#OOTD: How to Dress for Summer Travel

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.

One of the biggest steps in improving your style — whether you’re new to this whole #menswear game or digging in deeper — is making that extra effort to look great even when you’re off the clock. That could mean one of many possible situations, like dressing for Sunday brunch or prepping for a spring bar crawl, but given where we are on the calendar, it likely means you’re wondering how to dress for summer travel. It’s a curious task that can be a tall order — looking your best while on the road means dressing sharply, staying comfortable and finishing off your kit with excellent accessories, like one of the best dopp kits for men (written by yours truly, as it were). The below #OOTD incorporates a bit of everything, including chinos fit for travel — an upgrade over the sweats that some might be wearing — and a navy blue blazer that can go anywhere and do anything. Add in accessories fit for your everyday carry as well as a long day on the road, and you should be set. Got questions or comments? Hit me up on The Style Guide Facebook page. To see what I’m taking as I travel, follow me on Instagram — and we’ll see you on the open road!

Taking a traditional travel outfit and upgrading it with slim fits and go-anywhere essentials.

Taking a traditional travel outfit and upgrading it with slim fits and go-anywhere essentials.

The Chinos: Apolis Civilian Travel Chino, $138: A staple of any great outfit, these cotton chinos should be comfortable for flying and look a heck of a lot better than what your seatmate might be wearing (it’s all in the name, right?). Plus, they can go from the plane to a meeting to dinner — or just from the plane to a bar, your call.

The Shirt: Bourbon and Blue Beachcomber Shirt in Blue Chambray, $89: Here’s an easy style hack — stay cool yet look sharp by ditching the sleeves of your classic chambray shirt in favor of something cut slimmer and sharper. The Shoreline Check fabric from this upstart brand should add nice visual interest, too.

The Jacket: Grayers Cayman Blazer in Navy, $175: A knit blazer that ditches the traditional trappings of a jacket — AKA, no construction here to speak of — should fit sharply and stylishly over that crisp chambray shirt.

The Shoes: Soul36 The Grant Derby in Brown Nubuck, $195: A new take on the derby shoe, these brown nubuck shoes are made with a clean look in mind; the red-brick sole should offer a refined bit of contrast beneath the grey chinos.

The Socks: American Trench Summer Footies, $13.50: Because you’re going to want a nice, clean finishing touch beneath those rolled chinos, reach for durable, comfortable, American-made socks.

The Belt: J. Crew Classic Buckle Belt, $45: Sometimes, you don’t need an overly fancy belt — just a reliable classic that goes with your best business-casual or your best summer wedding look.

The Watch: Timex The Waterbury, $95: Part of Timex’s revamped line of heritage-inspired classics, the Waterbury is a reliable watch that’ll pair just fine with this outfit — or with a polo and chinos later on.

The Travel Companion: Jack + Mulligan Passport Wallet in Brown, $74.99: If you’re jetting overseas, this piece could be especially useful and stylish. But even if you’re only hopping on a train an hour or two away, this piece could still work reliably well when it comes to carrying a notebook.

As with many style upgrades, dressing for travel comes down to assessing what you’ve got, then pairing it up in ways customized to the situation. So a short-sleeve chambray shirt and a knit blazer are going to be lightweight, comfortable and reliably stylish options whether traveling for business or pleasure. And some eye-catching brown nubuck shoes cap off the outfit o in a way that works for multiple situations. Plus, a dependable Timex watch can go just about anywhere, as can comfortable no-show socks. If it gets hot out, ditch the blazer — and if you still need it as the trip goes on, be sure to store it in a stylish weekender bag. If you’ve got questions on how to dress for summer travel, hit me up on Twitter. Check back tomorrow for a neat reader giveaway opportunity that might just help you when you hit the road next time.

Stay stylish!

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#OOTD: Styling an Essential Chambray Shirt

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.

The best part about spring style — other than the fact that it’s, well, finally warm out — is the way in which you can take pieces you’d wear the rest of the year and still combine them into a weather-friendly outfit (that is, not too hot and not too cold). In this instance, we’re talking casual-yet-crisp basics like the essential chambray shirt and an always-classic pair of slim khaki chinos, brought together in this instance by a pair of sharp-as-heck suede wingtips. Yes, this outfit has something for everyone — whether you’re on the hunt for a pair of stylish men’s dress shoes like the below, or simply searching for another way to wear gear you’ve already got, it’s about time you brought it all together. That’s what we’ll focus on below — for other #menswear-centric outfit inspirations, check out what we’ve got going on over at Pinterest or via The Style Guide on Facebook; I’m always up for more #OOTD suggestions, too. So, let’s roll up those (chambray) shirt sleeves and get to work!

A few items -- like a four-season chambray shirt and classic (yet slim) chinos -- are pulled together by crisp wingtips and a great jacket.

A few items — like a four-season chambray shirt and classic (yet slim) chinos — are pulled together by crisp wingtips and a great jacket.

The Shirt: JackThreads Chambray Shirt, $39 — As essential and easy of a pick to make as it gets, JackThreads really knows what’s up when it comes to well-done basics that are crazy-affordable. Start with your favorite chambray shirt, and go from there.

The Jacket: Grayers Exmouth Nylon Blazer, $135 — Part blazer, part jacket and very spring-ready, this piece doubles as a rain coat should you need to bike, walk or run to work through a downpour (or if, y’know, you just fancy picking up a hybrid piece of outerwear).

The Chinos: Buck Mason Sand Chinos, $135 — An investment-worthy pair of chinos from a brand that excels at crafting stellar pieces in the U.S.A., you should be able to wear these for years on end.

The Shoes: M.Gemi Forte Wingtips in Dune, $248 — An average pair of wingtips, these are not. Superbly crafted, rich in color and somehow still featuring a sporty white sole, say hello to your favorite pair of summer dress shoes.

The Socks: Pair of Thieves Catch-22 No-Show Socks, $10 — Reliable no-show socks that don’t stick out from underneath those rolled chinos are going to push this outfit into warm-weather territory.

The Watch: Invicta 8926 Pro Diver, $68.75 — This watch has long been a Style Guide favorite, and with plenty good reason: Standout looks, a tremendous price and great durability. It’s the right mix of rugged and casual here.

The Belt: J. Crew Braided Cotton Belt, $29.50 — Swap out a brown leather dress belt for something lighter in color and made with spring in mind.

The Bag: Wood & Faulk Field Bag, $150 — For an outfit that’s made with a commute in mind, grab a bag that’s commute-friendly — just big enough to handle your everyday carry should you need to hop on that bike (or on the train).

Oftentimes, putting together an outfit to meet changing weather or changing plans is just about recognizing that certain pieces can be customized for year-round wear when updated the right way — so, taking those chinos and showing off some ankle, or adapting your traditional navy blue blazer to one that can handle spring breezes. Throw in some sporty wingtips, and you’ve got a look that should be comfortable and eye-catching, in the best possible way. ‘Til next time!


Where might you rock this outfit? Any pieces that you would add or subtract?

Frank & Oak

#OOTD: How to Style Corduroy Pants

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for these features regularly. 

Here at The Style Guide, there are a good number of recurring features, from the Style Pick of the Week series to Online Shopping Picks entries and product reviews. You can add to that mix #OOTD features (which might or might not feature your humble author from time to time). Playing off everyone’s favorite Instagram hashtag (Outfit Of The Day), this series will take a slightly more visual, quick-hit approach to styling when compared to, say, the Style Suggestion scenarios (which will still be around, fear not). And today’s post is covering off on corduroy pants.
They’re a cold-weather style staple, fit for wearing in situations both casual and dressy (look here for some great men’s corduroys if you still need a pair). Let’s say you’re new to this whole thing, and want one basic outfit that can work … at work and elsewhere. Corduroys have the benefit of being a bit more versatile than jeans (that’s because of the rich color in the pair you’ll see below), and they also add some solid visual interest to an outfit. So they’re a natural fit for a high-low combination like we have here. Any questions or further notes on what you’d like to see? Give me a shout on Twitter or Instagram.

One outfit that'll cover you for a variety of situations.

One outfit that’ll cover you for a variety of situations.

The Corduroys: Bonobos French Corders in Dark Khaki, $78 — Slim, stylish and nearly like your favorite khaki chinos — a solid outfit base without a doubt.

The Shirt: GAP Clean Chambray Shirt, $59.95 — An old standby (as first seen here), the color plays nicely off the cords and the sweater.

The Sweater: Reigning Champ Navy Crewneck Sweatshirt, $88.52 — Previously featured as the Style Pick of the Week, this isn’t your dad’s crewneck (of note: it’s slim, well-crafted and versatile).

The Boots: Thursday Boot Company Brown Captain Boot, $199 — An agreeable price, great styling potential and solid durability; get the lowdown on other stylish winter boots if you’d like.

The Socks: J. Crew Camp Socks, $14.50 — A neutral color, some nice stripe action and a thicker knit than normal dress socks — all big positives in winter.

The Belt:  Tanner Goods Heritage Belt, $110 — Heck yes, this belt’s expensive. And heck yes, it’ll last you for years and years and years (but here’s a more budget-friendly option).

The Watch: Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol Watch, $229 — A step up in price from a Timex — but all the better for it.

So there we have it — is your shopping cart full yet? Take a look through your closet and see if you can make this one work for you. As always, we’ll be back — and until then…

Stay stylish,


Style Pick of the Week: GAP Chambray Shirt

"Clean wash" chambray shirt and red henley by GAP. Slim jeans by Bonobos. Watch by Invicta, Sneakers by Billy Reid for K-Swiss.

Chambray shirt and red henley by GAP. Slim jeans by Bonobos. Watch by Invicta, Sneakers by Billy Reid for K-Swiss.

Editor’s note: For more Style Picks of the Week, see here.

This week’s Style Pick of the Week comes from a retailer that doesn’t necessarily get heaps of praise when it comes to guys’ style: GAP (or The Gap, if we’re going for that). Don’t be so quick to write them off — while they drew the ire of the media for their “Dress Normal” campaign this past fall, there are some key takeaways that can be gleaned from the brand. Namely,  dressing “normal” isn’t such a bad thing — and great basics can be styled lots of different ways. The chambray shirt is the perfect epitome of that.

Just one of the many ways to style Gap's clean chambray shirt. Watch by Invicta. Braided leather belt by Target Merona.

Just one of the many ways to style Gap’s clean chambray shirt. Watch by Invicta. Braided leather belt by Target Merona. Dark jeans by Bonobos.

Chambray is a fabric that’s as close to a four-season shirting option as a blue or white Oxford cloth button-down, especially in a medium-to-dark wash like the option seen here. The color pairs exceptionally well with deep blue denim and other four-season standards like khaki & olive chinos. It looks even better with other spring colors like washed-out reds, light greens, light grey and even darker shades of blue. It can easily be layered over lighter pieces, worn under a V-neck or navy crewneck sweater, or styled up with a wool tie and winter blazer. It’s also breathable enough to wear on its own or under a khaki or navy cotton jacket when it’s warm. It’s well within reach at full price and dips down into the $30 range on-sale. With spring well on the way, it’s prime time to snag one for yourself.

Do you have a chambray shirt in your rotation? Would you pick up this option here?

What to Wear Today: Braving the Cold

Editor’s note: Occasionally, this site will cover what you should (or could) feasibly wear for specific situations, outside of holidays and other big events — consider this a combination style suggestion and a look into the author’s personal wardrobe.

Ready for the cold weather (hopefully). Scarf by J. Crew Factory. Overcoat by Kenneth Cole. Gloves by Target Merona.

Ready for the cold weather (hopefully). Scarf by J. Crew Factory. Overcoat by Kenneth Cole. Gloves by Target Merona.

Today (at least in New York City and across much of the rest of the country), it’s winter in full force. A huge winter storm hit a large swath of the country earlier this week, and while NYC was lucky to escape major snowfall, we’ve got some snow on the ground here now. Given that, it seemed as perfect a time as any to break out the below boots — a thick, sturdy, dependable pair of Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in a utilitarian black (for a full review of the boots, head here). Combined with some other winter-centric touches as outlined in the above photo, I’m all set for today’s cold weather. Reaching for a similar combination, if you work in an office, should keep you warm from car to office, or subway to office, or from the bus to the office … you get the drill.

As reviewed: Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in black. The perfect shade and style for a winter day like today.

As reviewed in 2013: Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in black. The perfect shade and style for a winter day like today.

A thicker coat (potentially with an added zip-up implement, like this Kenneth Cole option pictured) could add some extra warmth while also maintaining a streamlined silhouette. There are other great ways to stay stylish and warm in the cold weather, too. Thicker textures like chambray stand up well to chilly temperatures, and layering with a shawl cardigan or v-neck sweater (I’m personally wearing a beige J. Crew Factory v-neck sweater today) could also do the trick. If you feel a hat is warranted, there are plenty of cheap options out there from, for example, H&M.

And when wearing sturdy boots like the thick ones above, some slightly heartier ribbed socks would also fulfill two functions — keeping your feet warm and fitting in stylishly with other portions of your outfit. Above all, do your best to stay warm — but keep some style ideas in mind for colder temperatures!

And in other slightly related business, keep your eyes open for an upcoming giveaway opportunity in partnership with East Dane. This post should be hitting on the site within the next two weeks!

What are you wearing in today’s chilly weather? Any further style tips or suggestions? 


Style Suggestion: Thanksgiving Dinner

At most times of year, and particularly Thanksgiving, it’s important to take time to celebrate with family and loved ones while enjoying some much-needed relaxation. Putting some thought into what you wear is just one way to make the occasion even more special. And you want to look good in those photos, right? Enjoy the week and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thanksgiving oftentimes toes the line between between dressed-up and dressed-down, falling usually on one side of the spectrum. With some modifications, the outfit suggestion below should be able to fit in either way. The most important thing, though, is spending the day with those you love — if you’re able to dress well to do that, all the better! And for other Thanksgiving style ideas, see last year’s post.

Here’s the spread (See descriptions below for links):

Keeping things casual, yet crisp, for Turkey Day.

Keeping things casual, yet crisp, for Turkey Day. Cardigan: J. Crew Factory. Tie: JCF. Shirt & Pants: Bonobos. Watch: Invicta. Boots: JC Penney. Belt: H&M. Socks: Oak Street Bootmakers.

The Sweater: J. Crew Factory Shawl-Collar Cardigan 

This shawl collar cardigan provides more bulk and texture than a thinner cardigan (although a trim cotton cardigan could work if you go dressier). The marled grey color also fits in well with the shades of the season while not being too outrageously bright, unlike some sweaters on the market.  If the situation calls for getting more dressed up, navy corduroy blazer would work just fine.

The Shirt: Bonobos Hudson Brushed Blue Twill Shirt

The Bonobos option is a pretty substantial chunk of change for a regular, more casual buttondown shirt, but the twill fabric and diamond print add some nice texture and visual detail to the piece. Twill also adds some heft to stand up to that thicker cardigan. On the cheaper side, a dark denim shirt from J. Crew Factory provides that same visual bulk for a much lower price. And, a classic chambray shirt would also be a serviceable option.

The Tie (If Needed): J. Crew Factory Wool Herringbone Tie 

Some Thanksgiving dinners lean much more casual, and in that case, you could definitely ditch the tie. But should you want to reach for some neckwear, stick with a seasonal fabric with some depth to it — this brown herringbone piece changes up the typical charcoal wool tie you might see (Frank & Oak offered a standout option last year). It also blends nicely in terms of texture with that thicker cardigan and heavier shirt. Need a tie bar to keep it in place? Your go-to place is, of course, The Tie Bar.

The Pants: Bonobos Burnt Orange Washed Chinos (Or heavier pants in a fall-appropriate color)

Again, this is quite the expensive option for a simple pair of pants — but, on a personal note, these pants have gotten tons of mileage this fall, and that’s sure to hold true this upcoming winter as well. They don’t have the heft of a pair of corduroys, which one might typically go for at Thanksgiving, but like the rest of this outfit, these options are geared to go either dressier or more casual — washed chinos hit the middle perfectly. Many love Bonobos for their fit and great customer service, too. On the less expensive side, you could reach for a twill pant in a similar deep fall shade.

The Boots: JC Penney Stafford Gunner Men’s Leather Boots

Assuming that most of us will be in a colder clime for the holiday with the polar vortex that’s sweeping the nation, captoe boots serve two functions: they combat the snow and also add a dash of style for sweeping through cold weather (see what I did there?). They aren’t the much-beloved brown Stafford wingtip, but black boots help to ground what’s already a pretty color-rich outfit. They also look a little slicker, helping bring a more dressed-up appeal to the ensemble.  If you go really rugged-casual, some new boots from Frank & Oak could also meet the two criteria above.

The Rest: Invicta Men’s Pro Diver Watch, Oak Street Bootmakers Hickory Trail Sock, H&M Leather Belt

Since we want maximum versatility in an outfit, this Invicta watch, which calls to mind the Rolex Submariner, is as classic  and stylish an option as any. And although it’s not necessary, the black dial conveniently matches up with those boots. If you go more casual, a Timex Weekender with a simple canvas strap is always a safe bet, too. Since it’s going to be chilly out there, thicker socks that stay stylish thanks to their marled texture work very well with those black captoe boots above. Make sure your belt matches up with those boots, too.

What are your thoughts on the above picks? Anything you would change or add? What will you be wearing on the holiday? 

Curtain Call: Recapping a stylish music festival

Most of the spread for the weekend. What worked and what didn't? Read on below.

Most of the spread for the weekend. What worked and what didn’t? Read on below.

This past weekend, I had the amazing and incredibly fun opportunity to go to San Francisco for the Outside Lands music festival. Of course, I had an absolutely awesome time! Particularly because I had a great travel companion, my beautiful girlfriend Liz. The festival atmosphere was incredible, the music rocked (getting the chance to see Local Natives, Haim, and Death Cab for Cutie, back-to-back-to-back, on one stage!) and the food at the festival was equally delicious. Heading across the country was also a great chance to put my packing skills to the test. Going into the festival, I knew the weather would be chiller than New York City (in the ’60’s), yet also with the potential for some rain and wind. While not rainy (with the exception of some Saturday sprinkles), the weather ended up cloudy to partly cloudy, with some chiller-than-expected temperatures. With that in mind, check out the outfits I wore below (and for more on my daily wardrobe picks, follow @beauiswearing):



Chambray shirt by J. Crew. Jeans by Uniqlo. Boots by Steve Madden. Watch by Stuhrling. Glasses by Burberry.

Chambray shirt by J. Crew. Jeans by Uniqlo. Boots by Steve Madden. Watch by Stuhrling. Glasses by Burberry.


Popover shirt by J. Crew. Charcoal cardigan by Frank & Oak. Jeans by American Apparel. Boots by Steve Madden.

Popover shirt by J. Crew. Charcoal cardigan by Frank & Oak. Jeans by American Apparel. Boots by Steve Madden. Ready to see Local Natives and Haim.


Using the versatile chambray shirt-and-cardigan combo to stay warm at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Using the versatile chambray shirt-and-cardigan combo to stay warm at the Golden Gate Bridge.

As you can see, there were definitely certain items I returned to across the weekend (hopefully one of the signs of a versatile packing job?). I found that for both the flight there and concerts on Friday (including a fantastic show by Bleachers), my chambray shirt and dark denim more than got the job done in terms of being comfortable for the plane ride and wearable to the festival itself, although it did get slightly chilly on Friday night sans cardigan or jacket.

The tank top stayed in the bag, and the popover needed to be paired with a cardigan.

The tank top stayed in the bag, and the popover needed to be paired with a cardigan this past weekend.


Throughout the rest of the weekend, I was caught off-guard by how chilly it really did feel, which led me to layer my cardigan over my popover on Saturday, and again over that same chambray shirt on Sunday; however, an unexpected final-day temperature spike led to the cardigan being a bit too much. And while I hadn’t previously worn the combination, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked pairing my black jeans with my trusty brown Steve Madden boots. In fact, given the hilly terrain of Golden Gate Park and the requisite dust from trampled grass, I consistently reached for my boots again, not my white Tretorn sneakers. The chilly weather (with the exception of Sunday afternoon) also meant that my khaki shorts and blue-striped tank top stayed in my bag. But reaching for my desert boots meant that I got good wear out of the pairs of patterned socks I brought, including a red paisley pair from American Eagle (not available online). On the accessories front, I consistently wore my brown braided leather belt and brown Stuhrling watch, which I found was polished enough for both the festival and dinner afterwards. And while it was a good option to bring, the only time I wore my black Timex Weekender was on the flight home (paired with a short-sleeve gray henley, black jeans and my white Tretorn sneakers). Lastly, as a light jacket, my black Harrington jacket definitely worked as a nice extra layer for the plane.

Were I to pack for a similar climate in the future, I would change a few things up. Namely, I would bring one more long-sleeve collared shirt (probably a blue OCBD) and one additional pair of slim jeans in a slightly different wash for variety (something like this). Additionally, I would leave the tank top at home and add in another pocket T-shirt in a neutral color. I would definitely grab my cardigan and jacket again, and absolutely keep my chukka boots, brown leather watch and brown belt handy. Packing for this trip was a great exercise in putting fundamentals like versatility and function to the test, and I can’t wait to do it again.

Any experience packing for trips or festivals that you’d like to share? What to bring and wear (or what NOT to bring or wear)? Leave it below! 

Show Time: Packing for a music festival in style

This weekend, I’m heading to Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco. Along with being excited to see some great music (including personal favorites like The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, Haim, CHVRCHES, Local Natives, Bleachers and Lucius) I’m also excited to get out of New York City and experience all that San Fran has to offer alongside my lovely girlfriend, Liz. This, of course, presents a pretty neat opportunity to hit the road in style! And while what I’m wearing certainly won’t be a central focus of the trip, it’s always nice to be dressed appropriately for any situation, including festival-going.

While that could quickly devolve into wearing clothes more suited for a rave than being out among real people, for instance, it’s my goal to not let that happen. That’s why I’ll be bringing the following assortment of clothing on the road with me, packed into my Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag (look for a full product review on this piece in the coming weeks).

Most of the spread for the weekend.

Most of the spread for the weekend.

Chambray shirt (J. Crew)

Short-sleeve geometric popover (J. Crew — similar here)

Striped tank top (Bonobos)

Charcoal pocket T-shirt (American Apparel)

White V-neck T-shirt (Not pictured — similar here)

Dark denim (Uniqlo)

Black denim (Not pictured — American Apparel)

Khaki shorts (Banana Republic — similar here)

Braided leather belt (Target)

White sneakers (Tretorn)

Brown desert boots (Steve Madden)

Two pairs of patterned socks (Similar styles here)

Brown leather watch (Stuhrling)

Black Timex Weekender watch with patterned strap (The Knottery)

Light charcoal cardigan (Frank and Oak) — similar here

Black Harrington jacket (Not pictured – -Ben Sherman)

Now, when packing for a trip like this, I took care of the obvious first — checking the weather. The forecast in San Francisco through the weekend calls for temperatures in the high 60’s to low 70’s, with partly cloud skies — ideal weather for escaping the sometimes-crushing heat of NYC and also a nice, temperate way to spend some time outdoors. Of course, being on the water and all, I expect it’ll get chiller at night and potentially rainy (genius thinking, right??). So with all that in mind, here’s more on what I came up with.

Blue on blue on blue.

Blue on blue on blue.

Yes, the popover, chambray shirt and tank top all feature shades of blue. Like others, I have a bit of a thing for that color — but I’m breaking away from it, or trying to, at least. I plan to wear the chambray shirt with dark denim and desert boots for travel. as the desert boot is polished and yet sturdy enough to allow me to get through the airport, and around the city, in style. And the great thing about the chambray shirt is that I can definitely see myself pairing it with black denim and sneakers to head to the festival, or wearing it with khaki shorts elsewhere.

The popover serves much the same function — if it does heat up, I can turn to a short-sleeve option and pair it equally well with black or blue denim, and sneakers or desert boots in turn. The breezy tank top is yet another option to turn to if it gets warmer than expected — the stripes are bold and bright, perfect for a summer festival without straying too far into neon territory. And in case I feel like a change of shirt in between the festival and dinner, I wanted to have a couple versatile extras on hand — the charcoal pocket tee is just different enough than a regular T-shirt, and a white V-neck is simple and straightforward.

On the accessories front, a pair of patterned socks in a relatively neutral grey or black can work interchangeably with the desert boots, blue denim and any of the tops. And because my black jeans are slim enough to wear sans belt, a braided brown leather belt will work the rest of the time with my dark denim and brown leather strap watch. The brown watch is dressy enough to wear out to dinner, but clean and minimal enough to wear at a show, while the Timex Weekender with interchangeable straps creates another set of colorful, coordinated options. To top it all off, if it gets chilly or rainy (or both), I can throw on either the black Harrington jacket or the charcoal cardigan and still look polished and crisp. At least, that’s the plan anyways.

Look for a recap next week of what worked (and what didn’t work) with this packing plan!

What’s your go-to festival get-up and what’s in your bag to get there? Leave it in the comments below.

Style Suggestion: Fourth of July

With everyone’s favorite patriotic holiday quickly approaching, I’m sure you’re wondering what to wear (or at least, I assume you’re planning on wearing some form of clothing for the holiday!). Around special events like these, there’s always the option to wear things with a full-on Americana tilt. In situations like this however, there actually isn’t a ton of need to go all out and wear, for example, an actual American flag print pair of pants. Keep things simple, stylish and classic — as well as well-fitting.  American-flag pants aside, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your outfit while still sticking to a patriotic color palette.

The Shirt

Chambray at an affordable price.

Chambray at an affordable price.

This shirt knocks out the blue portion of the outfit right off the bat. Assuming it’ll be hot where you are on the 4th, or at the very least a pleasant temperature, a shirt with short sleeves loses the added bulk of a long-sleeve shirt. And if short sleeves get too chilly when the sun goes down and before the fireworks start, a lightweight cotton sweater or cardigan in a neutral color could be handy to have near you. The above option pictured above from Old Navy is inexpensive and (from personal experience), just the right quality for the price point — not paper-thin, not too heavy either. It’s also available in a lighter-color wash, in case you feel the need to lighten things up a bit.  And perhaps most importantly, in an all-season fabric like chambray, this shirt is highly versatile (for more options on what to pair it with, see a recent post by yours truly on Effortless Gent).

The Shorts

J. Crew's Stanton short.

J. Crew’s Stanton short.

Directly on your lower half, we now see the red portion of the outfit. Without going full-on red, white and blue pants, a nice washed red shade will do the job nicely while losing the extra fabric of pants in the heat. In particular, these shorts from J. Crew have a stellar washed feel to them, without burning your eyes in terms of intense color. As with every other item in your closet, keep an eye on fit — the proper pair for your wardrobe  should hit above the knee and fit trim (stay away from cargo shorts!). If your plans call for something more dressy and you’d like to keep going with red bottoms, reach for a washed chino in a similar color. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a PR intern with Bonobos — I can say without bias that their pants really do fit as well as advertised!). Conversely, if the situation calls for some dark denim, reach for a slim, inky blue pair like these.

The Shoes

An All-American classic.

An All-American classic.

And here we have the white portion of the outfit. The key to keep in mind with this combination is that while it nods to the colors of the holiday, it doesn’t go overboard. Particularly, a subtle, classic canvas sneaker can be worn nearly anytime of the year, and so it just seems like a natural choice — especially in the heat of the summer. Additionally, it pairs equally well with colored shorts because of the stark white color, and it also wouldn’t look out of place with some cuffed denim or rolled chinos. If the bright white is too much, a simple grey pair could work, too. Keep in mind that the collared shirt up top helps you go more casual with your shoe choice. But, if it gets fancier on you and plans change, some polished-yet-casual loafers would be perfectly in order. And when going sockless with these shoes, keep in mind these tips about proper shoe (and foot) care.

The Rest

A simple summer belt.

A simple summer belt.

Although it’s assumed that your pants or shorts could most likely rest just fine without a belt based on proper fit, it’s always a nice fundamental touch to wear a belt (let’s say you get the urge to tuck in your shirt, or attend a gathering that’s a bit more dressed up). In the summer, keep things casual and don’t overdo it — avoid the shiny leather dress belt you might reach for with a suit, and go for something lighter-weight, like a cotton option with a hint of stretch. The above option from Club Monaco  is decently priced, available in most sizes and, more importantly, epitomizes summer casual, especially with the D-ring loops.

A clean and classic Timex.

A clean and classic Timex.

Adding in a watch can go one of two ways — if you stick with the largely casual version of this outfit and go with shorts and sneakers, something like a sturdy yet still-polished rubber strap watch could blend in perfectly with the rest of the casual outfit. And since the outfit and watch are both casual, there’s no need to worry about matching the black rubber strap to the leather on the belt. However, if you go with the dressier version of the outfit (denim or chinos and loafers), a stainless steel dive watch would be an excellent, versatile accent to the ensemble. Given the ability to go either way on this occasion, this Timex Easy Reader watch hits both points of the dressy spectrum. It’s well-made for the price point and can do almost anything, too. The leather strap is a go-between option to both dressy or casual outfits, yet the crisp, white face (with numerals) is sharp without being crazy minimal or too dressy. And although it wears somewhat smaller than some other brown-leather watches, it’s still an extremely valuable pick-up for the price point.

The biggest key with this patriotic (yet simple) outfit is to nail fit on the shirt and shorts and keep the accessories relatively minimal and simple, while nodding to the colors of the holiday. More importantly, these are just clothes — the biggest thing is to enjoy the day and have fun spending time with loved ones!

Winter Weather Style: The Shawl Cardigan

Changing up the winter routine with a newer outer layer. Jeans by Scotch and Soda. Shirt by J. Crew. Watch by Invicta. Boots by Stafford Camlin. All photos by Khoa Nguyen.

Changing up the winter routine with a newer outer layer. Jeans by Scotch and Soda. Shirt by J. Crew. Watch by Invicta. Boots by Stafford Camlin. All photos by Khoa Nguyen.

In case you haven’t noticed, the theme across much of this year and last year at Siblings With Style has been dressing for the weather. Namely, extremely cold weather (comes with the territory of living in Michigan, right?). That can make things boring and sometimes mundane in terms of what to wear each day. Departing from a more routine outfit even slightly is a good way to shake things up without getting too crazy. And in the cold weather, there’s no better way to do that than shaking up layers, and reaching for a nice cardigan. Plenty of us already do this, but for those who are less acquainted (and even for the rest of us), it’s valuable to get a refresher.

A casual way to switch up the v-neck sweater. All photos by Khoa Nguyen.

A casual way to switch up the v-neck sweater.

A solid v-neck sweater is a personal favorite, a go-to at least three or four days a week. But when it comes to sweaters, some trends recently have come back into vogue. Although some aren’t partial to it (and the style doesn’t necessarily work well with everyone), the cardigan has showed some serious staying power across the past three or four years. For some, it never really went away (kind of like those sharp black shoes in your closet), but when something like ‘geezer style’ gets popularized so much, it becomes ubiquitous. However, the cardigan hasn’t quite fizzled out yet, and likely won’t anytime soon. When James Bond himself (gets a lot of play on the blog, doesn’t he?) rocks a thick shawl-collar number, you know it’s almost certainly a safe bet to try.

A sharper take on the shawl cardigan. Shirt and blazer by J. Crew. Jeans by Scotch and Soda. Tie by Frank & Oak. Boots by Stafford Camlin.

A sharper take on the shawl cardigan. Shirt and blazer by J. Crew. Jeans by Scotch and Soda. Tie by Frank & Oak. Boots by Stafford Camlin.

The great thing about a cardigan like the shawl-collar option from Gap pictured above, is that it can — and should — be treated just like a v-neck sweater or crewneck sweatshirt. Note that it looks like that Gap version seems to be out of stock, but this appears to be similar in terms of inspiration. The right cardigan can be worn casually, like over a rumpled chambray shirt (see below) or a henley, or dressed up under a blazer (see above for inspiration on that). If you’re hesitant about a thinner or flimsier merino option, for example, the cardigan pictured from Gap has a very nice, thick sweatshirt-type feel to it, and the shawl adds some visual bulk — just like with the cardigan worn by Bond. On a personal note, the cardigan has held up great with weekly wear from October to now. It’s exceptionally comfortable on top of that, and it’s easy to layer, as you can see by photos with the blazer. But, size down if needed for a slimmer fit.

The shawl cardigan sans tie and blazer. Chambray shirt by J. Crew.

The shawl cardigan sans tie and blazer.

Additionally, because it can be treated like a v-neck sweater or crewneck, it pairs perfectly with a style staple and personal favorite, dark denim, as seen above. Along with that, a good pair of chunky boots add crisp yet rugged style to the overall outfit. In dressier situations, a knit tie adds some more texture than a standard silk tie. Work in something like a braided leather belt for even more texture and a more casual feel than a shinier dress belt. And as seems to be the case, we can look toward Daniel Craig for the ultimate example of how to wear a nice, thick cardigan. In addition to some of the examples above, there are plenty of ways to make this on-trend piece a part of your daily wardrobe.