LONG READ -- Putting together a wardrobe is hard enough, especially if fashion isn’t necessarily your strongest point. First step in assembling a wardrobe that works for you is knowing what men’s wardrobe essentials are. What is crucial to have in your closet? Which items are wardrobe staples you unquestionably cannot go without? If your answers to these questions equals to ‘????’ then this blog is made especially for you. Whether you’re starting from scratch or just need a reminder, you’ll find an overview of the wardrobe staples you undoubtedly must have, and the menswear shop to visit for these essentials. Once you’ve got that down, you can go on to styling casual outfits for men - but that’s for another time.
To make everything even easier - we’re going to work with the number 5. Five clothing items, five accessories, and five footwear types. I call this the 5-CAF method.
Men’s wardrobe essentials - Clothes
Let’s start with the easiest part of all: clothes. There are a few very basic items you need to have in your wardrobe in order to be able to style your way through life, whether that’s dressed up or casual outfit for men.
Have your pick between t-shirts, tops and shirts. The difference? A t-shirt or a top is usually more casually styled while shirts (especially long sleeved, white or striped) are regularly worn to the office.
Key: white or black short sleeved t-shirt, khaki green tank top, grey polo shirt, patterned short sleeves shirt and a white long sleeves shirt.
Pants & Jeans
There are a lot of different pants and jeans styles. A lot. So here it’s all about personal preference, choosing the fit you like (fitted or loose), materials, colours.. But there are a few must haves for every man.
Key: beige or grey chinos, black formal pants, grey or black joggers, dark washed slim leg jeans, light washed straight leg jeans.
- Mainline Menswear$182.52Paul Smith
PS By Short Sleeve Vacation ShirtS M L 2XLMore details
- Mainline Menswear$64.58Armani
Crew Neck Logo T ShirtXS S M L XL 2XLMore details
- Mainline Menswear$84.24Lyle & Scott
Lyle And Scott Long Sleeve Poplin ShirtM L XL 2XLMore details
- Mainline Menswear$84.24Armani
Two Tone Polo T ShirtXS S 2XLMore details
Whether it’s summer, spring, winter or autumn, a jacket in your closet that fits each of these weather types is extremely important. It’s a great way to add a bit of spark to an otherwise regular outfit you’ve worn a lot.
Key: grey or checked blazer, bordeaux bomber jacket, dark washed denim jacket, black raincoat, beige trench coat.
Every man needs to have a well-fitting suit in his wardrobe, this is unquestionable! Whether that’s a black, grey or navy blue suit - you need at least one for a special occasion.
Loungewear & Sleepwear
It’s been a long day and you just need to relax - and afterwards go to bed feeling comfortable..
Key: navy, black or white bathrobe, pyjamas shirt and pants, a simple t-shirt, pair of joggers, socks.
- Mainline Menswear$245.70Ralph Lauren
Icon Trucker Denim JacketS MMore details
Cahn Skinny Suit 4832 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48More details
Hoxton Blazer LXS S M L XL 2XL 3XLMore details
Lincoln 1 Button Suit Pewter 4234 36 38 40 42 44 48 50More details
Osgood Stretch 1 Button Suit Charcoal 4032 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 50More details
Men’s basics - Accessories
The final touches to every outfit are also wardrobe staples. Men usually skip this part altogether because they don’t really know what to do with it - but really, it’s a perfect opportunity to add more personality to casual outfits for men you see around.
No matter the season you can choose a headwear to just, you know, add a bit of an interesting piece to your outfit.
Key: black big beanie, grey fisherman beanie, mesh caps, grey or brown panama hat, beige straw hat.
The one accessory you are probably already using daily, a belt is a great way to add a formal vibe to an otherwise casual look.
Key: black or brown belt.
I don’t think this one needs explanation, does it?
Key: silver aviator framed sunglasses, black wayfarer sunglasses, colourful round sunglasses.
- Mainline Menswear$105.30Armani
Emporio Logo Leather Belt30" Waist 32" Waist 34" Waist 36" Waist 38" Waist 42More details
- Mainline Menswear$77.22HUGO BOSS
BOSS HUGO BOSS Connio Belt32" WaistMore details
- Mainline Menswear$124.96HUGO BOSS
Boss Icon Belt34" Waist 36" WaistMore details
- Mainline Menswear$105.30Armani
Belt28" Waist 32" Waist 36" WaistMore details
- Hallenstein Brothers$19.99Hallensteins Brothers
Kit Moon Walker SunglassesONE SIZEMore details
Going out for brunch, on your way to the office, preparing for a weekend trip somewhere, attending classes or going for a workout?
Key: black wallet, brown briefcase, grey suitcase, black or grey backpack, black spots bag.
If you’re not much of a jewellery kind of man - that’s ok. But then at least consider a watch, it’s much more than just a watch: it shows your personality.
Key: all silver watch, all gold watch, black strap watch.
Men’s Must Haves - Footwear
The majority of men I know has one pair of sneakers and one pair of formal shoes from one menswear shop and calls it a day. Try to reach out of your comfort zone and try some other styles - I promise you won’t look like a clown! It’s all about trying out new things and discovering styles you do like though you didn’t think you would beforehand.
For the everyday office outfits or casual Saturday outfits flat shoes are a great option. There are loads of styles so you’re guaranteed to find something that fits your own style.
Key: brown brogues, black loafers, black or brown formal shoes, white casual shoes, navy blue casual shoes.
Outside in the summer or just because you think they’re comfortable around the house, every man has a pair of thongs in his wardrobe.
Key: black, white, grey or coloured thongs.
A good way to dress up a casual outfit and have an alternative to your thongs are sandals. They don’t need to look like grandpa sandals, there are new contemporary sandals designs you’re sure to like.
Key: brown or black sandals.
Speaks for itself.
Key: crisp white sneakers, black suede sneakers, colourful sneakers.
During winter and spring having an additional pair of shoes to alternate between your sneakers and flat shoes, boots will keep your feet warm and stylish.
Key: black hiking boots, brown heeled boots, black, grey or brown lace-up boots, black snow boots, khaki green wellingtons.
- Mainline Menswear$195.16HUGO BOSS
Lighter Lowp Flash Trainers7 (41) 12 (47)More details
- Mainline Menswear$96.88Ralph Lauren
Hanford Canvas Trainers12 (47)More details
- Mainline Menswear$39.31Birkenstock
Arizona EVA Sandals7 (41) 9 (43) 11 (45)More details
- Mainline Menswear$140.40adidas
Originals Samba RM Trainers6 (40) 8 (42) 9 (43) 10 (44)More details
- Mainline Menswear$91.73Birkenstock
Arizona Sandals Camou10 (44) 12 (47)More details
- Mainline Menswear$161.46EA7
Logo Trainers6 (40) 7 (41) 8 (42) 9 (43)More details
- Mainline Menswear$196.56Nike
Air Max 95 SE Reflective Trainers6 (40) 8 (42) 9 (43) 11 (45) 12 (47)More details
Where to find these wardrobe staples
There are a couple of menswear shop you should visit to find these men’s wardrobe essentials on Fashiola: