One of the biggest challenges men face when improving the way they dress is lack of funds.
Not being able to afford bespoke suits, expensive outerwear and even your favourite brands is tough… but lacking funds isn’t an excuse to dress poorly.
How much money have you spent on clothing, footwear and accessories over the past 5 years? Add it all up. I’m guessing you’ve still spent a fair bit.
The real issue is we waste money on bad choices, we waste money on clothing that doesn’t serve us for long.
I’ve launched a new series to prove this theory. The Look Good For Less series will show me putting together outfits for numerous occasions for less than £100.
That’s under £100 for jackets, knitwear, shirts, t-shirts, jeans or trousers and accessories.
Disclaimer: I won’t be including footwear in this budget. Why? Cheap shoes look cheap and they wear pretty quickly. With this being said I’ll always try to get the total cost of the outfit as low as possible.
The £100 H&M Menswear Haul
What better place to start than H&M, the retail giants who are accessible and recognised globally.
H&M offer affordable menswear and recent collaborations with industry giants such as Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang and even David Beckham shows they’re more than just a fast fashion high street chain.
H&M offer variety, from basics to trend inspired pieces whatever your style and choice of outfit you’ll be sure to find something.
I decided to go for something casual but timeless. It’s easy to get drawn into the trend pieces but I wanted to choose an outfit that I could integrate into my existing wardrobe.
The total cost of this outfit was £85.01 (including the 5p carrier bag charge lol)
Not bad for a jacket, knitwear, jeans and a scarf right?
None of the items I chose were on sale either which goes to show you it could have been cheaper.
Every item can be worn individually with other items in my wardrobe. I didn’t buy an outfit or clothing I’d wear for a few occasions and then hoard away, I chose items that I could wear over and over again and in a multiple of different ways.
I also kept in mind what I already owned. There were some great Harrington jackets in there but I already own two making the purchase pointless.
Whenever you buy something always ask the question of ‘what can I wear this with and how often will I wear it?’
The jacket is extremely versatile and it can be dressed up or dressed down.
It’s almost the gateway to the ultimate leather jacket, obviously something I couldn’t afford with this challenge.
It’s comfortable, it’s warm for the colder seasons and it’s a timeless jacket they can be worn year after year.
A classic cable knit, something every man should have in their wardrobe (if you live in colder climates).
This sweater isn’t itchy, it’s comfortable to wear and it’s well fitted.
You can layer it underneath a jacket or overcoat (like I’ve done here), you can layer it over a button-down shirt or you can simply wear it on its own.
I find trousers are often the hardest thing to buy. If I’m honest the fit and quality of the trousers aren’t amazing, but for the price tag (£14.99) they’re actually not that bad.
They’re comfortable, they’re not restricting and the colour makes them versatile.
I’ll take them to the tailor to get them altered to fit better and they’ll be a good addition for casual, dress down days.
This is a favourite of mine, a simple black windowpane wool scarf.
I personally believe it adds a lot to this outfit as the outfit I’ve chosen is pretty minimal. The scarf adds a touch of personality and also helps with warmth.
Since buying this scarf I’ve worn it numerous times, again proving the importance of buying versatile pieces you need in your wardrobe.
The shoes I opted for were Brown Chelsea Boots by Loake. I would’ve preferred a Black Suede pair to compliment the overall style and colour combination but I feel the brown still worked well.
How To Look Good For Less
Of course the outfit could have been a lot cheaper if I would’ve shopped the sales or if I would’ve opted for a spring outfit. But as soon as you start investing in jackets or outerwear the cost is typically going to go up.
Looking good for less can be achieved, it’s just knowing what to buy and what to look for.
I always stress the importance of focusing on quality over quantity and although a more premium price often represents a better quality product you can sometimes also pay for branding rather than quality.
Know what you’re looking for. Give the item of clothing a ‘quality check’ before you buy it and make sure you try it on to feel how it fits and to see how it looks.
When you shop have a long term goal in mind as well. Buying an outfit or a shirt for a night out may serve you for a few months but you’ll soon hoard it away in your wardrobe feeling like it’s the only thing you wear.
If I find myself looking for some lighter coloured casual trousers to go with my Suede jacket I now know I’ve got a pair. If I need to layer a scarf underneath my overcoat I now know I’ve got one. If I need to layer up I’ll chuck on the cable knit jumper. You get the idea…
I could have bought a suit just to create more impact for this feature but I probably would never have worn it again after.
So what did you think of the outfit? Would you wear it?
Let me know what you think in the comments below and if you think this article could help someone don’t forget to share it.
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