How to Build a Basic Wardrobe (Men)

Men can find building a basic wardrobe scary. But with easy steps, you can do it quite easily. But be careful because being preppy is quite hard to maintain.


  1. Image titled Build a Basic Wardrobe (Men) Step 1
    Start with building a basic, casual wardrobe. You will need: (at least)
    • Underwear (boxers, fitted boxers or briefs, your choice) and under shirts (muscle or t shirt). Make sure to purchase quality items that won't fade, stretch, or wear out.
    • Three Pairs of Jeans, dark blue and light blue. Other colors like black, white and tan can fade in and out of style, but blue is classic. Also make sure to avoid pre-torn or destroyed jeans. Try buying jeans with a light distress or faded wash on the knee or thigh areas, but be careful.
    • Two Pairs of Khakis. Make sure one is a more traditional color, such as British Khaki. The other can be a bit different, like grey, navy or Nantucket Red. There are many different kinds of cuts: straight leg, classic (more tapered) boot cut and loose. Try them all and find the fit and style you like.
    • Three Casual Oxford Shirts: Make sure to have 2 solid colors (blue and white are both classic) and one striped oxford shirt.
    • Four Polo Shirts. Stick to the classic colors: Navy, White, Black, Grey, Red, Yellow, Green. You can add more exotic colors later.
    • Two Solid V-Neck Sweaters. These should be neutral colors (Navy, Tan, Black, Grey, White).
    • One Casual Blazer. It can be two or three button, but two button jackets are more casual. Stick to solid colors; navy blue is best. Avoid patterns for now.
    • One brown and one black belt.
    • Brown loafers or Docksiders. Sperry Top-Siders are your best bet.
    • Sneakers. Avoid very athletic looking sneakers or running shoes unless you are in a gym. Stick to simple casual sneakers. An example would be solid color canvas sneakers or simple leather sneakers.
    • One or two bags in your wardrobe. Look for black and brown bags to start out. Olive colors can be incorporated as well. Messengers, totes, briefcases, and holdalls are always in so don't be afraid.
  2. Image titled Build a Basic Wardrobe (Men) Step 2
    Once you have a casual wardrobe established, you may move onto the semi-formal and formal wardrobe. You will need:
    • At least one good dress shirt. If you are starting a new job that requires dress shirts, then you will want to get five: two white, two blue, one French blue.
    • One good pair of dress pants, 100% wool. Stick to Khaki, Charcoal or Navy.
    • A more formal navy blazer or sport coat.
    • Ties. These can really carry your wardrobe a long way; different ties can make the same suit look new. A good tie should be solid and versatile, 100% silk. There are so many ties to choose from, but in a formal setting, stick to solid color ties, simple striped ties, or subtle patterned ties. Avoid very seasonal ties, they are only good for a short amount of time.
    • One good suit, either navy or charcoal, 100% year round wool, single breasted, 2 or 3 button
    • Black Shoes and Belt
    • Trench Coat or Overcoat, Khaki or charcoal.
    • Black Tie attire (optional), Tuxedo with bow tie, cummerbund, and white shirt.


  • Get measured by a tailor. Make sure to get shirt measurements, jacket size, pant size and inseam, and shoe size. Remember these.
  • Don't be afraid to spend some money here and there. Quality is much more important than quantity.
  • Try on clothing items. Get to know your sizes in different brands; once you know them you can order online.
  • Buy clothes with good fabric-100% cotton, etc. Good quality leather goods will last you a long time if you take care of it.
  • If you are new to shopping, stick with a department store. They have a lot more selection than other stores.

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Categories: Creating Fashion Wardrobes