In this detailed guide, we cover wardrobe essentials for men, including suits, shirts, ties & men's accessories.
How convenient would it be to have all of your men's wardrobe essentials? Having enough options that complement each other that you look great every time you step out, even if your only replacing one article of clothing from one event to the next.
Men’s fashion may not change as quickly as Kendall Jenner’s hair color, but it certainly isn’t the easiest thing to keep track of. If you have very few clothes to start with the task of creating a wardrobe can be even more daunting.
In this article we’ll go through some of the wardrobe essentials for men and how to maximize your wardrobe by starting off on the right foot. The essentials of a wardrobe are all about getting together a versatile array of quality items, which seems pretty simple until you throw in the fact that you want to do this all while remaining or becoming stylish.
With the essential pieces of a stylish wardrobe you will have a foundation upon which to grow from a limited number of pieces to a point where you can switch out shirts, ties, and suits easily without much thought.
Eventually your wardrobe will grow to reflect your own personal style and needs, but for the essentials nearly everyone can use the same advice. This list of essentials is aimed at those who are going to a formal office 5 days a week. If you wear a suit and tie more or less often than that you will need fewer or more clothes to keep your wardrobe from getting stale. So without further ado, here are our Wardrobe Essentials for Men!
If you are hoping to get the most out of a small wardrobe or simply build a foundation of formal wear on which to last you a long time you will need pay attention to the classic colors of menswear.
For suits the classic colors are typically darker colors. When picking out your first suits or simply starting a wardrobe of suits from scratch stick to colors like navy, charcoal gray and brown in order to give yourself a lot of versatility without coming across as wearing the same suits day in and out.
Charcoal Grey Suit
The grey suit is the perfect suit to start off any wardrobe, and may be the most versatile suit option out there. The charcoal grey suit is highly versatile and can be worn to a multitude of occasions, including formal events, daily work or on a date night / social evening! This will be one of your suits that you can expect to get the most return for, given that you will be wearing it many times over!
From a business standpoint, the charcoal grey suit exhibits trust and authority, two critical elements to coming across professionally in any corporate setting, whether its daily work, a business meeting or an important presentation.
To view Silk Ties that will match a Solid Charcoal Grey Suit, please click here.
The Navy Suit, in addition to the charcoal grey suit, is a staple in every discerning gentleman's wardrobe. While it is nearly as versatile and classically cool as the charcoal suit, it is somewhat limited in its range of use given that it cannot be worn to the most formal of events. Barring that, strut your navy two or three piece to daily work, a cocktail or wedding reception, or while out on the town, and you are guaranteed to look dapper.
Alternatively, your navy jacket can be uncoupled and worn with khakis to provide a more business casual look while out in the evenings!
Both navy and charcoal grey suits can be worn with a range of ties, making them highly versatile options when dressing your best.
To view Silk Ties that will match a Solid Navy Blue Suit, please click here.
Courtesy of www.esquire.com
For dress shirts there are a few classic colors as well, and you will find much more variety when it comes to dress shirts. This is where some of your personal style touches and preferences can come in.
Typically you will want to stay away from the busier shirt patterns, but stripes, checkers and plain dress shirts can still show off some personal style. The essential shirts for any man’s wardrobe are the pale blue and white dress shirts that are easily the most common in the workplace.
While white and pale blue shirts have traditionally been considered the most conservative, given their relatively somber appearance, they have also been considered the easiest canvas upon which to wear different ties against, making tie color and pattern matching almost effortless.
However, if you are looking to add flair to your wardrobe, adding stronger solid colors and patterns such as pink shirts and checkered shirts will undoubtedly add visual intrigue to your ensemble.
The Dark Knot Tip: The key when matching ties to your patterned shirts is to choose tie patterns of a different proportion. While the pattern can be the same (i.e plaid against checkered, or striped against striped), what matters most is proportion. Ideally, you are looking for a smaller patterned shirt (backdrop) with a larger spaced patterned tie (forgeround) in order to create the right contrast.
To learn more about how to match ties to your suits and shirts, please click here.
Courtesy of tailoredandstyled.com
When it comes to shoes and belts the rules are pretty simple for the essentials. One pair of black shoes and a black belt along with one pair of brown shoes and a belt should do you fine while you are starting out.
When matching your belts to your shoes, it is essential that the color of your shoes match that of your belt!
Ties are another place where the essential wardrobe can show some of your personal style again. There are a huge selection of ties out there, but with that said there are a few essential ties.
The solid black tie, the striped tie, the navy or red power tie and the plaid tie should all be on your essential shopping list in order to give you a variety of options that will go with nearly all of your other garments.
Black Silk Tie - A staple in every discerning gentleman's wardrobe, the Black Silk Tie is your ideal piece of neck wear for the most formal events, including Black Tie Events.
The Striped Tie - The Striped Tie has been a wardrobe essential for every professional gentleman for the longest time. The Striped Tie allows you to demonstrate a level of authority and trust that few other pieces of neckwear can allow you to do. Whether you are dressing up for daily work, an important presentation or a meeting, the striped tie will always work wonders for you.
Solid Navy Tie - The Solid Navy Tie, in addition to the Striped Tie, is a classic men's tie that will allow you to demonstrate authority and affinity at the same time. Who doesn't want to do business with someone that knows what they are talking about, while appearing trust worthy?
Red Ties - The Red Tie, whether striped or solid, will ensure that you come across as authoritative and business like, ensuring that people will pay attention to what you have to say whether its at daily work, a presentation or an important business meeting.
Plaid Ties - Unique in their pattern and away from you traditional solid and striped ties, Plaid Ties are highly versatile as they can be worn to work against your solid and smaller checkered shirts, in addition to being suitable for a casual evening our or while looking to dress dandy on the weekends!
Still confused? Check out The Dark Knot's Essential Ties Collection, that feature the above along with some extra pieces that will definitely add flair to your ensembles!
The Dark Knot's Canterbury Regimental Stripes Navy w/ Red Tie
With the recent renaissance of knitted ties, it is absolutely imperative that we included these gorgeous neck pieces in our wardrobe essentials guide. Knitted Ties, with an open weave and texture, provide a refined aesthetic that silk ties cannot. This textural variation will almost definitely be a conversation starter, and will allow you to really make an impression! Whether you are opting for a beautiful horizontal striped knitted tie, a polka dot or solid piece, these stunning ties will provide you with plenty of options for your essentials.
Knitted Ties are the perfect way to dress down a formal ensemble or to dress up a more casual ensemble.
The Dark Knot's Ithaca Grey Woolen Knitted Tie
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's entire Knit Tie Collection!
Essential Pocket Squares
Few things can inject variety and a pop of color into an ensemble like a pocket square. With many offices increasingly dressing down, and dapper gentlemen often choosing to forego the necktie, a pocket square is an easy way to instantly elevate your style game, without much effort. Pair your pocket squares with a sports blazer and a checkered or solid shirt, and you are well on your way to dapper-dom- if that's a word! Here are some interchangeable pocket squares that you can use to great effect with the rest of your ensembles!
Paisley Pocket Squares
A Paisley Pocket Square pattern provides the ideal design upn which to complement the rest of your ensemble. given the pattern spacing and flair of these beautiful designs, they will perfectly complement any of your solid or micro checkered shirts! With The Dark Knot's Paisley Pocket Squares (along with all of our others), our hand rolled contrasting edges provide even further pop, allowing you to really stand out!
The Dark Knot's Ellington Paisley Silk Pocket Square provides an immediate pop of color, and perfectly complements this shirt and tie combination from both a color and pattern standpoint!
Polka Dot Pocket Square
The Polka Dot Pocket Square, like the paisley square, is easily compatible with a wide range of blazer and tie options, or just a blazer with a shirt. Given that polka dot patterns are typically seen with ties, strutting a polka dot pocket square is a great way to mix up your pattern game! Pair your pocket squares with a solid or checkered shirt and a solid, paisley or patterned tie! The trick is to make sure that the patterns are small and tightly held together, allowing for the larger spaced polka dot patterns to really stand out!
The Dark Knot's Ashland Dots Polka Dot Silk Pocket Square can be worn with a range of suits, blazer & tie or blazer & shirt combinations!P
Solid White Pocket Square
The Solid White Pocket Square, the quintessential element of a discerning man's wardrobe, is a perfect way to accentuate your taste for style, without overtly spicing it up. Particularly suitable for black tie ensembles, a solid white pocket square will also look exquisite with a navy or grey suit or blazer, for that perfect, refined sense of panache. Strut a pocket square with burgundy hand rolled edges, such as the one below, and you are bound to make an impression!
The Dark Knot's Tuxedo White / Burgundy Linen Pocket Square is the perfect accompanying item to your existing ensemble!
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's entire range of Silk & Linen Pocket Squares
It’s a Numbers Game
The number of different pieces you need is largely dependent on how often you will be wearing a suit and tie, but for this article we are assuming that you are wearing a suit and tie to work Monday through Friday.
This means that you need to have a minimum of 2-3 suits in the colors previously mentioned with the third possibly in something a bit more personal.
For dress shirts you should have at least one white and one pale blue but doubling up on these is never a bad idea. You should have at least three other shirts to ensure that you don’t need to do laundry during the middle of every week. Make sure these three other shirts can be worn with nearly all of your ties, meaning no extremely loud patterns or non-neutral colors unless you really know what you’re doing.
The essential ties should allow you to have a bare minimum of 6 ties, which means you will have the opportunity to pick out some ties aside from the ones mentioned above.
Your ties should be a reflection of your personal style, but when you are first starting a wardrobe should be versatile enough to go with any of your suits and shirts allowing you to mix and match for maximum longevity.
If you are looking for help choosing your ties, The Dark Knot's silk tie filtered search system is the perfect place to start. With our our various criteria filters, you will be able to find ties based on matching suits, matching shirts and even the type of occasion / event that you are wearing a tie to!
Courtesy of www.pinterest.com
Find Your Fit
The wardrobe essentials for men are more than simply covering each day of the week, in order for the wardrobe to stand on its own it needs to have some continuity and some uniqueness at the same time.
Aim for similar fitting suits, shirts and ties that match when building your wardrobe. Slimmer fits are still on the rise in formal wear so it’s not a bad idea to go slim with your suits and dress shirts. Ties give you more leeway, but opting for ties that match the width of your lapels is a good way to keep things consistent.
Our article on how a suit should fit should serve as a useful guide!
Show some uniqueness in your wardrobe by opting for different types of suits while sticking to the more neutral colors covered. A three piece suit and suits with different amounts of buttons will allow you to show off some style while still having incredibly versatile garments.
Whether you are just about to start your first job that requires a suit, or are just looking to overhaul your wardrobe in order to get rid of all the things you don’t wear these rules for the essentials will work for you. A solid foundation of a wardrobe like this will allow you to add more items as you go along and develop your very own personal style.
And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you have found this introductory article to wardrobe essentials helpful!
Are you looking to redo your wardrobe? The Dark Knot Men's Style Consultation Service is your perfect solution, where we pair you with one of our style consultants who work with you digitally over the course of a month to help you build your ideal wardrobe!