10 Items Of Clothing Every Guy Needs
Fashion is like an avalanche that comes and goes in the blink of an eye. Style, on the other hand, is like a glacier. It will change over time, no doubt. But often that change happens so incrementally as to be almost imperceptible. When you invest in the following 10 items you’ll be ensuring your wardrobe is on a sound footing for years to come. So let’s get to it.
1. A Classic Tailored Suit
No wardrobe is complete unless it includes at least one tailored suit. It should accentuate your strengths, deemphasize your weaknesses and be cut in a way that doesn’t place it too firmly in any particular decade. So no big 80s shoulders and none of those silly, skin-tight short pants legs thank you. The suit that anchors your wardrobe should have a timeless cut that’s not too constrictive yet still retains a clean profile. If you’re going to err with the cut you should err a bit toward the slim fit. But not so much that it looks trendy. And as for color; gray, navy or black.
2. A White Oxford Shirt
Some would call this a “button-down” shirt but technically that only refers to shirts with button-down collars. We’d recommend going without the collar buttons simply because it’s a more versatile look. The button-down shirt tends to look like it’s missing something if you wear it sans necktie. While the buttonless collar looks equally good either way. You should also consider getting your white Oxford shirt with French cuffs so you can mix and match it with various cufflinks to achieve slightly different looks.
3. A Blue Blazer
The blue blazer is versatility incarnate. Pair it with one of Donna Karan’s superb mens pattern dress shirts for a peerless business casual look or with khakis or cream chinos for dinner and drinks. The blue blazer does ties, T-shirts and scarves with equal aplomb and can be used for business meetings, hot dates or holidays with the family. Make sure you get one that’s tailored to complement your body. It should allow easy movement of the arms and shoulders and should extend to wrist bone at minimum, though not past the base of the thumb.
4. A Cashmere Sweater
Cashmere looks every bit as good as it feels and allows you to optimize warmth and style at the same time. You can wear it for holiday get-togethers, on casual Fridays at the office or under that blue blazer on chilly autumn days. You may have noticed a trend developing in this list already. And that is versatility. All your foundational items should have multiple applications and the cashmere sweater is a perfect example. It’s buttoned-down, laid back, sporty or businesslike.
5. Classic American Made Jeans
If you’ve done any traveling and kept your style eye open you will have noticed that, although jeans are popular all over the world these days, there’s really no substitute for classic, American made jeans. And by that, of course, we mean Levis. And in particular, Levis 501 button fly jeans. Other jeans come and go but you can’t go wrong no matter the year, or the time of year, with timeless 501s. They’ll look as good with a T-shirt as they do with your blue blazer or cashmere sweater and they provide instant style cred with no questions asked or explanations necessary.
6. A Polo
A classic polo will fill the void between the overly casual T-shirt and the overly formal Oxford. They’re perfect for casual Fridays, perfect for golfing, tennis or hitting a few buckets with the boss at the driving range. And they’re also ideal for Saturday afternoon shopping with the significant other or Saturday night club hopping. Solid color polos are more versatile than stripes. And to optimize compatibility with other clothing items the color should be muted.
7. A Real Watch
Big puffy sports watches with plastic wristbands are all very well and good but they aren’t going to cut it with your tailored suit. Or even your blue blazer or cashmere sweater. You need to take some time to look at high-quality chronograph watches. A grown-up watch from a recognized style and quality leader is an essential component of your formal look.
8. Chinos Or Khakis
Every guy should have a pair of light-colored, high-quality pants in their wardrobe. Outdoor summer weddings, dates, casual Fridays or dinner at your favorite bistro, they all call for something more than jeans but less than your classic tailored suit. That would be chinos or khakis. Khakis are great all-purpose casual wear, though you might want to avoid the puffy look you get from pleated khakis.
9. A White T-Shirt
Let’s be clear; there are white t-shirts and then there are White T-Shirts. And they are not the same thing. We’re not talking about those ill-fitting polyester jobs that come 3 to a pack for $9.99 at Walmart. We’re talking about a 100% cotton shirt from a reputable designer that’s thick and comfy and expressive. We’re partial to V-necks ourselves but it’s up to you. Whatever you feel looks best.
10. Oxfords Or Loafers
Style is always in fashion and Oxfords are always in style. Loafers too. The thing that makes loafers more of a 2nd option is that they’re not considered quite as formal as Oxfords. And you’re going to need at least one good pair of formal shoes. Oxfords are remarkably versatile. Even black Oxfords will look great with a faded pair of jeans for instance. Whereas loafers just aren’t going to cut it with your tailored suit. So pick up a pair of black or brown Oxfords. And if you have any money left grab a pair of loafers for less formal occasions.
And one more thing: if you live in a climate where it gets bone-chillingly cold in the winter then you’ll want to look into high quality down jackets. This sort of item is necessary whether you work at home or in a high powered law office. So get one that’s going to look as good with your tailored suit as it does with your Levis.