5 Essentials Every Man Should Have in their Wardrobe

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A Brief History

Nowadays, it is apparent that style is not something that comes to everyone naturally. This is something that actually takes years to develop, and not everybody necessarily pays attention to fashion trends, but if you decide to take your style seriously this year, know that it all starts with a set of basics. A wardrobe does not need to have all the latest trendy items and accessories, and can be built on some simple, yet classic elements. If you start on a solid foundation, you’ll be able to piece multiple outfits together, and make some additions that will allow you to upgrade your style. Here are some of the essentials every man should have in their wardrobe.

Digging Deeper

A Nice Blazer

A single-breasted, reefer-style, navy blue blazer, dressed with brass buttons.  Photograph by de:Benutzer:Dr._Meierhofer.

A nice blazer or sports coat is something every man should have in their closet. This is one of the most stylish, and versatile pieces of clothing you can wear and an absolute must. You can choose to wear one with a Hanley or polo short, or with a sweater. You can even dress one down with a striped shirt, or a zipped-up hoodie for a layered look. It’s also something that you can switch from a work, to casual, to night look easily.

Classic Pair of Sneakers

Givenchy footwear animation by Karldmartini.

You cannot have a complete wardrobe without a pair of smart, classic sneakers. This footwear would make a great addition to the blazer you just purchased, along with a pair of solid colored tapered jeans. If you want to take things up a notch, go for a luxury sneaker, like Givenchy sneakers for instance.

If you want to check out their range, online retailers like SSENSE have a stunning men’s collection. What is great about Givenchy sneakers is their discreet, but distinctive silhouette. They also stand out just enough to give your style some pop, without being too out there. SSENSE also has some of the more over the top models if you want to go for something more in your face, or if you’re trying to pull off the streetwear chic look.

A Nice Watch

A modern wristwatch.  Photograph by BastienM.

They often say that the first thing people look at on a man is their watch and their shoes, and there is some truth to that. Great shoes and a great watch will always elevate your look, and it is hard to go wrong when you have good accessories.

The first thing you have to do is pick the right color or tone for the watch band, and pick the right size. For one, make sure that you pick a watch with a big face if you have a bigger wrist, and a smaller one if your wrist is smaller.

Also, make sure that the tone of the band works with the tone of your skin. For example, amber and gold will work better on some, while others will look better in silver. The only way to truly know is to try both options and see what works. You should also pick a watch that fits your style, and one that fits the color of the clothes in your wardrobe. Silver, for instance, works better with dark colors with blue, gray or black shades. Gold tends to work better with earth tones like beige, tans and browns.

A White Button Up Shirt

Double cuffs have an extra length of sleeve folded back and fastened with links.  Photograph by David M Tran.

One of the simplest, but most important, and also elegant pieces to have in your wardrobe is a white shirt. No matter who you are, chances are you will need a simple white button up at some point in time. Whether it is tucked under your shirt, worn over a pair of solid blue denim, or under a blazer, a white button up could save you in tons of situations and is extremely versatile. You can dress it up, or dress it down whichever way you want. You can even go casual and wear them with a statement belt and a nice pair of chinos.

If you are going to pick one, however, pay special attention to the quality. The best shirts are made from soft cotton, and are thick. This is important if you want them to be as comfortable as possible, breathable, and wrinkle free.

Dress Shoes

Dress shoes on a woman (left) and a man (right).  Photograph by  Daniel Case at English Wikipedia.

Dress shoes are another essential that will save you in certain situations. If you do not know which type to pick, the first pair you should buy is a pair of black classic oxfords. These will be perfect for any type of formal events, whether it is a job interview for a wedding. We also suggest that you invest in a nice pair of brogues as well for a slightly more casual look.

These are only some of the essentials that you should have, but will put you on the right track. Make sure that you consider all of these for your collection, and keep expanding your style.

Question for students (and subscribers): What do you consider to be essential aspects of men’s fashion?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Boyer, G. Bruce.  True Style: The History and Principles of Classic Menswear.  Basic Books, 2015.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by DayronV, is licensed under the Pixabay License.


About Author

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland