3 Outfits Every Guy Needs

My articles and videos almost always center around a specific piece of clothing or accessory, so I thought it would be fun to switch it up and talk about 3 head-to-toe foundational outfits every guy needs. Once you have these 3 outfits, you can build an entire wardrobe around them. And here’s the beauty of them: from these 3 outfits, you can switch things in and out to add your own personal touch and truly make them your own.

Outfit 1

The first outfit is a casual one, comprised of a black polo shirt, a well-fitting pair of dark wash jeans and some white low top sneakers. This is a solid casual outfit that will always look great and put together on every man, regardless of your age or body type.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1

$198 – John Varvatos Collection Hamptons Silk & Cotton Polo Shirt in black or charcoal (Best luxe polo shirt!)
$13 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black (**THESE ARE THE BEST POLO SHIRTS!!!!)
$165 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in slate resin (Love that the color, stitching, and hardware are similar color)
$55 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in dark hollow
$410 – Common Projects Achilles Leather Sneakers in white
$60 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith (colorway: white/white/fairway – Also available @ Footlocker)
$415 – Tom Ford ‘Snowdon’ Sunglasses
IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Outfit 2

I like to call this outfit ‘dressy casual’ because it transitions well from day to night. Throw on a leather or cotton black bomber jacket with a black t-shirt, dark wash jeans and black leather chukkas.

If you’re thin to average build, you can also wear a white t-shirt. However, if you’re a broader man that’s not in shape, and you decide to take off your jacket, then a white t-shirt will actually spotlight how big you are (and not in a good way). Also, the reason why you want to go with black chukkas is because black is the dominant color in your jacket. I went with leather chukka boots over suede and lace-up boots because the latter options won’t look appropriate for every season.

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$670 – All Saints Mower Leather Bomber Jacket in black (LOVE how minimal this jacket is – definitely a BIFL!)
$88 – Everlane Cotton Bomber in black
$60 – James Perse Clear Jersey Crew in black
$10 – H&M Crew-neck T-shirt in black
$170 – Diesel Buster 0607A Tapered Jeans (I’ve bought my fiance 3 pairs of these – they’re that good!)
$55 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in dark hollow
$175 – Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Chukka in black

Why a bomber over a blazer?

A bomber is a very stylish, modern alternative to a blazer that works in almost all the same occasions and looks great for every man, regardless if you’re a teenager all the way to a retiree. A younger gentlemen in high school or college, for instance, wouldn’t necessarily need a blazer, so that’s why I’m not recommending it over a blazer. If the occasion does call for a sport coat or blazer, in a pinch, you can use the jacket in my next recommendation and dress it up like I did in the picture below.

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Outfit 3

Lastly, my classic go-to formal outfit is a charcoal or navy suit with a white semi-spread collar dress shirt, black or charcoal tie, white pocket square, and oxford dress shoes. If you’re going with a charcoal suit, then pair with a black tie and black dress shoes. For a navy suit, pair with a charcoal tie, and dark brown dress shoes.

I love these two suits because it’s very easy to go formal by adding a tie or dress them down by forgoing a tie or swapping in a t-shirt instead of a collared shirt.

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$1395 – Burberry Modern Fit Wool Part Canvas Suit (charcoal)
$498 – Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Grey Suit
$115 – TopMan Grey Slim Fit Suit (alternative for warm climates: Topman Charcoal Linen Suit)
$280 – Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords (black or brown)
$120 – Aldo Bandolla Dress Shoe (black)
$19 – The Tie Bar Grenafaux Tie (My, hands down, favorite solid tie – go with black or charcoal)
$10 – The Tie Bar Solid White Cotton Pocket Square

Top 4 Sneakers For 2017

I want to talk about the Top 4 sneakers for 2017. These are 4 sneakers I highly recommend if you’re looking to put together an intentional sneaker collection that’ll cover you for some of the different aspects of your life. For example, working out, traveling, or just needing an everyday, lifestyle sneaker.

4. Nike Flyknit Racer

This is a great athletic sneaker because it weighs practically nothing and the woven upper makes it very breathable. Also, these are a great lifestyle sneaker that you can wear with your casual clothes because the design is so minimal and it has a very sleek silhouette.

Flyknit Racer Ashley Weston

$150 – Nike Flyknit Racer (in Black/White or Black/Anthracite/Black)

3. Converse All Star & Jack Purcell

These are classics and super easy to wear year-round. Leather or canvas options are great – and always default to low-tops because they’re easier to wear than high-tops.

Converse All Star and Jack Purcell Ashley Weston

$80 – Converse Jack Purcell Tumbled Leather Low Top (in white and black)
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Low Top (in white, navy, and black)
$65 – Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Low Top (in white and black)
$50 – Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top (in white, navy, and black)

2. Adidas UltraBoost

I love the minimal design of the UltraBoost. The knit upper makes it very breathable too. You can treat these as your everyday sneakers or make them your running/workout shoes because they’re super comfortable.

Adidas Ultra Boost Ashley Weston

$180 – Adidas UltraBoost

1. Adidas Stan Smith

This one will be on my list every year until something better can replace it.

These are a great lifestyle, everyday tennis shoe. Also, they’re not expensive and relatively easy to keep clean if you give them a wipe down every week or two and don’t go hiking in them. Remember, women look at your shoes for an indication of what type of man you are. Clean white shoes = this dude’s got his shit together.

Adidas Stan Smiths Ashley Weston

$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Shoes (with either the green or navy logo)

 

Notably absent in my list are basketball sneakers because those are for a very specific group of men out there who either play basketball or are crazy sneakerheads. Some guys can pull them off really well, while others end up looking immature and silly in them.

Henley Shirts

Henley shirts are one of the few items that, to me, don’t really have a specific season they’re best worn in because there’s so many different versions for men. Other shirts, like T-Shirts, Polo Shirts and Dress Shirts don’t really have this problem since they’re pretty standard across the board no matter the season.

I love henleys, because they look sexy and masculine, especially when the top 1 or 2 buttons are undone to draw the eyes to your chest and shoulders to show off your physique in a flattering way. Hence, the image below.

BUT, and this is a big mistake I see a lot of men making – they’re not for every everyone. More on that shortly.

Let’s get into what to look for in your henleys based on the time of year.

Intro - Short Sleeve Sexy henley

Fabric

Generally, henleys will be made out of cotton, so there’s really not much choice outside of that, but you still need to consider fabric weights depending on the time of year. The main thing to know is that lighter weights should be worn in warmer months or in warmer climates and thicker, heavier fabrics in cooler months or climates. You can get them in everything from a lightweight summer weave, where it feels like a t-shirt, to thicker, quilted versions which will keep you warm during the cooler months.

You don’t have to worry too much when buying them because, based on the time of year, the brands will carry the appropriate weights. But I still want you to be aware of it just in case.

Henley Fabric Ashley Weston 2

Fit

Like all your clothing, including henleys, they should have a trim fit throughout the body and arms – no matter your body type. You never want it too loose anywhere because that’s when you’ll look sloppy and not put together. You shouldn’t be able to pinch more than 1-2 inches of fabric on one side of your stomach and no more than an inch around the bicep.

The image below highlights the proper fit around the torso and sleeves.

Fit - Perfect fitting henley shirt

I mentioned earlier that henleys aren’t for everyone, so let’s get into that right now since we’re talking about fit.

For Thin Gentleman

If you’re a thin guy, no matter your height, if you want to wear a henley, you absolutely need to nail the fit, especially if you’re going to wear a long sleeve version. If the fit is too loose, it’ll make you look thinner and more frail than you are – not good!

I only like long sleeve henleys on thinner men if they’re layered underneath a jacket, like the below right image. When worn on their own, it really spotlights and elongates your thinner torso, like image on the left. So if you’re a thinner guy and want to wear a henley on its own, then wear a short sleeve version since it’ll look similar to your t-shirts.

Henley Fit Ashley Weston

Bigger Gentleman

If you’re a rotund gentleman (aka you’re not in the greatest shape and have a belly), you cannot wear a henley shirt, period. Allow me to show you why and explain. See exhibit A:

Fit - Big Guy - Bad Example of henley

Because of the button placket on the front, coupled with the lack of a collar, a henley will shine a massive spotlight on your bigger neck and torso. This is when a polo shirt is perfect and should be used instead, because a polo shirt’s collar will visually keep your torso balanced and in proportion, so your top half doesn’t look so big compared to your bottom half. The image below of James Corden shows a guy with the exact same body type as the image above, but in a polo shirt. Talk about a night and day difference…

Fit - Big Guy - Good Example - Polo Shirt1

Best Ways To Wear A Henley Shirt

Think of your short sleeve henley as a t-shirt, they’re interchangeable in the same outfits, so that means they can be worn on their own or underneath a jacket.

How To Wear Henley - Short Sleeve

J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley
J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
Allen Edmonds Hampton Ave Tan Leather Belt 
I would pair this look with white sneakers – Nike Tennis Classic Sneakers

For a long sleeve, you would normally wear these during the cooler months as a layering piece, so I styled Dorian in a long sleeve henley shirt underneath a bomber jacket, dark wash jeans, and sneakers.

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Burberry Lightweight Lambskin Bomber Jacket 
J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Wool Henley Sweater
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Decatur Ave Black Dress Belt  
Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Black Chukka

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch
Ray Ban RB4258 Sunglasses 

During the warmer months you can wear them with the sleeves pushed up. As I mentioned in one of my other videos, women LOVE to see sleeves rolled/pushed up around your forearms.

How To Wear Henleys - Henley Sleeves Pushed Up On Forearms

My Favorite Henley Shirts

Here are some great short sleeve and long sleeve (lightweight and heavyweight) henley options that I love.

Short Sleeve Henleys

Short Sleeve Henley 1 Ashley Weston

$125 – Rag & Bone Classic Short-Sleeve Henley
$35 – J. Crew Slim Broken-In Short Sleeve Henley (White, Navy, Heather Grey, Black)

Long Sleeve Henleys

Rag & Bone Long Sleeve Henley Ashley Weston

$250 – Rag & Bone Giles Merino Wool-Blend Heavyweight Long Sleeve Henley Shirt
$40 – J. Crew Slim Broken-in Lightweight Long Sleeve Henley
$15 – H&M Jersey Lightweight Long Sleeve Henley 

12 Things Men Wear That Women Love

I see so many videos and articles of men telling other men the things men wear that women find sexy, except, last time I checked, they weren’t a woman. So I polled all my female friends and came up with an actual list of 12 things that men wear that women actually love – by women.

 

  1. Well-Fitting Suit

  2. T-Shirt

  3. Dark Wash Jeans

    Dark Wash Jeans Ashley Weston

  4. Sportcoat

  5. Casual Jacket

  6. White Dress Shirt

  7. Crewneck Sweater

  8. V-Neck Sweater

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  9. Lace-up Dress Shoes

  10. Casual Lace-up Boots

  11. Dress Watch

  12. Tie Bar

The 5 Shoes Every Man Should Own

In my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Series, as well as my Summer Essentials Ebook, I touched on shoes a little bit, but the most-requested video/article for a while has been the number and type of shoes every man should own.

So here it is: These are the quintessential shoes that every man should have in his closet for year-round wear. Anything outside of these are specialty items, like snow boots, so they’re not included in this article.

Have questions? Curious what others think?

Join us in the comments section of the video above.

1. Athletic/Running Shoes

Nike Roshe FlyKnit - Grey

Buy the Nike Roshe FlyKnit in gray

There’s nothing better than a sleek pair of athletic shoes. Not only can they function as your gym shoes, but they can  be worn with your casual outfits, as well.

I recommend sticking with a black/white, black/grey/white (like above), or navy/white color to ensure that your sneakers compliment all your outfits. Other crazy colors like neon green or a bright red will only draw attention away from your outfit which is why I’m not recommending those colors. You probably wouldn’t know it, but these shoes are one of my clients and almost a year old.

Since all of the shoes I’m recommending have white soles, I highly recommend Jason Markk’s Essential Shoe Cleaner Kit. Just give the soles a quick scrub with the included brush and soap every few weeks and they’ll look good-as-new for a long time.

Other Options

Nike SB Stefan Janoski Max
Adidas Pureboost LTD Shoe
Nike Roshe Two FlyKnit

 

2. White Sneakers

 

Buy the Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

The second pair of shoes you should own, is what I’d consider an absolute essential to any well-dressed man’s wardrobe, which is why they were also included in my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials series.

They’re clean, classy and look great with a lot of your casual, even up to a little more dressy, outfits. Throw on a nice fitted blazer and some dark wash jeans with them and they’ll look amazing. See here for outfit inspiration images.

Under no circumstance should you wear these with a suit, though. That’s a trend that’s been floating around for a few years and I just think you’re not doing a suit justice by dumbing it down with sneakers.

A quick note, because it’s been brought up in the comments of my White Sneaker Video – Jordan’s and Air Force Ones are not the same as these – even if they’re white – because the shape and profile of those shoes are completely different. Notice how sleek and simple the profile of the above shoe is – THAT’S what makes all the difference. Jordan’s and Air Force Ones are chunky looking and have a very specific look that a lot of men can’t pull off.

Designer Options

 

Saint Laurent leather sneakers
Acne Studios leather sneakers
WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie leather sneaker
Common Projects BBall leather sneakers

Budget-Friendly Options

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II Ox’ Canvas
Converse Jack Purcell Sneaker
Nike Tennis Classic Ultra Leather
Vans Authentic Sneakers

 

3. Suede Driving Moccasins

 

Tod's Gommino Driving Shoes in Suede

Tod’s Braided Tie Drivers

The third pair of shoes you should own are suede driving moccasins. I’ve already covered these in my Summer Essentials Ebook, but they’re also great shoes during the other parts of the year, depending on your climate.

If you’ve never worn a pair, then you really should try them because they’re the most comfortable middle ground between a dress shoe and a sneaker and after they’ve been broken in a little bit, they’ll feel like you’re wearing a pair of socks.

I have these ones here by Tod’s that I really love. Stick with dark brown first, then you can add a tan color and then navy which will cover you for any outfit you can wear outside of a suit – which you should never wear driving mocs with. The construction is fantastic and they hug your feet nicely –
which is important because a lot of cheaply made driving mocs tend to look loose around your feet which is to be avoided.

There’s three things to remember about driving moccasins:

Only wear no-show socks with them. I did a whole video about socks so check out the link in the video description.
Before you wear them for the first time, make sure you Scotchguard them in order to protect the suede from dirt & liquids as much as possible.
They’re going to get dirty, it’s inevitable with suede. So buy them knowing they’re going to have a shorter shelf life than the rest of your shoes, but trust me, you won’t care because they’re so damn comfortable.

Designer Options

Tod’s Textured Suede Tie Drivers
Tod’s Braided Tie Drivers
Prada Suede Slip-On Moccasin, Oltremare
Brook’s Brothers Suede Driving Mocs

Budget-Friendly Options

Jack Erwin Parker Driving Loafer 
FRYE Russel Venetian
Johnston & Murphy Perforated Driving Loafer 

4. Oxford Or Derby Dress Shoes

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Prada Plain Toe Blutchers

The fourth pair of shoes you should own are Oxford or Derby dress shoe with a sleek profile and round toe. I’ve covered these extensively before, but every man needs at least a black and possibly brown pair of dress shoes in his wardrobe. They go well with all outfits outside of a super casual outfit (think: t-shirt and jeans). And since you should at least own one suit, these are necessary because you can’t get away with wearing any other shoes with your suit. Remember: the goal is to have you looking amazing, no matter the scenario or outfit.

I prefer plain toe, but you can also get cap toes, but I will grab a pair of plain toed Oxfords or Derbys over any other kind of dress shoe 99% of the time.

As for brogueing, burnished toes, oxblood or other unique colors, don’t get me wrong, I love them, but that’s like two levels down the road if you’re new to dressing better. They’re very specific and won’t go with a lot of your outfits, so grab them after you’ve invested in a classic black and dark brown oxford.

Designer Options

Giorgio Armani Plain-Toe Patent Leather Bluchers
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap-Toe Oxfords
Allen Edmonds Carlyle
Prada Plain Toe Blutchers

Budget-Friendly Options

Aldo Craosa 
Jack Erwin Joe Cap-Toe Oxford
Johnston & Murphy Hyde Park ll Cap-toe

5. Brown Leather Boots

Purdey Brown Men's Grain Leather Boot With Dainite Sole

Crockett & Jones Islay Wingtip Boot

The final pair of shoes – in this case – boots you should own are a pair of brown leather boots.
They’re utilitarian in that you can wear them in a lot of adverse weather situations as well as in more elevated casual outfits. I prefer brown because boots are usually more geared toward the cooler months, and brown is a great fall/winter color and it goes AMAZINGLY well with the dark wash jeans and wool trousers you should already own. But don’t be mistaken, you can also wear these year-round.

It’s been asked this a few times by viewers, so unless you’re going for the lumberjack or American/Japanese worker-style look, don’t wear these boots with a suit because these ARE NOT DRESS BOOTS.

I love the pebbled brown leather and goodyear welting of the Purdey boots above, which is why they’re my top choice. Trust me, I spent a lot of time finding the best boots out there and these are hands down my favorite.

If you want to know how to tie your boots properly like this so don’t have a bunch of excess laces flopping around, check out my video about how to properly tie men’s shoelaces.

Designer Options


O’Keefe Algy Split-Toe Weatherproof Pebble-Grain Leather Boots
Crockett & Jones Islay Wingtip Boot

Frye Jones Lace Up Boots

Budget-Friendly Options

Aldo Acerrassi
Johnston & Murphy Karnes Cap Toe Boot
Aldo Etausen Boots
Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot 

Plain T-Shirts

A plain, short sleeved t-shirt is an essential because they’re super comfortable, timeless, and everyone wears them. Now whether you need a crew neck or v-neck t-shirt is dependent on a few factors that I’ll get into later on in this article.

If you’re like most of my clients, you’re probably wearing a t-shirt or polo shirt most of the time, so let’s make sure you look amazing in them. Before we get into that, though, I have a few bones to pick with men in regards to their t-shirts. They completely crap the bed in a few ways:

  1. Their shirts are full of logos.
  2. They don’t fit properly.
  3. The fabric is too thin, shiny, or worn out.
  4. A horrible combination of the above.

Types of T-Shirts For Men

A t-shirt is defined as:

A lightweight shirt without buttons, with short sleeves and no collar. Often made of cotton and frequently bears a picture or slogan.

Before we get into the finer points of t-shirts, let’s talk about the two different types, first. Before I started in the fashion industry, I didn’t know that there were only really two types of t-shirts. So let’s quickly get this out of the way.

Crew Neck

T-Shirts-V-Neck-Crew-Neck-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-2

These t-shirts have round collars that fit closely to the neck like the image above. You probably have these in your closet right now. They are great base items for layering or worn on their own. They work on most body types. See the below section about fit for more details.

V-Neck

T-Shirts-V-Neck-Crew-Neck-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

If your powers of deduction are strong, you’ll already know that the v-neck t-shirt is named as such because the neck is in the shape of a “v”. They also work on most body types. See the below section about fit for more details.

Long Sleeves

Long-sleeved shirts are not technially t-shirts. I put this here, because when I was first starting out, I swore that long-sleeved shirts, like Henleys, were also t-shirts. But, they’re not. Also, in my professional opinion you shouldn’t really own any long sleeve shirts. Henleys would be the only exception, but they only look good on certain body types. I’ll do an article about Henley shirts at a later time. But I don’t consider them a wardrobe essential.

If you need long sleeves, throw on a Oxford Button Down Dress Shirt, V-Neck Sweater Harrington Jacket or Blazer instead.

Logos & Designer T-Shirts

DesignerTShirt

I discussed my hatred of logos in my polo shirt article. And it definitely applies to t-shirts. Maybe more-so.

No self-respecting man should ever wear t-shirts with logos plastered all over them. We have enough billboards and advertisements in our lives, don’t turn your body into another one. Sports teams and concert/band tees are fine if worn to an event where it’s appropriate. But the worst is when I see guys wearing “designer” t-shirts. It just screams sucker, amateur and douche. Just don’t do it. If you own any of these, either throw them out right now orariGTFO

How T-Shirts Should Fit

See the T-Shirt Fit Guide for details. But I’ll quickly mention here, too, that no matter your age or body type, a t-shirt (any shirt, for that matter) should have a trim fit and lightly hug your body.

That doesn’t mean it should be skin tight, but it also doesn’t mean it should be baggy, either. A lot of my clients with larger builds tend to think that their shirts need to be baggy to hide their imperfections, but it actually works counter to that. It’ll highlight your imperfections if you attempt to hide them under larger swaths of fabric. And if you’re thinner, a larger shirt won’t add any bulk to your frame, it’ll just make you look even skinnier.

Fabric Choice

I can’t tell you how many nipples and belly buttons I see walking around town because guys are wearing undershirts or flimsy shirts with really thin or delicate fabrics as regular t-shirts.

Too Thin

I see a lot of guys wearing what looks like white undershirts because the fabric is so thin. I’ve honestly been searching for months for good white shirts that don’t show skin through. See my recommendations below.  Thin shirts/undershirts are not the same as regular t-shirts. Undershirts, true to their name, should only be worn underneath another shirt – usually an Oxford Button Down Dress Shirt or a Semi-Spread Collar Dress Shirt. They’re thin and soft because they’re purpose-built to go underneath something else.

Silky or Shiny appearance

The quickest way to look like a creepy uncle is to wear a shiny or silky t-shirt. You should only wear cotton and matte (not shiny) t-shirts. Nothing else.

Distressed or Worn out

Your t-shirts shouldn’t look like the garment equivalent of those terrible worn-out baseball caps. A t-shirt should look clean, comfortable and relatively new. Once they’ve got holes or they’re faded, even a little bit, they need to be replaced. Such is the nature of being a well-dressed gentleman. There’s nothing worse than old, stretched-out, or faded looking shirts, unless you’re deliberately going for that look.

You’ll get more usage out of your t-shirts if you wash in cold water and hang dry them. But once they’re stretched out or faded, it’s time to donate and replace them.

The Best T-Shirts For Men

Choosing the best t-shirts comes down to your body type, preference and the colors. I’ll reiterate again, because my older clients like to give me this excuse before they see the light: AGE DOESN’T FACTOR INTO WHAT SHIRTS YOU SHOULD GET – AT ALL.

Should I have V-Necks or Crew Necks?

Between the two, I would say it all depends on your preference. Some of my clients are adamant about their love or hate for one or the other. But if you don’t have a preference, I’d suggest getting one set of each. That way, you have the option to switch it up.

As for which ones you should get, there’s 3 points to consider:

  1. If you have a longer neck, go with crew necks. A v-neck would visually lengthen your neck and make it look longer. Unless you can find shorter v-necks with a shorter “v” like the white shirt on my model below.
  2. If you have a shorter neck, go with v-necks. It’ll make your neck appear a little longer.
  3. If your neck is average, the t-shirt world is your oyster and you can have whatever you want!

What colors should I have?

Every man should have these colors to start since they’ll go with everything else in your Essential Wardrobe.

  • White
  • Heather gray
  • Navy
  • Black

As for how many of each you should have, I suggest getting at least 2 of each, that way you can easily get through a week without needing to do laundry.

Best T-Shirts For Men

Designer Options

The fabrics of these options are really amazing and super comfortable. The James Perse ones are a personal favorite and I use them on a lot of my clients. I wish I could make all my clothes out of some of these materials. See my note in the section below, before making your decision. All of these shirts come in the colors I recommended above.

Ralph Lauren Cotton Jersey Crewneck T-Shirt 

James Perse Melange Cotton Linen V-Neck

Rag Bone Navy Classic T-Shirt

James Perse Grey Crew Neck T-Shirt

Brunello Cucinelli Cotton Crewnect White T-Shirt 

Budget-Friendly Options

I’d probably default to these options over the designer ones because I find very minute differences between them. The biggest factors would be fit and slightly better fabrics. I don’t find the added costs are worth what you get in return, especially because t-shirts will need to be replaced much quicker than other items in your wardrobe. All of these shirts come in the colors I recommended above. I especially love the RibbedTee shirts and the American Apparel Summer Shirts.

All Saints White Figure Crew T-Shirt

Alternative Apparel Black Plain T-Shirt

Armani Exchange Pima Crew 

RibbedTee White Rex Cotton Modal Tee V-Neck 1-Pack

J.Crew Broken-in V-Neck T-Shirt

3 Best Ways to Wear Your V-Neck and Crew Neck T-Shirts

Alternative Apparel Black Plain T-Shirt

Burberry Slim Fit Wool Trousers

Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Oxford 

Tom Ford Black Snowdon Sunglasses

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Rag & Bone Duncan Shawl Cardigan

RibbedTee White Rex Cotton Modal Tee V-Neck 1-Pack

Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans

Allen Edmonds First Avenue Dress Boots

John Varvatos Lafayette Sunglasses

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Brooks Brothers Camel Suede Barracuda Jacket

RibbedTee White Rex Cotton Modal Tee V-Neck 1-Pack

SIimon Miller M001 Gunnison Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans

Nike Tennis Classic Sneakers

Tom Ford Black Snowdon Sunglasses

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Men’s T-Shirt Outfit Ideas & Inspiration

Chino Pants

Chino pants should be a staple in every man’s wardrobe. They are among the most versatile of men’s pants—they look great with a t-shirt, a sweater and button-down, or can be dressed up for a business casual event. They’re the perfect alternative to jeans since they are more comfortable and breathe easier. This is especially true in warmer weather due to the soft, worn-in cotton twill fabric that breathes easier than denim. And when you want to inject some color into your wardrobe, chinos provide an excellent avenue for this.

The Chino Pants Rules Most Guys Break

I see a boatload of guys making the following mistakes, so I want you to be aware of them:

  • Do not wear or own black chino pants. You’ll look like a waiter or valet guy.
  • Chinos are not dress pants or trousers. They’re the middle ground between casual and formal and should not be worn for anything above a business casual event.
  • Unless you know what you’re doing, stick to pairing them with a polo or dress shirt, v-neck sweater, or harrington jacket. Pairing them with a blazer or suit jacket will go horribly wrong if you’re not sure about what you’re doing.
  • Chinos should be worn with a quarter or no break. They can even be worn at ankle length in some cases, but never, ever longer than a quarter break.
  • Chino pants do not have extra pockets on the legs, hammer loops, stitching, etc. Those aren’t chinos, no matter what their name says.
  • Don’t wear pleated chinos. See the pleats section below for an explanation of why you should never wear them.
  • Pressed creases on the legs are the devil’s work. Don’t ever buy them like this or add them yourself.
  • The same goes for pre-cuffed hems. Don’t wear them, please. You can roll the cuff later on, but don’t buy the ones that come pre-cuffed.
  • To see more style mistakes that men make and how to fix them, click here.

What are Chinos?

The word “chino” means “toasted” and is derived from Latin American Spanish. Chino pants are named after the cotton twill fabric they’re constructed from, often called Chino Cloth. Another distinguishing characteristic is that chino pants will also usually have side-loading pockets, which are different than the traditional front or top-loading pockets as traditionally found on jeans.

Khaki vs Chino

In the most simple terms possible: Khaki is a shade of brown. Chino is a type of pants and called this because they’re usually made from Chino cloth.

The original khaki (light brown) is the traditional and most popular color, but chinos are come in many shades. See my color preferences for men below.

To pleat or not to pleat

As I said in my wool trouser article, I frickin’ hate pleats with a passion.

I don’t care how old or young you are or what your body type is – whether you’re thin or a larger guy, you should NEVER, EVER have pleated chino pants. Honestly, I f*#@%ing hate them because they’re so unnecessary and are unflattering on every guy. I’ll be the first to dance on their grave if they ever completely go away. I’ve never seen a guy look good while wearing them – ever.

To Cuff & Crease or Not

You can, and sometimes should, cuff or roll up chino pants. But don’t ever buy a pair of chinos that are pre-cuffed. It’ll be very hard to get that crease out and the hem will likely be very thick, which won’t look that great.

As for creasing the front the of leg, if you’re looking at a pair of chinos that’s creased like this, run for the hills! They should never be creased like dress pants because… repeat after me: They’re not dress pants.

What colors should you get?

You should at least have two colors of chinos because they’ll pair well with all the other items in your Essential Wardrobe. A quick note about colors: Whatever you do, make sure the colors you choose are not too shiny or glossy looking. You’ll know it when you see it. You want a more matte finish to your chinos.

  • Sand – I prefer this lighter brown/tan color than the darker, flatter khaki color. Some brands will call sand colored pants khaki, so just go for lighter brown colors regardless of what the brand calls them. The model in the image at the top of this article is wearing, what I’d consider, the perfect sand color. Shoot for something similar.
  • Navy – Whatever you do, just don’t get such a dark navy that it looks black. That’s a big no-no. The navy in my first “Best Ways To Wear” image below is what I’m talking about.

If you already own these colors and want to add more, then go for gray/charcoal or an olive color. If you want to try other colors, just make sure you understand what colors work best with your skin tone.

The Best Chino Pants For Your Body Type

Slim or Regular Build

You’ll want to get a “Slim” fit chino pant that will hug the thighs, knees, and calves while tapering down from your knee to ankle.

A lot of my slim & regular built clients initially believe this style will make them look too skinny. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just that they’re used to wearing super baggier clothes to try and hide their slimness, which, coincidentally, just makes them look slimmer. A proper fitting pair of chino pants just looks right, regardless of your build, and doesn’t make you look one way or another – I promise.

Determining the ideal cut of your chinos depends on your physique.

If you’re a heftier guy or have larger thighs, I recommend a straight leg chino. It will give your body a trim, well-proportioned appearance. Slim fit chinos that taper slightly in the leg will make you look somewhat imbalanced—giving you a top-heavy look with skinny legs. Unless you’re on the shorter side, then a slight taper is OK, but under no other circumstances should your chinos be tapered.

Larger Build

The classic “Straight-Leg” fit is perfect for you. No matter a man’s build, but especially in your case, it’s all about balancing your body’s proportions to make sure your bottom half complements your upper half. So stick to this cut of chinos for your physique and you’ll look fantastic.

HOW SHOULD MEN’S Chino Pants FIT?

See my Chino and Khaki Pants Fit Guide for details.

The Best Chino Pants for Men

Designer Options

I’m a huge fan of each of these designer’s chinos as the construction, quality, and fit are spot on. You won’t go wrong with any of these, but just remember to choose the right fit for your body type.

Rag & Bone Fit 2 Navy Chino

Rag & Bone Fit 2 Stone Chino

A.P.C. Truck Stretch-Cotton Twill Chinos

Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Navy Slim Fit Chino

Burberry Straight Fit Taupe Chino

Budget-Friendly Options

If you’re on a budget, all three of these are great. Each brand offers a few color choices, which are usually the typical khaki, navy, and gray. A great thing about Uniqlo is that they offer free hemming service so there’s no excuse to have your chinos be too long 🙂

H&M Beige Chino Slim fit

JCrew Straight Fit ‘1040’ Navy Chino

Club Monaco Connor Slim-Fit Stretch-Cotton Twill Chinos (Ecru or Midnight Blue)

3 Ways to Wear Chino Pants

(Sunglass lenses sold separately)

H&M Polo Shirt

H&M Chinos Slim Fit

Vans Authentic Sneakers

True Vintage Revival Glasses

Ashley Weston Chino Pants Sport Coat Polo Shirt

 

Brunello Cucinelli Charcoal Textured Two-Button Wool Blazer

Tom Ford Navy Short-Sleeve Polo Shirt

Brooks Brothers Khaki Milano Fit Plain-Front Lightweight Advantage Chinos

Salvatore Ferragamo Brown Textured Calfskin Penny Loafers

The Tie Bar Navy Cotton Table Plaid Pocket Square

IWC Portuguese Automatic Watch

Ray Ban Aviator Light Ray ll

Polo-Shirt-Outfit-2-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Philipp Plein Coat So Cool

Tom Ford Short Sleeve Pique Polo Shirt

Brooks Brothers Slim Fit Dark Khaki Garment-Dyed Chinos

Nike Tennis Classic AC ND

Allen Edmonds Black Poplar Belt 

IWC Portuguese Automatic Watch

John Varvatos Bowery Square Polarized Sunglasses

Outfit Inspiration

 

The Polo Shirt

A Polo Shirt is a great, versatile item that I put all my clients in at some point of us working together. They’re timeless and a cornerstone of any good spring or summer outfit. I often recommend wearing them in place of t-shirts, as they give a casual outfit a bit of polish – which is never a bad thing. No matter your age or body type, every guy needs a few polo shirts in his wardrobe.

A good polo shirt will:

  1. Fit like a glove.
  2. Enhance the good parts of your physique and hide the imperfections.
  3. Make you look more polished and put together.
  4. Layer incredibly well.
  5. Only have short sleeves – long sleeved polos have no place in your wardrobe.

Fabric

Fabric choice is the biggest thing to consider when choosing a polo shirt and heavily dependent on your body type. The fabric you choose will determine how good (or bad) you look in a polo shirt.

Piqué Cotton

Piqué cotton polo shirts are made with cotton yarn and have thin ribbing visible in the garment. The texture is soft, and if you look closely you can see the tightly raised cords that give a waffle-like appearance.

Piqué polos are best for heavier-set men with wider physiques because the textured fabric hugs the body without conforming to the less flattering areas of the chest and stomach. When I’m working with a client who’s worried about his belly being accentuated, I always go with pique cotton. Think of the fabric as airbrushing your torso and hiding the problem areas.

Check out how much more flattering the piqué cotton polo is on the same guy compared to a cotton/silk blend polo. I bet his hands are covering his belly button divot in the cotton polo shirt picture, too. It’s an old photographer’s trick. Notice his chest area looks a little more smoothed out? Please don’t think I’m recommending this polo, it’s pretty bad (that’s a horrible sleeve length) but it highlights the “airbrushing” effect that piqué cotton has very nicely.

Pique Cotton Vs Cotton or Silk Blended Polos Ashley Weston

Cotton & Cotton Blended Polos

If you’re in decent shape, skip the piqué polos and grab a few cotton/cotton-silk blended polo shirts. The material looks better on your body type and is softer and more comfortable than pique cotton. These polos have a sleek, modern look that are great on their own or underneath a jacket. Beware, it’ll shine a spotlight on your body’s imperfections if you’re not in good shape!

SilkBLendPolo - Ashley Weston

Colors, Patterns, Piping, Etc.

Avoid any patterns or collar/sleeve piping and stick with the basic (and best) colors to begin. Grab a few white, black, navy, and charcoal/gray colored polos. They’ll give you the most versatility with the rest of your Essential Wardrobe and will work with any skin tone and body type.

If you’ve got the basic colors already, definitely get some brighter colors that compliment your skin tone and/or throw some stripes in there, too. I would universally avoid plaids or any other wackier patterns, it’s just too much and looks tacky.

To Tuck or Not To Tuck

If you’re wearing a polo shirt without a jacket, then don’t tuck your shirt into your pants. I know golfers do this, but you’re not on a golf course and it looks horrible tucked in.

If you’re wearing a jacket, then loosely tuck in the front part of the shirt by your belt buckle like in my 3 ways to wear images below. The shirt should still cover the top half of your belt buckle – you don’t want to completely see the buckle. I love doing this on my clients because it breaks up the outfit when you see a little of the belt buckle and gives it a little polish without overdoing it.

Leggo my Logo

Please don’t get a shirt with a huge logo all over it. Just. Don’t. Logos that are small and the same color of the rest of the shirt are passable, but if you have the option, go logo-less.

How Should A Polo Shirt Fit?

Check out my Men’s Polo Shirt Fit Guide for details.

The Best Polo Shirts for Men

Designer Options

For a pique polo, I recommend the Sunspel Riviera Polo Shirt. This shirt was made for Daniel Craig as James Bond in Casino Royale. A black or navy polo pairs well with either dark wash jeans or grey wool trousers. For a silk/cotton blend polo shirt, I love John Varvatos and Burberry. The shirt’s impressive construction and fit is well worth the price.

John Varvatos Hampton Polo 

Sunspel Charcoal Jersey Polo Shirt

Ermenegildo Zegna Mercerized Cotton Polo Shirt 

Burberry Navy Silk Cotton Polo

Theory Black Boyd Polo

Budget-Friendly Options

I’m a big fan of H&M’s cotton polo shirts. Actually, I would probably get those over the designer options a majority of the time. They won’t last forever, but they’re cheap enough to replace every season or two. They have a clean design with a great fit and a price that you can’t beat. The model in the first picture below is wearing the H&M Polo.

H&M Polo Shirt 

Uniqlo Navy Dry Pique Short Sleeve Polo Shirt

J.Crew Black Pique Cotton Polo

3 Ways to Wear a Polo Shirt

(Sunglass lenses sold separately)

H&M Polo Shirt

J.Crew Broken-In Chino in 484 Fit

Vans Authentic Sneakers

True Vintage Revival Glasses 

Polo-Shirt-Outfit-2-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

The jacket and chinos are actually from Dsquared2, but they’re for an upcoming season and not available in stores at the time of writing. So I added the best substitutes below.

Philipp Plein Coat So Cool

Ermenegildo Zegna Mercerized Cotton Polo Shirt

Brooks Brothers Slim Fit Dark Khaki Garment-Dyed Chinos

Nike Tennis Classic Sneakers

Allen Edmonds Black Poplar Belt

IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

John Varvatos Lafayette Sunglasses

 

Polo-Shirt-Outfit-3-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials

Burberry Modern Fit Wool Part Canvas Jacket 

Burberry Silk Cotton Polo Shirt 

Levis Chino 511 Slim Fit Jeans 

Salvatore Ferragamo Penny Loafer Shoe

Allen Edmonds Brown Poplar Dress Belt

Piaget Altiplano Watch

John Varvatos Lafayette Sunglasses

Outfit Inspiration