It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? If you own the right clothes, getting dressed is easy.
If everything in your wardrobe went with everything else in your wardrobe, you could even get dressed in the dark. The problem is that most men, even those who take most pride in their clothes, have never set about compiling a solid foundation of wardrobe essentials that would make their life easier.
We hear women talk of ‘capsule wardrobes’ and think it all sounds like too much effort (and far too much shopping!) as well as err … well, just too feminine an approach to the business of owning clothes.
That’s a pity. Because it’s altogether much easier than it sounds. And it really does make things easier.
We’re talking about a capsule work wardrobe here
All it takes is just ten items. Ten super-versatile timeless items from which it is impossible to create a bad work outfit. And from which you can, with remarkably little effort, create a host of great outfits. Just by adding a different tie here, a pocket square there…
And those ten capsule wardrobe items are:
- two business suits: one grey, one navy
- one white shirt
- one blue formal shirt
- one silk tie
- one white casual shirt
- one pair of navy chinos
- one reversible belt
- one pair of cufflinks, and
- one tie pin
Two business suits
A good suit will never let you down. On the contrary, it should give you pleasing feeling of self assurance the moment you put it on. For a complete guide to spotting a good suit see How to spot the best quality ready-to-wear business suit.
Choose the cut you prefer – and make sure it fits properly. In a valid attempt to avoid the strained button look, many men size up too much. Your suit should fit you like a proverbial glove: you want to look sharp, not billowy! Billowy just makes big men look bigger.
There are lots of colours out there but for the purposes of your capsule wardrobe we’re sticking to one plain navy and one plain grey.
Pure white formal shirt
The pure white formal shirt. Choose herringbone or twill, poplin or pinpoint. Choose your favourite collar style, be that Windsor, cutaway, pin or tab. There’s not so versatile as a crisp white formal shirt.
If I had to pick one it would probably be the White Luxury Herringbone Classic Fit Shirt.
But the choice is yours:
Blue formal shirt
The clever thing about this is that the blue shirt looks so good, but so utterly different, with your grey and navy suits.
With a plethora of weaves and collar styles to choose from, you’re spoiled for choice. For me it would probably have to be a Blue Dobby Classic Fit Shirt – for all-round great-shirtedness.
One silk tie
What we’re looking for here is the tie that sets off both the blue shirt and the white, the grey suit and the navy.
Pure white casual shirt
This is your totally indispensable, wear-in-lots-of-different-ways, wear-with-everything casual white shirt that creates a different look for every dress-down day at work. (And beyond.) Buttoned up and preppy. Open-necked and relaxed. Sleeves rolled up. Sleeves rolled down and buttoned up. My favourite? It's got to be White Oxford Casual Shirt.
Navy chinos are the ultimate wardrobe staple. No man should be without a pair of them in his wardrobe. They’re not only perfect for dress-down days at work – but for every other occasion when your suit’s too formal and your jeans too casual.
Reversible leather belt
Brown on one side, black on the other. Because your leathers (ie your belt and your shoes) simply must match. And what could be simpler than two belts in one?
Cufflinks may be tiny but they punch above their weight. Have a pair to hand, ready to slip a pair into your cuffs for instant panache.
The beauty of our Savile Row Company single-cuff shirts is that many of them can be worn with cufflinks. So, for the purposes of your capsule wardrobe, it’s just a question of choosing a pair that goes with your white shirt and your blue.
The final item in your life-simplifying capsule wardrobe!