Online Shopping Picks: Layer Up for Fall and Winter with the Best Men’s Cardigans

OK, so let’s talk fall and winter layering essentials — like the best men’s cardigans, ya dig? It’s a style essential that we return to time and again here on The Style Guide, with roots in vintage style now turned modern and, well, cool. The right cardigan features a fit that’s slim but not too tight, making it easy to layer with everything from a slim striped henley to an American-made Oxford shirt. Beloved by everyone from Steve McQueen to Daniel Craig, a classic cardigan is something every man needs in his wardrobe. And if you’re wary of buying one for fear that it’s too much of an “old man” style staple, put those thoughts aside — plenty of your favorite brand’s are included on this list of the best men’s cardigans, I guarantee it. From a sport-inspired cardigan like the Life/After/Denim Varsity Cardigan — as seen in this site’s See Now, Buy Now series — to a more easygoing number like the pleasingly rugged, versatile Grayers Avalon Shawl Cardigan — you’re absolutely guaranteed to find a piece that you like. Rock it on its own with a lightweight scarf or throw on a flannel-lined waxed trucker — that’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. Happy shopping, and be sure to check out my Instagram for plenty of real-life style moves.

#1. Life/After/Denim Varsity Cardigan in Heather Grey — $138

Life/After/Denim

A striped sleeve adds a pleasingly sport touch to this classic cardigan.

Told you this stylish retro cardigan from Life/After/Denim would be on the list, didn’t I? It’s understated in its design, with neat, sporty stripe detailing, a modern fit and a versatile color. Pair the Varsity Cardigan with your favorite pair of dark blue denim and classic leather chukka boots for style that can really go anywhere or throw it on over one of the best men’s T-shirts when you feel like stepping out in accessible-yet-casual style. The Life/After/Denim Varsity Cardigan is a bit pricey, but worth it.

#2. Levi’s Cardigan in Tall Grass — $395

An unexpectedly stylish, well-made and investment-level cardigan.

Whoa now, nearly $400 for a cardigan? Well, folks … let me tell you why. Levi’s does far more than make classic men’s denim like the Levi’s 505C Jeans — they also make rugged, great-looking men’s apparel and accessories. The Levi’s Cardigan is among those, made with 100 percent shetland wool in a rich color that wouldn’t look out of place with navy corduroys and classic suede chukka boots. Again, the Levi’s Cardigan is an unexpected investment piece.

#3. Grayers Avalon Shawl Cardigan — $135

A cozy, comfortable-yet-versatile cardigan from Grayers.

Grayers simply doesn’t mess around when it comes to cool, casual menswear with a bit of a classic tilt. The Avalon Shawl Cardigan is one such piece that’s as easy to wear as your favorite hooded sweater — over a garment-washed pocket tee and faded blue denim, for instance. And if you feel like going slightly sharper with this classic cardigan? Slim tan chinos, stylish men’s dress shoes and a classic Oxford shirt ought to do the trick. Get you a cardigan that can do both — like the Grayers Avalon Shawl Cardigan.

#4. Life/After Denim Collegiate Cardigan in Blue Blood — $138

A simple, understated, throwback-inspired cardigan made for casual, crisp fall weekends.

Another uniquely stylish cardigan from Life/After/Denim? Why yes, yes indeed. The Collegiate Cardigan again harnesses that neat blend of throwback style and modern cool — the navy color would look excellent with everything from black denim to tan herringbone trousers.  And when it comes time to dress in casual weekend style? You can certainly throw the Life/After/Denim Collegiate Cardigan on with slim sweatpants and corduroy sneakers (among other men’s style essentials, of course).

#5.  Original Penguin Shawl Collar Donegal Cardigan — $125

A no-frills, no-fuss cardigan that’s perfect for everyday wear.

Original Penguin gets it right when it comes to a classic, crisp cardigan that certainly leans a bit dressier — yet no less versatile — compared to the rest of the picks on this list. The crisp Charcoal Heather color would look right at home with burgundy corduroys and classic suede boots, and it’s also going to pair up nicely with a striped henley and your favorite pair of broken-in blue denim. Can you dig it? I sure can.

We’re keeping it a bit shorter than usual today when it comes to this list of men’s style essentials — which of the above cardigans was your favorite. My money’s on the Life/After/Denim Varsity Cardigan for its combination of casual weekend wearability, sport-inspired style and serious warmth. And the Original Penguin Shawl Collar Cardigan is similarly warm and stylish — layer it with a classic henley and find out for yourself. Let’s not forget the seriously premium Levi’s Cardigan in a cool deep green color; it’s the perfect pairing when teamed with slim faded denim, rugged tan leather boots and a crisp white Oxford shirt. Before I forget, the Life/After/Denim Collegiate Cardigan shouldn’t be slept on, either — whether you wear it with slim sweatpants and classic fall sneakers or with brown herringbone trousers and your new favorite chambray shirt, the Collegiate Cardigan could become a weekly go-to. And if it’s casual, versatile and laidback style you want, pick up the Grayers Avalon Shawl Cardigan — again, it’s every bit as comfortable as your favorite hoodie. Alright, all set? Let’s get shopping!

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

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Style Suggestion: What to Wear on Christmas Day

So, it’s almost upon us — Christmas Day! Hopefully, you’ve found The Style Guide helpful this holiday season — if you’ve got another holiday party to dress for, or a last-second gift to buy for your wife, mom or grandma, best get that taken care of … ASAP. And know that between today and tomorrow, we’ll tackle two different Christmas style suggestions. Seriously, you shouldn’t neglect what to wear on Christmas Day, whether you’re traveling for the holiday season or hanging out at home. In fact, let’s consider this a style suggestion that works on Christmas Day itself or Christmas Eve with the family or friends. Because it’s an important — and likely chilly — day, we’re going with crisp, versatile picks from some Style Guide-approved brands.  It’s certainly coming up soon, so you best get going on what to wear — and again, what to gift. Lastly, I hope Santa brings you a few items on your menswear holiday wish list, ehh? I know I’ll be waiting expectantly — and enjoying the day with family, of course! Leave questions on this look for yours truly over on Twitter, and check out my own holiday style picks on Instagram. Cheers, dress well and enjoy the day!
NOV CAMPAIGN: Photo of multiple shoes on white background with logo (border)

The Sweater: Life/After/Denim Waterloo Cardigan — $148

An easygoing-yet-crisp cardigan ideal for layering in cold weather.

An easygoing-yet-crisp cardigan ideal for layering in cold weather.

Like other prep-inspired brands that offer modern takes on the classics, Life/After/Denim gets a lot right when it comes to essential pieces ready for any situation. The Waterloo Cardigan, while pricey, is a fine example of this approach — the shawl collar is a masculine, casual styling detail that makes it perfect for layering over everything from an essential chambray shirt to a classic Oxford. And if you’re worried about getting chilly? Don’t skimp on those stylish winter accessories or a slim topcoat — especially the topcoat.

The Shirt: Penfield Ridgley Shirt — $115

Unexpected, textured fabric and a classic cut make this shirt an easy Christmas style pick.

Unexpected, textured fabric and a classic cut make this shirt an easy Christmas style pick.

Made with flecked brushed cotton for comfort and easy layering, the Penfield Ridgley Shirt is the perfect go-between in terms of casual style. The Ridgley Shirt isn’t quite as crisp as a white Oxford, so it’s more appropriate for a casual Christmas spent hanging out with family. And if you do head out for a nice Christmas Eve dinner, it moves through to those situations with ease.

The comfort and warmth of sweatpants with the tapered cut of versatile corduroys.

The comfort and warmth of sweatpants with the tapered cut of versatile corduroys.

Because you’ll be spending time around the fire or in the living room, comfort is essential — and goes hand-in-hand (or leg-in-leg?) with this pair of crisp, stylish Corduroy Jeans. With the warmth of Uniqlo’s HeatTech built in,
these corduroys feature a tapered, clean cut and the type of versatility you’d get from a pair of dark blue denim — yet, they look a bit more polished and ready for the holiday season and beyond. What’s more, the outstanding price simply can’t be beat — can it?

The Belt: Tanner Goods Classic Belt in Hickory — $99.98

Your new favorite belt -- maybe, just maybe.

Your new favorite belt — maybe, just maybe.

So, although this is a rather casual Christmas style suggestion, we’re still going with a sharp, well-made and yes, pricey Tanner Goods belt . If there’s such a thing as a handsome belt, the Classic Belt is that piece. It’s a beautiful shade of Hickory leather that will only age better over time, and it’s made right here in America. Of course, the Classic Belt will become your everyday belt in no time.

The Watch: Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph in Grey — $158

A handsome watch that blends the rugged and the refined with ease.

A handsome watch that blends the rugged and the refined with ease.

Does it get any better than a handsomely designed, rugged leather watch from Timex & Todd Snyder? In short, the answer is no. The partnership between the lauded American designer and the classic U.S. watch brand only seems to get better and better with every season, from the much-coveted Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch to the latest iteration.  Made with tough, yet supple, Red Wing leather in an unexpected shade of grey, the contrasting black case and grey dial make a very sharp, versatile combination.

The Boots: Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot — $149.98

Comfortable, appropriately casual and ready for unwrapping plenty of presents.

Comfortable, appropriately casual and ready for unwrapping plenty of presents.

Don’t think for a second we forgot about those stylish leather boots you’re going to need this Christmas. Why chukka boots? Well, the higher cut, tougher construction and slip-free heel cap on this sharp pair of Nisolo chukka boots gives you the type of functionality you need for getting from car to house (and back) across the snowy driveway. Crucially, the Emilio Chukka Boot  is going to work well for both a laidback Christmas evening and perhaps a nightcap drink at a holiday party. You feel me on that? Good.

The Socks: CHUP Prairie Socks — $35
Well-made, super stylish socks -- much better than plain old white socks, ehh?

Well-made, super stylish socks — much better than plain old white socks, ehh?

We’re sticking with unique, visually interesting CHUP socks — sold by the fine folks at Huckberry  — in this case, because every pair of durable leather chukka boots deserves great socks. Inspired by unique Native American prints, the CHUP Prairie Socks still manage to feel holiday-ready because of the unique blend of red, green and blue. What’s another benefit of spending more than $30 on socks? Other than the major style points and top-level durability, these CHUP socks look great if you do slip off your shoes at your host’s house. And on that note…

 Gift for the Host: Pappy Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup — $40

A smart guest always brings a gift -- and it helps that this syrup is aged in whiskey barrels.

A smart guest always brings a gift — and it helps that this syrup is aged in whiskey barrels.

We’re closing out this Christmas style suggestion with a wise move that’s unrelated to menswear — bringing a gift for  the host. Whether you’re traveling in style to stay with your significant other’s parents or heading over to a friend’s house to celebrate the holiday, a delicious gift like the one here is a pretty unique way to say thank you.  Pappy Van Winkle’s barrel-aged maple syrup truly is one-of-a-kind.

Alright, all set for the big day (or days)? Last-minute Christmas gifts all bought? Of course they are (wink, wink). Getting dressed for Christmas doesn’t have to be a taxing, overdone affair — it’s simply a matter of picking out great-fitting, well-made essentials built for comfort and style. From warm corduroys with a hint of stretch to a sharp shawl-collar cardigan and casual cotton shirt, your ensemble should move with you and fit right in for the festivities ahead. Stylish Nisolo leather chukka boots get the job done in terms of functionality and fashion, as does a pair of well-made socks.  And, you very well might not want to take off that handsome Timex + Todd Snyder Chronograph the rest of this year. Round it out with a great gift for the host, and consider yourself set for a very stylish and merry Christmas.

Wherever you might be headed this holiday season, thanks for reading, travel safe and as always — stay stylish!

-Beau

Huckberry

#OOTD: How to Wear A Cardigan This Fall

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

Here we are, back from a weekend trip to Providence and ready to dive into another #OOTD on everyone’s favorite menswear blog. If you haven’t caught on by now, layering up for breezy fall weather can be fun and enjoyable — whereas dressing for a blustery snowstorm is done more out of necessity, there’s nothing quite like throwing on a few extra layers just because you can. Particularly when one of those layers is a stylish cardigan, perfect for late October weather. Keep in mind that a shawl cardigan would work for fall weather as well, but we’ve added a bit more to the look below. If you pick up the right style — trim-fitting and textured– you can pair it with just about anything (including a durable chore coat). And that gives you plenty of leeway to rock other seasonal style staples (say that five times fast), like a classic poplin shirt, slim black denim and … of course … tough leather boots. We won’t give it all away up here though — scroll down to get the scoop on this #menswear look.  And for more daily style inspiration, hit up yours truly on Instagram.

Layering a cotton cardigan with pieces equal parts rugged and refined for the fall season.

Layering a cotton cardigan with pieces equal parts rugged and refined for the fall season.

The Cardigan: Dockers Premium Cotton Cardigan Sweater, $98 — Why go with a cotton cardigan in late October? Because it’s blended with cashmere, has some nice texture and can be easily layered over top of (see below for more, folks).

The Coat: Apolis Selvage Denim Chore Coat, $228 — This rough-and-tumble denim chore coat is an exclusive piece for Huckberry, and that means you & I are all the better for it. Made in California from Cone Mills denim, it’ll age beautifully the more you wear it. Shop away.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Shirt: Big Flower Stretch Poplin Shirt, $125 — Given the fact that we’re layering just a bit, you want a shirt that moves well, fits comfortably and looks great. Enter this classic stretch poplin shirt; pair it with charcoal chinos and this same cardigan sans chore coat if it gets a bit warm.

The Denim: Cheap Monday Sonic Jeans, $90 (Available via East Dane) — When you’ve got a variety of textures up top, it’s best to keep your denim simple. In this case, a no-frills pair of black denim gets the job done & contrasts with the blue selvage denim chore coat. Don’t forget a textured leather belt, yeah?

The Boots: Thursday Boots Brown Wingtip Boots, $220 — If you thought the folks at Thursday Boots were done making stellar, affordably priced boots — well, you were wrong. These stunners are perfect for fall. Worried about mixing brown and black? This casual outfit makes that less of a problem.

The Socks: CHUP Missouri Socks,$38 — “Nearly $40 for socks? Isn’t that a bit much, Beau?” Well … yes, yes it is. But rather than buying disposable, cheap socks by the dozen, you could snag the CHUP Missouri Sock from Huckberry and be set for the season.

The Watch: Lum-Tec Special Edition Combat B30 Bronze Watch, $899.98 — So, first things first — this Lum-Tec watch is a tad bit pricey, to say the least. But it’s a beautifully crafted, durable field watch that’s as suitable for the office as it is for your next fall adventure.

The Everyday Carry: Taylor Stitch Raw Brass Keyhook, $32 — Do you necessarily need a made-in-America, raw brass keyhook? Well, it’s not a matter of life or death. But it makes keeping track of your keys a whole lot more enjoyable.

And, well … there you have it, folks. Taking a premium cotton-cashmere cardigan from an unexpected source (that would be the chino purveyors at Dockers) and blending it with simple denim and a comfortable stretch poplin shirt can set you up for all kinds of versatile style situations this fall. From a casual Friday at the office to a day in class where you just want to look a bit more put together than the dude next to you, this outfit’s got it all. Hey, you’d be OK with cheap beer for a bit if it means you look great, right? Just me? Ahh, well. And the durable wingtip boots add quite a bit of polish to the whole ensemble, while the selvage denim chore coat serves as both a durable piece of outerwear and a fine addition to the rest of your seasonal wardrobe. Oh, and while that tough-as-nails Lum-Tec watch is just a  wee bit pricey, it’ll perform all the better given the extra investment. How would you wear your cardigan this fall? Still need one? Circle back around to our picks for the top cardigans for fall when you get the chance.

Until tomorrow’s post — stay stylish,

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Cardigans for Cold Weather

Editor’s note: Click through for a full set of menswear shopping picks.

In recent weeks, things have really picked up in terms of fall style preparations in my neck of the woods — if you’re into menswear, that probably means it’s been much the same for you. A late September weekend in New York City really brought with it the first slight hints of fall, and slight seasonal changes should remind us of all of gear we need for the chillier months ahead. In the case of today’s latest Online Shopping Picks post, that means we’re talking about a valuable sweater style to keep on-hand — and wear plenty — during fall and winter. What’s that style, you ask? It’s the ever-versatile modern man’s sweater — the cardigan. Whether cut in soft cotton-cashmere or premium merino, or with a more substantial shawl collar, a stylish cardigan is a nice hybrid style that fits in seamlessly with more tailored or more casual looks. Want to go more dressed up? Throw on a slim cotton-cashmere cardigan in place of your blazer with a wool tie and crisp dress shirt. Want to stay casual? Take that same cardigan and pair it with a long-sleeve henley and a durable, essential pair of sturdy selvedge denim for your off-duty hours. The picks below come in at price points low and high, and feature style that’s minimal and tailored — as well as casual and rugged. If you haven’t bought a cardigan for fall and winter, consider this the perfect starting point.

#1. JackThreads Fair Isle Cardigan — $79

A neutral base livened up with a visually interesting Fair Isle pattern.

A neutral base livened up with a visually interesting Fair Isle pattern.

Quick, what brand makes all manner of essential goods for every season? At nice, low prices? It’s JackThreads — and this cardigan is a big-time winner in that regard. The brand keeps taking steps forward as far as its products go — pieces like this Fair Isle cardigan nod toward trends without being too over-the-top. The fabric quality and fit should be reliable and modern, and the tan base should help it play nicely off navy chinos or grey flannel trousers — yes, it’s almost flannel season!

#2. J. Crew Cotton-Cashmere Cardigan Sweater — $74.50

Nothing too fancy about this sweater -- but with fabric this nice, it doesn't need to overdo it.

Nothing too fancy about this sweater — but with fabric this nice, it doesn’t need to overdo it.

Like JackThreads, J. Crew consistently comes up with fresh takes on wardrobe staples no matter the season. Although some of those creations can lean quite expensive, this cotton-cashmere cardigan is the definition of an everyday sweater at a low price. If you keep a weather eye out for sales and deals, you could snag it even cheaper. As it stands now though, a slim burgundy cardigan from a reputable brand is something every guy can put to good use. Team up this cardigan with a blue Oxford, slim tan chinos and high-top sneakers for a bit of sporty, retro style.

#3. Grayers Shore Club Cotton Cardigan in Navy Heather — $93.75

A cotton cardigan can still work in the fall -- just pair with a slim henley and cold-weather accessories.

A cotton cardigan can still work in the fall — just pair with a slim henley and cold-weather accessories.

Have you had your fill yet of navy sweaters? Hope not. Grayers’ fabric quality is top-notch (which explains the Grayers x SeaVees sneaker collab), and that’s the case with this easygoing navy heather cardigan. With details like a chest pocket and dual hip pockets, plus that heathered fabric, it’s going to wear easily over a slub pocket T-shirt with olive chinos and a pair of durable moc toe boots — like the ones seen in this #OOTD. It’s the perfect cardigan for weekend coffee runs — and you’ll be the sharpest guy in the place.

#4. Todd Snyder Shawl Cardigan — $157.50 (Available via East Dane)

If you're not a Todd Snyder fan, get on board -- this cardigan is but one example of his excellent work.

If you’re not a Todd Snyder fan, get on board — this cardigan is but one example of his excellent work.

It’s tough not to be a huge fan of what Mr. Snyder has done for casual, rugged menswear — right? The designer’s collaborations — from the Timex x Todd Snyder partnership to his work on P.F. Flyers sneakers — merge menswear’s past with modern fits, a dash of Americana and all-around terrific style. So, it should come as no surprise that his knitwear knocks it out of the park. A midweight jersey fabric is complemented by a faded indigo wash — that combo means it’ll stand out stylishly even up against dark blue denim. And while you could style it with an essential chambray shirt and tan chinos, it’s going to be at its best with a vintage team T-shirt during your next football game.

#5. Rag & Bone Standard Issue Avery Shawl Cardigan — $275 (Available via East Dane)

A strong silhouette, neutral color and luxury fabric make this cardigan worth the investment.

A strong silhouette, neutral color and luxury fabric make this cardigan worth the investment.

Did you think we’d make it out of this post without at least one eye-popping splurge? Not a chance. Some of us aren’t necessarily into brands that skew more heavily toward minimal high fashion — Rag & Bone is one such brand, yet they always temper that approach with military styling, classic colors and beautiful fabrics. This navy knit shawl cardigan has a lot going on visually — the shawl collar, front hip patch pockets and textured fabric — but it’s done so in a pleasing way (with a strong silhouette to boot). When teamed with a red plaid shirt, you’re getting a look that’s heritage-inspired and fall-appropriate without going too far overboard.

With any of the above cardigans, you’re checking some key fall #menswear criteria — 1) Warmth and solid layering potential. 2) Visual interest — in the form of a shawl collar or a slim dress cardigan. 3) Plenty of styling versatility — crucial when you want to switch things up from a stylish fall or winter blazer. And while some of the above price points stray upward a bit, it’s worth it to make an investment now — especially when you can wear a nice cardigan all through winter (even the Grayers cotton cardigan can be layered under a winter topcoat when snow hits). If you suspect you might get funny looks or comparisons to everyone’s favorite neighbor, rest assured that the cardigan is a modern style move — take the plunge, y’all! If you have suggestions for other stylish men’s cardigans, check out The Style Guide on Facebook.

#OOTD: Styling a Shawl Cardigan for Winter

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

Ahh, the shawl cardigan — that masculine style essential that I find myself turning to time and time again. It simultaneously combines a rugged edge and old-school vibes (in the case of this piece, a cable knit) with new-school cool — in a slim cut, it can definitely be dressed up or down. It’s the type of piece I find myself wanting to wear far too often, simply because it looks great with lots of different pieces — be they slim chinos, dark denim or some colored jeans fit for the office or the weekend. And lucky for the both of us, the fine folks at JackThreads, makers of the cardigan you see below, are stocking a terrific pick-up at a steal of a price (as it seems with most of the brand’s offerings). Here’s but one way in which to wear it! Let’s see if you’d style it in a similar manner, yeah?

Taking a rugged style essential and mixing in rich color and texture.

Taking a rugged style essential and mixing in rich color and texture.

The Shawl Cardigan: JackThreads Cable Cardigan, $51.75 (On-Sale) — A terrific navy color plus that great cable knit texture (and the essential shawl collar) at a winning price.

The Denim: Bonobos Dark Roast Travel Jean, $108 — Pricier than a pair of Levi’s, but Bonobos Travel Jeans bring quality in spades — plus the deep brown color here is excellent.

The Shirt: JackThreads Slim White Oxford Shirt, $49 — Another super-solid JackThreads pickup at a standout price — this is your everyday white Oxford.

The Boots: Dr. Scholl’s Burke Lace-up Boot, $155 — I’ve said the before and I’ll say it again: Who knew Dr. Scholl’s made men’s boots? This pair is lightweight and stylish, and they’re a solid way to mix black and dark brown (which CAN be done).

The Socks: J. Crew Medium-Dot Cotton Socks, $14.50 — A bit more expensive than a standard Wal-Mart pair of socks, but they’re much comfier and offer a solid change of pace in terms of color — even though they’re blue!

The Belt: Will Leather Goods Marlow Belt, $75 — As first seen in this site’s New Year’s Eve Style Suggestion; it’s got texture that falls in line with the watch, and a sleek black color to fit the boots. Again, black and brown can work together in dark shades like this!

The Watch: KOMONO Winston Herringbone Watch, $99.95 — As reviewed here; there’s hardly a better price for a seasonally appropriate watch that adds some great visual interest to this ensemble.

So we mix in lots of texture, from the cable knit of the sweater to the herringbone watch to the suede belt, and ground it with a classic white Oxford and saturated dark brown jeans — good enough for just about anywhere, right? Don’t forget to top it off with a slim topcoat and some warm winter accessories. Have suggestion as to what you want to see in these #OOTD entries? Send me an email or drop me a line on Twitter.

Florsheim

Style Pick of the Week: Frank & Oak Plaid Light Flannel Shirt

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

Another modern shirting release from Frank & Oak for consideration in your wardrobe.

Another modern shirting release from Frank & Oak for consideration in your wardrobe.

Here on The Style Guide, I write a lot about excellent seasonal pickups, from trim fall and winter blazers to slim corduroys. There’s one brand that nails some of those seasonal pickups better than the rest, though. If you’ve kept up with the digital #menswear scene and the digital pages of this blog (good for you!), you’ll recognize Frank & Oak. The brand popped up in this week’s Holiday Party Style Suggestion, and they’ve also been featured in two Hunt Club Crate reviews. However, if you’re not familiar, they’re absolutely worth a look. The Canadian retailer has made its name delivering monthly collections featuring of-the-moment looks for not a lot of money (for the most part), and they’ve also upped their retail presence significantly recently with several Canadian locations and shops Stateside in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. for now. You can get in on those collection releases via the brand’s Hunt Club, which offers free shipping and home try-ons, and that’s a great thing considering F&O offers some of the better -value shirting on the market. Luckily, the Plaid Flannel Shirt that you see here — part of this month’s Hunt Club collection — has hit the market just in time for chillier days ahead in December and beyond.

A slim buttondown collar keeps this shirt casual yet ready to pair with like-minded lapels.

A slim buttondown collar keeps this shirt casual yet ready to pair with like-minded lapels.

At just $48, it’s priced higher than something from the likes of J. Crew Factory but comes in lower than a blue J. Crew flannel shirt — yet one could argue the quality of Frank & Oak’s shirts is definitely on-par with the big-brother brand. This Frank & Oak shirt has just as many positives to it as a more expensive piece — combine a trim fit with a rather understated plaid pattern and a casual buttondown collar, and you’ve got a shirt that can pull double-duty under a herringbone blazer during the week and atop a henley and some navy cargo pants on the weekends. The slim collar is an oft-overlooked aspect of some shirts, too — in this case, that helps it pair just fine visually with a thin-lapel blazer (as most suiting leans that ways these days). And the color and styling potential is such that it’s a nice upgrade from a typical buttondown — injecting some pattern where you might normally go with a solid shirt is always a good call. Here’s hoping this finds its way into your stocking this holiday season — or into your closet before then.

What’s your shopping experience been like with Frank & Oak? What’s your take on this shirt and how would you style it?

Style Pick of the Week: JACHS NY Merino Wool Cardigan

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

The ideal type of sweater to get you through fall, with some on-trend elbow patches, to boot. Short-sleeve henley by Pistol Lake. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

The ideal type of sweater to get you through fall, with some on-trend elbow patches, to boot. Short-sleeve henley by Pistol Lake. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Just as we talked about in this very space during last week’s Style Pick, fall weather is quickly approaching for a lot of us. And that brings up my favorite time of the year — when you really get the chance to start layering up. Before it gets excruciatingly cold though, there’s some transition time, calling for pieces that are breathable and comfortable, but just a bit warmer than that unconstructed blazer you might have worn throughout the summer and into September. For me, that means reaching for a nice, lighter-weight cardigan. There’s plenty of time for chunky knit shawl cardigans, but it’s always nice to be able to put on a  comfortable, well-made and feather-light (well, almost) option in the meantime. Thus, enter this week’s Style Pick of the Week. JACHS NY is a hyper-local brand that’s still grabbed the eyeballs of some prominent menswear Instagrammers (like my digital pal Everyday Drew), and they stock a nice product assortment at the brand’s well-curated flagship store. Case in point — one of the brand’s F15 arrivals, the Light Grey Merino Wool Cardigan. For the record, it is a bit much at $129 for what some might view as a simple sweater. But as with most Style Picks here, these are aspirational items worth considering. And this one’s got a rad touch — some old-school elbow patches. Read on to find out why that earns it major style points (and note that it also comes in a darker Charcoal color).

Ben Sherman US

And yes, it’s wool, and it might not be too cold for that yet, right? Wrong. Before you associate wool with some scratchy, heavy  monstrosity, know that this cardigan (which the brand sent me for a variety of fall features) is nothing like that. It’s soft, it’s got a relatively trim and modern fit — that’s key when avoiding the negative style association some people have with cardigans. The trim fit and soft fabric ensure that it wears more like a thermal henley or overshirt than a thick cardigan (you can check out more product details on GearHungry, in fact). The softer fabric has made it comfortable to wear on its own over a henley in a slight fall breeze. And now, onto perhaps the top styling point — those elbow patches! They’re a soft suede, and they’re a pretty neat stylistic feature (in my opinion) that harkens back to real rustic, outdoors-y style — even if you only work in a cubicle. They make the cardigan a little less dressy, yet this is still one sweater you can throw on with slim khaki chinos, a blue Oxford and brown wingtip boots for office wear. Conversely, it’s done just fine over a simple white T-shirt for relaxing around my apartment. It’s the type of cardigan made for fall & into winter with some proper outerwear thrown on over it — best of all, those elbow patches assuredly make it the type of sweater you can put on to go grab some coffee and crunch some leaves in the park, weekend after weekend.

Have you bought from JACHS NY? Are you on-board with cardigans, or elbow-patch cardigans, for that matter?