Must-Have Monday: 9 Men’s Spring Style Essentials

Okay, I’ll admit that reading the title of this article may seem a bit daunting if you’re a guy who doesn’t know the difference between a blazer and a jacket**. And when it comes to fashion, most guys are clueless.

hangover alan man purse

But now that you’re a twenty-something male with a job, you need to have a wardrobe that reflects that. As much as you want to, you just can’t roll out of bed and put on sweats and dirty sneakers like you did in college when getting dressed for work.

But, that also doesn’t mean you have to shell out a ton for a brand new wardrobe. If you live in comfort, a few simple additions to your closet can lead to a multitude of options. You’ll look sharp and more put together and earn bonus points with the ladies (trust me on this one).

1. Thermal Sweater

A great base piece for layering. Wear this under a basic button-down or blazer, sort of like an undershirt.

Topman Light Green Waffle Sweater, $60, Topman.com

topman thermal sweater

2. Plaid Shirt

This is probably the holy grail (aside from khakis) of wardrobe staples. The plaid shirt works under a black v-neck sweater and khakis or with a crisp blazer for work, and easily transitions to happy hour.

Billabong Wallingsford LS Shirt, $53.99, Swell.com

billabong plaid shirt

3. Khaki Pants

They have the same comfort level as sweatpants, but 100% more polished. These come in a variety of colors and are on sale, so stock up now.

Lived-in slim khakis, $47.96, Gap.com

gap khaki pants

4. Chino Blazer

Before you tell me that $198 is too much to spend on a blazer, hear me out: A blazer is like your favorite college sweatshirt–you will wear it over and over again until you can’t. It’s great for when you have a meeting and need to look a bit more presentable, but also works for a business-casual outing. Chino is a soft, breathable fabric ideal for spring and summer. You can also layer a comfy hoodie to make the item more casual–and you’ll eventually see that it is worth it.

Bonobos Washed Chino Blazer in Navy, $198, Bonobos.com

bonobos blazer

5. Dark Denim

Out with the bleached denim and sweatpants, in with the dark jeans. A nice pair with a worn-in feel is great for “Casual Fridays” (and really, any other day of the week that ends in “y”).

Slim-straight jean in dark worn wash, $98, Jcrew.com

jcrew jeans

6. Sperry’s

The ballet flat of women’s fashion, sperry’s are the ultimate must-have for spring. Now that the weather’s warming up, you need a functional shoe that feels as soft as your favorite sneakers.

Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original in Amaretto, $84.95, Zappos.com

sperrys

7. Colorful Button Down

Like your favorite denim shirt, only in a spring-like color and perfect with a suit and tie or with chino shorts and sperry’s.

Chambray Long Sleeve Button Down in Red, $58, Americanapparel.net

american apparel shirt

8. Polo Shirt

Because spring isn’t complete without polo shirts. I mean, the Kentucky Derby is next month…

Vintage Polo, $44.50, Bananarepublic.com

banana republic polo shirt

9. Leather Belt

I’m sorry, but the days of low-riding Bieber-like pants are over. Get a belt and pick those suckers up to your natural waistline. If you’re feeling a bit more, how should I say this, adventurous, by all means, go for a printed one.

BYOB Leatherback Tabbed Belt, $39.30, Knotclothing.com

knot clothing belt

**And in case you were wondering, a blazer is what you wear with other separates (pants, shirts), and a jacket is part of a suit, like what you would wear to a wedding (more on that in a later post…)

Hannah Gettleman

Hannah Gettleman is a bubbly twenty-something living in Chicago. She graduated in 2012 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Journalism. Don't tell her that print is dying--she's already made the switch to public relations. As a Midwest girl, winter happens approximately 80% of the year, so she knows a thing or two about a good pair of snow boots. She lives for summer weather (even though she can never tan), Boy Meets World reruns, and an unhealthy addiction to dark chocolate and online shopping. She's a die-hard Chicago sports fan, even though she's well aware the Cubs always end up in last place every year.

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