What do the best-dressed men in the world all have in common? We’ll answer that for you: They all have a solid wardrobe centered around a few hardworking pieces. From sport jackets to performance polo shirts, stocking your closet with the right menswear items can make dressing well so much easier.
Unfortunately, the most essential menswear items typically come with a higher price tag. But hey, we’d argue that they’re worth splurging on given that they’re doing the lion’s share of the work in your clothing rotation.
With that in mind, here are seven pieces that you won’t regret shelling out for.
The Performance Polo Shirt
Functional, fashionable and classic, the performance polo shirt is a must-have menswear item that every man should own with pride. This classic top can be worn by men of any age and effortlessly transitions from business professional to weekend casual in a pinch.
When it comes to rocking a polo shirt, the fit is everything-get it wrong, and you’ll probably end up being mistaken for a Target store employee. Just make sure the sleeves are snug without rubbing uncomfortably against your skin and the body is slim-fitting (but not too tight). Nail the fit, and you’ll be well on your way to Best Dressed.
The Stylish Sport Jacket
There are few style staples that are better suited (pun intended) to a business casual environment quite as much as a sports jacket. Versatile, sharp and masculine, this timeless classic is the key to navigating unclear dress codes with ease.
When well-executed, wearing a sport jacket can elevate your style tenfold. Best of all, it doesn’t take much to pull off the look; Pair it with dark wash blue jeans and a performance polo shirt for a smart-casual vibe or send it into business professional range by pairing it with navy or khaki chino pants and dress shoes.
The Trusty Button-Down
Apart from maybe the polo shirt, you’d be hard-pressed to find a men’s top more deserving of a place in your wardrobe than the button-down shirt. From acing presentations at work to impressing your date, this trusty style staple can always be counted on to make you look sharp.
To nail your office attire, wear a button-down shirt with chino pants and pair it with your sport jacket. On the weekends, you can dress down your look by pairing a button-down shirt with a nice pair of men’s shorts and boat shoes.
If you live in a hot climate, be sure to grab a few cooling shirts to help you beat the summer heat. With moisture-wicking fabric and cooling mineral technology, these shirts will get you through any stressful meeting or hot summer day sans nasty sweat.
The Braided Belt
Ideally, you should have several belts in your closet. However, there is one belt style that you’ll probably use the most due to its casual nature. We’re talking specifically about the braided belt.
Combining both function and fashion, wearing a men’s braided belt can pull your casual look together while keeping your pants securely in place like a belt was made to do. And since this belt is firmly in the casual territory, you don’t need to worry about matching your belt to your shoes.
The Brown Brogue
Again, there are a handful of shoe styles that every man should have in his wardrobe (chukkas, white canvas sneakers, etc.). But if there is one shoe style that you don’t want to skimp on, it’s the brown brogue.
Characterized by their low heel and unique perforations along the edges, the brogue is an iconic and timeless footwear style. Its true power—like every other item on this list—lies in its incredible versatility.
The brown brogue can be worn with jeans, chino pants and tailored trousers for business casual or smart casual occasions. Want to kick your style up a few notches? Try wearing your brogues with cuffed chinos to show a hint of the ankle and pair the look with a snazzy blazer.
The Classic Blue Jean
Blue jeans are one of the most popular and iconic styles a guy can own. However, not all styles and washes are created equal.
Hands down, dark wash jeans are the best in terms of versatility. Unlike light wash jeans, which are generally frowned upon for office attire, you can easily dress up a pair of dark wash jeans for a sleek, work-ready look by adding a sport shirt and sports jacket.
While we’re on the subject of superior jean styles, we recommend opting for a straight leg jean with a small amount of stretch. This style is flattering, timeless and can easily be rolled up if you feel like trying the sockless look.
The Perfect Bomber Jacket
It’s a simple fact that every man needs a lightweight jacket. Not convinced? Just try on a quality-made bomber jacket that fits like a charm and we promise you won’t ever look back.
Why a bomber jacket? It’s simple: Bomber jackets are the Goldilocks of lightweight men’s jackets. Not only do they look great on all body types, but they can also be dressed up or down to fit any setting.
Best of all, you can find stylish bomber jackets in just about every material and color imaginable. But keep in mind that while statement bomber jackets come and go, classic versions in neutral hues (think gray and beige) will be forever in fashion.
Deciding which menswear essentials are worth the investment can be tricky. You don’t want to splurge on the wrong clothing item and regret your decision later—essentially, experiencing the opposite of FOMO.
The best way to prevent this problem is by splurging on menswear essentials that have proven their staying power. With these seven pieces, you can rest easy knowing that your money has been well spent.