It’s no secret that I love to shop. As well as having a passion for grabbing a bargain from a young age, I’ve worked in fashion since I was 16 years old (I’m in my early thirties at the time of writing this).
As such, my husband likes me to go clothes shopping with him “to get my opinion” on what he picks out.
Whether you’re a style enthusiast or a fashion newbie, there’s much to learn about shopping, particularly if you’re a man. It’s easy to end up overbuying, overspending or getting poor value for money.
That said, before you hit the stores with your partner, brother or male friend, here are my top shopping tips for men to elevate their style and make the money go further.
1. Prioritise Fit and Comfort
Fit is king, and there’s no argument about that. I believe the first thing about stepping up a man’s clothing game is ensuring that the garment fits his body type perfectly. It mustn’t be too tight or loose because those two extremes can be unflattering.
Getting the perfect fit will also help him to feel comfortable so he can project confidence whenever he wears the item. But how do you get the perfect fit?
First, he needs to understand their body type and proportions. Some brands provide size charts and measurements, making it easier and quicker for shoppers to pick clothes off the rails or online.
If you’re shopping in store, always get him to try on the item before taking it home. This can save a lot of time and money. Sometimes we can’t be bothered to make a return trip for a refund, especially with busy schedules.
2. Choose Quality Over Quantity
Sure, high-quality pieces can be expensive. However, consider the long-term value they offer.
It’s not hard to fall into the trap of building a collection of low-quality items because they’re cheaper. But the truth is, they’ll need replacing within a year because the item will bobble, pucker or even fall apart. (I’ve been there so many times!)
A good example for men’s clothing is a low-quality t-shirt or polo shirt, which becomes loose around the neckline quicker than expected. Alternatively, a high-quality piece like an Alexander McQueen shirt will last longer and maintain its original shape if your guy follows the washing instructions carefully.
Tell him that he doesn’t have to go for a designer brand either. There are some men’s high street brands that offer great quality for less, such as M&S, Next and ZARA.
Just remember that higher-quality clothing is all about the attention to detail in the fabric, stitching and finishing. So, although they may be a bit more expensive, they ultimately have more value due to their longevity potential.
3. Wait for the Sales
Following on from the previous point, there’s an even better way to get good value for money on higher-quality men’s clothing. Wait until the stores have sales on before your loved one makes his purchase.
In the UK, we usually have four major sales periods:
- January (post-holidays)
- End of summer (July/August)
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday
- Boxing Day
Stores do have other mid-season sales throughout the year, but I find that the best bargains can be found during the major sales periods listed above.
If your guy has his eye on a certain item and it’s close to a sales period, he may want to wait to see if it’s going to be discounted before he buys. Saving every bit of money helps, especially in a cost-of-living crisis! Right?
4. Shop Around for Essentials
So many shoppers make impulse purchases based on what’s available at a particular time. We worry that if we don’t buy it there and then, we’ll have FOMO, or it won’t be available another time. It’s often based on want rather than need.
The trick to a successful shopping trip is knowing what exactly you need before you go. Get your dude to assess his wardrobe based on the season ahead.
For instance, is it about to be winter and he’s just realised his favourite coat is coming apart at the seams? Or, did he stain his basic white tee so bad that the stain won’t come out so he could do to pick up another?
Once he has something specific in mind, you can both create a list, set a budget and play the comparison game with retailers. This is more effortlessly done online when you can check out prices from the comfort of your own sofa rather than traipsing around all the shops.
Always check the fabric in the product description though (or on the care label if you are shopping in store). Avoid cheap fabrics like polyester and acrylic. Natural fibres like cotton, wool and linen are more durable and softer on the skin; therefore, more comfortable to wear.
5. Experiment With Styles
Keep in mind that fashion is an art form and a unique way to express oneself. It’s amazing if your loved one has his style preferences and knows what works for his body and complexion, but even better if he has the interest to explore new trends. This ensures that his wardrobe will always stay fresh and relevant.
When shopping, pick up different pieces that can be mixed and matched with those already in his wardrobe. Ask him what he will wear an item with and for what occasion to avoid buying something he will never wear.
The golden rule is: if he doesn’t absolutely love something, don’t buy it. Question marks tend to stay in the wardrobe with the tags on and get forgotten about.
6. Simple Neutrals Look More Expensive
Lastly, I’m all about having champagne style on a lemonade budget, and one way to incorporate that into men’s fashion is to stick to simple shapes and neutral colours. Think less is more!
You can’t go wrong with neutrals like black, white, beige, grey and navy, especially if your guy wears them as part of a head-to-toe ensemble. They are timeless and versatile, meaning one piece has the power to create a multitude of outfits.
Simple neutrals also make an outfit look instantly elevated and smart-casual if that’s the vibe you’re after. If you did want to add in a pattern or two, try stripes and checks to create an effortlessly chic look for men.
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Final Thoughts on Shopping Tips for Men
Navigating the world of shopping to help the special dude in your life doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By adhering to these shopping tips for men, you can make the most of your experiences without buying or spending unnecessarily.
Remember to prioritise quality over quantity, invest in versatile and timeless pieces and don’t shy away from trying new styles.
At the end of the day, the art of shopping is about more than just acquiring clothing – it’s about self-expression, boosting confidence and curating a wardrobe that resonates with his unique identity.
Still struggling to shop for your guy or style outfits for him? I offer virtual styling services for women but I’m happy to help men too!