Build the Basic Wardrobe: Part 3 – The Dapper Look

Last but not least, here’s how to get the dapper look!

If you haven’t read the first two parts to this series, check them out here:

The dapper style is really what you make it. With accessories ranging from socks, to bow ties, to lapel flowers, to pocket squares, you have many opportunities to add your own style to this look.

With that said, here are some basic items that will help kick start your debonair wardrobe.

  • Dark Wash Jeans – You’ve seen it before, you’re seeing it again! For the dapper look, these jeans are essential to make dapper looks more casual. Pair the jeans with a blazer and you’re set for a night out or for casual Friday.
  • Olive pants – Khaki’s older brother, olive pants look sharp and can be worn for a variety of occasions. Olive goes well with a variety of colors: navy, brown, white, and (surprisingly) orange and maroon, so your wardrobe will easily accommodate this stand out item.
  • Oxford shirt – As per usual, these shirts are incredibly useful. Get either white, light blue, or light grey (although having two or even all three would benefit you greatly).
  • Dress shirt – Go for a patterned dress shirt, if you can. Often what draws the line between dressed up and “dapper” is attention to detail, including how well you can match and pair patterns and colors. Gingham, polka dots, plaid, and floral patterns are all excellent options, just make sure it is versatile enough to wear your money’s worth.If you didn’t select a white oxford, consider choosing your dress shirt to be a solid, crisp, white.
  • Blazer (Navy or Charcoal) – The blazer plays a more important role in this look, as so much of what is considered “dapper” revolves around the blazer. Pocket squares, ties, and dress shirts are all commonly worn with the blazer, which makes this a central piece to this look. If you can afford it, make it a suit and get matching pants.
  • Vest – Wear under your blazer, or alone with a shirt and bow tie, vests are another classy way to style your outfits. Depending on your lifestyle, you might not get very many chances to wear a formal vest, so here’s a good article on how to wear one casually.
  • Black/Brown Belt – For this style, you’ll want to have a black belt as well. As you’ll be dressing on the more formal side, black shoes will be common and you’ll want to have a black belt to match. If you’re budgeting, a two-sided belt can be a money saver. Go with a simple belt buckle that isn’t too fancy to be worn with jeans, but isn’t too casual to look out of place under a blazer.
  • Socks – Socks are a great way to put the finishing touch on your look. They can add a pop of color and a hint of personality, while making your outfit complete. Go crazy with novelty and funky socks or keep it sophisticated with patterns and subtle colors. Polka dots and stripes are good options for the beginner sock stylist. Sock it to me, Unsimply Stitched, Richer Poorer, and Hot Sox are all good options with medium/high quality socks around 11 dollars. Cheaper socks can be found at H&M (I recommend this set, if your feet are size 8+), Forever 21, and Top Man.
  • Pocket square – The dapper look is all about the accessories, and if you’re wearing a blazer, a pocket square is a handsome one to keep in mind. You can choose from a variety of patterns and materials, ranging from basic white cotton to shining silver silk.
  • Bowties/Neckties – Even though this is counted as one item, I’m going to recommend that you build up a variety of ties over time. Casual knit ties look very different from silk dress ties, and you don’t want to mix them up. Get a few basic ties to start, then see where your style takes you. The tie bar has a huge selection of ties, bow ties, socks, and pocket squares around 15 dollars or less.

Some inspiration:

Build the Basic Wardrobe: Part 3 – The Dapper Look

(Source: liamsawthis)

Build the Basic Wardrobe: Part 3 – The Dapper Look

(Source: punkmonsieur)

Build the Basic Wardrobe: Part 3 – The Dapper Look

(Source: selectism.com, via urbanbeardsman)

Build the Basic Wardrobe: Part 3 – The Dapper Look

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