The summer is now coming to an end and the back to school season is approaching us. With all of the stresses that college students deal with, there is a need to have a set wardrobe before classes begin. This way, you will be able to focus on studying instead of stressing about what you are going to wear.
While the process of building up your closet can take time and will require a lot of components for everyday wear, certain basic pieces are essential in every man’s closet.
Whether you follow streetwear trends or identify with a more dapper style in your clothing and accessories, you will be able to put together the perfect ensembles using these 5 must-have pieces.
Basic White T-Shirt
The first thing that you will need in any closet is a pack of basic white t-shirts. These can go with anything that you put on, whether you style it as a top by itself or wear it under a series of layers to serve as an undershirt.
A quality white t-shirt that you feel comfortable wearing in any setting will be the essential building block of your new wardrobe. Here are some of my personal favorites on both ends of the spectrum, which can each be worn in any way you choose.
Supreme is one of the leading brands in streetwear style. Although it is most known for its notorious box logo tees that have become a fashion staple in recent years, they also have some more low-key pieces with the Supreme logo in the corner for everyday wear.
If you are looking for a plain white t-shirt that you can throw on with a pair of sweatpants or layer under a zip-up hoodie, these will do the job. They can be purchased in packs of three, and follow the same sizing and fit as the traditional box logo tees.
Polo Ralph Lauren t-shirts also come in packs of three and can be worn with almost any outfit. These are of slightly better quality than the alternatives, made of soft cotton that is worth the extra price.
One of the best things about these shirts is their versatility, which comes from the subtle horse logo at the bottom. The thread on the embroidery is a dark navy color, so it won’t conflict with the other colors in your ensemble.
While white t-shirts are a basic essential in every closet, you won’t want to dress it down all the time. To add some personality to your clothing choices, you should have some tops to choose from that make more of a statement. Here are two of my top choices for logo t-shirts that will complete your weekly lineup.
The “By a Thread’ tee was created in collaboration by Virgil Abloh and Travis Scott. The merchandise released online last year in 2018, following the release of Astroworld.
This piece combines the concept of the popular and limited streetwear brand Off White with the widely successful album that topped the charts. Whether you are a fan of the music or fashion side of this piece, you can’t go wrong adding this to your closet.
Yves Saint Laurent is a designer brand that is celebrated for its minimal clothing and accessory concepts. The logo tees, in particular, are ideal for men who like to keep it classy without all of the loud graphics.
You can find these t-shirts in an assortment of colors, from black and white to pink and yellow. They can be dressed up or down, depending on the look you are going for. All in all, this is a very versatile piece that will add something to an otherwise simple closet.
The next items on the list of back to school essentials fall under the pants category. With the Autumn and Winter months coming up soon, you will want to have some options that can be worn on hotter and colder days.
There are a lot of different ways you can go with bottoms this season, but the right choice will vary based on your style. Below are my top suggestions both ways.
Sweatpants are ideal additions to any closet because they can be cozy and stylish at the same time. You can wear them with a plain t-shirt when the weather permits, or pair it with a matching hoodie when the winter rolls around.
Likewise, you can throw some slide sandals on the bottom for a casual trip to the library or dress it up some more with a nice pair of sneakers.
The Nike X Stranger Things Sweatpants dropped following the third season of the television series Stranger Things on Netflix. The show is set in the ’80s with a retro theme, which happens to be in style currently. You can find these sweatpants in grey, green, and navy blue colorways.
The grey pair is my personal favorite from this collection because of its versatility. Everyone needs a pair of grey sweats in their closet that can go with anything - and these are perfect for filling that gap.
These Prada Nylon Gabardine Track Pants are perfect for men who follow a more dapper style. They come in a solid black color that can go with everything, along with a nylon material that won’t wrinkle or look too casual when you wear them.
The only logos and markings are at the very bottom of the pants around the openings, with a simple “Prada” patch on each side. Overall, these pants are very versatile, and I would recommend them for any back to school shopping list.
For the days that you don’t want to dress it down in sweatpants, it is beneficial to have a nice pair of jeans that will go with any of the tops you have. They can be worn with short sleeves when the sun is out or a hoodie in the cold, which makes them versatile for any kind of weather that you might come across throughout the school year.
The type of jeans that you choose for your closet will depend on what goes with your style, along with the specific type of fit and look that you are going for. Some men like to wear distressed and ripped jeans that make a statement, while others prefer to stick with the basic pieces for a more clean aesthetic. Below are my top suggestions for men's jeans both ways.
Amiri Distressed Denim Jeans have become a fashion staple in the streetwear community within the past several years. The brand was founded by designer Mike Amiri, who makes every pair of jeans with premium denim products.
While there are plenty of different styles and colors available, this one, in particular, seems to be the most versatile. In other words, this is not a pair of jeans that you will just wear one time, but one that you can mix and match with multiple outfit concepts throughout the semester.
Even though the fit of these jeans tends to be on the slimmer side, there is some flexibility with sizing when you purchase. If you are into a more skinny look, you should purchase your true size. If you like a slightly looser fit, on the other hand, I would recommend sizing up, as these can run pretty small.
For men with a more dapper style, Burberry Slim-Fit Stretch-Denim Jeans are the perfect closet addition. They come in black, which can go with almost anything.
This particular pair can be worn as shown in the photo or cuffed slightly at the bottoms. The stretchy material that they are made of allows for comfort in daily wear, while also providing a sleek look that can be paired with anything from a casual tee to a button-up dress shirt.
Last but not least, you will need a quality hoodie that can become your go-to when it starts getting cold outside. Even though the sun is still out as the start of the semester is approaching, the winter is very soon to follow.
With everything being so fast-paced in college, hoodies are a necessary closet piece. Aside from the frequent need to throw something on and run to class in the mornings after sleeping in, being comfortable with an effortless clothing solution on some days is important.
There are endless options for the exact hoodie that you can add to your closet, but two specific styles are my personal favorites. Below are some options for any taste in clothing, whether you prioritize labels or comfort.
If you are looking for a hoodie that will fit in with your streetwear style, a Supreme Box Logo is the way to go. This is the most basic and sought after design throughout the brand’s entire collection, so there are multiple colorways to choose from.
Along with the basic black, white, grey, and navy colors, Supreme periodically drops new color combinations online and in their store in New York. However, I recommend the classic grey and red if you want a timeless piece to add to your closet that isn’t just a trend for the time being.
Since the colors in this hoodie are so calm, it can go with almost anything you want it to. Throw it on by itself or layer it with a bubble coat in the wintertime - the possibilities are endless.
JJJJOUND is a Canadian clothing brand that started as an online mood board, providing contemporary design concepts to viewers. Although it was created in the mid to late 2000s, it has increased in popularity through social media in recent years.
Along with the soft, organic cotton sweatpants and socks that they offer, there is a selection of simple hoodies that are a closet essential. This piece in the Oatmeal colorway is my personal favorite and the one that I would recommend to someone with a clean style who needs to add a quality hoodie to their back to school wardrobe.
You can throw this on for morning classes when its cold, or wear it around your dorm room after school. The best thing about this hoodie is that it’s extremely comfortable, but it can also be dressed up to look very dapper. You can wear this piece in any setting that you want and it will fit.
Assembling Your Back To School Wardrobe
With the start of the fall semester comes a lot of stress, and your clothing should be the last thing on your mind. Shopping for back to school clothes can get overwhelming if you aren’t sure which direction you want to go in for the remainder of the year.
The best advice that I can offer in this predicament is to stick with the essentials that were mentioned throughout this article. You will need to have some other filler items on the hangers to get you through each week, but having a solid foundation of the basics is crucial.
From there, you will be able to add to the statement pieces that you have to create a full rotation of outfits that can have longevity for the rest of the semester - without wearing them out too quickly. After choosing two styles of t-shirts and pants, along with a comfortable and versatile hoodie, it won’t be as difficult to fill in the blanks.
Whether you follow along with streetwear trends or consider yourself to have a more classy and dapper style, all 5 of these necessary pieces will serve as the base of your entire wardrobe, giving you multiple options and possibilities for everyday outfits.
This article was written by my good friend Giovanni Rodriguez @fashion_lovers_paraiso based in Tampa, Florida, definitely show him some love and follow him. I also wrote an article on his website so you guys can check that out too.