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10 Wardrobe Essentials in White for Every Man’s Closet

blog post 7.15.14 wardrobe essentials for men whiteIn my last post I gave some great what not to wear tips for wearing white in summer, however most of those tips were geared toward women.  To be fair, I wanted to do a post for all of the fashionable men out there who want to wear white in summer as well!

Here are my 10 wardrobe essentials that every man should have, in white, in his closet.

Wardrobe Essentials #1: White Tee

You can’t get any more basic than this!  The white tee I recommend should be a v-neck and fitted without being too tight.  This is an essential layering piece for many men underneath their everyday shirt.  This is important especially in summer, as it can really help with wicking sweat in the hot humid temperatures.  Look for a white tee that’s:

  • Tagless in the back
  • Allows for easy movement
  • Made of 100% cotton, bamboo cotton, or another natural absorbent fabric

Lifeisgood Men's Crusher Polo Shirt, White, L

Wardrobe Essentials #2: White Polo

No man’s wardrobe is complete without at least one polo style shirt in it.  For maximum wear and versatility, you want to get polos in solid core colors such as black, white, and navy and you’ll be able to mix and match them in several casual and semi-casual looks.  The perfect white polo:

  • Can be worn in at least two seasons
  • Is made of a fine knit cotton or cotton-poly blend
  • Is a shade of white that compliments your complexion and wardrobe

Kenneth Cole New York Short-Sleeve Diamond-Print Shirt - White

Wardrobe Essentials #3: White Collared-Shirt (short sleeve)

As with the white polo, a white-collared shirt is necessary in your wardrobe.  For warmer weather, choose a short-sleeve button-up style shirt that works well under a sports jacket and can be worn with casual pants.  Choose a white-collared shirt that:

  • Can be worn in at least two seasons
  • Is versatile with different styles of pants
  • Can be worn layered under different types of jackets or sweaters

7 for All Mankind whtie and blue leather moc toe 'Harry' boat shoes

Wardrobe Essentials #4: White Casual Shoes (Boat shoes or canvas shoes)

When not in work mode, you need a great casual shoe that will take you from barbecue to drinks with friends and possibly on a date.  The white casual shoe in summer is perfect for just that look!  Just beware that white makes the size of anything look bigger, so if you have very large feet in proportion to your body, you want to choose a shape that helps minimize the size of your foot (i.e. rounded toe vs. pointy toe).   I’m personally a huge fan of white boat shoes on men (the fancier kind) or a really sleek pair of canvas shoes.  When picking a white casual shoe, remember:

  • Pick a casual shoe that works with your lifestyle
  • Pick a style that compliments the size of your foot
  • Pick a white shoe in a classic style so it lasts many seasons

Prada plaster leather moc toe penny loafers

Wardrobe Essentials #5: White Loafers

As with the white casual shoe, the white loafer is a shoe you want to put a lot of thought into before purchasing.  This shoe will be perfect when wearing a white summer suit or a great pair of white linen shorts. Choose a white loafer that:

  • Works with your lifestyle
  • Is made of treated leather or lambskin
  • Has embellishments and or detail that make it dressier

Tommy Hilfiger white two button cotton blazer

Wardrobe Essentials #6: White Blazer

A white blazer, worn correctly, is an attention-grabbing piece of clothing.  This can work on a man of average to medium-tall stature and should be tailored to fit him.  Your choice of white blazers can be in a style best suited for dressier occasions; think linen, or it can be more casual such as seersucker or canvas.  Your perfect white blazer should be:

  • Tailored to fit you perfectly
  • Be in a fabric that dictates it use
  • Have buttons and details that work best for your body type

Lubiam tan cotton soft shoulder 2-button suit with flat front pants

Wardrobe Essentials #7: White Linen Suit

The white linen suit is a must for any man who wants to really dress to impress at summer evening affairs. The right linen suit can even be appropriate for a formal summer affair and is always perfect for a wedding.  I admit, this won’t be cheap and is best left for the man willing to make the investment in such a suit.  Cheap linen suits look bad on women and look horrible on men. You want one with weighty enough linen that won’t wrinkle as much and will need to take exceptional care of it.  A man’s ideal white linen suit should be:

  • Tailored to fit perfectly
  • In a shade of white that compliments your complexion
  • Likely be custom-made of expensive linen that’s been treated

Burberry beige cotton zip neck long sleeve sweater

Wardrobe Essentials #8: White Cardigan

The white cardigan, a la preppy, is a perfect layering piece for a more polished casual or business casual look.  I like white cardigans in cuts that resemble blazers and that are textured.  Look for cardigans that:

  • Are versatile
  • Can easily be layered over top of other tops
  • Have a texture or pattern in the weave of the fabric

Men's Beige Perforated Leather Belt

Wardrobe Essentials #9: White Belt

Belts are essential for every adult wardrobe, man or women, but the white belt takes the style factor to another level.  Choose a white belt that works well with your waist.  A medium size belt works best on all waist sizes.  A thicker belt works best for men who have slim to average waist sizes. Choose a white belt that’s:

  • Durable
  • Made of a versatile material, such as leather or canvas
  • Has little to no pattern or print so it has a timeless style

GG 2252/S 4UYIC Light Steel Aviator Men's Sunglasses

Wardrobe Essentials #10: White-Rimmed Sunglasses

This is a definite bonus, but I still feel it’s necessary for men with a lot of white wardrobe essentials. The most important rule about sunglasses (other than protection) is to choose a style that compliments the shape of your face.  A shape that works universally well are aviators.  A pair of white rimmed metal aviators with medium or dark lenses will make any all white look “pop”.  This is an investment piece, so don’t be afraid to splurge on these!


Now you know how to be just as fabulous while wearing white this summer as your female counterparts!

Tell me, what wardrobe essentials in white do you already own?  Which ones do you now feel you need to add?  Which ones would you never wear?

Comment below!


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