You can't afford expensive EVERYTHING.
But you can't afford cheap everything, either.
If you're going to dish out the dough – do it on THESE items.
If you skimp and buy the cheaper versions, you could lose money…
You could even lose your health.
For most men, getting started on your style journey means a change in spending habits. Or maybe you're starting on this journey because you've just been hired, promoted, fired or divorced. You've got new financial decisions to make. What do you prioritize? Here are my tips.
#1. Healthy Vs Fast Food
What you eat DETERMINES your ability to MAKE money (both how you look and how well you function.) You will feel better for eating healthier.
You don't have to constantly shell out for the latest superfood–that's mostly marketing. Even organic certification only requires certain specific rules to be followed–it's not a guarantee of healthier or more sustainable food. EDUCATE YOURSELF and then invest in bulk whole grains, lean proteins without additives, and fresh produce.
The best place to invest your food dollar is with local farmers you can trust (build relationships at roadside stands and farmer's markets) and by either growing what you can yourself or joining a CSA or community garden.
#2. Fitness And Exercise
A clueless coach or personal trainer won’t get you the results you want. They may give you bad advice that could damage your health or get you injured. If you’re having a bad time with them, you’re more likely to quit and go back to the couch.
The same goes for bargain basement running shoes, dumbbells that come unscrewed and drop weights on your feet, or a lousy gym where the equipment is unsafe or you don't get a proper induction. Skimping on your health is the worst false economy.
#3. Best Ball Powder
You can work as hard as you like on your style and social skills – it'll get you nowhere if you smell like crotch and leave a sweat puddle behind when you stand up. Don't skimp on personal hygiene – especially VERY personal hygiene.
Cheap ball powders don't neutralize odor – they just mask it, often with so much menthol that they light a minty fire where you least want it. They can also leave you with an unsightly white paste down there. Do you want the girl of your dreams seeing you with frosted balls… or is she worth a few extra bucks?
#4. Cheap Vs. Expensive Haircuts
A haircut dramatically affects your whole appearance. A man with an awkward haircut looks dorky in the most stylish clothes – while the most attractive men's haircuts can make a questionable outfit look like a bold style statement.
Good barbers know how to tailor your cut to make the most of your looks. A cheap haircut means the barber is poorly paid. He’s likely to rush your cut so he can serve enough customers to earn a living.
Your head: it's right next to your face. Don't skimp on it if you care how your face looks.
#5. Quality Men's Shoes
Your shoes affect the health of your whole body. Bad shoes don't just hurt your feet, they can damage your legs and back.
The two points on your body people look at the most? Your face… and your feet. People (especially women) judge you by your shoes. They’re an indicator of status.
Cheap shoes last months, and often start looking bad within the first few wears. Quality shoes last years, or even decades if you get them resoled – something you can't do with cheap shoes. So expensive shoes actually work out cheaper in the long run.
#6. Men's Stylish Outerwear
Your coat is an item you wear EVERY day in cold weather. It defines your look whenever you’re outside. Yet it's often one of the last pieces men upgrade.
Wearing a stylish outfit and then throwing a cheap plastic raincoat over it ruins the look. It's a rookie mistake that shows you're still just a man who WEARS style, not a man who HAS style.
Looking cold is not cool. (Neither is being cold.) It puts you into a hunched defensive posture that lowers your status and confidence… and even your testosterone, according to this study on power poses.
#7. Choosing A Good Tailor
Fit is king. How your clothes fit is the SINGLE most important factor in looking stylish. Skimp on the clothes before you skimp on the tailor.
I often ask men, ‘What's the name of your tailor?' It's a trick question, because most men don't know – and they should. Choose a good tailor and build a relationship with them. A skilled tailor knows how to steer you away from bad decisions that could waste your money and ruin your clothes.
Good tailors often know how to MAKE a suit from scratch, so they know how it all fits together and the alterations look as if the suit was made that way. A tailor who can get an off-the-rack suit to look made-to-measure will save you a lot of money.
#8. Skin Care And Protection
The sunblock you buy determines your risk of skin cancer. Less dramatically, products with low-quality ingredients can cause redness or clogged pores – in other words, you're paying to look worse.
Do your research. At a department store or beauty store, trained professionals can help you determine what you need and how to use it. Product websites are also likely to have a lot of information.
Men’s skincare products made from natural ingredients like the ones from VITAMAN, will always be the best at protecting your skin. When there's no harsh chemicals or artificial additives, your skin doesn't need to fight it and thus the whole process is much easier and more effective.
#9. Why You Shouldn't Buy Cheap Leather
Poor quality leather has the natural grain shaved off the surface and replaced with a fake embossed skin texture and a plasticky coating. It’s neither hardwearing nor attractive.
‘Genuine’ leather means ‘the worst quality we’re still allowed to call leather’. It’s made from thin layers of waste leather glued together. The layers soon come apart.
And the really cheap stuff? That’s bonded leather – made from bits of leather mashed to a pulp and stuck to a fabric backing. No wonder it falls to pieces.
#10. Cheap Computers And Phones
You can’t be reliable if your tech isn’t. You don’t want to be the guy who’s always saying ‘I’m sorry, my phone/computer broke’, or to be uncontactable when a loved one needs you. You can easily get into an endless round of buying cheap devices that costs you more than buying one good one.
A cheap computer power supply can and will EXPLODE, complete with sparks and flames. Ever use your laptop on the bed? Just imagine how wrong that could go.
Bonus: Importance Of A Good Bed
Your bed is where you spend a third of your life – so just like your shoes, it's vital for your back and the rest of your body. Good sleep means being your best during the day… and your partner will probably appreciate a good bed, too.