Fashion is a fickle thing. Style, however, is a long-term matter. Style ignores trends and focuses on outfits and accessories that have looked good for decades and – will endure at least as long again.
There are items that are permanently stylish – they have stood the test of time and have gone in and out of fashion but they are still donned. From a simple (yet high quality) shirt to a classic, slim fit chino pants, there are simple clothing pieces that should constitute every stylish man’s wardrobe.
Here are nine timeless, investment-worthy pieces every man should own.
1. Button-Down Oxford Shirt
The Oxford cloth button-down shirt or OCBD is an ever-classic mainstay in every man’s wardrobe. There’s very little that won’t go with an OCBD. Bought in classic shades of white and sky blue, the Oxford shirt can be paired with a suit for a smart-casual office look, it can be slightly oversized or fitted or slot easily over a plain T-shirt or a summer suit, and whatever look you pull, the shirt never looks out of place.
2. Crewneck Sweater
A cotton mix crewneck sweater is an adaptable fashion piece that can be worn with pretty much anything. Whether you’re looking to layer yours over a white oxford or compliment it with selvedge jeans, we recommend opting for understated and subdued colours like navy, grey, black, or maroon. It’s worth mentioning that Paul Newman, Elvis, even King Edward VIII all favoured a sporty grey sweater and pictures of them wearing this fashion piece look relevant day as they did the day they were taken. That’s good enough proof to show that sweatshirts are a timeless piece.
3. Selvedge Slim Jeans
There probably isn’t any bloke alive that doesn’t have at least one pair of jeans in their wardrobe. Slim-fit jeans are classic, timeless and arguably the most versatile fashion piece you’ll ever own. A good pair of jeans should be lean but not too tight and not too stiff so that you’ll be able to bend your knees. For the colour, think black or dark blue, particularly for night under a sports coat or a shirt jacket.
4. Slim Fit Chinos
You can’t wear jeans every day, can you? A pair of chinos is a nice alternative to jeans and great if you ideally want a small break from wearing suit trousers. With the right colour, chinos can easily transcend the realms of smart and casual wear. You can wear a chino with a shirt, a tee, a shirt and jacket, and a shirt and a smart overcoat – the options are endless.
Classic colours that are versatile enough to suit any wardrobe are olive, stone, navy, and khaki.
5. A Good Quality White T-shirt
Another essential for a solid wardrobe, the classic white T-shirt has made its way from a standard-issue military gear to an everyday classic. You can wear them with almost anything you own – you can wear it under a lightweight jacket, on its own, tucked into cotton suit pants or chucked on nonchalantly under a denim shirt.
Just make sure to find a shirt that fits your body (hugs it, not a second skin). Also, invest in one that’s cut from high-quality cotton. Not only will a fabric that costs a few extra quid feel better on your skin, but it will also be gentle on your washing machine.
6. A Bomber Jacket
Jackets are labelled as winter wear, but not the flight bomber. A bomber jacket can be worn practically year-round and packs an outer layer that looks great on every body type. Choose a light, loose jacket preferably cut from light nylon fabrics or cotton.
7. An Unstructured Blazer
The unstructured blazer is the perfect piece of transition tailoring. It lives on in every new season acting as a lightweight alternative to a sweatshirt or a bomber jacket. For warm months, go for lighter shades and fabrics. Single-layer fabrics like linen, canvas, cotton, and lightweight wool are perfect for such months.
8. White Sneakers
These speak for themselves. The beauty of a pair of spiffy kicks is that they can be worn with anything in your wardrobe. Go with no socks for a smart, casual look.
9. Derby Shoes
A derby is the most basic but also the most useful type of footwear out there. A navy or tan derby is perfection. Wear it with jeans or summery trousers, preferably with no socks and cuffs rolled for a European aesthetic. You can also dress it up with a crisp white shirt, a bow tie, and a dinner jacket.
These are just some of the most versatile and timeless pieces that form the foundation of a successful wardrobe. Just pick the right items and combine them well to give you personality.