Wednesday, April 13, 2011

15 Pieces for Every Man

I saw a great interview the other day with the head clothier at Turnbull & Asser (a British men's clothing institution) regarding the pieces every man should have in his wardrobe.  The head clothier was a true throwback to a bygone era.  Here was a man who still took "dressing" seriously.  Turnbull & Asser dress the royal family, but more importantly they dress Bond. James Bond.  So, I took notes.  While later reviewing their website I found a comprehensive garment care guide for men's clothes, invaluable information for the well dressed man.  Click here.  Here are the highlights for the most important pieces.  Enjoy!  

1) Dark Suit, Navy or Grey
2) White Dress Shirt, preferably French cuff, Blue Striped Shirt 
3) Navy Blue or Camel Sports Jacket
4) Khaki Trousers
5) Cashmere Sweater
6)  Dark Jeans
7) Black Dress Shoes
8) Brown Brogues
9) 3/4 Length Tan/Black Raincoat
10) Collection of Ties
11) White T- Shirt
12) Black Polo Shirt
13) Leather Wrist Watch
14)  Good Pair of Sneakers
15) A Pair of Cufflinks

1) Dark Suit Grey or Navy- The biggest question in choosing a suit is: double breasted or single.  Some would tell you it is a matter of personal taste. Double breasted suits tend to be more formal, a single-breasted suit more casual.  If you are tall and thin, you can carry off a double-breasted suit, short, all that material can make you look shorter and wider.  Two important rules, shiny only if you are applying for a job in the mob, large stripes or bold patterns, only if you are applying for a job at the circus.  Use the alteration services offered at department stores, they will guide you in making appropriate alterations.

2) White Dress Shirt or Blue Striped Shirt, French cuff for evening- The V-shaped points of a straight-point collar are the most common style of men's shirt, and are flattering for most men's faces.  A French cuff has fabric that is long and folds back and are closed with a cuff link or silk knot. French cuff shirts are a good choice for a smart dinner out on the town. Finer shirts are made of 2-ply. Try not to buy single ply shirts.  Nordstrom's  line of shirts are a great choice,  if you don't want to spend your life ironing.

3) Navy or Camel Blue Sports Jacket-  Navy is an essential jacket and can be worn with grey slacks, khaki dress trousers and chinos.  Try to stay away from ornate gold buttons, as you can end up looking like a sea captain.  Ahoy there matey! A camel hair sport coats is a classic and essential if you buying more than one jacket.  It can be worn with both a classic shirt or with a polo for a more casual look. 

4) Khaki Trousers - A classic for any wardrobe.  Make sure that the pant "breaks" just above your shoe, otherwise your trousers will look too short.  Pleated pants work well if you are tall, or if you carry weight in the top part of your body.  Wear cuffed trousers if you are tall and lean, if short, they will make you appear shorter.

5) Cashmere Sweater - There are one or two tips for buying a cashmere sweater.  Pull the sweater in opposite directions.  The sweater should snap back into it's original shape, if it doesn't it is made of inferior cashmere.  Just as with shirts, make sure that you choose a 2-ply sweater.

Images from J Crew, Banana Republic & Norstroms. Click to view:

Top( Left to right):  J Crew Holborn Trenchcoat, 1600 Watch,  Dark Blue Jeans,  Ludlow Two-Button Suit.        
Middle (Left to Right): Black Polo, Essential Chinos,  Silk Ties,  Brown Brogues, Thomas Pink Shirt.
Bottom (Left to Right): Grey Sneakers,  Grey Cashmere Sweater, Pink's Cuff Links, White T-Shirt.

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