17 Basic Clothing Items Every Man Should Own

Every wardrobe tells a story. Just by looking at the wardrobe of a man, you can tell a lot about that man. And even though most men wants to look stylish and fashionable nowadays more than ever, they have the tendency of wearing the same clothes over and over again and in that process ignores to have the very basic variety of clothing items in their wardrobe.

Because of this reason, I, as a designer, have decided to put forward a list of 17 basic clothing items every man should own which will help add variety to their wardrobe.

First, let’s list out the 17 basic clothing items and then I will tell you why you should own them. So, without any further delay, let’s check out my 17 picks.

  1. Basic White Dress Shirt

  2. Basic Black Dress Shirt

  3. Blue Denim Shirt

  4. Black Denim Jeans

  5. Blue Denim Jeans

  6. Sherwani

  7. Plain V-Neck T-Shirt

  8. Plain Henley Shirt

  9. Khaki Pants or Chinos

  10. Checked Flannel Shirt

  11. Zip-Up Hoodie

  12. Navy Blazer

  13. Sweater

  14. Leather Jacket

  15. 3 Piece Navy Suit

  16. Charcoal Gray Suit

  17. Track Suit

Now that we know the 17 items, let’s dive into details as to why you should include them in your wardrobe.

  • Basic White Dress Shirt

This is the most basic clothing item every man should own. Even if I hadn’t listed this, you guys probably own it. Nothing beats the elegance of a basic white dress shirt. Moreover, they are perfect to wear at almost any formal and semi-formal events.

How to wear basic white dress shirt?

The basic white dress shirt can be worn in a numerous ways as it compliments a lot of clothes. I, personally prefer to wear my white dress shirt in two manners viz.

  1. Under a navy blue blazer and khaki pants ending the whole look with brown oxford shoes.
  2. With indigo denim jeans and casual white sneakers.

You can mix and match the basic white dress shirt in many other ways as well according to your likes and dislikes.

But, I feel the above two ways works the best not only for me but also for most men.

  • Basic Black Dress Shirt

Like white, the basic black dress shirt is another must have clothing item for men. I feel black is such a confidence booster for men. No matter who wears it, a fine black dress shirt looks extremely manly and elegant on a man.

How to wear basic black dress shirt?

Just like white, the black dress shirt too, can be worn in numerous ways. Below are some of my personal favorites.

  1. Pairing it with a charcoal gray formal pant and black brogues shoes.
  2. With washed denim jeans and casual boat shoes or alpargatas.

These two are my favorite looks which I feel compliments the black dress shirt perfectly. Some men likes to pair it with beige chinos which is also not a bad option but I personally, am not a very big fan of the whole look.

And ya, black makes you look slim. So, if you are on the heavier side of the weighing scale, black is definitely something which need to give attention more than any other color.

  • Blue Denim Shirt

A blue denim shirt is the epitome of a classic casual look. Irrespective of season, denim shirt looks great all year around. And since Denim is anti fashion, you don’t have to worry about it ever going out of fashion.

How to wear blue denim shirt?

Denim shirt can be mix and matched in numerous ways. Here is a list of some of the ways which I personally like to pair my Denim Shirt with..

  1. With dark blue denim jeans and a pair of suede leather ankle boots. This look is an all time classic as it can make you look extremely manly and rugged.
  2. Blue denim shirt with beige chinos and a pair of white sneakers is another look which I dig.
  3. You can also style up your denim shirt with a white or black undershirt keeping the shirt unbuttoned for an easy going casual look.Blue Denim Shirt-Fine Tuning Men
  • Black Denim Jeans

Black jeans are such an amazing piece of clothing item which I feel most men neglects. The best part about Black denim jeans is that it goes perfectly with almost anything.

How to wear black denim jeans?

Here are a few tried and tested ideas which I highly recommend.

  1. Black jeans with a plain white/black crew neck t-shirt for that easy breezy casual look.
  2. Black skinny denim jeans with white/denim shirt and a pair of leather boots also is a great look.
  3. During winter, you can team up your black denim jeans with a dark leather jacket with an undershirt below it and end up the whole look with black leather boots.
  • Blue Denim Jeans

You guys knew from the very start that this was coming. I don’t think I have ever met any guy without a pair of blue denim jeans. These are the most basic men’s wardrobe essentials.

How to wear blue denim jeans?

You can wear blue denim jeans in literally infinite ways. Blue denim jeans goes well with almost anything and everything that you can think of. Below are my personal favorite looks with blue denim jeans.

  1. For a simple yet elegant look, I feel blue denim jeans looks the best with a flannel checked shirt and a pair of any good quality casual shoes.
  2. During winter, you can also team up your blue denim jeans with a beige trench coat and leather boots for a semi casual look.
  3. Blue denim jeans is also great to wear with a basic white or black shirt and chappals for a relaxed lounge look.

Apart from these looks, you can also wear them with henley shirt, sweaters, biker’s jacket and a ton lot of other way. With blue jeans, there is a very less room of error as it stays in trend year around.

  • Sherwani

If you are from the western part of the world, you might not have heard about it. But, for us Indians, Sherwanis are a must have clothing item.

Sherwani is a part of kurta pajamas. It is a long coat like garment paired with pajamas or churidar which gives it a very royal feel and look.

If you want to know more about kurta pajamas, here is a detailed article related to the very topic.

Kurta Pajamas : The Official Dress Code of Indian Men during Festivals

  • How to wear Sherwani?

    Since it is mandatory to wear churidar, pajamas or dhoti with Sherwani; below are some points which you should look out for when wearing Sherwani.

    1. It is always advisable to wear kurta under a sherwani, but if you don’t want to wear it; a simple vest inside will also get the work done.
    2. Accessorize with a pocket square to bring out that oomph factor during wedding season.
    3. Always make sure to wear suitable footwear with Sherwani. Wear a simple jutti which will help bring out the whole look of Sherwani even more splendidly.
    4. Make sure to wear fitted Sherwani. A loose fitted Sherwani can make you look unfit and unappealing which will ruin the whole purpose of wearing a sherwani.
  • Plain V-Neck T-Shirt

The plain V-Neck T-Shirt is such an important clothing item for men of all ages. You can wear them with pajamas to lounge around comfortably in your house and if you have a somewhat okay body, you can also wear them for a casual outing.

And do keep at least some color options when it comes to V-Neck T-shirt. My suggestions would be orange, charcoal gray and olive green along with black and white.

How to wear V-Neck T-Shirt?

If you want to look stylish with V-Neck T-Shirt, try these looks.

  1. Wear it with a basic blue or black denim jeans and sneakers. It’s a very simple look but works wonders especially if you have a good physique.
  2. You can also try a flannel shirt on top of V-Neck T-Shirt. As for pants, go for regular fit blue denim jeans and basic brown moccasins or monk strap slip-ons for an uber casual look. Keep the shirt unbuttoned.
  • Plain Henley Shirt

Give me a pair of jeans and a couple of white and black Henley Shirt and I can go on weeks without feeling the need to wear anything else. That’s how much I love Henley Shirt. They are so damn comfortable yet stylish clothing item that it is almost impossible not to recommend it.

I, personally have a different section in my wardrobe just for Henley shirts.

How to wear Henley Shirt?

Now, let’s look at some ideas which might help you to pair your Henley with.

  1. Keep it simple. Wear it with regular fit blue jeans and a classic pair of sneakers. This is a very minimalist yet ever so stylish look which never fades with time.
  2. During winter, you also have the option to wear a cardigan or a suede leather jacket over a Henley which will make you look extremely stylish. You can also accessorize it with a scarf.

And ya, do make sure to have some color options with Henley Shirt.

  • Khaki Pants or Chinos

I feel it is mandatory for every man to have at least a pair of khaki pants or chinos. These pants might be simple but they are perfect for a relaxed evening out with your friends or a semi formal meeting.

Chinos comes in various colors which comes in handy during playful outings with friends and family. On the other hand, khaki gives out the feeling of a more semi formal look.

How to wear Khaki Pants or Chinos?

You can wear khakis or chinos with a variety of top wear but try not to go overboard with it. Try to keep the whole look casual and effortless.

Here are some of the looks which I highly recommend.

  1. Khaki pants with a blue or lavender linen shirt looks extremely easy going and stylish. Don’t forget to finish up the whole look with alpargatas.
  2. Denim shirt with a dark colored chinos or khakis is also a look which looks extremely attractive granted you are not too chubby. Loafers are perfect with this combination.

On a side note, chinos in the form of joggers are also a great choice nowadays.

  • Checked Flannel Shirt

This one is such a classic that it’s almost impossible not to include it in this list. No matter whether you are skinny or chubby, there is always a pattern with checked shirt which will meet your needs.

They are also very easy to maintain and is extremely helpful when doing dirty and physically intense outdoor activities as it’s hard to notice stains through the checks.

How to wear Checked Flannel Shirt?

You can wear checked flannel shirts in a variety of ways. Below are some looks which you could try.

  1. Checked shirt over a V-Neck or crew neck T-Shirt keeping the shirt unbuttoned and finishing the whole look with distressed dark blue jeans and suede leather chelsea boots is a classic look to go for.
  2. Checked shirt can also be paired with chinos and a pair of loafers for an easygoing look.

Lastly, if you are on the heavier side, try to get checks which focuses more vertically as it will help you to look slimmer. On the other hand, if you are skinny, focus checks should be horizontal.

  • Zip-Up Hoodie

The moment I feel the winter wind blowing, the first clothing item I take out from my wardrobe is the Zip-Up Hoodie. It’s such a comfortable yet extremely functional clothing item during the winter season that it is almost impossible not to recommend it. Moreover, the Hood also helps protect your ears during the chilly winter winds.

Apart from being a great clothing item during the winter season, the Zip-Up Hoodie can also be worn as gym wear.

How to wear Zip-Up Hoodie?

Since it is completely casual, there are no hard and fast rules as in how to wear them. But, if you ask me, I would suggest you to go for these looks which have been tried and tested by many and is time proof.

  1. The Zip-Up Hoodie with joggers and high ankle sneakers is a look which is very popular. This look is extremely stylish and fashionable as well.
  2. You can wear a crew neck T-Shirt inside the Zip-Up Hoodie keeping the chain open and pair it up with a regular blue jeans and a pair of classic white sneakers.
  • Navy Blue Blazer 

The classic single breasted navy blazer is something you can wear to a semi formal meeting, bar and even weddings. This is one investment that will keep you happy for a very long time.

How to wear Navy Blue Blazer?

Since the navy blue blazer can be worn in both formal and casual occasions, here are some ways which will help you look extremely elegant and stylish.

  1. For casual purpose, wear it over a Polo T-shirt and linen pants. As for the shoes, go for loafers or monk straps.
  2. For formal purpose, wear it over a basic dress shirt and tie. As for the pants, go for khaki or gray flannel pants and end the whole look with brown suede dress shoes.

Apart from these 2 options, you can also play around with a lot of accessories when it comes to navy blue blazer.

You can also wear navy blue blazer with different dress shirts and sweaters.

Moreover, you also have the option to play with neckties and pocket squares.

  • Sweater

Sweater-Fine Tuning Men

How can you even think of a must have clothing items list and not have sweaters in it, right?

Sweater is the most basic winter clothing item for both man and woman. Even though, sweater doesn’t gets the attention it deserves because of suits, blazers and jackets during the winter season, you just cannot deny how important it is as a clothing item!

How to wear Sweater?

Pairing a sweater with different clothing items is probably the most easy from the whole list. But, if you want to look super stylish in it, here are some ways.

  1. Wear a single color sweater with contrast shirt inside it and indigo denim jeans and white sneakers for a classic look.
  2. Wear a multicolored sweater inside a brown trench coat and end the whole look with black denim jeans and brown suede leather boots. The multi color will help keep focus on the sweater.

You also have the option to wear sweaters with suits but I am not a big fan of the whole look as I feel it has the tendency to make you look a bit bulky.

  • Leather Jacket

Nothing speaks rough, tough and rugged than leather jacket. They might be a bit pricey but it’s more than worth it as it will last you for years.

“Leather Jackets are the bad boys of your wardrobe who doesn’t like to hang around with the majority of clothing item. But the best thing about them is that they makes sure that it passes their charm over to the ones they hang around with.”

How to wear Leather Jacket?

Leather jackets are not that simple to match with the majority of clothing items as it looks. Here are some ideas which you might like.

  1. Wear it over a blue denim shirt and black denim jeans and finish up the whole look with brown suede leather monk strap shoes.
  2. You can also wear it over a henley shirt for a cool and casual look. Pair it with distressed blue denim jeans and black leather chelsea boots.
  3. Wearing it over a cardigan is also not a bad option when it is extremely cold as the little extra heat from the cardigan would help you a lot. As for the pants, regular fit jeans will do just fine. You can also add a scarf to the whole look.

P.s- The leather jacket which I have mentioned here is the biker’s leather jacket.

  • 3 piece Navy Blue Suit

The 3 piece navy blue suit is such an useful clothing item no matter what you do or where you work. Even if you don’t feel the need to own it today; mark my words that at some point of your life you will need them.

The 3 piece suit is the epitome of a work oriented man. Having that third piece(waist coat) helps ensure that everything falls beautifully and elegantly.

How to wear the 3 Piece Navy Blue Suit?

Even though the three piece is a complete look in itself, there are some very easy ways to look even more dapper in it.

  1. I would highly suggest you to go for basic white shirt under it as I feel it’s an evergreen look which will never go out of fashion.
  2. Play around with stylish pocket squares of various colors. This will also help you to stand out from the crowd. Pocket squares can make such a huge difference that you will be surprised.
  3. Always make sure to match your shoes and belts.

Lastly, make sure you buy pure wool fabric suits. Wool is the best fabric when it comes to suits.

  • Charcoal gray suit

  • If you are a working profession or someone who is just starting out with his career, the charcoal gray suit will be a blessing for you. The color won’t scream at you but will get the work done quietly and perfectly.

    How to wear Charcoal Gray Suit?

    Unlike the 3 piece navy blue suit, the 2 piece charcoal gray suit is not very strict which means you can play around with various shirts and ties. Here are some looks which I prefer.

  1. You can wear it with a light blue shirt and red tie which will not only look great but will also help you explore your playful side. Charcoal Gray Suit-Fine Tuning Men
  2. You can also play around with bold colored socks and pocket squares with charcoal gray suits. Burgundy and greens looks exquisite according to me.
  3. Shoes and belts should compliment each other.
  • Track Suit

It doesn’t matter if you are a fitness enthusiast or not, having a track suit in your wardrobe is a must these days. Apart from functionality, track suit has come a long way from being considered street wear to models walking down the ramp of a Haute Couture Show in tracksuit.

How to wear Track Suit?

Nowadays, track suits are getting extremely stylish as the whole look is getting a lot of popularity lately. Here are some personal favorite looks which I would suggest you to try out.

  1. Wear it with high ankle sneakers to achieve the athlete look.
  2. You can also accessorize it with sports watches and bold color socks to add that little extra to the whole look.


Although every man should own these clothing items; if you don’t have the budget to get all these items, don’t get it!

Dressing well is important but being a good man with a good heart will define you in life more than anything else.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading the whole article,

Feel free to comment below what you think about the list ⬇️

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *