Have you ever stared into your wardrobe and wondered: ‘What am I going to wear today?’ Even when faced with plenty of options, it can be tricky to lay your hands on your outfit of choice.
This is where the ‘Man Wardrobe’ comes in. A selection of clothing essentials that are so stylish and timeless that you never need to agonise over your clothing choices again – these items pretty much pick themselves.
With the Man Wardrobe, every piece goes with one another; no thinking, no hassle, no time-wasting. Just a selection of must-have clothing items that will hold their own in any situation for years to come.
Here, we’ve picked out some of the most essential wardrobe favourites that every dapper man should add to their repertoire.
Every item in this list of wardrobe must-haves has been carefully selected for their versatility and timeless style. But, if ever we were going to pick a star of the show, it would have to be the navy blazer.
Our love for this style icon runs deep because it can do so much to elevate any man’s outfit. Teamed with cotton chinos and white sneakers, your navy blazer is a smart-casual winner. Matched with a fresh white shirt, tailored trousers and your knitted tie it becomes a smarter statement piece. This is one investment that will keep on giving.
Green may not be a colour you’ve ever thought of wearing but it’s definitely a rising star in the blazer market this season. Less formal than its grey, black or blue relatives, a green linen blazer or topcoat can add a splash of memorable colour to your wardrobe.
An olive green linen can work both in a formal or more casual context. Team with a crisp white shirt and lighter coloured chinos to maximise the effect.
A beige blazer looks fabulous in warmer weather, as it offsets lighter shades or tones of an accompanying shirt and trousers really well. Darker colours, like navy chinos for example, also go really well with beige. So why not experiment with combinations in your Man Wardrobe to see what looks best.
Airing your beige also gives you a chance to showcase any brown accessories, like a chunky leather belt for example, brown or tan brogues or even desert boots, depending on the look you want to achieve.
Blue Jersey Blazer
The jersey blazer offers a different look and feel to other blazers. Less formal than the traditional navy blazer, the jersey material of this blazer provides a lightweight, yet fitted look that will never date.
Plus, if you’re always on the go, the blue jersey blazer is great to travel in as it’s easy to fold away and doesn’t crease. Pair this casual blazer item with tan coloured chinos and brown leather loafers.
Grey V-neck Sweater
If you’re looking to achieve a casual, understated look then we’d have to place the grey V-neck sweater close to the top of our essentials list. Worn with an open necked shirt of your choice, the grey V-neck looks just at home with jeans as it does with chinos or dress trousers.
The beauty of a grey sweater is its versatility. Whether you opt for brown, cream, navy or black trousers, the V-neck sweater will provide a stable base and look to your outfit. The sweater can also be worn under a jacket on colder days or, if you’re bold enough, worn without a shirt on a warmer day.
Crew neck Jumper
A classic cotton crewneck jumper is another wardrobe mainstay that combines effortless cool with maximum flexibility. Crew necks feature a distinctive round, collarless neckline and are so-called because of their nautical origins. We love them because they go with anything and are perfect for staving off winter evening chills or overzealous air-conditioned offices!
No matter whether you’re wearing your crew neck over one of your Oxford shirts or a plain tee, this hard-working sweater will add another layer of comfort and style to your ensemble. We’d suggest going for understated colours like black, navy and classic grey.
There are very few things that can’t be paired with the fantastically versatile Oxford button-down shirt. Equally at home under a suit for a business casual air as it is with chinos and a light crewneck sweater, the Oxford Shirt is the shirt for all occasions.
A couple of Oxford shirts in classic white, blue or even pink, would certainly make for a solid addition to your Man Wardrobe. We’d recommend opting for natural fibres, like cotton, for maximum breathability in the heat of the day.
Crew neck T-Shirts
If you’ve ever seen Rebel Without a Cause you’ll know the power of a plain white T-shirt. James Dean positively oozed cool with his plain white tee and denims. It’s a look that’s been rinsed and repeated ever since. You’d be well advised to follow, because a plain tee in either white, black, grey or navy really does go with anything. Whether you’re looking to dress it down with a bomber jacket or dress it up with a blazer, the humble plain T-shirt will always come up trumps.
Keeping one or more of each colour in stock offers so many options of combination so you can maximise the variety of your look without too much thought. Just remember to invest in a good quality cut of high quality cotton, which is far less likely to warp or shrink.
Cotton Chinos – beige or navy
Perfectly straddling that fine line between smart and casual, cotton chinos are another Mr. Draper favourite that no man should be without in our humble opinion. Smarter than denim, but less structured than tailored trousers, chinos are another wardrobe workhorse that will reward your investment with countless outfit combinations.
A beige pair of chinos can buddy up with your navy blazer, and your plain tees, and your Oxford shirts, and your crew neck jumper. See what we mean? Go for a slim or straight fit and you really can’t go wrong.
For many of us, a great pair of jeans are like a faithful friend to us. They’re reliable, comfortable and always there when we need them. Don’t just buy any pair of jeans though would be our advice. Opt for a good quality pair of selvedge jeans because their raw, unwashed denim is designed to age naturally and will keep you looking good even after years of dedicated service.
We’d recommend a slim, dark pair that can be dressed up with an Oxford shirt and navy blazer, or worn down with a plain tee or crew neck jumper.
Shorts – beige or navy
Some people live in shorts, whilst others wouldn’t be seen dead in a pair of shorts outside of the holiday season. In a warmer climate shorts are more than likely part of your wardrobe but, for one reason or another, may have slipped out of favour or been forgotten about. But a great pair of tailored shorts can look really smart when teamed with a blazer and shirt.
Beige shorts, with a matching lightweight blazer and linen shirt to match, look terrific both day and night. Or, why not try navy shorts with a plain white T-shirt and jersey blazer for a simple yet stylish look.
Loafers provide the ultimate in fashion, style and comfort and can be worn with a wide variety of clothing. At Mr Draper, we’ve chosen the navy loafer as one of our top footwear items, as it provides a welcome change from the more traditional black and brown. This gives you more choice and flexibility when it comes to piecing your outfit together.
Frequently written off as flamboyantly ‘dandy’ or too difficult to pull off with a wide range of outfits, the loafer is anything but. To sock or not to sock, that is the question. Loafers without socks are undoubtedly clean, relaxed and minimalist. If you choose to forgo socks, then you must make sure that what you wear fits perfectly.
You can tell a lot by a man’s shoes. A man of style has a pair of brown leather brogues in his wardrobe. Why? Because no other shoe can come close to brogues in terms of all-round adaptability, comfort and style.
You can work them into almost any outfit easily and effortlessly. Especially good with navy and beige, you can quickly see how your brown brogues are the perfect accompaniment to a navy blazer and beige chinos, or selvedge denims and an Oxford shirt. Put your best foot forward and invest in a great pair of brogues – you won’t regret it.
Black Oxford Shoes
There are certain items that we’d insist on every man having in his wardrobe and a pair of black Oxford shoes is one of them. Renowned not only for it’s unique lacing system and low heel but also the amount of ankle shown, Oxford shoes are ideal to step out in at a number of occasions. From formal wear through to jeans and chinos (we draw the line at shorts!), the Oxford shoe is the dress up/dress down shoe for any occasion or event.
A nice, crisp, box-fresh pair of white trainers can be your friend in almost any wardrobe situation. Seasons and fashions come and go, but this menswear staple is here to stay. From your suit to your chinos, shorts to joggers, the humble white sneaker looks the business all year round. For maximum effect, you’ll want to go for a super minimalist sneaker. The less fuss the better because that gives you the freedom to pair them with virtually anything.
Of course, the devil is in the detail, as they say. And, it’s often your accessories that complete an outfit. You’ve worked hard to pick out the individual elements to your outfit, now it’s time for the finishing touches. A navy tie and accompanying tie clip make for great companions in most situations.
Whilst on your wrist you’ll need a good quality watch. Brown leather strap when you’re sporting your brown leather brogues and matching belt. Or a steel watch for more formal occasions when you need to impress.
Talking of which, a good selection of eye-catching pocket squares will always add a splash of colour and intrigue. And, finally, invest in some good quality black socks – they go with everything – and trainer socks for teaming with your sneakers.
So, there you have it; the complete Man Wardrobe for every occasion. Join Mr. Draper today and our stylists will help you to assemble the perfect array of menswear essentials for you.