5 Essentials You Need to Buy When Starting Your Career

Handsome businessman in suit speaking on the phone in office, suit, style

Source: iStock

Your 20s mark the start of your transformation into adulthood, and often, the beginning of your career. In short, you’re a grown man now, and it’s time to master how to dress for your work environment. The easiest way to start off is with a capsule wardrobe. Today Style defines a capsule wardrobe as a way of minimizing your clothing into a smaller collection of interchangeable pieces that easily mix and match, instead of filling your closet with useless items that you’re barely going to get any use out of. Although the idea of a capsule collection is not new, it’s been recently popularized by “Unfancy” blogger Caroline Rector. It happens to be the best piece of advice for a young person on a tight budget. It also works wonders in simplifying your stressful life when you don’t need to think too much about what you have to pair together. With a capsule wardrobe, you already know pretty much everything matches.

So young gents who are eager and ready to begin their sartorial journey, this is the time to invest in important go-to pieces that will form the foundation of your wardrobe for many years to come: a good pair of jeans, smart leather shoes, your first proper suit, and the best watch your money can buy.

This is the first decade of the rest of your life — so make sure you start it in style.

1. The essential blue suit

blue suit

Source: J. Crew

Your suit is going to be one of the most important investments you make. You’re not going to be able to spend tons of money on one, but you want to invest in a good-quality one, so that it will last you for a couple of years. When you’re starting out, it’s best to go for one decent one that has you covered for work and interviews, weddings, and any other occasion you might need it for. That said, the most versatile color you can go for is a plain, deep navy wool-cotton blend suit that you can wear for the majority of the year — one that you can layer pieces over and under.

Feel free to also purchase discounted ones to throw into the mix so you have several suits to wear — there is nothing wrong with that — but find a good enough one that you can feel good wearing. Be sure to fit into your budget a little extra to get it properly tailored. It ups the look of the suit and makes it seem like you spent more on it than you actually did.

What to buy:

  • Ludlow Suit Jacket in Heathered Italian Wool Flannel in Night Shadow, jcrew.com
  • Ludlow Suit Pant in Heathered Italian Wool Flannel in Night Shadow, jcrew.com
  • Blazer Slim Fit in Dark Blue, hm.com
  • Suit Pants Slim Fit in Dark Blue, hm.com

2. The accessories

dress shirt

Source: Macy’s

With your new suit(s) you need those essential accessories to match, such as a dress shirt in neutral go-to colors like white, light blue, and grey, and several bolder ties to match. You’ll soon learn just how important a white dress shirt is because it goes with everything. Make sure you always have your neutrals on hand as well. Additionally, stick to ties that match your deep navy suit.

What to buy:

  • Men’s Croft & Barrow Classic-Fit Solid Spread-Collar Dress Shirt in White and Gray, kohls.com
  • Van Heusen Herringbone Solid Dress Shirt in Blue Cloud, macys.com
  • Skylight in Red, thetiebar.com
  • Brushed Straight Sliver Tie Bar, thetiebar.com

3. A pair of denim pants


Source: Gap

Although you may not be able to wear jeans to work, you’ll still find that you’re going to wear jeans more than any other item in your wardrobe so they’re worth investing them — and it’s certainly worth it to get the right fit. Wash-wise, it’s best to go for a dark or mid-indigo selvedge denim that you can wear with everything else in your wardrobe. Well, at least you can wear them on casual Fridays.

What to buy:

1969 Slim Fit Jeans (Authentic Indigo Selvedge), gap.com

4. A smart pair of shoes


Source: Nordstrom

At the very least, you’re going to need two pairs of smart shoes: one black and one tan. The simpler the style, the more outfits that it will match. However, a pair of tan oxfords works perfectly with your deep navy suit.

What to buy:

Johnston & Murphy ‘Conard’ Cap Toe Oxford (Men) in Tan, nordstrom.com

5. The statement watch


Source: Macy’s

Much like your suit, it’s worth getting a watch that goes with everything you own. Since you’re not going to be able to afford a Rolex, a Tag Heuer, or any watch of that overly expensive nature, you’re going to need a watch with a similar, statement look, but one that fits perfectly into your budget. Opt for a stainless steel watch with a darker face for versatility. This Bulova watch can fool the richest exec in your company and rivals any expensive watch with a similar aesthetic. The rich blue dial on this watch is eye-catching and stunning.

What to buy:

Bulova Men’s Chronograph Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch 40mm 96A174, macys.com

More from Gear & Style Cheat Sheet: