How To Build A Do-It-All Summer Outfit On A £200 Budget

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"If only I had more money..." is a lament we've all voiced out loud while looking over the content of our wardrobes or weeping softly as we scroll through the pages of Mr. Porter.

But the truth is, money isn't the only answer when it comes to dressing better (just scroll through Cristiano Ronaldo's Instagram feed if you don't believe us), and we can prove it.

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With a budget of just £200 and using a mixture of high-street and slightly more off-kilter brands, we set ourselves the challenge of creating a simple, stylish and, most importantly, accessible casual outfit that can be worn (pretty much) anywhere this summer.

Obviously if you had £500 then we could really start having some fun... but for now let's see what we can get for a coupla' tons, shall we? Choose one from each of these.

The Jacket

While more expensive than the rest of the pieces you'll see here, you can still find a quality jacket for well under £100.

In the name of versatility we've tried to keep the palette neutral, as you're going to need to mix and match it with plenty of different items. That millennial pink denim jacket might look cool online, but will it work with what you already have? A question to ask yourself if you're on a budget.

Fisherman's smock, £65 by Armor-Lux

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Bomber jacket, £79 by COS

Coach jacket, £65 by Topman

The Shirt

In terms of style, you can really do no wrong with an Oxford cotton button down in pale grey, white or blue. But if that's a bit 'basic' for you, a stand collar or a polo are both equally as adaptable for either the weekend or your job if you work somewhere with a casual dress code.

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Oxford shirt, £19.90 by Uniqlo

Polo shirt, £35 by COS

Linen stand collar shirt, £29.95 by Muji

The Trousers

Us, suggesting chinos? Whatever next!? But there's a good reason for their ubiquity in the modern man's wardrobe: they go with pretty much anything.

Seeing as we have limits in place this time round, we'd suggest sticking to either navy or something in tan, stone or, at a stretch, bone white... if you're feeling a bit reckless, you madman.

And again, treat these as an in-between item in terms of price. Too cheap and they'll fit badly; too expensive and you're just paying a premium for cotton. Keep your big money spending to wool flannel in the winter.

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Chino trousers, £59 by COS

Chinos trousers, £49.99 by H&M

Chino shorts, £45 by COS

The T-shirt

Your t-shirt should definitely be the cheapest item when running on a budget. Of course spending more on a top quality brand like Sunspel is recommended, but in this scenario something plain and simple that won't send you into an existential spiral if you spill a drink down it is perfectly fine.

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Breton t-shirt, £12.9 by Uniqlo

White t-shirt, £7 by Topman

Long-sleeve t-shirt, £35 by Champion

The Trainers (choose one pair)

The final, minimalist flourish in this little experiment of ours, too often you see guys with a set amount drop 50 totally wasted pounds on a cheap-looking pair of dress shoes that women and well-dressed men can spot from a mile away.

Instead, your most reliable and stylish option should be a clean pair of white trainers in canvas. You can easily find a great pair for less than £50, which is a pretty good deal for a pair of shoes that you can wear for an entire season. (Just remember to clean them, bros).

1705 Cotu Classic, £45 by Superga

Chuck Taylor All Star '70, £60 by Converse

Anaheim Authentic 44, £55 by Vans

Final Words and Advice

Ok, an admission for those with calculators or giant brains: if you take the most expensive item from each section then it totals out at more than £200, but have you tried doing this? £200 is tricky to do when you're trying to maintain a certain amount of quality and structure, so we appreciate your patience.

COS is brilliant for basics, so just keep that in mind. Also great for suits that are sub £300 and made out of 100% wool or cotton.

Uniqlo make the best Oxford shirts and good value socks. Really good socks.

Have fun out there.