What's really essential? A white broadcloth dress shirt, wing tips, the flannel chalk-stripe suit you don't have to wear to work anymore? That's not what we mean by essential. Not anymore, anyway. Sure, you can clean up and dress up when you need to, but we're more interested in the 95 percent of your life spent in comfortable, durable clothes that drift effortlessly from the weekend into the workday and back again. These are your go-tos, the stuff you choose time after time. What constitutes the essential wardrobe has changed considerably – and we now have all the key components of an informal, stylish, combinable wardrobe. What follows are expertly constructed, smartly designed clothes in a range of prices, with options that will remind you why as much thinking goes into a sweater, a jean jacket, or a pair of boxers as into a suit. To break it down, we enlisted British actor Kit Harington, co-star of HBO's fantasy epic 'Game of Thrones.'
[Trench by Uniqlo, $150; corduroy trucker jacket by Levi's, $78; Henry Sweater by Rag & Bone, $220; shirt by Band of Outsiders, $235; New Standard Jeans by A.P.C., $175; Hipster Chukka Boot by John Varvatos USA, $198; umbrella by Filson, $95; Tuscon Crushable Hat by Worth & Worth, $235]
Gap Boxers; Splendid Mills V-Necks
Underwear is the part of your wardrobe closest to your body, so materials play a big role here. Look for slim boxers made from pima and Egyptian cotton, which provide good base layers without bunching up. The body line on Gap's boxers is cut with comfort in mind and only moves when you do. On your upper body, Splendid Mills V-necks start with a silky blend of Supima cotton and MicroModal, taking the notion of the perfect tee to a new level. [Socks by Lacoste, $14]
Credit: Photograph by Jake Chessum