A modern man’s basic wardrobe. 12 items for everyday wear

How to make a wardrobe for a modern man? What should be included in it and on what principle should be selected and combined things?

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David Beckham. Lässiger Look

You probably have some things in your wardrobe that you feel very comfortable and relaxed in. Perhaps you like them so much that you wear them everywhere and always. Of course, that’s your right. Nevertheless, I will be very happy if this writing convinces you that your favourite jeans or suit is not always the best choice of all.

Basic men’s wardrobe in the year 2024

First and foremost, an up-to-date wardrobe should fit the lifestyle and occupation. If you hold a senior position in a bank, you’ll need a minimum of 5 suits – just for every day. If you are, say, a sports coach, then most of your wardrobe shall consist of sports-style clothes, and you will only need just one business suit. If you are a representative of the creative profession, then jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts and turtlenecks are the basis of your wardrobe, and, again, one business suit will be enough for you.

Just in case and for the sake of convenience, here’s a list of basics:

  1. Classic suit;
  2. Shirt;
  3. Jeans;
  4. Chinos;
  5. T-shirt;
  6. Jumper;
  7. Jumper;
  8. Sweatshirt;
  9. Sportswear;
  10. Polo shirt;
  11. Shorts;
  12. Leather or Bomber jacket;
  13. Coat.

Let’s try to figure out what clothes should be in a modern man’s wardrobe in principle, and what and how much to buy you will decide yourself.

Classic clothes. Classic men’s suit

The birthplace of the modern classic men’s suit is Great Britain. From the British conservatives, the suit inherited not only the form, but also some rules of wearing. The theatre begins with the hanger, and the men’s suit begins with a jacket with a rigid structural cut. A jacket that will sit well on a man’s figure is not always easy to find, but otherwise there is no point in a suit at all.

Given the above, I recommend paying attention to the fit of the jacket, and only then look for trousers for it.

How to choose the right jacket

  • The buttons on the stomach should be easily fastened, and the shirt should not be visible under them.
  • The lapels should be exactly on the chest. If they fall behind the collar of the shirt, go for a smaller size.
  • The jacket fits perfectly when the sleeves reach the wrist bone.
  • The shirt should be an inch or an inch and a half longer so that the sleeves and watch are visible when you move your arm. The ideal length of the jacket is to the middle of the buttocks. If the collar of the jacket comes away from the neck or is pushing up, you should look for a smaller jacket.
  • If the jacket fits well in the collar and shoulders, look for models with a fitted cut. If the jacket fits well in the chest area and below, but does not look/stretch in the shoulders and collar, choose a straight cut.

Klassischer Anzug für Männer

Klassischer Anzug für Männer. Ein Foto. Business-Looks für Herbst und Frühling

A jacket should not be buttoned all the buttons. Regardless of whether the jacket has two, three or four buttons, the bottom button should always be unbuttoned and the middle/upper button should always be buttoned. At a formal event, only unbutton the jacket completely when you sit down. If the event is not too official (eg, your friend’s wedding), unbutton the jacket when the official part of the event is over.

According to the rules of etiquette, a man can take off his jacket in an aeroplane or in his office behind the closed doors.

Today the basic is a dark blue suit with a white, pink or blue shirt. Shoes and belt should be brown or burgundy (dark brown with a red tint). The belt should be the same colour as the shoes.

Basic-Anzug für Männer

One classic suit for four looks


This look consists of a suit, accessories (a handkerchief in the jacket pocket) and a tie. A waistcoat is also possible within this look. Wear your suit with classic oxford shoes and a belt.

Offizieller Look

Business Casual

The tie is optional. The shirt does not necessarily have to be solid-coloured. It is okay to unbutton the top two buttons. Derby boots go well with this look.

Ein Business-Casual-Anzug

Summer Casual

A basic wardrobe for men in the summer should include a white polo shirt or a short-sleeved shirt, with loafers or snickers / trainers / trainers on your bare feet. The shoes should be worn on a low, invisible tip, but … very few people stick to this rule these days.Well, ok.

Ein sommerlicher Freizeitanzug

Separate parts of the suit

Trousers can be worn with sneakers and a casual shirt. If you want to look more formal, sneakers can be replaced with burgundy coloured loafers. A belt and tie are optional.

Blaues klassisches Zweireiher-Sakko - weisse Hose

Beigefarbene Jacke, Chinos, Barfuss-Loafer
Zweireihiges Sakko und Patchwork-Jeans

Men’s shirt

A shirt is easier to pick up than a jacket because of its lack of rigid structure. Knowing the size and sizing grid of your favourite brands, you can buy shirts online even without trying them on beforehand.

When choosing a shirt, remember that two fingers should fit freely between the neck and the collar. If the collar lags more, change the shirt for a smaller model, if it is smaller, it’s the other way round.

Schwarzes Hemd - graue Chinohose

Business Casual LookMen’s clothing for every day wear

The style we call mass one originated in elite clubs. Men needed comfortable clothes for tennis, golf, yachting and other outdoor activities. Such things differ from suits in practicality, but still belong to the classic style. Today such clothes, both women’s and men’s, belong to the smart casual style. These are loafers, oxford shirts, polo shirts, chinos trousers and cardigan.

These include:

  • Loafers;
  • Oxford shirts;
  • polo shirts;
  • chinos;
  • cardigans.

You can download this photo to your mobile phone and buy something similar for these looks:

Smart Casual Looks für Männer für den Herbst oder Frühling

Bilder im Smart Casual und klassischen Business-Stil für Männer

Männerlooks für Sommer und Frühling

What are chinos and what should a man wear them for?

They are cotton trousers, usually mustard yellow, grey or dark blue, but modern manufacturers sew chinos in every imaginable and inconceivable colour.

Originally, chinos were combined with polo shirts and loafers. This image is now considered a timeless classic. But today it’s no shame to replace the loafers with trainers and the shirt with a T-shirt. The arrow on the trousers doesn’t fit into the weekend image, there’s no need to make it artificially with an iron. Chinos should not be worn with socks (not short invisible ones, but those worn under the usual classic suit trousers) and classic shoes.

Chinos should be paired with:

  • Trainers;
  • Low shoes;
  • Boat shoes that are not worn over socks, not even over short and invisible socks;
  • Flip-flops.

Chinohosen für Männer

Poloshirt und Chinohose


In the mid-60s, the middle class learnt from the so called elite to wear a jumper over a polo shirt. This combination seems to never go out of fashion. A basic men’s wardrobe for winter should definitely include a few cashmere jumpers in neutral colours. They can be combined with a shirt and jeans. If the company where a man works does not have a strict dress code, then a jumper combined with jeans and a shirt can be worn not only on Friday, but also on other days. In spring and summer, instead of a jumper made of wool or cashmere, a cotton jumper or a very thin woollen jumper is a good choice. A summer jumper should be of a lighter shade.

A basic jumper has a V-neck, but it does not suit all men. A man with a triangular face, wide forehead and strong-willed chin is better to choose a jumper with a round neckline. If you need to create a look for an official event, then the tie to the jumper should be chosen complimentary, not contrasting colour. For example, a blue pullover will not go well with a red tie.

Pullover mit V-Ausschnitt

Bilder mit einem Pullover. Männermode
Pullover über einem T-ShirtPoloshirt

The university towns of Oxford and Cambridge were the birthplace of the Oxford and the polo shirts.

The polo shirt became famous in the 1960s thanks to famous tennis players and university sports clubs. Incidentally, this is also the reason why many manufacturers produce polo shirts with imitation club logos.

Classic polo shirts are sewn from dense cotton with a special weave. This absorbs moisture well and retains its shape. There are no problems when washing. You can wear such shirts for years. What could be better for a man’s wardrobe?

Poloshirt für Männer

Polo: was ein Mann tragen sollte

Chino Shorts

Among the things in club style, I shall mention chino shorts. These are essentially cropped chinos. Also regulars of elite clubs wore jackets with emblems, cardigans and bomber jackets with club patches. These clothes are still relevant today. When going out yachting, New York tycoons wear chinos, polo shirts and boat shoes. Chinos can be worn with a T-shirt or shirt.

Chino-Shorts für Männer

Chino-Shorts für Männer mit einem Hemd

Men’s clothing in grunge style

Men’s clothing in grunge style

The 60’s and 70’s are a thing of the past. They were replaced by the rebellious eighties. As a heritage to modern men they left hooligan looks, in which one of the components will be jeans, T-shirt, leather jacket and sneakers. The grunge style looks hint at contempt for the material world; probably it is the reason why they are so popular with both men and women.

Männlicher Grunge-Look

Gestreckter Grunge-Stil über einem Pullover bei einem Mann
Ein Look im Grunge-Stil. Konventionen trotzen
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There is still an ongoing debate about where and when these comfortable, practical and universally loved trousers appeared. The origin of jeans can be traced back to their names – jeans and denim. The first refers us to Genoa with its textile factories, from where in the XVII century in northern Europe supplied cheap and practical fabric. The word “denim” points to the French city of Nîmes, famous for its durable fabrics.

Levi's 501

In the mid-nineteenth century, jeans were worn by American longshoremen and gold prospectors. The classic Levi’s 501 jeans were reborn in the 1980s. Cut taking into account all the features of the male body, these jeans fit any man. In the classic version, they are coloured in dark blue with a barely highlighted centre. Today, these jeans are available in a variety of colours such as light blue, black and indigo. There is so much to choose from that you can get confused by the variety of options.

Jeans kombiniert mit einer Jacke an einem Mann

Levi’s 501 jeans are mid-rise jeans. The waistband goes over the hip joints, and if a man has a tummy and sides, the waistband will not cut in. The trousers should fit snugly, but there should be room for one finger between the waistband and the body. Jeans that are too tight will be uncomfortable to wear. The classic model should be chosen from 100% cotton.

Skinny jeans fabric should include 5% of elastane.

Today, jeans have defended the title of clothing for all occasions and they are justly classified as classic. Wear jeans with classic outfits and casual combinations.

Jeans mit Turnschuhen

Brad Pitt in Jeans
Lether jacket

The men’s leather jacket in the classic version is the essence of a slightly modified pilot’s jacket of the 40s. From the parent model it inherited a straight cut, slash pockets and stand-up collar. In the 80’s appeared biker jacket, which, although it does not fit into the classic old-school wardrobe, but very much in demand in everyday modern.

It’s hard to imagine a man who wouldn’t be suited to a leather jacket. Thanks to the structural cut it emphasises the lines of the figure and helps to disguise problem areas. It is best to combine a leather jacket with a T-shirt or a thin jumper. When putting a leather jacket on a shirt, you should not let the collar over the jacket. Moreover, it is better to wear a jacket or a classic coat over a shirt rather than a jacket.

Lederjacke an einem Mann

Ein Mann in einer Lederjacke. Bild

Lederjacke im Kleiderschrank eines Mannes

Nineties style and modern dressing style

The last decade of the second millennium saw the birth of a democratic and informal style of dress in Silicon Valley, which is equally loved by millionaires and students. As a consequence, they look almost identical.

The main elements of this style are democratic shirts, sprint shirts and jeans. Complement the look with trainers or converts. There is nothing additional to tell and explain about this set. The main thing is not to mix styles and not to put under these jeans and T-shirts with classic boots. Sporty sneakers still don’t look good with a classic shirt tucked into classic dark trousers, but that’s how they are worn everywhere today, so it’s up to you whether to wear them or not.

Neunziger Jahre Stil

Neunziger Jahre Stil

Neunziger Jahre Stil

Neunziger Jahre Stil. Ein Bild

Neunziger Jahre Stil. Ein Bild

Neunziger Jahre Stil. Männer

How many items man basic wardrobe should include

  • According to a generally recognised canon, a bottom should have four or five tops: Shirts, T-shirts, what is worn on the naked body. If a man has several pairs of jeans in different colours, it is not necessary to buy 5 T-shirts or jumpers for each pair.
  • For a suit, it is advisable to buy a week’s supply of shirts and two more for insurance, and a shirt and/or T-shirt should always be in the office – in case of tea or coffee spillages.
  • Clothes that are worn naked should be washed daily. Jumpers should be cleaned after 3-5 wears. Jackets should be cleaned once a month.