How to Build a Basic Wardrobe

There comes a time in a man’s life when he needs to elevate his fashion game to the next level. Most men are unaware of their ability to be well-dressed with a relatively modest amount of clothing. Depending on your occupation, only a couple of basics are necessary, like a charcoal or navy suit. However, others wear suits every day of the week and therefore require a more substantial wardrobe. Your wardrobe should offer a choice of appropriate clothing for a variety of occasions, and it is easy to build one sufficient to your requirements. Click here for our Visual Guide, or continue reading for further detail. By understanding these tips, you will possess the first building blocks of impeccable style.

Suiting

The most expensive garment in a gentleman’s wardrobe, suits should be made from high quality fabrics in conservative colors and patterns. Your basic wardrobe should consist of 5 suits to offer a full week’s worth of clothing options. By utilizing accessories, you are able to achieve multiple different looks with the same suits, and they provide flexibility in personal style. Your basic selection of suits should include:

  • Dark Grey Solid
  • Navy Blue Solid
  • Medium Grey Semi-Solid
  • Grey Pinstripe
  • Navy Blue Chalk Stripe

Once you have built your wardrobe with these basics, you can further expand with a less formal sixth suit, for wear on Fridays or less formal weekend occasions.

Shirts

Men constantly wonder, “What shirts do I need in my closet?” While a gentleman can never have too many dress shirts, there is a magic combination of shirts that each man should have in his wardrobe. This is to ensure you are prepared with fresh shirts for any situation, whether that be a regular day at the office, a surprise business meeting, or a much-anticipated date.

For the greatest flexibility, choose an assortment of shirts in semi-solids and simple patterns. A palette of blues from pale through periwinkle to navy, blue stripes or checks on white, gray stripes or checks on white, and pink shirt fabrics are the most basic and easy to wear. The magic combination is as follows:

  • 3 White Shirts
  • 3 Blue Shirts
  • 3 Stripe or Check Shirts
  • 2 Pink Shirts
  • 1 Fun/Casual Shirt

We have tested it out and arrived at the magic number of 12. Twelve shirts give you a range of choices and also minimizes your trips to the cleaners. Wear 6 one week, drop them off, and pick up the next 6 for the coming week. Repeat.

Accessories

At this point, you are able to use accessories to creatively expand your wardrobe, even if it is modest in size. By changing shoes, ties, pocket squares, and cufflinks, you can transform your 5 suits and 12 shirts into a year’s worth of outfits.

To start, every gentleman must have good shoes. Generally speaking, you should have at least 3-4 pairs of dress shoes that you can rotate through. However, the total number of pairs a man should own entirely depends on his personal needs. The essentials a gentleman should possess are:

  • Black Calf Oxfords
  • Brown Calf Shoes
  • Brown Calf Monk Straps
  • Brogues
  • Slip-on Casuals
  • Evening shoes

For ties, gentlemen should work towards a robust collection of at least 12 ties. Blue, green, red, and gold are classic tie colors, while striped, dot, plaid, club, foulard, and paisley are classic patterns. Start with simple solids and stripes; when you move past a half dozen ties already in your wardrobe, it is safe to purchase more fashion-forward ties.

Cufflinks and pocket squares are a creative way to show your own personality and style. Bright pocket squares can illuminate a generally boring grey suit, while heirloom cufflinks can be a conversation starter. Don’t be afraid to be stylish – just choose your investments wisely!

Building a wardrobe does take time. In order to expand, you will need to acquire more suits each year than you wear out – a formula that varies according to the frequency that you wear each suit and the quality of its construction. As you expand your basic wardrobe, keep in mind the objectives: extend the lives of your existing suits, provide choices for different occasions, and acquire clothing that will be comfortable in a broad range of temperatures. You may want to add a flannel winter suit or a linen summer suit once the basics have been covered, for example. And, of course, don’t forget that every gentleman needs a tuxedo for those special occasions! (Related posts: 5 Reasons to Invest in Custom-Made & BITNB)

Similarly, you should also continue expanding your shirt wardrobe by acquiring new shirts on a regular basis. When selecting new dress shirts, consider current fashion colors, and mix things up by adding a few options with French cuffs. Keep in mind that your daily white and blue shirts will need to be replaced more often, as they tend to wear out faster.

Remember, professional wardrobe acquisition is a career-long routine. It will continue to build over the years, and you will constantly need to replace items you already own. To stay ahead of wear and tear, you will need about three new suits and six new shirts per year. However, once you have covered the basics, you will have plenty of options to continue dressing for success while your wardrobe slowly expands.

 

 

The Fall of Street Style has a Humorous Silver Lining

It was all the rage at Men’s Fashion Week in London, then Florence, Milan, and now Paris. While models strut down the runway in the latest trends-to-be, all we are hearing about is ‘Street Style’.

Street style? What exactly is that? The definitions vary, but it is commonly described as being all about the street and all about raw style. Truly, it is meant to display your personality and showcase your identity. Although often seen as controversial, it gives people a chance to show off what they really like, what they are passionate about. That is street style in its purest form: people in their everyday clothes, doing ordinary things in their everyday casual and personal routines. Street style is entirely authentic, revealing the ensembles that people really wear, rather than what appears on the runway or in a couture boutique.

So, if street style is really supposed to be genuine, why does it keep appearing on the runway and in couture boutiques? It has become a trend and, therefore, become entirely predictable. For almost a decade, street style has captivated the fashion world. Street style blogs have appeared by the dozens, street style photographers are appearing in top magazines, and street style is seen in the window displays of some of the most elite designer stores. However, the unique quality is now lost since it became so commercial. More often than not, those whom have previously engaged in this form of personal expression would not be able to afford what is being showcased on the catwalk. A trend that was once all about individuality is now all about high-end fashion. Simply allowing there to be a defining ‘street style look’ makes it contradict itself.

The majority of news coverage for fashion events often highlights the appearance of street style. Bloggers love predicting street style trends that we will see in future seasons. The hashtag #SS15 (Street Style 2015) has been trending on Twitter since early June. Just take a stroll down Madison or Fifth Avenue, look at the window displays, and proof of the booming popularity of street style is evident. Seemingly, the authenticity of street style has been co-opted by the fashion industry.

However, the loss of genuineness has not all been bad; some good, or rather, humor, has come out of it. Particularly, a satirical and hilariously accurate Twitter account: The Sarcastialist @sarcastialist.

1While we love fashion, we also love the humor that can be found in it. Trends, especially, are typical targets for such amusing wit.

4In a recent post, BuzzFeed described @sarcastialist as “your new favorite parody Twitter account” and that the account is “taking street style down with sarcasm”.

6By editing the captions on street style photos, @sarcastialist makes them more accurate.

8The account was created in order to showcase the reality of street style photography, or, rather, to bring back the authenticity of the whole thing. It looks like the clever account is returning street style to its more realistic purpose: reflecting people’s everyday fashion.

10For more street style humor, follow @sarcastialist on Twitter!

A Guide to Mastering the Tie Clip

Two men walk into a bar and… well, chances are they are both wearing one.

While men have accessorized with tie clips for ages, there has been a recent resurgence in their popularity. With thanks to a revitalized interest in classic and more formal men’s style, gentlemen everywhere have begun to take part in this very clean and very modern subtle look. The tie clip (or tie bar) is a small, finishing detail that has a huge impact on your look.

If you are sick of getting food on your tie when you lean over to eat, if you can’t stand the wind taking over, then opting for a tie clip may be the answer you are looking for. Although it seems simple and pretty obvious, it is easy to lose your put-together look by improperly wearing one. Follow these golden rules to ensure your tie clip always serves its functional and stylistic purpose.

The One Key Item You Need to Become More Confident

It is the staple in every man’s closet, the essential, the cornerstone of his style. It all begins with the shirt. The perfect shirt helps bring out a man’s “A” game and makes every day stand out. The moment he puts that perfect shirt on, he feels more powerful. He exudes an aura of dominance. The confidence that comes with looking your absolute best is priceless.

While most men desire to look their best, many simply do not know how. The perfect shirt is not just about color and pattern choice; the perfect fit is the key. While there are many details that go into the shirt, there are a few main points to pay attention to when it comes to the right fit:Shirt Fit

Do your shirts pass the test? Unfortunately, when purchasing an off-the-rack shirt, it is common that the shirt does not have the “perfect fit.” Every man is built differently, so why should every man’s shirt be made the same? There are many benefits in purchasing custom-made shirts, but achieving the right fit is most prominent.

If you have not had the perfect shirt, make an appointment with us and get started today. When you invest in Clifton Charles custom-made dress shirts, we take multiple measurements to create a luxurious shirt that fits you perfectly. If you want to learn how to measure yourself, check out our DIY guides on our website.

With fabrics in various colors and prints, multiple details for you to customize, and even an option for a complimentary monogram, Clifton Charles can help you achieve a perfectly fitted shirt to suit your style. We know our luxurious and affordable custom-made shirts will give you the perfect fitting and flattering look you cannot get off-the-rack.

Celebrate Independence Day in Style

4thWith the grand prix of summer weekends quickly approaching, everyone is gearing up for the festivities in celebration of our independence from Great Britain in 1776. The national holiday marked by patriotic displays hosts hundreds of outdoor events nationwide. Parades, barbecue, and fireworks are just a few of the things that make this summer holiday one of our favorites. Whether you’re packing up for a picnic in Central Park, headed out for a weekend in the Hamptons, or utilizing the holiday as a chance to vacation with the family, we compiled a list of all your Independence Day must-haves.

It wouldn’t be a proper celebration without everyone decked out from head to toe in red, white, and blue. This year, leave your American flag shirt at home. There are plenty of ways to display your pride without draping yourself in a once-a-year fashion disaster. Show off your patriotic spirit with a custom-made shirt from Clifton Charles! Check out our four Fourth of July featured fabrics:

Fourth Featured FabricsIf you’re planning to hit the beach, try solid navy or red swim trunks. Guys, leave the American flag printed shorts at home. If you do not have either color of swimwear, soak up some sun on a red, white, and blue towel.

7" Board Short in both red and navy from J. Crew. Americana Beach Towel from Bed, Bath, & Beyond

7″ Board Short in both red and navy from J. Crew. Americana Beach Towel from Bed, Bath, & Beyond

You can further accessorize your holiday-wear with the perfect pair of shades. Pick up a pair of solid navy sunglasses to throw on while you are at the parade or during a game of Frisbee on the beach. Again, no American flag print. Actually, just leave the print for flags and avoid wearing it.

Navy Ray-Ban aviators

Navy Ray-Ban aviators

Planning to attend a dinner party? If you need a more formal patriotic look, a classic navy blue suit is the perfect way to dress the part and still show off your spirit. Opt for a clean white dress shirt underneath, and a bold red tie. Bonus points of the pattern in the tie incorporates some navy blue.

Custom suit, shirt, and tie from Clifton Charles

Custom suit, shirt, and tie from Clifton Charles

Once you’ve taken care of your ‘Proud to be an American’ wardrobe, don’t forget the other necessities! July is National UV Safety Month. No matter where you spend your holiday, remember to pack the SPF (and some aloe too, just in case). Re-apply your sunscreen often to ensure you avoid any damage from harmful UV rays. Just as important as the sunscreen, be sure to have bottled water handy. With the July heat blazing, you won’t want to forget to stay hydrated.

With all of the essentials covered, you can dress to impress and show off your patriotic spirit! So grab a cocktail, go to a rooftop or head down to the water to watch the fireworks. You are ready to celebrate Independence Day in style. Now, you can finally get out your American flags. Happy Fourth of July!

 

If you are hosting a party, check out Instyle’s Show-Stopping Red, White, and Blue Cocktails for delicious drink recipes to please all of your guests.

Still looking for holiday plans? Check out TimeOut New York’s Fourth of July events.