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.


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.


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.


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.



Spotted in the City: Fashionable Grandpas


An Instagram account, with the username @FashionGrandpas, has been snapping photos of the best dressed old men in New York City. And now, users can even send in their own #FashionGrandpa snapshots!

image(6)@FashionGrandpas continues to collect shots of these stylish folks all over town, and people love it! With 18,000 followers and climbing, @FashionGrandpas is a hit!

We already knew grandpas have always had their own “look”, but these men have really stepped up the game.

image(7)They ignore whatever is trending…

image(5)They follow (or don’t follow) their own style rules…

image(8)They just dress with flair!


 For more of these best dressed grandpas, follow @FashionGrandpas on Instagram!

Style at the 2014 NBA Draft

hi-res-2507a9000c64e5a9d5ab8d429e915aa5_crop_northThroughout all of the excitement over the 2014 NBA Draft, there were a lot of comments made about the draftees’ fashion choices. Although fashion was not the primary focus of the event, it certainly caught everyone’s attention!. Check out our gallery with photos of some of our favorite looks from the night!

Two of the athletes featured in our gallery had something extra special to share. While many people noted their choices of color or style for their suits, some of the young men had more to show off than what was visible on the surface. Here, #6 pick Marcus Smart shows off the inside of his jacket. At a glance, and as some people criticized, it appears to be graffiti. However, when you look closely, Smart’s design incorporates aspects of his life that are really close to his heart. Most importantly, the jacket features a tribute to his brother, Todd Westbrook, who died in 2004 after a long battle with cancer at the age of 33. Smart’s first tattoo is also a tribute to Westbrook. When he first arrived at Oklahoma State, the number 3 (which had always been his number) was retired. He then chose #33 in honor of his brother.

2014 NBA Draft

Another athlete with a story to share was #15 pick, Adreian Payne. Though many criticized his bright and somewhat gaudy ensemble, it looks that way deliberately. Payne’s look was a tribute to a special friend: Lacey Holsworth (pictured below). The 8 year old Michigan State fan lost her battle with cancer this past spring – a tragedy that devastated the entire campus and sports fans across the nation. They became good friends while Payne was making a visit to the hospital, and he soon became her “Superman.” Their incredible story touched the hearts of many. Payne told The State News, “I wore this for Lacey Holsworth, and it’s the color of her cancer that she had, leukemia.” Aside from the color, Payne also had “Adreian and Lacey” embroidered on the inside of his jacket to commemorate the little girl that was so close to him.


Payne points to the embroidery inside his jacket that reads “Adreian and Lacey”


Lacey Holsworth helps Adreian Payne cut down the net after beating University of Michigan in the B1G Tournament Championship.

Besides the special touches added by Smart and Payne, one other stood out among the crowd of athletes. Aaron Gordon’s blue suit (BITNB!) was shockingly similar to that of the Orlando Magic. The mere 18 year old attended the NBA Draft at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The blue shade of his suit was shockingly similar to that of the Orlando Magic, but Gordon claims it was not his forecast of the draft’s outcome. Whether it was a simple coincidence or an accurate prediction, the similarity in shades of blue drew a lot of attention.


As always, so many different styles were represented in this year’s NBA draft. Many of the ensembles seemed to showcase the personality of the player who wore it. Some raised eyebrows, others stood out for being perfectly classic. Either way, last night’s NBA Draft proved that there is never a shortage of fashion waiting to be critiqued.

Vote in our survey for who you think deserves “Best Dressed” in last night’s NBA Draft!

5 Reasons to Invest in Custom-Made

Debating whether or not you should rent a tux vs. buying one? Maybe you’ve already decided to rent because it will be cheaper. But, have you considered the economic value of purchasing your own tuxedo? To quickly summarize this point, take a look at our info-graphic below:

photo(9)The initial difference in cost is almost enough to help you decide on a rental. However, when you consider the difference in the long-run, you easily save more than you spend when you invest in a custom-tailored suit or tuxedo.

Not only is it cheaper, but once you make the investment, it’s also much easier! You no longer have to go through the trouble of renting a tux for each and every special occasion. All you have to do is simply go into your closet, put on your beautiful Clifton Charles custom suit, and you’ll be one of the most sharply dressed men at the party! If the dress code is unspecified, a classic suit is always an appropriate choice.

Now, think about the fit. Do you really want to pay between $150-$200 for a rental suit that might not fit right? When you invest in a Clifton Charles custom-made suit, it will be tailored to fit you, and only you, perfectly. We take your specific measurements to create a suit that fits and flatters. No two men are exactly the same shape or size, so why should your suits be?

Let’s talk customization. This is where men get to have a little fun! Think of all the options you have when handpicking a suit… fabric and color choice, extra details like lining the jacket or piping around pockets, and even monograms. With the help of the staff at Clifton Charles, you are guaranteed to find the perfect ensemble that fits your personal style. If you are feeling overwhelmed with any of the custom details, we are more than happy to make suggestions or recommendations that will suit your needs.

Still not convinced? The most important reason to invest in a custom suit: Confidence. “One of the most rewarding things is seeing the confidence a man has when a suit fits him,” says Clifton Berry of Clifton Charles. A man should look as good as he feels. A custom-tailored suit will do just that.


“My tuxedo was the best fit I’ve ever had. They say when you sell a man the suit he gets married in, you’ve made a customer for life. I think you’ve done just that.” -Sterling M.

Need a summary? Here are the 5 reasons why you should invest in a custom-tailored suit or tuxedo:

  1. Better long-term investment

  2. Simplicity

  3. Perfectly tailored

  4. More options for customization

  5. Confidence.

A groom should never outshine his bride, but with Clifton Charles custom-tailored suits and tuxedos, they have the ability to hold their own next to her like never before.


Check out our latest wedding creation! A luxurious cream doeskin fabric with complimentary black pants for one of our esteemed clients. Notice the detail of the black piping on the pockets and a black silk shawl collar!

Clifton Berry in Destinations, Weddings, and Honeymoons Magazine


Posted on May 22, 2013

With wedding season kicking into high gear, it is a great time to revisit Clifton’s interview in last summer’s edition of Destinations, Weddings, and Honeymoons Magazine on the importance and luxury of wearing a custom tuxedo or suit for your wedding. Many men struggle with finding the correct fitting and appropriate suit, especially during wedding season, and at Clifton Charles we’re here to expertly guide you through the process. Below is the full article of Clifton’s wedding style tips. Check it out!

For the Groom: Tips on Choosing the Right Wedding Suit

July 23rd, 2012

by: Brooke Showell

As grooms make the switch from rented tuxes to handpicked suits, they’re able to hold their own next to the bride like never before. “One of the most rewarding things is seeing the confidence a man has when a suit fits him,” says custom tailor Clifton Berry of Clifton Charles, in New York City. Here is Berry’s best advice for creating a custom look.


Photo by Kesner Bienvenu

Get oriented. Think about the wedding’s location, season and time of day — and decide if the new duds are just for the I do’s or if you plan to wear them again. The fit and feel should match both his style and the event’s tone, whether it’s a Mad Men-esque suit with a skinny lapel for a sleek gallery gala or a lightweight morning coat for a daytime garden ceremony.

Get measured. To achieve the perfect fit, tailors may take up to 30 measurements. If you can’t make it in person, have your local dry cleaner size you up, or send in your best-fitting suit as a model.

Get personal. Have fun personalizing with special features like a unique lining (wild paisley, your wedding colors, etc.), your initials embroidered in the jacket, a coordinating bow tie or vest, or shirt studs and matching cuff links.

Check out the official website article here: