We’ve all been there: missed the alarm, slept in, got a few minutes to leave the house… and no idea of what to wear. Or maybe you’ve finally got your hands on a killer biker jacket or that perfect pair of chinos, only to get home and realise they don’t go with anything in your wardrobe.
The solution to those last minute frustrations? Knowing some good, easy to wear outfit combinations that will never let you down.
With the below tips and the right wardrobe basics, you’ll be able to leave the house looking pristine in no time at all.
1. Black Leather Biker & White T-Shirt
A classic and masculine combination. But with such a simple recipe, the ingredients have to be top-notch.
It’s important to purchase a biker jacket that fits you perfectly – avoid vintage versions with their 1980s shoulder pads, and steer clear of anything too tight, you want to look more like a young Marlon Brando than Danny Zuko.
Zara, The Kooples, AllSaints, Sandro and Saint Laurent are just some of the brands that produce high quality, well-proportioned real leather bikers. As for the T-shirt, any style will do (crew neck, v-neck, even longline), just so long as it’s clean and fits well.
Image: AllSaints 2013
2. Sweatshirt, Slim Jeans & Bomber Jacket
A lightweight cotton sweatshirt is ideal for the spring to summer transition, with brands like Acne Studios, Sunspel and Levi’s Vintage offering exceptional styles in a wide array of fabrics, fits and colourways.
Arguably the perfect downtime piece, it’s important to not seem like you’ve just come from the gym; team yours with skinny- or slim-cut jeans and top off with a neutral bomber jacket to keep things looking crisp.
It’s easy to customise this look – from a khaki bomber with a grey marl sweat and black jeans, to a black cotton bomber with pale denim and a bold coloured sweat – and the combination works just as well with sneakers as it does a pair of smart boots or Derbies.
Image: Asos 2015
3. Short-Sleeved Shirt & Shorts
While it could be stating the obvious, a short-sleeved shirt and well-cut shorts are a match made in heaven.
When it comes to style, choose a shirt that flatters your form but doesn’t tightly hug your biceps, chest or neck – this is a piece that should be able to be worn buttoned-up to the office or worn open over a T-shirt on holiday.
Chino shorts are a good compromise between smart and casual (Uniqlo and H&M are champions of this style), and a simple neutral pair in black, beige or navy will work with almost any short-sleeved shirt, whether printed or plain.
Try navy shorts with a classic white shirt, or stone shorts with an on-trend floral design.
Image: Calibre SS14
4. White Shirt & Lightweight Knit
Or, in other words, what to wear if you want to appear smart but stay comfortable.
Provided the jumper is a lightweight version and not too tight or thin (there’s nothing sloppier than seeing your buttons poking through the fabric), almost any style of white shirt will work, from formal to Oxford cloth.
You can’t go wrong with this look – it’s an all-time classic combination and an essential addition to any style-conscious gent’s repertoire.
Image: Mango Man 2015
5. Denim Jacket & Beige Chinos
Denim jackets have developed into a modern wardrobe essential, but it can be tricky to know what trousers to wear with them. Jeans instantly spring to mind, but double denim is difficult to pull off, even for the most fashion-forward man, so instead we recommend turning to another trusty staple: the chino.
Beige chinos complement dark indigo denim jackets wonderfully, with the combination able to be pulled together with a plain tee or smarter Oxford button-down for a go-to weekend look.
Image: J Crew 2014
6. Navy Blazer & Grey Trousers
One of our Top 5 Separates Combinations, a navy blazer and pair of grey trousers are wardrobe staples that all men should already own.
Less stuffy than a full suit, this timeless pairing can work for both formal and smart-casual occasions – dress it up with a white dress shirt, solid tie and polished black Oxfords, or relax the aesthetic with a plain T-shirt and brown loafers (socks optional).
Image: Zara AW12