25 Must Have Pieces For MenApril 29, 2021
Lets start with the basics. What does this mean? Items of clothing that are staples in your wardrobe. Items that you can wear for work, hanging out or go on a date. While it might not fit all the social events, you’re more than likely to check off two or three social gatherings with just a few basic items.
Looking sharp and put together doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. Having a minimalist approach and Marie Kondo, one has to ask themselves, “Does this bring me joy?” Does this band shirt from Jr. prior to social distancing who I am anymore? Is it now relegated for work from home attire, pajamas, Sunday game shirt or can I still wear it out to meet up with people?
When waking up in the morning, before a date and scouring through your closet, we’re trying to eliminate phrases such as: “I don’t have this,” or “there’s too many options,” or “I’ve had this since Jr. High.”
We’re trying to build a capsule wardrobe. Never heard of it? A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothing that revolves around your lifestyle.
A step above Steve Jobs in his everyday black turtleneck and faded jeans, this collection tailors to your needs. It will help you to stop overthinking the overwhelming amount of clothes in your closet. Does this shirt matches these pants? Do these shoes go with this? Does orange go with blue? With a small and minimal closet, you no longer need to second guess yourself. And in a post Covid 19 era, not everyone has a 9-5 job nor they work in the office any more. It is important to know what you need your wardrobe to be and how it revolves around your life.
The first thing to know is neutral colors are your best friend. These colors compliment primary and secondary colors and everything in-between. So what are neutral colors? Examples include: White, black, and every shade in-between those two. Other colors include beige, grey, brown, blue, and basically any color without undertones.
So when you buy that shirt, or pants, or shoes, is it in the neutral colorway? Is it a loud red or a classic black or white top? If it’s a primary color such as red, it can only go with so many colors whereas something like beige can go with pretty much any color.
But what if you really like a shirt in this specific primary color? Does that mean you shouldn’t get it? No, by all means, buy it! While we’re trying to build a minimal wardrobe, fashion and style is about self-expression. If you want to express yourself with colors, you shouldn’t let a few rules dictate you from purchasing it. What we’re trying to do is help you pick out items that you will wear, along with adding a few fun items into your staple wardrobe. Key word being staple items. Things that will be seen and worn and not hidden in the back of your closet.
So step 1 to your minimal closet is choosing colors that compliment your wardrobe.
Now that you have your colors down, what’s next? Most importantly why 25 items? Why so specific? The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to keep things simple and minimal. The number can be smaller or bigger but anything more than 25, things start to get cluttered once more. Clearing your closet of the excess and making sure you invest in items that will be staples and not trends. Trends last for a short time. Go on – scroll through your Instagram feed or unarchived photos from 5 years ago, or Facebook if you went to high school when Good Charlotte was considered a rock band. We didn’t make great decisions back then, and we aren’t talking about the clothing choices but hey, that’s part of growing up. So here are a few tips when it comes to the bare necessities.
* Basics – You should have a minimum of 3 basic tees. These tees should not have graphics. They can be crewnecks, v-necks, long or short sleeves. We recommend a white and black shirt and any color of your choice whether it be a primary color or neutral.
* Dress Shirts – Like tees, grab three dress shirts. We recommend 2 solids and 1 pattern. The pattern should be minimal in design and not too loud. Dragons and flames on a dress shirt? If you truly love it and can wear it out more than 10x a year, get it. If not, pick a pattern such as stripes for a fancier affair. Obviously it won’t be for a black tie event but it will get you through that date you swiped right on or casual happy hour.
* Hoodies – One can never have enough hoodies. Hoodies are collected throughout the years from concerts, skate shops, and extracurricular activities in high school and college like it’s a trophy collection. So, how many hoodies should be in your capsule collection? One. So choose wisely my friends.
* Button downs – Isn’t this a dress shirt? No. Button downs are cut differently than dress shirts. Dress shirts are meant to be tucked in hence the length is longer whereas button downs are shorter in length. Think flannels. They are much more casual than dress shirts and usually worn with jeans, cargos, joggers rather than dress pants. Pick three. They can be solids or patterned.
* Jacket – Jean jacket, bomber jacket, field jacket. Pick one.
* Coat – Need something fancy in a jiffy? A long neutral coat can make even your pajamas or sweats fancy. It might not get you into a restaurant, but you’ll look put together while strolling down Venice Beach. You just need one.
* Joggers – What are joggers? Think your favorite sweats but fitted. Joggers hug your ankles at the bottom. Grab two for your wardrobe. One made in your classic sweats to wear with your fancy coat and for lounging around on Sundays watching the game. The other should be a step up and in materials such as twill, moto knit, chinos or wool. There’s so many to choose from.
* Jeans – We love jeans. Sure, you can have one but jeans are so versatile. You need three. You must have a pair of dark jeans. You can dress it up, down, and all around. Another is the fit. Pick something other than classic such as boot cut, skinny, or straight. Finally, pick a pair that you aren’t afraid to get dirty in or ruin to be in your closet. It doesn’t have to be a brand new pair as long as it’s a pair you don’t mind ruining.
* Chinos – Aside from jeans, chinos are your best friend. Three. Now, with work from home being the norm, does one need two? Yes. They’re so versatile. The perfect casual pair of pants that you can dress it up with your basic tee and button down for work, school, online dates or even meeting the parents for the first time. Find one that’s neutral and a fun pair but you can always stick with the classic Khaki and Navy.
* Belt – Belts are a must. Period. You just need one. Find a neutral color such as black, brown or tan. Invest in a good one and you’ll be sure to get the most out of it.
* Blazer – Going somewhere a bit more fancy than a brewery that’s candle lit and on Infatuations list of romantic dates? You’ll need a blazer. Not needed but it does help to have for casual weddings or informal events.
* Shoes – 1 pair of sneakers .. if you can.. Remember we are going for a minimal look. We’re not including shoes for working out, indoor/outdoor basketball, hiking or rock climbing shoes. We’re focused on items such as dress shoes and boots. Things that will help in different social environments. That said, 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of boots, and 1 pair of sneakers. You’ll be surprised how put together one can be with boots, a long coat and even fancy PJs like joggers. But then again, this is more for a quick trip to 7-11 rather than a date night.
Now that you have your capsule wardrobe, how do you style it you ask?
Let’s start with a fun social event. The first date.
How would you dress for quick drinks at the new brewery serving guisados and fancy IPA made with specialty coffee?
Tee, jeans and sneakers.
Now how about adding color.
White tee, blue jeans, sneakers.
Blue tee, dark jeans, sneakers.
It’s a little chilly you say?
White tee, blue jeans, sneakers and an unbuttoned flannel. You get the picture. If it’s a bit more chilly, add that jacket.
What about a date at a nice sit down restaurant in Beverly Hills?
Dress shirt, chinos and dress shoes.
Now, with this combo, you’re looking at your dress shirts and seeing that the Khaki, and Navy chinos go well with the solid white, blue or black dress shirts. This is why sticking with neutral colorway is so important. You can mix and match and really don’t have to think about what should to wear. It’s all done for you.
Having a smaller wardrobe doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to wear. It means you have infinite possibilities and making sure that you get the most out of your investment. Clothes can be expensive but if used often, offsets any guilt trips you have about spending more than $100 on an investment piece.