Creating a man's capsule wardrobe

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Putting together a man's capsule wardrobe may sound like a daunting task. After all, selecting just 24 items of clothing from which to create all your outfits may seem restrictive to some and overwhelming to others. Nevertheless, if you find fashion confusing and want to make dressing yourself well as simple as possible, a capsule wardrobe could be the ideal solution and compiling one may not be as difficult as you think.

Begin by thinking about your lifestyle. Do you go out to bars and clubs regularly or do you prefer less lively pursuits? Do you dress formally for work or casually? Do you spend a lot of time outdoors or are you more of a couch potato? Do you have children? All these questions are crucial to consider before selecting the perfect items for your capsule wardrobe. People with active children, for example, need to ensure that they have a few items that allow easy movement, so you can keep up with your kids' frenetic pace of life without compromising on fashion.

Your first item should be one well-fitting suit, preferably in a timeless colour like grey or black. If you have to wear a suit to work, two or three suits might be a more appropriate number. For slightly less formal workplaces, two pairs of smart trousers will do. Alternatively, if you rarely wear smart trousers in your work or social life, just one pair will be sufficient. Instead, invest in a couple of pairs of straight-legged jeans in dark or regular blue but avoid pre-distressed, ripped or frayed jeans. A good pair of black or brown corduroy trousers may also be worth considering, especially if you attend many smart-casual events.

When it comes to tops, two crisp white collared shirts are essential items of men's clothing, suitable for both work and formalwear. However, two casual shirts - either with a folded or a band collar - are also advisable, as well as three plain block-coloured t-shirts ideally in white, navy and another understated colour, like dark green or grey. Jumpers and cardigans should be round or short v-necked and a thin but warm fabric like merino wool jumper represents a great investment. Again, stick to block colours but a classic motif like Fair Isle knitting or a pringle pattern will add a sophisticated touch. Depending on your personal sense of style, you may also want to consider a knitted tank top or woollen gilet, for extra winter layering.

Finally, tend to your outerwear and accessories, which should be equally classic in style without seeming dull. Aim for two coats: a sturdy but stylish winter number - say, a hooded duffel or bomber jacket - and a lighter waterproof mac, which will be perfect for spring and autumn showers. Shoes too are important and should vary between lifestyles. Casual trainers to wear with jeans and smart black shoes for work are recommended, while sports shoes or walking boots are essential for active types.

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Paul Buchanan has 1 articles online

Paul is a part of the digital blogging team at who work with brands like Debenhams. For more information about me, or to keep up to date with the latest in retail news, check out my posts at or visit my Twitter account, @shoutingID.

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Creating a man's capsule wardrobe

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This article was published on 2011/01/11