The Perfect Look on a Budget

by Mackenzie M. | January 27th, 2012 | Men's Shopping

As with most of my men’s fashion postings, I am inspired by the trends, fashion masterpieces, and unfortunate missteps that I see while traversing the streets of some of our nation’s metropolitan centers. This week I have been pleasantly surprised by the fashionable looks worn by many male students surrounding DePaul University in the ultra trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood of (frigid) Chicago.

After being bombarded with expensive cardigans, spotless pea coats, and perfectly styled hair, I have decided to construct a similarly styled outfit for the college guy on a budget. Realistically, most college students cannot afford to go to Barney’s and buy all of the latest trends for men in fashion.  Because of this, I have come to the conclusion that the best place to purchase a classy outfit is at the H&M location nearest you. H&M is known for their financially accessible male fashions, as well as their low-key shopping atmosphere. Below I explain how to create the quintessential men’s winter outfit on a dime.

Let’s start with the shoes. H&M’s ménage canvas boots in dark beige are perfect for the entire winter season. They can be worn while walking around campus, the city, or even on an outdoors winter adventure in the snow. They are neutral enough to be paired with most outfits, and they are the perfect design to make a subtle, yet defined statement. These can be found for about $50, which is a great deal for high quality winter boots. If looking for a normal shoe, the Brogue-style sneaker with imitation leather with front laces is sturdy enough for winter weather, but they will also compliment any outfit.

Next come the pants. For an outfit that says stylish, yet serious, chinos are the best type to buy. They can be worn on formal occasions, as well as with a tee shirt, making them completely worth their $30 price tag. Slim legs and the neutral color are what really makes these pants perfect for the ensemble. Remember, every pair of pants you own should be fitting to your leg, as baggy pants are definitely out.

Sidenote: Although not seen on a typical winter walk across campus, underwear is still just as important as a shirt or pants. Buy yourself a three-pack of H&M boxer-briefs in some nice colors for only $17.95. It will be worth it.

Winter may not be known for its bright colored shirts, but they are definitely in this season. With all of the dreary grays, browns, and whites in nature, choose a bright-colored and patterned shirt. H&M has many brightly colored button-down shirts in attention-grabbing colors. For only around $10, the button-down with blue, red, and green plaid is my recommendation. Also, since it is so cold and layering is in, top off the ensemble with one of H&M’s classic cardigans. A form-fitting, dark blue cardigan will finish the outfit, bringing the total cost to just under $100.

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