Style on a Budget


For those of us who like to look good, but perhaps aren’t exactly well endowed in the bank account department that can sometimes be difficult. However, our man Sabir Peele AKA MEN’s STYLE PRO helps us out with this. Sabir who is not only the beautiful model in these pictures is also the stylist who chose this look. Now that folks is the epitome of cool. Also, looking good isn’t always about spending the most money as Sabir wonderfully demonstrates here. Many of these looks feature widely available brands that many of you will recognize. Good thing that means you can run out and grab your favourites on the ASAP. 

All outfits under $300 total, including alterations.

1. Casual Friday

“One of my favorite off-price steals is this Jey Coleman blazer I picked up from Daffy’s™ for $60 (down from $350).”

On top of thrift, vintage and second-hand shops, there are plenty of off-price retailers that carry past-season goods at 50%-80% off. Daffy’s, Filene’s Basement, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Century 21, etc.

Menswear is all about the classics anyway. The white jeans from this season are hardly any different than the white jeans from two seasons ago, especially since you’re going to have them tailored to fit properly anyway.

Total price for this look (including alterations): $225.

Plaid blazer by Jey Coleman via Daffy’s($60). Knit tie by Club Room via Macy’s ($9). Vintage belt ($5). Spread Collar Shirt ($30) and Off-White Pants ($15) by H&M. Vintage Silk Pocket Square ($6) via EBay. Double Monk Strap Shoes by Mercanti Fiorentini via DSW ($100).

2. Business Casual

“Waistcoats are a staple in my wardrobe. I will often purchase a three-piece suit for the versatility of the waistcoat which can be styled into many looks, which ultimately saves me money.

I picked up this particular waistcoat from an online vintage shop for $15… When dealing with online vintage shops, as with EBay, be sure to confirm all the details about the item before pulling the trigger.”

“I was searching for a pair of brown double monkstrap shoes for some time, but most of the pairs I found had price tags of $300+.

I found this pair at DSW for $139 and I had a couple coupons at my disposal to help lower the price to $100.

Total cost of this look is $198.

Vintage Waistcoat via Lux Glam Vintage Shop ($15). Gingham Spread Collar Shirt by H&M ($20). Slim Fit White Jeans by Tommy Hilfiger ($30). Mercanti Fiorentini Double Monk Strap Shoes via DSW ($100). Timex Watch ($25). J.Crew Watch Strap ($8).

3. Sharp Weekender

Looking for an affordable pair of jeans? Go with Levis. Find the cut that fit you best and spend the extra savings at the tailor to make sure they fit just right.

When buying jeans, make sure they are snug when you first try them on because they willstretch (quite a bit in most cases). Once you have worn them 7-10 times they should be fully stretched, at which point you can bring them to the tailor.

After having them tailored, wash them as infrequently as possible. If they get physically dirty, or stanky, have them dry cleaned to avoid any color fading or shrinking.

I try not to pay retail prices, but when I saw these bucks I couldn’t wait for them to go on sale.

Shoes are the one thing that I will splurge on. But when I do, I make sure to take care of them with shoe trees and protective taps on the toes and heels. After all, taking care of your pieces is just as important as finding good deals on them.

The total cost of this look is $294.

Yellow Sweat Shirt by Obey via EBay ($20). Chambray Shirt ($12) via J.Crew Outlet. Slim Taper Levi’s 521 ($40) via Macy’s. McPherson Buck Wingtips ($175) by Johnston & Murphy. Weekend Bag by Yellowstone ($8) via EBay. Watch by Timex ($25). Watch Strap by JCrew ($8).  Shades ($6) by H&M.

4. Daytime Event Chic

“Being patient is one of my top tips for shopping on a budget. You want to find the right pieces to add your wardrobe, without settling.

I picked up the pants to this suit at full price ($30) when the suit seperates were  first released in stores. About 3 months later I found the matching jacket on the clearance rack for $20.”

Low-top sneakers are one thing that you certainly don’t need to break the bank for. Classics like Chuck Taylors, Jack Purcells, Tretorns, PF Flyers, Vans, etc. are all easy to find for under $50.

If you’re shopping online, before clicking “confirm purchase” do a quick internet search for a coupon code. About 50% of the time I am able to find a coupon code for the website I’m shopping on, or for a similar site that carries the same product. Even if it’s only free shipping, it’s still savings – and savings add up.

“The total cost of this outfit is $120.”

Cotton Striped Suit ($50) & Belt ($5) by H&M. Oxford Button Down Shirt by Frank & Oak ($45). Canvas Sneaker by Land’s™ End Canvas ($15). White Pocket Square by Merona via Target (3 for $5).

5. Business BadAss

Because of the skepticism of buyers, and the abundance of sellers with poorly advertised items, you can find some amazing things on eBay for ridiculously low prices. In fact, some of my favorite pieces in my wardrobe are the result of a bidding war.

When looking for a tailored jacket on eBay make sure you know your finished measurements. If you’re not sure, find a jacket that fits you well, button it and lay it perfectly flat across a table. Now take the following measurements and write them somewhere for your reference:

1. Shoulder point-to-point. From the top of one shoulder straight across the back to the top of the other shoulder.

2. Chest pit-to-pit. From the edge of the armpit (where the under-sleeve meets the body of the jacket) straight across the front to the edge of the other armpit.

3. Body length (front). From the top of the shoulder seam where it meets the collar (it helps to lift the collar/lapels) straight down to the bottom of the jacket.

4. Body length (back). Straight down the center back from the under collar seam to the bottom of the jacket.

5. Sleeve length. From the top of the shoulder seam to the end of the sleeve. Keep in mind this can be shortened as much as needed, or lengthened typically up to an inch (you can ask the seller how much fabric is available to be let down). Also note that working cuffs greatly limit the amount that the sleeves can be altered since you cannot uncut the button holes.

These are standard finished measurements that sellers should provide. If they haven’t included them in the listing you should ask for them (feel free to copy and paste the 5 measuring instructions above into your message to the seller).

The stomach and hips of the jacket are less important since you can typically have them taken-in or let-out. You should plan on taking the jacket to the tailor (and dry cleaner) before wearing it anyway.

“I found this vintage double-breasted linen blazer on eBay blazer for $12. It was advertised as having a ‘tailored fit’ and the measurements seemed just right.

In addition to the measurements, be sure to check the sellers feedback rating and the condition of the item.”

If a piece of information is missing, ask for it! On eBay it’s important to make NO ASSUMPTIONS.

The easiest place to score on eBay is in footwear. You can assume the quality from the name brand, see the condition easily from the pictures, and you already know your size. Just be certain they are authentic and not cheap knock-offs – which plague eBay.

“These trousers are part of a khaki suit that I picked off a clearance rack at Macy’s in Long Island. It was $65 at the end of the summer season.

In terms of alterations, I only had the pant leg tapered ($22).

Total cost for this outfit is $135.”

Linen Double Breasted Blazer by Andrew Velasco via EBay ($12). Knit Tie by California Knit via EBay ($6). Spread Collar Gingham Shirt by H&M ($20). Khaki Suit Trouser by Sons of Intrigue ($20 + $22 alterations). Vintage Calf Skin Loafers by Johnston & Murphy ($50). Pocket Square by Merona via Target (3 for $5).

6. Weekend Chill

“Mixing dressy elements with casual ones is quintessential when I think about my overall style.”

“This entire look was $233 dollars and most of the pieces are versatile enough to be worn for multiple occasions.”

“The only thing that was tailored in this outfit was the pant hem, which I did myself – saving $12 in alteration costs.”

Cotton Henley ($8), Blue Trousers ($30), Straw Hat ($9) and Shades ($6) all by H&M. McKinnon Drivers by Johnston & Murphy ($135). Vintage Ralph Lauren Belt via Lux Glam Vintage Shop ($12). Timex Watch $25. Watch Strap by J.Crew ($8)

Thanks for reading – and special thanks to Sabir


2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Are Monk Strap Shoes in Style? | The Home Gnome

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