How to Save Money on Clothes (For Men)

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A lot of guys spend a lot of money on clothes, but you don’t really need to if you know what you are doing. Men’s fashion doesn’t change every year and you can dress well without breaking the bank.

1. Be fit and below 15% body fat.

Everything looks good on you when you are fit. Even cheap clothes. If you are fat, even well made high end clothes end up looking terrible.

Lose the kilos and get below 15% body fat. Anything you wear will look great on you.

The guy on the left won’t look good even in expensive clothes. The guy on the right will look good to great in most outfits. Image source: Reddit
Same stuff. Having lower body fat makes pretty much any style of clothing look good on you. Image source: Reddit

2. Buy during the big sales.

A lot of guys buy clothes all year round. This is a waste of money because men’s fashion doesn’t change that much. What was “in fashion” 5 years ago is still in fashion today.

Buy during the big 50% off sales that happen twice a year. New year’s time is a good time to buy lots of clothes. You can buy from all the big brands at half price and sometimes even less than that.

It makes no sense to pay full price for things like underwear and socks. Just buy lots of them during these big sales and they’ll last you until the next discount season.

3. Buy the good stuff in bulk.

If you find something that fits you well and looks very good on you – buy multiple in different colors. It helps to have some cash handy.

I have big quads and arms and a small waist because I’m not a fatso and I lift weights – which means it’s very hard for me to find decently fitting jeans and t-shirts. Everything is loose around the waist and tight around my quads and biceps.

I found a brand (Rookies) that has some cargo pants that fit just right. I bought 3 pairs and I still use them. Good decision.

For shirts and t-shirts – I typically have to get them adjusted by a tailor. Haven’t found a better solution so far. By the way, most shops will get your clothes adjusted by their tailor for free if you ask them to.

4. Be on the big brand WhatsApp and mailing lists.

Earlier I would always give fake phone numbers while checking out, but now I give them an alternate number I use only for marketing stuff.

You get to collect reward points and occasionally they send you coupons and discount codes. For products you were going to buy anyway (like socks, plain tshirts, and underwear), this is the equivalent of free money.

5. Buy timeless clothes.

Buy timeless designs that will still look good 10 years from now. This means plain well fitting shirts, tshirts, and jeans.

You don’t want to buy “funky” clothes that go out of style fast. Avoid clothes with lots of cartoony prints because they don’t last long and get damaged with every wash.

6. Buy online.

Go to the mall, try on and pick the clothes you like, find the right size for you – and then order them online from the same brand. You get the exact same stuff, a more convenient return policy, and you typically also get a nice discount on your purchase.

You can often find the exact same model and product on the brand’s website for half the price you find it in stores and malls.

The brand doesn’t need to pay overheads like rent and salesman salaries for online sales, and often it passes on some of the cost benefits to you.

7. Avoid expensive brands.

You’re a man. No one cares that you’re wearing expensive brands – NO ONE. Look for clothes that are made from high quality fabric and will last a while.

8. Know when to splurge (Buy REAL Leather).

Sometimes it costs more money when you try to save money. Buying fake leather instead of real leather is one of those cases.

REAL leather is better than faux “vegan” leather. Real leather lasts decades and decades. The fake stuff lasts 2 years maximum.

You can safely wash real leather. Fake artificial leather starts leaking particles (plastics and other non-biodegradable stuff) every time it’s washed which ironically makes it far worse for the environment than real leather.

You are not saving anything by buying faux leather – neither money nor the environment.

Spend money on real leather products (boots, belts, bags, jackets, etc.) and they will last you generations. They last so long that your children’s children will end up using them.

Faux leather jacket peeling off. The entire jacket will end up in the bin.
If this was real leather, it would easily last for 50 or even 100 more years. Now it’s unusable plastic scrap.

Sidenote: I’ve never understood the activist logic on leather. Instead of using the skin of animals that are killed anyway for food, you decided to buy a product that leaks microplastics that take generations to degrade into the environment. And somehow you feel you did the world a service.

Pretty much all leather is made from animals that are killed for meat. Very few places (China being an exception) raise animals solely for their hide because it’s just too expensive. Hide is typically less than 5-10% of the value of the meat of the animal.

For the over-religious people – faux leather is made from polyurethane (plastic) which is made from fossil fuels which is made from dead animals. Just because the animal died a long time ago doesn’t mean it’s not an animal. Stop being a hypocrite.

The exception to all of this is alligator and crocodile leather because those animals are raised for their hide and not their meat. If you want to be a nicer person, don’t buy that stuff.

9. Buy during off season times.

Buy summer clothes during the winter and winter clothes during the summer. Things like coats and wool jackets are much cheaper in the summer than in the winter.

The other advantage is that it motivates you to not gain weight because then your clothes won’t fit you when it’s time to wear them.

10. Buy used clothes.

These suits would cost much more than 5 Euros if bought new.

I never give you advice I myself wouldn’t follow, but this one is an exception. I grew up in a culture where getting used anything is considered icky/social no-go – so personally I’ve never bought used stuff myself.

That being said, it’s significantly cheaper to buy stuff used. Leather jackets and products from high end brands that retail for $400 can be found for $50 if you get them from used clothes places.

If you’re a western man, you don’t have that cultural bias against used products. It’s a pretty useful strategy for you to save a lot of bucks on things like high quality coats and the like.

– Harsh Strongman

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