Looking Sharp Without Breaking The Bank

It’s a popular misconception that dressing your best has to cost a pile of money.

In this post I want to help bust that myth by sharing with you an outfit that I put together for under $60AUD in total. You absolutely can dress to impress on a budget.

The Outfit At A Glance:

Items and Cost Breakdown:

Hugo Boss grey flannel suit, super 130s wool (thrifted). Cost: $25

Charles Tyrwhitt striped twill shirt, acquired on discount. Cost: $15

OTAA pocket square, acquired on sale. Cost: $7

Unknown vintage silk tie, thrifted. Cost: $2

Navy leather loafers, thrifted. Cost: $10

The socks were a Christmas gift from years ago.

Total cost: $59AUD

Pairing It Together

Charcoal grey is an extremely versatile colour. It gives you a wealth of options to use in shirting and ties, and as a base colour is an excellent choice for all body types and all ages.

Given the lapel size of this suit, I opted for a slimmer tie than what I usually wear. I’d been wanting to wear this brown dotted one so the first choice I made after picking out the suit was the tie.

I wanted to wear this white and blue striped shirt for some contrast. However the shirt and tie by themselves didn’t really harmonise all that well because of the differing patterns in differing sizes.

This is where the pocket square choice came in. The brown edge gives a nod to the colour of the tie, with the white harmonising to the base colour of the shirt and the secondary colour of the tie. The presence of the brown edging creates a line pattern effect which gives the shirt’s stripes a companion in the outfit.

With all three elements in play, the outfit looks a tad more put together.

Related reading: How To Put Together A Great Tie And Pocket Square Combo

Choice of Shoes

Navy leather shoes would be considered an odd choice by some, who would advocate for the choice of a dark brown as the ideal shoe to go with this outfit.

While it’s true that dark brown shoes are probably the most versatile choice – and given the brown accessories already present in this outfit – there is one little detail on this particular suit that encourages the choice of a navy shoe: the buttonholes are a navy blue contrast stitch.

This gives a great opportunity for a navy shoe to harmonise with the subtle details. My particular pair of navy loafers also happens to sport some brown detailing, which picks up on the rest of the accessories and helps to complete the look.

A dark brown sock was always going to be a natural winner in this case.

There you have it!

An outfit suitable for wearing to a wedding, job interview or any old occasion where you feel like suiting up.

All for the price of a cheap restaurant dinner for two.

Sure, it might take some time spent in thrift shops and the like. Sometimes you have to put in the time for your moment to shine.

We can all do it!

That’s all for today!

What’s the best outfit you’ve ever put together on a budget?

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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