Posted by: Sonali Velinker Kamat on November 12, 2014
“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity.”
As in all things, true luxury begins with building a foundation of exquisite essentials. For the man in search of wardrobe magic, luxury isn’t one über-expensive Burberry trench coat. It is many small things, selected with love, layered with insight and worn with ease.
START ON THE INSIDE
Boxers by Hermès are the ultimate indulgence. At USD 410 a pair, they’re not for everyone. Derek Rose offers sheer silken indulgence at USD 250 — even the waistbands on his boxers are made of 100 per cent silk. Dolce & Gabbana do stretch-cotton boxer briefs that flash a little logo (if you are so inclined), and fit to flatter. While their underwear is made in Italy, Hanro (another luxurious brand of innerwear) is made in Bulgaria, of Austrian material and entirely worth trying. If you are looking for a pop of colour, buy Paul Smith… and if local availability is a priority, there’s always Calvin Klein.
ACCESSORISE TO IMPRESS
A great wallet, a classic belt and to-die-for-shoes — you don’t just want it, you need it. Our top picks for encasing your cash: brands like Bottega Veneta, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and, if you are looking for something edgy, Givenchy. When it comes to belts, a true connoisseur will pick quality over a shiny logo any day — though some brands do both with élan. Again, the unmistakable ‘H’ by Hermès scores big brownie points over the far-less-subtle Medusa head offered by Versace. If you fancy Fendi, buy from the ‘Zucca’ line, but choose black over brown, because the branding is understated in comparison. Prada’s divine pebbled leather is a luxury in itself, but if that’s far too low-key and you want a little ‘flash,’ Salvatore Ferragamo’s ‘Gancini Buckle’ belts are timeless.
Now, shoes. Step out in penny drivers by Prada or Tod’s. Pick Alexander McQueen for edgy boots. Giuseppe Zanotti does some out-there sneakers, but fall back on Ferragamo for your formal shoes. And own Church’s classic English shoes in brown crocodile leather as a wicked indulgence!
KEEP GOOD TIME
Women buy diamonds, men buy watches. Owning a fine timepiece is not that different from owning a high-end automobile. Choose quality over quantity and don’t be shy about your second, third or even tenth purchase. Someday you will pass your watch down to your son — your shoes and suits are unlikely to make that journey.From the usual suspects of the über watch world (namely Rolex and Omega) to the A, B and C — A. Lange & Söhne, Bulgari and Cartier — there are several brands to choose from, even in that rarefied segment. On our list of the world’s most winsome wrist companions: AudemarsPiguet, Baume & Mercier, Blancpain, Breguet, Harry Winston, Jaeger-LeCoultre and, of course, Officine Panerai.
COMMIT TO THE CLASSICS
Brioni doesn’t just design to-die-for suits, they do great jeans. And thanks to Armani, Versace and YSL, jeans aren’t just for those who toil. Buy great jeans — how they fit should be your first and only consideration — and layer from there. Own a selection of custom-made suits (we love Ermenegildo Zegna) and avoid trendy flourishes. Invest in well-fitted shirts to complement those abs you owe to your tireless personal trainer. Buy cashmere, courtesy Canali. If you wear suits to work, invest in a tie collection. Have drawers and drawers full of handkerchiefs and socks. Push the envelope with pocket squares. But in all cases, avoid the outlandish. Dragons are okay in leather-bound tomes, but not on your tie (we make an exception for elephants and so does Ferragamo). Go with what’s classic. You can never go wrong.