The Basics, Part 2
Continuing on with our Basics series, we wanted to bring you another handful of items that we believe should be in every mans closet. As we mentioned previously, fashion trends come and go, but the basics will never go out of style. They’re something you can always rely on.
A Gray or Navy Blue Suit
Since we just published an entire write-up on suiting basics, we won’t dig into the details on this one. But it’s a must to have either a gray or navy blue suit in your closet. Color-wise, you’ll find it far more flexible than a black suit, and your shoe options are also more broad. And in general, they just look better and stand out in a world where the default suit color is black.
Though polos are more of a warm weather item, they’re a fantastic addition to your closet. If I could, I’d have a portion of my closet dedicated to all polos. You can never have too many, and it’s an easy choice when needing to make a quick decision on what to wear. They can also be great under a blazer with chinos to wear to a summer wedding.
For fit, you want the sleeve to fall mid-bicep, and overall shirt length no lower than midway of your pants zipper.
For a cleaner look, avoid wearing a t-shirt underneath if possible. We understand that warm weather equals sweat. So if you must, go for a deep v-neck shirt underneath. Layering doesn’t help the sweat, but to absorb the moisture try something like Uniqlo’s AIRism tees.
Another good thing about polos, is they look great in almost any color. So don’t be afraid to get wear vibrant for the sunny days.
My favorite polos come from Alternative Apparel. They’re very soft, and lightweight. Perfect for a summer day. Uniqlo also has a great selection of polos. Neither brand has logos on them either, which is a must for me, unless it’s a Ralph Lauren polo.
The classic sweatshirt is a necessity in any man’s style arsenal. They’re perfect to wear out on a casual, cool day or when just hanging out around the house.
There’s a reason they’ve been around for decades. From the classic crew neck (like this Old Navy Sweatshirt) to the more fashionable kind you see on people like Kanye West, the sweatshirt is ubiquitous. It stands solid on it’s own, or can be paired up with a button-up for a more stylish look.
Just make sure to purchase one that fits slim to the body. As with most clothing items, you want to avoid swimming in a baggy sweatshirt.
A Lightweight Jacket
While we love layering up, that’s really only needed in the late fall/winter months. The rest of the year, sometimes you just want to throw on a light jacket over a t-shirt or polo on a cool evening. There are tons of options here depending on your style.
For something super casual, the baseball or varsity jacket mixes it up and can be very stylish. Or if you’re looking for something to dress up a bit more, a thin trench coat looks great. For a good in-between choice, the Harrington jacket (pictured) is a great and classic option for the spring time.
Gilt has a good selection of lightweight jackets, and is a good place to see a lot of different types of styles that could suit you.
This is a very masculine, yet versatile piece. For the most part, it replaces the t-shirt on those days you want to step things up a bit.
A henley can be worn on its own with a pair of jeans or khaki-colored chinos for a stylish, casual, semi-rugged look. They also love to be worn as the bottom, but visible, layer under a flannel shirt or under a cardigan.
I’m personally partial to the American Apparel henley as my go-to. I own quite a few of them, in a multitude of colors – with repeats of gray and white. Depending on the outfit, sometimes I like to “sneak” in a red one under a flannel shirt for a fun pop of color (yes, we love our pops of color at ACS).
Henleys come in a myriad of styles and colors – some with the iconic tiny “waffle” texture, others a more classic cotton. Find a few that work for you and level up your style.