#OOTD: The Best Way To Upgrade Your Casual Shirt This Spring

Here at The Style Guide, I always say it pays to focus on the little style upgrades we should all be making daily.  Whether that’s starting with the basics — like investing in a pair of classic dark denim — or going a step further (like dialing in the exact fit of your favorite chambray shirt), there are certainly quite a few #menswear details to consider on the daily. And perhaps one of the more overlooked pieces of a guy’s wardrobe could be casual shirting. It’s fair to say that if you’re dressing in tailored office style during the week, there’s not a lot of room to wear more laidback garb.  So, it’s certainly easy to overlook shirting that can be worn for off-duty occasions. From a spring bar crawl to Sunday brunch, that’s where the below tips are going to come in handy. Luckily for you, there’s one brand in particular that’s merging a reliable fit with classic styling potential and hey, a dash of helpful technology — the Tech Prep Chambray Shirt from GANT is geared to wick away moisture and manage temperature while looking great. Didn’t think a casual shirt could do that, did ya? See how to style it via the below #OOTD, and get more casual style inspiration via my Instagram. Happy spring!

Upgrading your casual shirt with a focus on performance and style.

The Shirt: GANT Tech Prep Chambray Shirt, $125 — As mentioned before, this shirt checks the boxes in terms of performance and style, what with a rich four-season color, a slim fit and moisture-wicking capability.

The Jacket: La Paz Ortigao Bomber in Almond, $275 — Another underrated spring style upgrade — a cotton bomber jacket featuring a modern fit and quality construction. The La Paz Ortigao Bomber is a surefire winner, folks.

The Chinos: Taylor Stitch Democratic Chino in Army, $98 — Because we’re all about showing you how to wear your new favorite chinos this spring, let’s add the Taylor Stitch Democratic Chino to your shopping list, ehh? High-quality fabric, an outstanding army green color and a fit that’s pleasingly modern, yet not restrictive.

Frank & Oak

The Chukka Boots: Astorflex Greenflex in Dark Khaki, $129.98 — Who can resist a pair of stylish chukka boots from our pals at Huckberry? If you don’t know Astorflex, get on it — the Greenflex in Dark Khaki is made sustainably with comfort in mind.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Washed Leather Belt, $24.50 — Simple, affordable and wearable with gear ranging from a slim pocket tee and olive cargos to stone chinos and a lightweight navy blazer, you can’t go wrong with this belt.

Beckett Simonon

The Watch: Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand Watch, $185 — Equal parts rugged and dressy, the Aviator 3-Hand Watch is the sort of watch you could wear 7 days a week, with everything from a marled henley to a classic blue Oxford and knit tie.
Sutro Shoes Inc.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Tyrell Socks, $12 — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — small style details matter, and neutral-colored socks with a dash of pattern are one way to get it right.

The Everyday Necessity: Nisolo Lori Leather Tote, $134.98 — If you tend to think more of a messenger bag when compiling your everyday carry, consider a humble — yet handsomely appointed — Nisolo tote bag instead. Specifically, the Nisolo Lori Leather Tote. It’s more unique than a messenger and just as well-suited for casual spring style.

If at first glance the above outfit doesn’t blow you away with crazy-loud colors or styling touches, that’s … probably a good thing. After all, sometimes, the best #OOTD looks are ones that are crisp, done simply and tailored nicely. Such is the case with the breathable and stylish GANT Tech Prep Chambray Shirt, a great upgrade to your casual shirting game if ever there was one. Unique outerwear like the La Paz Ortigao Bomber could change your seasonal layering game altogether, particularly given its cool color and great fit. Olive chinos from the likes of Taylor Stitch are as surefire a bet as any, and classic suede chukka boots are yet another ideal spring style move. No matter the season, keep in mind that you can wear a tough Jack Mason watch with nearly any outfit — and rest assured that your gear is going to be safe and sound with the Nisolo Lori Leather Tote.

Got any questions or thoughts as to what you’d like to see covered in the #OOTD series? Shoot me an email and let’s talk menswear!

In the meantime — stay stylish,

-Beau

Greats

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#OOTD: How to Wear a Classic Oxford This Winter

Perhaps like your Style Guide author, you’re starting to get into the swing of things when it comes to revamping your style this year. New Year’s resolutions, particularly men’s style resolutions, can be tough to start and even tougher to keep — but if one of your resolutions involves working more classic pieces into your wardrobe, the first #OOTD of 2017 should help you do just that. It’s all about picking a classic piece — the Oxford shirt — and finding a winter weather-friendly way to wear it (if you’re in a warmer climate, you can certainly keep this look while ditching a few layers).  Now, we talked about how to wear an Oxford last winter, but this particular look refreshes things a bit. In this case, that involves taking some rugged pieces (like the Taylor Stitch Rover Jacket) and pairing them up with tried-and-true, essential layers (like a henley sweater that you might recognize from my winter trip to Baltimore). And although you might not see ’em in the below grid, remember to layer up with stylish winter accessories. OK, ready to get started with how to wear an Oxford this winter? Of course you are. Let’s connect on Twitter to talk more menswear, and I hope you enjoy this week’s #OOTD!

Starting with a classic Oxford and adding a tough jacket, warm layers and classic accessories.

Starting with a classic Oxford and adding a tough jacket, warm layers and classic accessories.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Rover Jacket, $298 — So, as mentioned earlier, here’s the starting layer — the tough, durable, handsome and versatile Rover Jacket from Taylor Stitch. Yes, it’s all of those things at once. Lined in moleskin, it features a tightly spun cotton canvas exterior for warmth and functionality on cold days.

The Sweater: Abercrombie & Fitch Wool-Blend Henley Sweater, $44 — Part henley, part sweater and all comfort and throwback style. It’s the perfect middle layer beneath a rugged jacket, and the three-button placket provides some visual interest against the Oxford shirt. Speaking of…

The Shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch Oxford Shirt, $28.80 — Consider this another “new classic” from the majorly revamped Abercrombie & Fitch brand. It’s modern, it’s versatile and it’s very affordable — plus, the “Mint” color is a  nice change of pace and really leans more blue than green.

The Chinos: J. Crew Factory Driggs Broken-in Chino, $29.50 — When it comes to affordable staples that get the job done, the Driggs Chino — in slim fit, no less — performs well in winter… and spring… and summer, come to think of it.
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The Boots: G.H. Bass Buxton Boots, $425 — While people tend to think of Bass for its classic leather loafers, the brand also makes one heck of a pair of USA-produced boots. These are handsome and remarkably tough, preppy yet rugged.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Washed Leather Belt, $19.50 — Just as with the Driggs Chinos above, J. Crew Factory gets it right when it comes to versatile, affordable accessories — particularly this casual washed leather belt.

The Socks: American Trench Fair Isle Sock in Merino & Cashmere, $28.98 — Is it worth it to spend nearly $30 on socks? When they’re made in America by the great purveyors at American Trench, then the answer is YES.

The Watch: Jack Mason Racing Chronograph, $305 — When you mix in so many heavy textures — like the henley sweater and the tough Taylor Stitch Rover Jacket — you can counter that with a rather sleek, fast and sporty watch like this Jack Mason timepiece.

When it comes to a timeless piece like the Oxford, the best thing you can do is shake things up — sometimes. Of course, the shirt will always have its place in classic business casual offerings — and this outfit could work in much the same way — but adding rugged outerwear piece like the Rover Jacket mixes things up.  Plus, if the new Abercrombie & Fitch keeps churning out stellar pieces, you’ll want to wear that wool-blend henley sweater as often as possible.  And complementing classic and rugged pieces with slim chinos and tough-as-heck G.H. Bass boots is a foolproof way to look great no matter the weather — yes, even when dressing for the polar vortex. If you have any suggestions for how to finish off this #OOTD , let me know in the comments below.

Stay warm, stay stylish and thanks for kicking off the new year in style!

-Beau

Style Pick of the Week: Flint and Tinder Texas Moleskin 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.

Quite possibly your new favorite winter shirt ... give it a try now.

Quite possibly your new favorite winter shirt … give it a try now.

OK, ready for the first Style Pick of the Week of 2017? Better be. The fine folks at Flint and Tinder have practically become an everyday go-to on The Style Guide (and in real life) for the brand’s blend of classic style, durability, functionality and plain old utility. From the much-loved Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket to the brand’s essential, comfortable Marled Henley Collection, you could practically outfit yourself head-to-toe in just F&T product. You’ll see more of this shirt in the coming weeks, but know that for now, the Flint and Tinder Texas Moleskin Shirt is another similarly versatile, excellent and well-made offering for your consideration (like, big-time consideration). Let’s start with the best part — it’s constructed in Texas at a family-owned factory, so you’re supporting quality production. And on the style end of the spectrum, everything’s coming up roses, too. A moleskin shirt is a bit unique — and that’s a great way to switch up your wardrobe. While the fabric is typically turned into excellent trousers this time of year, it’s time to shake it up and acquaint your top half with the useful, warm and flattering Moleskin Shirt — sold by the excellent folks at Huckberry , of course.

A unique color and the same great construction you've come to expect from Flint and Tinder and Huckberry.

A unique color and the same great construction you’ve come to expect from Flint and Tinder and Huckberry.

Available in a classic Navy color as seen at the top, the shirt also comes in a more unique Coffee color  or a cool Grey option, each made with the best fabric, construction and fit you can buy. The Coffee shirt in particular would nicely offset slim grey chinos and lighter brown boots — lest you’re wary of hanging up your favorite blue shirts. The fabric is, according to the brand, heavyweight, durable and tough — it’d be the perfect shirt to layer under a selvedge denim chore coat for a monochromatic look, or atop a long-sleeve henley for rugged style.  Although it’s got a classic button-down collar and chest pocket, just like your favorite Oxford, this shirt could feasibly serve as a shirt or a jacket depending on the frightful weather outside. The tailored fit should make it flattering to wear both tucked in and untucked — so you should feel free to try a bit of high-low style with rugged leather boots and perhaps … the Flint and Tinder 365 Pant? Told ya we loved us some Flint and Tinder on the blog. Of course, price should remain a consideration in any of your #menswear shopping endeavors — and for a shirt that’s USA-made, you can hardly get a better price than $89. Seriously, under $100 for a domestically made, warm, durable and versatile shirt? That’s as good as it gets when it comes to style upgrades for the new year.

How would you style the Flint and Tinder Texas Moleskin Shirt? Will it be joining your wardrobe anytime soon?
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Style Pick of the Week: Abercrombie & Fitch Wool 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.

af-wool-shirt-edited

Didn’t think Abercrombie & Fitch could do shirts with serious, heritage-inspired style? Think again. Glasses by Frameri. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

First things first — Happy Saturday! What’s on your weekend agenda? Hopefully, some menswear shopping — and of course, a little reading at The Style Guide. Second of all — we’re back at it in the ongoing Style Pick of the Week feature, and fittingly enough, Abercrombie & Fitch is back in the fold. From seasonally appropriate outerwear — like this beautiful Leather Bomber Jacket — to a new-and-improved focus on quality basics like denim, the A&F brand seems to be coming back in a big way. That’s due in large part to the efforts of the brand to focus once again on quality heritage-inspired basics, driven by Sir Aaron Levine (Editor’s not: He’s not actually a knight). But his approach to redefining modern basics with quality materials helped propel Club Monaco ahead, and in short, pieces like the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt represent his new take on the brand very nicely. A wool shirt, you might ask? What’s wrong with a classic chambray shirt? Well, nothing. But there’s something refreshing about switching up your fall shirting rotation, particularly when it involves reaching for a soft, slim-fitting and easily wearable shirt in a unique wool-cotton blend fabric.  Those details make it a keeper — and the styling potential will have you reaching for it time and again.
Huckberry

What’s not to love about a shirt that evokes the rugged outdoors and classic camp shirts? It features a shirt-jacket design with thicker corozo buttons and a pleasing Heather Oatmeal color — it’s just different enough from your classic white Oxford. Although the shirt is thicker than most, the cotton blend makes it easy to wear this shirt on its own with slim light wash denim for a more casual fall look. Even with the slightly heavier weight, it would also pair up nicely atop a rugged fall henley and your favorite pair of leather boots. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised with its ability to slide nicely underneath a quilted field coat — it’s a foolproof fall layering method. Of course, you can’t go wrong layering it underneath a classic grey crewneck sweater, either. Lest we forget, the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt  is the type of piece that would also work very nicely underneath an indigo chore coat — although if you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you already know that (Wink, wink). Another bonus to buying this shirt now? It’s quite the steal — you get J. Crew-level quality and a price that’s competitive, but not otherworldly.  Yes indeed, there are many positives to picking up this shirt — from the versatile styling potential to the solid price, it’s a heck of a deal. So, what are you waiting for? Dash off to pick up the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt , ASAP.

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Style Pick of the Week: Todd Snyder Hemingway Elbow Patch 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.

Rustic yet refined at the same time -- the Hemingway Elbow Patch Shirt from Todd Snyder.

Rustic yet refined at the same time — the Hemingway Elbow Patch Shirt from Todd Snyder.

During my Christmas trip to Florida last week, I was pretty lucky to get some terrific gifts (mostly #menswear-inclined) from Santa. And among those gifts was none other than the standout Hemingway Elbow Patch Shirt you see at the top of the page from lauded American menswear designer Todd Snyder. The Midwest-born designer has been delivering on modern updates to heritage classics these past few years, and this soft cotton shirt with sturdy suede elbow patches definitely checks off some key boxes in that regard. Even better for you, my fellow menswear fan — it’s on-sale right now (marked down to $129 from $185). That price is still enough to scare people away, but given the brand’s history of quality and style, it might not be a bad way to spend your bonus. It’s great in another regard, too: As the weather gets colder, I’m all about incorporating texture into my wardrobe, from a wool bomber to a thick shawl cardigan and tough denim.The inclination toward richer textures goes for shirting as well, and it’s a move that you should consider making yourself — a cotton flannel shirt can serve a two-fold role; if it’s cut slim enough, you can wear it under a V-neck sweater, and if it proves to be hardy enough, you can definitely layer it over a henley (as I did on a trip to Grand Rapids this past fall).

Cold-weather style essentials with which to pair this shirt -- the Buffalo Bobber Glove from Iron & Resin, and a Merino Watch Cap from American Trench.

A closer look at the elbow patches and texture that make this piece special. Pictured with cold-weather style essentials ideal for the season — the Buffalo Bobber Glove from Iron & Resin, and a Merino Watch Cap from American Trench.

The grey plaid of this shirt is understated, and the spread (not buttondown) collar means this shirt leans a bit dressier than most flannels — especially when worn under something like a slim navy blazer. Crucially, the elbow patches add a nice bit of visual interest and a vintage look when the shirt is worn on its own.  In fact, it could be a neat style swerve to ditch the jacket and throw on a slim herringbone tie and some tan chinos for an office-ready take. Throw in some brown leather sneakers and that look could be complete. Of course, this shirt is probably going to work best alongside rugged denim and sturdy winter boots, maybe even underneath a vest if you’re feeling particularly rugged. The slim collar and muted colors make it dressy, but those elbow patches and the rustic pattern make it rugged — that’s exactly what you need in a shirt this winter.

Do you own any Todd Snyder shirts? How would you style this piece, elbow patches and all?
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Florsheim

 

Style Pick of the Week: Zady Men’s Navy Organic Buttondown

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 simple shirt made in a not-so-simple way, via the new Zady Man collection.

A simple shirt made in a not-so-simple way, via the new Zady Man collection.

First of all, folks: Happy Halloween! What costume do you have picked out? Let me know via Twitter! And with that out of the way, we’ll roll through our regularly scheduled Style Pick of the Week. More below…

If you hadn’t heard of Zady before the start of this week, there’s a good chance you have now. The ethical E-commerce company has slowly turned heads in recent years for its hyper-sustainable approach to the fashion industry. In short, the brand has set about stocking and selling only ethically produced, high-quality clothing — think buttondowns from Apolis and canvas coats from United By Blue. It’s a more sustainable, yet no less premium, version of East Dane. And now, Zady itself is making a small line of essential items for men — hence the resultant mini-media frenzy. If that didn’t catch your eye, the line of intensively-produced basics is sure to grab you away from Twitter for a few seconds (caught ya, yeah?). Of the well-curated colection, which includes a lightweight alpaca sweater and a crisp white Oxford, the simple navy buttondown is certainly one piece that has the potential be both on-trend and highly versatile.

Mother-of-pearl buttons made ethically team up nicely with a slim fit & other typical shirting details.

Mother-of-pearl buttons made ethically team up nicely with a slim fit & other typical shirting details.

It’s crafted from long staple organic cotton sourced from Turkey for a premium feel — and admittedly, a higher price tag than you’d find at a place like J. Crew ($130). But even the mother-of-pearl buttons are made sustainably using waste from the shellfish industry. And the product page itself does more than just toss up a few photos of the shirt. There’s an entire primer on what makes the shirt’s organic cotton — and other components — so special. It’s rather unexpected, but dovetails off nicely from what brands like Everlane are doing in terms of transparency to consumers. Oh yeah, and the styling potential of the shirt is pretty on-point. Toss it on with slim tan chinos and white leather sneakers for a fail-safe everyday look this fall, and wear it with some slate-grey linen shorts (as seen here) as it gets warmer out. It would also look right at home under a brown wool blazer and grey trousers this fall, and if you’re feeling daring, you could pair it with a more faded pair of dark denim and an elbow-patch cardigan for a stab at the monochrome trend that’s picked up so much steam.  The point is this: Zady appears to have hit it out of the park with its first stab at a private collection, and although the initial price tag could sting for those of us a bit strapped for cash, it could  very well be a splurge worth saving for — or putting on your list for Santa?

Have you bought any third-party merchandise from Zady? What do you think of its own collection?

Ernest Alexander