One of the most frustrating things as an gent trying to up your style game (and a topic we return to frequently here on Wide Eyes, Tight Wallets), is seeing high end clothing, knowing what makes those garments so superior, and not being able to afford any of them. After you know what you're looking for, it's really hard to settle for anything less!
One trick that I've learned is to keep an eye out for collaborations between high-end menswear designers and low-budget retailers. This happens a lot more than you'd think, and you can get some great-looking clothing for a price that won't leave you penniless. Target often offers limited releases of collaborations, Gap works with GQ featured designers, even JCP, during it's short stint under the direction of Nick Wooster was offering some Wooster-endorsed duds to the masses. Be aware that, even if you are getting the stylish look, these clothes are still cheaper for a reason and will probably not be holding up for decades, but hey, that's what cheap clothes are all about! I especially love these kinds of finds as a way to experiment without investing my savings on new looks that I might not end up loving.
Most recently, and I think I may have mentioned this before, I was clued into the Michael Bastian collab currently running at Uniqlo, featuring some stylish-as-hell polo shirts. At a mere $20 price-point, there are enough styles and colors to make anyone happy, and with Michael Bastian's name attached (and honestly, Uniqlo's good rep as well), you can be pretty sure you won't be disappointed. I just ordered this guy over the weekend:
I can't wait for it to arrive, especially as the temps are rising here in Chicago and I'm going to be needing some more short-sleeve options soon, for sure. It should arrive later this week, and I'll update you folks on how it turns out (along with my other Uniqlo purchases) in the near future.