Building a menswear wardrobe: the 15 everyday essentials that every man should own
Never out of style, never out of season and never out of stock: these timeless clothing essentials are the building blocks of the modern menswear wardrobe.
Our Essentials Collection consists of fifteen classic Sunspel menswear staples. We’ve spent decades refining each garment, using the best fabrics to make simple, luxurious clothes that feel great against the skin and yet are durable enough to last for years of everyday wear.
Add them to your collection and – with some mixing and matching – you’re covered for the office, the weekend and virtually everything in between. Investing in high quality, timeless basics that are made to last – the opposite of disposable ‘fast fashion’ – is not only practical, it’s a more responsible way to dress.
The t-shirt is the foundation of your everyday outfit. You can build your wardrobe around a set of plain cotton tees in white and in black. So it’s worth investing in quality.
Sunspel has been refining the ‘Made in England’ Classic T-Shirt since 1908, perfecting a minimal design and a classic fit. We still craft it in our Long Eaton factory, and today we use a luxurious long staple Supima cotton for exceptional softness and comfort. The durability of the fabric means that it can be worn and washed repeatedly without shrinkage or a loss of shape or colour.
You can broaden your options with a heavier cotton t-shirt, suitable for all seasons. Sunspel’s Riviera T-Shirt is a midweight garment tailored for a sleek, slim fit and looks great worn simply with denim.
(3) Sea Island Cotton Knit Long Sleeve Polo in Light Navy. (4) Cotton Piqué Polo Shirt in White. (5) Cotton Riviera Polo Shirt in Navy
The polo shirt is a timeless menswear staple – and it opens up a wealth of styling options. Paired with shorts the polo makes for an effortlessly cool holiday outfit, while with a chino or under a suit it’s great for the office.
Sunspel’s iconic Riviera Polo Shirt was tailored for Daniel Craig as James Bond and it’s virtually impossible not to feel and look great while wearing one (the FT called it ‘the easiest way to look like 007 without wearing a tuxedo.’). It is constructed from a uniquely soft and breathable lightweight cotton mesh called Q75, making it supremely comfortable in any season.
For a classic look recalling the sporting origins of the polo, add a Cotton Piqué Polo Shirt to your collection. And for even more options, especially in the transitions between seasons, try a long-sleeved polo. Sunspel’s Sea Island Cotton Knit Long Sleeve Polo is the ultimate luxury version.
A few carefully chosen, versatile shirts will cover you for a multitude of occasions, from work meetings to dinner dates. It’s important to feel comfortable and relaxed in a shirt, and Sunspel’s are made from luxurious fabrics that feel great against the skin.
A well-fitted white Oxford Shirt paired with chinos solves the smart-casual look, or wear it with jeans for a dressed-down feel. Adding the button down shirt to your wardrobe further increases your choices: a navy or charcoal button-down shirt layered over a Classic T-Shirt in white is an easy, flattering look.
A chino in a light stone colour and a good pair of navy blue jeans. As long as your wardrobe contains at least those two absolute essentials then it’s virtually impossible to go wrong and a world of sartorial options is open to you. Just mix and match with almost any shirt or t-shirt to find your style.
Comfort and durability are the keys for everyday trousers. Sunspel’s Japanese Denim Selvedge Jean is cut in a premium 14oz denim which has been rope-dyed for a rich and even indigo colour, and is rinse-washed to minimise shrinkage. Wear them over boots or rolled with white tennis shoes.
Our Regular Fit Chino in Light Stone is made from a lightweight stretch cotton twill and has a soft, broken-in feel. It’s perfectly matched with a navy Riviera Polo, but it goes with almost anything. Add charcoal or navy colours for even more styling options.
For the colder months, the essential menswear wardrobe requires layering options. A knitted crew neck jumper in a blue is a really versatile staple: you can wear it with jeans over a white T-Shirt for a smart weekend outfit, or pair with a chino or tailored trouser for work days. And you can wear it under a jacket or dark-coloured overcoat for a simple, stylish look in winter.
Sunspel’s Lambswool Crew Neck Jumper in lambswool is knitted in Scotland using yarn from one of the world’s oldest spinners, while our Italian-spun Fine Merino Jumper is knitted on traditional frame machines. The wools are exceptionally soft but also very durable: with proper care the jumpers will give you years of everyday wear.
COATS AND JACKETS
Coats are a very much a matter of personal taste, but for the essential, fashion-proof modern wardrobe nothing beats the Harrington jacket. It’s an enduring symbol of modern style that’s light enough to throw on over knitwear yet substantial enough to wear over a white Classic T-Shirt even in the colder months. Sunspel’s Cotton Drill Harrington Jacket features slanted welt pockets, a smart collar with a zip enclosure and classic, sleek cut.
For rainy day wear, add a Showerproof Cotton Mac to your collection. It’s fully lined so can be worn all year round and works well with a suit or just over chinos and knitwear for a straightforward, sophisticated look.
(14) Cotton Loopback loungewear set in Grey Melange
Loungewear is all about comfort: everyday luxury to make you feel good all year round. Sunspel’s Cotton Loopback Sweatshirt is a modern classic: a take on the traditional athletic sweatshirt made from our unique, exceptionally soft and warm loopback cotton fabric. Perfect for days in, it’s also stylish enough to step out in. Pair with the matching Cotton Loopback Track Pant for the ultimate loungewear set.