by Hannah St James
Regardless of your profession, body shape or budget, there are certain items, which no man should be without. By working to a neutral or universal palette and choosing classic cuts, you will begin to build a collection of pieces that work with many other colours and styles. The following is a list of essentials that form the basis of a versatile and wearable wardrobe.
First and foremost, everybody should have a blazer in a cut that flatters their shape. A good blazer will instantly update any outfit, turning scrappy hipster into chic grunge, and casual daywear into a stylish evening ensemble. This versatile piece can be worn to the office, to a date, for that important interview, almost anywhere. Look for pieces in maroon, navy, grey, white or black for an eternally stylish investment piece that will work with existing wardrobe pieces, for example the faux velvet maroon blazer featured in here, chosen by Stylist David Chapman from the selection at Oxford, Canberra Centre.
It’s one of the laws of the universe that almost everyone looks good in a plain white t-shirt. Don’t underestimate what this simple item can do to help your outfit look clean and put-together. You can wear it under a suit for a nonchalantly sharp vibe, with jeans, subtly referencing the King of Cool James Dean, or with anything in between.
Leather jackets come in many incarnations, and it can be difficult to find the right one for you, however this absolute essential is worth any time spent searching. Aim for a classic colour in a flattering cut (tailored at the waist) and you will be able to wear it for years to come.
Black jeans (skinny or otherwise) are a saviour for men and women alike. There are many affordable styles available, but if you can, it’s worth investing in a quality item as it will fade slower and last longer. Jeans can be worn day or night, and anywhere but to weddings and funerals. Black jeans add a touch of sartorial thought to even the most casual outfit, so take the time to find the right cut for you, and then never take them off.
Everybody needs a v-neck sweater or cardigan, especially men! The V shape gives the neck and shoulders of the wearer a flattering shape and frames the face. V-necks look fantastic with collared shirts and have come a long way from their once preppy image, becoming a wardrobe essential for the well dressed everywhere.
Business and formal shoes are important and a bad shoe can ruin an outfit, so if in doubt opt for a classic style over a trend item. Ideally look for a universal colour like black, or a semi neutral colour like a dark brown or wine shade. A classic brogue or business shoe will be versatile, and leather shoes are best as they breathe, mould to your feet and last longer than synthetic shoes. If choosing an elongated square or pointy toe style, ensure the point of the toe doesn’t extend more than an inch or so beyond the end of your big toe.
Suits can be expensive, so invest in a classic colour that flatters your body, and you will be able to wear it on many different occasions styled with different shirts and ties. The suit may not maketh the man, but it does make a lasting impression, so ensure it’s a quality piece.
Another item that has undergone a massive re branding in the past few years is the humble hoodie, now the go to item for off duty business men and gym-junkies alike. Plain hoodies are ideal as print can look tacky, think grey, navy, black, white or maroon, and style it with your leather jacket for a modern rock n roll twist on what was previously exercise wear.
Our undergarments can often be neglected; however cotton, wool, or natural fibre socks are an absolute must. Feet sweat cups constantly when in shoes and it’s important to wear natural fibres that will allow your skin to breathe while also absorbing liquid, and reducing odour.