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The Spring Wardrobe Checklist

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John Varvatos
    A huge music buff, John Varvatos has featured Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper, Velvet Revolver, the Roots and Green Day in his ad campaigns.

As we head into the heart of spring, make sure you're properly stocked for warmer weather. This season's staples aren't defined by their slick polish, but by their relaxed appeal and lived-in character. Here are the six must-haves every guy should have in his closet to make it through the sunny days ahead. As illustrated by American designer John Varvatos.

The Polo

A relaxed polo can take you anywhere. Whether paired with shorts and some canvas kicks or layered under a cardigan or blazer, you can practically live in the thing until fall comes. This one here boasts some stylish touches such as the tonal contrast trapunto stitching, vertical pick stitching and an embroidered peace sign on the chest.

Peace sign polo, $78

Simple Shorts

The perfect pair of shorts are cut from a lightweight material in a flat-front style, with ample pocket room and a trim (but not too tight) fit. And in terms of length, opt for a hem that hits just above the knee. This cotton twill pair is garment-washed for a comfortable feel and triple-needle stitched for durability.

The Casual Shirt

Look for a monochromatic plaid cut from a crisp cotton fabric that can easily dress up or down. John Varvatos crafted this one with adjustable sleeves (for easy off-duty rolling), a tailored fit and a sleek slit pocket.

Slim fit shirt, $228

Lightweight Denim

Come spring, you want to take a break from heavy, raw selvedge jeans and pull on a pair that actually breathes. Opt for washed denim or jeans cut from featherweight materials like light twills or linen.

Linen jeans, $148

Boat Shoes

The quintessential shoe for sockless season, the boat shoe is a classic that is never out of style. This calf suede pair has a modern silhouette and cool details like a laceless fit and micro-perforations.

Denim Jacket

A black denim jacket is your spring/summer substitute for a leather jacket (that's just as cool). Wear it over everything from T-shirts to a shirt and tie. This one here is even cooler, thanks to the lightweight garment-dyed linen fabric.

Linen jean jacket, $198