Budget Fashion: 6 Affordable Clothing Brands That Look Expensive
“Splurge on the important pieces, save on everything else” is a rule many fashion-savvy men follow. Splurging on that leather jacket you’ll have for years is a smart investment, but when it comes to staples such as T-shirts, chinos, jeans, shirts, and knitwear, it’s smarter to save on these pieces. Fast fashion stores have increasingly grown in popularity for budget-friendly on-trend pieces, but it’s prudent to know which ones are better than others in terms of quality, price, and conscience. Here are our picks for the best affordable clothing brands.
All hail Zara. This retail giant is very well known as the lower price point answer to high fashion. Its CEO is one of the richest men in the world, and with new designs created and in store in just one to two weeks, it’s no wonder this lightning fast fashion store is a mecca for those with impeccable style.
While we give a lot of love to H&M, Topman is much more cutting edge in the world of affordable fashion. While it does occupy a similar space (even with Zara), it provides that “across-the-pond” perspective, thanks in part to the brand’s U.K. roots. While it does have some runway ripoffs (which is a good thing), the brand also carries up-to-the-minute seasonal styles if you’re looking for skinny jeans or even suits. There’s no doubt this U.K.-exclusive store is expanding its reach into the states, becoming a central part of the fashion conversation. We’re also really impressed that for a shop that has a runway line; it offers prices that even a student could swing.
Everlane has a great business model. The company founded in 2010 is all about great quality clothing and a transparent production model, maintaining prices like they were set by a fast fashion chain. While not everything is made in America, Everlane is open about the factories where its clothes are made, be it in LA or Ho Chi Minh City. Everlane produces everything from belts to outerwear, which makes it an excellent choice when you need something that looks good in a pinch. Everlane is transparent and offers good-quality fashion with a fast-fashion price tag.
ASOS is an online store that is so much bigger than you might realize. The English outfitter stocks plenty of other brands, bringing to mind comparisons of it as the “English” Urban Outfitters.. But ASOS is so much more than just a brand aggregator. Stocking its own name-sake brand, as well as stocking in-house lines, it has a comparable depth and product spread of something like Zara but with a younger twist. With the latest in seasonal trends from summer polos/oxfords to winter coats, the brand has just about everything you need to fill your wardrobe or take it up a couple of notches. Do note that the price range of its products varies more than other names on this list, but there’s few other brands that would allow you to purchase a suit, a pair of sneakers, and a moto jacket for under $500.
We can rave about Uniqlo for days, but if we can properly sum up everything about this simplistic retailer, we’re going to say this: Buy all your basics there. Aside from the fact that some of its T-shirts are under $10 and fit like a dream, it produces the very popular Heattech line that’s meant to keep you warm and cozy on the days the mercury dips below zero. It also produces some awesome knitwear, denim, and chinos. Even its blazers look pricier than they are after minor alterations, and be sure to look out for its linen-cotton blend versions, which are sure to be an essential summer staple.
Yet another thing we love about Uniqlo is that it tends to release distinct collections with the present season in mind, so you can find seasonally-appropriate pieces in tweed, corduroy, linen, and even seersucker, depending upon the time of year.
6. HE by Mango
A veritable opponent of Zara’s, Mango is seriously growing in popularity and until now has been one of fashion’s best kept secrets. This brand never stops churning out good-quality, well-fitting, and affordable basics that are suitable for gents with any style. Whether you’re looking for a simple wool cardigan or a check tweed blazer, or you’re looking for a wide array of high-fashion-low price point affordable styles, Mango has it. Its seasonal campaigns on its site are incredibly appealing as well, and showcase the latest items and how to wear them. Its footwear is pretty good, but if you’re looking for true longevity, it’s best to look elsewhere.