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]
Rag & Bone Crewneck Sweater
A striped sweater like this merino-wool crewneck from Rag & Bone is the perfect complement to a simple woven shirt. It's also softer and more comfortable than typical Shetland-wool varieties. If cost is a consideration, J. Crew offers a strong alternative: Its extra-fine merino-wool knit V-neck is soft and layerable, and its slim fit will retain its shape after countless wears. [Watch by Bulova, $150]
Credit: Photograph by Jake Chessum