While many blogs on men’s style recommend investing in high-quality staples, many (if not most) young men these days simply don’t have the budget to buy expensive designer clothing (or at least I didn’t).
Luckily, there are now several stores offering good-quality men’s clothing at reasonable prices allowing you to look like a million bucks on a relatively modest budget.
One such store is the giant Japanese retailer, Uniqlo.
I have been a fan of Uniqlo for a few years and I have got to give them credit. They have some great quality pieces at a reasonable price covering everything from gym wear to more formal clothes.
Having been a long-term customer, I have tried much of their line which doesn’t change a lot. Some are only okay but other pieces are great and an absolute bargain.
Today, I’ll give you 9 budget-friendly items that I think every man should pick up at Uniqlo.
01 Super Non-Iron Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Shirt (Button Down Collar)
Every man needs a crisp white shirt for occasions that require you to be a little more polished. In my experience, there is little better than Uniqlo’s super non-iron button-down.
It comes in at around $40 USD and punches well above its weight.
The thicker cotton feels luxurious well above its price point and the fit for me at least is fantastic! I am a little over 6 foot 1′, weigh in just under 190 pounds, and a large works well for me.
The collar is taller than most shirts giving it an air of welcome formality. Because it’s a button-down, it can be worn with or without a tie.
I have two in white and one in light blue and couldn’t be more pleased. That said, the ‘non-iron’ label is a bit of an overstatement; while the dress shirt doesn’t crease as much as some others I have owned, you will need to iron it.
Aside from that, if you are in need of a shirt or two to look more polished, this one is most certainly worth a try.
02 Uniqlo Kando Pants
I’ve already done a more detailed review on these pants so I won’t go into too much detail here.
What I will say, however, is that if you want a smart-looking lightweight pair of pants great for travel and hot summer days, you should consider Kando pants.
I have a few pairs and really have few complaints. As well as looking great, they are very comfortable, durable, and easy to care for.
If these sound like what you need, you should check out our full review here.
03 Uniqlo Slim-Fit Chino Pants
It’s hard to go wrong with a great-fitting pair of chinos. They really are a staple of any stylish man’s wardrobe and Uniqlo has its chino game down.
These 100% cotton chinos are just the right thickness. The slim it follows the contours of most young men’s bodies without being skinny.
I have two pairs of these pants; one in classic khaki and another pair in navy.
While both look great new, I have found that the khaki ones seem to have held up much better over time in terms of color retention.
Now, I live in southern Vietnam where temperatures are high all year round so sun damage is certainly a thing. The navy ones did fade a little.
Because of this, I would recommend getting a lighter color like Khaki if you live in a warmer climate.
We’ve done a full review on these which you can find here.
04 Uniqlo Dry-Ex Polo
Uniqlo’s activewear is another line that really punches above its weight and their dry ex polo is no exception.
I have one in light gray and love it. Because of its lack of branding, it can be worn in a smart casual setting as well as to the gym or out on a run.
The polo is made from breathable polyester and has micro holes making it very comfortable in hot weather. As an added benefit, even the light gray version doesn’t show sweat easily.
Yes, I know polyester is not known for being breathable and tends to look cheap but it simply isn’t the case with this polo or dare I say any of the Uniqlo activewear range. The material is truly one of the retailer’s strong points. You can find out more about the pros and cons of this material in our full article here.
05 Uniqlo Dry Pique Polo
If you are looking for a more classic polo, the dry pique polo offered by Uniqlo is also great.
Made from 100% pique cotton, it doesn’t get more traditional than this. There are no bells and whistles to this one; it’s a classic polo.
However, coming in at around $30 USD, they are great value. They also come in so many colors making it easy to match whatever outfit you dream up.
I have one in white, and one in navy and have found them to be very durable and versatile.
06 Uniqlo Dry-Ex Shorts
Looking for a new pair of workout shorts or simply a good-quality, comfortable pair of shorts for lazing around at home? The Uniqlo active shorts might be worth considering.
The shorts feel great, are a good length (just above the knee) have a very handy zipped pocket for security.
Like the active polo shirt mentioned previously, the shorts also don’t feature any branding, which is a big plus for me. I don’t want to be a walking billboard and you shouldn’t either!
I’m not the only one to recommend these shorts, Hiconsumption featured them in their 10 Favorite Sportswear Essentials from UNIQLO.
07 Uniqlo Airism Boxer Briefs
I’m not going to talk too much about a pair of boxer briefs as comfort here is certainly subjective.
What I will say is, if you want lightweight, silk-like underwear that still have enough support, these may be for you. things light when traveling as I do, they pack extremely small.
At $15 USD a pair, they are not the cheapest boxers you can buy but underwear is not something any considered man should cheap out on. These ones compete with much more expensive brands.
If these sound like something you might be interested in you should check out our full review here.
08 Uniqlo Airism Shirt
Tired of ironing and shirts being too hot. An Airism shirt may be what you need.
Made from that fantastic breathable and non-cheap-looking polyester, I already mentioned, these shirts are as low-care as they come.
If you hang it up to dry straight after washing, you will not need to iron it. And you can pack up it up in a suitcase without worrying about a lot of creasing.
Best of all, the material is very cool and doesn’t show sweat.
All this said, while perfect for business casual or smart casual (whatever those terms mean!), I would opt for the first shirt on this list for truly formal events as it looks more polished.
I have two of these shirts striped in light blue. Other than being slightly too casual for the most formal events, I can’t fault these shirts.
09 Uniqlo Airism Tee-Shirt
Another super-light item in the Uniqlo, these tees were designed as an undershirt but can work great as a casual tee when traveling, hanging out at the weekend or working out.
Once again made from super light polyester, you will forget you are wearing this tee. Or at least I often do.
I have one in dark blue and wear it when working out and when traveling. It packs super small.
A few words of warning on these tees, however. They are very thin which means they fit close. If you are carrying any extra weight, this tee may not be for you. If you have a hairy chest(like I do), this will be visible if someone is looking closely.
Also, I presume because the tee was designed as an undershirt, it fits small and long. I would recommend sizing up. At 6 foot 1″ and just short of 190 pounds, I wear an XL.
Want a second opinion? Check out this review by the guys at Packhacker.
…that’s it for today fellas. I hope this post has helped you to find some better value in improving your wardrobe.
Do you have some of these items or have we missed some items that should be included in this list? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!