How to Build a Base Wardrobe With these in your closet, you'll never come up short
Is there an absolute way of having everything you need, for every occasion, in your closet? Maybe not everything, but it is definitely possible to have a well-equipped wardrobe. A basic wardrobe is capable of getting you through most days, in and out of work and through the weekend. We’re not claiming to guide you through the end-all be-all of wardrobes. However, with these items in your arsenal, you won’t be left wondering what to wear tomorrow. Not to mention that it will give you a great place to start from to build your personal style.
You’ll need enough shirts to get through the work week at least once through. The solid shirts will work well with basically any tie/jacket combination that you can throw at it, while the patterned shirts allow for some character.
- 2 White Shirts
- 1 Pink Shirt
- 1 Light Blue Shirt
- 2 Checkered Shirts
We doubt that, unless you’re Barney Stinson, you’ll be wearing dress shirts 7 days a week. Oxfords are a great go-to for any not-so-business occasions. And, for more casual days you could always do with some henleys or a t-shirt.
- 3 Oxford Shirts
- 2 Henleys
- 4 T-Shirts
The easiest way to make practically any outfit look that much better? A sport coat. They have the ability to bring your outfits together like no other. Throw one over your favorite outfit to instantly class it up.
- Navy Sport Coat
- Charcoal/Grey Sport Coat
When the weather cools down (or if you just love to layer) jackets and sweaters are a must for your closet. A light pull-over sweater or cardigan will complete any fall/winter outfit (and keep you warm, too). A jacket will do the same plus give you the added benefits of protection from the elements.
- Bomber Jacket
- A cardigan
- 1 V-Neck and 1 Crewneck Pullover
You can’t not wear pants. Well, you can, but that wouldn’t be very gentleman-like. A good collection of pants will be a solid foundation for the rest of your wardrobe and for any occasion, be it casual, business, or in-between.
- Blue Slacks
- Charcoal Slacks
- Chinos – khaki, olive green, and dark khaki
- Jeans – dark and light wash
Sometimes, the weather is just so unbearable that pants are a bad idea. Fine. We get it. For those very occasions, there’s shorts. We believe the ideal length is about an inch above the knee, and a few different colors and fabrics will give you a range of options to explore.
- Chambray Shorts
- Linen Shorts
- Chino Shorts
Your shoes say a lot about you. They are among one of the first things people notice about you. Though you could probably get away with having one pair of dress shoes and one casual pair, it’s more efficient to have a few to cycle through. On top of having more outfit options, cycling through shoes will extend their life.
- Lace-up Dress boots
Building a suit wardrobe is a whole other story. However, it is important to mention that having one suit that can work in any occasion will be very beneficial to you. A charcoal or gray suit will do just that. Consider investing in a tailored one, rather than something off the rack. If you do choose to go off the rack, make sure to tailor it, as fit is king when it comes to suits.
You can never have enough ties, but you have to start somewhere. We like to think that any occasion is a tie occasion. Much like our friend from the Sharper Me has proven, you can even rock one at the beach.
- Black Textured Tie
- Seersucker Tie
- Wool Plaid Tie
- Checkered Tie
- Polka Dot Tie
Socks are often underrated. They hide under your pant legs and are usually only really exposed when you sit down. This doesn’t mean you should forget about them! Socks are subtle way to add understated flare to your outfit. Consider a shorter pant break or cuffs to show those puppies off!
- Solid Colored Socks
- Argyle Socks
- Polka Dot Socks
- No-Show Socks
- Stripe Socks
- Athletic Socks
Belts aren’t always necessary. The lack of one implies that you are sporting perfectly tailored pants. However, when you do need one, a belt can provide a nice break between your shirt and pants, not to mention that it can complement your shoes.
- Brown Leather Belt
- Black Leather Belt
- Casual Woven Belt
We know that building a proper wardrobe can be an expensive process. Because of that, we recommend slowly developing it. Start off with the items mentioned above. As you experiment with the different combinations of each (of which there are plenty!), you can start to develop a more extended wardrobe; one with a more personal style, that is. Before you know it, you’ll become the example of sartorial excellence that you were striving for!