Style is about as subjective as it gets. Because it’s, ultimately, an expression of who you are, it’s one of many things in life that’s so intensely personal that people can get emotional if you give them the slightest suggestion that you don’t like an element of what they’re wearing.
But with most things, there are basic guidelines around the most essential items a guy needs to have in his closet. Once you’ve got a great pair of jeans, the right selection of shirts, and a few good pairs of shoes, most other things are negotiable. Consider the list below a baseline: a starter kit for a most stylish life. And by no means should you feel that you have to go out and buy the exact items on this list. We like these items, but you can’t go wrong if you fill in each need with something well made that looks great on you — and at the end of the day, you’re the only person who can make that final decision for himself.
1 of 23
A No-Nonsense Navy Suit
You can't (like, really, can't) show up to court, or a wedding, or any occasions where there's any sense of gravitas in a pair of jeans. For those occasions, turn to a blue, two-button suit. There's not a man on earth who doesn't need one of these. [$999; suitsupply.com]
2 of 23
A Gray Suit
We could make a joke about The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit here, but we have too much respect for your closet. Alongside its close cousin, the blue suit, a gray option can get you through most of life's more businessy occasions. [$650; jcrew.com]