The things men own represent knowledge and skill. Your stuff should not impress because it has been purchased, but because it has been used. Part of being a man is knowing how to exploit very simple things. Some items below you might have already, and others might be on your wish list. That collection should include the following:
A Well-Tailored Suit
As a matter of both utility and principle, every man needs at least one suit in his closet. Make sure the suit is tailored to fit your body and show off the hard work you’ve done in the gym (and in the kitchen). For maximum versatility, go for a neutral color, like navy, grey, or black.
A Navy Blazer
There’s a big difference between re-using the jacket from your suit and having a dedicated blazer. Blazers are a distinct piece of attire and are worn in less formal occasions. Pair it with jeans and sneakers for a smart casual look or with a pair of slacks or linen pants for a handsome semi-formal style.
A Nice Watch
A watch signals intentionality, purpose, and of course, personal style. Opt for one with a stainless-steel bracelet, and you can wear it for years with any shoe and belt combination you please. A watch with a rich leather band is also a worthy choice; just make sure the color of the leather works with the rest of your outfit.
A Leather Belt
Another menswear essential is a simple, versatile leather belt. Pair with a suit or with your go-to chinos. Traditional wisdom suggests that a belt should match your shoes though today’s style preferences have thrown caution to the wind and said wear whatever belt you enjoy.
A Plain White T-Shirt
In addition to the button-downs, graphic tees, or whatever garment you choose, your wardrobe needs a plain white t-shirt. Versatile, clean, and stylish, a classic plain white tee is one of the few essential pieces of clothing everyone should have. Whether you like your shirts boxy or slim fit, find a white shirt that fits your body size and integrate it into your outfits.
For the same reason you’ll want a good suit, no matter your profession, a pair of dress shoes is an essential investment—even if it’s just to add a touch of flair to date night. If you’re limiting yourself to just one pair of dress shoes, something simple and traditional like an Oxford or a Loafer is a great choice.
A simple athletic hoodie is excellent not only for workouts in the brisker months of the year but also as a refined style item. While menswear tends to obsess over “basics,” the hoodie is a genuinely versatile and handsome garment that deserves a spot in your wardrobe.
You might not use it very much, but a handsome tie — or bow tie if you can pull it off — is a necessity. You can opt for the more versatile and very popular knit tie, or you can go with something more traditional. Unless it fits into your personal aesthetic, avoid anything overtly preppy or Ivy League and go for something simple: solid colors, stripes, or patterns that aren’t too busy.
A Quality Pair of Jeans
The timeless look of a good pair of jeans has meant that denim is always in style. What started as workwear has become an indelible element of modern menswear. While you can go down the denim rabbit hole and fill your closet with the finest Japanese raw denim jeans, at the very least you should invest in a solid pair of Levi’s.
A quality pair of leather boots can tie together just about any cold weather outfit. Particularly when paired with the aforementioned denim jeans. When well-maintained, a pair of boots can last you years and, depending on your style preferences, can handle both the city lifestyle and frequent rugged trails.