Starter Style Review: Target

Editor’s note: Building great style on a budget can be difficult and expensive. This is the first part in an occasional series chronicling great locations to start a wardrobe and buy affordable, good-looking style staples. Look for more in the coming weeks! 

Bullseye. Starting things off with Target. Yep, Target.

Bullseye. Starting things off with Target. Yep, Target.

Putting together a great wardrobe can seem a daunting task at first. Starting from the ground up, particularly trying to build in style essentials on a budge, is also taxing to a certain degree. But thanks to the explosion of an interest in men’s fashion, plenty of stores are now carrying more style staples than ever before — and at great prices.

In fact, when style inspiration comes from so many places (including affordable brands like Old Navy and Uniqlo), it can actually be tough and tiring getting bogged down in a long list of locations. That’s why it’s wise to keep certain stores from slipping under the radar. Chains with surprising names are increasingly stocking everything you could need to build some a basic wardrobe, including Target, however unlikely it might seem (witness Target’s collaboration with noted designer Phillip Lim this past fall).

A look at some of Target's shirt selection.

A look at some of Target’s shirt selection.

Target’s Merona line offers fantastic men’s style items, including, at varying times, a nice selection of blazers.  A recent trip through a Super Target revealed just as much. Keep in mind that Super Target is larger than the typical Target store, of course, but just as many style essentials were on-hand.  In addition to the Merona line, the rest of the men’s section was well-stocked with Mossimo polos in a variety of colors, v-neck and crewneck t-shirts with stripes, patterns and bright solid colors, and some shorts with interesting patterns for spring and summer.

Shelves were also stocked with short-sleeve and long-sleeve henleys, two pieces that can become layering staples year round. There was also a nice selection of corduroys in seasonally appropriate shades (as seen below), and slim-fit jeans from Denizen, a branch of Levi’s. The store’s Merona Oxford cloth button-downs are a particular personal favorite, and at a nice price point, too. For under 25 bucks a pop, it’s tough to turn down an item that can pair with so many different outfits.

A rich shade of orange in a seasonal corduroy.

A rich shade of orange in a seasonal corduroy.

Along with some style staples, the store also offered pieces with a slightly trendier take (like the sweater below). An item like that isn’t for everyone, but through collaborations with designers like Phillip Lim, the chain is offering affordable pieces with a more fashionable bent that could be worth taking a risk on if you fancy changing things up. In addition to those trendier pieces, the store’s shoe collection is also solid, featuring some solid desert boot-type silhouettes, along with loafers and dress shoes.

Classic crewneck sweater with a trendy pattern.

Classic crewneck sweater with a trendy pattern.

Accessories are a high point, too. Things like socks (in mainly solid colors, but with some wild patterns) can also be had at low prices, as can, for example, undershirts. Notably, Target offers one of the better deals on the versatile, casual and ultra-affordable Timex Weekender and Timex Easy Reader, two watches that, when paired with the right outfits, are as versatile as any below $100.

In addition to these items, there are certainly some hidden gems waiting to be uncovered in Target’s shelves, all at great prices most likely. When stores like Target do something as unexpected as men’s style in such a surprisingly good fashion, it’s definitely worth checking out. Keep that in mind as you browse the shelves for groceries on your next trip to the bullseye.


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