A plain white t-shirt may be the all-time essential men’s capsule wardrobe item, but what about the others?
With fast fashion and multiple choices, most men lack a good foundation of wardrobe essentials. In order attain a solid, versatile wardrobe you have to start by getting the foundations and basic right. Totally right. Then, all other apparel choices will become easier. A good wardrobe foundation consists of understated, timeless wardrobe staples and these are clothes that will serve as the supporting pieces to your trendier, more eye catching additions over time.
When most men decide to start dressing better, they believe (according to the thousands of style guides out there) that they need all their clothes to stand out. So, they look up all the latest trends on-line or start wearing all kinds of crazy colours (in an attempt to be more hit-than-miss). With a foundation of basic wardrobe staples, you’ll always have clothes to wear your trendier pieces with, sparingly.
Today, fashion magazines, blogs and shops rarely promote these wardrobe fundamentals to men as their main focus is on promoting the latest styles and trends in order to drive sales for modern trends and collections. When you walk into a clothing store, you won’t often see a mannequin wearing a plain white T-shirt as the retailers want you to splash your cash on more expensive items. Within a merchandising point of view, the point of having mannequins is to draw your attention and simple white clothes will not do a lot of that.
Back To Basics And Foundations
Every man needs a capsule collection. Essentially, this is a selection of nine items that should (and must) be in his wardrobe. If you are making a fresh start, then these should be your first investments as they are the clothes that will help you restart your style;
* Solid white T-shirt
* Solid white shirt
* Dark blue jeans
* Camel chinos
* Grey V-neck sweater
* Navy blazer
* Brown leather loafers
* Brown leather belt
* The over coat
The Solid White T-Shirt
The white t-shirt is one of the most versatile pieces you should possess. You can wear it with anything, so it is like having a blank canvas to do what you want with, in fashion terms at least. You can wear it on its own during high summer, or layer it up during colder winter spells. It’s super-chic and simple option and will not date like the graphic t-shirts. Try to mix in V-necks as well as crew necks for variety sake.
The Solid White Shirt
The solid white shirt is the ultimate menswear staple and no designers collection, or male´s wardrobe is complete without it. Like the solid white t-shirt, you can wear it with anything as well as creating new looks by playing around with the buttons and sleeves openings (buttoned up with a tie and blazer for a dressy look, or unbuttoned over a t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up) making it ideal for classical smart and casual looks.
The Dark Blue Jeans
From James Dean to David Beckham, this is the ultimate and only pair of jeans you will ever need. Period.
The Camel Chinos
Although the ultimate pair of jeans is a safe and solid investment, you will also need another alternative option and this is where chino´s help as they give you a stronger variety than buying other tones of denim, allowing you to create different looks across the board (whilst still keeping it classical). Just make sure your main colour is camel.
The Grey V-Neck Sweater
The V-Neck sweater is a key item for layering as you can wear it over your shirts and T-shirts to stay warm during the winter months. It also looks good under a tailored blazer in the depths of winter. A key and highly versatile piece of knitwear, this sweater will practically go with anything.
The Navy Blazer
The fastest way to add a classic and smart touch to any ensemble is to introduce a blazer. Blazers have the knack of making anything look better, especially in navy. This classic choice will match very well with not only camel chinos, but also dark blue jeans.
The Brown Leather Loafers
Leather loafers are a great choice for footwear. They are more stylish and dressier than their trainer counterparts, but informal enough to wear with casual wear (and they look great under a pair of good jeans) which shows that they are the ultimate in flexible footwear. Try playing around with the different design styles loafers come in. If Penny loafers look a little too busy, then try the more classical Venetian style as they have less embellishments and look more casual.
The Brown Leather Belt
Brown leather shoes need a brown leather belt to compliment them. Always. But, they don’t have to be a complete colour match, so it´s ok to have a little tonal difference.
The Over Coat
During colder times, the overcoat is the first thing that people will notice about you, and so it has to be good. Some great options are the Pea-coat, but an overcoat or Duffle-coat will work just as well. However, to compliment the rest of your wardrobe, make sure that it´s served in netural – navy, grey or brown.
Your first step to an enviable wardrobe should involve you putting every item listed above (that you don’t already own) on your shopping list. They are essential items for any contemporary fashion-savvy man’s wardrobe and should be the first investments you make. And, if the quality is good, they will stay with you for a long time providing you take good care of them.
Get every item on the capsule list, then experiment to figure out how to put these clothes together into a good outfit that you feel most comfortable with. You can use any budget to experiment with as well. Remember to invest in versatility and quality and not get side-tracked by attention grabbing mannequins wearing the latest trend of the month.