Photo by Andrew Morrell Photography



It's a great thing to have a closet full of sharp suits to wear. To be able to express yourself with fashion and add your own personal flair to your style.  But many a young man comes fresh out of college with a closet full of sweatpants and t-shirts, unprepared to face the world of work and the more mature social life that belongs to a grown man. Chasing the latest fashion can be fun and rewarding, but a young man on a budget needs to build a core wardrobe first, so that life's vicissitudes do not catch him without the proper attire.





Start with Blue  Many young people make the mistake of buying a black suit for their first suit. Why is this a mistake? Well, unless you have more than a few funerals to attend, the black suit isn't really all that versatile.  A good solid navy blue suit can be dressed up or down to fit almost any occasion, and the coat can be used alone as a blazer. Go for a basic two or three button single-breasted suit in the best fabric you can afford. Want to express yourself? Do it with shirts, ties, and pocket squares.

Charcoal is next.  There's a reason the Man in the Grey Flannel Suit is so famous.  Charcoal grey looks good on almost everyone and is an excellent choice for a second suit.  Not quite as versatile as navy blue, charcoal will still stand you in good stead in many situations. This suit should also be a solid color. Why? Because a solid color will coordinate with more of your shirts, ties, and pocket squares. For your basic core wardrobe, you want to be able to get as much mileage as possible out of each suit.

Add a light-colored or summer suit. This can be a light brown or grey, or even khaki. This will be your summertime suit. Poplin or summerweight wool will be easier to care for, but linen has a charm that can't be beat.

At last, a pattern. Now you can add a nice windowpane or Glen plaid to the mix. This suit will be much less versatile than the others, but also less boring!

Once you have your core suit wardrobe in hand, you can begin to branch out. Try some more daring colors or fashion lengths and styles. Black suits, brown suits, fashion colors, big patterns and sharkskin can all add to the fun and help you to express your personal sense of style.

Finally, your core wardrobe is an investment you make in making a good impression on the world. Make sure you protect that investment with proper care.

What suits do you think belong in a core wardrobe?


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