Men: You don't have to be wealthy to dress respectable and kept. Keeping a few things in mind before you put your threads on, will have you looking great and like you spent more than you did.
While I'm no Mr. Blackwell, here are a few things I've learned on my man journey.
- Wait for the sales. There are always sales going on. No need to rush your clothing purchases at the store. Just wait for things to go on sale. And if you're like me, you don't want to spend a whole lot of time there. I also do clothes shopping online. Especially on items that I have bought before and know the quality/sizes they offer. I also use coupon codes and buy enough where I don't have to pay for shipping.
- Dress neatly for work. Like it or not, the image you present the world will affect how you are perceived. My mom likes to say, “you teach people how you want to be treated”. You don't need to purchase an Armani suit if your work attire is formal. And, you don't need to get the best clothing if it is business casual. Your $12 dress shirt from Marshalls and $20 pants from Kohls will do fine. Just make sure your pants are wrinkle-free and your shirt's collar crisp and pressed. (Reference this image from Milto Cleaners.)
- Color is important. I realize that most men don't know their “colors”. And, to be honest, I don't know mine either. But, here's something to keep in mind about color: darks are manly and masculine. Lean towards those colors. Probably best to stay away from the whites and yellows (of course, this also depends on your ethnicity). I used to wear a canary yellow polo shirt all the time before I met my wife. I haven't worn it since.
- Wear a belt. I have one pet-peeve about guys' attire: a fella who doesn't wear a belt. I think belts add a certain classy touch to an outfit. And, they are a great way to have fun accessorizing without losing your man-card.
- Match. I think making sure things match is the glue that holds your attire together. Wear a neatly-pressed brown dress shirt with a pair of plaid pants and you've done yourself wrong. Make sure your whole outfit ties together. If you are in doubt, have your wife or friend double-check you out. Your shoes (ideally) should match your belt. And, your socks should be a similar (or slightly lighter) color than your pants.
- Shoes. From time to time, polish your shoes. I tend to keep shoes for as long as possible. Part of the reason I can do this is because I clean them now and then. Shoes are one part of your outfit I don't believe in “skimping” on. You can run into a lot of trouble down the road by wearing shoes that don't fit or are cheaply made.
Anything you do to dress well on a budget?