Menswear à la The Fashion Catalyst

I’ve helped many people shop for new wardrobes and hard to find items, pointed them in the right direction for that ‘perfect gift’, and I’ve also helped the style challenged work with their existing wardrobes – all with the end result being one of happiness and confidence.

I’ve not only dressed humans but also pets.  And a few apartments too – styling square metre upon square metre. Starting from the bareness of the stylish and gorgeous (but cold) wooden floors, and moving forward to appeal to a wide audience.

I’ve built this website (my pride and joy) upon a vision; a vision to stand out from the sea of (now) over-crowded bloggers. To promote, inspire and help others selflessly. But mostly, to embed Perth fashion in the forefront of societies the world over.

So, it was no wonder a friend came to me yesterday asking for my help to find him a new wardrobe.  He said, “You’re a style hunter, you attend all of these fashion events – can you help me with buying a new wardrobe?”.  Oh bless!

I haven’t replied back yet however, I will of course spend some one-on-one time with him (if his busy schedule permits). In the meantime though, I have gathered some basic wardrobe tips for men (and women wanting to help their men, or women wanting to follow the masculine trend of the yester-year)… And what better way to help those that are a little too shy to ask for advice and who suffer in style silence.

For the wardrobe challenged male, these tips will surely get you off on the right foot.

Menswear Wardrobe Tip #1:  Invest in a good tailored suit. There are many styles of suits but if you’re on a budget then use these simple tips when choosing your preferred style and remember to always get measured beforehand – Italian (double breasted, good for very tall men), British (single breasted, good for men with a stomach and carrying a little extra weight), American (a very relaxed and versatile style, good for men with large chests) and Mandarin (a unique style referring to the collar, good for men with lean features).

Then choose your fabric: worsted wool, linen, cotton and seersucker materials for summer and wool, tweed, flannel and herringbone for winter.

Now your preferred colour: blue or grey is best for your first suit or to play it safe then your safe colours are black, brown or khaki.  Otherwise, if you’re really bold you can opt for baby blue, white or beige.  Remember a blue pinstripe suit will give off an air of authority whereas a white suit will give off a more relaxed vibe.

Top L to R: SABA, ae'lkemi, Lowes. Bottom L to R: ae'lkemi, Givenchy, Sportscraft
Top L to R: SABA, ae’lkemi, Jacket found in Lowes. Bottom L to R: ae’lkemi, Givenchy, Sportscraft.

If you’re not the type of man to wear or buy a 2 piece suit then simply invest in a tailored suit jacket – you can team it with a relaxed pair of cut offs, denim jeans or even a kilt, sarong or pareo for a more fluid look.  Most importantly, remember to have it tailored – it is amazing what a tailored arm or a back dart can do.

Menswear Wardrobe Tip #2: Don’t be a jeans snob – embrace them and invest in some quality jeans.  Expensive or inexpensive this key item can be worn with a T and some thongs, dressed up with a suit jacket and some shiny leather shoes or über cool with a leather jacket.

Like the suit, there are many different styles of jeans however, if you use these simple tips when choosing, you can’t go wrong:  Boot Cut (tapers to the knee and flares slightly at the bottom, good for most body types), Skinny Leg (fit tightly throughout the leg, good for those who are thinner), Wide Leg (relaxed and loose from the waist down, good for athletic body types) and Straight Leg (straight from top to bottom, good for those who are a triangle shape).

Then choose your fit:  Slim (sit tight in the seat and thigh), Regular (slim in the seat and thigh but loose in the leg), Relaxed (loose in the seat and thigh without being baggy) or Loose (baggy throughout the seat, thigh and leg).  This decision is purely at your own discretion however, my advice is to steer clear of any pant that is too baggy; baggy = daggy!

Now for your preferred wash/colour:  dark, distressed, dirty, stone or black – this is purely up to you however, you should always be aware that darker colours will create a slimming look.

Top L to R: G Star Raw, G Star Raw, Industrie, Industrie. Bottom L to R: Glue Store, General Pant Co, Surf Dive n Ski, Surf Dive n Ski, Glue Store
Top L to R: G Star Raw, G Star Raw, Industrie, Industrie. Bottom L to R: Glue Store, General Pant Co, Surf Dive n Ski, Surf Dive n Ski, Glue Store

If you’ve got an overload of full length jeans or love the outdoors, why not go for cut-offs – they’re man chic and a simple solution to the warmer months.

Menswear Wardrobe Tip #3:  Navigate your life in a set of stylish shoes – whether it be leather, suede or canvas – don’t be caught in a lift wearing a pair of scruffy shoes.  In fact, don’t be caught wearing anything but a well maintained pair of shoes. This should be rule number one for the gents however, the suit is something that men don’t tend to think about until it is too late.

There are 3 main shoe types: Classic (all-round dress shoes like the Oxford, good with a suit), Boot (these come in classic versions like the ankle boot with a slight heel, or the casual cool desert boot, good to team with a pair of jeans) and Casual (sneakers, runners or thongs, the most casual and comfortable pair to own, good for more casual occasions).

Shoes are a personal choice but please, whether you’re stylish or not, keep them regularly shined, resoled and well maintained.

Carson Kressley - Westfield Be Styled Tour
Carson Kressley – Westfield Be Styled Tour

If you’ve found your soul mate, don’t be afraid to buy the shoe in extra colours or even 2 or 3 pairs at a time of the same colour – a good shoe can be hard to come by sometimes.

Menswear Wardrobe Tip #4: Always look too cool to care in an elaborate variety of shirts – the shirt is the most versatile item of your wardrobe, use it to your advantage – during winter try layering a dress shirt under a V neck to create an instant update.

There are many different varieties however, these 5 will get you started:  Dress Shirt (long or short sleeved, buttoned down, collared, cuffed and crisp, good for under suits with a tie and tapered to fit the body correctly), Polo Shirt (long or short sleeved, collared with 3 to 4 buttons on the front top of the shirt, good for the warmer months and can be casual or slightly more dressier if need be), T-Shirt (non-collared, comfortable, light and comes in a variety of different materials so it is very versatile, good for flexibility – a staple so stack your shelves), V Neck (very dynamic V shaped collar, can be worn casually or slightly more dressier) and the Turtleneck (a round neck, generally tight fitting and long sleeved, suits most men).

Top to bottom L to R: Witchery, Glue Store, Farage, Witchery, General Pants Co
Top to bottom L to R: Witchery, Glue Store, Farage, Witchery, General Pants Co

Always ensure you iron each shirt for each occasion, no need to spoil a good look with laziness.

Menswear Wardrobe Tip #5:  Invest in your time – a timepiece is one of the most important accessories a man should have.  Every man should have a few different watches with different bands and some made of precious metal while others of leather or even plastic.

Complete your look with a timepiece that says you’re serious about your style.    If you’re on a budget choose from one of these or if not on a budget then choose all of these – a man can never have enough watches: Dress Watch (a classic and usually expensive timepiece, good for events), Diving Watch (water resistant, either inexpensive or expensive, good for the water lovers) and a Pocket Watch (made to be carried in your pocket, good for all occasions).

Left to Right: Rolex, Surf Dive n Ski, Surf Dive n Ski, Tag Heuer, Pocketwatch
Left to Right: Rolex, Surf Dive n Ski, Surf Dive n Ski, Tag Heuer, Pocketwatch

Remember to have your diving watch serviced and cleaned regularly if you’re a diver.

Menswear Wardrobe Tip #6:  Always look sharp – no matter what the occasion.

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Bisous, and happy shopping!

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