10 Items That Will Instantly Elevate Your Wardrobe in 2021
For when your basics start to feel a little too basic
With a new year upon us, it’s understandable if you’re looking to reinvent yourself in some way. But rather than risk a botched haircut or putting countless hours into obtaining an enviable (and often impossible) physique, allow us to recommend some new additions to your closet.
You should look to add pieces that don’t adhere to any tenuous trend but that you won’t already find among your clothes, pieces that enhance and elevate what you already have. By now you’ve probably accumulated the wardrobe “essentials” (white t-shirts, blue oxford shirt, white sneakers, etc.) and while these suggested items toe the line of timelessness, they offer a slight edge that those heralded basics won’t.
Below are 10 items that will offer enough of a departure from your existing wardrobe without making you feel like a lame try-hard.
A good coat has the ability to change everything, but if you’re really seeking an item that will instantly elevate any outfit, it’s the underrated Balmacaan coat. Originating at a Scottish estate some time in the 19th century, the style is marked by its unstructured raglan sleeves, Prussian collar and slightly oversized fit which lends it just the right amount of slouch. Where men’s coats tend to rely on a heavily tailored silhouette, the Balmacaan still offers that feeling of traditional menswear while simultaneously feeling modern.
Todd Snyder Balmacaan Coat
While you’ve probably acquainted yourself with chambray shirts, which tend to give the appearance of denim, it’s time to embrace the real thing. In theory a denim shirt might seem limiting, but the key to wearing one lies in utilizing its layering capabilities. Simply think of the shirt as not all that different from a denim jacket, except with the ability to more easily layer things over rather than strictly under. Plus, it’s an aesthetic chameleon, capable of presenting itself as classic and preppy or western and Americana depending how you style it.
The Kooples Blue Denim Shirt with Classic Collar
For most, especially those who no longer work in a physical office, it’s likely been quite some time since you’ve worn chinos. But just because you might not have any work-related reasons for wearing them doesn’t mean you should forgo them altogether. It’s time to embrace a more casual iteration of the style, the pleated chino. When lent to a chino silhouette, pleats allow for a roomier and relaxed look, one that reads less buttoned-up and instead suited to everyday wear. Consider them an alternative on days when you want something more structured than sweats but not as constricting as jeans.
Alex Mill Double Pleat Trouser in Chino
There’s no denying the reliability of a simple navy or black sweater, but we shouldn’t entirely discount knits of the bold and bright variety. You might think that these more conspicuous knits have a shorter life of wear, when in fact their practicality lies in their novelty, meaning you shouldn’t wear it tirelessly but choose carefully when to break it out. This prudence will lengthen the sweaters life in your closet and lend a sense of excitement and anticipation to each wear.
Pringle of Scotland Abstract Sweater
Despite their somewhat punk roots, Dr. Martens are wildly universal and suitable for a range of styles. Most associate the brand with the iconic lace up boots, but for people with a slightly more reserved sense of style, those can be a bit intimidating. Luckily a happy medium between punk and put-together exists in the form of the Oxford, which still speak to the brand’s essence, just in a more refined way. They’re as easy to wear as a pair of sneakers, going with everything yet offering a slight edge via the stacked sole. They’re inconspicuous but that doesn’t mean their stylistic properties will go unrecognized. And if Docs really aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other similar styles to consider.
Dr. Martens 1461 Mono Smooth Leather Oxford Shoes
Classic Signet Ring
Arguably one of the most classic and lasting pieces of jewelry, it’s time we re-establish the signet ring as an everyday accessory. Even as the men’s jewelry market continues to widen, many guys are still reticent to explore it for themselves. The signet ring positions itself as the perfect starter piece, discreet enough to pair with any outfit while helping to create a dignified and stately air, even if you’re just wearing sweats. It’s the kind of accessory you never take off (because you don’t want to) and hope to pass down to future generations.
Miansai Signet Ring
If you have yet to re-familiarize yourself with jeans after a year spent predominantly in sweats, let the first pair you slip into in the new year be one crafted from selvedge denim. Preferred for it’s ability to mold to the wearer’s shape over time, owning a pair of selvedge denim jeans requires entering into a deeply personal relationship — the jeans will most likely be a little stiff and even uncomfortable for the first couple of wears and then, before you’re even likely to notice, they’ll suddenly become unique to you and you only.
Buck Mason Maverick Slim Jean
A ‘New’ Classic Sneaker
Stan Smiths, Chuck Taylors and other iconic sneakers will forever remain (and most likely dominate) the canon of the classic sneaker, but there are other styles gaining popularity that are comparable to the more established silhouettes in their wearability, yet not so ubiquitous. These sneakers hail from the same brands, just having been eclipsed by the more popular styles, making them alluring to those who find themselves tired of the inescapable classic silhouettes.
Nike Blazer Low Leather
Maybe we’re being a bit optimistic here, but the term “party shirt” extends to any shirt that could be described as fun or a little quirky. Similarly to a bold knit, it’s the kind of shirt you pull out on the rare but not necessarily special occasion. Consider it a clothing lifeline of sorts, reserved for those days when you’re left entirely uninspired by your wardrobe. Slipping it on serves as a reminder for how fun fashion and getting dressed can actually be. And who knows, maybe you’ll actually be able to wear it to a party soon.
Nudie Jeans Arvid Misfit Creatures
Denim Chore Jacket
The denim jacket has long been established as a menswear essential, and the chore coat falls into the category of slightly newer classic, but what about the combination of the two? The hybrid style manages to blend the classic American aesthetic the denim jacket with that of the French-originated chore silhouette, thus making for a highly adaptable piece of outerwear.
Mr P. Double-Faced Denim Chore Jacket
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