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Style = Confidence
Calgary, Alberta


Ensemble Style is a Calgary fashion stylist stylists personal shopper shoppers and wardrobe consultant consultants. Menswear styling and closet edits. Custom suiting for men. Made-to-measure suiting





A men's fashion/style blog, for the modern, stylish man. Personal shopping and styling in Calgary Alberta, Canada. New York fashion styling and consulting.

Wardrobe essentials every cool guy must have.

Lauren Larsen

Emulating cool doesn't have to cost you a fortune - you don't have to have the latest Yeezy Boost sneakers or fancy designer denim - with a versatile capsule wardrobe, and a couple key accessories you can look super cool pretty easy, actually. 

Here are my wardrobe essentials every cool guy must have.

lauren larsen ensemble style menswear stylist wardrobe consultant calgary

A pair of black or dark blue raw denim.

You know when you see those guys whose denim look like they were made for them… like they’re distressed in the right places and faded just the right amount? Well, that my friend is raw denim. I know it might seem irritating at first, having to break in a pair of jeans that are SO so stiff to begin with, but trust me, the benefits outweigh the frustrating 3 months it will take to get them just right. During the 3-month breaking in period (it can be longer if you are able), make sure you don’t put them in the washing machine. If they get dirty, spot wash. If they get stinky, put them in the freezer overnight and they should be good by morning.

I have a couple favourite brands - Neuw, Naked and Famous (Canadian) and The Gap... yes, The Gap. They recently started selling a line of Japanese raw selvedge denim, and it honestly is very, very good, at a very, very good price point.

***Style tip: don't buy your denim in straight leg or boot cut. PLEASE!! Go for a slim, or a slim straight, or anything that says 'tapered' in the name. As long as the opening is smaller than the knee area, you should be good to go. And yes, bigger guys can still wear tapered denim, and they should, it's slimming. ***

Staple tee-shirts

I can’t stress enough how important a few staple tee-shirts are for a guy’s wardrobe. When looking for a tee, focus on the fabric, body shape and the length. Your tee-shirt should not be made of that super stiff cotton the shirts that come in a case of Budweiser are made of, nor should they be so thin that you can see your nipples through it. They should be the perfect ‘powerwashed’ weight that doesn’t lose it’s shape, isn’t too flimsy, and isn’t too stiff. For the body, it should be slim in the chest, stomach and arms, but not so slim that you look like you should have an Axe body spray in the glove box of your car, or that it belongs to a younger version of yourself… say from junior high. It needs to be that perfect slim-ness – the kind that shows your body a little, but leaves a little to the imagination. Length is very important as well. If your tee-shirt is too short, it’s most likely going to get shorter over time. Ideal length is just past the top of your pockets. The longer you go, the trendier it looks (see Rick Owens). {Side note, if you can’t tell, I’m passionate about perfect tee-shirts, and I have do have a little secret that I’m going to divulge as soon as possible}.

A pair of sneakers and a pair of boots.

My favourite are Adidas and Nike sneakers (not runners...). You can't go wrong with a pair of fresh Stan Smiths, or a classic Internationalist Nike sneaker.

For boots, I've said it before, my favourite are Chelsea boots. The reason being - they are the most versatile boot out there. You can easily dress them up with a suit, or dress them down with jeans and a tee shirt. They're almost always slim on the foot, and they scream sexy. A guy in Chelsea boots is a guy who knows whats up. If you're not into the Chelsea, two other favourites are Chukka boots and classic Hiker-style boots. Neither of these are as versatile as they tend to only be casual-wear appropriate, but if you're too scared to bring out your inner Beatle with the Chelsea, they're an option for you.

A few key shirts

A casual button-down (not a dress shirt) in a versatile colour. The most versatile, obviously being white, grey, chambray blue and black… but another really versatile colour that I’m really into is burgundy. It may seem a little different at first, but once you wear it a few times, you’ll realize it pairs really well with just about everything. 

A sweater in black and grey. I'd suggest having one merino wool sweater for dressier occasions and one more casual knit sweater for weekends and pub dates with the boys.

A couple key accessories

A proper wallet, belts in black and brown and a nice watch. I'd suggest having both a leather strap watch and a metal strap watch, but if you're not really the type to dress up too often, a leather strap will be sufficient.

Here are a few of my suggestions at different price points!

a great jacket {or two}

Every cool guy needs to have one or two great jackets to pair with his cool guy outfits. If it were up to me, they would have three or four, but for some, that isn't really feasible.

If you're a casual guy, I'd recommend a bomber jacket and a mac jacket. If you're a casual guy who dresses up for work, I'd recommend a bomber or a mac jacket and a dressier wool jacket for the winter. If you want to get a great deal on a winter jacket, now is a great time to buy one. Your best bet is probably online as the stores have most likely already gotten rid of them. 

Here are a few different options!

a suit in grey and blue & a white and blue dress shirt

Even if you don't have to wear a suit to work, I'd recommend having at least one in your wardrobe. You're definitely going to have an occasion to wear it (weddings, Christmas parties, fundraisers, funerals, etc.), and you don't want to be the guy who is scrambling to find one a week before you need it. Plan ahead and get a suit. If you don't have one, get a navy blue or a grey to start {NOT black}. Don't let the sales guy tell you you need black. You don't. Black suits are only appropriate for black tie events (a tux is preferred), funerals and very, very formal parties, fundraisers and events. A black suit does not belong in the office. Period.

I won't give examples here, because I would recommend having one made for you. It takes more time than buying off the rack, but it will fit you much better, last longer and often times it will cost less because you aren't spending $$ on alterations. Don't buy one off a made-to-measure online website. I've had experience with those and more times than not, the quality isn't there. I also wouldn't recommend going to a travelling tailor - they don't have the same level of service, and when you get the suit, they won't be here to ensure it fits you properly. 

Once you have your staples, you can start to build up your wardrobe with pieces that are perhaps seasonal, trendy or unique. I never recommend buying trendy pieces until a capsule wardrobe is established. Start with the basics and build from there - that way you won't be replacing your entire collection each time the trends or seasons change. 

xo - Ensemble Style

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