Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Denim Shirts to Buy Now

Editor’s note: Get more menswear shopping picks for the season at that link.

There are some staples that never really, truly go out of style. From a rugged chambray shirt to a classic blue Oxford, these are the sort of pieces that a well-dressed guy should feasibly have in his wardrobe. And although there are a few other items you should readily have in your closet, it’s tough to dispute the timeless, rugged style of a denim shirt — yes, that’s right. Like the chambray shirt, the denim shirt is a hearty take on men’s shirting, originally worn by rough-and-tumble cowboys, ranchers and guys who needed a shirt that could take a beating. Well, modern iterations are a bit different — cut slimmer and trimmer, with more style-forward washes and detailing, for one. Yet, it’s the type of shirt that can make any guy look good — if you know which one to buy, that is. Its rugged appeal and durability makes it timeless and … you guessed it … essential. Today, we talk five great denim shirts to buy RIGHT NOW. Get more menswear at The Style Guide Facebook page and via Twitter, folks.

#1. Levi’s Barstow Western Shirt — $69.50

Made the same way as it was decades ago -- and updated with a modern fit and neat style details.

Made the same way as it was decades ago — and updated with a modern fit and neat style details.

If there’s a brand that makes a better denim shirt — or has more longevity doing it — they’ve got a tough act to follow in Levi’s. The brand still abides by the rugged ethos and construction that made its denim the pants of choice for gold miners out West, and the Barstow Western Shirt carries on that same tradition through to the 21st century. Wear this one with the Levi’s 505C to your next concert, and hang onto it the next you want a shirt to wear to the bar with friends.

#2. Scotch and Soda Denim Shirt (Available via East Dane) — $125

A minimal take on the denim shirt -- just as essential for the season.

A minimal take on the denim shirt — just as essential for the season.

While a denim shirt with a bit of a faded wash  is a reliably safe bet, you can never go wrong with a deep, dark blue denim shirt. Scotch and Soda makes pieces that are eclectic and unique in their construction and design, but this denim shirt is a winner — as with the Levi’s option above, it’s the type of shirt to wear to a rock concert, perhaps with a rugged waxed trucker jacket. And for $125, you should give it a go with a grey wool knit tie and burgundy corduroys this coming winter, too.

#3. Buck Mason Bleached Indigo Pearl Snap Shirt — $145

Made in America with classic style details -- doesn't get any better!

Made in America with classic style details — doesn’t get any better!

$145 for a shirt? Oh, yes. And here’s why — the team at Buck Mason knows a thing or two about making premium menswear in America, and this bleached indigo shirt is a fine example. Made from an 8oz. chambray fabric, it features custom-built pearl snaps and a fit that should team nicely with your favorite rugged henley this fall  and winter. The color and construction mean it also works for  layering under a suede bomber jacket on breezy days.

#4.  J. Crew Slim Midweight Denim Shirt — $88

It's tough to go wrong with J. Crew -- this denim shirt is a surefire winner.

It’s tough to go wrong with J. Crew — this denim shirt is a surefire winner.

J. Crew was (and is?) quite possibly the reason behind the surge in popularity of the classic chambray shirt over this past half-decade in menswear, and it’s no surprise that they make a heck of a denim shirt, too. This piece is slim and features a dark wash that should look just right this fall and winter with grey denim — and just as great come springtime with slim stone chinos and classic navy sneakers.

#5. Bridge and Burn Flint Overshirt — $182

A deep indigo dye and sturdy construction make this a fall and winter layering favorite.

A deep indigo dye and sturdy construction make this a fall and winter layering favorite.

So, is this overshirt your typical denim shirt? Not quite. It’s thicker, lined with cotton flannel and done up in a deep indigo wash, for one. And it doesn’t feature the  typical pearl snaps seen on most denim shirts. However,  it gets the nod here because of its versatility, durability and quality construction. The great team at Bridge & Burn puts their own touches on classic staples  (including fall’s  must-have bomber), and the Flint Overshirt is yet another example of those efforts. It’s easy to layer over a slim pocket tee, and it’ll pair up quite nicely with a stylish henley and your favorite pair of selvedge denim.
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No matter how you wear it — atop a tee, under a slim cardigan or on its own with the sleeves rolled up — a tough denim shirt is your answer to rugged fall and winter style. In the right cut and with a bit of visual interest, a denim shirt can act as another casual shirting option — think of it as an alternative to your favorite chambray shirt. And it’ll work in the fall and winter, plus the spring — when worn with other seasonal style essentials, of course. Did I miss any picks? Shoot me a note on Twitter, or drop us a line in the comments below.

Happy shopping!

-Beau

#OOTD: How to Wear A Cardigan This Fall

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.

Here we are, back from a weekend trip to Providence and ready to dive into another #OOTD on everyone’s favorite menswear blog. If you haven’t caught on by now, layering up for breezy fall weather can be fun and enjoyable — whereas dressing for a blustery snowstorm is done more out of necessity, there’s nothing quite like throwing on a few extra layers just because you can. Particularly when one of those layers is a stylish cardigan, perfect for late October weather. Keep in mind that a shawl cardigan would work for fall weather as well, but we’ve added a bit more to the look below. If you pick up the right style — trim-fitting and textured– you can pair it with just about anything (including a durable chore coat). And that gives you plenty of leeway to rock other seasonal style staples (say that five times fast), like a classic poplin shirt, slim black denim and … of course … tough leather boots. We won’t give it all away up here though — scroll down to get the scoop on this #menswear look.  And for more daily style inspiration, hit up yours truly on Instagram.

Layering a cotton cardigan with pieces equal parts rugged and refined for the fall season.

Layering a cotton cardigan with pieces equal parts rugged and refined for the fall season.

The Cardigan: Dockers Premium Cotton Cardigan Sweater, $98 — Why go with a cotton cardigan in late October? Because it’s blended with cashmere, has some nice texture and can be easily layered over top of (see below for more, folks).

The Coat: Apolis Selvage Denim Chore Coat, $228 — This rough-and-tumble denim chore coat is an exclusive piece for Huckberry, and that means you & I are all the better for it. Made in California from Cone Mills denim, it’ll age beautifully the more you wear it. Shop away.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Shirt: Big Flower Stretch Poplin Shirt, $125 — Given the fact that we’re layering just a bit, you want a shirt that moves well, fits comfortably and looks great. Enter this classic stretch poplin shirt; pair it with charcoal chinos and this same cardigan sans chore coat if it gets a bit warm.

The Denim: Cheap Monday Sonic Jeans, $90 (Available via East Dane) — When you’ve got a variety of textures up top, it’s best to keep your denim simple. In this case, a no-frills pair of black denim gets the job done & contrasts with the blue selvage denim chore coat. Don’t forget a textured leather belt, yeah?

The Boots: Thursday Boots Brown Wingtip Boots, $220 — If you thought the folks at Thursday Boots were done making stellar, affordably priced boots — well, you were wrong. These stunners are perfect for fall. Worried about mixing brown and black? This casual outfit makes that less of a problem.

The Socks: CHUP Missouri Socks,$38 — “Nearly $40 for socks? Isn’t that a bit much, Beau?” Well … yes, yes it is. But rather than buying disposable, cheap socks by the dozen, you could snag the CHUP Missouri Sock from Huckberry and be set for the season.

The Watch: Lum-Tec Special Edition Combat B30 Bronze Watch, $899.98 — So, first things first — this Lum-Tec watch is a tad bit pricey, to say the least. But it’s a beautifully crafted, durable field watch that’s as suitable for the office as it is for your next fall adventure.

The Everyday Carry: Taylor Stitch Raw Brass Keyhook, $32 — Do you necessarily need a made-in-America, raw brass keyhook? Well, it’s not a matter of life or death. But it makes keeping track of your keys a whole lot more enjoyable.

And, well … there you have it, folks. Taking a premium cotton-cashmere cardigan from an unexpected source (that would be the chino purveyors at Dockers) and blending it with simple denim and a comfortable stretch poplin shirt can set you up for all kinds of versatile style situations this fall. From a casual Friday at the office to a day in class where you just want to look a bit more put together than the dude next to you, this outfit’s got it all. Hey, you’d be OK with cheap beer for a bit if it means you look great, right? Just me? Ahh, well. And the durable wingtip boots add quite a bit of polish to the whole ensemble, while the selvage denim chore coat serves as both a durable piece of outerwear and a fine addition to the rest of your seasonal wardrobe. Oh, and while that tough-as-nails Lum-Tec watch is just a  wee bit pricey, it’ll perform all the better given the extra investment. How would you wear your cardigan this fall? Still need one? Circle back around to our picks for the top cardigans for fall when you get the chance.

Until tomorrow’s post — stay stylish,

-Beau

Bring on October: An early fall weekend in New York

Editor’s note: Click here for another seasonal men’s style post. Thanks to Forever21 Men for providing specific products featured in this post. Thanks for supporting the brands that support The Style Guide!

Getting around town in style with the Karnes Alpine Hiker thanks to Johnston & Murphy. Head to the brand's new NYC menswear store at 200 5th Avenue if you get the chance! Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Blue Oxford by JackThreads. Silver knit tie by Banana Republic. Trusty 508 Jeans by Levi's. Glasses by Frameri.

Getting around town in style for a family weekend with the Karnes Alpine Hiker thanks to Johnston & Murphy. Head to the brand’s new NYC menswear store at 200 5th Avenue if you get the chance! Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Blue Oxford by JackThreads. Silver knit tie by Banana Republic. Trusty 508 Jeans by Levi’s. Glasses by Frameri.

There are several things I’ve been eagerly awaiting these past few weeks, from an amazing Lucius concert in New York City to a proper transition to fall style and notably, my family’s visit to the Big Apple this past weekend. My mom and sister joined me in exploring in NYC this past May (dressed in style, of course), and although I saw my family in Florida at the end of August, it was a much-needed and ultra-fun weekend in my adopted home this time around. And the highlights were certainly aplenty for a relatively quick four-day trip — starting with the neat event pictured at the top of the page (more in a minute). My parents and sister joined me in Brooklyn at my humble abode (the backdrop to my Instagram photos, as it were), and we really did pack a lot into their trip — we’re talking everything from Broadway shows to NYC exploration and of course, a crucial Sunday brunch. It was a lot to take in, so I brought my A-plus #menswear game — and then some.

My family arrived into town on Thursday, right as I was taking part in a very cool event — perhaps the neatest thing I’ve had the chance to do in my part-time gig as a style writer (oh, and pictured at the top of the page). Heritage menswear brand Johnston & Murphy just opened up a dedicated men’s shop in the Big Apple, offering up the brand’s excellent and affordable footwear, accessories and apparel in a refined, unique environment — it’s at 200 5th Avenue in NYC, when you happen to make it out here (if you’re already out East, get there — STAT!). With that in mind, they brought together a group of men’s style bloggers & writers — like yours truly — to participate in a neat menswear stunt — we’re talking jaunting around town accompanied by a bike-riding shoe-shiner, all the while decked out in stellar J&M boots. I tested out the Karnes Alpine Boot for the occasion — the beautiful quality and construction sets these apart, and they’re a steal for under $200. They’re super comfortable, to boot (pun intended!). With the event came the chance to pair up some favorite style essentials for moving to and from the office — including the lightweight, breathable Grayers Ivy Blazer, a well-worn and appropriately classic pair of Levi’s 508 Jeans and the simple, equally classic JackThreads Oxford Shirt, plus a Banana Republic knit tie (an oldie, but a goodie).  It was a great afternoon, and a very fun event in which to participate! Definitely stay tuned for more Johnston & Murphy-related content throughout the rest of the fall — the brand’s gear is just that well-made!

Of course, stopping at Johnston & Murphy and then heading back to the office made for a busy afternoon, as I caught up with my family to recap the day at Fraunces’ Tavern, a revered American tavern in operation since 1762 — yes, 1762! It’s a living, breathing part of American history — and it’s immortalized in the smash hit musical “Hamilton,” to boot.  A pro tip — they also feature the American outpost of the standout Porterhouse Brewing Company, and the restaurant’s New York strip is incredible. The historic ambience is incredible in and of itself, and the location will certainly make you feel patriotic!

The latest Style Pick? A pair of stunning American-made sneakers: The Danner x New Balance miUSA 585. Button Denim Jacket by Forever21. Heather Grey Henley and Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos by JACHS NY. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Glasses by Frameri.

The latest Style Pick? A pair of stunning American-made sneakers: The Danner x New Balance miUSA 585. Button Denim Jacket by Forever21. Heather Grey Henley and Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos by JACHS NY. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Glasses by Frameri.

Although it was a busy — and rather exhausting — Thursday, the weekend was in sight on Friday, which called for a mix of sporty and classic style to take on a day at the office and a night out in NYC. Knitwear from JACHS NY is a great bet for the changing seasons — the brand uses a nice blend of premium fabrics and neat, heritage-inspired touches. The slanted chest pocket on the Heather Grey Long-Sleeve Henley is but one example, and the fabric quality in that particular piece is definitely on-point. It was a comfortable mid-layer beneath my brand-new Forever21 Button Denim Jacket (thanks to the brand for supplying!). When teamed with my JACHS NY Forest Green Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos, the ensemble worked well for what the day had in store. In fact, I’d recommend you reach for similar transitional, long-lasting pieces for casual Friday, and in that regard, my sneaker choice more than fit the bill.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
In fact, they’re a pair I’d say you should look into — the Danner x New Balance miUSA 585 is a hot-off-the-press collaboration effort between two brands that share a love of American craftsmanship, heritage and style. The sneakers are nothing short of a brilliant master class in long-lasting construction, durability and of course, stellar looks. New Balance’s ROLLBAR technology offers cushioning and support, while the Horween leather and ballistic nylon on the upper are seriously tough. Plus, it’s a really versatile sneaker, with the comfort of a Danner hiking boot and the style of a set of New Balance kicks. I could go on, but know that they more than lived up to the task of getting to and from the office and around NYC in the evening after.

saturday-grid-photo

The ideal outfit for getting around NYC and checking out two Broadway shows. Slim-Fit Striped Burgundy Shirt c/o Forever21 Men. Garment-dyed chinos by Dockers. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Brown leather Chelsea boots by JackThreads. Pen by Owen & Fred.

A busy Friday night led quickly into a great Saturday around New York City — just as with my family’s May trip, we took full advantage of the opportunity to take in not one, but TWO fantastic Broadway shows through the weekend. First up on the agenda — a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see the revered much-loved and all-around legendary “Hamilton” at the Richard Rodgers Theatre again; just as seeing it in May was an entirely unexpected and incredible treat (thank you, Dad!), getting the chance to see it once more was just as unexpected, just as breathtaking and just as incredible. It’s intense, it’s powerful, it’s dramatic and it makes you want to learn more about the history of our country! How cool. It’s truly a gem — every bit as good as advertised. And our second Broadway show was nearly just as momentous — the extraordinary “Cats,” a revered musical making its return to the stage in NYC after about 15 years away. Fun fact: In my first family trip to New York City back in 2000, my family and I also saw “Cats” — things really do come full circle! All that Broadway show-hopping — and a stop for a delicious dinner at the Glass House Tavern — called for sharp, easygoing style. The Slim-Fit Striped Cotton Shirt (courtesy of Forever21), helped me meet the occasion in style on my top half — particularly when matched up once again with my trusty Grayers Ivy Blazer. Slim Dockers garment-dyed chinos also teamed up nicely with the versatile, refined JackThreads Kimbo Chelsea Boot, which features quality leather, a sturdy rubber sole and the kind of styling potential you can’t get with just any pair of $110 boots.

sunday-brunch-update

An outfit ready to take on Sunday brunch. Button Denim Jacket by Forever21 Men. Cable Sweater by Dockers. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Grey chinos by JACHS NY. Grounder High-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri.

Both shows were an absolute joy to watch — I consider myself first and foremost a big-time menswear fan, but to be around a packed theater of fans who appreciate Broadway was pretty cool (to say the least). And again, seeing “Hamilton” for a second time — just extraordinary. The fantastic trip — and a delicious brunch to cap it off — came to an end all too quickly, but for my family’s last half-day in the city, I still did the best I could in all things #menswear. That meant grabbing a clean-cut essential, the Todd Shelton Classic White Oxford, and pairing it up with a premium Dockers sweater (the one pictured is sold-out, but the rest of the brand’s offeirngs are on-point). It was unfortuately rainy and chilly, so that weather made it ideal to break out yet another neat layering piece courtesy of Forever21, the Forever21 Buttoned Denim Jacket. I threw on a sharp-as-heck timepiece (that would be the Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch), and along with my  Grey Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos from JACHS NY, I was well and truly set for exploring Brooklyn. That meant, among other blogging pursuits, grabbing a critical brunch Bloody Mary at Building on Bond and generally enjoying the comfort and style of my Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top sneakers. Seriously, grab a pair of those sneakers and resist the urge to pair them with just about everything you own.

The weekend definitely came to an end too quickly, but with the chance to catch up with my family, take in two amazing, thrilling Broadway shows and explore some NYC landmarks both new and old, it was one of the highlights of this year. There are always new adventures to have in the city, and to be able to experience those with my family — and with some great gear — is very cool. For more personal style tips, head to Instagram, and follow along with #menswear on the daily via Twitter.

Until the next weekend of adventures — stay stylish,

-Beau

P.S. Check back here tomorrow for a weekend-centric #OOTD, and a terrific men’s style shopping suggestion on Wednesday.