A few months backs, FashionBeans hand-picked a selection of pieces for autumn/winter 2013 that would make a great addition to any capsule wardrobe, keeping the total cost under three distinct price points. The idea was to demonstrate how easy it is to reinvent and revitalise your style for a new season with just a few key items. It also proved that you don’t need to have a celebrity’s bank balance to be considered stylish.
As with most things in life, we all have to work within a budget. Of course, some budgets are bigger than others but no matter how much money you have to spend, it’s all about making sure you buy the best that you can afford while considering quality, construction and, above all else, fit.
Today we turn our attention to the upcoming spring/summer season and identify some pieces that would make a superb addition to your warm-weather capsule wardrobe. We’ll start with items that every guy should consider adding for SS14, working our way through to ‘non-essentials’ such as statement garments, trend-led styles or accessories that will help individualise your look.
However, the following advice assumes that you already have a good foundation to build on – i.e. a nice collection of classic, simple and versatile basics that can be relied on all year round. If not, then check out our article on The Ultimate Streamlined Capsule Wardrobe.
It lists all the pieces a guy should own and – thanks largely to great brands like Uniqlo, ASOS and HE by Mango – building a respectable wardrobe has never been as simple or as cheap.
So let’s get to it then…
The £300 Budget
A typical budget for most students or young professionals, as well as those who have other priorities that come first: rent, bills, children etc.
When confined to a modest budget such as this, it’s important to prioritise value for money and concentrate on versatility and practicality.
Now that the weather is beginning to pick up and the chance of rain is becoming less and less, it’s time to start breaking out the suede footwear. It doesn’t matter what design you end up adding to your wardrobe this season, just make sure it’s suede.
Penny loafers, double monk-straps, Derbies, brogues, Chelsea boots – they’re all fair game. Choose the silhouette that best represents your personal style and matches your current wardrobe.
Opt for a pair in a rich chocolate brown hue and they can be combined easily with everything you already own, from grey suit trousers to khaki tailored shorts.
Selected Homme Melvin Suede Chelsea Boots, priced £95:
Key Styles (<£100)
- John Lewis Lloyd Suede Penny Loafers
- Dune Belsit Suede Derby Shoes Taupe
- Selected Homme Suede Driving Shoes
- River Island Brown Suede Wingtip Brogues
- Asos Chelsea Boots In Suede
- Topman Brown Suede Tassle Loafers
A Pair Of Grey Jeans
Nothing says summer is around the corner quite like a pair of medium grey jeans. It’s time to say goodbye to shades of indigo and black – these will become your new go-to wash this spring.
Not only does grey go with every colour under the sun, allowing them to seamlessly slot into your existing wardrobe, but they will also give any of your current looks a twist and edge.
Whether you pair them with an Oxford shirt and blazer or a t-shirt and leather jacket, these jeans can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion.
Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Jeans, priced £80:
Key Styles (<£80)
- Farah Vintage Slim Jean
- 55dsl Pyrons Jeans Skinny Fit Grey Wash
- Levis Line 8 511 Slim Jeans In Grey
- Ss14 Tapered Leg Rinse Washed Grey Jean
- He By Mango Super Slim-fit Grey Patrick Jeans
- Uniqlo Men Skinny Fit Tapered Jeans+a
A Breton Stripe Top/Jumper
Stripes will always be associated with spring and warm weather, and a long sleeve Breton top is the epitome of Riviera chic.
Worn by everyone from James Dean to Picasso, a traditional white and navy striped version is a timeless classic that works just as well on its own with jeans and a jacket as it does layered over a shirt with some tailored trousers.
Arguably more versatile than its popular t-shirt counterpart, this is a year-round piece that you will continue to layer with well into autumn.
Hammond & Co Designer Off White Jansen Breton Crew, priced £30:
Key Styles (<£40)
- River Island Ecru Breton Stripe Crew Neck Jumper
- Breton Stripe Jumper
- He By Mango Striped Cotton-blend Sweater
- John Lewis Cotton Breton Stripe Crew Neck Jumper Navy
- River Island Navy Breton Stripe Crew Neck Jumper
- Joules The Breton Striped Jersey Top cream/navy
Indigo Chambray Shirt
Spring/summer is all about smart layering, especially here in the UK. One minute it can be cold and raining, the next it’s bright and sunny – this is where lightweight, removable layers come in handy.
A chambray shirt is a versatile piece that will replace your heavyweight denim versions during the warmer months of the year. It can be dressed up with a tie and blazer to bring a bit more texture and warmth to a formal look, or used as a standalone top layer that remains breathable when the temperature rises.
Try using it under your striped Breton jumper and with a pair of slim-cut chinos/shorts this season.
J Crew Indigo Japanese Chambray Shirt, priced £90:
Key Styles (<£90)
- Ymc Chambray Shirt
- Gant Rugger Chambray Shirt
- Topman Blue Chambray Shirt
- Uniqlo Men Chambray Long Sleeve Shirt
- He By Mango Slim-fit Chambray Shirt
- He By Mango Slim-fit Chambray Shirt
The £500 Budget
Another couple of hundred to spend? Well, now we can start to look at more luxurious statement pieces that will become a signature of your personal style – yet still retain a sense of timelessness.
A Beige Sports Coat/Blazer
It’s important to have one jacket each season that you can rely on to get you through even the most difficult of sartorial situations.
Sure, you could always turn to your trusty navy blazer, but that’s likely to have done some serious miles already and it’s always nice to mix things up a bit.
Why not invest in a beige blazer? It looks great when paired with navy chinos and a crisp white dress shirt and will instantly breathe new life into any tried and tested jeans and t-shirt combination.
Massimo Dutti Dyed Ramie Cotton Blazer, priced £99.95:
Key Styles (<£100)
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Cotton
- Zara Double Sided PiquÉ Blazer With Elbow Patches
- Pull & Bear Basic Blazer
- Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Donegal
- Austin Reed Taupe Patch Pocket Washed Canvas Blazer
- Cotton Jacket
Or a new pair of chinos in any appropriately fresh summer colour such as yellow, mint green or French blue.
We’ve suggest pink because it’s a key colour trend for SS14 and really pops against navy and grey, which should already play a major role in your wardrobe.
J.Crew Broken In Regular-Fit Cotton Chinos, priced £75:
Key Styles (<£75)
- Gap Lived-in Slim Khaki
- Asos Skinny Chinos
- Pull & Bear Chinos Style Trousers
- Teddy Smith Chinos – Pink
- He By Mango Slim-fit Textured Chinos
- Mens Pleat Front Trouser Soft Pink
The £750 budget
Once you move up into this bracket, it’s time to start investing in items that will help to individualise your looks. And the most effective way of doing this is with accessories.
This really is where the fun begins. Don’t be afraid to go for more trend-led pieces as they can be used to subtly reference the SS14 runway influences you like without having to go all out and buy a camo three-piece suit.
Start with a pair of well-made sunglasses in preparation for when the sun finally peaks its head out from behind the clouds. I personally prefer all-black Persols, à la Steve McQueen, but so long as you bear in mind your face shape there’s no reason you can’t opt for one of SS14’s five key frame styles.
Next, look for a good lightweight scarf that can be used to add a little warmth and texture when required. You can get some really beautiful cotton-silk blends that pair well with everything from t-shirts to suits. As this is an accent, consider an on trend floral pattern – not only does it mark you out as a confident man who is comfortable in his own skin, it’s a motif that goes hand-in-hand with the summer months.
Why not add a paisley tie to your collection while you’re at it? A subtle lavender number looks great with a navy suit and light blue dress shirt.
Finally, pick up some invisible socks and talcum powder. Trust us on the talcum powder – it will prolong your footwear’s life tenfold. Wear the invisible socks with your heavier shoes such as leather brogues, derbies and loafers, and keep the talcum powder ready for when you are wearing lightweight silhouettes like boat shoes, Jack Purcells or suede loafers.
The powder helps prevent sweating once you have the shoes on, which will stop the material from absorbing the sweat, losing its shape and starting to stink:
- Ted Baker Dotme Dot Pattern Scarf
- Missoni Patterned Lightweight Cotton-blend Scarf
- Dries Van Noten Floral Print Scarf
- Persol Steve Mcqueen Folding Acetate Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Original Wayfarer Sunglasses
- Ray-ban Aviator Sunglasses
- Falke Invisible Step Black Socks
- Topman Grey Invisible Socks
- Imperial Leather Talcum Powder Original 300g
So there you have it, three different price points and some great items to add to your wardrobe this coming season.
But as always, we want to hear what you have to say. Make sure you leave your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below…