#OOTD: Everyday Style with a Classic Blue Oxford

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.

We’re back at it again with the #OOTD series here on The Style Guide, and today’s post keeps looking toward spring, ever so slightly. Colors are a bit brighter, textures are lighter and the weather is, well, a heck of a lot better than on any given winter day. Yes, it’s coming! And the sort of items you wear now — like a classic Oxford shirt or slim navy chinos — can pull just as much of their weight stylistically in the (slightly) warmer months as they can when it’s bitterly cold. The great part about using foundational building blocks in an everyday outfit is that you can afford to take some more risks, however small. As you’ll see in the below outfit, that means a slick pair of Chelsea boots where you might reach for some stylish dress shoes normally. That also means some nice color in the form of a patterned pocket square, and an attention-grabbing blue-dial watch. But enough of my rambling! The outfit’s here below.

OOTD OCBD Collage

A straightforward outfit with relatively simple tweaks — like those Chelsea boots and the patterned pocket square — made all the better by a classic blue Oxford.

The Shirt: JackThreads Slim Oxford, $39 — It truly is tough to find a brand producing a better-fitting, more versatile Oxford at such a nice combination of quality and price. This one’s a Style Guide favorite!

The Blazer: H&M Cotton Blazer, $49 — From David Beckham’s newest Modern Essentials collection with H&M, there’s no word on the quality of this blazer, and it’s likely not very high. But hey, think of it as a casual blazer alternative?

The Pocket Square: The Tie Bar Midway Pane Pocket Square, $10 — When you ditch the tie (or maybe go air-tie?), you can afford to toss some pattern into your outfit. The green windowpane pattern stands out just enough on that dark navy cotton.

The Chinos: Bonobos Jet Blue Washed Chinos, $88 — Bonobos has often staked the fate of its reputation on these chinos, and in three fits and versatile colors like this dark navy shade, they’re a very, very solid pickup for the price.

The Boots: Jack Erwin Ellis Chelsea Boot, $220 — These represent the slight style swerve from the norm within this outfit, and they make the ensemble look all the more sharp.

The Belt: Land’s End Distressed Vintage Jean Belt, $39 — A bit less dressy than a standard belt, this piece also represents a style swerve from the norm.

The Socks: Tommy John Performance Dress Socks, $16 — A simply, if slightly pricey, dress sock that wicks moisture and looks pretty crisp up against slim navy trousers.

The Watch: MVMT Watches The 40 in Blue/Brown Leather, $120 — A remarkably crisp and easy-to-wear watch that plays nicely off the dark navy chinos thanks to that brighter blue dial. Full review here.

With the aforementioned outfit in mind, you’ve got yourself the jumping-off point for all sorts of spring layering — and beyond. With pieces like those slick Chelsea boots, you can navigate rainy streets now — and with pieces like navy chinos and a slim blue Oxford, you’re set for dozens of outfit combos in the coming weeks and months. 

What’s your favorite way to style a blue Oxford? What small changes would you add to this ensemble?


Online Shopping Picks: Stylish Men’s Chelsea Boots to Buy Right Now

Editor’s note: Get the scoop on all the #menswear you could ever need with all The Style Guide’s online shopping picks.

Chelsea boots via ASOS, with a bit of seasonal wear-and-tear. Learn how to style yours below, folks.

Chelsea boots via ASOS, with a bit of seasonal wear-and-tear. Learn how to style yours below, folks.

In case the headline wasn’t enough of an indicator, today we’re talking Chelsea boots on The Style Guide. Like other pieces that once seemed relatively trendy (remember when J. Crew  nearly single-handedly brought back the now-essential chambray shirt?), these guys have practically become a safe bet as far as a great footwear option for stylish guys. They’re not as hearty as a sturdy pair of winter boots, to be sure, but in the right style and color, they can definitely work in three seasons — and maybe four, if the snow holds out. The silhouette is generally sleek and sharp, and that seemingly goes for whether you pick ’em up in brown or black leather, or suede — all picks seen below. A bit of rocker edge never hurt anyone, either. And while at first it might take a while to get used to just slipping into a pair of boots — as it did for me — you might soon find they’re your go-to footwear option when you want to step away from leather sneakers, dress shoes or more military-inspired boots. Check out today’s Style Guide picks, and give us a look on Facebook for all the menswear content you can possibly ‘Like.’

#1. Thursday Boot Company Brown Duke Boot — $199

A reliable and (hopefully) hard-wearing pick from an upstart brand.

A reliable and (hopefully) hard-wearing pick from an upstart brand.

While it was an exceptionally close call between the Duke Boot and the Ellis Boot from Jack Erwin (option numero dos), a slightly lower price and more versatile brown leather swayed this writer (more readily wearable in winter, see?). Thursday Boots continues to be a solid option if you want to up your boot game for not a whole lot o’ dough, and they nearly always deliver. You get better quality than a pair of Chelsea boots from a fast retailer like H&M, yet you’re not ponying up an arm and a leg from a pricier brand. Added details like the studded rubber outsole should ensure a smooth grip no matter the season.

#2. Jack Erwin Ellis Chelsea Boot in Brown Suede — $220

Sleek and sturdy at the same time -- a nice combination.

Sleek and sturdy at the same time — a nice combination.

Perhaps it’s the thought of springtime being (hopefully) not too far off, but these beautiful Jack Erwin brown suede Chelsea boots end up near the top of this list for a few great reasons.  On the comfort end of the equation, these boots feature a rubber sole and full leather lining — both things you’ll be grateful for if you’re out and about a lot. And on the looks end of things, the suede appears rich and high-quality — take ’em for a spin with some white jeans when the time comes. Sure, they’ll require a little extra care and will probably be needed to shelved when heavy snow hits, but the rest of the time, they’re on the money.

#3. Wolverine 1883 Garrick Chelsea Boot — $175

Heritage-quality leather and rugged style details at an approachable price.

Heritage-quality leather and rugged style details at an approachable price.

As sold by East Dane, these boots are part of Wolverine’s 1883 line, which has more than a dozen individual styles on the brand’s Web site. The biggest thing to note here is that, somewhat incredulously, you’re getting the Wolverine brand name for under $200 — no small feat when you look at the brand’s 1000 Mile line (particularly the Camden Chelsea Boot). At any rate, the Garrick is a slightly more rustic-looking Chelsea boot, what with burnishing details on the toe and heel, plus that wrinkled leather. These will still do just fine with dark denim or navy chinos, and they’d even add a nice contrast to spring denim.

#4. ASOS Tan Suede Chelsea Boot — $68.43

Dark tan suede Chelsea boots that combine some unique color with a terrific price.

Dark tan suede Chelsea boots that combine some unique color with a terrific price.

Got an extra two quarters lying around? So these ASOS Chelsea boots are, it goes without saying, a downright steal for the price. And they’re another style that, like the Florsheim boots above, are a very worthy pickup if you’re looking to dip your toes into this trend. They’re cut a little lower on the heel for a slightly more continental look . Note that the suede isn’t the highest-quality, but it’s actually held up decently as part of a rotation and with less winter wear (the pair you see at the top of the page belong to yours truly — thanks Santa!).

#5. Florsheim Indie Gore Boot in Toffee — $99.90

More casual in nature thanks to the color and gore detailing.

More casual in nature thanks to the color and gore detailing.

Florsheim’s Indie Gore Boot has bit more going on visually than the typical Chelsea boot thanks to the side-gore detailing and the textured leather. Those aren’t all bad things, though. You’re getting a more casual pair of Chelsea boots — there is such a thing — for a great price. Feel free to beat these things up a bit; they’re the perfect pair to pick up if you’re just giving the silhouette a try. The Toffee color would sit nicely under some slim wool trousers now, and they’d work equally well under lightwash denim in the spring.

Putting together this list was quite tricky — it’s certainly no small feat to sort through Chelsea boot options when lauded retailers like Common Projects are throwing their (very minimal) hats in the ring. If you find yourself on an extreme budget but really want to go for the style, an option like H&M isn’t all bad for now, and more comfort-minded brands like Dr. Scholls are also producing Chelsea boots with a rugged edge. The biggest key to keep in mind is how you can make them work for you. If you find yourself wearing a lot of slim denim and mixing staples like tees with unconstructed blazers, the Chelsea boot is going to be a similarly slick style option. But if you need a more rugged pair of boots for crossing town, maybe save these guys for special occasions. Either way, it’s one footwear option I’d say you should give some thought to in the coming weeks — before everyone else beats you to the punch!

Stay stylish and happy shopping,

-Beau
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