silhouette. Like the Adidas, you can go with a simple monochromatic colorway or try a bolder color for extra personality.

 

Beckett Simonon

We reviewed these in a recent video and we absolutely loved them. The clean design, excellent price point, and high-quality leather make them one of our favorite sneakers this year for sure. A sure-fire go-to for casual or more dressy looks.

Nike React Element

Usually, we’re pretty picky about futuristic-looking shoes and tend to avoid streetwear trends, but this version from Nike features a really cool design but isn’t too chunky or odd-looking. It’s versatile enough to wear with denim or joggers and is very lightweight and comfortable. With a unique design like this, you can definitely lean into the bold colorways but also, you can never go wrong with a simple black and white combination.

Beckett Simonon Reid Sneaker Review – Are They Worth It?

By now you probably know how important it is to have a sharp white sneaker in your footwear rotation.  They’re probably the most versatile casual shoe you can own.  We’ve discussed other styles in the past, and in our latest edition of Worth It, we’re reviewing a new entrant in the minimal white sneaker game, the Reid from Beckett Simonon

We’ve been fan’s of their products in the past, namely their leather weekender bag, but how does this sneaker stack up? Tune in and find out if we think the Beckett Simonon Reid sneaker is worth it!

 

Pros

Great Design – We loved the clean, minimal design and sleek profile.  It has a nice shape and zero branding.

Good Materials and Construction – We really liked the high-quality full-grain leather and solid construction.

Multiple Colors – We tested the white version but there are a bunch of other versatile color options too.

Good Price – These are an outstanding value at $149.

 

Cons

While Dorian had a very small issue with the heel, Ashley had zero cons and we both really loved this shoe!

 

Verdict

Ashley and Dorian: Worth It!

We loved the design, quality, and comfort.  These are a great, very well-priced option in the leather sneaker market.

Shop The Beckett Simonon Reid Here

Top 3 Men’s Shoes For Summer

Warm weather and summer events make for special shoe demands, so you want to be prepared with the right summer footwear. You want shoes that are going to keep you cool and also look stylish with your summer looks. One caveat before we jump in though: while you may be tempted to wear flip flops all summer, don’t do it! Unless you’re headed to the pool or beach you should be wearing a proper shoe, so keep them in the closet unless there’s water present.

Don’t forget to check out all of our picks below!

 

 

 

Boat Shoes

A summer classic, these are great all around casual shoes. Stick with the classic style in leather and look for colors like brown, tan, navy, or grey. Despite what you may have seen, these aren’t meant to be dressed up though, only wear these with shorts and very casual chino outfits.

Boat Shoe Picks:

Sperry

L.L. Bean

Rancourt & Co.

 

Espadrilles

A stylish warm weather canvas shoe, espadrilles are very lightweight and breathable. These look great with everything from shorts to chinos and you can get them in solid colors or go for a fun pattern.

Espadrille Picks:

Soludos

Diegos

Castaner

 

Suede Driving Mocs

A great casual shoe with a little more polish, you can wear driving mocs with everything from shorts to chinos and a blazer. I recommend these in suede over leather because in the warmer months leather can just look a bit to heavy and formal. Two rules about drivers I always see guys break: never wear them with a suit (too casual), and always wear them without socks or with no-show socks.

Suede Driving Moc Picks:

Tod’s 1

Tod’s 2

M. Gemi

Budget-Friendly

Dorian’s Outfit

Floral Shirt