Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Men's Fashion Basics

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I have a few guy friends lately that have been enlisting my help with revamping their look. Even my husband has had me help refine his look a bit. Most guys I know have had the same clothes since highschool. Their thought is, "It still fits, why get rid of it" And I say, "Highschool was 10 years ago, you're a man now." or, at least, I think it ;0)

The new style for men is a much more tailored, fitted look. Even basics are elevated when they fit well. A good fit makes everything look more expensive and helps you look more pulled together. All women appreciate a well dressed man. I'm going to share a few basic items I think every guy should own, and then, once you have the basics down, you can add to it and throw in more of your personality.

Some great places to shop for men's clothing: JCrew has classic men's style down to a T, they offer great cuts and make really great colors. They are a higher price point, but their clothes are quality and last a long time. H&M is great for more trendy pieces, good place for skinny jeans and fitted basic t-shirts. Target has some great basics, though you really have to look for fit, because some things can be very boxy and big in their cuts.

  • A good fitting black or neutral blazer. It's a great way to dress up a t-shirt and jeans, and adds polish to casual ensembles.
  • A black or dark brown leather jacket. Either in a classic biker shape or like the collar less one I show in the middle outfit. Keep it fitted, you want a nice stream lined shape. As you wear it more it will age beautifully.
  • Army green jacket. Go to your local surplus store and get the real deal. Make sure it's not too baggy, and sits at your shoulders properly. This is a great light weight jacket that you can throw on as you run out the door and it gives a rugged cool look to even basic outfits.
  • A medium to dark wash jean jacket. Great item to dress down a button down and tie. Great layering piece under a blazer as well.
  • A suit vest. It gives a sleek line and hides a small tummy. It's a great way to elevate a button down and add some personality.
  • A fitted v-neck t-shirt is a must for any mans wardrobe. Buy in multiple colors, but definitely black, white and grey. You want it fitted, but not tight, and the sleeves should hit around the middle of your tricep.
  •  I love a henley on a man. It should be a lightweight cotton, so you can layer. I like a long sleeve pushed up to the elbow, but you can also get short sleeve. Example: Outfits 2 and 4 from the left.
  • Button downs should be fitted. Look for Slim on the label. Every man needs a good wrinkle free white button down, a light blue like in outfit 5 (far right), and then various striped, plaid, and solid colors. A classic white is great for work and church, the light blue is great for work but also dresses down nicely. A button down is a great layering piece over t-shirts to give some color or pattern to an outfit.
  • Chambray (denim) button down shirt. Great for layering, dresses down a suit and looks cool with a tie, or paired with your chinos or do denim on denim.
  • A dark wash fitted pair of jeans. A dark wash is more dressy and looks crisp and clean.
  • A rugged faded pair of jeans. These can be in a relaxed fit, though you don't want baggy. These are the just hanging out running errands kind of jeans. Try to avoid too much whiskering in the thigh area (the little crease fading) and too severe of fading. You want it to look like a pair  you have worn for years that just faded naturally.
  • Fitted chinos is neutral colors, black, grey, and khaki. Examples in outfits 3 and 5. This is a great pant that comes in so many colors and is where you can branch out color wise. Some good expanded colors are green, blue, red, dark red, and a rusty brown.
  • Corduroy pants in a small whale bone (the raised stripe part). You want a good fitted pair in neutrals like black and grey, but you can also expand color wise here too. Maybe a dark purple!
  • Fitted shorts. Think about how your chinos fit and imagine you just cut them to just above your knee, that is how shorts should fit. 
  • Every guy should own a pair of low top Converse. Keep them clean, and they look really crisp with chinos, jeans, and fun with suits. Preferably in white or black. Though colors can add a punch to outfits. Great with shorts in the summer.
  • Vans sneakers look great and are a good dress up or down kind of shoe. Bonus points for a pair in black leather.
  • A casual boot, like a desert boot. Example in outfit 4. Usually in a brown. Adds a bit more polish than sneakers but still laid back. Look good with a rolled cuff on jeans.
  • Two pairs of dress shoes. One in black and one in brown. Think more of an oxford shape, not too pointed, with a rounded toe. Avoid chunky square shoes, they just add weight. A great wingtip looks classy.
  • Boots that can be dressed up or down, that are high enough to tuck pants into if you want a bit more of a rocker, rugged look. Example in outfit 3.
  • Aviator sunglasses are a classic and look good on most face shapes. They are sexy in a gold tone. Don't go overly mirrored with them.
  • Classic Wayfarers look good on a lot of face shapes as well and have a very James Dean quality to them. 
  • Socks in fun colors and patterns add a fun pop to outfits and look A LOT better when your pants show some ankle than a pair of white athletic socks. Also get no show socks for your low top sneakers and when you wear shorts. Tall socks with shorts is not cool anymore....the 90's look has been forever retired.
  •  A good leather belt in black and brown. Keep it simple and the hardware sleek.    

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  1. Just discovered your blog while looking for exactly this post: basics pieces for a man's wardrobe! My husband is a literal example of what you talked about (same clothes since high school) and we've both been wanting to update things but had no idea how. This will get us started! Thanks so much!

  2. So glad you liked the post! I enjoy when new people find my blog! If you have any questions, and want advice for your hubby, or anything, please don't hesitate to ask! I would love to be given a challenge and help out a reader :0)