The following is a guest article by Robert van Tongeren of Restart Your Style.


There’s an easy way for you to make your style reinvention a lot easier, and it’s simply by establishing a good wardrobe foundation.

Very few men do this when they start working on their style. Instead they start investing in all the latest trends, without any know-how to pull them off.

Building a good foundation first is a much better way to go about it. It not only teaches you the basics on putting an outfit together, but you’ll have a wardrobe that trendy items can easily be added to.

I’ll explain how this all works, but first I’ll tell you…

What I Mean By a “Good Wardrobe Foundation”

A good wardrobe foundation is a timeless collection of basic men’s fashion staples. Good example are:

  • White shirt
  • Dark blue jeans
  • Grey sweater
  • Navy blazer
  • Camel chinos

Simplicity is the key here. The items in your wardrobe foundation don’t have to be eye-catching. In fact, they should be low-key. Think solids and neutrals.

Use These Foundational Items as Training Wheels

The great thing about these foundational items is that they are great training wheels for putting an excellent outfit together. Because of their simplicity, it will be very easy for you to mix and match these clothes, without having to worry about them clashing.

If you want to improve your style, you should start with the fundamentals.

Too many men neglect to work on this though, and it results in them trying their hand at more advanced techniques before they’re ready. You can balance the colors in your outfit as perfectly as you want, but without proper fit it won’t make much difference.

Getting the basics right is half the battle.

Since the items in your wardrobe foundation are of such a basic nature, you won’t have to worry about color schemes and mixing patterns. You can just concentrate on getting the fit right and learn how to layer the different items over each other to create interesting looks.

Once you understand the fundamentals, the next steps become drastically easier, which brings me to my next point.

Adding Statement Pieces

Once you have a good grip on the fundamentals, your foundation will make it very easy to add more interesting items to your wardrobe.

Because the clothes in your foundation are all solids and neutrals, they won’t clash with any other colors and patterns. This makes them excellent supporting pieces for when you decide you’re ready to add such items to your outfits.

Start wearing only one color at a time while keeping the rest of the outfit simple. This will give you a good sense of how just a bit of color can make an outfit more visually pleasing. It will also teach you some restraint, as it’s very easy to overdo it in the color department.

After a while you can try and start combining colors in your outfit. Make sure to put some effort in learning how they match. Find out how the color circle can help you pick a color scheme for your outfit, and really sit yourself down to internalize this.

The tips above also apply to patterned clothing. Wear just one pattern at a time, since mixing patterns is even harder to get right than matching colors. A style novice really shouldn’t be attempting such things.

So, have you built a good wardrobe foundation yet?

If not, I hope to have convinced you of the benefits. While I agree that other items can look a lot more interesting, you should never underestimate the importance of proper support. When you add a trendy item to a very basic outfit, it won’t have to vie for attention and this will make the item pop.

What other types of clothes do you think make good foundation pieces? Let us know in the comments!


[photo, photo]

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