Monday, June 6, 2011

Badass On a Budget

You're a 30-something (or any-something) guy. You have to deal with $70 tanks of gas, $200 grocery bills (but...I only bought vegetables and apple juice! o_O), rising energy bills, daycare and, yes, dating.
How the hell are you supposed to squeeze decent fashion and upgrades into that mess?

Yeah, I know. Clothes and shoes are brutally expensive. So is grooming. But here are a few tips that can get you badass on a budget (note: I'm talking about a well-groomed professional male here. If your look is trailer or gangsta, you're on your own).

One of the best tips I have for presenting a polished look is to make sure your footwear is up to scratch. But good shoes are expensive, right?

Not really. I recently picked up a pair of really comfortable Steve Maddens at Winners for $70. That's less than half price. They also had Bostonians and Sketchers in the same price range.

You can also find killer prices on Just make sure you verify your sizing at a store.
The thing about men's shoes is the styles don't change drastically from season to season. Don't be scared of liquidation or overstock stores!

Like shoes, clothes--especially shirts--don't update very fast, so bargain shopping overstocks and clearances can save you a fortune.

First, does have a great selection. But don't limit your creativity! Find independent retailers in your area. Aside from the fact that you get WAY better personalized assistance to find clothes that really complement your style and frame, they're far more likely to make a deal.

Try, "hmm...I can't decide on which shirt I like. Tell you what: I'll take both if you give me half off a pair of pants." You'd be surprised how often they'll work with you. These places thrive on repeat business and referrals.

Plan for next year too. Major retailers clear out their stock at the end of every season. Take advantage of this and stock up this fall on this summer's clearance items. You'll get summer gear for next season as much as 70% off retail.

Gear & Grooming
Accessories can run up your bills pretty quickly. But if you're smart about it you can find great deals at Overstock. If you have a favourite brand, try hitting the clearance section on their website. And don't forget to make a deal at the clothing store; if you buy a couple of shirts, why not get a tie clip thrown in?

Some grooming and personal products can be pricey too. But I found a professional-strength tooth whitening kit on Overstock for thirty bucks!

Body wash, hair products, shaving cream and deodorant are essentials. Here again bargain stores can save a fortune.

For example, a jar of Axe hair goop costs $9.95 at Shoppers Drug Mart. But at Liquidation World, it's only $3.95. Six bucks!

It's the same product. These stores buy liquidated stock from stores and locations that are going out of business. For these items, always check a liquidation store first. Why pay more?

Nobody needs to know where you bought it! (and who cares if they do?)

The only thing I suggest you pay full price for is a haircut. Don't skimp on this one, or you could end up living with a disaster for weeks.

Getting a well-organized, badass look doesn't have to break the bank if you just put in the time to hunt and/or make deals. Like everything else, if you approach with sound strategy, confidence and a little know-how you can look like a million bucks without breaking the bank.


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