I can go all over the world with just three outfits: a blue blazer and grey flannel pants, a grey flannel suit and a black tie."
~ Pierre Cardin
It is difficult to keep up with the constantly changing trends in fashion especially if you lead a busy life. You may not be the most fashion-conscious male out there and if you're the one who has to be literally dragged to a mall, you might even think that dressing well doesn't matter.
Well, dressing well is an important part of presentation and the good news is that you just need to get a few items in your wardrobe right, and you can get through the entire year in style. It's that simple. Mix and match these classic pieces and create your own fashion statement because these items will never go out of style.
A crisp white shirt is a classic staple and every man should own a plain white shirt in a fabric and cut that suits his body type. It is an invaluable piece of clothing for both formal and casual occasions. A plain white shirt can be teamed with a pair of trousers as well as jeans. You can wear it inside a blazer and it goes well with any colour.
Team your white shirt with a pair of khaki cotton pants in summer and you will get through the season and stay cool. You can choose to roll the sleeves up for a casual look.
While this is a classic must-have in your wardrobe, you can experiment with a variety of light-colored shirts- all of which are especially useful in the summer. A variety of light shades in mono-colors, checked and striped patterns are necessary and easy to add to your wardrobe.
T-shirts are very casual and comfortable. Your wardrobe should necessarily have a polo or regular cotton T-shirts in your favourite colours.
GQ, a monthly men's magazine, gives you a style guide to get started. It recommends the following styles that guys can experiment with.
- A T-shirt with big bold graphic print - There are T-shirts available in a variety of graphic prints that you can choose from. From superheroes to slogans to witty one-liners, the market is flooded with them. Choose a print that is not too abstract and the colour combination works well with the overall colour. If you prefer to wear a one-liner printed T-shirt, choose one that is in sync with your personality and that doesn't sound too corny or cheeky.
- Old School Stripes - Stripes can be fun and add the right amount of sleekness to your overall casual look.
- The 70s Ringer T-shirt - A ringer T-shirt is the one which is made of a single colour whereas the collar and edges of the sleeves are in a contrasting colour.
- A jacket/blazer T-shirt - This T-shirt is for all those semi-formal occasions which are not really appropriate to suit up, yet are not casual enough for you to step out in just a T-shirt. A jacket/blazer T-shirt is made of a relatively lighter and thinner fabric as compared to a polo and would normally come in a round or V-shaped neck.
- A V-neck shaped T-Shirt - A V-neck T-shirt is stylish and it goes well with a good pair of jeans. Wear a T-shirt whose V-neck doesn't run too deep.
- T-shirt with a pocket - Men can experiment with a T-shirt that has a small show pocket on either side.
A blazer that fits well can come in handy all round the year. A black, classic grey or navy blue blazer is a must have in every male wardrobe, and can be used to create versatile formal and casual looks. You can team them with a pair of jeans or khaki pants apart from the standard trousers.
Tweed Blazers and Formal Blazers can be used for sit down dinners and other formal events, while sports coats or sports blazers can be used for more casual situations like if you are going out to a club or a party.
Sports Coat or Sports Blazer:
Putting on a beautifully designed suit elevates my spirit, extols my sense of self , and helps me define me as a man to whom details matter."
~ Hardy Amies
Whether you are part of the corporate world yet or not, it is important to have a well-tailored suit in your wardrobe. A suit is traditionally an element of a formal dress code. It comprises of a pair of trousers, shirt and a blazer or jacket. A tie is optional. Stick to the classic colours like black, grey and navy blue to begin with. Team them with a pastel colored like light blue, very light pink, off-white shirts, or you can go classic and team it with a white shirt.
A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life."A classy tie is another piece of fashion that every man should own. There are a variety of ties to choose from. From the broad printed, patterned ones to the thin-barely-there variants in mono-color or stripes, ties can be used to experiment with and create a look of your choice depending on the occasion. There is no doubt that a tie can uplift and add grace to your look, however if you do not know how to knot a tie, learn and master it well. A shabby, sloppy looking tie will only bring down the charm of the rest of clothing.
~ Oscar Wilde
A classic black leather belt is a must-have in a man's wardrobe. You can alternatively have a brown one as well. When you are buying a belt, ensure that the buckle is not too big and gaudy. A formal belt should not have any additional embellishments. A belt should also not be too long so as it doesnt over-extend in your jeans or trouser's loops.
A black leather belt with a glossy finish
A black leather belt with a matte finish
A brown leather belt with a matte finish and animal skin look
A brown leather belt in a glossy finish
Common belt colours that can be worn for a casual or formal occasion
I'm sure that all you men out there, have more than one pair of blue jeans, but the key is to possess a pair of blue jeans that fits well and accentuates your body type. Having a pair of jeans in your wardrobe is vital for all those casual and semi-formal outings. Your pair of jeans in classic blue denim should be extra well-fitted, because there is nothing worse than jeans that hangs down from your body. Pair them with shirts or T-shirts and casual blazers combined with a pair of sneakers, loafers or closed leather shoes.
You can let your imagination run wild with the various possibilities that can be acheived only with a pair of jeans. Stay away from jeans that are too skinny or tight or too long. Please leave the skinny jeans for the girls. Men sporting extremely tight skinny jeans is one of the biggest fashion faux pas.
Yes, I'm talking about style, but comfort cannot be compensated on. Especially if you live in a place where the weather does not favour your wish to experiment with different fashion trends, comfort is critical. Khakis are comfortable and stylish. They are a part of casual dressing and can be teamed with shirts and T-shirts. It gives you a more relaxed style and you could also wear them to work. Choose a pair of khaki pants that are neither too baggy nor too skinny, something that fits well and feels comfortable works best. They're also commonly called Chinos.
Black and brown coloured formal shoes should be a part of your wardrobe. Black shoes can be combined with a formal and informal attire. If you're wearing a black belt, wear black shoes and a brown belt with brown shoes. Avoid wearing shoes that are too pointed in the front. It is a trend that has been doing the rounds, however an extremely pointed shoe is neither stylish nor comfortable. We're sure you wouldn't want to end up looking like Rumplestiltskin with those overtly pointed shoes.
Take a pick from any of these basic styles.
A comfortable pair of loafers or sneakers
Loafers are comfortable and every man should have at least a pair of them in his wardrobe. They can be paired with trousers,a suit for a formal occasion as well as with jeans or khaki pants. With loafers it's always a win-win situation. GQ suggests the 14 best loafers to sport this summer.
Sneakers can be a little tricky however, sporting the classic ones, the kind of shoes that can be worn with anything would be your safest bet. This pair should be a very basic, low-cut lace-up style without additional embellishments. Choose a color that can be teamed with everything from jeans to a tailored trouser.
Socks constitute an important part of your overall attire. Just because they will be hidden underneath your trousers and inside your shoes, you CANNOT not pay attention to the socks that you are wearing. A very important rule is that the colour of your socks should match with the colour of your trousers and not your shoes.
There are different types of socks and it is important to know the dos and don'ts of wearing socks. Read up on 'A Man's Guide to Socks' and I'm sure that will make you a pro in wearing the right pair of socks. For some inspiration, GQ has these four different suggestions for you.
Basic colours which should essentially be a part of our wardrobe for any occasion.