Wardrobe Essentials for Men

Most of us have grown up hearing the age-old maxim ‘Clothes maketh the man.’, but how many of us know what this really means? This old saying is said to have its roots in ancient Greece and can be traced back to medieval England – as early as the 15th century! Its literal translation is simple – what a man wears, matters. A well-dressed and neatly groomed man is assumed to be successful, capable and rich! Either way, it never hurts a man to look his best and have these essentials in his closet.

The perfect polo

Let’s start with a man’s casual wardrobe. Whether it’s ‘Casual Friday’ at work or a first date, anyone over the age of 18 must own at least one great polo t-shirt in a neutral color. Now a lot of metrosexuals believe that a stylish polo must boast a large designer logo on the front pocket but this really isn’t the case. A well-fitting polo t-shirt in a neutral hue – white or navy – can be worn anywhere and with any pair of trousers or shorts.

wardrobe-essentials-for-men1The urban cowboy

Another wardrobe essential for a man of any age is a well-fitting pair of dark blue denims. Now fashion trends play havoc with jeans so expect anything from distressed, ripped, bleached to tie-and-dye jeans at stores. The cut of the perfect pair of jeans can also be confusing with so many styles available – boot-cut, wide leg, low-rise, skinny and baggy to name a few. Despite one’s personal style choices, all men must own a well-fitted (not tight) pair of straight-cut or regular-fit jeans in dark blue.

Classic white

Every man (not to mention every woman!) must own a great white shirt. Now available in a plethora of cuts and fabrics we recommend a well-fitting (gentlemen check that the shoulders fit you well) white shirt in cotton or a cotton-viscose mix. A slim-cut white oxford shirt with a front pocket and long sleeves is the best sartorial investment a man can make.

Suit up

No matter what you do for a living, it is once again imperative for a man to own at least one custom-made suit. If you require just a single suit for the infrequent board meeting, and maybe a wedding or two, then choose black. In India, we’re lucky to be blessed with wonderful tailors all around so even if you choose to buy off-the-rack from a department store, take the time to have the pants altered to your length as well as the sleeves. Choose a black, single-breasted, two-button suit which is a classic and can be worn for many years to come. Take care that the lapels are not too thick; this will make your suit look old-fashioned and dated. You could also opt for a black with a faint pin-stripe to alleviate the boredom of traditional black or pick a nice fabric which does not crush easily. Remember that you can always wear the suit trousers without the jacket – just take care that it doesn’t fade.

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Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!