Lifestyle, Menswear

Men’s Wardrobe Essentials and Staples: How To Build a Closet

There are many men’s wardrobe essentials and very good closet I’ve ever seen or read about is one with very few items, but they all go together well. The idea here is to have items that you can mix and match with one another, and be able to pull off innumerable amounts of different looks. I’m going to show you my essentials below, with different items at 3 different price points.

On a budget, Good Value, & Splurge

If you think about the white oxford like I mentioned in my post here it can go just as easily from office, to after hour drinks, to the beach. I’ll give you three examples.

1. Put it on for work with a tie under a blazer and you’re A-OK for the office

2. Roll up the sleeves of the oxford, pair it with dark denim and sneakers and you’re ready for after hours or a cookout at a friends house.

3. Throw it on with your swim trunks and go from beach or pool to dinner in a breeze.

The point here is that if you get pieces that can go well with a bunch of things, you can cover a lot of ground.

I tend to first and foremost invest in solid, basic items… As they tend to go well with each other and not everyone will remember you wearing that white Oxford twice in one week. But they definitely will remember the loud plaid check shirt. Not saying I don’t have plaid shirts.. But you get the point here.

When it comes to shirts and ties and combinations, you can buy 5 shirts and 5 ties and have 25 COMBINATIONS. But again the key here is getting neutrals and thing that go with each other. For the sake of this list, I included 3 ties and not 5 because I wanted the two bonus spots for other essentials. But here we are, building a wardrobe with men’s wardrobe essentials from the base up.

1. White oxford shirt (cut like a casual shirt, not dress shirt)

Gap   J.Crew  Nordstrom

2. Blue point or spread collar dress shirt

J. Crew Factory   Hugo Boss  Eton

3. Small check spread collar dress shirt

Brooks Brothers    Hugo Boss       Eton

4. Light purple spread collar dress shirt

Calvin Klein    Brooks Brothers          Canali

5. Bold stripe dress shirt

Nordstrom    Ralph Lauren       Eton

6. Navy knit tie

Target      The Tie Bar       Mr. Porter

7. Microprint dark tie

8. Small patterned burgundy tie

The Tie Bar   The Tie Bar   Zegna     Zegna

9. Navy suit that fits you PERFECTLY

J. Crew  Banana Republic   Hugo Boss    Ralph Lauren   Ralph Lauren  Tom Ford 

10. Charcoal grey suit that fits perfectly

J. Crew  Todd Snyder  Peter Millar  Samuelsohn  Mr. Porter  Tom Ford

11. Navy blazer or statement sportcoat

Banana Republic  J. Crew   Brooks Brothers    Peter Millar   Isaia  Brioni

12. Brown dress belt

H&M  J. Crew   Magnanni

13. Brown wingtips or plain toe’s

ASOS   Cole Haan   Johnston & Murphy  Nordstrom

14. Black cap or plain toe (NOT SQUARE TOE PLEASE LORD MY EYES)

Kenneth Cole     To Boot New York   Cole Haan    Salvatore Ferragamo

15. Nice dress sneakers, leather or suede

  Gap     Cole Haan     Vince    Santoni   Santoni

16. Lace up or chukka boots

Clarks     Express    Clarks    Grenson    Wolverine   Frye

17. Polo cut for your body type

Nordstrom   Vince   J. Crew  Burberry

18. Denim shirt

Old Navy  Levi’s   Gap   Nordstrom

19. Checked casual shirt

Gap     J. Crew Factory    J. Crew     Billy Reid     Club Monaco

20. Navy or grey crew neck layering sweater

  Banana Republic   J. Crew   J. Crew (cashmere)  Nordstrom

21. Khaki or light tan chinos

J. Crew   Bonobos  AG  Canali

22. Dark pair of nice denim

Levi’s    Mavi    Levi’s Made & Crafted    J Brand  3×1

23. Pair of chino shorts

H&M     J. Crew      Vince    Good Man Brand

24. White pocket tee

JCPenney   J. Crew   James Perse 

25. A bad*** jacket (leather, suede, this is all about your personality)

Topman    J. Crew     Schott- Nordstrom     Vince    Nordstrom

Bonus: so it seems socks didn’t make the cut but you’re definitely going to want some of those

So there you have it, I’ll break some of these down on the blog next week putting together looks you can wear. I’m going to give you ideas for outfits so you can see what I mean when you can have a swanky interchangeable wardrobe.

You can mix and match and layer and try things all within the confines of those 25 items because they go well with each other. Want to wear your wingtips with shorts and your white pocket tee and a checked rolled up casual shirt? Go for it. In fact, I’ve done it and it looks terrrrrrrific.

Now by no means is this a hard and fast list. If you’re redefining your closet and have a love of athletic sneakers like the Ultra Boost or Nike Air Presto, then swap em’ for something on here. Fit it to your style. Hope you all enjoyed, but these are my absolute favorite men’s wardrobe essentials. Do you like this style of post? Or my editorial photo style ones better? Let me know in the comments or by email!

Come back next week and see my follow up post to this one!


Until Next Time




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