It’s time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and equip yourself to take on the world as a single man. You’re on the cusp of a new chapter; you’ve been through a grinder of raw emotion and disillusion with your divorce and you survived, maybe even stronger and wiser for the wear. As a newly divorced man, your finances may not be where you want them yet, but don’t let that stop you from some retail confidence building. Here are six ways to pump up your wardrobe on a tight budget.
Know where to splurge and where to cheat. Shoes set off an outfit and they are literally the first step in dressing well. Cheap shoes will bring your entire outfit down, and will wear out quickly, leaving you back at square one. A nice pair of shoes is an investment, so you might need to save up, but it’s not really negotiable. The upside is that a quality pair of classic dress shoes will keep you looking good for years with only a little bit of shine and an occasional cleaning needed.
Cheat by passing up trends. Stick to fashion staples that don’t come and go every season. If there’s a certain fad that looks so hot on you that you have to have it, then try to get it on sale or online, but in general, if you stick to the classics you will always look well-dressed. The money you would spend chasing temporary fads you can save for a high quality piece, like a pair of slacks or a tailored blazer that will never go out of fashion.
Buy a pair of dark, well-fitting jeans. Not ripped, not relaxed style, and please, no acid wash (Did I even have to say it?). A fitted, dark pair of denim can go from day to night, casual to dressy, by changing your shirt and shoes. Wear with sneakers and a stylish tee or polo for a BBQ, turn it up a notch with dress shoes and a button up shirt for a night out, and add a blazer and you’ve taken it to business casual. Think you have to drop major dough to grab a nice pair? Think again. Here are the best jeans under $100: start there.
Hunt for bargains at Thrift Stores. If shopping is not your idea of a good time, this may sound like a dentist visit followed by helping a friend move—the worst day ever. But if you get your head in the game, it won’t be that bad and you will be rewarded with the smug satisfaction you get from pulling a suave suit off a rack, checking the tag, and seeing you are only paying a quarter of the price. The gems are sometimes buried in pile of polyester and tweed, so you may need to hit up a couple stores and don’t be afraid to dive in once you get there! But like a SCUBA pro hunting for pearls, you will find them if you go deep. *Insider tip: It is usually worth the trip to travel to thrift stores in affluent areas (you might find a designer steal with the tag still on!) and smaller cities (where there are less shoppers so the store is not picked dry by the time you show up to nab a few deals).
Shop these retailers for the best deals on designer quality duds:
- In-Store: Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, H & M, Gap, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross, and Banana Republic.
- Online: Indochino, Boden, Land’s End, Uniqlo and Zappos.
Depending on what you are looking for, from workout gear to casual wear or business attire, you can score some major bargains at these stores. Be on the look-out for sales and sign up to receive emails with coupons and a heads up about upcoming promotions.
Take good care of your wardrobe. An easy way to save money on new gear is to not have to continually replace what you already own. Suits, jackets, slacks, and overcoats should be brushed regularly with a clothes brush. When your apparel is wrinkled, steam them either in a bathroom or even better with a steamer. Hang your overcoats and jackets on wide hangers; covered are best. Stay aware from wire hangers. Wash your clothes on the gentlest cycle you need to get them clean. Don’t dry them for longer, or at higher heat, than needed to get them dry or wash them in hotter water than necessary. Use a gentle detergent like Woolite for more delicate clothing.
Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Don’t throw money away on something that doesn’t fit right or will fall apart in a year. Save that cash toward buying one high quality suit. Less can be more. It’s better to have one great suit that makes you look like you just stepped out the pages of GQ Magazine then three ill-fitting suits that make you look like you’re going door to door selling vacuums. Make your limited dollars work smarter by buying quality items that will last.
Going shopping for a few key pieces that will transform your wardrobe can be a winning strategy to getting into a positive mental space about the new opportunities and adventures coming your way. Life is not going to be the same, but that’s ok. It has the possibility to be exciting and intensely satisfying. Want a great start? Look the part.
- You should review and change your will when you go through major life transformations, and divorce is one of the most disruptive life transitions. By updating your will you are avoiding future problems with loved ones over your estate and ensuring your wishes are carried out exactly as you intended.…