I can still remember being 17, reading GQ and Esquire, looking for style advice and trying to improve my presentation – feeling frustrated that every single thing on those pages, even the t-shirts, were at least $300.
Great style knows no salary range, and no one man's values and priorities for his money, regardless of how much he has access to for spending on clothing, can be represented in these magazines that only prioritize designer labels or heritage brands that hand make everything and have prices that match it.
Even in today's world of social media influencers, it's near impossibly to find resources that help build outfits for guys that spans budget ranges. That's why I'm excited to continue our long-running series 1 Look, 2 Budgets with today's casual fall outfit.
Raglan Sleeve Sweater
Budget: Old Navy, $28
This wallet-friendly option is still made with 100% cotton and utilizes a Shaker rib stitch to create a textured appearance. These vertical “strips” of stitches offer a unique tactile feel that's lighter and stretchier than other rib stitches. And if you're curious about the difference between shaker and other rib stitches, our types of sweaters guide has got you covered.
Upgrade: Faherty Legend Sweater, $128
Designed to offer everyday versatility, Faherty's Legend Sweater boasts of unparalleled softness paired with the right amount of stretch. Whether you're looking to wear it solo, layered over a tee, or under a jacket, this sweater's got your back. Detailed with a relaxed body, straight fit, tapered sleeves, and a raglan design, it’s cotton blend features stretch for comfort.
Budget: Banana Republic Factory, $108
Sporting a detailed geometric pattern in navy and black, this budget-friendly option from Banana Republic Factory is interesting without being visually overwhelming.
Upgrade: Pendleton, $269
If you're seeking a midweight layer, Pendleton has the perfect fit for you. Combining the best of a thick DoubleSoft cotton shell with a warm sherpa fleece body lining, you're sure to stay cozy. The sleeves come with a smooth, lightly filled quilted lining and chambray-lined cuffs.
Budget: Target, $8
For under $10, this cotton-blend t-shirt from Target offers both comfort and style, making it a hard-to-beat option for the price.
Upgrade: Buck Mason, $45
Crafted in a century-old factory in Pennsylvania, this t-shirt made from USA-grown slub cotton stands out not just in comfort but also in its cut. A piece that promises to be a staple in your wardrobe, Buck Mason's t-shirt speaks volumes about its quality and craftsmanship. Read why they're one of our favorite men's clothing brands.
Budget: Lands’ End, $56
The Knockabout pants from Land’s End boast a well-loved, broken-in feel, thanks to their triple-washed fabric. Their comfort waist ensures a snug fit, combining practicality with style. A modern twist on an old friend, these pants epitomize the resurgence of cargo pants in men's fashion.
Upgrade: Relwen M-51 Cargo Pant, $238
Inspired by the GI pants of the 50s Korean War era, the Relwen M-51 Cargo Pant is made with a blend of cotton and a hint of stretch, promising comfort, capaciousness, and freedom of movement. The double-needle felled seam construction testifies to its durability. Its relaxed fit and wider leg opening are a nod to both vintage aesthetics and contemporary appeal. A premium choice for those who value history and quality.
Moc Toe Suede Shoes
Budget: Clarks Wallabees, $140
A vintage vibe meets modern design with Clarks Wallabees. Available in a sophisticated muted brown gray suede at J.Crew, these shoes give a nod to the 70s with their moc toe design. Equipped with the signature Desert Boots crepe sole and a soft suede exterior, they've stood the test of time as a men's classic. Perfect for those looking for retro charm without breaking the bank.
Upgrade: Paraboot, $625
Step up your footwear game with Paraboot, a brand from the French Alps with over a century's legacy. Gaining renewed traction in men's fashion circles, this pair showcases roughout suede sourced from Chicago's renowned Horween leather. A testament to craftsmanship and heritage, these shoes are an investment in timeless style and unparalleled quality.
Budget: Amazon, $24
Made with genuine suede leather, this 1.5″ belt from Amazon offers a simple, classic look at a budget-friendly price.
Upgrade: Johnston & Murphy, $95
Made in the USA from full-grain leather, it boasts impeccable craftsmanship and durability. The 1 3/8” width ensures a sleek look, making it suitable for both casual and even dressier semi-formal occasions. For those who value longevity and craftsmanship in their wardrobe, this belt is an excellent investment.
Budget: Target, 5 / $14
These aren't just any socks; they're reliable essentials with a hint of design flair. I've had the set for over a year. Weighing in just right, they're versatile enough to be paired with boots or to slide right into the dress sock category. And at a price that doesn't pinch, they're a steal.
Upgrade: RoToTo, $28
Crafted in Japan, RoToTo socks are a blend of quality and comfort. Composed of breathable marled cotton with a 96% cotton and 4% poly blend, they ensure your feet remain snug without compromising on ventilation. You can find them sold at higher quality men's stores thanks to their unique designs and premium feel.
Distinguished by its unique tan accent on the bezel paired with a pristine white face, the Orient Mako 3 stands out as a testament to craftsmanship and style. With an in-house, hand-winding, hacking movement made in Japan, its precision is unmatched at this price point. Its sapphire crystal ensures durability, and with water resistance up to 200m, it's suitable for most water-related adventures, barring diving. A favorite among the Primer watch brands, this is an affordable luxury.
Stepping into the realm of horological masterpieces, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra is more than just a watch—it's an heirloom. Its stainless steel case houses a sandstone dial that's sun-brushed from the center. The hands and indexes are infused with white Super-LumiNova, ensuring visibility in dim settings. Driven by Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer calibre 8800, it's certified to the highest industry standards by METAS. An epitome of luxury, precision, and craftsmanship.