Continuing The 18 Timeless Basics Part 1 of the series, here are the remaining 9 timeless basics that I (or you) will need to rebuild a functional wardrobe.
Polo shirt, also called Tennis or Golf shirt, is a very important wardrobe basic for both sexes. In my opinion, you can wear it in almost any settings – from office to the beach, or maybe a night-out – very versatile. It works with blazer, jacket or even on its own.
If you’ve always been the T-shirt type of guy, consider investing in a few pieces of this. Start with the basic colours such as white, black and navy. It’s best to make sure the cutting is fitted and slim.
I do have polo, but unfortunately I don’t wear them that often in the past. I’m going to invest in 2 or 3 more pieces.
11. Fitted T-shirt
Basic white t-shirts are staple for a man’s wardrobe. Plain and fitted ones are great on its own, as well as for mix-matching and layering. We’ve disccused How to Look Good in T-Shirt previously.
Note to self: I need more white t-shirts.
For men living in South East Asia (e.g. Malaysia), shorts are as important as t-shirt. Honestly, I’m most likely to wear shorts when I’m not attending any event or going anywhere that requires a little formality.
There are varies type of shorts, but I would recommend getting a few pairs of Bermuda shorts in neutral colours e.g. grey and beige. It’s easier to match your tops with neutral colours.
13. Formal/Business bag
Some men might think that having a formal bag is unnecessary, because they can just put everything into their laptop bags provided by the laptop manufacturer.
In fact, laptop bags are meant for keeping and protecting laptops. You’ll need a proper bag to keep your paperworks, pens, snacks, notepad, tickets, car keys, or maybe your iPad or sandwiches. Also, a proper bag looks greater when you’re in a suit.
A business bag can be a briefcase, a sling bag, a leather backpack or a tote. I personally have a tote.
14. Casual bag
A casual bag is the second bag you need after your business bag.
There are times a casual bag will come in handy. For example, a day trip to the beach, a casual meet-up with friends and a weekend family shopping day with your kids. You will have things to carry and that’s why you’ll need a casual bag.
Sunglasses aren’t just accessories. You’ll need one to protect your eyes, whether you’re driving in daytime or soaking up the sun at the beach. A good pair of sunglasses goes a long way.
I’d personally recommend Aviator. It’s classic, not too fancy, and it should work on most faces. More inspirations here: Style Inspiration: I Love Sunglasses
Personal pick: Rayban Aviator
Outer-wear is not a daily item but you’ll need one occasionally. There are days when it’s cold and rainy, and your office may be just too cold, even in Kuala Lumpur. Whether you’re travelling locally (e.g Genting and Cameron Highlands) or overseas, having a jacket or a coat is definitely handy.
In my case, I used to commute to work by train a lot. It’s normally quite cold in the train early in the morning. So I have a trench-like coat that matches with my formal wear. Sometimes, I also dress it down with t-shirt and jeans.
It’s a must to have at least one tie. A tie of any colour that works with your formal wear. Standard tie width.
If you don’t have to wear tie everyday, middle-end ties will be just fine (you don’t need Hermes yet.) But here’s the rule of thumb: good ties are less prone to wrinkling and less likely to go out of shape.
I had a bad experience with cheap tie. There’s once I stretched the tie too hard and it became out of shape.
Most of the time, you can tell the quality of the tie by looking at the price tags.
* One a site note, you may be interested in How to Tie a Tie in Different Knot Styles
Basically, you’ll need at least 2 types of belt: a formal belt and a casual belt.
Formal belt is for your suit and office attire. I would recommend a black leather belt for the basic. A black leather belt is neutral so it can match with almost all colours of pants and shirts.
As for casual belt, I’d recommend braided leather belt or a canvas belt.
My shopping list is almost complete now, and I hope you’ll find my experience useful to you. Please share if you have any thought or tips. Did I miss out something? I’d love to hear from you.
Hope you enjoyed this post.