I get this all the time…
I can't afford to dress well, Antonio.
Frankly, that's bullsh*t.
Style isn't about how much you spend, but how you spend it.
That's what we're going over today.
I'm laying out 10 cheap ways you can be a high fashion superstar.
- Timex Weekender
- Unique tie bar
- Complementing pocket square
- Patterned socks
- Avoiding logos
- Shopping store brands
- A good hair routine
- Teeth whitening kits
1. The Timex Weekender
We're kicking this off with affordable accessories that offer a huge style boost.
A bit of background: Timex started back in 1800. Since then, they've become one of the largest producers of classic men's watches in the world.
The Weekender is a simple, clean watch powered by a quartz battery. You can get them in either a 38mm or a 40mm case with a brass bezel.
The battery itself will last you 3 years before it needs to get replaced.
To top it off, it comes in a wide range of aesthetic styles, along with leather or nylon straps. All-in-all, the Weekender complements a wide range of outfits.
For less than $100, you are sacrificing some features you'd find in higher-end timepieces.
The crystal is the simple mineral, as opposed to the sapphire you'd see on pricier watches. The case often made with brass & LLB, offers 30m water resistance.
Mineral does have its advantages, though. It's resistant to scratches as opposed to the acrylic in most affordable watches.
This is a timeless, stylish watch that you can proudly add to your collection… all for less than a Benjamin.
2. Unique Tie Bar
Tie bars secure your tie to your dress shirt placket. I always say they work well to keep your tie out of your soup.
They also function as an aesthetic piece. Tie bars accent your outfit while drawing eyes to the chest.
These powerful accessories are easily found on Amazon for less than $20. You can often find them in sets of varying colors.
What do I mean when I say unique? Tie bars can double as a statement piece if you're bold enough. They can come in a plethora of designs.
OTAA, for instance, sells tie bars shaped to resemble flintlock pistols!
You can't beat the value of this high fashion instrument.
When it comes to high fashion men's accessories, cufflinks make you stand out from the crowd.
Cufflinks fasten together both sides of a French Cuff dress shirt.
But what do they symbolize?
Power, wealth, and esteem.
These simple accessories do a lot for the man who dons them. Just like Tie bars, cufflinks allow you to express your own personal style.
They come in materials such as stone, cloth, glass, metals, or precious metals.
Given that we're operating on a lower budget, simple metal cuff links can go anywhere between $10 to just under $100. It all depends on where your budget is!
4. Simple, Complementing Pocket Square
Notice that I said “complementing.”
This high fashion accessory has the power to take your outfit to a whole new level…
But it can also make you look lazy and cheap if it matches your tie exactly.
The key is to opt for patterns and colors that go with your ensemble.
Complementary colors are always located opposite each other on the color wheel. It makes for the most vivid contrast on an outfit.
You can learn more about color-matching by checking out my main article on color theory.
If all else fails, a simple white pocket square will not fail you.
5. Patterned Socks
An easy way to grab attention and add color to your outfit is by introducing some boldly-patterned socks.
What does this have to do with high fashion? Bold socks show you off to be a man who pays attention to the details – who isn't afraid to add some pizzazz where it makes sense.
When you see a man wearing socks like these that complement his look, his status – and style – rises in your eyes.
Patterned socks work especially well when pairing dress shoes with jeans.
6. Avoid Logos On Clothing
I've said this time and again. Unless you are being paid to wear a company's brand, avoid logos altogether.
No matter how expensive the brand itself is, its presence will make the garment seem tacky and cheap.
The solution? buy well-fitted plain T-shirts, plain polos, plain button-downs. All of which you can easily find in most stores for pennies on the dollar.
White t-shirts are particularly effective, as a 2013 study proved. It emphasizes the V-shape men strive for and women love.
Keep in mind that “plain” does not include patterns. Feel free to integrate patterns that complement your wardrobe.
This is perhaps the simplest way to look like a high fashion badass.
7. Shop Store Brands
Let's build off of point 7 for a moment. You can easily find plain clothing with natural fabrics by shopping store brands.
Let's use an example: Target.
Its store brand is called Goodfellow, which covers t-shirts, dress shirts, button-downs, chinos… most of the basics.
100% cotton button-downs from Goodfellow will only set you back $20. Their chino trousers are also well under $30. You can also find cotton pocket squares for cheap!
A man can walk inside Target with $150 and revolutionize his closet – this goes for most clothing stores.
8. Cardholders Over Wallets
A bulky wallet is never attractive. Not only does it look like your personal dumpster, but it'll cause you back problems!
The slimmer, the better. If you want to get extreme, go with a simple credit cardholder.
Cardholders save space and look great – all in one package.
It's a sleek accessory that makes you look organized. It's also practical – you can't beat that extra pocket space!
There are cardholders out there for well over $100… but Amazon sells plenty for less than $20. Folks will barely tell the difference.
9. Having A Daily Hair Routine
No one is going to take you for a classy gent with a bad case of bedhead.
You need to adopt a hair care routine with the product and style that works for you.
We can easily get into a rabbit hole about the right hair products, various hairstyles, etc…
But the key is to do try something that looks deliberate.
We don't have enough space to go into a full-blown hair washing routine, but here is the basic process:
- Choose shampoos with natural ingredients.
- As tempting as it is, do not use hot water.
- One pump is all you need!
- Use your fingers, not your nails.
- Use conditioners appropriate for your hair type.
- Most men wash their hair every 2-3 days, but you can rinse daily.
It's not too complicated once you make it a habit!
10. Teeth-Whitening Kit
Teeth are the human equivalent to a peacock's tail, as the Daily Mail put it.
Evidence for this comes out of the universities of Leeds and Central Lancashire. Teeth showcase the quality of your health and your genetics.
They narrow down the list of adequate mates.
What does this mean in English? Clean teeth are as good as any high fashion accessory.
A smile paired with those pearly whites is sure to give a strong first impression.
Teeth whitening kits vary wildly in price. We're talking anywhere between $400 to almost $300.
Most kits come with trays, whitening gel, and an LED light which helps activate the gel.
You will usually submerge the trays in boiling water to soften them up before placing them in your teeth to make a custom fit.
Following that, most kits will have you cool them off before inserting the solution inside the indentations.
Then you're going to place them in your mouth with the LED light braced against them.
The process tends to last for about half an hour, just make sure the solution never touches your gums! If so, the kit should come with swabs to clean them.
Summary – High Fashion On A Low Budget
Gentlemen, as you can see, looking great doesn't always mean buying from designer brands.
It usually means being smart about your money and where you spend it.
Click below to watch the video – 10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Wardrobe Look Expensive