What’s in Your Wardrobe?
A great place to start with your personal presentation is to make sure you have the basics covered in your wardrobe. Here’s what every professional should have in their closet:
- Five suits- two blue, two grey, and one black,
- Two solid blazers, one light for spring/summer, and one dark for fall/winter
- Three patterned sports coats
- Seven slacks and jeans- two black, one navy, one grey, one tan, one brown, and one dark designer denim.
- For your shirts, a total of eighteen- start with five white, five blue and eight transitional shirts, including four sport, and four transitional, that can be used as dress or sport.
- Ties? Ten will be a good foundation, a few paisley, a few stripes, one dotted and a few solids. Go for blues, one or two red, and a yellow or gold.
- Round out your wardrobe with two polos, one light and one dark. Also two V-neck sweaters, one black or navy, and one camel or light. Two black belts, two brown, and twenty pairs of socks.
- For your shoe wardrobe, go for one black lace-up, one black slip-on, and similarly one brown lace-up and one brown slip-on.
As you head out to shop, make sure you are the in right mindset- think quality over quantity. Rather than just grab things on sale, use this guide to build your wardrobe with high quality, versatile pieces. Once you have this foundation in place, with our expert guidance you can easily continue to build your power wardrobe.
The Five Levels of Business Attire (this replaces fabric care from the original list, will provide pic for this page).
Like a sound financial portfolio, your wardrobe portfolio should be diversified, to cover you (literally!) for many different business situations.
A well-appointed wardrobe portfolio gives a man the freedom to dress work-appropriately and add range and flair to his wardrobe. As a wardrobe stylist, I educate my clients on how to suitable dress for their workplace while allowing their own style to shine through.
Your wardrobe portfolio enables you to build the right outfit for these five business scenarios:
Power Dress is for important business meetings, when you want to dress to impress. Power dress is your best black, grey or navy suit with a white or ivory shirt and a blue, red or yellow tie in a simple print or stripe. Add a signature touch with cufflinks and an attractive timepiece: Giorgio Milano watches are elegant and striking.
Power Casual is your everyday office wear. Wear a suit- no necktie- and a harmonious shirt. A bit relaxed, but you still look every bit the leader. Complete this look with shoes by Allen Edmonds.
Executive Casual is relaxed dress for days when there is no client appointment on your schedule. The look includes a sport coat and slacks, with a cashmere sweater, merino wool pullover, mock turtleneck or designer dress shirt.
Creative Casual is a sport coat, designer denim and a cool shirt (vibrant pattern or strong color with details on the collar and cuff). It is the perfect office wear for the more creative professional, say an architect, engineer or advertising executive.
In all of the above looks, the jacket is paramount because it pulls the look together, elongates the frame and adds a dimension of sophistication to your appearance.
Business Casual is perfect for sporting events, but too casual for “Casual Friday”. Khakis, a polo shirt and loafers complete the look.
Gentleman: wardrobe diversity and style not only make it easier to get dressed in the morning, it is an investment in you. You can diversify your look, have fun, and up your style quotient at the same time.
Coordinating power looks is a challenge for many stylish gentlemen. Follow these guidelines for using color, contrast and patterns and you will feel more confident in putting together the right look for every occasion.
Working with color- two out of the three colors should be worn from the same color family. For example, wear a navy jacket and a light blue shirt with a red tie.
When wearing a bright color in one element of your outfit (such as your jacket), choose more subtle colors to wear in the other two elements. For example, a bright jacket with a subtle tie and shirt.
A navy blazer coordinates well with tan, camel, or gray trousers. A camel or tan blazer coordinates well with navy trousers.
Using contrast- Light/dark contrast is important for an authoritative image. Here are some ways to create contrast: a dark suit, bright tie, and light shirt has high contrast. A medium suit, light shirt and dark tie also has contrast. A light suit, medium shirt and dark tie creates contrast.
Using patterns- A patterned tie could pick up a color from either the suit or the shirt. When wearing a patterned suit or sport coat containing threads of a color woven into the background, the tie could pick up one of these background colors.
Finally, either a patterned or one-color suit can be worn with a solid tie of contrasting color.
When coordinating a patterned sport jacket and trousers, the trousers should pick up a color from the sport jacket, usually a dark one.
When you start with these basics of color, contrast and patterns, you can easily create a put together look. Then we can help you take it to the next level with more advanced coordinating!
Looking to expand your wardrobe? Watch this video on David’s tips for smart shopping.