#OOTD: How to Layer A Henley The Best Way for Winter

OK, so today’s #OOTD is going to tackle familiar territory for anyonoe who reads the blog regularly — we’re talking about one of the best men’s henleys, and specifically, how to wear a henley for winter. Is this the sort of topic that gets covered a lot on ye olde Style Guide? It sure is — but does that make it any less useful for the doldrums of winter? Absolutely not. You can always use more ways to wear a henley (or a refresher course, at that). The henley in question is the excellent Flint and Tinder Organic Slub Cotton Henley, a durable henley that won’t weigh you down — the sort you can layer with (as you’ll see) a classic flannel shirt and a durable waxed parka.  Together, these gear picks keep you toasty and sharp no matter where you’re headed, particularly if you’ve got to take on the snow during a winter weekend getaway — or on your commute, or during a daring weekend brunch run. While a rugged henley won’t cut it for scenarios where a blazer is the norm, I’m accustomed to wearing something similar to my office most days — maybe that type of look works for you, too? Regardless, you need all the layers you can get during the depths of winter (not to mention rugged leather boots, which you’ll also find below). When you feel a chill in the air, best to layer up with one of the best men’s henleys — and here’s how to do just that. For more tips on what to wear during snowy weather, check out the rest of my #OOTD series.

 

A classic henley helps tie everything together, does it not?

  • The Henley: Flint and Tinder Organic Slub Henley, $45.98 — Get one of the best men’s henleys for a heck of a deal right now, then reap the benefits — Flint and Tinder knows how to make a rugged henley that’s perfect for layering. Speaking of …
  • The Flannel Shirt: Portuguese Flannel Bravo Flannel Shirt, $91.98 — For chilly winter weather, you want nothing less than one of the best flannel shirts, especially in a pattern that’s elevated from the average.
  • The Parka: Flint and Tinder Sherpa-Lined Waxed Ridge Parka, $297.98 — A tough waxed parka, especially the Flint and Tinder Waxed Ridge Parka with sherpa lining, is going to keep you warm and toasty, no matter how much time you spend outside (and with an outfit like this, made for outdoor excursions, that’s going to be critical).
  • The Slim Chinos: Flint and Tinder 365 Pants, $98 — Yes, it’s a trio of Flint and Tinder style essentials to help this #OOTD along, but trust me: When you find slim tan chinos like these, you wear them as often as you can, all season long.
  • The Boots: Nicks Boots Americana Boots, $529 — For navigating slippery city streets, pull no punches with the best leather boots — heck, simply some of the best boots for  winter, regardless of material or construction. Nicks Boots continues to outdo itself across the board.
  • The Watch: Martenero Kerrison Watch, $595 — Now, you’ve seen the tough Martenero Kerrison Watch on the blog before, but it’s making a return today because it’s perhaps the best leather watch to have on your wrist all winter — it’s simply as premium as it gets.
  • The Best Weekender Bag: Bespoke Post Weekender Box, $45 — Maybe you view this as the kind of ensemble to be worn for a rugged winter weekend away — or maybe not. But whether you’re hauling your everyday carry or hauling tools for a home project, the Bespoke Post Weekender Box has the carrying capacity you need.
  • The Stylish Winter Hat: Wills Cashmere Ribbed Beanie, $75 — Now, who said your winter hat couldn’t be stylish and luxurious (even if the rest of your gear is rugged)? No, the Wills Cashmere Beanie begs to differ — staying warm this winter never looked so good.

Alright, so was that ensemble everything you thought it would be? When you kick things off the right way — with a rugged henley, mind you — the ability to layer stylishly and in rugged fashion for winter only gets easier. Of course, it helps to have one of the best flannel shirts on hand — especially from Portuguese Flannel in a pattern that’s a touch different from what you might expect. And because you’re not spending your winter indoors in the slightest, the Flint and Tinder Waxed Ridge Parka is here to help you brave the cold in style. Yet getting back to the sleek, go-anywhere ensemble you need, slim tan chinos are here to help save the day while keeping you office-ready. The whole look also gets a much-needed lift from the best leather boots, a pair that’s at home stomping through city streets and navigating slippery terrain on a weekend excursion — the more you wear ’em, the better your pair of Nicks Boots gets. Crucially, the Martenero Kerrison Watch is a must-have in your watch collection, given that it fuses bold style with durability and dependability — plus, it looks cool as heck on your wrist. And particularly when you step outside, the Wills Cashmere Beanie is everything you need in a stylish winter hat. For when you need to get out of town (Beacon, NY is a favorite winter weekend stop of mine), gear up accordingly with the Bespoke Post Weekender Box — it’s one of the best weekender bags for your must-have cargo. Where you go and what you do in this outfit is up to you, but rest assured: It’s absolutely ready for adventure. To see what else I’m wearing this winter, head to my Instagram.

#OOTD: Layering Up in Style 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.

OK, so first of all — it’s Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re spending the day just as you’d like, and in style. To that end —  if you’re looking to shore up or switch up your casual winter style  after a few months of bone-chilling cold, this week’s #OOTD will sort that out nicely for you. We talked last month about how to wear a turtleneck this winter, but we’re going a bit more accessible and a bit more versatile today — as you’ll see below. It’s taking pieces that you might already have in your wardrobe, or pieces that you might be coveting — ahem, the Taylor Stitch Maritime Submariner Jacket — and putting in all together in a look that you can wear any day of the week. So, Sunday brunch? Check. Heck, Saturday brunch? You got it. And a weekend coffee date or a business casual day at the office? Absolutely. For more daily style inspiration, follow your Style Guide author on Instagram. Join us later this week for our regularly scheduled #menswear programming, too. Happy shopping!

Taylor Stitch

Taking classic pieces and upgrading the fabrics and fits.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Maritime Submariner Jacket, $248 — Ahh, yes. The warm, comfortable, slim-fitting and versatile Taylor Stitch Maritime Submariner Jacket. How could you not love it? Right? Right.

The Sweater: Bonobos Merino V-Neck Sweater, $58 — If you’re going to wear something more simple in form — like a V-neck sweater — you might as well make yours a high-quality, well-fitting piece in a rich winter color. Wondering how it should fit?  Read my recent Effortless Gent piece on how to find the perfect sweater (nudge, nudge).

The Oxford: JackThreads The Oxford Shirt, $39 — Is there a more classic combination for versatile, casual style than a V-neck sweater and an Oxford? Not quite — especially when it’s a great deal from the folks at JackThreads.

The Denim: Buck Mason Lou Slim Fit Jean, $175 — If you haven’t checked out Buck Mason, I’d advise you do so — from the brand’s classic short-sleeve chambray shirts to slim denim like this pair (faded just right), it’s tough gear for the modern man.

The Boots: Astorflex Bitflex Chelsea Boots, $180 — As sold by everyone’s favorite E-commerce retailer — that’s Huckberry, y’all — Astorflex makes essential, sustainable and stylish footwear. Yes, the Bitflex Chelsea Boots are a winning footwear choice.

The Belt: Abercrombie & Fitch Leather Belt, $44 — Sometimes, your accessories help define a casual ensemble. In this instance, a textured belt tones things down in comparison to a slim dress belt.

The Socks:  American Trench Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks, $16.98 — If you’re going to fill your sock drawer with only the best, might as well make your picks from American Trench — the brand makes beautiful, comfortable socks.

The Watch:  Tanner Goods Martenero Ace Automatic Watch, $549.98 — Just as a textured leather belt places this outfit in casual territory, so too does a rugged, handsome and eye-catching watch with tough Tanner Gods leather.  Truly, the Ace Automatic Watch is expertly designed and made to stand up to anything.

With versatility and great comfort & fit in mind, dressing in casual style can be easy and hey, fun. And if you’ve been looking for ways to switch up your style this winter, a great V-neck and Oxford is one way to go. These are pieces you might already have, but you can amp things up with something like the handsome, rugged Maritime Submariner Jacket and slick footwear like the Astorflex Bitflex Chelsea Boots. Oh, and if adding to your watch collection is a priority in terms of your 2017 style resolutions, there’s no better place to start than the very investment-worthy Ace Automatic Watch. If you have any questions or suggestions on this outfit, drop ’em in the comments or hit me up on Twitter. Talk to you soon, and thank you for reading!

-Beau

Frank & Oak

Style Pick of the Week: G.H. Bass Buxton Boots

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.

Tough, sturdy and classic -- everything you need in a great pair of leather boots

Tough, sturdy and classic — everything you need in a great pair of leather boots

Christmas might be over, but to this #menswear writer, it’s the most wonderful time of the year — time to upgrade your winter boot game in serious style. Truly, you need rugged, durable boots to combat the weather we’ve got going on out there (at least in this neck of the woods). Enter the supremely classic, tough and durable G.H. Bass Buxton Boots, all made-in-America construction and great looks. Now, G.H. Bass is perhaps better known for its classic leather loafers , but believe me when I say the brand’s boots are worth a shot as well. I’ve had the chance to check out the Buxton Boots over these past few weeks in the chilly, snowy cold of NYC, and they’ve more than stood up to the test. The great part about a moc toe boot — especially the Buxton Boot — is the classic, preppy and yet slick styling potential. In a handsome shade of Chestnut leather with contrast stitching, they’re a surprisingly versatile boot. These are the type of boots to wear with everything from slim sand chinos and your favorite shawl cardigan this winter on the weekends to Donegal wool trousers, a classic chambray shirt and a wool blazer to the office — give it a try sometime (after you buy ’em, that is).  And the construction and performance? These guys get an A-plus in that regard, too.

A relatively slim profile and sturdy stitching add to the durability & style of these boots.

A relatively slim profile and sturdy stitching add to the durability & style of these boots.

They’re made in Maine and feature a surprisingly slim profile for a moc toe boot, with a  rather unique five-eye upper and tough rawhide laces. It’s a classic, rugged combination that’s held up well in the snow and slush — the tread is durable and relatively grippy, too. The Buxton Boots are heritage-inspired without verging too far into costume territory — they’re the perfect boot to pair with something crisp and essential like the Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt as you dress for Sunday brunch (who doesn’t love brunch and a great pair of boots, ehh?).  And while the black leather option is just as worthy of a purchase, there’s something to be said about buying a pair of tough, USA-made boots in a classic shade of deep brown. They’re just the sort of boots to offset slim corduroys this winter, and you could feasibly wear them with light wash denim and a slim pocket tee for spring style transitions (trust me on that one, they’ll hold up just fine).  And yes, $400-plus is a lot to drop in one fell swoop, even for a pair of sturdy, stylish men’s boots. But again, we love our investment-worthy pieces on this blog — and buying this pair is absolutely the right investment to make.

Will you be buying the G.H. Bass Buxton Boots? Let me know in the comments!

Beckett Simonon

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?
NOV CAMPAIGN: Horizontal banner with shoes and logo (border)

#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: How to Style a Crewneck Sweater

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 these features regularly.

If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve looked at a crewneck sweater before and not been too impressed with the silhouette or styling potential. But designers and brands have been changing that perception for a while now, as we’ve seen in this Style Upgrade piece. In dressier iterations (like the extra fine merino sweater you’ll see below), it can definitely offer both visual interest and unique styling potential — particularly when paired with a Bond-inspired tab collar shirt. Throw in other style essentials like a knit tie and slim chinos, and you’re set for at least one work outfit this week — and the week after that. And after that. You get the picture, yeah? Plus, a well-fitting slim crewneck and some slim denim top a hooded sweatshirt and sweats on any casual day (i.e. that 9 a.m. class). So it’s a win-win no matter where you go. Get some inspiration from the below, and check out The Style Guide on Facebook for more daily #menswear musings.

Taking a crewneck sweater and dressing it up with a unique tie, suede chukkas and essential chinos.

Taking a crewneck sweater and dressing it up with a unique tie, suede chukkas and essential chinos.

The Crewneck: UNIQLO Extra Fine Merino Crewneck Sweater, $39.90 — A steal of a price for a basic crewneck that’s well-reviewed and well-liked.

The Shirt: Paul Frederick Trim-Fit Tab Collar Dress Shirt, $69.50 — A well-priced carbon copy (nearly) of James Bond’s style in a tailored fit. Give it a whirl if you’ve been looking into this style.

The Coat: Land’s End Herringbone Wool Pea Coat, $249 — This coat’s a bit of an investment (look for a cheaper one here), but it’s a refined classic worth the price.

The Tie: 15Ties Wild n’ Wooly Tie, $15 — A cheeky name for a tie that packs a lot of unique style and a subdued pattern into one piece for just $15. A well-priced alternative to The Tie Bar.

The Pants: JackThreads Skinny Chino, $49 — These guys are a four-season staple in a sharp color and a trim fit ,a lthough they also offer slim-fit chinos. Don’t sleep on JackThreads!

The Boots: Thursday Boot Company Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka, $149 — Rich brown suede and a grippy studded rubber sole give these boots solid traction and style. Catch the full review here.

The Socks: Tommy John Performance Dress Socks, $16 — Arch support, ventilation and cushioning combine in a subdued, multi-purpose sock.

The Belt: Land’s End Dress Braid Belt in Brown, $49 — The slightly-higher priced uncle of the much-recommended Target Merona Braided Leather Belt. Keep an eye on Land’s End in the fashion game this year.

The Watch: Timex Waterbury Watch, $80 — Super affordable, super simple and in a classic 40mm case diameter.

Did you pick up any styling tips along the way? Ready (or not ready?) to try out that tab-collar shirt? Follow along with more #OOTD posts on my Instagram and as always, here at the blog. We’ll have an Online Shopping Picks piece covering the best Oxford cloth buttondown shirts coming tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Stay stylish,

-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

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Winter Accessories to Buy Right Now

Editor’s note: To check out  more Online Shopping Picks posts, click this link.

Notepad? Check. Great sweater? Check. Gloves? Hat? Nope. Don't be like Mikael Blomkvist (AKA Daniel Craig).

Notepad? Check. Great sweater and scarf? Check. Gloves? Hat? Nope. Don’t be like Mikael Blomkvist (AKA Daniel Craig).

What’s your morning routine like? With me, I’m usually rushing around a bit, firing off some tweets and really looking forward to my first cup of coffee. Right before I rush out the door though, I nearly always forget one thing even in the cold weather — my gloves. Impossible, right? It sometimes seems that the little things are the easiest to forget — and that’s too true when it comes to the matter of cold-weather accessories. Mixing form and function is absolutely critical here — like other style upgrades that I’ve written about, the right pair of gloves or a great hat can still be overlooked unfortunately. There’s certainly a difference between what you should likely aspire to wear and what you might have in your closet. Something like skiing gloves or sturdy work gloves do just fine for those types of activities, for example, but what about less strenuous work? That’s where the picks below come in — we’ll cover some nice gloves, a solid hat and the right scarf to wear, and we’ll do it with enough time left to order ’em on your lunch break.

A Warm Winter Hat: American Trench Merino Watch Cap — $85 OR J. Crew Factory Classic Cuff Knit Hat — $17

Two choices, two equally versatile pieces. Key for fighting the chill.

Two choices, two equally versatile pieces. Key for fighting the chill.

For potentially the  most important piece of clothing you throw on in the winter (cold ears are NO fun), there are two really solid choices up to bat here. It all depends on what you’re willing to spend, or what you can indeed spend. American Trench crafts everything from its equally warm socks to this merino watch cap right in America, and the quality shows. The cap itself is quite warm and stylish, to boot. The J. Crew Factory Classic Cuff Knit Hat, on the other hand, offers style that’s just as versatile, but at a much lower price.

A Stylish Scarf: Frank & Oak Chunky Merino Wool-Blend Scarf — $52

Minimal and classic at the same time for versatile style.

Minimal and classic at the same time for versatile style.

Goods from Frank & Oak really hit it out of the park most months — the brand’s monthly Hunt Club crates always pack a punch, and while the January offering is a bit light on scarves, this Merino Wool-Blend Scarf strikes a minimal balance between being classic and modern. The light grey color should fare well with most stylish topcoats and peacoats, and the color is such that it’ll still stand out up against dark charcoal or navy suiting. If that price is too much, you could reach for a J. Crew Factory plaid scarf for an extra pop of color.

Comfortable Winter Gloves: John W. Nordstrom Leather Tech Gloves — $44.75

With touchscreen functionality and in a crisp color, it's tough to beat this pair from Nordstrom's in-house brand.

With touchscreen functionality and in a crisp color, it’s tough to beat this pair from Nordstrom’s in-house brand.

Normally almost $100, these leather Nordstrom tech gloves come from the brand’s in-house line and feature a few different touches. They have what the brand calls Precise Touch functionality, so no need to take off those gloves to send out a tweet. That should also make it easier to hold onto said phone or iPod. And you’ve got your pick of either black or brown leather. The brown pair is dark enough in color that you shouldn’t necessarily worry about it clashing with black dress boots or similar items. If mixed-media gloves are more your speed, Nordstrom also stocks these Topman Harris Tweed gloves.

An On-Trend Jacket: JackThreads The Topcoat — $229

Back for round two with this JackThreads topcoat.

Back for round two with this JackThreads topcoat.

This camel JackThreads topcoat claimed the second spot in Monday’s roundup of the best men’s winter topcoats, and if you had to go with only one jacket to pair with the rest of these accessories (and use almost daily), it’d be an excellent choice. As far as topcoats go, it’s cost-effective, for starters. The color is eyecatching and on-trend (if that’s something you want to try out), yet it’ll still pair with a range of bottoms, from navy wool trousers to burgundy corduroys. It’s not a super-technical piece, to be sure, so if that’s more your speed, you might want to drop some dough on an insulating (but equally on-trend) duffle coat or a hooded parka.

Thick Winter Socks: American Trench Fair Isle Socks in Merino & Cashmere — $25

More than you'd pay for an average pair of socks -- but warmer and more stylish, too.

More than you’d pay for an average pair of socks — but warmer and more stylish, too.

If you’re not hip to American Trench by now, wait ’til you try out their socks. In addition to the merino watch cap at the top of the page, its variety of warm, well-made socks are enough to make you want to wear only pairs from American Trench — truly. When you consider that the quality and construction is such that you can wear one pair with tough winter boots or stylish dress shoes in a heartbeat, it’s an investment that pays off. While several patterns on their site would work just fine, the Fair Isle pattern is just different enough visually — plus the range of colors gives you some options. Its Wool and Silk Boot Socks are just as lux and a bit more pricey.

Looking to upgrade your winter accessories should be, above all else, a bit of an enjoyable and fun search. Yes, you want to combine functionality, style and price, and you want to do it pretty quickly — but unlike other categories in men’s clothing, there are many avenues on which to turn. Want some tweed gloves? You got ’em. Looking for some eyecatching socks? Shop away. Fancy throwing on a luxurious topcoat? That choice is yours, too. But hopefully the above staple pieces are enough to get you thinking before you shop — and before it gets too cold.

What cold-weather accessories do you find yourself reaching for the most? What pieces on this list do you still need to pick up?

 

 

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

Style Suggestion: The Holiday Party

How do you take your martini, Mr. Bond? (Just don't hit 'em too hard at your holiday party).

How do you take your martini, Mr. Bond? (Just don’t hit ’em too hard at your holiday party).

With the arrival of December comes an occasion some of us definitely look forward to, and others tend to dread – the holiday party.  Depending on where you work or where you’re invited, it might be lots of fun… or decidedly not-so-fun. The same goes for holiday parties with family and friends – although hopefully those are enjoyable. And regardless of the situation, it behooves you (yes, I just used that word) to clean up appropriately. Plus, dressing up smartly can be quite fun – especially when you change up just a few things from your co-workers or friends (like fit and color/texture combos) and end up looking like a  million bucks (or at least deserving of that bonus). What follows is a suggestion that can go either CEO-level dressy for a fancy holiday party, or a bit toned-down for slamming some nog at a friend’s house (people do that, right?).  Stand by for further style suggestions later this month covering both a laidback Christmas and a more dressed-up Yuletide celebration. Enjoy, and happy holidays!
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The Overcoat: Combatant Gentleman Navy Wool Overcoat — $120

A versatile navy color, a slim fit and a great price make for a terrific top layer.

A versatile navy color, a slim fit and a great price make for a terrific top layer.

Before we get into what to wear for the rest of your night, let’s assume it’ll be cold before you get into that party — and let’s assume you’re in need of an outerwear revamp. There’s no denying the style power and versatility of a great topcoat, and this navy wool overcoat from Combatant Gentleman fits the bill perfectly. Its price is more than solid, and for a new introduction to the brand, it would seem that the quality should be on-point from past experience. The fit looks to be trim yet workable over a suit, and the soft Italian wool should also be workable for that pricepoint. The navy color is going to work with all kinds of outfits outside of this particular occasion, as well.

The Suit Or Sweater: Combatant Gentleman Charcoal Birdseye Slim Fit Suit — $200 OR Frank & Oak Merino Cardigan in Bitter Chocolate — $70 And J. Crew Factory Thompson Slim Voyager Suit Pants — $84

Two options, one dressy and one more casual -- but both affordable.

Two options, one dressy and one more casual — but both affordable.

So Combatant Gentleman is the pick for our suiting option as well, but not just for kicks. The brand has made its mark in the affordable tailoring realm, offering up solid picks for more-than-agreeable prices. Its blazers, while not 100% perfect, are also an extremely great value for the price. So picking up one of its charcoal suits can knock out two birds with one stone – if you’re in need of a first-time suit on a budget, or if you want to refresh your suiting game for not a lot of dough. This birdseye suit is a nice visual departure from a flat charcoal color, too. If the occasion doesn’t call for a suit, you can swap in a crisp, slim Frank & Oak cardigan (much sleeker than a thicker shawl number). That can then be paired with some navy wool trousers and accomplish the same goal. Of course, dark denim can be swapped in with your cardigan for an even more toned-down look.

The Shirt: Standard Shirt White Dress Shirt — $59

Take your pick of two collar styles, both for a tremendous price from Standard Shirt.

Take your pick of two collar styles, both for a tremendous price from Standard Shirt.

While it’s worth looking at a site like EXPRESS for its shirt deals, there’s not a shirt that offers a price-quality ratio quite like Standard Shirt; that makes sense given that two styles of white dress shirts are all the company does. And they combine that quality with smaller touches (like a wider, suit-ready collar) in an inexpensive package. I threw on the brand’s spread collar shirt for a rather sweltering Michigan wedding and was also pleasantly surprised with its breathability. The crisp white shirt is definitely going to be a great anchor for either the suit or cardigan any way you look at it.

The Tie: The Tie Bar Midnight Navy Grenafaux Tie — $19

A tie with some visual interest to complement the birdseye weave of the suit.

A tie with some visual interest at a low price.

If you need to ditch the tie in favor of just that slim cardigan or tailored charcoal suit over a crisp shirt, that’s the way to go. But if you do still need that tie, The Tie Bar, as always, has you covered. While a navy knit tie could also be a good, versatile buy in this case, a grenafaux tie brings that same amount of texture and visual interest while looking a bit more suit-ready. And in this case, the texture of the tie will bring a bit more punch than a standard silk number, allowing it to stand up to the birdseye suit nicely.

The Pocket Square: General Knot & Co. 1940s Crimson Duck Pocket Square — $38 OR The Tie Bar Light Champagne Herringbone Pocket Square — $10

Take your pick of either vintage fabric and a higher price, or an old standby in a nice fabric.

Take your pick of either vintage fabric and a higher price, or an old standby in a nice fabric.

So we have two pocket square options here – one that’s flashy and conversation-worthy, made from vintage fabric, and one that’s still conversation-worthy, but mainly for the punch of pattern and color it brings. When your suit and tie both have some texture, throwing in another dash in a contrasting color still works, mainly because of that color difference. Either would add a bit something extra to your suit that a solid white pocket square might not (although that works with this outfit, too). While the price for the General Knot square is a bit of a splurge, keep in mind that if you go cardigan-only, you save that cash.

The Shoes:  Johnston & Murphy McGavock Wingtip Boot — $250

A dressy wingtip boot with seasonal fabric design touches to stand up to the chilly weather.

A dressy wingtip boot with seasonal fabric design touches to stand up to the chilly weather.

Johnston & Murphy can sometimes be a bit overlooked what with a company like Jack Erwin competing right in its wheelhouse, but the brand delivers on seasonal numbers, like these mixed-media boots. They’re the perfect middle ground for stomping through some snow or rain to get into that party, yet they still look crisp, slim and appropriate for tailored wear. There’s a touch of brown in there on the sole, but that won’t look too out of place next to the charcoal suit. If funding is tight, JC Penney’s classic Stafford Wingtip is going for a right steal now. Either way, black shoes can look especially sleek this time of year (and if SPECTRE is any indication, black shoes are going to be the way to go for the months ahead).

The  Belt: EXPRESS 2-in-1 Reversible Buckle Leather Belt in Black — $39.90

Two for the price of one, with a crisp look to boot.

Two for the price of one, with a crisp look to boot.

EXPRESS’ quality might sometimes be suspect, but when you need a belt (or in this case, two belts) at a decent price in a pinch, a reversible option never hurts. They do all kinds of belts, but this is a sharp, sleek pickup that’ll go well with those crisp black shoes and the dialed-in black watch (more on that below). You can always go beltless if you find that’s more sleek, however.

The Watch: KOMONO Winston Regal in Black — $99.95

Super-crisp style for under $100.

Super-crisp style for under $100.

KOMONO’s at it again – this brand flies under the radar occasionally, but its dressier watches are just as solid a value as its more casual, seasonally focused timepieces (like the Winston Herringbone timepiece I reviewed earlier this fall). The Winston Regal in Black is super-sharp, and the thin case and no-nonsense dial fall right in line with the sharp pieces in the rest of this ensemble, from the black boots to the crisp white shirt and black belt. And at under $100, it’s an excellent steal on a budget.

The Socks: American Trench Dress Rib Sock in Cloud Grey — $14.50

High-quality socks that'll be worth more than the price tag.

High-quality socks that’ll be worth more than the price tag.

Whereas we’ve dialed it back with the suit and watch, these socks tip the scales more in terms of price. American Trench is a Style Guide favorite (check out more on its socks here), and there really isn’t a brand doing made-in-America socks as well as they do. So in this instance, it makes sense to splurge on some high-quality dress socks that can stand up to repeated wear with a workhorse charcoal suit; while socks with a pop of color are an option too, you might be pleasantly surprised at how sharp a sock looks when matched with a trouser (especially in a clean charcoal-on-charcoal combo).

While it can be a bit off-putting to see so many dark colors in an outfit, from the suit to the pocket square to the shoes, belt and watch,  it can be refreshing to go sleek, simple and yet still put-together. Plus, other cold-weather occasions leave plenty of time for working in colors, and each of the above pieces can be mixed and matched into those outfits as well. So go sharp this holiday season and see where it takes you. Once again, enjoy and let me know your holiday outfit picks below.

What do you think of the above ensemble? Will you be going dressy or casual this year at your holiday party?

Ben Sherman US