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You’ve seen them before. Men wearing raucous patterns and loud colors left over from their college days. They chase every trend and end up with last spring’s strangest styles crowding their closet. Despite their constant shopping, their wardrobe lacks coordination and class.

Their counterparts are the masters of cool sophistication. Subtle, high-quality pieces create an overall air of maturity, creativity, and taste. The mystery of their simple style leaves you wondering - what’s their secret?

Staples. Not basics - staples.

Basics are what you don’t want. Think of what your Uncle John wears. Khakis, an ill-fitting blue polo. Not bad - but by no means great. Staples, on the other hand, are the foundation of a classic wardrobe. They’re elegant, timeless, and wearable either alone or as a foundation for a statement piece.

You’ve seen the ‘New Year, New You’ diet swaps - you know, swap your spaghetti for some zucchini swirls. Don’t worry, we won’t be robbing you of pasta - only suggesting some enduring fashion choices that will transform your look from confused to confident.

Kick your denim habit and pick up a pair of chinos (that fit!)

  • We know it’s hard. But trust us - chinos are a sophisticated staple that translate from the office to a night out with ease. Here are some tips:
  • Stay away from the crazy colors for now, and pick a modern neutral, like gray or navy.
  • Cuffs should graze the top of your shoe. You don’t want them too long, but you also don’t want a gap between your pants and your shoe.
  • Leave chinos straight for a more sleek look, or cuff them for casual style.
  • Don’t know where to start? Try LAD’s Modern Fit Chino on for size.

Replace the graphic tee with a few solid-color tees and henleys.

  • Again, stick with neutrals here.
  • Choose a neckline fit for you - crewnecks are classic and slightly more formal, while v-necks add height and a little more visual interest. Henleys are an excellent option for more casual occasions - check out the LAD Hachiko Henley.
  • Wear these alone, or layer with a sport coat, tailored hoodie, or scarf.

Swap your pull-over for a sophisticated sweater.

  • Slim-fit sweaters in neutral colors are the basis of your fall and winter wardrobes.
  • Cotton sweaters are a great place to start, and if you want to up your sweater game, merino wool and cashmere are excellent high-quality options.

Toss the cargo shorts (immediately) and grab a pair of cotton or linen shorts.

  • There’s a time and a place for shorts, so when you do wear them, make sure they fit. Shorts should hit 2-3 inches above the knee.
  • Start with staples before moving on to bolder colors. Grey, navy, and khaki neutrals are a good place to begin. 
This is only the beginning. Think of your staples as the basis for the masterpiece that is your wardrobe. Combine them alone for an effortless look, or treat them as a canvas for adding an eye-catching statement piece.
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