From suits to shirts – we've all got a signature look.
And we're creatures of habit – we know what we like and we don't like trying new things.
But it's good to experiment every now and again.
In today's article – I'm giving you 12 clothing essentials you're probably too afraid to wear.
Classic Men's Style Essentials:
- Floral patterns
- Boxer Briefs
- No Show Socks
- Signature fragrance
- Short-sleeved shirt
- White linen shirt
- Baseball shirt
- Seersucker weave
- V-neck t-shirt
Men's Style Essential #1. Floral Patterns
A lot of guys avoid florals because they think they're too “girly”.
But I love them. If you do it right – you've got a solid summer look.
Floral silks date back to the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). And once manufacturers in the west started copying them in the 19th century – they became available to European buyers.
The more subtle you go, the easier it will be to pair floral patterns with other elements of classic men's style. If you go with something resembling the small repeating pattern above, you can easily throw a sports jacket over it.
The key here is to stick to one print. You don't want to overwhelm people with multiple floral patterns – it'll throw off any cohesion in your outfit.
When incorporated well, floral patterns can make you stand out and look amazing.
Men's Style Essential #2. Camouflage Patterns
You won't be surprised to find out that camouflage has military heritage.
What may surprise you is that camouflage became common after 1915.
Do not use this as a license to buy camouflage suits. It's an ultra-casual pattern designed for casual wear.
How can you successfully integrate camouflage?
- Get it on a casual jacket and layer it over a plain t-shirt.
- Wear it as a t-shirt below a plain jacket.
- Wear it on shorts such as swimming trunks.
It may sound ironic, but being smart about wearing camouflage can make you stand out just as well as any classic men's style piece.
Men's Style Essential #3. Boxer Briefs
Boxers are loose and allow for complete freedom of movement. Briefs fit close to the body to reduce bulk.
Boxer briefs are a hybrid of the two, bringing the best of both worlds in one garment. They're also the most attractive…
Need data? GQ Magazine surveyed 200 women about the underwear they want to see on men. 75% answered with boxer briefs. Why? They make men look more muscular. They accentuate the thighs while fitting snuggly under clothes.
Gents, it's a no-brainer. Boxer briefs are comfortable and women love them. What are you waiting for?
Men's Style Essential #4. No Show Socks
No show socks are essential summer wear for men. Also known as loafer liners – no show socks allow your ankles to breathe and let air travel up the leg. It's a comfortable alternative to traditional dress socks.
When should you wear them? Casual summer wear is the best scenario for a little ankle action. You can wear them with shorts, chino trousers, and even dress slacks.
What shoes should you pair with no show socks? Men's loafers are the obvious choice. you can also wear them with boat shoes or monk strap dress shoes. As a rule of thumb – wear no show socks when you're wearing any type of shoe where a lot of your foot is showing.
Any slip-on shoe will be a hit with no show socks. Not only will they be more comfortable, but they'll also still protect your shoes from moisture damage and bad odor.
Men's Style Essential #5. Men's Fragrances
Many of us rely on a single signature scent. The one we take everywhere, no matter the occasion.
Some of us are prolific fragrance nuts, but even we stick to one palate.
Gents, it's time to expand. Fragrances are solid foundations to experiment with. It's not like a bold pattern that people will see, but will only smell when you're close by.
If you rely on floral scents, consider delving into woody fragrances, or vice versa.
What's a more specific example? If your go-to scent is Bleu De Chanel (a citrusy, woody scent), then consider something bold like Dark Rebel by John Varvatos (leathery and boozy).
The point is to expose yourself to new things. Even if you know what you like, you might be missing out on something extraordinary if you don't explore.
Men's Style Essential #6. A Short-Sleeved Button-Down
Short-sleeved button-downs are elegant shirts you can wear in casual settings. You can tuck them in and wear a sports jacket to retain some breathability.
But there is a downside. Unless you work out regularly, short-sleeved shirts can make you self-conscious. You add a little bulk to your arms by rolling the short sleeves once or twice.
They're extremely versatile in casual settings. You can wear short-sleeved button-downs with with jeans, chinos, or shorts. You could also pair them with loafers or sneakers.
Even if you're a little skinny, the interchangeability and comfort of short-sleeved button-downs is tough to beat.
Men's Style Essential #7. Wearing Paisley
The figure on paisley was originally a Zoroastrian symbol from the Sassanian Empire (226-651 AD). However, it was in 18th-century India that it was made into a repeating pattern and integrated with clothing.
You can find paisley in a wide range of garments. In order to introduce it safely into your wardrobe, I recommend finding a paisley pocket square. This will make your look pop without overpowering it.
Following that, consider upgrading to a tie. Feeling bold after that? Get a paisley shirt!
Men's Style Essential #8. White Linen Shirt
Linen is among the most durable fibers in the world. There's a reason why it was used for ship sails as far back as 8,000 BC. It was even used as currency in Ancient Egypt because of its natural strength.
Linen fibers are hollow, allowing more air to flow through and cool you down. Linen is also more absorbent than most fibers – they retain up to 20% of their weight in moisture before you even notice.
The downsides? It's expensive and prone to wrinkles. Nevertheless, a pure linen shirt will last you a lifetime if you care for it and iron it regularly.
Worried about transparency on the weave? Wear a gray or muted undershirt to hide your nipples. You don't want white because it shows up easily beneath the shirt.
For comfort, coolness, and luxurious style, linen is THE classic men's style garment.
Men's Style Essential #9. Sandals
When it comes to classic men's style – sandals are as timeless as it gets. Men have been wearing them for thousands of years in both western and eastern cultures.
Sandals are simple, comfortable footwear but don't wear sandals with a suit. Wear them in ultra-casual situations where comfort beats style.
When is it appropriate to wear sandals?
- Going to the beach.
- Lounging by the pool.
- Physical activities like kayaking.
- Picnics by the lake with your family.
Comfort makes sandals a must-have in every man's wardrobe.
Men's Style Essential #10. Baseball Shirts
Baseball shirts are long-sleeved crew neck shirts. They feature three-quarter-length raglan sleeves sewn on to the collar. While the shirt is mostly white, the collar and sleeves offer contrasting colors.
The sleeves offer better flexibility than a regular t-shirt which, making it a solid option for ultra-casual wear. If you want to dress this up slightly, consider throwing on a leather jacket for a bit of layering.
Men's Style Essential #11. Seersucker
Seersucker is a puckered weave made from cotton. It is woven in a way that causes threads to bunch together, producing a bumpy texture. This causes the fabric to be raised from the skin, facilitating airflow, and increasing breathability.
It was incorporated into suits in 1909. From there it became a staple of the southern gentleman.
Seersucker is most common in striped patterns due to its origins in workwear. However, you can find it in solid colors easily enough.
Where do I recommend seersucker the most, though? Shorts. It's an easy way to stand out while letting the thigh and crotch area breathe.
Men's Style Essential #12. V-Neck T-Shirt
V-necks offer more benefits than crew neck shirts. The most obvious bonus is the emphasis they place on the chest. The v-shaped neckline accentuates your pecs and makes you appear more masculine.
V-neck shirts are also better undershirts. You can loosen up a few buttons on your dress shirt without the undershirt collar ever showing up.
Not all v-necks are made equally. Deeper v-necks will make better undershirts but will look silly when worn alone.
Click below to watch 9 Pieces Of Clothing EVERY Man Should Own At Least Once (99% Don't!)
Classic Men's Style Essentials
Want to learn more about summer style? Click here to check out my article on the best fragrances for summer.