How To Look Good On A Budget

Growing up in today’s day and age, it can be very expensive when you’re first starting out as a young professional. For sure, life can be tough at times. You’re looking to become independent and you want to stop relying on your parent’s money unless you’re VERY desperate. You don’t have much money to eat, socialize and buying new clothes is not high on your priority list. What if you could look good and it didn’t damage your hard earned funds?

Looking good without breaking the bank

Here’s how to look good on a budget.

First, get brand names out of your mind. You can buy four shirts at H&M for the price of one Ralph Lauren dress shirt. Sure they wont be as high quality, but four shirts would give you more variety than a really nice one. Start with buying the essentials and rotate around them.


Looking good without breaking the bank

A Black Set (Shoes & Belt)

You get what you pay for so spend a bit more money on shoes because you want them to last. The belt is just as important. You can find a high quality belt for around 40$. When you buy shoes, spend extra money on product to help keep your shoes looking new (shoe shine, etc.).

Where to buy them?

For a nice pair of shoes you’re looking at about 80-100$.

Steve Madden – Mid to High $.
Aldo – Mid to High $ –  Not built to last.
H&M – Last Minute – Low to Med $.

Once you used your black set enough – look into a brown set. This will take your wardrobe up a notch. You can tell a lot about a man by what he wears on his feet.

Dark Denim

Dark denim looks great with anything. You can wear them casual, business casual and semi-formal. Formal is pushing it – get dress pants.

Rules for Pants: they should be slim fit, don’t look sloppy. Jeans should sit at your laces, they should not hang over your shoe or they will drag.

Where to buy them?

MEXX – Great store for starting out – Inexpensive and built to last.
H&M – Low to Mid $.
Banana Republic – Great for Jeans – 100$ and up.

Button Downs (white, black and Oxford blue)

Start simple with black and white. Rotate around these shirts and then mix in an Oxford blue when you have more money. You now have three dress shirts that you can take care of and wear on many different occasions.

Where to buy them?

H&M – Button down shirts are decent, be sure to wash them in cold water/air dry.
MEXX – Better quality – Little more expensive.

T-Shirts (shallow v or crew neck)

Looking good without breaking the bank

Shallow v’s look sharp with dark jeans. You can always accessorize yourself with a necklace or watch. Shallow v’s go great with a blazer.

Where to buy them?

Buy them at the same place as your button down’s.

Start at the stores I listed above. As you make more money you can explore other stores. Build a professional wardrobe and you will get compliments wherever you go. Buying the essentials listed above will cost you around 300$. That may seem like a lot, but think about the different options you’ve created. It doesn’t take a boatload of money to look good. All you need to know is the essentials and where to find them. So go out and start building your wardrobe, it’s never too late or early to begin revamping your closet.

Originally published Mars 2015. Updated May 2016.

How To Look Good On A Budget

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