#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.
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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.
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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.

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#OOTD: Dressing for a Casual Spring Workday

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.

As we’ve talked about often on The Style Guide, great style doesn’t always have to mean suiting up — contrary to what it might seem out there in #menswear world. Sure, it’s absolutely fun (let alone necessary) to dress up every now and then — particularly for big occasions — but in some workplaces or on particular days, it’s just not all that functional or comfortable. That doesn’t mean principles of style (like fit, sharp colors and seasonal layering) can’t be put to just as good of use in a more casual outfit — like the #OOTD you see below. That’s particularly the case with a lightweight jacket that can take the place of your favorite blazer. So today, we’re talking transitional layers, slim chinos and some pieces that should hopefully stand out seamlessly at work and on the weekends alike. Have any scenarios you’d like covered in the #OOTD series? Let me know on Facebook!

A versatile outfit suited for the workday or the weekend -- that's the goal, right?

A versatile outfit suited for the workday or the weekend — that’s the goal, right?

The Jacket: Bridge & Burn Hayden Gray Jacket, $188 — Your average H&M windbreaker, this is not. Why is it worth it to pay more for a made-in-America spring jacket? Because in a neutral color, you can wear this guy in plenty of other outfits.

The Polo: Grayers Slub Nep Jersey Polo, $59.50 — Look to Grayers for an updated take on the classic navy polo — the slub texture of this shirt makes it the ideal switch-up from a plain pique number.

The Chinos: Abercrombie & Fitch Skinny Chinos, $68 — More Abercrombie & Fitch? Oh, yes. These skinny chinos in a terrific washed olive colorway are perfecting for pairing alongside understated neutrals like navy & grey.

The Shoes: Florsheim Casey Wingtip, $110 — These are a great casual wingtip thanks to the contrast stitching and ever-so-slightly roughed-up leather. Classic white sneakers could work here, too.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Braided Leather Belt, $20.50 — If ever there was a time to pair a braided belt with wingtips, this is it. The casual texture and color should match up quite well with those shoes — the colors aren’t an exact match, but let’s overthink this.

The Socks: J. Crew Factory No-Show Loafer Socks, $10 — Yes, we’re going with the sockless look here. Some aren’t partial to this look, but since these wingtips shouldn’t be too hard to break in, it should work just fine. If that’s too much, you could always grab some cream-and-black socks for a neutral look.

The Watch: Invicta Pro Diver 8926, $79.99 — Is there a better price for a fairly tough, versatile stainless steel dive watch? It’s tough to beat, that’s for sure.

The above #OOTD plays off some unique color combos, like navy and olive, and brings it all together with a durable, investment-worthy jacket and other classic pieces. A stainless steel diver for under $100 is tough to find, and snagging a pair of casual-yet-sharp wingtips is also something that can be pretty difficult to do. Suffice to say, this outfit is a definite upgrade from the more standard khakis-and-a-navy-polo look (although that can be done well in some cases). Try it out the next time you face a Casual Friday dilemma.

What’s your take on the above ensemble? How would you make it your own?
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