Wardrobe Essentials for Men: 20 Wardrobe Staples Every Man Should Own

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Not every man is interested in shopping all season to keep up with trends. It’s okay if you’re that man because you don’t need to go shopping every time as the ladies do.

However, you need your closet to include essential pieces that will help you stay stylish and elegant all year without struggling to find what to wear to your outings. Hence, there’s a need to build a capsule wardrobe that will include stylish and versatile wardrobe essentials for men that you can pair with diverse clothes in your closet.

This post takes you through 20 wardrobe essentials you need as a man for your complete wardrobe. Also, you’ll get to know about capsule wardrobes and why you need one.

wardrobe essentials for men

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe sounds like a complicated thing that requires you to be a professional to execute. However, that’s far from the truth.

Simply put, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of essential pieces that can be worn or paired to create multiple outfits. For your capsule wardrobe, you want to select versatile and timeless pieces that you feel the best in and that reflects your personal style.

wardrobe essentials for men

To pull this off, these are men’s wardrobe essentials that you need to effortlessly step out in elegance. They include:

Denim Jeans

Every man needs go-to loosely fit denim jeans in their wardrobe. Whether it’s classic blue jeans or timeless black denim, you don’t want to find this missing in your wardrobe.

You can easily pull out your denim jeans and pair them with any other staple in your wardrobe on any occasion.


Plain T-Shirt

Another item that should be in every man’s wardrobe is a plain T-shirt. You want to have your round-neck plain T-shirts in as many plain colors as possible. Whether you want a subtle yet cool look, a plain white T-shirt is essential.



Graphic Shirts

Who says men can’t be stylish or can’t wear different designs and colors? There are days you want to ditch that plain T-shirt for a tee with graphics on it.

You can go for a minimal design that still reveals your personal style.



A Plain Hoodie

Every man needs an all-purpose hoodie they can easily style on any regular day. Not only is a hoodie a stylish staple you want to own, but it’s also comfortable.

While it isn’t the most flattering piece, it is versatile. You don’t always have to wear it indoors. You can wear it for a casual look to run an errand or to chill somewhere with a friend.



Want to show you’ve got some style? You need a suede or leather jacket in your wardrobe. Suede jackets are perfect outwear that allows you to look stylish without compromising your comfort.

This is a timeless staple that never goes out of style. You can effortlessly style your jacket with straight jeans and a plain white T-shirt for a casual look.

In winter, you can layer your suede jacket or leather jacket over a sweater or shirt, then dress down with jeans and a boot on a cool weekend outing.

Whether it’s a black leather jacket, a cool-toned suede jacket, or a blue denim jacket, you need to at least own a jacket in your wardrobe.

A Well-Tailored Suit

Your wardrobe needs formal outfits that you can wear to formal occasions. In this case, you need a well-tailored suit that is chic, sharp, and comfortable.

Steve Harvey once said every man needs five essential suits. A black suit, a navy suit, a charcoal grey suit, a brown suit, and a tan suit.

A linen suit is an essential staple to add to your formal wear. You can pair a matching linen blazer with linen straight trousers to wear to the office.

Whether it’s a navy or grey double-breasted or single-breasted navy suit jacket, coat, or blazer with a trouser to match, this is another style you can add to your workwear or an evening occasion.

A black suit is another staple desired for its versatility and chic style. You can easily wear a black suit with a white shirt and a black tie. Gone are the days when black suits were thought to be meant for funerals. You can opt for a dressed-up look for a date or a formal occasion.

Also, you can elevate your look by picking the right footwear to match. You can also consider pairing the trousers with something else.


From protecting your foot to the added comfort it gives you, socks are a staple in every man’s wardrobe. Also, it’s crucial to change your socks every six months.

For your socks, you want to pick something sophisticated and comfortable.


From your regular cozy pants to versatile dress pants that you can consider wearing for events, work, or a date, pants are essential items for your capsule wardrobe.

Dress pants are comfortable and breathable trousers that you can wear round the clock. You don’t need to wait for a formal event before you can rock your dress pants.

Corduroy pants are a great addition you want to add as an alternative to your go-to jeans.

On the other hand, every guy needs a main pant that can handle so much without fading or tearing. For this, you want to add straight-leg cotton pants that you can wear regularly. This will allow you to give your black jeans a break.


There’s always something about wide-leg trousers that makes them a better choice than slim-fit trousers. Chinos perfectly fall into this category.

You can add a pair of wide-legged chinos trousers to your wardrobe. You can opt for a dressy look by wearing navy chinos and pair with a long-sleeve button-down shirt or a jacket.

You should also consider having neutral chinos you can pair with a shirt and blazer for a formal look. Also, you can ditch that for a T-shirt and biker jacket or a stylish weekend look.



Classic Shirts

Classic shirts are essentials you want to spend money on as a man. Unlike your regular shirts, a classic button-up white dress shirt is a work shirt often worn with a tie.

The Oxford shirt is another versatile piece that you want to own as a man for an elegant style that doesn’t fail. While it is another work shirt, Oxford shirts tend to be thicker and more heavily structured.

You can wear your Oxford shirt under your navy blue blazer, or you can consider wearing it underneath a sweater for a casual look.


Whether you’re picking tighter briefs or boxers, the underwear is the right foundation you need in your wardrobe. Just like your designer wears, you want to spend enough time and money picking the right set of underwear that will keep everything in place.


Who doesn’t find sneakers comfortable and fashionable? Your capsule wardrobe is incomplete without a pair of your favorite sneakers to pair with your casual outfits.

You need something to wear when you are not busy at work or an event. For your footwear, retro sneakers make a lot of sense.

You can pair your sneakers with your joggers and a plain hoodie for a casual, laid-back look to grab a coffee or run an errand. You can also pair it with your go-to jeans and a plain white T-shirt.

If you want something more stylish that goes beyond the regular white sneakers, you can choose retro in different colors.


Sunglasses are great styles that elevate your look every time. Add a pair of shades that are functional enough to protect your eyes and aesthetic for a better style.

Whether you’re protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays in summer or you want to look cool in winter, get yourself a pair of shades.

No idea of which to pick? Choose shiny black, anything with a touch of gold or silver hardware. You can also pick one with a subtle logo of your favorite designer at the temples.

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Navy Blazer

Don’t feel like wearing a full suit? If you want something comfortable that doesn’t have to be a cardigan, then you need a navy blazer.

A navy blazer is a versatile piece that you can dress up or down. You can pair it with a grey straight-leg trouser and a tucked-in plain shirt underneath.

You don’t have to be extra careful when picking your blazer. It shouldn’t have shoulder pads or extra details than necessary. You can choose to button up or unfasten the button so your shirt is showing.


From boots to classic lace-up shoes, dress shoes, boots, or clog shoes, there are a few options you can consider when it comes to shoes.

Whether you have an official event, a wedding, or a casual outing where you don’t feel like wearing sneakers, you want to go for loafers. Loafers remain one of the best shoes for ceremonies or official occasions.

Derby shoes are another type of dress shoes you can pick if you aren’t a fan of loafers. But who wouldn’t be a fan of the classic loafers?

Instead of the plain regular loafer, you can pick those with embellishments for better styles.

Lace-up shoes are another wardrobe essential suitable for workwear or smart occasions. Classic black lace-up shoes are a good way to show you are fashionable!

Sleeveless Sweater

Having been in the game since the 90s and still in fashion, sweater vests are a great addition to your closet. You can dress this casually over long-sleeve t-shirts or a plain tee.

You can’t go wrong when you dress up your sweater vest with a jacket or a sportscoat. There is no doubt that the sleeveless sweater is timeless. Its versatility allows you to overlay it with other outfits in your closet.


Cufflinks are men’s wardrobe essentials that you can use as a signature touch on your look. You can use it on any long-sleeved shirt in your closet.

You can pair your statement cufflinks with your white shirts for bonus points when you style your outfits.

A Handbag

Asap Rocky is one who knows how to perfectly style men’s bags to look cool with his overall outfit. Whether it’s a shoulder bag like the one in this picture, a small fashion purse, or a cross bag, who says a man can look stylish holding a bag?

You need a holdall you can put your items for a short weekend trip or a getaway. Consider picking one that is functional and stylish.

A Leather Belt

The leather belt is another essential you need in your closet as a man. It’s fine if you choose to skip it some days. However, you want to own at least one slim black leather belt that you can pair with dress trousers.

When getting your accessories ready, don’t forget to include a quality black or brown leather belt with a touch of gold or silver.


Whether it’s a statement ring, wristwatch, or necklace, accessories should be part of men’s dress codes. As a man, you should know how to accessorize right without doing too much.

Accessories are a fun way to add style and personality to your outfits, making them essential. This covers everything from your simple leather wallet to statement jewelry, bracelets, and shades.

Whether you’re dressed up to go to work or on a casual outing, your outfit check is incomplete without a wristwatch or a bracelet on your wrist. Of course, the type of wallet you use also says a lot about you.

Invest in these fashionable pieces as you buy new clothes to add to your capsule wardrobe.

Wrapping Up

Every item mentioned above is a must-have for every man’s wardrobe. While you don’t have to rob the bank to look good, putting effort into how you look everyday matters.

While fashion is ever-evolving, your capsule wardrobe should include timeless and versatile pieces you can wear all season without feeling out of place.

Wardrobe essentials like denim jeans, plain T-shirts, and a pair of white sneakers or trainers will leave you looking stylish all season. Consult your local tailor to construct well-tailored formalwear for special occasions.

Which of these wardrobe essentials do you not have? Feel free to buy multiple of these to add to your capsule wardrobe!

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