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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Thoughts from a Simpler Woman: 3 Men's Wardrobe Basics

Mark Kwak

Let's be real. About half of you visit this site, as well as other menswear blogs, to learn how you can impress the ladies with your impeccable style. There's no shame in admitting this, we all know dressing better can garner more attention from the opposite sex. For this reason, I've decided to start a guest-blogging series where you can hear from women directly, on how to dress better. Today, it's all about 3 staple pieces that every man should have in their wardrobe. All brought to you by my very stylish, San Francisco living, dog-loving friend, Kristin. Read on:

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3 Men’s Wardrobe Basics That Will Make This Happily Married Woman Turn Her Head for a Second Look

It does not take an extravagant show of style, the latest fashion runway look, or an expensive designer brand to make me to elbow my husband and say, "See, you need a basic (insert clothing item here) just like he has, that looks so good!" Because actually, in the vein of the mantra of this blog, it really is quite simple.  The simpler the fashion, the simpler the man, the simpler it is to get the approval of the ladies.

I have faith that as a reader of this blog you are already doing a lot of things right.  You aren’t wearing denim with patterns or embellishments on the pocket, you definitely aren’t pairing a suit jacket with a pair of jeans in an effort to look ‘casual yet important’, and the absolute only time you wear a hoodie to dinner is when you are grabbing something to go on a weeknight.  Right?  Right.  But enough about what I know you are already doing, and on to the wardrobe basics you should most definitely own:

1)  Dark jeans.

Buy a pair & wear them every single time you are even slightly unsure of what to wear.  As a solid base to the rest of the outfit, I believe a guy almost can’t go wrong no matter what other fashion decisions he makes.  No stone wash, no holes, no embellishments, no fancy colors.  Just a pair of straight fit, dark blue jeans.

Such as these always stylish APC New Standards.

If you are intimidated that you might go wrong in your selection, I have witnessed miracles in the Men’s denim department at Nordstrom.  I guarantee they can have you in and out in 20 minutes with your new jeans.  And while you are there, perhaps you can browse for…

2)  A pair of sunglasses that aren’t black Ray-Bans.

Last year after Coachella, the organizers posted on the Coachella website a notice that went something like this, “If you lost your black Ray-Bans during Coachella weekend, be advised that so did everyone else so you are out of luck in getting them back.”  I breathed a sigh of relief knowing so many black Ray-Bans had been cleaned from the sunny California streets.   But it wasn’t quite enough so my advice is that you should too keep your black Ray-Bans where they belong:  music festivals and Men in Black auditions.  And find another pair of every day shades.

I like these by Persol, but really anything other than black Ray-Bans is a great start.

3)  Plain t-shirts.

You’re a guy so there is a high probability you are going to do it anyways, so all this lady asks is that you do it with a bit of class.   Invest in high quality, plain cotton t-shirts in non-neon colors that you cannot see through.  That’s it.  If your t-shirt has something to do with sports, you’ve messed up on this piece of advice.  If you bought your t-shirt on a brewery tour, you’ve messed up.  But your t-shirt has a cute dog on it that says, ‘Pugs not Drugs’?  That is cute, but no.  In fact, if you bought any t-shirt from a display at Urban Outfitters, you’ve probably messed up.

This is so easy to do, and cheap!  Try these from J. Crew.

Hey now, look at you with your dark jeans, your shades, and your nice t-shirt!  I love it!  You can keep it simple just like that, or you can add on virtually any other new item you have acquired based on the fashionable inspiration you have received from Simpler Man.  And when I see you on the street, I’ll take a second look, and elbow my ripped-old-jeans-wearing, RayBan-sporting, Indiana-basketball-t-shirt-styled husband to say, “You need to dress like that!”  To which he will inevitably roll his eyes and respond, “Cool it, honey.  You’re married.”

kristin for blog

Kristin lives in San Francisco with her husband, Chad, and miniature dachshund, Wrigley.

She's also a style guru, so you'll want to take her advice.