When people look at you, the first thing their eyes pick up is your shirt. To strike a good first impression, you’ll need two kinds of tops in your capsule wardrobe: t-shirts, and long-sleeved shirts.


T-shirts are classic and should be a staple in every man’s capsule wardrobe. Versatile and simple, t-shirts give you create the foundation for casual looks by offering endless layering options. They’re the base on which to build your outfit – whether you wear them on their own, or pair them with a jacket.

There are only six colors that should be in your capsule wardrobe: black, white, grey, navy, baby blue and olive green. For your t-shirt staples, you’ll really only need three – black, white and grey. You’ll likely be wearing your white t-shirts most often.

When selecting your t-shirts, make sure they are made out of cotton for that presentable, all-around look. As always, fit is crucial; the t-shirt should gently hug your figure. Not so tight the fabric looks stretched, and not so baggy your body shape gets lost in the silhouette.

Long-sleeved shirts

Long sleeved shirts range from casual to business formal, depending on the material of the shirt. My personal favorite is the Oxford cotton shirt, because it’s comfortable and presentable.

Firstly, I suggest picking two Oxford cotton button-downs for your capsule wardrobe, one white, and one of the other five colors, whichever you like the most.  Depending on the occasion, you can pair these with jeans, or even shorts.

Next, you will need a blue denim shirt. It can stand out when worn on its own, as well as being a subtle base for layering. It is an essential that will never be out of place no matter what you pair it with. A slightly darker blue shade will offer you most versatility.

The last shirt that you will need is a formal, baby blue dress shirt. It should not be Oxford cotton or denim, but one of a smaller, finer knit. Avoid silk – it’s not versatile and can only be used for very formal looks.

‘Fashion changes, but style endures.’

 Coco Chanel

There you have it – every shirt you need for your capsule wardrobe. You don’t need many, but you’ll quickly discover they’re more than enough. Especially when you see them as part of your larger wardrobe, which brings us to our next instalment: pants. Also, stay tuned for a future guide on how to make each outfit interesting and unique (spoiler alert: jackets)!

Remember, fashion trends change, but style is timeless. If you are convinced it is time for you to create your own style through a capsule wardrobe, stay tuned here on His Style Diary for the future instalments to my six part series. Trust me, once you go capsule, you’ll never go back.

Paul16 copy 2Paul Nagaoka is an international model, TV host, actor and entrepreneur. Living a life of simplicity and minimalism frees him to focus on what he loves most- traveling, adventure and finding new reasons to sleep in past noon. Follow him @paulnagaoka to see his latest shenanigans.