#OOTD: Dressing for a Casual Christmas

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.

OK, so we’re coming at you with a Thursday edition of the #OOTD series. Namely, we’re just a few days out from Christmas — that came up quick, yes? Hopefully, you turned to The Style Guide (or another one of your favorite menswear blogs?) to knock out your holiday shopping. Still need a gift for her? Fear not. Or maybe you want to add an item or two to your holiday men’s style wish list? Easy does it. Oh, and that leaves another crucial question — what are you going to wear for the occasion? Whether you’ve got one last holiday party to dress for or if you’re approaching the day with a bit more formality, we’ve got you covered when it comes to dressing for Christmas. And that’s why today’s #OOTD covers another potential holiday style scenario: the casual holiday. Maybe you’ll be spending the day at your house and venturing out later for a movie or a drink with friends, or perhaps you’re taking it easy while on a holiday trip over the river and through the woods– either way, dressing with some polish is key. We’re not talking about going overboard — leave the velvet dressing gown at home. No, we’re talking about a crisp, casual outfit that looks stylish, fits great and is a bit better-suited for venturing out in public than your pajamas. If you choose to stay in your PJs all day — hey, nothing wrong with that. But if you want to look a bit more cleaned up while still feeling comfortable? I’m your guy … or rather, the below #OOTD is the one to shop.  Chime in over on Twitter if you’ve got questions, additions or deletions when it comes to this look. Hit me up on Instagram if you want to see how I’m styling my Christmas Day #menswear picks, while we’re here.

Cozy, casual, comfortable and yet ... quite put-together.

Cozy, casual, comfortable and yet … quite put-together.

The Cardigan: Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan, $75 –We’re kicking things off with a really unique, effortlessly stylish sweater from the new and very improved Abercrombie & Fitch — the Camel color is eye-catching and pairs nicely with our other casual picks.

The T-Shirt: Barking Irons Brando Tee, $49 (2-Pack) — You could always reach for a classic chambray shirt if you wanted something a bit more cleaned up, but a textured cotton tee with unique design details — like a scalloped hem and slightly raised sleeves — is a cool, effortless pick.

The Denim: Mugsy Jeans Kinzie Denim, $98 — Who said denim has to be uncomfortable? Mugsy jeans are built with more room in the crotch and a ton of flexibility for a great — plus, the light wash is more casual, and these jeans look a bit more crisp than tailored sweats.

Beckett Simonon

The Watch: Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph in Grey, $158 — Even if you’re just hanging around the house, it can be fun to throw on a stylish casual watch — especially one from Todd Snyder.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Braided Leather Belt, $29.99 — Let’s keep it casual on the accessories front — a trusty braided leather belt is comfortable and mixes in some cold-weather texture.

The Socks: CHUP Churro Socks, $35 — Limited edition, nature-inspired prints on a comfortable pair of CHUP socks? Sign me up. They’re pricey, but very well-made and eye-catching — perfect holiday style, in short.

The Sneakers: SeaVees White Walls Mid-Cut Wintertide Sneaker, $98 — Sneakers in the winter? Yes, sir. You can always grab a pair of durable leather boots if snow is in the mix, but if it’s simply a bit chilly? These casual-yet-crisp mid-top sneakers are made with navy flannel fabric and blend right in with this ensemble.

The Grooming Kit: Harry’s Deluxe Truman Set, $35 — Just because it’s a casual Christmas doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get cleaned up a bit, ehh? This deluxe shaving set has everything you need to look great through the new year.

OK, we’ve got your unique, modern and comfortable belted cardigan, your classic T-shirt and slim stretch denim. Those are the building blocks of a nice cold-weather casual ensemble  in fall or winter, yet they work particularly well for lounging around — yet looking great — this holiday season. When you complement those pieces with a durable leather watch and a pair of premium patterned socks, you’re set with a look that’s versatile and sharp. Navy flannel sneakers are a unique finishing touch, too. Of course, putting in a little extra effort when it comes to winter grooming essentials is a solid move, too — and if you happen to be spending some time with your significant other on Christmas, they’ll appreciate it. How will you be dressing for a casual Christmas? Or do you still have some holiday shopping to finish up before you worry about what you’re wearing? Again, check out our women’s holiday gift guide for quick and easy picks.

Stay stylish and enjoy the season!

-Beau

#OOTD: How to Dress for a Casual Summer Day

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.

Past #OOTD features here at The Style Guide have tackled everything from dressing up linen pants to dressing down a chambray blazer, but what about those times when you just …. need something in-between to wear? The title of this #OOTD might be a dead giveaway, and it might be a bit “boring,” but maybe you’re grabbing coffee and groceries and then a beer or lunch, maybe you’re strolling through the park  — but it’s a casual scenario, it might be hot (but it could get a bit breezy later), and you want comfort, good looks and an easy-to-wear #menswear ensemble.  That’s the aim of today’s #OOTD — it’s taking somewhat expected pieces (like classic, slim denim and a V-neck tee) and matching them up in a way that’s cool, simple and effortless (and more on why we’re sticking with denim in a second). If you want more daily styling tips or appreciate a great outfit grid (as I do), check out my Instagram feed for more — and chime in on Twitter with suggestions on topics for the next #OOTD. Got it? Good!
Huckberry

Pairing up items you've already got -- like a V-neck tee -- with sharp sunglasses, lightweight sneakers and a trusty denim shirt.

Pairing up items you’ve already got — like a V-neck tee — with sharp sunglasses, lightweight sneakers and a trusty denim shirt.

The Denim: Mott & Bow Slim Mercer Light Denim, $108 — Mixing things up from typical dark or light wash denim is a must, and the light tan color of these jeans matches up pleasingly well with blue and grey — as you’ll see below. Plus, they’re a little more versatile than shorts — although if it gets too hot, those would work fine here.

The T-Shirt: Life/After/Denim Club V-neck Tee, $58 — Here’s the casual part of the outfit –a garment-dyed V-neck tee in a rich blue color that fits slim and looks better than a standard crewneck tee.

The Overshirt: JackThreads The Denim Shirt, $34.99 — A light wash denim shirt is an unexpected summer style move — lest you think it’s too heavy, know that this shirt is lightweight and should offset the deeper blue of the tee nicely; wear it slightly buttoned up for a layered look, or leave it open during a stroll by the lake.

The Watch: Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, $138 — Lest we get too far ahead of ourselves, know that this Timex x Todd Snyder watch is indeed on backorder — but it should ship soon, and you’ve got the perfect #OOTD ready when it does.

The Sneakers: UGG Freamon Sneakers, $110 — Am I the only one who didn’t know that UGG made men’s sneakers? Maybe so? Either way, this pair of chukka sneakers features water-resistant suede, lightweight traction & a nicely versatile color.

The Belt: Arcade Belt Co. Crawford Belt, $36 — Style comes down to the details, and this belt combines the look of a crisp tan leather belt with a high-tensile navy elastic for comfort.

The Socks: American Trench Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks, $22.98 — American Trench reliably makes excellent socks that breath well even in the heat, and these should be no exception. Again, if it’s too hot, trade the denim for shorts and swap in a pair of stylish no-show socks.

The Sunglasses: Randolph Engineering Aviator Sunglasses in Gunmetal, $209.98 — When you’re pairing up classic pieces like a denim shirt and a V-neck tee, there’s no need to go overboard with your shades; classic aviators are the way to go here.

The above outfit might not gain you major street style snaps, but it’s effective, solid and reliably stylish because the basic pieces are well-made and well-fitting. Plus, accessories like a  crisp NATO strap watch and classic aviator sunglasses can take you anywhere the rest of the season. And that denim shirt can also work in the fall when layered over your favorite long-sleeve henley. The more scenarios you can take on with one outfit, the better off you’ll be — and that’s the case with this #OOTD. Got any feedback? Give us a shout in the comments below! And be on the lookout for a great reader giveaway coming up tomorrow.

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#OOTD: How to Wear a Polo This Spring

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.

With the recent rise to prominence of athleisure in the #menswear world — that is, wearing athletic-style clothes outside the gym — the lines have blurred in terms of what items work together in certain outfits. Take a great pair of black sneakers, for instance. Once confined to being worn at the gym or only very casually, they now work in a variety of situations — even with garment-dyed jeans and a polo (spoiler alert!). The key is to approach the rest of your outfit in the same way — so, keeping the principles of style and proper fit in mind, and looking toward colors that work together. Of course, looking for a sport-inspired polo to finish off your outfit doesn’t hurt, either. And a crisp black stainless watch works very nearly everywhere regardless of the situation. Got that all down? On to the #OOTD below!
Florsheim

Mixing great outerwear with a retro polo and sneakers.

Mixing great outerwear with a retro polo and sneakers.

The Jacket: Bridge and Burn Harden Herringbone Jacket, $128 — A herringbone jacket in the spring? When it’s made from a poly/cotton blend in a  versatile color, it definitely works. It’s a step away from a more traditional spring jacket, and definitely would be handy to have when the weather turns south.

The Polo: BOAST USA Striped Pocket Polo, $72 — While you could certainly grab one from this site’s list of the best polos for spring, there’s something refreshing about reaching for a sporty offering from an unexpected brand.

The Denim: JackThreads Natural Garment-Dyed Slim Denim, $59 — Again, any of the options in The Style Guide’s list of the best lightwash denim would also work, but the Natural color is a nice change of pace — and it’s a tremendous price, too. Plus, these can be ordered as part of the brand’s free #JTTryouts program.

The Sneakers: Brooks Heritage Chariot Sneakers, $51.99 — These sneakers combine retro styling and modern performance in a silhouette that’s just sporty enough without looking like a traditional running sneaker.

The Belt: Perry Ellis Webbed Leather Trim Belt, $22.99 — Sometimes, less is better. That is, this belt combines some nice texture and a casual look with a low profile (unlike some of the belts in this feature).

The Socks: Pair of Thieves No-Show Spelurking Socks, $10 — Finding a pair of no-show socks that can be worn reliably through the spring and summer should be on your to-do list — they’ll keep your feet comfortable and help your shoes last much longer, too.

The Watch: Larsson and Jennings Chain-Metal Watch in Silver, $380 — Unlike other stylish casual watches featured on this here site, this timepiece definitely gets up there in price — but, you get reliable performance and minimal style in one package.

The Trunks: Mack Weldon 18-Hour Jersey Trunks, $22 — These trunks are remarkably comfortable and well-made, definitely worthy of the higher price tag.

The Hat: Ebbets Field Flannels Sacramento Solons Ballcap, $45 — When looking for areas in which to make style upgrades, a ballcap sans an athletic brand logo is a great place to start. Plus, it finishes off the ensemble with even more sporty, retro style inspiration.

Sometimes, great style can center around taking a few key pieces in the same theme — say, sport-inspired classics — and making them work together. A striped polo and jeans is nothing new, but when paired up with comfortable, retro sneakers and a vintage ballcap, you’ve got the makings of a solid casual outfit.  A stylish spring jacket from a brand that knows how to make ’em is always a reliable bet, too. And a versatile watch with some interesting visual details (like a chain-metal strap) works well with the rest of the ensemble. Have an idea for a look you want to see in the #OOTD series? Let me know on Facebook!

Thanks for reading and stay stylish,

-Beau

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Style Suggestion: Fourth of July

With everyone’s favorite patriotic holiday quickly approaching, I’m sure you’re wondering what to wear (or at least, I assume you’re planning on wearing some form of clothing for the holiday!). Around special events like these, there’s always the option to wear things with a full-on Americana tilt. In situations like this however, there actually isn’t a ton of need to go all out and wear, for example, an actual American flag print pair of pants. Keep things simple, stylish and classic — as well as well-fitting.  American-flag pants aside, that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun with your outfit while still sticking to a patriotic color palette.

The Shirt

Chambray at an affordable price.

Chambray at an affordable price.

This shirt knocks out the blue portion of the outfit right off the bat. Assuming it’ll be hot where you are on the 4th, or at the very least a pleasant temperature, a shirt with short sleeves loses the added bulk of a long-sleeve shirt. And if short sleeves get too chilly when the sun goes down and before the fireworks start, a lightweight cotton sweater or cardigan in a neutral color could be handy to have near you. The above option pictured above from Old Navy is inexpensive and (from personal experience), just the right quality for the price point — not paper-thin, not too heavy either. It’s also available in a lighter-color wash, in case you feel the need to lighten things up a bit.  And perhaps most importantly, in an all-season fabric like chambray, this shirt is highly versatile (for more options on what to pair it with, see a recent post by yours truly on Effortless Gent).

The Shorts

J. Crew's Stanton short.

J. Crew’s Stanton short.

Directly on your lower half, we now see the red portion of the outfit. Without going full-on red, white and blue pants, a nice washed red shade will do the job nicely while losing the extra fabric of pants in the heat. In particular, these shorts from J. Crew have a stellar washed feel to them, without burning your eyes in terms of intense color. As with every other item in your closet, keep an eye on fit — the proper pair for your wardrobe  should hit above the knee and fit trim (stay away from cargo shorts!). If your plans call for something more dressy and you’d like to keep going with red bottoms, reach for a washed chino in a similar color. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a PR intern with Bonobos — I can say without bias that their pants really do fit as well as advertised!). Conversely, if the situation calls for some dark denim, reach for a slim, inky blue pair like these.

The Shoes

An All-American classic.

An All-American classic.

And here we have the white portion of the outfit. The key to keep in mind with this combination is that while it nods to the colors of the holiday, it doesn’t go overboard. Particularly, a subtle, classic canvas sneaker can be worn nearly anytime of the year, and so it just seems like a natural choice — especially in the heat of the summer. Additionally, it pairs equally well with colored shorts because of the stark white color, and it also wouldn’t look out of place with some cuffed denim or rolled chinos. If the bright white is too much, a simple grey pair could work, too. Keep in mind that the collared shirt up top helps you go more casual with your shoe choice. But, if it gets fancier on you and plans change, some polished-yet-casual loafers would be perfectly in order. And when going sockless with these shoes, keep in mind these tips about proper shoe (and foot) care.

The Rest

A simple summer belt.

A simple summer belt.

Although it’s assumed that your pants or shorts could most likely rest just fine without a belt based on proper fit, it’s always a nice fundamental touch to wear a belt (let’s say you get the urge to tuck in your shirt, or attend a gathering that’s a bit more dressed up). In the summer, keep things casual and don’t overdo it — avoid the shiny leather dress belt you might reach for with a suit, and go for something lighter-weight, like a cotton option with a hint of stretch. The above option from Club Monaco  is decently priced, available in most sizes and, more importantly, epitomizes summer casual, especially with the D-ring loops.

A clean and classic Timex.

A clean and classic Timex.

Adding in a watch can go one of two ways — if you stick with the largely casual version of this outfit and go with shorts and sneakers, something like a sturdy yet still-polished rubber strap watch could blend in perfectly with the rest of the casual outfit. And since the outfit and watch are both casual, there’s no need to worry about matching the black rubber strap to the leather on the belt. However, if you go with the dressier version of the outfit (denim or chinos and loafers), a stainless steel dive watch would be an excellent, versatile accent to the ensemble. Given the ability to go either way on this occasion, this Timex Easy Reader watch hits both points of the dressy spectrum. It’s well-made for the price point and can do almost anything, too. The leather strap is a go-between option to both dressy or casual outfits, yet the crisp, white face (with numerals) is sharp without being crazy minimal or too dressy. And although it wears somewhat smaller than some other brown-leather watches, it’s still an extremely valuable pick-up for the price point.

The biggest key with this patriotic (yet simple) outfit is to nail fit on the shirt and shorts and keep the accessories relatively minimal and simple, while nodding to the colors of the holiday. More importantly, these are just clothes — the biggest thing is to enjoy the day and have fun spending time with loved ones!