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?

#OOTD: Dressing for a Laidback Office

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 will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

If you haven’t noticed on the calendar, we’re still in the midst of a pretty hot August. And even if you’ve got other tactics for fighting the heat in style — like rocking lightweight linen pants or a chambray blazer — there are still times where you might feel you’ve run out of ideas. Or rather, where you just want to look sharp and put-together even in a work environment where things are decidedly more casual. That’s where today’s 9-to-5 look comes in. Although you can add a classic blazer if you’d like, we’re ditching the jacket in favor of a well-fitting, lightweight denim shirt. It’s a welcome style swerve from a slim blue Oxford, believe me. And when paired up with style essentials that are crisp but not overly stuffy (like suede chukkas), you’ve got a head-to-toe ensemble that looks just fine, even sans blazer. So get that credit card at the ready, open a few extra browser tabs (online shopping is the best, am I right??) and check out the below #OOTD. For a real-time look at what your author is wearing on the daily, head to Instagram or Twitter.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Taking the standard business casual outfit & updating it with suede chukkas, a floral tie and a casual denim shirt.

Taking the standard business casual outfit & updating it with suede chukkas, a floral tie and a casual denim shirt.

The Pants: J. Crew Bowery Classic Pant in Cotton Twill, $79.50 — J. Crew excels at making style staples that work in multiple situations, and these cotton twill pants featuring a tailored-but-not-tight fit are no exception; you could also style them up with leather sneakers, but they work best in this biz-casual scenario.
Frank & Oak
The Shirt: JackThreads The Denim Shirt, $24.50 — Although this shirt featured prominently in a recent #OOTD on how to dress for a casual summer day, it can also be livened up with a lightweight tie; plus, that price is a fantastic value.

The Tie: Ties.com Blue Cotton Florence Tie, $20 — What’s the ideal complement to a light blue shirt? A navy floral cotton tie, of course. Pick up some no-show socks from Ties.com while you’re shopping, too.

The Shoes: Blu Kicks Tahoe Sand Chukka, $128 — While you could also rock some stylish leather loafers here, unlined suede chukkas are going to provide comfort, a shot of color and the ability to be worn underneath a rolled hem — they tie everything together even more casually — of course, that means you need comfortable no-show socks, too.

The Belt: Anderson’s Stretch Woven Leather Belt, $195 — A belt that’s nearly $200? Well, when you can wear it all four seasons and with outfits dressy or casual, you’ll get plenty of use out of it (see this #OOTD for another example).
The Watch: Jack Mason Nautical 3-Hand Watch, $157.98 — The great folks at Huckberry always curate stylish essentials for your everyday, and this unique watch that plays off nautical design inspiration is no exception. It’s dressy and sharp, yet water-resistant up to 100 meters.

The Briefs: Mack Weldon 18-Hour Jersey Boxer Briefs in Bossa Nova, $24 — When it comes to finishing touches, the Mack Weldon team has you all set. The brand’s boxer briefs might just be the most comfortable and high-performing on the market.
The Everyday Carry: Field Notes Brand Original Ruled Notebook (3-pack), $9.95 — If you’ve been looking for a low-profile addition to your desk, these notebooks are the way to go — they’re a design lover’s dream, measured and made with precision and accuracy in mind. Not a bad addition to your daily carry, right?
If you find yourself at a bit of a #menswear impasse when it comes to mixing up your summer style, it’s best to stick with what you know. That is, a shirt that’s well-fitting and casual, plus crisp dress pants, for starters. The touches that finish everything off — like suede chukkas, a unique watch and dependable accessories — go a long way in making this look one that’s refined and just a bit different from what you might normally wear on a daily basis. And shoes like those comfortable suede chukkas can rack up a lot of mileage in other situations both casual and refined, so they’re a wise pick-up now. Got questions or suggestions on this #OOTD? Leave it in the comments below, or drop me a note on Facebook.

Reader Giveaway Opportunity: #Menswear Essentials

Editor’s note: The below giveaway is made possible through a partnership with Nakturnal and features prizes from East Dane. Read on to win!

East Dane stocks head-to-toe menswear essentials -- if you're lucky, this guy could be you. Photo courtesy of East Dane.

East Dane stocks head-to-toe menswear essentials — if you’re lucky, this guy could be you. Photo courtesy of East Dane.

Although The Style Guide just ran a reader giveaway earlier this month with the great team at Tread for Men, we’re running another one today, and it’s focused on #menswear essentials — not bad, right? After all, you can never have enough stylish pieces with which to put together outfits. We’re talking menswear essentials that you can, and should, pick up and wear on the daily — things like a slim chambray shirt, dark denim, or suede chukkas. But where to find such essentials? Well, there are certain E-commerce sites that offer up all those pieces at once, with an eye for style that’s continental and classic. East Dane is one such site — if you’ve read this blog, you know that your humble author is definitely a fan. And if you can see that photo above — all East Dane pieces — you best believe they know what they’re talking about.

That’s why I’m so pleased today to partner up with Nakturnal and offer up two (yes, TWO!) $100 gift cards to East Dane and the site’s well-curated assortment of men’s lifestyle goods. The site’s slate of brands runs the gamut from venerable institutions like Filson and Converse to up-and-comers like Public School  — truly, they’ve got something for everyone. Particularly if you’re looking for something like a great pair of men’s jeans, they’ve got you. And if you want to get 50% off men’s goods right now — everything from chukkas to shirts to blazers — well, they’ve also got you. Now, note that if you’re based outside the U.S., shipping is free for orders of $100 or more, but you’re on the hook for any potential customs tariffs — we’re all about saving you money here at The Style Guide, see?

But back to the menswear at East Dane: It’s a terrific mix of classic, straightforward-yet-continental pieces, and in all, you could feasibly spend hours zipping around the site — as I’ve done in the past. If you want to dive right in and earn that gift card mentioned above, follow the giveaway details below; best of luck to those entering, and join the menswear conversation at The Style Guide Facebook page in the meantime. And the great thing is, you’ve got a whole week to enter! Good luck!

To win one of two $100 East Dane gift cards, comment below or share a link in the comments detailing your favorite item on the East Dane site.

Editor’s note: This contest ends at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23rd.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.