King’s Closet: 50 Best Men’s Wardrobe Essentials

One of the confounding things about style is that there is no real straight-forward way to do it. Unlike just about everything we seem to do in life – it isn’t easily quantifiable or measured in terms of ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’. There is no first place finisher, quarterly review, or number used to measure the quality of your wardrobe. Of course, it would be kind of awful if there was. Your personal style should be exactly that – personal. It shouldn’t be for or about anyone else. Don’t get us wrong. That doesn’t necessarily give you free reign to wear a dress shirt with a pair of cargo shorts and thong sandals.

Like anything creative, there are rules. They’re not necessarily hard and fast – but they are there for a reason. By extension, staples of menswear are staples for a reason. Why? All we know is that they work more often than not and that is good enough for us. This isn’t to say that every guy needs all of these classic pieces in his closet, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have at least a handful. To help guide you through what we think are some of the essentials for any guy’s wardrobe, we put together a list broken down into 8 sections. Wether it helps inspire you to up your everyday carry, grooming essentials, or go out and get a new suit – it’s here for you as a resource.

Denim Jacket: Taylor Stitch Long Haul ($188)
Leather Jacket: Scotch and Soda Leather Biker Jacket ($495)
Rain Coat: Mackintosh Bonded-Cotton Rain Jacket ($500)
Bomber: Coldsmoke MA-1 Bomber ($340)
Crew Neck: Todd Snyder + Champion Pocket Sweatshirt ($98)

Outerwear

First Layer Of Defense

Jackets and outerwear more generally have always been the more utility driven part of any guy’s outfit. Sure, you can make that same argument about all clothes (the utility of pants = you are not naked), but outerwear protects more than just your dignity – it protects your body from inclement rainy weather. Shucking off rain or snow is crucial if you want to live in a cold part of the country. Might as well do it in style.

Editor’s Pick: Aether Crosby

We have a soft spot for this brand. As evidenced by this jacket they have a real ability to combine technical features and serious insulation with great, city-ready design. Featuring a 3 layer wool exterior with 100 grams of PrimaLoft Gold insulation and a combination of weather and wind-resistant stitching – you’ll look both incredibly sharp and warm in this winter jacket.

Purchase: $825

Oxford: H&M Pima Oxford ($60)
Henley: Taylor Stitch Merino Henley ($98)
Flannel: Filson Scout Shirt ($115)
Short Sleeve: Bonobos Riviera Blue Field Shirt ($88)
Polo: Sunspel Riviera Cotton-Mesh Polo Shirt ($150)
Denim Shirt: Mott and Bow Denim Shirt ($90)

Shirts

Button Up And Dress Down

Save for those weekends where you want to play Cheeseburger in Paradise on repeat and slurp cocktails as alcoholic as they are refreshing – we are of the mind that your shirts (button up shirts, button down, short sleeve, henley, or plain tee) should be relatively straight-forward and not all too attention grabbing.

Editor’s Pick: Buck Mason Slub

When it comes to American-made basics there are few better than Buck Mason. The Los Angeles based brand’s simple black slub tee is a favorite in our office, and one that will simply never fail you whether on the job or out for happy hour.

Purchase: $28

Blue Jeans: Nudie Jeans Grim Tiga ($375)
Chinos: Bonobos Washed Chinos ($88)
Black Denim: Unbranded Brand UB104 ($82)

Bottoms

Essential Picks

Jeans and chinos. It is hard to go wrong with the two. They work well for the office or for weekends spent hanging around the house. The real trick? Finding a pair that fit really well. Everyone will have their different set of preferences – but so long as you know where to look in the first place we’re sure you’ll come across your perfect pair.

Editor’s Pick: Oliver’s Capital Short

City-bound east-coasters can often lead you to believe that a pair of shorts are somehow lesser than a pair of pants. Prove them wrong and give yourself a reason not to skip leg day by picking up a pair of our favorites from Olivers.

Purchase: $98

Suit: Suit Supply Napoli Navy Plain ($400)
Dress Shirt: Charbet White Royal Slim Fit Cotton Oxford ($545)

Formal Attire

Meet Wedding Season Prepared

Every guy needs a suit. Why? Because when a wedding invitation plops into your mailbox, an important meeting is scheduled, or you really want to go all-out on a date you shouldn’t have to feel like you need to run out to rent one. A great place to start is Suit Supply. Quality suits at affordable prices.

Editor’s Pick: A Day’s Casual Jacket

Blazers or sport-coats don’t just belong in the most formal of environments. If you get yourself something a bit less self-serious, you can easily throw it on for those in-between occasions where you don’t quite want to pull out the big guns.

Purchase: $185

Winter Boot: L.L.Bean Boot ($120)
Canvas Low Top: Vans for J.Crew ($60)
Chukka: Clarks Desert Boot ($130)
Wingtip Boot: Dalton Wingtip Dress Boots ($445)
Hiking Boot: Danner Mountain Light ($450)
Chelsea Boot: Common Projects Chelsea Boot Leather ($549)
Brogue: Thom Browne Pebble-Grain Leather Longwing Brogues ($690)

Shoes

From Sneakers To Brogues

Conventional wisdom tells us that you are only as comfortable as your feet. So then would it be fair to say that you only look as good as your shoes do? We think so. Whether it be a pair of casual sneakers or something a little more elevated like some leather boots or brogues – having a variety to choose from is always good.

Editor’s Pick: The Hill Side Deep Space High Tops

These all-black sneakers from The Hill-Side have us swooning. Manufactured in Japan from a MizuTech weatherproof cotton and featuring a high-traction outsole and rugged toe-cap, these may quite possibly be the ultimate sneakerboots.

Purchase: $265

Shampoo: Jack Black True Volume ($28)
Solid Cologne: Juniper Ridge Big Sur Trail Resin ($35)
Shaving Cream: Proraso Shaving Cream ($10)
Aftershave: Baxter of California Balm ($18)
Body Wash: Rudy’s No. 3 ($5)

Grooming

Clean Up Your Act

Style doesn’t stop at your threads. Taking care of your skin, your hair, and your body is just as important (if not more) than any other aspect of your appearance. Taking the time to find the perfect shaving cream, the right shampoo for your hair, and the ideal aftershave are all part and parcel of that effort.

Editor’s Pick: The Truman Razor

A great razor shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. Harry’s is a favorite among our staff, and is well worth the few bucks it costs. Not only will you save cash but you’ll look great.

Purchase: $9

Backpack: Heimplanet Monolith Minimal Daypack ($120)
Wallet: Bellroy Note Sleeve ($90)
Keychain: JBird Jumper Lanyard ($30)
Knife: The James Brand County Knife ($150)
Umbrella: Davek Solo Umbrella ($100)
Pen: Fisher Space Pen ($20)
Flashlight: Mecarmy Illuminex-3 ($40)

Everyday Carry

Make Your Carry Stronger

Upping your everyday carry with a quality folding knife, pen, and pack among other things is just as important as taking the time to pick out a solid pair of pants or good shirts. If you are going to use your tools everyday why not get some that you really care about?

Editor’s Pick: Jack Mason A102 Aviator Chronograph

Watches speak to different people for different reasons. For Jack Mason’s A102 Aviator, what stands out to us most is the way the blue face contrasts with the leather band. Something about the combination is really striking. Especially because it is paired with a supremely capable quartz chronograph movement and bright Super Luminova markings for easy reading in low light – the wristwatch is hard to resist.

Purchase: $275

Skullcap: Thursday’s Finest Bushwick ($45)
Gloves: Deerskin Cashmere Lined Gloves ($298)
Hidden Socks: Marcoliani Socks ($20)
Dress Socks: Etro Floral Patterned Cotton Socks ($60)
Scarf: The Workers Club Merino Scarf ($180)
Sunglasses: GLCO Hampton 46 Round Frame ($340)
Ball Cap: Ebbets Field Brown Wool Cap ($48)

Accessories

The Final Touch

It is hard to talk about ‘accessories’ without sounding a bit precious. But we can’t quite find a better word for the pieces you add-on to any outfit. Whether a pair of great sunglasses, a hat, or scarf – a small addition can go a long way to enhancing your clothing.

Editor’s Pick: Anderson’s Woven Belt

We want to end out this list by lobbying for the woven belt. When was the last time you saw anyone wearing one of these? For us, at least, the answer is ‘a very long time’. We’d like to change that. Not only are they forgiving for when you have a couple extra doughnuts at the staff meeting, but they have a light and summery vibe to them.

Purchase: $175

Open Tabs: 15 Best Online Shops For Men

Ok. So now you have an idea of what you want to throw in your rotation. Now what? If you don’t have some good local shops to drop in on (or even if you do) we put together a list of the best online shops for men for you to peruse through.

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