Essential Men’s Clothing Every Guy Should Have

Here’s How to Construct a Basic Male Wardrobe With 23 Classic Pieces
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Let’s get one thing out of the way with right off the bat — there’s no such thing as an ‘ideal’ male wardrobe.

Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is fooling themselves.

There are infinite different ways to dress yourself, and if you feel good wearing something, that makes it worth wearing.

But that doesn’t mean people aren’t interested in how other people dress — and often that’s a gendered phenomenon.

Whether you’re trans or cis, being a guy often entails looking like a guy, and just as there’s nothing wrong with wearing feminine clothing, there’s nothing wrong with opting for a more rugged, masculine look either.

Related: Here’s How to Improve Your Style

But what does that rugged, masculine look entail, exactly? Well, it varies from culture to culture, and it can change significantly over time.

But if you wanted to make a shopping list of every basic male wardrobe staple for contemporary Western men for an alien who was trying to start a clothing collection from the ground up, what would be on it? Here’s our breakdown of the classic menswear staples we think guys can’t do without.

Classic Men’s Bottoms & Legwear

They’re not super fancy, but most days don’t call for fancy.

Jeans are tough, durable, and can come across as both neutral and slightly dressy, depending on the color, level of wear, and fit.

They’re a core part of the contemporary male wardrobe.

AskMen Likes: Levi’s 512 | Lee Regular Tapered | Todd Snyder Slim Fit Stretch
Like jeans, chinos can read as casual or chic, depending on a handful of factors.

They pair well with cooler tones — a dark blue top, and a pair of khaki chinos is a classic combo that every guy seems to be able to pull off.

AskMen Likes: Everlane Performance | Flint & Tinder 365 | Bonobos Stretch Washed
When the temperatures rise, so should your hemlines.

There’s no need for your calves to be sweating it up — unless you live in the far north or ski full-time, you’ll need a few pairs of shorts to bust out during the summer, whether they’re more laid-back, more performance-oriented or even edging a little bit into formal territory.

AskMen Likes: Duer Journey | Specialized/Fjällräven Hybrid | Nathan Essential
Soft Pants
Hard pants are basically a necessity, but let’s be frank — they’re for outdoor use.

If you’re staying in all day, you’ll want a cozy pair of soft pants to lounge around in.

Enter the sweatpant.

Ideally it’s got some stretch to it, will keep your legs warm and may even be wearable for a trip down to the corner store in a pinch.

AskMen Likes: True Classic Joggers | tentree Atlas | John Elliott Escobar
Maybe you’re militant about going commando, but for the majority.

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