10 Key Pieces All Men Need In Their Wardrobe For 2022

Image Credit: Luca Faloni

We’re firm believers in simple, classic style. Even so, it’s always a good idea to conduct a little wardrobe edit at the start of the year, purging your closet of garments you no longer need while making room for new pieces to see the coming months through in style.

We’re not saying jump on all the latest trends, more that every year’s different and what you need from your wardrobe from one to the next is likely to fluctuate. This is partly down to the changing tides of fashion, but also because, well, things just change – the last two years have taught us that.

To help prepare you for the coming year from a sartorial standpoint, we’ve compiled a list of the key pieces you should consider. From dusting off the tailoring for postponed weddings to taking your WFH wardrobe up a gear – here’s everything you need to ensure 2022 is your best-dressed to date.

Premium WFH Loungewear

It’s been two years. If you’re still working from home in scruffy sweatpants and a raggedy old T-shirt now is high time for an upgrade. The world may be returning to normal for the most part but remote working looks like it’s here to stay.

That considered, comfortable pieces that translate well to the occasional Zoom meeting are a must. Think loungewear but with a luxurious element – cosy sweatpants and crew-neck sweaters in flattering cuts and extravagant fabrics that allow you to emulate your comfiest pair of pyjamas without triggering a call from HR.

Unstructured Jacket

For even the most corporate of jobs, logging into a work video call from your kitchen clad in a full business suit is probably going to raise a few eyebrows. Instead, arm yourself with an unstructured blazer. It’s a smart-casual piece that has lots of the same visual cues as a tailored jacket – lapels, two/three-button front, pockets, etc – but with a drape that’s more akin to your favourite overshirt.

It’s an excellent happy medium and something you’ll definitely be thankful for buying next time you find yourself trying to woo investors over Microsoft Teams.

Drawstring Trousers

We’ve always been fond of the laid-back style a pair of drawstring trousers brings to the table, but the last two years has cemented our love for them further still. These smart-casual pants might as well have been made specifically for working from home. That’s how perfect they are for the job – as comfy as a well-worn pair of jogging bottoms, but with looks to rival your sharpest pair of chinos.

Stick to simple colours: navy, black and green in the winter; cream, khaki and light blue in the summer.

Quality Luggage

The prospect of jetting off for a week or two in the sun is far more feasible now than it has been for a long time. If your luggage situation leaves something to be desired, now’s the perfect time to put that right.

A premium leather or canvas holdall is something we believe every man should own and, with any luck, something that will see its fair share of action in 2022. We’d recommend checking out the likes of Bennett Winch, Carl Friedrik, Mulberry and Troubadour.

Outdoor Footwear

The bars, clubs and restaurants being back open is great, but it’s not an excuse to discard your lockdown fitness regime and sink back into unhealthy habits. You need to keep running, keep hiking and just stay active in general.

Some quality outdoor footwear can help to facilitate that and if you pick a pair you love wearing it’ll be an extra bit of motivation to get you out the front door. Oh, and did we mention outdoorsy gear is still bang on trend in 2022? So there’s that too.

Check out brands like Salomon, Hoka One One, Merrell 1TRL and Arc’teryx – a few of our current favourites.

Half-Zip Sweater

On trend? Check. Comfortable? Check. Looks good? Check? Great for layering? Check. If you don’t already own at least one half-zip sweatshirt, now’s the time to get involved.

Opt for a funnel neck for a sporty track-jacket type look that can be layered under overshirts and winter coats, or go for a classic collar for something a little more subtle. Stick to neutral colours and shop brands like Luca Faloni, Sunspel, Armor Lux and Carhartt.

Cuban Collar Shirt

We could write a book about the merits of a good old Cuban collar shirt but we’ll spare you for now. Suffice to say this spring/summer staple is a must once again, particularly as the world begins to open back up and trips away to warmer climes become a realistic prospect once again.

Keep the colour palette simple if your goal is versatility, or embrace the jazziness and go for a punchy pattern to breathe new life into understated summer outfits.

Cardigan

We believe 2022 is going to be the year of the cardigan. It’s been happening for a while now but this is the year it goes stratospheric and we couldn’t be happier about it. For too long, the humble cardi has gone under-appreciated, but now that it’s back, this time in all of its mohair glory, we can see what we’ve all been missing in terms of layering and versatility.

It’s great for dressing casual looks up and smart outfits down, and can be a great vehicle through which to introduce a subtle touch of pattern to your looks.

Relaxed-Fit Pants

For a long time, it seemed slim-fit legwear would never fall from grace, but as the trend toward late 90s and early 2000s silhouettes continues, form-fitting trousers have been eclipsed by something altogether roomier. It’s time to cast aside the Petit New Standards and broaden your horizons… and leg openings.

Try a relaxed-fit trouser and you might be surprised how much you like the look and the added comfort. If in doubt, cuff them just above the ankle and if you’re still not feeling it, go for the happy medium with a timeless straight-leg cut instead.

Navy Suit

It’s probably been a while since you last donned a suit but that looks set to change in 2022. With so many special events put on ice in 2020 and 2021, this year promises to be nothing short of jam-packed. For this reason, a classic navy suit is an absolute must. This timeless colour is supremely versatile and suitable for a wide range of different formal and semi-formal settings. Plus, you can split it in two and use the jacket and pants as separates. If you don’t already have one in your wardrobe, now’s the time to change that once and for all.

If you can afford it, get one made to measure. If not, buy an affordable one off the hanger and enlist the services of your local tailor to make sure it fits like a glove.

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is Ape's Style Editor. His work has been published in Esquire, Men’s Health, ShortList, The Independent and more. An outerwear and sneaker fanatic, his finger is firmly on the pulse for the latest trends, while always maintaining an interest in classic style.