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How to dress like a man - Building up wardrobe part I


How to dress like a man? How to build up one's wardrobe? How to dress up on a budget or how to create "smarter style". These are questions many guys keep asking. Read and see a few ideas regarding these big questions. I have again been quite busy with work and other projects recently. Due that the post frequency on the blog has been quite slow. Therefore it is again good time to pick up few post from the archives. These thing are always valid. And of you haven't yet seen them, now is a good time. And if you have already read them, do it again. As you all know, repetition is the mother of learning. How to dress like a man - navy blue suit with white shirt

How to dress like a man - build up your own style

When you start to build up your wardrobe there some things I would personally suggest to keep in mind. And these points are not only for those who are in the beginning of their path. It is good to everyone once in a while to stop and think about these basic principles.

Basic principles

  • Dressing up is all about context
  • Think and try to understand what kind of clothes you need your wardrobe and why. Are you working in the office or will you in the future be working in the office, are you a student, do you need to wear a suit everyday or is your daily dresscode more based on denim and knitwear for example.
  • Buy less - buy better. Never buy anything just because it happens to be on sale and before every purchase try to think how can you combine the item you are about to buy with the garments you already have.
  • Build your wardrobe piece by piece and understand that style can evolve and change. Don't even try to get everything at once but start with the basics and go step by step further.
  • Building up a wardrobe can take years. This is good to keep in mind because accepting that fact gives you time to select items that are priced in accordance with your budget and as well time to develop and refine your style.
  • The key and secret of those most best dressed men is simple. Those guys do not wear clothing that draws attention or strikes observers as flamboyant; they wear clothes that are just simply well put together.
  • Pay attention to your shoes. In terms of dressing well, shoes are the foundation for everything.
  • Keep it simple.
How to dress like a man - make sure you clothes fit This series altogether consist of two posts. In this first one I will try to cover some basics. I also list a few different kind of types of dressers and what are the pieces one should start to build their rotation with. In the second part I come up with a few thoughts about how then to build foundation for your wardrobe, considering the basics given here. What are the colors one should pay attention to, what are the garments to start with and what to keep in mind in terms of combining different pieces while building up the rotation.

Part I - What kind of a dresser you are

As mentioned, when starting to pay attention to how you dress up and evolving your style one need to understand what kind of clothes and why you need in your wardrobe. Below are listed a few examples presenting different stereotyped options and what should that type of a guy have in his wardrobe. And keep in mind, these are my opinions of minimum requirements (for what to have when you are ready with building up your wardrobe). And the types chosen here are only a few stereotypes.

A Professional (businessman, lawyer, consultant)

  • A man who wears suit for work 5 days a week. In addition Friday nights and weekends can be spent by having dinners and drinks with friends or clients. A man who is always working.
    • 5 Suits (1 dark blue, 1 dark grey and 2-3 with blue / grey with subtle and restrained pattern)
    • 3 Sport coats / blazers (Navy blazer, 1x light colored, 1x brownish with a subtle and restrained pattern)
    • 3 Pair dress shoes (black oxfords, brown oxfords, brogues)
    • 2 Pair casual leather / suede shoes (chukka boots, loafers)
    • 10 Dress Shirts (5x white 5x light blue)
    • 2 Sport shirts (OCBDs)
    • 10 Ties (including at least one solid silver / grey and one dark blue)
    • 3 Pair slacks (dark grey flannel, mid-grey flannel and khakis)
    • 1 Pair jeans (solid blue)
    • 4 Sweaters (1x crew neck, 1x roll neck, 1x v-neck and 1x cardigan)
    • 5 Pocket Squares
    • 2 belts (black and brown)
    • Overcoat for winter
    • Overcoat for summer (rain mac)
How to dress like a man - gray flannel suit

Casual / Creative office worker

  • A guy working in those open-space offices with no dress code - unless "the casual the better" can not be seen as one. A guy who despite the above-mentioned thinks that dressing up gives one an opportunity to better express oneself without compromising the independence and professional advancement. Need to go formal occasions a couple of times a year.
    • 1 Suit (solid dark navy)
    • 1 Sport coat (navy blazer)
    • 1 Pair Dress Shoes (black oxfords)
    • 2 Pair casual leather / suede shoes (chukka boots / brogues)
    • 1 pair of decent sneakers
    • 5 Dress Shirts
    • 5 Sport shirts (OCBDs, chambray, denim, linen)
    • 3 pairs of jeans (2x dark blue, 1x light blue)
    • 2 Pair slacks (Flannels, Khakis / Chinos)
    • 2 Solid polo shirts
    • 6 Sweaters (2x crew neck, 1x roll neck, 1x v-neck, 2x cardigan)
    • 1 tie (dark navy)
    • 3 Pocket Squares
    • 2 belts (black and brown)
    • Overcoat for summer (rain mac)
    • Overcoat for winter (peacoat or a parka jacket)
How to dress like a man - parka jacket with denim and chukka boots

Uniform worker (police officers, fire fighters, construction workers)

  • A man who wears a specific uniform - given by the employer - for work. No need (or time) to wear personal clothing besides evenings and weekends. Still likes to wear a suit and when there is a need, wants do that right by the book and pay attention to the details.
    • 1 Suit (Dark blue)
    • 1 Sport coat / blazer (Navy blazer)
    • 1 Pair dress shoes (black oxfords)
    • 1 Pair casual leather / suede shoes (boots or brogues)
    • 1 Pair of decent sneakers
    • 2 Dress Shirts (1x white 1x light blue)
    • 3 sport shirts (OCBDs, linen, chambray)
    • 2 Ties (1x solid grey / silver 1x solid dark blue)
    • 2 pairs of jeans
    • 2 Pair slacks
    • 2 Solid Polo Shirts
    • 3 Sweaters (1x crew neck, 1x v-neck, 1x cardigan)
    • 2 belts (black and brown)
    • Overcoat for winter
    • Overcoat for summer
How to dress like a man - blue suit with polka dot tie

Enterpreneur

  • A man who runs his own business. Needs to wear suit when meeting clients, partners or investors but prefers to keep it casual while in the (home) office. In spare time values comfort and clean lines and wants to avoid the feeling of being over-dressed.
    • 1 Suit (Dark blue)
    • 3 Sport coats / blazers (1x dark blue, 1x light colored x patterned, 1x brownish and patterned)
    • 1 Pair dress shoes
    • 3 Pair casual leather / suede shoes
    • 1 Pair of decent sneakers
    • 5 Dress shirts
    • 5 Sport shirts
    • 3 Ties
    • 3 pocket squares
    • 2 Pairs of jeans
    • 5 Pair slacks
    • 5 Solid Polo Shirts
    • 5 Sweaters (2x crew neck, 1x roll neck, 1x v-neck, 1x cardigan)
    • 2 belts
    • Overcoat for winter
    • Overcoat for summer
How to dress like a man - staple light blue button-up shirts

Student

  • A guy who is still studying and so have clear restrictions in terms of budget even though would like to invest for his wardrobe. No need to wear a suit even for trainee-jobs or part-time work.
    • 1 Suit (Dark blue, one of which the jacket can be used as a separate)
    • 1 Pair of dress shoes (black oxfords)
    • 1 Pair of casual leather / suede shoes (rubber soled chukka-boots)
    • 1 Pair or decent sneakers
    • 1 Dress shirt (white)
    • 5 Sport shirts
    • 1 tie (solid dark blue or grey)
    • 3 Polo shirts
    • 2 Pairs of jeans
    • 2 pairs of slacks (1x dark colored wool slacks 1x khakis x chinos)
    • 3 sweaters (1x crew neck, 1x v-neck, 1x cardigan)
    • Overcoat for winter (parka jacket)
    • Overcoat for summer (rain mac or decent leather jacket)
How to dress like a man - classic white canvas sneakers

Sum up - Take your time

After you have defined what kind of a dresser you are there is one more thing to do before even starting to think about the future acquisitions. And that is going through your current wardrobe and setting aside everything that you 1) have not worn during the last two years 2) is noticeably dirty / stained or 3) does not fit you (not even there would be alterations made by a tailor). Pay attention to versatility and once again think how you can combine different pieces. This is also something I recommend you to do every once in a while. At least once a year. Whatever your style is or whatever of the above-mentioned stereotypes is easiest for you to relate, keep in mind that building up a decent wardrobe can take over years.  It's better to do your due diligence and learn to find the style that fits you best before making expensive commitments that will later turn out to be mistakes - especially if you are on a budget. So take your time, develop a basic understanding of (your) style, keep an eye for good deals, sales and bargains and you are able to to build up a wardrobe that will keep you covered for a long time. In case you don't have time get ready for the fact that the cost of building up the basics of your wardrobe can rise - up to quite a lot. If this is the case, remember this however - go quality over quantity.  It's definitely wiser to have a few well-made and high-quality garments that you can wear often and you feel good while wearing than having a handful of cheap & poorly-fitted clothing that you don't even enjoy having on.

How to dress like a man

Stay tuned, as mentioned - in the next part I will come up with a few thoughts about how then to build foundation for your wardrobe. What are the colors you should pay attention to, what are the garments to start with and what to keep in mind in terms of combining different pieces while building up the rotation. After that you should have a clear idea regarding the big questions how to dress like a man and how should I build up my own style. Finally I suggest you take a look at the article about Dressing Successfully that the co-founder and former co-partner of The Armoury Ethan Newton recently wrote. In this text Ethan nailed five basic thesis every man should acknowledge about clothing and dressing oneself. I will leave it up to you to read the article but place here those five points. Understanding these points will form the basis to answer the main question how to dress like a man.
  1. Know the Rules, Understand the Context
  2. Care for Your Stuff
  3. Fit, Fit, Fit
  4. Keep it Simple
  5. Be Comfortable and Enjoy
[one_half]Denim shirt with cotton trousers[/one_half][one_half_last]Denim shirt and white trousers[/one_half_last] Updated 10/2016.

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