Clothing, clothing, everywhere and not a piece to wear. Sound Familiar? Do you swing open your closet doors and find yourself glaring into a sea of random garments? Well buck up matey, I'll show you how to transform that hodge-podge of clothes into a treasure chest full of versatile pieces for any occasion! Here are ten, absolutely essential, wardrobe pieces for the modern man's closet.
1. All Dressed Up
Don't let the stuffy nomenclature fool you, a dress shirt is simply any button-front shirt with a collar (where said collar doesn't button down). These shirts are incredibly versatile and can easily be dressed up or down. If you need a timeless look for the office, grab a few in crisp white and soft blue. For an effortless, go-anywhere look, don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves and rock one gingham style!
2. Raw and Uncut
It's fascinating how something once exclusively worn by laborers and rebels, has become the most indispensable wardrobe staple on the planet. The right pair of jeans look just as good with a blazer and tie as they do with a plain old T-shirt. Take a cue from the bad boys of the 1950's and only buy yours raw and untreated. Invest time in finding the perfect fit and your jeans will easily become the most versatile card in your deck.
3. Off-the-Clock Style
Fact: Your shoes are typically the first thing women look at when evaluating your outfit. Make sure she gets the message loud and clear. For a comfy yet stylish look, step behind the wheel of a leather driving moccasin. When it's time to call an audible, spring for a pair of brown leather wingtip Derbys. This lace up gives you unparalleled versatility and will certainly score you major style points.
4. Play Your Cards Right
This ain't your grandpa's cardigan. Today's modern, slim fit varieties could very well be the most versatile layering piece in your arsenal. Its soft fabric and button-front closure give you the perfect blend of sleek, preppy, and relaxed chic. So save the frills for your accessories and keep it simple. Opt for a dark, solid cardigan in merino wool or cotton.
5. Suit Yourself
Thank Beau Brummell, the most influential sartorialist of the 19th century, for the elegant simplicity of modern menswear. "Why?" you might ask. Because without his trendsetting minimalism, foppish wigs, hosiery, and knee breeches, might be still be hanging in the men's section of your local department store. Take a note from Beau's timeless style and opt for a suit in navy or charcoal gray. For a classic, versatile look, get yours in 100% wool with two-buttons and notch lapels.
6. Tie it All Together
Fashionable men have been donning countless variations of elaborately-knotted neckwear since the 17th century. Bring yours up-to-date with bold splashes of color in classic styles. Need a tie that works for any occasion? Simple, think of it as a game of billiards; you can't go wrong with stripes or solids. But this doesn't mean your ties have to be boring, try spicing up your street style with funky fabrics, like chambray, or make a bold statement with a vibrant, knitted tie.
7. She’s Still Looking at Your Shoes...
Now that you've nailed it with your suit and tie, complete the look with a pair of sleek dress shoes. Black or dark brown leather wingtip Oxfords are a timeless choice. However, if you like to shake things up a bit, consider a pair of ultra-trendy leather monk straps.
8. Bundle Up!
Let's face it, your overcoat is probably the only everyday item in your lineup, so seize the opportunity to perfect this look. If icy winters are in your forecast, a simple peacoat should do the trick. But if you're looking for an all-weather option, consider a classic trench with a removable lining. It'll keep you warm enough in the cooler months, while keeping you light and dry during the rainy days of spring.
9. Be a Trailblazer
A blazer is a man's best friend. It broadens the shoulders, trims the waist, and adds panache to any look. A well-fitted blazer already speaks volumes, so skip the loud patterns and go for a subtle, understated look. Try one in tweed with a tasteful pocket square for a look that'll quietly turn heads.
10. The Underrated Undergarment
Undergarments can be a sensitive subject for us guys, since we often ride them out to the bitter end. What if I told you that a simple change in your undershirt choice could help smooth out your torso and make you appear thinner? Well, it's true. A slim, well-fitted T-shirt helps eliminate fabric bunches and bulges, giving your top layer a smoother, more streamlined drape. Not bad for a piece of underwear.
Add these wardrobe essentials to your collection and you'll never stand bewildered in front of your closet again!
About Author: Brandon Bernard Jones is a New York City-based personal stylist and the founder of Don Bernard.