I’ve got something a little different for you today. I know that the majority of my audience is women, and my expertise is mainly with women’s capsule wardrobes. I’m no expert when it comes to men’s fashion. However, my boyfriend Jason is always asking me for style advice because of what I do. So I finally decided to put together a simple, year-round capsule wardrobe for men! It’s made up of 35 basic pieces which I think make a great foundation to build upon in your wardrobe or just use as a standalone closet year-round.
In case you’re new to capsule wardrobes, it’s basically a reduced wardrobe that has been curated to fit your personal style. The pieces are selected with intention and all of them work well together. The point is to make it easier for you to get dressed in the morning, keep your wardrobe uncluttered, and make you feel better and more confident in what you’re wearing.
The pieces in this wardrobe are meant to be functional and appropriate for a variety of occasions, from casual daytime looks to the office to special occasions. It should also carry you pretty well through all four seasons of the year, depending on what part of the world you live in. I’ve included some outfit ideas towards the end of the post to give you some inspiration. Without further ado, let’s get into the capsule!
These items are meant to be more of a guideline, so you can feel free to switch up the colours or brands to fit your style. And if there’s one thing I learned from binge watching Tan France on Queer Eye, when it comes to men’s clothing, the most important thing is fit. You want to make sure that your shirts and pants fit you well, and aren’t too small or, as is more often the case, too big.
When it comes to good stores for men’s clothing, these are the four I like to recommend to Jason:
Here are links to the items or similar ones to those pictured above in case you’d like to shop anything in this post. I tried to find product alternatives from sustainable and ethical brands if possible.
Note that this list contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission from purchases made through these links (at no extra cost to you). Thank you for your support!
- Basic tees
- Henley (other options here or here)
- Chambray shirt
- Plaid shirt
- Collared shirts
- Crew sweater (another option here)
- Hoodie (another option here)
- Bomber jacket
- Trench coat
- Wool coat
- Slim jeans
- Black jeans
- Twill pants (another option here)
- Twill shorts
- Denim shorts
- Tailored suit
- White sneakers
- Black hi-tops
- Leather shoes
- Lace-up boots
- Backpack (another option here)
- Messenger bag
- Watch (use code EMILYL15 for 15% off your order!)
For even more outfit inspiration, check out my Men’s Style board on Pinterest.
I hope you found this article interesting and helpful! Like I said, I’m not an expert in men’s fashion so while I think this might be functional, you may not agree. If there’s anything you feel is missing from this capsule, please let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,
Pin for later:
Featured photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash
Excellent Emily. Thanks!!!!!! Time to go through my wardrobe.
What brand of parka is that for men? In your minimalist wardrobe. Thanks
I am not sure of the brand of that one. Two of my faves for men’s parkas would be Everlane or Frank and Oak.
Super helpful, thank you!
Gracias Emily, he estado un poco abrumado buscando una capsula de ropa que sea minimalista y la tuya es excepcional. Saludos desde República Dominicana!
You’re very welcome! I’m so glad you found it helpful 🙂
Great post! Where are the gray joggers from?
Thank you! I’m not sure where those exact ones are from, but I’d recommend checking out Everlane. They have something similar here (adlink)
Thank you Emily!
We just used this to re-create my husband’s wardrobe. He’ll be looking sharp!
That’s so great to hear! I hope he enjoys it for many years to come 🙂
This is amazing! I would love this but there are some things I’d never see myself wearing. Can you make another for men? Please??
Hey Emily, for years I wanted to try capsule wardrobe, but I have a very judgy family always commenting on EVERYONE’s clothes, so I kinda always postponed it, although I have been slowly decluttering in the last 2 years where I throw out whatever I’m not using much anymore, which irritates both my mom and sometimes my boyfriend who always say “It might come in handy some day” to which I reply “This hasn’t been used in the past months and if it’s ever needed, we won’t even remember it exists/where it is” to which they begrudgingly agree.
With the Covid-19 and having to stay indoors, I’m gonna use this as an excuse to try the capsule wardrobe for 3 months. I’ll just say I’m trying this out because the quarantine time changed my. It’s not true because as I said, I always wanted to try capsule wardrobe, but some of my family members LOVE to give opinions on how I dress (or anyone else for that matter) and don’t let go until I follow through.
Example: when I’m attending a family gathering and I’m wearing something slightly less conservative like shorts (my family is the common traditional Indian Muslim living in the western world where rarely anyone ever uses shorts, specially not above your knees), I get sent back home by my mom and cousins to change the clothes. I’m 28 and this still happens to me haha. It has always been like that, but in the last few years, this doesn’t bother me much. I used to think there was something wrong with me but then I realized that they will complain about ANYTHING I wear (or anyone else), regardless of how conservative or not it is. So for now, I like to cause some stir and see how far can I go when I show up EXACTLY how I know they will dislike haha
Anyway, back to the topic… Since yesterday I’ve listed on a sheet all the clothes I have, removed what I don’t need to compose the 35-piece-challenge and right now I’ve started only wearing what I chose. It’s amazing how much space I’ve saved from my wardrobe. My boyfriend did the same and our bedroom is much better.
Your list served me as inspiration. I did change some. I have mostly black, teal, light grey and white. I barely have green, beige or brown. I was gonna have no beige or brown, but your post inspired me to include some.
So far, so good. Thanks for the post. Ironically, you’re the only one I found on the internet who claimed to not be an expert on this, yet yours was the best I’ve found =D
I loved reading your story! It must be hard when your loved ones don’t understand or support your minimalism journey, but good for you for continuing onward anyway. Thanks so much for sharing, and I’m so glad you found this helpful 🙂
I’m happy to know you enjoyed =)
Yes, it is hard when your loved ones behave like that. However, learning how to react/deal with it internally is also important. In other words, learning to not care that much.
It took me years to get to that self-realization. To conclude that I too, also have to not care SO much about what people will say.
It’s easier said than done, yes. Specially when you’re overwhelmed at the moment, by the unwanted comments about you. In front of other people. Man, I hated that.
One of the things that helped me was “complaining” about it to others. My dad and a close cousin were important. They agreed with me that those comments regarding everyone else’s clothes were not pleasant, or unnecessary. It calmed me down to know that there are more people who disapprove this constant judgement.
Now I genuinely find it funny when those same people constantly complain make comments about my clothes. As I said in the previous comment, sometimes I even purposely dress in a less conservative manner just to cause a stir. Unlike some years ago, when I chose clothes that would minimize any comments. I would basically dress everything they’d expect, yet… they would still make comments.
Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t make me wear ridiculous stuff. It was whatever was in vogue at that moment. Or whatever someone “cool” my age was wearing. They just LOVED comparing people.
That made me very self-conscious and I would be constantly comparing myself to others, specially when deciding what to shop. I HAD to buy something that A person or B person also wear, because my mom/cousin/whoever said they’re cool.
This was during my teens till early 20’s. Prior to my teens, I wasn’t originally that insecure about my appearance. I was someone who didn’t care much about what I wore. I just wanted to have clothes on (because I needed to) and didn’t care about what was in vogue or whatever.
So finally after some years of insecurities it kind of sunk in me what my dad has always said: I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t.
And something else that a cousin said helped me (only when I deeply understood it): if someone is judging you like they do, it’s saying more about them than you.
And boy is that true, because I sense that my mom/cousin/other person judging had some envy/resentment. When my mom wanted me to dress like another “cool kid”, it seemed to me that she wanted to be seen as the mother with “the cool kid” too. Now imagine how devastated she was when she found out I was gay. Me liking men wasn’t the issue. “What will others say” was more important. As for the cousin who used to make comments about me, during these years I see that he envies my life in many aspects, like having a loving father who shows unconditional support even after learning I’m gay, in a conservative environment.
I’m not completely “not giving a damn” about people’s comments, though. As I posted originally, I’m going to use Covid-19 as an EXCUSE for my change of wardrobe haha. The judgement is something very common within the family. It’s not JUST my mom or that envious cousin. It’s the whole environment. And it’s less tense when you present “an excuse”.
Like for vegetarians. I noticed they are more likely to happily accept a vegetarian without judging IF it’s for medical reasons than for ethical ones.
But hey, their comments taunt me less now. I’m more excited about the benefits of a capsule wardrobe (economy of space, of decisions, know what I have, know what I need to purchase, etc.) than about what they might say.
So yay, it turned out OK after all.
I hope you don’t mind the rant, but your quick reply made me enthusiastic!
PS: typos on my previous comment, it’s “change me.” and not “change my.”
Hi Emily! It’s been 14 months and I’ve been loving the capsule wardrobe!
Just came by to give you this update and let you know that your article remains the best example I’ve found online!!!
As for the rant, I’ve learned to be ok with whatever comments I get (which have been rare). It’s a matter of thought management.
Congrats again on this amazing blog!
Really liked the post, (have booked marked). I’m obviously much older than target for your style board but still, it made me think and I will update some of my looks, they are a little stale.
Thank you, glad you liked it!
Hi Emily! What brand are the black hi tops?
I do like outfit10 but all most to much can we bring it down a bit for me anyway
Thanks for making that concise and ez to understand
Just wanted to say thank you! Over the last couple of years I lost a lot of weight and have used this main image as a guide of what to buy as I had to replace everything. I went from people kinda mocking me to getting compliments all the time on the way I look and dress. It really helped with my confidence and I’m just saying I’m grateful!
That’s amazing! Thank you so much for your comment, I really appreciate you taking the time to write and let me know. I’m so happy my post helped you!