Shopping on a Budget – Part 2: Fall and Winter

Hopefully, you have had a few weeks to put the points I suggested in Part 1 into operation. It may seem odd to think about your autumn and winter wardrobe when we are still trying to find spring in the first week of May, but this is the way of the world. If you had to shop for new gardening equipment now, because you realized that you simply had to do some work out there, it is exactly the wrong time of year! Prices are at their highest, because we are at the start of a season, interest is at its highest, and so are prices. Likewise with your wardrobe: Everyone is shopping for summer clothes, right now. Now that you have a start for this, let’s look ahead to the colder months, and shop smart for the next season.

Here are a couple of points to bear in mind: Just as with your summer wardrobe planning you already have a good start. Jackets and suits last a long time. Just because they don’t fit you, doesn’t mean you can’t get them altered or re-styled for your current look. Your local tailor will do this service for you, and your ‘base’ wardrobe will be complete. When I did this, I realized that the pants for two suits just had to be thrown away. However, the jackets can be mixed with chinos, jeans and slacks to give you ample ‘semi-casual’ choices.

You also have a ‘colour palette’ to work with. You know it because of your newly updated spring and summer wardrobe. Those blues and yellows you were working with look good to you, because you feel good in them. This gives you a confident look to others that you know what you are doing. Incorporate those colours as accents into your winter wardrobe and the same will happen.

As I have mentioned before, you need a well-fitting black suit. This is the base of any Man’s wardrobe. Mix and match it with anything that you like, and you have tons of options. You can wear it to business meetings, all special events, such as weddings, and it saves you having to buy a tuxedo for ultra-formal evenings. This is a must. However, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Many men assume they need to buy expensive goods to improve their style, and who can blame them? Just open a GQ magazine, and look at the prices of the items they promote. They’re pretty damn steep.

You could buy a $1700 suit from Versace or a $300 suit from the mall, but the only thing that matters is how it looks on you. The fit is the thing, so buy a hard wearing, long lasing material at a good price, and let your tailor fit it to you. You don’t need to go for expensive brands to look good. Assuming stores would charge more for their most stylish clothes makes sense, but style doesn’t decide the price. Consumers decide the price.

You will need good shoes to match this suit, and some kind of weather-resistant overcoat, raincoat or both. You can repeat the process of suit buying with other colours in the same fit, if you wish: Brown and blue are the best colours to go with, because they can be matched with lots of different matching accessories. However, once again refer back to your summer wardrobe for colour and match ideas. With three well fitting, co-ordinated suits and a couple of jackets/jeans combinations worn with a couple of different shirts, you have enough to make up a ‘full wardrobe’, especially when combined with the more casual choices you have made with your warmer weather wardrobe.

You will have found from the e-mail blasts that I recommended in my last post that you have favorite stores – ones that you return to multiple times. It could be price, value, or both, but subconsciously, it is because these stores have the clothes that match your new, burgeoning look. But keep checking the others – you never know when a deal is going to come up for that piece that will fill the gaps.

This is about it, guys. You now have a basic wardrobe, colour scheme and look at good prices that you will look good in all year round. And, if you are still worried about the garden, at least you have some old clothes that you can pull those weeds in! You won’t be buying anything for back there until the fall – when things are cheaper!

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