What should every well-dressed man have in his wardrobe?

It’s a new year, and it’s time to build up your sartorial sense. That means starting with the basics and building your foundation.

So I could go on forever on this one. But if I had to narrow it down, here are a few:

A well fitted navy-blue suit (this includes a pair of trousers and vest…if applicable). It has the amazing ability to go from button-up-business to Friday-night casual in minutes.

A wristwatch. From Movado to Timex, Omega to Rolex, it’s all about the slight glance at the wrist. Check this essential accessory for the time (especially when someone asks you), not your phone.

A great pair of dress shoes, casual sneakers, and of course, boots. You get what you pay for here. So invest wisely and take care of them.

And finally, a great selection of socks. Enough said.

-Rochester Sartorial

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Canvas Sneaks: Perfect for any occasion…almost.

CRIP CANVAS SHOE by CIRCA, $50

This week, we’re featuring shoes for the sartorial savvy. To start, let’s reminisce about the warm days gone by.

With summer long gone, most are packing away their dog-day kicks and replacing them with boots perfect for trudging through slush-stack sidewalks. But for some, the sneaks never get put away. Canvas sneaks are just too versatile  and let’s be honest, they look too damn good to be completely rulled out.

First word of caution though: bust out the sneaks only when you know the weather is going to be manageable  There’s no sense in getting your feet soaked to the bone from a freak snow storm, or frozen off for that matter because the temp dropped down to -15 F.

But if the weather is looking dandy and the cost is clear, go ahead, wear the hell out of those versatile sun of a guns.

We recommend light canvas (white or cream) with a gum sole. Don’t worry too much about spoiling your kicks. If they get too dirty, just throw them in the wash.

-Rochester Sartorial

And where back with another Sartorial Quick Tip: The Peacoat

CLASSIC PEACOAT by OLD NAVY, $50

It seems the peacoat, the double-breasted wool coat with broad lapels and wooden buttons, is popping up everywhere. From James Bond to Kanye West, anyone can and should have this maritime-essential in their closet.

Pretty much any fashion brand offers some variation of the peacoat. Better yet, you can pick up an authentic U.S. Navy issue peacoat at most army/navy surplus stores for half the coast of most major brands. Today you can find tailored versions that are brought in a bit giving it a slimmer profile. And stick to the primary peacoat colors: navy blue, charcoal, or black.

We recommend wearing the peacoat at casual events—friendly get-togethers, downtown loft parties, or even when you’re out running some errands. But that doesn’t mean you can’t dress it up a bit through layers. Try a pair black slacks, dark khaki chinos, or even indigo jeans, a button down, and a thick cable knit sweater on top of that. Oh yeah, a scarf is almost always a must. But in all honesty, you can really do whatever you want with this thing, as long as you don’t try to pass it off as dressy.

-Rochester Sartorial

Veteran’s Day.

THERE’S NO REASON YOU SHOULDN’T LIKE THIS.

Rochester Sartorial is taking an extended weekend. More of like a “take half of the week off because it’s veteran’s day, and everyone should go spend time with their families” weekend.

We’ll continue our shenanigans on Thurday.

Rochester Sartorial: Always providing only the truest style advice—baked fresh daily. The way it ought to be.

The Cardigan: dress it up…or down. You choose.

CARDIGAN by EXPRESS, $70

The cardigan can dress-down an otherwise uptight slacks & dress-shirt combo, while being able to dress-up a jean & shirt combo.

Amazing.

Also, with the weather heading south, the cardigan is a layering icon—if there ever was such a thing. You don’t have to worry about pulling it over your head when things get a bit chilly…or hot.

If you are dressing-up a casual outfit, wear your cardigan like you’re not trying to call attention to yourself. Wear it like a matter-of-fact—such as, “Matter-of-fact: it’s chilly. I’m going to put on my cardigan to my otherwise fine outfit.” Do this and you will be just fine.

We recommend looking for neutral colors—grey, charcoal, or a variety of blues—so that you can pair it with as many items as you’d like. You want it to be versatile. Focus on texture (like the one in the picture). Texture says, “style” but in a subtle way.

-Rochester Sartorial

Photo by ENDER GÖÇMEN

Glasses: Hemingway wore them, and he was a bad-ass.

WEBB, WHISKEY TORTOISE MATTE EYE GLASSES by WARBY PARKER, $95

Whether your a braggadocio, a machismo, or just near-sighted, your glasses say more about your personality & style than—dare we say?—your entire wardrobe.

If you’re due for a new pair, or your just getting into your first, we believe you should go bold or go home. Glasses are personal like your signature, so why not represent yourself tastefully?

When it comes to choosing a pair of bold frames, check out the gallery at warbyparker.com. Their vintage inspired frames boast old-school appeal from straight-up nerd to dignified professor or 50’s businessman-type. You get the idea.

-Rochester Sartorial

Photo by ENDER GÖÇMEN

Socks: the underrated way to express yourself.

ARGYLE DRESS SOCKS by EXPRESS, $11

With fall coming up, chances are you’re going barefoot less often, and if not, people are probably staring at your feet…for the wrong reasons. So spruce up that nifty wardrobe with some new socks.

Socks offer you the chance to add color to the old walking sticks, and it’s pretty easy to do. Imagine you’re matching your shirt to your pants—it’s like that but with your socks. If you really want to go bold, check out the argyles up top.

A man should take pride in his socks. If you look after them—and by that we mean washing them regularly—they will look after you.

-Rochester Sartorial

Photo by ENDER GÖÇMEN

Stay dignified…the Dopp Kit.

DOPP KIT by MERONA, $10 at TARGET

What’s a Dopp Kit you say? It’s your batten-down the hatches, simple to the core, overnight bag. Of course, we don’t call the Dopp Kit ” your overnight bag” because first, it’s not manly enough, and second, there aren’t any clothes in it—only essentials.

The Dopp Kit is something no dapper, dignified, or self-respecting, style-setting, sartorial son-of-gun should travel without. Wait a second…did I just go on a rant?

Anyway, back to the good stuff—your Dopp Kit.

  • It should be made of nylon or canvas. Don’t waste too much money on leather this and leather that. This thing is going to the ends of the world with you, or at least to a friends house or hotel or something. Nylon ensures durability & easy care. Besides, you shouldn’t be making a statement with your Dopp Kit.
  • It should be small enough to stack easily in your bag…
  • …but large enough for travel essentials: toothbrush, toothpaste & floss, deodorant, nail-clippers, headache medicine, body wash & shampoo, razor, shaving cream, extra contact lenses/glasses, & lip balm.
  • …personalize as you must.

The well-equipped Dopp Kit will see you through thick & thin. Take care of it, and it will take care of you.

-Rochester Sartorial

*The term “Dopp Kit” refers to its maker, Charles Doppelt. He was a leather-craftsman from Germany who immigrated to the US during the early 20th century.

Indigo + Jeans = Essential.

JEANS- $30, TARGET

An overflowing closet full of clothes doesn’t guarantee style. Actually, it’s probably the opposite. Signature-style starts with simple & essential—enter, the indigo wash jean.

-Rochester Sartorial

Photo by ENDER GÖÇMEN

The white dress shirt.

1MX FITTED DRESS SHIRT by EXPRESS, $60

I’m sure you own one. If not, that’s step one. With that out of the way, let’s move on to step two, three, & so on.

  • It must fit  perfectly. Sitting well on the shoulders and tapered through the waist. You shouldn’t have to re-tuck  your shirt every time you twist or turn.
  • Cotton, cotton, and cotton. If it’s not 100%, draw the line at a two-fabric blend like cotton/spandex. The spandex serves a purpose—no mystery ingredients please.
  • Look for high quality, not necessarily high price. Remember, it’s all about the fit.

The perfect white shirt can be dressed up or dressed down. Paired with jeans or slacks. You choose. That’s the beauty.

– Rochester Sartorial

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