Men’s Shirts, Ties, Suits and all that jazz: building a working wardrobe from the ground up

Philippe Perzi Vienna’s bread and butter so to speak, is men’s shirts and ties, but we’re always espousing the virtues of classic men’s tailoring and investing in high quality pieces to ensure that your look is timeless, elegant and can be easily pulled together without you having to overthink it too much.

We’ve sought to compile a list of the essentials; the foundations of a solid wardrobe that will safely take you from the boardroom through to the weekend without any blunders. Don’t get us wrong, you can never have too many shirts (check out this news article) or suits, but this list serves as a strong foundation to build on – or alternatively, a wardrobe that can replenished regularly throughout the seasons so you keep things looking fresh.

Men’s shirts

Men’s shirts are the backdrop of every man’s outfit. Men’s shirts act like the canvas upon which the rest of the outfit can be worked around, so it’s important to choose high quality, Egyptian cotton shirts with a collar that suits your face (a cutaway collar is the most fashionable and suits all men). The workhorses of men’s shirting are the classic white and blues in poplin, Royal Oxford or herringbone – they go with everything! We’re adding pale pink to the list because we’re not in 1960 anymore and real men wear pink!

  • At least 1 plain white French cuff shirt (check out Edelweiss from the collection)
  • At least 1 plain pale blue French cuff shirt (check out Nel Blu from the collection)
  • 1 blue or light blue striped shirt with button cuffs (Der Maestro, Innere Stadt of Mind, Ganz Locker are ideal)
  • 1 pink shirt with either French or button cuffs (Herzschmerz and Chelsea Charmer tick the boxes for style and eye-catching sophistication)
  • 1 checked shirt with button cuffs in any colour you fancy – for casual Fridays and smart casual events (Niki Louder Marrone and Wanderlust are the perfect choice)
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Men’s Polo Shirts

Classics are classics for a reason and polo shirts are a staple, just like jeans are. Men’s style has changed little over the past 100 years and loose knit pique cotton polo shirts are one of those wardrobe items that have been a mainstay of preppy style for generations. Whether you’re golfing, yachting, barbequing or going to the Polo – the humble polo shirt can be dressed up or down easily so you’ll always look stylish.

  • 1 traditional navy polo shirt (such as Don Draper pictured top left in the photo below)
  • 1 colourful polo shirt in whatever colour you choose (the Philippe Perzi Vienna collection has a vast array of vivid colours)
Men's shirts

Men’s ties

Men’s ties are the ultimate accessory and can really add that extra 10 percent to your outfit, if you choose well. We’ve gone over the basic principles of ties previously (check out our blog) but in a nutshell: choose ties which measure between 8cm and 9.5cm at the widest point, a simple four-in-hand knot will cover all bases and 100% silk ties will be the most ‘dimple-friendly.’ Some will say you can get away with 3…we say, aim high and at least have 5 ties in your wardrobe to rotate throughout the working week.

  • 1 simple navy tie such as Mondsee, pictured top left in the photo below. You’ll look polished no matter what shirt you coordinate it with.
  • 1 tie with regimental stripes such as Schildkrote, pictured bottom left in the photo below. Make a statement but still stay with tradition.
  • 1 paisley patterned tie such as Bergamo, pictured top right in the photo below.
  • 1 polka dot tie, such as Igls, pictured bottom right in the photo below. Polka dots are classic and because they are a totally different pattern from any shirt you’re likely to wear, will show some sartorial forwardness
  • If you want to add texture to your outfit, then a tie made from linen, cotton or knitted will look sensational.
Men's ties

Men’s suits

Unless you’re doing work experience, you should own 2 suits at a minimum, 3 is better and 4 is better than 3!

Avoid wearing the same suit twice in a row. If you can, get two pairs of trousers with the suit as you’ll wear out the trousers faster than the jacket. Avoid black suits all together unless you work in hospitality. Black is very harsh on most skin tones and especially severe under the fluorescent lights in the office. If shooting for 3 suits, go for:

  • 1 navy single-breasted wool suit in a medium weight (this is your most flexible suit as it’ll serve you well in the boardroom as it will for weddings, funerals, bah mitzvahs, race meetings and anything in between).
  • 1 single-breasted charcoal suit
  • 1 mid-grey glenurquhart, windowpane or pinstripe suit (to add a bit of variety and sartorial splendour to your rotation)
Men's suits Philippe Perzi VIenna

Men’s shoes

Like suits, shoes need a day off, so make sure you have 2 pairs of dress shoes for work and a pair of loafers or driving shoes to see you through more smart casual events.

  • 1 pair of black plain cap-toe oxford lace-ups (always de riguer for dark suits and a staple of the business wardrobe)
  • 1 pair of black or dark brown wing-tip brogues or loafers (wing tips are slightly bulkier than plain cap-toe oxfords, so ideal for heavier textured fabrics such as flannel or tweed)
  • 1 pair of loafers or driving shoes to see you through the weekend smart casual events. Navy goes with everything and is safe, but don’t be afraid to go for colour here.
Men's shoes

Men’s coats

Ok, so in Australia you’ll probably only use an overcoat for a total of 1-2 months of the year…tops. But if you’re in the northern hemisphere or travelling for business to a cold climate, then you’ll need an overcoat. Remember, if you buy a classic quality overcoat, there’s a good chance it will outlive you! No joke.

  • 1 navy or black wool/cashmere fly-front or double-breasted over coat that comes to your knees and is close fitting whilst wearing a suit underneath.
Men's coats

Before you say, but what about belts, socks, blazers, pocket squares…we know, there’s of course, numerous other wardrobe staples that we could include in this list – but we don’t think we have to remind you to change your underwear daily…at a minimum.