A favorite pair of jeans

For most men, jeans are the backbone of your daily wardrobe. We absolutely love jeans, not just because of their comfort, but because it’s one of the most versatile items in the closet. You can dress them down with sneakers and a t-shirt, or dress them up (opt for dark denim in this case) with a blazer and a tie. A good pair of jeans will go with nearly anything you can throw at them.

If you can afford it, we’d recommend spending $75-$125 (at places such as Nordstrom Rack, it’s easy to find jeans at half their retail price, for example $250 jeans for only $125). It’s really worth it, especially if you wear them numerous times a week. With proper care, they will last a very long time and look better the older they get. And if you can’t afford that, finding sales on Levi’s (often found in the sub-$50 range) will do you just as well. There’s a reason Levi Strauss & Co. has been around for over a century and a half.


This is a very masculine and versatile piece. A henley can be worn on its own with a pair of jeans or khaki-colored chinos for a stylish, casual, semi-rugged look. They work best when layered over and under other items; over a v-neck t-shirt and under a flannel shirt. They can even look great with two henley’s layered on top of one another.

Doubled down on the henley today. Brands tagged above ☝🏾

A photo posted by John Phillips (@jwphillips) on

Henleys come in a myriad of styles and colors – some with the iconic tiny “waffle” texture (thermals), others a more classic, plain cotton. Find a few that work for you and level up your style. You can never own too many of them – especially if you mix up the types you own.

OCBD (Oxford cloth button down)

The Oxford cloth button down is a staple. They’re comfortable, classic, versatile and easy. They pair excellently with a pair of jeans and some casual shoes. Sneakers? Sure. Chukkas? Even better. They’re great to layer under a sweater or a cardigan (tie or not, it’s up to you). Or just throw one on and haphazardly roll up those sleeves! The OCBD can be considered the jeans of button-ups — they can be worn with nearly anything. It’s one of the most versatile tools in the arsenal of the casual, well-dressed man.

Classic gray sweatshirt

Easily a necessity in any classic wardrobe, they’re perfect to wear out on a casual, cool day or when just hanging out around the house.

There’s a reason they’ve been around for decades. From the classic crew neck to the more fashionable kind you see on people such as Kanye West, the sweatshirt is ubiquitous. It stands solid on it’s own or can be paired up with a button-up. And with a simple sweatshirt on, it allows some of the smaller details and accessories of an outfit to stand out.

It’s a grey day. With green accents. Unfortunately I have to start wearing socks again. Fall is here in full force.

A photo posted by John Phillips (@jwphillips) on

Just make sure to purchase one that fits close to the body. As with most clothing items, you want to avoid swimming in a baggy sweatshirt.

A classically-colored suit

If you’re in the market for a new suit, make it a gray or navy blue one. There’s a lot to be said about suiting basics. But first and foremost, one of these two colors is a must have and should become your new go-to when you need to dress up. Save the black suit for funerals, black tie events and politics.

Because I couldn’t not post this. #VainAF

A photo posted by Marvin Street (@marvinestreet) on

Color-wise, you’ll find them far more flexible than a black suit, especially when it comes to pairing accessories such as pocket squares, tie bars and ties. And in general, they just look better and stand out in a world where the default suit color is black.

Of course these aren’t the only five basics we’d recommend, but owning multiples of each of these items gets you further down the path of a well-rounded wardrobe. For more style tips on how to dress better, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter and like us on Facebook.

A Curated Style is a passion project started by John Phillips and Marvin E. Street: a couple of tech/design guys who also count men’s styleamong their list of passions. They aim to help out men who are looking to dress better but need and want direction.