Style Suggestion: What to Wear on Spring Break This Year

If you’ve been waiting all March for warmer temperatures — rejoice! Well, almost. And if you’ve been waiting all month to hit the road for spring break (or a regular ole spring vacation), you’re in luck. Yessir, we’re talking what to wear on spring break this year,  and you’re absolutely going to like the way you look (I guarantee it … wink, wink). We’re mixing pieces both essential — stylish swim trunks — and unexpected (a smart-looking beach towel). In short, the latest style suggestion here on the blog deals not with a more mundane topic, like how to wear a long-sleeve polo, but is solely focused on helping you look your best for some fun in the sun. In fact, the below combo certainly works as you dress to head to the beach or pool, and with a few small tweaks (swap the swim trunks for slim chino shorts), you’re set for the rest of your day. So, you’ll have plenty to look forward to besides just some ample beach time — and if you haven’t previously considered style upgrades like a nicer pair of sunglasses or revamped beach gear, it’s time to start seriously thinking about it. That’s what to wear, at least — and if I were you, I’d look to get away in an affordable manner (a heads-up that you can find your perfect spring break house by searching affordable Florida rentals through Tripping.com). And on the shopping front: Check out these picks below, follow along on Instagram and join me on Twitter for more spring style musings.

The Shirt: Life/After/Denim Patchwork Short Sleeve Shirt — $110

Quite possibly the most unique shirt you’ll see on the beach this spring — and that’s a great thing.

Whereas lots of guys — myself included — sometimes reach for a tank top, a slim short-sleeve patterned shirt is a surefire way to upgrade your beach-going game. For one, it looks more crisp and put-together. And second of all — it just works much better for stepping away from the beach to a patio bar than a tank top (at least in the opinion of your Style Guide author).  What’s more, the distinct color and pattern on this Life/After/Denim shirt makes it a choice #menswear move all through the rest of the spring and summer.

Frank & Oak

The Swim Trunks: Bather Trunk Co. Surf Solid Trunks — $78

A sharp, easy-to-wear pair of swim trunks.

In matters of swimwear, simplicity can sometimes reign supreme. Just look at James Bond’s swim trunks. That’s sort of the vibe we’re going for here — cut more like a pair of tailored chino shorts than your average pair of baggy board shorts, the Bather Trunk Co. Surf Solid Trunks are clean and crisp. Between the navy color, no-frills logo, shorter inseam and elastic waistband, the Surf Solid Trunks should have everything you’re looking for in your next pair.

The Shoes: SeaVees Huntington Middie — $92.98

SeaVees Huntington Middie

Slip these on, slip ’em off … take ’em everywhere on spring break.

As we’ve said before, simplicity is sometimes key. And there’s no better pair of spring sneakers when it comes to combining versatile style, eye-catching design and wearability than the SeaVees Huntington Middie. It’s rare that a slip-on shoe can be worn to the beach, on a stroll around town and to dinner afterward — all the while feeling comfortable and looking great. Your everyday pair of flip-flops, these are not. Like this outfit’s shirting selection, you can wear the Huntington Middie all throughout spring and summer, too.

Greats

The Sunglasses: Raen Optics Vale Sunglasses — $160

Raen Optics

Head-turning sunglasses with unique looks and functionality in droves.

As brought to you by the ever-stylish guys and gals at Huckberry, the Raen Optics Vale could be your favorite pair of sunglasses … you just haven’t bought ’em yet. When you’re wearing dialed-down swim trunks and sharp slip-on sneakers, your eyewear can be a place to have a bit of fun — not too much fun, though. Don’t go crazy. I kid! Go crazy and pick up these sunglasses, which channel style that’s at once of-the-moment and also timeless. And to think you get all that for $160? Good stuff.

The Watch: Huckberry Combat B33 GMT Watch — $498.98

Between the NATO strap and the stainless steel case, this watch can handle quite a bit.

 (Editor’s note: Looks like this watch is sold out! Wild.). If you swing on through the blog with regularity — which you should — you’ll recognize that we covered the Huckberry Combat B33 GMT Watch during our Style Pick of the Week series a few weeks back. Well, it’s here again today in triumphant fashion. Although it’s tough to top a sturdy, stylish dive watch (and even a rugged rubber strap watch has its merits), the Huckberry Combat B33 GMT Watch is truly one-of-a-kind in terms of toughness and functionality, what with a built-for-anything NATO strap and a durable stainless steel case, plus a distinctive dial.

Beckett Simonon

The Towel and Sunscreen: Finisterre Beach Towel — $44.98 AND Tread for Men Traveler Sunscreen (SPF 30) — $3

Finisterre

Don’t leave these two items behind — for real.

Lest you think that the notion of stylish beach gear doesn’t apply to your towel, think again. If you’re using an old towel that’s seen better days, the Finisterre Beach Towel is going to change all that simply and subtly. It’s made from a soft and absorbent, quick-dry French terry fabric and can even pack into its own pocket. Sunscreen is another must-have that I’ve skipped all too often in my beach-going days — for about the price of that PBR you’ll buy later, why not pick up a couple handy Tread for Men sunscreen bottles? Ehh?

The Bag: Bradley Mountain Utility Bag — $159

Bradley Mountain

One bag that can do it all, from the start of your trip to the end.

Alright, let’s say you’re packing for the road but don’t want to also pack a smaller tote bag to lug to the beach … makes things easier, yeah?  If you’re on the same page as me, the Bradley Mountain Utility Bag  is the one do-it-all travel bag you need now. Part weekender bag and part easy-to-lug oversized tote, the Bradley Mountain Utility Bag is sturdy as heck and built to withstand plenty more than sun. You’ll have ample room to carry everything from that Finisterre Beach Towel to your SeaVees kicks — and it’s a great value, too.

Greats

The Underrated Accessory: Sennheiser High-End Around-Ear Headphones — $249.95
Sennheiser Headphones

The only way to guarantee a great, and relaxing listening experience on spring break is to buy these guys. Right?

OK, bear with me here, folks. A premium, high-quality pair of headphones like the ones shown above might not be the best pick if you’re trekking to, say, Cancun (or hey… Fort Myers Beach). But if your spring vacation is going to be about kicking back, relaxing and listening to prime music or a podcast.  it could be mighty nice to bring along a very neat, impressive style upgrade like the Sennheiser High-End Around-Ear Headphones. We’re talking exceptional sound, handsome looks and the ability to function as both desk décor and a spring break travel essential. That’s a winning combo all around.
We definitely covered a lot of ground in terms of what to wear on spring break this year — didn’t we? Whether your travels are taking you some place exotic and international, or just down the road, it never hurts to pack up in style. From helpful, durable accessories like the Bradley Mountain Utility Bag to a travel must-have like the Huckberry Combat B33 GMT Watch, I’d say you should leave no stone unturned when it comes to packing effectively and stylishly this season. You’d be surprised how much of a nice difference pieces like the Finisterre Beach Towel can also make in terms of your everyday carry, and a unique short-sleeve shirt like the Life/After/Denim Patchwork  Shirt is both unexpected and yet much-needed. As to your sunglasses and swim trunks — isn’t it time you upgraded those? Again, I kid — but if you need some new ones before you hit the road, start here.
As always, thanks for reading — stay safe on the road!
-Beau

 

#OOTD: Everyday Spring Style

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.

Thanks for joining us again today on The Style Guide — let’s get to it! Alright, who’s excited that it’s March? I sure am. Namely, that means we’re transitioning into a great season for menswear, and that also gives you plenty of chances to break out everyday spring style looks. We’re talking versatile, comfortable pieces built for layering — yet these are also pieces that work on their own, and can be added or subtracted depending on the weather.  Whether that means dressing for spring rain  or heading out on a weekend coffee date, we’ve got pieces you’ll recognize, want to buy and want to wear.  That includes classic pieces (cough, the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, cough) and slightly edgier staples. OK, all good? Keep up with other #menswear inspiration on the daily via Instagram or Twitter — and weigh in on this look via the comments, as always.

Working in the versatile, the classic and the new into one outfit.

Working in the versatile, the classic and the new into one outfit.

The Sweatshirt: Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, $98 — Recognize this sweater? Of course you do — right? Todd Snyder is an American menswear luminary precisely for pieces like the lauded Pocket Sweatshirt, and it’s a nice, easy-to-wear spring layering option.

The Shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch Two-Pocket Chambray Shirt, $39 — There’s really never a bad time to wear a classic chambray shirt, is there?  This one is laidback, casual and versatile.

The Pants: Life/After/Denim Classic 5-Pocket Pant in White, $148 — White pants — even in a straightforward five-pocket silhouette — can be a bit of a leap stylistically. Don’t worry here, though — the tailored fit and use of other classic staples (like the Pocket Sweatshirt) helps dial these in.

The Boots: Astorflex Bootflex in Dark Khaki, $169.98 — A recent release from Astorflex by way of Huckberry, these lace-up boots are high-quality and no-frills — exactly what you need for stomping through inclement spring weather (just be sure to waterproof ’em).

The Belt: Abercrombie & Fitch Woven Leather Belt, $44 — We’re dialing in casual style right down to the last detail with this #OOTD — a woven leather belt provides some nice texture & casual style to complement the Astorflex Bootflex in particular.

The Watch: Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch, $138 — What better way to complement the Pocket Sweatshirt than with another stylish, sharp and durable Todd Snyder piece? The Military Watch could be your new favorite casual watch — trust me.

Frank & Oak

The Hat: Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, $39.98 — Told you we were keeping things laidback, didn’t I? Now, you can’t wear a ballcap every day, but if you’re checking out of the office early on a Friday (for example) … toss on the Explorer’s Cap as you head to a patio lunch.
Beckett Simonon

The Bag: Nisolo Lori Tote, $134.98 — When you want a durable yet easy-to-carry bag, reach for the handsome Nisolo Lori Tote. It’s handmade with minimal construction and beautiful leather that should develop a nice patina.
So, with that — let’s wrap up this #OOTD, shall we? Comfortable layering pieces like the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt are easy to wear no matter the season, and a slim chambray shirt perfectly complements the more fashion-forward white 5-pocket pants. Given the company’s reputation for quality, sustainability and durability, the Astorflex Bootflex in Dark Khaki should also be an extremely reliable spring footwear pick, finished off handsomely by the excellent Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch. Of course, keeping your accessories in line is crucial, and the textured Abercrombie & Fitch Woven Leather Belt is a nice way to do that — as is the Huckberry Explorer’s Cap. Got that all together? Shopping cart full? Join us tomorrow for a helpful Spring Style Wish List — and we’ll see you out there this spring!
-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The 5 Best Short-Sleeve Shirts for Spring and Summer

Editor’s note: For a host of online shopping picks that’ll have you ready for every occasion, head this way.

A short-sleeve shirt can be worn all kinds of ways, but particularly with classics like dark denim and navy sneakers. Vintage 'drinks' shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Glasses by Warby Parker.

A short-sleeve shirt can be worn all kinds of ways, but particularly with classics like dark denim and navy sneakers. Vintage ‘drinks’ shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Here we are, practically on the verge of summer travel season really heating up. Memorial Day is barreling toward us and it’s time to reach for spring style essentials like a casual watch or a nice pair of spring and summer shorts. Yet, how to finish off those ensembles? A polo is a foolproof go-to underneath a blazer (or on its own) at the office, and a popover offers a change of pace visually from a standard T-shirt in casual situations. Let’s say you’re feeling a tad more daring, or the occasion calls for something a bit more … eye-catching. It’s always fun to inject pattern and color into your wardrobe, and it’s all the better to be able to do it comfortably — that is, you’ll ideally only be needing a short-sleeve shirt, not a ton of winter layers (or even a spring jacket). That brings us to the below picks — feast your eyes on the best short-sleeve shirts for spring and summer. Take ’em to the beach, take ’em on a stylish spring bar crawl, and rock them everywhere in between (yes, even at the office). Any brand you see missing? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter.

#1. JackThreads The Chambray Short-Sleeve Shirt — $39

A slight deviation from the standard chambray shirt in terms of pattern (and the lack of, y'know, sleeves).

A slight deviation from the standard chambray shirt in terms of pattern (and the lack of, y’know, sleeves).

Interested in taking the plunge into short-sleeve territory but don’t want to spend a ton of money doing it? Having a tough time putting away that essential chambray shirt after rocking it all winter? We’re in the same boat. And given both those things, it’s a really solid bet to reach for a JackThreads chambray short-sleeve shirt that doesn’t overdo it on the pattern, keeps the price nice and low, and comes in that oh-so-familiar chambray material (with a color that’s easy to pair with, as well). For more on what makes JackThreads so great, check out this feature.

#2. Saturdays Surf NYC Esquina Gingham Shirt in White/Indigo — $115

No zany patterns here -- just an effectively stylish gingham print and a modern fit.

No zany patterns here — just an effectively stylish gingham print and a modern fit.

If, on the other hand, you’re more than ready to hop into the short-sleeve shirt pool, give this nice number from Saturdays Surf NYC a try. The brand does lots of things well when it comes to warm-weather gear, from its selection of neutral yet well-crafted knitwear to surfboards actually made for catching waves. While there are more eye-catching patterns from the brand on the site, this gingham pattern pairs easily with more standard style staples, like slim tan chinos and classic white sneakers. Be prepared to pay more for this piece, but know that (at least in this writer’s experience), you’ll be able to wear a shirt like this one for months on end.

#3. Bridge & Burn Thomas Pacific Latitude Shirt — $108

A major pop of pattern that manages to stay grounded thanks to the deep indigo color.

A major pop of pattern that manages to stay grounded thanks to the deep indigo color.

For times that you want something more than gingham or a lighter floral print, grab the truly excellent Bridge & Burn Pacific Latitude Shirt. The cotton-linen blend (50 percent either way, as it were) will keep you cool when temperatures heat up, and the fit is flattering but not too trim. The best part about this shirt? The rich leaf pattern indigo print, which works surprisingly well even atop the striped fabric. It’s nothing short of the ideal shirt to wear on vacation or to the beach — it’s a style upgrade from the standard Hawaiian shirt in every way.

#4. Old Navy Classic Slim-Fit Shirt in White — $21

Dirt-cheap and classic. Not bad at all!

Dirt-cheap and classic. Not bad at all!

Unlike some of the other picks on this list, the Old Navy Classic Slim-Fit Shirt  is downright cheap. That doesn’t lessen its quality though, for the most part — Old Navy reliably delivers on classic pieces for not a lot of money. Again, if you want to test out something more standard before grabbing a printed shirt (like the pick right below this one), this shirt is the one for you. Lest you avoid comparisons to Dwight Schrute, it’d be wise to pair this shirt with, say, some navy shorts and a quilted jacket on the weekends (like this Style Guide #OOTD feature).

#5. J. Crew Factory Slim Short-Sleeve Linen Printed Shirt — $38.50

Linen is the way to go in terms of keeping cool this summer -- short sleeves make it all the easier.

Linen is the way to go in terms of keeping cool this summer — short sleeves make it all the easier.

It truly wouldn’t be an Online Shopping Picks feature without a pick from J. Crew or J. Crew Factory, right? Aside from a store like Old Navy, they continue to get things right in terms of quality, price point and selection. Given that there’ve been so many blue or white shirts on this here list, this red linen short-sleeve shirt was an easy pick. They’ve given this shirt the full linen treatment here, so it should be extra breezy and cool — as a summer style hack, you could definitely rock this short-sleeve shirt underneath a slim khaki blazer at a summer wedding (preferably sans tie). Wait for a sale, and the price could drop even lower.

As more and more brands truly try to become four-season brands, there are certainly some other options you should consider. For a premium feel and distinctive patterns, check out Bonobos short-sleeve shirts . If you still find yourself searching for a lower price point, swing through Uniqlo for a mixture of plaid and neutral options that are definitely affordable. And a perennial favorite of this site, Grayers, is also stocked up on short-sleeve shirts for the season. No matter where you buy, keep in mind that fit trumps all, even when trying out something a bit different stylistically. So that means a slim body, sleeves that hit about mid-bicep and a length that can definitely be worn untucked. Got all that down? Go to it!

Stay stylish,

-Beau

Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

Florsheim

#OOTD: How to Dress for a Rainy Spring 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 series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

If you’ve been keeping up with the #OOTD series here on The Style Guide, you might notice that the outfits as of late have leaned more casual (if a tailored look is what you seek, head here). Perhaps it’s the shifting climate that has this menswear writer more geared toward shorts, perhaps it’s the effects of a stylish trip to Florida, or perhaps it’s the return of semi-chilly weather earlier in April that has me digging the chance to , well, actually wear shorts now that it’s a bit warmer — regardless, that’s where we’re headed today. Just because you go with a more casual vibe (note the drawstring shorts below) doesn’t mean you have to look sloppy. That’s doubly true even if it rains or it’s breezy — you don’t want just any spring jacket. In the case of the below, we’re talking serious protection from the elements, and some neat heritage style thrown in the mix. Work in some new spring sneakers and an easygoing watch, and you’ll be all set no matter how hard the rain comes down. Sound good? Good. Want to see a different #OOTD? Head to The Style Guide’s Facebook page for a chat!


Casual vibes upgraded thanks to some high-quality brands & subtle style details.

Casual vibes upgraded thanks to some high-quality brands & subtle style details.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Beach Jacket in Navy, $128: Another standout from a brand that’s chock full of ’em, this piece is currently pre-funding, but the general idea remains the same — tough outerwear can look great and take you very far. You could also grab a classic JackThreads Mac Jacket and perhaps some light wash denim instead if you wanted something similar now.

The T-Shirt: Bridge and Burn Graphic Tee, $36: The tee keeps this outfit casual (so it’s probably more weekend-minded), but it’s part of some style ugprades we’ve talked about — the graphic is subtle and understated, and the fit is on-point.

The Shorts: JACHS NY Indigo Linen Shorts, $89: Another fantastic style upgrade from standard shorts, they’re easygoing yet not frumpy. If it’s a bit breezy or you want to dress this outfit up, sub in a chambray shirt & dark denim.

The Sneakers: The Hill-Side Standard Low-Tops in Natural Duck Canvas, $175: If you haven’t gotten around to checking out a pair of The Hill-Side sneakers, I’d recommend you do so. Sturdy, well-crafted and stylish!

The Socks: Mack Weldon No-Show Socks, $14.50: The same brand that makes your favorite merino T-shirt also makes some handy socks for that “ankles-out” look so common in the warmer months.

The Trunks: Mack Weldon 18-Hour Jersey Trunks, $22: Just as their socks are worth a look, this brand knows how to craft a great pair of underwear (no, really). Again, an investment that’s also a significant style upgrade from standard boxers.

The Watch: Timex Weekender Fairfield, $75: A downright simple watch for a downright excellent price, ideal for all kinds of casual wear.

The Sunglasses: Spine Optics Aviator Sunglasses, $88.99: As with the above Timex watch, sometimes, simple is better. These sunglasses are durable and remarkably flexible, and won’t upstage the rest of your look.

As with other seasonal spring style suggestions, be it how to dress for Sunday brunch or how to prep for a spring bar crawl, your gear should fit where you’re going. That is, if a T-shirt needs to be subbed out for a slim plaid shirt, that’s the move to make. But alongside that, choosing to upgrade your casual basics — like standard sneakers for a sturdier pair, or old boxers for new trunks — should also be top of mind. Wardrobe reinvention doesn’t have to be done all at once, but small steps can pave the way toward great style. Pick up that Taylor Stitch jacket for me while you’re at it, ehh?

Stay stylish,

-Beau
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

Style Pick of the Week: JackThreads 3-in-1 Field 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.

A British Khaki color, plus functional style details, that are anything but ordinary.

A British Khaki color, plus functional style details, that are anything but ordinary.

Hello there Style Guide reader, and Happy Saturday! This week’s Style Pick of the Week turns things back to something that’s been missing in other recent Style Pick entries — a terrific piece of spring (and fall and heck, winter) outerwear.  If you read this blog regularly, you’re probably hip to JackThreads; that is, the E-commerce site that launched its own menswear line last fall to some great press (and much love from this here blog). They’ve concentrated on creating an edited collection of essentials sure to please any #menswear aficionado, from simple style staples like its Daily Tee to very spring-ready chino shorts and a classic lineup of pieces ranging from striped polos to Oxfords and chambray shirts (oh, and one heck of a shawl cardigan). Add to that collection a growing lineup of excellent outerwear — particularly its Collegiate Bomber (a favorite of this writer) and of course, the stellar 3-in-1 Field Jacket you see here. It certainly doesn’t command the price tag of certain other field jackets from bigger retailers, so some might be skeptical of the quality — but if you still haven’t pulled the trigger on a piece from JackThreads as of yet, rest assured that the quality really is remarkably on-point. And even though it’s warming up a bit, it’s still not too late to jump on this one– you’ll get plenty of use out of a durable, sturdy and sharp-looking field jacket on breezy spring and summer days (and nights). Heck, layer it up with the brand’s Indigo Sweatshirt when that snow hits (yikes, thinking ahead!), and you’ll be set.

Think you only get one jacket for the price? Think again. This liner is definitely fit for use on its own.

Think you only get one jacket for the price? Think again. This liner is definitely fit for use on its own.

In fact, a rugged field jacket is exactly the type of piece that would serve you quite well for occasions equally formal and laidback — like a spring bar crawl on the one hand, and atop a blue Oxford and navy knit tie the next. With its roots in, y’know, the actual military, it’s the perfect way to add some masculine style to already-masculine pieces like a cream henley or slim, dark denim. And the British Khaki color of this particular field jacket switches the palette up a bit from the typical navy or olive green field jacket you might see. It would definitely complement some slim light wash denim well, too. And lest you think it’s too rugged for wearing with anything but sturdy boots, it would probably do just fine when matched with navy chinos and brown leather sneakers for stepping out on the weekends. The detachable hood is perfect for when spring showers hit, and it packs in even more function on top of that. The navy inner shell would actually work as a fine jacket in its own right, what with hip pockets, a slim fit and a look that’s just a bit more ready to stand on its own than other jacket liners. And yes, you get all this for under $150. Unbelievable, right?

Have a suggestion for a standout item you think would work as a Style Pick of the Week? Let me know via Twitter!



Style Suggestion: What to Wear for Sunday Brunch

Editor’s note: More interested in other style suggestions? Head here. And then come right back, please?

So, here’s the scenario. Maybe you’re not the type to “brunch” frequently, or go out dressed up on a Sunday (be it church or somewhere else). But let’s say you’ve got a nice meal out planned with friends or family on… Saturday instead? This outfit can definitely be customized to that situation as well. And as the weather really rolls into spring, there are going to be opportunities aplenty to get outside and enjoy a nice meal and a warm breeze. It’s a pretty enjoyable experience, honestly — even if fighting crowds isn’t your thing. Trust me, I love me some brunch. And whether you enjoy it in a more casual or formal setting, the below outfit should be able to take you either direction with a few tweaks. And hey, who doesn’t love buying a new spring sweater or a nice polo? I’d wager very few of us. Oh, and save some time to check out The Style Guide on Facebook while we’re here.

The Sweater: JackThreads Daily Cardigan in Navy — $39.99

A versatile cardigan great for spring and well beyond.

A versatile cardigan great for spring and well beyond.

Why the cardigan, you ask? Well, as it is April and all, there could very well be a slight chill in the air (and if you need something sturdier on top of that, look here for great spring jackets). And this JackThreads cardigan in particular is the one to pick up if you’ve never given the style a shot — or conversely, if you’ve tried it and not been a fan. There’s a reason they call it the “Daily Cardigan,” and that might very well be because it combines a slim fit with excellent fabric and a really versatile color. Which brings us to the polo you see below…

The Polo: Bonobos Classic Pique Polo in Heather Brick — $58

As seen in this week's guide to spring polos -- it's a nice, casual style upgrade.

As seen in this week’s guide to spring polos — it’s a nice, casual style upgrade.

This polo first appeared …well, just earlier this week in our guide to the best spring polos for men, but it’s back again precisely because this is the ideal situation in which to upgrade your polo game. Bonobos has updated the fabric and fit of this pique polo, and the color is also a welcome switch-up from blue or white polos (of which this past week’s post was filled with). But at any rate, the modern fit of both the cardigan and polo should avoid too many preppy vibes — and the prices are agreeable, too.

The Pants: Taylor Stitch Slim Chino in Khaki — $98

A pair of chinos that's both classic and modern? Pick 'em up before they're gone.

A pair of chinos that’s both classic and modern? Pick ’em up before they’re gone.

The Taylor Stitch Standard Issue Chino is practically legendary for its combination of quality and styling potential, and that makes it an easy pick to pair with this outfit. This pair again takes another prep style staple and upgrades it significantly from its forebears by slimming down the fit, using a brushed Spanish twill and crucially, getting rid of those pesky pleats. The color works nicely off the burgundy polo and the navy cardigan, and a cuffed chino is always a solid bet with crisp white sneakers. On that note — drum roll, please….

The Sneakers: GREATS Brand Royale in Blanco — $159

The 21st century dress sneaker, fit for brunches galore.

The 21st century dress sneaker, fit for brunches galore.

Are you getting the vibe of this outfit yet? It’s all about taking casual, preppier style staples and classing them up significantly — that’s equally true in the case of the GREATS Royale in a remarkably crisp and premium white Italian leather. This is about as close to a dress pair of white sneakers as you can get, and they should look right at home as a casual-yet-polished capper to this outfit. If they’re too casual, you could definitely swap them out for a pair of refined wingtips. Conversely, the GREATS Wilson would definitely be suitable here.

The Belt: Land’s End Distressed Vintage Jean Belt — $39

Not too casual, not too dressy. Perfect for Sunday brunch.

Not too casual, not too dressy. Perfect for Sunday brunch.

As opposed to picking a full-on dress belt, we’ll reach here for a belt that combines a touch of rugged styling with a crisp lighter brown color. It’s a nice go-between that’ll also work well up against durable winter boots, so it’s worth the price tag. The brass buckle dresses things down, too. A more summer-friendly woven cotton belt (as featured here) could also do the trick — but keep in mind, versatility is the goal even when grabbing a belt.

The Watch: KOMONO Winston Blue in Cognac — $89.95

The cognac strap, blue dial and silver dial markings are a pretty pleasing combo that should work well in this outfit.

The cognac strap, blue dial and silver dial markings are a pretty pleasing combo that should work well in this outfit.

So we’ve got the navy cardigan, the burgundy polo and the tan chinos — what’s next on the color wheel? Call it unscientific, but a striking blue watch really complements those colors nicely. KOMONO crafts its watches with striking quality for the price point — for colder temperatures, the Winston Herringbone is a personal favorite. The Winston in Blue looks to be no different in terms of quality, with a pleasing design and a cognac strap that matches nicely with the belt. And the price? That should definitely leave a bit leftover for a Bloody Mary.

The Socks: American Trench Rugby Stripe Socks in Navy — $14.50

A subtle but stylish complement to a sharp Sunday style scenario (see what I did there?).

A subtle but stylish complement to a sharp Sunday style scenario (see what I did there?).

These are anything but a plain old dress sock. American Trench’s cotton rugby stripe socks are premium, breathable and comfortable, with a pattern that pairs really well with the other colors in this ensemble. The Navy Rugby Stripe Sock in particular is a new offering for spring that’ll definitely pair well with white sneakers or tan suede chukkas. No-show socks would definitely work in this instance if it’s a little warmer out.

In an ideal scenario, the above combo would you have covered for every brunch situation imaginable — yes, even Brunch Village. And the same styling principles still apply no matter where you go this spring — looking for quality style staples that fit well and coordinate color-wise (underrated, but important) is always a bonus. And pieces like slim chinos, a sharp polo and crisp white sneakers can definitely carry you into summer. The only question is where to make a reservation — right?


#OOTD: Tailored Style for 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.

So we’re slowly but surely creeping towards warmer spring weather, at least in NYC. That’s good news if, like yours truly, you were getting sick of the cold (as much as I love layering with rugged winter style staples). As the weather warms up and gets more breezy, you might run into the temptation to shelve your blazer (or your black dress shoes) in favor of more laidback style combos. But you can definitely still nail a sharp business casual look using pieces that are in play the rest of the year — namely, a classic navy blazer with a subtle pattern, plus a sharp white shirt. The below look should be sharp but not stuffy, featuring just enough personality to set you apart from other, less well-dressed fellas. That’s the goal of these things, right? To leave #OOTD suggestions of your own, head over to The Style Guide Facebook page. Stay stylish!

Business-ready spring style with sharp black Oxfords and subtle patterns.

Business-ready spring style with sharp black Oxfords and subtle patterns.

The Blazer: J. Crew Factory Thompson Microdot Blazer, $131.50 — Recognize this blazer? It was first featured in this St. Patrick’s Day style feature, but it works plenty of other times of the year thanks to the subtle variation in pattern.

The Shirt: Paul Fredrick Extra Trim Fit Non-Iron Button-down Dress Shirt, $89.50 — The upscale, dressier answer to a more laidback Oxford-cloth shirt, this piece is part of the brand’s new, slimmer offerings.

The Pocket Square: The Tie Bar Corduroy Dots Pocket Square, $10 — Dots on the blazer and … dots on the pocket square? Yes, indeed — the color and scale are just different enough where it works out, plus the corduroy breaks up the dots on your top half, too.

The Pants: J. Crew Factory Slim Bedford Linen-Cotton Pant, $55.50 — While lightweight khaki chinos can also work here, these pants will serve you well in breezier, warm spring and summer days alike. The slim stripes and light grey color are a nice change of pace, too.

The Shoes: Jack Erwin Noah Quarter Brogue Oxford in Black, $195 — Black shoes can still be worn in spring and summer even when everyone else turns to brown; it makes this outfit all the more sharp sans tie.

The Belt: Tanner Goods Classic Belt, $100 — Just the right mix of casual and formal, this is a go-anywhere belt that works in casual and formal situations.

The Socks: Society Socks in Visionary Blue, $9.20 — Lest this outfit miss out on the sudden arrival of color that is spring, these socks add a definite pop to the get-up.

The Watch: Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield in Silver, $229 — Daniel Wellington’s watches, while a step up in price from a Timex or another casual watch, provide sharp, versatile style — and in this case, sufficiently dressy looks.

The above ensemble perhaps isn’t the most groundbreaking offering — it does feature a navy blazer, a white dress shirt and black Oxfords, for instance. But that’s where subtle changes in pattern, better quality (in the case of the shoes) and a bit of color — by way of the pocket square and socks — come into play. The black leather watch and belt shown above are timeless staples that’ll work in any outfit across the rest of the year, too. Plus, the shirt should fit nice and trim if you take off that blazer during the course of the day. Now, roll up those sleeves and get work — this new gear won’t pay for itself!

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Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Spring Jackets

Editor’s note: For a full host of seasonal shopping picks, click here.

Here’s a sneak peek for you at what’s coming this week on The Style Guide — shopping picks, and more shopping picks! With the long-awaited transition to spring currently ongoing all around (hopefully), there’s plenty of shopping to be done if you need to update your wardrobe. I know I’ve certainly been looking to cross some items off my spring style wish list. And while sometimes you can take a look at what you have in your wardrobe and easily assemble a sharp, #OOTD, sometimes you still need a little extra … something. In this case, that something is a great spring jacket, critical for navigating the sometimes quickly changing weather and temperatures of this time of year. After all, it’s not quite warm enough to go forth in a spring sweater  — which we’ll cover Wednesday — yet that winter coat is long gone. The below picks aim to get y’all outfitted at a variety of price points and styles, although versatility and maximum usability is critical in terms of outerwear. Keep in mind that we’re not getting crazy technical here, so if that’s your game … maybe give it a read anyways? And if you have any picks you think I missed, head on over to The Style Guide’s Facebook page and let me know.

#1. Abercrombie & Fitch Genuine Suede Bomber — $600

Abercrombie & Fitch -- not what you'd expected, right? A stunning new spring offering.

Abercrombie & Fitch — not what you’d expected, right? A stunning new spring offering.

If you’re not hip to the scene yet, Abercrombie & Fitch is back in a big way this spring thanks to the already-hyped efforts of former Club Monaco head of menswear Aaron Levine. Its knitwear looks to be in great shape (particularly this indigo popover), and solid, rugged pieces like the above Genuine Suede Jacket are doing lots to sway perception of the brand. $600 might certainly seem like a lot of cash to throw down if you haven’t shopped at A&F in years, but know that this stunning jacket was crafted in partnership with the outerwear experts at Golden Bear.  Worth a second look, huh?

#2. H&M Cotton Shirt Jacket — $34.99

The classic-yet-modern styling potential one expects from David Beckham's H&M partnership -- at a very low price.

The classic-yet-modern styling potential one expects from David Beckham’s H&M partnership — at a very low price.

On the opposite end of the spectrum sits H&M with this dark blue Cotton Shirt Jacket from its Modern Essentials collection (well-done, Mr. Beckham). Granted, the quality of the brand can sometimes be suspect, but collections done in partnership with the soccer legend do get quite a few things right in terms of nailing continental, modern style. This shirt jacket is completely different in style than the above suede bomber, but it would function as a nice weekend layering piece over a long-sleeve tee, and you could even rock it on its own for a casual Friday.

#3. Bridge & Burn Hayden Linen Jacket — $188

Lightweight and highly wearable in several situations.

Lightweight and highly wearable in several situations.

There seems to be two ways one can go when selecting outerwear — either slightly less expensive and less versatile, or pricier and more versatile & durable. The Bridge & Burn Hayden Linen Jacket certainly echoes that last one — it’s a nice and lightweight cotton-linen blend in a neutral grey colorway, and it’s designed in the U.S. from a brand that knows how to craft sustainable apparel and outerwear. It should function perfectly over a lightweight cashmere sweater and a simple tee, and you could even sub this jacket in for your more typical khaki blazer.

#4. Todd Snyder Chelsea Varsity Bomber Jacket — $198

An offering that's equal parts city and sport-inspired from Todd Snyder.

An offering that’s equal parts city and sport-inspired from Todd Snyder.

No matter the season, Todd Snyder always seems to deliver some excellent style staples — be it his take on classic white P.F. Flyers sneakers or athletic-inspired outerwear, like the Chelsea Varsity Bomber Jacket from this season’s collaboration with Champion. It certainly has  a slightly edgy, noir-ish style compared to some of the other pieces on this list, but sometimes, sleek black outerwear isn’t a bad thing. The cotton body should be lightweight and comfortable for layering over a classic Oxford shirt, and the leather detailing at the shoulders adds a bit of visual interest. While this jacket is a tad pricey, it’s certainly not as expensive as some of the brand’s other Spring 2016 offerings.

#5. Grayers Reston Quilted Jacket — $165

A hybrid jacket that's ideal for the shifting temps of spring.

A hybrid jacket that’s ideal for the shifting temps of spring.

This jacket was first seen on this blog’s Spring Style Wish List, and the Reston Quilted Jacket is popping back up here for good reason — it’s a versatile piece that takes a mixed approach to seasonal outerwear. That is to say, it combines the silhouette and stand-up collar of a field coat with a quilted exterior, plus the color and relatively slim fit of a navy blazer. That means you can wear it like both a jacket and …well, a blazer. If you’re looking for ways to style it, look toward simple staples like slim stone chinos (say all that five times fast) or lightwash jeans — the color contrast definitely works.

When shopping around (er, I mean researching) for this post, a few brands kept popping up — and if you’re looking to continue your search, I’d say you might do well to supplement the above picks by swinging through Bonobos, who stocks a variety of seasonally appropriate outerwear and unique styles. If your budget is substantially higher, keep in mind that classic, Americana-focused retailers like Billy Reid are also crafting lovely outerwear options. Whether you’ve got money to burn or not so much cash on-hand, scoping out a jacket that’s versatile and appropriate for your lifestyle is going to be goal numero uno — so, pretty important. If there are any brands you think got lost in the shuffle, hit me up on Twitter! In the meantime, happy shopping.



#OOTD: Early Spring Style with Easygoing Layers

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.

So, it’s finally arrived. The month of March, that is. And with it, the first inklings of spring — at least, for most of us. If you’re just starting to thaw out, those first few days of brighter sunshine, slight breezes and good vibes can really work wonders for the soul. If you’ve got a vacation planned to such a locale in the coming days or weeks, that’s all the better (Editor’s note: Stay tuned for more from a Florida trip later this week!). But we’re not fully out of the woods and into summer shorts weather yet. There’s still the chance for a slight breeze and some spring rain ahead, and so that calls for  layers that stand up to transitional weather but can still be shed if necessary — without sacrificing any style points. The below outfit is definitely well-suited for casual spring walks or a nice patio meal — simply swap in a slim blue Oxford if need be. How does this stack up to other spring ensembles? Give us a shout on Facebook with your thoughts, and stay stylish!

Earth tones mixed with shots of blue and lighter textures are signs that point toward spring.

Earth tones mixed with shots of blue and lighter textures are signs that point toward spring.

The Jacket: Abercrombie & Fitch True Indigo Dye Work Jacket, $150 — Before you roll your eyes at Abercrombie & Fitch, know that this brand is coming back in a big way — and stylish layering pieces like this (part shirt, part jacket) definitely prove it.

The T-Shirt: Richer Poorer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey, $54 per Two-Pack — The price is right for two slim, well-crafted, USA-made pocket tees that can be layered up all kinds of ways this spring. Swap in a chambray shirt if need be for less casual occasions.

The Chinos: Bonobos Washed Chinos in Cappu-chino, $88 — Spring & summer is nearly prime time for these tailored chinos that add some high-low style appeal to this outfit.

The Sneakers: CLAE Ellington Textile Sneakers in Navy Chambray, $80 — A nice change of pace from white sneakers, crafted from a unique chambray that pairs nicely with the indigo top layer.

The Belt: Target Merona Braided Brown Leather Belt, $13.98 – $21.99 — If you can catch this belt on sale, it’s a nice way to add texture and visual interest at a low price to an ensemble.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Fellow Socks, $12 — Go two-fer with Richer Poorer, as its socks are nearly as well-done as its slim pocket tees; the pattern is just different enough without clashing too much between black & brown.

The Watch: Timex Weekender Stripe, $40 — The olive-and-cream strap should play nicely off the earth brown chinos thanks to the neutral pocket tee and the indigo jacket, plus the price can’t be beat.

The Extras: Niche For Men Face & Body Deodorizing Wipes, $2.99 per Two-Pack — Before you know it, you’ll be traveling across town or across country; these small travel wipes are a cost-effective way to freshen up after a long day at work or a long day on the road.

The key with moving into early spring style is taking staple pieces you already have, like a pocket tee and dark brown chinos, and putting them to work in an outfit that’s more fit for the season. Lightweight sneakers, a casual canvas-strap watch and an indigo jacket are all small finishing touches that nod to spring’s key colors while changing up textures in your ensemble, so the above look should be good to go!

What are you most looking forward to when it comes to spring style?

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Florsheim

Style Suggestion: Memorial Day

Memorial Day really is one of the first significant outdoor occasions of the spring and summer for many around the country – after a long winter, summer’s imminent, and the holiday might bring with it some travel and time with friends and family. Ideally though, it involves getting outdoors for a little bit of everything — maybe a barbecque, a trip to the water or a little exploring. But what do you wear for such an occasion? Tweaking the standard outdoor get-up doesn’t take that much work — and you can support some quality brands in the process.

The Shirt: Buck Mason Navy Crew Slub Tee — $24

Small design touches make this a better option than a regular tank top or ratty old T-shirt.

Small design touches make this a better option than a regular tank top or ratty old T-shirt.

First seen not too long ago on this site’s roundup of the best T-shirts for spring and summer, this pick is much more than just a T-shirt. The deep navy color and slubby texture differentiate it from a plain old tee, and the rounded hem and slouchy collar are added design touches, too. The fact that it’s American-made doesn’t hurt, either. If the situations calls for a polo, you could always pick up a cheap yet well-designed option from this year’s Michael Bastian x Uniqlo collaboration or perhaps a nice short-sleeve buttondown from Ernest Alexander.

The Shorts: J. Crew Factory Stadium Short in Chambray — $29.50

Sporty elements like the elastic waistband mesh with an airy chambray fabric in these shorts.

Sporty elements like the elastic waistband mesh with an airy chambray fabric in these shorts.

Some might argue that these are just a shorter version of jogger pants – why add in something like a drawstring waistband to a pair of shorts? Well, when you’re out and about on Memorial Day, you might find yourself playing catch, grilling or taking a hike — the elastic waistband adds a casual and functional element to these chambray shorts, while the fabric and construction are a notch above athletic shorts (no belt needed, either). If you find they’re still too casual, you could grab a more refined pair from this list.

The Sneakers: GREATS Brand White Wilson Sneakers — $49

A durable captoe and the crisp white color make these the perfect high-low sneaker option.

A durable captoe and the crisp white color make these the perfect high-low sneaker option.

A full review of these sneakers can be found here  — but in short, they’re the ideal combination of excellent looks for a stellar price. They’re quite a bit cheaper than a pair of similar white kicks from the revamped Converse Jack Purcell line, they look more crisp than a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars (no pesky logo or side stripe on the sole), and they’re still functional enough to move around in — plus, at that price they can take a bit of a beating without too much worry. If you want a more no-frills option, you could always pick up a leather slip-on (the latest release from GREATS) or a beater pair of  canvas Vans sneakers.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Beginner No-Show 2-pack — $15

No-show socks that'll help your sneakers fit better and  last longer.

No-show socks that’ll help your sneakers fit better and last longer.

No-show socks are among those essentials for the warmer weather that can make quite a big difference — they prolong the life of your sneakers and help your kicks fit better while avoiding the foot funk that can come from going barefoot with shoes. The simple design options for Richer Poorer socks mean these are a better choice than no-show or low-cut athletic socks, too.

The Sunglasses: J. Crew Factory Tortoiseshell Sunglasses — $19.50

Mighty cheap but still stylish.

Mighty cheap but still stylish.

Some people are all about their sunglasses and really dig expensive pairs – if you’re not one of those people, or if you’re the type to lose them or sit on them throughout the summer, it doesn’t hurt to snag a pair or two of these cheap shades. You still get a unique frame shape, neat tortoiseshell pattern and the confidence of buying from J. Crew Factory — better than a drug store pair, right? You could always spring for a customizable pair of Ray-Ban’s New Wayfarers or an American classic, Randolph Engineering Aviators.

The Watch: Timex Weekender Slip-Thru Strap Watch — $40.45

A no-frills design that takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

A no-frills design that takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Timex watches are renowned for the combo of price and durability they provide. The company doesn’t produce anything overly fancy, but its Weekender series works with plenty of NATO watch straps and provides a classic, clean design that’s not too casual or dressy. In this case, the red and blue stripes of the strap play off the blue in the shirt and the grey of the shorts, although a red floral NATO strap would also provide a fun pop of pattern and color. An efficient field watch would also work here.

With some slight tweaks, this same outfit template could work for nearly any warm-weather situation in your future — and either way, I hope your Memorial Day entails great times with friends and family … and maybe a cold beer or two.

What do you think of the above get-up?What will you be wearing (and doing!) for the long weekend?

Ernest Alexander
Nunn Bush