Shopping for clothes, at a first glance, may give you a financial headache. 1000$ for a coat? 120$ for a dress shirt? As far as it goes, especially for a student like me, you don’t want to always spend monstrous amounts of money for your ideal wardrobe.
In order to build the perfect on-budget closet, you must know when you should and should not invest a lot in a garment. As you are looking for a new clothing item, you should consider about how and for what you will use it.
I’ll tackle here the essential guidelines to achieve the perfect wardrobe for someone on a budget. Let’s get into it!
Where should you focus your money on?
In the business industry, you need to make good first impressions. These are the times where you have to be at your best clothing-wise. Well-dressed people are known to be taken seriously and look confident (The Soul’s Garment also covers issues about confidence).
As I see it, business-friendly clothing should always be of good quality because they show to prospects, future business partners, etc. that you care about your appearance and the perception of you from others. Business is also the majority of the time where ”dress to impress” can make you money. Therefore, you should invest a lot in suits, dress shirts, leather shoes and ties/pocket squares.
You only have ONE first impression, do not miss it out!
A man’s wardrobe needs its essentials in order to have a strong foundation. Why are they essentials? Because they are omnipresent in your daily outfits. Plus they won’t ever be out of style . Another strong point of essentials: they are extremely versatile. White and blue dress shirts, for instance, go well with ANY suit, any trouser, any jean, you can name the rest.
In my opinion, essentials are a lifelong investment and any fashionable man will confirm that essentials should be your primary focus when building a wardrobe. For that matter, you should invest considerably in your closet’s essentials.
As for men’s basics such as shirts, underwear and socks, you should check out Basic Man Underwear ! It’s a subscription based program that sends you a shirt, a pair of socks and a pair of underwear every month. As most men keep their underwears for more than 5 years, which definitely wores out all the clothes close to your body, Basic Man Underwear’s merchandise has an expiration date that confirms when your clothes are actually due for a retirement.
For the readers of The Soul’s Garment, you have 30% off your first set of basics if you purchase your subscription by clicking here and using the code DEALSPOTR!
Quality never rhymes with cheap. If you want a solid pair of shoes that will last you for several years, you have to go for a high-end or pricier garment. Cheap shoes are nice until your feet hurt, the sole rips off and the shoe falls apart completely. Trust me, you don’t want that to happen.
The same goes for shirts, pants, etc. Cheap shirts, after a few washes, will stretch out and lose their colors. As for pants, the sewing and the fabric won’t last with an everyday-wear. That is why you should invest a nice amount of money on clothes YOU KNOW you will wear quite a lot.
It is better to buy one dress shirt of 80$, that will last you for over 5 years than 3 dress shirts of 20$ that will each last you a year.
Where can you be more lenient?
Unless you are a professional athlete, your lifestyle shouldn’t require the most high-tech gear for you to workout. Nice sport shirts, a few shorts, sweatpants and running shoes should be your overall sportswear.
Ultimately, the gym is a place where you sweat and work hard. Impressing people with your sport gear shouldn’t be in your priority. Therefore, for an on-budget wardrobe, sportswear are a sphere where you can save some cash.
Whether you meet with friends or run daily errands, casual outfits do not need to come from a high designer brand. The latter is a luxury that you can afford yourself if you really want to and save up money for that matter.
Casual outfits, if not categorized as “heavy-wear”, are an efficient way to save up money since fit often rules over everything.
Disclaimer: you can still look fashionable with lower-end brands if you know how to style them and the clothes fit your body.
I personally rock 15$ tops (e.g shirts and polos) and 30$ pants in my casual wear. Nonetheless, I still get complimented on my outfits . Here is an example of a 12$ shirt and 25$ pants. The key is obviously the fit.
As we know it, trends are temporary styles that often come and go. For that matter, if the piece of clothing you buy gets out of style in a year or two, you will never wear it again or at least not for a few years. It would be a waste if an expensive garment was left in the corner of the closet after a year of purchase, right?
That is why you should be smart about your shopping. UNLESS the trend suits perfectly your style and you plan on wearing it for a while, you should be investing carefully on trends.
To make it short
In order to have the perfect on-budget wardrobe, you can save up money by spending moderately on: sportswear, casual outfits and trendy pieces.
In order to fully benefit from your money, you should invest considerably on: business attire, heavy-wear apparel and your wardrobe essentials.
By following these guidelines, knowing where to focus your money shouldn’t be a problem anymore. However, your wardrobe is yours only. If you feel like casual outfits are more important than business or sportswear should take a more dominant part, your judgement is the best one for that case.
Thank you for reading.
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Ryoma Martin, from The Soul’s Garment
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