While your Bob’s Burgers T-shirt might be comfy and look really cool, right alongside your ripped up jeans and 15-year-old Converse sneakers, maybe it’s time for a bit of a change. We’re not talking about full-blown business attire here — that would be a proper “uniform.” There are plenty of style guides out there covering the ins and outs of finding the perfect suit. We’re interested in a few essential items that will help you get from “grubby” to — dare we say — fairly respectable (but still cool), and in pinch even business casual.
Of course, you can always buy tons of stylish accessories and clothing and go completely crazy with your new wardrobe, but for the discerning man with minimalistic tendencies, we offer six clothing items that you really should own.
1. Solid Color T-Shirts and Sweaters
T-shirts with the logo of you favorite band, or Mikey Mouse on the front might be fun to wear, but a simple, solid white, black, dark blue or gray crewneck T-shirt, or a light sweater with a pair of slacks or straight-leg jeans can really smarten up your style in a jiffy, without putting a crimp into your budget.
2. Blue or Gray Blazer
You can wear a blue or gray blazer with just about anything. Throw one over a button-up dress shirt, or one of your solid colored tees, and you’re set. The right sports coat will do wonders for your image, and give new life to your existing wardrobe.
3. Solid Color Blue or White Button-Down Shirts
Blue and white dress shirts are standard office fare, but if you lose the tie, add a sports coat or sweater, you can look great with minimal effort. If you want to be a little more dangerous, leave a couple buttons open at the top, and become Mr. “Trés Sexy.”
4. Straight-leg jeans
Straight-leg Jeans go with pretty much every item you own. Denim lasts a long time, doesn’t get dirty easy, and comes in a variety of colors, which can help with your creative parings — provided you’re not color blind. Buy proper fitting jeans for normal life, and keep your extra baggy, low hanging denim for the skate park.
5. Desert Boots or Leather Shoes
Desert Boots are comfortable and stylish. They match up with almost all the pants you own. OK, if you’re a circus clown, you might have a few pairs that break this rule. A pair of brown leather dress shoes is the perfect footwear choice if you want to up your fashion game even more.
6. A Couple of Really Great Ties
Ties can be boring, or they can be art. A beautiful tie says a lot about you. When choosing a tie that’s not for the office grind, pay attention to the quality of the fabric, and the decorative patterns. Nothing to gaudy, of course, but the right match can make a man who doesn’t normally wear a tie feel like a fashion god. Just don’t get too carried away.