Imagine your house burnt down, and that everything went in the fire (for the sake of keeping this hypothesis pure let’s say that you were out jogging at the time). Even less likely let’s imagine that the insurance company promptly sent you a cheque for £10,000 to replace your lost clothes. How would you spend the money? Where should a man start when building a wardrobe?

Starting from scratch places the emphasis on versatility, because these are clothes you’re going to be wearing a lot. This is not the moment for dandyish flourishes, but rather for setting down some well-considered foundations. So let’s start with the basics: seven pairs of boxer shorts in a variety of colours (try Turnbull & Asser), and as many pairs of navy blue socks (try Budd). While you’re in Budd it would be worth buying five snow-white linen handkerchiefs, and a couple of ties, perhaps one knitted and one in Madder silk. Things get more complicated when it comes to shirts (Chris recommends bespoke shirtmaker Sean O’Flynn), but two in white to wear in the evening, and five in various shades of blue for daywear would be a sensible start. Next stop is shoemaker Edward Green, where you should pick up a pair of black Chelsea oxfords, black Piccadilly loafers and, for the weekend, brown Dover derbies. Given the season it would be useful to also buy a versatile Dunoon coat from Mackintosh.

For casual wear you’ll want a pair of jeans (Albam’s are made in the UK from Japanese denim), two pairs of cotton trousers (a pair of Incotex chinos in cotton, and one in moleskin would hit the spot) and a lambswool jumper (from Hawick’s William Lockie). All that remains are some tailored clothes from Chris, and every man needs a two-piece navy blue suit, a blue blazer and a tweed sports jacket. These three elements will see a man appropriately dressed in almost all social and professional environments. Save the remaining £78.50 for your next purchase, which should probably be a grey flannel suit, and consider installing a smoke alarm at home.

7 x boxer shorts = £315
7 x navy socks = £136.50
7 x shirts = £1,400
5 x handkerchiefs = £150
2 x ties = £230
1 x jeans = £115
2 x cotton trousers = £400
1 x sweater = £75
3 x shoes = £2,270
1 x coat = £630
1 x blue suit = £1,800
1 x blazer = £1,200
1 x tweed jacket = £1,200

total = £9,921.50

Visit Chris Kerr at our Soho shop.


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