Imagine: Not thumbing through button-down after button-down every morning only to end up in the same place — with “nothing to wear.” There’s a smarter way to dress, and it’s called a capsule wardrobe. A capsule collection is a small (think 15- to 40-piece) set of functional but stylish essentials you can wear again and again. By narrowing down your closet to a few high-quality men’s wardrobe basics, you’ll save yourself time, money and energy.

Wondering what to put on your men’s wardrobe checklist? Think classic (sturdy tees, a go-to belt that lasts for years) and versatile (simple jeans and sweaters that can be dressed up or down). Check out some of our favorite staples below and get started on your new wardrobe. 

1. AG Tellis Slim Jean ($198) 

A well-designed pair of jeans is the cornerstone of your capsule collection. The secret to AG Tellis’ perfectly slim fit is the way it stretches without losing shape. You’ll want more than one for your new closet. Lucky for you the pair comes in classic blue (Equation) or black (Mass). 

2. Banks Journal Memphis Sweatpant ($65)

Is any male wardrobe complete without sweatpants? Before you imagine a shapeless pair of loungers, look at what Banks Journal has created. Tailored from waist to ankle, the navy sweats look put together whether you’re working out or hanging out. And no eco-friendly detail has been spared — they’re 100% organic cotton, and even the plastic bits are made from recycled materials. 

3. ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo Classic Jersey Short Sleeve Tee ($58)

The classic tee has been around since 1898, but we have guys like Marlon Brando and James Dean to thank for turning its simple form into a style staple. ATM nailed its version: Sturdy and soft, these Peruvian cotton tees are a men’s wardrobe essential. 

4. BLDWN Cabus Vertical Stripe Shirt ($188)

BLDWN’s short-sleeve button-up is a study in contrasts. Smart pinstripes give it the authority of a traditional dress shirt, while the camp collar (also called a Cuban collar) lies flat and open for a cool, breezy look. Both of these styles are classics in their own right, and combining them is a stroke of fashion genius.

5. Rails Connor Check Shirt ($138)

Every collection of men’s wardrobe basics calls for an eye-catching, long-sleeve dress shirt. This one mixes modern pewter tones with a bold check pattern to strike that perfect balance between business and casual. A fine linen blend, it’s ideal for layering but will also keep you cool during spring and summer.

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6. BLDWN Inez Sweater ($178) 

A thin, cozy sweater that can be worn every season, the Inez has a relaxed fit that makes it easy to pair it with dress shirts or blazers for the office — or with jeans as you slide into weekend mode.

7. John Varvatos Star USA Band Collar Leather Jacket ($598)

What is it about a leather jacket that makes you feel instantly more confident? With its clean lines and heavy-duty zippers, this Varvatos number is a modern classic. If you’re deciding whether it’s worth the splurge, consider this: This jacket will be a part of your wardrobe for the rest of your life.

8. Levi’s Berk Trucker Jacket ($98) 

A casual and dependable jacket is high on the list of essential wardrobe items. When Levi’s released its original Trucker in 1962, the double chest pockets and V-shaped seams became a jean jacket standard. This version has all the traditional features, with a few new touches like black thread on black denim.

9. Anderson’s Leather Belt ($180)

A striking leather belt will pull any outfit together, whether you’re in Saturday’s jeans or Monday morning’s suit and tie. A family business, Anderson’s makes handmade belts in Parma, Italy, where its dedication to quality has been in practice since 1966. Simple and comfortable, this belt is built to outlive all others.

10. BUSCEMI Large Front Pocket Wallet ($235)

The final detail in any collection of men’s wardrobe basics is a secure, well-designed wallet. BUSCEMI’s is shaped to hold all the cards and cash you need, but its slim design lets it slip easily into your front pocket.

Tata Harper Face Wash Nourishing Oil Cleanser
Bari Rib Drawstring Hoodie
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Your weekend uniform, complete. This cozy hoodie has a slightly boxy fit for easy movement and lounging. Even if the only moving you’re doing is opening the door for Postmates. Looks great paired with our Porto Legging or Amsterdam Pant.

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