Less is more. The key to building a solid wardrobe without breaking the bank is interchangeability. Owning a select few quality items that work well together takes out the the guesswork of getting dressed everyday. A versatile wardrobe will have you looking presentable for pretty much any social occasion. This article will give you a concise list of what you need to own and wear. Provided, is an easy-to-use breakdown of what you should buy.
Here’s how it will work:
Neutrals, in the colours of navy, white, grey, black, khaki, and brown, will make up the bulk of your colour palette; stick to solids for these ones. “Choice” will mean that you can pick any colour and pattern you like.
Naturally, your clothing needs may be different depending on your lifestyle, body type, age, location, and preferences. So long as you get the gist of it, I did my job. Feel free to modify.
Let’s get down to the basics. For starters, you will need:
- 5 Short-Sleeve Shirts
White, grey, black, navy, and a colour/pattern of your choice.
These can be a combination of polos, t-shirts,or short sleeve button ups.
3 Casual Shirts
White, light blue, choice.
By “shirt” I mean anything with long sleeves and a button-down collar.
They can be button-down oxfords, band collars, or pop-overs.
3 Dress Shirts
White, light blue, choice.
No pocket, preferably.
Navy and grey.
V-necks or cardigans.
2 Light-Weight Jackets
Black, blue denim, khaki, or any other colour.
They can be a leather biker jacket, a washed denim jacket, a fatigue jacket, or even a trench coat if you have the cash.
Navy, without doubt.
It should be your first non-suit style jacket.
2 Winter Coats
Grey, navy, black, camel.
Down parcas, peacoats, topcoats and dufflecoats are all fair game.
Charcoal or navy. Solid.
Avoid pleats (that vertical crease in pants’ legs).
Note: For the average Joe/student, one suit should be enough. A navy blazer/sportcoat and grey/khaki trousers combo, with a shirt , shoes, and a tie may be enough to cover most of our “dressed up” needs. The suit is for those special occasions in which you seriously have to look presentable. Job interviews, fancy dinners, funerals, weddings, graduations, and other ceremonies in general.
We’re through the top part of your wardrobe. Now, we’ll take care of the bottom half.
1 Pair of Jeans
These are supposed to be your “dressy” jeans, so no discoloration or rips (a.k.a. distress) allowed.
2 Odd Trousers or Chinos
Grey, and khaki.
Note: We’ll skip corduroys, since they are not essential. If your legs are cold, wear long-johns under your pants.
Navy, grey, choice.
Avoid cargo and board shorts. Wear chino style or jorts (jeans shorts),it’s up to you.
3 Pairs of Casual Shoes
Black, brown, choice.
Recommended styles are fashion sneakers, boat shoes, canvas, brogues (they’re semi-formal), casual loafers/driving mocs.
1 Pair of Formal Shoes
Black or brown. Closed-laced cap-toes.
Balmorals are about as dressy as you’ll need to go.
2 Pairs of Boots
Black, brown, or choice.
Chelsea boots, work boots or desert boots are good options.
With the fundamentals down, we can move on to accessories.
Either in a smooth silk, textured knit, or wool.
Stainless-steel or sterling silver, clip or slide, it’s your call.
1 Pocket Square
Cotton, silk or linen.
Tip: always put a pocket square in your jacket.
Black, brown, silver.
Leather, stainless steel.
Tip: look for a watch with interchangeable bands.
Black, and brown.
Leather, suede, or cotton.
Avoid eye-catching buckles. The material, colour, and finish should be same as the dress shoes. Bonus points if you find an reversible belt.
Black, and tortoise shell (brown).
Aviators, clubmasters, and wayfarers, are styles suitable for most face shapes.
Tip: if you have an exceptionally round face choose square glasses, and if you have a Johnny Bravo-like square face like go for round glasses.
Wool or acrylic. Get one of them in a thick knit for those colder days.
1 Toque (That’s what we call it in Canada)
Wool or acrylic.
Tip:Look for one with a “thinsulate” tag inside, and make sure it covers your earlobes when you fold the end.
1 Pair of Gloves
Wool, leather, or polyurethane/faux-leather; you want the gloves to be water and wind resistant, and with a warm lining.
Tell me: What clothing item can’t you live without?
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