Top 15 Most Affordable, Stylish Places to Buy Men's Clothes
Finding affordable and stylish clothes for men can be a bit tricky. So many brands and retailers produce cookie-cutter styles that will quickly assimilate your individuality into a look that is largely homogeneous. In other words, you'll waste a lot of time, energy, and money only to look like everyone else.
However, there are a few retailers who stand above the pack, producing fashion and selling styles that will help you develop an image and express yourself while keeping your wallet happy.
If you’re currently stuck in the world of Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, or Hollister, then this guide is written especially for you: it's time to break away from the herd. Those brands are alright for young adults up to the age of 19 or so but once you officially exit your teens, you need to start dressing like an adult.
Here are the top 15 retailers that offer some of the most affordable, stylish fashions available to men: BlueFly, Bonobos, Century 21, Club Monaco, Gilt Groupe, H&M, Jack Threads, Saks Off 5th, Top Man, Uniqlo, Vineyard Vines, YesStyle, Yoox, Zappos, and Zara.
Gilt is an online retailer that offers an exclusive, invitation-only program that gives you access to scheduled sales of all sorts of hand-selected luxury fashions for men. You may get a savings of up to 60% off retail. I also love that they feature a number of the smaller boutique brands.
Quantities are very limited on their sales, but you do have an opportunity to preview the items prior to the sale launch; this is helpful because if you find a must-have item, you can put the sale on your calendar and return to the website to order once the sale begins.
If you are obsessed with designer labels but want authentic apparel at discounted prices, then look no further than BlueFly. The fashion buyers there source brand new clothes from over 350 retailers at discounts of 20% to 75%. Personally, I have spent quite a bit at BlueFly to update my business attire, so I can attest to the value and savings. If you're looking for name brand at a discount, then this is the place to shop.
Bonobos is one of my favorite men’s clothing retailers. The company started out tackling the problem of poor-fitting men’s pants when they completely redesigned the cut of men’s pants to be better-fitting and more flattering to the body. With that same principle of making good fitting clothes, Bonobos produces a full line of men’s clothing including shorts, jackets, shirts, and more.
Unless you live in the New York City metropolitan area, you've probably never heard of Century 21, but if you ever have a chance to visit one of their 10 locations, you should.
Century 21 is unlike any discount retailer I've ever seen. It's sort of like a massive warehouse with floor after floor of discounted high-end fashions. Imagine Filene's basement (before going of business) but on steroids--that's what Century 21 is like.
You can shop Century 21 online, however they don't have anywhere near the designers online as they do in the store as there are many one-of-kind pieces in the store.
Club Monaco may appear in a shopping mall in the a clot of uninspiring fashion retailers like Banana Republic or Express, but don't be fooled, it's quite different. Founded in Toronto, Club Monaco offers chic fashions that appeal to the creative consumer and they truly embody the concept of affordable luxury.
Club Monaco also does something you won't see at any other fashion retailer–they offer 20% discount to college students. You just need to show your ID.
H&M is a Swedish-based company with the goal to provide good fashion and quality at the best price. Similar to Uniqlo (see below), H&M does an excellent job at keeping tabs on the market trends and runway looks, and new concepts are planned almost a year in advance.
The men’s collections include everything from tailored and modern to basics, leisurewear, and seasonal fashions. Plus, they also produce matching accessories, underwear, and shoes.
H&M clothes cannot be purchased online, but they do have 2,200 stores in 40 markets–you’re bound to find them in most big cities.
Jack Threads is a members-only shopping club that posts new sales around noon each day; it's very similar to Gilt, but they focus on a totally different customer. At Jack Threads, you're only going to find contemporary fashions like street, skate, and surf wear.
For the hip and cool kids, it's the perfect place to find top-tier but deeply discounted fashions.
Saks Off Fifth
Saks Off 5th is a clearinghouse for Saks Fifth Avenue stores. Here you will find some pretty incredible deals and mark-downs. Saks has developed the Off 5th brand into its own store concept so while it does have markdowns, it also carries merchandise for its house brand.
Some of the best deals you'll find at Off 5th are with the private label Saks brand products, especially the men's dress shirts. This is my go-to store for dress shirts; the cotton is fine, soft, and available at an incredible value.
I think Saks Off 5th is a great place for the budding young professional to find stellar business attire.
A counterpart to the famous TOPSHOP brand, TOPMAN is a leading men’s fashion retailer in the UK with a number of retail stores, but also online (with international shipping). TOPMAN is leading the revolution in men’s fashion on the British High Street with their in-house designed fashions and styles.
Uniqlo is Japan’s leading clothing retailer of casual wear and operates over 800 retail stores across the globe. Its clothing designs are produced up to a year in advance by an in-house team that continuously monitors the latest fashion trends and styles.
Like H&M, you cannot purchase clothes from Uniqlo online at this time. Their only store in the USA is in New York City.
Vinyard Vines, inspired by life on Martha's Vineyard, is a colorful, preppy fashion brand with a full assortment of clothing that exudes personality.
This brand reminds me a little of Ralph Lauren Polo without the jockey and the conspicuous RL monogram: Vineyard Vines is more playful but still dressy and stylish.
YesStyle is the first online retailer to globally distribute a huge selection of men’s clothes from Asia. They offer customers the latest trends along with thousands of fashion items from designers across Asia. For men seeking the most progressive styles in men’s fashion, you need not look any further than YesStyle–it’s a treasure trove of some of the most exotic and sensational clothes you’ll ever find.
Yoox is one of the leading multi-brand fashion and design retailers online. Of all the retailers I’ve reviewed, Yoox probably has one of the largest selections of hard-to-find pieces from some of the most prestigious designers. You could easily spend hours surfing through the inventory on their website (and they have an amazing iPad app as well).
Zappos is widely known as a discounted retailer of name brand shoes, but they also carry a wide selection of designer clothing and accessories.
In fact, there are designers on Zappos that I don’t see carried anywhere else online at a discount (e.g. Alexander McQueen). What makes Zappos so special is their customer service and returns policy–it's truly a hassle-free experience.
Zara is a Spain-based fashion retailer that operates hundreds of stores in over 70 countries. Unlike H&M and Uniqlo that both traditionally need 6 months to a year to introduce new fashions into their stores, Zara is able to do this in about two weeks. In other words, Zara is able to respond to the latest trends more quickly than its competitors, providing you an opportunity to seize the latest and greatest fashions for your wardrobe.