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Men's Clothing Buying Guide

by Staff Writer

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Man wearing black suit and button-up

For days at work, leisurely weekends and vacations, you need a selection of men's clothing that fits well and keeps you comfortable. Men's clothing falls into a few basic categories, including formalwear, business wear, casual, athletic and outerwear. Use this buying guide to find clothing of all styles for your wardrobe and buy the staples you'll always come back to.

Buying Men's Clothing:

  1. Men's formalwear. When you're attending a wedding or presenting at a dressy business dinner, you'll want to have tuxedos, fine suits and other men's formalwear in your closet. Gabardine, a tightly woven, nearly waterproof fabric in wool or cotton, makes warm, durable dress pants and worsted wool, which features tightly woven combed wool, is especially cozy for the autumn and winter months. If you need formalwear appropriate for the summer, purchase suits made of linen, a fiber from the flax plant, seersucker, a textured cotton fabric with stripes, and tropical, a lightweight worsted wool. Don't forget to buy French cuff formal shirts, vests, bowties and cummerbunds to complete your ensemble; if cared for properly, your men's formalwear will last through many occasions.

  2. Men's business wear. If you work in an office that requires dressy clothes, you'll need plenty of men's dress shirts, ties and dress pants to look professional five days a week. For an especially formal office, you'll want two or three men's suits you can wear on different days at work; you can also wear the slacks or jackets of these men's suits separately to get more wear out of your business clothes. Be sure to buy a few solid-colored men's dress shirts, especially white shirts, that will be complemented by any tie. For a more casual day at work, choose shirts made of flannel, a twill weave napped for softness; cotton flannel makes sturdy dress shirts and wool flannel is great for business suits. Men's pants made of khaki, a durable cotton twill, are also appropriate for casual work days. Don't forget ties made of silk, a fine natural fabric known for its luster, warmth and durability.

  3. Men's casual clothing. Once the work day is over, you'll want comfortable clothes you can relax in. Men's jeans are laid-back enough for lounging at home but still look great for a dinner out with your family and friends. You will also want to stock up on simple men's shirts, including polo shirts, crewnecks, button-ups, henleys and screen-printed men's T-shirts, to wear with men's jeans or khaki pants on the weekends or on vacation. Twill, which features diagonal parallel ribs, is often used in casual men's pants and button-up shirts. Denim, a heavy cotton twill that is traditionally indigo blue, is primarily used to make denim jackets and blue jeans. Both of these fabrics go well with men's T-shirts and will keep you comfortable at home.

  4. Men's athletic clothing. To work out comfortably or even play a casual flag football game with your family, you'll want to have the right athletic clothing. Buy a few pairs of durable sweat pants or nylon athletic pants with Spandex, a synthetic fiber with an elastic quality, for jogging or playing sports, and make sure you also have a few men's shirts that will wick away moisture if you'll be engaging in high-cardio exercise. A jacket made of fleece or cotton, a natural fiber used for all types of men's clothing, will also complement men's fitness clothing as you work out. Be sure to also purchase men's swimwear when you shop for athletic clothing; this will be especially important if you're planning a family vacation somewhere warm.

  5. Men's outerwear. Warm up when the temperatures drop with stylish men's coats. Wool, which includes alpaca, angora, camel hair, cashmere and mohair fibers, or down-filled coats are appropriate for especially cold winters, but you may be able to wear men's jackets during this season, depending on where you live. A men's leather jacket can keep you warm in chilly weather, too, and is a durable, classic men's outerwear choice. Keep your wardrobe in mind when buying men's coats; if you primarily wear business clothes, you may want to invest in a pea coat or heavy trench coat you can wear over your suit. Men's jackets will work with jeans, slacks and other casual clothing.

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