What is the proper wardrobe for men


Proper wardrobe? Let’s face it; women are just a lot better at this sort of thing. They seem to possess an innate ability to mix and match, accessorize and enhance; they know months in advance not only where they’re going to be and what they’re going to be doing but what they’ll be wearing. Their wardrobes are subdivided into ‘basics’, ‘essentials’, ‘formal’, ‘evening’ etc. A typical man’s wardrobe is divided into only two sections: things that still fit and things that don’t (but we can’t quite bring ourselves to throw anything out because, any day now, we’re going to join a gym).

It’s mind-boggling.

Well, let’s see if we can do a little something about it. Here are the top 12 crucial components of ‘the proper wardrobe for men.’


top 12 crucial components

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 1: The new white shirt.

By white, we mean WHITE. Gleaming. Please keep it simple: no elaborate stitching, attention-grabbing button, Oxford collars etc. This can be worn in the evening or the daytime and will go with just about anything: suits, jeans and suit jacket etc. Avoid wearing a casual shirt on its own; always wear a suit or blazer jacket. Once it starts to lose its supernova glow, get rid of it and get a new one.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 2: A grey suit.

Like the shirt, please keep it simple: three buttons, single-breasted. This can be worn with a tie for job interviews or other formal occasions. Lose the link, and it instantly translates into something informal but eye-catching and stylish.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 3: A black suit.

You can buy this as a suit or separately. The case can be worn for more formal occasions, but the jacket and pants can be mixed and matched with other garments to create various looks. When worn with jeans or khakis, the black suit jacket makes something fun, and informal seems a little more thoughtful.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 4: Black shoes and a black belt.

Again, this covers the whole spectrum from stiff formality to loose and casual. Jeans, khakis, suits: there’ll be no problems co-ordinating. It’s worth investing in decent-quality shoes, as we’re sure you’ll get a lot of wear out of them.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 5: Two ties.

One in a solid color, one patterned. For the solid tie, try something dark and neutral. For the patterned tie, avoid anything too ‘on-trend; it’ll slip out of fashion before you know it; so, go for something quite classical (a simple diagonal stripe, say) but not too formal.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 6: Jeans.

You’re looking for something loose (to work with the flow of your suit jacket), but not too loose (you won’t be wearing a hoodie and skater-boy trainers!). Think relaxed boot-cut. In terms of color, avoid traditional stonewashed; look for something dark but faded and maybe a little worn (but nothing verging on a gaping hole). Low-rise jeans are okay if you’re snake-hipped; otherwise, steer clear.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 7: Flat-fronted Chinos.

A light, neutral color: tan, khaki, sand. There’s relatively little that these hardwearing and versatile trousers won’t go with.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 8: A casual sweater.

Crew neck or v-neck? Well, that depends on your physique. Larger-chested men, irrespective of whether their chest falls into the flabby ‘man boob’ or highly-developed pectoral muscle category, should avoid v-neck as they can create the unwanted effect of a cleavage. Colors should be dark (think black, charcoal, navy), and the fit should be neat without being too tight. Baggy sweaters should be avoided.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 9: Polo shirts.

A few of these, if your budget can accommodate. Solid colors only (no stripes please, unless you want to look like a creepy, oversized schoolboy – this is the proper wardrobe for men, remember?). Whatever colors you prefer, but try to have at least one in black or navy.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 10: Casual shoes.

The famous trainer/shoe hybrid offers an excellent way to ‘deformalize’ an outfit, but keep the color to brown (and variations thereon) and avoid too much patterning. A pair of robust brown Oxford work equally well.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 11: Sandals.

A fundamental thing, preferably in brown leather. No socks.

The Proper Wardrobe for Men 12: Shorts.

A longer short, but keep it above the knee. In terms of color, you’re looking for khaki or olive (anything light and neutral, really). Combat-style shorts are acceptable, but avoid anything too bulky. Worn with your sandals and a polo shirt, this will create a summery look that is casual but noticeable.

Now that you have the proper wardrobe for men, you should never get caught out again. You’ll also find that working from this basis; you’ll be able to add garments not purely because you like them in their own right, but because you’ll be able to see how they’ll work with the other elements in your dreams wardrobes.

Happy shopping.


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