Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Checklist

Imagine it’s a random Thursday—well into your current laundry cycle—and you’re not sure what to wear to the office. You’ve tried everything, but you have distinctive clothes that can’t be repeated from day to day. You’d do a fresh load of laundry, but it’s only a half an hour before you have to head to work. What do you do?

If you have a wardrobe full of the minimalist essentials, you’ll have no problem coordinating your clothes to construct a great outfit in an original combination. Not sure what that means? Here’s a men’s wardrobe essentials checklist so you’ll never wonder what to wear again—even when the laundry basket is nearly full. 

Bottoms & Pants – Working Our Way Up

Let’s start with the foundation and move our way up. Here are a few items to consider:

  • Shoes. Simple grey canvas sneakers and a brown pair of dress shoes will get you anywhere you need to go, casual or dressy.
  • Socks. Plain black and blue socks are great, and they don’t even have to always be the dressiest. Although bold colors like pink are perfectly fashionable, they’re less versatile.
  • Shorts. Simple 7” khaki shorts will fit well with just about anything you want to wear up top—dressy or casual. Other colors like gray and navy are just as versatile.
  • Pants. A simple pair of navy or khaki pants—or just about any neutral color—will give you the base from which you can build a dressier or more casual outfit, depending on what you wear up top. These are the kinds of pants that you can also repeat a few times during the week without anyone noticing—that’s how versatile they can be.

For accessories, keep it simple: a black or brown belt might sound like signs that you’ve taken plenty of martial arts, but they are essential when it comes to style.

Tops – Mastering the Outfit Game

You don’t need a thousand different tops to create different outfits. Simply mixing and matching the versatile elements you find on this men’s wardrobe essentials checklist will yield you far more combinations than their sum. Here are a few tops to aid in your outfit building efforts.

  • Quarter-zip. A grey quarter-zip goes a long way to building an outfit, especially since it’s light enough for lukewarm weather and great as an additional layer when the mercury drops.
  • Oxford Button Down. The essential shirt for men, an “Oxford” style shirt is dressy but casual; it can be worn at a business-casual office or paired with shorts for a more casual look when it’s warm.
  • Gingham. If you want to add another dimension to your wardrobe without sacrificing any of the versatility, the Gingham pattern is one of the essential patterns outside of, well, “solid."

For All Your Wardrobe Needs, Shop Vintage 1946

These basic items can be mixed and matched at your leisure—pairing light blues with dark blues and greys, khakis with browns—so that you’ll never have to wonder if you have one more outfit in your wardrobe before it’s time to load the laundry again. When completing your own men’s wardrobe essentials checklist, be sure to shop Vintage 1946.