Is easier than one thinks. Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own. That my friend is a quote by the great Li Jun Fan better known as Bruce Lee. His quote is applicable to just about anything as well as men’s fashion. If you are like I am, you observe, you study and apply.
An important aspect (and what I feel in my humble opinion is most significant) of fashion is having a solid foundation. A solid foundation means having your fundamentals down to a science. If you ever played (dis)organized sports, there were always those guys who liked to hot dog everything. What did these show-boaters have in common? Zero fundamentals. If you take short cuts, more often than not, everything crumbles like a house of cards. It’s the same with how you dress. It is absolutely no question when you dress well, you will be treated positively. By being fundamentally sound, you will be able to evolve your own style.
The genesis of your wardrobe should be based on the classics (the fundamentals). These are timeless and will never go out of style! In no particular order you should acquire the following: navy blazer/sport coat, white dress shirt, light blue oxford, v-neck sweater, polo shirt, v-neck and crew neck t-shirt (white, grey or black), Henley (short & long sleeve), grey trousers, chinos, indigo denim jeans, a tailored suit (preferably grey or navy). As for shoes, one should invest in black dress shoes, brown casual/dress shoes and casual/dress boots. A quick surf through the world wide web and what I have presented above is close to what most invite you to indulge save for a few more or a few less.
From this starting point, when you are comfortable, confident and have a grasp of what you desire in your look, you can expand from here and experiment. The aforementioned list appears it could end up being rather expensive and it could be if you go high end with everything! But metaphorically speaking, you’re poor & broke. Many of us are always searching for a deal and they are out there.
For example, in the photograph to the right, I am wearing a Perry Ellis waistcoat ($28), an Alfani slim fit stretch dress shirt ($13), an Orsini Surrey Collection knit tie ($7) and a pocket square ($6) from a vendor on Ebay known as TheSquarExtraordinaire. What you can’t see, I am wearing a pair Ralph Lauren chinos ($20) and a pair of Joseph Abboud suede monk straps ($60). Total price: $134. The vest, dress shirt, knit tie, pocket square and chinos were purchased from Ebay. The monk straps from Sierra Trading Post!
Now for comparison’s sake, I chose Nordstrom because it is considered high end. I took the average of the first 9 waistcoats, white dress shirts, knit ties, pocket squares and chinos listed on the respective site. For the monk straps, I chose the first 9 suede because this style of shoe is what I wore and is great for summer wear!
- Waistcoat, $86
- Dress shirt, $55
- Knit tie, $63
- Pocket square, $36
- Chinos, $68
- Monk straps, $268
Total price: $576. That’s a lot of cake. If you can afford it, go for it! But if you cannot, there are great, economical alternatives. My outfit saved me $442. You are aware a portion of what I saved was used for a day at the vineyard with some lovely friend?
The points I wanted to introduce are from having sound fundamentals, you can expand and create a style suitable to your tastes without working 4 jobs. Next time, I will elaborate a little further on where to search for deals. Jal ga!
*Featured picture: Jacket by Ermenegildo Zegna, shirt by Geoffrey Beene, pocket square by Windom Finery. glasses by Uniqlo