It’s hard, I know. Send a woman to any corner of the planet with just $50 and a dream, and she’ll come back with what seems like sacks of clothes, shoes and trinkets.
Send one of us to do the same thing and we’ll probably come back with one “really nice” pair of $49.99 jeans. That’s just the way of the world, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way all the time. There are a plethora of sites out there designed for the “every man” that have a generous selection and are easy on the wallet.
Having set up a US site not too long ago, Topman is the perfect place for the semi-industrial man with a purpose. Think: “the cool-with-everybody hipster”. A great deal of their collections tend to go on sale two to three weeks quicker than the competition, so you have to jump on it early. It’s the ideal site to snag a $200 military jacket or a $100 cable knit sweater for a fraction of the price.
Boasting both a men’s and women’s section, Gilt is an online auction house on steroids. The rules are fairly simple: Everyday at 11:57 p.m., the site sends an e-mail notification to its members, giving the lowdown on the featured vendors for that day. At noon, the “auction house” opens and you’re given the opportunity to snag quality merchandise for much less than you’d find at the flagship store. You have until 12:10 to lock down your items or they’ll be released from your cart for the other vultures to scoop up.
On any given day, you’ll get offers from top-name brands like Jil Sander, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, to off-the-wall shops like Tan Ren Knives, Universal Studios and various hotel chains from around the world. The only catch? You have to be invited by a current member to join.
Perhaps I know someone who could arrange that for you…
3. Army/Navy surplus stores
An often overlooked location, military surplus stores are great for low-priced, utilitarian items such as windbreakers, pea and trench coats, chests and tons of other post-issued fodder from the Department of Defense. You have to scour your city or town for them nowadays, but they’re still around. I’ve picked up heavy duty gloves, belts and even long underwear from surplus stores in the past.
A product of Japan, Uniqlo is, well, unique. They feature a lot of seasonal, hi-tech outerwear that’s also practical. Be prepared to stock up on lightweight cords, insulated parkas and comfortable sweaters for now, but their selection will change once this crazy weather does.
5. Family patriarchs, duh!
This should be a no-brainer, right? If it’s a situation where you and your old man remotely resembled each other in body type at some point, he’s bound to have a few things here and there that might fit you. There’s nothing better than getting a vintage watch or billfold, a jean or bomber jacket from the 60s, or even a full-fledged suit (extra points if it’s a three-piece). The best part is that’s it’s usually free and absolutely timeless. Anything like that is a great and economical addition to your wardrobe.