Wardrobe Staples Every Guy Should Own
1. White undershirts. Black, navy blue, and light grey undershirts are also appropriate, but at least a couple white ones are recommended. These should always be worn under polo shirts and button downs. An undershirt peaking out from whatever you’re wearing is actually pretty masculine, and it also serves to square out your figure and help conceal your chest. These can be purchased seriously anywhere that sells clothes, so your brand choice depends on what’s in your price range and what you find comfortable.
2. Two belts- one black, one brown (or, better yet, a reversible belt like this one from the Gap). You need to wear a belt every time you tuck your shirt into your pants. If you’re wearing dress pants, it needs to be a dress belt (these are generally thinner and shinier than casual belts). Your belt should match your shoes (this rule is mostly only applicable to dress shoes).
3. Two button down shirts-one white, one light blue. The white shirt can be dressed up with a suit and/or tie for funerals, weddings, and other formal occasions or dressed down with nice jeans for a first date. The blue shirt is also good for dates and other somewhat casual events, but also for job interviews and conferences (with a tie, of course). These can be bought almost anywhere, but if you’re a smaller guy you should probably look for stores that carry extra-smalls like American Eagle. Fit is very important, you need to make sure you don’t look like you’re wearing your father’s clothes. Patterned button downs are also good casual or business casual wear-verticle stripes and small checks are the most versatile patterns.
4. A tie. A solid black tie is good for weddings or funerals, striped or patterned ties are good for job interviews and work. Narrower ties are good for skinny or short guys. Chances are you will need to wear a tie, regardless of what stage of life you’re in. If you’re living openly as male, you should wear one to most formal events.
5. At least 1 pair of dress shoes, 1 pair of gym shoes, and 1 pair of casual/everyday shoes. These are three SEPARATE pairs of shoes, and never shall the three cross. Your dress shoes should be black or brown leather (or faux leather). Keep in mind that you should avoid wearing brown with black, so pick your shoe color based on what colors you generally wear. Your gym shoes are for working out and should be comfortable. Color and attractiveness don’t really matter (some good brands to look at are New Balance, Nike, or Adidas). Your casual/everyday shoes really depend on your overall style and age, but you should avoid anything that looks like it belongs in the gym. Personally I wear fairly clunky leather boots in the winter and converse or vans the rest of the year.
6. A sweater or hoodie. Which you choose depends on your age. In general hoodies are for guys who are college age or younger (and guys who are out of high school should generally opt for a solid color hoodie or one that says the name of their university). Whichever you choose, these are important layering pieces that every guy should own. My favorite hoodie is my go-to outer layer almost every single day in the fall and early spring.