Purchasing excellent and fashionable clothes on a budget is very much a possibility given the right mixture of patience, time, and a great eye for value. Finding treasures for much less than what you might think to pay for them can be extremely rewarding not simply financially, but also emotionally – bragging rights do exist for astute bargain hunters! For men who are daring enough to go shopping for their own duds, this is a prime opportunity to flesh out the wardrobe on the cheap.
Clearance Sales in Winter, Old and New Stock
The best time of year to shop for men’s clothing (and women’s clothing as well) is during the months of January and February; this is typically the slowest time of the retail calendar and outlets are looking to liquidate any and all backstock that they can, as well as putting many newer articles out on promotion in hope of instigating sales. While the overall flash sales per day may not be as high as other times of the year, retailers are focussing on moving volume in January, and want you to buy in quantity. Most clothing will go on sale for between 30% to 70% off their regular sticker price.
As such, this is a prime opportunity for men to get moving and buy a large portion of their wardrobe in advance. A few pairs of jeans, dress pants, and corduroys as well as a large supply of collared shirts is in order. Winter product will likely still be fairly pricey, but summer product from this season or the last will be drastically reduced.
Some of the best outlets to check for these types of sales are Sears, Tip Top Tailors, Moore’s, Winners, Harry Rosen, The Bay, and Macy’s – typically mid to high end retail establishments that not only offer quality but also variety and selection. In the case of professional outfitters such as Tip Top Tailors, Moore’s, and Harry Rosen it is also possible to pick up tailored suits for a significantly reduced price – always ask the associate to see the promotional or sale suits in your size.
Vintage Ventures, Retro Chic
As always, the second-hand clothing store or boutique can also be an excellent place to find a few gems. The best piece of advise herein is to always check local outlets or charity stores before searching through corporate second-hand stores such as Value Village. The Salvation Army stores or others like it often offer much better bargains on clothing as they are not looking to make such a gross profit from their wares. Also, these stores are often overlooked by men looking for sharp clothing who often seek out Value Village due to name association alone.
Boutiques offering previously loved clothing are excellent places to do business and to find extremely unique and hard to find labels. Often times these stores will carry international names, or designer labels such as Etro, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, and other high quality product that will be much, much more expensive bought new from a retailer. The benefit of shopping at a specialty boutique is that the product is often in much better condition, and may still have the tags on!
Final Tips and Tricks for the Savings Sleuth
Always inspect product from second-hand outlets very, very carefully before purchase. Not only do these types of stores usually have a fairly firm return policy due to the nature of the business – but you truly never know why a piece of clothing was donated. Sometimes, if it feels to good to be true, it is. Most times you will be in the clear, but this bears mentioning before you notice a coffee stain on the cuff or lapel while gloating over a designer find!
If it feels good, looks good, and the price is irresistible – buy it, and buy it in as many patterns and colours as is possible, or at least fiscally responsible. If a garment possesses the perfect fit and the perfect price point one should always purchase it in multiple styles even if those styles do not necessarily match your existing wardrobe or even your usual taste.
Experimenting with inexpensive but attractive changes to your look can bring a new zest into your image – people will certainly notice when you wear something that breaks with your usual image and fashion tendencies!