5 Incredible Luxury Basics That Will Make You Look Expensive

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

Style isn’t about amassing the biggest collection of clothes. It’s about picking a few key pieces that make even the most basic outfits look incredible. But some high-end brands just cost a lot and don’t deliver on the quality.

We put together a list of the best luxury basics we’ve found over the years so you can restock and hit the streets in style.

Best Luxury T-Shirt
  • Slim fit through the arms and torso, and a longer curved hem for a slimming, flattering look
  • Available in several fabric types, including my favorite: slub cotton
  • Construction is durable and the fabric is thick, so it’ll last a long time
Best Luxury Dress Sneakers
  • Low profile and slim silhouette through the toe
  • Made with Italian full grain vegetable tanned leather
  • Get $10 off with the code THEADULTMAN10
Best Luxury Chinos
  • Thick organic cotton fabric
  • Interesting drawstring waist that eliminates the need for a belt and has a clean look
  • Flattering slim fit through the thigh and below the knee
Best Luxury Overshirt
  • Thick cotton fabric that feels like a flannel, but with a slimmer fit
  • Dozens of color options available
  • Outerknown’s sustainability efforts are among the best in fashion
Best Luxury Sweater
  • Italian slim fit
  • Made with 100% cashmere of the highest quality
  • Dozens of colors and several styles, from v-neck, to cable knit, to crew neck

We were all guilty of it at some point in our lives: farming out our fashion choices to the lowest bidder.

But a man can only wear so many crummy t-shirts until he starts to get wise to the idea that maybe spending a bit more on quality will get me something I’ll wear more often and feel more confident in.

You’re at that point. 

You’ve ascended. 

And anyone who knows anything about style knows that’s where you want to be. 

It’s funny; the older I get, the smaller my wardrobe becomes. I spend more on fewer pieces, and I wear them all the time. 

Through that process, I’ve put together a list of the best luxury basics. These are the kind of clothes you buy one or two pairs of and wear for years and years. And you look fantastic the whole time. 

What are Clothing Basics?

Goodlife Clothing sun bleached cotton tee

Every man’s wardrobe should have a variety of the basics. I’m talking about the t-shirt that fits like none other, a pair of jeans that’s a bit faded, chinos, some sneakers—maybe a casual shirt and sweater—you know, the kind of stuff you can wear every day.

It’s really easy to get caught thinking that just because a clothing item is basic, you should buy it for the lowest cost. 

But it’s when you invest in these basics that you really start to elevate your style and stand out in a crowd.

One of the best examples of this is with the humble t-shirt: a tee is just a tee, right?

Wrong.

I was like so many other guys. I’d buy those jumbo packs of t-shirts for everyday wear, thinking that it was only the statement pieces like jackets that made a difference in my style. 

Sure, it’s great to get high-quality, one-of-a-kind pieces, but after learning so much about men’s style, I realize I went about it the absolute wrong (and most expensive) way. 

What do I wear most often? Yep, you guessed it: t-shirts, sneakers, chinos—the basics. 

Model wearing olivers passage pant and oliver cabll low 1 minimalist sneakers

So why spend $500 on that nice unique jacket that I wear twice a week in the winter when I’m wearing cheap tee’s, beat-up old sneakers, and raggedy chinos? 

My philosophy has changed completely—those basics are where you need to focus first, and finding the best of the best should be your first mission. 

Start by listing out the items you wear most often. I’ll also help you out by putting a list of what I consider “basics” below:

Think of how many outfit combos you can make with just those 11 pieces. And if you’re looking to find the best brands making these wardrobe staples, I’ve got you covered.

5 Luxury Basics for Men that Look and Feel Amazing

Best Luxury T-Shirt: Goodlife Clothing

1.
T-Shirts from Goodlife

There’s a variety of fabric blends to choose from, but most importantly, the fit is on point for all of Goodlife’s t-shirts. Each fabric blend has its own strength, but you can’t go wrong.

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Goodlife has their fits and fabrics nailed. All the core product is made in the USA, and these tees are some of the best-fitting pieces I’ve ever tried.

And you already know that a single great fitting t-shirt will get more use than five t-shirts that fit like an oversized burlap sack. I recommend checking out Goodlife’s other clothes, too. They have everything from chill drawstring pants, to crisp denim shirts. I’m a fan of everything I’ve tried from the brand, but their t-shirts stand out the most.

What I Like

  • The fit is slim in the arms and the torso, which gives a flattering, masculine look. 
  • There are many varieties of fabrics available, from the more durable “Tri-Blend” to the casual and stylish “Slub Cotton.”
  • Goodlife makes their clothes in LA in their own factory.

What I Don’t Like

  • The t-shirts have a snug fit, so if you prefer extra room, opt for a larger size than your usual. 

What Other Reviewers Say

The word “quality” came up through most reviews online, and many reviewers say these are the  most comfortable shirts they’ve ever worn. I’d say Goodlife’s Supima/Modal blend could make an argument for the softest premium tee, while other blends are better for durability, etc.

Verdict

When it comes to the basics, nothing is more simple than the humble t-shirt. But when you invest in the best of the best, suddenly your t-shirt can become the star of the show. 

I’ve tried dozens and dozens of brands over the years, and when it comes to luxury tees, nobody does the style better than Goodlife

Just note that these t-shirts have a slimmer fit, so if you’re a husky guy and want a bit more room through the chest and torso, order an additional size larger than you normally would. Otherwise, your regular size will do just fine and have a slim, flattering look.

Best Luxury T-Shirt
T-Shirts from Goodlife

There’s a variety of fabric blends to choose from, but most importantly, the fit is on point for all of Goodlife’s t-shirts. Each fabric blend has its own strength, but you can’t go wrong.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.


Best Luxury Dress Sneakers: Oliver Cabell Low 1

2.
Oliver Cabell Low 1
(Get $10 off with code THEADULTMAN10)

The Low 1 is Oliver Cabell’s most popular shoe. It boasts a classic low-profile silhouette, with color options that are expressive, but not overly trendy or unprofessional.

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Like a t-shirt, a great pair of minimalist sneakers can make the whole outfit. 

To me, no man’s wardrobe is complete without a pair of simple, high-quality sneakers. They’re something you’ll wear often (especially in spring and summer), so when you invest in a great pair, you won’t be disappointed. 

Oliver Cabell makes their popular Low 1 in Marche, Italy—some say in the same factory as Common Projects (the $400 sneaker, if you don’t know). I’ve tested just about all the top minimalist sneaker brands. And I love two: KOIO, and Oliver Cabell. They’re both roughly the same quality (KOIO is a bit more comfortable), but the best value for money is Oliver Cabell.

What I Like

  • These are made with full grain Italian leather and are 100% leather lined—comfortable and durable.
  • The Italian Margom sole has a reputation for comfort and longevity. 
  • There are a variety of classic color options, and plenty of unique, distressed leather options, too.

What I Don’t Like

  • The low profile of these sneakers and be a bit uncomfortable if you have wide feet.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers on the Oliver Cabell site mostly seem to love the style, as these sneakers fit with jeans, chinos, and can even pair with a suit if they’re clean enough (and you want to go that casual). 

Because they’re made with full grain leather, the Low 1 tends to age and crease well, giving these sneakers a distinguished look as you wear them more often.

Verdict

If you’re looking for a high-quality pair of sneakers you can wear around for years, check out the Oliver Cabell Low 1

As I mentioned above, you can drop an additional ~$100 for the KOIO Capri, which I actually like a bit more because it’s more comfortable and the details are a slight bit more finished, but the Oliver Cabell Low 1 is one of the best value for money luxe sneaker buys you can make.

Best Luxury Dress Sneakers
Oliver Cabell Low 1
(Get $10 off with code THEADULTMAN10)

The Low 1 is Oliver Cabell’s most popular shoe. It boasts a classic low-profile silhouette, with color options that are expressive, but not overly trendy or unprofessional.

Check Best Price Read Our Review
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Best Luxury Chinos: L’Estrange 24 Trousers

3.
The 24 Trouser from L'Estrange London

The fit of these trousers is on point, so they’re flattering for just about all body types.

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Chinos are the workhorse of a classy wardrobe, and I haven’t found many brands that do the style justice like L’Estrange

Their 24 Trousers are made with thick cotton fabric and have a unique elastic and drawstring waistband that makes it possible to wear these pants without a belt, so you can keep a clean minimalist look.

What I Like

  • The thick fabric and construction quality makes these feel sturdy and they don’t fade or stretch after lots of wearing and washing. 
  • The fit is slimming and flattering for just about every body type
  • I like the drawstring waist as it eliminates the need for a belt.

What I Don’t Like

  • There isn’t a huge variety of color options available.

What Other Reviewers Say

Not many people have caught on to L’Estrange yet, but the brand is growing and those that know them are loyal.

Many reviewers who tried the 24 Trouser have gone back and picked out more items from this London-based brand.

Verdict

If you’re in the market for chinos, you need to check out L’Estrange. The slim fit and taper below the knee is hard to find—even from brands you’d expect to deliver high quality luxury-level clothes.

While I’d categorize L’Estrange as a luxe brand, they’re prices are fair considering the quality of their fabrics and construction. Unlike many luxury brands, they’re not resting on a brand name to do the heavy lifting for them.

Best Luxury Chinos
The 24 Trouser from L'Estrange London

The fit of these trousers is on point, so they’re flattering for just about all body types.

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Best Luxury Overshirt: Outerknown Blanket Shirt

Not every guy is going to be looking for an overshirt as a critical part of their wardrobe—maybe your style is a little more “business-casual,” but as someone from the west coast, a good flannel is a necessity.

My favorite version is the Outerknown Blanket Shirt. The fabric has a heft that almost always gets compliments when I’m wearing it, and the shirt is so soft (hence the name). 

Outerknown is one of my favorite brands to shop with, too, because of their eco-conscious efforts.

What I Like

What I Don’t Like

  • There’s nothing I dislike about this shirt, really. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers swear by the Blanket Shirt. A lot of guys have had to buy a second because their girlfriends/ wives stole their first. 

A few reviewers expected a more generous fit like most flannels and overshirts—I didn’t have this problem myself, and I actually have a medium (even though my t-shirt size is large). To me, that’s the Blanket Shirt’s greatest strength—that it’s heavyweight, but not bulky. But if you’re looking for a traditional flannel, you may be put off by this shirt’s slimming effect.

Verdict

I wear overshirts a lot in the colder months, and the Outerknown Blanket Shirt is my number one go-to. 

It’s a heavyweight shirt, but it fits slim through the chest and arms, and isn’t bulky at all. Plus, it’s super soft and luxurious feeling.

The Outerknown Blanket Shirt works equally well at the beach, around a campfire, or out on the town.


Best Luxury Sweater: Luca Faloni Pure Cashmere

5.
Luca Faloni Camel Beige Pure Cashmere Zip-up

Perfect for business casual looks with chinos and a shirt, or for your free time paired with jeans. Given the insulating property of cashmere, you can wear it from autumn to spring.

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Having one or two high quality sweaters is necessary if you find yourself in business casual situations, or when you need to impress someone over the age of 50. I don’t know what it is about sweaters, but they get the older generation going. 

I’m not saying sweaters are for old people—far from it: a great sweater shows you have sophistication and class, and that you know how to take care of something (which, FYI, women love).

The best sweaters I’ve found are from the Italian brand, Luca Faloni. Their Pure Cashmere sweater line is as good as sweaters get. 

And like every other brand on this list, while the price is high compared to most clothes, the value here is phenomenal. There aren’t many other brands that aim this high for quality and hit the mark on construction, fabric, and fit.

What I Like

  • Unlike many sweaters that use a cashmere blend to cut costs, Luca Faloni makes theirs with 100% pure cashmere. 
  • There are several versions, with v-neck, crew neck, and cable knit to name a few—each coming in a variety of colors.
  • Luca Faloni has a generous 60-day return policy.

What I Don’t Like

  • Because Luca Faloni is a true European brand, their fits are quite slim, which I like, but guys who want more room in the torso may want to aim for the next size up.

What Other Reviewers Say

After reading through the reviews on Trustpilot, it seems that a lot of reviewers enjoyed finding a more tailored fit for difficult items like linen shirts and these cashmere sweaters

With high quality fabrics, you’re always going to pay a premium, but finding a fit that actually looks good is a tougher proposition. Fit is the big winner with Luca Faloni.

Verdict

If you’re going to drop coin on a sweater, make it a good one you can wear over and over again. Especially when you’re buying such a fine fabric like cashmere—some brands will have their hems and cuffs start to stretch and wrinkle. But not Luca Faloni.

Their Pure Cashmere line has a ton of variety and strikes an excellent balance between refined and sturdy.

Best Luxury Sweater
Luca Faloni Camel Beige Pure Cashmere Zip-up

Perfect for business casual looks with chinos and a shirt, or for your free time paired with jeans. Given the insulating property of cashmere, you can wear it from autumn to spring.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Feeling Luxe?

When you’re going basic, you better go big. 

Even if your wardrobe was just the five items I listed above, you’d have plenty of variety of outfits—from chill to business casual. 

Of course, those five items are just the beginning—they’re the base layers on which you can build a whole wardrobe. I recommend checking out what else these brands have to offer. 

While my favorite thing from Goodlife is their t-shirts, they also have a range of other clothes that are worth exploring. 

T-Shirts from Goodlife

There's a variety of fabric blends to choose from, but most importantly, the fit is on point for all of Goodlife's t-shirts. Each fabric blend has its own strength, but you can't go wrong.

Check Best Price
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

And same goes for Outerknown, L’Estrange, Oliver Cabell, and Luca Faloni

I’ve given you my top recommendations, but you really can’t go wrong with these brands for your best luxury basics. 

FAQs

What are elevated basics?

Elevated basics are what you can get to build the foundation of a minimalist wardrobe. The idea is that you get a few core clothing staples like t-shirts, jeans, chinos, sneakers, and a few overshirts, and you make sure those are high quality and fit well.

What is minimalist fashion for men?

Men’s minimalist fashion is all about simple lines, neutral colors, and no logos. Things like dress sneakers, great t-shirts, jeans, and chinos make up a big slice of the minimalist wardrobe pie.

How many T-shirts should a man own?

Not including workout shirts and throwaway tees meant for cleaning days, a man should own at least three excellent t-shirts. Even so, owning one great T-shirt is better than owning three mediocre shirts. Start with a minimal wardrobe of excellent basics and work your way up as you invest more in your style.

Shop This Post

T-Shirts from Goodlife
Tailored, durable, and stylish.
T-Shirts from Goodlife
Check Best Price
Oliver Cabell Low 1
Durable full-grain luxurious Italian leather .
Oliver Cabell Low 1
Check Best Price
The 24 Trouser from L'Estrange London
Organic cotton fabric with a tailored look.
The 24 Trouser from L'Estrange London
Check Best Price
Outerknown Blanket Shirt
Sustainable thick cotton fabric with lots of color varieties.
Outerknown Blanket Shirt
Check Best Price
Luca Faloni Camel Beige Pure Cashmere Zip-up
Made with 100% cashmere for the highest quality look and feel.
Luca Faloni Camel Beige Pure Cashmere Zip-up
Check Best Price
If you click these links and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.