Friday, November 27, 2009

Wardrobe Essentials: Men

This being my first "proper" post, I wanted it to be fairly safe, my opinions on fashion are kind of out there and so I wanted to keep it less objectionable. Also, bear in mind that I might not have all the items I consider essential( mostly because my dad would murder me!) and that whatever I find essential(as a college student) can and will differ from others' lists. And lastly, since I live in a predominantly warm climate, my choices will be rather restricted.

1. The classic white shirt: My current fave, and my most recent purchase is the Topman white shirt with contrast black buttons, it looks super, apart from fitting like a dream. It's a great high street option.

These aren't mine, but they look a lot like these.

2. The classic black/navy cotton/wool pant: Because I find wool pants a little unflattering and a little hard to maintain, I bought a nice pair from Blackberrys and they're great for college students because they're reasonably fuss free and easy to iron. And they're cut slim so they look great too! Also, as a subpart, A pair of beige flat fronts are super versatile.

Mine has the logo in pink, which adds
a nice touch of colour.

3. The casual white shirt: The basic white shirt works for anything from the quick brunch to shopping trip or just hanging out. I have this great shirt from Abercrombie and Fitch. It fits great and looks good with just about anything. I've worn it with denim shorts to the beach and with dark jeans to dinner, so it's super versatile.

Mine fit like this but they're darker
and less shaded.

4. The Denims: I would essentially advocate a minimum of three blue pairs of jeans to anyone, one dark fitted pair to wear in the evening, one medium to dark casual pair to wear in the day or to casual occasions, one light one for earlier in the day and finally one black wash, but I'm very very very picky about my black jeans which explains why I don't have a pair yet. My rule of thumb with (black or any other) is to buy nothing which has an acid wash or is too distressed or is too baggy/flared/tight. I'm not completely on the skinny jeans for men bandwagon(too emo!) but I like slimmer fits. My current favourite is a slim pair I bought from Pepe Jeans which is their London fit in dark blue with minimal shading. I like them because they take me from day to night perfectly. I'm contemplating Zara pair, but my mom's face has kept me at bay.

5. Other bottoms: Slim/Skinny cotton pants to wear clubbing are a great option and look great with shirts left untucked. I have a Black Zara pair that I got shortened to end at my ankles. Also, I think shorts are necessities; have at least 3 pairs of shorts ranging from checkered ones to khaki ones. They should end at approximately your knee and shouldn't be too loose or tight.

6. The Suit: It's commonly held that a first suit should be a classic navy or black, but just to mix it up a little I bought this dark grey Giovani one. it wasn't too expensive and fits reasonably well. I've learnt that you can find the perfect suit size by two methods. Either, you keep trying on progressively smaller ones till one is tight, then you go up one size and buy that. Or, you wear the suit and move sideways into a wall, if your arm touches the wall before the shoulder pad, its the right size.

7. Ties: Now honestly, I don't need ties more than twice a semester, so I have a modest selection of about five. My basics include a cheap pink tie from a thrift store, a slim black tie and a thick blue striped tie from Code(Lifestyle's in-house brand) and a slim black tie from Marks and Spencer which has neon multicolored stripes(I fell in love with the tie at first sight).

I'm this close to buying this tee shirt except its
60 bucks and my mom would kill me!!

8. Tees: I think one should have an equal mix of Polo and Crew neck tees. Some nice basic polo shirts cannot go wrong, opt for bright colours with at least one in black. Good brands to buy are Benetton and Cottonworld.
As, for crew necks, go for a few subtle colours and a few bright in yo' face colours. Always look for distinctive and classy prints. Try to steer away from cheesy one-liner shirts, unless it's really funny. Some Tantra shirts are great too. Topman, He by Mango, Benetton, Pepe Jeans and Zara make great tees.

9. Shirts: A good starter mix of shirts would include at least 5 casual cum evening shirts and as many formal day shirts. Try to avoid dark colours for the day and vice versa, opt for slimmer fits as these can be a lot more flattering. I presently own brands like Cottonworld, Benetton, Zara, Playlife and Bossini and Wills Lifestyle. Try not to buy overtly colourful or garish shirts and floral prints are like fashion-homicide!!

10. Outerwear: A casual evening appropriate blazer and darkish sweater are basics as is a hoodie in a colour like grey. Remember, NO velvet, no florals and NO NO NO flashy buttons. Keep it simple and accessorise it to add to the look.

This is the watch I possess except mine
has taken quite a beating!!

11. Accessories & Belts: I recommend a minimum of two belts, one formal black and another casual brown, also having the opposite is quite a sensible decision( I haven't found pairs I love as much yet). So, I wear a Benetton Brown belt and a Bulchee black belt. I like keeping it simple, so a nice plain buckle and no embellishments like fringe or contrast stitches. Although I am on the lookout for a good braided leather belt.
I just bought a scarf from He by Mango and it looks great with a casual blazer as well as a basic T-shirt. Un-studded leather wristbands no wider than an inch look good and add to a look.
And as for watches, one staple metal belt watch that means business is mandatory and another one in either a casual metal belt or leather/rubber belt is recommended. My formal watch is Guess and my casual one is the Swatch I've had for almost four years which I love!!
Finally, a trend I've been coveting is the hat trend, particularly the Fedora which I think I look good in but never get the chance to wear. Here's hoping I find a reason to buy one soon!

12. Underwear and Socks: I wear Benetton underwear and they fit great and I recently got myself these Uniqlo boxer briefs that are really comfortable and fit well. Essentially, underwear should be comfy and not look embarrassing when you bend down to pick up something and spandex never hurts. As for socks, at least one pair of beige and black to match with formal pants (NEVER wear black socks with brown shoes). And for casual pairs opt for short white ones or patterned ones. I bought great striped ones from Springfield.
And, to rattle on for a bit longer, as basic undershirts, opt for at least one good racerback vest(mine are Topman) and a few white and black basic undershirts/tees in round and V-necks to layer with(I just bought a white V-neck from Uniqlo)

13. Sleepwear: I'm a lot about comfort, so I got these checkered jammies made which I wear with matching tees or just a vest or I sleep in boxers/cotton shorts and a tee. So this section is fairly liberal and I think one should wear exactly what they're comfy in at night, hell if the people around you are OK, sleep in your birthday suit!


  1. Ohh, I love Rajesh Pratap Singh, the fact that he has a store near my house has really cost me dear. I am really looking forward to your post on shoes. Also, I think watches deserve a detailed write-up. I can't get my man to wear one but that hasn't stopped me from hunting for the perfect timepiece that I will eventually coax him into wearing.

  2. Hey!
    Shoes and watches are coming up real soon!
    They're the two things I'm MOST finicky about!!! :)

  3. I have been searching fora white casual shirt for a long time. I really liked the one you have from Abercrombie and Fitch.Can you tell me where you got it from?

  4. So I just saw this, if you get e-mail notifications, great!
    I got mine from the US when my dad was there.
    If you want a good white shirt in India, I love Cottonworld shirts. The best part is that they have zero branding which makes them great!