#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

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#OOTD: Rugged Winter Style

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.

Every once in a while, you just want to mix up your style — right? Maybe if you’re a guy who frequently suits up , you feel compelled to dress down off-duty. Even if you find yourself dressing in business casual style for the office — rather than a suit — it still pays to have a few go-to, off-the-clock looks on-hand. And when you throw in the dual challenges of navigating winter weather while looking sharp, it adds another piece to the puzzle. That’s what we’re tackling today — we’ll get a bit out of the box in terms of classic winter style and go just a tad more casual and a tad more rugged. The basic building blocks of a crisp winter ensemble are still there — starting with classic dark denim and tough leather boots — but the way in which the outfit builds from the ground up will hopefully get you thinking about ways to refresh your style this year. Intrigued yet? Check out the full #OOTD below, and join us on Instagram and Facebook for more #menswear content, 24/7.

Layering up a shawl cardigan for rugged winter style -- as the post title implies.

Layering up a shawl cardigan for rugged winter style — as the post title implies.

The Cardigan: Iron & Resin Fletcher Cardigan,$110.98 — Here at the dear old Style Guide, we sure do love a shawl-collar cardigan. And seeing as this one is available via Huckberry in a warm cotton-fleece blend, it’s worth the buy. You could always add a crisp, functional Outerknown parka if you need an extra layer.

The Henley: Bonobos Slub Jersey Henley in Off-White Microstripe, $55 — Shawl-collar cardigan? Check. Rugged henley? Check. It’s as classic and comfortable of a winter style combo as it gets.

The Scarf: S.N.S Herning Torso Scarf, $96.60 — Nearly a hundred bucks is a lot to drop on a scarf — but when it provides significant warmth and style to rival that of the revered Daniel Craig in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” it’s worth doing.

The Denim: Nudie Jeans Grim Tim Denim, $124.98 —  Whether you consider yourself a rock star or not, there’s something to be said for owning a slick, slim pair of black denim. The Grim Tim is that pair — and they’re a nice way to switch it up from dark indigo selvedge, too.

The Boots: G.H. Bass Buxton Boots, $425 — We talk a lot about investment-worthy purchases that convey great style and timeless appeal — the G.H. Bass Buxton Boots are one such purchase, and they add a bit of a unique contrast to the black denim.

The Socks: Wigwam Merino Lite Hiker Socks, $12.98 — Sometimes, you just need comfortable, functional socks that fight the chill — if that’s the case, pick up a couple pairs of these Merino Lite Hiker Socks.

The Watch: Standard Issue Instruments Pilot Mission Timer, $199.98 — Yet another standout piece of gear sold by Huckberry, the Pilot Mission Timer is tough, practical and rugged. Don’t worry about the black strap-brown boots color combo — it works in this casual ensemble.

The Hat: Columbiaknit Watch Cap, $17 — Just like the Merino Lite Hiker Socks, functionality and warmth is sometimes the name of the game. This cap is more than fairly priced, too.

The Gloves: Hestra Granvik Gloves, $180 — They might not be pictured in the above grid, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need reliable, tough winter gloves — Hestra is the place to go in this case.
Frank & Oak

Alright, let’s bundle up and get out there this winter. When you start with well-fitting basics — like a slub jersey henley — and add a tough-yet-comfortable Iron & Resin shawl-collar cardigan, you’ve got the foundation of a warm winter outfit.  In fact, it’s this very outfit that I frequently find myself wearing when it’s chilly. At any rate, slim black denim and rough-and-tumble leather boots are essentials in any season, especially cold weather, and the overlooked details — like warm winter socks and a nice winter hat — are just as critical to keep in mind before you step outside. And if it’s a new watch you need, something as functional and dependable as the  Pilot Mission Timer should get you where you’re going with plenty of time to spare. Any questions? Comments? Feedback? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay warm out there and thanks for reading,

-Beau

#OOTD: The Best Way to Wear a Turtleneck 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.

As we’ve moved through the #OOTD series, we’ve covered a whole host of content — everything from how to suit up this winter to wearing a classic Oxford. We’re continuing down that path with something a bit more adventurous — in one regard — than past #menswear features on this site. Whether you’re a Steve McQueen devotee or have only started noticing the ubiquity of this classic-turned-trend-turned … nearly classic, you’ve surely seen a stylish fella or two rocking a turtleneck.  It’s a style move that can feel a little bit advanced, particularly if you’re just refreshing your style for the new year. So, today’s #OOTD  will ease into wearing a turtleneck in a way that’s accessible and sharp for just about anybody Now, if you fancy yourself a bit more advanced in the style department, check out some next-level tips on how to wear a turtleneck from Articles of Style. And on a more basic front, since style is an evolving process, I’d say stick to buying classics like a slim crewneck sweater or a sharp V-neck sweater before buying a turtleneck. But if you do want to dip your toes into this bolder move, the option featured today shouldn’t hurt your wallet too much. Curiosity piqued? OK, great. Read on below, and let’s catch up on Twitter and Instagram while we’re here.
Huckberry

Sharp, simple and easier to pull off than you think -- truly.

Sharp, simple and easier to pull off than you think — truly.

The Turtleneck: JackThreads Franklin Turtleneck, $39 — Kicking things off with a rich winter shade that’s not too ostentatious — yes, this burgundy turtleneck is affordably priced and made from an easy-to-layer cotton.

The Peacoat: J. Crew Dock Peacoat with Thinsulate, $298 — What’s the key to making it all work? A classic winter outer layer like this J. Crew peacoat — it works even better if you’ve got an original U.S. Navy Peacoat on-hand.

The Pants: Bonobos Jetsetter Wool Pants in Light Grey, $198 — The idea of taking grey trousers and mashing them up with black boots and a dark peacoat feels a little something like James Bond would wear, ehh? That’s why it’s the way to go here. Yes, they’re pricey — but Bonobos makes trousers as good as they get.

The Boots: Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot, $149.98 — Because it’s chilly and slushy out there, slick black boots with a rather unique construction and a slim profile are a smart move — get the Emilio Chukka Boot ASAP.

The Socks: American Trench Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks, $16.98 — Dress socks that break away from a solid light grey or charcoal are a welcome touch in winter, and American Trench knows how to craft them.

The Belt: Bonobos Black Leather Dress Belt, $98 — If you’re grabbing some slim Bonobos trousers, might as well grab a slick, investment-level black dress belt to accent them, right?

The Watch: Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield Watch in Black Leather, $229 — A slim, refined black leather dress watch is underrated in the men’s style world (brown leather seems to dominate). So, this is a smart pick-up.

The Wallet: Tanner Goods Limited Edition Quad Wallet, $54.98 — Because this is the type of outfit that’s ideal to wear to a refined dinner or (dare I say) a nice night at the theater, you need a slim, refined and well-made wallet. Lucky that Tanner Goods has you set with the Quad Wallet, yes?
NOV CAMPAIGN: Horizontal banner with shoes and logo (border)

Hopefully, we’re all on-board with the turtleneck trend by now — or at least, on the road to considering how to wear it in a refined, accessible manner. When you start with a rich, winter-friendly color like burgundy and ground it with a  classic peacoat and slim grey trousers, you’re stepping out in something that’s crisp and classic — nothing too crazy here. Crisp black leather chukka boots are perfect in terms of functionality and sharp style, as is a refined black leather dress watch. And a slim leather wallet  leaves nothing to chance in terms of a well-composed everyday carry. Have more questions on other ways to wear a turtleneck or stylish winter accessories to buy to go with this look? Drop me a line via email — or leave a question in the comments!

Thanks very much for reading,

-Beau

#OOTD: Business Casual Fall Style

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, we ran into a bit of a conundrum last week on The Style Guide when we talked about how to dress for a casual fall day. We’re nearly through November, and the weather’s been so up-and-down … how does one dress to meet those demands? And if you’ve got to switch from casual fall style to sharp fall style, just how do you do it? Particularly, how does one dress in business casual fall style? Maybe your office isn’t the type of place where a suit and tie is required (it seems few offices are nowadays) — heck, maybe it’s a place where a collared shirt isn’t needed all that often. But let’s say you want to up your game going into a prime cold-weather dressing season — or perhaps, you just need an excuse to refresh some business casual style staples. Now, we’ve talked about how to dress for a business casual office in the summer, but dressing for the fall is a bit different — for starters, you’ll be needing another layer or two depending on the weather. What other #OOTD tips do we have to share? Well my friends, you’ll just have to read on below. Oh, and if you’re scrambling for something to wear for Thanksgiving later this week? A few of the below pieces will come in just as handy for turkey time as they will for your next office meeting. Keep up with The Style Guide (AKA yours truly) on the daily via Twitter and Instagram, and leave any suggestions for this ensemble in the comments below. Deal? Deal.

Can you go wrong with a navy jacket & khaki five-pocket pants? Hardly.

Can you go wrong with a navy jacket & khaki five-pocket pants? Hardly.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket in Navy, $219.98 — Make no mistake, this jacket features a bit of a unique fabric blend, especially in chilly weather — textured wool & linen chambray aren’t exactly a regular fall combo. But for a four-season jacket with modern styling potential, it doesn’t get better.

The Topcoat: Old Navy Tweed Topcoat, $124.94 — If you were worried about staying warm on a chilly November or December day, don’t be. This Old Navy tweed topcoat is a heck of a bargain and features a nice fit.

The Shirt: Bonobos Jetsetter Dress Shirt in Solid Light Blue, $128 — With a range of customizable options — from the collar to your choice of pocket, plus a dialed-in Bonobos fit, this is a classic dress shirt — a tad pricey, but very solid. Note that we’re ditching the tie, but I’d say you should accessorize with a crisp textured pocket square.

The Pants: Flint and Tinder 365 Khaki Pant, $98 — OK, so you’ve got a sharp jacket and a stylish dress shirt covered … but your office is too casual to go with a full-on suit. Reach for a tailored pair of crisp five-pocket pants — versatile, slim-fitting and equally at home in spring or fall.

The Shoes: Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtips, $99.99 — While you could also go with a pair of classic leather chukka boots here, sharp wingtips are just as appropriate and lend a bit of polish to this ensemble.

The Socks: American Trench Merino and Cashmere Fair Isle Socks, $19.98 — Merino AND cashmere, you say? It’s a heck of a luxurious combo for socks, and these ones from American Trench should feel comfortable while fitting great.

The Watch: Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph, $194.98 –Watches from Armogan work particularly well for business casual situations, what with their crisp designs and slightly larger (and thus more casual) case sizings. Case in point — the Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph.

The Gloves: Hestra Edward Sheepskin Wool Lined Gloves, $125 (Available via East Dane) — Hey, we said it’d be cold, right? What better way to fight the chill in style than with a pair of rich brown leather gloves?
Beckett Simonon

So, if you still feel like you’re not ready to dress for fall in business casual style, I’d suggest you snap up one or more of the above picks. Particularly when it comes to a crisp, sharp jacket like the Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket,  you’re getting a piece that can work in multiple seasons with just a few extra layers. And that’s just as true with the ever-versatile Flint and Tinder 365 Khaki Pant — casual enough for a laidback office, and at home on a fall or spring weekend.  When you throw in accessories like beautiful merino-and-cashmere Fair Isle socks and a handsome chronograph watch, you’re looking at a complete fall outfit. Got questions? Send me an email or drop us a line in the comments — and let me know how it works for you!

Stay stylish,

-Beau

Style Suggestion: How to Dress for the Gym

Editor’s note: Head over here to see more men’s style suggestions for all sorts of situations.

Most guys consider how to dress for various occasions — that all-important first date, or an important day at a business casual office. But off-duty, there’s a tendency to reach for whatever’s easiest or readily available. That’s certainly seems to be the case with dressing for the gym, where you tend to run into fellas wearing cut-off tees that are simply too small, or else gear that’s seen better days (that goes for beat-up sneakers to tees and beyond). If you’re just fine wearing your trusty tee to the gym, go for it. But if you want some new, fresh gear that looks clean and simple while performing like your a true piece of workout apparel, you’re in for a treat today. Plenty of your favorite menswear companies — as you’ll see below — are making simple, straightforward, functional apparel, shorts and footwear that stand up to the challenge of extra reps while looking pretty good (all things considered). The Bonobos GoodSport line is one such recent introduction to the category that’s drawn tons of praise, and you’ll get a look at other stylish men’s workout picks below. So, stick with us — there’s something to be said for applying those crucial style upgrades to every category of your life — from that slim casual watch to a cool pair of casual sneakers and on into the gym. Pack up your gym bag and get moving — it’s time to dress in style for the gym.

The Shirt: Bonobos GoodSport Core Short Sleeve Tee in Heather Navy — $68

A new introduction from a brand making its first foray into athletic gear -- stylish and easily wearable.

A new introduction from a brand making its first foray into athletic gear — stylish and easily wearable.

While there’ve been some concerns as to the price point at which Bonobos is selling its new GoodSport line — Lululemon offers up men’s tees for about $10 less — it’s worth noting that you’re getting that trademark fit and quality for which Bonobos is known … just translated into workout gear. The Core Short Sleeve Tee is nothing fancy, with a simple heather navy color and reliable fit, plus a lack of ostentatious branding found on other workout gear (sans the small logo on the left sleeve). Try it out and let me know what you think, will ya? Note that if it’s chilly outside for your walk from the parking lot, you can add a minimal, clean zip hoodie (yes, those are acceptable in certain situations) and tailored sweats from Fourlaps — find out more on them below.

The Shorts: Fourlaps Advance Short –$49.50

A simple pair of shorts that's drawn acclaim from publications like Men's Fitness (as you can see in that photo).

A simple pair of shorts that’s drawn acclaim from publications like Men’s Fitness (as you can see in that photo).

Your gym shorts should be as simple, straightforward and reliable as your workout shirt — the Fourlaps Advance Short achieves that objective nicely. Your author had the chance to test out some of the brand’s gear during a summer trip to Florida, and if this pair of shorts performs like the brand’s Dash Tank, you should be more than set for a productive and good-looking workout session (yes, there’s such a thing). The black color will match easily with your existing gym gear, and it beats wearing bright neon shorts — right?

The Sneakers: Athletic Propulsion Labs TechLoom Pro Running Sneakers (Available via East Dane)

apl-sneakers

Although it’s important to wear gear on your top half that provides reliable performance, it’s all the more important when it comes to your sneakers. For an extra bit of bounce and some serious spring in your step, Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers are very, very tough to beat. We’re talking clean, minimal and futuristic looks and technology that’s ahead of the game (there’s a reason the brand’s basketball shoes were banned by the NBA). I had a chance to test out  a similar pair of the brand’s shoes on a trip to Italy last summer, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Leon Active Performance Socks — $14

Neutral, sport-inspired and made with breathable fabric.

Neutral, sport-inspired and made with breathable fabric.

Just as with your workout tee and shorts, proper athletic socks that still look decent are easy to overlook. Richer Poorer is a big Style Guide favorite, normally known for its no-show socks and more colorful designs — yet they can do a pair of active-minded socks better than one would expect. They’re made with moisture-wicking fabric and a padded footbed, plus breathable ventilation points and some varsity-inspired stripes. That’s performance and style in one — although if you prefer low-cut athletic socks, you could always spring for a basic pack from Under Armour.

The Watch: Timex IRONMAN Classic 30 Watch — $42

Not exactly the most fashion-forward timepiece, but it gets the job done.

Not exactly the most fashion-forward timepiece, but it gets the job done.

Some guys might not want to — or feel like they have to — wear a watch when working out. But if that’s an accessory you need, it’s best to stick with a reliable, high-performing classic that gets the job done. It might seem counterintuitive to splurge on a workout shirt and skimp on a watch, but that’s up to you. If you want to keep it simple and stick with a watch you already own, you could always reach for a straightforward, durable rubber-strap watch like the Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray (a longtime Style Guide favorite) — you lose the functionality of a sports watch, but gain back a bit more style cred. However  — at the end of the day, most folks won’t be paying too much attention to your watch. Your reps on the squat rack, on the other hand…

The Gym Bag: United By Blue Trail Weekender — $97.98

A bit more refined than your average gym bag -- that makes it more versatile, though.

A bit more refined than your average gym bag — that makes it more versatile, though.

OK, so the United By Blue Trail Weekender isn’t exactly your classic gym bag, per se. But if finding stylish versatility in a great bag is your main goal, this one can function as your gym bag and a regular weekender (in the same day, one would imagine). It’s made with a water-repellent finish and features leather accents, so it’s certainly classier than an gym bag adorned with athletic logos. It’s also built with a  padded laptop sleeve, so you can stow and go to and from work. If you want things a bit more segmented, look toward the Novel Duffle from Herschel Supply Co.

The biggest key to keep in mind when dressing for the gym is that it certainly comes down to personal preference — there aren’t any fashion police grading your gym garb (no, not even me), and I’d advise you to wear what’s going to get you to your personal goals. If that process involves upgrading your gym gear, we’ve got some great building blocks for you here — be it a better gym shirt, neutral and performance-ready shorts or tremendous Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers.  Some of the gear shown here — like that United By Blue Trail Weekender— can be re-tooled for other adventures. And brands like Richer Poorer offer the comfort of a brand you trust, but with a handy performance-related edge. If you’ve got suggestions to upgrade or change this look, let me know on Twitter — or drop us a line in the comments below.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Friday Read: Yeezy Season 4, Bonobos GoodSport and What to Wear During Football Season

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.  

The last time we spoke, we were heading into an action-packed Labor Day weekend and the start of some serious fall style cravings (oh, and college football season). Well, surprise — it’s a week later, and it doesn’t exactly feel like fall around these parts. We’ll keep looking toward everyone’s favorite menswear season next week, with both a Fall Style Wish List and some rugged men’s shopping picks for the season.  For now, we’ve got the shopping picks you need should you still find yourself having to beat the heat — as has been the case for months now, it seems like.  Rest assured that we’ve also got a few choice reads to jumpstart what I hope is a weekend of relaxation, menswear, football and craft beer (or are those just my plans?).  If you’re trekking to a tailgate, here’s what to wear.  If you’re heading to a rock concert, what do you know? Here’s what to wear to a show. And if you just fancy catching up on the week in men’s style news? Read on below.

  • If you stuck your head under a rock earlier this week, you might have missed the relative chaos that was Yeezy Season 4, just ahead of the start of New York Fashion Week. It was inescapable around New York City these past few days, and while I’m not the biggest fan at all of ‘Ye musically or, I guess, personally, the man knows how to command headlines. You decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing…
  • Gushing over these pieces is always fun (if slightly depressing in terms of budgetary constraints) — here are the goods the folks at Well-Spent would buy instead of rent this month.
  • Getting to and from the gym with style in mind isn’t always high-priority — but perhaps it should be. Bonobos just launched its GoodSport line of athletic-minded apparel, and GQ is calling ’em the best-fitting gym shorts on the market.

Want more menswear to round out your day?

We’re signing out until Monday, when we’ll deliver the goods on that fall style wish list — check out Instagram for more style snaps along the way, and enjoy the weekend!

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Swimsuits to Buy Now

Editor’s note: For even more seasonal online shopping picks, head this way.

Here to help you pick out your ideal pair of summer swimwear. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Here to help you pick out your ideal pair of summer swimwear. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

From time to time, nailing the right seasonal style can feel a bit overwhelming. After all, searching for and building off style upgrades isn’t easy. That extends to the little details (as your humble writer so often mentions), and that includes even times when you might feel a bit off-duty. In the case of hot summer weather, that means your swimsuit. Like a slim T-shirt or a nice pair of shorts, it’s a place that you shouldn’t slack off. Luckily, swimwear has come under the spotlight a lot in recent years, thanks to stylish guys like James Bond himself rocking designer swim trunks (007 body not included). However, my fellow #menswear fan, you don’t have to go that fancy — or that expensive — to get yourself set with essential beach gear. There are swim trunks that strike the right vibe between casual and classy, and a lot of them look more like tailored shorts than in years past. For days when you might hop on a boat and then hop off for a round (or two, or three) at the dockside bar, that’s critical. Pick up a top men’s swimsuit below, and chime in over at The Style Guide’s Facebook page if you’ve got other picks I missed. Surf’s up!

#1. JackThreads The Swim Trunk — $39

A solid offering from a consistently great brand, at a great price.

A solid offering from a consistently great brand, at a great price.

If quality, affordability and style are what you seek, JackThreads has you covered. From its innovative new TryOuts program to the fact that it stocks a plethora of style essentials — from a spring field coat to the stylish swim trunks seen here, they consistently get a lot of things right. These are cut slimmer than normal and should hit about mid-thigh for most of us fellas, which provides a nice, tailored look. The Dress Blues color is versatile enough that these look more like shorts than anything else — see the intro paragraph for how versatile that makes ’em.

#2. Bonobos Surfside Board Short in Blue Chambray — $88

A longer inseam for us taller guys, plus a sharp blue chambray color.

A longer inseam for us taller guys, plus a sharp blue chambray color.

Our second pick here is quite the bump up in price, but definitely worth the investment. In fact, investing in a pair of swim trunks cut in a tailored fit is about the best thing you can do if you want to push yourself to upgrade the rest of your outfit. That is to say, good-bye ratty tank top, hello crisp white polo (as seen in this style suggestion). The nice thing about these trunks is that they’re cut with a 9-inch inseam; while that might be too long for some of us, that’ll hit the spot for others. Bonobos also stocks a wide range of other swimwear options, from board shorts to trunks in a range of lengths, so there’s something for everyone.

#3. Sunspel Swim Short in Navy — $210

Recreated based off the swim shorts worn by Sean Connery as James Bond, and as sharp as you would expect.

Recreated based off the swim shorts worn by Sean Connery as James Bond, and as sharp as you would expect.

Ahh, yes. Here we are — a premium swim short that gives you a crisp, tailored look, yet doesn’t break the bank (compared to the Orlebar Brown trunks sported by Daniel Craig’s Bond). It’s fitting, then, that Sunspel was commissioned in 2011 to do up their own recreation of Sean Connery’s swim trunks as James Bond. The result is a sharp, lean and tailored pair of swim shorts with a nifty front button pocket and a super-clean waist (not a drawstring in sight — not that drawstrings are bad). The cost of these Sunspel Swim Shorts will set you back as much as the Bonobos pair above, so why not dive in?

#4. Grayers Batik Print Swim Trunk — $88

Vintage print inspiration makes these fun and functional.

Vintage print inspiration makes these fun and functional.

Man, $88 sure is a popular price when it comes to swim trunks, right? For those of us who prefer a little more color and pattern in our trunks (yet won’t compromise on fit), here comes the Grayers Batik Print Swim Trunk, playing off a cool, vintage-inspired print that wouldn’t look out of place alongside a vintage ballcap. The 7-inch inseam is a solid length that again lends them a tailored look. Everything from a slim navy polo to a short-sleeve Oxford is going to look just right when matched with these swim trunks — nautical gear should be a bit fun, after all. Just don’t forget stylish sunglasses to top it all off.

#5. Zachary Prell St. Giorgio Swim Trunk — $138 

Designer style meets swimwear with these Zachary Prell swim trunks.

Designer style meets swimwear with these Zachary Prell swim trunks.

If you prefer a more premium, minimal take on swimwear, the Zachary Prell St. Giorgio Swim Trunk is the pair for you. Italian fabric means these trunks cost more, but look all the better for it. They’ll again hit above the knee, giving you a bit more coverage if you’re taller. The teal blue color is totally spring and summer-appropriate, and makes them a bit more eye-catching and continental than other swim trunks out there. With a just-right length and versatile color (rock ’em with a white polo to start), they’ll be a reliable workhorse for plenty of trips to the beach.

While it can seem daunting at first to carry over great style principles from on land to in the water, it can definitely be done if you know where to start and you know what you’re looking for. Keep in mind classic, reliable brands like J. Crew for solid swimwear, and make sure you know your fit; not too long, not too short (ideally). If you follow the adage that great style is an investment, take your time picking out the right pair, and then wear them again and again with versatile style staples. Let me know what you pick out over on Twitter or catch my summer beach game over on Instagram.

Thanks for reading, and stay stylish!

-Beau