Men’s Wardrobe Essentials

I met with a fantastic new male client this weekend and am so excited to help him revamp his wardrobe. The fun of this project is that we’re practically starting from scratch. The key to building a great wardrobe for anyone is to first build a solid foundation the core basics – those timeless pieces that last year to year. Once you have that established, then you can start adding in the trendier items from season to season.

I’ve put together a Men’s Wardrobe Checklist that every man should follow. With sales aplenty, now is the time to fill in those gaps if you’re missing any of these key items.

1. Business suit – There are no if’s, and’s or but’s about it. Every man needs a great fitting suit in navy or black. The shape and cut all depends on your body type, but the shoulder fit and length of the sleeves, body and pants are crucial details to pay attention to.

2. Dress shirt – Go for a slim or semi-fitted style with your button down because that baggy,bloused out look scream says “I borrowed this from my dad”. I recommend both a white and blue dress shirt for versatility.

3. Casual cotton button down – Roll up the sleeves and throw it on with your jeans for total effortless style. Opt for a gingham check, tartan plaid, or military-inspired style depending on your taste.

4. Polo tee – Again, go for a semi-fitted  body to avoid the “dad” look. And DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT pop the collar.

5. Dressy tee- This sounds like an oxymoron, I know. I’m just sayin’, put away the Hanes undershirt or free athletic tee you got at a Bluejackets game and get yourself a nice, super soft cotton tee that fits well in the shoulders. To keep it from pilling and shrinking, let it air dry or get it dry cleaned.

6. Lightweight sweater – Whether its cashmere or cotton, this is a year-round piece. It can be layered over a button-down and thermal in the winter or worn solo with shorts on a cool summer evening.

7. Straight leg chinos – These are  “the other jean”. They can be worn super casual with flip-flops and a tee or can be dressed up with a button down and loafers. Totally versatile and more importantly, comfortable!

8. Jeans – Go for a darker wash in a straight leg or slim boot cut. Get the length tailored so there is just a small break in the leg. Drowning in pools of denim around your feet just makes you look shorter. Oh, and be sure it fits  you well in the back side so the ladies have something nice to look at 🙂

9. Overcoat – This does not have to a dressy wool coat. It should be more like a casual waist-length jacket that can act as a coat for cool weather or just a stylish layering piece.

10. Solid and striped tie – This really required no explanation. Just avoid wacky prints because who really wants to be “that guy”.

11. Leather dress shoes and belt – Again, this is self-explanatory.

12. Casual belt – This should be wider than your dress belt and in a less shiny leather or even a thick canvas.

13. Casual shoe – This casual shoe  gives your basic button-down and  jeans outfit some edge. Think Converse Chucks, brown leather Sambas, suede chukka boots or canvas Tretorns. Save the running shoes for, well, running.

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