Words by, Peter Minkoff
Photography by, Nick Urteaga
The article below is a featured guest post enunciated, and written by lifestyle writer at Men-Ual magazine UK, Peter Minkoff. Specially written for www.igeeokafor.com. Edited and Approved by, Igee Okafor.
We often hear something along the lines ‘we’ve been spoilt by choices’, and in terms of fashion, this casual statement is undeniably true. It seems that the level of difficulty of putting together a great outfit increases with every new item we bring into our wardrobe instead of making it easier. This is precisely why building a capsule wardrobe is in order. The entire premise of this wardrobe is based on high-quality pieces of the finest craftsmanship. These are investment pieces, yes, but ones that mesh well together. What this means for you is impeccable and effortlessly created outfits every single time, and a well-curated wardrobe in which the ‘odd item’ that doesn’t work is nonexistent. By creating your very own capsule wardrobe you not only up your style game but also minimize the dressing time. The only question that remains, and one that we’ll be answering today is – how to go about creating it?
- Keep It In The Family
The general rule of thumb when setting out on this journey is that you should stick to minimalist staples in terms of the color palette – think in terms of greys, black, white, navy, camel and a few other semi-neutral hues such as maroon. You also want to steer clear of busy and ostentatious patterns. This also means that you should avoid large graphic prints and anything that can be difficult to work with. A subtle checkered pattern and stripes, for instance, are quite welcome, as they are subdued yet trendy yet timeless, while such patterns as loud florals should generally be avoided.
- If It Doesn't Fit, Do Not Wear It
When building a wardrobe around a limited number of garments, and accessories, it’s clear that quality is a top priority. There isn’t a specific number in mind, although the general idea is that the number should not exceed fifty. Therefore, all your attention should be directed toward quality of fabrics, the cut and of course the fit. You are investing in pieces that should last you for years to come, so they need to be able to physically stand the test of time – hence great fabrics. The second quality these need is timelessness – no overly trendy pieces that will be over before the following month. Finally, they need to fit like a glove – clothes are there to be flattering, and if you’re investing in them, they need to deliver on their promise. Whether we’re talking about a suit, a white shirt, a blazer, it all needs to fit perfectly.
In terms of tops, you should first and foremost focus on stocking up on quality basic T-shirts (sans slogans) in all your neutral hues. Follow the rules of minimalism on this one. Next in line are of course crispy white shirts – every man regardless of specific style preferences needs to own a few classic and classy shirts. Now, for layering purposes, you can either go with cardigans or cashmere sweaters – or both depending on your affinities. Simple blazers/sport jackets are always good options too.
While there are very few fellas out there who don’t appreciate a great pair of jeans and even chinos, it’s noticeable that fewer and fewer men are rocking classic dress pants. Believe it or not, these are as essential as the previous two mentioned. You may not be thinking of wedding and special occasions at this very moment, but they will arrive and more often than you think, so always be prepared. The only thing better than dress pants is a suit or a tuxedo, so if you’re really serious about always being prepared, you might want to jump in with both feet.
When choosing your little footwear collection, you have a bit more wiggle room, all thanks to the all-consuming athleisure trend. There is always a new ‘it’ shoe on the block and a new way to wear it, but when you mix athleisure and capsule wardrobe, your choices are narrowed down to something like Adidas Gazelle sneakers which are perfect because of their mixture of modern cut and functionality. The second pair of sneakers are definitely the white Common Projects that can be easily rocked with a casual and smart outfit. Of course, classic loafers and Chelsea boots are a must as well as a pair of oxford, double monk strap, and derby shoes. Espadrilles for the summer.
- Accessorize Smartly
Great eyewear that suits your face shape is the essential accessory. Cufflinks are a highly snazzy detail if you’re that type of guy – if not, you can skip it. However, ties are non-negotiable – you simply must own at least three representative ones. Hats are completely cool if they go with your style persona, while great leather belts and at least one staple watch are unavoidable. To complete the circle in the accessory department – always have a luxurious-looking wallet, as this detail speaks volumes about the type of man you are.
Thank you for reading!