#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.
Florsheim
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,

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Blazers for Fall and Winter

Editor’s note: For a plethora of Online Shopping Picks delving into accessories, footwear and knitwear, head right this way.

Ready to take on fall in this "old" photo circa 2014. Blazer & chambray shirt by J. Crew. Slim jeans by Scotch & Soda. Shawl cardigan by GAP. Knit tie by Frank & Oak. Brown wingtip boots by JC Penney. Photo credit: Khoa Nguyen.

Ready to take on fall in this “old” photo circa 2014. Tan herringbone blazer & chambray shirt by J. Crew. Pocket square by Banana Republic. Slim jeans by Scotch & Soda. Shawl cardigan by GAP. Knit tie by Frank & Oak. Brown wingtip boots by JC Penney. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Glasses by Burberry. Photo credit: Khoa Nguyen.

As is often the case in the world of men’s style, it seems that sometimes the seasons change too quickly — on the writing front, that is. Last week, we tackled excellent henleys to transition into fall weather in earnest (for most of us, at least), and now your humble author will gladly take a stab at the best cold-weather blazers out there on the market — because those things have been on shelves far too long now for you not to buy one, right? Keep in mind that a great lighter weight blazer (one from this list) could definitely transition into the slight chill of fall when layered appropriately. Heck, I even have an unconstructed blazer I’ve worn in the Michigan winter, layered up with a V-neck sweater (of course). But let’s say you want something thicker to stand up to chilly weather — a la the trusty J. Crew blazer (sadly, long gone from shelves) at the top of the page. That’s what this edition of Online Shopping Picks will cover — but you’ll have to foot the rest of the bill for a new jacket. [Editor’s note: Some might take issue with the definition of a blazer here — these styles are sometimes called sportcoats — but we’ll stick with blazer terminology for now. To clear up any confusion, head here].

#1. Uniqlo Wool Blended Comfort Jacket — $99.90

As previously seen on this site's Fall Style Wish List, Uniqlo delivers on another great fall & winter blazer.

As previously seen on this site’s Fall Style Wish List, Uniqlo delivers on another great fall & winter blazer.

Does this jacket look familiar at all? Of course it does (at least if you caught it at the top of my Fall Style Wish List). Some might have issues with Uniqlo’s fit, as the tail of its jackets and its sleeves generally run a little shorter and slimmer than most, but the brand does make an outstanding jacket (is it a blazer? a sportcoat) for the price. These jackets certainly lean casual given the lack of construction, but in a deeper, saturated shade like the Grey Plaid on the far left or even the Dark Green option as seen on the site, it’s a jacket that could absolutely be paired with dress trousers and some sharp black shoes for the office.

#2. J. Crew Factory Thompson Elbow-patch Sportcoat in Tweed — $168

A four-season shade of navy merged with suede elbow patches for fall and winter.

A four-season shade of navy merged with suede elbow patches for fall and winter.

Rustic, slightly throwback-focused details like suede elbow patches have been making a comeback in clothing items for the past couple years now, and designers aren’t pulling the plug on this added touch just yet. In the case of this blazer, it works quite well, calling to mind old hunting jackets. And this piece has some other things going for it, too — namely, you get J. Crew-like quality at a lower price than some similar models at the big brother retailer. The slightly flashier touch of those elbow patches is grounded by a nice shade of navy, which should work well over dark denim or grey wool trousers. The patches make it more casual and thus a little less versatile — thus dropping it to spot no. 2 here. Still, it’s a jacket that could see a lot of use in the coming months.  If you’ve got some bulk to you and want a jacket that ditches the elbow patches, the mainline brand is making a blazer in a similar shade in its roomier, more athletic Crosby fit.

#3. Apolis Indigo Wool Blazer — $388

The ideal balance of tradition and modern style, done up in an on-trend color and luxurious fabric.

The ideal balance of tradition and modern style, done up in an on-trend color and luxurious fabric.

Whoa, now. Almost $400 for a blazer? In spot #3? Yes, yes indeed — and here’s why. The argument can definitely be made here for investing in quality pieces that provide a long-term benefit; a terrific wool blazer, sure to be warm, well-made and endlessly versatile, can serve you well for seasons and years to come. And the way Apolis makes ’em, you know you’re getting a quality product. Not everyone has the kind of, er, capital to invest in such a piece, but this option has all the makings of a classic jacket if you do take the plunge. The double vents and deep indigo color make it the closest to a traditional blazer of any of the bunch seen here, yet it leans modern thanks to the slim fit. Wear it with some broken-in denim,  wear it with black corduroy pants for some edge — heck, wear it over a T-shirt.

#4. GAP Herringbone Blazer — $89.95

A nice color combo and casual patch pockets make this one blazer to take business-casual ... or just casual.

A nice color combo and casual patch pockets make this one blazer to take business-casual … or just casual.

Now, that’s more like it. We turn to a reliable standby at an affordable price for option #4. It’s somewhat concerning that the fit looks a bit … off in these photos, so this might be a good pick to try on in store. The price is not so expensive that it’d be too much of a pain to tailor. But note that the sleeves feature functioning cuffs, which can be an absolute mess to get tailored. However, the fabric blend, cool grey color and patch pockets make this an ideal blazer to throw on over, say, a white Oxford, red V-neck and dark jeans in a business casual setting — if the fit is on-point. Since the patch pockets do push it into casual territory, you could even mix it up and toss it over a long-sleeve henley. A word to the wise — keep your eyes open for the launch of The Hill-side’s capsule collection for GAP very soon; there’s likely to be a great blazer or two in there (Editor’s note: Check out the full rundown via GQ as of 9/23). 

#5. Everlane Luxe Sweater Blazer — $165

Part blazer, part sweater and all casual style in one high-quality Everlane piece.

Part blazer, part sweater and all casual style in one high-quality Everlane piece.

Is this a sweater? A blazer? A swacket? Whatever you call it, the Luxe Sweater Blazer definitely walks the line between casual and crisp style — exactly the type of versatility a nice blazer (or swacket) should provide in the colder months. It should almost wear like the Uniqlo wool blend jacket seen at the top of the page — easygoing enough over a crewneck sweatshirt (for both warmth and casual style), and high-quality enough to pair with a chambray dress shirt. From personal experience with Everlane, its products fit slim, and jackets like these often feature a nice hint of stretch — key when you still need mobility underneath a topcoat. This is one blazer in particular that would pair especially well with high-low combos — think slim chinos  plus vintage-inspired runners.

The competition across the board as this post was assembled was pretty cutthroat (or as cutthroat as writing about blazers can be). Brands like Bonobos, with its Italian Knit Blazer, are giving more established brethren like J. Crew a run for their money in the looks (and price) department. As was previously alluded to, The Hill-side is also quickly establishing itself as a player in the splurge blazer game — this Selvedge Mini-Houndstooth Tailored Jacket in Indigo has a great workwear vibe to it, not to mention a high price. Stick to affordable (or at the very least, classic) and versatile options when picking up a great blazer or two this season though, and you’ll reap those rewards as soon as the leaves start to turn.
Ben Sherman US
What’s your go-to fall and winter blazer? Are you planning on refreshing your closet with any of the picks here?

Ernest Alexander

The Friday Read: Epaulet Sneakers, GAP Closings and the Most Stylish Men Alive

Florsheim

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

Can you believe it’s almost July? Unbelievable, truly! Have you done any traveling yet this summer? I’ve been in the midst of starting a new job this past month while mixing in a family wedding and a music festival; both have made it a great summer to date. Now, we’re almost on the Fourth of July, and on that note, we’ll have a style suggestion coming up for your reading pleasure next Monday. In the meantime, I suggest you check out my weekly roundup below of only the best pieces fit for weekend reading — and let me know what you’ve been reading yourself on Twitter or via the Contact page!

  • Design and style website Selectism details Epaulet’s stunning new line of made-in-America unfinished leather trainers (sneakers, to us common folk)
  • My buddy Joe over at the always-stylish Dappered reflects on the news earlier this week that GAP will close a quarter of its stores by recapping 10 of the best pieces from the brand in recent years (including one item that also appeared in this site’s Style Pick of the Week series)
  • NBA superstar LeBron James made GQ’s list of the 20 Most Stylish Men Alive and talked to the menswear magazine briefly about his style choices and inspiration (on that note, anyone else have some qualms about that list?
  • Long Read of the Week: In a fascinating set of entries, 10 New Yorkers share their most memorable “dusk to dawn” nighttime memories of the city that never sleeps

Need more of The Style Guide?

  • My latest piece for Effortless Gent, covering five ways to wear slim shorts this summer, was published on Thursday; check it out here!
  • Might I also suggest an earlier Style Guide entry this week detailing stylish men’s dress shoes on a budget?
  • Lastly:  If you’re shopping for some new denim, you might want to give Mott & Bow jeans a whirl after you check out this product review

 

Ernest Alexander

What To Wear Today: Travel in Style This Summer

A blue Oxford cloth buttondown -- just one of the many style essentials you should pack this summer. Shirt by Bonobos. Weekender bag by Navali. Luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

A blue Oxford cloth buttondown — just one of the many style essentials you should pack this summer. Shirt by Bonobos. Weekender bag by Navali. Luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

It might only be Wednesday right now, but my mind’s already thinking ahead to the weekend — I’m hitting the road for a family wedding in the lovely and historic city of Charleston, South Carolina (one of the home bases of my friends over at creative lifestyle site Brothers & Craft, in fact). And I’ve also been brainstorming how to pack in style while getting from fast-paced NYC to the decidedly more laidback Southern locale. Traveling and looking good is definitely something that should be top of mind for all of us as we hit the road the rest of this summer, too. Sharp travel accessories are one thing to elevate your overall game — but what do you wear while traveling and once you get there? Here’s a look at what I’m packing, and what you (maybe? possibly?) should throw in your bag, too. (Editor’s note: Unless you’re a real jetsetter, let’s assume you’re just packing for a long weekend away in a temperate climate – if it’s hotter or colder than that, layers could be added or subtracted). 

The Shirt: A Go-Anywhere Oxford Cloth Buttondown [+ Slim, casual T-shirts & polos]

Versatile and ready for anything -- the classic blue Oxford cloth buttondown from Buck Mason.

Versatile and ready for anything — the classic blue Oxford cloth buttondown from Buck Mason.

Although that shirt seen above is sold out online (and it’s easy to see why), it’s the perfect stand-in for the type of shirt that would be perfect to wear when traveling — and to have once you get where you’re going. On the cheaper side of things, Old Navy offers up a version at a pricepoint that could allow you to get one in both white and blue. The classic Oxford cloth button-down is the ideal mix of casual-meets-crisp style; it can be paired with a lightweight spring or summer jacket or a blazer in dressier situations, and it works with chinos, stylish shorts or denim (as long as the fit is trim and the shirt doesn’t hang too low when untucked). On the more casual side of things, a polo or two also wouldn’t hurt — this year’s Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polos are affordably priced and feature a wide spread of colors and patterns. On the even more toned-down side of things, slim pocket tees are your friend for casual travel style — in a slim fit, the right tee can even be worn under a blazer.

The Pants: Slim chinos or dark denim [+ laidback shorts]

The Standard Issue Utility Chino from Apolis offers the right color and fit for easygoing, polished travel style.

The Standard Issue Utility Chino from Apolis offers the right color and fit for easygoing, polished travel style.

The slim khaki chino is an all-American classic that’s been freshened up as of late and can be worn just about any way you please (for at least five variations, see an Effortless Gent piece I penned last fall). Dark denim is every bit as versatile, too — either can go with pocket tees or polos, plus that trusty Oxford cloth buttondown shirt. The same goes for matching with different types of footwear, too (more on that below). And assuming you’re heading somewhere slightly warmer than where you are now, tailored shorts in a neutral color are a good pick — perhaps these Club Monaco shorts might do the trick, in fact. If you want something with some stretch and mobility, J. Crew Factory’s Stadium Shorts would be a wise wardrobe addition.

The Shoes: Crisp white or navy sneakers and brown leather loafers

Two pairs of shoes styled two different ways. White sneakers done up casually and leather loafers ready for dressier wear.

Two pairs of shoes styled two different ways. White sneakers done up casually and leather loafers ready for dressier wear. On the left: Printed shirt by Saturdays Surf NYC. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Patterned watch strap by The Knottery and watch by Timex. On the right: Blazer by GAP. Leather loafers by Bass. In both looks: Lightwash jeans by J. Crew.

White sneakers, especially in the world of men’s style nowadays, can be worn with just about anything — even a suit if you play your cards right. If you reach for a pair with a slim silhouette, like the GREATS Wilson, the styling potential is ready for just about any situation — short of a black tie dinner. Navy runner-style sneakers are an equally unique option that combine retro cool and modern flair as well. If the occasion calls for a dressier pair of footwear, a pair of classic leather loafers is virtually foolproof; functional and cooling with rolled chinos in hotter weather while still looking sharp. Rugged-yet-refined brown leather desert boots (like the Florsheim Jet Chukka) also strike the right note — and if you had room for just one other pair of shoes on your trip besides sneakers, they would be the best pickup.

Ernest Alexander

The Watch: Stainless steel dive watch (Or your favorite, versatile timepiece)

From sneakers and shorts to denim and  desert boots, a stainless steel dive watch is highly versatile.

From sneakers and shorts to denim and desert boots, a stainless steel dive watch is highly versatile.

When it comes down to it, space packing for a trip is limited, no matter how great your weekender bag might be. Packing one watch to meet a variety of situations is one way to free up some of space for souvenirs or another T-shirt or two. There are lots of options out there that fill the under-$100 price point and pack versatility into one package, and in a situation where you might have two pairs of shoes to mix and match with shorts, chinos and denim, ditching a leather strap (which would require coordination with your shoes and belt) is an easy fix. An interchangeable nylon-strap watch could easily stand in if the trip leans more casual (and you don’t mind coordinating with a blue dial).

The Jackets: A cotton knit jacket and a classic navy blazer

A lightweight knit jacket or a lightweight navy blazer (or both) keep things cool, crisp and stylish during travel. For more outfit details, check out my Instagram.

A lightweight knit jacket or a lightweight navy blazer (or both) keep things cool, crisp and stylish during travel. Cotton knit herringbone jacket by Grayers. Navy blazer by J. Crew For more outfit details, check out my Instagram.

While the Grayers Russel Jacket seen in the photo at left is down to just Large and Extra-Large sizes, Old Navy can be counted on here to offer up an equally sporty and equally stylish jacket (made from cotton).  In the right fit and with the right staples (like a chambray shirt), an outfit very similar to the one on the left could be worn to work and then right onto the plane. Likewise, an unstructured navy blazer fits the bill perfectly if the occasion calls for something more polished. In a more wrinkle-resistant and lighter fabric, that same blazer could  be worn from the office onto  the plane, too.

Ben Sherman US

The Rest: A reversible belt, versatile socks and a sharp swimsuit

A reversible belt, neutral socks and a striped swimsuit should finish things off nicely.

A reversible belt, neutral socks and a striped swimsuit should finish things off nicely.

Trying to coordinate different pairs of shoes together with varying types of bottoms is another hurdle that requires some packing expertise. The easy way out of that is a simple reversible belt — not always the highest-quality things on the market, to be sure, but effective nonetheless. That way, you solve that pesky space issue and pack (or most likely, wear) just one belt throughout the trip.  If space allows, a casual webbed belt could be a nice change of pace. Patterned socks are lots of fun, to be sure, but picking up a couple pairs in neutral colors — like grey, charcoal or navy — would work best for maximum versatility. And reaching for a swim suit with a slimmer cut, like any of the options from this site’s recent swimwear roundup helps you look good while hitting the water  (if that’s in the itinerary, that is).

So you’ve got some ideas from the above — what’s on your go-to list when packing? What would you add or omit from this packing suggestion? Give me a shout on Twitter!

Nunn Bush

What to Wear Today: Sturdy Spring Outerwear

A spring essential — the denim jacket. From American Apparel. Printed shirt by Express. Loafers by Bass. Glasses by Burberry.

A spring essential — the denim jacket. From American Apparel. Printed shirt by Express. Loafers by Bass. Glasses by Burberry. Photo credit: Khoa Nguyen.

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.

If you don’t have a spring jacket in your closet yet, now’s the best time to pick one up (weather-wise at least — pricing can leave a lot to be desired for some options). And even if you do have a spring jacket, there’s a different piece of outerwear that you could add for an extra dash of rugged style — the denim jacket. Once a punch line for some questionable outfit choices in the ’90’s, the denim jacket is definitely cool again. It’s sturdy and up for anything, to boot.

The denim jacket can also be styled with an equally rugged henley, like this one from Mossimo. Patterned watch strap by The Knottery.

The denim jacket can also be styled with an equally rugged henley, like this one from Mossimo. Loafers by Bass. Patterned watch strap by The Knottery.

It’s been a big outerwear piece as far as spring fashion goes for the past few seasons, and it’s certainly not going away. This post from last spring (complete with more photos) dives into the style itself and just how to wear it, but in the meantime, know that it pairs well with, well, mostly anything you throw at it. It’s an awesome blazer alternative over a buttondown, knit tie and chinos. It looks right at home atop some slim grey jeans and a white henley (more on the brand in the link there later this week). And it’s casual enough to look at ease when worn over a popover or crewneck T-shirt and yes, shorts.

Finally, it can absolutely be worn with jeans on the bottom — but if and only if those jeans are in a contrasting wash. That’s not a hard and fast rule, per se, but it helps you avoid the dreaded Canadian tuxedo. As long as it’s cut relatively trim (not baggy), it’ll definitely work. And although some pros can pull off a lightwash denim jacket, a dark denim jacket is the best place to start. Of course, if you want even more rugged outerwear, you could also throw on a waxed chore coat for maximum durability. 

On the left: GAP

On the left: GAP’s Japanese selvedge jacket. On the right: A.P.C.’s pricer take on the piece.

As a matter of fact, venerable iconic jeans maker Levi’s is selling just the perfect jean jacket right now for a mere $47. American Apparel — despite the brand’s woes — also makes a great denim jacket for just north of $120, while GAP makes a Japanese selvedge version for about $85 on-sale now. If you just got your tax return back and feel like blowing some cash, A.P.C. is making a raw denim jacket, too.Those are all great places to start — and with spring just blooming, there’s plenty of time to hit the streets in denim.

Do you have a denim jacket? Which of the above options caught your eye? How would you wear it?

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?

Bundled up: Packing for a chilly Michigan weekend

Although I’m based in Brooklyn now (along with my amazing girlfriend Liz), my roots are in mid-Michigan. I grew up twenty minutes from Michigan State University, wrote and edited news and sports for three years at The State News and absolutely consider myself a Spartan at heart — sorry to disappoint any Wolverine fans reading the blog (see you in October, yes?). So all of that makes this weekend pretty special — I’m flying back into Lansing, Mich., on Friday and taking the short drive down the road to reconnect with great friends from both high school and college.

A picture from my stint as sports editor at The State News, circa spring 2014 (I'm on the far left).

A picture from my stint as sports editor at The State News, circa spring 2014 (I’m on the far left).

It’s an exciting trip, one that I’ve been looking forward to for a while. With that being said, I’m still aiming to get around in style. It should be a pretty chilly weekend back in the Mitten (unlike a trip this past summer to San Francisco), so I’m aiming to to be warm and still look good. Of course, I’ll be bringing all my gear in my trusty Navali Stowaway Weekender and a well-worn Kenneth Cole Reaction messenger bag. Check out the photos and line-up below to see what’s trip-worthy.

Most of what's going in the bag this weekend. Sweaters and shirts top left, bags top right. Jeans, shoes and socks bottom left. Dopp kit and other accessories on the bottom right.

Most of what’s going in the bag this weekend. Sweaters and shirts top left, bags top right. Jeans, shoes and socks bottom left. Dopp kit and other accessories on the bottom right. Not pictured: Overcoat, scarf and gloves.

Kenneth Cole Wool-Blend Overcoat (Sold out; for more on great topcoats, click here)

J. Crew Factory Scarf and Target Merona Black Leather Gloves (Sold-out; similar option here)

Todd Snyder shawl-collar cardigan (Sold-out; similar option here)

Reigning Champ Raglan Crewneck Sweatshirt (Budget-friendly option here)

Bonobos Rhodes Collar Blue OCBD (Similar option here)

GAP Chambray Shirt

Everlane White Henley 

American Apparel Charcoal Jersey Pocket T-shirt

Bonobos Slim Tailored Travel Jeans in Allegheny Oak (Review here)

Bonobos Slim Tailored Blue Jeans in Resin Dark Rinse

Target Merona Braided Leather Belt

Perry Ellis Black Webbed Belt

JCP Stafford Camlin Wingtip Boots (Sold-out; similar option here)

Billy Reid x K-Swiss Leather Sneakers

J. Crew Factory Printed Socks

J. Crew Ribbed Stripe Socks and Red Foulard Socks (Sold out; similar option here)

Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray Watch

Invicta Pro Diver 8926 Watch

For toiletries: J. Crew Factory Dopp Kit and Brickell Men’s Products Face Wash & Moisturizer

At first glance, that might seem like a lot of clothes for one weekend. However, each piece has its purpose in combatting the cold Michigan weather. I plan to wear the crewneck sweatshirt, blue OCBD, Bonobos Travel Jeans and wingtip boots on the plane, layered under my charcoal overcoat. That same combination should feasibly work on Friday out and about in East Lansing, although based on conditions on the ground there, I might switch over to my leather sneakers for more casual wear.

A close-up look at some personal favorites. Pictured: Billy Reid x K-Swiss sneakers, Gap chambray and Bonobos Travel Jeans in Allegheny Oak.

A close-up look at some personal favorites. Pictured: Billy Reid x K-Swiss sneakers, GAP chambray and Bonobos Travel Jeans in Allegheny Oak.

For the rest of the weekend, I plan to layer either the Reigning Champ crewneck or Todd Snyder cardigan (a recent purchase —check out another photo here) with my Everlane henley, the GAP chambray shirt or the charcoal pocket T-shirt. Any combination should work well given the weather and the relatively interchangeable colors of each piece. And since the trip should involve some visits to East Lansing’s finer establishments, either sweater should also look stylish but not too dressy. If the weather proves warmer than expected, any of the above shirts could be worn on their own, too.

I’m definitely looking forward to wearing more casual outfits this weekend, as I tend to stay pretty dressed up during the week. On the accessories front, either casual belt should fit right in  — since my sneakers are a rugged, worn-in brown leather and part of casual pairings, I’m not too concerned about matching with the casual black belt from Perry Ellis or my black rubber-strap watch.

The key accessories for this trip. Pictured: J. Crew Factory Dopp Kit, Perry Ellis Black Webbed Belt, Target Merona Braided Leather Belt, Invicta & Stuhrling Watches, along with some Brickell Men's Products.

The key accessories for this trip. Pictured: J. Crew Factory Dopp Kit, Perry Ellis Black Webbed Belt, Target Merona Braided Leather Belt and Invicta & Stuhrling watches, along with some recent pick-ups from Brickell Men’s Products.

That brown leather belt from Target’s Merona line has proven to be durable and versatile as well, bringing the right amount of fall and winter texture to casual outfits. It can be worn with either set of shoes, too (on that note — if it proves extremely snowy, the sneakers might have to stay in the bag). With a lot of varying shades of blue in various outfits, darker navy or red socks should offer a nice contrast, while the grey patterned socks can be worn casually with any combination (because matching your socks to your pants is old-fashioned, right?).

As to my accessories, I’m admittedly a watch guy — my collection recently grew to include a Form-Function-Form No. 8 Chromexcel Horween leather strap. However, for maximum versatility, I’ll be bringing my silver Invicta dive watch to pair with either belt or shoe combination (for more on the watch, see the above review). I’m also packing a black rubber-strap watch as a second, more casual option. Of course, no trip would be complete without a handy (and stylish) dopp kit, like the terrific olive waxed cotton option from J. Crew Factory pictured above. Mine will definitely include some skincare essentials I just picked up from Brickell Men’s Products. With all the above in mind, hopefully this bag is packed for maximum versatility and style.

Next week, check back for a recap on the trip and this packing plan! 

What’s in your bag when you hit the road? Any travel must-haves?