The key to dressing well, no matter your sartorial preferences, is buying quality clothing that suits and flatters your body type. Simple. Two things, quality and fit. And know this: one without the other doesn’t work. If a garment isn’t good quality, it affects both look and feel. If a garment doesn’t fit properly, it doesn’t matter if it was hand crafted in Japan, because the outfit will look sloppy and the wearer careless (or clueless).
The next step is stepping into style. When considering a new garment one hopes will last for years, look to understated quality as opposed to something flashy (colors or fits that are too trendy) or gimmicky (three-in-one pieces), then focus on the details. How do the legs of the pant taper? How is the collar cut and how does it fasten? What material is it made out of? Where are your pockets and how do they function? Do the textiles have interesting patterns? Careful selection allows for individual expression: the well-curated outfit.
Though there are countless garments for every taste, below are the top picks from some of the best brands, to sharpen both your professional and casual style. In each category, the upgraded wardrobe options are a coat, a layering piece, a shirt, pants, socks, shoes and sunglasses.
Office Wear Doesn’t Have to Be “Blah”
The formal uniform — whether a two-piece suit or a pair of chinos and a blazer — has the tendency to sink into lackluster territory quickly. To upgrade your professional attire, rely on expert fits from brands sourcing good fabrics. A white, slim-fit cotton-poplin shirt by Raf Simons pairs nicely with a pair of mid-rise wool and cashmere trousers by Jil Sander (in midnight blue). Top this off with an unstructured blue herringbone wool blazer by Boglioli for a look that is both classic and effortless. Keep your socks simple and dark — Corgi ribbed cotton and cashmere socks are perfect. For a twist on a staple, the Dries Van Noten crepe-sole derbys are a solid upgrade that are both fun and luxurious. A silk-blend tweed overcoat from Issey Miyake will keep your style on point in inclement weather, and a pair of Kinney round-frame sunglasses from Garrett Leight are ideal to polish off any professional look.
Issey Miyake Overcoat $2,615
Boglioli Blazer $1,295
Raf Simons Shirt $330
Jil Sander Trousers $640
Corgi Socks $32
Dries Van Noten Derbys $720
Garrett Leight Sunglasses $285
The Watch For Both Looks
Rado’s DiaMaster Grande Seconde has a classic design that will transition from the workplace to the weekend without seeming out of place. Its unique dial features two intersecting circles — a smaller circle marks seconds and has a date window, while a larger circle marks hours and minutes (in a conventional style). Both eye-catching and timeless, this watch will elevate your style for years to come. Buy Now: $3,400
Upgrade Your Casual Attire
Today, the term “casual” encompasses everything from jeans and a t-shirt to tailored sweatpants with blazers. The best way to improve a casual outfit is to focus on authoritative brands that focus on small details, even in their casual-wear offerings. Thom Browne is an expert in fit, and he makes an oxford-cloth button-down that is second to none. Pair that with slim black jeans from French brand AMI, designed by Alexandre Mattiussi, and you’ll have a classic, yet elevated base to build upon. Layer with a cable-knit blue sweater by Beams+ made from 100 percent Shetland wool. Stephan Schneider’s Memory coat with a knit scarf-lined hood is made in Belgium from 100 percent wool and will stay with you from late Autumn to early Spring. A pair of hand-knit socks from Kapital will feel great and look even better with boots from Nonnative (which riff on Clarks Walabees, but have a Gore-Tex lining and smoother styling). Top the outfit off with something edgier: a pair of handmade sunglasses from Sun Buddies, an in-house brand of trendy Swedish retailer Très Bien.
Stephan Schneider Coat $895
Beams+ Sweater $165
Thom Browne Shirt $390
AMI Jeans $220
Kapital Socks $54
nonnative Boots $279
Sun Buddies Type 01 Sunglasses $175