One of the most intimidating things about wanting to dress better is the shear reality that you're going to have to buy things.
And I don't mean that from a money perspective, though that's certainly a problem too.
No, what I'm referring to is that thing that drives dread into the hearts of many men:
The idea of walking around a mall – or worse, having to drive from store to store – and trying to piece something together from an ocean of racks feels like a great way to waste your weekend.
That's why it's pretty genius from a business perspective for Target to invest in offering a line of men's clothing that is classic without being stuffy. Just enough modern touch to keep things interesting. And several fit options from skinny to big & tall so men of any shape can look great and feel comfortable.
As I see it, Target has an interesting opportunity. Most of the men who are walking through the sliding doors aren't going there for new clothing. Mouthwash. 24 pack of Gatorade. Some storage containers. At best, socks and underwear.
What do the men who hate shopping need? A versatile and current men's line at the place they're already going to. Could you imagine how many more men would dress even 15% better than they are now if the grocery store sold slim chinos and raglan sleeve henleys? Considering Target sells groceries, that's essentially what they've done.
With the introduction of the Goodfellow & Co line last year it's now possible to buy entire outfits from Target. The line is a hybrid of J.Crew rugged-prep and Old Navy pricing, and with a renewed focus on multiple footwear options for men, we can for the first time recommend at least some of the shoes. (Something we advised you skip all the way back in 2011.)
Shop the Look:
This Getup is an easy casual look that was built to be modular:
- Ditch the gray sweater, button the shirt all the way to top, and tuck it in and you're business casual or a Sunday dinner with your in-laws.
- Lose the button-up and you have a comfortable, casual Getup you can wear to a game, a brewery, or lounging around the house.
- Opt just for the gray base sweater and you'll look like you stepped right out of a commercial where someone is tossing a football with friends.
Perhaps the most impressive thing Target has done with their reshaped men's section is their inclusion of different body types. Offering fits that are skinny, slim, athletic, straight, and big & tall means no matter your unique shape you'll be able to create a sharp look that you feel comfortable in and complements your body.
These slim gray chinos are a steal at $23 – especially if you're on a tight budget or don't find yourself wearing chinos enough to shell out $50 at other stores.
If you're an avid shopping enthusiast, you can find higher-quality brands like Gap, Banana Republic, J.Crew, and some department store brands for similar prices when on sale. But for certain pieces or eschewing sale watching (something we gladly do for you), the men's section at Target offers decent quality at prices that make me do this when I see the price tag:
I really dig these boot/sneaker hybrids that are only $45. Is the sole white like a sneaker? Or white like the sole of a pair of moc toe Red Wings? Both – and that makes them a smart option to span most of the casual and smart casual events you'll find yourself attending. The shoe quarters (the sides where the lacing holes are) have a touch of ruggedness with the olive canvas inserts. As with most cheaper shoes they can run a little hot on your feet after awhile, something you don't find on higher quality/more expensive footwear.
I mentioned earlier that we can recommend some of the shoes at Target. I would still avoid the leather options like dress shoes and boots because you can find options that are real leather on sale at places like a shoe warehouse, Amazon, or Nordstrom Rack for comparable prices. These will last longer and look noticeably better. But these boots or the gray on gray sneakers we featured on during Fall Getup Week are easy buys for the price.
I can't say that I often go the route of double-sweatering, but this lightweight base knit acts more like a thermal or thick long sleeve t-shirt than a traditional crewneck sweater. What's interesting about this look for menswear nerds out there is that it ignores the usual layering principle of lightest to heaviest, with the shirt being the thinnest layer in the middle.
Special thanks to the crew at Mancamp who helped photograph this outfit last week. Mancamp is a not real, joke name we call our annual meetup and mastermind of folks creating awesome things in the men's lifestyle space. They've become close friends and confidants over the years, and not only is it a fun week, it's also super productive for big picture thinking and strategy. If you follow Primer on Instagram, you're well aware of the shenanigans from our Stories.
Be sure to check out everyone that was there for the best men's lifestyle and self-development on the internet:
AJ & Johnnie from Art of Charm / Brock from The Modest Man / Barron from Effortless Gent / Men's style coach and author Tanner Guzy / Hunter from Show Her Off / Mike from Ask Andy About Clothes / Travis from Unkept Gentleman / Eric from Beardbrand / Jon from The Kavalier / Raphael from Gentleman's Gazette / Thanh from Asian Efficiency / Myke from Social Confidence Mastery / Justin from The Fine Young Gentleman