A well-dressed man is a rare sight to behold today. So often can an outfit be ruined by an ill fitting jacket or an off-colour tie. It will take those who you seek to impress a few seconds to form an opinion of you so the devil really is in the detail when it comes to looking sharp. Follow our guide to the best pieces, winning looks and little tricks that make all the difference.
A pair of well tailored slim cut chinos in either a navy or light hue makes a great alternative to jeans for off duty cool or instead of suit trousers for the office. They are super versatile, working equally as well with a shirt and/or jacket or simply a t-shirt and for both summer and winter.
2. Dark blue jeans
Jeans are perhaps the most worn item in many a man’s wardrobe, so invest wisely, and they will last wear after wear. Go for the darkest indigo possible, slim fitting but not too tight, stiff but flexible and free of distress and added detailing.
3. Tailored shorts
While they might only be worn during the warmer months, a pair of fitted chino, poplin or linen shorts are akin to the perks of chinos as they can be worn with both a casual t-shirt to the beach or with a shirt and blazer to a summer rendezvous.
4. Cashmere sweater
A year round pre-requisite, a quality cashmere sweater should be your best buddy. Wear over shirts, under jackets and with jeans or smart slacks and you can be assured of a dapper finish.
5. Oxford white shirt
A crisp, tailored, button down Oxford should take pride of place in your wardrobe. It can be worn with jeans and simple trainers for an off-duty laid back weekend style or with chinos and a blazer when uptown smart is on the agenda. (Avoid double cuffs and cutaway collars)
6. Patterned shirt
While wardrobe essentials are all about maximum versatility, having a few more spirited items in your capsule wardrobe such as a patterned shirt, will add character and flair to the more mundane of staples.
7. Chambray shirt
For those days when a white shirt is too monotonous and a patterned shirt too energetic, a button down pale blue casual shirt is just the ticket.
8. V-neck jumper
The perfect partner for jeans, chinos, t-shirts, shirts and even ties, a V-neck jumper is a nifty all rounder for both smart and casual attire.
9. White t-shirt
A logo free, good fitting white t-shirt will stand any wardrobe in good stead. But ensure the perfect fit – not too baggy and not too tight.
10. Navy V-neck t-shirt
A classic navy V-neck tee shirt is a refreshing alternative to white, and will look dapper and refined yet less formal than a shirt, under a blazer. Just don’t go too deep with the V.
The tops: Oxford white shirt: J.Crew, patterned shirt: Canali, chambray shirt: Loro Piana, V-neck jumper: John Smedley, cashmere sweater: William Lockie, white t-shirt: Maison Margiela, navy V-neck t-shirt: Orlebar Brown
11. Single breasted grey tailored suit
Even if not a requirement for your work, it is worth investing in a classic well tailored grey single-breasted suit for those times when only a suit will do. Forget black, and go for versatile grey or charcoal. A navy silk tie and a coloured knitted tie are also both worth having on standby.
The suit: Berluti
12. Navy blazer
When a suit is too formal and a bomber or denim jacket too casual, all hail the blazer. Go for unstructured and in a navy hue.
13. Denim jacket
Keep things casual and classic with a lightweight denim jacket. Don’t be afraid to wear with jeans of another shade or layer under jackets and over tees and shirts.
14. Wool coat
A functioning winter coat, which keeps out the cold yet gives out super style, is a wardrobe must. Make it wool, find the right length for you (a pea-coat is a good option) and choose a classic colour that will stand the test of time such as navy or grey.
15. Simple sneakers
As a breed of their own, fashion trainers are all about maximum style and minimal function. Go for white or light in colour, simple design and wear with jeans, chinos and joggers for a louche off-duty style.
16. Chelsea boots
A pair of leather Chelsea boots is inimitable when it comes to both casual and smart but not stuffy footwear. They can be worn with jeans for a polished finish or smarter trousers for an understated and refined edge.
17. Tan Derbies
Brown leather shoes will work across so many areas of your wardrobe. Wear with traditional navy tailoring for a smart classic look or relaxed denim for a slice of contemporary cool.
18. Casual leather shoes
When an Oxford or Derby is too smart and a trainer too casual, moccasin-style casual leather shoes such as a loafer or boat shoe is the ideal option.
19. Brown leather belt
Jeans and chinos look best with a belt, so it is worth investing a good quality brown leather belt that will work across the board.
20. Sleek and stylish watch
While accessories are not top of the agenda for the gents, a decent watch is. The choice is yours in terms of shape and style etc., as watches are very personal, just stay away from gold.