When it comes to articles on personal style and building a wardrobe, men, unfortunately, get left out, for the most part. To be fair, men usually aren’t as interested in sartorial expression as women, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need some guidance from time to time. We all have to wear clothes, and we want to look good, don’t we?
As we’ve fully entered a new season, you may be noticing something lacking in your wardrobe. If you don’t know where to begin acquiring versatile items for your day-to-day lifestyle, we’ve made a list of wardrobe staples just for you.
Fitted Henley and tee shirts
You probably already know this one, but having a variety of fitted Henley shirts and tee shirts will repeatedly come in handy. Whether you’re wearing them solo or underneath a sweater, these basic shirts will always have your back (literally). Look out for more flattering, fitted styles, and don’t be self-conscious when trying out a more form-fitting look. A super-baggy shirt may feel comfortable, but it can look sloppy — like you’re going to bed.
When in doubt, ask yourself “WWDW?” (What would David Beckham wear?)
Tailored button-down shirt
Within the same vein of our first wardrobe staple, a classic tailored button-down is endlessly versatile. You can wear it with slacks for work or with jeans on the weekend. The key is to get creative with how you style it. For a more casual look, roll up the sleeves and undo the top two buttons at the collar. Tuck it into your pants for a more polished look or leave it untucked if you’re more feeling laid back.
Again, avoid super baggy fits that have excess fabric around the waist and in the sleeves. If it creates a ballooning effect when you tuck it into the top of your pants, move along. Look for button downs that are more tailored and come in at the waist.
Pro tip: If the buttons are pulling and you feel like you’re about to bust out of the shirt, choose the next size up instead of forgoing the fitted style entirely.
You wear jeans all the time, right? Well, a chambray shirt offers the same versatile effect as your blue jeans, only on top. The cotton fabric, classic cut, and universally flattering blue color make a chambray an overall win. You can wear it underneath any jacket or coat style and pair it with any pant style in any color. The best part about chambrays? They’re crazy soft and comfortable.
Black straight-leg jeans
Blue jeans are great and all, but if you really want a pair of pants you can wear with everything, say hello to black straight-leg jeans. And don’t worry, we’re not talking about black skinny jeans.
The great thing about black straight-leg jeans is that they immediately make you look more pulled together and serious about your style. Blue jeans can sometimes look immature, depending on your environment, so if you want to step up your game — black straight-leg jeans are the way to do it.
Grey straight-leg trousers
We all want to live in jeans 24/7, but to switch it up, throw in a pair of trousers. To avoid an unintentional throwback to your Catholic high school days, take a pass on tan or navy khakis. Try a more mature shade that’s equally versatile and flattering, like grey. Stick to a tailored style that’s more fitted in the calves so you can cuff the bottom of the pants to complement a sleek pair of sneakers.
Crew neck sweaters
To stay warm and classy in the cold weather, opt for crew neck sweaters and sweatshirts that aren’t too oversized. Steer clear of college hoodie territory by choosing plain, neutral colors like cream, black, grey, maroon, and navy. The great thing about plain crewnecks is that they can be worn with both jeans and dressier slacks.
Brown leather lace-up dress shoes
Dress shoes can be tricky. Since black dress shoes are better left for the office, formal events, and your days as an altar boy, it’s best to stick to brown leather lace-up shoes. Why? Brown leather can be both dressed up and dressed down, whereas black leather never quite looks right with jeans, does it? Plus, lace-up dress shoes are classic, harkening back to old Hollywood film stars like Paul Newman and Cary Grant. Who wouldn’t want to channel these masculine style icons during their week?
On the days you’re not braving winter storms in your heavy duty puffer coat, try a more polished look with a black peacoat. The clean, sharp lines of a peacoat are incredibly flattering and give you an overall pulled-together look. A peacoat can be worn over your work clothes, a formal suit, and even your more casual jean looks. Besides, it’d be a shame to throw a bulky North Face parka over a cool outfit you put time into creating.
Versatile sports jacket
You might be surprised at how much you end up wearing a sports jacket, aka a blazer. For some, a blazer might come across as too preppy or nerdy but when styled the right way, a blazer can completely upgrade your personal style. A blazer adds a mature, self-assured appeal to any outfit — even jeans. Plus, wearing a blazer with your more casual looks is the easiest way to look like you put forth an effort. So whether you’re at the office or going on a date, a blazer is the quickest way to impress.
Single-breasted navy blue suit
Any girl will tell you that a man in a sharp, tailored navy suit is the second best thing to a man in uniform. While black and grey suits are more appropriate for a serious environment, like corporate work, a navy blue suit shows that a man is a little more confident in rocking something more stylish. It shows that he cares, which is always attractive. Plus, navy is universally flattering, so you can never look bad while wearing this shade. Avoid suits that are oversized or boxy (à la Wolf of Wall Street) and opt for more fitted styles.