The Friday Read: New Dress Shoes for a New Year, The Best Cashmere Sweaters & Classic Blue Jeans

Bruno Magli men's shoes

Classic, refined leather loafers to consider wearing at home this season when you feel like stepping things up a notch.

My friends, congratulations on making it through the first full week of 2021! Are you starting to feel like you’ve shaken off that 2020 hangover, shaken off some rust and are moving full-speed ahead into a new year with today’s Friday Read? I’m getting there slowly but surely, step by step you might say, and it’s all possible with the right approach, right mindset and in some cases, the right menswear (take the Bruno Magli Positano Loafers as seen above). With so many of us working from home still, there are options aplenty when it comes to stylish footwear to wear at home, and if you feel like upping your game a little bit (think slim blue jeans and a tailored Oxford shirt on certain days), it’s hard to go wrong with some of the best men’s leather loafers to really complete your look. At least, that’s just my take.

We’ll also dive in today into a few other helpful menswear picks for a new year, so keep on scrolling. Of course, you can also expect another rendition of our Style Pick of the Week series tomorrow to outfit you properly from head-to-toe. As I always say, the details make the difference when it comes to the best new men’s shoes and more, so you might as well step into the new year the right way. Happy shopping, stay safe & stay stylish, folks. Oh, and to really keep things rolling the right way, give me a follow on Instagram or subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter, The Style Guide In Brief. Cheers!

  • I mentioned above that you could make use of classic slim blue jeans to upgrade your work-from-home style beyond just sweatpants, and that’s why I’m recommending you pick up the nicely priced Mott and Bow Slim Crosby Jeans, a longtime favorite of mine that retail for just a shade above $100 ($108 at Mott and Bow, to be exact). With a free home try-on program and multiple cuts for the perfect fit, these are some of the best jeans for men you can step into right now, mark my words.
Best long-sleeve T-shirts for men

A classically rugged base layer and a stylish long-sleeve tee in its own right.

  • There are any number of ways you could go as we start a new year when it comes to rugged style that’s still laidback and versatile, but one of the coolest ways I’ve come across recently is shown above. And my friends, the Freemans Sporting Club Homespun Gym Tee could become one of your new favorite T-shirts for weekend wear and daily style. You can wear this stylish long-sleeve T-shirt all on its own thanks to the cotton waffle fabric, or else layered beneath a rugged flannel shirt or worn with a zip hoodie, all without missing a beat. Go forward and layer up in cozy style, folks.
  • Here’s a fun one to start the weekend — lace up your new favorite pair of boots with my GearMoose guide to the best moc toe boots, featuring plenty of brands you know and love. Every guy needs a great pair of boots, and my latest dispatch is a pretty solid place to start.
  • I told you that we’d talk about plenty of men’s style picks to help you roll into a new year the right way, and that’s where my guide to the best cashmere cardigans for men comes into play. Head over to The Manual to get my take on a classic, refined layer that’s going to take your Zoom call style to the next level (along with, of course, your Mott and Bow Slim Crosby Jeans and your Bruno Magli Positano Loafers).

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Thanks for joining us today as we set our sights on a new year, new style picks and much bigger and better things than 2020. Before I let you cruise into the weekend, I’ve got one last guide for you, and that’d be my take on how to dress in refined style this winter. From a suede bomber jacket to Todd Snyder corduroy pants, I think you’re going to like the looks of this #OOTD. Cheers to the weekend, folks!

See Now, Buy Now: These Stylish Leather Dress Shoes from HELM Are a New Must-Buy

Cool, classic dress shoes in handsome leather.

There are some things that shouldn’t be overlooked as we roll through summer — namely, you’re still going to need some of the best leather dress shoes on your feet, particularly as we all return (very slowly but surely) to dressier environments. That’s why it’s time for our second, easy-to-buy entry this week in our See Now, Buy Now series. Luckily for you and me, HELM Boots is here to amp your style after quarantine with some of the best men’s dress shoes: The HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes are one-of-a-kind, checking all the right boxes when it comes to dependable, dressy-yet-versatile style. As it were, HELM Boots already makes, well, your favorite rugged leather boots (see this post for more background), yet these stylish leather dress shoes carry that same DNA in a lower-profile offering.

As with any offering from HELM, it starts with quality construction for long-lasting style. In this case, that means Blake rapid-stitch construction (which stitches through the outsole, insole and exterior of the shoe) and handsome Castello leather in a cool Wheat colorway, to go along with a tough mini-lug rubber sole. That means these are some of the best dress shoes — for the guy who has a tough time putting away his leather boots (guilty as charged). Oh, and if you’re new to HELM Boots? Remember that you can get $50 off your first pair, plus free shipping, if you pick these up. 

SHOP: The HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes

A sharp, rugged-yet-dressy silhouette for summer wearing occasions.

When it really comes down to it, tough-yet-versatile leather dress shoes are tough to come by — so when you find a pair like these, you really should act  quickly. You can wear the HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes with casual classics — think dark indigo denim, rolled at the ankle, alongside your favorite Oxford shirt. You can also rock these durable dress shoes as they were intended to be worn: With sharp-as-can-be picks like tailored chinos (I love Todd Snyder chinos, FYI!) and a timeless polo. When you really want to step up your game, of course, the HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes can be worn alongside a tailored khaki cotton suit (again, Todd Snyder‘s your go-to for one of the best men’s suits, while we’re on the topic). And because that Wheat leather is rich but dependable, you can rest assured that these are dress shoes you can wear in the fall, too — just team them with your favorite denim shirt and a classic cardigan, plus that same pair of dark indigo denim. Now then: Dress shoes that can do it all? That’s what you’re getting here, folks. Happy shopping.

SHOP: The HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes

 

 

See Now, Buy Now: These Florsheim Oxfords Are The Perfect Summer Shoes

Comfortable, stylish shoes to wear whenever you need them this summer.

It’s hard to believe we’re rolling into July right now, and that means you assuredly need to sort out your summer footwear rotation — start with some of the best shoes for summer from revered American footwear maker Florsheim. Although all of our routines are looking quite a bit different these days, there’s still something to be said for picking up some of the best dress shoes for summer, especially a casual and versatile pair like the Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords. They strike the right balance between casual and work day-friendly, particularly helpful if you want stylish men’s shoes that can easily switch from your home office (or regular office!) to the back patio with ease. What’s more, these classic Oxford shoes are a fresh and modern take on the style — it starts with the use of a lightweight canvas upper with leather accents, as opposed to a full leather design (nothing wrong with that, though!). Plus, they come in four cool, neutral colors. That makes ’em the perfect lightweight dress shoes for summer, folks.  Heck, they also retail for under $100 — so, yes, let’s call them some of the best dress shoes under $100, too. But that’s far from it, if we’re being honest (keep scrolling!).

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SHOP: The Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords

One of four must-have colors when it comes to these Florsheim Oxfords.

To be more specific, these Florsheim dress shoes are a new era in men’s footwear, a perfect update for your seasonal rotation thanks to the lightweight design. That’s especially the case when worn with easygoing summer style essentials like slim tan chinos and a navy slub polo or a classic slub tee. The use of Suedetec lining makes them easy to wear with no-show socks and rolled light wash denim, too. And let’s not count out the comfort factor, either — the Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords are designed with a cushioned EVA sole and feature a rubber heel. That makes them some of the best dress shoes for summer, a time when your daily routine might call for being on your feet for hours on end. When you want to switch out your sneakers or leather loafers, go for the Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords — it really is that easy.

SHOP: The Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords

Online Shopping Picks: Stylish Men’s Dress Shoes to Shop Now

As I clicked back through The Style Guide archives to prep for this post, I realized it had been far too long since we’d covered stylish men’s dress shoes on the blog. Like, nearly two years too long! A lot can happen in two years, folks. Of course, what can also happen in two years? Nothing at all. As in — if you buy an investment-worthy pair of men’s dress shoes from the below list,  you’ll be able to wear that pair frequently, day after day, with no need to trade ’em for a new pair. That’s the beauty of buying quality and paying a bit more, as you’ll see from the below list. We aimed for a mix of versatility and utility throughout the seasons — whether you’re suiting up for winter or dressed in classic spring style, the below picks should cover you for situations where you need to look sharp and feel comfortable. And with situations like spring and summer weddings come up, a dress shoe refresh could be in order. There’s certainly a lot of  technical minutiae when it comes to different types of men’s dress shoes . From the functional roots of wingtip brogues (the brogue detailing was meant to provide breathability in the rain) to the durable nature of a dress chukka boot, there’s a lot of ground to cover (pun intended). However, we’re going to focus on the basics: Shoes that look great with everything from a suit to chinos and a blazer, and perform just as well as you’d expect. If you’ve got additions to the list or thoughts, tweet at me incessantly on Twitter or leave a comment below. Happy shopping!

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#1. Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Suede Boots — $445

The versatile and refined dress boot you didn’t know you needed.

Can suede Chelsea boots serve the same purpose as classic dress shoes? They certainly can, and I’m here to tell you why. Coming from the craftsmen at Allen Edmonds — who certainly know a thing or two about handsome footwear — the suede Chelsea boot becomes something more than an of-the-moment pair of footwear.  Built on the refined 943B last, this is a pair of dress boots as crisp as any on the market, made with high-quality brown suede, Goodyear welt construction and versatile looks (I wore mine with light wash denim and a navy blazer recently, for reference).

Greats

#2. Grant Stone Long Wing in British Tan Calf — $334.95

Huckberry

Striking dress shoes made to break in over time — beautifully done by Grant Stone.

We mentioned before that we’d dive into some investment-level dress shoe options, right? Well, here’s one for you — feast your eyes on the stunning, stylish and pricey Grant Stone Long Wing in British Tan Calf. These shoes definitely have a lot going for them — from the striking British Tan color to the eye-catching long wing detailing and a refined silhouette, it’s about as good as it gets. The Grant Stone Long Wing is made with a Goodyear welt and also designed to mold to your foot over time. The more you wear the Grant Stone Long Wing, the better they get.

#3. Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxfords —  $395

Allen Edmonds

It’s hard to beat classic brown leather cap toe Oxfords from Allen Edmonds.

For absolutely beautiful footwear that’s made with the utmost attention to care, look toward Allen Edmonds. The Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxford is, simply put, a heck of a dress shoe. Available in shades ranging from crisp black (suitable enough for the most formal occasions) to an intriguing navy leather, the classic shade of brown seen above is a safe bet to become your new go-to dress shoe. Minimal enough to wear with a suit and still able to work with dark blue denim and a V-neck sweater, they’re certainly worth the investment.

#4. Ankari Floruss Brogue Derby in Black — $182.98

Ankari Floruss

A classic black long wing that works for business casual and ultra-formal situations.

If you’re quick on the uptake, you might notice that we hadn’t featured any black leather dress shoes to this point — that’s changing with these fine brogue derbies from Ankari Floruss.  A recent addition to the men’s E-commerce game, Ankari Floruss is the work of noted menswear bloggers Moti Ankari and Marcel Floruss. Give them both a follow — these are some stylish fellas who know how to put together an outfit. And  they can do footwear, too — with the Brogue Derby, you’re getting style that’s sharp as a razor and ready to be worn with your favorite navy or charcoal suit.

Sutro Shoes Inc.

#5. Sebago Heritage Tassel Loafers — $115

Sebago

A prep staple that can be dressed up in the warmer months? Not too good to be true.

We’re continuing to buck the mold of traditional dress shoes here by recommending stylish leather loafers. Try wearing them just as you would brown leather wingtips — that is to say, with essential business casual favorites like slim khaki chinos and a navy blazer. In the spring and summer, they’re a way to keep your feet cool while still looking crisp and tailored. And coming from Sebago, you get a great price and excellent quality — I took the Heritage Tassel Loafers on an upstate Memorial Day trip last year and was mighty pleased. Shop away!
Honorable Mention: Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot in Noir — $169.98
Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot

A chukka boot that can be dressed up or down.

Thanks for sticking with us until the end — but we’re not done yet! Perhaps you prefer style that’s a bit more rugged — yet still able to be dressed up. Your Style Guide author is right there with you, hence the inclusion of the tough, well-made and uniquely stylish Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot. Granted, the Emilio Chukka Boot is a classic open-lace chukka boot, which is naturally more casual in nature. However, the silhouette is sleek enough that you could easily wear it with stylish light wash denim or slim chinos and a classic blazer — not to mention a winter-friendly suit later on this year.
That’ll do it for this week’s Online Shopping Picks entry. With any luck, you’re well on your way to snapping up some new dress shoes. In addition to classic, timeless picks like a well-designed Oxford, it pays to consider more unique options like the Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Boot. Beautiful, classic dress shoes like the Grant Stone Long Wing are just as worthy of your time and hard-earned dollars, and you could do worse than buying a pair of sleek black dress shoes like the Ankari Floruss Brogue Derby.  Keep in mind that beautifully made dress shoes should give you plenty of wearability, too — with the right mindset, investment-worthy dress shoes can work with dark denim and a casual navy blazer just as easily as with a light grey suit. The first step is just buying the right ones.
Enjoy the quest for your perfect pair dress shoes,
-Beau

Beckett Simonon

 

Style Pick of the Week: M.Gemi Strada Derby Shoes

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.

A very continental, very stylish pair of footwear from a new men's line.

A very continental, very stylish pair of footwear from a new men’s line.

So, by a show of hands — how many of you here recognize the name M.Gemi? Possibly a few? That definitely makes sense — and it means we’re off to a good start. If it’s because your wife, mom, girlfriend or sister is a fan of their luxurious women’s shoes, it’s time for us fellas to start paying attention. Namely, the brand launched men’s shoes earlier this spring — and has done a darn good job of nailing the crisp, classic aesthetic beloved by #menswear fans everywhere. And, whether you have or haven’t come across the brand’s men’s shoes before, they just might have your summer footwear conundrum solved. Certainly, there’s a time and place for stylish leather loafers or classic white sneakers (heck, even denim sneakers work), but there’s a sort of versatility and continental style that’s unmatched when it comes to a classic pair of suede Derby shoes — like the M.Gemi Strada. So named for their casual, open lacing and constructed from Italian Santa Croce suede and a durable leather-and-rubber sole, they very well might be unlike any pair of shoes in your closet — and that’s ideal if you need a footwear refresh this spring. While you’ll have to get on the wait list for some pairs (and figure out your European shoe size), it’s worth the time. And take specific notice of the Sand Strada in the meantime — it’ll match seamlessly with everything from chambray trousers to light grey chinos.

A premium leather-and-rubber sole should stand up to everything from cobblestones to city sidewalks this spring and summer.

A premium leather-and-rubber sole should stand up to everything from cobblestones to city sidewalks this spring and summer.

They’re available in two other highly versatile colors — Navy and Gray — each of which would complement everything from rolled lightwash denim to white jeans. A suede derby shoe in and of itself is also a great shoe to toss on if you fancy trying a bit of a monochromatic look, too. As a footwear piece, they work well as a sneaker substitute with chinos and a blazer, or with a chambray shirt and slim black jeans. Even the Navy Strada packs enough visual contrast in the rich Italian suede to offset slim navy chinos or classic dark denim quite nicely. The same goes for the Sand Strada, seen here. Don’t be afraid to pair those with an indigo pocket tee and light khaki denim for a pretty pleasing visual effect. While it takes some getting used to at first, the art of nonchalantly wearing a great pair of footwear with style staples both casual and tailored has been perfected for years by the guys at Pitti Uomo (whether it fits your sense of style or not). So, given that these are a premium price but not out-of-this-world expensive, it might be time to look into rounding out your closet with your own pair of M.Gemi men’s shoes. These should be the first pair you reach for on Mondays, and they’d be a wise pick for travel, summer weddings and lots of stops in between. With the right suede shoe cleaning kit, you’ll have them for several seasons ahead.

Would you pick up this pair from M.Gemi? What are your thoughts on the brand? Let me know at The Style Guide Facebook page!
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