Fashions come and go, but elegance is timeless. As much as this applies to women, it applies to men too. A smart man can shop for high quality clothes this year, and still look perfectly up-to-the-minute in five years’ time – or even ten! To build up your wardrobe with an eye to timeless elegance, you’ll need a few basics. Here’s what you ought to have in your wardrobe to beat the fads and always look smart.
1. The Long-Sleeved Dress Shirt
From formalwear to smart-casual, the long-sleeved dress shirt is always at home. You don’t have to stick to the classic white either. A great maroon dress shirt is as versatile, matching almost any shades it accompanies. Stock your wardrobe with dress shirts in a range of your favourite colours and you have the basis for a neat and timeless look that works just about anytime, anywhere.
2. Slim-Leg Chinos
Suits aren’t worn as often as they once were: are a relief during hot summers when heavy fabrics are stifling. The new business formal often embraces chinos plus dress shirt and tie, but do check dress codes since traditional formalwear doesn’t allow for this comfortable alternative. Like the dress shirt, you can dress your chinos up or down depending on the rest of your styling. You can also opt for a wider leg, but the slim look is the smarter of the two.
3. Slim Fit Jeans
Jeans fashions come and go, but a classic pair of slim fit jeans always presents well. Great for weekend activities, your jeans could be just as acceptable in informal business contexts, and you can be sure they won’t look dated in a season or even a couple of years. Choose a good fit in real denim, and let this sturdy fabric work for you. Getting a bit distressed over time? Who knows? The fashions may favour it even then!
4. A Pair of Leather Loafers
You can’t go wrong with a good pair of loafers. And once again, it’s an item that can do double-duty between smart and casual. Choose high-quality leather loafers that will last you for several years. They’ll come in handy on more occasions than you might imagine – and they’re comfortable into the bargain, plus there’s no fiddling with laces. It’s worthing splurging a little when it comes to shoes, so use quality as your watchword.
5. The Basic Tee
Whether you use it as an underlayer to keep you warmer in winter, risk pairing it with a suit, or pull it on over your swimming shorts for your trip to the beach, every man needs several basic tees. For a truly clean and crisp look, avoid showy logos and slogans and go for plain colours like blue, black, and white. It’s worth looking for superior fabrics. And when your tee becomes stretched and faded, recycle it into rags (great for washing cars) instead of making the all-too-common mistake of continuing to wear it.
Give in to Fashion if it’s “You”
It’s not just the ladies who face changing fashion fads. Should you be tempted? If it’s “you” go ahead. Just be sure that you won’t buy it, regret it, and leave it at the bottom of your closet. A confident man with a good sense of style can carry off the unusual with ease. But not everyone has the self-confidence of a Kanye West with his often strange combos or a Nelson Mandela, famed for his boldly patterned shirts. If you think you can get away with making a statement, go for it! For the rest of us, understated and timeless in high quality fabrics is a safe way to go.