The temperature is steadily declining, and we’re entering the season of rich layers and heavy knitting, which means that you’ll be making an investment in clothes to insulate you from the elements. The carefree days of hot weather are behind us, and it’s time to get serious about keeping warm and protected from blustery winds and sheets of rain that are soon going to turn to snow. With more layers required, especially if you’re looking to keep up with current style trends, your bank account may take a hit. What’s a man with a limited budget to do if he wants the best-for-his-buck on-trend pieces for the season?
First, consider the facts before thinking about what’s most economical to spend on trends. In 2010, the average American spent $1700 on clothing and services annually, according to ABC News, making note that every man’s financial situation varies. That said, if you’re a man that’s strapped for cash but you still want to stay on top of fall fashion trends, figure out your monthly clothing budget. It’s easy and painless. According to award-winning financial planner, Pete Dunn, you should spend 5% of your monthly budget on clothing. To find the exact dollar amount you should be spending each month on fashion, simply multiply your monthly take-home pay by .05. For example, if your net take home pay is $4,000 a month, you should be spending no more than $200 each month on clothing. Think of this as a personal limit to set to avoid buying everything in sight.
So what does this all mean when it comes to your autumn/winter shopping? Buy a few smart, versatile pieces that not only function as fantastic layering pieces, but are classic items you can wear time and time again. Here are the essentials that you should consider spending your hard earned cash on.
1. The overshirt
This incredibly versatile piece can be dressed up or down and functions perfectly everywhere in-between, which is why it’s such a great investment for the season. Considering its roots in honest-to-goodness workwear, it’s guaranteed to also keep you warm during the harshest temperatures, serving as a great layering piece to fit over a sweater and dress shirt. Your options range from heavy cotton twill to sturdy synthetic and can be worn as a jacket alternative or as a layered piece to also fit under an overcoat. Try this one in blue Worker Overshirt In Shacket Styling by ASOS.
2. Roll neck sweater
Yet another great versatile piece that is form-fitting, comfortable, and flattering on most body shapes. It’s perfect to wear alone or as a layer. With this style, your options range from the aforementioned thinner, form fitting to a thicker knit wool that will really hold its own when faced with the bitter cold. The former is more of an office friendly style, while the latter is more casual and rugged. Opt for plain, seasonal colors that give off an air of sophistication no matter which style you choose to rock. Try this Gray Marl Cable Knit Roll Neck Topman.
3. Large wool-knit scarf
A large wool-knit scarf is a small investment that is completely worth it. This scarf doubles as another outer layer for added warmth and is a piece that instantly livens up your outfit, adds an extra pop of color (if you so choose), and keeps your upper extremities warm. Stick to either a plain solid color scarf, or lightly patterned styles. Although you can choose to be adventurous with bolder prints and patterns, do note it can be harder to incorporate a livelier print into your wardrobe. Try this original knit from Etsy.
4. Leather chelsea boots
This is a sophisticated and versatile must-have shoe for the season, says Business Insider, as one of the eight fall trends that every man should know about. “Its clean upper and pull-on design is a great alternative to lace-up boots and chukkas that have dominated previous seasons,” buyer John Wong of East Dane told Business Insider. The boot tends to look good no matter the price point. Opt for this boot in either a tan color for more of a casual look, or black leather which can go either way depending upon the outfit you wear. Try this budget friendly pair from H&M.
5. Wool overcoat
The wool overcoat will be the most expensive item you’ll buy, and rightfully so as it’s the item that’s going to take the most hits and have the final say in keeping you warm and cozy on a chilly winter day. A good coat can be the difference between a good day and a horrible, chill-to-your-bones type of day, so choose a good one. The type of coat you buy, as well as the color, can be the determining factor in the life of your coat; you could end up owning it forever if you choose correctly. In sticking with your budget, make sure you buy right and opt for a well-fitted overcoat instead of the current oversized trend, and choose hues you can wear with anything like black, grey, navy blue, and the hottest color of the season (not to mention a classic), camel. Try this wool-blend coat from H&M.