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Dear Michelle: Men’s Closet Essentials

I know. I totally deceived everyone into thinking that they were going to get Instagram Fridays (but I realized that I hardly ever post on Instagram these days), so I’ve decided to bring you another segment: Dear Michelle. It’s a column to which you can feel free to leave comments on these specific posts and I’ll pick out unique questions that are fashion-related to answer. Considering this is my very first segment (and very last minute at the least), I’ve decided to ask my beau what questions he has in relation to fashion.

Chad of Hawaii: Dear Michelle, I always read or hear about closet essentials for women, but never anything about a man’s closet. Give me a few tips on what you think a guy’s closet should have!

Well this is a tough one considering that I am not a man nor have I’ve ever gone through a “fashionisto’s” closet before. What I will try to do is to come up with a list of basics that I think would be very important for a man’s closet and perhaps more forgiving in terms of wear, durability, and versatility.

1. Basic Pocket T-Shirt

1. J.Crew Broken-In Pocket Tee – $24.50
2. J. Crew Broken-In Long-Sleeve Pocket Tee – $29.50
3. Gap The Essential Pocket T – $16.95
4. Express Ultimate Slub Cotton V-Neck Tee – $29.90

For starters, a basic t-shirt is a must. You can pair a basic pocket tee with just about anything and it can be dressed up (worn with a blazer over it and paired with chinos) or worn casually (pair it with a chambray shirt with the sleeves rolled up). Why a pocket tee and not just a regular tee? For some reason, it just looks nicer. I can’t really explain it. You just have to try it for yourself to get what I mean.

2. Oxford Button-Up

1. Brooks Brothers Classic All-Cotton Traditional Fit Solid Dress Shirt – $79.50
2. J. Crew Secret Wash Lightweight Solid Shirt – $64.50
3. Gap Solid Oxford Shirt – $39.99
4. Express 1MX Modern Fit Stretch Cotton Shirt – $59.90

Oxford button-ups are essential for work places and interviews. Aside from that they are perfect for virtually any occasion from weddings to family get-togethers to even late night rendezvous with your significant other. Try to stick to something that is made out of 100% cotton. The last thing you need to do is sweat a storm while you’re out and about.

3. Patterned (plaid/gingham) Button-Up

1. Brooks Brothers Regular Fit Irish Linen Plaid Sport Shirt – $98.50
2. J. Crew Secret Wash Lightweight Shirt in Van Buren Gingham – $64.50
3. Gap Patch Pocket Plaid Shirt – $49.95
4. Express Non-Iron Fitted Plaid Shirt – $48.93

Plaid/gingham shirts are life savers when you don’t know what to wear on a day-to-day basis. It’s the perfect shirt to wear for any season. If it’s cold out, layer a basic pocket tee underneath it and if it’s hot out, roll up the sleeves!

4. Chambray Button-Up

1. J. Crew Chimala Denim Western Shirt – $370.00
2. J. Crew Selvedge Chambray Utility Shirt – $98.00
3. Gap 1969 Chambray Utility Shirt – $44.99
4. Forever 21 Distressed Chambray Shirt – $21.25

Chambray shirts are pretty hip and happening these days. They can substitute a jacket for a more casual look. Again, you can pair a pocket tee underneath with the chambray shirt unbuttoned for a more relaxed look or just wear the chambray shirt tucked into your shorts or pants for a very dapper look.

5. Club Shorts

1. Brooks Brothers Garment-Dyed Plain-Front 11″ Twill Shorts – $85.00
2. J. Crew Club Short in Grey Chambray – $69.50
3. Gap Flat Front 10″ Shorts – $29.96
4. Express Classic Fit Belted Flat Front Shorts – $59.90

Club shorts are a must for Spring, Summer, and Fall. Considering they come in almost every color possible, there are so many different kind of outfits that you can put together! Just look at the images above! You have a casual laid back outfit with a tucked in shirt and belt; a business casual look with a tucked in oxford button-up, belt, and dress shoes; a casual look with a partially tucked in pocket tee and slip on shoes; and a casual dapper look with a pocket tee tucked in, belt, and a cardigan with the sleeves rolled up. Endless possibilities!

6. Chino Pants

1. Brooks Brothers Clark Straight Fit Plain-Front Non-Iron Advantage Chinos – $89.50
2. J. Crew Broken-In Chino in Classic Fit – $65.00
3. J. Crew Broken-In Chino in Urban Slim Fit – $69.50
4. Express Color Stretch Cotton Chino Photographer Pant – $69.90

Why Chino? I guess the fit is just nicer in my opinion. I absolutely love how men’s chinos come in various cuts and just look at the colors that they come in! Chinos can be worn for any occasion as they are seen being worn to work, formal events, and even just to go out with friends and family. Just find one that best suits your body type and you’re set!

I hope this was a helpful post as it was probably one of the more difficult questions that I’ve been asked. Remember, this post is based off a woman’s opinion. I’m sure there are guys out there who will disagree with the 6 pieces that I’ve chosen. I tried to incorporate higher end brands and more affordable brands for you men out there who want to change up your wardrobe. I did want to mention that I did not include accessories in this post. If you’d like to see that list, let me know in the comment bar below! Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

– Michelle

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