Menswear, like a lot of things in 2018, got kinda weird. But things are simplifying. Clothes will be relaxed and cool, but ruggedly handsome and will fit well. The best sneakers have been designed to make a statement but aren't intentionally ugly. And brands both big and small are crafting the best versions of staples that will always be in style.
So whether you're updating your look for a fresh start in 2019 or simply refreshing your wardrobe and stocking up for the year ahead, now's the time to do it. You've got that optimistic "new year, new you" vibe working for you. Not to mention, there are plenty of year-end sales to make purchasing a little easier. These Valet.-endorsed essentials will ensure you'll kick off 2019 in style.
If you don't have a plain T-shirt that makes you feel like a sexy badass whenever you wear it, you haven't found the right T-shirt. Buck Mason has mastered the fit, feel and finish of their tees. And the slightly off-white washed color just makes it that much cooler.
$32 by Buck Mason
A classicchore jacket
In 2019, some recent menswear favorites from the worlds of prep and workwear are returning to the forefront. The chore coat or jacket sits right in the middle of those two, looking at once classic and incredibly current. There are plenty of options out there, but this one from Everlane is a quality piece for an unbeatable price.
$88 by Everlane
Graphic long sleeve T-shirt
The difference between looking like a lazy skateboarder and a stylish, in-the-know guy when it comes to graphic T-shirts is all in the branding. You want to rock one that strays from the predictable path. Opt for a slightly oversized fit and a faded wash like this one from the eccentric and expressive brand RtA.
$170 by RtA
Just look at any of the guys you follow for inspiration on Instagram. Or the leading men tearing it up on the red carpet. You'll find a pair of simple, well-fitting yet relaxed jeans. They're likely dark—even more likely black. Look for a pair with the slightest of wash and a touch of stretch for a comfortable, more lived-in feel.
$118 by Flint and Tinder
An open collar shirt
The loud, patterned camp collar shirt has been around for a few seasons now, but this is a slightly more refined take. Look for a quieter print or a solid style like this expertly tailored version from Basic Rights. The shirt has the power to make any pair of pants you pair with it feel like a rakish, well-conceived outfit.
$110 by Basic Rights
Just like with jeans, your trousers should fit comfortably—not overly tailored but not shapeless and overly wide. They should be cut to work with dress shirts and sweaters as well as a plain T-shirt. These are pants that look as great in the boardroom as they do on a weekend date.
$198 by Bonobos
A pair of statement-making sneakers
There's a lot happening with sneakers right now. In 2019, the stylish gent (who doesn't want to look like a fashion victim) wants a modern-looking pair with a slightly oversized sole and interesting laces. Nike's React Element 55 sneakers have nods to the past with just enough futuristic touches to make them interesting. And insanely comfortable.
$130 by Nike
The all-season beanie
For when you've overslept, gotten a bad haircut or just need to keep your head warm. A lightweight beanie made from well-sourced material with an interesting knit pattern will always look sharp. But slipping one on in a neutral tone, like this one from Saturdays NYC in "British Khaki," seems very much right now.
$65 by Saturdays NYC
A cross-body bag
Last year, we called them "the backpack alternative." In 2019, crossbody bags aren't going anywhere. Whether crafted from luxe leathers or built from durable nylon, they're all meant to be worn the same way. Slung over your shoulder and worn snug against your body—holding everything a modern man has to carry these days.
$55 by Adidas
An adaptable sweater in a bold shade
Whether you wear it under a jacket or by itself with your oldest pair of jeans, a lightweight sweater in an eye-catching shade will instantly make you feel like your most handsome self. And a yolky yellow color looks great in any season, but particularly pops in the wintertime.
$110 by Suit