Is it just me, or is there something different about you?
Hmmm… I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Oh that’s right, you’re looking FINE, nice work! (settle down I’m not gay, and if I was you wouldn’t be my type anyway) 😉
You’ve most likely gone through the 3 steps to style and are now well on your way to your ideal image.
Not only do you look more confident, happy, and just plain great but you should feel that way too. Go ahead, you can pat yourself on the back, though I’m personally a fan of giving myself high fives.
Now, I promised you that I would say more about the 10 most common pieces so here we go. They are:
- V-Neck Sweater
- Plain Oxford dress shirt
- Patterned Shirt
Be sure to watch for individual posts on each of these because frankly they deserve their own post. But for now, we’re going to keep this relatively short because you have things to do, and women to impress.
When it comes to getting a suit (if you don’t already have one) ALWAYS get a 3 piece when possible! I can’t stress this enough. I don’t care if it’s summer and it’s too hot to wear all three pieces.
You don’t need to wear all 3 pieces together all the time, however, simply having all 3 pieces gives you more options and is more versatile. You can dress up or down for the occasion or add an extra layer when it is cold.
Plus it’s easier to convince the salesman to give you a discount on the vest when you buy it with the suit than if you were to buy it independently.
Oh, I almost forgot, for your first suit stick with either navy, charcoal or grey either solid color or a simple pattern nothing too crazy….yet 🙂
In my opinion the blazers that a man wears say more about his style than his suit.
Because you actually have to match the blazer to the pants. When you buy a suit it comes with matching pants, you’re buying an outfit that you know that works. A blazer demands creativity and sophistication. Something you want, and I know the ladies like 😉
If your suit is gray or charcoal get a navy blazer to add some more color. If your go-to suit is navy then get a patterned gray, charcoal, or tan/light brown blazer.
Make sure the fit is good and it matches some items you already own or you might as well not buy it.
The V-neck sweater-
You want to show off your bod without looking like too much of a “tool”? A proper fitting V-neck sweater is your go to item. It should be fitted but not so tight and uncomfortable that you’re sweating buckets if you throw on a dress shirt underneath.
It’s hard to truly go wrong with any of the basic colors like black, gray, maroon/red, olive, cream/beige, or navy/blue. Just stay away from bright shades of any color or yellow, orange, or bright greens until you’re sure you can properly style them. Plus those colors are better for summer anyways.
V-necks are easily dressed-up with dress pants and a collared shirt underneath or you can dress them down with a pair of jeans.
Oxford Dress Shirt-
Now this may sound boring but for the oxford shirts, start with white or light blues. If that’s all you ever get you’ll be just fine. Make sure they are properly fitted.
You can even double up, get one of each. Get one blue and one white that have button-down collars which are better for casual occasions when you don’t want to wear a tie. Then get one more of each with the normal collar. These are more appropriate for dressier occasions where you would wear a tie.
Patterned Dress Shirt-
When it comes to patterned dress shirts keep it simple. Don’t ever buy a shirt that has more than 3 colors in it or crazy patterns, they usually look gaudy and make you look like a used car salesman.
The more simple the shirt the more versatile it can be. This is the time to branch out beyond just white or blue. Go ahead get some purples, grays, greens, or red accented shirts.
The “bread and butter” of the pant world. They can be dressed up for a wedding reception or a church service, or dressed-down and rolled up for a beach party or a night out on the town.
Get them comfortable but properly fitted.
Chinos will usually be made with materials that are a bit stretchier so you can get away with a slimmer fit.
Don’t be afraid to branch out into some bolder colors for the spring and summer. I love my salmon and royal blue chinos for the warmer months.
Or you can’t go wrong with the usual grey, olive, and khaki colors.
Now I may not be the best person, ok, I know I’m not the best person to talk about jeans because frankly I only own 2 nice pairs of jeans. I’m just not a big fan of them and I just don’t wear them that often because I prefer my chinos.
However, I do think that if you’re going to go minimalistic like me, then you should have at least 2 pairs of jeans. A light wash pair and a dark wash pair.
Though I’ve already said this a million times, fit is key. Fit doesn’t have to come at the sacrifice of comfort but you will usually pay more for stylish comfortable jeans then you will for stylish comfortable chinos (at least that has been my experience).
So I could go on for days about shoes. I may or may not have more than my mother, sister, and brothers combined. My girlfriend and I are pretty close in number but I may have her beat in the next day or two. (shhhh don’t tell her)
Though I may be a minimalist in jeans I am certainly not a minimalist in shoes. If you want to take a minimalist approach then here is the minimum (5 pairs):
-Brown Dress shoes: I’m partial to monk straps but a brogued pair of oxfords or wingtips are amazing, I have both.
-Black dress shoes: darby, wingtip, or a plain oxford is fine
-Loafer: you can go black or brown for a dressier look or red is a new trend that I’m a big fan of
-Boots: chelsea boots and chukkas should be your go to boot
-Athletic shoe: last on the list but can easily be the most comfortable/affordable shoe. If you’re not sure about matching just buy a black and
Now I said I have too many shoes, well I definitely have more ties. Let’s just say that I could easily wear a tie every day for 3 months and never wear the same one. Just like the V-neck sweater, don’t go super crazy on the colors yet until you know how and when to wear them.
Stick with simple patterns, textures, and colors like black, brown, navy, maroon, or orange. I’m also a sucker for bow-ties (which explains why we have our own in-house brand of customized and interchangeable bow-ties).
There are only so many things a man can use to upscale his look without seeming like he’s trying too hard, and watches are one of them. The top 2 apparel items that men are judged on are shoes and watches. There is a vast array of possibilities with watches, just hop on Amazon and you can see more than 50,000 watches.
But you can stick with the three basic watches that I think every man should own: black leather band (white or black face), brown leather band (white/cream, or blue accents), and silver metal band (stick with solid neutral colors).
Now, if you decide to look up these watches you’ll notice you don’t need to spend a ton of money on some decent looking watches. I will never show you items that are outside the realm of possibility for most people like a Breitling, there aren’t many people who are going to spend $4,000+ on a watch.
If these watches are too bland for you don’t be afraid to branch out to other colors or different materials, but I do recommend you have at least 1 of the 3 options I mentioned earlier.
Don’t be afraid to buy watch faces and bands separately and mix and match them. Some people may think this is trashy, which a lot of the time it is. But if you do it right it’s very unique, and just like blazers it shows your creativity and confidence in your abilities.
That’s it, those are my 10 most common menswear items.