It has been nearly 20 years since H&M opened its first store in NYC. Since then, ‘fast fashion’ has crept into all of our closets, cramming them with items we may wear once or sometimes not at all. Enter Marie Kondo. Love her or loather her, the mantra ‘Does this spark joy?’ can be heard all across America from broom closets and bathrooms to wardrobes and attic spaces, bringing some sense of organization back to our lives and a priority to what we really need and want (and enjoy) wearing.
With this in mind, we offer you the top basics that we believe every gent needs in his wardrobe. These are items that are classic, worth investing in and will never go out of style. Don’t forget that classic doesn’t have to be drab. Your white shirt can be slim fit, your khakis can be flat front and your brogues can have colorful laces if you choose. That said, we don’t expect you to just have one of each. We see nothing wrong with a cache of cashmere sweaters or a drawer full of denim.
From the NYC based bespoke tailors, Lord Willy’s, this suit is part of a new ready to wear line from the shop with classic proportions, Holland & Sherry cloth and tailored in Portugal just for them. This can take you from boardroom to beach wedding with a weight that works for nearly any season.
To buy: $1650, lordwillys.myshopify.com
White Oxford Shirt
This is as classic as they come. Gitman has been making this button down in the USA with 100% Cambridge Oxford cotton since 1978. This style has a slim cut and a tailored fit and is pre-washed to give it a softer feel on your first wear.
To buy: $165, gitmanvintage.com
This fine-gauge cashmere sweater is going to be your go-to for years to come. Because of the weight, this sweater is a bit slimmer than most, but that means you can wear it nearly year round and it is perfect for travel. We love the Lovat green color, which works well with just about everything.
To buy: $375, sidmashburn.com
Brand new from Mack Weldon, this polo is 100% cotton jersey and enhanced with their patented TransDRY ® technology, which wicks and vaporizes moisture to keep you cooler. We love Weldon’s polos for their stay-fit collars, tuckable tennis tails, and durable rubberized buttons, too.
To pre-order (Launching May 29th) : $58, mackweldon.com
These tailored trousers will set you apart from the dudes in ‘office khakis’. Drakes added a tiny bit of stretch and stand out with a subtle herringbone weave. Warning: you may just live in these.
To buy: $385, drakes.com
You simply can’t go wrong with an iconic pair of jeans. Invented in 1873, the 501 has been worn for generations. Popular for its straight fit with signature button fly, 501s have a consistantly classic look and feel. Made with 100% cotton non-stretch 5oz. selvedge denim, these jeans will last you a lifetime.
To buy: $148, levi.com
If you want a handsome watch that you can pass along to future generations, this Baroncelli Chronometer from Mido is just the ticket. The stainless steel case is classic, but the anthracite dial color and hand-made leather strap give this watch a personality all its own.
To buy: $1130, midowatches.com
A classic option from London based PRISM is a go-to for countless British gents. Each pair is handcrafted in Italy with Carl Zeiss lenses that provide UV protection.
To buy: $269, prismlondon.com
For the first collaboration in their J.Crew Editions series, the brand worked with a British staple, Barbour, to put a spin on their classic Barn Jacket. Introduced in 1938, this one is made with Barbour’s four-ounce waxed cotton, which is great for those chilly transitional times and just the right weight for travel.
To buy: $450, jcrew.com
Hand made in Italy, these are basically ‘Drivers 2.0’ with a more durable sole yet traditional moccasin construction. M. Gemi made these in four-color ways to choose from (or go wild and buy all four). They are so comfortable, you will be wearing them all summer. We promise.
To buy: $228, mgemi.com
New York’s tailoring Mecca The Armoury has finally launched it own shoe collection. Designed in collaboration with one of the world’s best shoemakers, Yohei Fukuda, and made in Northampton, England, these captoe oxfords will last for years. The vamp is made of just one piece of leather, making them more comfortable and less susceptible to creasing.
To buy: $495, thearmoury.com
Black Chelsea Boots
While lace up boots are the standard, a pair of Chelsea boots give you a little edge up on the style spectrum. Plus, they are easy to slip on and off. They work with suits and jeans and have a high comfort level. These from To Boot are made with Italian calfskin on a leather sole.
To buy: $272, toboot.com