The 5 Essentials Every Man’s Wardrobe Needs
The 5 Essentials Every Man’s Wardrobe Needs
In our first series of style guides, all of which you can find on our services page, we covered some solid guidance for selecting your clothing.
Truth be told, the style game can be made pretty easy by following some basic principles, and by having just a few choice garments in your wardrobe.
T-shirts and jeans aside, here are five items of clothing no many will ever regret having at home.
A well-cut suit is a modern man’s way of standing out. In a way, it’s our armour—setting the tone for how others see us. From boardroom negotiations to post-work socials to weddings to industry events, a suit is a must in every man’s wardrobe..
The gold standard for men’s suits is a well tailored, two button, single-breasted navy suit. You can’t go wrong with one of these, as a mid-navy can be worn in any season. However, it ought to be of a modern cut which flatters your physique.
The weight and quality of the cloth must be considered carefully as cheaper fabrics do not last. They lose their heft and colour, and will cease to impress after only a few seasons.
But buying a suit should be seen as a long term investment, so try not to cut corners on your spend. It would be boorish to assume that everyone can afford to spend thousands upon thousands here, but do buy the best you can afford. You’ll never regret it.
A good, versatile jacket has the ability to pull together so many elements of your wardrobe. When well designed, jackets can be immune to fast fashion trends and the wear and tear of time, serving you for many years.
Depending on the company you keep and the events you attend, a good selection could be a sports jacket, tweed jacket or a blazer. We’d always recommend choosing one which finds a sweet spot between traditional, formal and modern, allowing it to look at home in any dressy environment.
Colour and pattern are the key elements to consider. There is no need for your jacket to be utilitarian, but an overbearing statement of style will quickly limit your options and the occasions on which you can wear it.
A two button, single breasted, modern cut jacket in a mid-blue, grey, or carefully chosen brown would do perfectly here. You might consider a textured cloth or a semi-classic pattern with detailing to elevate things.
An unexpected splash of colour in the stitching, buttons or linings will make it personal without taking over.
The Topcoat is known by many as an overcoat, but it is generally lighter and ends above the knee. It’s an invaluable addition to your wardrobe and strikes a balance between style, practicality, and warmth. You might take the opportunity to make bolder choices than you have with your jacket.
A great topcoat should ooze confidence and character, making passers-by look twice when wearing it in the street.
We would suggest a single breasted, three-quarter length coat as a good all-rounder. Choose your cloth with care as it will define the versatility of the coat from the outset .
Keep the coat somewhat classic in style, instead drawing attention to the cut, cloth pattern and colour.
A couple of well tailored button down shirts are the base of your entire outfit. They draw the eye first when you’re not wearing a jacket, and help set off your look perfectly even when you’re wearing a layer above.
Keep a few classic and a few semi-casual shirts on rotation for when the dress code demands. We’d recommend a white twill shirt in a super 80’s Egyptian cotton for the classic, and a textured Oxford fabric for the semi-casual one.
The super number of a fabric, by the way, refers to the thread count. It usually goes from 50’s all the way up to 200’s.
In simple terms, the higher the number, the finer and thinner the yarn. The finer and thinner the yarn, the more luxurious the feel. But there’s a trade-off, as shirts with a very high super number become less durable. A super 80’s shirt, particularly in a wonderful Egyptian cotton, strikes an excellent balance as it showcases premium quality while remaining extremely durable and long lasting.
A two-button collar shirt is an astute third choice for your wardrobe, as it neatly bridges the burden of wearing a tie against the desire to create a smart business casual look afterwards.
We’d almost always advise clients to request shirts in a slim fit, and complete the look with mother-of-pearl buttons.
Choosing a good pair of shoes is vital, as they can make or break your look. You can have a great outfit, but paired with the wrong shoes it can be a disaster. When it comes to buying the right pair of shoes, try to think long term and pay accordingly. Somewhere north of £250 will get you a great pair of shoes that will last a lifetime if cared for and re-soled when required.
We’d recommend avoiding thick and clumpy styles—buckles are for belts and laces are for shoes. An Oxford, with or without broguing, in Chestnut or Black always makes a great choice. As for where to look, a well-respected maker such as Crockett & Jones or Church’s would be a good place to start.
Getting these items right will help build your wardrobe on firm foundations. Remember, bespoke tailoring is not the sole proviso of the wealthy. By making sensible choices, with good advice, any man can dress like a gentleman with a minimum of effort and a modicum of investment. Make an appointment with us, when you’re ready.
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As one of the UK's leading shoeshine and patina artists, Steven Skippen knows better than most how shoes can make or break a great outfit. We recently caught up with to hear about his work.