The Oxford Shirt
The Oxford button-down remains a popular wardrobe staple of the modern, well-dressed man because of its timelessness and versatility. The Oxford works well with a navy suit but it possesses enough casual flair for it to be paired with selvedge denim and minimal sneakers for those endless nights out on the town.
The Navy Suit
Maybe not the most obvious item on the list, but a very important one. With annual formals, graduation and maybe even interviews for part-time jobs and placements, it’s good to have something smarter you can turn to. Beyond that, the jacket and trousers can be mixed and matched with other items for the perfect smart-casual look. Navy is probably your best bet – it works with most colour combinations and is a shade that will always be on trend.
The White Sneaker
In recent years, the white sneaker has become sleeker with the revival of Adidas’ Stan Smith tennis shoe. This has made it an adaptable piece of the modern style armoury, ensuring that it goes with pretty much everything in your wardrobe – including that navy suit you just bought.
The Skate Sneaker
With streetwear and skatewear snowballing into one of the biggest trends of 2017 thanks to the likes of Palace, Vans and even more mainstream brands like Nike and Adidas, you wouldn’t go far wrong incorporating the skate sneaker into your daily rotation. Try out the minimal Vans Old Skool for something classically minimal or check out the Nike Janoski range or Adidas’ Tobacco and Gazelle collections for something a little more brash.
Cut in grey or blue, the sweatshirt will provide a flattering, masculine addition to your wardrobe. Great for layering when the temperature begins to drop, the sweatshirt is another preppy garment that can be worn over both t-shirts and button-downs. More crucially than that, it’ll make up for any time you missed at the gym over the summer.
The Bomber Jacket
The bomber jacket, alongside its distant cousin the Harrington, have made a big comeback in the last couple of years. The fit and versatility of the bomber jacket flatters most body shapes and looks just as good over an Oxford shirt as it does over your favourite t-shirt. Again, you can’t go wrong with the bomber in navy but if you prefer something a little more streetwear inclined, opt for the bomber in burgundy, dark green or black.
The Plain White Tee
Don’t underestimate the power of a well fitted t-shirt. The white tee in particular serves as the bedrock of many great ensembles. Under a bomber? Of course. Under a denim jacket? You bet. Or if the weather is kind enough, pair it with some slim, black denim and your favourite boots. Hell, try it casually tucked into a suit. As long as the fit is good, you’ll look cool and casual but still pulled together.
The Chelsea Boot
The Chelsea boot has remained a menswear staple for over 200 years for a reason. Recent trends have seen in cut in suede and chestnut browns but I don’t think you can top a Chelsea boot in glorious black leather. It’s a great way to add a bit of class and formality to a casual look, more than enhancing your basic t-shirt/jeans combo. They can also add a bit of rock’n’roll bohemia to your best two piece. But for a classic look with an anarchic twist, keep it monochromatic with a classic all-black look.
A Pair of Levi’s
Can you beat a pair of Levi’s? Yes they’ll be more expensive than the options at Topman or River Island but you can guarantee that they will last a hell of a lot longer. Opt for your denim in black because black goes with everything. For what could be your go-to pair of jeans/trousers, you’ll want a base colour that can be the foundations of many different outfits and not too difficult to pair with other items in your wardrobe.
A Pair of Chinos
Chinos find that perfect sweet spot between the smart and the casual, thus making them a great option for the style-conscious fresher. With roots deeply ingrained in the preppy, collegiate fashion of American Ivy League colleges, a pair of chinos is a great way to inject some colour into your wardrobe.