Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Upgrade Your Wardrobe with the New Year’s Best Menswear Essentials

The start of a new year brings with it reflection, the chance to refocus, and the chance to jumpstart or improve your wardrobe. We’re all about buying quality and buying better. Skipping bulk purchases of fast-fashion essentials is but one way to do that.

That’s where this list comes in. Think of these picks as the best new menswear essentials for a new year, the sort of pieces you can wear for months and years on end. These pieces represent a few crucial categories, and even more critically, most of them can be mixed and matched to create a host of perfect outfits for 2020. If you’ve resolved to shop and wear only the best new menswear this year, we’ve got the ideal place to start: right here.

Button-Down

Flint and Tinder Soft-Washed Oxford Shirt

Image used with permission by copyright holder

If we had to pick just one shirt that every guy should own — the perfect shirt to wear to the office or out to the bar, or anywhere in between — we’d pick a classic Oxford shirt. Not only that, we’d suggest you go with an expertly washed Oxford shirt from the team at Huckberry and Flint and Tinder.

Pants

Mott and Bow Slim Mosco Denim

Mott and Bow Mosco Denim
Image used with permission by copyright holder

We’ll keep it simple. To start off 2020, you need a pair of crisp, classic dark blue denim that you can wear with everything from a T-shirt to a classic cardigan. Mott and Bow more than delivers.

Shoes

Beckett Simonon Sutton Derbies

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Invest in the best early this year with these handsome, endlessly versatile brown leather derbies from Beckett Simonon. They’re perfect for the business casual office, able to be worn with a navy wool suit, and cool enough to pair with a V-neck sweater and dark denim for a bit of sharp weekend style.

Sweater

Todd Snyder Cashmere V-Neck Sweater

Todd Snyder Cashmere V-Neck
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Is nearly $300 a heck of a lot to spend on a sweater? Yes, it sure is, but this sleek Todd Snyder cashmere sweater is destined to be the last V-neck sweater you buy for a long, long time. Able to be worn on its own or paired with that aforementioned navy wool suit, it’s a classic and classy mid-layer for winter. Think of it as a must-have when you want to amp up your seasonal layering.

Pants

Taylor Stitch Slim Chinos

Taylor Stitch Slim Chinos
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When jeans are too casual but you don’t want to go all the way suited-up, a pair of classic tan chinos — particularly this durable, iconic pair from Taylor Stitch — are the right move. Add in your new Oxford shirt, those brown leather derby shoes, and that Todd Snyder V-neck sweater, then head to the office or out on the town.

Shirt

Buck Mason Field-Spec Cotton Surplus Henley

Buck Mason Field-Spec Henley
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The building blocks of a proper wardrobe, as you can now see, involve pieces both casual-yet-classic and slightly more tailored. This durable cotton henley from the menswear experts at Buck Mason is a great change of pace from an Oxford shirt or a V-neck sweater, yet it can be layered under either with ease. It’s a new menswear essential you’ll love wearing this year.

Editors' Recommendations

Beau Hayhoe
Beau Hayhoe is a freelance men's style writer, consultant and PR pro based in Brooklyn. Beau's menswear and gear writing has…
How to style the henley shirt, the versatile men’s fashion item your wardrobe needs
Pick up these underrated heroes of the closet
Orange linen suit and trelby hat

Men have a small amount of choices when it comes to shirts—dress shirt, polo, sweater, t-shirt that seems like all there is. Of course, that is only if you don't dive into all of the diamonds in the rough. There are a lot of unsung heroes in the closet that you have likely been overlooking. The henley shirt is the number one most underrated and often overlooked shirt in men's fashion. There are so many uses for it that men tend to forget about.

It may have started as the top portion of long underwear, but the knit shirt with two or more buttons at the opening became one of the most coveted uniform shirts due to its comfort and versatility. It became so beloved that the name henley came from its use as the uniform during the annual Henley Royal Regatta, one of the first organized rowing events in British history. Ever since, it has been a mainstay in our wardrobes, but now it's time that we all learn how to wear these in ways that get the full potential out of the henley.

Read more
The 25 wardrobe essentials every man needs: Your ultimate men’s fashion checklist
Men's essentials: Start with these building blocks to create the perfect wardrobe
menswear essentials you need men s clothing

Your outward appearance is a reflection of your inner self-image. It may sound shallow, but our society judges books by their cover. When you first meet someone, either on the street or in a professional setting, they make up their mind about you in the first few minutes. That means you need to build a wardrobe that expresses all you are and all you can bring to the table. With that in mind, men's fashion has some must-haves to help you make a great first impression.

Here are the 25 items that every man needs in their closet.

Read more
The 10 best eyeglasses for men to buy this year
Look your best in these glasses this year
Man in glasses and sweater

If you’re in the market for an accessory that instantly makes you appear more intelligent, more sophisticated, and even stylish, look no further than a solid pair of eyeglasses. Whether you’re channeling an unsuspectingly dashing Clark Kent or a more eccentric Harry Styles, optical lenses have the sartorial power to affect the way you see the world and the way the world sees you. While most of us who wear prescription glasses every day limit ourselves to whatever is carried in the office of our optometrist, there are dozens of places you can go to update your style and see as well as you are seen. We’ve seen eyeglasses from eyewear institutions like Ray-Ban, Persol, and Moscot all the way to fashion’s top tastemakers like Tom Ford and Gucci take the lead in men's glasses.

Blue Light vs. eyeglasses
No need for traditional optical frames? As our day-to-day shifts to a primarily digital interface, blue-light-blocking glasses are rising. More screen time and more strain on your eyes can cause eye strain, headaches, and even disrupt sleep patterns. Your optometrist may suggest investing in a pair to improve eye comfort and achieve better sleep. The truth is our favorite devices can cause migraines, dry eyes, and eye strain and lower the hormone production that makes it easier to sleep. While eyeglasses help you see better and will avoid eye strain, blue light glasses filter out harmful rays. So, even if you have 20/20 vision, this list is for you.

Read more