Let’s be honest, frugal male fashion is a bit of an oxymoron. I mean, when you want to dress nice for work, but every shirt costs upwards of $90, how are you supposed to stay within budget? It’s a difficult task, to say the least.
Now, I’ll admit that I am not the kind of guy to spend a Saturday afternoon shopping for clothes. (Just ask my wife.) In fact, if I am going to spend money on anything, I would much rather put it towards a new tool for my woodworking shop. But, there are definitely times when my wardrobe needs a little updating. And when those times roll around, I don’t want to pay through the nose.
So, if you’re a man in need of some new clothes, but also don’t want to break the bank, this post is for you. What follows is a budget-friendly guide to frugal male fashion.
Let’s get started.
My #1 Secret To Frugal Male Fashion
As a frugal man that lives on a very strict budget, I love getting cash back on purchases. It feels like a little bonus. However, if you follow this blog at all, you know I don’t use credit cards. So, if I only use a debit card, how do I get cash back? Rakuten.
Rakuten is a free cashback app that you can use to get cashback on online (and in some cases, in-store) purchases. The best part is that the amount of cash you get back varies by the store.
So, while some stores might offer 1% cashback, others might offer 10% back or more. During the holidays last year, I saw some stores offer as much as 12% cash back. With numbers like that, who really needs the cashback you get from credit cards?
If you really want to up your frugal male fashion game, you should go sign up for your free Rakuten account right now, and remember to check for cashback whenever you go to make a purchase online.
Frugal Male Fashion: 15 Budget-Friendly Places To Shop
In most cases, as a guy, you probably tend to think about function over form. And as a frugal man, this way of thinking is exacerbated for you. For example, as a frugal man, you won’t just ask yourself if you’ll really wear something on a day-to-day basis. You will also ask yourself if owning it is really worth sacrificing the savings.
Honestly, I respect that! Big Time.
But, this can make shopping difficult (especially for your girlfriend or wife). So, if you want to find new clothes, but don’t want to sacrifice too much of your hard-earned paycheck, here are a few great places to shop.
1. TJ Maxx
TJ Maxx tops my frugal male fashion list, because they carry a ton of different brands at hugely discounted prices. In fact, I would bet about 60% of all my work clothes were purchased at TJ Maxx.
In many cases you can find high quality shoes, shirts, pants, and coats for about half the price you would find them at a normal retail store.
So, if you have a TJ Maxx nearby, that should be the first store on your list when you want to shop for clothes.
I almost feel silly adding this to the list, because the majority of you already shop for clothes on Amazon. However, I couldn’t leave it off the list.
If you want to buy clothes on a budget, you should seriously consider shopping on Amazon. I have found so many great deals on clothes. And the best part is, you don’t even need to step foot in a retail store.
Plus, if you really want to be a frugal shopper, you can just ask for Amazon gift cards when your birthday and Christmas roll around, and use that money for clothes.
My wife and I were actually just talking about Walmart the other day, and how much more fashionable their clothes have become.
Whereas, in the past, if you wanted to shop for clothes at Walmart, you were probably going to find a bunch of clothes that were a little too baggy, or just felt low-quality. Honestly, there were times when the only clothes I could find there were about a decade behind the current fashion trends. Plus, one man can only own so many pairs of cover-alls!
Now, however, you would be amazed at some of the awesome clothes they have, and at rock-bottom prices. Just last year, I bought a sweet winter coat for only $35, and they have really stepped-up their game in regard to jeans and t-shirts.
Target tends to cost a little more than Walmart, but their clothes seem to last me longer than any other place I shop. So it probably evens out in the end.
Plus, they offer so many killer sales that if you are patient and time your shopping correctly, you can practically replace your current wardrobe without risking your budget.
5. Sierra Trading Post
Sierra Trading Post is in the same family as TJ Maxx, but their clothes definitely have a more outdoor flair. So, if you rock an outdoorsman kind of style (like me), this is a great option for you.
Side Note: Sierra Trading Post typically offers a pretty good cashback offer on Rakuten. At the time of writing this, they offer 8% cashback.
6. Old Navy
Old Navy is an old classic when it comes to frugal male fashion. In my experience their clothes are very high quality, and their prices are pretty hard to beat. Plus, they run quite a few sales throughout the year, and they tend to come with pretty massive discounts.
So, if you want to find quality clothes for good prices, be sure to check out Old Navy.
7. Banana Republic
You might not think of Banana Republic as a great place for frugal shoppers, but it seems like every time I’m in there, they are running a sale for 40% – 50% off. And, often times, that is on top of already marked-down items.
For example, my wife just recently bought me a sweater from Banana Republic for $18 that normally sells for $90. And that’s not even the best deal she’s ever found there.
If you are willing to take the time to search, Ebay can be a great place for finding good clothes at great prices. Don’t worry, not all of them are used. But, if you are willing to shop for second hand clothes, you can find some amazing stuff.
Additionally, if you are looking for accessories like: watches, sunglasses, or hats, Ebay should be on your list of budget-friendly places to shop.
9. Nordstrom Rack
Nordstrom Rack is very similar to TJ Maxx. They offer really high quality stuff at huge discounts. As I’m writing this article, I am actually wearing a pair of $110 shoes my wife bought me at Nordstrom Rack for only $40.
For a long time, I thought H&M was a women-only clothing store. That was until my sister and brother-in-law brought me in there and showed me their men’s department. It was filled with great looking clothes, but what really got me were the prices.
I was used to spending over $75 for a button-down shirt, and with the sale they were running, I bought 5 for that price. Plus, their clothes weren’t as baggy as most men’s clothing stores, which meant the clothes fit me a little better than most places.
I grew up shopping at Kohls, but when I moved into adulthood it kind of fell off my radar. I’m not sure why, because they have some awesome men’s clothing there, and as you might already know, their prices are great.
12. American Eagle
American Eagle is one of the few places I will buy jeans. I am pretty tall and slender, which makes it hard for me to find jeans that fit. But for some reason, I have never had trouble finding them there. In fact, I am wearing a pair of American Eagle jeans right now.
Now, I will say that their prices can be a little high. So, when I want to shop there, I just patiently wait for them to run a sale. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever bought jeans at American Eagle that weren’t on sale for at least 40% off.
13. Men’s Wearhouse
I don’t know about you, but spending $1,000 on a suit doesn’t sound very frugal to me.
Men’s Wearhouse is my favorite place to buy suits. I have personally purchased three suits from them over the years (one of which was my wedding suit) and I have never been disappointed with the quality or service. And the prices are great.
In fact, for my wedding, I bought a fully custom suit for less than $500. Now, I just need to make sure I stay in good enough shape to fit into it.
Overstock.com has a wide array of great looking clothes, and like pretty much everything they offer on their site, they come at a great price. They also have quite the selection of furniture, so if you are looking to add a little style to your apartment or home, you can take care of it all at the same time. Just sayin’.
15. Plato’s Closet
Remember how I said I almost exclusively buy jeans from American Eagle? Well, at Plato’s closet I can get those same jeans (lightly worn) for about a quarter the cost. Plato’s Closet is a great place to find some quality name brands for really low prices.
Though, if you don’t have a Plato’s Closet near you, any secondhand store will do.
Frugal Male Fashion: Budgeting Tips
At this point, we’ve discussed using Rakuten to get cash back on your purchases, as well as where to shop if you want to find budget-friendly clothes. But, you see, the whole point of frugal male fashion is to look good without wrecking your budget. And when I say budget, I actually mean a planned and written budget; not just a theoretical budget you have in your head.
So, before we call this post quits, there are a few more frugal male fashion tips I want to cover in hopes that you will make the most out of your money.
I don’t care what it is you are shopping for — a car, a new pet, a new jacket, or just a new pack of white socks — part of being frugal, is planning out your purchases. So, before you go out shopping for a bunch of new clothes, be sure to get on a budget, and plan your spending.
You should know exactly how much money is coming into your bank account, exactly how much your living costs are, and exactly how much money you can spend while still adding to your savings and investments.
Clothes should not come before emergencies, retirement, or any long-term financial goals. So, make a plan for your finances before you make a plan to buy new clothes.
I talk a lot about saving on this blog, but it is worth every word. Frugality only makes sense if you are working to achieve more important financial goals. If you are just living frugally so that you can maximize the amount of stuff you can spend your entire paycheck on, there is no point.
So, put saving first in your financial plan. In other words, when you get a paycheck, you should set aside money for savings before you spend a dime. Then, you should live frugally in order to live within the remaining amount of money.
Say ‘No’ To Debt
Every penny of debt you owe, is just subtracted from your net worth. So, you should make a concerted effort to avoid debt at all costs. The trickiest part about all this, is that department stores tempt you with debt at every turn.
I mean, how many times have you been offered a big discount on your purchase if you just open a credit card. You know why? Because they know that if you open a credit card, you will likely end up paying interest on it for a much longer period of time. And that means much more money for them.
Credit cards are the biggest financial trap out there, and truly frugal shoppers will say no to them.
Patience is one of the hardest things to practice when it comes to shopping, but it is a huge part of the whole ‘frugal’ lifestyle.
If you can hold off on purchasing clothes until there is a sale, and in the meantime, patiently save your money, you will be much better off, financially.
Frugal Male Fashion: Finding The Best Deals
If you want to live a frugal lifestyle, you need to get in the habit of finding deals. That means couponing, shopping at different stores, and taking advantage of specific times of year in order to get the best deal. So, to finish this frugal male fashion guide, I want to dive a little deeper into finding the best deals.
Use Coupon Sites
Whenever I want to spend money on something, I always look for a coupon first. And these days, that means spending about five minutes online. Two of my favorite places to find coupons and deals are Savings.com and Coupons.com.
I really can’t stress couponing enough. Seriously, spending an extra five minutes looking for a deal online has saved me as much as 50% on some purchases. That is time well spent if you ask me.
Take Advantage Of Email Offers
If you can give your email address to a store and get a 20% discount on your first purchase, why wouldn’t you?
I mean, it takes about three seconds to unsubscribe from an email list if you don’t like what they send you. Plus, if it’s a store you frequent, you may end up getting great future discounts.
Shop For Off-Season Clothes
This is pretty self explanatory, but if you want to find great deals on clothes, shop for them during the off-season. For example, if you need a new pair of swim trunks, plan ahead and buy them in November. If you need a new winter jacket, take advantage of the big winter-wear sales in May and June.
If you know you are going to need some new seasonal clothes, don’t buy them in peak season. When the demand is high, so are the prices.
Frugal Male Fashion: Final Thoughts
Frugal male fashion takes work and planning. But, with a few good tips and techniques, it is more than possible to look good without busting your budget.
Do you have any other frugal male fashion tips? I would love to hear about them in the comments below!