Style Suggestion: What to Wear to Thanksgiving Dinner

Editor’s note: Surf The Style Guide for more menswear suggestions for every occasion.

Ladies and gentleman, Style Guide fans and first-time readers … drum roll please … presenting the fourth (yes, FOURTH) Thanksgiving day style suggestion on this blog! It’s pretty wild. And yes, I said the same thing last year when reflecting on past entries. After all, that’s what this holiday is all about, right? The chance to sit back, reflect and think on all the things for which we’re thankful. From friends and family to my career in New York City to this blog, I’m thankful every day for the chance to do what I love, and share it with great people. It’s definitely on my mind as I prep to travel to Florida for the holiday — and given the impending warm weather, my travel style looks a bit different than the suggestion below (if you’ll be in a warm climate yourself, give these warm-weather style tips a once-over). Whether your holiday takes you somewhere a bit more casual or somewhere that calls for dressing to the nines, I hope you’ll pick out useful pieces from the below — or the whole outfit, maybe? At any rate, follow along via Instagram and Twitter for more useful style tips. Stay warm, travel safe and enjoy the holiday in style. Thanks, as always, for reading!

The Sweater: JackThreads Bear Sweater — $64

A sweater with a bear on it? Sure thing.

A sweater with a bear on it? Sure thing.

Yes, folks — that’s a sweater with a bear on it. A bit whimsical and fashion-forward? Slightly. A fun way to nod to the holiday season with a bit of color? It’s that one, too. It’s a fun piece that isn’t for everyone — a slim cardigan would also do the trick — but it’s a way to channel throwback vibes that seem to be everywhere in recent years, from retro leather sneakers to well, printed graphic sweaters. You could always grab a stylish crewneck sweater — sans the print — if you’re so inclined.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt — $118

Taylor Stitch

It just doesn’t get any better than the Everyday Chambray Shirt from Taylor Stitch.

From transitional fall style to a weekend coffee date and nearly everywhere in between, the Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt has your back — and then some.  It’s a true four-season shirt made with a 7oz. Japanese chambray that’s durable but not overly heavy. In short, it’s ideal for layering under that nifty sweater — or wearing on its own with the sleeves rolled up if you happen to be in a warmer location. The folks at Taylor Stitch get plenty of things right, and this much-loved slim chambray shirt is perfect for the holiday season — or really, any time of year.

The Pants: Flint & Tinder 365 Khaki Pant — $98

The ideal in-between option for Thanksgiving -- crisp enough to go dressy, casual enough to with a chambray shirt.

The ideal in-between option for Thanksgiving — crisp enough to go dressy, casual enough to with a chambray shirt.

Now, the 365 Khaki Pant from Flint & Tinder has proven to be a hot seller in recent weeks, so you might be better off snagging slim chinos from the likes of Bonobos. Heck, even a pair of Flint & Tinder denim might work in a pinch if you decide to go a bit more casual with your look. But if you do stick with the 365 Khaki Pant, you’re getting a classic five-pocket pant with quality construction and the sort of versatile style that works as well on Thanksgiving as it does during a spring Friday with your favorite pocket tee — that versatility is worth the price tag, and then some.

The Boots: Johnston & Murphy Karnes Captoe Boots — $198

A durable lug sole blended with a handsome tan color and a functional wool collar.

A durable lug sole blended with a handsome tan color and a functional wool collar.

Assuming you live in a state where it might be just a tad bit chilly or snowy, sturdy, stylish leather boots are going to be your best bet for fighting the weather and looking great.  With a comfortable and functional wool collar, sharp detailing across the toe and a rich tan color, the Karnes is the perfect complement to a rugged chambray shirt and slim five-pocket pants. They’re refined, yet still able to stand up ably to any foul weather — and the price ain’t half-bad, either.

The Watch: Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph — $194.98

Vintage numerals blended with triple chronograph functionality in a handsome package.

Vintage numerals blended with triple chronograph functionality in a handsome package.

When you need accessories that find that tricky middle ground between casual and dressed-up, where to turn? Well, Huckberry  has you covered — at least when it comes to the Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph. With a vintage-inspired dial inspired by the single-engine plane piloted by Charles Lindbergh, it’s a handsome conversation starter (and it’s not related to politics or your dating life, either). The triple chronograph movement adds functionality to a crisp white dial — and the whole thing will look great every other day of the year, too.

A straightforward casual leather belt with fall-ready texture.

A straightforward casual leather belt with fall-ready texture.

If you’re spending some extra coin on a slim chambray shirt and a stylish casual watch, there are ways to cut back your spending a bit elsewhere. An easygoing casual belt from J. Crew Factory is step one in that regard — you’re getting a braided leather belt with seasonally appropriate texture, one that strikes the right tone with the casual-rugged vibes of this ensemble. Ya dig? Good.
Textured cotton socks that complement the rest of this outfit ever so slightly.

Textured cotton socks that complement the rest of this outfit ever so slightly.

You didn’t think we forgot about socks, did you? The difference is in small style details, and whether you keep your shoes on in your own home or someone else’s, a pair of well-made comfortable socks are a nice thing to have in your top drawer. Seriously, no one wants to have ratty socks as you walk to get that turkey sandwich — right? American Trench makes some of the best pairs in the game, and these pair perfectly with the cream sweater, blue shirt and khaki pants.
The Hat: Carhartt WIP Key Ribbed Beanie, $35 (Available via East Dane)
Simple, stylish and effective -- everything a good beanie should be.

Simple, stylish and effective — everything a good beanie should be.

This particular beanie has come up before from the good folks at Carhartt WIP. The brand makes pieces that merge functionality and a slightly fashion-forward approach, but this simple ribbed navy beanie is as straightforward as it gets. Particularly if you get outside for a game of backyard football, you’ll want a beanie that can keep you warm and work with the rest of your outfit — no athletic logos in sight on this thing.

Beckett Simonon

The above #menswear ensemble goes to show you that great style can go a long way, even when spending the day surrounded by family and friends — possibly in your own home. Starting with classic, essential basics — like a stylish chambray shirt and khaki pants — allows you to have a bit of fun with a printed sweater. And when chilly weather comes calling, rugged-refined leather boots a navy beanie are just the ticket in terms of versatile, functional style. Plus, the Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph can work just as well for your 9-to-5 grind as it can when spending time with family and friends. How will you be enjoying the holiday? Chime in over on The Style Guide Facebook page when you get the chance.

And of course, know that I’m thankful for all of you who read this blog — we’ve got more menswear in store this week, that’s for sure!

-Beau

#OOTD: The Best Way to Dress for a Casual Fall Day

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.

Now, we might be rolling through November, but with this up-and-down weather, it’s not quite felt truly, really … like fall. Has it? Well, maybe we’ll call this one an #OOTD for a casual … November (or December?) day. Either way, we’ll continue to push forward here on The Style Guide.  Situational dressing, although at first daunting, can  be one of the best parts of getting into menswear — a weekend coffee date? No problem. Heading out on a fall hike? We’ve got you covered there, too. But what about those in-between times? Maybe you’re dashing to the barber or strolling down the street to grab a beer — nothing too fancy, right? And yet, all you loyal Style Guide readers (I think there are a few?) know that even a casual, brisk fall day is a chance to mix and match your favorite style essentials. Some of the pieces below are investment-worthy, but they’re all built to last — and each is versatile in its own right. This is the type of garb to toss on for a perfect fall (or winter) Sunday, and you can even swap in a tough chambray shirt if you need to dress it up a little bit.  So, read on and stick around for more menswear shopping picks for the season.
Huckberry

Reach for comfortable, premium basics and durable boots on a casual fall day.

Reach for comfortable, premium basics and durable boots on a casual fall day.

The Jacket: Apolis Indigo Wool Chore Coat, $278 — Of the investment-worthy pieces mentioned above, the Apolis wool chore coat belongs squarely on that list. It’s perfect for layering, it’s sharp without being too dressy, and it’ll break in beautifully.

The Sweatshirt: Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, $98 — A certified modern-day #menswear classic, the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt is a cozy, comfortable and stylish second layer — trust me.

The Base Layer: Mack Weldon Pima Long-Sleeve Crewneck, $38 — The Mack Weldon team knows a thing or two about stylish, comfortable basics, and that’s why this pima crewneck is an ideal, warm base layer.
Beckett Simonon

The Pants: Flint & Tinder 365 Khaki Pant, $98 — The makers of your new favorite henley have done it again with a pair of 5-pocket pants that blend casual comfort and crisp style — every day of the year. As to your belt? Pick up a textured braided leather belt on the cheap from J. Crew Factory.

The Boots: Lanona Shoe Co. Academic Boot, $298 — The Academic Boot is another piece that, much like the Apolis indigo wool chore coat, ain’t cheap. But seeing as it’s a Huckberry  exclusive, made in Maine and built with Horween Natural Chromexcel leather? Ehh, the price is more bearable.

The Socks: Anonymous-ism Tribal Joint Crew Socks, $23 (Available via East Dane) Anonymous-ism is known globally for its subtly stylish, well-made socks — if J. Crew and East Dane carry them, you know they’ve gotta be good.

The Watch: Form-Function-Form Horween Leather Timex Chronograph, $119.98 — This casual outfit is filled with rugged style essentials, so why not reach for an affordably priced, durable Horween leather watch? Ehh?

The Hat: Carhartt WIP Key Ribbed Beanie, $35 (Available via East Dane)  — Sometimes, you don’t need to get too over-the-top with your fall and winter accessories — this navy cap is understated and high-quality.

Keep in mind that when dressing for a casual fall day, plenty of other pieces will work. Whether you layer up a rugged henley with a cotton chore coat or go with a slim chambray shirt and your favorite pair of dark denim, it’s important to keep versatile style and proper fit in mind — but hey, we all know that (wink, nudge). And in this instance, you can get a ton of mileage out of an indigo wool chore coat and classic khaki pants — that goes for casual weekend wear or versatile office style. Oh, and those Horween leather boots will break in beautifully over time while fitting in perfectly with this outfit’s rugged vibes (Editor’s note: If, however, you seek a more affordable pair of fall boots, this site has you covered in the meantime). Are there pieces on this list you would switch up? How do you dress for a casual fall day? Get style inspiration and join the #menswear discussion over on Twitter.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Style Suggestion: How to Wear a Chore Coat This Fall

Editor’s note: Peruse the site for more menswear style suggestions.

We talk often at ye olde Style Guide about pulling everything together into one cohesive, stylish outfit. Whether it be heading to the pumpkin patch or stepping out on a weekend coffee date, the chilly climes of fall — or rather, late fall — lend themselves well to layering up with the best menswear gear you’ve got.  And that, my friends, is where the durable, reliable and heritage-inspired chore coat comes into play. Like a lot of menswear floating around out there nowadays, it finds its roots in particularly functional, tough jackets worn decades ago by blue-collar American laborers and workers. It’s a distinctive silhouette that’s retained its workwear edge — think patch front pockets and a longer cut — while getting some very stylish modern upgrades in the process. As a matter of fact, it just might be one of the more reliable pieces of fall outerwear you can snag — alongside the waxed trucker jacket, of course. So, that’s where we find ourselves as we tick through another style suggestion. You’ll find pieces both old and new, familiar and unfamiliar in what just might be the best — yes, the very best — way to wear a chore coat this fall. And for another daily dose of menswear, head to Twitter and Instagram, folks.

The Chore Coat: Apolis Indigo Wool Chore Coat — $278

A beautifully made, durable and stylish wool chore coat.

A beautifully made, durable and stylish wool chore coat.

Now, traditional chore coats were made of fabrics like denim, but the Apolis wool chore coat — a legendary piece among lovers of rugged menswear — is just as suitable of a pick.  You could always go with the brand’s selvage denim chore coat, but the wool option will likely be a bit heartier for chillier temps. The fabric is exclusive to Apolis and the wool fabric is woven exclusively for Apolis in Italy; in short, it doesn’t get much better. With fallen buffalo horn buttons and antique nickel-reinforced rivets, this Apolis chore coat isn’t one to mess with.

The Shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt — $78

A smartly done piece from Abercrombie & Fitch -- yes, that Abercrombie & Fitch.

A smartly done piece from Abercrombie & Fitch — yes, that Abercrombie & Fitch.

The recent Abercrombie & Fitch revamp has really caught the attention of this writer — and it would appear that menswear designer Aaron Levine, formerly of Club Monaco, is a big reason why this American heritage brand is back in business. Pieces like the Wool Shirt exemplify what the brand was once about, and what the brand hopes to do in the future. It’s a simply executed, smart-looking and seasonally appropriate piece that should offset the indigo chore coat nicely, what with the textured wool fabric and a slim fit ideal for sliding underneath a jacket.
Banner

The Pants: Flint & Tinder 365 Khaki Pant — $98

A five-pocket silhouette meets a performance-ready fabric blend and American-made construction.

A five-pocket silhouette meets a performance-ready fabric blend and American-made construction.

Folks, you just might have met your new favorite pair of khaki pants. Flint & Tinder nails that middle ground between premium pieces and hard-to-obtain pricing quite nicely, and while pieces like its marled henleys are worth checking out, the 365 Khaki Pant should give you all the more reason to look into ’em. It’s a five-pocket pant in a versatile shade of dark khaki, made with 97 percent and an ever-crucial 3 percent Lyrca for stretch. The silhouette means you can team them with the Apolis indigo chore coat on the weekends, or a navy blazer during the week. Not bad for under $100.

The Boots: Eastland 1955 Edition Franconia Boots — $157.50 (Available via East Dane)

Contrast stitching, a moc toe for durability and a fall-ready silhouette.

Contrast stitching, a moc toe for durability and a fall-ready silhouette.

When you’ve got a rugged chore coat and tough five-pocket pants, which way to go with your boot game? Easy. Reach for a boot with moc toe construction, stylish and rugged contrast stitching and a sturdy Vibram lug sole. Eye-catching rawhide laces only add to the rugged vibe of this pair of boots — in addition to this #menswear ensemble, they’re going to be a perfect fit for durable selvedge denim throughout fall and winter. As to the socks? A subtly stylish pair from Style Guide favorites American Trench might set you up just fine.

The Watch: Form-Function-Form Horween Leather Timex Chronograph — $119.98

Does it get any better -- or more affordable -- than a Timex Weekender on a Horween leather strap? Not really.

Does it get any better — or more affordable — than a Timex Weekender on a Horween leather strap? Not really.

I first stumbled onto Form-Function-Form via my buddy Joe’s fantastic menswear site, Dappered. The brand has given new meaning to finely made watch straps, and the fact that they’re sold by the great Huckberry team is as good an indication of that approach as any. The adjustable length button-stud band is made from beautiful Horween leather for a suitably rugged contrast to the rich indigo chore coat and dark khaki pants. And the watch? Well, it’s a reliable, durable Timex Weekender with chronograph functionality. Snag this watch before it’s too late, yeah?

The Belt: Filson Bridle Leather Belt — $75 (Available via East Dane)

filson-bridle-leather-belt

If we’re sticking with rugged menswear throughout this outfit, why not grab a tough-as-nails belt that can keep up? Filson makes nothing but the highest-quality goods that money can buy, and that extends through from its coveted bags all the way down to durable — yet smaller pieces — like bridle leather belts. There’s no question that this belt fits right in with the tough vibes of this ensemble. The fact that you’ll have it forever is just another bonus.

The Hat: Club Monaco Kensington Cashmere Hat — $99 (Available via East Dane)

A rather luxurious upgrade to the standard winter hat.

A rather luxurious upgrade to the standard winter hat.

When chilly fall weather hits, you could reach for a plain, average hat — or you could reach for a cashmere Club Monaco hat. Now, it’s certainly pricey, and perhaps you’ve got a winter hat that you’ve worn through the years, but this hat is subtle, refined and very comfortable. They’re certainly aren’t a lot of cashmere stocking caps on the market, so it should be easy to hang onto this one — right?

Just as there’s something to be said for picking up affordable essentials — from style upgrades to everyday purchases — there’s something to be said for investing in the best … when you can, that is. An indigo wool chore coat from the likes of Apolis is about as durable and fall-ready as it gets, with the potential to break in over time and tell some nice stories. And when teamed with a slim wool shirt from a heritage sportswear brand like Abercrombie & Fitch, you’re looking at a great one-two punch. Plus, made-in-America pants and reliable moc toe boots fit right in with the rugged vibes of fall, as does a beautiful Horween leather watch. On the accessories front, a cashmere hat is a luxurious upgrade to standard winter accessories. So, there you go. How would you wear a chore coat this fall? Any thoughts on the Apolis indigo wool chore coat? Chime in on Facebook, and we’ll see you for our weekly Friday Read.

-Beau
Join Frank & Oak Elevate - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank + Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!

Style Suggestion: How to Dress for Fall Weather

Editor’s note: For a full set of style suggestions for fall, click here.

We’re slowly (but surely) creeping toward fall — it seems like that’s been the case for a couple of weeks here at The Style Guide, but it’s certainly no more true than right now. Dressing for football season has started, there’s a bunch of great new music out — that signals tons of fall tours and rock concert style — and it’s high time to, well, get with the times. So, grab your fall style wish list and get hip to the scene. Even if it takes a while to get chilly, you’ll still want to have the proper gear on hand when it does. I know temperatures have been high here in NYC, but I’m definitely anxiously awaiting fall. For all of you loyal Style Guide readers (I know you’re out there), it signifies a really fun time of year in terms of menswear. If you’re one who tends to get sick of the oppressive heat — and even tires of heading to the beach — it can be a welcome change of pace to throw on heavier layers and incorporate durable texture into your #menswear ensemble again. And being able to play around with deep fall colors and textures — as some of the picks do below — is another reliable signifier that the season is changing. Everywhere you look, it’s about that time. Wthout further ado, here’s a look at how to dress for fall. Catch more style tips daily on the ‘Gram or Twitter, and leave any thoughts on this look in the comments.

The Jacket: Old Navy Canvas Coat — $69.94

Not as heavy as a winter parka, not as lightweight as a spring jacket -- hence, a great fall coat.

Not as heavy as a winter parka, not as lightweight as a spring jacket — hence, a great fall coat.

You feel a crisp breeze in the air, but a lightweight spring jacket won’t cut — and it’s not heavy winter topcoat time, either. What’s your reliable go-between? A cotton canvas coat in a rich shade that’s perfectly primed for fall. Although the interior of this jacket is lined with a neat striped cotton, it should prove reliable and not too heavy for layering. Details like the front patch pockets call to mind workwear of days past, and the rich Bandolier Brown color is going to handsomely offset the blues in the rest of this ensemble (although we don’t want to give too much away yet).

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt — $104.98

Beautifully made, able to withstand anything and certainly able to make that transition to fall.

Beautifully made, able to withstand anything and certainly able to make that transition to fall.

Were you expecting something other than a stellar Taylor Stitch chambray shirt here? I hope not, because I’d bet you’re disappointed right about now. The brand takes the same attention to detail that’s made its Standard Issue Chinos beloved by The Style Guide, and applies that process to a heck of a chambray shirt. Featuring sturdy double-needle construction, a midweight 7oz. chambray fabric and a fit that’s modern yet mobile, it’s the ideal contrast to that handsome brown jacket. Plus, it’s got the type of classic looks and styling potential that’ll work the rest of the year, too.

The Denim: Flint & Tinder All-American Slim Tapered Jeans — $98

New denim from a menswear line that gets essential fall basics right.

New denim from a menswear line that gets essential fall basics right.

The brand that produces your favorite set of American-made boxer briefs and other stellar fall menswear delivers again with new denim that’s part of its deepest product offering to date. For fans of versatile, timeless style, that’s very much a positive. These jeans are every bit an essential pair of fall denim, made from 12oz. Cone Mills fabric and featuring one percent of stretch  — that touch will make it easier to wear ’em on fall hikes or walks in the park. The slim fit is a must-have these days, although the brand’s waist sizing does go up to 40. Grab one pair of these, wear the heck out of them and watch them tell the story of a great fall season.

The Boots: JackThreads Kimbo Chelsea Boot in Brown Calf Leather — $110

Part of a new set of footwear offered from the excellent E-commerce retailer.

Part of a new set of footwear offered from the excellent E-commerce retailer.

Since when does JackThreads make footwear? Since this season, that’s when. It’s part of the brand’s mission to expand on its stellar menswear line and take up some serious real estate in your closet. When they’re able to churn out crisp pieces like these refined Chelsea boots for just a shade over $100, that’s very agreeable. A stylish Chelsea boot works nearly any time of year, yet they seem particularly fitting for fall. They’re not nearly as clunky as some thick winter boots, and they feel especially sleek alongside slim denim and a chambray shirt (some stylish leather chukka boots could also work here, though).

The Socks: Mack Weldon Everyday Striped Socks — $14.50

Easygoing socks for daily wear -- in a color that plays along nicely with the rest of this outfit.

Easygoing socks for daily wear — in a color that plays along nicely with the rest of this outfit.

The folks at Mack Weldon are consistently churning out everyday basics that’ll have you covered from the ground up, from its Vesper Polo to pieces like its Merino Long-Sleeve Tee, and if you read this blog as much as I think you should, you’re well-acquainted with those pieces (wink, wink). So, it only makes sense that you should round out your wardrobe with some striped Mack Weldon socks that add a nice bit of color contrast to the deep blues and browns of this outfit. Ya feel me?

The Watch: MVMT Watches The 40 in Rose Gold/Brown Leather — $120

A stunner of a watch for a stunningly low price.

A stunner of a watch for a stunningly low price.

Are you familiar with MVMT Watches? If not, you definitely should be. That is, if you’re a fan of stylish, affordable eye-catching watches — and who isn’t? There are some watches that are so refined in their design, you can wear them more casually — that’s certainly the case with this MVMT Watches timepiece, crafted from a rich brown leather-brown dial-rose gold case combo that’s a heck of a looker. It’s a way to offset some of the more rugged pieces in this outfit, like the canvas coat and chambray shirt. More importantly, it’s dressy enough to wear later on this season with, dare I say, the Taylor Stitch Telegraph Suit?

The Belt: J. Crew Suede Belt — $55

Texture in the form of a refined belt for the season.

Texture in the form of a refined belt for the season.

This suede belt first made an appearance in this site’s suggestion on how to dress for a football game, and it’s back here and adding a change of pace to this outfit in the process. The look is already quite heavy on rugged style, to be sure, so it’s fitting that a suede belt comes into play. Fall is the perfect time to try out texture where you might not do so normally, and for more than $50, you better get a lot of wear out of this belt to justify the initial price (although this particular pick is suede, a handsome leather belt like the Tanner Goods Classic Belt would work, too).

The Sunglasses: MVMT Watches Runaway Sunglasses — $75

Equal parts retro cool and affordable style from a watch maker who knows how that stuff works.

Equal parts retro cool and affordable style from a watch maker who knows how that stuff works.

Wait a second — MVMT Watches does sunglasses? Yes, they sure do. And why do we have sunglasses in this post? Well, as this is transitional style and all, it’s still going to be a bit sunny out there most days, whether you’re taking a hike through a park, heading to a bar crawl or taking in that football game. These sunglasses aren’t too precious to take a beating, and more importantly, they’ve got a distinct air of retro cool about them. Just like the watch, they’re perfect to pair with everything from that Taylor Stitch chambray shirt to … wait for it… the decidedly modern Taylor Stitch Telegraph Suit.

And there you have it, folks — pick up one, all (or heck, none?) of the above items and prep for fall in style. As we always aim for at this #menswear blog, reaching for pieces that are going to have your back the rest of the year is a solid bet no matter the season. And if given the chance to wear a durable chambray shirt with a crisp canvas coat, take it. The combo is just the right amount of rugged with venturing too far off the beaten path, and pieces like slim, dark denim and brown leather Chelsea boots keep things modern. A refined watch and cool-as-heck sunglasses are items every guy needs, yet not every guy has — except you. And you can never go wrong with accessories from staple players like Mack Weldon and J. Crew. Head-to-toe, there might not be a better time to be a style fan — and that’s what makes fall menswear so great.

What’s your take on this ensemble? Have you picked up any of these pieces?

Style Suggestion: How to Dress for Football Season

Editor’s note: Click here to check out past #menswear style suggestions.

Sometimes, you can feel it in the air before you actually see it — maybe you bolt out of bed on a Saturday morning thinking it’s game day (just me?), or get your old (or current) school fight song stuck in your head one day. It’s nearly back … football season, folks. The fall and the start of football season has always been one of my favorite times of year — growing up about fifteen minutes from the campus of Michigan State University turned me into a football fanatic at a very young age. That dedication only continued through college; heck, you could hear the roar of the crowd at Spartan Stadium from my college house. So as the calendar rolls toward fall once again, I’m focused on getting back to see my beloved Spartans — and I’m focused a little bit more on upping my #menswear game for the occasion than when I was in school. Now, that goes for you pro football fans, too — but sadly, the Detroit Lions were never anything to write home about. As we always talk about at ye olde Style Guide, there are plenty of ways to get dressed with style upgrades in mind, and that goes for situations that might seem more casual or mundane. Just as with watching the Olympics or heading to a bar crawl, dressing for a football game is definitely there. From your garb up top to your everyday carry, you might be surprised at how many brands are approaching sports-related activities with neat stylistic touches in mind. Of course, the below post is written from a Midwesterner’s perspective — wearing blazers to games doesn’t quite fly (but all the more power to you if that’s how you do it!). If you think I missed anything in the below #menswear rundown, hit me up on Twitter or shoot me an email. In the meantime — Go Green!

The Base Layer: Flint & Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley — $62

Easy to layer, easy to wear on its own and ready for football season or the work week.

Easy to layer, easy to wear on its own and ready for football season or the work week.

First things first — it’s probably not all that cold for any of us at the moment, so this layer might stay in the closet for a while. But should you splurge a little on this Flint & Tinder Henley, know that you’re getting a brand-new offering from a brand that’s refined the art of making excellent basics in America. Oh, and another plus: It’ll keep you just as warm as a long-sleeve athletic base layer, yet you get bonus style point and no logos in sight. Lastly, you can wear this piece on its own under a wool blazer during the work week this fall, and no one will be any the wiser when you re-wear it on Saturday.

The T-Shirt: Tailgate Clothing Team Tee — From $19.99

Cheer on your alma mater in style -- trust me, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in the student section (or that alumni tailgate) with a tee like this.

Cheer on your alma mater in style — trust me, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the student section (or that alumni tailgate) with a tee like this.

Fancy yourself a college football fan (like yours truly), but tired of wearing standard team fare? Add a dash of vintage style to gameday with a tee that might feel a bit familiar. How’s that? If you recognize the mix of classic heritage and American sportswear in the tee you see above (and the brand’s other styles), you’re onto something — Tailgate Clothing was co-founded by none other than lauded menswear designer Todd Snyder. And with a positively huge range of collegiate T-shirts, plus a handful of jerseys and hoodies, I’d bet you can find your team — no sweat. *Insert obligatory ‘Go Green’ chant here*

The Denim: Mott & Bow Norfolk Raw Denim — $79.98

Sharp, simple and easily wearable on a football Saturday.

Sharp, simple and easily wearable on a football Saturday.

Looking for yet another way to differentiate yourself from the pack? Whereas some other folks might reach for baggy, distressed denim — maybe featuring a bootcut — a pair of crisp, clean and simple dark denim is the way to go here. Mott & Bow’s Norfolk Raw Denim was launched late last year as the brand’s first foray into raw denim, and this writer’s pair has broken in very nicely. Contrary to what you might think, this denim isn’t overly heavy, and doesn’t wear too stiff right out of the box. That means they’d be a solid pick to wear now, and keep on wearing if (or when) it gets cold out. Like the above henley, they can also function during your 9-to-5. Not bad at all, yeah?

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
The Boots: SWIMS Barry Chukka in Taupe/Biscuit — $230

Wear these to tailgate, wear these to class, wear these to the office -- there's no wrong way to wear 'em!

Wear these to tailgate, wear these to class, wear these to the office — there’s no wrong way to wear ’em!

If that price catches you by surprise initially, not to worry — the Barry Chukka is nearly a four-season pair of footwear that packs in waterproof protection with a versatile  silhouette. As far as chukka boots go, they’ve got the potential to be worn in the heat of September (thanks to the lightweight crepe sole) and deep into tailgating season this November. Then, you can break them back out in the spring. Think of these stylish chukka boots as a decided upgrade over athletic sneakers — they’re sleeker, cleaner, more versatile and ready for just about anything (including post-victory bar-hopping).

The Socks: American Trench Mil-Spec Sport Socks with Silver — $11.50

A no-brainer if you want versatile socks that are wearable week after week.

A no-brainer if you want versatile socks that are wearable week after week.

Socks aren’t that big of a deal, right? Wrong. If you want a pair that’s high-quality enough to be worn for long periods of time on your feet week after week, you want these socks. And if you’re on the hunt for a pair that’s both affordable and long-lasting? You want these socks. The navy color is simple and straightforward — no zany colors or patterns here, so the socks won’t distract from your T-shirt. Plus, they’re definitely made with more care than a pair of garish team socks, and I’d bet those results will show up on the scoreboard, too (wink, wink).

The Watch: Jack Mason Brand Team Watch — From $95

It's tough to find a watch that merges both your favorite sports team and everyday style potential -- here's one that does.

It’s tough to find a watch that merges both your favorite sports team and everyday style potential — here’s one that does.

Now, if wearing both a team watch and a team T-shirt feels a bit like overkill, you could always reach for a rugged dive watch. But know that the way Jack Mason makes its collegiate watches, these aren’t flimsy or unrefined by any means. Essentially, styles like the Blackout Silicone Strap Watch you see here are just tough watches made for the everyday and spruced up with the logo of your favorite school. When you look at that way, it’s tough not to buy into this unique, well, style upgrade. Even the Striped NATO Strap Watch isn’t too gaudy — heck, the variety of striped NATO straps offered with Jack Mason’s other collegiate watches would work well with other casual timepieces in your rotation.
Frank & Oak
The Belt: J. Crew Suede Belt — $55

The right texture and color to work in other fall style scenarios beyond your tailgate.

The right texture and color to work in other fall style scenarios beyond your tailgate.

If we’re being honest, most folks probably aren’t giving a second thought to what they were to the game besides an athletic jersey, so putting some thought into a good-quality, versatile belt might not mean much at a tailgate. But if you’re on a mission to out-dress that pesky Michigan fan (as we all should be), then a good belt is just the type of thing to spend a little time on. Crucially, this J. Crew suede belt falls in the same color family as the SWIMS chukka boots seen above, and it’s the perfect color and texture to wear with other fall business-casual outfits the rest of the week. It doesn’t exactly match up in terms of color with the watch, but as we’re mixing a rubber watch and a leather belt, matching isn’t of the utmost importance. Now, catching the snap — that’s much more important.

The Hat: Huckberry Explorer’s Cap in Black — $39.98

Another underrated style upgrade -- the grown man's ballcap.

Another underrated style upgrade — the grown man’s ballcap.

Again, a  ballcap is one of those things most of us throw on and don’t think about. And there are certainly ways to support your team and nod toward the ol’ ballgame without throwing on a coach’s headset. A simple, monochrome ballcap with vintage-inspired roots (it’s made by the folks at Ebbets Field Flannels) is a step in the right direction if you can’t part with your old college ballcap. Believe me, this writer loves a good hat as much as the next guy. This one is also the kind of cap you can throw on to run a few errands on a weekend morning — you know, things like picking up a six-pack (or three) before your tailgate.

The Must-Have: Brothers Leather Supply Co. C.W. Growler Bag — $75

The ideal way to haul around your favorite brew.

The ideal way to haul around your favorite brew.

OK, so perhaps a growler bag isn’t a must-have (particularly if you’re not the type to imbibe). But if you enjoy a great craft brew — perhaps from a fine brewery near the Grand Rapids shop of Brothers Leather — then this growler is something you oughta pick up. It’s made from full-grain finished Vachetta tanned leather, which is enough to boggle your fellow tailgate-goer before you even pour them a beer. The 36-inch strap is a functional touch for lugging this thing around — the only thing missing is some stellar craft beer.

Even though it might seem a bit tedious to put that extra bit of effort into your appearance on a weekend day, it definitely pays off. It’s something I still struggle with from time to time, but finding the right pieces can make the experience a heck of a lot better. The search for that perfectly worn vintage tee hopefully is a bit easier now after checking out Tailgate Clothing, and stylish everyday carry pieces like an upgrade team watch and a vintage ballcap are subtle, sporty-yet-stylish ways to prep for the occasion. Crucially, waterproof nubuck chukka boots and slim, dark denim are great building blocks for any outfit. And if you pack well (I.e. Enough beer for your tailgate), you should be set for game day and beyond. To see how this writer takes on the MSU football season in style, head to Instagram. Meanwhile, we’ll see you in the stands!

What’s your take on the above outfit? Would you add or subtract any pieces? Thinking about making any purchases?