20 Things Every Man Should Have in His Wardrobe

The essential building blocks of your personal style.
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The list of basic essentials that should constitute the wardrobe of every stylish man is not particularly long. From simple (yet high quality) shirts, to perfectly cut chinos, to the one suit you have no excuse not to own; here, we've selected the 20 basics that should form the foundation of any successful wardrobe.

1| A White Button Down Shirt

There's very little that won't go with a button down shirt. Worn with a suit for a more casual look, under a crew neck jumper at the weekend or teamed with a pair of slim chinos and a statement belt, this is the most versatile item in your wardrobe. Opt for a shirt cut from thick, soft cotton. 

2| A Pale Blue Shirt

An essential workaday item, this. Wear with a beige, gray, or navy suit, a tie in a darker shade of blue and wait patiently for your promotion.


3| A White Grandad Collared Shirt

A good, modern option if you don't feel like wearing a tie, a white granddad shirt looks the business teamed with a deconstructed blazer and jeans or worn smart with your suit. 

4| A Navy Blue Crewneck Jumper

Ok, we did say that the white button down shirt is the most versatile item in your wardrobe, but a cotton mix crew neck in an adaptable shade of navy can be worn with pretty much everything, and will act as a layer in winter and a feature piece in summer. Faultless. 

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5| Slim Navy Chinos

A good alternative to jeans and great if you don't want to wear suit trousers, a slim pair of navy chinos is ideal for summer or winter. Wear with a shirt, shirt and jacket, t-shirt, t-shirt and bomberthe options are endless.

6| Wool-Flannel Trousers

Worn with a white shirt or tucked in Tee with a crewneck jumper or navy blazer over the top, a pair of gray flannel trousers are the ideal bridge between casual and formal.


7| Petrol Blue Suit

If you wear a suit to work (and even if you don't) you should always own more than one. A petrol blue, single-breasted option is a great place to start.

8| Denim Jacket

The denim jacket, it's easier to wear than you think, worn under an unlined navy blazer, worn over a loopback sweatshirt or simple tee, or even worn with a pair of jeans in a different hue, the look you should go for is casual, but in control.


9| Brown Suede Chelsea Boots

Understated, chic and as easy to wear with smarter looks as they are with jeans, a good pair of Chelsea boots is a year round essential. And, even better, no more laces!

10| Simple Sneakers

These speak for themselves. Opt for white and wear yours in a few times. The more bashed up they are, the better they'll look. 


11| Tan Derbies

Brilliant with navy and just as good with gray, a pair of tan derbies works as well with denim as it will with more traditional tailoring.

12| Oxblood Penny Loafers

Team these classic loafers with some cropped, slim chinos (like the blue ones in this list) and invest in some invisible socks to prevent unpleasant smells.


13| A Pair Of Black Lace-Ups

Every man needs a pair of chic black lace-ups. They're simple enough to be worn with a suit, while the elegant shape means that they can just as easily be worn with a tux. Wear with jeans at your peril.

14| Slim Indigo Selvedge Jeans

A good pair of jeans should be slim, but not too tight, stiff but not so stiff that you can't bend your legs and they should also be blue, naturally. A pair of classic dark selvedge denim tick all those boxes and then some. 


15| A Good Quality White T-shirt

Because this will go with everything you own. Just be sure to invest in something cut from high quality cotton. Not only will an expensive fabric feel better against your skin, anything sub-par will suffer at the hands of your washing machine. 

16| A Good Quality Navy T-Shirt

Because it's nice to wear something other than white, and this will look chic worn under a simple blazer in a neutral shade, like this Sunspel number, for instance.


17| A Beige Trench

This probably won't fly on an ordinary day in our climate, but it's good to have one reliable piece of outerwear you can take to colder countries. It would also serve you well during the local rainy season, as that was one of its original purposes.

18| A Light Bomber

An outer layer that looks good on everyone, invest in a simple, slim cut in a dark shade of cotton or light technical fabric.


19| A Navy Blazer

A navy blazer is the perfect piece of transition tailoring. For the colder months go for a darker shade in brushed cotton.

20| A Pair of Wayfarers

The frames that suit every face, a pair of classic black Wayfarers should be the foundation of your sunglasses collection (what do you mean you don't have one?), helping you stay sharp and squint-free whatever the season.

How to Build a Classic Men's Wardrobe?

The essential white shirt, the jean jacket, the penny loafer, the bomber—you don't need a whole lot of stuff nor a suite of complicated pieces to build a wardrobe that works every day and, with care, forever. What's most important to remember is to choose pieces that transcend the fickleness of trends. Note, for example, how the navy jacket remains largely unchanged throughout the decades. Maybe its just a bit trimmer or softer now, but its still feels similar to the one that your father or even your grandfather wore way back when. That's what we mean when we say choose something classic.


This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Teo van den Broeke
Teo van den Broeke is the Style Director for
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