Sunday, April 18, 2010

Building the Wardrobe

Antonio of A Tailored Suit wrote on Friday over at Art of Manliness part I of a series on how to Build Your Wardrobe. The post is, I think, a great start and I really like the 4 different categories Antonio broke most men down in to. Broad categories but I think they make an excellent starting point for any man. A little adjustment goes a long way to tailoring those 4 basic categories into the look that will suit you the best.

The one that matches best I think for most students and academics, as well as scientists in industry for the most part as well is the "Creative Casual". Which Antonio describes and recommends:

The Casual Creative’s Wardrobe
You work in an environment in which creativity is valued and conformity is dreaded.  Although you have some colleagues that dress in the clothing they slept in, you realize that dressing up a notch does not mean you are losing yourself as an individual.  Rather it gives you a chance to better express it without compromising your chance for opportunity.

Items that should be in the Casual Creative’s Wardrobe:
  • 1 Suit & 2 Ties (Just in case!)
  • 1 Pair Dress Shoes
  • 2 Pair Casual Leather Shoes (Suede or Saddle Shoes)
  • Belts that match above shoes
  • 10+ Dress Shirts (tailored, contrast stitching, unique fabrics)
  • 4 Pairs of well-fitting Jeans
  • 2 Pair Slacks, Dark & Light
  • 6+ Button-up collared sport shirts
  • 2 Solid Polo Shirts
  • 6 Sweaters
  • 10+ Undershirts
  • 1+ Sports Jacket – unique style or fabric
  • 1 Simple Watch
  • 5+ Pocket Squares
  • 1 Overcoat (Aim for a Unique Fabric)

Items that would be helpful to have
  • 2 Vests – possibly wear in lieu of a jacket
  • 1 pair Leather Gloves
  • 1 Hat
  • Collar Stays, Cuff Links

Now, some of the numbers may seem a little excessive, at least some of the commenter in the thread seemed to think so, but in general I think they are sound. Myself I would probably go with fewer dress shirts, a few more slacks, and a few more blazers/sports coats for variety in that area. I'd also recommend 2 suits and a wider variety of ties but that's just me.

This sort of wardrobe offers a pretty good variety to play with as well, and can run to a broad range of styles I think. For instance, while I'd like to eventually pick up a Fedora, I'm not sure it will really suit me so my hat is a grey checked flat cap for casual wear. For more formal occasions I don't wear hats at all.

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