Wardrobe staples are the things that every guy, lad, gentleman and male needs in his closet- FULL STOP! These are the pieces that will get you through the rainiest days, those days of confusion where no matter how many times you look in your wardrobe you actually have NOTHING to wear. It’s a daily occurrence for most men, but feat not; if you equip yourself with these tools, you’ll always have something to wear. Even better, they’ll make your wardrobe last ten times longer because these items are enduringly chic and will be of the highest possible quality.
Now I know and fully understand the pressure to spend a little less on clothes, especially through these tough financial times, but these are NOT the pieces you should be saving on. Reason being, if one of these items gets fucked up, you don’t have any other choice but to go out and buy the exact same thing.
As stated before, they are essentials so there’s no compromise. So save money now by investing in the durable garments. Oh yeah, just before we get press on, this is going to be a three-part series, so we can cover everything in as much depth as possible…on with the show.
A good overcoat will look the business with a custom suit as it will with a pair of dress jeans. As you all know too well, it gets fairly chilly here and no matter how good you want to look, it’s not worth freezing your bollocks off, so you’re going to need at least one good overcoat.
So, which one should you get? Well, with most of these staples, keeping them in the neutral pallete (black, grey, navy, brown and tan) is a rule of thumb. Staples are the corner-stone of your wardrobe and so colour is worked around them. Stick with a dark tone- either black, navy or grey-and you won’t go wrong. The single-breasted topcoat works wonders but the military-style peacoat is just as good if a little less formal. Pair it with some wayfarer style Ray Ban sunglasses for the perfect London look.
- A Grey & Navy Suit
Even if you don’t even work in an environment which requires a suit, you should still own these. The suit is arguably the most iconic men’s garment. Ever. It crosses culture and age barriers and it personifies a man. So please don’t disrespect it by:
- Not bothering to find your correct size/fit
- Buying a coloured suit before you’ve got a grey or navy
If you pick a medium-weighted suit, you can wear it all year round. Navy and grey are the most flexible suits as they cover almost every shirt and tie combination. They’ll also look perfect through all four seasons.
The blazers can then be doubled-up as single jackets, which can be paired with jeans and again due to their neutral palettes, you can then start adding colour through your choice of sweaters or ties, thus bringing your casual outfit to life. The navy is also the default business colour. And the grey can be worn to both a wedding and a funeral. That’s every suit occasion covered. No excuses!
- 2 Pairs Of Good Shoes (1 Brown & 1 Black)
When I was younger, I ignored everything my father told me regarding style, thinking I’ll never need any of this advice ever. How wrong was I! Although he doesn’t make the best sartorial choices consistently, he’s always his shoes on lock. ‘Good shoes will last you forever’, is what he told me – he couldn’t be more right. I’ve gone through countless amounts of cheap Clark wallabies while his veteran Barkers stare back with a sense of pride! They will never go out of fashion. Black shoes will compliment both your suit styles as well as being able to dress up your jeans.
Brown shoes are equally important; they work better with navy and beige -basically anything but black trousers. They’ll open up your wardrobe so much. When purchasing a brown pair, go with a brogue style- again, another classic style but it will offer you that minor difference that is so essential in creating a truly flexible wardrobe.
- A White Dress Shirt x 2
The white dress shirt is our ‘Get out of jail’ free card- It’s the men’s version of the ‘little black dress’. It can be teamed with almost anything apart from a thong! It’s like the white canvas in which you can showcase your other trendier items. However this isn’t an excuse to plunge into your old school uniform shirts.
Purchase two high quality dress shirts and make sure it has a high thread count, thicker cotton weave for increased durability. You can tell instantly when someone’s shirt is cheap. Trust us- if you invest in a good quality shirt, you’ll feel ten times better. Take advance of TM Lewin, who are having sinful reductions on their shirts at the moment. They even have an altering service and for an extra £12, the tailors will fit the shirt to you perfectly. It’s a small price to pay for such an essential garment.
- A Blue Shirt
The blue shirt comes in a valiant second to its white counterpart. You can’t live with just one colour and the blue shirt works great with your suit and tie combinations, as well as with your dress jeans. Pick one up in a button-down style to add even more variety to your wardrobe.