My male friends are constantly joking with me, asking if they are wearing the right clothes and what should they expect next in menswear, in a tone not so sarcastic that it provokes retaliation, but such that suggests a willingness or want for more information, without losing too much testosterone. And after much deliberation on my next post for the blog, I figured, why not do a list of ten items every man should (and probably does) have.
First, lets go right back to basics, a pair of all star converse. I don’t feel I need to support this with anything, I’m pretty sure most men already own a pair or five, and if you don’t, then just don’t let people know this, get yourself down to Office, Shuh, Sole Trader (are those even still going now?) and pick up a pair before anyone finds out. Bog standard shoes, giving the wearer the ability to look ‘cool’ without looking like a douche who tries too hard.
Number two on my list, Calvin Klein underwear. White preferably. Now this is a tricky subject, seeing as I am a woman, is there too much I can say about men’s under garments without sounding a bit perverse? Well I’ll probably be darned if I do, and darned if I don’t. Whilst I spent a Christmas with the buying team for a renowned department store, working on menswear accessories, Calvin Klein was a big buy for them, and sold through continuously. So clearly you folks like you CK briefs, and quite frankly, nothing is worse than Primark bought underwear your mum picks up for you four times a year.
Three, now although scent isn’t really fashion, at the same time, it is. You could look sh!t hot, but if you smell like hot sh!t then what’s the point? I love Chanel Sport Por Homme personally, the chances are, if you cannot pronounce it, it smells good. Steer clear of anything with a celebrity face on it, or with a naked lady as the bottle, remember, someone might see this bottle and having to explain why you have Peter Andre’s perfume to a friend could be a difficult situation, all best avoided.
Four, now I deliberated putting this as my final number ten, but I guess I got a bit excited and had to slot it in at four. Band tee-shirts! I must say, the whole picking of a band is a very tricky thing to do. Nothing too obvious, ruling out The Who, Kiss or Jimmi Hendrix, nothing people would not have heard of, ruling out anything you hear on BBC Radio 6 (although props if you know some of these) and nothing too lame, ruling out Mc Fly, Midnight Beast, and… did I say Mc Fly? (unless you’re actually a 13 year old girl and its 2004) A good band would be something like Bombay Bicycle Club, The Strokes, or Black Keys, but remember, whatever band tee-shirt you wear, be prepared for scrutiny and that others will expect you to know more than three songs, and none of which can be from their most recent album. Try markets down Brick Lane, retro stores like Rokit, or music stores like Rough Trade or even at a gig.
Five, this, yet again, is a bit of an obvious one, a pair of slightly worn, Levi 501’s. Timeless, effortlessly cool, and then you will have Jean envy. I don’t think I need to explain much more?
Six, here we come on to watches. Now the topic of men and their watches is a bit on the tricky side. I mean, the amount of fake Rolex (or Rullocks as I like to call them) going around, its like the whole fast car thing. Personally I think if you cannot afford the flash watches, don’t buy a fake. Casio are best, they last as long as you want them too, will always look good, and show that you don’t really care about fashion and clothing as much as you actually do. Steer clear of anything with Velcro, nothing say, I can’t quite tie my own shoe laces like a Velcro watch. Just stay on the short bus or don’t wear one.
Seven, another one you probably have, and if you don’t, then don’t let people know this. Leather jacket, with or without a hoodie attached inside. They will always remind me of programmes like The O.C. or Skins, but you have to admit, people in those programmes ALWAYS looked good! Throw it on over any outfit and you’re ready to go! Check out SuperDry’s range, or River Island.
Eight. Seeing as summer is fast approaching, well as fast as English weather will allow, sun glasses are a big factor. Go Ray-Ban or go home. I don’t think this is something limited to men either, everyone needs to own at least one pair of ray-bans. Tortoise shell, black or a bright bold colour, depending on how many you want, in the classic retro style.
Nine. Belts, from what I know at least, are pretty important; I mean they hold your trousers up. Enough said really right? Then again getting a good belt seems to be a tricky situation. There seems to be so many options, colours, styles, thickness and buckle. I mean, as cool as that batman buckle your aunt got you for your last birthday is, its still not the easiest thing to wear. Try something leather, plain, black or dark brown. It will match casual trousers and formal suit pants. Yet again, without making you seem as though too much thought has gone into your dress process. Look at Next, ASOS or Diesel.
Ten. Now this is a bit of female input I must admit. A crisp white shirt never go amiss. Be it from Topman, ASOS, Ted Baker, Hugo Boss or Saville Row, it creates this perfect desk to dinner (where you can wear it to work, then out to dinner or the pub for those of you not in the know about ‘desk to dinner’ dressing) look, appealing to men, women, friends and family. Every man can pull off a white shirt, and every man should at least give it a go.
So this is my current list of Ten Must Haves for Men, no doubt I will be updating this every so often.