After making a name for himself as the dandy stylist on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Allentown native Carson Kressley has since gone on to become one of the country’s most renowned fashion experts. He’s appeared on makeover shows How to Look Good Naked and True Beauty, and has been a regular style commentator with appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Live with Regis & Kelly. Always a man with an opinion, here Kressley gives us his take on the wardrobe essentials that every man should have in his closet.
1. FOLLOW SUIT
Every man should own one great suit. Invariably, there will be weddings, funerals and perhaps even a job interview. Keep it simple—a one- or two-button jacket with flat-front trousers in classic navy or gray. In my mind, black seems too slick, and any other colors like olive or taupe look like something Arsenio Hall wore in the ’80s. Not cute.
2. THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Guys should always have a great piece of outerwear. It will last a long time and you’ll wear it nearly every day in the winter. Just make sure it’s long enough to cover a suit or sport jacket. And, no, ski jackets do not count!
3. BROWN BAG IT
By all means, invest in a nice bag. I guess guys think it makes you look gay if you carry a bag, but carrying a backpack only makes you look like a terrorist. The more rugged types can try a canvas bag by Filson, and for work, a well-worn leather messenger bag always looks handsome. And I definitely like brown bags the best.
4. JACKET REQUIRED
A blue blazer always looks good with jeans and a button-down—whether you’re on a date with your girlfriend, boyfriend, wife or whoever. And be sure to pair it with a tailored or slim-fitting dress shirt in blue, pink or white.
5. IT'S IN THE JEANS
Well-fitted jeans are crucial. Keep them dark and simple with a boot cut or slim leg. Skinny jeans don’t look good on anyone. And, please, nothing with any sort of wash or manufactured wear.