Reader Giveaway Opportunity!

When one surveys the world of online men’s retail, there seem to be two main approaches out there in the digital realm — traditional brands who go brick-and-mortar and use their websites as an extension of the brand (like J. Crew, for instance) and brands that aggregate lots of other great brands into specific categories under one roof.

Plenty of sites have undertaken that mission, but East Dane is one that’s particularly new (and noteworthy) in the world of men’s style. Launched in 2013 as the male partner to the female-minded Shopbop.com, they take an extremely well-curated approach to men’s fashion — mixing heritage brands alongside high-fashion outlets equally well.

They offer everything imaginable under the sun (and in the snow), from stylish boots to men’s jackets. They’re even offering 50% off men’s products on the site — knocking a decent number of prices into attainable (but still splurge-worthy) territory; note that this is a section that’s live on the site all the time. There’s an even better way for you to get in on the fun though, thanks to an East Dane giveaway I’m running alongside Nak Online Branding!

Just let me know your favorite product from the East Dane site in the comments below (feel free to include a link, if you’d like!), and 4 winners will be chosen at random to receive a $50 East Dane gift card! This is a pretty neat opportunity to knock some cash off that investment piece you’ve had your eye on. Let me know your thoughts below and thanks for reading!

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who participated and left comments below! This contest is now closed, but look for future opportunities within the coming weeks and months. And most importantly, congratulations to our winners: Jesse, John, Jared and Cameron. Thanks again, and stay stylish!

-Beau

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Online Shopping Picks: Cyber Monday

IT’S HERE. CYBER MONDAY.

After the rest and relaxation of Thanksgiving, holiday shopping season really sets in. Even with a slight numbers decline this year, Black Friday is always a huge day in the retail world, and Cyber Monday’s an equally big day as far as shopping goes. And even with sales numbers expected to drop today as well, there’s still plenty of opportunity for the bargain-minded menswear fanatic to grab some great deals, ones that might not be around the rest of year. The following isn’t an exhaustive rundown of all sales and deals running out there (for instance, J. Crew is skipped, even though J. Crew Factory is mentioned), but think of it as a breakdown of what you should (maybe?) look for from select outlets. Enjoy, and happy shopping!

J. Crew Factory — 50% off everything, plus 10% off & free shipping with YOUVEGOTSALE

What To Look For: Casual Shirts

Some easy-wearing picks from J. Crew's younger sibling.

Some easy-wearing picks from J. Crew’s younger sibling.

J. Crew Factory’s a veritable treasure trove for plenty of terrific items, most of which seem like carbon copies in terms of quality and style of its older, more expensive sibling, J. Crew. Today is no different. The site’s 50% off deal has been running the whole weekend, but today’s additional 10% off discount and free shipping code is an even better deal. With J. Crew Factory, the quality is on-par with more expensive offerings, so scooping up a casual shirt or two (like that rugged elbow-patch shirt or a tattersall option) makes a ton of sense. If you have a bit more coin to spend, the code MONDAY gets you 30% off full price styles and 40% off sale styles at J. Crew. A solid bet from there would be a lightweight merino sweater — a neutral staple in a beautiful fabric.

Club Monaco — 20 – 30% off everything & Extra 30% off Sale & Clearance items with CYBERMONDAY 

What To Look For: Luxury Accessories

Accessories with more of a luxury feel than typical brands.

Accessories with more of a luxury feel than typical brands.

So Club Monaco might not be the first place you would think of when looking around for deals (a $2,200 shearling coat in the New Arrivals section? Yikes). However, there are certain items that make this more continental, fashion-forward brand worth a second look.  Now, $20 for a pair of socks at full price is a bit much, but when you tack on a code, you’re getting a much more manageable deal for a soft yet chunky, cotton-blend sock. And if you’re looking for a pair of gloves that’s different from slick black leather, their half-knit leather gloves  or rich brown deerskin gloves would be an upfront investment that definitely pays dividends down the line.

JackThreads — Up to 90% off on their Warehouse and Free Shipping on Orders over $65

What To Look For: Sharp Boots

Slim boots that offer a change of pace from clunkier options.

Slim boots that offer a change of pace from clunkier options.

Unfortunately, JackThreads isn’t running a full-on sale code at the moment (although they were knocking off an automatic 30% on purchases at the end of last week). However, they are offering free shipping on orders over $65, and you can snag up to 65% off full retail on some boots if you play your cards right. Additionally, they’re a site that seems to get lost in the wash of other flash sale sites. They do offer more streetwear-centric items, some of which can be misses, yet they also offer some solid, standby items (namely from their in-house brand Goodale). If you’re in the market for a slim boot with some fall-centric details (like deep black suede), this option might do the trick.  And, their Robert Wayne options (like this brown captoe) are visually interesting when compared to a chunkier wingtip boot.

Frank & Oak — Up to 60% off on Sale Items; New Hunt Club Crate Launch

What To Look For: Casual Shirts and Blazers

Search the sale section for plenty of sizes on most items.

Search the sale section for plenty of sizes on most items.

Like JackThreads, there’s no actual code here, but plenty of items remain up for grabs on the site. The hype surrounding this brand continues to grow, from new additions to their footwear line last week to the popular success of their Hunt Club membership program. This weekend was a pretty active one for the company, with various sale codes running on top of a four-hour flash sale that dropped on Saturday, and today must be equally busy. Given that it’s the first of the month, they also launched new offerings today, which include slim Harris Tweed blazers. The real steals today though come from the sale section, which is still surprisingly well-stocked, from a zany-yet-cool brush print shirt to more straightforward alternatives, like a casual (yet refined) navy pin dot shirt. The corduroy blazer pictured above also has a surprising number of sizes left, as do some other blazers in the sale section. There’s not really a better time to hop on a sale like this — best get to it.

For a more comprehensive rundown of sales, you can also check out Dappered.com’s rundown of Cyber Monday sales. 

Will you be doing any shopping on this Cyber Monday? Have you already picked up some items? Leave your thoughts below! 

Winter Weather Style: Tying it all together

This just in to the Siblings With Style Michigan hub: It’s cold outside. Bone-chillingly, windswept cold. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a warmer, more temperate climate, that’s fantastic — don’t let key style essentials go to waste just because the month on the calendar’s changed to “winter time.” On the other hand,for those of us in colder weather, there are some critical essentials to keep in mind when it gets exceedingly cold. In these instances, style doesn’t have to be sacrificed for utility. Many times, it’s about using pieces you might already have in combinations that maximize staying warm (like while walking across campus) with looking sharp. Accessories that hit the right price point while also keeping looks in mind are going to carry you through the colder months, without a doubt. Pull together all of these cold-weather essentials with the tips below.

The Jacket

A classic. The U.S. Navy Peacoat — as authentic as it gets.

A classic. The U.S. Navy Peacoat — as authentic as it gets.

Assuming you’ve already stocked up on layering pieces like v-neck sweaters or Oxford cloth button-downs, the top part of your outfit is the best defense when winter bites back. There’s debate on the formality of wearing a longer topcoat with more casual wear, however, in some cases, it definitely works. Yet, while a topcoat is going to look razor-sharp with suits and more tailored gear, a peacoat provides more versatility in that it, ideally, is long enough to cover a suit jacket but also suitable to throw on as part of a simpler uniform. In fact, a navy peacoat is about as classic an outerwear piece as it gets. It goes with black or brown shoes, jeans or chinos, and everything in between. When found on the cheap at a surplus store, it offers a ton of bang for your buck — affordable, comfortable, warm and able to be worn with everything from a cardigan and jeans to a blazer.

The Scarf

In places where it’s extremely cold (and even in milder locations), a peacoat still leaves some areas exposed. Namely, your neck. Don’t underestimate the power of a thick scarf in keeping out winter’s chill. The right scarves are (from a personal standpoint), versatile and neutral enough in terms of color to complement other looks. If you don’t have the cash lying around to afford multiple scarves with patterns, something with a more solid knit is a decidedly better option. Of course, cheaper patterned options definitely exist,but something in neutral shades (like this H&M option) goes will underneath a dark jacket.

The Shoes

Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in black. The perfect shade and style for fall and winter.

Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in black. The perfect shade and style for fall and winter.

Trekking large distances in the snow presents an extremely difficult style conundrum, a true function-over-form battle. Assuming you want to maintain decorum in an office or a classroom while making even a short jaunt from your car more bearable, desert boots work appropriately in some business casual situations — particularly in waxed leather, which can take more of a beating than suede options. If the softer crepe sole of many desert boots is concerning, you could stick with a sturdy pair of Wolverine boots similar to the ones pictured above, although that price point is quite high for many, and those wouldn’t pair as easily with, say, dressier wool trousers. For battling the elements on cross-campus walks, the Wolverine boots are a great option. There’s no silver bullet for dressiness and functionality, but the Allen Edmonds Dalton wingtip boot is the envy of many —a boot with killer looks to spare, appropriate for just about any office and easily wearable with a suit or jeans. On that note, however, places like JC Penney offer a more casual boot with a functional rubber sole without sacrificing looks. Like much else, tailor your boots to the weather in the air (and on the ground). Dressing up? Go for a wingtip boot. Braving a few inches of snow? Those Wolverine 1000K’s are your best bet. Here, having multiple pairs might actually come in handy.

The Gloves

The chunky ski gloves you have for hitting the slopes work perfectly well in rugged outdoor conditions, but throwing on that same pair to hit the town or even walk to class or the office just doesn’t vibe as well. As with the scarf, sticking with a simple, practical combination (without patterns or wild colors) can help you save money. And, a sleeker pair of leather gloves looks good on most guys, quite honestly. Ask James Bond. Now, there are numerous options as far as glove types go, and many fit certain situations perfectly. For maximum versatility though, a leather pair will likely dress up the outfit to an appropriate degree when worn in combination with a suit, and complement even a more casual sweater-and-jeans pairing suitably. In all honesty, splurging more on a pair of gloves is a great option for the long-haul — paying the price up front could keep your hands warm for years, although it might hurt a bit at the time.

The Hat

In the truly, truly cold climes, sometimes a knit cap is the only way to stave off high winds and snow. There are definitely ways to wear one without looking ragged, have no fear. In fact, the same spot where you picked up a scarf or gloves might have a nice, incredibly affordable option. With something like a suit, it’s probably best to brave a bit of snow and wind if you want to maintain a crisp overall look. But when the situation calls for it, a knit cap can compliment, not detract from, your outfit when in a neutral shade like charcoal or black.

With these essentials in mind, getting dressed and then staying warm should be as easy as reaching into your closet. Stoke the fire and bundle up.

‘Out of the Box’ Review: Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots

When temperatures plummet (as they continue to do in Michigan), there are few things more dependable or reliable than a great pair of boots — be it a brown wingtip pair, or a more substantial black leather pair. No company fits the bill better in recent years for making boots of exceptional quality than Wolverine. Once known for work boots found all across construction sites, the company’s 1000 Mile line is nothing but class. Substantial construction, high-quality leather and rich colors all bump these up a notch from a typical pair of boots.

Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in black. The perfect shade and style for fall and winter.

Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in black. The perfect shade and style for fall and winter.

The best part? These are the rare shoe that are durable and rugged enough to actually wear in other places besides the city — but rest assured, they won’t look out of place hopping around town. Their versatility has transformed them into a favorite of urban lumberjacks and other well-dressed guys everywhere.

A recent order shipped into the Siblings With Style Michigan offices only validates Wolverine’s historic legacy of excellence. The 1000 Mile Austen boots in black leather (as picked up from JackThreads) are an absurdly beautiful pair of shoes out of the box, even to the non-shoe expert. The pair’s welted sole is stitched, not glued on (always a sign of a great pair of boots or dress shoes). The Horween leather feels tough, but should break in tremendously over time. The real kicker of this pair is the sole — not only is it stitched, but it’s also perhaps the sturdiest sole I’ve seen on a pair of shoes.

The construction (particularly the sole) is rugged and functional.

The construction (particularly the sole) is rugged and functional.

At first glance (and without any wear as of yet), these shoes look phenomenal. They’re sturdy and durable enough to last for long walks across campus, yet they’ll do just fine sitting under a pair of dark denim.  Through the rest of the fall and winter, I can see them being a great complement to cardigans and v-neck sweaters — and perhaps even a winter-weight blazer. Look for more to come as these boots get some serious wear. With construction and quality like these, it’s only a matter of time.