Ten wardrobe essentials for men

19th Aug 2012
Ten wardrobe essentials for men

Build­ing a wardrobe that won’t go out of style is a long term invest­ment, help­ing to keep your cloth­ing bud­get in line while look­ing your best. The first step, how­ever, is under­stand­ing the basics, the fun­da­men­tals in which to build from. You need to rely on a few stock items that can be used for any sit­u­a­tion.
Fol­low­ing are the 10 must have, absolute, fun­da­men­tal items that every man should keep on hand.

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1. Dark Gray Suit — Every man needs at least one suit, so make it gray, though, navy is a good sec­ond choice. Gray works in the office, an inter­view or an emer­gency when you need to look your best.  If you can only afford one suit, make sure it’s qual­ity and con­ser­v­a­tive. Two or three but­ton, sin­gle breasted suits look good on nearly every body type. Avoid pleats and go for flat front pants. Before mak­ing your pur­chase, know your mea­sure­ments. Make sure every­thing fits com­fort­ably because you will own it for a long time!

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2. White Dress Shirt - Like a good sports coat or blazer, a white shirt matches well with any­thing but also gives you a dressed up appear­ance. Don’t skim on the qual­ity because this shirt will get a lot of miles and needs to last. Make sure the fab­ric is strong, such as 100% cot­ton.

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3. Navy Blue Sport Coat or Blazer — Noth­ing is more ver­sa­tile and good look­ing than a well cut, well made sports coat or blazer. It can be worn in a vari­ety of sit­u­a­tions, such as work, hang­ing out with your friends at a bar or a for­mal get together. It’s great for the warmer months and slim enough to fit under a top coat dur­ing win­ter.  Navy blue works well with any­thing, eas­ily going with jeans, a polo or but­ton down. There are many styles to choose from, but avoid a blazer with gold or brass but­tons. Look for some­thing made of medium weight, worsted wool so you can wear it all year.  As for the cut, keep it sim­ple: no dou­ble breasted or four but­ton styles. Select a clas­sic two but­ton with a sin­gle vent in back and medium width lapels.

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4. Dark Jeans — Ten years ago, this wouldn’t have made anyone’s list but times have changed. Dark jeans are now a sta­ple for a man’s wardrobe. They can be worn at a nice restau­rant, most work places that don’t day trade and that night club she just has to be at. Go for some­thing with com­fort, qual­ity and no rips. Avoid baggy and skinny, but just right. Stay away from designer labels that vis­ably pro­claim their sta­tus on your bum. It might be cool now, but it won’t be in a few years.

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5. Black Dress Shoes — A good pair will match most suits (except brown) and you can’t go wrong with a lace up look. They’ll be used a lot, such as work or any occa­sion that calls for some for­mal­ity. There­fore, take the plunge for qual­ity with fine leather and stitch­ing from a rep­utable brand. Keep in mind, women will also take an inter­est with what’s on your feet. Avoid square toe and look for some­thing rounded.

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6. Khaki/Chino pants — These do well in the sum­mer, run­ning errands any day of the week or beat­ing that dead­line at work. You can even sleep in them! You'll need to own at least one or the other. Typ­i­cally, khaki’s are the more casual style of the two, fuller in the seat and thighs. Chino’s are usu­ally a lighter shade and with a straight through fit. So it depends on what you’re look­ing for. Both should be 100% cot­ton twill and a flat front. If they’re long, you can roll them up or get them hemmed.

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7. Sneak­ers — It’s nice to relax in a clas­sic pair of sneak­ers after work, hang­ing out with friends at a bar or walk­ing around town with the lady. It’s impor­tant to get a sub­tle color that can match well with jeans, chi­nos or any type of casual pants. They’re not expen­sive so you can get a pair of white for the sum­mer and some­thing darker for spring and fall. Avoid any­thing with loud col­ors or flashy labels as these will become use­less after the fad fades. Con­verse Chucks are great, as they seem never to fall out of fashion.

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8. V-Neck Sweater — The V neck’s shape gives space for your col­lar, let­ting it open up nat­u­rally. This looks great over any dress shirt but also works well with a polo or T shirt. Choose a sweater with ribbed cuffs, col­lar and bot­tom, fit­ting your build, so it’s not loose or floppy in appear­ance. The V needs to be large enough to fit over a col­lared shirt but also small enough to fit over a T shirt. If you plan to have one or two, select darker col­ors so it matches with every­thing, such as gray, navy blue or choco­late brown.

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9. Watch — This is the only acces­sory that made our list because it’s the most impor­tant. These days, guys use their cell phones to tell time, but when you have a clas­sic watch on your wrist, noth­ing bet­ter reflects your per­son­al­ity and style. It’s a wor­thy invest­ment, some­thing that should last, but tread care­fully because there are many options. The watch should be qual­ity, mas­cu­line, but most impor­tantly, some­thing you feel com­fort­able wear­ing. Metal and leather bands are clas­sic, but gros­grain is great for a casual look. Keep your sports watch in the gym.

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10. Polo Shirt — Another item that works well in many sit­u­a­tions. Polo’s are a great sum­mer shirt but also suit­able for work, happy hour and wher­ever else your night may lead you. They come in a vari­ety of col­ors but for a basic col­lec­tion, start with navy blue, gray and dark green. Again, this is going to last a long time, so look for qual­ity and com­fort. Go for a slim­mer fit polo with a soft fin­ish, but ulti­mately, there are so many options it’s up to you. As tempt­ing as it may be, don’t pop your col­lar or but­ton the top button!

Hav­ing these few reli­able items in your closet will make you look your best for a long time. After build­ing your foun­da­tion, make sure to com­pli­ment every­thing with your own per­sonal touch and style, reflect­ing who you are.  Enhance your appear­ance so you don’t blend in with every­one else. There’s noth­ing wrong with being orig­i­nal, since you now have a good foun­da­tion to stand on.

 

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