Although most of us would love to have a closet filled with elegant clothes, few of us have the budget to own all our favorite looks. But with these four timeless, classic wardrobe pieces, it's possible to create a variety of outfits without breaking the bank.
A White Designer Button-Down Shirt
This piece is essential for a wardrobe, as it can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Ideally, the best shirt should be a light color (such as ivory, light blue, pink, or lavender), but white is also suitable. If it has any sort of pattern, it should be subtle tone-on-tone vertical stripes, and this is a wardrobe piece to splurge on. Designer shirts for men are usually tailored to best fit your figure, and they look great with or without a jacket. For casual wear, a designer button-down shirt can be paired with a nice pair of dark jeans and the sleeves rolled up, but it looks equally fabulous under a suit jacket for a professional or formal look.
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A high-quality undershirt
Because this garment is often invisible, some men will neglect it, but a high-quality undershirt is essential for presenting a polished look. The undershirt should be tailored to your shirt, so you don't want to wear a tank top with an light-colored button-down shirt. The best undershirts aren't sleeveless, but have a small sleeve on them; this helps to protect your more expensive designer shirt from armpit stains and ring-around-the-collar.
A pair of dark brown slacks
Men who are creative and stylish need a pair of dark brown slacks. Like the light-colored designer shirt, these can be dressed up or down and worn with almost anything. The standard black slacks that are so popular tend to be too formal for more casual settings, and they don't look right with less formal shirts. For more formal activities, a brown sport coat can top the look off, but these slacks also look great with a less formal jacket or without a jacket. They shouldn't have a high sheen to them, but avoid denim or heavy twill, as it always looks too casual.
A pair of dark jeans
Every man needs a pair of comfortable jeans, but not every man looks good in stonewashed denim. Dark blue jeans are less sloppy-looking than lighter washes, but the most essential part of choosing your jeans is fit. Skinny jeans or pencil jeans don't look good on most men, but a straight leg or trouser cut will provide extra comfort and a more attractive look.