Capping Off 2014

As it’s vacation time from my professional duties as a PR pro and amateur pursuits as an occasional blogger, we’ll keep this post short! If you’re heading out this New Year’s Eve, do it safely and in style (of course)!

If you’ve been following Siblings With Style along the way in 2014, thanks so much for reading! And if you’re new to the site, check out the handy tabs at the top of the page — you’ll find everything from style suggestions to product reviews. To connect with me on social media, check out the tab above as well. And if you have any style-related questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

For now, thanks again for taking the time to visit the site!

Here’s to a stylish 2015!

-Beau

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Style Suggestion: Christmas Time

Dressing up for a special holiday occasion in the winter – be it Thanksgiving or another cold weather-centric affair (for most of us, at least) doesn’t have to be as stuffy as it sounds. After all, Christmas dinner (or Christmas Day) seems to go one of two ways — it either involves lots of family and is dressier, or centers around smaller groups and is more laidback. Whether your travels take you to a large gathering or a small dinner, the outfit below should keep you classy and yet appropriately dressed. Of course, if you’re heading to an area with warm weather, something more appropriate for a summer holiday could fit the bill better. Without further ado, a style suggestion for all you fellas besides St. Nick:

The Shirt: Uniqlo Slim Fit Oxford-cloth Buttondown — $29.90

Probably the most versatile (and affordable) casual shirt on the market in terms of quality.
Probably the most versatile (and affordable) casual shirt on the market in terms of quality.

A white OCBD is an exceptionally versatile shirt that goes with lots of different outfit combinations — from dressier to more casual. Uniqlo’s white Oxford-cloth shirts have gotten great reviews, and they’re a fantastic value. They combine both solid quality and a very nice price, to boot (especially when they drop below $20 on sale), similar to most of what Uniqlo produces. In this case, it’ll act as a neutral, crisp base to a slightly more casual outfit. The great news is that plenty of sizes remain online, as well. If you have another, similar white OCBD or casual white shirt in your closet, that’ll work just fine here as well.

The Sweater: Old Navy Heather Grey Crewneck Sweater — $26.50

An ideal go-between  — not too dressy or too casual.
An ideal go-between — not too dressy or too casual.

The above sweater looks mighty familiar to a decidedly more expensive version from Todd Snyder, making it the perfect piece to mix in some high-low styling. In this case, using an athletically-inspired crewneck sweater and pairing it with a casual collared shirt is a nice merger of two contrasting styles, and it helps dial the outfit down more than a V-neck sweater might. The neutral grey color also makes it easier to add some color to the rest of the outfit  — in your socks, for example. And in the event that you need to throw on a tie to dress up the outfit, a crewneck sweater helps temper the formality of the ensemble (on that note, a navy knit tie would work well here in terms of both texture and color) .

The Pants: Forever21 Classic Corduroy Pants — $19.80

Slightly dressier (and with a more seasonal touch) than dark denim. Just leave the styling touches in the photo to the Internet, though.
Slightly dressier (and with a more seasonal touch) than dark denim. Just leave the styling touches in the photo to the Internet, though.

Forever21 definitely isn’t the first place that most of us would think of when reaching for … well, any men’s clothing. However, the site is worth scouring around for some deals. And in a pinch, these corduroy pants would be a worthwhile purchase — since they’re burgundy, they’re not a workhorse pair of denim that could see everyday wear and thus get worn out quickly. Additionally, they’re a seasonally-appropriate shade that adds some polish to an outfit that would lean decidedly more casual if dark denim were the pants of choice. As far as a belt goes with this outfit, keeping things laid back with a braided weave belt adds texture to the outfit.

The Shoes: Billy Reid x K-Swiss Leather Chukka Sneakers — $81.99

Vintage, sporty sneakers with a rich, distressed leather finish complement this outfit nicely.
Vintage, sporty sneakers with a rich, distressed leather finish complement this outfit nicely.

The sneakers in this collection are admittedly a personal favorite — they strike an excellent balance between slightly luxe touches like rich leather, while also retaining their vintage sport-inspired roots (like rawhide laces and  thick side stripes). That combination makes them a terrific piece of footwear to pair with this outfit — with high-low contrast already going on between the crewneck sweater and the crisp OCBD, a pair of rich leather sneakers completes the combination. While these appear to be sold-out through the Billy Reid website, outlets like 6pm.com appear to have plenty in stock.

The Rest: J. Crew Ribbed Stripe Socks — $14.50

Stuhrling Original Aquadiver Stainless Steel Watch — $59.95

Two options that add to this casual-dressy outfit combo.
Two options that add to this casual-dressy outfit combo.

Each of these two accessories play off high-low styling as well — the ribbed stripe socks add some visual interest, texture and color that some plain navy dress socks might not add, while that stainless steel dive watch pairs just as solidly with this polished-casual ensemble as it might with a suit and tie. Stuhrling’s watches are definitely of reliable quality — check out two other watch reviews here and here — and the price on that piece is less than even an Invicta dive watch. Note that although the dial on the watch is black, since the band is stainless steel, it can be paired with either brown or black shoes.

What’s your take on this outfit? Pieces that you would change or add? What will you be wearing this holiday season? Let me know below! 

2014 Men’s Style Christmas Wish List

If you’re a  newly burgeoning or seasoned style enthusiast, there are lots of enviable, investment-worthy items out there that you’d presumably like to have in your wardrobe (I know I’ve got my share!). Unfortunately, cost is simply prohibitive for some of these items  — but the holidays (and the end of the year) are a great time to set new aspirational style goals and yes, dream of what Santa might be putting under the tree this year. If you’ve got your gift giving all taken care of, great! Onto your style wish list. If not, get on it! (This guide from earlier this week could help). It seems like there are new pieces that pop up on the personal wish list every day, but these are the highlights this season.

#1. Allen Edmonds Bleecker Street Captoe Boot, $345 (On Sale)

As sharp a pair of dress/casual boots on the market.
As sharp a pair of dress/casual boots on the market.

A pair of Allen Edmonds shoes made last year’s Christmas Wish List, and these boots are certainly worthy of that same distinction. Available in several eye-catching shades from the venerable American retailer, (including the classic Bourbon Calf shown above) this pair of boots would look as great with a suit as they would with dark denim and a striped henley. They’re certainly sleek, but the captoe breaks them up visually, making them a little more casual. And the ankle boot style is perfect for fall and winter, although at this price, they’d be a tremendous pair of year-round shoes.

#2. Shinola Runwell 41mm Leather Watch, $550

A classic in the making.
A classic in the making.

Shinola has exploded across the past roughly two years in terms of hype and media attention, with increased production and an even greater brick-and-mortar presence planned for 2015. The company’s ethos speaks for itself: sturdy, American-made products that combine great style with an authentic vibe (although there’s more to that ‘authentic vibe’ than meets the eye). While plenty of different colorways and strap combos are available (including a lovely burgundy-dial timepiece), the cream face and dark brown leather strap of the watch above caught my eye particularly. The dial isn’t absurdly dressy of course, but the watch has a certain refined air that could allow one to pull it off with a winter-weight suit and dress boots.

#3. Scotch and Soda Ralston Slim-Fit Jeans, $149

A slim, dark pair of jeans as worn by James Bond (off the screen, that is).
A slim, dark pair of jeans as worn by James Bond (off the screen, that is).
When most people think of high-quality denim, Scotch and Soda might not be that high on the list — after all, there are other brands making excellent denim on the cheap. However, this pair of Scotch & Soda jeans has something special going for them – they’re the same style and wash frequently worn by Daniel Craig; on top of that, they’re a solid, clean dark wash with a slim cut. Criticize Craig as James Bond, sure, but you can’t deny his excellent style on and off the screen. Additionally, yours truly once had the great fortune of owning a pair of the Ralstons — an untimely rip after years of hard wear ended that great run though, and these ended up back on the wish list as a result. Maybe one day…
#4. The Hill-side Cotton Herringbone Tweed Tailored Jacket, $396
A rugged jacket that's ready for winter.
A rugged jacket that’s ready for winter.
Brooklyn-based The Hill-side has a great thing going right now — a partnership with J. Crew is an excellent reflection of their current momentum. And the aesthetic — clean, well-made basics in unique fabrics and styles — is working very well for them. The above blazer captures that vibe perfectly. It looks to have a tailored cut and the ability to wear it casually with dark denim or some seasonally-appropriate burgundy cords. The patch pockets dress it down slightly, as does the marled herringbone tweed texture. On a budget-friendly note, Uniqlo makes a cheaper, similar-looking alternative here, although sizes are very slim at the moment.
#5. Todd Snyder x Champion Baseball Jacket Sweater, $295
A vintage-looking, sport-inspired shawl cardigan for when it gets cold.
A vintage-looking, sport-inspired shawl cardigan for when it gets cold.
Todd Snyder’s brand continues to rise quickly through the menswear world. He’s already taken home a slew of accolades in recent years, and he’s hit the sweet spot as far as designers who perfect a tailored, casual-rugged vibe. His collaborations with Champion always seem to be a major hit, and one would hope the high prices are a reflection of the inherent quality — thankfully, other pieces in the collaboration aren’t as expensive (when on-sale, at least). This baseball “jacket-sweater” looks thick and warm, and it also gives off a rugged, stylish vibe thanks to the sport-inspired trim and cuffs. The shawl collar is another masculine touch, too. Thus, it makes this wish list.
What’s on your style Christmas wish list? Any thoughts on this list? Leave them below!

Women’s Style Holiday Gift Guide — For Guys!

Santa's on his way.... wait — SANTA?? I KNOW HIM!
Santa’s on his way…. wait — SANTA?? I KNOW HIM!

Even though the calendar’s drawing closer and closer to Christmas, there’s still plenty of time for the savvy shopper (that would be you, my stylish male friend!) to snag some great gifts for the women in your life — be it your girlfriend or wife, mom, sister or another relative. And if you read the Men’s Style section of this site, chances are you enjoy shopping for yourself — and others, too! Shopping for a great woman in your life doesn’t have to be intimidating or expensive though — a lot of it comes down to your knowledge of that person (thus, these are only humble suggestions). Even better, it can be done online at the click of the button, allowing you to narrow your selections and find that perfect gift. Read on for some (hopefully) great picks below!

For Your Girlfriend or Wife: Kate Spade Tied Up Pave Studs — $48

A pair of earrings that offers lots of styling potential — all at a nice price.
A pair of earrings that offers lots of styling potential — all at a nice price.

Kate Spade has built its reputation as a chic, stylish and nicely priced brand that lots seem to like — and depending on what sort of earring collection your partner has, this pair would hopefully be a worthy addition to their lineup. If your partner doesn’t have her ears pierced or doesn’t wear earrings that often, a simple bangle bracelet could be a good alternative. The price is just right on these earrings (not too high or low) and the styling offers the opportunity to wear them with dressier pieces or a casual outfit — just like a great men’s style item! Now, not all are into jewelry or similar items — in that case, something fun for the two of you, like a class that interests both of you or a fun weekend trip, could be much better.

For Your Mom: Trinket Box Candle ($22) and a Handwritten Card

For a colorful, festive addition to the home, this candle lights the way (pun intended).
For a colorful, festive addition to the home, this candle lights the way (pun intended).

Anthropologie is another excellent source for gifts that won’t break the bank and also offer chic style. The store has a more bohemian vibe than Kate Spade, but that offers all the more opportunity to find unique gifts. While a candle isn’t by nature the flashiest gift, these have a neat, colorful design that should go with most types of decor while standing out in the right way. A few of them would work nicely as a set, too. And when you pair a gift like that with a colorful, handwritten card on some nice cardstock paper, your mom should be more than happy. If you feel that’s not enough, add a nice framed photo of yourself (see below).

For Your Sister: Urban Outfitters Lounge Colorblock Eternity Scarf — $34 

Two trends combined into one warm, stylish piece.
Two trends combined into one warm, stylish piece.

If your sister is into style or simply likes to look good (and stay warm), a thick scarf that combines two trends — the eternity loop and colorblocking — knocks both out of the park. Also available in black and lavender, each combo offers lots of possibilities for pairing with like colors. This is also another gift that won’t break the bank in terms of price, making it a worthy buy that should last for seasons to come.

For Your Grandma: Anthropologie Pressed Glass Photo Frame (with a photo of yourself!) — $18 — $22

Giving the gift of a cherished memory.
Giving the gift of a cherished memory.

Now with these particular photo frames, two of the options aren’t available until righttt before Christmas (December 23, to be exact) — so if you have the opportunity to snag one of the options in store, that would be much more ideal than rushing a delivery last-minute. A photo of yourself is a surprisingly thoughtful gift that most of your older relatives would presumably love to have around — it allows them to see you every day, after all! And if the photo features you and said relative, even better!

If you have other people on your list who are more specific or more difficult to buy for, this excellent list from Dappered offers plenty of terrific additional suggestions. Check it out for more ideas!

What are you buying for your significant other and the great women in your life? Any places to check out or specific gifts worth buying? Let us know! 

Online Shopping Picks: H&M

A budget, fast-fashion brand with some nice steals.
A budget, fast-fashion brand with some nice steals.

Editor’s note: Normally, brand or site round-ups haven’t been covered here on the site. However, sometimes seasonally appropriate or standout items just jump off the page. These choices don’t reflect sales picks at the moment, but simply offer a snapshot of great products from a (hopefully) affordable brand.

H&M exists in kind of a funny spot as far as fashion brands go. They’re clearly part of the cycle of fast-fashion retailers who pilfer ideas from larger, more successful retailers and offer their own versions at lower prices (this means, of course, cheap labor). At least on paper, they’ve been making progress in that arena. And on the clothing end, you tend to pay for what you get — their products aren’t ridiculously well-made, but they look just as good as more expensive brands and can definitely work in a pinch. Like other fast-fashion brands (Zara comes to mind), there are misses on the shelves and online — but some gems, too. Check out key picks below.

#1. Merino Wool Sweater — $19.95 (On-sale)

A seasonal sweater at an excellent price.
A seasonal sweater at an excellent price.

Merino wool is a great in-between fabric for V-neck sweaters — it’s not as expensive as cashmere or cotton-cashmere, and it still provides more depth and heft than a lightweight cotton sweater. This H&M option is quite the steal for their site. It’s was on-sale last week but the price has jumped back up — however, there are nearly all sizes available across five different colors. The gray black or ‘khaki green’ picks would be wise choices for their versatility, while the burgundy and evergreen options offer perfect seasonal tonality.

#2. Fine-Knit Cardigan in White — $34.95

A cream color that would sit well with solid neutrals, like a great pair of blue jeans.
A cream color that would sit well with solid neutrals, like a great pair of blue jeans.

While the site is all sold out of the navy option (which wouldn’t look out of place when worn this way), the cream option provides something most sweaters don’t  — a nice jolt of bright color in the winter (not that there’s anything wrong with darker colors — option #1 here, for instance). The shawl collar and texture through the body are different visual touches that call to mind an old fisherman’s sweater without the thicker cable knit pattern. This would pair well with dark denim or some burnt-orange chinos (as featured in last week’s Thanksgiving style piece) and a chambray shirt.

#3. Derby Shoes in Brown — $49.95 

A basic brown dress shoe that would work for most business-casual situations.
A basic brown dress shoe that would work for most business-casual situations.

H&M definitely isn’t the first place you should turn for quality footwear – DSW provides many brands that are a step up in quality for just a bit more coin, for example. But if you’re on an extreme budget and need a good pair of basic, reliable derby shoes for business-casual wear (get a breakdown of shoe terminology from Dappered), it couldn’t hurt to throw these in your cart. The metal eyelets do make this shoe more casual, but they should still work with more ‘casual-dressy’ pieces like a crisp knit tie. A word of warning: The company’s site even points out the shoes are made with imitation leather, so this could lead to a rather quick weardown. However, they shouldn’t fall apart right away on you, and could work in lots of different scenarios, especially with tan chinos.

#4. Patterned Flannel Shirt — $34.95 

This shirt looks eerily similar to a Frank & Oak piece, but at a lower price.
This shirt looks eerily similar to a Frank & Oak piece, but at a lower price.

I don’t personally have a lot of experience with H&M shirts, but the higher price point on this piece might bode well for its quality. The other thing that jumps out is the similarity (generally) to another printed flannel shirt on the market now from Frank & Oak. Prints now seem to be moving towards more and more graphic-based, busier and bolder looks, so grabbing a fall and winter-weight shirt at a lower price should definitely be appealing. This shirt, despite the busy print, could work under a tan herringbone blazer, and grey worsted wool trousers would also bring out the varying shades of blue well.

#5. Leather Chelsea Boots — $99 

A trendy pair of footwear at an agreeable price.
A trendy pair of footwear at an agreeable price.

Much like the derby shoes above, H&M wouldn’t normally jump to mind as a place to get great footwear — however, they have received some acclaim for their Chelsea boots, which hit the sweet spot in terms of affordability and looks. This pair appears sleek and slim, the ideal silhouette for boots that should work with everything from slim trousers and a V-neck sweater to some dark denim and a chambray shirt once it gets warm. While the lighter tan version is flashier, it’s arguably less versatile – darker brown leather would probably go with more outfit combinations, including black denim (like David Beckham wears here). But on the more fashionable side, if you’re looking to diversify your boot selection, lighter tan fills in a gap that other boots might not.

What are your top picks from H&M? Any items to recommend? Leave your thoughts below, and thanks for reading!

 

Online Shopping Picks: Cyber Monday

IT’S HERE. CYBER MONDAY.

After the rest and relaxation of Thanksgiving, holiday shopping season really sets in. Even with a slight numbers decline this year, Black Friday is always a huge day in the retail world, and Cyber Monday’s an equally big day as far as shopping goes. And even with sales numbers expected to drop today as well, there’s still plenty of opportunity for the bargain-minded menswear fanatic to grab some great deals, ones that might not be around the rest of year. The following isn’t an exhaustive rundown of all sales and deals running out there (for instance, J. Crew is skipped, even though J. Crew Factory is mentioned), but think of it as a breakdown of what you should (maybe?) look for from select outlets. Enjoy, and happy shopping!

J. Crew Factory — 50% off everything, plus 10% off & free shipping with YOUVEGOTSALE

What To Look For: Casual Shirts

Some easy-wearing picks from J. Crew's younger sibling.
Some easy-wearing picks from J. Crew’s younger sibling.

J. Crew Factory’s a veritable treasure trove for plenty of terrific items, most of which seem like carbon copies in terms of quality and style of its older, more expensive sibling, J. Crew. Today is no different. The site’s 50% off deal has been running the whole weekend, but today’s additional 10% off discount and free shipping code is an even better deal. With J. Crew Factory, the quality is on-par with more expensive offerings, so scooping up a casual shirt or two (like that rugged elbow-patch shirt or a tattersall option) makes a ton of sense. If you have a bit more coin to spend, the code MONDAY gets you 30% off full price styles and 40% off sale styles at J. Crew. A solid bet from there would be a lightweight merino sweater — a neutral staple in a beautiful fabric.

Club Monaco — 20 – 30% off everything & Extra 30% off Sale & Clearance items with CYBERMONDAY 

What To Look For: Luxury Accessories

Accessories with more of a luxury feel than typical brands.
Accessories with more of a luxury feel than typical brands.

So Club Monaco might not be the first place you would think of when looking around for deals (a $2,200 shearling coat in the New Arrivals section? Yikes). However, there are certain items that make this more continental, fashion-forward brand worth a second look.  Now, $20 for a pair of socks at full price is a bit much, but when you tack on a code, you’re getting a much more manageable deal for a soft yet chunky, cotton-blend sock. And if you’re looking for a pair of gloves that’s different from slick black leather, their half-knit leather gloves  or rich brown deerskin gloves would be an upfront investment that definitely pays dividends down the line.

JackThreads — Up to 90% off on their Warehouse and Free Shipping on Orders over $65

What To Look For: Sharp Boots

Slim boots that offer a change of pace from clunkier options.
Slim boots that offer a change of pace from clunkier options.

Unfortunately, JackThreads isn’t running a full-on sale code at the moment (although they were knocking off an automatic 30% on purchases at the end of last week). However, they are offering free shipping on orders over $65, and you can snag up to 65% off full retail on some boots if you play your cards right. Additionally, they’re a site that seems to get lost in the wash of other flash sale sites. They do offer more streetwear-centric items, some of which can be misses, yet they also offer some solid, standby items (namely from their in-house brand Goodale). If you’re in the market for a slim boot with some fall-centric details (like deep black suede), this option might do the trick.  And, their Robert Wayne options (like this brown captoe) are visually interesting when compared to a chunkier wingtip boot.

Frank & Oak — Up to 60% off on Sale Items; New Hunt Club Crate Launch

What To Look For: Casual Shirts and Blazers

Search the sale section for plenty of sizes on most items.
Search the sale section for plenty of sizes on most items.

Like JackThreads, there’s no actual code here, but plenty of items remain up for grabs on the site. The hype surrounding this brand continues to grow, from new additions to their footwear line last week to the popular success of their Hunt Club membership program. This weekend was a pretty active one for the company, with various sale codes running on top of a four-hour flash sale that dropped on Saturday, and today must be equally busy. Given that it’s the first of the month, they also launched new offerings today, which include slim Harris Tweed blazers. The real steals today though come from the sale section, which is still surprisingly well-stocked, from a zany-yet-cool brush print shirt to more straightforward alternatives, like a casual (yet refined) navy pin dot shirt. The corduroy blazer pictured above also has a surprising number of sizes left, as do some other blazers in the sale section. There’s not really a better time to hop on a sale like this — best get to it.

For a more comprehensive rundown of sales, you can also check out Dappered.com’s rundown of Cyber Monday sales. 

Will you be doing any shopping on this Cyber Monday? Have you already picked up some items? Leave your thoughts below!