Backbone of a Business Wardrobe

With the start of a new year it’s the perfect time for a closet overhaul. What needs to be purged? What needs to be replaced? What do you need to stock up on? For those wondering what constitutes a well-rounded closet, we have you covered in this post.

Seasons come and seasons go, but there are essential pieces we feel constitute the basic backbone of every stylish businessman’s wardrobe. This list is not particularly long but can certainly have a profound impact on standing the test of time and keeping you looking your best year-round.

One thing to keep in mind, and certainly what we love the most about style, is that it's truly personal. There’s no “correct” or “incorrect” way to go about it. However, there are a few parameters we will certainly try to keep you within when considering the essentials for your wardrobe.

2-4 Versatile Suits

Depending on your office environment and how often you wear a suit, most business men will need somewhere between two and four versatile suits in their closet. We recommend focusing first on a properly tailored all-purpose navy or charcoal. Either is appropriate for most any occasion and will pair nicely with most shirts and ties in the closet.

It is important, however, to have more than one suit. As your basic navy or charcoal can get you through most any occasion, there are instances where one or the other may not be the best choice. Furthermore, you want to have a rotation of suits just like you do your shoes.

We also recommend the majority of your suits be a year-round weight wool. As your wardrobe builds, you can certainly add some dimension with a seasonal suit or two.

Lastly, keep in mind it’s a bad idea to buy a suit and break it up into separates. You will start to notice an inconsistency in wear. For instance, if you wear your suit pants as a separate trouser, the suit pant will of course have more wears than the suit coat and over time you will notice a difference in the wear of the garment.

1 Wool Navy Blazer

A year-round weight, well-tailored navy blazer is a must for any man’s closet. It can just as easily be worn in January as it is in July, ever the ready. We recommend a wool garment for your go-to blazer. Not only will it hold up better for hard wearing, but it will also provide for a better drape along the back and breathe better than a poly-blend or cotton blazer. (Cotton also tends to wrinkle more and can be a tad bit too casual for most occasions.)

8-10 Basic Dress Shirts

No matter the size to which your shirt wardrobe grows, at least half of your dress shirts should be solid white or blue no matter if it’s twills, end-on-ends or oxford weaves that you lean towards. Nothing can replace the versatility and ease of a proper fitting, high quality white or blue dress shirt. We recommend a bare minimum of 8-10 basic dress shirts, so you have plenty in the rotation. The more you have in your rotation the longer your shirts will last. Furthermore, you will be able to withstand the downtime when laundering your favorite go-tos.

Those who are well-versed in pattern mixing will find adding a handful of checks, stripes and tattersalls to their shirt wardrobe in lighter toned colors up's the ante and sets them apart without seeming askew. So don’t be scared to venture out from your standard whites and blues every now and again.

4-6 Year-Round Weight Trousers

Charcoal, mid-gray, navy, and tan solids should be your go-tos here. Having between 4-6 trousers in these basic neutral colors will add quite a variety to your wardrobe. We do recommend a year-round weight to give you the biggest bang for your buck.

And as technology continues to amaze with new performance fabrics being introduced to the market, you may want to consider investing in a few pairs of trousers that are professional enough to wear to the office but also have some “performance” elements built in such as a four-way stretch for mobility or moisture wicking for those warm days you find yourself out from behind the desk.

For those looking to further expand the wardrobe, adding a pair of subtle patterned trousers to the rotation will help to break up the day-to-day uniform. Keep the madras for the golf course though, and stick to mini checks, houndstooth, or a tonal windowpane in our go-to neutrals for some interest but not limiting versatility.

3-5 Well Made Leather Dress Shoes/Loafers (with matching belts)

The best way to prolong the life of a shoe is to have it in rotation. If you are wearing the same shoe every day, it never has time to recover in between wears. Furthermore, you will want to have versatility in the style and color.

Every man should have at least 2 pairs of Oxford dress shoes in his closet. Not only are they one of the most versatile shoes a gentleman can own – which will work for nearly all business occasions – but they’re the de-facto standard shoes to wear with a suit. We recommend having a black as well as a brown dress shoe. We know black has been the tradition go-to for suiting; however, we love the fresh approach a brown shoe can make on your wardrobe being worn with navy, mid-gray, charcoal and tan.

In addition to a traditional dress shoe, loafers are remarkably versatile. It’s hard to think of another pair of shoes one could wear to the office or with jeans for a night out on the town.

As a side note, when stocking up on your dress socks, we recommend always matching your socks to your trousers not your shoes!

Other Pieces to Consider

A pair of dark denim and stretch five pockets both in a straight fit. We love the versatility of a dark denim and a neutral color five pocket such as charcoal. Wear with a dress shirt and blazer or sport coat and you have a great go-to for those more casual days in the office.

2-3 soft coats in seasonal fabrics versatile enough to wear dressed up or down. Pair these with your dress pants, dark denim or five pockets to mix things up and diversify the closet.


For those of you finding yourself in need of stocking up on a few key essentials for the wardrobe, stop by the shop to take advantage of our Stock Up and Save Event running January 11 – 26th!

"A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them.”

- Hardy Amies, former British Intelligence officer turned famed Savile Row bespoke menswear tailor.

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