Dressing well does not necessarily mean breaking the bank. There are several tricks that savvy shoppers have used to years that allow us to save money while looking our best.
1. Find a Good Second Hand Shop.
“What,” I can hear you exclaim, “I ain’t no piker, shopping at Good Will and shit!” Second hand stores have come a long way from the days of the Salvation Army.
Find a place like Jeremy’s in San Francisco (where I got that fatigue jacket).
2. Find a Nordstrom Rack or Loehmann’s. Nordstrom Rack (and similar stores) sells the same quality stuff you’d find at a more-expensive department store. They are able to sell at lower prices because of lower overhead. Instead of paying rent at a shopping mall, Rack-style stores are near a Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, i.e., in more “industrial” areas.
Sometimes the clothes are last season, but come on. Men’s fashion doesn’t change year-over-year. Most of what you buy should be in style for 5-10 years.
3. Shop every week. Don’t buy something every week. Just look around. Window shopping is a pretty relaxing activity and also a great way to meet girls.
Often that girl shopping in the men’s department is looking for something to buy her brother. Don’t assume women aren’t receptive to being opened. Instead you should be asking her opinion on clothing items. It’s a nice indirect approach that can be very successful.
4. Show some restraint. I wanted a fatigue jacket for over a year. I would never pay $350 for a fatigue jacket. I have self-control.
This is a swag jacket. It’s Eden or some other Nordstrom brand and retailed for $350. I know that’s what the price was because the tag was in one of the pockets when I purchased it for $40 at a consignment shop.
You are a man. Do not grab every shiny object you see. Have some dignity. Be patient.
5. Find your brand. If you’ve got got muscular thighs and wear a 32″ waist, good luck finding jeans that fit.
One day I broke down. I spent 2 hours (yes, hours) in a jeans store trying on several dozens of pairs of jeans. It was a great fashion decision.
6. Get on mailing lists. Joe’s Jeans ended up being one of the best-fitting jeans for me. I got on Joe’s mailing list. Occasionally they would send me 25% off coupons.
Most of your favorite brands have a Facebook page. Many companies offer exclusive money-saving offers through their Facebook pages. If so, “like” their pages.
7. Know when the big sales are. Lucky Jeans also fit me extremely well. Lucky has a semi-annual 50% off sale.
8. Have cash to make big moves. Although I might “shop” every week, I usually only buy stuff twice a year. But I have lots of cash to make big moves. For example, I was able to buy 5 pairs of Luck Jeans during it’s 50% off sale.
9. Shop at H&M and Cotton On. Sure, the fabric isn’t as great as you’d find at Nordstrom. The clothing is nevertheless soft and it cut for a fit, athletic man. I usually pay around $30 for a well-fitting, soft shirt.
10. Shop during the off-season. Buy your winter clothing in the Summer and your Summer clothing in the winter.
Feel free to add your own tips in the comments, and of course, check out Masculine Style.