17 pieces of clothing every professional man should own

5 minutes read

Fashion fades, but true style lasts. These are the 17 clothing items that every professional man should own to be ready for all of life’s main events.

There’s really no need to overwhelm yourself thinking you need to go and address your entire wardrobe all in one go. Start with the foundations, after all you wouldn’t build a house without them. The decorative bits can come later. Here are our top 17:

1. A single breasted navy or grey suit 

Every man needs a beautifully fitting two-piece suit, whether you’re in business or not. There’s always a need for one at some point. We tend to suggest that if you’re investing in one or two, then to make them either made to measure or bespoke as you’ll want to make sure you both look incredible and that it lasts.

2. A white evening shirt 

It’s always handy to have a really great evening shirt ready for those impromptu events and occasions. We suggest choosing a tailored shirt made from a mid weight, soft white cotton with a marcella style bib with concealed buttons. Studded shirts do look great but can be rather time consuming when in a rush

3. A classic black dinner suit

Events and invites can crop up at a moments notice so it’s always best to be prepared. A sleek, made to measure or well cut ‘off the peg’ suit will always serve you well by way of clothing investments. We advise a mid weight fabric that will last through the years. The bonus of a made to measure or bespoke dinner suit option is that they have more of a seam allowance, meaning that if you change weight they can easily be let out or in.

4. Crew neck sweater 

Classic knitwear choices are always an ideal choice and crew necks are the perfect, layering item. They can be worn easily with a T-shirt or smart shirt (Just make sure they fit closely to the body or you can end up with a lot of bulk.) We advise choosing merino wool or cotton and wool mixes as they hold their shape the best and will be well worth the investment when they’re still fitting beautifully in years to come.

5. Pair of smart jeans

Men’s jeans can go very wrong, very quickly and the jeans you may have bought in your youth will be quite different to the ones that look and work well today. We advise a pair of slim cut (not skinny, no, never!) dark blue, smart jeans. They will work well with T-shirts (Always well cut please), knitwear and sports jackets. Whether you’re going to a relaxed meeting with the boss or a dinner with a hot babe (The wife) then you’ll want to be confident you’ve got this piece of clothing nailed.

6. A classic pair of oxford shoes 

A nice and easy option for men’s shoes is a classic oxford shoe. Not too chunky, nor too weightless and these will be your go to shoes for most occasions. Pair chocolate brown ones with dark jeans and blue suits and black ones with a charcoal suit or more formal attire.

7. Smart, white trainers

Tread carefully with trainers. (Literally!) as it can look very odd if they’re not done right. We advise a sleek pair that offer a nice balance between casual and smart. That means no sporty brands, as these are best left for the Gym. It makes us shudder when we see a beautifully dressed man who has popped on a pair of clunky hi-tech trainers. Don’t do it. Barkers and Justin Deakin do some really great smart trainers.

8. Chelsea boots 

A pair of high quality leather boots look fantastic on men. They’re so easy to put on (no faffing with shoelaces, always a win! And no having to worry about what socks you’re wearing. They look great with smart jeans, twill or cord trousers and add a tweed sports jacket and this is a really great, simple look for the weekend. Please don’t wear your boots with suits though, unless they’re formal lace ups, this look doesn’t look too great.

9. A classic navy blazer

One of the most versatile and easy option for a man’s wardrobe is the blazer. Usually known for a rather formal look, this jacket has now been slightly modernised. In place of brass buttons, you might have natural horn buttons with a subtle contrast and add a snazzy lining for good measure.

We advise choosing a mid weight cloth with a smooth finish, flannel can work beautifully as can a worsted wool with a hint of cashmere. If you choose a plain wool with a slight twill, it could end up looking like a suit jacket and they’re definitively different.

10. Casual sports jackets (With personality)

You have your blazer, but you’ll also want a few sports jackets that go with a number of options, from jeans to a slightly more formal trouser option. With this there is a huge range of options from a classic tweed to interesting and innovative water proof jacketing so made to measure is a lovely way of having something really unique made specifically for you and your wardrobe.

11. Slim fit chinos

When the word ‘chinos’ is usually mentioned there is a look of fear that we’re talking about the baggy, American style chinos. Chinos tend to be a more ‘preppy’ offering to jeans but cut right, they can look really great in Spring & Summer. Choose a mid weight cotton for a more formal look and choose a dark beige and navy to start with (You can always get more adventurous as you get more daring) but these will look great with your classic T’s, Knitwear and sports jacket. For a more relaxed, holiday look, choose a lightweight cotton pair of chinos.

12. A flattering raincoat

A raincoat should be one of the key staple classics in your wardrobe. One of those pieces that you can just depend on to be stylish whatever the occasion. Let’s face it, it frequently rains in good ol’ GB so you’ll want to invest in a super stylish version that will be an investment well made. Even in the drab wet weather you’ll be cutting quite a dash. We’ve modernised this classic for you by selecting the most flattering colours, shape and style. The Alexandra Wood raincoat isn’t only a to keep yourself dry on a wet, rainy day it’s also a great way to look effortlessly stylish too.

13. A classic overcoat

A classic overcoat is a knee length or sometimes slightly longer coat made from a pure wool or cashmere. Often seen as a coat you’d wear with a suit, it also looks great with a pair of chunky boots and sleek pair of jeans. If you choose a neutral colour such as navy or camel, it should lend you more flexibility with your clothing choices, taking you from smart to casual with ease.

14. A casual weekend coat

We know you guys don’t always want to be tailored to the nines and want some simple items to have ready to hand for ‘off duty’ wear, so a casual cost that still has shape is a great way to go. Think bomber jackets, flyer jackets or a pea coat in an interesting fabric for something a little different. (Which is what we specialise in)

15. High quality white T-Shirts

No man can go wrong with a classic, well fitted and high quality T-shirt. Investing in a great T-shirt is just as much as an investment well made as a great suit as you can layer you’re your look up from the ground upwards. A Tshirt made from a pure organic cotton is best as it is so close to your skin, you’ll want to make sure that it’s breathable and comfortable.

16. A great selection of tailored shirts

A lot of men we have looked after have confessed that they tend to buy ready to wear shirts that are the 4 for £100 offerings. However, you really can’t beat a beautifully fitting shirt made in a pure cotton, that feels comfortable as it allows your skin to breathe. Meaning you’re not looking a hot, sweaty mess by the end of the day. We advise investing in anything from 5-10 shirts ranging from some plain white and blue options for those that are more versatile and can be worn into the weekend with ease.

17. Range of smart, classic trousers

Trousers can be a real sticking point for men, believing that jeans, cords and chinos are the only options available. However, there are extensive fabrics to choose from. One of our favourites being flannel, as it looks so elegant with anything ranging from a simple T-shirt to a roll neck and sports jacket. We have plenty more ideas where that came from, so if you’d like any style advice or to have something unique made exclusively for you then we’re here.

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