As more and more focus is placed on sustainable fashion, capsule wardrobes have become increasingly popular. While the traditional capsule wardrobe involves just 37 items per season, which is quite a bit less than you think it is, even just honoring the spirit of the capsule wardrobe by paring down to essentials that you can mix and match for any occasions is a good step in being more sustainable with your clothing.
Here are nine wardrobe essentials for every man:
Though fashion trends have become increasingly casual, even for the workplace, you may still run into situations where jeans are not appropriate. In such a case, a pair of fitted chinos in a neutral color is a great alternative. Pair with a button up and blazer when dressing to impress, or, if you just want to jazz up a more casual look, throw them on with a t-shirt or henley.
2. Leather jacket
Though you may not be a biker with cool sunglasses on the open road, it’s still a good idea to invest in a sturdy leather jacket. Leather, real or vegan, is a durable material that will last a long time, and a black or brown leather jacket will complement most of your wardrobe and keep you nice and warm during transitional seasons.
3. Dark wash jeans
A flattering pair of jeans is the perfect base for any casual outfit. Though it may be tempting to be trendy, it’s a good idea to invest in at least one pair of dark wash jeans, as they can easily be dressed up and will never go out of style. Moreover, if you plan to keep these jeans for a long time, be prepared to spend some money—a good pair of Levi’s or a similar quality brand may be a bit pricey, but should last you for several years.
4. White sneakers
Though white is a tricky color that requires you to keep up with cleaning your shoes, a pair of white sneakers are comfortable and will go with almost any casual outfit, allowing you to get a lot out of your investment. Sneakers with jeans and a t-shirt is the classic relaxed-but-nice outfit, but you can also pair them with jeans and a button down for a more business-casual look.
5. Henley or polo shirt
Nicer than a t-shirt but still relaxed and comfortable, you should have some henleys or polo shirts on hand for when you need to elevate a casual look. For a preppier vibe, throw on a polo shirt with some khakis and a nice watch or, if you want to come across as effortlessly well dressed, try a henley with a pair of jeans.
6. White t-shirt
As fun as graphic t-shirts are, a plain white t-shirt is the perfect base for a clean and simple look when paired with jeans. Additionally, throw a blazer on top to meet your business-casual needs. A plain white t-shirt can also be worn as an undershirt for itchy sweaters and thinner button-ups without the risk of a pattern or slogan peeking through.
7. Leather boots
As the weather gets colder, you may have to switch out some of your staples for others. When you start breaking out the hats and gloves, it’s a good idea to also switch out your sneakers for shoes that are better able to keep your feet warm and dry and endure the snow and salt of winter. Like a leather jacket, good boots in black or dark brown are both practical and stylish, and will go with any outfit.
8. Navy blazer
Other than a few very special occasions, most formal events do not require a tuxedo. While having a well-fitting suit for more formal occasions is a good idea, a simple navy blazer should be able to get you through most events. Less intense than black, navy is a neutral tone that should pair nicely with the rest of your wardrobe, even if you’re just dressing up a casual t-shirt and jeans.
9. Neutral button up shirts
Whether an event requires it or you just feel like dressing up, a neutral button up shirt is an easy way to make an outfit sharper and more formal. Even worn casually, without a tie and with the sleeves rolled up, a button up shirt with jeans or chinos will make you look and feel more put together.