Creating a whole new wardrobe or greatly enhancing the one you currently have can be a bit of a challenge, but don’t fret. The Cheat Sheet is here to help you get organized and achieve the fantastic wardrobe you’ve always wanted –while sticking to your budget. Here are four simple steps to help you get the best wardrobe that your budget allows.
1. Figure out your clothing budget
The first thing you need to figure out is how much you have to spend on your new wardrobe. But what exactly should you be spending? It all depends on two things: how much money you’ve saved up for clothes and your paycheck. According to award-winning financial planner Pete Dunn, you should spend 5% of your monthly budget on clothing. To find the exact dollar amount that you should be spending per month, multiply your take-home pay by .05; this is recommended as an ideal number to keep your finances in check. For example, if your take home pay is $4,000 a month you should be spending around $200 a month on clothing. Bear in mind though, everyone has a unique financial position so while this is recommended, you know your finances the best. That 5% is advised to prevent an all-out crazy shopping spree.
2. Assess what you have
Before you buy anything new, you’re going to have to go through your closet and assess what you have. If there are pieces in there that are super trendy that you’ve never worn or will never wear again, give them away to charity. It’s important to go through everything you have before you go shopping to make sure you’re not purchasing a double of a perfectly acceptable piece that you already have hanging in your closet.
3. Skip the trends and stay true to yourself
Now, it’s time to shop. Many men are easily confused by fashion trends because there are no hard-and-fast rules to follow (and sometimes men like to have a set number of rules to follow to get to a destination or a decision). Unfortunately, fashion doesn’t operate that way, it operates objectively. What’s fashionable today may not be in next week, and what looks good on one man may not look good on the next. That means you’re going to need to consider these things as you shop: your personality and your body type. A great styled wardrobe should fit the individual man, and not follow the whimsical winds of fashion.
Your money will be better spent when you buy items that stay true to yourself. Figure out what styles, patterns, and colors best complement you. Once you figure this out and arm yourself with this information when you shop, you’ll not only save yourself the headache of not knowing that to buy, but you’ll really be able to stretch your budget with pieces that highlight your strengths. In time, you’ll acquire your own uniform of go-to outfit combinations that are specific to your style and tastes. Always be sure to have everything tailored to fit.
4. The classics are money well spent
Working within the confines of a budget means that springing for the classics — those tried and true menswear pieces that stand the test of time — is your golden ticket to a fantastic, capsule, or interchangeable wardrobe. Classic pieces, such as fitted blazers, sports jackets, knitwear, slim-fitting jeans, and leather jackets achieve elements of style perfection. These pieces are the foundation of your wardrobe that you’ll subsequently build your style on and around. The fact that these items are always in style means that you’ll get a lot of use out of them and you won’t regret spending your hard earned cash on them. Plus, these pieces not only look good on the majority of men, but if you do decide to buy a trendy piece (that you won’t have to spend a lot of money on) not only can it be paired easily with your classic piece, but your classic piece will instantly add an air of sophistication to any trendy item.
Although incorporating these trendier pieces may seem counterintuitive, ubiquitous items do greatly contribute to your individual style, helping you get noticed in the best way. Your add-ons, such as your shirt, shoes, and other accessories, are what seal the deal and really individualize your foundation classics.
So when in doubt, spend the money you’ve allotted yourself on the classics and your wardrobe will be on point.