Filling your closet or wardrobe with the right pieces of clothing is a critical part of evolving into true manhood. After your early 20s, your style becomes an extension of yourself, and impacts how the world at large sees you. It's an expression of who you are, a chance to be bold (or understated), and an opportunity to get really creative. However, every man needs a starting point. And because there are a ton of options out there, we thought it would be a good idea to consult with a style expert and help narrow the list of absolute necessities.
For this, we tapped Patrick Grant, the creative director of Norton & Sons and E. Tautz and one of the leading figures in menswear. These are the seven clothing items he absolutely swears by —
The Charcoal Suit
"I have two uniforms, on duty and off-duty. A slim, tailored charcoal suit is the on-duty uniform. You can wear it formally with a crisp white shirt and a tie, or you can dress it down with a pale blue shirt and a brown brogue."
The Poplin Shirt
"A pale blue poplin shirt is more important than a white shirt. I wear them far more often. They look richer and don’t show the creases as much as white ones do. I'll wear them under a suit or under a jumper. This is the item that cuts across both sides of my wardrobe."
The Pocket Square
"Increasingly, people are moving away from wearing ties everyday. But because it’s nice having a bit of color or pattern in your outfit, people are moving toward pocket squares. It's an easy way to express a bit of individuality."
The Black Oxford
"A good black calf-skin Oxford is essential. I have a number of pairs, the ones I wear most often are from John Lobb. It's a classic black leather shoe that will never go out of fashion and goes with everything."
The Field Trouser
"I'm talking about heavy-duty, oversized military-style chinos here. I’ve been wearing them for years. Navy blue and sandy beige are great colors for them. Great if you can't pull off skinny jeans."
"With the field trousers I’d wear a nice boot. Something chunky like a classic Tricker’s brogue or a Red Wing would work with these trousers and are great for wintery seasons."
The Navy Crew-Neck
"I have about forty of these. Some cotton, some wool, some heavy Shetland wool, some fine wool, silk, cashmere. I just like them. Even if I did go shopping I’d probably just come home with one of these."
With these pieces, you're off to a strong start to build your own wardrobe. Take risks, but do make sure to read up on best practices for pulling off the look you're after.
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