First off, my apologies for taking some time to write another posting. I'm sure the past Halloween week/weekend was a bit hectic for you guys as well but the holiday is officially over now! My father was visiting from Los Angeles over the weekend and had been wanting to check out the Uniqlo store in Soho for quite some time. The interior of the store is pretty amazing, with very high ceilings, great displays, and an array of colorful pieces all neatly folded and stacked sky high.
2nd Floor, Uniqlo Soho
As I was browsing their new winter collection, I couldn't help but notice all the people around me purchasing what seemed like hundreds and hundreds of dollars of clothing. Now if you know anything about Uniqlo, its become a favorite of mine because of its great assortment, decent quality, and most of all its affordability. All these people seemed to be "impulse buying" which means that they would just purchase things on the spot without giving it much thought. Now I know most, if not all of you guys are all on some type of budget due to the economy so I thought I'd give some quick tips on shopping and fashion to help you look great without putting a huge dent in your wallet.
Shopping Tips for Gentlemen On a Budget!
1.) Don't Love It? Don't Buy It! - That's right! No need to purchase anything you have mediocre feelings towards. Only buy items you know you will definitely wear. Over the past year, I've tidied up my closet a great deal by only spending money on pieces that I absolutely loved. Having a smaller wardrobe filled with great items is much better than having a huge collection of things you may never even wear. The phrase "it's about quality, not quantity" couldn't be more true. I also save a lot of time picking out what to wear before an outing because I already know what I will choose will look, feel, and fit great. So the next time you pick up something to buy make sure it's something you will surely enjoy!
2.) Timeless Classics - There are the many items in a Gentleman's wardrobe that simply will not go out of style. These are pieces that can stay in your closet for years and still not look outdated. For these classics, finding something of nice quality is definitely worth the few extra bucks. They'll feel better, look better, last much longer and guess what, you won't have to worry about it going out of style! In this case, spending more initially might save you tons in the long run. You'd be surprised at how many classic items there are in a Gentleman's closet, in this post I'll go over just 3 of them. (I'll probably dedicate a post in the future to this topic alone so stay tuned for a more detailed assessment!)
a.) A White Button Down Shirt - This shirt can be worn on any occasion. Invest in a high quality, perfect fitting one and it'll never let you down!
b.) Ties - Wearing ties have become trendier than ever. Over the past couple of years I've acquired quite a few ties that I've been able to wear to formal and also very casual events. Sure the skinny tie is in but your tie collection should definitely include regular width ties as well. Wearing a tie along with your everyday button up shirt will make you stand out just a bit more and I recommend having at least a couple of nice ones to choose from. Again, these won't ever go out of style so it'd be smart to invest in some nice ones.
c.) Plain White Tee's - Who doesn't wear one? Over the years, I've looked for the perfect fitting plain white tee and tried brands from Hanes to Uniqlo, but my favorite basic tee is from Kirkland. I bought a 6-Pack of these as Costco for $20 and couldn't have been happier. The quality on these shirts are superb, the cotton is very thick and most of all I love how it fits slim and long. These still feel great and retain their shape after several washes too unlike other shirts where the cotton fibers seem to break down and change form. This is actually the only white T-shirt I wear, I have a bunch of them and they only come out to a couple bucks each! Here's how they look like:
3.) Sales Rack? Find Gems! - There are nice things on the sale rack, you just have to look. Every time I go shopping, the first place I check is the sale's rack because I usually find at least 1 item worth purchasing that is marked down anywhere from 10%-75%+ off! Another helpful tip is to talk to the workers there, they can tell you exactly when certain things go on sale so you can be the first to choose from these discounted items before all the sizes are out. On many occasion's I've become very friendly with the salesmen at the store and they have given me a bunch of coupons and some even offered to let me use their employee discount!
4.) Hit Up Those Outlets! - You don't always have to go to the retail stores to shop, most of the in-store items are often available at the outlet stores at a discounted price. Another plus is that these outlets also have in stock great pieces from past seasons that aren't available at the retailers anymore. There have always been nice things that I simply couldn't afford or purchase at the time of their release that I found at the outlets for much, much cheaper. I definitely recommend hitting up your local outlet from time to time.
5.) Sample Sales - Tons of brands offer sample sales at the end of each season where you can find their collection at highly discounted prices. Although most of these sales are in stores, there have been a rise in online sample sales throughout the past couple of years. My favorite sale site is Gilt Groupe. This company provides sample sales on more than 1 brand EACH DAY for you to choose from. They also provide a calendar for what to expect throughout the week which makes it easy to plan shopping ahead. They always offer a variety of great brands (Burberry, J. Lindberg , Ralph Lauren, etc). Check out their site here. This website is invite only so if you need an invite just send an email to ForAllGentlemen@Gmail.com and I'll be happy to send you an invite. Invite your friends as well and receive a $25 bonus to your next purchase!
Closing Words: There are really tons of ways to make yourself look great without spending a whole lot. I've gotten tons of compliments on things I've worn that were purchased on sale from places like Uniqlo or even The Gap. It's just about how you put together all these individual pieces to make you look different from the guy next to you. Also, I just want to reiterate how comforting it's been to minimalize my wardrobe. It gets less messy, it's easier to pick out things, and every piece looks great and feels great. I encourage you all to get rid of things you'll never wear, you can donate them or even sell them on Ebay and make a few extra bucks. I'm sure the economy has negatively affected us all in some way or another, but how we portray ourselves through fashion and style should not be deterred!
I'm also going to start updating a "Recent Purchases" topic in the future so stay tuned for that and more. Thanks for all the encouraging words guys, reading your friendly emails and comments really motivates me to write these posts. I really encourage any form of discussion in the "comments" section and again, any questions/concerns please send them to: ForAllGentlemen@Gmail.com. Cheers!