** C’mon fellas. It’s time we step up the game. Casual is cool and comfy, but its time to kill the graphic t-shirts and Air Force Ones. You have a hard time meeting classy women??? Put on a jacket and a button up and see what happens then…

First there were skinny jeans, then Kanye West-inspired shutter shades and now lightweight man-scarves. Everywhere you look, there seems to be a constant barrage of newfangled men’s fashion trends and must-have looks. But when it comes down to it, how much must the well-dressed man have? Sometimes you just have to go back to basics.

A classic blue blazer is a good place to start, especially if it’s fitted and sharply tailored. Favored by hedge fund managers and hipsters alike, the iconic blue blazer is to men what a little black dress is to women—dependable, versatile and timeless. “It’s an investment piece that can be worn for years,” according to the design team of British dandy label Dunhill. Dress it up with gray pants or dress it down with dark jeans for a dapper but unfussy look. When summer hits, don a single-breasted, two-button jacket with white jeans to ooze style confidence.

In Pictures: Ten Wardrobe Staples Every Man Should Have

For more formal occasions, a man should never be without a sleek suit. The uninformed might go for black threads but a true man of style knows that you will get more wear out of a gray suit. Both appropriate for the office and for the following cocktail hour, it also ages well. Case in point: Is there a more enduring sartorial image than a gray-suited Cary Grant being chased by a propeller plane in North by Northwest? If you have the cash, a bespoke suit from a Savile Row or Neapolitan tailor would be worth the blue chip investment but off-the-rack versions work well too. Be sure the jacket sits squarely on the shoulders and the pants fall without bunching at the shoes.

Complete your style arsenal with a discreet watch and briefcase. There’s very little room when it comes to accessorizing for men, so make your pieces count. “Accessories are very important because they say a lot about who you are,” says Italian fashion maestro Roberto Cavalli, whose designs have been worn by Kanye West, Julia Roberts and Halle Berry. You can’t go wrong with an elegant timepiece like a Cartier Tank, or a Rolex Oyster Perpetual or even better, a Patek Philippe. When it comes to watches, the simpler, the better. Leave the complicated movements to collectors. If luxury labels are north of your budget, Timex makes affordable watches which have an old-school appeal.

Lose the schoolboy backpack and radiate “professional” with a stealth briefcase. Find one that’s streamlined and handsome in supple leather (non-leather Tumi and Samsonite briefcases are stylish, animal-friendly alternatives). Approach buying a briefcase as you would buying a piece of fine art. Revel in the geometry, the clever use of hardware and its quiet authority–avoid gaudy, logo-drenched briefcases at all costs. Hermes and Valextra make great briefcases that balance both style and substance. Plus, they don’t give away that you care that much about fashion.

In Pictures: Ten Wardrobe Staples Every Man Should Have