Let’s face it: shopping malls are not designed for men. Go to your local Macy’s, Banana Republic, or H&M and you will find that the men’s section is a tiny, dull back corner in the back that does not present many options when compared to the women’s section; a field of dresses, skirts and purses in various sizes and colors by designers with indecipherable foreign names. Male clothing choices are just the bare essentials: slacks, long/short-sleeve shirts, ties and sports coats. While that sounds unfair, consider this a blessing, because fewer options means less time spent shopping. Creating a stylish look is less stressful, however, it does create a greater emphasis on the mastery of accessories.
With limited options in apparel, the additions you make to your outfit carry vital importance. Accessories are decorative items that supplement your ensemble and complement your look. The bells and whistles are meant to help you “peacock”, or stand out positively in contrast to other men wearing similar, more standardized clothing options. The staples you’ll need to round out your look are belts, pocket squares, ties, watches, cufflinks and hats.
Look like a Million Bucks on $20 a Week!
Building a wardrobe costs money you may not have. Let’s look at some inexpensive ways to find quality accessories at bargain prices:
1. Online Accessories Retailers
You can find many of the same clothing styles you see in physical stores online at a much cheaper rate. Here are a couple ideas for where to look for accessories:
Ebay is a site where you can place bids for accessories, amongst other items, that may be hard to find. This site will become your favorite because most items are offered below MSRP (sellers buy in bulk so they can afford to do this). Here are a few tips to remember if you go this route:
• Look for new sellers
• Only buy new items
• Look out for mislabeled items
• Avoid bidding wars, or you’ll end up overpaying
There are membership websites HauteLook.These sites have large inventories that make finding accessories that catch your eye easier. Stores such as these tend to also place an emphasis on stocking trendy clothing, which makes the decision-making process a lot easier. While everything is always discounted, the sales usually expire within a few days or hours so the best stuff sells out very quickly.
2. Thrift/Consignment Stores and Garage Sales
Thrift stores are a cheap way to find gently-used accessories. Salvation Army and Goodwill stores are associated with clothes for bums, but this isn’t the case; you can find a lot of great looks that appear as if you’ve always owned them. The only downside is that you’ll have to sift through tons of bland garments you would never wear.
3. Clearances Sales
As each season comes to a close, merchandisers will try to sell off as much inventory as possible, saving you a ton of dollars and stocking your closet for the season the following year.
Ask your friends and family if they have scarves or belts they don’t use lying around. Start by asking grandfathers or uncles for accessories as older men tend to have more fashion sense than younger guys.
3 Incredibly Easy Fashion Tips & Why They Work
Hey, not everyone knows how to dress to impress. Apply the tips below to boost your fashion IQ and maybe your social life!
1. Less is More
With all the new accessories you’ve bought you’ll be tempted to over-do it on each outfit. Stick to one or two per ensemble.
Why: Over-accessorizing shows you have no fashion sense and takes attention away from you by placing it on your outfit.
2. Cartoon Characters/Pop Culture Icons
While you may like “The Simpsons”, announcing it with a loud t-shirt isn’t flattering. Also, avoid anything with the designer’s name on it; you’re not a billboard.
Why: Shirts with cartoons, funny or sarcastic sayings or designer names and logos make it appear as though you are hiding behind your clothing and what is inscribed upon it, rather than letting your personality shine through.
3. Keep it Simple
Generally, the only jewelry a man should wear is a watch and maybe a crucifix like Ronaldo. Your watch should have a handsome face and a simple band, with or without a pop of color to match your outfit. Platinum and solid gold are for the baby boomers; there are several fashionable and affordable options for younger men online, like the watches by Invicta.
Why: You’ve heard the joke about men and expensive cars. Diamond-encrusted earrings, chains, and watches convey you’re insecure and have a need to be flashy.
If you follow all the tips discussed above, you can put yourself miles ahead of your friends who wear flannel shirts and khaki pants. The one key to dressing like a man is this: Don’t dress for where you are but for where you want.
This was a guest post written by Ray Evans.
Ray Evans is an independent marketing consultant based out of New York City a. He also freelances as a writer to share his insights on self-improvement and personal finance with the world. He can be contacted at rayevans.naiwe.com.