So let me touch on one of the basic principles of clothing- the foundation. I've gone into a lot of clients homes and time after time its the same- a closet with no direction. Whats the plan for your wardrobe? Is there one? Too many times my client looks at this closet and says "I don't know what goes with what."
If you are in the position where suits/sportcoats are predominately what you wear to work, there is a common denominator that all wardrobes need- "a foundation" - of what the wardrobe is built from. Without this, the closet turns into an explosion of randomness.
It is important to lay the foundation of the wardrobe before really bulking it up with the fashionable color-filled pieces. Here's what you need (at minimum).
- 2 Suits
- 1 Blazer
- 2 Trousers
- 2 shirts
Grey and Blue solids. Simple right? If you get the correct two shades then these suits can both be year round, go with any shoe color, and be put with any shirt and tie combination you want (for the most part).
Make sure the grey is a medium color- not too charcoal and not too light. Don't be afraid to wear it with brown shoes, it's a fantastic look that many men aren't aware of.
When it comes to the blue suit, don't go for the classic (baby boomer) navy suit- that IS boring. Many times this suit looks black when you're inside, that is what you are trying to get away from. Pick out a blue with a little bit of pop but make sure to not go over board.
Navy blazer. I'm not talking about the one your mother made you wear when you went to church as a kid, nor the one you had to wear for your fraternity picnics- you know, gold buttons. If you buy the right blazer, it will become your favorite sport coat quickly. Dress is up with a tie or dress it down with even a tshirt underneath (no Hanes or Fruit Of A Loom).
If you plan on wearing these dress pants only with sportcoats, then stay away from the navy- it is by far the least versatile one. Ideally these are the two trousers you first buy to match up with the blazer.
Medium Grey- Khaki- (3rd pair would be brown)
With the grey, if you wanted to expand on this, ideally you would have a lighter grey that you wear in the spring/summer and a charcoal pair to wear in the fall/winter. The brown is a great option all year round and the khakis are mostly a spring/summer/early fall pant. If you choose to wear them when it's a bit cold out- do so on a sunny day at least.
And no- don't wear your suit pants as dress pants (have some dignity). AND DON'T WEAR YOUR SUIT COAT AS A SPORTCOAT!! (insert yelling emoticon here).
Side note: A blue blazer looks great with jeans, but make sure you get DRESS jeans. This means guys- spend more than $30. Brands I like? Citizens of Humanity, AG, JBrand, Seven, Heritage (that is until I add denim to my line).
Solid white, solid blue. Personally, I am not a blue shirt fan- I think they look 2nd rate when compared to a guy in a crisp white shirt. I have about fifteen white shirts as they go with anything and everything. If you like a solid blue shirt, that is fine- just make sure it's not too dark of a blue.
Take these simple items as the guidelines to a wardrobe. Everything you buy from there on out, will easily integrate into these articles of clothing.
Be sure though- you are steered the right way by the salesperson at the shop. The wrong shades of blues or greys can completely mess it all up! As always, feel free to email me pictures and questions if you want to make sure youre getting the best options.