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Men’s Essential Clothing Based on Season, Style & Function

men's essential clothing

You can’t always rely on trends; what’s in today might get snubbed the next day, and if not the next, then the day after. And believe it or not but all trends, sooner or later, return. What we can learn here is that it’s best to arrange our closet in a clinical fashion instead of relying heavily on cyclical changes.

Men’s essential clothing should consist of garments and clothes that can be used to mix and match and create effortlessly style outfits in every season, or event. Ideally, one would not consider adding belt-bottoms in a men’s capsule wardrobe.

The reason is its ephemeralness. Yes, in the 70s, this was a style staple and got you looking fancy and sharp at all times. In the present age, however, that is simply not the case. The idea is to choose clothes and accessories that survive the test of time.

You may manage to overlook certain accessories, but clothes are the building blocks of your daily looks and what you wear contributes to your brand and personal style

And don’t feel limited to a plain white t-shirt and indigo blue jeans because there are several other clothing items that keep you looking fresh all throughout the year. Here’s your guide to men’s essential clothing.

Style Essentials for Men

With men’s essential clothing being the point of discussion, it’s important to understand what the word essential truly stands for in the world of fashion and style.

The word essential here can be divided into several aspects; essential in terms of season, occasion, personal style, and year-round options. Let’s dig deeper into this conversation. 

Based on Season 

Men have certain clothes that they wear throughout the year and they also have clothes that they can only wear at certain times.

Leather Trench coats, leather jackets, overcoats, shawls and turtlenecks are usually limited to the Fall or Winter season whereas you leave the shorts, chinos, tank tops, vest shirts, and cotton shirts for summertime.

Yes, you may have certain clothing items that are transitional, like sweatshirts, denim jackets, etc. 

Based on Function 

Where you are going and what your role is going to be at the event is an important part of dressing up. If you are dressing up for a professional event, you must put on an outfit that is formal and top-tier. At the same time, if you are dressing up for a laid-back gathering with friends, you can dress down and still look handsome and put together. 

A navy blue suit and tie would be appropriate at a corporate event while making you the laughing punch bag at a friend’s casual dinner. Similarly, you can dress in sneakers, khaki pants and a polo shirt at a major corporate event, but in the other case, you will easily pull it off. 

Based on Style 

Now what if your style leans more toward preppy clothes and you simply don’t like grunge or rugged clothing staples? When you don’t like what you wear, no matter how pricey and stylish the outfit is, you will not carry it well. Comfort has to be prioritized above all. Thus, it’s best to invest in clothes that you feel comfortable and dashing in. 

Based on Anytime Wear 

There are certain clothes that you can wear any time and at any place. For example, if you wear a black leather jacket with a formal white shirt, black tie, and black jeans, you can look incredibly stylish and put together.

And more importantly, this is an outfit that will work in formal and semi-formal settings. At the same time, this list would be composed of blazers, Leather vests, suspenders, collared shirts, etc. 

Must-have Essentials for Men  

We’ve talked a lot about how one should design men’s essential clothing, let’s now discuss what goes in it. Not in any particular order, here are the must-haves for every men’s wardrobe. 




An eco-friendly garment that can be worn on its own or used in layering.  T-shirts are simple, affordable and have high repeat value. What this means is, you can wear the same t-shirt every other week and still look fresh and brand new.

However, it all comes down to how you style it and wear it. Try to invest in t-shirts with minimum to no designs or graphics. And choose industrial shades like black, white and grey. 

Long Sleeve Tee

The long sleeve fashion is never going out of style. These are versatile garments that can be used as a separate item or combined with a sweater vest or half sleeved t-shirt.

You should ideally look for a cotton long sleeved tee that is in white or black. These shades go with every type of pants. 

Collared Shirts

Collared shirts are traditional and a classic staple that should be in every man’s wardrobe. You want to have collared shirts in thicker fabric and custom fitting as they can easily be pulled off in a semi-formal to formal setting.

They are highly versatile and cosmopolitan. You should have the two basic colors: if not black and white, go for blue and grey. 

Solid Colors + Printed Shirts 

The tops we discussed above follow the same theme and that is exactly what we’re going to emphasize here. You need colors in your wardrobe that go with everything.

In that case, nothing is more safe and more regal than black, white and grey. However, you can also choose a brown or blue or even a sage and red as long as they are solid hues.

You should try and limit the use of printed shirts; two flannels and one graphic tee would be more than enough for essentials. 




A man needs quality shorts in his wardrobe that he can wear regularly while running errands or just for casual outings. Shorts are actually quite versatile as they can be worn with jackets, blazers, t-shirts, and sometimes even vests. Make sure you have cotton shorts made from quality fabric, preferably in beige or brown color. 

Denim jeans

Denim jeans are essential in literally anybody’s wardrobe. It goes without saying that one must have a black, indigo and grey jeans in his wardrobe. It goes with all types of shirts and can add a flair of casualness to your look.

Cotton chinos

Cotton chinos are a must-have for any guy’s wardrobe. You can use them with blazers, buttoned down shirts, turtleneck sweaters, long sleeve shirts and tees. Chinos are comfortable, stylish and extremely versatile. If you have a preppy style, chances are you already have chinos in your wardrobe. 

Woolen pants

In winters, you need to maintain your style without feeling cold and uncomfortable. Woolen pants come in handy as they restore your body temperature and keep you warm and fuzzy. You can pair them with sweaters, woolen shirts and knit vests.

Tailored pants

You need tailored pants for any formal look. A customized and tailored pants is required to match the formal appeal of blazers and jackets. You want them to be just about your size with the right lining and stitching. 

Jogger pants

Jogger pants or sweatpants are crucial in terms of dressing. You can’t always be over the top and look trendy. Sometimes, you just want to roll up your sleeves and sit back. Jogger pants are dual natured giving you comfort without compromising on your styling streak. Wear it with a hoodie and a leather jacket over it for a smart look or with a sweatshirt. 



Solid Colored Sweaters

Sweaters, contrary to popular belief, are great for transitional weather. They’re a great layering option and can be worn over anything and everything.

You can wear a cardigan over a basic V-neck cotton shirt and look dashing without having to pay much attention. Layering is essential, and once you master that, it’s over for everyone. Try to look for block and solid colored sweaters in wool, cotton, and knit material.

Sweater Vests

If you’ve just crossed your 30s, now is the time to experiment with sweater vests. They are the right balance of contemporary and old school. Make sure they are in solid shades and not printed. Not only will they keep you warm and cozy, they will also help you look put together and stylish. 



Leather Jackets

A man’s wardrobe is incomplete without a real leather jacket. There are so many styles and variations out there that can go with any person’s style and personality. From biker to men’s bomber leather jacket, hooded and double rider leather jackets, you can find one that you look dashing and effortlessly cool in. They add nuances to your outfit; great if you have an edgy and rugged style

Denim Jackets

There are many different types of jackets, but if you want a cool jacket that you can pull off year-round, denim jackets are your go-to. Denim jackets are breathable and have easy wearability. You can find it in black, grey and the classic blue. 

Shearling Jackets

An essential piece in every man’s wardrobe, something they often neglect due to its supposed feminine appeal, are shearling jackets. But most male celebrities and sportsmen are now warming up to these. Shearling jackets have real fur and blended with real leather, they end up creating versatile and rugged looking jackets; catering to the masculine urge. 

Windbreakers or Parkas

Windbreakers and Parka jackets are much needed for your regular winter days. Not only are these jackets water resistant, they come in handy on rainy days (falling as the best winter jackets). Serving as a great protection against harsh weather, windbreaker and parka jackets are great style staples. 



Trench Coats

Trench coats are charming and reflective of the Victorian era when the dandy style was grand and in your face. Leather, woolen and cotton trench coats fall under the men’s essential clothing category because they function as layers that elevate and bring together the entire look. 


A custom made three piece suit along with one cotton and one leather blazer are the final three clothing essentials in a man’s wardrobe. Sports jackets with jeans are usually appropriate for semi-formal or corporate events whereas a dinner jacket would be best for cocktail and wedding events. Leather blazers should be part of your everyday corporate looks, and you can further experiment with them on formal events.  


You have much to think about; possibly time for you to Marie Kondo your entire wardrobe and start from scratch? But again, that would be an exaggeration. You probably have most of the items mentioned above. Thus, what you now have to do is consider this list the next time you go shopping. Hope you liked the men’s essential clothing list we created!

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