How To Re-Invent Your Wardrobe with 20 Essential Pieces

May 1st, 2014

In a perfectly curated wardrobe, all of the pieces (well, almost all) should make sense together and be interchangeable. For example, each of the ties should work with each of the shirts, and each of the shirts should work with each of the trousers. In theory, you could get dressed in the dark.

I’ve touched on this point before, and by popular request from our readers who are in the process of re-inventing their closets, I decided to update my list of 20 essential items that can serve as the basis for any well-dressed mans wardrobe. Using only these 20 pieces you should be able to create dozens of different outfit combinations and be appropriately (and stylishly) dressed for just about any occasion.

Before you start stocking up, though, keep in mind that (as always) I recommend buying quality. Well-made clothing last longer and looks better every time you wear it, so it works harder for you and saves you money in the long run. These are all classic foundational items that you can wear for the next 10+ years, in my opinion. Think of them as investments. Investments in your appearance, your first impressions, your confidence, your sexlife, your career, etc. It might take you a couple years to build a high-quality, well-edited wardrobe. That’s okay. Menswear is a marathon, not a sprint.

I also included my top pick currently available online for each item. Price points are all relative to the individual, this is just a reference to items that I consider to be good values (there are no sponsorships or paid advertisements in this article whatsoever). For those going through body changes, it’s a good idea to wait until you stabilize at a weight that you are happy with, and can realistically maintain, before purchasing these staple pieces.

Lastly, don’t forget to bring new items to your tailor. Ask him what can be done and tell him how you want it to look; maybe even bring a Articles of Style photo for reference. Remember it’s a one-time cost that will reap residual benefits.

So here we go. Here’s my 20 foundational pieces to build your wardrobe around.

1. Unstructured & Textured Navy Suit

mens-navy-suit-custom-bespoke-menswear

A solid navy suit should be the foundation of your tailored wardrobe. If you find an unstructured one in a textured fabric – like this wool hopsack – it can serve as a go-to suit, blazer, or pair of trousers.

    • This is your workhorse business suit. You can wear it three times in one week and nobody will even notice (the beauty of solid navy in the corporate world)
    • Look for a fabric that is dark enough to wear in the evening (to a club, semi-formal event, etc.) to increase versatility.
    • You can also consider using a slightly more blazer-friendly button (like these gunmetal versions) if you find yourself wearing it more often as a jacket.
    • Our Navy Hopsack Suit is a fantastic place to start.

2. Blazer with Texture and Pattern

mens-custom-bespoke-sportcoat-jacket-blazer

A perfect sport coat, like a perfect pair of jeans, can be worn over and over again for a multitude of occasions.

  • Look for something with some pattern and texture, in colors that have a little life but are still subtle enough to go with most of your wardrobe
  • This is a great place to play with an interesting fabric blend, like this wool/linen/silk
  • This jacket should work with your navy suit trousers, both jeans, and the chinos (as well as any of your shirts)
  • Our Blue & Cream Glendplaid Jacket is a great place to start, especially mixed with the Navy Hopsack Suit

3. Dark Brown/Oxblood/Cordovan Wingtips

mens-brown-wingtips-shoes-what-to-buy

The quintessential dress shoe with just enough character for jeans on the weekend.

4. Brown Penny Loafers

mens-penny-loafer-bass-weejun-style-fashion-advice

The timeless everyday shoe that can be dressed up or down.

  • Look for a classic penny shape with a round toe and a medium vamp
  • I like medium brown – especially if you go burgundy on the wingtips

5. Suede Ankle Boots

best-chelsea-boots-for-men-fashion-style-advice

You already know how I feel about sleek dress boots. In chocolate suede, these are as versatile as they are sexy.

  • If you live in a rainy climate, you might want to consider going smooth leather
  • There are several styles of ankle boots to chose from – chukkas, chelseas, Jodhpurs, etc.

6. Black low-top leather Sneakers

best-sneakers-for-men-style-fashion-advice

I was going to go with white low-top sneakers, but they don’t work as well at night. Black looks harder, sharper and more sophisticated. It also works better with tailoredwear, in my opinion.

  • Look for something clean, simple and well-made
  • Avoid logos, stripes, colors, hardware, contrast soles, etc. The more stripped-down, the better.

7. Neutral Trench or Mac

best-outerwear-for-men-style-fashion-advice

A rain coat that’s not strictly for the rain. Make sure it’s waterproof, neutral in color, and classic in design. Like this treated cotton military trench.

  • Look for something just slim enough to fit over a suit/blazer, so it doesn’t look oversized over only a thin sweater
  • The length should hit around mid-thigh for greatest versatility (long enough to cover the suit jacket/blazer, and short enough to wear casually with the jeans and loafers

8. The Perfect Black Leather Jacket

best-leather-jackets-for-men-style-fashion-advice

If you chose properly, this will become your go-to piece for anything after sunset.

  • Look for something trim fit and light in weight (it’s a jacket, not a coat)
  • Keep the design details minimal. Go symmetrical with a classic collar and avoid any excessive hardware, zippers, biker padding, heavy linings, etc.

9. Slim Dark Denim

mens-raw-denim-guide-how-to-style-fashion-advice

No secret here. If you don’t have a go-to pair that fits perfectly, keep looking. You want a pair that you look fwd to wearing day in and day out, whether you’re dressed up or dressed down.

  • Go slim straight (or slight taper). Avoid “skinny”.
  • Try on as many brands as possible to find the best fit, then have them tailored after breaking them in.
  • Wear them as much possible and enjoy the break-in process. Try to avoid washing them if possible.

10. Faded/Vintage Denim

mens-vintage-washed-jeans-style-fashion-advice

As an alternative to the dark denim, look for something with a little more character and a little more Spring/Summer feel.

  • Authentic distressing almost always looks better than factory distressing. Therefore, go vintage and then go to your tailor.
  • Again, keep them slim and straight/tapered, but avoid anything that squeezes the thighs.

11. Stone Grey Chinos 

mens-guide-to-pants-style-fashion-advice

Pale grey chinos are as versatile as a pair of pants can get.

  • Look for something flat front, slim fit, and wash them in the machine to give them a broken-in feel.
  • They should be blank in color enough to work with virtually everything in your wardrobe.

12. Slim White Dress Shirt

mens-guide-to-white-shirts-custom-bespoke-menswear

Every guy should have at least one classic white dress shirt with a tailored fit and a strong collar.

  • Keep it simple: no contrast fabrics, colored buttons holes, funky design details, etc.
  • Go semi-spread or spread collar for greatest versatility (that oxford cloth button-down isn’t cut out for formal or semi-formal events)
  • Our Pick: White USA Oxford Shirt

13. Check/Plaid Oxford

mens-custom-shirt-guide-to-menswear

A check shirt (gingham, windowpane, tattersall, plaid, etc) can be a workhorse come Spring/Summer.

  • Look for something with a pop of color that is still relatively neutral and has a light base (like this white/khaki/burgundy)
  • Go with a button-down collar since you’ll often be wearing the shirt casually, but avoid anything overly “washed” with a flimsy collar since you want the option of wearing it with a tie/jacket.
  • Our pick: Brown Gingham Shirt

14. Chambray/Denim Shirt

mens-dress-shirts-denim-chambray-custom-bespoke

The denim shirt is a staple because it can be dressed up or down – especially if it’s cut like a dress shirt with a sharp cutaway collar.

  • Keep the fit trim and make sure the collar fits properly with a tie.
  • Look for a solid light wash (without too much distressing). It should look like a dress shirt made of denim, rather than a casual shirt that isn’t meant to be worn with a tie.

15. Tonal Pattern Henley

mens-henley-style-fashion-advice

The henley is an essential layering piece. You can wear it on it’s own like a t-shirt, under a heavy shirt (like the denim above), or over a button-down (like the white dress shirt, see outfit #7 below).

  • It should fit trim and hit right below the waistband
  • A tonal block stripe is a perfect way to add a little pattern, without competing with other pieces
  • Invest in a quality fabric (like this cashmere) and you’ll find yourself reaching for it time and time again.

16. Heather Grey Athletic Crewneck

mens-guide-to-fashion-style-crewneck

Back to basics with this one. Wear it to the gym, wear it over a shirt, wear it under a blazer… You can pretty much wear it with anything.

  • Look for medium grey fleece with a touch of heathering
  • The open crewneck and raglan sleeve give it a sporty feel.
  • Consider sizing down to get a trim fit – you want it to be fitted and sleek

17. Silk Knit Tie in Seasonal Color

mens-guide-to-ties-knit-style-fashion-advice

Bring out a spring color that works with the rest of your wardrobe. Solid options are burnt orange, mustard yellow, and deep purple.

  • Most knit ties are too thin (2″ on average) to tie a good knot. Look for one that’s a little wider, like this 3″ number.

18. Lightweight Scarf in Silk, Cotton, or Linen

mens-scarf-style-fashion-advice

Lightweight scarves are often overlooked. Therefore, a silk, linen, or cotton piece is an easy way to stand out from the crowd during the Spring/Summer months.

  • Think color and pattern, but not overwhelming.
  • Linen and cotton are probably a little easier to “pull off” than silk, which is a little more feminine, but also a little more suave.

19. A Versatile “In-Between” Belt

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice

The perfect belt is a cross between dressy and casual. This one, for example, is an O-ring belt (naturally leans casual) but cut in a fine suede leather (which leans a little more dressy). If I only had one belt, this would be it.

  • Keep it narrow and sleek. Like 1-1.5″ narrow.
  • Keep the hardware minimal, and preferably silver.

20. A Classic Felt Fedora

mens-quick-guide-to-hat-styles-fashion-style-advice

Last but not least, get yourself the classic gentleman’s finishing touch: the lightweight felt fedora.

  • Avoid really short or “stingy” brims, look for something around 2.25-2.75″
  • Go brown or dusty grey for most versatility
  • Try on as many hats as possible to find one that looks natural with your head/face shape. You want to be comfortable wearing it.

20 Pieces, 10 Looks

1. All Business

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

2. Date Night 

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

3. Casual Stroll

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

4. Nightclub All-Star

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

5. Business Casual

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

6. Spring Wedding/Semi-Formal

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

7. Cocktail Party Chic

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

8. Bar Hopping with the Boys

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

9. Serious Separates 

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

10. Leisure Suited 

mens-guide-to-style-fashion-advice-custom-bespoke

What are your go-to wardrobe essentials?

Thanks, as always, for reading. 

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier

Shop Custom Menswear Made in America

best-mannequins-row

Take me to the Shop

 

  • Dustin-Prestige

    Much love and Respect, bruh. I’m a 6′-4″ 230lb man who is just letting go of the Ralph Lauren obsession of my 20’s for a total wardrobe revamp for my 30’s (even cut my beard off lol). It’s been a journey piecing it together through different vintage shops and exchanges. But it’s really been fun. I get hella compliments on my new style, and my new fiancee is loving how sharp I am. This article is exactly what I needed to help me establish my new sense of style. THANK YOU, SIR.

    Dustin-Prestige

  • Richard Leonard

    V neck merino wool sweater,my go to. Over pattern shirt,solid Oxford. Under a sports jacket,with dress slacks,jeans or cords.

  • Messo

    thank you dan for this great article, i want to ask you: what do you think of the option ” levi’s 511 slim fit ” for the piece 9 , it’s not slim straight .

  • Nick

    Does anyone know where I can get the cotton windowpane blazer? I am absolutely in love with it and must have it!

  • nhl

    Just my opinion but i thought ‘Blazer with Texture and Pattern’ is called sportcoat

    • nhl

      nvm, haven’t read it all, sorry lol

  • Jimmy_Johansen

    What happened to all the content??? I used to check this site religiously. It was special. Now it seems like recycled articles and average stuff I could read on a lesser site.

  • Dave Hammerschlag

    Could you identify the clothes pictured? Also, the “golden rule of footwear” link doesn’t work, and most of your suggestions are out of stock/not for sale/etc. Don’t get me wrong though, I like the list.

    • cam

      This post is from 6 months ago. Not sure why it is showing up dated from a few days ago. I hit up Dan on Instagram but it looks like they haven’t fixed this issue.

      • Dave Hammerschlag

        Ah, ok, that makes sense. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Nick A

    I get it, a wide brim hat can be a game changer. It can completely transform you from the every-man shlubb to a sartorial genius. I get it. But if we’re talking essential – truly essential – how is it not a straight baseball cap? The baseball cap is the most American piece of headwear there is and is 100% going to be one of any guys’ top worn articles of clothing. I have one of the Old School J. Crew caps with the leather straps on the back and throw it on multiple times a week because my hair is in rough shape. ESSENTIAL, I SAY! I get the color and character of a fedora or what-have-you…but let’s be real. Every guy needs a perfect baseball cap.

  • akmaldesigns

    Gonna try style #2 or #5 today. When paired with jeans, do you tuck your shirt in??

  • Luca P.

    what do you think of black high-top leather shoes, like converse?

  • Luca P.

    Instead that leather low-top shoes, what do you think of high-top like for example converse?

  • Ilya

    Fedora? You got to be kidding. Fedoras, like any statement pieces, are not for novices. Isn’t this what you always taught us, Dan?

    Then, why pick crewneck sweater over of v-neck sweater?

    Gray suit + navy blazer combo is much more versatile than navy suit + patterned blazer combo.

    Your older essentials list were much, much better.

    • Ali Naaseh

      Vees are inherently dressier than crewnecks (which are, of course rooted in sport). I bet dan didn’t include a vee because his move to LA has made his style a little more casual (which you can also see by the lack of black leather shoes and belts on this list, and the fact he’s only included a knit tie rather than something dressier).

  • Marko

    #15 tonal Henley patter: what’s the brand of the Henley pictured? It’s a really nice looking Henley! Thanks in advance.

  • Owen

    Great post. I’m not sure about breaking jeans in before having them tailored. I always have my jeans tapered from the knee down due to having largish thighs for my waist size. I tailor jeans immediately so that they stretch and wear naturally from day 1. Tapering afterwards would likely interrupt or hide a lot of the character (especially on the seams) and change the fit of the garment. Not only that, I’ll break in raw denim for 6+ months before even washing it. I don’t want to wear jeans that don’t fit me for that amount of time.

  • Jake

    Dan, could you consider doing a piece on the classic/essential sport or dress shirts one should have in their closet? With particular focus not only to color, but to pattern (windowpane, gingham, hairline stripe, plain, two-tone, etc.). Also taking into account fabric (oxford, linen, poplin, etc.). Would be incredibly helpful for all men, I think. Thanks and great article!

  • Matty

    A few substitutions: Curious to hear the authors thoughts:

    Harrington/Barracdua jacket. I love mine, wear it all the time. Perhaps not as dark or sleek as a black leather jacket, but still interesting in different ways.

    Gray chinos, again love them and wear them all the time. But I prefer a darker grey, or lighter charcoal. Just my preference. The chinos in the images look nearly white, too white perhaps.

    Slim black jeans substituted for Vintage/faded denim. With the color pallette and shoes that were presented, the faded denim is the better choice. But I do love my black jeans. I like to pair them with a leather Chelsea boot, or grey plimsol.

    • Matty

      I should also say, love this list, and the images are terrific!! Great post.

  • AFH

    I got stick for saying for the whole wardrobe in 50 items is bollocks and I still think that. That said, I think this is all very artfully done – as far as it goes; this is as seasonal list for Spring/Summerish. So you probably need a few more items for high Summer (some nice t-shirts, linen jacket, polo, linen shirt or two, sandals, light mac in rainy climates, some kind of linen pullover would be nice). Also, realistically you’re going to need at least a few more shirts on rotation and you’re probably going to want a few more ties, a black belt of course. And then a lot more stuff in the winter (when nobody wants to wear the same stuff all the time). Basically if someone says they can have a fully functioning wardrobe in 80-100 items, then super. When they say 20, then I’m naturally dubious and this list does nothing to change that.

    Patch pockets, hopsack weave and nice buttons are all very cool, but it makes for a slightly dubious number 1 suit and also the whole “You can wear it three times in one week and nobody will even notice” concept suddenly looks that bit more dubious. Many of us would likely wreck the trousers anyway wearing it that much. What you’re describing is a very good number 3 suit, not a number 1.

    The Dad jeans appear once as ‘Business Casual’. I dunno man, that might be smart casual but ‘business casual’ feels like a stretch. Swapping the check shirt for a white one would help, but neither item feels like its really pulling its weight. I think tan chinos, worn carefully, are still way cooler than those jeans (and definitely more business-friendly) but I hear what you’re saying about the trench – I think I’d be tempted to take the Simon Crompton view and go with a dark green trench; I’m not sure I like the way the colour plays with the greys anyway, ‘neutral’ or otherwise.

    On the greys, I do recall you saying you’d never pay more than $10 for a gym crewneck or somesuch. How times change :-D

    The black sneakers on show are very nice but a good pair of black sneakers are not easy to find at a price I would consider reasonable. Whereas we all know goto brands for white sneakers where we get change from $100. I quite like white sneaks with tailoring, though in a club situ not so much – though stone grey pants feel like a risk as well.

    In the end, a lot of people can keep a suit in mothballs for special occasions, then wear navy blazers, white shirts, cotton pants and brogues all year round and not go too far wrong. Would be well boring though.

  • Justin

    This is the great thing about menswear. Just a few essentials and you can create different looks. You barely have to think about what to wear in the morning, just grab two or three different items and go.

  • CLThomas

    Who makes those sneaks in picture 6?

  • Victoria

    I think a lambswool, merino or cashmere tank top would be a great addition…love the fedora and silk scarf accessories…

  • http://www.lucidlingo.com.au/ Gazman

    Great post! One of your best and one to refer to time and again. One query I have: buying vintage jeans and then having them tailored can be an issue. If you want to slim the jeans down, the tailor cannot keep the wear marks (or whatever you call them) on the side seams, so the jeans will never look the same.

  • Desmond

    Great post Dan – many thanks!

  • http://instagram.com/stevensantander Steven Santander

    Good picks. Top on my list would be the denim shirt, WIDER silk knit ties, and a good hat(or several good hats). Obviously my favorite looks here are 6 and 10. I don’t think you missed anything too important, I think the rest is a matter of personal taste and seasonal fabrics, textures, colors, etc. Nice post!

  • TTG

    Great post TSB crew. Haven’t read one I very much agree with like this in a while. I also like the way the items are shown and the wood flooring, kudos. Two things i would add, like a fellow commenter noted, a good pair of sunglasses and a denim jacket. Everything else on the list is on point; well still not comfortable or know how to pull off a scarf tho. lol

  • khordkutta

    you and the crew have been nuthin but net lately

  • Christopher

    Greatest. Post. Ever.

  • Miguel

    I’ve been out a couple of days and when I come back I find this beautiful post with brilliant ideas and outfits, as always Dan, great post.

    If you kind of short, can you still rock Penny Loafers?

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Thanks! And definitely.

      • Miguel

        Thanks Dan.

  • Nathan Stabenfeldt

    This is my first read here and I can tell I’ll be a return visitor. Anybody have a good recommendation on a brown leather jacket? I wear black denim almost exclusively and find the black-on-black look to be a bit too much for me.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Thanks Nathan. Out of curiosity, how did you find our page today?

      Also, this is a beauty and one I would consider a long-term investment: http://bit.ly/1jmp7Y9

      • Nathan Stabenfeldt

        The article actually came up on my Facebook news feed, a friend had posted it. Thanks for the rec, Dan! You’re right, this one is gorgeous.

        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

          Thx! All the best Nathan.

  • john

    How about another SuitSupply option less than a grand?

  • E

    TSB, you need to start a new service…I send you pics of my clothing and you 1) put outfits together and 2) tell me what I need to buy and what I need to get rid of! :=)

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      We’re considering offering “one-on-one styling sessions live via Skype”…time permitting.

      Is this something you’d be interested in?

      • Mitko

        Definitely would be interested, but I doubt I could afford you

        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

          The rest of the TSBmen crew would likely have variable rates.

          Out of curiosity, what would a one-time “wardrobe consultation” via Skype be worth to you?

          • Ali Naaseh

            Since I’m a broke college kid that’s followed you for a few years now, I’d probably say $30/hr tops.

            I bet a lot of other people would pay more, some probably wouldn’t want the service at all.

            • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

              Hmmm… Yea, you probably wouldn’t be our target demographic for this type of personal service…

              But thanks for your feedback and continued support Ali!

          • Daniel

            Would be amusing to see how the team’s rates vary by how you rate yourselves. Alex’s prices would have jumped up in the past year

          • Mitko

            As someone else said earlier, I’m a college student who at this moment can only dream up his perfect outfits since there aren’t many good vintage clothiers in Ohio and anything else is too expensive for me (since I am a big supporter of investing in quality). However, since I have been a big follower of this blog and I can credit you guys as a big inspiration to me I wouldn’t mind paying close to $100 per hour…too bad I’m not a high roller. That being said I’m sure there are more successful people out there that feel the same way as me!

        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

          The rest of the TSBmen crew would likely have variable rates.

          Out of curiosity, what would a one-time “wardrobe consultation” via Skype be worth to you?

      • Mitko

        Definitely would be interested, but I doubt I could afford you

      • http://instagram.com/stevensantander Steven Santander

        I was considering doing something like this myself, Dan. It is a good idea…time permitting. Hope it works out for you guys and your target audience.

      • E

        Would definitely be interested. Speaking for myself, Skype may not be necessary. Long story short, before finding this site and a couple of others I made the mistake of replacing most of my wardrobe. Now, seeing the error of my ways, I am hoping to become more focused. I would think I could provide a set of pictures and then have them reviewed – which would easier scheduling. I bought way too many clothes based on sales etc, so this could get expensive!

  • Dan

    That rust tie is killer! You helped me pick out the perfect outfit for my friend’s wedding I’m attending this month. Thanks :D!

  • Omar Shaikh

    Yo TSB, I’m 18 years old, in college, and can’t pay more than $200 for a suit. I’m looking for a solid navy suit. I’m also 5″6, 130 lbs, and in pretty good shape. I wear a size 34S but I can get away with a 36S if the suit is cut really slim. I’ve had a hard time finding an affordable brand that also offers a good fit. I went to hm and the suits just fit me really weird. Does anyone know of any brand that I can try for a good navy staple suit at my budget?

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      My suggestions in that price point would be H&M, Uniqlo, Zara, Topman, Banana Republic clearance/outlet, and Asos.

      Cheers youngin’

      • Omar Shaikh

        Thanks for the help Dan!

        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

          Tis what I do, friend.

          • tweed05

            Sorry to bother you, but the link for the windowpane sport coat is not the same as pictured. I am absolutely in love with that jacket, could you please tell me who makes it and what it is called? Great post!

      • Omar Shaikh

        Thanks for the help Dan!

    • http://community.mis.temple.edu/dannnnyboyyy/ Daniel C.

      Agree with Dan: Zara is fairly slim fitting and is a decent suit for college. My friend has two and they look great for the price!

    • http://community.mis.temple.edu/dannnnyboyyy/ Daniel C.

      Agree with Dan: Zara is fairly slim fitting and is a decent suit for college. My friend has two and they look great for the price!

  • Herbert Morrison

    Very nice. If I could jack one item from the TSB closet that would presumably fit me it would definitely be #8 (Bello, I could never steal from you though). That RL jacket has been a part of this website since its inception. It’s a survivor–walk into any hood that’s live, make it liver.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      If that thing ever gets jacked I will HUNT YOU DOWN.

      • Herbert Morrison

        Nah Dan I would never & I meant no disrespect. That jacket like this space has a rich history. It’s nice to have been a part of it. Never had a leather nor seen one nice as that. If it ever goes up for charity auction one day, I should be so lucky.

    • Willie JS

      I am also dreaming with that Purple Label..

  • cjs

    Question for the readers or TSB crew: Do you wash your expensive (raw/selvedge) denim? If so how often? I know this has been a long-running argument, but I’d like to hear from some of the stylish folks at (or readers of) TSBmen.

    Thanks

    • Greg Haney

      I’m really interested in this too, because I can never seem to wear my jeans more than 3 times. They clearly smell like fart and need washing after that.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Your jeans smell like farts bro?

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Your jeans smell like farts bro?

        • Greg Haney

          This isn’t a problem for others? Everyone farts, multiple times a day. After 3 wears my jeans smell like a truckstop restroom and need to be washed. Please, if there is some kind of magic fart-technique for pants I want to know.

          And for the record, yes I shower everyday, sometimes twice. I’m a near germaphobe and carry Purell with me all the time.

          • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

            A little febreeze and steam does it for me (and a rotation, of course)…but sounds like your sh-t might be next level.

            • Shawn

              Best comment on TSBmen for sure!

          • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

            A little febreeze and steam does it for me (and a rotation, of course)…but sounds like your sh-t might be next level.

          • AdamE

            That’s serious staying power… Do you go Commando in them? that might make sense, but I can’t say I’ve had bombs linger in my jeans beyond a couple of minutes

        • Greg Haney

          This isn’t a problem for others? Everyone farts, multiple times a day. After 3 wears my jeans smell like a truckstop restroom and need to be washed. Please, if there is some kind of magic fart-technique for pants I want to know.

          And for the record, yes I shower everyday, sometimes twice. I’m a near germaphobe and carry Purell with me all the time.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Depends on the pair, but typically I don’t – until they are ready to start showing some awesome fading – at which point I have them dry cleaned. To kill bacteria/funk I’ll either just air them out, or steam them. I’ve also heard more extreme methods like freezing them or wearing them in salt water…

      In depth post on this coming soon…

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Depends on the pair, but typically I don’t – until they are ready to start showing some awesome fading – at which point I have them dry cleaned. To kill bacteria/funk I’ll either just air them out, or steam them. I’ve also heard more extreme methods like freezing them or wearing them in salt water…

      In depth post on this coming soon…

    • AdamE

      I only wash mine when they get really funky, or I spill stuff on them. Otherwise, I’ll steam them when I get the behind the knee creases, or to freshen them a little… I’ve heard of washing them with ice cold water and vinegar when you first get them to both lock in the colour and to avoid turning white shoes blue… As for the freezer trick, I will flagrantly point and laugh if I am ever at a friend’s place and they open the freezer and I see a pair of Jeans…

  • John

    My favorite post you’ve written thus far! Thanks so much Dan.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      No diggity.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      No diggity.

  • Jose Marcial

    Sunglasses. As a Florida resident, a good pair of versatile sunglasses that looks just as appropriate with a suit as it does with a bathing suit is key.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Agreed. We actually had a pair in here, but I counted wrong and had to cut them to make the 20.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Agreed. We actually had a pair in here, but I counted wrong and had to cut them to make the 20.

  • Edward

    The original post is one of my favorites, but this is fantastic! I was wondering what inspired the change? Did age having someting to do with it or changing trends?

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      More than anything, probably the weather. These are a little Spring-leaning, on purpose. Perhaps we’ll run a similar piece seasonally.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      More than anything, probably the weather. These are a little Spring-leaning, on purpose. Perhaps we’ll run a similar piece seasonally.

  • TO

    An epic re-incarnation of a classic post !

    Oddly enough I own a trench that’s not waterproof from BR- can I get it treated?

    The photos are amazing, such thought and creativity went into the clothing arrangements. Posts like this help me stop and re-evaluate my wardrobe. Thanks TSB!

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      You can try to wax it yourself, Barbour style…

      Hope all is well in TO, TO.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      You can try to wax it yourself, Barbour style…

      Hope all is well in TO, TO.

  • http://storniman.tumblr.com Alex G.

    Checking out #12: are the collar and cuffs dirty (or is it part of the look)?

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Perhaps a little of both? Nah, nah, it’s dirty.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Perhaps a little of both? Nah, nah, it’s dirty.

  • cam

    I gotta have a navy/charcoal cashmere sweater in there. And my go to belt is my brown alligator strap with initialed engine turned buckle. I can wear it with anything much like your pick of the suede o-ring. Great list but I really think it almost needs to be 20 A/W pieces and 20 S/S pieces…that’s me being greedy ;)

    • TO

      A/W? What’s that

      • cam

        Autumn/Winter

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      You rock that alligator belt with sneaks? I have a similar one but find it too formal for casualwear – especially on the West coast.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      You rock that alligator belt with sneaks? I have a similar one but find it too formal for casualwear – especially on the West coast.

  • JC

    YES. It’s funny, the “25 Essentials” post from a while back is actually what got me hooked on TSB – and menswear in general, for that matter. Now, checking TSBmen is just part of my daily routine. Everything that I disagreed with on that last list is corrected with this one. Definitely in support of the addition of the penny loafers and knit tie. Personally, I would swap the leather jacket for a denim one, and then add sunglasses as an essential. (Especially since you used sunglasses in looks 5 and 6. Cheap move TSB ;P ) Just my opinion though, to each his own! All the looks are killer!

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      The shades were on the list, but I counted wrong and had to cut them to fit the least into a clean 20.

      “Checking TSB is a daily routine…
      cuz all we wanna do is…”

      • Dave Hammerschlag

        What brand/model are the shades?

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      The shades were on the list, but I counted wrong and had to cut them to fit the least into a clean 20.

      “Checking TSB is a daily routine…
      cuz all we wanna do is…”

  • Shawn

    I’ve been waiting for an updated version of this article for a while! I love what you laid out! May I suggest light blue instead of white for the dress shirt choice, as I feel light blue might be a little bit more all-around that white (which in my book is strict CBD)? Also, what made you choose light grey over tan or beige chinos? Strict personal choice?

    As for the black sneakers, Kent Wang just released a dark brown suede number that I really like, how do you feel about this?

    BTW, really love the flooring, it makes a great background for the products!

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Def stick with the white shirt – white a black tie and the dark navy suit you can go formal.

      Tan chinos are a little too “Connecticut Dad”, and wouldn’t contrast enough with the trench.

      I’d rather keep my boots brown suede and my sneakers sleek leather.

      Cheers.

      • Ali Naaseh

        My friends have started calling me “Connecticut Dad” lately. Fully embracing it

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Def stick with the white shirt – white a black tie and the dark navy suit you can go formal.

      Tan chinos are a little too “Connecticut Dad”, and wouldn’t contrast enough with the trench.

      I’d rather keep my boots brown suede and my sneakers sleek leather.

      Cheers.

  • Mike

    Hey Dan,
    Thoughts on raw/selvedge denim that still have a tapered look for those with larger thighs? I have 24″ thighs but a 30″ waist so all slim-type jeans are out. I used to have a pair of APC NS but can barely get them passed the mid-thigh anymore.

    • TO

      No suggestions from me on raw denim, but cruise for Levi’s in vintage spots for regular jeans if you have trouble finding those also.

    • cjs

      I have a similar problem; small waist, muscular thighs.. Your best bet is to buy a size larger and have a tailor bring in the waist and taper the area from the knee down. Or buy straight fitting jeans in the appropriate size and have a tailor taper from knee down.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Good advice.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Good advice.

  • WideEyesTWBlog

    I had to stop reading this because my shopping list was getting too long and my wallet started crying! Great list, I literally need/want everything on here (even if I already have it, ha).

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      There’s always eBay player.

      • WideEyesTWBlog

        You know it…actually have a pair of Johnston Murphy penny loafers on the way that I scored for under $20 (hoping low bids were just due to the crummy pictures), so I guess I’m on my way! 1 down, 19 to go…haha.

        • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

          #chessnotcheckers

      • WideEyesTWBlog

        You know it…actually have a pair of Johnston Murphy penny loafers on the way that I scored for under $20 (hoping low bids were just due to the crummy pictures), so I guess I’m on my way! 1 down, 19 to go…haha.

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      There’s always eBay player.

  • John B

    I like them and thankfully I have most of them! I’d also add a cardigan in a versatile color (probably navy/grey) and maybe a black pair of shoes and a belt. Looks a bit spring-oriented, but that can be solved by adding an extra layer and a coat! Definitely glad to see you sugget wide(r) knit ties, I absolutely love them (and thanks to the Knottery, I got some for cheap!).

  • Steve T.O

    Fantastic post !

  • Tom

    You forgot the walk of shame look