Looking your best on a daily basis helps give you the confidence you need to be the man you want to be. It helps you have the self-assurance to walk up to that pretty girl at the pub and ask her out. It helps you command the attention of an entire boardroom of your colleagues. To get this self-confidence, however, you first need the right wardrobe. While there is plenty of information out there on how to dress your best and look like the most stylish man in your neighbourhood, it all starts with a few basic essentials. If you’re just starting out, your wardrobe may be short a few vital components. Let’s take a look at what you need to keep in your cupboard.
Basic Clothing Items Every Man Needs
- The White Button-Down- When it comes to shirts, this one is the one you’ll use the most in casual settings. It goes with almost anything, from jeans and a crew neck jumper to a pair of chinos and a tweed jacket. Pay attention to the fabric when you buy this shirt- soft, thick cotton is the way to go. At Brook Taverner, we also offer white button-downs in our EasyCare collection so you can machine wash the shirts.
- The Light Blue Dress Shirt- Waiting for that big promotion? For work attire, no shirt gets more mileage than the light blue single (or double) cuff shirt. This dress shirt works well with both black and dark blue suits and should be paired with a tie in a darker blue hue.
- The Crew Neck- This one might count as one, two or even six clothing items, depending on the number of different colours you choose to have in your wardrobe. However, for cool spring or fall days, they come in handy in casual settings. Make sure a dark blue like navy or indigo is your first crew neck purchase. This colour works well with almost any casual pair of trousers and looks brilliant under a tweed jacket when it gets colder.
- Chinos- Chinos are smart casual trousers that help you bridge the gap between casual and formal. While you would never wear them to a black tie dinner, they are more formal for other types of events that don’t require suits, but require more than jeans. You should own several different colours of chinos. The most important colours to own immediately, however, are navy, caramel, sand and stone. Navy chinos go with just about anything you want to wear them with, from button-downs to men’s tweed jackets. Caramel-, sand- and stone-coloured chinos are excellent options to wear during the summer, however. Pair these chinos with darker tops.
- The Navy Suit- Suits come in all kinds of patterns and colours, but your first suit will most likely need to be a navy one. They are appropriate for most occasions, including everyday work use. Brook Taverner offers a variety of navy suits to choose from, including some that are crease resistant and machine washable.
- The Black Suit- Black suits or even charcoal suits are essential for those formal occasions that are not black tie optional, such as weddings, funerals and even certain events like charity galas. These men’s suits are also appropriate for work attire, especially when you want to command the attention of your peers in the workplace. Paired with a red tie and a white single or double cuff shirt, this type of suit screams “power suit.”
- Oxford Calf Leather Shoes- Built with rubber soles for comfort, our Oxford shoes come in a few different colours, including black and brown. They are the epitome of class and should be worn with your men’s suits to finish off your formal appearance. They also give a clean and trim look to more casual clothing, like chinos. When you purchase oxford shoes like this, make sure to make an investment in some dress shoe cleaning supplies as well. Polish, shoe brushes and shine can help you keep the shoes looking their best even after years of use. This is important, because your shoes need to look their best if the rest of your outfit is going to.
- Suede Boots- For casual clothing, including men’s tweed jackets, jeans and chinos, a pair of chic, understated casual suede boots are a must. They can be worn year round with almost any casual attire. As with more formal shoes, suede boots need to be cleaned often as well to remove mud, dirt and debris that might make them look worn out and dirty.
- Jeans- At Brook Taverner, we offer a number of denim jean choices, including faded black and dark blue. Cotton jeans are available as well, with a number of pockets for storage. Jeans are a go-to option for almost any casual occasion, from a casual first date to a backyard barbecue.
- A Tweed Jacket- They’re warm, comfortable and stylish. For a smart-casual look, they are a must as well. Perfect for first dates, quiet nights on the town with friends and more, tweed jackets make you look stylish and complete your ensemble. You should have at least one of these jackets in your cupboard. If you only have one, consider making it a genuine Harris Tweed. Harris Tweed is breathable and warm, and comes in a variety of colours and patterns, including check and Herringbone.
When it comes to the clothing in your closet, certain items are more important to the structure of every outfit you own. Once you have these basic essentials in place, you can then focus on other aspects of your wardrobe that make it easy for you to show off your personal style. If possible, try to collect two or three of the basic items (after purchasing at least one of each) so you have extras on hand in case something happens to the original. An accidental stain or rip in your light blue dress shirt could make it hard for you to look your best on any given work day, especially if you only have one available.