Wardrobe Staples for Guys

By Blonde Bowhemian - September 25, 2014

Maybe it's because I watched my own brother dress in jeans and a plain t-shirt every single day for way too long (sorry - but look how far we've come!) and that I made him into my own pet-project-extreme-makeover-fashion-edition test subject, but I actually have come to enjoy shopping for guys. There's something about watching them realize that how they dress actually can have a profound influence on their own confidence and how they're perceived that is so fulfilling. (Is it wrong that it sometimes feels like charity? oops..) After some demands for a post for the guys and a desire to put an end to the sweatpant-groutfit (please...) I figured I could at least write this post to help the few (any?) male readers I have.

To keep it simple, I've come up with the top ten staples that all guys should have in their closets, with each at three different price points. Some are on the pricier side but they're essentials that you'll find you're reaching for everyday, so it's okay for them to be a little more expensive!

$42 // $175 // $225
Watch: Yes, it's time to retire your glow in the dark watch with 500 different timing and alarm capabilities. Functional? Yes. Professional? No. Save those for the gym and invest in a polished timepiece that will help you stand out in interviews, jobs, and life in general. 

$60 // $69 // $98
Casual Sneakers: I will never understand why guys think that the only shoes that exist are running sneakers. A nicer (but still casual!) pair of sneakers can really make a huge impact at a low cost. 

$45 // $80 // $100
Dress Shoes: While we're on the concept of shoes, you never know when that career fair or business presentation may come up, so it's good to be prepared. These types of shoes don't get as much use, so they last a while. 

$30 // $60 // $99
Casual Button Down Shirt: Just like upgrading to nicer sneakers, throwing on a button down is an instant way to polish up your look with minimal effort. 

$20 // $30 // $60
Basic Knits: Pretty simple, but still a great step up from those ratty old high school and college t-shirts. Look for more fitted styles in any range of solids or stripes.

$50 // $90 // $135
Nice Sweater: SO much better than a baggy sweatshirt and just as warm. These can easily be layered over a tee or worn under a jacket. A nice sweater (maybe even cashmere?) can work for almost any occasion, so definitely invest. 

$40 // $55 // $70
Chinos: Shorts, pants, whatever. Just no cargo shorts. Please. 

$19 // $45 // $125
Leather Wallet: Now that you've (hopefully) burned your cargo shorts you no longer have pockets for random change, so up your game even more with a classic leather wallet that can be as much of an investment as you want it to be. 

$118 // $150 // $200
Sport Coat: You never know when that next surprise date party or formal may be, so stay prepared by investing in a fitted sport coat asap. Take the time to find one that fits right, or bring yours to a tailor so you don't end up looking like a little kid in his dad's coat. 

$47 // $56 // $95
Dark Wash Jeans: The darker the jean, the more professional the look. Ditch your torn up and frayed light wash jeans and pick up a pair in a darker hue for a much more pulled together ensemble. I swear you'll find yourself reaching for them everyday, because what doesn't go well with a nice pair of dark blue jeans?

$150 // $214 // $298
Nice Jacket: Speaking of things you'll wear everyday… When fall comes around, a lightweight insulated jacket like the ones above provide both practicality and style. So, please, do me a favor and ditch the North Face. 

This may seem like a lot, but it really only takes ten items to completely reinvent (and salvage) your wardrobe. Besides, the holiday season is fast approaching so put these on your wish list!

Happy Shopping!



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  1. Joanna, What a great post! I totally agree with burning the cargo shorts. Who EVER thought that those were a good idea? Haha. Keep it up girl!


    1. Thank you so much Em! And seriously I have no clue…