When it comes to kitting out the male wardrobe, it can be tempting to fill your space with oodles of colours and shapes, but all you really need is a minimalistic set of staples from high-quality brands – because mixing and matching is the foundation to every successful outfit. But just who exactly makes the definitive men's suit? And what about the ultimate pair of jeans or polo shirt? To save you precious hours shopping, Tempus has scoured the men's fashion landscape to discover the best brands offering sartorial heroes no wardrobe is complete without. Read on to uncover your ultimate style essentials. >>
As every man should know, the best shoes are made in Northampton, Britain’s cobbling capital. The area is renowned worldwide for its handmade shoes and many of its shoemakers have been in operation for over 150 years. The venerable Grenson is among the elite because it’s both embraced tradition and adapted to change. One of the first brands to use the now-established ‘Goodyear Welt’ style of shoemaking, Grenson’s London boutique should be the first stop for anyone seeking fine footwear.
Former city hotshot turned accessories designer Robert Tateossian is the maverick design whiz behind his eponymous brand, personally sourcing a lot of the unusual and eclectic materials used. From meteorites to dinosaur bones to the shells of sea snails, Tateossian always pushes the boundaries of product design – and has become known as the ‘king of cufflinks’. Fresh, modern and bold, these are essential arm candy for your dress shirt.
Tough one this, as we love Ray-Ban, of course, plus more challenging upstarts such as Chrome Hearts, but our current shades of choice come from Linda Farrow. Tinie Tempah sported a pair at last year’s British Fashion Awards and the brand’s combination of retro design with modern sophistication has won it a legion of fans.
Adidas and Nike are fine for the track, but if you’re heading for anything other than a workout and want to wear trainers then you need something like this pair from Common Projects. Streamlined and minimalist-leaning, they’re a far cry from those gaudy childish kicks that other men still consider acceptable going-out wear.
If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for us. We’re talking about the beautiful blue polo T-shirt worn by Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, made by Sunspel and based on a classic 1950’s design for the French Riviera. A timeless retro piece.
Everyone has a favoured jeans brand, but here’s a company that should be on your radar, with its jeans worn by everyone from the Arctic Monkeys to super chef Rene Redzeppi. That brand is Huit, manufactured in a small town in Wales that was the former home to a massive jeans factory. Each pair takes over an hour to make – compared with 11 minutes for most jeans – and are crafted from top-grade selvedge denim from Japan and Turkey. The jeans to rule them all, in other words.
A statement knit helps fight off the boredom of cold-weather clothes and can make jeans and biker boots look like a proper outfit. Paul Smith always come up trumps in the crewneck sweater stakes – look for fine merino wool, in either a patterned or plain print.
With more than 200 years’ experience and commanding a prime position on London’s Savile Row, pre-eminent English tailor Gieves & Hawkes is internationally renowned for the quality of its suits. The holder of three royal warrants, it takes a minimum of 12 weeks to craft your bespoke suit but it’s worth every minute. Prices start at £5000.