This post is by men’s style expert, Tyler Copeland, the creator of The Sale Scout, a menswear blog dedicated to finding the best deals on top brands. Prior to launching The Sale Scout, Tyler spent a decade in NYC working in the fashion photography industry and now he brings his expert opinion to where you should invest and where you should skimp.
You work damn hard for those bi-weekly paychecks and not knowing what pieces of your wardrobe you should invest in doesn’t help. Follow this simple guide and you’ll make confident purchases, some of which you’ll be wearing year after year.
When it comes to thinking about investing, quality is king. When you invest in the quality of a garment, you know it’ll last longer than one season. The other thing to focus on is building a solid foundation. If you stack your wardrobe with high-quality items, everything else you wear inevitably looks better.
And remember, quality doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg. You don’t need a 6-digit salary to dress the way you’ve always wanted.
Invest | Footwear
This first category is key. You know the saying, the first thing a women notices are your shoes and your watch (but we’ll debate that later.) If you choose to focus on just one area, this one will dramatically improve your overall look.
Skimp | Woven Shits
Shirts and button-downs are wardrobe items that you don’t need to invest in, as there are just too many great, inexpensive options out there. I’m a firm believer that some fancy or fussy shirt shouldn’t overwhelm your look. Moreover, no one piece of your outfit should scream for more attention than another. Even though this is a skimp category, be sure you have a solid array of classic colors in your closet. Crisp white, French blue and light grey are basics every guy should have on the ready.
Club Monaco –Heathered Flannel Shirt
Gap –Modern Oxford Shirt
Invest | Quality Denim
Quality denim is more important today than ever. People are more knowledgeable about the denim options out there and the brands that are doing it better than the rest. Girls (and guys) are checking out the color, wash and most importantly the fit of your jeans. Choose brands without crazy stitching, embellishments or large logos and opt for timeless, dark blue.
Skimp | Underwear, T-Shirts & Socks
Although it’s pretty obvious that this area should fall under the skimp category, don’t forget two obvious things. Never wear anything with holes or stains and secondly, you need to replace these items every 6 to 12 months. Stick to brands like Calvin Klein or 2xist, both of which can always be found on sale at your local TJMaxx, Marshalls or Nordstrom Rack.
Google “Sierra Trading Post promo coupon” and you’ll find multiple sites listing 30-35% off promo codes. Stock up on both 2xist underwear and undershirts (in both white and black) and Smartwool socks in black and brown.
Invest | Quality Outerwear
Outerwear is the most practical part of your wardrobe during the colder months but it can also make the biggest statement. During the winter, your jacket is your outfit. The good news about is these investments should last a lifetime. A high-quality wool coat is a buy once, last forever item. Oh, and don’t let the word topcoat / overcoat fool you into thinking they’re just for stuffy businessmen. There’s nothing more stylish and confident than a guy wearing a wool topcoat in a casual setting, paired with rugged boots and dark denim.
Casual (or work depending on your occupation.)
Bonobos Lexington Topcoat
Skimp | Knitwear
Sweaters and knits fall into the same category as shirts. These days, clothing brands are cranking out great knits without the hefty price tag. Choose classic and versatile styles like cardigans or crew necks. This winter, up your layering game by adding a sweater to your look.
Uniqlo Merino Cardigan
Gap Marled Cotton Sweater
Skimp | Accessories
I’ll probably take a lot of heat for putting accessories in the skimp bucket, but I’m from the less-is-more school of thought. Even though the old guard always says your shoes and watch are the two things that matter most to women, you don’t need a big, ‘ol chunky watch to win her over. A simple Timex Weekender and a sterling silver money clip are all you need. Just wait until that money clip gets all beaten up and develops a sweet patina. That’s true style.
Invest | Suiting
When I made the move from a causal work environment to one with an official dress code (read: mandatory suit and tie) I made the mistake of buying cheap suit separates. And like they say, you get what you pay for. The fit was off and the wool was scratchy. When I realized that I was going to stay with this employer and my income had increased some, I decided to invest in a real, grown-up suit. The first time I tried on my new suit, I knew I could never go back to those cheap imitations. The wool was like butter and the fit was immaculate (after the tailor did their magic.) A quality suit will make you feel like you’re walking around in pajamas.
Skimp | Trends
This seasons latest prints and patterns are almost out of fashion by the time they reach the masses. In a world of fast fashion, trends are something to avoid investing in as tempting as it may be. If you must get your hands on “this seasons’ must-haves.” just don’t pay too much for them. Trendy items are never the building blocks of a great wardrobe.