What was my dad promise this father's day? I would help dads acquire a sustainably fashionable men's wardrobe with 10 basic items.
1. A Navy Blue Suit
The first staple item in a man's wardrobe is a navy blue suit with two buttons and a medium lapel in a medium weight fabric. A well fitted suit should have no puckering or pull across the back or the shoulders and no creases around the armhole. It should have enough ease for comfort but not fluff up around the shoulders. Invest in quality fabric and quality tailoring. A good suit may cost a little more than what you would pay if you were to pick up a suit at 50 discount, but what if it doesn't fit? Give your suit a little bit of TLC to get wear out of it for years. Use hangers that support the shoulders. Store your suit in a garment bag. Extra seam allowance will allow you to adjust a suit to your body measurements as they go up and down.
2. A White Shirt
You would say the second staple item in a man's wardrobe is a white shirt, I would say two. A formal dress shirt a shirt that's made out of Oxford fabric with French cuffs cuffs, aka cuffs that require cufflinks.
You could wear your formal white shirt with the navy suit or a navy blazer coordinated with taupe or beige trousers.
Have a second crisp white linen shirt perfect for casual or Friday dressing combined with denim or chinos.
3. Three categories of Trousers
Have three categories of trousers - formal trousers e.g., navy or charcoal trousers. Charcoal is much more forgiving than black trousers. Black defines your contours. Unless you have perfect proportions, stay away from black. Formal trousers should only be worn formally. If you wear them anywhere and everywhere - to work, to supermarkets, they will show signs of wear and tear and will be mismatched with your blazer.
Chinos - the word chino comes from China. Chinos are made out of medium weight cotton twill that comes from China. Chinos are perfect for Friday dressing, casual office wear and casual socializing. Chinos are comfortable, breathable and lightweight. However, they are not formal. Nor can chinos be dressed down like a pair of denim trousers. If you are required to dress formal, you cannot wear chinos. Wear chinos with crisp white linen shirts or solid colored polo shirts.
Category three - the universal blue jeans.
4. Polo Shirts
Solid colored polos are classics. Printed polos can be a one season wonder. If you want your polos sloganned or with the logo, it should be discreet. You do not have to be plastered with slogans and logos to let people know you have arrived. Crew neck t-shirts are must haves in your wardrobe. I suggest you do not give in to the temptation of buying half a dozen cheap crew neck t-shirts. Invest in good quality fabric like bamboo or organic cotton. Wear them with shorts, jeans and trucker jackets. If you are slender, I suggest you opt for polo shirts. Polo shirts add to your physique. If you want to shed a few extra pounds, replace your crewneck tee with a V-neck tee. V-neck tee has a slimming effect and will give your face a chiseled look.
You will need at least two jackets in your wardrobe.
A denim trucker jacket denim works well in early winter, spring or even summer evenings. However, denim is not waterproof. Denim will absorb water and become very heavy. It is not resistant to wind.
For unruly weather, you need a second waterproof and windproof jacket.
Accessories make a man. You can tell a man's class from his accessories. When it comes to men's scarves, cashmere or wool is your best option. Invest in solid colors or experiment with stripes, or motifs like Houndstooth. You could even go funky and experiment with florals and paisley.
7. Accessories - Hats and Caps
Merino beanies are unparalleled for comfort and warmth. You could buy the skull caps or the ones that you can pull over your ears.
There was a time when no gentleman would be seen in public without a hat and he would always doff his hat when meeting a lady.
8. Accessories - sunglasses
One pair of Ray-Ban aviators will see you through a number of years
I can even borrow my husband's aviators! How's that for inspiration?
9. Accessories - wallets
My vote goes to hand-stitched wallets. You can reinforce your brand
persona with wallets and matching pocket squares.
10. Accessories - ties
Talking about the perfect Windsor knot, take your pick from stripes or solid colours. You could be a little playful with motifs, florals and paisleys, but do not go overboard. Christmas ties look nice only around Christmas.
11. Accessories - Belts
I give my approval to the hand-stitched belts with brass buckles. Brass is hard-wearing, long-lasting and can be polished quite easily. At times the buckle can be more expensive than the belt. You could opt for non-leather or vegan belts.
What are critical to a man's wardrobe - shoes. In my next post, I will decode socks and shoes.
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