A minimalist wardrobe gives you clean colors, shapes and fabric while providing maximum style points and versatility. A minimalist wardrobe exudes the idea that less is more and you can take advantage of a variety of styles while purchasing fewer items of clothing. This allows you to get way more bang for your buck when rocking the most stylish outfits. The benefits of a minimalist wardrobe are:
- You’ll always know exactly what to wear
- Get more outfits out of fewer items of clothing
- You won’t have to waste money on clothes you don’t wear
- You can choose the quality pieces over quantity
Fortunately, we’ve taken out all of the hard work for you and crafted this minimalist wardrobe essentials guide. Let’s get right into it, starting from what to wear at the bottom and working our way up.
Table of Contents
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
It’s essential for every man to have a pair of casual shoes, dress shoes and even a good pair of boots. The three pairs of shoes ensure that you’re ready to tackle anything from grocery shopping to going for dinner in the evening.
Casual Men’s Shoes
There are tonnes of options for casual men’s shoes and it’s important to choose something that’s minimal and stylish. If you’re opting for sneakers, choosing a colorway can be a little Daunting so let’s simplify that down for you. Going for white sneakers is a good idea because they go with lots of different outfits and can really help to make your attire pop. The downside to white sneakers is that they are dirt magnets and without proper care and attention, they can make your outfit look scruffy. If you don’t want to clean your sneakers all the time, go for black sneakers. With a black sneaker, you can avoid scuff marks and dirt showing up on your casual shoes and avoid your outfit looking ruined. When wearing casual men’s shoes with smart and dressy attire, it’s important to look out for the sole of the shoe. Avoid clunky soles and opt for thin and delicate so it doesn’t completely overpower your outfit.
Men’s Dress Shoes
When deciding on your first pair of smart dress shoes, you need to decide how dressed up you’re going to get and what you’ll need the shoes for. If you don’t dress up very often, you can get away with a casual loafer, boat shoe or a penny loafer. If you’re big on dressing up, occasionally wear a suit and sometimes hit up an event or two then a double monk strap shoe is ideal. If you’re often found rocking a suit with a cocktail in your hand then we suggest that you opt for an Oxford or Derby shoe for an elegant and classy aesthetic.
Boots are underrated and can be an excellent finishing touch to a well-crafted outfit. There’s a wide variety of boots and the ones that are right for you will depend on how formal you need them to be. If you’re often found sporting a suit and attending events then you want to go for a Chelsea boot. But, if you’re usually rocking a pair of jeans and a plaid shirt then a chukka boot will complete that outfit for you. Big fans of earthy colors with jeans, olive shirts, chunky sweaters and oversized jackets should go for something with a high top and a chunky soul like a combat boot design.
The Right Trousers
Choosing the correct pair of pants can be a chore if you don’t know what to look out for. Picking the right pants that suit your body type and style can be done easily if you’re paying attention to our guide. We suggest that you have at least five pairs of pants that are easy to match with other items of clothing in your wardrobe. Start off with at least two pairs of dark denim; go for black, navy blue or even a dry color. It’s very important that you choose jeans that work well with your legs and body type. For example, if you’re a larger man, a pair of skinny jeans may not be the best fit for you. Boot cuts are always a safe bet and can work well with almost any body type. Next on your wardrobe facelift is to find two pairs of slacks that are versatile and can be worn any type of shirt, shoes and jacket in your wardrobe. You have a few options when choosing colors and fabrics. Flannel is a great fabric for fall and winter because it retains heat and if you go for grey flannel it can match well with the rest of your wardrobe. For more of a casual look go for khakis and if you prefer legwear that’s a little more lightweight and smarter looking, we suggest going for chinos in a tan color. Lastly, it’s always good to have a pair of shorts in your wardrobe. Shorts often don’t look good on most body types so it’s okay to deploy a little trial and error when choosing shorts.
Don Draper that Dress Shirt
Like the infamous Don Draper from Mad Men, you need to have an arsenal of collared dress shirts. We suggest having at least seven shirts tucked away and ready to use in your wardrobe. Side note: it’s always good to have a combination of dress shirts and collared casual shirts. Dress shirts are usually solid in color or have a common pattern such as a stripe or check. Casual shirts are a whole other animal and have a wide variety of styles, colors, patterns and fabrics. Unlike dress shirts, casual shirts may have more than one pocket, roll-tab sleeves, contrasting fabrics and epaulets. You can never have too many crisp white cotton shirts; if you wear suits, blazers and sports jackets often then it’s a good idea to have at least five dress shirts and two casual shirts. If you often find yourself dressing more casual, then it’s a good idea to choose five dress shirts and two casual shirts.
A Strong Jacket Game
To up your jacket game, you need to have at least two suits, blazers or sports jackets in your wardrobe. If you wear suits often, you’re most likely going to need way more than two. What’s the difference between all three types of jackets, you ask? Sports jackets are the most casual of the three and often come in a variety of colors with casual and textured fabrics. They can be worn with slacks and jeans to create a more casual/smart look. Blazers are somewhere in the middle when it comes to how dressy and smart they are. They usually look best in darker colors like navy blue, black, burgundy and olive. You can rock a blazer with dressy pants or dark-colored jeans to create a semi-smart vibe. A suit is the most formal and should be the most dressy part of your wardrobe. The jacket and trousers are made from the same material and should follow the same pattern. Suits in darker colors can often be worn all year round but you may want to mix it up a little. Get yourself a lighter colored linen suit in light grey or beige suit for those summer months.
Highly Functional Outerwear
Every man needs two pieces of solid outerwear in their wardrobe – one piece that’s robust and versatile and another piece that’s super dressy and smart. If you’re living in a warmer climate then a functional jacket will suffice in black or navy. You can throw that jacket over your suit or blazer to protect you against the rain. If you’re living in colder climates, then it’s a good idea to grab yourself a parka or something that’s going to resist cold temperatures.