10 Casual Wardrobe Essentials for Men

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Take a look in the mirror. Are your jeans bagging at the knees? Is that sweater you’re wearing the same one your mom got you for Christmas eight years ago? Face it dude—it’s time for a wardrobe revamp. Now, before you get all weirded out, this isn’t like a “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”-style intervention. It’s a simple list of classic pieces every guy should own…and it includes gym shorts, OK? So check out our list of the top 10 style must-haves for men.

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1. Straight-Leg Jeans

Straight-leg jeans are a great middle ground for guys who aren’t into a super-skinny pant. They’re tailored enough to make you look put together, but will give you more “leg room” (so to speak) than the skinny hipster alternative.

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2. White Crew Neck T-Shirt

It’s time to toss those grungy Hanes t-shirts you’ve been wearing since you were 12. We know the cheap 4-packs from Target are tempting, but now that you’re an adult, invest in a well-made version. Trust us, you’ll notice a major difference in both the fit and feel.

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3. Belted Trench Coat

Don’t let a rainy day dampen your style. Traditionally, old-school trenches (think Sherlock Holmes) were worn below the knee, but today, contemporary styles favor a shorter cut. Stick with black, navy or khaki; avoid browns which are better suited for older folk, like your grandfather.

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4. Classic Grey Sweatshirt

The true sign of a stylish man? The way he dresses while relaxing. It’s easy to fall into the trap of sloppy loungewear, so don’t be a victim. Ditch the hoody with the name of your college emblazoned on it, and go for a plain, fitted crew-neck sweatshirt instead. They’re just as comfortable and will convince people you’re a grown-up (even if you still crush beers like a frat boy).

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5. Colorful Socks

Think of your socks as the great differentiator between you and your suit. A man who likes to blend in with the crowd will inevitably go for basic black… but a man with bravado isn’t afraid of throwing a little color into the mix.

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6. Versatile Blazer

One of the easiest ways to dress up an outfit is by throwing on a blazer, and buying a great one doesn’t necessarily need to break the bank. Make matching easy by choosing a solid or very subtle pattern. It’s the perfect refined-yet-casual piece that’s a must-have in every man’s wardrobe.

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7. Lace-up Leather Boots

Kick your style up a notch with a great pair of lace-up leather boots. If you choose the right pair, you’ll be able to wear them with both jeans and trousers. Lean toward a shoe that looks more formal, rather than rugged.

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8. Weekender Bag

We trust that you’re no longer using a backpack…right? Just making sure. For a short trip or a few nights crashing at your girlfriend’s apartment, opt for the trendy-man’s duffle: a weekender bag. Leather bags are great, but if you’re on a budget, cotton or nylon works just fine.

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9. Colored Running Sneaker

You play it safe all day at the office, so why not have a little fun when it comes to the sneaker you wear at the gym? Plus, in our experience, cool kicks make for a great conversation starter with the hot chick on the elliptical.

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10. Comfy Sweatshorts

Looking for workout gear that can double as lounge wear? No sweat(s). The ideal pair of shorts are those you can wear to the gym, and then wear to grab lunch (without looking like a schlub). They should fall somewhere in between loose and form-fitting, and should always hit just above the knee.

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