Clothing essentials: What every man should have in his closet

Clothing essentials: What every man should have in his closet

Style is subjective. Everyone has their own tastes and clothing preferences. That’s part of the fun with fashion. After all, if everyone dressed the same way things would be quite boring. However, there are certain clothes that every man should have in his closet. These mens wardrobe essentials are timeless and will keep you looking your best.

For this list, we’re focusing mostly on casual wear and street wear. Here are 10 men’s clothing essentials that you need to have in your wardrobe or closet.

El Manor Ave white tee shirt

White t-shirt

There’s a reason plain white t-shirts have become a fashion staple. Plain white tees never go out of style. It’s perfect to wear on its own, beneath a flannel or bomber jacket, and in any season. You can combine a white tee with anything. They're great for any minimalist wardrobe.

In fact, t-shirts were originally worn as undershirts. The popularity of white t-shirts as a fashion staple exploded in the 1950s after Marlon Brando donned one in the film A Streetcar Named Desire, and James Dean wore one in Rebel Without a Cause in 1955.

You can buy white t-shirts just about anywhere.

Unfortunately, not every white tee shirt is made the same. Some companies charge outrageous amounts for premium fitted tees that don’t look or feel any better than cheaper brands. Save time and money by purchasing an El Manor Ave white heather t-shirt.

A pair of Levi's Denizen blue jeans

Blue jeans

Blue jeans are an iconic piece of American fashion. Invented by Levi Strauss & Co in San Francisco in 1873 as blue waist overalls, blue jeans are here to stay. They are typically made of denim and can be matched with just about any top.

T-shirts and blue jeans are a common streetwear combination, dating back to the mid-20th century. While many people have switched to wearing chinos, denim will never die. 

Today, there are many brands and cuts of blue jeans. Some people prefer a more relaxed fit, while others like the way skinny jeans look. If you wear boots, you might want to consider a bootcut jean. You can get plain blue jeans, jeans with holes and rips in them, or jeans with unique stitching patterns and embroideries. 

Plus, there are many different washes of blue jeans, from ultra light to super dark, or indigo.

The best are slim-straight jeans and slim-bootcut jeans. Yes, slim-bootcut jeans are sort of like bell bottoms, but they're perfect for wearing boots while still looking slim.

Other styles of jeans include:

  • Skinny
  • Slim
  • Straight
  • Boot Cut
  • Relaxed
  • A combination, such as slim straight

You may also find different types of denim or fabric blends. Some are pure 100% cotton, while other blue jeans have spandex in them to provide some stretch. While these are more comfortable to wear, they don’t retain their shape. 

No matter what you decide, blue jeans are a fashion staple that aren’t going anywhere.

El Manor Ave black tee shirt

Black t-shirt

Much like with white t-shirts, black tees are a fashion staple. You can’t go wrong with a plain black t-shirt for any occasion. 

Even famous fighters like Nate Diaz and other celebrities commonly wear black T-shirts in public. That’s because black shirts give off a wealthier impression than other shirt colors.

A word of warning, though. If you have pets, your black shirt may end up covered in hair. It’s best to have a lint roller handy!

Black jeans

A pair of black jeans, or dark wash jeans, is essential for casual wear. Black jeans look sharp and offer great contrast with lighter color shirts and jackets.

Black jeans give the illusion of looking more professional in a casual environment, since they can mimic the appearance of slacks. This makes them great for more casual interviews or meetings.

Black and gray jeans are also synonymous with skater style, if that’s your thing.

A pair of sunglasses on wooden floor


When you think about outfits, sunglasses may not be an accessory that comes to mind. However, sunglasses are an extremely important part of wardrobe essentials.

If you live in a sunny place like we do here in Utah, you’ll need sunglasses often. Whether that’s for driving around, going on a hike, or just going about your daily life, you need to own at least two pairs of sunglasses.

Why two pairs? Sunglasses are pretty easy to break and they often get lost. Plus, it’s always good to have a pair in your car at all times. 

You don’t have to get $100 shades to look stylish, either. There are plenty of budget options that look great, fit well, and last for years.

So, what sunglasses are the best for your wardrobe? It depends on your style. We recommend going and trying some on at a store, and see what your friends or family think before you purchase them. 

Two hoodies hanging on a clothing rack

A hoodie or light jacket

A hoodie, either zip-up or pull-over, is an essential piece of clothing. They are perfect for cooler days in the fall and spring. They are often lightweight and easy to pair with any t-shirt, jeans or joggers, or accessories. 

Hoodies may have once been considered more of a casual loungewear item, but they are becoming more accepted for work attire as well. 

Zip-up hoodies are one of the best jackets to have in your closet. They can be utilized in any season, come in a variety of colors, and are light-weight. They’re easy to add to any look. You can purchase plain hoodies at almost any store or online, or you can opt for a graphic hoodie.

Two pairs of joggers on wooden floor.


Gone are the days of wearing boring gray sweatpants. Joggers are very similar to sweats in that they are usually soft and comfortable to wear. However, most joggers are better fitted than sweatpants. 

With so many designs to choose from, joggers can look good for casual wear, hitting the gym, or just lounging at home. 

Button-up dress shirt

Every guy should own a button-up dress shirt. While dress shirts are a staple of higher end fashion, they also fit well in a casual setting. Plus, you should always have a button-up shirt on hand for a job interview, a date, a meeting, or formal events.

Whether that’s a basic white dress shirt or something more eye-catching, you can’t go wrong. Just be sure to find a dress shirt that’s tailored to your body. 

As a side note, you can always pair a dress shirt with a nice black or gray chino pant for a formal look. Or, you can opt for traditional dress pants.

YoungLA bomber jacket

Bomber jacket

Bomber jackets are the perfect light-weight coat for fall (and winter depending on where you live). They can be worn zipped or buttoned up, or open. 

They were originally worn by pilots in either leather or nylon. However, modern bomber jackets are more lightweight and fashionable. Bomber jackets come in many different materials, colors, and thicknesses as well. So, whether you want a light-weight spring jacket or a classic leather jacket, you can't go wrong with a bomber.

El Manor Ave rose graphic t-shirt

Graphic tee

While graphic tees probably don’t come to mind when you’re thinking about men’s clothing essentials, they’re a fashion staple. There’s nothing like a well-designed graphic t shirt to draw attention to yourself.

While there are some ugly graphic tees out there that fit way too large, a fitted and elegant graphic tee will work for any casual outing. 

If you’re looking for high quality and unique graphic t-shirts, look no further than El Manor Ave. Our cotton and polyester graphic tees are fitted and made to last. 


Having the right shoe for certain occasions is of the utmost importance. It's always good to have a pair of white sneakers because they look clean with any casual outfit. You should also have a nice pair of dress shoes for formal events.


By adding the clothing items above to your closet, you’ll be prepared for any situation. 

We hope you enjoyed this list of the top 10 men's wardrobe essentials. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates for our future fashion blog posts. Feel free to tag us on social media with your thoughts! 


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Meet the Author

Chase Charaba is the co-founder of El Manor Ave. He's a content marketing specialist, writer, and photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. He's written dozens of articles for organizations with a combined view count of more than 250,000.

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