Integrating essential pieces into your everyday office look is the key to consistent, effortless style. The following are ten garments every modern businessman should have in his closet:
1. White Dress Shirt:
A crisp white shirt is the mainstay of your wardrobe. It can be easily dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Pair it with a navy blazer for a classic office look, or tucked into belted dark wash jeans for business casual style. Furthermore, white reflects light and heat, making especially practical for the summer. Looking for the most lightweight fabrics for the warmer months? Try Swiss voile, linen and fine poplin.
2. Charcoal Suit:
It is certainly worthwhile to invest in a good quality charcoal suit, preferably custom, since you'll be able to wear it on many different occasions. Opt for a good quality wool fabric between Super 120's and 150's and four season.
3. Subtle Tie:
Choose a silk tie in a versatile color and pattern, such as a navy in solid or tone-on-tone pattern. It will add timeless class to your outfit and will match a variety of suits. Look at the interlining of the tie; it is there to prevent wrinkling and should be stitched in well, without puckering. Also, be mindful of proportion. Select a tie that just skims the top of your belt. It should be between 3" and 3 ½" wide. A useful tip is to try to match your tie's width to that of your lapel.
4. Black Leather Belt:
A black leather belt is another excellent wardrobe staple. Pair it with dark jeans for more relaxed business occasions; a great way to dress up an otherwise casual outfit, or use it to tie together your go-to warmer weather office look: a button-down shirt tucked into dress pants. Also, be mindful of the quality of the leather; the better the quality, the longer the belt will last.
5. Black Leather Shoes:
Black leather shoes complement every outfit while adding elegance. Choose a classic slim shape with a slightly rounded toe. Since we wear our shoes 10-12 hours a day, it's worthwhile to invest in a high quality pair; look for Goodyear welted shoes and clean stitching. It's also important to maintain your shoes well; moisturize, shine and waterproof them, and protect them with overshoes during rainy days and colder weather. Additionally, when you are not wearing your shoes, fit them with cedar shoe trees; they will ensure your shoes smell fresh while keeping their shape.
6. Neutral Cashmere Sweater
Cashmere adds sophistication to any outfit (not to mention comfort). It's a terrific choice for cooler months and business casual occasions. Dress it up with suit pants or down with dark blue jeans. A V-neck cashmere sweater looks particularly stylish layered over a dress shirt. As for the sweater color, camel is a great choice for brown suits or jackets, baby blue for navy pairings, and light grey for charcoals.
7. White V-Neck T-Shirt
Choose a logo-free, classic cut shirt and avoid deep V's. For a stylish summer look, pair it with jeans and a light jacket.
8. Neutral Lightweight Pants
Choose neutral lightweight pants for warmer months, optimizing breathability and comfort. A solid neutral color, like light brown or medium grey, is sure to complement a variety of jackets and dress shirts.
9. Neutral Lightweight Jacket
Keep the jacket simple with a neutral color and no pattern. Add some intrigue to your look with an interesting texture, such as sharkskin, herringbone or mini-houndstooth. A neutral jacket is easily paired with a variety of dress pants or with dark jeans. Sun reflecting "cool wool" and linen blends are ideal.
10. Dark Wash Jeans
Choose the darkest blue possible with a straight leg fit. Avoid distressing or any other distinguishing features. Dark wash jeans are ideal for business casual looks, and since they are wrinkle resistant, they travel well too.