Men have been led astray by the fashion industry, celebrities and prevailing trends for years now. We’ve been told to buy this, that or the other thing, only to find out we don’t have what we really need, and that we have what we don’t. That said, we’ve put together a quick list of four basic style pieces that should be essentials in every man’s wardrobe, and ones you should also consider investing some real cash into. These are the things you want to keep with you for decades and will give you years of style.
A real suit
An absolutely critical part of the men’s wardrobe, this is the men’s equivalent of the little black dress. You can wear it almost anywhere, and is even more versatile than most women’s clothing in that you can wear it on a date or a job interview, and nobody will bat an eyelid. That’s why you should consider putting some real cash into it—versatility. Pick up something in a charcoal or very dark navy blue, and get it tailored to fit you. You don’t need to go so far as to order a completely custom-made or bespoke suit, but just a few little touches here and there can make even the most basic off-the-rack suit look stunning. That’s a small investment for something you’ll keep wearing for a lifetime.
A great pair of dress shoes
Just like a suit, the right dress shoes are something you can wear almost anywhere and at any time. For the more unimaginative among you, they can become a reliable office option, and formal dinner standby. For those guys looking to go a bit more daring, they can be paired with casual wear, to give you a bit of a daring, mixed-medium look. Most importantly, a truly good pair of dress shoes can be repaired, resoled and worn again, and again, and again over decades. Styles that never go out of fashion are pointed-toe Oxfords, suede bucks and wing tips. Also consider a double monk strap, if you love that dandy look.
A tough pair of jeans
What do most guys wear, if it’s too cold out for trousers and they want to look good. Jeans. It’s a no brainer. So why shouldn’t you own a decent pair of them? We’ve seen top quality jeans go for as little as $90 if you know where to look, but really great jeans should be tough, of a decent denim weight and fit you in a classic, unpretentious way. Cheap jeans will wear out faster than your eighth grade hoodie. However, if you drop around $200-300 on a quality pair, you’ll even be able to wear them every single day. Look for words like “selvedge” and “dry”—or untreated—denim. Naked & Famous has a great selection of denim and fits if you’re looking for the last pair of jeans you’ll need to buy for the next decade—you can take founder Brandon Svarc’s word for it.
We’re getting into some real money here, because watches are the ones that can really set your wallet back. You don’t need to go into ridiculous spending habits, picking up Rolexes and Hublots that cost as much as a Mercedes—but you should do some research, and be prepared to shell out a bit of change. We’re looking for watches with a reputation for reliability and durability. Both of those generally mean Swiss, though Japanese watches also enter the equation. Whatever you buy, don’t be afraid to splash a bit of the cash—these are things you’ll be handing down to your kids. The barrier for entry for a real man’s watch is around $500-800, so treat yourself come Christmas (and seriously, no metal mesh bands).