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Frugal Male Fashion: Style Tips for The Frugal Man

By Elizabeth Perkins

What is frugal male fashion?

The modern man wants to look good, but that doesn't have to mean spending a fortune on clothing and accessories. It’s all about frugality!

What does it mean to be “frugal” when it comes to male fashion? Buying the cheapest clothing and accessories you can find, usually made in countries with cheap labor and sold by online giants? Only shopping when there’s a sale on or a discount code to be used?

Quite the contrary! Did you know that according to the Merriam Webster English Dictionary the word “frugal” actually comes from the Latin frui, meaning “to enjoy”. In fact, being frugal when it comes to fashion means shopping intelligently, not cheaply. It means spending the right amount – not too much, but not too little either – according to the product’s actual worth. And it means purchasing items that you’ll be able to wear for years, so that the value of your investment is spread out over time.

So what should you be looking for? Three words: price, timelessness, and quality. 

Red silk ascot from Italy
Elizabetta silk fashion accessories for men made in Italy

Price - Spending more on a quality accessory will save you money in the long run.

Fashion accessories, ties, pocket squares, bow ties and scarves have the power to change the look of any outfit. The same shirt and jacket will look new and different every time you change your accessories.

No matter how inexpensive something is, if it doesn't last, it won’t have been a good investment in the long run. You might think something is a bargain, but if three months later it’s worn out, discolored or unraveled, then it ends up in the trash. Bad for your budget, and bad for the environment. The same is true if you try to keep up with the latest style off the runway in New York. A few months later, your expensive new outfit will either end up buried in your closet or else you’ll end up looking like a character out of Happy Days. Not on your to-do list? That’s what we thought.

What about the brands that offer 80% off sales? That means that either they're taking a loss to get rid of excess merchandise (possible) or you're paying way too much the rest of the year (more likely). Sticking to brands that don't often offer big discounts means that their original pricing is probably fair.

Men's handmade Italian silk ties
Elizabetta silk fashion accessories for men

Timelessness - Getting a timeless look on a budget.

Men have been wearing suits, dress shirts, classic ties, and pocket squares for centuries. If you start to build up your wardrobe by investing in only the best quality, and you opt for classic cuts and colors that can’t possibly go out of style, you’re setting yourself up to be able to wear that piece of clothing or that accessory for decades. That’s right, decades.

How do you pick an accessory that won't go out of style? Keep it classic! 

It's the ultimate weapon in frugal male fashion.

Men have been wearing blue, brown, gray, and black forever, and that's not going to change anytime soon. These colors are the perfect neutral backdrop of an outfit that you can jazz up and change the look of by adding accessories in complementary (whether bold or subtle) colors and patterns. This way, the same suit will look like a different one every time you change the accessories.

Accessories can showcase your personal style, while keeping the more expensive pieces classic.

For example, a man's tie is how he can show off his good taste, his style and his attention to detail.

It’s a trick many men who have to travel a lot use: keep your luggage light by bringing one suit, but several different ties, pocket squares, scarves, etc. The same principle applies to the bag you use to travel, of course. Opting for a high-quality, neutral-colored briefcase and overnight bag means you can use the same ones for all your trips, business and leisure.

Did you know a high-quality accessory can make even a casual outfit look more interesting, setting you apart? There’s no reason why that white t-shirt and those jeans you wear every day have to be boring! Try wearing a silk neckerchief with your favorite tee or shirt, it will give your look a rakish edge. See our guide to how to wear a neckerchief for men. Or what about adding a pocket square to your favorite leather or jean jacket? It will add a splash of color and make the jacket look like a different jacket with every different pocket square. Now how’s that for frugal, yet classy?

Men's Italian silk neck scarf
Elizabetta silk fashion accessories for men

Quality - Quality matters when it comes to long-wearing timeless accessories.

Finally, let’s talk about quality.

Quality is essential to the frugal male fashion style because the accessory you just bought with that hard-earned money, if properly cared for, will last a very long time, thus you'll spend less money in the long haul by having a few, high quality items than buying many lesser quality accessories.

Our Italian ties are handmade in Como, Italy from the highest quality fabrics using age-old techniques to ensure that if properly cared for, your tie will last for many years, looking great, not frayed, pilled and curled like less well made ties do.

We recommend that every gentleman have at least one grenadine tie in his wardrobe, as it is truly classic and iconic. You can learn all about grenadine ties here. We suggest a solid navy grenadine tie as a wardrobe essential.

Do the luxury brands produce high-quality accessories?

In general, yes. But are they worth the price? Did you know markups on some luxury brands can be 100% or more? So yes, in part you’re paying for quality, but most of that price tag is for the brand’s name and extraordinary marketing costs. Furthermore, did you know that all of our men's luxury accessories are made in the exact same factoriesas several of the luxury brands? 

Elizabetta silk fashion accessories for men

So just what does it mean to be a frugal man when it comes to fashion?

It means making choices when it comes to your wardrobe while always keeping price, timelessness, and quality in mind. It means choosing clothing and accessories that are well made, honestly priced, and that won’t go out of style.

And don’t forget the Latin: most importantly, it means enjoying your purchase! Happy shopping to all you stylish, frugal men out there!

Men's Italian scarves
Red Italian silk neck scarf