In 2024, fashion is more fluid and creative than ever. It's hard to know what to buy that will remain stylish for years to come but also remain enjoyable to wear. I find it's even harder to know what stylish clothes to buy for men. But each year, I buy my husband a couple of items I find to be well-made, stylish yet timeless, and I usually do a great job with my choices. I thought you might like to know the best fashion buys for my husband that have been completely worth the money, worn over and over again year after year.
The Best Fashion Buys for My Husband
For reference, my husband is turning 50 this year. He has a tall, relatively lean frame with broad shoulders and muscular legs. He likes to support sustainable fashion, buy less but buy that which will last for years, and has a bit of a capsule wardrobe of items that mix and match for a range of settings and situations. He is not afraid of color or print but has a base wardrobe of cool-toned neutrals to increase the versatility of the statement pieces. He works from home but likes to dress for social occasions.
These items I've bought my husband have been worth the money for style, quality, and longevity in a man's wardrobe. I will also share how he has styled these pieces and where he has worn them. I am only focusing on the clothing that is still available to ensure I am recommending that which we have personally experienced.
Todd Snyder ‘Riviera' Polo
The Todd Snyder ‘Riviera' Polo is such a classic it looks both modern and vintage. Made from Italian silk cotton, it is an elevated polo shirt that reads expensive, classic, refined, and versatile. Available in black, navy, ivory, and seasonally in other neutrals like brown and green, the Riviera Polo is a piece that can truly elevate an existing closet and look chic now and a decade from now.
My husband has the Riveria Polo in navy. He often wears it with straight or slim jeans with a pair of low-profile sneakers (he has a pair of silver low-top Pumas, classic Converse “Chucks,” and some retro-inspired Nike low-tops). When we go out to dinner or an event where the dress code is unknown, he will wear it with gray wool trousers and a pair of black Chelsea boots or brown lace-up boots. He has worn it in the summer with dark gray linen and stone chino shorts and sneakers or sandals, with linen pants and Birkenstocks, and has worn it under navy and dark gray suits.
The Todd Snyder ‘Riviera' Polo also comes in a full placket, which means it buttons all the way down to the hem instead of a three-button placket. That gives a bit more of a retro vibe and can be worn open over a t-shirt, but the full placket can also read more casual. The full placket, however, may be a more comfortable fit for different body shapes. Both can be worn tucked in or left out.
I recommend going with a color that mixes well with an existing wardrobe, and if in doubt go with a dark color as it will better hide sweat and look nicer over the years of dry cleaning and/or hand washing (it's 55% silk/45% Italian cotton).
Tombolo Cabana Shirt
I mentioned Tombolo Cabana shirts in my gift guide for men and liked it so much, I got my husband one. Made from organic cotton, linen, or viscose, these are elevated alternatives to the bowling or Hawaiian shirt. Worn by celebs like Harry Styles, Steph Curry, Maluma, Seth Rogen, Dwyane Wade, Henry Golding, and The Rock, these shirts are comfortable, stylish, fun, and from a sustainable company based in New York.
A bit retro, a bit modern, and a lot of tongue in cheek, these witty tops are perfect for the grown-ass person who likes to be the stylish life of the party. My husband finds it to be a great piece to wear to an outdoor barbecue, a beach vacation, or any warm-weather event when you want to look good but also effortless.
Pair with swim trunks, a pair of well-loved jeans, slim pants, or some trim chino or linen shorts and sandals or low-profile sneakers for a relaxed but cool vibe that will have strangers asking where the heck did you get your awesome shirt. Tombolo also has matching pants or shirts for many of their cabana shirts. At the bottom of each product page are “Tombolo in the wild” photos of customers wearing the same shirt which gives great styling ideas.
Some styles button or zip all the way down the placket, which looks good buttoned up or open over a t-shirt or tank. Some have a half-zip or a handful of buttons to give more of a polo or popover effect. Most have two patch pockets and all of them come in quirky mixes of colors and/or have a wacky theme and embellishment. They aren't a specific trend, the fit is relaxed, the themes so wacky, and the fabric so comfy this is something you can wear when you're 22 or 92.
Banana Republic Italian Merino Turtleneck
I think my husband's Banana Republic Merino Turtleneck is one of the very best buys I have ever made for him. This isn't a thick and chunky sweater, it's refined and opaque and tightly knit and not too tight. It looks great untucked with jeans and boots, tucked into a pair of trousers, and also is a chic (and warm) choice under a suit.
My husband's Banana Republic Merino Turtleneck is navy, but black would be equally or more versatile for looking casual but also dressing up quite nicely. Merino wool looks expensive, but it's easier care than cashmere and easier to dress up and down. Turtlenecks have come back in style for men, and it's amazing how much more chic a turtleneck sweater can look than a regular crewneck or a v-neck with an undershirt peeking out.
Banana Republic is a favorite for my husband because they offer tall sizing. His tall merino turtleneck is a great length to wear untucked or tucked in, and it's a fit that looks refined but not snug. Banana Republic offers this turtleneck almost every fall/winter in black, gray, and navy and usually another color on trend for the season. My husband's is five years old and still looks new and still looks chic.
For best results, hand wash or use the gentle cycle and wash the Banana Republic merino sweater in a lingerie bag, and then dry flat or dry folded over a shower curtain bar or the pant bar of a hanger so it doesn't get dents in the shoulders or grow in length while hanging.
Banana Republic Luxury-Touch T-Shirt
If you desire a refined t-shirt that is elevated enough to wear under a suit, but also looks good untucked with shorts and sneakers, you should consider the Banana Republic Luxury-Touch T-shirt. My husband has a couple of these, and even after accidentally going through the dryer, being washed a dozen times, and being shoved hastily into luggage, they still look crisp and elevated and expensive.
A bit thicker than your standard t-shirt, the neck fits really nicely and the cotton is a tight weave with a slightly silky finish. In black, it's a staple to wear with jeans and boots or sneakers, under a suit, or tucked into a pair of chino or linen trousers for a casual-cool effect. If you like a v-neck, this fabric also comes in that neckline.
Don't put these t-shirts in the dryer. Wash them on gentle, throw them over a curtain rod or the pant rod of a hanger to dry so you don't get shoulder dents or change the hang of the shirt. Don't yank at the collar or the body to relax the fit; if you desire a more relaxed t-shirt get a different one. Buy this your regular size, which will be a tailored but not tight fit that will look modern and sophisticated. This is a t-shirt that will last for years if properly cared for.
Banana Republic Navy Chalk Stripe Suit (and Banana Suiting in General)
Banana Republic makes really great suiting for men. Banana Republic used to sell suit trousers in 36″ inseam, which my husband needs. Banana also has several times during the year where they have 40% off and then extra deals on top of it, and thanks to that, I have gotten my husband three suits over the past decade that he wars very regularly. A black one, a charcoal glen plaid with a matching vest/waistcoat, and a navy chalk stripe that gets the most wear. I like that the suits aren't cheap-looking, aren't too corporate, and aren't too trendy but never boring.
I bought him the navy chalkstripe suit at least seven years ago. He has tailored it several times since to adjust for his changing body and the changing trends in how suits fit. And each time he wears it some stylish man compliments him on it. And each time he takes it to the tailor the tailor comments on how well the suit is made. Banana Republic doesn't have the exact suits he owns, but this jacket and these matching trousers are a similar color and stripe.
He wears the pants with a navy t-shirt or his navy merino turtleneck. He wears the blazer with a t-shirt and jeans. The suit is worn with t-shirts, a merino turtleneck, and dress shirts (with and without a tie). He has worn it with black shoes and with brown and three seasons of the year and it always looks smart and less corporate than gray.
As an aside, I also like Banana Republic for dress shirts, ties, pocket squares, and think they have good footwear. Banana in general is a great place for grown-ass men who want to look modern but not try hard, whether it's suiting or casual wear.
Outerknown Blanket Shirt
Founded by surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown is an ethical and sustainable fashion brand that offers functional but not boring fashion for women and men. One of Outerknown's iconic pieces is the Blanket Shirt, which is a thick organic cotton twill that is surprisingly soft and comes in an amazing range of colors and prints. I don't think there is a bad choice of color; my husband has the Watermelon Feliz plaid which is no longer available in the shirt (but is available in some other products).
This shirt is soft like a flannel, but thicker. It washes great, and can easily become a favorite. My husband wears it open like a jacket over graphic t-shirts and loves to throw it on over shorts and a t-shirt on chilly summer nights at the beach. I love to steal it because it's soft but thick but not sweaty and feels as soft as something owned for a decade (we got it for him for Father's Day 2022).
Lands' End Volley Swim Trunks
I love scrolling through Lands' End sale to see what random item may be on clearance that is perfect for someone in my family. I trust Lands' End quality, and appreciate the tall options for my husband. One winter, I found a pair of printed 8″ Volley Swim Trunks on clearance in my husband's size and ordered them. That was PrePan, and these swim trunks continue to not only be his favorite, they look good and they have strangers asking where he got them. They're always shocked to find they're Lands' End!
Each year, Lands' End carries the Volley Swim Trunks in 6″ length and 8″ length. I think on men 5'10” and shorter, the 6″ length is better. But if a guy is leggy and tall, the 8″ may look the way 6″ looks on shorter legs. In 2024, you want 2-4″ of skin above the knee to have a modern-looking swim trunk.
Lands' End Turkish Terry Robe
When you're tall, bathrobes are hard to find. They are often too short in the sleeves and hitting a little too high on the leg for comfort. Again Lands' End delivers with not only two lengths of their Turkish Terry Robe (here is the link for the full length version and here is the length for the calf length version), but both styles also come in a Tall option.
I bought my husband a navy one from Lands' End in 2001. I replaced it in 2020. That's a pretty good run for something that is often laundered, often snagged on furniture, and worn a lot. And the 2020 version is just as thick and well fitting as the 2001 version. Each season they have classic colors but occasionally have a new color; in 2020 they had a gorgeous green and I splurged to get it monogrammed. And it's still rocking, being worn multiple times a week.
J. Crew Striped T-Shirts
Just like me, my husband likes striped t-shirts and his favorite in long- and short-sleeve are from J. Crew. The selection varies on the time of year, but for at least a decade J. Crew has had long and short sleeved striped t-shirts that have a primarily white ground and a white collar. They hold up really well, but also look cool when they get a bit worn with time.
Just as with women, a striped t-shirt adds something to a basic jeans and t-shirt outfit, elevating the whole look. It's also a print that plays nice with other prints; you can wear a striped t-shirt under a plaid flannel, with a pair of printed shorts, or even under a printed blazer or jacket. J. Crew offers talls, and also a classic style that was fashionable in 2015 and still fashionable in 2024.
J. Crew usually restocks their short-sleeve versions pretty regularly; the long sleeve usually isn't restocked until Back to School time. These shirts are also often found on resale sites like Poshmark.
Other Clothes I Bought for My Husband
Don't be afraid to buy quirky things. As we get older, the pieces with pizazz show personality and style. Men, especially, will get into a rut of muted and neutral colors, the same silhouettes and prints they have worn for decades. We're grown-ass people, and we deserve to be a bit daring with fashion and have fun. with our clothes. Now is the time for the kooky glasses, the statement sneakers, the unexpected color blazer or printed sweater.
The pieces with pizazz are usually the ones no longer available. I found them on eBay or Poshmark, I got a great score at a thrift store, it was on clearance or from a brand that switches up their selections each season. I often find my husband some of the best fashion when we are on vacation, at beachside boutiques, vintage stores, surfing and head shops. Some places to check out:
- If your husband wants to look cool and with it, even if he's not, check out the brand OBEY Clothing. OBEY Clothing is a clothing company founded in 2001 by street artist and illustrator Shepard Fairey as an extension of his work in activism. Sold at Urban Outfitters, various boutiques, and the OBEY online shop, I find OBEY creates pieces to spice up a wardrobe. My husband has a long-sleeved striped t-shirt, a corduroy puffer vest, and a fuzzy purple and blue cardigan from OBEY and they're quirky but very wearable and transcend trends, especially when paired with otherwise classic/basic pieces.
- Gap used to be a favorite for basics, but now it's a favorite for really unexpected things. My husband has a pair of navy floral chinos (seen above with the merino turtleneck) that he has worn and loved for years with sweaters, button-front shirts, and a casual blazer and tee. I found them on clearance because who thinks Gap will carry floral chinos for men? Two summers ago I got him a viscose Hawaiian shirt and matching shorts set that has been worn so often, as a set and as separates. Gap doesn't fear color; you can find sweatshirts and sweaters in unexpected colors that update a closet of neutrals. And Gap often has Western-inspired denim shirts in a range of washes and sometimes prints that are a cool alternative to a casual button-up and they only get cooler with time and wear. One thing I don't buy from Gap are jeans; the pockets are a weird place and especially on a lean figure they make a rear look droopy.
- Etsy is a great place for men's vintage clothing, especially if you have an atypical set of measurements (like a 36″ inseam). I have found for my husband a vintage Levi's denim vest, sherpa-lind Levi's trucker jacket from the '80s, deadstock Wrangler bootcut jeans, pristine vintage barkcloth Hawaiian shirts, and perfectly worn-in flannel shirts.
- As a grown-ass man, he can wear brands he wore in his teen years and look ironic and nostalgic, not try-hard or dated. As long as it's done in a modern manner, or vintage mixed with modern, it can be quite stylish. For example, my husband spent his teen years at surf shops, skate shops, and mall stores like Wavedancer and now that he's in his 40's, I find a lot of pieces at Billabong that are surprisingly cool for him, yet functional. Billabong makes great shorts that aren't too wide or long, and Billabong is a great place for short-sleeve button front shirts that are casual but cool. He also wears a lot of Adidas, from logoed hoodies to track pants (I can often find more tall options at Amazon than any other retailer).
- Consider a subscription to GQ or Esquire. While you may not be able to afford a lot of what they feature, it gives you an idea of what is hip right now and inspiration on how to style an existing wardrobe in a fresh way. Get a print subscription and leave it in the bathroom. This is how my husband and I have learned about new brands and also been inspired by some styling tips.