Fashion is that aspect of life which you can’t ignore, whether you like it or not. Be an important deal to crack at an office or the nerve-cracking first date, your outfit and style statement are the first impressions that the other person will notice. So, what do we do? Probably try something trendy. To tell the truth, you don’t need to try something against your liking just because it is in trend and to create that first impression. The secret to an amazing outfit lies in owning a solid wardrobe full of style statements. A good wardrobe should have a balance of basic and trendy pieces that not only reflect who you are but also vary across different occasions. Don’t know where to start? Well, figuring out your style takes time, so why not start with a basic guide? Here is a simple guide to 7 essential staples that will form the bedrock of your wardrobe.
1. Dress & Casual Shirts
Shirts for men’s wardrobes come in two flavors, formal dress shirts, and casual button-downs. A dress shirt normally has no more than one pocket. It won't have epaulets or any other decorative features. It'll normally be in a solid color or a stripe or check. They are more on the formal side and worn under blazers or coats.
Casual button-downs come in a wider variety of styles and patterns. You might see double pockets with buttons on the chest. You might also see roll tab sleeves, epaulets, button-down collars, and contrasting fabrics on the placket, collar, and cuffs. If you are more on the formal side go for more dress shirts and if you are a casual dresser, go for casual shirts.
Try these button-down shirts
2. Versatile Trousers
Trousers come in various materials and for various occasions. Let’s break them down accordingly.
- Denim: They are one of the most versatile types of garments that are a must-need for your wardrobe. They are great for casual get-togethers and dates.
- Flannels: It is a great option for cooler climates. This will match pretty much any shirt, jacket, and pair of shoes in your wardrobe. Provides great room for multiple occasions.
- Chinos: They are more casual but can work if they fit you well. Chinos are smarter, lighter-weight, and often made in lighter colors like tan, red, and blue. Depending on the fit, they can be used in a formal setup as well.
- Commuter pants: They are slacks in a hi-tech stretch fabric that you can wear on your cycle commute as well as at work. The key is to make sure they're not made in too casual a style.
- Shorts: You can have one pair of shorts. Just one since we are starting with the basics. Shorts are extremely casual and don't look good on most body types. So, if it suits you, you can always incorporate it later. If it's hot where you live, instead of multiple pairs of shorts look at tropical-weight wool trousers. They're just as cool and comfortable – and infinitely more stylish.
3. Non-Collared Casual Shirts
Your non-collared casual shirts include henleys and tees. These are made from stretchy knit fabrics, so it is better to get the right fit. If you have entered the mature phase of life go for plain colors like black, white, navy, maroon, or dark green. If they are too bland for you, you can try some with sarcastic and humorous quotes to give a reflection of your personality. On the contrary, if you are young and absolutely love casuals, you can store them on graphic tees. Assuming you are in good shape, which you should be, try a v-neck to give you more of a masculine ‘v' silhouette. Even if you're in decent shape you can wear a well-fitted v-neck t-shirt by itself with nice trousers.
Henleys, a type of shirt with a buttoned placket in the front, are less common. You may not see them as men's wardrobe essentials – but they are an underrated garment and will help you stand out from the crowd. Henley shirts come in short or long-sleeved versions. The long sleeve is more versatile because you can roll it up. If neither of these shirt types is your style, you can always switch them out with polos.
Every man should have at least one suit, one sports jacket, and one blazer. Aren’t they the same thing? No friends, although coming from the same family, they are each a different breed built according to occasions.
In general, you'll see suits in darker colors that are meant to be worn at the office or on premiere occasions. Sports jackets come in a wide variety of lighter colors and more rugged and textured fabrics. They're the most casual of the three and can be dressed down with jeans. The Blazers are in the middle. They come in darker colors, traditionally in navy and sometimes with gold buttons. They have a nautical feel, so you might see a little anchor on the buttons.
You need to own two overcoats, one with a high style statement and the other with high functionality. Your high-function coat will protect you from extremely cold days, in your city or during vacation. For comparatively warmer days, you need a good functional jacket, such as a shell in a classic conservative color like black or tan, that you can throw over your suits to protect them from the rain. It can also act as an ingredient for layering. If you are on the skinny side, these are your best bet.
Footwear demands versatility. You need a pair of casual sneakers, formal dress shoes, dress boots, and that too for different occasions.
- Sneakers: If you want a sneaker you can wear with smart outfits, the key's in the sole – it should look thin and delicate rather than chunky. White sneakers work with a wide variety of outfits – but they catch dirt easily. If you want to avoid scuff marks go for a solid black sneaker with a black sole. Or if you want to stand out from the crowd, pick a two-tone sneaker in two neutral colors, like blue and brown. It'll go with everything. A navy suede looks particularly great with jeans. If you want to go a little bit smarter still, get something in a classic dress shoe design but a more casual fabric like suede or perforated leather.
- Dress Shoes: If you don't dress up much, a casual loafer is a great option. If you wear a suit sometimes, you want a dress shoes that's going to work with your suit. Double monks are a stylish option that stands out. If you wear suits often, your first dress shoes should be the classic formal shoes – a black Oxford.
- Dress Boots: For the suit-wearing city guy, consider a Chelsea boot. If you're more of a jeans guy, maybe go with a chukka. Blue suede chukkas will get you the deserved attention. If you want a chunkier casual boot, look for something with a combat boot design. This looks great with jeans, and you can also dress it up with a sports jacket if you give it a nice shine.
7. Signature Accessories
Keep your staples close and accessories closer. Starting with the ties, pick the Grenadine ones. Grenadine is a textured open-weave silk that creates visual interest even in a plain color. Also pick a second option, something a little less formal, like a knit tie or a subtle pattern (pin dot, a tiny dot pattern, also goes with anything). Darker colors like burgundy, dark green, and purple are the most versatile. You should also own at least one pocket square, preferably one per jacket so you can leave them in there and forget about them. Don't forget the accessory on your face – make sure you have a decent pair of sunglasses (and glasses if you wear them) that suit your face shape. If you don’t know how to pick glasses according to face, you can read our blog on sunglasses according to face shape.
You can also watch the below video to find out your face shape.
Depending on the climate, you're probably going to want a hat in summer, winter, or both. If you want more insight into it, you can read our blog on hats. You also need a smart belt and a casual belt. Remember, never wear black leather accessories with brown leather or gold-tone metal with silver. Pick which you prefer and collect a matching set (or two). To see other options for belts, you can go through our blog on belts as well.
Here are a few accessories you can add to your wardrobe
Thus, we conclude the list with the 7 most important staples that you should incorporate in your wardrobe. Your wardrobe should have a good balance of basics and trends, and casuals and formals. A bonus tip is to splurge more on the basics because you will wear them more often than your trendy pieces. Quality basics and your confidence can transform your simple outfit into a quality fashion statement. For more such informative and interesting topics related to men’s fashion and grooming follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for interesting videos. Join our WhatsApp community to be part of one of the largest grooming communities for men.