Style Suggestion: Upgrade Your Corduroys in Style for Fall

If the thought of corduroy trousers makes you think of your stuffy college professor or hideously dated, baggy pairs of pants, think again. In fact, today’s Style Suggestion here on the blog is going to tell you all about how to upgrade your corduroys in a big, big way this season. Perhaps you’ve already got a pair of slim corduroy pants in your closet, which is all well and good. And if you don’t, allow me to point you toward your new favorite pair of corduroys — seriously. The key, as with most #menswear challenges we dive into at The Style Guide, revolves around reaching for a pair with a more modern cut and a sharp color. Think a pair that’s more like black jeans than old-school corduroys. That way, you can wear them to the office and to happy hour afterward without missing a beat (or feeling out of place). Whic is to say, the Citizens of Humanity Bowery Standard Jeans are the way to go, what with a tailored fit and a dark shale color. We’ll show you how to wear ’em below. Don’t let the name fool you — these feature the cut of denim and the traditional texture of a stylish pair of corduroy pants. And y’know what’s even better? They match up handsomely with all kinds of men’s fall style essentials, from a slim cotton sweater to rugged suede boots.  Have questions? Get in touch with me on Twitter. Happy fall!

The Corduroys: Citizens of Humanity Bowery Standard Jeans in Shale — $198

Citizens of Humanity

Cut like a jean and packed with the serious style of a great pair of corduroys.

Are the Citizens of Humanity Bowery Standard Jeans pricey? For sure. Are they a somewhat rare pair of corduroys that look like a jean and harness just a bit of edgy style? They are. That makes the Bowery Standard Jeans a great pick-up if you want a stylish pair of corduroys. Again, don’t let the name fool you — the Bowery Standard will work as smoothly with a herringbone blazer as they will with a rugged henley and a selvedge denim jacket.

The Sweater:  BANKS River Knit Sweater in Desert Mist — $70


A fall-ready sweater with neat layering potential from BANKS.

Your top layer here is really what’s going to set this outfit apart. A stylish striped cotton sweater such as the BANKS River Knit Sweater has plenty going for it, from the fall-ready color and rich red stripes to the classic crewneck silhouette. At least to your Style Guide author, that means you can layer it under a navy blazer at the office or throw it on underneath a tough, classic denim jacket. As luck would have it, we’ve got an option for you coming up.

The Shirt:  Line of Trade Oxford in Light Blue — $70

An easy-to-style option for any situation — especially with slim corduroys this fall.

With a pair of slim corduroys and a classic crewneck sweater, your shirting options are plentiful. You could reach for a slim chambray shirt for more rugged appeal, or throw on the Line of Trade Oxford Shirt for style that’s just a bit more office-ready. And if you follow this site, you know that we previously recommended Line of Trade in our guide on how to wear an Oxford shirt  — so the styling options for this classic Oxford are certainly abundant this season.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket in ’68 Cone Mills Selvage — $188

Taylor Stitch

The perfect fall jacket — rugged, easy to layer and ready to break in with slim corduroys.

Promised you we’d get to a rugged denim jacket in this style suggestion, right? Again, outerwear makes a big difference when styling corduoy pants. A tough denim jacket from the master menswear purveyors at Taylor Stitch adds a touch of rugged appeal to this ensemble — it’s suitable to wear to the office on a casual Friday, or to head out to grab brews at your favorite bar. And the thing with the Long Haul Jacket is that it only gets better the more it’s worn.

The Boots: Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots in Roughout Suede — $299.98

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots

A knockout pair of boots from Wolverine.

Folks, these might just be your new go-to fall boots. Whether you wear these rugged fall boots with your Citizens of Humanity corduroys as mentioned above or wear ’em with anything else in your closet, the Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots are going to stand out quite stylishly. Particularly with this outfit, the 1000 Mile Boots add fall-ready texture and a nice contrast to the dark corduroy pants; they’ll work at the office on a laidback fall day, and they’re surely ready for your next tailgate.

The Watch: Farer Kingsley Watch — $357.50

Best men's casual watches

A sleek watch that offsets the rugged nature of this ensemble.

Ahh, yes — just what the doctor ordered. A refined, versatile and supremely stylish leather watch from Farer.  Your watch is yet another area that can make or break an outfit — given the rugged denim jacket and tough Wolverine suede boots, this outfit definitely leans more casual. And yet, the handsome Farer Kingsley Watch adds a touch of minimal, sleek style. The 39.5mm case diameter also means the Farer Kingsley Watch  leans dressier  while standing out quietly– all the better if you’re looking to wear this ensemble to the office.

The Socks: Necessary Anywhere Four Sock in Navy — $18
Stylish men's socks

A distinctive pattern and a sharp color will help these socks pop nicely underneath your corduroys.

In the way of style upgrades, stylish socks surely need to be on your mind — right? And that’s certainly the case when stepping out in slim corduroys this fall. These Necessary Anywhere socks are just that: Necessary anywhere. Get it!? At any rate, the neat pattern is subtly stylish, while the blue color plays nicely off the darker color of the corduroys and the blue indigo Taylor Stitch denim jacket. Ya feel me on that?
The Belt: Line of Trade Veg-Tanned Leather Belt — $40 (When Signing Up for Bespoke Post)

The perfect leather belt to stand up to tough suede boots and textured corduroys.

So, your belt. We leave no stone unturned here when it comes to essential men’s accessories, got that? Right on. A well-made, simply designed and stylish leather belt is a necessary finishing touch when stepping out in any season — and this rugged Line of Trade leather belt stands up to the visual heft and texture of those Citizens of Humanity corduroys and your tough Wolverine 1000 Mile boots.
The Bag: Whipping Post Large Leather Messenger Bag — $310
Whipping Post

The last messenger bag you’ll need to buy? Very likely. Very likely indeed.

Whether you wear your Citizens of Humanity corduroys to the office or for a day hopping from bar to bar, you’re going to need a way to haul your everyday carry. And the Whipping Post Large Leather Messenger Bag delivers the goods — and then some. This ridiculously well-made, handsome and durable leather bag has more than enough space for office essentials, and it’s certainly got plenty of space for off-duty essentials.

As we covered above, the Citizens of Humanity corduroys are a neat way to upgrade your trousers this fall. These slim corduroys are closer to rock-inspired slim black denim than stuffy corduroys of years past, and that’s great news if you’re looking to team them with rugged outerwear like a Taylor Stitch denim jacket or durable fall boots (you certainly can’t go wrong with the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots, right?).  And the Citizens of Humanity corduroys  give you plenty of layering options on your top half, from a versatile chambray shirt to a classic Oxford shirt and a stylish striped cotton sweater (preferably from BANKS).  And if you want to offset all of those timeless pieces with a bit of a sleek edge, the remarkable Farer Kingsley Watch is the timepiece to throw on. Lastly, don’t forget patterned socks and a surprisingly stylish leather belt  — both picks are going to work well this fall no matter how many times you wear corduroys.

So, I think that about covers it — any questions or comments? Let me know on The Style Guide Facebook page!

Thanks for reading,




Style Suggestion: What to Wear to the Pumpkin Patch

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

Now, as I sit here in Brooklyn¬†and write this #menswear style suggestion for fall, there’s nary a pumpkin patch — or a rolling field — in sight. If that’s also the case for you, perhaps we can consider this simply another crisp fall weekend style suggestion. But if you do indeed consider trips to the pumpkin patch (Halloween’s coming!) or corn maze a fall ritual — as I did growing up in the Midwest — we’ve got just the set of picks for you. Granted, we’re looking at pieces that mix the premium with the rugged — these are true style upgrades, and they might be a bit much for the pumpkin patch. In that case, know that they’re still plenty wearable for a plethora of other fall activities. Oh, and if the weather is still balmy in your neck of the woods? Scroll through this warm-weather style suggestion.¬† Now, back to the matter at hand. Your fall explorations might seem more casual — and thus, just in need of the most comfortable clothing you can wear — but there are several opportunities to (all together now) upgrade your style. From your outerwear to your to your rugged boots, we’ve got a full rundown covered below — and then some.¬†Follow along on Instagram daily to see how I’m attempting to transition to fall, and chime in with your own picks on Facebook.

The Outerwear: JACHS NY Navy Double-Breasted Peacoat — $185

A classic in the perfect weight and cut for fall.

A classic in the perfect weight and cut for fall.

Rather than throwing on a zip-up hoodie or a logo athletic sweatshirt, start with a navy double-breasted cotton peacoat. While it’s not quite as warm as a wool peacoat, it’s better suited to the transitional temperatures of fall — if it’s crisp, you’ve layered up with a sweater underneath that (more on that in a second…), and if it gets hot, you can carry it with you. This particular JACHS NY peacoat is stylish, trim-fitting and well-made, complete with shoulder epaulets for a bit of visual interest. You can’t ask for much more than that, truly.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt — $118

Stylish, slim-fitting and essential for fall.

Stylish, slim-fitting and essential for fall.

Other than the sweatshirt you’re about to read about below (patience!), there might not be a better pick for a reliable, classic and stylish shirt than this stellar Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt.¬†It’s a four-season essential, to be sure, but it wears particularly great in the fall thanks to the slightly heightened blue color, textured fabric and modern fit (ideal for layering). Heck, you might want to wear this shirt … every day?

The Sweatshirt: Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt — $98¬†

A classic sweatshirt, redefined for the modern man.

A classic sweatshirt, redefined for the modern man.

The sweatshirt that needs no introduction, ladies and gentlemen. The Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt¬†basically redefined the traditional crewneck sweatshirt, slimming down the fit, adding raglan sleeves and upgrading it ever so slightly with a chest pocket — oh, and making it using¬†the quality and durability of these particular¬†materials. Yes, that’s why it retails for nearly $100, and that’s why it’s¬†a neat style upgrade.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
The Denim: Flint & Tinder All-American Slim Tapered Jeans — $98

Your new favorite pair of fall denim, complete with a great price tag to match.

Your new favorite pair of fall denim, complete with a great price tag to match.

The All-American Slim Tapered Jean from Flint & Tinder keeps popping up on this site — check this fall weather style suggestion — and for a very good reason. It’s nay impossible to find a well-made pair of tough selvedge denim for under $100, and these jeans just might be the best of the bunch. They’re slim, they’re stylish and they’re a significant upgrade from casual sweatpants.

The Boots: Johnston & Murphy Karnes Alpine Boot — $198

Sleek, rugged and refined -- very Bond-esque, indeed.

Sleek, rugged and refined — very Bond-esque, indeed.

The heritage footwear makers at Johnston & Murphy don’t skimp on the quality or durability of their boots — particularly not a pair like the rugged, refined and stellar-looking Karnes Alpine Boot. The blend of beautiful mahogany calfskin and dark brown nubuck at the padded ankle collar is an eye-catching, yet¬†durable combination. Make no mistake, this is a very sleek pair of hikers that actually wouldn’t look out of place at the office. Granted, they’re the sort of luxury-type boot Bond might have worn in Scotland — so if you don’t want to get them too muddy, best to go with a dependable pair of broken-in boots.

The Socks: Mr. Gray Slub Nep Colorblock Socks — $25

A bit of colorblocking and a lot of comfort, quality and style.

A bit of colorblocking and a lot of comfort, quality and style.

Every now and then, you just feel like upgrading certain essential pieces in your wardrobe — particularly your sock drawer. The Nep Colorblock Sock from Mr. Gray¬†takes care of that upgrade in comfort and style — and you can wear ’em plenty of different places besides your next outdoor fall adventure. Don’t sleep on thick, durable American Trench¬†Fair Isle¬†socks, either.

The Watch: Lum-Tec Huckberry Combat B33 GMT — $498.98

Durable, rugged, refined and ready for action.

Durable, rugged, refined and ready for action.

Now, if your monthly budget or ability to pay your rent or mortgage might be compromised by buying this watch *raises hand*, keep your credit card¬†in your wallet. If it’s a goal that’s within reach, or you simply enjoy admiring (and buying) beautiful watches, the Huckberry Combat B33 GMT might just be yours to keep. Make no mistake, this timepiece really is something else. It’s a custom-designed timepiece featuring a durable 43mm stainless steel case and a Swiss GMT quartz movement — in short, all the functionality and durability you need for a fall weekend and lugging around some pumpkins.

The Belt: Maximum Henry Slim Standard Belt — $100 (Available via East Dane)

Made by just one man, Maximum Henry's belts use excellent materials and craftsmanship.

Made by just one man, Maximum Henry’s belts use excellent materials and craftsmanship.

The hardworking team (of one!) behind Maximum Henry focuses on making simple, quality belts and leather goods the right way — in very small batches in America. That’s the way to go, and it’s why another Maximum Henry belt popped up in this recent #OOTD. It’s a style upgrade that you might not think about making until you realize this belt will simply last and last — right?

Again, if you’d rather not break out a full kit of menswear to head out this fall, there’s nothing wrong with that – and it’ll probably save you a few bucks in the long run. But if you do decide to go for it when it comes to rugged-refined fall style, the above suggestion contains plenty of pieces that’ll look just as great strolling around town thereafter — or strolling through the park, or grabbing¬†Sunday brunch. Not bad, right? A beautiful, durable watch and an upgraded crewneck sweatshirt are the type of pieces that are enjoyable to wear — in addition to being much better-looking than average pieces. And rugged-yet-refined hikers are slightly unexpected — they’re a weekend staple, but could work in a pinch at the office, too. You can’t beat versatility like that for under $200. And the rest of the way, it certainly pays to support made-in-America artisans. If you have questions, suggestions or additions, let me know on Twitter — will ya??

Happy pumpkin-picking!


Fall Style Suggestion: Military-Inspired Outerwear

Fall is can be a tricky time for those of us interested in menswear. It’s not quite yet cold enough at this stage (at least in my neck of the woods) to wear heavy fabrics like tweed or a nice wool peacoat, yet there’s still the odd, slightly warm day.¬†Transitioning between seasons like summer and fall is probably more difficult than transitioning between spring and summer or even fall and winter. A lot of it comes down to shelving bright summer colors and shifting to more seasonally appropriate hues. An even bigger part of the transition ties in recognizing textural differences and phasing fabrics out of your wardrobe (less lightweight linen or linen-cotton blends, and slightly heavier textures like corduroy, for example). ¬†A great guide to making the transition stylishly can be found here, courtesy the great team at Primer.

Not quite warm enough for a lighter-weight Harrington jacket, but not quite full-on winter yet.

Not quite warm enough for this lighter-weight Harrington jacket, but not quite full-on winter yet.

Now, textural differences are also important in terms of outerwear, as layering multiple pieces in lighter or heavier weights can dress an outfit up or down.¬† Keep in mind that something like a hooded sweatshirt or standard winter coat just won’t do for a polished option. Looking for a sharper military silhouette in a lighter weight is one way to harness the crisp appeal of a spring-weight Harrington jacket. Military-type jackets might be a bit trendy for some, but it can also bring som serious, slightly rugged appeal. With brands like Barbour, the jacket has surged back into the spotlight across the past year, thanks in no large part to a certain secret agent.

Strong military-inspired details, a trim silhouette, perfect layering weight ‚ÄĒ the Aurora jacket from F&O.

Strong military-inspired details, a trim silhouette, perfect layering weight ‚ÄĒ the Aurora jacket from F&O.

Now, that Barbour jacket is…well, on the pricey side, for all its great looks. Other, slightly more affordable options are out there by the dozens, it seems. Personally, the Aurora Military Jacket by Frank & Oak hits the sweet spot. The sleeves and body are trim ( in a size Medium), the armholes are high without being restricting, and the jacket’s lines are clean (there’s not much excess material anywhere). It’s still relatively lightweight and waterproof with a cotton-nylon exterior, but it feels more substantial. That means it can be tossed on over a v-neck sweater and an OCBD while still functioning well. If it gets too hot, strip off a layer under the jacket. Too cold? Add a denim jacket or another layer over a sweater and OCBD ‚ÄĒ and put that underneath the jacket. The price point is within reach for most (and if you’re a member of the Hunt Club, store credit could apply here, too). And, its military-inspired looks are on-point both stylistically and fashionably. Toeing that line can be tricky, but if there’s any jacket that can crisply and effectively cross the divide between fashion and style (as well as the start of fall and the start of winter), a strong military piece can be a tremendous wardrobe addition.

Fall Style Suggestion: JCP Stafford Wingtip Boots

UPDATE: Before you get into the main part of this post, know that the Stafford Camlin boots are going fast. Like, way fast. They might not be around many JCP stores for much longer, in fact, according to this post from But the suggestion they offer there, while different in looks and quality, could work in much the same way as the Stafford Camlins.

As temperatures dip and the sun fades across the horizon (a pretty bleak picture, no?), most of us are heading toward fall and…brace yourself for it… winter. That means snow, cold temperatures and several quite noticeable wardrobe changes. If you’re fortunate enough to live in a place without significant temperature deviation, you might be in luck, and you can keep those summer shorts and polos in rotation for a decent amount of time yet. For those of us who live in other, less forgiving locales though, cold weather is in sight, perhaps even by the start of next month. Fear not, though. In terms of versatility and possibilities, fall is perhaps the best season for menswear. The potential for layering sweaters with button-downs (and pairing those combinations up with slim pants and a crisp pair of shoes) should be exciting for those of us who live in colder climes, even with the possibility of freezing temperatures.

Namely, there’s one item that can take those of us in the cold through the fall and winter with relative ease and extreme versatility. They seem to be dwindling rather fast in stores as of now, but JCP’s Stafford Camlin wingtip boots could just be the snag of the season. Make no mistake, these are definitely a “wear anytime” boot, too, but it seems fall and winter is the particular sweet spot for boots. ¬†This particular pair was picked up on significant clearance about three weeks ago, in the last size available at the local JCP, so beware.

The JCP Stafford wingtip boots in the flesh.

The JCP Stafford wingtip boots in the flesh.

JCP underwent a pretty extensive revamp through Nick Wooster a while ago, and have since been shifting slightly back toward the old ways, but with the upcoming fall line and these boots, they have some winners hanging around. As to the boots, they’ve already received high praise across the board, and the looks really can’t be beat. And for that price, too, you can experiment with their coloration a bit, as well.

For about $75 (or less depending on if you can snag a pair on the cheap before new stock comes in), you get a boot that works with jeans, chinos, cords, you name it. A boot with as solid a color of this also provides a nice bit of texture to an outfit, and something like this boot would go nicely with a ¬†blue-on-blue combination.¬†They’d work well with a darker-colored corduroy pant, as well. And even a crew-neck sweater and jeans tie in with these boots. ¬†With fall, too, comes a richer palette of colors, like those burgundy pants as shown below.

Pants by CPO Provisions, from Urban Outfitters.

Pants by CPO Provisions, from Urban Outfitters.

Furthermore, they’re the perfect answer to the business-casual shoe that’s just different enough. It’s a boot, so it’s not a full-on dress shoe, but it’ll still provide loads of nice looks in the office (or perhaps trekking across campus) as the weather gets cold.

The boot style and perforations help set this shoe apart.

The boot style and perforations help set this shoe apart.

This particular pair has already seen a bit of break-in duty prior to fall, but there’s no question that they’ll be a staple through the fall and well into the winter. Since they’re not the priciest boots on the market, they can take a bit of a beating without too much worry, feasibly. And what’s more, they fit pretty comfortably. As Joe from Dappered notes in the above link, they do run quite large, so sizing down is critical. However, with that in mind, it makes perfect sense to hop on a pair of these boots while they’re still around.

And when cold weather does hit, you can reach for these boots time and again without worry about price tag or scuffs.