Back in December I featured my closet essentials for women, so for a fresh start to the new year, here are my picks for the gents.
1. Plain Tees
You can find good tees all over, but the ones from J.Crew are super nice. They have a great fit and wash well. A wrinkle-free, fitted tee can be taken from day to night (more so in the summer). Look for seasonal colours that go on sale throughout the year.
2. ChambrayA recurring favourite from my ladies post, chambray shirts are flattering and versatile. To clarify: it is not a jean shirt (difference here). This button-down can easily pair with a dark pant for a fancier look, or be thrown over a tee and shorts for day.
3. Comfortable Pullover
This is a winter staple for wearing with a tee or layering over a button-down shirt. Though 100% cotton isn't my first choice, (attracts lint, stretches out, fades) I'd go for a nice merino wool or a cashmere blend for a splurge. Avoid polyester since it can cause excessive sweating.
4. Dark Jeans
Especially for guys, splurging on at least one pair of good quality jeans is a great idea. A deep blue wash with a comfortable fit will last, especially if you wash them less frequently. I'm a big supporter of dressing up jeans for a night out.
5. Plaid ShirtLove plaid. With all the inexpensive alternatives out there, it can be hard to find a non-tacky looking plaid shirt. But shop around and splurge a bit if you find the perfect colour mix and tailored fit for your personal style.
Chinos are a must for everyone. All ages, all shapes. Head to Banana Republic, Club Monaco or Gap for my favourite mens styles.
7. Cool Watch
This is a personal piece, and quite necessary. No one appreciates the friend whose always late! Anything as simple as a $70 Swatch or Timex piece will last for years and adds some class to your daily uniform.
8. Leather Boat ShoesSperrys have been gaining in popularity the past few years, and for good reason. These comfortable leather slip-ons are both fashionable and timeless. They work equally as well with chinos as they do with a pair of linen shorts. Though a bit of an investment, after they're broken in, a pair Sperrys will be with you for years.
9. Cute Sneakers
The daily shoe for students, and the weekend go-to for workers. Head to a department store for one of their discounts and check out Lacoste, Fred Perry, etc.
10. Desert BootsSome rustic leather boots are the perfect cool weather shoe that could be dressed up for the evening. Almost all brands make these now, and the winter styles are probably on sale. I love desert boots with jeans.
11. BeltFor a quick bonus, I've included a belt: the under-appreciated accessory that every pants-wearer needs. If possible, match the shade to your shoes- never mix black and brown leather. For a budget option, grab a reversible belt at The Bay in black and brown. J. Crew and Banana Republic also have some nice options.
Most importantly, don't be scared to take risks in your clothing choices to let your style evolve. Find some cool conversation starters, like a graphic tee or a funky bracelet. Just make sure to always feel comfortable and confident in your picks - it'll make all the difference.