“What Every Man Must Own”
This list has been making the rounds of late, via Mr. Porter’s take on the working wardrobe. It’s a familiar roll call—well-proportioned, not too adventurous—but we have to confess a certain sinking feeling every time we contemplate opening up our closet and finding this inside.
Open up the closet of a certain class of professional—a corporate lawyer, say—and this is about what you’ll find. Open the right closet, and it might even look good. And yet… this still feels like the sort of thing that makes people give up on dressing themselves entirely.
It’s not that it’s wrong. It’s just that it’s depressing.
The class of men who actually dress this way is vanishingly small, and most of them figured it out during their first Goldman Sachs internship. It’s the kind of unwritten code that isn’t that hard to master once you’re surrounded by gray flannel and (gulp) sober-colored ties.
So with 328 tumbls and counting, we’re going to venture a guess that there’s something else going on. It’s not just a shopping list; it’s a way of life. There’s something very tempting confining all your sartorial needs to a single sheet of paper, as if you’re some kind of menswear monk, accumulating suits and “unremarkable” watches out of disinterested duty.
And yet, we’d bet no more than a dozen of those 328 tumblrs actually find this collection when they open their closet door—because (surprise, surprise) they’re not actually menswear monks. They’re buying clothes when they see something they like, just like everybody else. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Our humble suggestion: tear up the list, and find one great suit and spend the rest of your budget on whatever catches your eye. And if that involves a few un-sober ties, your boss will get over it.
- — Russell Brandom