Winter Essentials: Man on a Budget

by Mackenzie M. | November 14th, 2011 | Men's Shopping

It may have only been a few weeks since I wrote about “Fall Essentials: Man on a Budget,” but winter has ferociously knocked on our doors this week, even at my Louisiana home. The colder temperatures warranted another trip to the mall. Much like this fall, this winter is simply about layers and more layers.

With a frigid and snowy winter predicted for most of the country, making sure that you are dressed warmly (and fashionably) is more important than ever. Although this makes keeping a budget increasingly more difficult, I am a living, stylish example that it can be done – if attention is given to the proper areas. Rather than compiling a list, I will briefly walk you through a shopping trip for clothes this winter.

To start, we will keep things simple. The first step to creating your manly winter outfit all comes down to the shirt. Yes, your grandmother’s knitted creations are nice and warm, but often are not the most stylish thing on the street. This winter is all about henley’s, anoraks, classy sweatshirts, and appropriate hoodies. To start your outfit off, a nice white, grey, or black fleece, shawl-collared sweatshirt will prove to be the best base. Although these upscale designs are often found at places like J. Crew (who offer a 20% student discount, by the way), many outlets like TJ Maxx and Steinmart are slowly catching on to these fashion trends. For the man on a budget, high-class design is not necessarily synonymous to expensive.

Next is the seemingly difficult task of picking out an appropriate undershirt. A design like the shawl-collared sweatshirt exposes the undershirt you decide to wear, so choose wisely. I see men walking around campus with undershirts with sports teams, or awkward patterns on them, but they are best left deep in your closet this winter.

As the sweatshirt you have picked out is an earthy tone, picking out an appropriate undershirt is a perfect way to add a splash of personality and color to the ensemble. A gray, a light blue, deep red, or even a pine green will accent the outfit nicely. I would also like to take this time to remind guys to go with a nice v-neck, rather than a less-flattering high-collar T-shirt. Also remember – never pay more than $10 for a T-shirt.

The jeans you pick out are just as important, and they must flatter the outfit. Nice dark or medium wash denim, with a snug fit will flatter not only the outfit, but will accentuate your shape. During mid-winter, jeans usually go on major discount. The shoes you pick will make or break the outfit, so choose wisely. Tennis shoes are a resounding mistake, and should not leave your shoe rack unless you are going for a run. A nice pair of brown leather shoes is both classy and casual, and comfortable enough for the long walks around the city.

In two weeks I will be tackling the issue of the young man’s quest to find an appropriate (and stylish) winter coat.

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