Ben Leschins is a NYC-based men’s lifestyle blogger and style consultant. He loves spreading his knowledge of menswear to up and coming young professionals and has an interest in ethical fashion.
When you're building your adult wardrobe, you'll come to learn there are a few items where spending a little extra money goes a long way.
Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned menswear veteran, knowing where to invest in your wardrobe is the best lifelong fashion hack.
As a man of modest stature, building a wardrobe on a reasonable budget has added difficulty because it's impossible to find quality clothes that are cut proportionally.
It's as if companies are intentionally not making clothes for shorter men. Think of it as a tailor tax, an added cost for the tailoring and the additional time it takes when you could have been wearing it off the rack.
Thankfully, Peter Manning has you covered with all of the basics as well as the investment pieces. You can rest assured you’re receiving a top tier product that's cut proportionally and ready to wear out the door.
Here are the top 5 investment pieces for your wardrobe:
When you think of the word badass when it comes to menswear, what comes to mind? For me, it’s without a doubt a leather jacket!
The leather jacket is the personification of swagger, only outside of Broadway Joe Namath’s fur coat.
You’ll know that you’ve found a high quality leather jacket when it’s soft to the touch and uses minimal pieces of hide and stitching.
Most leather jackets that you can find for cheap are actually not made of leather, and it shows. After normal wear and tear, the 'fabric' will start to flake away.
Sizing is also difficult for guys like us. We often choose a smaller size because the sleeve length is better, but it ends up being too tight. On the other hand, when sizing up, everything feels too big and completely out of proportion. It’s a no win situation.
And while it is possible to alter a leather jacket, we don't recommended it, because it’s risky and can be expensive.
The lambskin leather jacket by Peter Manning is made from 100% full grain New Zealand lambskin and cut proportionally, to fit you right. It'll be the best-fitting leather jacket you've tried, I promise.
Denim pants hold an interesting role in a man’s wardrobe. They’re a highly used and a versatile garment, but most of us overlook investing in quality.
You’ll notice in poor quality jeans that the stitching is shoddy which can cause frayed edges. Additionally a fabric of lesser quality is thin and susceptible to visible defects, such as tears and puckering.
Peter Manning’s jeans are made from quality denim of a proper weight (10.5-12.5oz). They are pre-washed to feel soft and broken-in, when you put them on for the first time, but will maintain their structural rigidity with wearing.
With 3 different fits (standard/slim/skinny), 4 washes, and inseams from 26-30 inches, your jeans will take on a new life and be a stylish ninja.
Great for the office, home or home office, the merino wool sweater is a classic menswear staple, and not just for dressing up.
Merino wool is widely recognized as one of the more luxurious yet soft, breathable and comfortable fabrics to wear.
The main problems with low quality merino wool sweaters is that they pill too easily.
Sure you can use a fabric shaver but that will only go so far and by doing so, you end up removing fabric from the garment which will make it thinner, eventually wearing it out.
For shorter men, sweaters can be frustrating to fit when it comes to sleeve length, the most common complaint with a more regularly cut garment. Alterations can be done to the merino wool sweater, but as with the leather jacket, it's risky and expensive. And who has the time?!
That’s why Peter Manning sources its wool from famed Italian mill, Zegna-Baruffa. Luxuriously soft and lightweight, as well as machine washable (say what?!), this fabric will keep you warm and looking good. And a proper-fitting cut (shorter sleeves and body) will insure you're looking dapper as well!
Think of the navy suit as your menswear Swiss Army knife.
Just because a suit is traditionally worn with a shirt and tie doesn’t mean you always have to wear it this way. To see different ways to style a suit casually, click here.
Of the essential pieces in your wardrobe, the navy suit is among the most versatile of them all. Formal enough for job interviews and casual enough for a night on the town, dress pants and jackets, if done right, can be a lot of fun.
The main issue with off the rack suiting isn’t just the fit, but often an uninformed salesperson, who struggles with sizing. The result is an ill-fitting jacket and pants combo that needs a ridiculous amount of tailoring, and which has a matching purchase price to boot.
Suit fabrics and construction are also critical to understand. Lower quality fabrics and/or poor construction won’t feel as good or drape as nicely, and certainly won't last as long.
Peter Manning suits are made from 100% Italian wool (Super 110-130's) that is ideal for year round use, and they're done in a contemporary cut (not too baggy!) but with timeless style (two-button closure, double vents, modest lapels) to last for years to come.
If the navy suit is the Swiss Army knife of menswear, the wool topcoat takes reign as the Swiss Army knife of outerwear. And just like the navy suit, the wool topcoat suffers from the same fit issues.
The wool overcoat by Peter Manning has the correct sleeve and body length to fit you just right (and without any alterations). It is also blended with cashmere and made with a sturdy Bemburg lining, for a super luxury look and feel. Available in four great colors, with contrasting collars, it's really a can't-miss item.
Style it over a suit or a sweater and you’ve got sophistication and panache on lockdown.
With these 5 essential items, the number of outfit combinations is endless. If you can't afford them all, start with one. You'll be on your way to building a wardrobe full of quality pieces that will keep you looking good, no matter the situation.