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Wardrobe Essentials for Men

Updated on May 20, 2012

Starting a professional wardrobe can be a bit daunting. What pieces do you really need in your closet? Here are ten essentials that every man should have in his closet. It’s worth spending a little more on these items because they won't go out of style and you'll have them around a long time.

This list seems incredibly boring at first look, but these pieces are men’s wardrobe staples. You can add other, more fun items to them to give them a bit more life.


White Button-Down Shirt

Nothing is more classic than a white, collared shirt. This is a necessity in any man’s wardrobe. It can be worn to formal occasions or with khakis. White dress shirts are sharp and look good on everybody.


Get a suit in black or navy. This will be able to take you to the most conservative business meetings. It will also work well for any formal occasion. Invest in good quality--a well-made suit can last decades. It’s also worthwhile to take it to the tailor to get the perfect fit!


Because a blazer is timeless and versatile, it is a wardrobe essential for men. A blazer or tweed jacket can easily pull together a look. You can wear this over jeans and khakis. Navy is a good choice.

Polo Shirt

Polo shirts are great for semi-casual events. They are comfortable, but still look put-together. Colors or stripes are great, but don't go for anything too loud (at least not until you have all your basic wardrobe essentials).


These are great for casual wear, but look a little more polished than jeans. You can also dress them up with a blazer.


No explanation necessary here. These are the workhorse of your wardrobe, and easy to wear. Get a pair that fit well and have a darker wash. These will be easier to dress up with a collared shirt and dress shoes.


Conservative Tie

This is a necessity for job interviews, business meetings, weddings, and fancy nights out. A conservative tie will be easy to coordinate with and will be adaptable to many different occasions. Go for a solid color or a simple diagonal stripe.


An overcoat can pull together an outfit and keep you warm. It does not necessarily have to be a long coat, but just a bit longer than your suit jacket or blazer. You can also wear this over more casual clothes. Black or charcoal will probably be the most versatile colors. Choose a fabric that is suitable for your climate. An overcoat is another piece where it’s worth spending a little extra for better quality.


Black Shoes

Wear these to polish any look. Black tends to be a little more versatile than brown since you can also wear them to formal occasions. These are an essential wardrobe item since they can be worn for nearly every dressy occasion.

Black Belt

A black belt is another necessity in your basic wardrobe. Like your dress shoes, your belt is more versatile in black than in brown.


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