#OOTD: How to Style a Crewneck Sweater This 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.

So, welcome back to the #OOTD series here on The Style Guide. The above headline might seem a bit familiar — after all,  a slim crewneck sweater is a personal favorite of this blog, and it’s as well-suited for casual, rugged fall style as it is for layering in the early stages of winter. And the particular sweater that’s being featured today is as close to a perfect reinterpretation of a classic style as we’ve got — especially from lauded American menswear designer Todd Snyder. But what differentiates the below #menswear look from other features here on the blog? We’re throwing in more weather-ready layers, for one. And we’re mixing high-low style staples like a slim topcoat with everyday wardrobe staples. If you find you don’t have any of the picks below, it’s as good a time as any to get shopping. Got additional picks to add to the below list? Hit me up on Twitter, or check out the Instagram feed for a look into what makes The Style Guide (AKA, me) tick.

A high-low way to wear a crewneck sweater this winter. Not bad, ehh?

A high-low way to wear a crewneck sweater this winter. Not bad, ehh?

The Sweatshirt: Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, $98 — The Todd Snyder x Champion line is packed full of stellar, heritage and sportswear-inspired pieces. This Pocket Sweatshirt is exhibit A in  that regard — it’s comfortable, easy to layer and potentially your new favorite sweatshirt.

The Shirt: Life/After/Denim Windom Oxford Shirt, $128 — More than $100 for a classic Oxford shirt? Well, when it’s made from premium yarn-dyed cotton in a slim cut, it’s worth the investment.

The Topcoat: JackThreads Tieman Topcoat, $149 — So, here’s where a bit of that high-low style comes into play. The “topcoat-over-a-crewneck” look is something perfected by the likes of David Beckham, so I’d say it’s Style Guide-approved.

The Denim: Buck Mason Black Slim Stretch Denim, $175 — From the makers of your favorite short-sleeve chambray shirt comes a fantastic pair of slim black denim — just as ready for a  rock concert as a casual weekend coffee date. What belt to wear? Well, brown and black can work casually (keep reading), so reach for a braided leather belt.

The Socks: American Trench Fair Isle Sock in Merino/Cashmere, $28.98 — So, some of the picks in this particular #OOTD are quite pricey — including these socks. But American Trench does things as well as anyone when it comes to stylish, durable accessories.

The Boots: Thorogood Dodgeville Boots in Cognac ,$375 — Need another pair of durable, rugged leather boots in your closet? This handsome, versatile and easy-to-wear unlined pair of Thorogood Dodgeville Boots are a nice way to amp up the slightly more casual crewneck sweater.

The Watch: MVMT Watches Calypso Watch, $145 — From the stellar new Modern Sport Collection by MVMT Watches, the Calypso is a particular highlight. It’s got the handsome look of a rugged Tudor watch at a fraction of the price. Since it’s a casual outfit, a black rubber strap can work alongside the cognac Thorogood boots.

The Hat: Columbiaknit Marled Watch Cap, $17.98 — Sometimes, you don’t need to go too fancy with your winter accessories. In this case, the Columbiaknit Marled Watch Cap is neutral, simple and quite functional in the cold.

And, well, that’s all she wrote. When it comes time to layer up on a casual-but-cold day at the office or around town, you nearly can’t beat a stylish crewneck sweater — especially one made from premium materials. And pieces like slim black denim and a classic navy Oxford create a bit of a unique one-two punch, particularly when accented by an affordable (yet great-looking!) camel topcoat. When you top it all off with rugged, eye-catching cognac leather boots, it’s a mixture of pleasing colors and textures that work well when put together (yes, even the black denim and brown boots). Of course, you can’t go wrong with a warm winter hat or well-made Fair Isle socks. In fact, this head-to-toe look might just become one you break out time and again — at least, I hope so.

Stay stylish, and stay tuned for a (relatively) last-minute holiday gift guide coming tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

#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 Suggestion: A Cozy Christmas

Editor’s note: For more Style Suggestions — including what to wear to that holiday party — swing through here.

Breaking news — Christmas is almost here! If you’re a big fan of the holidays, like me, and appreciate a festive atmosphere in the air and lights all around the cityscape (or your hometown), there’s really no better time to enjoy. But thankfully, the holiday also gives everyone a chance to rest, regroup and ideally, actually get home for some time off. Either way, Christmas and the events surrounding it don’t always have a set dress code — it could be a more casual evening of opening gifts with just the family, or a nice party with friends (hopefully, Ryan Gosling doesn’t drop by). So the style suggestion that follows definitely errs on the side of more casual, whether this is on Christmas Day itself or in the days leading up to. Bear in mind — this is just one suggestion to keep things from getting too sloppy, so mix-and-match (and buy) as you please! Note that we’ll cover a more dressed-up Christmas affair right here next week.

The Shirt: Tommy John Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey — $34

This colorblocked pocket tee is a simple but effective upgrade from the pedestrian crewneck.

This colorblocked pocket tee is a simple but effective upgrade from the pedestrian crewneck.

So right off the bat, that price is a bit much more than most might pay for a T-shirt. BUT, bear with — Tommy John certainly seems to be the real deal as far as quality and comfort goes in the undershirt and T-shirt game. And its Ringer Pocket Tee (available in four colors) is soft, stylish and slim-fitting. Crucially, the color at the neck and pocket sets it apart just so slightly from a regular crewneck tee, even when that might be the cheaper option.  It’s these small style upgrades that can add a little thought to your look, and if comfort is part of the equation, it’s key to still look good. However, if wearing just a tee makes you wary, I’d reach for a great chambray shirt instead.

The Sweater: Old Navy Chunky Shawl-Collar Cardigan — $49.50 (When On-Sale)

A rich color and ribbed knit make this a solid house sweater for a cozy Christmas.

A rich color and ribbed knit make this a solid house sweater for a cozy Christmas.

Because it’s the heart of December, we’ll assume it could be a little bit chilly wherever you might be. That’s exactly the time to reach for a well-priced Old Navy cardigan. The burgundy color is a nice, on-trend nod to the season as a whole (although this cream JackThreads Shawl Cardigan could also be a neat, affordable pickup). But in this instance, the thick burgundy knit brings some nice contrast when paired alongside the lightweight T-shirt. As I’ve said time and again, a shawl-collar cardigan is a great, masculine style move that adds some rugged appeal to any outfit. Plus, who doesn’t love a cozy sweater? If it’s too warm out where you are, ditch it (if you’re lucky enough, that is!).

The Pants: JackThreads The Daily Jogger — $49.50 OR Classic Dark Denim

A dark color and trim cut help these wear less like sweats and more like jeans. Yes, you got that right.

A dark color and trim cut help these wear less like sweats and more like jeans. Yes, you got that right.

As we talked about above, Christmas can go one of two ways — more casual, or dressier. In this case, if you’ve got the option to go more laidback yet want to avoid wearing pajama pants, we’re going out on a limb to recommend a pair of tailored sweatpants in a dark color. JackThreads continues to get a lot of things right with its new menswear line, and stylish essentials at low prices like these are why. Again, if sweatpants still feel too casual, a solid pair of dark denim never fails (I’d recommend Mott & Bow, who makes slim jeans like its Hester model with a comfy hint of stretch). If sweats are too hot, reach for their laidback but just as comfy alternative — the well-crafted sweatshort (like these from my friends at Pistol Lake).

The Sneakers: GREATS Brand Royale Chukka — $152 (On-Sale)

Camel plus black in a chukka silhouette = dressier sneakers than the norm.

Camel plus black in a chukka silhouette = dressier sneakers than the norm.

If sneakers seem a silly option for the middle of winter (and they very well might be if there’s a ton of snow), I’d urge you to go with a reliable (but cheaper) desert boot instead. If, however, you’re able to rock some chukka sneakers from GREATS, you’ve found a style choice that fits right in with fall & winter yet feels more comfortable than a thicker boot (note that Reef’s Outhaul Lux Chukka does that, too). The Royale Chukka definitely checks all those boxes, and even more crucially, the camel color plus black sole is a combo that feels a little dressier than a plain pair of captoe sneakers. These sneakers can be worn through the rest of winter in the right weather, and into spring with some lightwash jeans, too — that’s the gift that keeps on giving.

The Watch: Timex Weekender 40mm — $46

A black leather strap and that simple Timex dial create the ideal happy medium for the rest of this outfit.

A black leather strap and that simple Timex dial create the ideal happy medium for the rest of this outfit.

Just as in this site’s Thanksgiving Style Suggestion, a Timex is the affordable watch pick once again. In this instance, Timex’s classic weekender dial keeps the watch more casual, but the black face and slip-thru black leather strap makes it ever so slightly put-together. Yet, it’ll still look right at home with this outfit in terms of color and styling potential — it’s just that simple and versatile. Lest we forget, this watch can be mixed and matched with other NATO straps — that’s like getting a new watch for about $10.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Herald Socks — $12

A small way to pump some pattern into an outfit -- for a low price.

A small way to pump some pattern into an outfit — for a low price.

Whereas the rest of this outfit mainly sticks to solid basics, these socks inject some life into the ensemble in a fun way. And assuming you’ll be kicking around without shoes on for a bit, clean, hole-free socks are a must (truly). Throw in a fun polka-dot pattern in a color that complements the rest of the outfit, and you’re set. The oatmeal color of these socks is also just different enough if you go with a heather-grey T-shirt (or even a blue chambray), and the navy dots complement the cardigan and the sneakers, too. Plus, Richer Poorer socks are springy and breathable — not a  heavy wool set.

While the above outfit might not work for everyone, here’s hoping you do get the chance to kick back in a more casual fashion this Christmas — and when that time comes, I hope you’ll keep some of these picks in mind (because who doesn’t love looking their best all the time?). Think I missed anything? Let me know your picks for the holiday season below!

Ben Sherman US