What is the classic men’s style?

A man wears a classic men's outfit and looks at his watch.

The classic men’s style is a trend that has been popular for many years in the fashion world and still is to this day. But what exactly is the classic men’s style?

The classic men’s style refers to a timeless and elegant way of fashion that emphasizes clean lines, tailored clothes, neutral colors, and simple garments. Key elements of the classic men’s style are suits, dress shirts as well as well-tailored trousers and sweaters. 

Whilst this description of this style covers it on a general basis, there is way more to it. This article will show you what items to wear as well as some styling tips and modern twists that this style faces. So, keep on reading!


The classic men’s style’s origins can be traced back to the early 20th century. At that time the fashion industry evolved from opulent and expensive suits to the modern suit that was more affordable due to mass production. 

Then the classic men’s style arose as the outfits were simpler, with clean lines, and rather tight cuts but elegant. Moreover, the classic style became a symbol of sophistication and refinement and still is to this day. The focus of this style is on quality over quantity and tailored clothes. If you want to know about more elegance, check out my article about classic elegant style.

The main purpose of it is to create timeless pieces without getting impacted by trends or fast fashion. Functionality and comfort are key aspects of the classic men’s style as well as some others we will discuss now. 

If you want to find out more about the classic style for women which offers similar but different styles, check out my article about it.

Key elements of classic men’s style

While some elements like quality over quantity and tailored clothes have already been mentioned as key elements of classic men’s style, there are more. 

  • Neutral colors: Neutral colors not only make a style very versatile and easily combinable but also look quite elegant. Colors like white, beige, black, grey, or navy are typical for classic men’s style. 
  • Simple patterns: For patterns, this style tries to keep it simple. Checks or pinstripes are great to add a little texture and contrast to an outfit but more would be too much. 
  • Timeless silhouette: This style features timeless silhouettes that don’t get affected by any trend or something else. 
  • Simple accessories: The classic men’s style uses accessories to add to outfits, not base an outfit around them. Therefore, accessories like silk ties, leather belts, and watches are great. 

These key elements make the this style what it is today and why it is so versatile and elegant. Unlike the soft classic style, this one is more formal with lots of attention to detail. If you want to find out about the more casual soft classic style, check out my article about it

Men’s classic clothing

A man wears a suit with checks and holds a cigar.
Source: Freepik

For classic men’s clothing, there are a lot of things to consider. Moreover, this style likes to mix different clothes that are all easily combinable to create a classy, elegant style. The clothes that are considered classic for men are:

  • Suits
  • Tailored trousers
  • Dress shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Trench coats
  • Polo shirts
  • Dress shoes
  • Chinos
  • Leather jackets

These items make up the classic men’s style. Essentially, they are associated with this style because people wore them between the 1920s to 1960s when this style got popular and didn’t change for generations afterward. 

For the summer, different clothes make up this style. Check out my article about classic summer style for a more detailed look.

Tips on how to style classic men’s clothing

Now we will share some tips on how to style classic men’s clothing. We will walk you exactly through the process as if you would walk up to your wardrobe and get ready. So, follow this step-by-step guide. 

  1. Before you start, be sure to have trimmed properly and taken a shower. Also, in the process of filling your wardrobe, make sure to opt for quality clothing.
  2. After these steps, choose a timeless piece of clothing. It should fit your body type properly and ideally be tailored.
  1. Try to create a contrast if you don’t choose a suit as your classic style outfit. You can do this by either adding texture throughout the combination of different colors like navy, white, blue, beige, black, or grey as well as patterns. Nevertheless, a contrast in color should be your goal most of the time. 
  2. For fabrics, high-quality ones like wool, cotton, tweed, or leather but no synthetic ones as they will look cheap. 
  1. Always try to dress according to the occasion. Even though the classic men’s style is rather formal, don’t always go overboard with your outfits, and try to dress them down sometimes. 
  2. Lastly, accessorize and focus on details. A neat and tidy appearance is as important as the right accessories. Watches, leather belts, neckties, scarves, and cufflinks are great accessories to level up this style. 

If you want some inspiration for classic outfits for men, check out my article abut 12 classic outfits for men and women.

Modern twists on classic men’s clothing

Though the classic men’s style is all about formal, timeless, and elegant attire, there are some modern twists these days to it that make it a little more comfortable to wear. 

A man wears a classic outfit with modern twists like a shirt and sunglasses.
Source: Freepik/senivpetro

These twists may be an addition to the original style but will never replace it. Modern twists include modern and more relaxed clothing, different colors, and patterns as well as different fabrics. 

For example, brightly colored blazers are a modern twist to the classic men’s style. If you want to play it safer and more formal, add white sneakers to your suit to give it a modern and more casual touch. For an even more casual look, statement jackets and denim jackets offer a good alternative to blazers. 

A modern twist to dress shirts are patterns like floralanimalpaisleygeometric shapes, or other related things that will make the outfit look more relaxed. 

Not only in terms of fabric, colors, and patterns there are modern twists to this style, but also in fits. The rather tight-fit trousers can be replaced by more wide-cut trousers to look trendier if you want to. 

Overall, the modern twists can be a great addition but never fully replace the classic men’s style with its timeless pieces.


As we could see from this article, the classic men’s style is a rather formal style that likes to dress by classic rules. Quality clothes and tailored fits are crucial for a formal look. Nevertheless, you can add some casual elements by adding modern twists or accessories to this timeless style. 

If you found this article helpful or want to read more about that theme, don’t hesitate to write me a comment down below.

Scroll to Top