essential items in every man’s wardrobe

1. A decent trench coat 

.If you live on the west coast, this may be the only coat you need. It doesn’t even have to be tan; I bought my husband a midnight blue Jil Sander rubber-cotton trench, totally modern.

2. An overcoat.

If you can forget the musty, heavy wool and go for a fine cashmere (even though it may set you back a few grand plus), the light weight, the hand feel, and the look elevate anything, including your jeans.

3. Navy suit.

Everyone looks good in navy; everybody. Tropical weight wool (4-season) on the west coast. If you can avoid pleated pants, please do, but only if they lay flat.

4. Charcoal suit.

Everyone looks good in charcoal, too, because it’s a neutral. Not necessary (a second suit, in tech), but flannel or worsted weight. Younger men get flat-fronted pants, PLEASE.

5. Shirts

Two white, one blue (or other color) shirt. 100% Mercerized cotton, for sheen.

6. Casual jacket

Could be the classic navy blue blazer; if you’re “not that guy”, it can just be a great Belgian or Japanese designer. It can be a Belstaff motorcycle jacket (ooh!). Girls are begging, though; no fleece.

7. Slacks

Nice wool or cotton pants that aren’t jeans. Maybe even linen for the summer. 
8. A V-neck cashmere sweater, two-ply.

Light enough to wear under your suits when it is cold, casual enough (and thin enough) to wear over a shirt or (yum) T-shirt to show crew-neck undershirt.

9. We’ll assume you have a few ties and socks.

If not and you want some of the best, Hermes ties and Falke cashmere socks.
10. A great pair of jeans.

They have to make you look great. They can be $40 from the Gap. They can be $300 selvage denim. But the fit is key, and rarely do they fit off the peg. Find a good tailor and make sure your rear looks divine.  

11. Sunglasses

Not only to look cool, but to protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays, even on shady days. More people have permanent “bumps” on their eyeballs (conjunctival papilloma) from a lifetime of not wearing sunglasses than ever before. The bumps are unattractive and potentially cancerous.  

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