When we sit down to chart out a list of the ‘essentials’ every man’s wardrobe must have, it is but imperative that we begin with the absolute basics- multiple pairs of well fitting undergarments. Briefs/ Boxers/ Vests in Cotton (best suited for climatic conditions we face in the subcontinent). While you don’t have to spend a bomb on them, you certainly need to invest in multiple pairs that fit well and subject them to regular laundry cycles. The same applies to socks. Nobody wants to be in the same room as a smelly pair of socks (or underwear)! As far as socks are concerned, invest in neutral achromatics like Black/ Charcoal or Grey in case you don’t feel confident about pairing or carrying off bolder brighter prints.
Remember, versatility is key so when you invest in a few well fitted basics, permutations and combinations from among those should give you a seemingly wide range of dressing options for a number of occasions. Pick Cotton rich tee shirts in colours you feel you’ll be able to carry off. Picking a mix of solid and printed tees could help. These could very easily be layered on with a plaid button down shirt or a denim jacket or even a leather jacket for a casual to sharp day look (take your pick based on the weather forecast for the day). Slip on a pair of lace up converse or wear one tee over another with the sleeves turned up and those little highlights of colour peeking out from the neckline/ sleeve and hemline will be the chicest thing to sport around town.
When picking shirts, a well fitting classic white button down and a classic black or deep navy button down can go a long way.
When picking bottom wear, a pair of neat dark denims and a pair of cotton chino pants could be your saviours in times of distress. While ripped and bleached denims might not be an appropriate choice for work (unless you’re a designer) or a more serious appointment, a pair of dark denims and a pair of Cotton chinos will never let you down. Pair your cotton chinos with your white button down dress shirt, a pair of smart tan brogues and a tan leather belt for a cool understated office casual look.
Want something a little more dressier? Throw on a tie or turn up the hemline and add in a pair of slip ons.
For a casual evening of drinks and dinner, feel free to layer on a Seersucker sports coat.
Pick elements for your wardrobe based on your need. What we mean by that is - there is no need to invest in things that you don’t see yourself wearing regularly enough. E.g. you might not need to invest in a tailored formal suit if you were an oil rig operator vs if you were a banker or a lawyer. A well tailored formal suit however can be quite a versatile piece of clothing in a man’s wardrobe. Team the jacket with your dark denims for a relaxed formal look and team the trousers with your solid dress shirt and a berry red ‘V’ neck full sleeve jumper for another relaxed formal look.
Suffer from the ‘Muffin Top’ (shirt bunching into a balloon above the waistline) look? Keep your shirt tucked in all day with a handy suspender that keeps the hemline of your shirt clipped to your socks.
Wish to add a spark to this look? Throw in a smart bow tie and a ‘not so loud’ wrist watch. Not quite sure about a bow tie? Fret not! Knot a necktie and ensure it ends just above your belt, perfectly aligned with your shirt’s button placket.
Own a pair of leather lace ups? Slide them on and you’re good to go.
Pick from solid cotton twill shorts if you’re confident showing off those calves and wish to look timeless and sharp. Remember to ensure they’re not excessively long and baggy and nor are they super short and tight. Ideally the hemline should end two inches above your knee and you should be able to pinch and hold about two inches at the mid thigh area. That’s when you really know those shorts were meant for you.
While clothes maketh the man, accessories maketh the outfits. Belts undergo a great deal of wear and tear. The best way to keep them looking good and get rid of crease marks on them is to dab on a little bit of shoe polish and rub with a clean sock. Sunglasses go a long way not only keeping you comfortable on sunny days; also adding a dapper touch to any look. Pick from the more versatile black aviators or wayfarers if ‘essentials’ is what you seek.
There’s a fine line between perfectly put together and a disheveled nightmare so end by paying careful attention to maintaining those ‘man hair’ areas. Use a beard trimmer to keep your beard, moustache and chest groomed. There’s a wide variety of products available in the market that focus on keeping your facial hair in place (if you like sporting that look). Pick what suits you and your budget.
We live in a warm and humid country; therefore showering twice daily and keeping your underarms clean is essential. Investing in a good deodorant, moisturiser and sun block is no longer restricted to the ladies. Your body will thank you in the long run and so will the people around you! Remember men perspire more for each sweat gland than women.