Style Pick of the Week: Bridge & Burn Marshall Jacket

The potential for matching jackets AND performance-minded style? Not bad at all.

When inclement weather rolls into town this season, you need to be prepared — and what better place to turn than longtime Style Guide favorite Bridge & Burn, effortlessly  cool and functional gear purveyors of particularly rugged Northwest style? That’s certainly quite the brand descriptor, but it’s a fitting one given that Bridge & Burn is now making your new favorite jacket, the seriously cool and rugged Bridge & Burn Marshall Jacket. It could just be the ideal jacket for a fall weekend, what with its multi-faceted durability and style — would you expect anything less? If you know the  brand (and particularly if you remember my Bridge & Burn Q&A from a few years back!), then you’ll recall that they simply don’t skimp when it comes to fabric, fit or quality — and that’s the case with its stylish Oxford shirts as well as this rugged jacket, one of the best men’s jackets you can grab (and layer up) right now.
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Now, we’ve talked about the need for a closet stocked with versatile outerwear when the weather starts to act up — that includes items like a classic denim jacket or a stylish moto jacket as well as the more technically savvy Bridge & Burn Marshall Jacket; yet, where does the style aspect come into play? Unlike other overly performance-heavy fall jackets, which often lack some style points, the Bridge & Burn Marshall Jacket simply delivers on all fronts.

SHOP: The Bridge & Burn Marshall Jacket

The rich fall color is a perfect pairing with functional features from Bridge & Burn.

As sold by the fine folks at Huckberry, this is one of the best men’s jackets for fall, all thanks to water and wind-resistant construction (topped off with the excellent Forest color as seen above). Flannel lining and a large hood ensures you’ll stay warm and cozy no matter the situation, while front button-snap hip pockets provide that critical bit of space for your everyday carry essentials. The fact that it’s lined with cotton flannel gives it an added touch of fall-ready style, too — it’s perfect to layer up with your favorite crewneck sweatshirt and slim faded denim, and you can even throw it on over a classic Oxford shirt and tan chinos to head to the office on a breezy commute (just step out with some new leather chukka boots to finish off the look). Of course, when the weekend rolls back around, the Bridge & Burn Marshall Jacket works perfectly to get out of town and hit the trail. Take note — it’s time to layer up.

SHOP: The Bridge & Burn Marshall Jacket
The Best Basics. Summer Ready.

See Now, Buy Now: The Bridge & Burn Winslow Shirt Is An Essential Summer Layer


Bridge & Burn

A casual plaid shirt that’s begging to be worn to a summer bonfire or cookout.

There are some #menswear essentials that just seem to fit right in during the laidback, easygoing summer months. The Bridge & Burn Winslow Shirt is just one of those pieces, offering up the right balance of West Coast cool and a dash of versatility, to boot. Portland-based Bridge & Burn makes a range of goods that are at once tough, rugged and nuanced, from soft T-shirts to hard-wearing outerwear and easy-to-style pieces like the Winslow Shirt. Every guy needs a solid  selection of grab-and-go menswear, the type of pieces you can throw on with anything. The Winslow Shirt fits that mold nicely, to say the least. It’s the sort of stylish casual shirt to throw on over a white slub T-shirt and faded blue denim to head to your favorite bar or your favorite patio — if you want to look polished and casual without exerting too much energy, the Bridge & Burn Winslow Shirt is for you.

It’s also the type of easygoing shirt that makes perfect sense to wear for summer travel. It works underneath a rugged denim jacket when paired up with slim tan chinos and white sneakers — that’s an ensemble that goes from plane or train to happy hour with ease. The Winslow Shirt also has the sort of all-American style that makes it a natural fit to wear to a bonfire or a backyard BBQ. Again, we’re talking style that’s put-together and yet not fussy — exactly the sort of energy you need to channel in the summer months. The Bridge & Burn Winslow Shirt is also a natural choice when it comes to layering — the plaid cotton wears well atop a grey short-sleeve henley or a tan pocket tee (Editor’s note: Upgrade your layered look with one of the best men’s T-shirts). A casual piece like the Winslow Shirt is also a fit with everything from dark denim to grey shorts to slim khaki chinos — you can’t ask for much more when it comes to summer styling options. If I were you, I’d snag the Winslow Shirt right now.

Who’s buying the  Bridge & Burn Winslow Shirt for summer style moves? How are you styling it? 

See Now, Buy Now: Layer Up for Winter with Bridge & Burn’s Bedford Flannel Shirt

A rough-and-tumble flannel shirt for rough-and-tumble winter weather.

We talk often on The Style Guide about the right gear for the right season — and with this season being, well, winter, the latest entry in our See Now, Buy Now series is all about getting you ready as soon as possible. That’s specifically critical in the way of winter layering. So, what’s a guy to do? Luckily, our friends from Bridge & Burn are here to help, and not a moment too soon. Perhaps you’re dealing with yet another snow storm, or perhaps you’re dealing with that first big snowstorm … staying warm and stylish is critical either way. And the Bridge & Burn Bedford Flannel Shirt isn’t just any old flannel shirt — trust me.  It’s the type of rugged flannel shirt that’s going to serve as a ready layer over your favorite henley as you prepare a fire on chilly winter mornings, and it’s more than ready to layer up with a tough winter parka when the job requires you to get outside (Editor’s note: This list of the best men’s winter accessories is also more than ready for the season). The Bedford Flannel Shirt is certainly a classic flannel shirt, crafted from heavyweight cotton flannel and features a seven-button placket, ideal for layering. Button-closure chest pockets also add to the overshirt-like feel of the Bridge & Burn Bedford Shirt — yet another nicely considered touch from a brand that takes its roots seriously.
Holiday 2017

With a strong Pacific Northwest base, Bridge & Burn makes its gear with an eye toward rugged functionality and seasonally friendly wear — I found out as much when I visited the brand during a September 2017 trip to Portland. So, I’d say you can certainly count on the distinct wearability of the Bridge & Burn Bedford Flannel Shirt for winter’s adventures ahead. You can throw it on under a classic quilted field jacket  or a tough parka, and you’ll get nothing but terrific warmth and great style, too — how’s that for a winter wardrobe upgrade? Now, it’s a hot seller, so you’ll have to act fast … but it’ll pay off. Yes indeed, my friends … the Bridge & Burn Bedford Shirt is the menswear move to make now.

Tell me: Will the Bridge & Burn Bedford Shirt be part of your winter wardrobe rotation? 



#OOTD: How to Style Your New Favorite Vest for Fall

My friends, don’t sleep on the humble vest. A style move that was at once very on-trend (looking at you, Back to the Future), and then too preppy … is now back in a way that’s just right for the modern man (that’s you!). Maybe you never stopped wearing a stylish vest like the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest as pictured below. If so, today’s new #OOTD is going to be right up your alley. And if you hadn’t yet considered making a vest part of your fall men’s style essentials? I’d wager that the below suggestion is (hopefully) going to get your gears turning. We’re really easing into it, after all. The building blocks of this outfit are stellar, stylish pieces that any guy should be wearing for fall, from a slim chambray shirt to a rugged henley to classic men’s chinos. And the topper? A classic vest, of course. Go for a piece that’s less technical and less, well, puffy — something that fits slim and sharp is the way to go. Luckily, the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest fits the bill quite well.  With casual weekend style in mind, you’re going to like these picks … I hope. So, let’s get to the #OOTD — any questions or comments? Head over to The Style Guide Facebook page.

Taking a slimmed-down vest and pairing it with classic men’s style staples.

The Vest: Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest, $198 — Upgrading your vest starts with the material and fit. The warm, slim-fitting Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest features wool-blend fabric and a neutral, wearable color.
The Chambray Shirt: CIVIC The Jack Shirt in Sky Blue Chambray, $128 — A classic chambray shirt is no more fitting than in fall, and CIVIC (an offshoot of Taylor Stitch) makes the Jack Shirt with premium merino fabric and a tailored fit.

The Henley: Flint and Tinder Heavyweight Henley, $62 — What’s more classic for fall than layering a tough henley with a chambray shirt and  your new favorite vest? Not much, folks. Perfectly casual style, comin’ right up.

The Chinos: CIVIC The Frank Chino, $145 — The key to making the vest stylish and modern? Slim chinos from CIVIC — made with sustainability and mobility in mind, of course.

The Boots: Wolverine Evans Boot, $400 —  Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for a tough pair of Wolverine boots — the Evans Boot adds some rugged edge to this classic, straightforward ensemble. Oh, and don’t forget stylish patterned socks from Anonymousism.

The Belt: Levi’s Stinson Belt, $29 — Yet again, Levi’s delivers on a stylish belt to complement the slim chinos in this ensemble. Of course, the Stinson Belt also works with whatever classic Levi’s denim you already own, too.

The Watch: Huckberry x Lum-Tec GMT, $498 — Worried about mixing a black NATO strap watch with a brown belt & boots? Fear not, my friend. The durable Huckberry x Lum-Tec GMT fits right in with the rest of this rugged, casual outfit.

The Beanie: Levi’s Ribbed Beanie, $18 — Hey, it’s chilly out there. A classic beanie in an eye-catching color from a classic brand — good lookin’ out, Levi’s — will keep you warm and stylish.

Have you had the chance to re-think what you thought you knew about the classic men’s vest? Certainly, the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest features the type of upgraded fabric & fit that you need when you start shopping around for this necessary style upgrade. It also loses its preppy connotations when you streamline it with men’s fall style essentials, from a  classic chambray shirt to a rugged men’s henley from a beloved brand like Flint and Tinder. And the stylish vest gets even easier to wear in casual style situations when you rock it with slim tan chinos and your favorite pair of fall boots (the Wolverine Evans Boot, of course). Accessories from Levi’s — like a durable leather belt and a stylish beanie cap — are destined to become cold-weather favorites, too. Let’s not forget about a tough casual watch; in this instance, the Huckberry x Lum-Tec GMT mixes striking design with a rugged aesthetic. If that sounds like style you can appreciate, I’d make sure you pick up the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest before it’s too late. From there, you can wear this ensemble on upstate trips, day hikes, a bar crawl, to the farmer’s market, to grab a weekend coffee … you get the gist, right?

How would you style the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest? Let me know if you plan to snag it for the season!

Thanks for reading,


Style Q+A: Bridge and Burn

First of all, welcome back to another entry in our ongoing Style Q+A series.  From purveyors of rugged goods like NYC’s Rivay  to the masterminds at Tread for Men Grooming, I hope you’ve enjoyed following along.  And as always seems to be the case, we’re giving you what I think is another great entry worth your time today (and as an aside, it contains perhaps my favorite quote from our Style Q+A series — see if you can spot it). If you peruse the pages of this site — from pieces like how to wear a bomber jacket  to the best men’s denim shirts to buy now, you’ll surely recognize the brand featured here. Yes, today we’re talking about Bridge & Burn, a brand with a heck of a backstory and roots that extend all the way out to Oregon more than a decade ago. With a computer science background and experience starting and running two different brands — each of which  have lent unique qualities to the stylish, functional and timeless aesthetic of Bridge & Burn — founder Erik Prowell is just the guy you want to see if you need to upgrade your outerwear or pick up a heck of a versatile shirt (or learn about the Pacific Northwest, for that matter). From simple-yet-soft graphic tees to refined chinos  and hard-wearing jackets, you’ve got yourself a winning look any time you throw on the brand’s gear. In fact, Bridge & Burn’s recent collaboration with Kiriko is equally stunning, featuring a mix of chinos, overshirts and engineer stripe shirts done up with beautiful patterns and incredible fabrics — in short, amplifying a lot of the great work you see from Bridge and Burn on a daily basis. With all that being said, they’re a brand worth knowing if you value quality construction, well-executed details and timeless wearability. It’s been a treat to learn more about Bridge & Burn and experience their high-quality goods while meeting the team behind the brand across these past few months. With that being said, I hope you’ll enjoy learning more, too. Take it away, Erik!

The original Bridge & Burn graphic.

The original Bridge & Burn graphic.

The Style Guide: Tell me about the start of the Bridge & Burn brand?
Erik Prowell: To be honest, I really didn’t know what I was doing when I started Bridge & Burn. I studied Computer Science in college and worked as a software developer for a few years. My friend and I started making graphic tees for fun and it snowballed into a pretty decent business where we were selling to over 200 stores nationally including Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters. Through that business, I started going to trade shows and was exposed to the wide world of apparel. At the shows, I’d see all these pieces that had great silhouettes but always seemed over-designed. When I started my goal was to make clean, classic pieces that I wanted to wear.
The name Bridge & Burn was inspired by the first t-shirt I ever designed.
It was a burning match under a bridge — because sometimes you have to burn the bridge to past expectations in order to follow your passions into an unknown future.  
A look at the Bridge & Burn x Kiriko collaboration -- read on for more.

A look at the Bridge & Burn x Kiriko collaboration — read on for more.

TSG: The Northwest seems to have played a big role in the brand’s evolution and design — tell me a bit more about that approach?
EP: The Pacific Northwest is known for its quality of life. It’s not about excess. It’s not about the next big thing. It’s about knowing what is good and how to enjoy all that is good to the fullest. I grew up in Oregon, and I chose to start Bridge & Burn in Portland because I love this city. It’s small, it has character, and is full of inspiring, creative people. Our location can be challenging, as most of the apparel world is centered in New York and Los Angeles. It’s more difficult to make connections and I am forced to travel quite a bit. That said, our origin naturally differentiates the brand and gives us unique character. Our designs come from a different point of view and the landscape inspires every aspect of our designs from the colors we choose to each garment’s simple functionality.
TSG: What’s one essential every guy should have in his wardrobe? 
EP: Every guy should have good socks and a great jacket (Editor’s note: Check out American Trench socks in particular, and read our piece on how to wear a bomber jacket for a Bridge and Burn take on the style).
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TSG: As interest in men’s style specifically has increased, has that benefited the brand?
EP: Definitely. Our approachable designs and moderate price point makes it easy for guys to ease in to the world of fashion. And for those who are already there, we offer new fits and fabrics each season to keep them on trend with new ways to express their own personal sense of style.
TSG: Any exciting upcoming new product launches readers should know about? 
EP: We just launched our most ambitious apparel collaboration ever, with fellow Portland retailer, Kiriko. Bridge & Burn x Kiriko is a limited capsule collection for men & women. The aesthetic was inspired by classic American workwear fused with Japanese minimalism and heritage textiles. The designs are classic Bridge & Burn with a modern japanese twist. For more on the collaboration and the incredible Japanese fabrics we sourced with Kiriko, check out our blog post.
So, there you have it — beautiful fabrication, classic designs and a timeless approach to style. Follow Bridge & Burn on Twitter and Instagram for more — and get shopping!

Summer style: Attending a Michigan wedding

Editor’s note: Click here for more tips  how to dress for a summer wedding.

Dressed in style for a summer wedding. Blue shirt by Twillory. Cotton tie by Thompson Navy suit by J. Crew Factory. Glasses by Warby Parker. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

Dressed in style for a summer wedding. Blue shirt by Twillory. Cotton tie and navy tipped pocket square by Thompson Navy suit by J. Crew Factory. Glasses by Warby Parker. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

It’s a topic that’s come up before here on The Style Guide — that would be, dressing for a summer wedding — but this past weekend presented the perfect opportunity for yours truly to put some of those ideas into practice.  Following a whirlwind, busy New York Fashion Week: Men’s (an exhausting but super-fun week), I hit the road back to Michigan to attend the wedding of my great friend Matt Sheehan, a former State News colleague and another proud & sports-obsessed Spartan (watching games was either very fun — or not so fun, depending on how MSU fared). In fact, Matt & I took in a particularly momentous MSU football game last fall, and caught up during my spring trip to Florida. That being said, it was still great to make the trip back. It was a truly lovely wedding, and so great to reconnect with amazing friends back home in the process. With fashion week done, it was also awesome to get away from the bustle of NYC for a  bit, and even better to do so during a beautiful Michigan summer — as always, even with a humble weekender bag in tow, I tried my best to pack the best #menswear gear I could round up.

A full bag ready to hit the road. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Beachcomber Chambray Shirt by Bourbon & Blue. Staple Denim made in Italy by Mott & Bow. Brown Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boots. Striped socks by American Trench. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Brown leather belt by J. Crew. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply Co. Moisturizer by Tread for Men. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

A full bag ready to hit the road. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Beachcomber Chambray Shirt by Bourbon & Blue. Staple Denim made in Italy by Mott & Bow. Brown Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boots. Striped socks by American Trench. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Brown leather belt by J. Crew. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply Co. Moisturizer by Tread for Men. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

That started with some essential everyday carry accessories that have quickly become personal travel favorites — such as my tough, sturdy Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender Bag. It’s accompanied me on nearly every trip I’ve taken as of late, and with dependable Wickett & Craig leather handles, quality hardware and a surprising amount of room, it’s taken the toils of the road quite well. I packed some key everyday carry accessories, including my Word Notebooks Adventure Log and Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit; just as small details finish off an outfit, so too can they upgrade even the things you don’t quite think about when traveling. For the flight to Michigan, I pulled some double-duty, wearing a Bourbon & Blue short-sleeve chambray shirt and pairing it up with my J. Crew Factory Thompson suit jacket and some tailored Savane twill pants (look for more on those pants in a special Tuesday post).  For outfits throughout the weekend, my Thursday Boots Brown Scout Chukka Boots helped me travel in style — always a must! I finished off the look with one of two watches I brought along for the weekend — my personal favorite, the rugged and durable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chronograph.  If you can only fit in one or two watches as part of your packing list, it’s tough to go wrong with a really well-built watch that works for more casual or slightly more dressed-up ensembles. With any travel, stylish sunglasses are a must — for both tailored wear and my casual ensembles, I’ve found myself consistently reaching for the pricey but sharp Maximus sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere.

While I was excited to hit the road, I ran into some unfortunate travel delays leaving New York that left me stuck at the airport all day — so unfortunately, I missed out on a classic Michigan backyard barbeque. Luckily, I still made it back in time for a nice Saturday and the wedding itself! It goes without saying that I had an incredible time, and was very glad to have made the trip back (CONGRATS, MATT AND SAM!). Of course, I was glad I brought along a trusty suit, as well. Packing the appropriate gear to get you through a warm-weather wedding is a bit tricky. While it might seem at first too hot to rock anything but a lightweight linen suit, if you have to grab one suit for all four seasons, worsted wool in a neutral color like navy is a very solid option. It’s a more breathable and classic fabric, and in a slim, tailored (and affordable) cut like the J. Crew Factory Thompson Suit, it’ll work well with a crisp dress shirt, and with or without a tie even if you don’t have a wedding to attend. In fact, my shirt was a favorite of the outfit in terms of fit and construction — it’s on-sale now, so I’d definitely recommend you pick up the nicely tailored Twillory Non-Iron Blue Twill Shirt which paired up well with the navy suit. The accompanying J. Crew Factory suit pants went along just fine with the jacket, as they feature a nicely tailored fit that isn’t quite as slim as the J. Crew Ludlow, so that works nicely for most body types — having the belt loops removed, as I did, makes for a super-clean and crisp look, too.

This past weekend's wedding outfit laid out and ready to go. Navy Thompson suit by J. Crew Factory. Blue shirt by Twillory. Cotton tie and tipped pocket square by Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Wallet from the latest SprezzaBox.

This past weekend’s wedding outfit laid out and ready to go. Navy Thompson suit by J. Crew Factory. Blue shirt by Twillory. Cotton tie and tipped pocket square by Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Wallet from the latest SprezzaBox.

And stylish accessories are a must to finish off any suit. In this instance, a cotton tie in a unique, summer-friendly color and a navy tipped pocket square courtesy of the team at paired well with one of my favorite suits (Editor’s note: I own approximately one all-season, every-occasion suit — and it’s this one). Seriously, as a competitor and an alternative to The Tie Bar, the selection and pricing at is quite on-point (and y’all know that if it wasn’t, they wouldn’t have made the cut — right?). For the warm weather, I slid into a refined pair of Sebago Heritage Tassel Loafers, featuring an oily waxed leather (as the site implies) that’s shown age and wear marks beautifully after only a few weeks of wear (check out another way to style them here). Of course, if you don’t have room in your bag for another pair of shoes (and I barely did), I’d recommend reaching for perhaps the above brown chukka boots to pull double-duty. And although my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono worked suitably well for casual situations, I was too tempted not to reach for one of my favorite everyday watches, the MVMT 40 in Blue/Brown Leather — it’s a watch that’s really a great value for the quality and wearability (although one of my New Year’s style resolutions was to wear less blue, I can’t seem to stop wearing it). Pieces that can work with everything from a tee and shorts to a suit are the best sort of travel style essentials to pack when space is limited.

Sunday's outfit grid for a day of travel back from Michigan. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Slim grey selvedge denim by Billy Reid. White Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

Sunday’s outfit grid for a day of travel back from Michigan. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Slim grey selvedge denim by Billy Reid. White Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

With an incredible wedding and an incredible evening in metro Detroit in the books, it was time to catch a flight back to Michigan that felt a bit earlier than I’d have preferred after a full week of fashion shows and travel. Reaching for grab-and-go pieces that work in a pinch is still a must even if you’re jet-lagged, so my Taylor Stitch Jack in Indigo Star Shirt (very low in stock at the moment, unfortunately) worked out very well — I’d recommend you bring along a solid blue chambray shirt for similarly versatile style.  Although it was hot, a pair of Billy Reid grey selvedge denim did just fine when paired with one of my favorite pairs of sneakers, the SeaVees Legend Sneaker — when in doubt, classic white sneakers are just the way to go. As was the case the rest of the weekend, my stylish Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono worked sufficiently as I hauled my gear to the airport (and it helped me catch my flight on time!).

While it’s always nice to be able to bring along my favorite style essentials when I travel, it’s even better to know that at the end of the road on trips home, there are great friends and great times waiting — truly, it’s something for which I’m very thankful, and it’s got me eagerly awaiting my next trip to Michigan. No matter what’s in my bag, I know I’ll always look forward to going back.

If you have questions on what to pack for your own travels, tweet at me or catch up via The Style Guide’s Facebook page.

‘Til the next trip,


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Style Suggestion: How To Dress for A First Date

Editor’s note: Head this way for more menswear style suggestions.

So, you’ve done it — secured a date! Very well-done, indeed. But what to wear? More importantly, what to wear for a spring or summer-specific situation, like a patio date? Or for that matter, a casual indoor date? You certainly want to dress to impress, but unless you’re heading somewhere exceptionally fancy, it’s probably best to stay away from a full-on suit (that’s step number one). Step number two — read up on a versatile style suggestion geared toward both of those situations– but know that the same building blocks (a stylish chambray shirt, slim jeans and crisp chukkas) can be customized to any season, and with some tweaks (adding a blazer or a sweater, for example), you can create at least two different looks based on the weather. That’s what the below style suggestion aims to get done. It goes without saying that you should look a bit more cleaned up than when out on a bar crawl with friends, and you should certainly class it up from casual weekend style — so, if you want an outfit that checks those boxes, read on! If you have questions in the meantime on how to dress for the occasion, head here or here for style in action. Good luck out there, and let me know

The Jacket: Bridge & Burn Hayden Gray Linen Jacket — $188

A straightforward-yet-stylish jacket with subtle detailing, including that printed liner.

A straightforward-yet-stylish jacket with subtle detailing, including that printed liner.

This piece of outerwear has popped up on the blog from time to time (including in this site’s guide to the best spring jackets), as it’s premium and stylish in a subtle way. It’s a classic silhouette with an updated fit and an easily wearable color, and it’s made with some eye-catching details, including the printed jacket liner. It’s not as dressy as a classic blazer, but functions as a solid outer layer should you need it if the night gets breezy. Other than that, it looks just right over a slim chambray shirt with or without a tie on this first date or elsewhere — it’s playing it (somewhat) safe while exuding great style.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch The Hyde Chambray Shirt — $99.98

A classic chambray shirt never fails, especially one cut a bit dressier.

A classic chambray shirt never fails, especially one with a bit dressier styling.

It seems that in nearly every style situation, a classic chambray shirt just …. works. When it’s the Taylor Stitch Hyde Chambray Shirt, it’s even better. It’s the more modern answer to a blue Oxford, as it incorporates great visual interest thanks to the textured fabric. Plus, it’s a four-season style essential — we’re talking wearing with a shawl-collar cardigan in the winter, and on its own in the warm weather for a first date. The semi-spread collar leans dressier than a button-down collar, but it can still be rocked without a tie (roll up the sleeves when your jacket comes off to heighten that effect). And if you do decide to go dressier? It would look just right with a grey knit tie.

The Denim: Mott and Bow Slim Mercer Light Denim — $108

A lighter shade that's not quite bright white -- perfect for spring and summer.

A lighter shade that’s not quite bright white — perfect for spring and summer.

While classic dark blue denim would certainly work here, there’s something appropriate to warm weather about lightening up the color of your denim. In particular, a light shade of khaki is a unique style swerve that’s still easily wearable. Some can be hesitant about wearing white denim (yours truly included), so khaki is an easier way to switch up your wardrobe for warm weather. The light khaki color makes the chambray shirt and gray jacket stand out a bit more, too. And Mott & Bow’s Slim fit is going to be pretty agreeable to most body types (even if you’re not used to a slimmer-fitting pair of denim).

The Boots: Astorflex Greenflex Dark Khaki Chukka Boots — $145

Chukka boots that hit the right note between dressy and casual.

Chukka boots that hit the right note between dressy and casual.

A reliable, essential pair of suede chukkas is another safe and stylish bet to make, particularly for a first date. In this instance, these suede chukka boots are understated and casual, yet crisp enough to fit right in with that light khaki denim and blue chambray shirt. The color contrasts nicely with the khaki denim, and again, that essential pairing of chukka boots and a chambray shirt is one that works across all seasons. If the date leans a bit dressier, you could always swap in a pair of leather wingtips. Either way, these boots are sustainably made and sourced, so they’d be a worthy footwear choice.

The Socks: American Trench Triangles and Chevrons Socks — $19.50

Not too plain, not too dressy -- just right.

Not too plain, not too dressy — just right.

As has been the theme of this outfit, sticking with subtle, stylish and slightly refined finishing touches is the way to go. Luckily, American Trench knows that’s just what guys need nowadays. The brand’s socks, though pricey, are a Style Guide favorite for their understated style, nice colors and good selection. The print on this pair plays nicely off the color of the shirt and the denim while not getting too far out there. Although one pair is pretty pricey, it’s an investment that’s worth it — they show a touch of personal style without detracting from the rest of the outfit.

The Belt: Arcade Belt Co. The Hudson Belt — $31.98

Leather detailing that contrasts nicely with the navy color.

Leather detailing that contrasts nicely with the navy color.

Everyone should (ideally) have a classic leather belt in their rotation. Here though, the easy pick is a belt that injects a bit of color into the middle of your outfit while also incorporating some spring and summer texture. If, as we always talk about, style is in the details, then this belt certainly fits that principle. It goes with the overall color scheme of the ensemble, and plays nicely off the blue chambray shirt. It’ll allow you to tuck your shirt in without looking like you left behind a part of your outfit, as well. That’s pretty crucial, yeah?

The Watch: Timex 38mm Watch — $138

Yet another timepiece that features tough Red Wing leather in the strap.

Yet another timepiece that features tough Red Wing leather in the strap.

If you are as of yet unacquainted with the rugged, straightforward and affordably priced stylings of some of the timepieces within the Timex collection, I’d update yourself accordingly now. This revamp really picked up with the introduction of the Timex Waterbury line, continued with the Timex x Red Wing collaboration unveiling earlier this year, and rolls right on through with this simple-yet-rugged timepiece sold via Todd Snyder.  This understated 38mm watch also features Red Wing shoe leather in the strap, which means it’s ultra-sturdy, ultra-stylish and definitely fit for a first date.

The Finishing Touch: Byrd Matte Hair Pomade — $22

An easy way to look good -- a bit of matte pomade and some light styling can go a long way.

An easy way to look good — a bit of matte pomade and some light styling can go a long way.

Some of us eschew hair product altogether, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, it can be nice to spruce up your mane (particularly if it’s humid out) with a little matte finish pomade — that means you won’t get an overly shiny looking hairdo.  And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t overdo it — just enough to achieve a nice, put-together look. We’ll cover off on more summer grooming essentials next week, but make sure you take care of the basics (y’know, brushing your teeth, wearing deodorant, etc.) beforehand, too.

Preparing for (and then, well, going on) a first date can be a bit nervewracking — it’s about making a first impression, but it’s also about compatibility and finding the right fit. I’ll leave the restaurant/bar/activity choice to you, but the above ensemble should work with some mild tweaks across the spring and summer. The adage that you only get one shot to make a first impression is certainly true, particularly when it comes to style on a first date — clothing isn’t everything, to be sure, but if you start things off looking crisp and polished, that can only signal good things ahead (one would hope!). Plus, first dates should be fun, and dressing in some of your favorite style essentials is a great way to approach it with that mind set. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Head over to The Style Guide Facebook page to keep the discussion going!

Don’t forget to pick up the check,


Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.