1. Buy shoes to last, upgrade with custom support, and make them shine
We have all worked with someone with habitually scuffed leather shoes. It looks like you just don’t care about your professional life, or an oblivious fool. I know I sound like I am being harsh, but caring for what you own is one of the foundations of looking good with little to no money. If you purchase shoes with a track record of lasting at least 2 years, keep them comfortable by buying period sole support, and keeping the leather oiled and polished.
I have worked in healthcare most of my life, so I spent a lot of time walking on hard surfaces. I like buying basic brown or black Dansko’s and wearing them for years. If strapped for cash and support in your shoes starts to wear down, travel to Walmart and use a Dr. Scholls customizer. The machine makes a custom measurement of the correct support for your weight distribution, and tells you what to buy. The process is very easy and will add years to your work shoes. I have had my pair for over 4 years now and they are still comfortable, and look great with occasional oil sponge and brown shoe polish.
2. Add splashes of color to your go to outfits
If you have looked over this website you will know that I like different splashes of color. Adding different splashes of color to your basic getups can turn the most basic outfit can make your wardrobe seem bigger. Try a colorful tie in with an plain charcoal suit, adding different colorful schemes with hints of basic standby colors (like white, black, or brown) mixed with your conservative dress pants or shirts. I like using different colorful silk handkerchiefs along with the suits that you already own. Color can come from any accessory to revitalize your look. I’m sure you saw this coming, but how about a tasteful and colorful watch along with your conservative look?
3. Use a local tailor
Growing up this was one of my mom’s favorite tips. If your body changes somewhat in size, or grow a little too much in certain areas, don’t give up on your clothes-get them altered. You would be surprised to know how cost effective it is when instead of tossing your older clothes, actually visiting a local tailor and having them adjusted.
This article from themodestman.com explains precisely what this profession can and cannot accomplish, and how much it will cost you. The reasons to visit a tailor go beyond saving cash, but also reunite you with the clothing that you used to love in the back of your closet.
Here are a few things a quick Google search for “local tailors” can bring:
4. Create your own uniform
I’ve worked in healthcare for a portion of my life and this is a physician trick. Take a basic look that you are comfortable with, and replicate. When replicating this exact or similar look hit a sale, stock up, and save big. Uniforms can be built through many common stores (not clothing related) you might not think of.
How this technique works for you is this physician liked his professional look to be a white dress shirt and black pants. Simple, am I right? This is all he wore to work, and that is what his closet was stocked with. At first I thought this seemed a little strange, but he has a valid time and money saving idea. Your own created uniform could qualify for a portion of your week or all of it, and can also save you critical time in the morning. You wouldn’t have to put as much time into worrying about either what you should wear, or if all of the different pieces of work attire were clean.
5. Use simple man accessories
As a whole, men shy away from accessories. I feel like I saw much more of that when I was younger, but as an adult working man, not so much. It doesn’t have to be this way, because in our digital world we can find the most unique man accessories imaginable. Buzzfeed.com has a great spread showcasing some of the best. I liked the unique geometric necklaces, rings made out of bent nails, and even a railroad spike bent into a bracelet. You just can’t get any manlier than wearing a railroad spike.