It’s one of several scenes in a surprisingly compelling and clever movie (bucking the often tired and predictable rom-com formula) which, I felt, spoke to me personally: a sharply-dressed, confident, youngish man in a perfectly-tailored suit, helping an otherwise unconcerned if not outright clueless older gentleman navigate several menswear shops, selecting and together purchasing items that help the elder cut a much more dashing, put-together figure. And more importantly providing a foundation upon which he can rebuild his sinking life.
It was with some surprise, however, that I found such a resonant note in what felt like a decidedly ‘not really for me’ movie. Thus was the case in the incredibly stylish, charming-if-occasionally-wrenching 2011 movie Crazy, Stupid Love.
In the aforementioned scene, we have the sartorial good fortune of following the eminently natty ‘Jacob’, played by Ryan Gosling, as he assuredly leads Steve Carell’s sad-dad character ‘Cal’ around an LA mall. The two are on a quest to resurrect the newly-separated Cal’s life via the power of a compelling wardrobe, and the lessons contained within such an exercise. Jacob frames the ensuing scene with a quote equal parts seasoned and sage:
“One of the best parts about being a guy…is that you can rebuild your entire wardrobe in just, like, 16 items…”
Long a proponent of how much how we dress can impact how we feel, and thus who we are, this scene was right in my wheelhouse. Couple that with the impeccably attired Gosling and his accompanying confident swagger - and the dry wit and perfect timing of the masterfully-delivered dialogue - and I was damn near cheering on the scene as it unfolded.
His statement could not be more true, and is a guidepost, albeit unintentional (given that I am quite positive none of the other divisional leaders here at Hardwick have seen the film!), that speaks to the core of what Hardwick sets out to accomplish: nail down the basics, and radiate outward from there.
Thus informs our ‘Basics Training’ series – a rundown of the core, foundational items that are must-have cornerstones for a timeless, stylish, versatile men’s wardrobe. At Hardwick, we proudly offer our renowned Made in America quality for several of the dozen or so items integral to the modern man’s wardrobe.
For the sake of answering the inevitable question - for me, those items are:
Tailored Wool Dress Pants
Quality Khaki Pants
Tweed/Patterned Sport Coat
Charcoal Wool Suit
Blue Oxford Shirt
White Oxford Shirt
Patterned Dress Shirt
Wool Crewneck Sweater
Dark Denim Jeans
Brown Dress Shoes
Casual Knit Tie
Dressy Silk Tie
That's all you really need. To start with anyway. But the beauty of owning well-made, versatile basics is that their situational versatility, and the ability to mix and match different elements, multiplies their inherent value exponentially. Add to that the trusted quality of our world class make and materials, and the stubborn refusal of these items ever to go out of style, and you can wear these items quite literally forever. And look damn good while doing it.
Our Basics Training series focuses on the tailored clothing items every man needs in his arsenal upon which an eminently stylish, truly timeless wardrobe, and the resultant gains in confidence, strength, and insight, can be built.
Explore our Basics Training collection and stay tuned for more ideas about how to mix, match, and manage these elements to maximize your sartorial investments.