What Every Man Should Have in His Closet—
If shopping for your clothes is not in your vocabulary, then you might want to have some simple guidelines to follow every few years to make sure you stay up to date and don’t struggle every time you have an occasion to think about what to wear. These are some basic items you, or your man if you are reading this for them, should have besides jeans and t-shirts:
Dress shirts—how many depends on what you do for a living. Think about what situations you have to need dress shirts and that should dictate how many you have. White is dressiest, without buttons on the collar; stripes look really good but preferably for daytime or business; colors are good for the same occasions like blue, grey, lavender, yellow, or any pastel but be careful—not all complexions are good with pastels; and dark would be for evening but probably not the most formal of attire—that’s saved for a white shirt and dark tie.
Slacks—dress slacks, casual slacks, and “go to a movie” slacks. Dress slacks are good with sport coats or going to church (if you attend a traditional worship service of some type), casual slacks are good for work if you don’t need a sport coat but dress slacks will do for meetings and making a good impression, and “go to a movie” slacks have a little more casual aire to them but not as much as jeans. I don’t care if you’ve been married for 30 years—your wife still wants to feel important enough for you to look good when taking her out.
Sport coat—at least one in a year round fabric. This is good to dress any look up without going the full nine yards. Be sure to look for one that is versatile and dark in color. That will accommodate more occasions.
Suit—this needs to fit well and be sure you have looked at collar styles every so often to make sure your suit still looks up to date. Even if you don’t wear one very often you need to at least show some style and not look like Uncle Harvey in his 1980’s tan corduroy suit with the wide lapels.
Sweater—this is optional but can make anything you wear more versatile. A good basic pullover can go over a t-shirt or a golf shirt and it’s ready for a date without putting on a sport coat. Or if you need layers and don’t have the right jacket, add the sport coat on top of the sweater. Be sure the sweater is not too thick and bulky. Save those for more casual occasions, and in the cold weather they have a great look with very little effort.
Jackets—my mother always said “It doesn’t matter what you have on underneath, it’s the coat that shows.” I think that goes for men as well as women. Be sure you have at least a couple of choices in style for jackets and coats. Casual, dress, heavier dress, lighter casual—that’s a good start.