The 12 Best Stores for Affordable Men’s Fashion For The Guy on a Budget

Menswear brands to trust when you don’t have time or money to waste.
The 12 Best Stores for Affordable Men's Fashion for the Guy on a Budget

It’s no secret that many men want to be dressing better. For decades, magazines like Esquire and GQ have been serving up men’s style with the biggest names from the golden screen to the gridiron rocking the latest duds from top designers all to show you just how easy it is to look like Idris Elba or Ryan Gosling… assuming you have a few thousand dollars to drop on a single shirt. What’s more of a secret is how men can affordably dress better. What are the best stores a regular guy can find affordable men's fashion?

A plethora of retailers both online and in person are always offering sweet deals, but rarely have the quality to back it up. On the other hand, it’s easy to reach for that designer suit that will make you feel good about how you look… until you reach for your wallet to pay for it.

Dressing on a budget can be done easily, once you know where to look. This guide is designed to help you determine where to spend your hard-earned dollars based on what you’re looking to buy, whether it’s a t-shirt or a three-piece suit.

These aren’t places where you can expect to find something that you’ll be able to pass down generations to your great-grandchildren, but these shopping solutions allow you to find something of reasonably good quality without having to spend too much of your time or money.

The 12 Best Stores for Affordable Men's Fashion for the Guy on a Budget

An aside: eBay can be a fantastic place to find affordable fashion picks like that one-of-a-kind vintage suit that fits perfectly, but – like all thrift shopping – it’s all about the luck of your timing as well as investing the time to muddle through the duds and find something that works for you.

The 12 Best Stores for Affordable Men's Fashion for the Guy on a Budget

H&M

www.hm.com

What It’s Good For: Jackets, affordable blazers, jeans, t-shirts, starter suits

Price Point: $$$$

H&M exemplifies the “fast fashion” philosophy for mainstream consumers to achieve runway looks, often through collaborations with designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang, and Balmain. Quality can vary so it shouldn’t be the first choice when you’re dressing to impress and sizes can run a bit small, but with few offerings beyond suit separates and outerwear priced above $100, H&M offers customers a place to experiment with modern looks or fill your closet with comfortable $7 t-shirts that you can never have too many of.

Affordable fashion brands - Jomers

Jomers

www.jomers.com/

What It’s Good For: Shirts, wool dress pants, slim chinos,  and modern fitting suits

Price Point: $$$$

Jomers proudly establishes its philosophy from the outset: “We never understood why menswear is overpriced.” Our values are similar. Looking at their simple selection of menswear staples, it’s clear that Jomers lives its mission with a clean, easily navigated site that simplifies the online shopping process as much as possible. All nine Jomers suits are $250 and all navy (with one light gray exception). Only ten button-up shirts are offered: all for $27, all long-sleeved, all with button-down collars, and all in shades of blue, gray, and red.

A darling of the affordable fashion community on Reddit, where top posts excitedly proclaim of a new “Jomers drop” – usually for slim chinos and shorts that can sell out quickly. This makes Jomers one of the few brands we actually encourage you to sign up for their newsletter. Primer founder Andrew Snavely's favorite chambray shirt is from the startup.

Target

www.target.com/c/men-s-clothing/-/N-5xu2f

What It’s Good For: Smart casual jackets, starter blazers and sportcoats, sweaters, modern fitting chinos, button down shirts, henleys, a broad selection from straight fit to skinny to big and tall, and perfectly acceptable last-minute suits

Price Point: $$$$

Target has often been a one-stop shop for men looking to build a starter wardrobe, but the company just introduced its greatest menswear focus yet with its unified Goodfellow & Co. line premiering late last year. A throwback to Target’s turn-of-the-century inception as “Goodfellow Dry Goods,” this exclusive private label responds to the current menswear renaissance with stylish, affordable, and comfortable modern takes on classic staples like tweed blazers, shawl-collar cardigans, and chinos, often for less than $50 each.

Read Primer’s Fitting Room First Impressions for more about Goodfellow & Co.’s selection and fit, and check out our All from Target outfit, a look comprised entirely of items available at your local store.

gap denim shirt - best men's affordable fashion

Our outfit made from staples available at Gap

Gap

What It’s Good For: Versatile shirts, quality sweaters, jackets, henleys, t-shirts, jeans, shorts

Price Point: $$$$

Seinfeld jokes aside, there’s a reason that [the] Gap has been a steadily reliable player in its market for nearly fifty years. Gap maintains its consistently broad appeal to customers by offering a wide and neutral selection of timeless staples at reasonable prices, easily adaptable for both work and play and guaranteed to last several seasons. The Gap family also includes Banana Republic for more professional-focused upscale looks and Old Navy for the more bargain-oriented shopper. Here at Primer, Gap is used as a defining benchmark when considering the balance of quality and price of an offering from another retailer: “For the price, is this quality better or worse than Gap?” Making it a smart, convenient choice for most of the staples of your wardrobe.

affordable fashion for men - j.crew factory

Linen shirt and 9″ shorts from J.Crew Factory

J.Crew Factory

www.factory.jcrew.com/

What It’s Good For: Casual button-up shirts, modern dress shirts, slim suits under $300, chinos, modern, slim shorts

Price Point: $$$$

Unlike some outlet-oriented versions of popular retailers, J.Crew Factory isn’t merely the irregular or out-of-season rejects from its more upscale parent company. Instead, J.Crew Factory is a brand all its own with its own unique line that shares J.Crew’s sophisticated aesthetic and decent quality but at startlingly accessible prices every day. The J.Crew Factory team keeps an eye on trends, with a vast selection that includes plaid shirts for less than $30 and slim cut suits for less than $300. Sales are reguarly for 50% off and higher.

affordable fashion stores for men american eagle waxed canvas trucker

Andrew's waxed canvas trucker from American Eagle he found on clearance for $35

American Eagle

www.ae.com

What It’s Good For: Jeans, sweaters, button-up shirts (the ones without logos), and outerwear

Price Point: $$$$

The suggestion of American Eagle may conjure images of high school and college-aged shoppers, but the brand has slowly but surely been reinventing itself since its varsity-focused heyday in the early 2000s. After its briefly lived Martin + Osa smart casual line failed in 2010, the company incorporated that more adult-oriented mindset into its offerings to broaden its target audience, balancing its less advisable youth-focused attire (think pre-ripped jeans or polos emblazoned with giant logos) with more mature offerings along the lines of plaid flannel shirts, khaki chinos, and bomber jackets. The quality is superior to others in the same price class (Zara, etc.) you just have to know to avoid giant logos and not let them blind you to the solid staples being offered in their shadow.

When shopped intentionally, American Eagle is a place to buy quality style that can last you beyond your college years while retaining the brand’s youthful flair.

Macy’s

www.macys.com

What It’s Good For: Office wear (business suits and dress shirts) and Levi’s jeans

Price Point: $$$$

With more than 700 stores across the United States, Macy’s needs no introduction… though it may need some explanation here given the wide range of the quality of its offerings. However, there’s no denying that a budget shopper can find a sharp wool suit for less than $200 from top brands like Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger among its labyrinth of racks. Find a suit you like, spend a little extra to have it professionally tailored, and you’ll have something that looks worth ten times what you paid for it.

Word of Warning: Department stores run on volume, and that means lots of racks of ugly or baggy designs. Focus on the absolute essentials and ignore the rest.

zara black denim jacket best affordable men's fashion stores

Andrew's black denim jacket from Zara

Zara

www.zara.com/us/

What It’s Good For: Slim-fit button-up shirts with interesting patterns, jackets, fashion-forward blazers

Price Point: $$$$

If you’re unfamiliar with Zara, think of it as H&M 2.0. Based in Spain, Zara revolutionized the “instant fashion” concept of rushing new products from design to stores in a matter of weeks, preferring new product designs and new store openings to traditional advertising. Zara’s uncanny success in meeting consumer appeal comes from keeping prices affordable in addition to the line’s short product lifespan; if something isn’t selling, it’s removed from stores within a week. (Plus, it’s James Bond-approved.)

When it comes to building a stylish wardrobe, we recommend keeping the amount of money you spend on more “aggressive” fashion-forward items to a minimum, in favor of a quality staple shirt or pair of pants you can wear over and over. For that reason, Zara fills an important niche: A way to include trendier concepts into your style, without paying designer prices for something that may not be in style in a year.

Word of Warning: The price is high because you're paying for designer style for less, not for quality. Don't make the mistake of investing in staples like a classic blazer or pair of chinos from Zara: Better quality can be had for less elsewhere.

Nordstrom Rack

www.nordstromrack.com/

What It’s Good For: Designer suits, outerwear, shoes, designer socks and underwear

Price Point: $$$$

Nordstrom Rack is the place to go if you need something a little more upscale or have an eye for designers, with everything from Lucky Brand t-shirts to Belstaff outerwear and everything in between all for unbelievable discounts. This is where you can find Ted Baker shirts for less than $50 and Hugo Boss suits starting at $350 not to mention an astounding shoe selection from Allen Edmonds, Bruno Magli, and Johnston & Murphy to Adidas, Converse, and Timberland.

Word of Warning: Stick to the online store and avoid having to sift through the random offering your local store has.

amazon best affordable fashion men

Part of our Amazon Outfit series, where the entire outfit is available with 2 day shipping with Prime

Amazon

www.amazon.com/fashion/men

What It’s Good For: Free 2 day shipping and free returns meaning you can try on for free at home. Best prices for a name brand like Levi’s, Red Wing, etc. Buying budget items confidently based on reviews.

Price Point: $$$$

Though it may be online only, Amazon is often the best – and most cost-efficient way – to get the selection of a department store at your fingertips. As with all online shopping, not being able to try anything on is an obvious drawback, but the ease and expediency of Amazon Prime’s free shipping and free returns on fashion items cuts down on the inconvenience of having to return or exchange something that doesn’t fit.

Naturally, many cheap brands use Amazon as an outlet for their wares. For the most part, you’ll know them (and their too-good-to-be-true prices) when you see them, but pay attention to the reviews. If it’s more than just a generic “good product” comment accompanying a five-star rating, there’s a better chance you’re reading the sincere experiences of someone who’s purchased this item before.

Word of Warning: When in the Fashion section, tick the checkboxes next to “Our Brands,” and “Top Brands” to filter out the random cheap riff-raff.

ASOS

us.asos.com/men/

What It's Good For: Lots of variety for trendier designs and fits

Price Point: $$$$

ASOS, pronounced ACE-OSS, is a UK founded behemoth that offers over 80,000 branded and own-brand products. Imagine H&M but with a ton of third-party brands and more fit options. Definitely worth a look for outerwear, sweaters, pants, swim trunks, and the like.

Word of Warning: With so many products, it's easy to get lost and not know what's what. Their Premiere Delivery is a $19/year Prime-esque service that offers free 2 day shipping.

affordable men's fashion stores Uniqlo

Unstructured blazer, dress shirt, and pants from Uniqlo

Uniqlo

www.uniqlo.com/us/en/men

What It's Good For: Basic-styled essentials like oxford cloth button-downs, sweaters, chinos, selvedge denim, and blazers.

Price Point: $$$$

No budget style list would be complete without Uniqlo, the Japanese-based retailer. Often compared to the Gap, Uniqlo is even more basic – simpler patterns, less trends, and a more concentrated focus on the staples. Known for their $20 OCBDs and $30 sweaters, we get most excited by their sub-$50 selvedge denim, with some locations offering while-you-wait inseam hemming.

Looking for outfits made out of all of these brands? Check out Primer's Getup series for easy style inspiration!

Where do you shop when on a tight budget and a time crunch?

Nick Guzan is a public relations consultant and writer living in Pittsburgh. He blogs about men's style in movies and TV at BAMFStyle.com. His interests include old movies, muscle cars, maritime disasters, fast food, and single malt Scotch.

  • Zac Silk

    I’m a big fan of the selection and price point of Gap. Add to that their constant sales and discounts and it’s silly to ever pay full price for their products. I’ve bought 4 shawl collar cardigans form their that have been featured on Primer and I wear them constantly.

    There’s some great brands here, but I’d like to add Abercrombie to the list. Having seen their recent topcoats the brand seems to be going to a more preppy direction. Again, I’d wait for a sale if your on a budget but they’re trying out some great pieces.

    • Serafin Nunez

      I can’t go into that store because of the teenager cologne that they apparently spray into their ductwork… 😉

      • Zac Silk

        Can’t argue with you there. I normally just shop A&F online now I know my sizes.

    • rogun

      The Gap is my store for jackets and denim, because their fits are better for me.

      • Zac Silk

        Same here. Bonus with Gap’s jeans is that I haven’t found the indigo dye transferring.

        • rogun

          My Kaihara raws from Gap certainly bleed some, but I’m not sure that it’s worse than any other brand. But that’s just part of wearing raw denim, imo.

          • Zac Silk

            I’ve got a pair of there raw seevedge denim but just haven’t got round to wearing them. Guess I’m blaming that on the comfort of Uniqlo’s denim.

            How is Gap’s selvedge denim worth the investment over some cheaper alternatives? I’m trying to pair down my denim collection.

          • rogun

            I really like mine, although that’s mostly due to the fit. As for cheaper alternatives, I can’t say that I know of any that are much cheaper. Unbranded makes nice raws for around the same price, but they’re too loose for me. I’ve been wanting to try out DTSD, but I haven’t got around to them, yet.

            I had some Uniqlo raws several years ago and they were great. I’m looking to buy another pair, but I keep waiting for the slims to go on sale and that never seems to happen. Their skinnies are constantly on sale, but they’re too skinny for me.

  • Serafin Nunez

    Don’t discount Old Navy… Low quality, but if you need a comfy pair of stretch chinos, why not?

    • Joey Lenz

      ON’s $22 Athletic fit denim punches far above its price point.

    • Steve L

      Not bad for the staples. I was recently impressed with their Slim Go-Dry Performance Flex Pants. They are the perfect hybrid of chino and active pant.

  • Toro

    I’ve had terrible luck with H+M tshirts.

    after one wash, they were ruined – shrank by at least 2 sizes, and became all wrinkled.

    they also tend to be meant to fit people without any build

  • Matt

    I gotta add Plato’s Closet to that list. Incredibly cheap and you can score decent button downs and sweaters there.

  • chris

    Great post

  • Greg Edwards

    I don’t know what H&M is like in the USA, but in the UK, lack of diverse sizing is an issue. I’m not exactly a short-arse, but I can’t buy any trousers from H&M as you need to be at least 6′ tall or more and they don’t offer shorter fits in store.

    Almost any other high street store I can by a 34S (or sometimes a 34R) and they’ll fit – even Primark offer these fits! H&M is pretty much all 34L or even longer.

    • Rick Sans

      in the US if you have any shape at all, it tends to be difficult as well

  • Gary

    Hey Andrew,

    Just bought a Herringbone top coat from jcrew on clearance and wondering if im good to wear this for work and for a getup? I work as a banker usually in a tie/dress pants with no suit jacket. Thanks

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Hey Gary, Yeah that should work out great!

  • Steve L

    I would add Charles Tyrwhitt to the list of brands to consider. Most of their stuff is on the high end price wise but their shirts are hands down the best. We have a store here in Chicago and it is an amazing experience.

  • David A Swetman

    Abercrombie & Fitch is a winner here. You guys should really check out what’s up with the new product. It’s not looking like the naked dickbags from yesteryear.

  • rogun

    Sierra Trading Post for outdoor gear

  • Bradley Grunewald

    Thoughts on AS Colour for minimalist wardrobe?

  • https://www.nirofashion.com/ Niro Fashion

    Well these are commendable brands to shop for as they have earned the trust of people over years. Classics with inspirational stories!