Fashion Friday (for the Frugal), Vol. 1

by Sue


I made a comment on Twitter about how I would be able to create an entire men’s outfit, tailor fitted, for $50-$75. I will hold to that promise in this new series, but to quote my ancestors*, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” So I thought it’d be best to educate people about clothing – their options and certain rules, so that they could be able to create the outfits on their own.

And thus begins Fashion Friday (for the Frugal). With these updates, I hope to bring awareness to dressing appropriately for certain occasions, for certain body types, etc. for both men and women. (Moreso for men because they obviously need more help….) From time to time, I will put together visual outfits under a budget modeled after a celebrity or a television or movie character, but more importantly, how to put together different outfits using a set number of items from essential things one should already have in their wardrobe, reiterating quality over quanity and the greatness that is layering. So without further ado, I present to you:

The Essential Men’s Wardrobe


  • 1 pair of “comfort” shoes. – This would include the likes of sandals/ flip flops, mocs, loafers.
  • 1 pair of trainers/ sneakers
  • 2 pairs leather dress shoes in brown and black.
  • 1 pair of boots


  • 2 pairs of chinos – black, navy, or khaki
  • 1 pair black or dark navy dress slacks
  • 1 pair khaki shorts (optional)
  • 1 pair dark wash denim – I’ve met a few men (mostly engineers) who refuse to wear denim, but I cannot, for the life of me, understand why (other than allergic reactions to the fabric). Dark wash denim will save you from crises and give you a lot of versatility in your wardrobe because you can dress it up or down. However, if you are one of those people who insist on not wearing denim, just replace it with dark coloured cords or another pair of chinos.


  • at least 5 fitted t-shirts, without graphics – preferably 3 in white, 2 in a dark colour.
  • 2 dress shirts – white & French blue
  • casual shirts – 2 loose fitting button downs & 2 slightly fitted polos


  • solid coloured sweater – v-neck, round neck. whatever.
  • blazer/ sportcoat – navy or grey
  • outerwear – peacoat/ NICE heavy outerwear, light car coat, and the optional luxury item – trench coat
  • cardigan, preferably navy, dark grey, or black – I am actually very serious about the cardigan. It’s basically your more casual and lighter version of a blazer.


  • BLACK SOCKS. BLACK SOCKS. BLACK SOCKS. unless you are going to the gym or wearing trainers – only then are you permitted to wear white socks. Otherwise… BLACK SOCKS.
  • solid colour tie
  • 2 nice belts – black and brown


  • dark navy or grey suit.
  • swim trunks/ athletic wear
  • boxers/ sleepwear

If you don’t have any of these items yet, do not fret! I will assist you in locating these items or alternatives that are probably more to your liking… unless what you’d like is not Sue-approved. Then, you’re just gonna be stuck with what I pick out. :) Just soak this in for now.. Until later this week…

* I don’t know. It’s a Chinese proverb. I wanted to be cute?