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PostHeaderIcon Closet Essentials for Guys

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When it comes to clothing, a man’s life is usually less complicated and their fashion doesn't change as quickly as women's.  I was surprised, though, that from over 10 lists I studied, I didn’t find two that cite exactly the same items.  Furthermore, I haven't found one that I completely agree with, so I came out with my own.
Dark denim jeans.  Most, if not all men love jeans, and most own more than one pair. Based on my experience in working with men, I realized that not every man knows that dark denim jeans are the most versatile and easily go from casual to dressy, depending on what shirts and shoes are worn with them. Not every man knows his best cut:  straight leg, boot cut, relaxed fit, or skinny (only for young guys), or the brand that fits him best. Prices of jeans range from $50 to $300, and the quality of work and fabric differs immensely, but I'm still not convinced that for $300 you get the absolute best.  Good fit is more important than price and finding a pair that is not too baggy or too short is more important.  If unsure about the fit or brand,  talk to a wardrobe consultant.

Suits.  Black, brown,  navy or gray?  Charcoal gray is my favorite.  It looks good on  most men,  its softer and more original than black, and more versatile than brown.  If you have ever watched “Mad Men," you could not help but notice, the slimmer fit shows men have bodies, too.  For more inspiration visit Rome.  Italians look impeccable in suits even in sizzling summer heat.  Look for natural fibers, the fabric that are breathable, and you won't have to worry about perspiration.  And, never ever compromise on the quality.   A good suit will serve you well, and you won't regret spending time and money on the one that fits great and is crafted  well.  On a tight budget?  Go to Nordstroms and have their  consultants find the best brand, style and size for you.  Then, go to Nordstrom's Rack and find the same brand for a discounted price.

Dress shirt.  Many say white fits all but I'm not that convinced.  White does not always go with your skin, especially if you are pale skinned.  It may be that another solid color  compliments your skin better.  Match it to the suit. Lighter colors are more versatile.  Pale blue, for example, is a nice addition to a  charcoal gray suit.  Fabrics should be crisp and tightly woven, to create a well polished effect.

Casual shirt. There are many options to choose from here: stripes, plaids or prints; pockets or other embellishments and varieties of textures and styles.  Knowing what's fashionable for the season will help you to look more current.  Plaids and military styles have been popular for the last couple of seasons and still are.

Slacks. Look for  well made, in a fabric that is not too thin, with enough room in the waist to accommodate a tucked-in shirt and undershirt.  Dark or muted colors are best for professional wear.

Sport coats.  Less formal than a suit blazer, made from silk, linen, cotton, or wool, a sport coat must be in a men's wardrobe.  Such a versatile piece, it can be worn with slacks for a more professional look, or with jeans for a casual, but still polished aprearence. 

Leather belts.  Having at least two, one dressy and one more casual, is a bare minimum for every man.  The dress belt is slimmer and has a more polished and refined look.  Black is the easiest color to match.

Black lace-up shoes.  Lace-ups always look dressier than slip-ons, and black shines up the best and goes with practically anything..

Ties. This is a great accessory to finish up the outfit and add flair and uniqueness. Traditionally used as a more formal look, ties are quickly becoming a popular accessory for casual looks as well, especially among more style conscious guys.  Muted colors or quiet patterns are more versatile.  The width varies.

Classic watch.  All the sources I checked talk about a classic luxury watch such as Rolex, as a must have for a confident modern man.  I think every man needs a watch as a great accessory but having a watch from a brand that screams expensive is absolutely unnecessary.  There are many good quality classic watches, Skagen being one of my favorites.

I haven't talked about khakis and polo shirts, commonly known as the ultimate American staple for business casual.  This has always been a mystery for me, because that combination rarely looks good on an average men's body.  There's nothing about it that says modern and I'm pretty sure a new staple is long overdue.

I also haven't talked about outerwear, t-shirts, knits, or socks, the last one being an extensive topic by itself. And, as I mentioned at the beginning, there is no one, absolutely right list that everyone agrees on, and which works for everybody.

But, if you think you have one, I'd be happy to hear.  -DP

To contact Diana, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  You can also find her through www.linkedin.com/in/dianaplaciakiene, www.facebook.com/pages/ispeakstyle/17026118958 or twitter.com/dianaPlaciak.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 16 March 2011 21:52)



0 #1 2011-02-08 13:24
Thanks for the article, Diana! Good information.

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