There are style items that not every guy needs to own. Leopard-print boxers, for instance. Parachute pants. Espadrilles. Then there are those items that every man must have. If you’ve got these pieces in your arsenal, you can pretty much look good at a moment’s notice. Which is nice. So we talked to some of America’s best men’s stylists, and here are the essentials they recommend. Get ’em today.
1. Dark Blazer: “Every guy needs a blazer in the darkest tone of his eye or hair. A dark neutral is perfect to dress up or down. Some candidates for this color might include espresso, midnight, olive, charcoal or chestnut.” —David Zyla, Emmy Award-winning stylist and author of Color Your Style
2. Great Pair of Jeans: “A pair of overdyed blue jeans is the perfect match to pretty much everything in your wardrobe. They can be dressed down with a t-shirt or worn with a sport coat and will prove to be the most versatile pant in your wardrobe. ” —Aedan Macdonald, creative director at LA's Holographic Universe.
3. Trench Coat: “It gives a man a current Cary Grant look. For coolness, you can wear it with a hoodie underneath.” —Gad Cohen, celebrity stylist (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair)
4. Cool Sneakers: “Fashionable footwear shows a guy has good taste. Also, men, keep your shoes clean. A woman notices.” —Nisonja McGary, stylist who has dressed guys like Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise
5. Loafers: “A slip-on loafer can be worn with a blazer or used to dress up jeans. As for the shape of the toe, follow the shape of your jaw. If you’ve got an oval face, get an oval toe. If you’ve got an angular face, get a pointed toe. And the color of the loafer should match the darkest tone of your hair. This creates a great head-to-toe balance.” —Zyla
6. Wool Sport Coat: “It should be your go-to piece for special events when you aren’t sure what to wear. Wear it to meet your significant other’s family or to a job interview and you are sure to impress.” —Macdonald
7. Nice Watch: “It completes your look. Simple is always better because it’s more versatile. You don’t need a Rolex or a Cartier—although if you have that kind of money, go for it. Spend $500 to $1,000 and you can get a really nice timepiece that you’ll have for the rest of your life.” —Leslie Caldwell, stylist based in LA
8. Fine Belt: “A quality belt adds the finishing touch to an outfit. For the right buckle color, take a cue from the metal of your watch. As for the belt color, use the darkest color in your hair. That will go with everything because it matches you.” —Zyla
9. Tailored Suit: “This is a must-have for a man, similar to a little black dress for a woman. Whether you are the plus-one at a wedding or interviewing for a new job, you have to have one amazing suit. Navy is season-less and looks great on most skin tones. You can also break up the suit and wear just the slacks or the blazer.” —Chris Law, stylist and style contributor at Ebony
10. Brown Button Down: “It goes with every pair of jeans you own and is the perfect match to what is probably the most common color in your wardrobe, blue.” —Macdonald