clothing essentials for every man’s wardrobe


Fashion is a fickle thing. Seasons change, trends flux and what’s “in” one day is “out” the next. Style, however, is a different matter. The key to great style? A reliable selection of clothing essentials that make for a firm foundation to build on with those pesky, oh-so-undependable trends.

Despite the cyclical trends in fashion, certain men’s clothing essentials – a pale blue button-down shirt, dark indigo jeans or a pair of box-fresh white tennis shoes – will always keep you looking fresh, no matter the time of year. And when the time comes to layer up with trend-dictated details such as a puffer vest or sleeveless sweater, it’s of intrinsic importance that you have a dependable starting point — say, a faithful dress shirt — for your timely runway-ready ensembles.

That said, selecting said basics is no mean feat. There’s a difference between a thin, uncomfortable white T-shirt and a midweight option that’s perfectly cut to flatter your shape. Here to remove the brow-furrowing think work from the equation, we at GQ have hand-selected the 32 key men’s clothing essentials that’ll keep your wardrobe sharp, whatever the occasion. You can thank us later…

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A selection of white T-shirts

Once championed by Marlon Brando and Kurt Cobain, the white T-shirt‘s staying power has been exhibited by Harry StylesDavid Beckham and Robert Pattinson in more recent times, to name just a few. It’s not difficult to see why. The humble white tee is fashion’s safest bet, worn under a suit or with a pair of jeans in any colour. Something with a crewneck in a mid-weight should be a go-to for your everyday uniform.

A sturdy leather wallet

Ever heard the old adage that you can tell a lot from a man by his shoes? We reckon the same can be said for his wallet, so it’s best to invest wisely. An oft-overlooked part of our every day, most of us are walking around with either a battered wallet that began as a gift or an impulsively-purchased newer model that was only added to the rotation because its predecessor fell to pieces. Well, no more. Now’s the time to make a considered wallet selection, and we have just the trio to choose from.

A short sleeve shirt

Don’t confuse short-sleeve shirts for garish Hawaiian monstrosities. While there’s a time and a place for these so-called party shirts, many shirts that go short on their sleeves come in versatile neutral hues and are, for obvious reasons, a lighter and more fitted choice. Go for a short-sleeve shirt with a Cuban collar and you’ll have yourself a piece that looks as good buttoned up as it does undone with a white T-shirt underneath.

A Knitted Polo

Few wardrobe additions sit so nicely in the smart-casual space as the knitted polo. Tucked into a pair of pleated trousers or simply worn with your go-to jeans, the knitted polo has become office and date night uniform for many a well-dressed man, and while a finer knit sans buttons will breathe some refinement into your ‘fits, Percival is mustering something of a monopoly on the piece with myriad incarnations of its button-down signature.

A white dress shirt

Invest a bit of extra money into a classic white work shirt and you’ll reap the rewards. Among the best dress shirts that aren’t custom-made can be found at Reiss and Prada, ideally worn with a tie, rather than open-necked. Alternatively, for a more modern take, Cos is a safe bet for crisp minimalism done right.

A plain, slouchy hoodie

No off-duty look is complete without a louche, laid-back hoodie. A go-to in the transitional seasons and even for layering under more tailored jackets in the winter months, celebrity style icons are favouring plainer, subtly branded designs, with sustainably-minded emerging brands like Pangaia proving particularly popular among the likes of Tom Holland and Harry Styles. For a slightly edgier look, Manchester label Represent’s Owner’s Club hoodie is one of its hero pieces, distinguished by its Cobrax popper closure.

Post time: Apr-01-2023