Men’s Wardrobe Essentials: 64 Menswear Pieces to Own in 2024

When it comes to style, we’re guilty of talking about the idea of men’s wardrobe essentials as if everyone knows what the hell we’re rambling on about. But they’re more complicated than, say, the essentials you need to exist in the world: keys, wallet, phone, phone charger. Forge those and you’ll have a miserable day. But when it comes to what you wear, dividing what’s crucial from what’s just nice-to-have—and then finding the stuff that feels like your vibe—takes some energy. Which is where we come in.

Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Checklist

What exactly should a men’s basic wardrobe include? If we’re talking about the atomic-level, just-arrived-on-Earth necessities, we end up with a list of five or six staples that’s almost useless in its vagueness: underwear, socks, a shirt, pants, shoes, maybe a jacket depending on where you call home. So we’ve pulled together a more specific starter pack of men’s essentials. One that—in our opinion—covers almost every need short of a black-tie gala.

Firework content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

You should be able to take any piece from this list of closet essentials and put them together without fear of fashion failure. You can work some of these pieces into your closet now, and keep building from there. In the meantime, you’ll have enough variety to make your work outfits work, and your weekends relaxed.

The best part is that, down the line, you’ll veer in new sartorial directions. Maybe you’ll attain the kind of Steve-Jobsian power and focus that drives you to wear the same outfit every day. Or you’ll forge a 1-of-1 style that no one else could possibly emulate. Until then, you’ve got this guide—plus our 59 Do’s and Don’ts of Dressing—to help you dial how you dress. Each and every one of these menswear essentials is a small step toward upping your overall swag. Thanks for letting us walk with you.

All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.