TIPS ON MEN’S WARDROBE BASICS

"Most people, most of the time, judge you by what you're wearing, and if you care about what people think, you should care about what you wear. Life doesn't get much simpler than that."

THE BASICS

It’s easy for a lot of us to get left behind or simply just not know where to start. It’s also easy to want to stick with what you know or simply buy whatever is on trend right now and hope for the best. However that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right way to go about things. More often than not, men keep bad habits they have picked up and continue to apply them to every new purchase they make.

  1. PERFECT FIT: This can go very well or very badly. Your appearance; whether sharp and confident, relaxed and cool, or sloppy and juvenile – is often reduced to the fit of your clothing. Finding the right tailor may be crucial, but there is nothing nearly as significant as sharing a critical eye with the fitting-room mirror.
  • Shirts – stretch marks around the buttons or the chest, billowing of fabrics around your sides and waist (it should be a straight line from your armpit downwards), cuffs should end at the dip in your wrist where your thumb begins.
  • Jeans (Waist Size) – Jeans are really hard to find the perfect fit. It is all about body type and your personal preference. Some people like a really skinny fit because it is part of their “look” whilst other’s like the comfort fit look. However your waist should always fit, meaning that the jeans should sit around your waist perfectly with just a little give, and you should only need a few notches tightening on your belt. You can oversize jeans in order to give you that looser effect, but it should never be up more than one waist size as you will cause an effect where you have to tie your belt so tight that it clumps the top of your jeans together and causes the material to fold and just look untidy. Straight leg or slim fit pair of jeans are the ones most versatile and can be worn with multiple footwear.
  • Jeans (leg length) – The other key tip to finding a perfect pair of jeans is leg length. Most brands– short, regular and long – depends on your height and you need to get this right. Your jeans hem should always sit on top of your trainers or shoes with a slight break at the bottom. The way I like to measure is without footwear on and have the jeans reach just above my heel. Then when you put your footwear on there will be a slight break of the fabric that is long enough to cover all of your socks without having clumping excess material all bunched up at the bottom – again this looks untidy and messy.
  • T-shirts – The big one here is if you raise your arms above your head or outwards ‘Vitruvian Man’ style there’s more than half an inch of your stomach peeping out. Or the material starts bunching and creasing in awkward places i.e. other than where your joints are.

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Current wardrobe not up to scratch? My advice on how to rectify this is so simple. Firstly, after realizing that certain items of clothing don’t fit you properly, chuck them out! Give them to a charity, a friend or even someone on the street. I really don’t care just as long as they are out of your wardrobe. Then, if looking inside it strikes you how gutted and hollow your wardrobe now looks, then go and buy some more clothes, but this time in a slim fit.

And that really is the key here. By slim fit I mean just touching on your body, and that goes for anything you’re going to buy. This means that regardless of your size and shape or what’s in or out at the moment, your purchases will still retain a tailored aspect and leave you room for movement and growth.

  1. ESSENTIALS: Believe me this items will save your ass in times of fashion dilemma.
  • A White Shirt – slim fit, crisp and preferably oxford-cloth to transcend seasonally. It’s perfect with suits, jackets or simply as it is. Top button open and sleeves rolled up paired with jeans or chinos. Tie or not.

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  • A Pair of Dark Denim Indigo Jeans – unavoidably classic, versatile and stylish. But go with the dark indigo type because they’re easier to dress down than to dress up your bleached pair, believe me.

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  • A Grey V-neck Sweater – the perfect layering item and so easy to get right. Put it over a Tee, that white shirt, plaids/stripes/colored shirts or even by itself and you won’t go far wrong. Go for cashmere or a wool/cashmere blend for the warmth and snugness that is a must when layering against the elements. For warmer places and you just want to look fresh, go for cotton!
  • A Pair of Black Lace-up Shoes – not quite as out-there and statement making as brown/tan is but if you want to keep things simple, safe and solid then you can’t get much better than them. Try to tread the balance between square-toed and pointed, aim for somewhere…it’s safer!
  • A Navy Blazer – regardless of the nautical theme that you’ll be hitting for this coming summer, this blazer is always going to be a must. It goes great with absolutely anything and can smarten up just about any piece that you pair it with.

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  • A Grey Suit – Aim for a middle grey, so that it is appropriate for any time of the year and you can wear it with anything. With the white shirt and black shoes for interviews or board meeting. With a black polo shirt and flip flops for those summer weddings or formal evenings out. Or lose the trousers and go with just a plain v-neck tee shirt and the jeans for a night out. Just remember to get the proportions right.

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  • A White Round or V-neck T-shirt – Seriously, it goes with everything! Under a blazer or a cardigan. With Jeans or chinos.

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  • A Black Leather Jacket – Try to go for one in a bomber-style to ensure you’ll always have a classic stylish jacket that you can lean on when the time calls with it. Pair it with the white tee and dark indigo jeans for a great weekend look or try wearing it over a shirt and tie combination along with some camel chinos as well for a perfect outfit for heading into town with.

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  • Grown-up Trainers – Leave the knackered converse in the bin. The key is buying classic trainers that are simple and striped down and there really are only four that always stick in my mind as versatile and classic for all occasions. Adidas Stan Smith’s in white or anything that looks the same. Always keep them clean, so use some polish or whitener every now. It’s the difference between a boy and a man. FYI women always judge us by our shoes!

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  • A Dark Solid Tie – Think in black, navy, grey or a nice deep red. This will always serve you well when you need to smarten yourself up a little bit for a special occasion. Wear it with the white shirt, blazer and jeans for an easy take on smart casual or with the shirt and the grey suit for work days or weddings.
  • Chinos – Go for some in a neutral color such as navy and grey to maximize their versatility especially if you’re not normally one to wear them. However, if you want classic, versatile and still great for the summer, pick up a camel colored pair. This way you’ll be hitting classic American prep as well as not having to deal with the sweat-fest that is jeans on those hot summer afternoons.

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