Guys: The Basics You Need in Your Wardrobe

The fashion basics you need applies to men as well as women. We have stepped far away from wearing suits to work these days. Many companies have adopted a much more relaxed dress code. Men, if you find yourself unsure about what is appropriate to wear to work anymore, you’re not alone. Today in the blog, I am going to talk about some basic types of clothing Beth Divine Style recommends for my Indianapolis Men’s Styling clients.

Indianapolis Men’s Styling Basic Essentials

Take it from this Indianapolis Men's Stylist: Suits never go out of styleAlthough the workforce is adopting a more casual dress for men, some men still need to wear suits for work. I am not going to go into great detail here because if you still wear suits, shirts, ties, etc., you know what they look like. Suits in charcoal, navy or grey are still the norm.

Formal business dress is white shirts, suits, a somber tie in grey, navy, black understated print. Conservative business adds a few details such as a colored shirt, a more colorful tie, and a fun pocket square or socks. The descriptions from there for business casual vary from company to company.

For when you’re not in the office, throw out your old sweat pants and check out the newest in athleisure fashion.  To look put together, pick a color family and stick with it. You can still look good while being comfortable when you coordinate your relaxed looks together. Try black track pants, with a white or grey tee, and a hoodie in similar colors over it. White sneakers or black and red sneakers add a little punch.


Dark rinse jeans are a must-have. Buy good quality jeans that fit you perfectly. You might have to try on quite a few, and if they have any stretch at all in them, make sure they fit snug. Spending more on quality will ensure they will last longer.

If you’re looking to wear pants that aren’t jeans, I like the fit of chinos. They are now in colors other than khaki. Some new colors include steel blue, olive, navy or grey. These pants are a good basic that will go with all of the other items  I mention below.

A Henley shirt is a great closet staple for men


Everyone needs a nice looking blazer or sport coat that you can wear with the dark rinse jeans, dress slacks or khakis. I recommend a small tweed or small paid in a textured fabric for my Indianapolis Men’s Styling clients. A smooth fabric might look more like a jacket that’s part of the suit which is not the look we want.

Knit jackets fall into this category. Nordstorm Men’s has some very nice blazers and sport coats that will make you look distinguished and professional. Make sure the jacket fits you perfectly. If it doesn’t, be sure to get it tailored.

Henley t-shirts are another basic essential.  I love a good henley in a deep color. Wear it under the vest, blazer or even sweater.

I love the look of a man in a trim-fit V-neck sweater in a basic color such as navy, olive, burgundy, teal green or even light blue. Wear a t-shirt underneath or a button-down shirt. Thick, patterned cardigan sweaters are also a great go-to for cold days.  There are many sweaters out there in cardigan form made for guys. I love them for a casual look. I have a Big Lebowski sweater and wear it as a casual layering piece.


Everyone needs a basic black, leather oxford. Other shoes to add are the fashion sneaker in black, grey, navy, brown leather. Another good shoe to add is a suede boot such as the Chukka boot. Another good option to have is a deep brown oxford or monk strap shoe. Men, having a variety of shoes isn’t just for women. Never underestimate the power of stylish shoes to complete any outfit.

Other Pieces

Essential Men's Clothing from your Indianapolis Men's Stylist

Another great men’s fashion piece is a quilted vest. I really love a quilted vest in black, olive, taupe or navy as an extra layering piece. Wear it with jeans and a shirt, T-shirt or even a sweater in cooler weather. Make sure it fits trimly instead of too big.

Don’t forget about outerwear. Leather jackets, military jackets and bomber jackets in woven fabric care are other good layering pieces to add to your wardrobe.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA

AICI Certified Image Consultant