With a New Year underway it’s time to think about a new wardrobe. There are a series of key pieces essential for any bloke in my opinion to get you through a year looking half decent. See what you’re missing from my wardrobe essentials…
The Classic White T-Shirt
An absolute staple, essential for summer but also for the Autumn and Winter months to be paired with a nice cardigan or under a casual hoody.
Over £30 – REISS for me, or Sunspel.
An Oxford Shirt (or two)
An Oxford shirt is perfect for both smart occasions (easily worn with a suit) but also for the smart casual look when paired with a pair of chinos or jeans. I’m not sure I could live without my Fred Perry white Oxford shirt, and I’d recommend a nice light blue or grey as well.
Loopback Grey Sweatshirt
There is something about a grey loopback cotton sweatshirt that I just love. Relaxed, simple style. Comfortable and casual. I wouldn’t be without one.
Navy Crew Neck Jumper
To be worn casually on its own or over a white t-shirt, or over that Oxford shirt when needing a bit of extra warmth.
Half Zip Jumper
If you’re only going to own one suit, make it a classic navy one. Navy works both in a formal environment but also a celebratory one like a wedding. It’ll also be suitable in both summer and winter.
Up there with jeans are the best “utility” trousers around, can be smart when worn with a shirt and shoes but also casual if paired with nice trainers and a crew neck jumper.
Over £50 – REISS
Jeans are one of the few items of clothing that I don’t care much about, I see them very much as a basic accompaniment which should be embellished by other more exciting elements of an outfit. Obviously, trousers, in general, are essential 😉 I think the key rule for jeans is to get a good fit, I know the 90s have come back (sort of), but there is nothing worse than a baggy pair of jeans. Equally, I wouldn’t go too skinny, particularly if you’re the muscular type, your legs end up looking a bit like denim turds that have been vacuum packed.
A decent mac is an absolute Britsh classic and an essential part of any wardrobe. Perfect for spring, or even those colder days in summer, it can be worn with a suit but also more casually.
Similar in many ways to a mac in terms of being a lightweight layer for Spring / Summer, but still very much an essential in my eyes. It is just that little bt more on the casual side than a mac or trench.
Under £50 – ASOS
Ah, the winter coat, one of my absolute favourite things in the world. In this instance, I am thinking of a decent winter jacket for the terraces, something relatively casual as opposed to a smart wool coat. I could write a whole post or series of posts about terrace coats so I’ll try and keep it fairly briefly here.
Under £150 – Obviously, you can go to Topman or Burton, but if you spend a touch more you can probably get your hands on something half decent from Adidas, Patagonia, Columbia or Barbour. All available at END.
Over £200 – Again, I could write post after post about the expensive winter jackets I want. The likes of Stone Island are hard to ignore, but you do get some idiots wearing it, so for something a little less obvious take a look at Italian brand Ten C or indeed CP Company.
It is probably fairly obvious that I love trainers, so choosing a staple pair is difficult and I would probably advise that you have two or three, but a classic pair of white trainers is widely seen as essential to any wardrobe.
Any wardrobe isn’t complete without a smart pair of shoes and if you’re going to have one, make them a pair of brown brogues. Outside of a black suit for a funeral, they will go with pretty much anything, even jeans for a more smart casual look. I wrote a blog fairly recently about my search for a good pair of Brogues so I will refer you to that.
And that’s it for my wardrobe essentials. If you think I’ve missed something, or have any questions, just give me a shout @gentlemancasual