May 18, 2022

5 Staples You Need In Your Closet501 Zip-up Hoodie

What does every man need? Style. Well, also, meaningful relationships, healthy cholesterol and good coping mechanisms. But style is probably number four.

That said, for many of us, style doesn’t come easily. Maybe you’re a young guy just entering the dating or working world. Or maybe you just realized that you’ve worn the same pair of jeans for nine years.

But whether you need a wardrobe refresh or a place to start, the good news is a little style goes a long way. The absolute most important thing to do is upgrade your basics.

Having a solid foundation to your wardrobe with evergreen fashion choices not only makes good financial sense, but it makes it far easier to style up with a few accessories. Remember, there’s nothing like the confidence boost of looking good.

Frankly, guys today have it easy. A gentleman a couple hundred years ago needed to show up to a party in a frock coat, ascot, buckled shoes, tights and a freshly powdered wig or he was basically a caveman. Modern menswear styles are infinitely simpler, easier to match, with less hard-and-fast rules than ever. You really can get by with just the basics.

T-Shirts

Visually, we can tell the difference between “elegant athleisure” and “sloppy mess” in an instant. You probably have a “sloppy mess” in your closet. It’s a faded graphic tee, vaguely stained, with holes in it… it should probably disappear.

Don’t go cheap on your T-shirts. A nice, clean, well-fitting tee is wearable with anything and can be quite stylish and sleek.

That said, you don’t need to go to the other end of the spectrum. Some designer shirts cost hundreds of dollars and won’t last much longer than this sentence.

Don’t overthink it. Start with a shirt like The Standard Tee. It’s soft and durable. And because it’s athleisure, you’ll look even more athletic than you are. People will think that, at any moment, you might parkour up a wall. And because it’s made with high-quality material, it will last for years and still look good.

You don’t need a fancy design or even a bold color. A plain white shirt has been fashionable since James Dean. A white shirt also implies that you can eat spaghetti and meatballs without spilling tomato sauce on yourself. Confidence. However, the number one consideration here is fit. Too tight, and we’ll all be seeing those Blue Moons. Try on a few.

Finally, the crew collar vs. v-neck debate. It really depends on your body, the size of the V and the length of your neck. While v-necks are a bit more stylish, most bigger guys are better off with a crew collar, as a V tends to draw the eye down to the belly. Just don’t go for too deep of a V unless you really wanna show off the jungle.

The Polo

Originally designed by tennis great Rene Lacoste, the polo was designed to be breathable, athletic, stylish and shield your neck from the sun.

What started as a tennis shirt is now a staple of summer style, whether you’re at a BBQ, a picnic date or on the golf course.

Unlike a T-shirt, a polo really needs to fit in a specific way. Check out your sleeves, which should hit the middle of your bicep. The length should be just long enough that you can tuck it in, if needed.

Like a T-shirt, you can pair a polo with almost anything that isn’t too formal. A pair of nice chinos, or even a light sport coat can up your sartorial powers. Just be wary of khaki pants, or else you might look like a middle-schooler with a dress code.

Pants

Now we know how much you love your jeans, but nothing quite says “I am an actual adult” like a great pair of pants. A good pair of chinos are an easy way to look stylish, stay cool and be just as comfy as your favorite jeans.

“Chinos” is simply a word for streamlined, sleek casual trousers, typically, but not always, made of cotton.

Originally used by British soldiers in desert environments (they needed something that wasn’t made of wool), chinos are an original piece of athleisure.

Chinos come in all colors and can be worn with anything from a sport coat to a T-shirt. Some, like our Nicer Pants and City Pants, are wearable in almost any athletic situation. Our Nicer Pants are super-comfy, made of a nylon-bamboo blend and could serve you on a job interview as well as the links.

Shorts

Other than sandals, shorts are a controversial style choice. Sure, men have been wearing shorts (or even skirts) for thousands of years. But during America’s formative years, it would be considered quite horrifically gauche to wear shorts outside of an athletic situation.

Shorts still have an association with something a little kid would wear. This is because men in ill-fitting shorts do look silly. There’s no way around it. But while shorts won’t be formalwear anytime soon, they’re increasingly acceptable in most other situations. Don’t be afraid of showing off your legs. What’s the point of all that cardio, otherwise?

There is a great variety in length and bagginess of shorts.

Where to go really depends on your overall style. We tend to go for a classic, slightly higher, modern look.

Not too European, of course – we’re not into bootyshorts – but we find slimming shorts that end just above the knee are a versatile blend of style and function. As for socks, keep them low or non-existent.

As for what to avoid, you already know not to wear cargo shorts, and we’re not going to enable you. That is not athleisure. Cargo shorts are only allowed if you need every single pocket. Maybe you’re a fisherman, or a carpenter, or you play Magic: The Gathering in a basement. That’s it.

Pullover

“Pullover” generally means sweatshirts and hoodies, which naturally means a pretty wide range of products. Zipped hoodies are technically pullovers too, though that would be a maniacal way to put one on.

A properly fitted pullover is versatile and looks good on everyone. Like anything else, however, the only real way to know if your fit is right is to try it on.

Our hoodies and pullovers are designed to be slim fitting, both to retain heat and to keep you aerodynamic, like a fighter jet. Well, and to look good, too.

It’s worth picking up a good pullover. During colder months, it will get more wear than anything else in your closet, and can be layered under or over a ton of other items.

Look Good,
Feel Good

Once you have your basics down, a simple accessory – a great jacket, a watch, nice shoes – can up your style game significantly and make your basics seem like a confident choice. It’s worth making the effort. Consider giving away the clothes you don’t really love and replacing them with quality gear that will last. Giving that handsome guy in the mirror a gift is always worthwhile.