Men’s Wardrobe Basics: What To Consider When Shopping For Clothing

Clothing On Shelf

Shopping for clothing should be fun and easy! Everybody wants to look & feel their best but many are left with questions. Where do I start? What do I look for? How do I know it will look good? Is this worth the price?

These are all great questions to ask because it shows that you have a desire to take control of your wardrobe. The good news is we’re here to help! With some knowledge and planning, you can turn shopping into something that you enjoy.

1. What do you need for your wardrobe?

Start with a complete closet “audit” to take inventory of what you currently have in your closet. We do this to eliminate any unnecessary clutter and to rid your closet of any clothing that has no use. Once your audit is complete, you will likely be left with empty spots in your closet, some that will need to be filled, some that will not. While shopping for clothing, your first thought should always be “does it deserve a place in my wardrobe?”

If you already have your wardrobe narrowed down to the items that have earned their keep, try the “1 in 1 out” method of shopping. If you find something in your wardrobe that you are not wearing often or at all, donate it or up-cycle it and shop for a piece of clothing that will be a better fit in that area of your closet. The idea here is to rotate clothing to keep your wardrobe fresh while maintaining a lean, clutter-free wardrobe.

Be sure to consider lifestyle factors like your job and hobbies to ensure you are not filling your closet with clothing that will not be worn.

Pile Of Clothing

2. Learn the Cuts

Expensive does not mean well-fitting so don’t waste your money! You can have the most expensive clothing that money can buy but if they do not fit properly, you will not look or feel good in them.

The cut is the style or shape of the piece of clothing. For example, in a slim cut, the fabric will be shaped in a way that is more narrow and form-fitting than a classic cut but not tight enough to hug the skin like a skinny fit.

For example, the most common cuts of shirts are:

Classic Fit

Boxier shape with plenty of fabric in the shoulders, sleeves, and body.

Modern Fit

Slightly tapered silhouette while leaving more fabric than a slim fit.

Slim Fit – Personal Favorite

A fitted style that sits closer to the body by tapering the cut through the midsection.

Skinny Fit

The most narrow fit, this cut is slimmer through the shoulders and tapers down to the waist. 

3. Find your True Sizing

Once you have tried a few different cuts of clothing and find the one that best fits the shape of your body, the next step is to find the correct size. The exact same piece of clothing can look great on one person and sloppy on the next so it is important to experiment in this phase.

Growing up on the larger side, I can vouch for the importance of wearing the correct size. I would oftentimes purchase clothing that was too big or too small in fear of being judged by my peers.


It is crucial to remove any stigma attached to the size of your clothes because once you have them on, nobody can tell the difference. If it fits, it fits. If having the size visible bothers you, cut the tag off the piece once you know it’s a keeper. The only thing that matters is that you look and feel your best.

Clothing Measurements
Skilled Tailor

4. Find a great tailor

Look for a tailor in your area and have your measurements taken. Be sure to keep these measurements handy to use as a reference when purchasing clothing. Most of my clothing goes straight from the shelf to my tailor before I ever wear it.

Disclaimer: you will want to wash your clothing at least once before taking it to the tailor. This is to avoid any possible shrinkage after your clothing is tailored.

Using your measurements

To use your measurements when shopping online, find the “fitting guide” on the companies website and compare their measurements to your own. Not every brand is the same so this will allow you to get a close fit “off the rack”.

Although this will give you a close fit, the chances of finding your perfect fit off-the-rack are slim. We always recommend taking your clothing to a tailor to achieve the perfect fit for your style.

5. Use Your Resources

Using resources like Pinterest, Instagram, Blogs, and YouTube can show you how things fit and what works for other people. The best part? You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home.

Pinterest is a great resource and operates using a “Pin & Board” system. Think of it as a corkboard. When you find something you like, “Pin” it to your board to remember it. The more items you pin to your board, the more curated the content becomes and Pinterest will begin to suggest you items based on your previous pins. We recommend taking the time to create an account and building a “Wardrobe Board” with items and styles of clothing that you enjoy. This will give you the inspiration and ideas you need while shopping.

Other resources include: IrreverentGent, RMRS, TheModestMan


The days of not knowing what to wear or doubting if something looks good are over.  Now that you have a game plan and know exactly what you’re looking for, put your new knowledge to use and build the wardrobe you have always desired.

(Photos by Pexels.)

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