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For The Gentlemen's Wardrobe

Men don't often like to think about shopping for clothes.That's generally a "girl" thing. You certainly have it easier! Knowing your waistline and inseam will usually give you a good idea of what size to buy. Your main challenge is to make sure you have what you need, and make sure that it's good. Thick is good. Soft is good. If you don't see seams, that's good. Buy well so you need to buy less.

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The Upper Bits

Undershirts. Depending on how much you sweat, you will probably want an undershirt. It may seem counter intuitive to wear more if you're overheating, but a good undershirt will wick away sweat rather than trap heat in. When sweat is wicked away, your skin temperature cools. Poor undershirts will only add bulk and heat, but a good undershirt will utilize the wicking process. Look on the label for the material. Mostly cotton with a little bit of stretchy material, such as Spandex or Lycra, will whisk the sweat off your skin while still forming to your body. A 95/5 to 90/10 ratio will probably serve you best. You can also use activewear as your undershirt, for extra-sweaty folks.

T-Shirts. Do yourself a favor and start buying plainer, better-fitting shirts.Make sure they are loose enough that you can pinch and pull, but not so loose that you're able to pull it more than an inch or so out. Keep in mind the stretchiness of the fabric when doing that test, though! Just make sure you're not drowning or suffocating in the shirt. Let it show where your waist draws in, but avoid anything thin enough that it displays your pecs or shoulder muscles when just standing up straight. You shouldn't need more than a white, black, two colors and/or two graphics. Keep in mind that these can double as pajama shirts.

Button-Down Oxford Shirts. A stylish man takes advantage of layers. A buttoned overshirt can be worn partly buttoned, or (usually) not at all.When you look for a buttoned overshirt, look for fit in the shoulders. The seam should be right above where your shoulder starts curving down into your arm. The collar should be stiff enough that it will stay where you put it, but the tips can be slightly curved/cut off. You'll want something thinner, like cotton or linen, to avoid or wick excess sweat. You'll want one in black, absolutely, which will go with everything but a black graphic tee. A couple others in complimentary colors for your normal casual shirts will give you many options, plus you can always just wear them alone. Plaid prints are also very popular!

Sweatshirts . You don't really need these, and men who like to dress more business casual may never need these. Someone who exercises/actually uses their gym membership would definitely need one or two. Zip-up hoodie or pullover, it's up to you. A pullover sweatshirt in a darker color will cover up sweat stains, smell, and give a good contrast with your workout shirts. A zip-up hoodie won't mitigate smell, but it's also more versatile in casual wear, and when open will give you more "breathing."

Sweaters. Again, this is a case-by-case basis, but a very valuable staple is wool, well-knit sweaters. Those who don't dress business casual often will be able to skimp on this, and just buy one for Christmas and family events. Those who do should absolutely consider upgrading their sweaters, preferably in cashmere. Sweaters look great with any button-down, and can work for both everyday and the office. Generally you see darker sweaters in black, charcoal, and navy, but owning one in a natural wool color is also a great option.

The Lower Bits

Jeans. You'll almost certainly be wearing jeans most often, so buying great jeans will be your best investment. You can wear them basically anywhere that isn't the office, and dress them up with a collared shirt and sweater, or all the way down with just a graphic tee. Once you find the perfect jeans, have two or three pairs! You'll use them, and it will cut down on your laundry for the week.

Khakis (or Chinos). These are great for dressing up, but also are perfectly acceptable for the street. In this way, they're probably the most versatile pants you can own. For someone who works in an office, you may want up to five pairs. Dress it down with a plain t-shirt and open button-down shirt, or dress it up with a collared shirt and a sweater. Street and office, done.

Shorts. You'll almost definitely want a couple pairs of shorts, but they're so informal that you can't wear them except for on your own time.Because of this, shorts are a place where you can go cheap they'll probably experience the most amount of stress, dirt, tearing, and stains and will need to be replaced anyway.

The Outer Bits

A Light Jacket. A jacket for colder days and outdoors, you'll want something that insulates, breathes, and has good construction. Water-resistant is a huge plus, waterproof if you think you'll be out in rain for long periods of time during significant rainfall. Lined is preferable if it won't make you overheat.

A Wool Coat. Peacoats are a staple, and a favorite of mine. They look polished, but depending on your area, can be a little too dressy. Collared is preferable for versatility's sake. A good wool coat, taken care of, can be used for many years! Definitely invest for this one.

A Blazer. A blazer will dress even jeans up, and you can wear it with chinos to almost any event (that's not super formal). It's great for dinner, family gatherings, the business casual office the list goes on and on! Many men I know don't even own a proper suit because a blazer, button-down shirt and khakis are all they need to look put together.

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Posted in Design Post Date 04/19/2018


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