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Clothes make the man.

April 27, 2010

I think we can all agree that are definitely fewer options for men when it comes to clothes. Not only are there fewer styles of clothing (no dresses or skirts, plus fewer styles of jeans and shirts), there are also fewer stores dedicated just to men. And the ones that are tend to be pricier.

The old standbys for us women (think Forever 21, H&M) generally offer men’s clothing as well. But men, even if you are comfortable shopping for clothes at Forever 21, it can be kind of a pain. (For one thing, have you ever been inside a Forever 21? Let’s just say “organized chaos” is the kindest description I can think of. Don’t get me wrong, I love hunting for $18 dresses, but you really have to be in the mood to sort through the polyester-filled racks.)

With that said, I also think it’s time to get past the biases and check out what Target has to offer, at least for basic T-shirts.

However, I took a few minutes today to check out some online offerings at a few different stores. I don’t claim to be an expert, so men, please chime in with some of your favorite retailers.

Cheap basics: Forever 21

When it comes to cheap (and soft!) T-shirts, F21 takes the cake. Seriously. These shirts are like $15.

A slight step up: Gap

Its button-up shirts and jeans are classic. The Gap has really made an effort in recent years to reinvent itself, and personally, I think it’s working. I live in my dark skinny jeans. The Gap has always been a great place for staple shirts, as well as nice pieces like blazers and sweaters.

Designer pieces at a steal: Gilt Group

OK, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never bought anything from Gilt Group, but I’m picky about splurging. However, that aside, the deals at Gilt are fantastic. (Need a membership? Click here.) Each day, Gilt features different designers and the prices are completely outrageous — in a good way. Men, if you’re looking to splurge on designer pieces but don’t want to pay full price, here’s where to look.

My personal favorite: Express

I don’t shop at Express too often myself because I’m (admittedly) cheap and a lot of its pieces cost more than I’m willing to spend. (But for special occasions, I’m all over it.) However. I think, in general, men own fewer articles of clothing, thus, I think it makes sense that they can perhaps spend a little bit more on individual pieces. (However, I did discover that Express offers some items at buy one, get one 50 percent off. Score.) I love everything about the men’s line for Express. It’s moderately priced and manages to be both fashionable and timeless all at once.

Again, feel free to fill me in on some of your favorite retailers (if you have any).

Men, getting dressed in the morning doesn’t have to be an event. If you own a few key pieces and know not to wear brown socks with your black shoes, you should be OK. It’s better to be continuously timeless than tirelessly trendy.

(Also? Don’t be afraid to try a fedora or flat cap. Stylin’!)

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Katy permalink*
    April 27, 2010 10:47 pm

    I would dress my boyfriend strictly in Express shirts if I had my way. They are great quality with a great color selection and great fits. I, like Shannon, own perhaps nothing from Express, but I actually think Express does better men’s clothes than women’s.

    Two other sites that are similar to Gilt Group are Haute Look and Editor’s Closet. They have great deals on lots of men’s (and of course, women’s) fashion.

    • April 28, 2010 9:41 am

      Thanks for those other recs – I’ve actually never heard of Haute Look or Editor’s Closet. Can’t wait to check them out.

      And yes, Express for Men … SWOON. So classy.

  2. Laura permalink
    April 28, 2010 1:17 am

    So, I have another suggestion, and, like Target, I think people don’t give it enough credit: J.C. Penney. My mom always had some bias against this store, so I grew up thinking it was worthless, but Sam gets most of his casual shirts there. I’ve gone shopping with him a few times, and they actually have some good stuff (in the “basics” category, at least) for really cheap. I have generally NOT had good luck with them for myself, but there have been occasional finds (like the long cardigan I’m currently wearing that was on clearance for $9).

    I guess I just generally don’t have the patience for department stores, but it’s a possibility.

    • April 28, 2010 9:42 am

      Department stores are definitely good for basics – I thought about checking out Macy’s online but ended up ignoring it. Like The Gap, I think JC Penney has been making an effort to revamp its image by working with higher-end designers (for women’s clothing at least). I can’t say I’ve shopped there recently, but it’s definitely worth keeping it in mind.

      • Laura permalink
        April 28, 2010 7:44 pm

        Macy’s wound up being the source of pretty much all of Sam’s new “clinic clothes” when he finished in lab and headed back to the hospital. I kind of hated him that day, actually: 5 dress shirts and 3 pairs of pants (not super nice pants….you don’t buy super nice things when you work with body fluids, but still) for $200! They were having a killer sale that day. The shirts were actually pretty nice too. I particularly liked the Nautica ones he got. sooooooooooo soft and snuggly 🙂

  3. Glenard permalink
    April 29, 2010 1:22 am

    My regular “go to” store is probably the Gap, especially if I’m looking for more jeans. If I don’t find anything there the next stop is J.Crew. If I’m looking for something nicer then I’m headed to Banana Republic to see what’s on sale.

    Express never really crosses my mind because I’ve always thought of it as predominately women’s clothing. I took a few minutes to look at the selection on their site and nothing really stood and said “buy me!”. But maybe it’s just me.

    You all seem to love Target but I’m still skeptical. Next time I’m there I’ll give it a chance.

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I don’t know if I’ll have any more useful comments after men’s week is done!

    • April 29, 2010 9:19 am

      How did I forget about J. Crew and Banana? Blogging fail. Both are great stores for staples and I think it’s kind of hard to go wrong there. I know we all probably get a lot of junk e-mail, but it can be worth it to sign up for alerts to find out when these stores are having a sale or free shipping or something.

      Express’ men’s clothes are definitely for a nicer occasion, like if you’re a guest at a wedding or even if you work in a more formal office environment. And I guess I included Forever 21 because women of many ages shop there, so if you’re waiting on the woman in your life to try on 23947309473 cheap dresses, don’t be afraid to venture over to the men’s section.

      Again, I’m no expert on men’s clothes, so I really appreciate your comment!

  4. jeelm permalink
    June 25, 2010 1:05 am

    I’m completely in love with H&M since I’m cheap too and just love the clothes they sell. There are even fewer men clothing store in Canada and the prices are just outrageous. I can’t get a decent shirt for less than 25 $, here, except if I go at Wal-Mart… but would I ? When I visited H&M the last time, I bought a 15 $ classic light blue shirt and it’s so damn comfortable that I wore it for three days in a row during a rough week where I was letting myself go a little bit 😛

    • June 25, 2010 9:42 am

      I think H&M is a great option for men … I just couldn’t include their clothes because they don’t sell online. (Which I think is a total shame, by the way.) But every time I go in, I see plenty of men buying clothes. Whether or not they were dragged in there by a significant other, I don’t know, but either way, it’s a great place to pick up some classic basics.

      • jeelm permalink
        June 27, 2010 1:15 am

        Shame it is that they don’t sell online. Speaking of which, I dropped by one of the few that we got in my province, yesterday, and spent good money. Who could honestly resist 6 $ polos ?


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