High Low: 9 Stylish Investment Picks and Their Budget Alternatives

Great style is independent from disposable income. That's not without tradeoffs in function, quality, or manufacturing, of course. Here are 9 stylish products with investment options and frugal alternatives so any budget can reflect your style – not the other way around.

high low style men

Waffle Knit Henley

A heavier weight knit henley adds warmth and texture as a smart layer to any casual outfit.


Wallace & Barnes

J.Crew's house brand of essentials based on workwear and military classics takes their turn on the essential fall layer.

wallace barnes henley

a knit henley from old navy


Old Navy

A wide knit makes this Old Navy find look like it's from a much more expensive brand.

The Gray Textured Shirt Jacket

We're big fans of the shirt jacket around here, especially during this time of year on days where an actual jacket is too much. Check out how I wear my shirt jacket.


Taylor Stitch

Taylor Stitch makes products that wear in, not wear out. Details like the subtle but unique wavy pattern take this from woodshop to smart casual.

taylor stitch shirt jacket

old navy shirt jacket


Old Navy

This fleece take on the shirt jacket makes it your favorite hoodie in disguise.

Casual Olive Twill Pants

If you're not rocking casual chinos – with heavier fabrics and more rugged details – you're missing out on an absolute secret weapon for sharp dressed guys. Wear with just a t-shirt and sneakers, or dress them up into something more smart casual. If you're new to olive, you'll be amazed at how fast they become your new favorite.


Buck Mason

With button fly and soft but hearty slub cotton twill, the new officer pant has clear military heritage and durability.

buckmason pants

goodthreads pants



These slim tapered pants from Amazon's Goodthreads brand feature 3% spandex for all day flexibility.

Chore Coat

The chore coat has been a go-to for men for over a 100 years, see our recent guide for inspiration.



Bonobos is more than just pants, their 100% cotton take on this classic has modern edits for modern men.

bonobos chore jacket

gap chore jacket



A denim canvas weave with stretch and a straight relaxed fit make this chore coat a smart choice for men of any shape.

Electric Programmable Gooseneck Kettle

Gooseneck kettles are an important upgrade for brewing pour over coffee at home because they give you greater control in flow and more precision for saturating the grounds.

For more on making amazing coffee at home read A Barista’s 4 Fundamentals to Making Better Coffee at Home.



The grail of goosenecks, the Stagg is sold in fine cafes the world over.

Fellow kettle

cosori kettle



The Cosori offers a counter-pleasing design on a budget.

Industrial Coffee Table

Bring a vintage vibe to your living room with a handsome wood and metal coffee table. Get more home inspiration in our Intentional Apartment series.


Trent Austin Design

Distressed wood plank top and black steel, plus 50 pound weight will make people think this came right off the factory floor.

atakent coffee table

franklin coffee table target



4.5 star reviews make this steel and wood veneer coffee table a smart upgrade to the repurposed milk crates in front of your couch.

Suede Jacket

The trucker jacket – a waist length, two-pocket layer – is more than just the jean jacket. If a heavy leather motorcycle jacket doesn't fit your style, the softness and pliability of suede may be just what you've been looking for.

Read more: The Fascinating Evolution of the Trucker Jacket


Todd Snyder

100% calf suede and made in Italy, Todd Snyder reinvents the classic in an array of desert-inspired colors.

todd snyder suede

gap suede mens jacket



I try this on every time I go to Gap, you won't be disappointed.

Chambray Shirt

While similar at a distance, chambray isn't denim. Denim is woven with a twill weave, whereas chambray uses a plain weave. As a result, denim has a thickness that is about double that of chambray.

Chambray shirts are a wonderful addition to a wardrobe that needs to be worn casually and dressed up. See why it's one shirt we always pack in a carryon.


Mr. Porter

Made with selvedge cotton chambray and mother-of-pearl buttons, this essentials upgrade will last years.

mr porter chambray shirt

goodthreads chambray shirt



Featuring the iconic square button chest pockets, this frugal Amazon pick uses a washing technique to make it feel lived in right out of the box.

Steel & Leather Chronograph Watch

A leather strap on a dive watch? The perfect juxtaposition of casual and dressy, just like the rest of your style. Check out Primer's guide to the best affordable dive watches under $300.

Dive deeper: What is a chronograph watch?


Tag Heuer

This beauty is a 55th birthday reissue of the watch worn by F1 racer Jochen Rindt.

tag heuer chronograph watch

fossil chronograph watch



The brand you've trusted since middle school makes sharp, durable watches for your adult life too – I've still got the one I bought in 8th grade.

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Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.