These Are the Best Places to Score Savings on Menswear Essentials
Looking good doesn't have to mean breaking the bank.
A rock-solid wardrobe needs a rock-solid base of great clothes. But there’s one common major hurdle: cost. Shopping for clothes—any clothes, even the basics—can get quickly get expensive. The good news for guys is there are countless options on the market where you can grab amazing clothing at amazing prices. And few items on the racks have experienced steep price drops quite like the tried-and-true basics have. Don’t believe us? Here, we’ve rounded up just a few of stores where you can pick up smart, stylish staples without breaking the bank.
Nearly every mall in America boasts a Banana Republic, and that’s not a bad thing, by any means. If you’re looking for smart casual styles that are both on-trend and classically handsome, you can’t do much better than BR.
But the best part about Banana Republic? You rarely have to pay full price for their merchandise—if you shop smart. Banana runs a sale literally every weekend (starting on Thursdays), offering anywhere from 25 to 50 percent off a lot of their merchandise. They usually run their best sales during federal holidays—the Thanksgiving-Black Friday or Memorial Day weekends, in particular—allowing you to stock up for a whole season at up to 50 percent off.
What to buy: Wear-to-work staples like dress shirts and weekend staples like their Luxury Touch Polos. Wait until you see a sale of at least 30 percent off (no matter when you’re reading this, it’ll probably happen within the next month), then stock up. You won’t find a better deal on well made wardrobe staples.
$44.50; buy now at bananarepublic.com
The Japan-based Uniqlo has been gaining a lot of ground in North America over the past few years, and it’s not hard to understand why. While their range of offerings isn’t what one might call huge, they’ve managed to meld form and function by bringing streamlined innovation to some of the most classic menswear staples, like sweaters, chinos, and dress shirts. A big reason why Uniqlo has gained a foothold on this side of the Pacific is because they price their products on the lower end of the spectrum for menswear, but the quality is higher than most of their low-priced competitors.
What to buy: Uniqlo’s merino V-neck sweater might just be the best menswear deal on the market. At $40, it’s half the price of competitors like J.Crew and Banana Republic. And while it’s admittedly quite thin, it’s remarkably well-made and sure to last a couple of seasons.
$39.90; buy now at uniqlo.com
Gap is kind of like Banana Republic’s little brother. The two share a parent company, but, while Banana offers business casual staples, Gap’s focus is full-on casual, offering staple pieces that evoke a classic, all-American look.
Fortunately for guys who like to score deals, Gap employs the same sales strategy as Banana Republic. You can find something on sale pretty much every weekend, and really score big on holidays.
What to buy: Leather jackets. Often, Gap excludes leather goods from their promotions. Still, you can find them on sale a couple times a year (usually on bigger holidays). Leather is notoriously costly, but by taking advantage of Gap’s sales, you can grab a well-made piece for a great price.
$473; buy now at gap.com
Also owned by Gap’s parent company, Old Navy is kind of like the runt of the litter. Like the Gap, they focus on casual, classic Americana—but their merchandise is priced even lower.
While the quality is actually pretty decent for the price, the reason Old Navy isn’t more popular is simple: The fit is a little inconsistent. While Gap and Banana Republic both cater to slimmer, form-flattering fits (even on guys carrying a few extra pounds), Old Navy’s styles tend to be on the boxier end. So be prepared to size down.
What to buy: Workout gear. While you could pay twice as much for brand names like Under Armour, Nike, or Gap’s new line of Gap Body products, Old Navy’s stuff wicks sweat just as well. Exhibit A: this quarter-zip pullover, done up in an appropriately named “sumptuous purple” tone.
$29.99; buy now at oldnavy.gap.com
Everyone loves the Swedish fast-fashion retailer for the simple fact that it sells sharp styles at sharp discounts. Jackets, sweats, suits, ties, shirts—you name it, H&M has it. The company is also known for collaborations with top-tier designers. Over the years, they’ve put out exclusive, limited-edition lines with everyone from Moschino and Jimmy Choo to Lanvin and Alexander Wang—all at a fraction of the price those designers normally retail for.
However, with H&M, it’s worth remembering that you get what you pay for. While much of their clothing looks amazing and can’t be beat on price, the quality often leaves a lot to be desired. You can usually get away with wearing each piece for one season. Beyond that, you can bet it’ll be in tatters.
H&M has implicitly acknowledged this by implementing a recycling program. (Per the company: “we believe it’s senseless that so [many] clothes and discarded textiles end up in landfills.”) Bring in any unwanted clothing—in any condition, from any retailer—and they’ll give you a 15 percent discount on your next purchase. Not bad!
What to buy: For less than the price of a cheeseburger, you can pick up crazy cheap menswear essentials. Case in point: t-shirts. Their slim-fit tees fall in the $5 to $10 range, depending on the exact cut. With a mix of 95 percent cotton and 5 percent elastane, they hug your torso and arms perfectly—especially if you’ve been hitting the gym.
$9.99; buy now at hm.com
Marshall’s/TJ Maxx/Nordstrom Rack
Discount department stores like Marshall’s and TJ Maxx tend to cater more toward women than to men, but make no mistake: there are some serious menswear deals to be had here. These stores essentially offer designer brands like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors, but for way less than you’d pay in flagship stores.
Of course, there’s always a catch, and in this case it’s unpredictability. These stores flip over their entire inventory every few weeks, so you really have no way of knowing just what you’ll find when you walk into one—or how long that piece you have your eye on will be there if you don’t nab it right away.
What to buy: Accessories like ties, wallets, belts, and bags. In many cases you can grab the exact same products that you’d see at department stores like Macy’s or Nordstrom, but for 30 to 40 percent off. Just look at this Valentino tie, which clocks in at less than $100. (You could easily find yourself paying twice that for designer neckwear.)
$99.99; buy now at tjmaxx.com
Sure, J. Crew is hardly a discount retailer. When it comes to menswear stores that you can find in most malls, their pieces are among the most well-made and highest quality—and are priced accordingly. But, for all intents and purposes, J. Crew counts as an affordable menswear shopping destination for two key reasons.
First, their sales are far more common than they have been in years past. And second, even though these aren’t always included in said sales, the Ludlow suit is an absolute standout. Ludlow suits start somewhere between $300 and $400, which isn’t anything to scoff at. But when it comes to Bond-worthy tailoring, it’s worth it. You could easily pay twice as much for a suit that only looks half as good.
What to buy: As mentioned, the Ludlow. Even at full price it’s a great deal on a great suit. Keep your eye out for sales and you might just score one of the best deals of your life.
$168; buy now at jcrew.com
J. Crew Factory
No, J. Crew Factory isn’t the same thing as J. Crew. It’s a completely separate store, and an even better place to score a deal. The Factory line includes the same sort of pieces that J. Crew is known for: shirts, sweaters, and pants for both weekends and the workplace. J. Crew Factory even has their own answer to the Ludlow: the Thompson.
While the Factory certainly don’t offer as many styles as the flagship stores, the quality and fit are often just as good, while the price is much better—making Factory stores the perfect place to stock up on staple pieces.
What to buy: Pretty much all staple pieces, but the slim-fit jeans are a particularly great deal: high-quality denim, perfect fit (slim but not too slim), and a great price.
$69.50; buy now at factory.jcrew.com
Spier & Mackay
If the prices at stores like SuitSupply and Indochino are a little too high for you, take a look at Spier & Mackay. The Toronto-based online suit suppliers have carved out a niche for themselves among menswear aficionados by offering well-cut, well-made suits that start at just $300. And when they’re on sale—which happens often—you can find options starting at half that.
What to buy: Well, suits! Spier & Mackway offers a bazillion options, most of which are 100-percent merino. As anyone who knows anything about suiting can attest, that’s a ridiculously good deal for a brand-new, 100-percent merino suit.
$348; buy now at spierandmackay.com
Welcome to the 21st century, where you can buy your clothes from the same company that produces your favorite streaming show and recommends your favorite books and automatically delivers all of your household essentials. Amazon has muscled into the menswear space over the past few years by leveraging the same buying power, distribution, and delivery networks that have allowed it to dominate, well, everything else.
In addition offering great prices on established brands, Bezos and company have become menswear manufacturers of their own, offering classic staple pieces under their in-house label Goodthreads.
What to buy: Well-priced, stylish staples that—bonus!—come with the ease of delivery and returns offered by Amazon (especially if you’re a Prime member). This Dockers button-down is available in a whopping 14 colors, and starts at just $20 (depending on the exact hue).
From $20; buy now at amazon.com
The iconic online auction site is far from the first store that comes to mind when you’re looking for menswear, which is exactly what makes it a great place to score deals. While eBay is still a refuge for people looking to sell used goods, I’d recommend shopping for pre-owned clothes online. Fortunately, there are a lot of sellers on eBay specializing exclusively in new products, including some menswear must-haves.
What to buy: While you won’t find nearly as wide a selection on eBay as you will on, say, Amazon, it can be great for grabbing deals on accessories, especially higher ticket items like designer sunglasses, like these Gucci frames.
$180; buy now at ebay.com
The Tie Bar
One of menswear’s great online retail success stories, The Tie Bar rose to prominence by recognizing two important truths: first, well-made and great-looking ties don’t need to cost a fortune; and second, they’re the perfect product to buy online, in bulk. Both their ties and their eponymous tie bars have gone on to be featured in men’s fashion magazines, and they deserve all the recognition they’ve received.
What to buy: Well, ties and tie bars. Their knit ties are a particular steal, and look just as good as designer brands that cost three times as much.
$25; buy now at thetiebar.com
Aldo is kind of like the H&M of the shoe world. Each season, they release a new line of shoes on-trend shoes that are often not just stylish, but impeccable. The only catch? If you buy a pair now, they may not hold up until this time next year. While the quality often leaves something to be desired, the styles are so good—and so affordable—that in many cases they’re still worth trying.
What to buy: To get the most out of Aldo, it’s best to opt for warm weather shoes like oxfords or loafers that will never have to face the snow and salt. For best results, opt for suede. Shoe nerds can spot cheap leather from a mile away, but cheap suede is a lot more forgiving—and a lot harder to distinguish from its top-of-the-line counterpart.
$150; buy now at aldoshoes.com
Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie has been working hard to outgrow its reputation as the exclusive domain of college students and surfer dudes, while still offering prices that guys on an all-ramen diet can afford. The result is a number of great staples: Oxford shirts, chinos in every color, shorts that actually flatter, and henley tops that really accentuate the upper body—all of which will cost a lot less than you’d pay for a similar product from a more “grown up” brand.
What to buy: Most staples, but it depends on your tolerance for logos. A&F still has a tendency to slap their logo all over everything, which is one of the reasons why they haven’t fully shaken off that dorm-room vibe. But many of their button-up shirts are logo-free, and come in a great range of styles and colors. And for more ways to look you absolute best, check out these 17 Amazing Style Upgrades for Men.
$58; buy now at abercrombie.com
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