Online Shopping Picks: Upgrade Your Footwear with the Best Leather Sneakers to Buy Now

There are sneakers and then there are sneakers. The kind of stylish men’s sneakers that make you pause, perhaps do a double-take and then pull out your credit card. That’s what we’re talking about today on The Style Guide. We’re taking it up a notch from past Online Shopping Picks entries and getting a little bit more specific, too. Now, we talked earlier this year about the best men’s sneakers to buy for spring and summer, and today builds off that focus in a whole new way.

Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers

This pair right here … well, the Rambler Hi from Todd Snyder and P.F. Flyers could become a favorite. Read on to learn more.

Yes indeed, the right pair of leather sneakers offers something a little extra when compared to a pair of standard canvas sneakers, which are decidedly more casual. Equal parts durable and rugged, stylish leather sneakers can team with everything from light wash denim and a pocket tee during the last few weeks of summer to your favorite henley and a classic cardigan come fall. What’s more, I think you’ll find that the below picks hit the sweet spot in terms of style that can transition from August into September, October and heck … November. That’s particularly the case if we’re talking stylish leather high-top sneakers. So, shop on for your new favorite pair of leather sneakers, and feel free to follow me on Twitter for #menswear musings aplenty.

#1. Rancourt Carson Low in Natural Chromexcel — $300

Rancourt 7 Co.

A beautiful pair of leather sneakers that’ll only get better with age.

Let’s get this straight right off the bat — the kind of leather sneakers you’re looking for definitely bring a little something extra to the table. That something extra, that “Wow” factor … the handsome, stylish and investment-level Carson Low from Rancourt & Co. certainly has that extra something. Featuring made-in-Maine craftsmanship and beautiful Horween leather, the Carson Low is an absurdly beautiful pair of sneakers, practically begging to be worn right now with a slim white polo shirt and then worn later on this fall with a Todd Snyder crewneck sweater.

#2. GREATS The Royale in Blanco — $169

Before we get too carried away with brown Horween leather sneakers, let’s get back to the basics — and by the basics, I mean perhaps the most affordable pair of premium white leather sneakers on the market.  GREATS continues to make waves in the men’s sneaker market for mixing excellent quality with simple silhouettes — and the Royale in Blanco is certainly a silhouette that’s lifted the brand to new heights. Buy these classic leather sneakers now to wear with slim tan chinos and a navy polo, keep ’em handy to wear with a denim jacket and a rugged henley when you feel an early fall breeze.


#3.  GREATS Royale Vintage in Nero — $179

Let’s go with another pair of stylish GREATS sneakers, this time with some subtle updates to the brand’s tried-and-true Royale silhouette. The Royale Vintage updates that same silhouette with detailing like a back heel tab crafted from nubuck — and the cream Margom sole is a nice deparature from the Royale in Blanco, too. In short, the Royale Vintage is just different enough to justify the slightly higher price tag — and that means you should give it a shot alongside dark denim and a grey Oxford the next time you need to dress to work remotely.


#4. Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi Sneaker in Saddle Leather OR White Leather — $160 ($110 When Signing Up for Bespoke Post)

Ahh, yes. The lauded Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi — a past entry in our Style Pick of the Week series, and just as worthy of inclusion in today’s list of prime #menswear picks. The essential Rambler Hi might be the perfect leather high-top sneaker. It blends a durable, classic construction with two quality options — either the Saddle Leather Rambler or the White Leather Rambler are solid picks. Plus, you get the sort of style that really can carry over seamlessly into the fall; wear these on a weekend coffee date or a stroll through your favorite park.

#5.  GREATS Royale in Perforated Sand — $179

One more pair of essential GREATS sneakers for your shopping list, ehh? It’s a treat to see how GREATS takes a silhouette like the Royale and continues to update it. In this case, the Royale in Perforated Sand blends a transitional color with perforated leather detailing — a touch that means these are fit to wear into October and November as the leaves start to fall. Pair them up with your favorite pair of dark blue denim and a classic chambray shirt — oh, and sidle up to the bar and get us another round, will ya?

#6.  Nisolo Diego Low — $129

A handsomely crafted pair of sneakers made with top-notch attention to detail.

For those of us who like a sneaker that’s got the quality and craftsmanship of a pair of essential leather boots, there’s the Nisolo Diego Low. Made with the same attention to detail as the brand’s handsome leather loafers and Oxfords, the Diego Low has a rugged-yet-sporty vibe that’s tough to come by these days — the Vibram sole and vegetable-tanned leather on the Diego Low are but two quality components of these kicks. They’re perfect for teaming with a rugged field jacket and slim black denim this fall — trust me on that.

Honorable Mention: JAK Royal in Taupe — $102.98

JAK sneakers

A clean and simple set of kicks for wearing with versatile high-low style combos.

You didn’t think we’d leave out a pair of sneakers that run just over $100, did you? The JAK Royal in Taupe is a recent addition to the Huckberry offering of stylish men’s sneakers. What’s more, it’s an absolutely great set of kicks for a great price. Handcrafted in Portugal, the  JAK Royal in Taupe blends comfortable Vibram construction with flat wax cotton laces — these are certainly sneakers to wear with a blazer or an upgraded T-shirt this summer and into fall.

Well, we’re really just scratching the surface when it comes to stylish leather sneakers that you can wear now and into the fall. Consider this list a good starting point — the right pair of leathr sneakers should blend quality, craftmanship and serious style. I personally think the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi is a heck of a pair of sneakers to wear now with rolled denim, and wear later with a thick cardigan.

If you’re more of a low-top sneakers guy, then the JAK Royal in Taupe could be the right pick for you — or maybe even the Carson Low from Rancourt & Co., a pair that’s as handsome and rugged as anything you’ll find on the market. We’d be remiss not to mention the work being done by GREATS , too. Notably, the Royale in Perforated Sand and the uniquely detailed Royale Vintage are winners in my book for their blend of crisp details and versatile style. What’s your favorite pair from this list? Drop a note in the comments — oh, and get back to shopping!

Thanks so much for reading,

-Beau

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The Friday Read: GREATS Brand, Todd Snyder and Casual Spring Style

Ladies and gentlemen, gather round — it’s time for another edition of The Friday Read here on The Style Guide. As we power through April, there are some exciting things on the horizon this spring in NYC. Namely, I’m excited to help host two great work events — both related to #menswear, naturally — in the next two weeks on behalf of Coyne Agency. The work never stops!  And yet, we’re churning out plenty of great style-related content here on the blog and via GearMoose and The Manual. Need transitional footwear for spring? I’ve got you covered. Wondering how to dress for a  spring road trip? Consider it taken care of. On other fronts, there’s plenty going on, as well — what have you been listening to, namely? The NYC music scene always seems to present new and exciting opportunities and shows around every corner — on that front, you can look for news of an exciting music-related writing venture on the way from yours truly in the coming weeks! In the meantime, start your weekend early with the best men’s style news of the week — and follow along for my weekend adventures over on Instagram and Twitter, 24/7.
Greats

The mission of Mission Belt — quite literally — revolves around giving back to those in need through micro-loans that help them pursue their dreams.

      • Want a belt that’s more than just a belt? Seriously, you won’t be disappointed with Mission Belt. Crucially, the company makes sleek, essential belts with no holes — just an easy-to-slide adjustable track on the interior of the belt. Add in a range of clean and classic color options and belt combos, and you’re all set — but that’s far from it. The company puts part of each sale toward providing micro-loans for those in need across the world — these loans can go a long way, and often launch small business (such as the story of Mission Belt friend Luis Melendez, who turned an old bus into a mini transportation fleet and a growing business with the help of the company). Still not sold? The company’s belts are affordable, well-made and able to slide on and off easily — that’s the case if you pair ’em with everything from slim light wash denim to olive cargo pants.
      • Need a new pair of stylish spring sneakers in your rotation? Of course you do. And luckily for all of us, Esquire.com recently rounded up the best new spring sneakers. Among that list, the GREATS Royale and Wooster Sand and Perf Pack are particularly sharp and spring-ready. Wear ’em with a white polo and slim light wash denim for spring weekends …. starting right now.
      • So, you need new, stylish swim trunks for summer — right? Well, I’ve got you covered. It was a pleasure and an honor to speak once again with Mr. Todd Snyder for The Manual about the classic, essential Todd Snyder x Birdwell Beach Britches collaboration, featuring retro-inspired swim trunks, a beach towel and even a T-shirt; the fact that it’s all inspired by designs found in the Birdwell archives — and current rotation — is very agreeable and stylish indeed.

One last item before you go…

      • A useful, cleanly designed and well-made pen is among perhaps the more underrated everyday carry essentials for us stylish guys and gals — might I recommend the Inventery Mechanical Pen for all your daily writing needs? It’s among my latest offerings for GearMoose. Enjoy!

Alright — that’s all she wrote today. Let’s get onto the weekend! You can still expect another Style Pick of the Week tomorrow, and I think you’ll quite like it — just my opinion.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

Greats

The Friday Read: Bastille, Greg Lauren and A Huckberry Giveaway

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.

We’re through the end of another week, and we’re just a bit closer to Christmas — if you’re one who celebrates the holiday season, that is. It’s also a great time of year in the menswear world — it’s time to drop a few hints about your men’s style holiday wish list, it’s time to gear up with stylish snow gear, and it’s time to get a big jump on your holiday shopping for her. With all those wheels in motion, it made for an extra-busy week at The Style Guide. It kicked off with a really neat, special Monday night — it’s not too often you get the chance to check out a band as big as Bastille  in a venue as intimate as the renowned Bowery Ballroom, but the lauded British indie pop band returned to NYC to make up a special show originally scheduled for October. It was a fantastic night of live music — lead singer Dan Smith is smooth, poised and energetic, with a great band behind him. They played their way through one of the best pop albums of the year — that would be “Wild World” — with a few slightly older hits (“Pompeii” among them!) thrown in for good measure. Songs like “Warmth” and “The Currents” really shone through in a live setting, too. It was a treat to see them in such an intimate venue — and it was even better to catch them the very next night at Manhattan’s cavernous Pier 36 for the very cool Pandora Holiday Live event, which also featured scores of fans on-hand for Bishop Briggs and the energetic (if divisive) British mega-band The 1975 , a group who seem to be everywhere nowadays. If you can, I’d definitely recommend catching Bastille at one of a number of festivals this summer — they’ll surely be there! While summer festival season sounds mighty nice right about now, maybe you’ve got to dress in style for your holiday party, or get a jump on the weekend, so let’s get on with it — we’ve got you covered with this week’s #menswear news.

Nautica

A standout giveaway from everyone's favorite lifestyle purveyor.

A standout giveaway from everyone’s favorite lifestyle site.

  • Alright, so this is a pretty big deal. Purveyors of a stunning mix of men’s lifestyle and style goods, Huckberry is doing it big this holiday season with its Golden Holiday 2016 contest. It’s four straight weeks of neat holiday prizes you can only find at Huckberry, running from now until December 18th. What was last week’s prize? A sweet Secret Agent kit featuring some seriously stylish tailored gear from Trumaker. And this week’s prize? Potentially even cooler. It’s a bespoke sailing adventure — yes, you read that right — on a private yacht around one of a handful of beautiful locations: Maine, the British Virgin Islands, Croatia or Greece, all thanks to Huckberry partners Sailing Collective. Now, how to enter? Those who place an order via Huckberry this week are in the running — every purchase gets you Coal Hard Cash, which you can redeem 24 hours after said purchase to find out if you’ve won Huckberry credit (up to $500!) or, better yet, the incredible top prize (no exaggeration here). But wait! There are two more weeks of prizes upcoming! Yes sir, that’s right. Does it get any better? Learn more, buy away & enter at Huckberry.
  • Want to mix a few more pieces with some high-fashion edge into your wardrobe? That task just got a little easier thanks to a new collaboration between Greg Lauren and Banana Republic.  Although at first it might seem unlikely given Lauren’s penchant for distressed, luxurious takes on style essentials, it’s a partnership through the Council of Fashion Designers that resulted in a 16-piece capsule collection. Of those 16 pieces, there are quite a few that are, well, pricey (a $3,000 cashmere overcoat, anyone?), but it’s a neat blend of the traditional and the unexpected that you should check out via the above feature at GQ.com.
  • In sneaker-related news, your favorite Brooklyn sneaker brand — Style Guide favorite GREATS  — is releasing an outstanding, sleek and stylish take on its lauded Royale silhouette. The good news for those of us who like to break out sneakers until the first snowfall hits? The new version of the Royale comes in a seasonally appropriate, deep navy blue “Jeans Suede” color that would team quite effectively with your favorite crewneck sweater and a trusty chambray shirt on casual winter weekends (sans snow, of course).

Want to read one more feature before the weekend?

Now, we’ve reached the end of the Friday Read this week — enter that Huckberry giveaway ASAP and add a few pieces to your Men’s Holiday Style Wish List now!

Stay stylish!

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s High-Top Sneakers for Fall

Editor’s note: Click this link for more essential menswear shopping picks.
Seasonal style transitions can be awfully fun, right? There’s something exciting (at least for your Style Guide author) about stowing away certain #menswear pieces — like lightweight summer shorts or a short-sleeve chambray shirt — for more durable, rugged and hard-wearing items. However, there are still four-season pieces that you can make work in chiller temps — like the ever-crucial, ever-stylish, ever-so-retro high-top sneaker. Just like with a tough pair of chukka boots, the higher cut of a … high-top sneaker (get it?) lends itself to a look and feel that fits right in with fall. The right pair of high-top sneakers can be worn just as you would wear fall boots — so, think selvedge denim and henleys galore (plus, a classic crewneck sweater wouldn’t go amiss). It can be fun to keep high-tops in your footwear rotation before switching over to hard-wearing winter boots, too. And if you live in a warmer climate? High-top sneakers are still something you should have you in your rotation. Are you with me on that? I sure hope so, because what follows is — dare I say it — a rundown of the best high-top sneakers for fall. Chime in with more suggestions on Facebook, and get high-top sneaker styling tips from time to time on Instagram.
A much-needed way to ease the transition from summer to fall -- a great-looking chukka sneaker.

A much-needed way to ease the transition from summer to fall — a great-looking chukka sneaker.

If you needed another reminder that fall is perhaps the best time for menswear fans, look no further than these sneakers. A comfortable gum rubber outsole blends seamlessly with durable duck canvas and a classic SeaVees chukka silhouette for an immensely wearable fall sneaker. It’s the ideal blend of business-casual and well, regular casual in a sneaker — pair ’em with a fall blazer and a merino long-sleeve tee for high-low office style, or rock them with a tough chore coat for weekend explorations. Plus, the price ain’t half-bad either.
A very durable, stylish take on the high-top from an excellent collaboration.

A very durable, stylish take on the high-top from an excellent collaboration.

Who better to take on the classic high-top sneaker than a designer who constantly supplies great takes on heritage menswear? The latest iteration in the Todd Snyder and P.F. Flyers collaboration is a heck of a sneaker to buy now, wear now and keep in your rotation as long as you can. Featuring P.F. Flyers’ trademark approach to comfort and a durable 14oz. military-spec canvas upper, they’re easily wearable with everything from grey chinos and a twill shirt to dark blue denim — add a blazer or denim jacket as you please.
A touch of sports-inspired style mixed with premium materials -- you can't beat that combo for the price.

A touch of sports-inspired style mixed with premium materials — you can’t beat that combo for the price.

Brooklyn’s own GREATS has long been a Style Guide favorite for their premium approach to footwear that’s equally inspired by sports and tailored style. The GREATS Royale Court blends a bit of both, with full-grain leather in a stylish Graphite color atop a Margom rubber outsole. The result is a durable sneaker in a surprisingly sleek silhouette –they’re fit for wearing with a classic blue Oxford and dark denim, or an elbow-patch cardigan and slim tan chinos through the chillier months. And you might not get a better price for the quality, either.
 
#4. SeaVees Maslon Desert Boots — $108 (Available via East Dane)
A unique color for fall, with plenty of wearability in other seasons, too.

A unique color for fall, with plenty of wearability in other seasons, too.

Just as with the SeaVees Huckberry Chukka, this brand is one that can do more than just classic warm-weather kicks like the SeaVees Legend Sneaker. In this instance, the Maslon Desert Boot merges the brand’s laidback California cool with classic fall styling potential thanks to the higher chukka cut. The rich Army Green suede plays nicely off the contrasting leather heel cap, resulting in a sneaker that could team with everything from slim dark denim to navy chinos.  When cared for properly, you’re also looking at sneakers that could be worn through spring and summer with breezy linen chinos. Again, if price is a factor, these sneakers are also a great steal in that regard.

#5. Tretorn Leather Nylite Hi 2 Sneakers — $100 (Available via East Dane)

Super-crisp black sneakers for all sorts of style situations.

Super-crisp black sneakers for all sorts of style situations.

Tretorn is another brand that might turn some heads when it comes to fall sneakers — after all, they’re perhaps most well-known for classic styles like the Tretorn Nylite Canvas. However, the Tretorn Nylite Hi 2 is every bit as ready for fall as any of the other picks on this list, with a  sleek black color and an even sleeker silhouette to boot. A terrycloth sock liner should add to the extreme comfort of these sneakers, which you could seamlessly team up with black denim and a chambray shirt to wear to your next rock concert — or to the office with garment-dyed chinos and a slim crewneck sweater.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

In the way of high-top sneakers, as long as you emphasize affordability, durability and style, you should be well-set for the season ahead. When paired up with similar cold-weather style staples — particularly items from your Fall Style Wish List — sneakers are every bit as versatile as your favorite pair of fall boots. And given that plenty of designers are emphasizing tough materials like canvas in their uppers, plus thick rubber outsoles, the right pair of high-top sneakers should last you through this season and into next spring … and summer … and fall. Whether you reach for a pair from a more established designer like Mr. Snyder, or a classic warm-weather brand like SeaVees, you should be set for any #menswear situation you can think of. Got questions or additions to this list? Drop a note in the comments, or catch up with yours truly via Twitter.
Until we meet again — stay stylish,
-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The 5 Best Spring Sneakers to Buy Now

Editor’s note: For a plethora of pertinent seasonal style picks, head this way.

Sharp white sneakers -- like the GREATS Brand Wilson -- make spring style all the easier. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Short-sleeve gingham shirt and shorts by Banana Republic. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Sharp white sneakers — like the GREATS Brand Wilson — make spring style all the easier (even with a sunburn). Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Short-sleeve gingham shirt and shorts by Banana Republic. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

We’ve been talking a lot here on The Style Guide about how to transition your style seamlessly between the seasons. That includes the essentials, like a stylish spring jacket or a lightweight spring sweater, and it goes on all the way down to footwear. Be it an especially sharp pair of Jack Erwin loafers (as in a recent Style Pick feature), or something more spring-friendly, don’t leave out that part of the equation. Now, we covered off on great men’s sneakers last spring, but there’s no time like the present to deliver an update on a pair of footwear that’ll be in heavy rotation for the next four or five months  (if we’re lucky). With that being said, let’s dive right into the below #menswear picks — if you see any brands missing, let me know on Facebook!

#1. The Hill-Side Pale Indigo Washed Denim Low-Top Sneakers, $175

The same fabric that goes into your favorite denim makes up these stunning sneakers.

The same fabric that goes into your favorite denim makes up these stunning sneakers.

The Hill-Side has earned its stripes since launching in 2009, what with a dedication to exceptional fabrics, neat takes on classic silhouettes and a stellar GAP Capsule collection as part of the GQ Best New Menswear Designer in America collection. It’s no surprise, then, that these pale indigo washed denim sneakers look extraordinary, crafted from 100 percent Japanese cotton in a heritage sneaker factory and assembled by hand. These are casual enough to rock with dark denim and a slim T-shirt, but they’d add a heck of a lot of cool to a slim khaki blazer and grey chinos.

#2. GREATS Royale Court in Graphite — $199

Back again, and ready for spring.

Back again, and ready for spring.

These sneakers first appeared on this blog way back in October, but lest we forget that spring can be a time of transition, they’re back. The excellent thing about picking up these sneakers now is that they add some visual interest — and a heck of a lot of sturdy high-top construction — to laidback, casual outfits (like lightwash jeans and a rugged short-sleeve henley, for example). Plus, you can safely rock them into fall and winter. Oh, and if you fancy yourself heading to a lot of summer music festivals and want a sturdy sneaker that’s still right for the occasion, the Royale Court would be an outstanding pick.


#3. SeaVees Army Issue Sneaker — $98

An sneaker with military roots, and the specs to prove it.

An sneaker with military roots, and the specs to prove it.

SeaVees is a brand that knows what it does well and sticks to it. In this case, that’s channeling a combination of West Coast vibes and classic East Coast styling — and the resulting SeaVees staple, the Army Issue Sneaker, is a nice result. Crisp white sneakers like these can be styled all kinds of ways, from rocking them with a lightweight sweater and chinos (as in this post) to pairing them with dark denim and an unconstructed navy blazer. For under $100, the full-grain leather, suede toe cap and cotton canvas lining can’t really be beat.

#4. Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Nubuck Rambler Low — $199

Just one of several ideal spring sneakers, built with quality and style in mind.

Just one of several ideal spring sneakers, built with quality and style in mind.

When this year’s version of the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers collaboration launched in February, it was a welcome addition to one writer’s Style Wish List. And now that spring is creeping its way forward (for some of us), there’s no better time to hop on board with ’em. Todd Snyder’s taken the same classic, heritage-inspired styling principles that have made his own line a hit, and pumped them into a solid take on a versatile sneaker that would look excellent with slim lightwash jeans and a stylish spring polo.

#5. Rancourt & Co. Court Classic Low Sneakers — $260

A low-top in navy leather that changes the pace from regular white sneakers, with a ton of quality built in.

A low-top in navy leather that changes the pace from regular white sneakers, with a ton of quality built in.

By far the most expensive sneaker on this list (for good reason), Rancourt turned its attention last year to sneakers with the same attention to detail as its renowned boots. And that’s a very good thing for all of us #menswear fans. The Court Classic Low features a stunning full-grain navy leather upper that’s a nice change of pace from solid black or white sneakers, and it’s made in the USA — 100 percent! The Vibram sole should be exceedingly comfortable, meaning you can rock ’em with a slim chambray suit for high-low style, or a laidback tee and summer shorts.

It was quite tough to put together this list — after all, even brands that made the cut (like The Hill-Side or GREATS) deliver all sorts of exceptional sneakers for a variety of price points. If you’re looking for a super-simple style that certainly won’t break the bank, the GREATS Wilson is the way to go. Premium retailers like J. Crew also offer a heck of a lot of sneakers picks (as detailed in this site’s Sneaker Style Upgrade piece). And of course, it’s worth checking out Converse for its classic Jack Purcell Sneaker alone. With that being said, the awesome thing about today’s menswear world is that a great pair of sneakers can take you a ton of different places — spring, summer, and beyond. Not a bad deal to me!

What’s your take on the above picks? Are there certain brands you’d add? Let me know!

Style Suggestion: What to Wear for Sunday Brunch

Editor’s note: More interested in other style suggestions? Head here. And then come right back, please?

So, here’s the scenario. Maybe you’re not the type to “brunch” frequently, or go out dressed up on a Sunday (be it church or somewhere else). But let’s say you’ve got a nice meal out planned with friends or family on… Saturday instead? This outfit can definitely be customized to that situation as well. And as the weather really rolls into spring, there are going to be opportunities aplenty to get outside and enjoy a nice meal and a warm breeze. It’s a pretty enjoyable experience, honestly — even if fighting crowds isn’t your thing. Trust me, I love me some brunch. And whether you enjoy it in a more casual or formal setting, the below outfit should be able to take you either direction with a few tweaks. And hey, who doesn’t love buying a new spring sweater or a nice polo? I’d wager very few of us. Oh, and save some time to check out The Style Guide on Facebook while we’re here.

The Sweater: JackThreads Daily Cardigan in Navy — $39.99

A versatile cardigan great for spring and well beyond.

A versatile cardigan great for spring and well beyond.

Why the cardigan, you ask? Well, as it is April and all, there could very well be a slight chill in the air (and if you need something sturdier on top of that, look here for great spring jackets). And this JackThreads cardigan in particular is the one to pick up if you’ve never given the style a shot — or conversely, if you’ve tried it and not been a fan. There’s a reason they call it the “Daily Cardigan,” and that might very well be because it combines a slim fit with excellent fabric and a really versatile color. Which brings us to the polo you see below…

The Polo: Bonobos Classic Pique Polo in Heather Brick — $58

As seen in this week's guide to spring polos -- it's a nice, casual style upgrade.

As seen in this week’s guide to spring polos — it’s a nice, casual style upgrade.

This polo first appeared …well, just earlier this week in our guide to the best spring polos for men, but it’s back again precisely because this is the ideal situation in which to upgrade your polo game. Bonobos has updated the fabric and fit of this pique polo, and the color is also a welcome switch-up from blue or white polos (of which this past week’s post was filled with). But at any rate, the modern fit of both the cardigan and polo should avoid too many preppy vibes — and the prices are agreeable, too.

The Pants: Taylor Stitch Slim Chino in Khaki — $98

A pair of chinos that's both classic and modern? Pick 'em up before they're gone.

A pair of chinos that’s both classic and modern? Pick ’em up before they’re gone.

The Taylor Stitch Standard Issue Chino is practically legendary for its combination of quality and styling potential, and that makes it an easy pick to pair with this outfit. This pair again takes another prep style staple and upgrades it significantly from its forebears by slimming down the fit, using a brushed Spanish twill and crucially, getting rid of those pesky pleats. The color works nicely off the burgundy polo and the navy cardigan, and a cuffed chino is always a solid bet with crisp white sneakers. On that note — drum roll, please….

The Sneakers: GREATS Brand Royale in Blanco — $159

The 21st century dress sneaker, fit for brunches galore.

The 21st century dress sneaker, fit for brunches galore.

Are you getting the vibe of this outfit yet? It’s all about taking casual, preppier style staples and classing them up significantly — that’s equally true in the case of the GREATS Royale in a remarkably crisp and premium white Italian leather. This is about as close to a dress pair of white sneakers as you can get, and they should look right at home as a casual-yet-polished capper to this outfit. If they’re too casual, you could definitely swap them out for a pair of refined wingtips. Conversely, the GREATS Wilson would definitely be suitable here.

The Belt: Land’s End Distressed Vintage Jean Belt — $39

Not too casual, not too dressy. Perfect for Sunday brunch.

Not too casual, not too dressy. Perfect for Sunday brunch.

As opposed to picking a full-on dress belt, we’ll reach here for a belt that combines a touch of rugged styling with a crisp lighter brown color. It’s a nice go-between that’ll also work well up against durable winter boots, so it’s worth the price tag. The brass buckle dresses things down, too. A more summer-friendly woven cotton belt (as featured here) could also do the trick — but keep in mind, versatility is the goal even when grabbing a belt.

The Watch: KOMONO Winston Blue in Cognac — $89.95

The cognac strap, blue dial and silver dial markings are a pretty pleasing combo that should work well in this outfit.

The cognac strap, blue dial and silver dial markings are a pretty pleasing combo that should work well in this outfit.

So we’ve got the navy cardigan, the burgundy polo and the tan chinos — what’s next on the color wheel? Call it unscientific, but a striking blue watch really complements those colors nicely. KOMONO crafts its watches with striking quality for the price point — for colder temperatures, the Winston Herringbone is a personal favorite. The Winston in Blue looks to be no different in terms of quality, with a pleasing design and a cognac strap that matches nicely with the belt. And the price? That should definitely leave a bit leftover for a Bloody Mary.

The Socks: American Trench Rugby Stripe Socks in Navy — $14.50

A subtle but stylish complement to a sharp Sunday style scenario (see what I did there?).

A subtle but stylish complement to a sharp Sunday style scenario (see what I did there?).

These are anything but a plain old dress sock. American Trench’s cotton rugby stripe socks are premium, breathable and comfortable, with a pattern that pairs really well with the other colors in this ensemble. The Navy Rugby Stripe Sock in particular is a new offering for spring that’ll definitely pair well with white sneakers or tan suede chukkas. No-show socks would definitely work in this instance if it’s a little warmer out.

In an ideal scenario, the above combo would you have covered for every brunch situation imaginable — yes, even Brunch Village. And the same styling principles still apply no matter where you go this spring — looking for quality style staples that fit well and coordinate color-wise (underrated, but important) is always a bonus. And pieces like slim chinos, a sharp polo and crisp white sneakers can definitely carry you into summer. The only question is where to make a reservation — right?


#OOTD: How to Dress for a Spring Bar Crawl

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 that spring is here in earnest (at least a little bit), maybe those invitations to outdoor get-together (the best kind after a long winter) are starting to trickle in. If you’re like this #menswear writer, you might enjoy a cold beverage or two on a patio as things to start to warm up, and those sorts of things just go well with some nice barbecue or a burger. Even if Memorial Day and the true start of summer is a ways off, it never hurts to have gear on hand for these sorts of situations (that goes for beer, as well). We’re taking a scenario that’s more laidback and adding a bit of class through some key style details, like a sturdy jacket and some natural, garment-dyed jeans — both slight upgrades from the athletic windbreaker and baggy denim others might pick in a situation like this (to each their own, though!). Check out this casual, relaxed (but not sloppy!) take on a spring-ready outfit, and let me know how you like it over at The Style Guide Facebook page.

A casual, laidback mix of color and texture -- with a few vintage style touches thrown in.

A casual, laidback mix of color and texture — with a few vintage style touches thrown in.

The Jacket: J. Crew Mechanic Field Jacket in Navy, $198 — While any of a number of spring jackets might also be acceptable here, there’s something rugged and classic about a tough field jacket for tossing back a beer or two (if that’s your thing).

The Shirt: Mack Weldon Pima V-neck in Deep Lichen Green, $32 — Mack Weldon’s tees are slim, soft and well-crafted; in this case, the olive color plays very well off the dark navy of the field coat.

The Jeans: JackThreads Slim Natural Garment-Dyed Denim, $59 — If ever you felt like stepping away from rugged dark denim for something lightweight and spring-inspired, this is the pair for you. The slim fit should be on point, as well.

The Sneakers: GREATS Royale in Graphite Suede, $159 — Just like natural-colored denim, suede is a material that’s particularly at home during spring (especially in crisp sneakers that can be dressed up or down).

The Socks: J. Crew Factory No-Show Socks, $7 — We’re sticking with no-show socks here to really get into the spirit of spring — plus, some slim denim practically begs to be cuffed or rolled to show off those sneakers.

The Belt: Perry Ellis Navy Webbed Belt, $17.99 — So in this instance, does the belt match the shoes? No, sir. But, this is a casual situation — and crucially, the navy color and webbed texture play nicely off the rugged jacket and garment-dyed denim.

The Watch: Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray Watch, $49.99 — For the rugged quality of this watch, there might not be a better value on the market. Also featured in this site’s post on what to wear for the NCAA tourney.

The Cap: Ebbets Field Flannels Bustin’ Babes 1927 Ballcap, $39 — Nearly $40 is quite the splurge for a cap, but this piece is a great conversation starter and it complements the vintage look of the field jacket. Call it a decided upgrade over a plain athletic logo hat. And if you’re not into hats, this outfit should look just fine without it.

We’ve talked a lot (I mean, a lot) about style upgrades on this blog, and for good reason. When you approach a more casual situation like a barbecue or beer (I mean, bar) crawl with an eye toward style, it helps. And coming from a guy who loves menswear, it’s always nice to be able to combine some unexpected colors — navy, olive, charcoal and a natural garment dye — in an unexpected way. Plus, the combination of easygoing layers and durable casual essentials (like that rubber-strap watch or the vintage ballcap) should come in handy throughout tons of other spring style scenarios.

What’s your take? Is this outfit fit for tossing a few back?