Tag Archives: wardrobe planning

It’s all about planning…

I know everyone’s heart sank slightly as we rolled into the second half of August and inched that much closer to the end of summer.  While mentally and physically not ready for this transition it does lead to a timely post.  As exciting as transitions are they’re also difficult – this definitely the case with clothing.  Here a few tips to prepare – and I’m not talking about winter.


It’s all about planning.

It goes without saying that better planning is often the answer to most of our problems – too bad actually making ourselves do it is so difficult.  When it comes to clothing this is made even more difficult by the fact that we plan for cooler weather while still dealing with the heat of summer and vice versa.   Getting one’s head around this is a challenge and for this reason most of us put off making decisions until we’re in the actual season.  At that point though life gets busy, you can’t find what you want and before you know it the season is changing again and you’ve still yet to deal with the holes in your wardrobe.  The result is frustration and reactionary purchases which are dangerous as they often lead to mistakes and thus wasted money.   Sound familiar?

Plan for next summer now.

The secret is simple – get ahead of the game.  Right now you are keenly aware of what is missing from your summer wardrobe and positioned perfectly to make informed decisions for next year.  Wait till April and you’ll simply be aware of what is missing from your winter wardrobe and in the wrong mindset to make summer based decisions.

Firstly analyze.

What have you been wearing this summer?  Have you been mixing things up or have you found yourself falling back on a signature look?  If you’re mixing it up is it because you have a lot of solid options or is it because you’re unsure what you’re signature look is?  If you’ve stuck to a signature look is it because you know what works for you or is it because you’re void of other options?  Do you know if you want a signature look or do you prefer to mix it up?  As you think about these questions a sense of what you need and want will start to emerge.

Make some lists.

#1 – What do you need to replenish or double up on?

You’re bound to have a few pieces that are starting to wear down and need to be replenished. You’re also bound to have a few pieces that you love to wear and could have multiples in the rotation.  It’s this list that allows you to begin to really build a wardrobe.  The most stylish guys out there have a real sense of what works for them and going back to the well is a great way to always feel at your best.

#2 – What is missing?

The more difficult yet fun list to create – it leans heavily on the analysis that we discussed earlier.  The key is that you stick to the analysis to create this list and never allow yourself to venture to far away from it.  By distancing ourselves from the analysis we begin to be swayed by fashion as opposed to our sense of style and what works for us individually.  Sometimes the two come together but equally as much they may not.

An example.

I’ve conducted my analysis and as someone who adores the signature look it was very clear as to what I need to add to my wardrobe – here are my top 5 needs:

1. More unstructured jackets.

Unquestionably our summers are getting hotter and with that comes a greater need for unstructured jackets.  Unless I need to be in a full business suit + tie I want my daily wear next summer to be odd unstructured jackets and pants.  I’m not a fan of suits without ties – as such I’d rather wear an odd jacket and pant pairing when forgoing the tie.  I still get drawn to shades of blue and grey thus my “must” additions are an olive and light grey jacket.

2. More dress polos.

I have one and I love wearing it – it’s the ultimate shirt for summer as it walks the line between light and airy in feel while still being formal in appearance.  As such it’s the ultimate shirt for wearing without a tie in combination with the unstructured jackets.  I need to add two more in white.

3. White leather trainers.

I wrote many a post about white trainers over the summer + I included countless images of them.  For some reason though I failed to actually get out and replace my old pair which I took out of rotation as they were too beat up.   Odd indeed as all summer I’ve been fully aware of the gap in my ability to conduct a perfect summer high low – a casual yet leather shoe to wear with dress pants and shirts without a jacket.  I need to add the white monochromatic Converse Chuck Tailors in leather. 

4. Linen shirts.

I love the way they look – particularly in white and baby blue when worn with the sleeves rolled up.  They also feel great in the heat as they are light and airy and bridge the gap between a formal dress shirt and the less formal dress polo.  Like the white trainers I was aware of my need all summer but simply never found the time to actually get it taken care of.  I need to add one each of white and baby blue.

5. Linen shorts.

Exact same as the shirts in terms of their wearability – light and airy.  The warmer the weather the more I’m aware of the weight that my traditional cotton shorts have and I don’t like it.  I have two seersucker shorts in the rotation and they are getting 75% of the use – I need to add two linen pairs to give them a break.  I need to add one in navy and another in darker beige.

As always I’d love to hear your opinions on this or any sartorial subject for that matter.  Better yet book a free appointment and we can banter in person and see if we might be a good fit to work together.

Take care – Michael


Shoes Make The Man – How To Nail Your Shoe Game

Do shoes make the man?

That’s what they say.  As a statement this might be a bit over the top but undeniably shoes are absolutely critical in anchoring and finishing your look.  For me shoes are the most personal aspect of a man’s wardrobe.  Each guy has a few types and styles of shoe that he simply feels comfortable in – this is from both a physical stand point as well as from a style point of view.

In most cases we we don’t accessorize in the same way as women; as such shoes take on that role and allow us some freedom to express ourselves.  With that in mind I’m disinclined to say exactly what shoes you should own as it’s such an individual decision.  Instead I’ve decided to go over my shoes collection as a way to share what I think makes up a basic shoe wardrobe.

Dress Shoes

shoes 2 instag

I’ll start by addressing what you don’t see in the above image – a pair of black shoes.  I don’t wear black – be it clothing or shoes – simply because I find it too formal from a personal point of view.  That said I know many guys who wear primarily black shoes (and clothes for that matter) and they look great.  Like I said shoes are personal and a reflection of your own tastes. In my case I love the personality of a brown shoe and the different patinas that naturally form with them.

Before going further a note of caution – if you wear dress shoes in the work environment you need at a minimum two pairs of shoes.  A rest day between each use is crucial to increase the life span of the shoe.  While resting your shoes need to have wooden shoe trees inserted – this maintains their shape and absorbs the moisture, sweat and smells that your feet inflict on the shoe during each use.   With that in mind because I’m in a suit on a daily I keep four shoes in the rotation – that said all four aren’t used every week.

The Workhorses:

The two pairs in the middle are my day-to-day workhorses.  A classic brown blucher (second from right) and a mid-brown wing-tip (second from left) work for every look I need whether it be dressed up or down.  Both work as well with suits as they do being paired with a cotton trouser or dark denim.  This is where you should be spending as much as you can afford to.  I find the old adage that “you get what you pay for” to be particularly spot on with shoes.  The difference between a $150 shoe and a $250 shoe is massive – even more so when you jump to the $300 level.  The $250-300 shoes will last 10 years if cared for properly while at $150 you’ll be happy with a year.  At 2.5 uses a week you’re looking at 1,250 uses in 10 years – on a $300 shoe that ends up costing 24 cents a day.  Good value I’d say.

The Specials:

At the far right is my one-piece dark chocolate oxfords.  The style itself makes it my most formal shoes as does the color which is as close to black as you can get.  When paired with a midnight navy suit it’s as close as I need to be to a black suit/black shoe combination.  On the far left is my tan dress boot – by far the most casual of the bunch.  I’ll wear this with full suit from time to time but more often it’s used in a dressed casual role being paired with an odd jacket and trouser.

What’s missing?

A dress loafer something like below.


For the summer months it’s nice to have the option to go with or without socks.  The breeze hitting your ankles can cool you down substantially while making your suit look visually less heavy – personal opinion of course!

Casual Shoes

shoes instag

When you talk about individual preferences and style it’s in the casual arena that we see the most variety.  In my case I run the scale of dressy casual to fully casual – right to left as you can see.

Dressy Casual:

On the right are my casual dress boots – in mid brown at the far right and in olive green suede beside it.  Both boots are in the casual group mainly because of their rounded toe box.  The mid brown boot also has a Dainite waterproof sole as opposed to a traditional wooden one which also reduces its formality.  Both a very versatile – capable of being worn with suits in a pinch, to dressed casual all the way down to fully casual use.

The Bridge Shoe:

Undoubtedly the most versatile shoe in my entire collection is the brown leather loafer in the middle.  I call it the bridge shoe because it can be used in so many situations.  Paired with cotton trousers, a dress shirt and an odd jacket it is perfect for dress casual in the winter months.  At the same time though it’s just as comfortable being worn sockless with shorts and a polo shirt in the summer months.  Not many shoes can boast that level of versatility.  A quick note – this differs from the dress loafer because of the sole.  The dress version has a traditional wooden sole while this is version is the soft rubber.


Last is the trainers – everyone needs a few pairs of great trainers.  The navy leather New Balance are my winter go to – they pair with every possible pant including duty with suits when grabbing a post work pint or just walking home.  The grey Nike Free’s are my summer months go to – more often than not used with shorts though they also pair up nicely with light cotton pants for warmer evenings.

What’s missing?

I posted this image last week on my blog – the simplicity of a white leather trainer is hard to beat.  Notice that they’re paired with grey flannels in this case.  When you see the full image it’s actually a full suit – not exactly business appropriate but it looks great nonetheless!

Vans Sk8-Mid Vintage Fall Collection

I’d love to hear your take on this subject – comments are always welcome.

Take care – and as always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch.