In my last Wardrobe Wednesday post I talked to women about building your outfit around two closet staples – a white tank and jeans. But what about the guys? Let’s start with the same basic idea: start with what you already have and go from there. In this case, I chose jeans and a white dress shirt.
It can really work, too, without being even a bit boring!
First, the basics.
Let’s start with a pair of dark wash jeans that really fit well. Again, no saggy pants or faded dad jeans. If your man doesn’t have at least one pair of nice darker jeans, get thee to a store pronto and make him TRY THEM ON. I’ve absolutely made my husband try on jeans before buying them, only to have a few women critiquing his figure to make sure the fit works. Might he be embarrassed for a minute or two? Perhaps. Will he leave with a killer pair of jean? Absolutely. Totally worth it.
(Husband’s note: You get used to hearing your wife ask the other women to check out your ass.)
The white dress shirt. Again, this MUST fit well. The good thing is that no matter what his size, you can find a cut that works. I suggest going to a store like Men’s Wearhouse where they have a large selection of special cuts (like athletic or slim). My other suggestion – and this comes from the wife of someone who wears a white dress shirt five days a week – is to buy one that is wrinkle or iron free. These aren’t a myth or made of some weird material. I honestly haven’t ironed a dress shirt in YEARS. My newest favorite white shirt can be found below in the shopping guide.
Now, let’s jazz this up a bit.
Even if he only wears the jeans and white shirt, little things like great shoes, a belt and watch can make a huge difference. I almost always suggest rolling the sleeves. Not only will this make the look a little more lived-in and real, but it will also make him feel a little more relaxed. Show even more style with a pair of geek chic glasses or a light scarf.
Consider taking the outfit one step further by adding a loose tie (or bow tie for the adventurous). Again, you can make it more casual by keeping the top few buttons undone on the dress shirt. Keep in mind that this is a great opportunity to show a little color, or compliment something that another person is wearing. The trend in ties now is skinny, skinny, skinny.
Don’t be afraid to layer things over the shirt. Vests look cool and can be worn with or without a tie. If the example below is a little too modern, consider a basic sleeveless golf sweater vest like this from Nike Golf. Button-down and full-zip cardigans are hot now, but you can’t go wrong with a zip-neck mock sweater as well. And finally, jackets. These can look super cool and casual with a slightly unbuttoned dress shirt and jeans. Depending on the material, you may even be able to roll up the sleeves a little. Go with a more formal look by adding a simple tie and maybe even cufflinks.
Buckle Pop Icon Edify Vest – $39.95
Zara Cotton/Metal Cardigan – $39.90
Macy’s INC Core Two Button Blazer – $69.98
Express Full-Zip Mock-Neck Cardigan – $41.94
WHITE DRESS SHIRTS:
Zara Structured Shirt – $59.90
Buckle District 3 Latitude Shoes – $49.95
Macy’s Kenneth Cole NY Watch – $95.00
Banana Republic Madras Scarf – $49.50
Buckle ReClaim Textured Belt – $19.95
Express Narrow Silk Tie – $39.90
J.Crew Brisband Madras Tie – $59.50