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Building a Versatile Wardrobe: 5 Smart Tips for Men on a Budget

Every man wants to look and feel like a million bucks. But what if your budget simply doesn’t allow for it?

If you’ve ever wanted to dress for success but simply can’t find the funds for it, worry not. Building a versatile wardrobe while still living within your limited means can be challenging, but not impossible.

To help you look sharp without breaking the bank, the leading management and casting agency in Dubai has compiled the five essential tips for upgrading your style when every dollar has to be accounted for.

1. Understand your personal style

No amount of budgeting will help if you don’t have a strong style foundation to refer back on. From bohemian, African tribal fashion, streetwear, and everything in between, understanding your fashion style is the first step in building a versatile wardrobe that’s stylish yet budget-friendly.

Before adding items that will simply deplete your funds, spend the time and effort to determine your personal style.

This will inform the clothing items you’ll need to build a good wardrobe. Educating yourself on menswear is a great step in the right direction and will go a long way in helping you build a good wardrobe.

2. Only buy clothes you need

Heavily discounted clothes may sound like a good deal, but if you end up only wearing those pieces once or twice, that’s money wasted.

The temptation of “50- to 70-percent off” discounts draws many unsuspecting men in like a siren’s call.

But in the end, discounted items are often the wrong size and don’t fit within your personal sense of style. To make the most of your budget, only buy classic, timeless pieces you’re guaranteed to wear over and over again.

3. Review your wardrobe

Most men tend to only use 25% of the clothes in their closet. As creatures of habit, men tend to gravitate towards articles of clothing that they feel most comfortable in. The other clothes that they’ve accumulated over time are never, if rarely, ever used.

To get the most out of your wardrobe, dedicate some time and go through your closet.

Not only will this allow you to separate clothes into desirable and undesirable piles, but it will also help determine what style of clothing you like. Thoroughly going through your closet will help you see what essential items you have and what you may be missing.

Not to mention, the clothes you don’t wear can be donated to charity while freeing up space in your closet for clothes you really want to wear.

4. Invest in the essentials

Fashion and trends may change as often as seasons do, but style is a different matter. When building a versatile wardrobe on a budget, focus on the essentials. These wardrobe essentials include:

  • Jackets: Bomber, denim, trench, field, peacoat, sport coat
  • Sweaters: Grey crewneck, cardigan, grey crewneck sweater, zip-up hoodie
  • Shirts: Oxford, dress, polo, crewneck T-shirts, casual button downs, flannels
  • Pants: Selvedge jeans, chinos, sweatpants,
  • Shoes: Boat, derby, white sneakers, monk strap, lace-ups, slip-ons, boots

Don’t forget about other wardrobe essentials such as a navy lapel suit, statement pieces (wristwatch, the everyday bag, sunglasses), socks, and a good, quality pair of boxer briefs. Layering these wardrobe essentials together will give you a variety of looks, helping you stay sharp all year round.

5. Maintain your current wardrobe

As mentioned, when you forgo heavily discounted clothes for quality items, you’ll be able to create a wardrobe that’s fashionably built for longevity. To further maintain your clothes and save on a budget, you can scrimp by tailoring and reconditioning old clothes.

Maintaining and tailoring your current wardrobe is particularly useful in a financial pinch. This will keep your look fresh and updated despite the fact that no new items have been added to your wardrobe.

Looking fashionable on any budget

These solid tips will help you build a wardrobe that’s timeless, stylish, and enduring. While fashion has built up a reputation of being expensive, with some careful planning, you can dress like a gentleman, no matter the size of your budget.

Jessicka Bell co-founded the AgenC, one of the leading model/talent agencies in the Middle East, in 2014. After just three years in the market, the AgenC now works with most (if not all) of the heavy hitters in media and fashion, as well as represents over 1,000 talents ranging from international models through to cast, kids, creatives and photographers.