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15 Items Every Man Should Have in His Closet

Use this checklist to create a modern wardrobe and never been caught out of style, in any situation.

The modern man's wardrobe isn't something that should evolve by accident. But for most of us, that's how it happens: A piece here, a piece there, in various styles, sizes and seasons. This year, do some spring cleaning and take a serious look at your closet. Do you own one of each of these pieces that you love and want to reach for, no matter what the occasion? If not, it's time to invest. Whether you're just starting out or looking to kick your style up to the next level, we've picked the best brands that'll give you maximum style and ultimate mileage.

A four-season navy suit

man posing in Ralph Lauren Black Label suit

The foundation of your wardrobe, the navy suit can be dressed up or down — the jacket can be worn as a sportcoat — and in an all-season fabric (look for 100s wool), it'll take you literally anywhere.
Entry level: J. Crew Ludlow suit, $650 at
Executive suite: Ralph Lauren Purple Label Drake Wool Twill Suit (above), $3,995 at

A gray suit

Brooks brothers gray suit

Is there anything more classic? Ask Cary Grant.
Entry level: Suitsupply Napoli Gray Uni suit, $499 at
Executive suite: Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Solid 1818 Suit, $998 (above) at

And optimize your professional style — and earning power — with these 25 New Rules of Office Style!

A cotton trenchcoat

Burberry trenchcoat

Fewer top layers look sharper. Ideal for wearing over a suit or jeans, a good investment will pay serious dividends.
Entry level: Banana Republic double-breasted trench, $250 at
Executive suite: Burberry cotton twill trenchcoat (above), $1,795 at

A gray wool overcoat

Suit Supply gray overcoat

Another dress-up-or-down classic, buy one that's trim but spacious enough to wear over a suit.
Entry level: Suitsupply Gray Overcoat (above), $699 at
Executive suite: Paul Smith wool and cashmere overcoat, $1,229 at

White spread-collar shirt

White Collard shirt

The go-to layer for a suit jacket, with or without a tie, or under a sweater. Don't cut corners; better to buy one of the high-quality brands below than four of the shirts that got you through college.
Entry level: Twillory White Sea Island Cotton Shirt, $99 at
Executive suite: Brunello Cucinelli Cotton-Jersey Shirt (above), $665 at

Blue button-down shirt

Bonobos blue shirt

Give a casual spin to a sportcoat, or layer under a sweater.
Entry level: Bonobos Unbutton Down shirt (above), $98 at
Executive suite: Eidos Napoli slim fit sport shirt, $325 at

And pair your shirts with one of these 20 Freshest Ties for Spring from today's top designers!

Black cap-toe shoes

Churchs Shoes

Perfect for a suit or with jeans or chinos, at the office or after dark. The only thing they won't suit is white socks.
Entry level: Allen Edmonds Park Avenue cap toe oxfords, $385 at
Executive suite: Church's Dubai polished-leather oxford shoes (above), $650 at

Oxblood boot

Alden Cordovan Boot

This polished style couldn't be more versatile — pair it with black, gray or brown.
Entry level: Jack Erwin Carter Wingtip Combat Boot, $220 by
Executive suite: Alden 9-Eyelet Perforated Cap Toe Boot (above), $718 at The Shoe Mart

You know what people notice even before shoes? A watch. Check out the best releases at the world's biggest watch expo in The Best Watches from Baselworld 2016!

Cashmere crewneck sweater

Jcrew Cashmere Crewneck Sweater

Choose a light weight that's layerable in winter and wear-by-itself on chilly spring nights.
Entry level: J. Crew, $199 at
Executive suite: Ralph Lauren Purple Label, $995 at

Dark jeans

Tom Ford Dark Jeans

Let your distressed denim fade away. You'll get the most wear out of a dark finish and trim fit.
Entry level: Uniqlo selvedge regular fit jeans, $50 at
Executive suite: Tom Ford regular fit deep indigo jeans (above), $570 at


Incotex Chinos

Do yourself a solid with casual pants that have just enough polish.
Entry level: Club Monaco Davis chino, $89 at
Executive suite: Incotex Slim Fit Brushed Cotton chinos (above), $295 at

Luxe polo shirt

Tods Polo Shirt

When taking your cues for grown-up casual, go with the Rat Pack. In the summer months, wearing it under a suit is more impressive than a tie.
Entry level: Polo Ralph Lauren Pima Soft Touch Classic polo shirt, $89 at
Executive suite: Tod's Slim Fit Silk Knitted Polo Shirt (above), $745 at

White sneakers

Common Porjects Sneakers

Steve McQueen kept a pair in his closet for decades; so should you.
Entry level: Converse Jack Purcell leather sneakers, $65 at
Executive suite: Common Projects Original Achilles sneaker (above), $410 at

A clean and simple watch

Omega Speedmaster

If the first thing people notice is your shoes, the watch is a close second. When polishing off your look, less is more.
Entry level: Skagen Ancher Leather Watch, $145 at
Executive suite: Omega Speedmaster Professional (above), $4,500 at

For more ideas, check out our roundup of the Best Collectible Luxury Watches!

A briefcase that means business

Frankclegg Briefcase

We've picked out 12 of the best here!

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a seasoned writer and editor with a passion for helping people make life-improving decisions. Read more
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