#OOTD: How to Dress for a Business Casual Office This Winter

How are you dressing for the office this winter? Perhaps you’ve been layering up for some time and are starting to hit a bit of a rut? That’s where today’s #OOTD comes into play. We’re going to have some fun with this one by shaking up the rugged layers you’d normally wear on a fall or winter weekend (including a classic flannel shirt), and we’re going to translate them to your 9-to-5 grind (especially if you work in a business casual office). That seems to be the case with most office environments these days, so that’s why we’ll kick it off with an office-ready flannel shirt and go from there. To wit: The same Faherty Brand flannel shirt you love to wear on the weekend (seen below) works in perfect harmony at the office when paired up with other favorites (like a casual knit blazer for a bit of polish and laidback cool). Other essentials are also critical here, including a classic pair of men’s denim for the ultimate in business casual style. The great thing about these picks is that, yes, you can also wear them during off-duty hours, too. But when you need to pull it all together? Once again, today’s  #OOTD makes it all happen. It’s cozy, it’s casual, it’s cool … and it’ll still turn heads (the right way) at the water cooler. Let’s get to work.

Layer up with a cozy flannel shirt and a classic knit blazer for all your winter office style needs.

So, who’s ready to head back to the office? OK, perhaps you’re not mentally ready to dive into work after a long holiday … but ideally, this #OOTD  will get you in the right frame of mind. Again, it’s all about taking pieces you’ve got in your rotation and then updating them for the office — that means your go-to top layer is the casual knit blazer from Grayers for a bit of easygoing yet office-minded style. It’s a nice complement to an office-ready flannel shirt from a brand that makes each and every piece with comfort and yet modern refinement in mind. Crucially, that whole combo works quite nicely with some of the best men’s denim — it’s a surefire business-casual winner, no doubt about it. Of course, things only get better when you step out with some of the best men’s dress boots, a pair uniquely suited to the office and the commute. The same can certainly be said of the Zodiac Grandville Watch you’re wearing for your next day at work — it’s a perfectly versatile everyday watch, and you can keep it handy for the weekend, too. Lest we forget, the reason this whole ensemble works so well is that you really CAN wear it outside — that’s where one of the best men’s winter parkas comes into play. When you round it all out with a pair of CHUP socks and Duke Cannon’s Proper Cologne, you can be sure your accessories are sealing the deal in terms of this office-ready #OOTD. Like what you see? Let me know on Twitter — and good luck at your day on the job.

#OOTD: Shake Up Your Business Casual Style For the Office

There are solid, reliable go-to’s that we all have when it comes to dressing for the office — right? Pieces like slim dark denim, a classic navy blazer and the like. But what to do when you want to switch things up just ever so slightly? That’s where today’s #OOTD is taking us. Dressing for the office can be a challenge, sometimes — it seems like every office, from creative agencies on up to accounting firms, are getting more and more casual. At least, that’s been my experience (let me know if you agree over on The Style Guide Facebook page). With that being said, looking great still pays off, and it’s still important — no matter how casual everyone else around you might be dressed. So, back to today’s #menswear ensemble. We’ve still got a stylish navy blazer in the mix, but we’re going a  step further with a casual printed shirt and stylish leather Chelsea boots. Everyone wins with this look, because we’re even incorporating … *gasp* … a tie! Yep, we’ve got it all covered. Read up below and let me know what you think via Twitter — cheers!

Can’t go wrong with some texture and unique style for late winter.

The Blazer: Grayers Hutton Moleskin Sportcoat, $165.98 — A stylish moleskin sportcoat is a unique change of pace from your standard cotton-blend navy blazer — the Hutton Moleskin Sportcoat from Grayers is a nicely tailored option.

The Shirt: Life/After/Denim Art Deco Shirt, $158 — While something like a classic Oxford shirt also works here, a unique printed shirt from Life/After/Denim adds nice visual interest and cool, casual style.

The Tie: Pocket Square Clothing Castillo Necktie, $56 — Ahh, yes … the dreaded necktie. Don’t wear a tie too often? A tweed tie from Pocket Square Clothing nods to the chilly temps some us might still be facing, and it also adds nice texture to this look.

The Chinos: Taylor Stitch Democratic Chino in British Khaki, $98Classic chinos from our pals at Taylor Stitch are an excellent change of pace from dark denim (which would also work nicely here, mind you).

The Chelsea Boots: Hudson Shoes Wynford Chelsea Boots, $210 — Because we might still be dealing with slippery roads out there, stylish Chelsea boots provide traction and sleek, office-ready style.

The Socks: American Trench Boot Socks in Light Denim, $29.50 — When is it worth it to spend nearly $30 on a pair of socks? When the socks in question are from American Trench & perfectly complement this outfit.
The Watch: BREDA Visser Watch, $90 — Leave the dive watch at home — this affordable, stylish leather watch from BREDA  is a perfect accessory for the office.
The Belt: Ezra Arthur No.1 Belt in Cognac, $100 — Even your belt should be sleek, minimal and dressy when it comes to biz casual style — the Ezra Arthur No.1 Belt hits the mark quite nicely.
 Did this #OOTD hit the mark in terms of shaking up how you’ll be dressing for the office? The building blocks — those crucial building blocks we always talk about — aren’t all that different from a typical office ensemble, yet the Hutton Moleskin Sportcoat from Grayers adds more texture and style that’s appropriate for the cold weather. A  cool, visually striking printed shirt from Life/After/Denim also switches things up from a typical office shirt. And in terms of your trousers, can you top classic chinos from Taylor Stitch? Nope, not quite. A cool tweed tie from  Pocket Square Clothing is a nice menswear move that ups the ante in terms of your ensemble, while the beautifully crafted (and affordable) Wynford Chelsea Boots from Hudson Shoes add sleek style on the footwear front. To keep it all in line, the Ezra Arthur No.1 Belt is an essential finishing touch, as is the BREDA Visser Watch. Last but not least, I can’t vouch enough for socks from American Trench — what more do you need to get ready for the office? Not a heck of a lot, truly. Let me know in the comments if this #OOTD does it for you!
Thanks for reading, as always.
-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

#OOTD: Tailored Style for Spring

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’re slowly but surely creeping towards warmer spring weather, at least in NYC. That’s good news if, like yours truly, you were getting sick of the cold (as much as I love layering with rugged winter style staples). As the weather warms up and gets more breezy, you might run into the temptation to shelve your blazer (or your black dress shoes) in favor of more laidback style combos. But you can definitely still nail a sharp business casual look using pieces that are in play the rest of the year — namely, a classic navy blazer with a subtle pattern, plus a sharp white shirt. The below look should be sharp but not stuffy, featuring just enough personality to set you apart from other, less well-dressed fellas. That’s the goal of these things, right? To leave #OOTD suggestions of your own, head over to The Style Guide Facebook page. Stay stylish!

Business-ready spring style with sharp black Oxfords and subtle patterns.

Business-ready spring style with sharp black Oxfords and subtle patterns.

The Blazer: J. Crew Factory Thompson Microdot Blazer, $131.50 — Recognize this blazer? It was first featured in this St. Patrick’s Day style feature, but it works plenty of other times of the year thanks to the subtle variation in pattern.

The Shirt: Paul Fredrick Extra Trim Fit Non-Iron Button-down Dress Shirt, $89.50 — The upscale, dressier answer to a more laidback Oxford-cloth shirt, this piece is part of the brand’s new, slimmer offerings.

The Pocket Square: The Tie Bar Corduroy Dots Pocket Square, $10 — Dots on the blazer and … dots on the pocket square? Yes, indeed — the color and scale are just different enough where it works out, plus the corduroy breaks up the dots on your top half, too.

The Pants: J. Crew Factory Slim Bedford Linen-Cotton Pant, $55.50 — While lightweight khaki chinos can also work here, these pants will serve you well in breezier, warm spring and summer days alike. The slim stripes and light grey color are a nice change of pace, too.

The Shoes: Jack Erwin Noah Quarter Brogue Oxford in Black, $195 — Black shoes can still be worn in spring and summer even when everyone else turns to brown; it makes this outfit all the more sharp sans tie.

The Belt: Tanner Goods Classic Belt, $100 — Just the right mix of casual and formal, this is a go-anywhere belt that works in casual and formal situations.

The Socks: Society Socks in Visionary Blue, $9.20 — Lest this outfit miss out on the sudden arrival of color that is spring, these socks add a definite pop to the get-up.

The Watch: Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield in Silver, $229 — Daniel Wellington’s watches, while a step up in price from a Timex or another casual watch, provide sharp, versatile style — and in this case, sufficiently dressy looks.

The above ensemble perhaps isn’t the most groundbreaking offering — it does feature a navy blazer, a white dress shirt and black Oxfords, for instance. But that’s where subtle changes in pattern, better quality (in the case of the shoes) and a bit of color — by way of the pocket square and socks — come into play. The black leather watch and belt shown above are timeless staples that’ll work in any outfit across the rest of the year, too. Plus, the shirt should fit nice and trim if you take off that blazer during the course of the day. Now, roll up those sleeves and get work — this new gear won’t pay for itself!

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The Product Review: Gustin Spring Plaid Shirt

A sturdy shirt with details that reflect the price. Spring Plaid Shirt by Gustin. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Glasses by Warby Parker. Brown leather watch by Stuhrling.

A sturdy shirt with details that reflect the price. Spring Plaid Shirt by Gustin. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Glasses by Warby Parker. Brown leather watch by Stuhrling.

Editor’s note: For other product reviews covering more menswear categories than you can shake a stick at, click here. 

San Francisco-based Gustin has been known across the menswear community these past few years for the excellent, sturdy (and American-made) denim they’ve been producing — don’t forget about their tough, durable chore coats either. The brand is expanding even further as of late into new, essential categories like T-shirts and (starting in June), sneakers. And you can add another category to the list of things the brand does very well — casual shirting. Gustin launched its shirting with a focus on the  basics, like chambrays and Oxfords. They’ve since broadened that approach even further, to the point where they’re now funding a third release of shirts with lauded heritage shirtmaker Thomas Mason. They’ve done a nice job adding seasonal fabrics as well — like the Spring Plaid shirt you see here.

Shirtails are slightly long in the front and back for my personal taste, but it's still fit to be worn untucked.

Shirtails are slightly long in the front and back for my personal taste, but it’s still fit to be worn untucked. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Photo credit: Liz Todd.

This release was funded in the depths of this past winter (February if memory serves?) and at only $76 for this made-in-America piece, it’s not hard to see why. While that price is on the higher side if you’re on a budget, a one-off purchase like this can be an excellent way to get exposure to made-in-America craftsmanship and quality, if only infrequently to start. The shirt uses Japanese cotton cloth with a vintage plaid pattern — it’s nice to see another brand making use of plaid patterns in places other than fall or winter-weight clothing. The colors in this shirt are pretty vivid, and yet the overall pattern is subtle enough to have a pleasing effect on the eye from afar.  The combination of red, green, blue, yellow and white might seem a bit much at first, but it definitely works in this case. Being able to glance closely and see different bits of color crossing over each other is a nice effect, too.

On the lookout for spring. Shirt by Gustin. Khaki Travel Jacket by Combat Gent. Pocket square by Banana Republic. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Liz Todd.

On the lookout for spring. Shirt by Gustin. Khaki Travel Jacket by Combat Gent. Braided leather belt by Target Merona. Pocket square by Banana Republic. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Liz Todd.

It’s the type of shirt that adds some punch to an outfit without taking away too much attention from elsewhere – and the multitude of colors pairs well with a neutral piece like the Slim-Fit Khaki Travel Jacket from Combat Gent shown above. Perhaps the most important thing to note on this shirt is the fit — although this shirting model isn’t on-sale now, that same design carries over to the brand’s other pieces. In a Slim-Fit Medium, the armholes are high but not restrictive, the sleeves have a tailored and clean (but not overly snug fit), and the shoulders are the right width on my 6’1″, 180 lb. frame. The shirt is just a tad on the longer side when untucked for my personal taste, but it’s more than able to be worn that way comfortably. As far as the overall fit, it’s very close to a slim-fit casual shirt from J. Crew or Club Monaco. (Editor’s note: Does anyone have any experience with the Classic Fit shirting style from Gustin?).

A closer look at details of the shirting and the blazer. Pocket square by Banana Republic.

A closer look at details of the shirting and the blazer. Pocket square by Banana Republic.

Other shirting details absolutely live up to the purchase price as well. The two-piece front placket and sleeve cuffs feel sturdy, not flimsy — that’s key when rolling up shirt sleeves. The buttons are attached firmly to the shirt and at the buttondown collar – no loose threads or buttons in danger of falling off here.  Crucially, the collar itself has a substantial (yet not overly large) roll to it, making it easy to wear without a tie. It’s little details like these that bring together a complete shirt fit for business-casual or more laidback wear. The pattern on this has the sort of scale that wouldn’t detract from a striped cotton tie in dressier instances, and yet the collar could stand up under a linen cardigan or V-neck sweater, too.

So, assuming the brand doesn’t pull a price hike and continues to fund new shirting releases in the current pricing range (roughly between $70 and $93), it’s absolutely worth a shot to snap one up that catches your eye. New product releases from Gustin tend to be funded in a matter of days, if not even more quickly, but at the rate the folks in Cali pump out stellar designs, there should be more than enough opportunity to pick up one of your own soon. Consider this writer sold for the future.

Have you bought any casual shirting from Gustin? What’s your experience been like? What other products have caught your eye from the store?

The Watchery

Nunn Bush