Building a stylish, versatile wardrobe, one that you are comfortable with and one that you can rely on for a number of varying occasions, is an important step that every man should journey. It’s true that wardrobe curating can be somewhat daunting, for it involves time, patience and effort. But with a little know-how, your life will be made all the easier, with styling for a particular event becoming second nature.
Here at The Bespoke Corner, we have curated a list of our absolute wardrobe must-haves which allow for versatile styling options for daily and occasional wear, no matter the occasion.
You would have heard it a number of times throughout your life, but we’re of the opinion that every man should own their own suit. Why? Because there will come a time (many, in fact) where a suit will be called upon, from that important job interview to your best friend’s wedding.
Opting for a made-to-measure suit will always cover the three fundamental aspects of suiting you should consider: style, fit and make. As it will be made to your measurements, it’ll be the perfect fit for your body – a notion that is hard to come by with ready-to-wear suiting.
Made-to-measure also allows for a stylistic approach to be taken with your suit’s construction, so feel free to add your preferences, from lapel style and width to a single or double breasted construction and more.
We recommend a navy suit as it’s a style that will never fail; always elegant, always relevant. Charcoal is also a great colour to consider, which can be very practical for those who are obliged to wear a suit for work.
With good care, a suit will last you years.
THE SPORTS JACKET
A sports jacket is one item that a man will come to rely on time and time again thanks to its sheer practicality. A sports jacket, originally reserved for hunting activities in the 1800s by royals, has evolved over the ages from an item made out of necessity to an item that is today a fashion statement piece.
The 1960s ‘Ad-men’ (think Mad Men) saw the rise of sports jackets as an appropriate alternative to suiting in the office setting, but also allowed for men to dress with flair at the weekend thanks to the freedom that sports jackets allowed for in terms of pattern, colour, style and shape.
Today, the sports jacket is celebrated for its versatility as a separates staple, with men finding a number of ways to dress a sports jacket up or down – it looks equally stylish over a pair of denim jeans and a t-shirt as it does over tailored chinos or trousers and a casual cutaway-collared shirt.
Keeping warm (yet stylish) during the cooler months is a must, especially if you’re bound to a city like New York or London that is susceptible to snow. The overcoat is one of those stalwart wardrobe pieces that will always keep you warm whilst delivering its wearer a level of cool (think James Dean), and with care, is a piece that you can own forever.
Sizing up is something you should consider, for you will often find your overcoat will sit, well, over other items of clothing. Opting for a neutral and plain overcoat style will ensure relevance through the years, but you simply can’t go wrong with either a dark navy or camel wool overcoat, which, in our eyes, ticks all the right boxes.
Much like a suit construction, there are options to the style of overcoat available, from a single or double breasted design, to a peak or notch lapel style.
When you think about it, you wear your shoes possibly everyday, trekking around town in a number of conditions, so why not ensure that your shoes are not only stylish, but of the best quality?
As a rule of thumb, it’s wise to invest in a Goodyear welted, Oxford black dress shoe which will prove your go-to for any big event, like a wedding or cocktail dress-up. Another shoe up for consideration is a trusty pair of leather shoes that can be worn both casually and formally, like the Wingtip Oxford Brogue, which is one of our absolute favourite pairs of shoes a man can own. For all your casual ventures, a crisp white leather sneaker, like a pair of Common Projects, will never lead you astray. This will pair effortlessly with practically anything in your wardrobe, including a suit.
For the warmer months, you can basically live in loafers. Comfortable and practical, a pair of leather penny loafers will look great from beach to bar (and anywhere in between).
THE WHITE SHIRT
No one can underplay the importance of a white shirt in a man’s wardrobe. But more than just being another ‘white shirt’, there are many styles and cuts to consider when purchasing a white shirt, and unfortunately, there’s no ‘one’ shirt to cover all occasions.
For example, the white shirt you might wear on a casual dinner date – no doubt a buttoned-down with a slim cut and heavier cotton make – will differ from the white shirt you might wear to your best friend’s wedding, with its traditional collar and tapered design.
So, having a couple of different options stored in your ever-evolving clothing essentials comes recommended, so whatever occasion that does arise, you’ll be well equipped to handle the get-up.
THE DENIM JEANS
Invest in a good pair of selvedge denim jeans that you can match with a range of outfits in your clothing repertoire, from business to pleasure.
Denim jeans are often neglected for their importance, but you won’t find us travelling without a pair packed away. Heading out for a dinner date? Go for a dark denim jean with a casual shirt and sports jacket to finish. Looking to check out that new brunch spot over the weeked? Jeans, a white t-shirt and a bomber jacket (coffee in hand) will do you wonders.
Pro tip: after purchasing a new pair of jeans, don’t wash them for a good 6-8 months. This will give the denim time to mould to your body and develop its own colour and character. Washing your jeans constantly can ruin the dyeing agent of the garment, altering its appearance.
For every pair of jeans in your wardrobe, there should be a pair of chinos to match. Tan, navy, black – they all have their part to play.
When choosing a pair of chinos, we’d recommend having a pair made for you, as often you’ll find that chinos are made either too slim or too wide, with few options in between readily available.
Chinos should not hug the leg like a pair of skinny jeans would, nor should they resemble a pair you’d find at your local golf course. Instead, have them tailored so they taper nicely down the leg, leaving enough room in the seat for moving around in the day.
Chinos are super versatile and will pair seamlessly with a tailored sports coat, a winter cable knit or even with a casual bomber jacket.
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Unapologetic, never arrogant, always assertively BESPOKE