31 Clothing essentials for every man’s wardrobe | British GQ

Fashion is a fickle thing. Seasons change, trends fluctuate and what’s “in” one day is “out” the next. Style, however, is a different matter. The key to great style? A reliable selection of clothing essentials that make for a firm foundation to build on with those pesky, oh-so-undependable trends.

Despite the cyclical trends in fashion, certain men’s clothing essentials – a pale blue button-down shirt, dark indigo jeans or a pair of box-fresh white tennis shoes – will always keep you looking fresh, no matter the time of year. And when the time comes to layer up with trend-dictated details such as a puffer vest or sleeveless sweater, it’s of intrinsic importance that you have a dependable starting point — say, a faithful dress shirt — for your timely runway-ready ensembles.

That said, selecting said basics is no mean feat. For example, there’s a difference between a thin, uncomfortable white T-shirt and a mid-weight option that’s perfectly cut to flatter your shape. Here to remove the brow-furrowing think work from the equation, we at GQ have hand-selected the 31 key men’s clothing essentials that’ll keep your wardrobe sharp, whatever the occasion. You can thank us later…

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What are GQ‘s ultimate clothing essentials for men?

You’ll find all the specific clothing essentials worth your consideration in the gallery below, but first, here’s the 31 pieces that our editors are insisting you’ll need in your sartorial arsenal:

  • First up, the basics: A grey sweatshirt, a bountiful supply of white T-shirts (and black T-shirts), a short-sleeve shirt (see also, camp-collar shirts), a pair of indigo denim jeans, a pair of technical trousers
  • Some elevated layering pieces: A knit polo shirt, a layer-friendly overshirt, a denim jacket, a trench coat
  • Reliable loungewear: A slouchy hoodie, a pair of grey joggers
  • A collection of timeless formalwear: A sharp linen suit, a black suit, a deconstructed navy blazer, a white dress shirt, a satin tie
  • For accessories, you’ll need: A sturdy leather wallet, a black leather belt, a pair of classic sunglasses, a baseball cap, a versatile backpack
  • For shoes, think: A pair of Chelsea boots, a pair of white trainers, a pair of decadent loafers
  • That perfect finishing touch: A statement ring, a Paul Mescal-esque chain necklace
  • And, please, a good selection of underwear and socks

What are the clothing essentials for a man in 2024?

While there are plenty in this long ol’ article to choose from, your true clothing essentials are simply the items you feel your best in — and those you reach for the most. Be it a classic pair of selvedge jeans or something a little more statement-making, when you’re dressing for yourself, you can’t put a foot wrong. That being said, you’re going to need a white T-shirt or two. You just are.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

A capsule wardrobe is one of those things that sounds excellent on paper but is often hard to execute. The concept of a capsule wardrobe is that you have a minimalistic selection of pieces that can be worn and re-worn in order to create cohesive outfits in different combinations that’ll never produce a dud. It’s also a win for sustainability… but sometimes a good sale is hard to resist. We’d suggest using the capsule concept to build out a reliable foundation of pieces, all the while allowing yourself some room for experimentation.

What should every man own in 2024?

Whilst we’ve already compiled a full list of projected trends for SS24, conceptual looks from the runway and the contents of your own wardrobe don’t always directly correlate. It’s for this reason that we’ve compiled a list of thirty-three key pieces that will survive the seasons and always pack a streetwise punch. You’re welcome and happy scrolling.

A grey jersey sweatshirt

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