Online Shopping Picks: The Best Spring Jackets to Buy This Season

Now that we’re flying through March and closing quickly on April, it’s high time to talk about the best spring jackets to buy this season — are ya with me? It’s always a relevant topic as all of us battle showers and blustery winds, plus the occasional spring road trip. So, what type of jacket to buy for those various pursuits? Well, the good news is there are plenty of excellent styles to pick up for all of us #menswear lovers — from a stylish denim jacket to an investment-worthy moto jacket, we’ve got ’em all covered. The key here is looking for a piece that exudes casual-but-crisp and versatile style — so, it’s kind of like shopping for a stylish, slim topcoat. After all, the best spring jackets can be layered up with everything from a marled henley to a slim Oxford, a knit tie and your favorite chinos. I’d wager you’re going to want to pick up more than a few of the below jackets — with that in mind, we’ve looked for a combination of affordability, quality and great looks. So, check out the latest Online Shopping Picks entry, fill up your shopping cart and join me on Twitter to keep the discussion going.


#1. Levi’s Trucker Jacket — $70

It’s tough to find a spring jacket more classic — and perhaps iconic — than this one.

We’re kicking off this men’s style roundup with a look at perhaps the most essential piece of outerwear in your closet this spring – the trusty denim jacket. Particularly when made by an iconic brand like Levi’s, the denim jacket combines casual cool with functionality. Layer it up over your favorite cotton plaid shirt with slim chinos in place of a blazer, use it as a casual jacket for weekend road trips, and give it a shot over a printed shirt and olive cargo pants. Don’t be afraid to try a lighter-to-medium wash like the one shown – team that bad boy with slim grey denim for rock-inspired style, too.

#2. Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket — $1,075

Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket

Quite possibly the best leather jacket on the market right now — hands-down.

Jacket No. 2 comes to us via the fine folks at Taylor Stitch … boy, it is something else. Now, before you send me a bewildered email calling out the investment-level price tag, bear with me. There might not be a better, more versatile or more durable leather jacket on the market. Based off a classic café racer design, you might recognize the same silhouette (the Taylor Stitch Whiskey Moto Jacket) from a past entry on this site – however, we’re sticking with the slick Black Moto Jacket for spring style that’s at once sharp and effective. The weight and construction mean you can wear it with everything from a crewneck tee to a short-sleeve chambray shirt and even an Oxford and knit tie. Pick up the Black Moto Jacket ASAP and let me know what you think.

NOV CAMPAIGN: Photo of black boots with logo (no border)

#3. Bridge and Burn Northfork Woodland Jacket — $198

A combination of utilitarian function, toughness and great looks.

While a stylish leather jacket or a rugged denim jacket are always effective #menswear moves, there’s something to be said for reaching for a spring jacket with functionality top of mind. That’s what you get with the Northfork Woodland Jacket in a classic shade of olive green. The lightweight cotton makes it ideal for layering on chilly spring nights, and the plethora of pockets — say that five times fast — gives you plenty of space for your everyday carry on spring weekend adventures. Match this guy up with suede Chelsea boots and perhaps a pair of the best light wash denim for spring the next time you head to your local watering hole – trust me.

#4. Abercrombie & Fitch Bonded Mac Jacket — $99

A versatile overcoat that’s at once functional and stylish.

As we’ve written about often here at The Style Guide, Abercrombie & Fitch consistently continues to up it men’s style game. From surprisingly hard-wearing outerwear like this Bonded Mac Jacket to vintage-inspired layering pieces like the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt, each piece is injected with DNA from the brand’s illustrious past – yet it all feels very modern. This waterproof jacket gives you both a tailored, slim silhouette – ideal for wearing over a navy suit on weekdays – and go-anywhere versatility (equally perfect for matching up with slim sweatpants and sharp leather sneakers on weekend coffee runs).

#5. Iron and Resin Academy Bomber — $149.98

Iron & Resin

A sturdy bomber jacket — just the style you need this season.

If there’s one silhouette that’s stuck around the menswear world with no signs of stopping, it’s the bomber jacket. And if there’s one brand this spring that’s taking a rather unique approach to the style staple, it’s Iron and Resin. Known for its road-ready moto gear, the brand is offering the crisply designed Academy Bomber in a versatile colorway just in time for spring – bingo. Rock this one with navy chinos and brown leather loafers atop a classic chambray shirt for a mix of high-low style, and match it up with a marled short-sleeve henley and rugged dark blue denim for a little bit o’ Saturday night cool.

Frank & Oak

Honorable Mention: K-Way Claude Laminated Solid Jacket — $59.98

Nothing too fancy — just a basic, functional and subtly stylish windbreaker.

For all this talk of the benefits of owning a stylish moto jacket or a versatile bomber jacket, there are just some times when you need to stay dry in the rain and get from point A to point B. That’s where the K-Way Claude Laminated Solid Jacket enters the equation. It plays off the brand’s original mission – outfitting Frenchmen in the rain – and it does so at a great price. The Claude Jacket is effective and head-turning in its own way – it’s perfect for tossing on for a bike ride or an outdoor hike, then packing into, say, a heritage-quality leather weekender on spring road trips.

Now, am I encouraging you to go out and buy each and every one of these jackets? Maybe. Budget permitting. But in all seriousness, finding the right spring jacket boils down to your lifestyle – if you suit up frequently and need to fight the rain, a bonded mac jacket is going to be the way to go. If casual, crisp style is your thing, snag the Iron and Resin Academy Bomber. If you move quickly from place to place and want something simple and stylish, pick up the K-Way Claude Laminated Solid Jacket. And if you want a piece of outerwear that really can do it all, I’d highly recommend grabbing the Levi’s Trucker Jacket or the Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket – especially the Moto Jacket. I guarantee you certainly won’t be disappointed once you get past the price. Let’s not forget the benefits of owning a stylish utility jacket such as the one shown from our friends at Bridge and Burn. With all that being said, I hope you’re as excited to dress for spring in style as I am – let’s get out there and get to it!

Thanks for reading and stay stylish,



Style Pick of the Week: JackThreads Munro Leather Biker Jacket

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

Possibly your new favorite leather jacket? Munro Leather Biker Jacket by JackThreads. Scarf by S.N.S. Herning. 505C Denim by Levi's. Kimbo Chelsea Boots also by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri.

Possibly your new favorite leather jacket? Munro Leather Biker Jacket by JackThreads. Scarf by S.N.S. Herning. 505C Denim by Levi’s. Kimbo Chelsea Boots also by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri.

If you’ve ticked through your list of classic men’s style essentials as of late — from tough winter gloves to a classic Oxford, dark denim and stylish leather boots — maybe, you’ve found your wardrobe is missing just a bit of … edge. Coming from a writer who loves his outerwear, that’s what I found as of late. And while there’s something to be said for classic pieces like an authentic U.S. Navy peacoat and even a maritime-inspired wool jacket,  adding that edge can be a neat way to switch things up no matter the season. Folks, that’s where the JackThreads Munro Leather Biker enters the picture this week on The Style Guide.  It’s another stellar addition to an ever-expanding menswear line that should be on your radar ASAP. A leather biker jacket is an edgy-yet-classic piece, worn by the likes of Marlon Brando decades ago, popularized by legendary rockers The Ramones and found through the present day on the likes of The Killers’ Brandon Flowers. It really is among just a few menswear pieces that have true staying power. And lucky for all of us, JackThreads has taken that classic approach and put its own affordable and still-stylish spin on it. I’ve had the chance to rock the Munro Leather Biker around Brooklyn these past few weeks, with pleasing results. Although I love my rugged denim jacket and my slim topcoat as much as the next guy, it just might be my new favorite piece of outerwear — not least because of the slightly edge vibe and excellent fit.

Just one way to wear this jacket. Classic Henley by Todd Snyder. 505C Denim by Levi's. Kimbo Chelsea Boots also by JackThreads. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company.

Just one way to wear this jacket. Classic Henley by Todd Snyder. 505C Denim by Levi’s. Kimbo Chelsea Boots also by JackThreads. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company.

JackThreads, as is the brand’s custom, keeps things simple and straightforward with a bit of characteristic flair in the form of a slanted chest pocket. It looks and wears slightly thinner than the beefy leather jackets of years past, but that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it makes it perfect for layering over other casual weekend pieces (my reliable-as-ever Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt among them). It also adds a bit of flair when worn more simply — say, with a striped henley and the concert-ready Levi’s 505C denim.  Of course, there might not be a more rock-and-roll combo than Chelsea boots and a biker jacket, so it’s also worth trying that move when styled up for Saturday night — or when dressing for your next concert in general. Now, a leather biker jacket is certainly a bold move — it’s one thing to wear this jacket out to your favorite local pub, and it’s another to show up to your next meeting wearing it. So, I’d say tread carefully — agreed? Rest assured though, it can work as a blazer substitute in the right setting — worn with slim navy trousers and a blue Oxford, for example. And for under $250, you’re at least saving some coin compared to buying a more expensive jacket from a legacy brand. So, that’s also a plus. With those style tips in mind, I’d say you should pick up the Munro Leather Biker and get ready to rock. (Cue fist bump, air guitar).



Beckett Simonon

Style Pick of the Week: Grayers Exmouth Nylon Blazer

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

A blazer that's built with the quality and construction of a rain jacket.

A blazer that’s built with the quality and construction of a rain jacket.

So, are you just about set with your spring style wish list? Yes? No? Maybe? The great thing about keeping a diligent eye on the #menswear community is that it’s always neat to see how brands are taking more traditional silhouettes and pieces — like that of the classic navy blazer — and turning them on their head from time to time. Take the Grayers Exmouth Nylon Blazer, part of a solid line of spring outerwear from the brand. It’s the ideal example of the ways in which brands are introducing products that meet the active lifestyles of lots of customers — and this piece looks a heck of a lot better than some other active, athleisure-inspired looks. That’s because it retains the traditional features of the blazer, right down to the flap patch pockets, three-button front and space for your pocket square, and yet, it’s crafted from lightweight nylon. It’s part rain jacket, part blazer and would stylishly complement just any outfit you can think of — including some of the picks on this Spring Style Essentials list. In fact, it’s got something else on other, more classic blazers. It’s practically built for a commute, especially if you need to hop on your bike (and seeing as May 20 was National Bike to Work Day, that just makes sense).

It's got all the touches of the traditional blazer, including the casual flap patch pockets and room for a trusty pocket square.

It’s got all the touches of the traditional blazer, including the casual flap patch pockets and room for a trusty pocket square.

And should it happen to rain or get breezy this spring, you’re more than covered there. Have I mentioned that it can be packed into its own drawstring pouch? Because it can do that, too. It’s especially suited for travel, be it by train, plane or automobile (sorry, had to). The lightweight nylon should prove comfortable for moving inside and outside, and it would smartly finish off even something as simple as a natural pocket tee and slim khaki chinos. Plus, throw in some sharp suede derbys and you’ve got a look that’s both office and commute-ready. And it would look particularly sharp with a classic white Oxford, yet again, it’s got the functionality of a rain jacket. The price is pretty agreeable considering you get two jackets for the price of one, and it’s just the right piece of outerwear to rock through spring, into summer and even into early fall when layered right. That’s not bad for just one jacket, right?

What do you think of the Exmouth Blazer? How would you style it?


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Style Pick of the Week: Shinola + Golden Bear Wool Bomber

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

The popular watch brand tapped the equally iconic team at Golden Bear for this bomber.

The popular watch brand tapped the equally iconic team at Golden Bear for this bomber.

If you swung through this very small piece of the blogosphere pie a few weeks back, you might recall the jacket you see here from the Best Men’s Fall Jackets feature — but we’re back again. And that’s simple — both in-person and even online, it’s pretty neat to see how Shinola is evolving its product selection, which now includes some sweatshirts. The American brand probably better known for its crisp, classic watches prides itself on its commitment to homegrown partnerships, so it was a smart move to tap the expert jacket makers at Golden Bear for this wool bomber. Beyond this viewpoint, it’s simply a great (and yes, expensive) piece of outerwear if you find yourself frequently trekking through the snow and slush. It plays off a classic masculine silhouette, the A-2 bomber, and features premium details like leather trim and a sturdy brass zipper. It’s these little details — plus the overall excellent look — that make it worth that price tag. On the less expensive end of things, you could always snap up another shearling bomber via JackThreads.

It's also available in Black, although the Grey color still works plenty well for fall & winter.

It’s also available in Black, although the Grey color still works plenty well for fall & winter.

But back to this Shinola number. On top of those other details, the authentic sheepskin shearling collar buttons at the throat too, in case it gets insanely cold. The Melton wool should also keep you extra warm. There’s no word yet on how these jackets fit, but from the looks of it, they’ll feature a modern, contemporary fit that still leaves room for layering. Keep in mind that once you get past all the bells and whistles, this jacket can be styled like even a more basic light grey peacoat would. It’ll add a terrific amount of texture to dark denim and some crisp leather sneakers, and you can certainly dress it up with some navy trousers, brown leather wingtip boots and a light blue dress shirt.  And with a long-sleeve henley and some corduroys, you’ll have the perfect high-low combination for weekend adventures. Given the investment-worthy nature of the price, you’ll certainly want to wear it as much as possible.

Are you a fan of this bomber jacket? Would you invest in this piece?


Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Jackets for Fall

Editor’s note: Check out more Online Shopping Picks here.

When we last chatted here at the ol’ Style Guide HQ, we were talking, among other things, about great gear to carry you through fall transitions. There’s a lot that can fall under that umbrella, however — from rugged henleys to crisp blazers and tough boots. But today, we’re talking specifically about outerwear. It’s not quite the weather for a super-refined and heavier topcoat as of yet, but it’s presumably colder than situations where you might just wear a simple long-sleeve tee. And we’re looking for styles that can lend some rugged appeal to dressier outfits, as well as a bit o’ casual cool. So, we’re right in the middle. That means everything from field coats to sweater-jackets are on the table. The picks below encapsulate just a few of the many styles you might find yourself wanting to reach for before it gets incredibly cold — best read up and do some shopping now!

#1. J. Crew Wallace & Barnes Denim Bomber — $298

An in-between jacket that's highly versatile.

An in-between jacket that’s highly versatile.

$298? For a denim jacket? Wallace & Barnes definitely represents the pricier iteration of J. Crew’s classic styles, but it seems the outerwear from this particular line is always quite well-done. And this denim bomber fuses a terrific silhouette with the unique styling touches of dark denim … on your top half. It’s definitely a splurge, but it can be styled over everything from an olive henley to a nice chambray shirt. And it’ll fade over time as it gets broken in, lending a distinctive touch to a piece you can really call your own.

#2. Shinola + Golden Bear Men’s Wool Bomber Jacket — $495

An unexpected take on the bomber jacket from a brand that excels in accessories.

An unexpected take on the bomber jacket from a brand that excels in accessories.

Is that price eye-popping? Yes. Is this an aspirational piece you might pin to a Wish List board? Indeed. But Shinola is a brand that’s really nailed their identity as far as crafting rugged-refined pieces you didn’t know you were missing until now — like the above bomber jacket. Bringing on the team at Golden Bear is perhaps the best way to make an entry into that category, as well. It’s a big-time luxury piece that updates a military silhouette, like its J. Crew brethren up top. It’d be a great jacket to reach for on those windier days closer to winter — and in the months thereafter. The most versatile thing about it is the fact that it can instantly elevate any outfit, from jeans and wingtip boots to some slim corduroys.

#3. Old Navy Quilted Bomber Jacket — $54.94

Simple style at a super-affordable price.

Simple style at a super-affordable price.

Now that cost above is more like it, right? Old Navy has been quietly upping their style credibility these past few years, and they’ve even outsold their loftier counterparts at Banana Republic and the like (witness their president leaving for Ralph Lauren as proof of this evolution). This bomber is a nice example of how they’ve made some waves. It’s not a piece that’ll turn a crazy amount of heads, but it’s affordably priced, versatile and able to handle both rains and fall breezes; the trickiest part about it is that black color, which is less versatile than navy or grey. But if worn casually, it should still fit right in over a henley and some brown chukka boots.

#4. Land’s End Quilted Shirt-Jacket — $89.99

Two shades of blue plus some unique details make this a great go-between.

Two shades of blue plus some unique details make this a great go-between.

Land’s End is another brand that, much like Old Navy, has worked hard as of late to bolster its credibility in the style space. This quilted shirt-jacket is but one of the unexpected ways in which they’re making that effort. It’s a unique piece that’s not quite a full-on jacket, but should still do well layered over everything from a henley  (that’s a style suggestion that won’t quit!) to another chambray shirt. Pair this one with some slim chinos for a transitional look and see how it suits you.

#5. Combatant Gentleman Wool Club Jacket — $120

A moto-inspired style done up in a versatile color.

A moto-inspired style done up in a versatile color.

For a brand that’s normally known for its ridiculously affordable suits and trim blazers, Combatant Gentleman has done a nice job expanding into other product categories. And as far as fall style goes, this wool jacket certainly fits the bill. Like the Old Navy piece above, it’s not a style that’s going to turn an incredible amount of heads, but the color is versatile, the fit looks to be trim and it seems to be a nicely functional piece of outerwear. That dark navy color makes it quite sleek, as well.

Putting together this list was definitely a tricky ordeal, as so many brands have really looked to their fall outerwear to set themselves apart. J. Crew Factory, with its Utility Jacket, has certainly done a nice job filling a budget niche. And the entire outerwear collection at Bonobos has some stunning pieces — pricey, but stunning. Be sure to pick up one of these styles now to bridge that gap — and head to this piece on transitional fall style to get a look at how to wear ’em.

Stay stylish and thanks, as always, for reading.


What to Wear Today: Sturdy Spring Outerwear

A spring essential — the denim jacket. From American Apparel. Printed shirt by Express. Loafers by Bass. Glasses by Burberry.

A spring essential — the denim jacket. From American Apparel. Printed shirt by Express. Loafers by Bass. Glasses by Burberry. Photo credit: Khoa Nguyen.

Editor’s note: Occasionally, this site will cover what you should (or could) feasibly wear for specific situations, outside of holidays and other big events — consider this a combination style suggestion and a look into the author’s personal wardrobe.

If you don’t have a spring jacket in your closet yet, now’s the best time to pick one up (weather-wise at least — pricing can leave a lot to be desired for some options). And even if you do have a spring jacket, there’s a different piece of outerwear that you could add for an extra dash of rugged style — the denim jacket. Once a punch line for some questionable outfit choices in the ’90’s, the denim jacket is definitely cool again. It’s sturdy and up for anything, to boot.

The denim jacket can also be styled with an equally rugged henley, like this one from Mossimo. Patterned watch strap by The Knottery.

The denim jacket can also be styled with an equally rugged henley, like this one from Mossimo. Loafers by Bass. Patterned watch strap by The Knottery.

It’s been a big outerwear piece as far as spring fashion goes for the past few seasons, and it’s certainly not going away. This post from last spring (complete with more photos) dives into the style itself and just how to wear it, but in the meantime, know that it pairs well with, well, mostly anything you throw at it. It’s an awesome blazer alternative over a buttondown, knit tie and chinos. It looks right at home atop some slim grey jeans and a white henley (more on the brand in the link there later this week). And it’s casual enough to look at ease when worn over a popover or crewneck T-shirt and yes, shorts.

Finally, it can absolutely be worn with jeans on the bottom — but if and only if those jeans are in a contrasting wash. That’s not a hard and fast rule, per se, but it helps you avoid the dreaded Canadian tuxedo. As long as it’s cut relatively trim (not baggy), it’ll definitely work. And although some pros can pull off a lightwash denim jacket, a dark denim jacket is the best place to start. Of course, if you want even more rugged outerwear, you could also throw on a waxed chore coat for maximum durability. 

On the left: GAP

On the left: GAP’s Japanese selvedge jacket. On the right: A.P.C.’s pricer take on the piece.

As a matter of fact, venerable iconic jeans maker Levi’s is selling just the perfect jean jacket right now for a mere $47. American Apparel — despite the brand’s woes — also makes a great denim jacket for just north of $120, while GAP makes a Japanese selvedge version for about $85 on-sale now. If you just got your tax return back and feel like blowing some cash, A.P.C. is making a raw denim jacket, too.Those are all great places to start — and with spring just blooming, there’s plenty of time to hit the streets in denim.

Do you have a denim jacket? Which of the above options caught your eye? How would you wear it?

Shopping on a Budget: An Updated Men’s Style Starter Kit, Part 4

Last week was a departure from regularly-scheduled programming on Siblings With Style, as I shared with you a profile on a fast-moving start-up company, Linjer Leather Goods (who has now raised a whopping $71,240 of its initial $50,000 goal). But this week, we’ll get back to the basics — and back to the bottomline — with the final part in an ongoing series on rebuilding (or adding to) your wardrobe on a budget. While previous entries have tackled dressier items, casual knits and basic footwear, this week will wrap things up with the details that can sometimes be most important — your accessories. Read on and prep your shopping cart for a budget-friendly revamp.

The Versatile Jacket: Old Navy

A classic silhouette at an affordable price.

A classic silhouette at an affordable price.

For one of the more essential accessories a guy can have in his wardrobe, we turn once again to Old Navy, a store with a history of providing polished basics at affordable prices. They’re a great place to go to for easy-wearing knits, and the same proves true of their classic bomber jacket. It’s a piece that’s absolutely on-trend at the moment, while also being utterly classic. The ribbed cuffs and trim silhouette aren’t overly flashy — just straightforward and reliable. While it would also be useful to diversify your offerings with, say, a more rugged denim jacket or a dressier belted trench coat, starting out with a classic piece in an easy-to-match color makes a lot of sense. This particular silhouette is a lot like the classic Harrington coat, but this option is a lot more affordable.

TOTAL: $40

The Overcoat: Uniqlo 

Dressy? You bet. Casual? Works there, too.

Dressy? You bet. Casual? Works there, too.

While a lightweight jacket like the above option can get through at least two (or three) seasons of the year when taking the right approach to layering, there are times where something more polished-looking (and slightly warmer) is required. Uniqlo’s topcoat has been popular across the blogosphere for a while now, and it’s a solid option for a piece that can work over a variety of outfits. It’s long enough (and dressy enough) to cover blazers and suits, yet it can (and should) be worn casually, too (see No. 1 on this list for more on that). Although it’s not the warmest of coats (at least according to some reviews), it should be fine when layered properly (think dress shirt, sweater, blazer, topcoat, if it does indeed get extra cold). Again, this isn’t necessary the only coat you should have in your fall or winter wardrobe, either (a workwear-inspired coat might also be nice to have), but it’s one heck of a versatile jumping-off point.

TOTAL: $150

The Belts: Old Navy

Assuming that from this wardrobe rebuilding (or revamping), you’ll be incorporating both black and brown shoes into your wardrobe, belts that match both those shades are a definite must. And if you’re already an old pro at creating fail-proof outfits, it never hurts to find out a low-budget alternative to cheaper belts, right? Old Navy again and again offers surprises in the #menswear department, especially these belts. Available in black and a middle-of-the-road brown (with an eye-catching gold buckle), either would work well for business casual wear or even more dressed-down outfits, particularly at 1 1/8″ wide.  Scoop up two now for a total of about $20 and you’ll be set for dozens of outfits.

TOTAL: $20

The Sunglasses: American Optical Aviators 

A timeless frame with military history.

A timeless frame with military history.

It’s tough to argue with something as classic as an aviator silhouette, especially the choice above. They were James Bond’s sunglass of choice in his most recent outing, and they’ve gained notoriety plenty of other places, as well. They look good on a variety of face types, they’re wearable with casual and business casual outfits, and they’re a style that won’t be going away any time soon. If these aviators don’t strike your fancy, J. Crew Factory offers a rose-gold aviator option, as well as other sunglass styles for even less than the pair pictured here. Although the price tag might be a little misleading (cheaper generally equals lower-quality), this company’s the real deal — a military supplier with pedigree, and more affordable than Warby Parker or Ray-Ban.

TOTAL: $60

The Watch: Invicta

Rolex Submariner styling for thousands less.

Rolex Submariner styling for thousands less.

It’s true that not every man needs a watch, or wears a watch, for that matter. But it’s an accessory that can set one apart for those same reasons. In an age of so much digital technology, there’s something comforting about a solid, sturdy wristwatch. Since loading up with several watches is something of an aspirational, long-term goal, the focus here is on one timepiece that, like the rest of these offerings, works for both casual and dress situations. A silver dive watch fits the bill perfectly — it doesn’t need to be matched with black or brown leathers, and that in-the-middle color also means it can be worn with brown dress shoes and a brown belt. Mimicking the classic Rolex Submariner, the Invicta Pro Diver is affordable, versatile and durable. In my own personal collection, the diver has worked wonderfully with everything from T-shirts and jeans, blazers and chinos and a light grey suit.

TOTAL: $87

The Socks: Express

Lots of color and pattern for not a lot of dough.

Lots of color and pattern for not a lot of dough.

While some would rule out Express when building a well-curated wardrobe, it’s an often-overlooked starting point for crisp, well-fitting dress shirts and even other pieces (as long as that pesky logo stays out of the way). Namely, socks hit the sweet spot at Express — while a bit much at $10.90 per an individual pair, bundling through their frequent sales can net as many as four pairs for $25. That’s a pretty good deal when you look for pairs in versatile (yet fun) colors that can complement pieces already in your wardrobe. They offer a couple different options, too — some marled dress socks, a zany plaid pair or a more traditional Argyle pattern all definitely work here.

TOTAL: $25

The Rest: H&M, J. Crew Factory 

Both wallet-friendly options that will fight the cold.

Both wallet-friendly options that will fight the cold.

The truth is, not everyone needs cold-weather gear (and if you’re one of those lucky people, good for you!). For the rest of us who need to bundle up against a vicious polar vortex at least once a winter, staying warm is essential. There are definitely ways to splurge on fine gloves and scarves (look no further than MR. PORTER’S website, for example). However, there are definitely ways to save money, too. H&M’s leather gloves, while perhaps on the slightly-thin side, are one way to keep some money around for a potential upgrade later on. Up top, you could add in an extremely affordable beanie cap as a finishing touch. And as far as scarves go, one reliable option that would be a step up over H&M is J. Crew Factory. Featured earlier in this budget series, you can get a neutral-colored knit scarf for under $25 when on-sale, a far cry from other, significantly less affordable options.

TOTAL: $53

When factoring in all the necessary accessories you might need to build a basic (and functional) wardrobe, that brings today’s total to $435.  Across the entire four-part series, that brings the overall total to $1,285 (so the $1,300 Budget Challenge is in effect for next year!). As with the other parts in this series, the total here is substantially more than last year’s overall recap. However, this year’s series is much more inclusive, more category-driven, and more focused on season-specific pieces, like gloves, a scarf and an overcoat for the fall and winter months. It’s also worth noting that all of these pieces don’t have to be bought at once — in fact, your wardrobe should be replenished gradually over time. Additionally, these pieces are exceptionally versatile and should last for multiple seasons — granted, they won’t last as long as long as major investment pieces might, but sometimes, buying a piece at a lower price gives you more time and motivation to save up for a larger splurge down the road. We can’t all dress on James Bond’s budget, but you can steal similar looks for lots less.