When it comes to fashion, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. You have to find what works for you and your unique sense of style.
However, there are a few general tips that can help anyone build a stylish wardrobe on a budget. In today's article, I'll be breaking out my tips on how to spend $1000 and create a fashionable wardrobe that will last for years.
So whether you're just starting out or you're looking to update your current look, read on, and you'll discover:
- Wardrobe Basics And Where To Buy Them
- Shoes And Sneakers
- Suits, Shirts, and Ties
- Glasses, Watches, and Accessories
- The Finishing Touches
#1 Wardrobe Basics And Where To Buy Them
You can't build a house without first laying down your foundations.
A car won't run without an engine, chassis, and 4 wheels.
A sandwich without bread is just a handful of meat and salad.
You get the idea. Without first creating a solid foundation of basic menswear pieces, the rest of your wardrobe will crumble. After all, you might own a top-tier dress shirt, but without pants to go with it, you're just a guy standing half naked in a shirt.
So, to build a truly stylish wardrobe that will last, you need to start with the basics – the pieces that can be mixed and matched to create endless outfit combinations.
Here are some key wardrobe basics every man should have:
- A pair of dark denim jeans and light blue jeans
- Several t-shirts in different colors
- A black leather belt and a brown leather belt
- A pair of slacks in different materials (corduroy, wool and linen)
- A quality leather jacket
- A quality denim/bomber jacket
- 10 pairs of underwear
- Socks for all occasions (no show, sport socks, dress socks, boot socks)
Sounds like a lot, right? That's because it is – but once you've nailed the foundation of your wardrobe, the rest should come pretty easy. It might sound like a lot, but I'd set aside $300 for this section of your wardrobe.
Be mindful that you could easily spend $1000 on a leather jacket alone. So shop around and find the best deal you can on every item I mention in this article. Shopping at brands like Uniqlo, James Crew, and even Amazon essentials clothing can help you stretch your dollar and still pick up some good quality garments for your budget.
#2 Shoes And Sneakers
What's a great outfit without a stylish pair of shoes or sneakers to match?
Here's the issue, though. A single pair of quality leather dress shoes can set you pack hundreds of dollars. So what's a stylish guy to do when he's on a strict budget?
Simple – shop the sales, do your research and find the great deals that most guys don't have the patience to find.
After all, every man needs at least the following footwear in his wardrobe:
- 2 pairs of quality leather dress shoes (black and brown)
- A pair of white dress sneakers
- A pair of hard-wearing winter boots
- Running shoes for the gym
I'd set aside $200 for this section of your wardrobe. You can find some great deals on stylish sneakers if you know where to look. Brands like Adidas, Nike, and New Balance often have sales where you can pick up their sneakers for over 50% off.
You can also find plenty of high-quality dress shoes and winter boots online for great discount prices. Try using a service such as Karma (formally Shoptagr) to help you locate the best deals and save those cents!
#3 Suits, Shirts, and Ties
Depending on your profession, you may need a few different suits and several shirts to get you through the working week.
As such, you need to be very careful here – after all, one Tom Ford suit can set you back well over that $1000 mark.
Furthermore, for any off-the-rack suit purchases, you may need to take them to the tailor, so they actually fit you! The cost of this new wardrobe is really adding up, and your suits could be the garments that tip the scales and take you over the limit.
My advice? Avoid dedicated suit shops altogether and shop at general clothing stores for your suits.
Now, I know this goes against a lot of what I've said in the past, but hear me out. The suit you buy now isn't going to be the suit you wear in a year's time. If you're the sort of guy that needs to stick to a strict budget – maybe you're between jobs or have just graduated college, then you just need a suit to get you through a job interview and a few months of paycheques.
As such, I recommend checking out ASOS or UNIQLO. Look carefully enough, and you'll be able to find a fine suit for as little as $150! Spend another $50 on getting it tailored and you'll have yourself a great starting point for your new sartorial wardrobe.
The same goes for shirts; check out the shops at your local mall and see what you can find. Uniqlo makes great quality shirts for men at a reasonable price, as do GAP and H&M. Just don't expect them to last you a lifetime.
For this section of your wardrobe, dedicate $350 to buy yourself:
- A dark suit
- 2 white shirts
- 2 blue shirts
- 3 neckties
#4 Glasses, Watches and Accessories
Okay, gents, you've got $150 left, so it's time to get serious and only buy the essentials!
Thankfully, the most expensive part of this shopping trip is out of the way. It's now just a matter of adding accessories to your wardrobe and finishing up the job.
When it comes to watches and glasses, you can spend as much or as little as you like. For your current needs, I'd head to amazon or a bargain store – you need to find these items for as little as possible.
Here's the challenge, I want you to see if you can find a pair of sunglasses for under $10 and a watch for under $40. Do that, and you'll be on the right track to saving some serious cash.
After all, every man should at least own:
- A pair of sunglasses that suit his face shape
- One dress watch with 2 interchangeable leather straps
- One dive watch
For accessories, I'm only giving you a budget of $80, so spend wisely!
#5 The Finishing Touches
You've nearly done it – you've got $70 left and only a few more things to buy.
Ultimately, this bit is up to you. I've given you a very basic and general wardrobe layout here. But you're a man of taste, and your taste is your own. So go out and spend that final $70 on a few things that match your own personal style.
It might be a second pair of sunglasses that you love or a bow tie if that's your style. No one's going to judge you for wearing what you love, but people will judge you for looking the same as every other guy out there.
LEarning about the timeless wardrobe can be a big help when trying to save money. Check out my guide to creating an interchangeable wardrobe that will last you years.