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The 14 items are the essential items for any gentleman to have in his wardrobe.

Building a Wardrobe

In this article our aim is to show you what should be in your indispensable wardrobe, outlining the key fourteen items that you will need, which can be mixed for work, formal and casual occasions. A good wardrobe is essential; it will give you all the items you need to face the world.

These fourteen items will form the foundation of your wardrobe. Once you have them right, you can start to consider how to further expand your wardrobe and add the stylish flourishes, which will set you apart from the rest.

We have built this wardrobe so that it can be purchased at any budget. In fact we have found all the items for as little as £500 ($750).

So what are the 14 essential items that every man needs in his wardrobe?

The Essential 14 items you need for a basic wardrobe:

  • One Navy (or black) suit 
  • One dark Jacket 
  • Two formal shirts (white) 
  • Two formal shirts (blue)
  • One pair of formal shoes (black)
  • One pair of formal shoes (brown)
  • One pair of casual trousers (dark blue or similar) 
  • Two t-shirts (white)
  • One v-neck jumper (tan or light)
  • One v-neck jumper (blue or darker)
  • One reversible belt (brown/black)

To hear more about these items, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and find out when our book “Becoming The Stylish Gentleman” goes on sale.

If cared for correctly, these 14 items will last a good while.  The following tips will extend the life of the garments exponentially.

General rules

  • Find a good dry cleaner that you can trust. Your beautiful suit, jackets and trousers will, in most cases, specify ‘dry clean only’.
  • Protect your wardrobe against moths. It is no longer necessary to use foul smelling mothballs. Many stores stock pine balls, which will keep your clothes safe. If you are putting something away for a longer period consider storing it in a sealable plastic hanger bag.
  • Learn how to use a washing machine. Washing your own clothes means you will only have yourself to blame if your best white shirt is turned pink by a rogue red sock.
  • Learn how to iron a shirt and to press your trousers. If your mother never taught you how to iron your shirts, do not worry, it is not difficult, with a couple of hours practice you will be turning out perfectly pressed shirts.
  • When you buy a new suit or shirt you will usually find a small plastic bag of buttons in one of the pockets, or a spare button sewn inside a shirt. We advise you to store these in one safe place so that you can find the right button if/when you lose one.

Suits and Jackets

  • When your suits and jackets come back from the dry cleaners be sure to take them off the wire hangers. This will ensure your jackets stay in shape and will avoid those unsightly creases across the knees of your trousers.
  • Think very carefully before you put anything in the pockets of your suit.
  • Always unbutton your jacket before you sit down to avoid pulling at the buttons.
  • Keep your jacket buttoned when standing.

Trousers

  • If you work in an office, your trousers will take a lot of punishment. To ensure they are kept smart, and to avoid nasty creasing behind the knees, they should be sponged over lightly and pressed regularly.
  • Due to us filling our pockets with large smart phones, wallets and keys, the line of our suits are being spoiled. Consider putting your phone and keys in your briefcase/bag and always ensure your wallet is cleared of old receipts regularly to keep it slim and minimize space in your pocket.

Shirts and T shirts

  • Men love to keep a favourite shirt, but there comes a time when all shirts need to be replaced.
  • Periodically you will lose a button, so make sure you have a needle and thread handy (you will need the right colour threads for shirts) and then get someone who knows how to sew a button to show you how it’s done.

Shoes

  • Investing in good shoes and taking care of them should ensure that they last you for many years.
  • Invest in a proper polish and a pair of good brushes. Learn how to clean your shoes properly and clean them regularly. First, wipe your shoes down with a lightly damped cloth, then apply the polish generously leaving it to ‘soak in’ to each shoe for a short while. Then buff the polish into a shine with the second brush and finish them off with a duster to get a perfect shine.
  • Remember that walking on a new pair of leather soles can be like walking on ice on some surfaces, so consider using a fork to score the leather lightly in a crisscross pattern to assist in grip.
  • If you have bought leather soled shoes, be sure to ‘wear them in’ in dry conditions before you wear them out in the wet to allow the soles to get a ‘seal’.
  • If you have really good shoes, consider cedar shoe trees to keep the shape and to dry out any perspiration in the warmer months.

Jumpers

  • Always put your jumpers away carefully. Either hang them on a wooden hanger or fold them carefully.
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