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 

Worth It? Cashmere Sweaters

Now that we’re headed into Fall it’s about time you start thinking about your sweater rotation. While cashmere is expensive, it’s no longer just a true luxury item, and you can now find cashmere sweaters at multiple different price points. We get asked about cashmere sweaters a ton so we thought it was time we gave you our opinion on whether or not cashmere was worth it.

Pros:

-Very light, soft, and warm.  Cashmere is the ideal material for sweaters.

-They are extremely comfortable and layer easily.

-Have a nice finish that can be dressy or casual.

Cons:

-Expensive to very expensive.

-Delicate and require extra care. Not as durable as merino wool or cotton versions.

-Cashmere sweaters now come at a huge range of price points so it can be tough to know the quality.

Verdict:

Ashley: Worth It
Dorian: Not Worth It

Picks

Designer:

Rag & Bone

Burberry

Theory

Brooks Brothers 

Budget Friendly:

Nordstrom

J.Crew

Naadam

Uniqlo 

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