17 Essential Items Every Guy Should Own

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To break it down in the clearest way, here is a list of 17 items every guy should own.

Warwick Oxford, To Boot New York, $398Prichard Derby, Santoni, $495.

8. A brown leather belt. To match the shoes, of course.

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9. A simple, dark tie. Suits don’t always require ties (in fact, we find a suit paired with a a nonchalantly unbuttoned-at-the-collar shirt rather attractive). But you will need a tie, so you should have a go-to option. Go with solid gray or dark red if you’re traditional, a Repp tie (thick navy diagonal stripes with a contrasting color) if you’re preppy and a very small, very subdued print in dark colors if you’re daring (think gingham or micro-checks in neutral tones).

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10. Dark, straight-legged, unembellished jeans. No rips, no tears (accidental or purposeful), no studs and no pre-fading. No sagging in the butt, no bunching around the ankles and no bagginess around the thighs. That’s all we ask.

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11. Dark, straight-leg khaki pants. Same fit requirements as the jeans, but this time, in a dark khaki color — not that stonewash, almost-gray color of Dockers you wore at age 12. Go with a caramel or camel hue that will work with a gray sport jacket or red flannel button-down alike.

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12. A plain, solid-colored hoodie. You’re going to want to wear a sweatshirt (like, every day), so be sure to have a nice one on hand. That means something slightly fitted that hits no lower than the hips with sleeves that aren’t too long. Oh, and no logos or writing whatsoever.

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13. Plain, solid-colored crewneck t-shirts. Same idea as the hoodie — you’ll want to go casual, so make sure you have tee options that don’t have the names of sports teams, frats or unfunny jokes written on them.

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14. A solid crewneck sweater. In cashmere, wool or even cotton, a thin crewneck sweater is one of the most versatile items you can own. Wear it with jeans and a t-shirt underneath with the sleeves pushed up, or try it with a button-down underneath for that preppy look, or just throw it on with khakis or even suit pants for an easy, pulled-together appearance. We recommend light gray, navy, beige or perhaps maroon to complement the other neutrals in your closet.

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15. Solid-colored boxer briefs. Boys wear boxers, men wear boxer briefs. (Or briefs, but we’ve taken a highly unscientific survey of straight women and the votes are in: Boxer briefs > briefs.) Stock up on solid colors and, for the love of God, throw them out when they get holes in them.

men shopping

16. A medium-sized bag that works for both the gym and a weekend away. We know bags are tough for men, ever afraid of the dreaded “murse.” So here are some guidelines: Try a messenger bag or a duffle, go solid or with a subtle pattern and make it leather, cotton or canvas. That’s about all you need to know.
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