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Men's Wardrobe Essentials for Formal or Semi Formal Occasions

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One of several articles about building a basic wardrobe; this article focuses on six key items I believe necessary for men's formal or semi formal occasions such as an interview, a wedding, or a date.

A Suit
Every man needs at least one well tailored suit for special occasions that arise, even if it's just once a year. And trust me, you will be glad to have one because it will save you from feeling humiliated and cheap when everyone else is suited up at some event except you.

Choose a dark suit, preferably black or dark gray and be sure to make it single-breasted. Choose a medium weight wool since it's long lasting, holds it's shape well and is multi-seasonal. Steer away from a trendy cut. Buy a classic style that you will able to wear for years to come. This way you will only need to change your shirt and tie to keep your look up-to-date.

Slacks
Another essential item is a good pair of dress slacks, again preferably in a dark color like black or navy. They will come in handy when you are going to an event that doesn’t require a suit, but does require something nicer than khakis or jeans. Again, choose a medium weight wool since it long lasting, holds it shape well and is multi-seasonal.

A Classic Sweater
Nothing looks nicer on a man than a classic sweater. Choose your favorite style whether it be crew, v-neck or a cardigan--you can’t go wrong if it’s a flattering color and a good fit. They are particularly useful when going to a function where a suit is not appropriate such as a more casual first date. And let me tell you, nothing says hug me, touch me, squeeze me like a nice sweater.

A White Dress Shirt
A white dress shirt is a must-have for suits but also for dressier pants. White shirts never go out of style and they look great with just about anything. I especially like them worn under a dark sweater with just the collar and cuffs showing--a classic look reminiscent of Cary Grant and other 1940s Hollywood screen gems.

Several Ties
Ties are wardrobe essentials because not only do they beg to be worn with a suit, but they can be worn under a sweater or simply with a shirt. It is important to have a variety of ties to coordinate with other items in your wardrobe or just to match your mood. You should always purchase at least one new tie per year since tie styles change more often than any other men’s fashion item.

If you wear suits often, you will probably need to have many ties in your collection. If this is the case, buy ties every season. That way you will be able to have fun with more unusual colors and patterns that match the season.

Black Shoes and Belt
One of the biggest fashion sins is to not match the color of your belt with that of your shoes. Wearing black shoes and a black belt is a fashion fundamental and will serve you on many occasions whether casual or formal. If you have a limited wardrobe budget, at least have one pair of black leather shoes and a black leather belt on hand.

Depending on how often you wear them, a good pair of shoes will last a long while if you take good care of them and a belt will likely last you for many years. And please don’t spoil your look by wearing odd colored socks. Buy a couple pairs of black socks, preferably wool since they retain their color and shape longer than cotton.

Related Video
Build a Man's Wardrobe - Men's Wardrobe
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