When you step into your closet there are essential pieces you should be able to find. I'll show you ten basics every guy needs, starting from the tops and working our way down to accessories.
1. The button-down. One can never have too many button-downs: solids, gingham, checks, you need them all! These can be dressed up or dressed down, which is exactly what we want for a functional wardrobe.
2. The cardigan. Don't think of the old, oversized cardigan your grandfather used to wear; cardigans today come in a range of materials, styles and shape, making it easy for the fashionable man to find the right one, or many, for himself. Cardigans have been a "must" piece for me when I travel, we all know it can get a little bit chilly on an airplane, so I make sure to wear or have a cardigan in my carry-on for every flight.
4. The blazer. Paired with a button-down, and dark slim-fit jeans, a blazer can make any guy look fashionable. Look for a blazer that hugs your shoulders and has a nice taper in at the waist for a tailored look.
5. Outerwear. Outerwear is the icing on the cake; it will top off your entire outfit and can either make it or break it. Find outerwear that is cropped with a nice slim shape to it, this will help take off some lbs, no exercise needed. A denim jacket looks great paired with khaki, a cropped trench looks great over a business suit or denim, and a wool authentic peacoat will keep you warm on those cold winter days.
6. Denim. Denim can be very versatile, for weekends or for workdays you can make denim work. Choose a slim-fit jean in a dark wash, black, or gray for a sophisticated look. Some guys can be very picky about their denim; I too like to splurge in this area. I prefer a well-made, soft, broken-in feel in my denim and seem to head straight for DIESEL, 7 For All Mankind, or AG Jeans.
8. Pants. I'm throwing a fit about fit. Spend time searching for the perfect fit, try on different styles and spend a couple extra bucks taking your pants to a tailor to ensure a perfect fit.
9. The shoes. These shoes were made for walking, that's just what they'll do. You just have to know what shoe to wear. Converse distressed Jack Purcell sneakers can be worn with anything for a sporty casual look, and desert boots will look great with your denim for a fun night-on-the-town.
10. The accessories. Accessories help you define your style in your outfit, whether it is your signature bracelet, your favorite watch, sunglasses, hat, tie, or belt, it is up to you. Accessories pull the outfit together and make it your own.