Fashion comes and goes. Trends are here today, gone tomorrow, then return a few decades later, cue waistcoats and top hats (they make their appearance now and again). Within this whirlwind of fashion, secret buys are one of the ways to ensure you shop smart. Shopping smart is different for everyone; some might only shop at thrift stores and score high-quality yet stylish items of clothing, while others only shop at fast-fashion stores where clothing is on-trend yet much cheaper.
First, ask what you want to get out of shopping smart and then set a budget. To help you with this, we’ve put together a list of reasons why you should shop smart with fashion.
- Think of your budget
First things first, the budget. We’ve all gone over our intended spend limits at least ten times, and it comes as no surprise – we are human. But it is vital to stick to your budget and try not to overspend. A great tip is to plan. Do this by checking out your wardrobe to see what items of clothing you need, then search for those items online to estimate what they will cost and budget accordingly. It does help when you have a budget to work with as it gives you peace of mind and hopefully keeps you honest. And yes, sometimes, as men, we know you like to keep things simple, so what’s more simple than having a clothing budget?
A well-fitted suit on a man is something we can write books about. And while having your suit tailor-made is ideal, it can cost a pretty penny. Now, it is possible to find a suit that fits you correctly. A pro tip when buying a suit off the rail is to focus on the shoulders. You can always get the chest and waist altered, but if your suit is sitting correctly across your shoulders, you are set.
- Mix and match
To shop smart, you must come up with a few cool tricks to help you in this process. Firstly, don’t just buy an outfit for one occasion. For example, you’ve been called up by your best friend to be the best man at his wedding, sure you can buy a formal suit but the likelihood of you wearing it once is 100%. Instead, find a formal suit you can play around with, use the trousers for dates, and the shirt and jacket for work – voila, two more outfits. There is no need to have a few items of clothing in your wardrobe that you will only ever wear once. Secondly, it’s much easier to mix up your clothing if you have a range of items that can be paired together. Think smart, shop smart.
- Don’t only go to department stores
A quick look at your favorite department store can have harsh consequences on your wallet. But there are different ways and places where you can spend your hard-earned cash without breaking the bank. Consider thrift stores. You will find some wonderful vintage pieces straight out of the 70s, 80s, and even earlier. What’s more, they are more than likely high-end designer labels that cost a fortune back in the day, and now you get to pay a few dollars for them – winning! Some of the men’s fashion back then was classy yet functional, and thrift stores offer you the chance to snatch up a lovely shirt or two.
Look at fast-fashion stores. They are often trendy and have the latest fashion at a fraction of the price. This makes things simple if you are looking to buy a range of items and you find them all at one store.
Then we have online shopping. Probably the easiest and most convenient way to shop. While this may not work if you are looking for a range of items, it does work well if you are looking for something specific you know you can find online. And if you are lucky, some sites have a first-time sign-up bonus or discount, and who doesn’t like a discount?
- It must fit your body
Do we need to tell you that the clothing you buy must fit? It pretty much goes without saying. A well-fitted pair of jeans paired with a cardigan and a nice pair of shoes, now that’s one nice look. If you are on a weight loss or weight gain journey, rather hit your ideal weight before buying new clothes. Remember, fashion changes overnight, and if you miss out on a trend today, you will be able to make up for next week by catching up with another one.
The great thing about fashion is that you can keep some clothing items you know will make a comeback later; just look at bow ties (yes, they are quite fashionable). One way to diversify your wardrobe is to stop buying the same type of clothes. No one needs 14 red t-shirts or 10 brown hoodies! Instead, opt for pieces and colors you’ve never worn before. It can be intimidating to switch things up, but if you are willing to try the pink blazer and pair it well, coupled with confidence, you will come out looking super smart! The point is to step out of your fashion comfort zone while still shopping smart.
- Cheap doesn’t always mean better
Just because you’ve found a tracker jacket at a fast-fashion store doesn’t mean it’s always better than the one you saw at the department store that’s nearly three times the price. Now, one way to search through the must-haves and must-not-buys is to know exactly what quality you are after, and yes, men deserve to have quality clothing too. With fashion, shopping smart can not only get you a smart or cool yet casual outfit, but it can quite literally save you thousands of dollars. And it is possible to find the best possible quality at a fraction of what designer labels charge. If you’ve found a store that sells the latest fashion and it’s high-quality and affordable, then you are already winning!
- Take your time
We know men don’t like to spend hours shopping and that’s perfectly okay. But taking some time to figure out what works for you does help to find the best clothes at an affordable price. So take an hour longer than you should and search through the clothing rail at your favorite store and find the perfect look for your date night!