Building a Wardrobe

Every once in a while I have a new client, like the one I met this week, tell me two things that are music to my ears, “I don’t have any clothes and need to start from scratch.” And second, “I am open to anything!” This doesn’t happen very often in my everyday work as an Indiana Men’s Stylist.

I approach each client with exhaustive research. Clients fill out questionnaires that ask about sizes, where they shop, budget, what they do for a living, and what clothes they think they need. A style questionnaire delves into questions about your style and your life because you really need to make sure your clothes fit your life! I also ask my clients to send me photos that I upload to a database where all my client info is stored. The beautiful thing about this database is that it is easy to use, update, and store content especially if you become a long-term client with whom I work each season.

With this new client who was young and eager to “get on with it,” we are working together to figure out what his wardrobe looks like. What I take into consideration as your Indiana Men’s Stylist:

  • Budget – What can the client spend versus what the client needs?
  • Lifestyle – What clothes will neatly fit the client’s everyday activities.
  • Age – This is important I have discovered as an Indiana Men’s Stylist. I don’t want to dress a 24-year-old like a 54-year-old, and vice versa. Although it’s interesting that clients can often wear pieces they never thought they could.
  • Color Analysis –  This is a big part of the purchase we make. It is so important to buy the right colors will make clients like their clothes more and be satisfied with what we buy together.
  • Style and Purpose – This goes without saying.

So what would I recommend for a young man with relatively little in his closet, who wore a uniform to work every day so doesn’t need to figure out what to wear to work? Here are the core pieces I recommend for a young man as an Indiana Men’s Stylist:

  • Cotton Undershirts in White or Colors – These are a necessity because they tramp perspiration and are the foundation for your outfit. Many younger men no longer wear them, so they are surprised when I suggest them. I like name brands such as Hanes, Polo, or Calvin Klein. If you need a certain fit, look for that such as Tall Man.
  • Button-Down Long Sleeves Shirts in Your Best Fit – As an Indiana Men’s Stylist, I recommend ultra-slim, slim, regular, or larger fit. I prefer 100 percent cotton, anti-wrinkle in white, light blue, and light pink and two patterns. Most can be button collars, but one should be a true dress shirt in a spread color.  The average cost is $50 and up.
  • Statement Shirt – These are best in a print such as the ones Robert Graham makes. The average cost is $90-$400.
  • Sharp Wool Winter Coat – I suggest a pea coat or overcoat in a neutral color such as black, navy, grey, or camel. Buy the largest percentage of wool you can afford or in cashmere or camel hair. The average cost is $275-$2,000.
  • Wool or Cashmere Scarf – The scarf will help accent the coat.  The average cost is $60-$300.
  • Sport Coat – You will want this in a small pattern that will go with jeans, chinos, and dress pants.  The average cost is $350 to $1,500.
  • Dress Sneakers – These are not to be mistaken for athletic sneakers. The average cost is $100-$500 and up.
  • Leather Shoes – The best styles are in a loafer or oxford. The average cost is $150 – $1,000.
  • Dark Rise Straight Cut Jeans – The average cost is $89 – $500.
  • Hoodie – Buy one that’s a little dressy in a grey, camel, black, or other neutral. The average cost is $100 to $600.
  • A Third Layer – This can be an item such as a Bomber jacket, olive green military jacket, denim jacket, corduroy shacket/jacket, leather, or suede jacket can be faux leather. The average range is $120 – $2,000.
  • Polos –  These can be in a fun and neutral colors such as navy, white, brown, red, purple, and olive. The average cost is $70-$400.
  • Zip Sweatshirt and Joggers  – These can be in a fabric like pants fabric. The average cost is $120 and up.
  • Leather Belt – The average cost is $50 and up.
  • Sunglasses – Make sure these are of good quality that fit your face shape. The average cost is $80 and up.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC

Indiana Men’s Stylist and Image Consultant