If you had to fill your closet with only a select number of wardrobe pieces (let’s say 25), where would you start? The number may seem limiting, but rhe possibilities are endless. For a man of discerning taste such as yourself, there are some staples you shouldn’t go without. From day job to night life, through changing seasons and changing occasions, through the passing of the years, these are our picks for the top 25 men’s essentials you need in your closet.
Outerwear and Accessories
The Blazer: Corridor NYC Knit Blazer – $148
A great blazer is versatile, with a fit that can say “professional” and still transition into your evening outings. This navy option is timeless, with just the right mix of dressy (wear it with slim trousers) and casual (wear it with dark jeans the next time you’re grabbing a pint), and is made with a four-way stretch knit for added flexibility and comfort. If you need more reasons to own a blue blazer, head here.
The Bomber Jacket: LaCoste Live Reversible Wool Broadcloth Bomber – $147
The bomber jacket is an undisputed classic when it comes to outerwear. This particular piece is made with a wool-polyester blend for warmth and comfort, and is reversible so you can accomplish two looks with one piece.
The Denim Jacket: Flint and Tinder Stretch Denim Trucker – $158
A favorite of punk rockers back in the day — and now you — the denim jacket amps up your rugged style to another level when worn properly (say, with a classic tee and slim black denim). If you don’t already have one, you need it in your closet ASAP.
The Watch: Shinola Runwell – $550
For daily wear, for dressy events, and for every occasion in between, Shinola has the watch for you. The clean, simple, and refined Runwell is sized just right and looks great whether worn with a navy suit or an indigo pocket tee.
The Belt: To Boot New York Cognac Calf Belt – $150
By now you’ve likely heard the Golden Rule of menswear a million times: “Always match your belt with your shoes.” If you’re tired of sticking to basic black or boring brown, pick up some accessories in cognac instead. Not only does the color work well with earth-toned outfits that are brown-heavy, it actually works well with black, too. This belt from To Boot New York has a lovely cognac leather finish, and it just so happens to match these quite swimmingly.
The Hat: King and Fifth The Forte Slouchy Beanie – $24
Beanies have been everywhere in men’s fashion lately — and with cozy fabrics, a simple profile, and just a dash of modern flair, we can see why. This Slouchy Beanie from King and Fifth adds some visual interest to your crown but is understated enough to go with all your cold-weather outfits.
The Scarf: Scotch & Soda Cotton-Linen Scarf – $65
Fashion-wise, a bold scarf can totally make or break an outfit (just ask Steven Tyler). A lightweight feel and neutral tone make this cotton-linen scarf from Scotch & Soda versatile.
The Sunglasses: STATE Optical Addison – $381
When you need the perfect complement to your summertime style, a solid pair of shades can’t be beat. STATE Optical’s Addison (especially in Blue Smoke) is sleek with just the right pop of color.
The Tie: The Tie Bar Color Blocked Knit – $25
No man’s wardrobe is complete without a reliable tie, and a silk knit number in a modern color means will look good with slim jeans and a grey blazer or your best navy suit.
The Pocket Square: The Tie Bar Sprout Measure – $10
A pocket square is the perfect opportunity to inject a little color or a bold print into your wardrobe without the risk of overdoing it. This square from The Tie Bar has a classic stripe pattern on one side and a flashier floral print on the other, both in a neutral gray palette, so you can mix up your look from suit to suit.
The Classic T-Shirt: Mack Weldon Pima V-Neck T-Shirt – $32
On the lookout for that aforementioned classic tee? Essentials expert Mack Weldon has you covered with this super-soft pima cotton tee with a subtle V-neck, available in eleven colors for maximum versatility.
The Oxford Shirt: Original Penguin Oxford Shirt – $89
Want a shirt to wear with your navy blazer and dark denim? Or chinos? Or any outfit combo you can dream up? You should turn to a classic white Oxford, like this one from Original Penguin, made from beautiful fabric in a tailored fit (it’s even got checkered cuffs so you can add a little extra flair).
The Dress Shirt: MTailor Dress Shirts – From $49
When the situation calls for more than an Oxford shirt, an investment-worthy dress shirt made from the best materials is the way to go. With MTailor, you can get a perfectly tailored top without ever leaving the house. The brand’s innovative app uses your phone’s camera to measure your size. All you need to do is pick your favorite fabric and MTailor will make a custom shirt and ship it to you.
The Henley: Original Penguin Striped Henley – $79
A slim henley is easy to wear alone in the spring and just as easy to layer in fall and winter. The subtle striped pattern on this henley from Original Penguin adds a little extra visual interest.
The Chinos: Original Penguin P55 Straight Stretch Chino – $89
There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t have a pair of modern, well-made chinos in your closet. Original Penguin makes theirs with a dash of spandex for added comfort and in a variety of colors that you can easily dress up with an Oxford or dress down with a cozy tee.
The Dark Denim: Flint and Tinder Dark Indigo Jeans – $118
When chinos won’t do and you want something a little more casual, you can’t go wrong rocking out a pair of slim, dark denims. These jeans from Flint and Tinder are hand-washed for extra softness and just the slightest hint of stretch.
The Jogger: Lululemon ABC Jogger – $128
If you’re updating your wardrobe, you may be pretty focused on stocking up on professional wear – but don’t forget that you’ll need a little something for your down time, too. A classic jogger is essential for any man that likes to get up and move once in while, and Lululemon’s jogger is made with a performance stretch weave and three pockets for keeping your essentials handy on the move.
The Shorts: LaCoste Men’s Classic Gabardine Bermuda Shorts – $54
If you’re looking to slim down your wardrobe to only the best and most essential pieces, it’s tough to beat a simple pair of shorts that makes it easy to stay stylish in the summer months. These Bermuda shorts from LaCoste are made with 100% crisp cotton and pair perfectly with a tee, polo, or button-down.
The Sandals: Vionic Elijah Toe Post Sandal – $100
When winter is over and you’re ready to kick off your boots and slip into something a little cooler, you’re going to want a reliable sandal to get you through the heat of summer. This pair from Vionic is designed for extra orthotic support, with a durable rubber sole and gorgeous leather that will make it an instant staple.
The Leather Boots: To Boot New York Flyboy Boots in Black – $450
When inclement weather catches up with you, cap toe boots in rich leather are a fail-safe option to get around in style. These boots are made with soft, textured leather, a rubber sole that provides shock absorption, and a side buckle design that will make you look like a badass.
The Dress Shoes: To Boot New York Oakbrook Wingtips in Cognac – $450
Any time you need handsome, timeless and refined dress shoes, reach for these luxurious wingtips. A stunning cognac leather finish and double monkstrap detail make these shoes bold enough to make a statement, while the classic wingtip design keeps them timeless enough to pair with everything from slim denim to your go-to suit.
The Loafers: Kenneth Cole Vinny Driver – $98
For breezy spring and summer days and beyond, loafers are a timeless classic to have in your closet. Wear these suede beauties from Kenneth Cole with tailored shorts and a white polo for prep-inspired style, then slip them on with jeans or chinos when the weather cools down.
The Sneakers: Vionic Baldwin Lace-Up Sneaker – $130
If you’re only going to go for one pair of sneakers, might as well go big. These sneakers boast a classic profile, orthopedic-design interior support, and a sleek leather exterior that will make them the classiest casual shoes you’ve ever owned.
The Pajamas: Zimmerli Silk Pajama Set – $570
Boxer shorts are fine for pajamas, right? Well, sure. But if we’re aiming to raise the bar — which we certainly are – this dapper midnight-blue silk set from Zimmerli is the one to buy. And hey, you’ll look even better when you have a date stay over.
The Bathrobe: Hamilton + Hare Cotton and Cashmere Blend Hooded Robe – $400
Don’t forget to round out your relaxation staples with a comfortable, refined bathrobe. This cozy cashmere-blend robe from Hamilton + Hare is super soft, with a hood, front pockets, and tie closure that make it perfect for lounging in style.
Article originally published by Beau Hayhoe on May 18, 2017. Last updated by LeeAnn Whittemore on February 20, 2018.
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