Where to Find What to Wear for Less

We can go on and on about how wonderful the clothes and accessories from Burberry, J. Crew, and Ray Ban are, but designer clothing adds up fast.

I’ve always thought it was funny that fashion is aimed at the young, but the young usually can’t afford it. Luckily, there are some places that are changing that idea.

One of my favorite bargain fashion stores is H&M. Usually I see about one look in a store each time I go in, not so with H&M; there is no shortage of great clothes in H&M. And now that the stores are becoming even more widespread, these looks are even more accessible.

Here’s a sample of great H&M fare, all for under $40:

H&M looks for under $40

Also on my lists of favorites is Express. Express is usually a little more expensive than H&M, but it also tends to have quite a few work-ready looks for great prices.

Express can range from super casual to totally professional suits and button-ups. Also they have an incredible color selection.

This selection has a slightly higher price ceiling ($150) because of the reasonably priced leather jacket (everything else here is available for under $70):

Express looks for under $150

If you are looking for some statement pieces without breaking the bank, Urban Outfitters is worth checking out. They can be sort of hit or miss, because there is a fine line between stylishly worn-in and flat-out destroyed. While they are good for finding different pieces then you may find in a standard department store, be careful that you aren’t overpaying for a t-shirt either.

Here’s some quality piece for under $55:

Urban Outfitters looks for under $55

I’m also a big fan of Topman (the men’s version of Topshop), which is still establishing its presence in the US. I visited a few Topman shops when I live in England and they seemed like a uni student go to for trendy looks. They definitely have some clothes that fall into higher price ranges, but that allows for more variety.

Here are some of the more reasonably priced looks, all falling under $55:

Topman looks for under $55Always remember that price does not equal quality, but when you are looking for looks that cost less, check them out; make sure your new shirt won’t fall apart the first time you wear it or wash it.

These are just a few stores that I’ve noticed and their online looks didn’t fail to impress either. Let us know if there is anywhere you love to go for looks for less. There are always surprising finds in surprising stores, so keep your eyes pealed for reasonably-priced goodness.

This post was inspired by a comment, so let us know what you would like to see on WAMSW.

Books, Covers, and Judgment: A Defense of Some Superficiality

Although this blog is dedicated to menswear, this post is directed to anyone and everyone.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is a common idiom in English, which basically means to not judge someone or something by its appearance alone. While this is a nice idea, it is realistically flawed. Our final opinion of someone/thing should not, and will not, be ultimately superficial – humans are complex creatures and our opinions alter with every imperceptible stimuli – but our first opinion is necessarily superficial.

You cannot truly know the contents of a book unless you have read it. When you pick it up for the first time, you do so because a friend or review told you it was good, because the blurb on the dust jacket was intriguing, or because the cover caught your eye. 

We are no different. We should not be consumed by appearances, but we should also give ourselves the best chance possible. This is why we tend to put more time into getting ready before job interviews and dates. Why shouldn’t this carry over into the majority of our public lives? Putting in this effort makes us more confident, so why wouldn’t we do it all the time?

This applies to everyone, not just girls

This applies to everyone, not just girls

We should not become a Narcissus, but wasn’t part of his problem the fact that he did not understand how the world perceived him?

Never let anyone shame you for taking pride in how you look. Do not feel bad for taking extra time or money to make yourself feel more confident. Never let anyone shame you for your body shape. And never let anyone shame you for wanting to change your body shape. As long as you are acting in a mentally and physically healthy way, you are allowed to have opinions about your own looks. Just do it for you.

You can choose to not care about your appearance (although I doubt anyone is ever totally free of this concern, whether they realize it or not), but you are lying to yourself if you don’t admit that appearances count for something. Last year my dad and I heard a stat on a British news program that stated 60% of people judge others based on their looks. My father immediately said that only 60% were willing to admit it. We all do it, right or wrong.

Most importantly, we judge ourselves. Watch any episode of What Not to Wear. The people who belligerently state that they don’t care about fashion or how they look are infinitely more confident after learning how to properly dress their bodies. It isn’t superficial to take time for and pride in yourself.

Don’t believe me? Check out this great video from John Green.

Now go forth and conquer with your dazzling self-confidence!