| Fashion |

Wear This: 10 Wardrobe Staples for Men

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

I love a well-dressed man, and it only takes a few key pieces to create a sharp wardrobe. Once you invest in the basics, you should be able to walk into your closet and mix-and-match an outfit in minutes. Update your look by adding color and pattern: If you love the way your white button-down fits, buy the same shirt in different colors. If you like the look of your pinstripe suit, try a windowpane pattern next time. Two more pieces of advice: First, read each garment's care instructions and follow them--it's a lot cheaper to pay for dry cleaning than a whole new suit. Second, find a tailor and use him--a good tailor can change your life.

1. Classic white button-down: If you are only going to own one dress shirt, make it a crisp white button-down. You'll get more use out of this than almost any other item in your wardrobe, save jeans. The white button-down goes everywhere. Oh, and iron it, please.

2. A suit: Go for a neutral like black or navy for your first suit, but for the second add a brown or a gray pinstripe. Trust me, ladies love a man in a well-cut suit.

3. Jeans: Most guys own more than one pair of jeans, but one pair of dark blue jeans in a cut that suits your body-type will be your wardrobe's workhorse. Faded, ripped, torn, and/or baggy jeans are fine for yard work, not date night.

4. A blazer or sports coat: Your suit coat won't do here; it doesn't double as a sports coat. A sports coat will go anywhere, and in Houston it makes suitable outerwear in cooler temps. Add your blazer to #1 and #3 on this list and you have got yourself one hell of an outfit, pal. Like the suit, my pick for a blazer is navy or black, but gray also looks sharp.

5. Black dress shoes and leather belt: Black goes with everything, so if you're only going to own one pair of dress shoes, make them black. And while the belt/shoe matching rule isn't always the case for women, it is for men, so coordinate. I found a great black/brown reversible belt for my husband at Banana Republic last year--a nice feature for business travel.

6. Silk tie: Every well-dressed guy should have one beautiful silk tie. Solid or diagonal stripe is preferable, but a small print or pattern will be versatile as well.

7. Khakis: Please do not buy cargo pants and call them khakis. Khakis should be well-cut and hemmed by a tailor to prevent the unraveling at the heel that some men think completes the broken-in look. Hint: if your pants are unraveling where your heel meets your shoe, it's time for new pants. I'll repeat: TAILOR.

8. Casual trainers: Save your running shoes for running, but invest in a nice pair of rubber-soled sneakers to wear with jeans or khakis.

9. Cotton polo shirt: A polo shirt with jeans or khakis is the fastest, easiest way to look great for any casual situation. Plus they are easy to care for: Wash, dry, hang.

10. A trench or a pea coat: In Houston, buying a wool pea coat seems ridiculous, but if you live in a colder climate or travel frequently to one I think it's an essential--it's timeless and it goes with everything. A lightweight trench is a good alternative for men who live on the Gulf Coast.

Optional accessories: A good watch; cufflinks; a leather wallet; aviator glasses; a black umbrella; a well-cut, solid or striped, t-shirt sans beer/concert/national park logo.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.