Fashion

12 Timeless Essentials Men Need for a Complete Wardrobe

First impressions matter.

And often, people take visual cues to determine your trustworthiness and intentions.

While you may disagree, your appearance sends a strong message. How you present yourself to those around you, whether it’s strangers, coworkers, or acquaintances, starts with what you wear.

Take a cue from discerning female shoppers into classics like Gucci.

Avoid the cyclical trends in fashion and spend the right message with these timeless menswear essentials.

A few requirements of a long-lasting wardrobe include crisp white shirts, slim fit jeans, and men’s designer suits.

Learn more about the essentials men need at Gear Supply Company.

Ready to update your look and wardrobe? Here are the 12 clothing and accessories essentials every man should have in their closet.

men's wardrobe essentials

Socks and undergarments

It doesn’t get much more essential than socks and undergarments.

The essential building blocks of any outfit, these base layers will form the foundation of any outfit.

Socks, in particular, can add flair, and give your look a seasonal update, helping you look stylish no matter your attire.

While these wardrobe staples speak for themselves, consider refreshing them every six months or so.

The white t-shirt

Once the foundation pieces above are in place, it’s time to consider a must-have in any man’s closet: the white tee. A white t-shirt is more than just an article of clothing.

The white tee is the perfect canvas for any guy to build an outfit from.

Few staples are as timeless, yet functional as the right white t-shirt and a pair of jeans.

The white tee can also be dressed up with a tailored navy suit and a pair of low-top white leather sneakers.

Whether you want a relaxed, elevated look or the perfect picnic apparel, the white t-shirt is a brilliant addition to most outfits.

Throw in a selection of grey, navy, and black t-shirts to keep a variety of these basics all year-round.

The collared shirt

When the occasion calls for something a little more sophisticated, say, the first date, then an investment-worthy collared shirt is a must.

A white Oxford shirt is a sartorial safety blanket.

It’s an easy style upgrade for men looking to keep things casual-cool yet dressed up when the situation requires it.

Dress up with chinos or jeans and consider getting a blue Oxford shirt as well to allow for versatility.

If the Oxford cloth just won’t do, think office attire — consider a crisp white or pale blue button-down shirt. Both are essential workday items.

Versatile enough to be easily worn with a suit or with a pair of slim chinos and statement socks for a more casual look.

The crew neck sweater

When colder days call for something warmer, opt for a cotton crew neck.

A fall and winter favorite, the crew neck sweater is adaptive to any occasion. The crew neck sweater is the ideal transitional piece in your closet.

It can be the finishing layer to a cooler weather casual look or a cozy layer to a winterized suit.

What’s more, the crew neck sweater comes in a variety of fabrics, from luxurious cashmere to studier wool.

The polo shirt

The polo shirt is a warm-weather wardrobe essential.

Not only is the polo shirt a classic summer look, but it’s also a great addition to any smart-casual outfit.

There are many types of polo shirts — from the solid bright colored polo and the subtle contrast tip collar polo to the patterned polo.

What’s important when it comes to polo shirts is to have a curated selection of polo favorites that can translate from work to weekend.

While not strictly a polo shirt, the Henley shirt is the polo shirt’s closely-related long-sleeved cousin.

A collarless pullover shirt, the Henley adds a dose of maturity to any style.

Whether it’s a suit, dressier vest, or a pair of patterned trousers, the Henley shirt adds stylish visual interest.

Dark rinse jeans

Like the white tee, denim is an effortless wardrobe staple. Every guy owns a pair of jeans, but not all guys own the right pair.

The only type of jeans you need in your closet is a pair of dark wash, straight (or slim) leg jeans.

Not only does this silhouette complement most body types, but they’re also color-appropriate for most occasions, from office casual to weekend get-togethers.

They can be dressed up with a blazer or kept simple with a clean white tee and sneakers.

If you want something edgier than a deep, saturated blue, consider black jeans. Black jeans allow for a more contrasting look not available with dark wash blue jeans.

Chino pants

A pair of slim chinos is the middle ground between casual denim to work attire dress pants.

Chinos are the antidote for that versatile, yet casual-cool look.

They’re easy to dress, looking brilliant with a white dress shirt and a navy blazer or complementing an oxford cloth button-down and white leather sneakers for a simple aesthetic.

Chinos come in a variety of colors, adding visual interest no matter the season or the occasion.

Jogger pants

The more sophisticated version of the classic sweatpants, the jogger pants are comfy casual and stylishly chic.

The rise of athleisure wear means jogger pants are a fresh and modern addition to the modern man’s wardrobe.

While associated with a more casual look, jogger pants can still look fully grown-up when paired with a button-down shirt (think chambray or oxford) or soft, unstructured blazer and minimalist white sneakers.

Tailored suit

No outfit in any man’s closet is as well put-together as a tailored suit. A tailored suit is an important element in the modern man’s wardrobe.

When tastefully executed, a well-made tailored suit will imbue you with a sense of confidence not found with any other type of outfit or attire.

While an off-the-rack suit is certainly accessible, a bespoke tailored suit will feel and fit better, be made of better material, last a lifetime, and will feel more “you.”

If you can only splurge on one tailored suit, make it a navy blue suit. It is the foundation suit for the modern man.

Sneakers

Like clothing, footwear is a personal style choice.

But, it’s hard to argue that sneakers are having their moment with no sign of slowing down. Particularly, men’s signature sneakers like a cult favorite, Adidas shoes.

From the latest styles to essential icons, sneakers add a dynamic statement piece to your outfit.

Looking for a pair of sneakers that toe the line between trendy and timeless? For a more elevated look, opt for a pair of low top white leather sneakers.

Canvas sneakers, on the other hand, are casual mainstays for those off-duty casual days.

men's wardrobe essentials
Photo by Terje Sollie from Pexels

Boots

Boots are so versatile they transcend trendiness.

They are a must for every man’s closet. As they are the classic casual footwear staple for any guy, boots can add timeless style getting you from work to weekend with stylish ease.

Be it suede Chelsea boots or brown leather lace-up boots or rugged chukkas, boots keep things looking deceivingly casual while still dressed up.

Lace-ups

Lace-ups are an amalgamation of several formal low-cut footwear.

These can include anything from oxfords, wingtips, cap-toe shoes, derby, and brogues. Because they come in a variety of styles and materials, lace-up dress shoes give your wardrobe a polished, elegant look.

If you’re starting from scratch with lace-ups, start with black. Black dress shoes are appropriate for many outfits and can be worn for most occasions.

So, if you’re building up your wardrobe, keep these in mind. These wardrobe essentials will help keep you looking relevant, trend after trend.

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