The 9 Wardrobe Essentials Every Gentleman Must Own
A man’s wardrobe is a reflection of his taste, personality and lifestyle. Therefore, it is impossible to produce a definitive list of “must have” items because then fashion would be boring and personal style pointless. So, just to be clear, we are not here to provide you with a shopping list of all the clothes and accessories you should purchase. Instead we will focus on a few key items that are essential for the modern gentleman and versatile enough to take you through a number of occasions.
Statement fashion pieces that every man needs
Unfortunately, fast fashion has convinced people that it is ok to buy a million cheap shirts that last until their first wash. The problem with this is that cheap…looks cheap and is bad for your pocket and the environment. Invest in a quality white shirt which can be worn with a suit, under a sweater or even with a pair of chinos for a more informal look.
2. A grey or navy suit
Suits are the ultimate prize in men’s fashion. Designing and tailoring them requires skill and one would expect a gentleman to own a few different ones for various occasions and moods. But, if you are now building up your wardrobe and you are unsure where to start, go for the best navy or grey single-breasted suit you can afford. It will last for years and these colours are timeless. For inspiration, check out our Aristocracy London collection.
3. Black Oxford shoes
Another classic, which you need to have even you’re a sneakers type of person. As with most items on this list, a black lace-up pair of shoes is not a seasonal purchase or one that you are expected to replace often so it is wise to buy the best your budget can handle.
4. Tie, bow tie, pocket square
A fashion expert will own a variety of accessories but the bare minimum is a quality tie in a solid colour, preferably navy or burgundy, a black bow tie that is not a clip-on, and a pocket square to add a bit of flair and personality to your outfit. Although you may find sets of matching e.g. ties and pocket squares, it is best to avoid them and make individual purchases instead, matching your accessories to the secondary colours of your outfit’s palette. For a useful tutorial on how to fold pocket squares visit our blog.
Men’s suits are, by definition, an understated canvas and the wearer is expected to stand out based on merit rather than fashion sense. Hence, the few accessories that men wear become very telling of their personality. Provided you own the appropriate shirt, cufflinks can be playful or serious, flamboyant or discreet and you may even stretch your means to buy ones that will become family heirlooms to be passed on to future generations.
6. Scent of a man
Try different fragrances until you find the one that smells great on you and avoid flicking between brands regularly. Our sense of smell is associated with memory so by picking a “signature” scent, you will make sure people sense your presence before they see you and after you’re gone. If you’re feeling generous, you may wish to splash out on a bespoke service to create a perfume that is unique to you.
Men don’t have a lot of jewellery options but, even the ones who avoid any sort of bling like the plague, will succumb to the charm of an elegant watch because, after all, it is not just beautiful but also functional. If you only own one watch, invest in a classic piece, preferably with a black leather strap. It may seem costly but it is a one-off purchase that can be worn on all occasions and then passed on to your children.
You may think this is extravagant but say you want to sign an important contract or add a personal note to a business card before handing it out. Wouldn’t you rather pull out an engraved statement pen from the inside pocket of your jacket rather than search for a cheap plastic abomination? Our Aristocracy London suit jackets come with a variety of inside pockets to accommodate all the personal items you need to make a lasting impression.
First of all, eye health is very important and you want the best UV protection you can afford. Secondly, they are on your face and everyone can see them. So, when it comes to sunglasses, go for quality but also make sure you spare as much time as needed to find the ones that suit the shape of your face and match your personality. If you only own one pair, choose something that is timeless and will not appear out of place in either a funeral or a party in Mykonos. After all, a gentleman may need to attend either occasion at very short notice.
As a gentleman’s social and business commitments increase, so must his wardrobe expand to reflect the changing needs of his lifestyle. However, the items we listed above will give you a good head start and do always bear in mind that it is best to progress gradually investing in fewer quality pieces rather than purchase cheap clothes and accessories that will barely last a season. Besides, here at Aristocracy London we believe in slow fashion and a considerate wardrobe could do wonders for the environment. For more style tips, as well as etiquette advice for the 21st century gentleman, sign up to our newsletter and have it delivered to your inbox every week.