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The Wardrobe Essentials Every Man Should Have

Best Mens Wardrobe Essentials 0 Hero

One of the confounding things about style is that there is no real straightforward 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 rein to wear a dress shirt with a pair of cargo shorts and thong sandals. To help guide you through what we think are some of the essentials for any guy’s style arsenal, we put together a list of the best men’s wardrobe essentials.

Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Breakdown

Our selection

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. For our selection, we’ve gathered a collection of timeless and versatile style picks that can elevate any man’s wardrobe. And after years of collective experience in the style space, we’re well aware of the brands that not only make stylish apparel, but also have a track record of reliability and good reputation.

Ralph Lauren Cotton Chino Baseball Cap

Ralph Lauren Cotton Chino Baseball Cap
Why it Made the Cut
  • A baseball cap is one of the most iconic pieces of men’s headwear, and this offering from Ralph Lauren is sleek and versatile.

Best Baseball Cap: This Ralph Lauren cap’s simple embroidered polo player is one of those classic logos that elevates any garment you see it on. This chino baseball cap comes in one size and features an adjustable strap on the back. It also comes in five different colors, so you can get a look that fits your style.

Material: 100% cotton
Sizes: One size

Carhartt Midweight Crewneck

Carharrt Midweight Crewneck
Why it Made the Cut
  • We all need a good sweatshirt, and Carhartt’s apparel is always durable, reliable, and stylish.

Best Sweatshirt: The Detroit heritage brand‘s crewneck is super comfortable, featuring a loose-fitting design, but still keeps the wind at bay thanks to its rib-knit cuffs and its spandex reinforcement. It’s constructed with a midweight cotton/polyester blend, and finished with the label’s classic logo sewn above the hem.

Material: 50% cotton, 50% polyester
Weight: 10.5 oz

Buck Mason Slub Curved Hem Tee

Buck Mason Slub Curved Hem Tee
Why it Made the Cut
  • This tee from Buck Mason is one of the comfiest and most durable options on the market, with a lived-in look and feel to top it all off.

Best T-Shirt: The Slub Curved Hem Tee from this L.A.-bred boutique is as comfortable as a t-shirt can get and has plenty of famous and non-famous fans alike. It’s made with a breathable cotton jersey fabric and features a curved hem for optimized freedom of movement and a flattering fit. Lastly, it’s finished off with a slub texture and then garment-dyed for a lived-in look.

Material: 100% cotton
Fit: Regular

Mack Weldon Ace Sweatshort

Mack Weldon Ace Sweatshort
Why it Made the Cut
  • While you may not be hitting the town with these, a pair of comofrtable and easy-to-wear sweat shorts is super convenient for WFH and hanging around the house.

Best Sweatshorts: The Ace Sweatshort features French terry fabric and super soft construction. And as athletic-minded shorts, they give you more range of motion and reduce swear. You’re also getting extra deep pockets for security and a drawstring in front for extra comfort and support.

Material: 95% cotton, 5% stretch
Fit: Tailored

Levi’s 501s

Levis 501s
Why it Made the Cut
  • As the original pair of blue jeans, these are some of the most iconic jeans in existence, and just as durable as they were all those years ago.

Best Jeans: These are about as classic as classic gets, and every man should own at least one pair. The Levi’s 501s have over a century of history in the menswear scene, and they’re still just as durable and stylish as they were all those years ago. They’re made entirely of 100% cotton denim, and come in Levi’s signature straight fit.

Material: 100% cotton
Leg: 501
Fit: Original fit

Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage

Nike Blazer Mid 77 Vintage
Why it Made the Cut
  • A good pair of sneakers can take you a lot of places (and complement a variety of outfits), espcially when it’s a timeless silhouette from the legendary Nike.

Best Sneakers: First appearing all the way back in the early ‘70s, the Nike Blazer Mid sneakers boast a sleek, old-school design with that classic swoosh logo and comfortable outsoles fused to the uppers. These shoes are perfect for casual days, but with excellent ankle support, you can still take on a few obstacles with these kicks on your feet.

Upper: Leather, synthetic
Outsole: Rubber

Dior Homme

Dior Homme
Why it Made the Cut
  • A solid fragrance can make a world of difference when it comes to your style, and you can always trust Dior to come through with something sophisticated and classic.

Best Fragrance: Every man needs at least one fragrance in their grooming arsenal, and here we have an absolute classic pick from one of the most legendary designers in the game. Dior Homme’s flagship scent features black pepper top notes, which eventually turn floral thanks to the light, Turkish iris heart note.

Strength: EDT
Top Notes: Bergamot, pink pepper, and elemi
Heart Notes: Cashmere wood, atlas cedar, and patchouli
Base Notes: Haitian vetiver and white musk

Alex Mill Standard Pleated Pant in Chino

Alex Mill Standard Pleated Pant in Chino
Why it Made the Cut
  • Chinos can easily be dressed up for a formal look, and Alex Mill’s essentials are always high-quality.

Best Chinos: Made of sturdy midweight cotton and a touch of elastase, these chinos from Alex Mill provide a great range of motion thanks to the gusseted crotch and the relaxed fit. The label also accounts for men who have a tough time finding the right size online, with pants available in regular and long lengths, along with a thorough size guide on the website. 

Cut: Relaxed-fit
Fabric: 98% cotton, 2% elastane
Pleats vs. Flat-Front: Pleats

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt

Filson Alaskan Guide Shirt
Why it Made the Cut
  • As one of our favorite flannels from the legendary Filson, this top is durable, stylish, and ready for fall.

Best Flannel: This Seattle-based brand has been a staple in the outdoor industry since 1897, and its iconic Alaskan Guide Shirt has been worn by outdoorsmen for decades. That’s because they know the flannel’s 8 oz. cotton fabric and tight 2-ply x 2-ply weave will keep them warm and protected from the wind while remaining mobile enough to allow them to get their work done without slowing them down.

Material: 8oz of cotton flannel
Fit: Relaxed

Taylor Stitch The Crawford Sweater

Taylor Stitch The Crawford Sweater 1
Why it Made the Cut
  • Taylor Stitch crafts men’s essentials with care, and this soft sweater is no exception.

Best Sweater: The California-based label Taylor Stitch has perfected the classics, which you can see in The Crawford Sweater. In partnership with The Better Cotton Initiative (a non-profit working to reduce the impact cotton production has on the environment), The Crawford Sweater is made with 100% BCI cotton, features a shawl collar, and is finished with dark horn buttons.

Material: 100% BCI cotton
Fit: Traditional

Gitman Vintage Oxford

Gitman Vintage Oxford
Why it Made the Cut
  • Since the ’70s, Gitman has been crafting dress shirts like this right here in the States, and they’re always high-quality.

Best Dress Shirt: Gitman knows a thing or two about Oxford shirts, as they’ve been making them since 1978. What you get with these premium shirts is a button-down that has every detail poured over, with a rotating selection of fabrics each season they drop. From the unlined collar and cuffs to the spacing of the buttons and the quality of the soft fabric, you really can’t go wrong. 

Material: 100% cotton
Fit: Standard

G.H.Bass Larson Lug Weejuns Penny Loafers

GH Bass Larson Lug Weejuns Penny Loafers
Why it Made the Cut
  • Loafers are some of the most versatile shoes you can get, and G.H.Bass is an undisputed legend in the space.

Best Dress Shoes: The easy-going design of these classic Weejuns makes it incredibly easy to slip on and off, while still giving you a professional look. For added comfort, the shoe comes with a leather sock liner, timeless mod stitching, and a lugged cushioned outsole, making it just as stylish as it is comfortable. 

Material: Leather
Style: Penny
Details: Lug sole

Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer

RayBan Original Wayfarer
Why it Made the Cut
  • These are some of the most iconic sunglasses ever, with a style that spans decades.

Best Sunglasses: A truly timeless pick popular among celebrities and classic cool guys like Bob Dylan and James Dean, these shades are truly in a league of their own, and will never go out of style. And they come with the option to add a variety of lens treatments, so you can get a custom look that fits your style.

Polarized: Add-on
UV Protection: Add-on

The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket

The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse Jacket
Why it Made the Cut
  • When it comes to cold-weather essentials, The North Face is second to none, and this retro jacket is just as stylish as it is funcitional.

Best Puffer: The North Face 1996 Retro Nuptse is a redesign of a classic jacket that’s always in fashion. The detachable hood can be stowed away inside its collar, and the whole thing can be easily stowed away in the hand pocket. You’re getting 700-fill goose down for warmth, and a 100% recycled nylon ripstop body.

Material: 100% recycled nylon ripstop body, goose down filling
Fill: 700
Features: Water-resistant

Schott NYC Classic Melton Peacoat

Schott NYC Classic Melton Peacoat
Why it Made the Cut
  • A solid peacoat not only provides warmth, but versatile style for both formal and casual outfits.

Best Peacoat: You may know Schott NYC for its jackets, but the label’s Melton wool peacoat is just as impressive. It features a 32-ounce wool construction, a quilted interior lining, and military-inspired anchor buttons. It also comes with a vented back, two interior chest pockets, and hand warmer pockets, with a design that’s pretty faithful to the old-school model.

Material: 80% Melton wool, 20% nylon
Fit: Not listed

J.Crew Ludlow Legacy Blazer

J Crew Ludlow Legacy blazer
Why it Made the Cut
  • A good blazer is essential for a formal outfit, and J.Crew’s slim-fit offering is made with Italian fabric.

Best Blazer: J. Crew’s Suit Shop has a variety of high-quality picks, and you can’t go wrong with almost everything they have on offer. This slim-fit blazer is one of the label’s more casual pieces, but is versatile enough for any professional setting. It’s made with 100% wool sourced from Vitale Barberis Canonico, an Italian family crafting high-quality fabrics since 1663.

Material: 100% wool
Fit: Slim
Lining: Partial

Golden Bear The Ashbury

Why it Made the Cut
  • Leather jackets are some of the most classic pieces when it comes to menswear, and Golden Bear has been perfecting them for a century.

Best Leather Jacket: This San Francisco-based label has been making high-quality jackets for a century, and this black naked cowhide leather jacket is one of the brand’s best. The Ashbury features a knit collar, cuffs, and waistband, with a casual silhouette resulting in a modern fit and look. You’re also getting double besom lower slash pockets, Pepper Chambray body lining, black satin sleeve lining, and a government black YKK zipper.

Material: Leather
Fit: Relaxed

The Best Online Clothing Stores You Should Know

Best Online Mens Clothing Stores 0 Hero

If you’re interested in expanding your wardrobe even more (and from the comfort of your laptop), then head on over to our best online clothing stores guide.