Building a Summer Wardrobe on a Budget

Surfing online is free, but when it comes to dressing yourself- well, that’s “not-so-free.” And when it comes to good clothing, cheaper is definitely not   always better.

Considering that we’re currently in July, now’s as good a time as any to build a summer wardrobe. The challenge? You’re on a budget. Maybe you’re a broke college student, or simply someone who’s just getting back on their feet, or possibly even a passionately frugal fashionista; either way, you want to dress well and look good without breaking the bank.

Allow us to show you the way.

Acquiring Quality Shirts

When it comes to stretching your sartorial dollar, you’ll want shirts that are versatile. That’s why we recommend an Oxford Cloth Button Down (OCBD) shirt, which may just be the most versatile piece of clothing in the world. You can wear an OCBD in the following ways:

  • Untucked, with a pair of shorts and casual shoes – great for a day at the beach
  • Tucked, under a blazer in a tie-less suit – or simply add the tie and you can wear it into a job interview
  • Tucked, with a pair of Charleston khakis and a belt for a “business casual” look that’s great for get-togethers and going out

That alone covers some 90% of the social situations you’ll encounter. But what about other shirts? Well, if you must add on, there are always casual chambray/denim shirts, polo shirts, and even tees, but we think the OCBD is the perfect item for someone on a budget.

Wearing the Right Pants

Call us biased, but we think the best way to mix up a wardrobe is to wear a different shade of pants every so often. Yes, you can acquire a nice pair of denim jeans for yourself and wear those just about every day…but we already told you about the myriad of ways you can use an OCBD in your daily wear, so here’s where we’ll mix it up:

  • A light pair of flat front khakis will serve you well. You can dress them up with an OCBD and a navy blazer…or pair them with a polo shirt and dress casual for the golf course. The light color is perfect for summer, as well, particularly when you have job interviews and don’t want to sweat through your clothes.

  • A pair of flat front shorts is perfect for just about everything else, from everyday walking to casual parties.

The point in building a fashionable wardrobe is not to find the cheapest items, it’s to find the best and most versatile items. If you wear a $100 pair of shorts twice as often as you do a $50 pair of shorts, then the value could be considered about equal. The key to building a summer wardrobe is to know exactly what you’ll need to stay cool while simultaneously looking nice. And the key, as always: make sure the clothes fit properly. Berle offers sizing charts and measuring tips that ensures that you get the proper fit the first time, and avoids that disappointing feeling that sometimes comes with shopping online .

July 09, 2015 by Berle Editor
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