It might not feel much like spring yet around these parts (or elsewhere for that matter), but rest assured — it’s on its way. That probably has lots of us plotting and scheming how to get our hands on product geared toward spring weather. (Just picked up one of these in white earlier this week, in fact). Whereas fall and winter dressing centers around layering up, spring style is about using crisp, lighter-weight basics combined with transitional pieces to bridge the gap between seasons. That most likely means taking a few items and using them consistently for weeks on end. And that means reaching for quality essentials that gel with the rest of your wardrobe. Read on for my take on a few spring must-haves.
#1. GREATS Brand Wilson Sneakers — $49
There’s a reason these shoes made the top of this list — an awesome pair of white sneakers can be a great workhorse piece all through the spring and summer months, pairing with everything from dark denim and a colorful V-neck tee to more polished get-ups, like a slim blazer and khaki chinos. And these kicks from GREATS (based in Brooklyn) are redefining the standard for what a sneaker can be. They look tremendously well-made, they feature classic lines and relatively minimal branding (aside from the blue ‘G’ on the heel), and the price is enough to make you spit out your morning coffee. Heck, buy those and a pair in light grey (or maybe navy) and you very well might set for spring and summer sneakers. It’s also worth noting the brand has some stellar-looking new releases launching on the site soon. (Note: Use this link here and get $10 off when you buy a pair of GREATS sneakers!).
#2. Bonobos Striped Jersey Crewneck — $98
Bonobos does an awful lot more than pants well these days — that much becomes apparent by the season. Here, they’ve taken a traditional nautical look — the Breton stripe — and slimmed down the fit, bulked up the neckline and cuffs and added some nice-looking shoulder detailing. The cotton fabric should be nice and soft, ideal for layering over a white OCBD or crewneck T-shirt. Combine this crewneck with another neutral staple (like an olive chino) and those GREATS sneakers above and you’ve got a casual outfit ready for a boat ride and drinks at the marina after (or just a regular day away from the water, your call).
#3. Combatant Gent Khaki Slim Fit Travel Jacket — $70
Compared to some of the other options on this list, this khaki blazer from Combatant Gent is a steal for your wallet. Combatant Gent has received what seems to be a positive reaction in terms of quality and fit from the digital menswear community, a bonus given that products with low, low prices can often be poorly made and even more poorly received. This khaki “travel jacket” features large patch pockets and is allegedly made with 100% cotton twill — no mention however, of whether the travel jacket name comes from the fact that it’s made with stretch fabric, a la J. Crew’s Traveler suiting line. Regardless of that, it’s time to take the plunge on Combatant Gent — for the price, this blazer should be a nice spring and summer change of pace over casual OCBD’s (and maybe even white sneakers).
#4. Welcome Stranger Stadium Jacket – $149
This piece makes a triumphant return to the blog this week following its inclusion as a Style Pick of the Week last weekend. This lightweight jacket is made in the U.S. with lots of attention to detail by San Francisco boutique Welcome Stranger. The lightweight heather grey cotton-blend gets a lot of things right – bomber-inspired construction, a slim fit and the ability to be dressed up or dressed down. And because it’s a neutral color, it wouldn’t look out of place with pants in nearly every shade imaginable – practically anything besides light grey, unless you’re into the monochromatic look that seems so in vogue nowadays. So it has all that going for it — that price is another thing entirely, however.
#5. Michael Bastian x UNIQLO Polos
There hasn’t been any official word yet as to whether the famed American menswear designer will be back with a third iteration of his fast-selling collaboration with, appropriately enough, fast-fashion retailer Uniqlo. If last year’s success is any indication though, odds are definitely looking up for another run of well-designed, comfortable and ridiculously affordable polos. Last year’s offerings served up some unique, more fashion-forward designs that some liked and some didn’t, so we’ll see if this year’s collaboration yields a return to more classic styles (think bold, Americana-inspired rugby stripes and ’70’s vibes, perhaps). If they’re priced as last year’s styles were — roughly $29 on-sale — these pieces will likely fly off the shelves in good time.
What’s on your spring wish list? What picks do you like from the list above?