THE PROPER WARDROBE FOR MEN

Published: 17th August 2008
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Let's face it, women are just a lot better at this sort of thing. They seem to possess an innate ability to mix and match, accessorise and enhance; they know months in advance not only where they're going to be and what they're going to be doing but what they'll be wearing. Their wardrobes are subdivided into 'basics', 'essentials', 'formal', 'evening' etc. A typical man's wardrobe is divided into only two sections: things that still fit and things that don't (but we can't quite bring ourselves to throw anything out because, any day now, we're going to join a gym).

It's mind-boggling.

Well, let's see if we can do a little something about it. Here's the top 12 crucial components of 'the proper wardrobe for men'.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 1: The pristine white shirt.

By white, we mean WHITE. Gleaming. Keep it simple: no elaborate stitching, attention-grabbing button, Oxford collars etc. This can be worn in the evening or in the daytime and will go with just about anything: suits, jeans and suit jacket etc. Avoid wearing as a casual shirt on it's own; always wear with a suit or blazer jacket. Once it starts to lose its supernova glow, get rid of it and get a new one.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 2: A grey suit.

Like the shirt, keep it simple: three buttons, single-breasted. This can be worn with a tie for job interviews or other formal occasions. Lose the tie and it instantly translates into something informal but eye-catching and stylish.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 3: A black suit.

You can buy this as a suit or separately. The suit can be worn for more formal occasions, but the jacket and pants can be mixed and matched with other garments, to create a variety of looks. When worn with jeans or khakis, the black suit jacket makes something fun and informal seem a little more considered and thoughtful.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 4: Black shoes and a black belt.

Again, this covers the whole spectrum for stiff formality to loose and casual. Jeans, khakis, suits: there'll be no problems co-ordinating. It's worth investing in decent quality shoes, as we're certain you'll get a lot of wear out of them.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 5: Two ties.

One in a solid colour, one patterned. For the solid tie, try something dark and neutral. For the patterned tie, avoid anything too 'on-trend', it'll slip out of fashion before you know it; so, go for something quite classical (a simple diagonal stripe, say) but not too formal.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 6: Jeans.

You're looking for something loose (to work with the flow of your suit jacket), but not too loose (you won't be wearing a hoodie and skater-boy trainers!). Think relaxed boot-cut. In terms of colour, avoid traditional stonewashed; look for something dark but faded and maybe a little worn (but nothing verging on a gaping hole). Low rise jeans are okay, if you're snake-hipped, otherwise steer clear.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 7: Flat-fronted Chinos.

A light, neutral colour: tan, khaki, sand. There's relatively little that these hardwearing and versatile trousers won't go with.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 8: A casual sweater.

Crew neck or v-neck? Well, that depends on your physique. Larger-chested men, irrespective of whether their chest falls into the flabby 'man boob' or highly-developed pectoral muscle category, should avoid v-neck as they can create the unwanted effect of a cleavage. Colours should be dark (think black, charcoal, navy) and the fit should be neat without being too tight. Baggy sweaters should be avoided.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 9: Polo shirts.

A few if these, if your budget can accommodate. Solid colours only (no stripes please, unless you want to look like a creepy, oversized schoolboy - this is the proper wardrobe for men, remember?). Whatever colours you prefer, but try to have at least one in black or navy.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 10: Casual shoes.

The popular trainer/shoe hybrid offer an excellent way to 'deformalise' an outfit, but keep the colour to brown (and variations thereon) and avoid too much patterning. A pair of robust brown Oxford work equally well.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 11: Sandals.

A very basic thong, preferably in brown leather. Obviously, no socks.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men 12: Shorts.

A longer short, but keep it above the knee. In terms of colour, you're looking for khaki or olive (anything light and neutral, really). Combat-style shorts are fine, but avoid anything too bulky. Worn with your sandals and a polo shirt, this will create a summery look that is casual but noticeable.



Now that you have the proper wardrobe for men, you should never get caught out again. You'll also find that working from this basis, you'll be able to add garments not purely because you like them in their own right, but because you'll be able to see how they'll work with the other elements in your wardrobe.

Happy shopping.



The Proper Wardrobe for Men . Sam Benton reveals twelve golden rules when it comes to dressing men. Be the first to take advantage of some of the best offers, the best brands and the best advice from the most respected and innovative names in Catalogue and Home Shopping. For up to 20% off first orders and our pre-sale notification promise, Click here ==> http://www.the-catalogue-site.co.uk

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