The idea behind the capsule wardrobe is that if you own the right clothes, dressing to impress is easy. Still, there are a number of men who resist the concept because they “don’t buy into minimalism”, or they think it is a feminine practice. On the contrary, the capsule wardrobe can benefit anyone who wants to sharpen their look and make dressing in the mornings easier.
Experts recommend a capsule wardrobe should contain somewhere between 24 and 32 items, including shoes but excluding socks, ties and underwear. The result is minimum clothes taking up space, better value for money and less stress when it comes to choosing an outfit. Here are some of the clothing staples you’ll need to make any ensemble work, whether you’re headed to the office or out to dinner with friends.
Every man should have one well-cut suit in his closet, but you might need three or four if you wear one every day for work. Men’s suits are one of the more expensive wardrobe staples you can buy, but it’s always worth investing in quality. If you don’t already own a suit or yours needs an upgrade, Dobell sells high-quality cheap men’s suits that provide excellent value for money. For a luxury suit, try Alex Wood Suits.
When looking for a light coat for cooler months, a pea coat is the perfect solution. It can be worn with jeans for a casual look and is smart enough to wear for work. Unlike most jackets, pea coats are long enough to go over a suit, so they are incredibly versatile. Opt for navy or monochrome so you can style it with other neutral shades in your closet.
Jeans feature in most people’s closets, but it’s important to find a properly fitted pair. Opt for dark blue with minimal distressing. Too much decoration is also best avoided if you want the jeans to least a long time. Remember: styles come and go, but a classic pair of jeans is timeless.
Most people need something to change into when they get in from work, and sweatpants are the ultimate dress-down item. They are also versatile as they can be worn to the gym, kick a football around, to walk the dog or simply to pop out for groceries. Opt for comfortable cotton with an elastic waistband, and choose full-length pants for colder days.
The perfect alternative to jeans, chinos can be worn almost anywhere for any occasion. They make the ideal companion to a crisp shirt and smart shoes and they can be dressed down with a t-shirt and flip-flops.
A good pair of brogues will last for years, so don’t scrimp on your shoes and be sure to take good care of them. Opt for black so you can wear them with a suit or dark jeans, and go for monk straps instead of laces: not only do these look classier, but they are also easier to put on.
White sneakers / trainers have made a comeback recently, and whatever your style, they can suit multiple outfits. Whether you opt for an Adidas, Converse or Reebok style, white sneakers can be worn with sweatpants, jeans or chinos – just be sure to keep them clean.
Again, it’s best to look for a pair of sunglasses that won’t go out of style. Classic styles with dark frames go with most outfits, but choose a pair you like and don’t be afraid to spend a little. You want good UV protection with frames that won’t snap. You should also make sure you invest in a hard shell case to protect your sunglasses when you’re not wearing them.
A classic white shirt is essential for smart occasions. Look out for a regular cotton shirt with a collar you like, and be careful not to tumble dry as it could shrink.
Every man needs a sweater for heading out on cold days or lounging around the house, and thankfully there is an abundance of stylish options to suit every budget. Oversized crew necks are very fashionable right now, and they look great over skinny jeans, chinos or sweatpants.
Denim jackets have been in fashion for decades, so it’s safe to say they won’t be going out of style any time soon. Whether you wear yours with a shirt underneath or over a hoodie or sweatshirt, this jacket is ideal for social gatherings and casual outings.
A sturdy pair of boots is an essential part of your capsule wardrobe. Not only do boots look stylish with jeans or chinos, they’re also handy in wet or cold weather. Options include dessert boots, Chelsea boots, leather boots and more. Select a colour and style that feels most “you,” and that complements the rest of your wardrobe.
Hoodies make great alternatives to sweaters when the weather is chilly, and they are also perfect for working out in. You can even dress yours up with a denim jacket and chinos for casual outings.
If you want to commit to your capsule wardrobe, you should opt for plain t-shirts with no design or a brand logo like Stone Island or Tommy Hilfiger so they stay in fashion. The rules are only as strict as you want them to be, however, so you can stick to slogan tees if they are more your style.
V-neck sweaters are incredibly versatile. They can be worn with shirts and ties or left open neck for a low-key look. Black and grey sweaters are the best option as they don’t stain easily and they can be worn with a variety of different pants.
This is a crucial addition, even if you don’t travel regularly. Having a reliable holdall means you’re prepared for last-minute trips and business excursions, but they can also be handy to take on day trips or to the gym. Opt for a soft bag that you can easily stow in your closet with robust leather handle. You want this bag to last for years, so don’t be afraid to spend a little.