9 January 2019

Uncoding Menswear Must Haves 2019

By Rumbi Dzimba

We are cognisant of the fact that men have become more clued up about fashion and particular about what you wear. This is not a new phenomenon, men have been dominating the fashion scene since time immemorial but what’s new is that the trend – allows us to call it that – is now cutting across all ages, genres, races and so forth. So as we step into a brand new year, we want to start by paying ode to the guys. In this article we will focus on the top 6 Must Have menswear items to give the gents a head start into 2019. The list is far from exhaustive but we have zeroed in on a few key aspects we believe every man should have in their wardrobe picking from retro, classic and modern trends.

1.    Dress shirts

The dress shirt is simply a button up shirt that has a collar and long sleeves.This shirt is designed to be worn with a tie and jacket but can also be worn without one or both items. The best look to achieve when wearing a dress shirt is to ensure it properly fits the body. However, most men wear dress shirts that do not fit them properly and the end result doesn’t look too flattering.  When you wear a shirt that fits properly on the chest, sleeves, neck and stomach, you will improve your appearance dramatically and stand out in a good way.

Dress shirts come in a variety of colors but the key tones to have in your wardrobe are white and blue which find their way into many different settings and occasions seamlessly. The color of a man’s shirt has a lot of impact on the surroundings around him as this can easily be a determining factor of your character or persona.

2.    Trousers

It’s important for your wardrobe to carry some key trouser designs that are functional in a lot of scenarios. For formal or workwear, outside owning a full suit depending on your work environment, one needs a pair or 2 of basic formal pants. These are best purchased in dark colors such as black, grey or navy which are not only easy to pull off but highly adaptable to different environs. The type of cut be it tapered or relaxed is solely dependent on your personal style or the look you are trying to achieve
For an easy smart casual look, chinos come to the rescue. These are highly versatile and can easily be worn in both a formal or relaxed environment depending on the shirt and or blazer you add on. Best colors for chinos are khakhi, charcoal, black and navy – however the daring can also splurge on some color chinos for a pop of character.
Lastly is denim – our all-weather friend. It’s important to always have at least 2 pairs of very good easy-to-wear denims that will take you from a casual Friday work outfit to a night out with the boys. Find trousers that have a good fit and if you are in between weight or height, it’s always advisable to find a good tailor to make minor adjustments so your final look is spot on.

3.    Patterns and prints
Always a bone of contention about patterns and prints when it comes to menswear. Our take is simple, don’t be afraid to try something different or new. The biggest shopping advantage we have is that we can fit our clothing items in-store before we make a purchase. Hence one can be as bold and daring as they wish in the fitting room – if it doesn’t suit your taste after trying it on, then simply don’t buy it.

Men's shirts – be it dress shirts, casual shirts or tees are available in a wide range of colors and patterns.However, for ease of dressing and being conscious of our ‘basic’ guide, it’s always best to limit yourself to the tried and trusted colors that embody professionalism but at the same time allow you to express yourself as an individual. It’s wise to be cognizant of the surroundings you will be in when selecting the type of patterns to include in your wardrobe.
Stay safe and invest in basic patterns such as checks and thin vertical stripes and stick to solid colors this ensures a timeless and professional look. For a more casual look however, floral prints and bold stripes are taking centre stage with the more daring going full on with bold and bright colors.
Bottom line, find a print/pattern that you are comfortable in sporting and suits your look. 

4.    Shoes

When it comes to must have shoes, you have to ensure you select styles and colors that are versatile to cover you on key occasions. For formal looks, invest in a good pair of Oxfords or Brogues. These are both classic formal ‘gentlemen’ shoes that make good dress shoes and work with office wear. Oxfords are identified by their unique closed lacing while brogues have perforated patterns on the uppers.

For a more relaxed or casual look, boat shoes are a good investment and make for a go-to-summer shoe. They look great worn with turned up fitted chinos or jeans. When buying a pair of sneakers, always remember to keep them clean and situation appropriate. Solid colors are usually easier to pull of with colors such as white somehow depicting more fashionability of the wearer. Sneakers work well  with chinos, jeans or shorts. Sandals are another must have when it comes to men’s shoes as they work well for laid back days or occasions. Invest in a comfortable pair preferably made of durable fabric such as leather.

5.    Bags
Yes, we are broaching this eyebrow raising topic once again – the man bag! This trend has hit Zimbabwe and is growing. Why? Believe it or not, it’s a necessity. Just as women move around with hand bags, men do carry a lot of items too, worse now with the advent of technology, we are all carrying phones, tablets, phablets, car keys, house keys, handkerchiefs, you name it. Hence men too need a bag. A man bag is defined by GQ magazine as “a bag worn by men, including back packs and other styles such as shoulder bags.” So there you have it, men actually have been carrying man bags for ages. The key here is to invest in a bag that carries everything you need – not too big and not too small. Invest in fabric and colors that blend with the majority of your outfits.

So there you have it, a few pointers into 2019 must haves. We’ll leave this conversation right here at this stage before we delve into super shorts, hiking sandals and cowboy boots. Wishing our gents out there a stylish 2019.