Per Fortune Magazine, gift card giving was up, WAY up during the 2020 holiday season. I’d be willing to bet that a large percentage of us Dappered readers received some of that fantastic plastic. Yet each year, over $3 billion in gift cards go unused(!!). We’re here to change that (I know, what an altruistic bunch we are. No?) In our annual series titled How to Spend It, we’re curating a bunch of items from a selection of stores you might/most likely got a gift card to (some very Dappered-y, some less so because Aunt Karen wasn’t sure). Our goal is to show you what’s worth it at various price points. You CAN spend it all in one place, dear!
Brand Note: UNIQLO is a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer, and retailer with roughly 50 stores in the United States. UNIQLO, formerly Unique Clothing Warehouse, is well-known for their higher-than-average quality basics – from insulating parkas and cashmere sweaters down to their selvedge denim and amazing AIRism undergarments. Compared to their main competitors – The Gap, Zara, and H&M – UNIQLO focuses on technology and an evolving style rather than just churning out “fast fashion”. They also routinely collaborate with high fashion designers, artists, and third-party brands to bring unique garments and more progressive styles and cuts to the masses at affordable price points. I like to use UNIQLO clothing for those good basics while also experimenting with a new style, silhouette, or color that I’m just not sure about. Luckily, most of the UNIQLO clothing is fairly cheap so you can experiment with fun colors for Spring/Summer without breaking the bank. Note that stock moves quickly, so pounce on whatever you want whenever you can find it.
- AIRISM Face Mask (Pack of 3) – $14.90
- Men’s Striped Slippers – $14.90
- Men’s Cotton Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt – $9.90 ($14.90)
- Men’s AIRISM Cotton UV Protection Crew Neck T-Shirt – $19.90
- Men’s Waffle Henley Long-Sleeve T-Shirt – $19.90
- Men’s Dry-Ex Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt – $19.90
- Men’s Waffle Long-Sleeve T-Shirt – $19.90
There are a ton of stylish, yet classic items up for grabs in the under-$25 price tier. Their AIRism shirts are lightweight and breathable while the Dry-Ex line is athletic focused like Nike, Under Armour, Adidas, etc.
- Men’s AIRISM Pique Short-Sleeve Polo Shirt – $29.90
- Men’s Milano Ribbed Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Sweater – $39.90
- Men’s Dry-Ex Ultra Stretch Jogger Pants – $39.90
- Men’s Oxford Regular-Fit or Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Shirt – $19.90 ($29.90)
- Men’s Cotton Ribbed Blouson (Harrington) Jacket – $49.90
- Men’s Stretch Selvedge Slim-Fit Jeans – $49.90
UNIQLO is well-known for their stretch selvedge denim, which *I think* comes from the Kaihara Mills in Japan. I’m also a big fan of their button-down collar AIRism pique knit polo shirts which breathe very well for those hot days.
- Men’s Comfort Blazer in – $69.90
- Men’s Kando Wool-Like Jacket – $69.90
- Men’s Blocktech Parka – $69.90
- Men’s Ultra Light Down Parka – $69.90
- Men’s Cashmere Crew Neck Long-Sleeve Sweater – $79.90 ($99.90)
- UNIQLO x Finlayson HeatTech Full-Size Blanket – $69.90
For under $100, I’d focus on their merino wool or cashmere sweaters or experiment with a stretchy navy blazer. Do be warned that their blazers and sportcoats tend to run short in the tail. So if you’re tall or have a longer torso or just flat out don’t like the “chopped” look, you might want to look somewhere else. Meanwhile, if you’re in the market for new outerwear, their Blocktech line is chock full of synthetic down stuffed vests, jackets, and parkas to keep you warm well into Spring. I’m a big fan of that Finlayson collab blanket, too!
- Men’s Hybrid Down Coat – $59.90 FINAL ($129.90)
- Men’s Hybrid Down Parka – $59.90 FINAL ($129.90)
- Men’s Blocktech Hooded Coat – $59.90 FINAL ($129.90)
- Men’s Ultra Warm Down Coat – $99.90 ($179.90)
- Men’s +J Wool Blend Chester Coat – $149 ($249)
UNIQLO doesn’t really offer a whole lot over $100 these days, except for some of their heavier/warmer coats and a few items from their collaboration collections. This is great for those of us on a tighter style budget, so take advantage where you can to maximize the value on those gift cards. And it’s that time of year, so sales are happening on coats and jackets all the time.
About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething salesman in the heating and manufacturing industry, and he’s also Dappered’s resident shoe & denim expert. He enjoys bourbon, boots, sneakers, raw denim, and working on on his
dad bod father figure.