Top 10 Menswear Must-Haves
From cufflinks to couture suits, our list of the top 10 menswear must-haves offers the best of the best in each essential category. The sumptuous textures of luxury fabrics meet with the sophistication of cutting-edge technology in our collection of premier sartorial goods and accompanying hardware.
1. Suits ? First impressions never lie, and nothing is more telling than a suit jacket with straining buttons and trousers with baggy legs. Whether you have the time to go through a series of intimate fittings or just want to grab something off the rack, there?s no reason why a well-made, well-fitting suit shouldn?t be made a priority. Both Tom Ford and Valentino make excellent off-the-rack suits, while London?s Jermyn Street is an excellent starting point to have a bespoke suit created. For the ultimate in ease and quality, we think Kiton?s double-breasted cashmere suit is hard to beat with its effortless blend of masculine tailoring and clean lines.
2. Shirts ? An international man never looks boring or repetitive, and the best way to escape such labels is to up the firepower in your shirt collection: invest in a variety of colours, cuts, collars and cuffs for maximum impact. Head to 28 Place Vendôme for a fitting with the cream of Parisian tailoring, Charvet. Providing both bespoke and ready-to-wear shirts, Charvet has been in operation since 1836 and has enjoyed countless honours, including a Royal warrant by King Edward VII as his premier French shirt-maker. This five-storey emporium boasts an astonishing range of fabrics in every colour and should you choose to go bespoke, your measurements will be kept on file to expedite your next order.
3. Ties ? Assembled in the double-simple, Windsor or robust double Windsor knot, a man?s tie can be a statement of intent and, as such, the international man should be careful to choose wisely and with a bold eye. Whether you favour the more traditional English styles heralded by London?s Turnbull & Asser, the bold designs of Hermés or the rich traditional styles of Napoli institution Marinella, a well-made tie is the lynchpin of a well-chosen look and must be selected accordingly.
4. Shoes ? When women are asked what they notice first about a man, a striking number say that after face, it?s the shoes that catch their attention. In addition, little ruins an impeccable ensemble more quickly than a pair of tattered, off-colour shoes with run-down heels. Whether you favour a pair of loafers in buttery Italian leather or the rigid look of traditional English brogues, Leffot in New York City is home to the premier range of high-end footwear. This rich boutique is the only American retailer of exquisite French shoemaker Pierre Cathay as well as boasting the venerated English labels Church?s and Gaziano & Girling, among many others. Those with a taste for flamboyant luxury should look to Silvano Lattanzi in order to special order their Missoni multi-coloured lizard loafers with horse-bit detail.
5. Jumper ? Seemingly unimportant, the humble jumper has been catapulted into the stratosphere of luxury by Italian cashmere kings, Loro Piana. Charged with supplying the best cashmere and wool to the most discerning customers, Loro Piana has leapt into the un-tapped market of baby cashmere, an exquisite fabric whose time-intensive process and low yield make it a must-have luxury fabric. These warm, lightweight fabrics of extremely limited quantity make them the premier cashmere products on the market, while the variety of knit and range of colours make them the most versatile and enjoyable.
6. Belt ? The sartorial touch that many men overlook, the perfect belt can be hard to find: a rich colour with good width that is worn just enough to keep from shining out at the waistline like a homing beacon. Available in every kind of texture from calfskin to ostrich, the best belt will subtly add to an outfits overall look without drawing extensive attention to itself. Torino?s black Nile crocodile belt is a sleek style whose brushed-nickel buckle won?t catch the light while an Ermenegildo Zegna calfskin belt offers a bit more flash without excessive flamboyance.
7. Watch ? Besides the usefulness of their obvious purpose, a watch is one of the few accessories that remain open to the international man, and it speaks volumes about his personality. A chunky rubberized version is considered the archetypal masculine holiday trimming, while a heavy gold- or platinum-linked wristwatch is a silent nod toward the traditional style of the masters of industry. Those who enjoy a special piece will want to hunt down their own Maîtres du Temps Chapter One, the design of which was created and overseen by four industry experts ? Christophe Claret, Roger Dubuis, Steven Holtzman and Peter Speake-Marin. This exquisite mechanical wristwatch features a rolling-bar design and, of which, only 33 pieces will be produced.
8. Sunglasses ? It is in the discreet details that a true elegance of style shines through, and in the case of a man?s sunglasses it is no different. Whether you favour a classic aviator, trendy 80?s boxy frame or a more traditional style, there is a wide array of high-end possibilities out there. Yves St.Laurent have made the vintage aviator style less grunge and more glamour with their white-gold frame and brown reflector lenses, while Tag Heuer?s limited edition titanium Speedway sunglasses are the ultimate in subtle sophistication.
9. Cufflinks ? Traditionally known as ?formal jewellery? cufflinks are a statement piece that both collectors and the fashion-forward can enjoy. While the stereotype for antique cufflinks falls to those made of Roman coins, a more contemporary choice would be Edwardian filigree or Art Nouveau/Deco enamel. Jan Leslie creates ornate silver and enamel designs that run to the flamboyant, like the exquisite Pheasant design, while Hermes, Bulgari and Dunhill all offer an elegant range of choices in gold, silver and platinum.
10. Manbag ? Whether you refer to it as a shoulder bag, satchel, duffel or ?murse? this handy little accoutrement is a must-have for the international man on the go. The perfect blend of style and functionality, manbags come in a variety of sumptuous textures, from leather and pressed deerskin to ostrich and alligator. Premier designer Tom Ford has recently launched a crocodile line that is both distinguished and intensely masculine, while French fashion-house Zilli has produced an opulent smoky-blue ostrich line. For those wanting something a little more hard-wearing, Bamford & Sons wool-and-cashmere flannel line fits the bill while Avon Celli?s pressed deerskin duffel is as soft to the eye as it is to the touch.
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