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Monday, August 4, 2008

WARDROBE 101 FOR MEN




















The backbone of every man's wardrobe consists of well-thought staple items; and whether you are a corporate executive OR selling newspaper we all need to have certain items in our closets that reflect every aspect of our lives. It has been said THAT THE BACKBONE OF A STYLISH WARDROBE REQUIRES CERTAIN, ESSENTIAL, and WELL-CRAFTER PIECES. These items should be enduringly fashionable, fit you perfectly and be of such good quality to survive more than two seasons. Some may require more of an investment than others, but nonetheless a wardrobe is an important part of a man’s life. So let’s not beat around the bush. We all have our set of challenges when it comes to finding clothes we find flattering on ourselves. But if chosen well, the right clothes can accentuate the best we can offer. Now the FIRST question you should have in mind is WHERE TO START? When it comes to building a functional wardrobe, the first thing a man must do is assess his lifestyle. Does he need to wear a suit every day? If so, then he will need several suits. Is he in a more casual setting at work? If so, then perhaps he needs more khakis or jeans than trousers or suits. No matter what his particular situation though, there are things every man should have in his wardrobe. It is VITALLY important that a man has a sensual span of colors that reflect the contrasting elements of fire, earth, wind and water while projecting his image into the world. So I have outlined some (certainly not all) wardrobe must haves for men. Of course there are exceptions to rules, but keep these tips in mind when putting a wardrobe or an outfit together.
















MEN’S WARDROBE ESSENTIALS & MUST HAVES...














  1. A SUIT (navy or gray) - Even if you only need a suit a couple of times a year, you're glad to have it on hand when those occasions arise. Navy or gray suits are classic and neutral and can be dressed up or down. You can even wear the blazer with khakis or jeans. This is an item worth spending some money on. Your suit should be of a timeless style, suitable for every event, such as weddings, funerals, job interviews, graduations and important business meetings.





  2. BLACK SHOES & BELT - These can be worn with khakis, jeans and your suit. This is an essential combo. Before buying brown, get black. I think you will find you get more mileage out of them, especially when attending more formal or evening functions. Every man needs a pair of well polished black shoes and a black belt. If black is too boring for you, dark brown could be an option - just make sure if coordinates with your suit.





  3. BROWN DRESS SHOES – Brown dress shoes are just as important as black ones. Beige and navy trousers show them off the best, but they can actually be worn with any colour, except solid black bottoms.





  4. WHITE DRESS SHIRT (good for day and night occasions) - White dress shirts look good on just about everybody. They look sharp and are versatile but should not to be worn as a casual shirt.





  5. SOLID TIE - Solid ties are easy and versatile. If solid isn't your thing, try a classic diagonal stripe. Having several tie patterns on hand will ensure you are prepared for interviews, weddings and evening events. A solid tie in a basic colour is very versatile and matches almost any shirt and suit. The most popular colour of men’s ties is blue, followed by red. Blue is a less intrusive colour, where as red has built a reputation as a ‘power tie’ very popular with politicians!





  6. BLUE BLAZER - A blue blazer is good for all year round and easily coordinates with khakis and other items. If that bores you, try a tweed sport coat but also keep in mind that tweed is really only useful in fall and winter. Either way a blazer or tweed sport coat holds a look together.





  7. KHAKIS & JEANS - No explanation necessary here. Jeans are a staple of the wardrobe. Khakis are the same. Khakis and jeans are essential items that no man can do without. Jeans are the most popular item in a man’s wardrobe today. Dark blue has been the most fashionable shade for years and doesn’t seem to be dropping in the denim hierarchy. A darker shade of denim is always a safer option, as they And in situations where jeans are a little too casual, khakis will be the perfect alternative. Either can be effortlessly teamed with a dress shirt or a casual t-shirt.





  8. OVERCOAT - An overcoat doesn't necessarily mean a long coat. It also means 3/4-length or car coat length. This item really finishes an outfit and can be worn with everything including jeans. And everyone needs a coat in winter, right?





  9. BRIEFCASE - A briefcase does not necessarily mean a hard case. It can be soft, or messenger bag style. In a man is has to carry files and other documents, this is an essential.





  10. ATHLETIC WEAR - Even for non-athletic types, athletic wear is great for those lazy Sundays and dashes to the convenience store at wee hours of the morning.





  11. CASUAL SHIRT - A casual shirt such as a polo or button down is a must have to wear with jeans or other casual pants.





  12. DECONSTRUCTED SUIT - A deconstructed suit is great because it has a relaxed look but is pulled together. Also, the pants and blazer can be worn separately)





  13. @ LEAST TWO BARBERS – In case one over booked or out of town, have a back up.





  14. A GOOD TAILOR – A good tailor can make anything fit your body type.





  15. NICE LUGGAGE – You mst take into account its practicality, ruggedness and spaciousness when traveling.





  16. STEEL-BAND WATCH – If you only have one watch, this is the most versatile one to own so feel free to invest in a good quality one. And these truly are an investment, spend some money on a good watch and it should last a lifetime, possibly longer. Opt for a simple watch devoid of gizmos and gadgets.





  17. LEATHER GLOVES – Totally hot, yet totally elegant, any impeccable wardrobe should include a pair of gloves that, well, fit like a glove. They add a touch of sophistication in the winter but, more importantly, also keep your hands warm. Cold, chapped hands are neither stylish nor attractive, so be a man and cover your hands.





  18. SCARF – Tie a scarf around your neck and look like you’ve mastered the art of being effortlessly cool. Choose cashmere, silk or another quality fabric for durability and a solid colour, such as black or camel, for long-lasting style.





  19. SUNGLASSES – Black or silver frames with dark lenses are universally flattering and will work very well with most outfits. Seek help to find a simple pair that flatters your face shape and, unless you plop down on them in the car, they should last years.





  20. CASHMERE SWEATER – Luxurious and comfortable, this is a must for every well-dressed man’s wardrobe. Although pricey, a high-quality cashmere sweater will last forever when cared for properly. Opt for two-ply cashmere to resist holes and grade A cashmere to avoid pills. As for colours, solid colours will stand the test of time but argyle would be acceptable as well.





  21. WHITE T-SHIRT – Pick up a high-quality, cotton/lycra blend tee shirt and feel free to wear it with jeans, shorts, under a sports jacket and really anything you might wear with a dress shirt.





  22. STREET SHOES – The best all-around everyday shoes should basically be a less dressy version of your favourite black dress shoes. Loafers or slip-ons with no heel and a rubber or leather sole are the most practical. Personally, I am of the mindset that these will be your most worn pair of shoes and will be replaced frequently, so feel free to experiment with trendier looks here.





  23. BLACK SOCKS – This cannot be stressed enough! White socks are for the gym. Black socks will suit pretty well every other situation in a pinch. Some style aficionados would tell you to match your socks to your trousers but, if you are keeping it simple, black socks are the most versatile. Prepare to replace socks every six months.





  24. POLO SHIRT – No matter your age, weight, shape, job, etc. a polo shirt always look appropriate for classy casual dress. Made famous by Ralph Lauren and Lacoste, these short sleeved, collared shirts come in a whole host of colours and patterns.





  25. LEATHER BAND WATCH – A leather strap watch with a square, steel face is ideal for formal wear but wears well in most other situations. Although not necessarily as durable as a steel band watch, a good quality watch can always be refitted with a new leather band relatively inexpensively.





MEN CLOTHING TIPS…Here are some clothing style tips for men that will provide guidelines regarding the right man fashion clothing for different body type. These man-clothing tips can be a great help in adorning you but you must follow the advice seriously.











  • THE BIG N’ TALL MAN…Particularly tall guys should say away from vertical stripes including pinstripes since they tend to accentuate height. Horizontal stripes and windowpane plaids are more flattering patterns. If you are thin to boot, wearing fabrics that cling is a bad idea, but wearing baggy clothes also brings attention to your svelt physique. Being tall and thin is a challenge when looking for the perfect fit in shirts, trousers, sweaters and suits. Wearing shirts that are slightly fitted with spread collars and trousers that are straight in the leg, not tapered in any way, work best. Also, sweaters with a closer fit to the body, but not fitted are more flattering. And since suits with three buttons tend to lengthen the body, stick with one and two buttons as to prevent people's eyes from falling particularly on your legs. When it comes to jeans the perfect style is low waist jeans with a contrasting shade T-shirt tucked inside. Also opt for belts with a big buckle…REMEMBER IT IS ALL ABOUT AVERTING ATTENTION…





  • THE VERTICALLY CHALLENGED MAN…Short guys should avoid cuffed trousers, long suit jackets, and loud patterns. You don’t want to bring attention to your smaller stature. Pinstripes and other stripes (but not too bold) and dark solid colors are your best bet since they visually lengthen the body. Also, two and three buttoned suits with long lapels will give you a flattering, longer silhouette. And remember, when buttoning your suit leave the top button on two and three button suits undone since this will give the illusion of being taller. When it comes to ties, avoid Windsor and double Windsor knots – in other words stick with small knots. This will help you avoid looking like a kid. Also don’t wear trousers/ jeans at waist. Low waist jeans are not the right type for you. Tucking your top would not be a very good option. Pullovers are apt for your personality. Short lengthy tank tops are a total no because they tend to highlight your short waist. Contrast concept wont look very good as it would interfere with the vertical flow. So a combo of pink shirt and black trouser should not be chosen…ALWAYS ask your tailor to keep an inch higher on waist while taking measurement…





  • THE THICK MAN…Heavyset men shouldn’t wear bold patterns of any sort. Pinstripes and solid colors, especially dark ones, are your friends. Bulky fabrics such as tweeds should be avoided when it comes to suits, and softer wools such as gabardines and super 100’s should be embraced. Do wear suits with peaked lapels since they carry the eye upwards. Shirts with pointed collars are also more flattering. Some say that suspenders are better than belts, but you can decide that for yourself…HOWEVER, you should note that light shades tend to accentuate your tummy and you should make it a point to wear a vest as it prevents loose skin flow from taking place. Long sleeve T-shirt is the right kind for you AND FOR GOD’S SAKE please AVOID low waist jeans.





So MEN by now you should have a clear idea as to what would suit you and I hope that these tips will help you disguise your bad body features AND accentuate the good parts. I hope that next time you go shopping you'll be focused as to what you want & not get lured by styling or designing of apparel…REMEMBER LOOKING YOUR BEST STARTS WITH YOU…

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