1. First thing’s first: Men’s clothes are usually made better than women’s clothes.
Why? Affordable clothing brands usually have an allotted amount of money to spend on menswear and womenswear. Menswear will usually involve fewer clothing templates (or patterns) because they offer fewer style options. For womenswear, however, manufacturers use TONS of templates (for crop tops, boat necks, oversize tees, blouses, tank tops — and we’re only talking about shirts here!). Since the templates can get expensive, there may be less money left over in the budget to invest in materials.
2. Exhibit A: Boyfriend jeans versus your boyfriend’s actual jeans.
Your boyfriend is paying less — so why shouldn’t you? “If you get a smaller size in a skinny fit, men’s jeans can feel more comfortable and even cost less than boyfriend styles,” says Sara Qaddoura, curator of e-commerce at London-based fashion startup Not Just A Label. Plus, menswear offers a whole new range of sizes for your fine bod.
Cool? Cool. So here’s how to beat the system and buy up the men’s department…
3. Looking for a new sweater? Buy it in men’s.
“Chunky menswear knits tend to be cheaper than those found in the women’s department,” says Qaddoura. “And sometimes they’re even made from better material.”
4. Button-up for one? Get it in men’s.
Men’s shirts have more structure, which can give you a cool, boxy look, according to Sonny Oram, founder of Boston-based style blog Qwear. Button them up to the top or throw one on over a dress (the length can work in your favor). Roll up the sleeves and you’ve got this!
5. Baggy sweatpants or low-slung jeans, perhaps? Men’s all the way.
“I look for pants that hang on the hip and get them hemmed,” says Qwear fashion director Shiona Heru.
7. Dying for a comfy tee? Shop in men’s.
Wear a white men’s tee with jeans or buy one a few sizes bigger to wear as a shirt dress, according to Qaddoura.
8. Oversize jacket, ya? Totes in the men’s department.
The world of oversize is your oyster in the men’s department. Jackets, blazers, sweaters, sweatpants: All of it can look cool and comfy.
9. Thick socks? Calling to you from menswear.
If you have a larger shoe size, this benefit is yours to reap. Thick, chunky knit socks are common fare in the men’s department — and they look cute with winter outfits like underwear and tea-stained robes.
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