Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Gloves to Buy For Winter

It’s been a bit of time since our last Online Shopping Picks post on The Style Guide, and with that being said, we’ve moved through the rugged, crisp fall season into a chilly, blustery winter. So, how to stay warm and do it stylishly? Better yet, what gear to buy to get you through the winter season? Similar to dressing for the first snowfall , you need the best of the best out there — that goes for something as simple as your next pair of winter gloves, too. They’re a somewhat overlooked part of an entire ensemble — and there are more choices than one might expect. Dressy situations? Dress gloves — a la James Bond’s gloves in “Skyfall.”¬†More casual scenarios? We’ve got the gloves for those instances, too. And in matters of style — particularly when it comes to keeping warm — no detail is too small. Check out the below picks and weigh in with any additions to this list on Twitter or, as always, in the friendly comments section.

#1.J. Crew¬†Cashmere-Lined Leather Smartphone Gloves — $98

Get them in Black or Saddle Blue -- just get them as quick as you can.

Get them in Black or Saddle Blue — just get them as quick as you can.

We’re kicking off this list with a¬†fairly classic pick from everyone’s favorite accessible, stylish retailer. Combining the comfort and quality of cashmere lining with the usability us smartphone users need nowadays, these gloves are sharp, slick and ready to finish off a tailored winter ensemble in fine fashion. Of course, they’re versatile enough to work as a complementary piece to casual weekend outfits. And although they nearly top $100, the functionality, warmth and looks of these gloves make them worth the investment — in either Black or Saddle Blue.

#2. United By Blue Ragg Wool Gloves — $26

Casual, comfortable and unique -- the ideal pair of off-duty gloves.

Casual, comfortable and unique — the ideal pair of off-duty gloves.

Whereas those cashmere-lined J. Crew gloves are the¬†perfect option for quick commutes or casual weekend outings, the United By Blue Ragg Wool Gloves are a decidedly more casual alternative. With fitted cuffs and a unique ragg wool knit that the brand says isn’t scratchy, these are the kind of gloves to throw on when layering up a piece like the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt¬†and a flannel-lined waxed trucker jacket. Whether you’re hauling brush or just dashing down the street to snag a quick coffee, these are the gloves you need.

#3. Hestra Tor Gloves — $180

Durable, high-quality gloves from a classic accessories maker.

Durable, high-quality gloves from a classic accessories maker.

As sold by the Style Guide-approved folks at Huckberry, it’s tough to beat a pair of heritage-quality, stunningly well-made set of Hestra gloves. And certainly, the Hestra Tor Gloves won’t let you down when it comes time to brave the polar vortex.¬† Just like the Ragg Wool Gloves from United By Blue, the Hestra Tor Gloves are¬†a working man’s pair of gloves, without a doubt. Made from elk leather and lined with wool terry, they’re unique, built to last and definitely quite warm.

A dependable, functional set of gloves for under $50.

A dependable, functional set of gloves for under $50.

It should come as no surprise that the second J. Crew on this list is selling pretty quickly — buy these while they’re still around. This pair is yet another more casual alternative to the cashmere-lined iteration seen in the first slot, but they’re still just as worth adding to your arsenal. The textured wool and ribbed cuffs help with both fit and comfort, and the leather on the palms and fingers makes ’em smartphone-capable. Not bad — not bad at all.

Frank & Oak

#5. Hestra Granvik Gloves — $180

Remarkably well-made, tough gloves as sold by Huckberry and of course, Hestra.

Remarkably well-made, tough gloves as sold by Huckberry and of course, Hestra.

We’re closing out this list with another pair of tough-as-nails Hestra gloves, and for good reason.¬†¬†Again made¬†with elk leather, the Granvik Gloves also feature the same wool terry lining as the Tor Gloves for a high dose of warmth and comfort. The elastic cuffs keep these gloves secure while keeping snow and wind out — crucial in the cold weather. And the eye-catching, rich color combination means these are the type of gloves to reach for when you throw on everything from a denim jacket and slim topcoat to an indigo parka in a blizzard. Trust me.

And with that, we’ve wrapped up yet another (hopefully) helpful Online Shopping Picks entry — which gloves from the above list are you buying this year? If you only have the budget to buy one pair of gloves, something like J. Crew’s leather smartphone gloves¬†just might be the way to. And if you find yourself in rugged style and work situations more often than not, perhaps a set of Hestra gloves will suffice. It’s all about reading the situation properly — and if it’s cold as heck out there, it’s more about bundling up than anything. Any brands you’d add to this list? Let me know via The Style Guide Facebook page.

Stay stylish out there!

-Beau

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Online Shopping Picks: East Dane ‘GO BIG’ Fall Sale

Editor’s note: Continue reading The Style Guide for more menswear style suggestions.

Here at The Style Guide,¬† we’re all about helping people out — right? From the weekly #OOTD feature to the Friday recap of the best of the week in #menswear , it all comes down to keeping y’all informed — and keeping myself informed, come to think of it. So, that’s why we’re here today. It’s Thanksgiving Eve — AKA the biggest bar night of the year — but that means we’re in the thick of a busy shopping season. If you haven’t gotten a jump on your Christmas shopping as of yet, you best start — and it’s a great thing we’re giving you the tools to do that via the great folks at East Dane . We shared with you details about the epic East Dane Event of the Season last month, and the excellent menswear and men’s lifestyle retailer is back at it again. So, without further ado: Now through 11:59 p.m. PST on¬†Monday, November 28th, you can get some stellar online shopping deals! Using the code GOBIG16, you can get 15 percent off orders of $200 or more, 20 percent off orders of $500 or more, & 25 percent¬†off orders of $800 or more. So, that’s a heck of a great deal, and it goes for a wide selection of both full-price and sale items. Now, because those are big barriers to reach, we’re focusing on hard-hitting, higher-priced goods in key categories — we’re talking footwear, shirting, sweaters, outerwear … you get the drill.¬†Particularly if you’ve got a lot of shopping to do all at once — or if you just love the fine mix of rugged-refined and luxurious goods sold at East Dane — it’s certainly worth shopping quite a bit. Now, note that a few choice Style Guide favorites — like Shinola & Wolverine — are either entirely or partially excluded from this sale. Even still, there are plenty of great goods out there. So, that begs the question — what exactly should you buy to get the most bang for your buck?¬†That’s what we’re here for today. Shoot me a tweet on Twitter if you think I missed any deals — and a Happy (early) Thanksgiving, folks!

Outerwear: Billy Reid Bond Peacoat — $695¬†(Available via East Dane)

The best peacoat money can buy? It just might be.

The best peacoat money can buy? It just might be.

Now, the Bond Peacoat is the stuff of legend — at least according to this menswear blogger. It’s the perfect season for a stylish peacoat, and this is the one to buy.¬†Originally named for Bond Street in New York City and the brand’s store there, it was made famous by none other than James Bond in “Skyfall.”¬†The good news for you?¬†This beautiful, refined wool-blend peacoat in a striking grey can be had for 20 percent off — that sort of deal doesn’t come around too often, I tell ya what.

Shirting: Todd Snyder Woven Camel Shirt Jacket — $199.50 (Available via East Dane)

A unique fabric, yet this shirt-jacket still has nicely versatile styling potential.

A unique fabric, yet this shirt-jacket still has nicely versatile styling potential.

Don’t own any shirts made with a luxurious camel hair weave? That’s alright — neither do I. Although if I were you and I needed a unique, tailored shirt to layer over rugged basics like a favorite fall henley, this is the shirt I’d snag. Todd Snyder makes a mix of luxe and tailored pieces that play off heritage style — a woven camel shirt-jacket gives you the styling potential of (you guessed it), a shirt jacket …. and yet you get the texture and refinement of a finely tailored camel topcoat. It’s also just a shade shy of the $200 barrier for that 15 percent off deal.

Sweaters: Club Monaco Marled Mockneck Sweater — $129.50 (Available via East Dane)

A unique alternative to more casual fall and winter sweater options.

A unique alternative to more casual fall and winter sweater options.

So, let’s say you’ve got a slim cardigan and a¬†stylish crewneck sweater in your cold-weather layering arsenal … but you want something that captures a dressier, slightly rakish vibe? This Club Monaco mockneck sweater is just the ticket. In a refined navy color, it calls to mind the sort of layers worn by James Bond in “Spectre” — that is, layers that were minimal, refined and ready for action. As for you? This mockneck sweater can be layered under a wool blazer or worn with a durable leather jacket for high-low style that’s fit for winter.

Pants: Carhartt WIP Club Pants — $138 (Available via East Dane)

A unique pair of tapered tweed pants that can be worn casually or with tailored gear.

A unique pair of tapered tweed pants that can be worn casually or with tailored gear.

Now, the traditionally workwear-oriented folks at Carhartt have branched off in recent years with the more style-forward Carhartt WIP line. What’s more, these nicely tailored wool-blend tweed pants are a nice example of that new focus. If you’re looking for an alternative to cotton chinos or even durable selvedge denim, a pair of tweed pants in a comfortable, slightly stretch blend is the way to go. These pants¬†can be worn with leather wingtips and a casual crewneck sweater for a blend of high-low style, and they’ll team up more than admirably with a winter blazer for a day at the office.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Footwear: Danner Mountain Light Overton Boots — $380 (Available via East Dane)

A durable, tough pair of hikers with a bit of style injected in the mix.

A durable, tough pair of hikers with a bit of style injected in the mix.

So, you’ve got a closet full of tough fall footwear essentials, like leather chukka boots, but you don’t have something quite sturdy enough for slick terrain? Enter the Danner Mountain Light¬†Overton Boot — the brand’s quality and durability precedes itself. With a cowhide leather upper,¬† a GORE-TEX liner and a Vibram wedge sole, they’re a silhouette that’s sporty, functional and yet ready to pair with slim dark denim and a navy bomber for a¬†weekend bar crawl. Ya dig?

So, there you go — sorting through a large sale can sometimes be a tricky endeavor — hopefully, those picks helped you out at least a little bit. And the great thing is, you’ve got more than enough time to shop away for key seasonal purchases. If you stick to reputable, stylish and long-lasting brands — like Billy Reid and Todd Snyder — and look to make investment-worthy purchases, you’ll set yourself up for success (as cheesy as that might sound). And with that being said, shop away and enjoy the holiday!

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Henleys to Buy Right Now

Editor’s note: Start your seasonal menswear shopping here.

So, we’re into November here on The Style Guide. There’s a chill in the air, the holidays are around the corner¬†(crazy!)¬†and maybe, just maybe, you’ve noticed a piece or two missing from your cold-weather wardrobe. Now, we talked tough denim shirts last week, and we’re talking another choice menswear essential today. You might have tough high-top sneakers and slim selvedge denim covered this season– maybe even a stylish fall cardigan — but what else are you going to layer it with? The answer’s pretty simple, and it’s one that comes up here often on this site. It’s rugged, it’s durable and it makes just about any guy look great – the essential long-sleeve henley, folks. While we’ve covered the best short-sleeve henleys and even took a stab at rounding up stylish henleys last fall, it’s high time for an update. The layering potential of a slim henley is such that you can pair it with a cotton peacoat, a V-neck sweater or underneath a chambray shirt without missing a beat. And if you get one that’s made with quality materials and attention to detail — like the picks below — you’ll have an easier and even more enjoyable time wearing it. Want to chime in on the conversation? Head over to The Style Guide Facebook page for a spell, or hit up Instagram for more.

#1. Flint¬†and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley — $62

One of the best henleys on the market, and sold by the great Huckberry team, to boot.

One of the best henleys on the market, and sold by the great Huckberry team, to boot.

Our top pick here is almost too easy of a choice. Sold by the folks at Huckberry, the Flint and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley is as good as it gets. With a unique, visually interesting four-button placket, a¬† trim-yet-mobile fit and nicely marled mid-weight jersey fabric, it’s sure to become your¬† new fall go-to. Heck, you could pair this stylish henley with a pair of Flint & Tinder selvedge denim and a rich suede bomber jacket for excellent style nearly any day of the week.

#2. Reigning Champ Long Sleeve Henley — $85

Made in Canada with all the reliable style details you could ask for.

Made in Canada with all the reliable style details you could ask for.

Like Flint and Tinder, Reigning Champ knows a thing or two about reliable, well-crafted¬†basics. Its Long Sleeve Henley is no exception, made from soft cotton in a seasonally appropriate olive color. It’s the type of henley to throw on underneath a chambray shirt, or on its own, with brown leather sneakers for a weekend coffee run. The raglan sleeves are a flattering touch that’ll broaden your shoulders, and a scalloped hem is another neat visual touch. It’ll also work nicely in the early days of spring — keep it around for the fall and beyond.

#3. Grayers Byron Double Cloth Henley —¬†$59.98

Easygoing, essential and stylish. The Byron Double Cloth Henley definitely gets a lot right!

Easygoing, essential and stylish. The Byron Double Cloth Henley definitely gets a lot right!

It’s only fitting that Grayers — so named for the flannel trousers worn casually by young British men in the ’50s — makes a heck of a nice henley. It nods to the style’s real-life sportswear roots, yet does so with the modern fit and excellent fabric that’s become a hallmark of the Grayers brand. The Byron Double Cloth Henley¬†is lined with soft cotton jersey and features a heather slub fabric that’s the right weight and feel to team up with a Grayers blazer., for example. The price on the Double Cloth Henley¬†isn’t half-bad for a quality layering essential, either.

#4. Alex Mill Indigo French Terry Mock Henley (Available via East Dane) —¬†$125

Part sweatshirt and part henley -- but there's really no wrong way to wear this Alex Mill piece.

Part sweatshirt and part henley — but there’s really no wrong way to wear this Alex Mill piece.

If you’re unfamiliar with Alex Mil, it’d be a wise bet to get acquainted. Particularly if you like ridiculously well-made basics that add a touch of continental flair, the French Terry Mock Henley is worth checking out. It’s made from, as the name would suggest, lightweight French terry fabric in a deep indigo wash — it’s part sweatshirt, part henley and stylish¬† no matter how you slice it. Layer it over a classic blue Oxford or a tough chambray shirt for rugged-refined office style.

#5. Todd Snyder Classic Chambray Henley (Available via East Dane)¬†— $125

An excellent mix of the heritage-inspired and the modern from Todd Snyder.

An excellent mix of the heritage-inspired and the modern from Todd Snyder.

In the midst of his excellent work with collaborations like the Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, it’s easy to forget that Todd Snyder still makes excellent basics in his own right.¬† The Classic Chambray Henley is virtually a classic Snyder piece, right up there with the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt. Why’s that? Well, it mixes classic sportswear touches — like a elongated placket and a modern fit — with neat chambray detailing at the collar. It’s a premium piece that’s so well-made, you could even get away with wearing it under a wool blazer in the colder months ahead.

Although plenty of people think of the henley solely as a casual piece, the above selections are well-crafted and feature enough visual detailing that they’d work quite well underneath a fall and winter blazer or a slim cardigan on a casual day at the office. And for the investment you’re making, it’s worth it to get as much wear out of it as possible. Pieces like the Flint and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley¬†are top of the line, made in American out of premium materials. And a hybrid piece like the Long Sleeve Henley¬† from Reigning Champ mix in fall-appropriate color and texture. Those types of touches are exactly what you should be looking for in a stylish henley — and hopefully, the above picks are enough to get you started.

Until the next post — thanks for reading!

-Beau

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Shorts to Buy For Summer

Editor’s note: For more spring and summer shorts picks, click that link. Shop on!

It sure seems like it’s taken us some time to get to this point — gearing up for shorts weather, that is. As someone who loves a great pair of denim — be it classic raw denim or even a pair of lightwash jeans for spring — it can be tricky to shelve those pants in favor of shorts. The same thing goes for classic slim chinos, of which I find myself wearing a ton all year-round … and even when it gets crazy hot out. But, stylish shorts can be surprisingly versatile, including in looks both classic and more tailored (see this Effortless Gent piece on how to wear tailored shorts for more ideas). The below picks lean a bit higher end, and certainly, they keep¬†a modern fit in mind — that is, they might be a bit shorter than you’re used to, and a little slimmer. They don’t¬†necessarily cover casual picks like sweatshorts, but that should make ’em a little more versatile. And as to the slimmer fit¬†— it’s definitely a good thing, trust me! Got your wallet handy? Get ready to shop away, and let me know if I missed any picks in the comments. Stay stylish!

#1. Bonobos Summer Weight Shorts — $78

A somewhat unexpected color from a brand that definitely provides expected quality.

A somewhat unexpected color from a brand that definitely provides expected quality.

Nearly $80 for a pair of shorts? A bit more than most of us are used to paying, true — but, these summer weight shorts are coming from the same folks who know just how to make a great pair of chinos (and of course, their famous Travel Jeans). The fabric in these things is lighter, the cut is more tailored and the option of a 7-inch, 9-inch or 11-inch inseam hits the sweet spot for most of us. Plus, that Wisteria color is a change of pace from khaki or even navy — and we’ll get to those color options (or similar ones, anyways), soon enough.

#2. JackThreads 7″ Chino Short — $39

Oil Blue? There's a new color name. Stylish and well-priced!

Oil Blue? There’s a new color name. Stylish and well-priced!

If you prefer to go with a 7-inch inseam right off the bat, JackThreads has you covered with its reliable, stylish and versatile Chino Shorts.¬†They offer a slightly more¬†unique shot of color than the Bonobos shorts above, and they do it for a price that would allow you to snag two-for-one. Other color options (including a nice-looking Stone pair) are up for grabs, but if you’re of the opinion that shorts should be about throwing in some color and fun, these are the pick to reach for. Keep the rest of your outfit simple — say, maybe¬†a white pocket tee and brown leather loafers — and get ready for stylish weekends galore.

#3. Bridge and Burn Stringer Dune Short — $88

One pair of shorts with twice the cool, thanks to the comfy drawstring waist and the cotton-linen blend.

One pair of shorts with twice the cool, thanks to the comfy drawstring waist and the cotton-linen blend.

Just as with the Bonobos shorts above, $88 is definitely nothing to sneeze at in terms of price. But, the Stringer Dune Short from Bridge & Burn provides you with a ton of value and a neat look for the cost. For one, there’s the linen-cotton blend, which just works a bit better to get airflow going if it’s hot out. For another, they should be super-comfortable — just check out that drawstring waistband. These are your go-to shorts for a spring or summer bar crawl, without a doubt. And the khaki color is just what most of us look for when buying new shorts.

#4. Johnnie-O Cotner Shorts — $79

Malibu Red? Malibu Red for summer.

Malibu Red? Malibu Red for summer.

For as much as this #menswear writer loves the color blue (A LOT), it’s sometimes nice to inject a different shade of color into a summer outfit — like the Cotner Short from Johnnie-O.¬†For those times when you want to make a bit more of a statement (or just rotate in some new shorts), red is the way to go. Now, it’s a decidedly preppy look, but it works for some of us — and it can certainly work if you tone down the rest of your outfit (perhaps snag a slub jersey polo and simple white sneakers?). The 8-inch inseam is a bit more forgiving than the 7-inch inseam of some of these picks, too.

#5. Apolis Transition Scout Short — $108

Equal parts effective and stylish, with details like adjustable waistband tabs to match.

Equal parts effective and stylish, with details like adjustable waistband tabs to match.

While a slim pair of chino shorts works for all sorts of situations, there are a few times where you need to combine form and function in a rather literal sense. Maybe it’s a quick day hike that turns into drinks on a patio, or a summer BBQ with some vigorous yard games (or touch football). In that case, Apolis’ Transition Scout Short¬†is your best bet. With nylon fabric, a tailored fit and styling details like adjustable waistband tabs for comfort, they’re very much ready for all sorts of activity — note that the Navy color is going fast, but the Olive or Khaki options would be just as versatile when paired with a white polo or a simple crewneck.

Putting together this post, as seems to be the case with our Online Shopping Picks entries, revealed a lot of brands doing shorts well. Mainstays like J. Crew are always worth a look, and even premium brands like Todd Snyder are getting into the game with tailored chambray shorts you could wear with a blazer. Of course, sporty-yet-crisp short options are out there, too — look no further than this warm-weather style suggestion from last fall. And if you find it exceptionally tough to trade in your denim for shorts, know that you’re not alone — it’s a process! But, reaching for a pair you can feel good about wearing — one made with quality materials and fabric — makes it easier to invest, and a lot more fun to wear ’em all through the summer.

Which of the above picks are your favorite? Would you add any options to this list?
Florsheim

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

Online Shopping Picks: The 5 Best Spring Sneakers to Buy Now

Editor’s note: For a plethora of pertinent seasonal style picks, head this way.

Sharp white sneakers -- like the GREATS Brand Wilson -- make spring style all the easier. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Short-sleeve gingham shirt and shorts by Banana Republic. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Sharp white sneakers — like the GREATS Brand Wilson — make spring style all the easier (even with a sunburn). Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Short-sleeve gingham shirt and shorts by Banana Republic. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

We’ve been talking a lot here on The Style Guide about how to transition your style seamlessly between the seasons. That includes the essentials, like a stylish spring jacket or a lightweight spring sweater, and it goes on all the way down to footwear. Be it an especially sharp pair of Jack Erwin loafers (as in a recent Style Pick feature), or something more spring-friendly, don’t leave out that part of the equation. Now, we covered off on great men’s sneakers last spring, but there’s no time like the¬†present to deliver an update on¬†a pair of footwear that’ll be in heavy rotation for the next four or five months¬† (if we’re lucky). With that being said, let’s dive right into the below #menswear picks — if you see any brands missing, let me know on Facebook!

#1. The Hill-Side Pale Indigo Washed Denim Low-Top Sneakers, $175

The same fabric that goes into your favorite denim makes up these stunning sneakers.

The same fabric that goes into your favorite denim makes up these stunning sneakers.

The Hill-Side has earned its stripes since launching in 2009, what with a dedication to exceptional fabrics, neat takes on classic silhouettes and a stellar GAP Capsule collection as part of the GQ Best New Menswear Designer in America collection. It’s no surprise, then, that these pale indigo washed denim sneakers¬†look extraordinary, crafted from 100 percent Japanese cotton in a heritage sneaker factory and assembled by hand. These are casual enough to rock with dark denim and a slim T-shirt, but they’d add a heck of a lot of cool to a slim khaki blazer and grey chinos.

#2. GREATS Royale Court in Graphite — $199

Back again, and ready for spring.

Back again, and ready for spring.

These sneakers first appeared on this blog way back in October, but lest we forget that spring can be¬†a time¬†of transition, they’re back. The excellent thing about picking up these sneakers now is that they add some visual interest — and a heck of a lot of sturdy high-top construction — to laidback, casual outfits (like lightwash jeans and a rugged short-sleeve henley, for example). Plus, you can safely rock them into fall and winter. Oh, and if you fancy yourself heading to a lot of summer music festivals and want a sturdy sneaker that’s still right for the occasion, the Royale Court would be an outstanding pick.


#3. SeaVees Army Issue Sneaker — $98

An sneaker with military roots, and the specs to prove it.

An sneaker with military roots, and the specs to prove it.

SeaVees is a brand that knows what it does well and sticks to it. In this case, that’s channeling a combination of West Coast vibes and classic East Coast styling — and the resulting SeaVees staple, the Army Issue Sneaker, is a nice result. Crisp white sneakers like these can be styled all kinds of ways, from rocking them with a lightweight¬†sweater and chinos (as in this post) to pairing them with dark denim and an unconstructed navy blazer. For under $100, the full-grain leather, suede toe cap and cotton canvas lining can’t really be beat.

#4. Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Nubuck Rambler¬†Low — $199

Just one of several ideal spring sneakers, built with quality and style in mind.

Just one of several ideal spring sneakers, built with quality and style in mind.

When this year’s version of the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers collaboration launched in February, it was a welcome addition to one writer’s Style Wish List. And now that spring is creeping its way forward (for some of us), there’s no better time to hop on board with ’em. Todd Snyder’s taken the same classic, heritage-inspired styling principles that have made his own line a hit, and pumped them into a solid take on a versatile sneaker that would look excellent with slim lightwash jeans and a stylish spring polo.

#5. Rancourt & Co. Court Classic Low Sneakers — $260

A low-top in navy leather that changes the pace from regular white sneakers, with a ton of quality built in.

A low-top in navy leather that changes the pace from regular white sneakers, with a ton of quality built in.

By far the most expensive sneaker on this list (for good reason), Rancourt turned its attention last year to sneakers with the same attention to detail as its renowned boots. And that’s a very good thing for all of us #menswear fans. The Court Classic Low¬†features a stunning full-grain navy leather upper that’s a nice change of pace from solid black or white sneakers, and it’s made in the USA — 100 percent! The Vibram sole should be exceedingly comfortable, meaning you can rock ’em with a slim chambray suit for high-low style, or a laidback tee and summer shorts.

It was quite tough to put together this list — after all, even brands that made the cut (like The Hill-Side or GREATS) deliver all sorts of exceptional sneakers for a variety of price points. If you’re looking for¬†a super-simple style that certainly won’t break the bank, the GREATS Wilson is the way to go. Premium retailers like J. Crew also offer a heck of a lot of sneakers picks (as detailed in this site’s Sneaker Style Upgrade piece). And of course, it’s worth checking out Converse for its classic Jack Purcell Sneaker alone. With that being said, the awesome thing about today’s menswear world is that a great pair of sneakers can take you a ton of different places — spring, summer, and beyond. Not a bad deal to me!

What’s your take on the above picks? Are there certain brands you’d add? Let me know!

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Lightwash Denim for Spring

Editor’s note: For online shopping picks primed to get you ready for spring, head here.

Lightwash denim is an ideal spring style move -- if you're feeling adventurous, it can even work with a dark denim jacket. 484 Jeans by J. Crew. Denim jacket by American Apparel. Loafers by G.H. Bass Patterned NATO strap by The Knottery and watch by Timex. Photo credit: Khoa Nguyen.

Lightwash denim is an ideal spring style move — if you’re feeling adventurous, it can even work with a dark denim jacket. 484 Jeans by J. Crew. White henley by Target Merona. Denim jacket by American Apparel. Loafers by G.H. Bass Patterned NATO strap by The Knottery and watch by Timex. Photo credit: Khoa Nguyen.

Guess what, folks? Just like that, it’s almost April! That means that if you haven’t already, it’s high time to incorporate some spring style trends into your wardrobe. Recent #menswear shopping picks on this site have covered broader categories like great spring outerwear and stylish spring sweaters, but today’s post goes a bit more specific. If you read this blog, follow me on Instagram or have checked out some of my other writing work (thanks, by the way!), then you’ll know all too well that I love the styling power of dark, sturdy denim. But lightening up colors, textures and washes is a great way to switch up your wardrobe and get really into spring and summer — all the while wearing denim (trust me, it’s crucial if you find it odd to wear shorts a lot, like this fella). So the below shopping picks are going more relaxed, casual and spring-ready — it’s certainly tougher to dress up lightwash denim, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a solid pick-up for weekends or more casual work or class days. Got all that down? Good. Got a credit card handy? Even better.

#1. Mott & Bow Slim Baxter Jean in Medium Blue — $108

Roll 'em, cuff 'em, wear 'em about any way you please.

Roll ’em, cuff ’em, wear ’em about any way you please.

If you’re a bit wary of shelving your chinos or dark denim, ease into it with a comfortable pair of denim that still retains more than enough dark color to satisfy the selvedge fans among us. These aren’t a classic, super light color, but they’ll do. The Baxter from Mott & Bow makes use of the brand’s 5-month wash, incorporates some comfortable stretch, and comes at a price that’s pretty darn agreeable compared to your typical pair of raw denim. Throw in that home try-on program and that’s an A-plus pair of spring denim for you.

#2. JackThreads Slim Denim in Light Wash — $59

Decidedly lighter and constructed with a slim fit.

Decidedly lighter and constructed with a slim fit.

Whereas pick no. 1 on this list goes for a darker color (and retails at a higher price point), option no. 2 leans decidedly lighter in wash and, one might say, decidedly more retro. This pair of JackThreads denim  might be what you more commonly think of when reaching for a pair of lightwash jeans (see this post here, for example). But the way JT crafts its products, these should be an excellent value — perfect if you don’t feel like dropping $100-plus on a pair of jeans for your rotation.

#3. J. Crew 770 Jean in Leroy Wash — $125

Casual style potential and a more forgiving fit characterize the Leroy.

Casual style potential and a more forgiving fit characterize the Leroy.

For those of us that would prefer to stick with a slightly better-known mainstay, J. Crew’s back at it  this spring with the Leroy Jean in its 770 fit. That means, most importantly, that it’s cut with more room in the thigh and waist for those among us who don’t prefer (or can’t quite fit into) slimmer jeans. This writer’s a fan of the 484 fit from J. Crew, but the 770 has proven itself among the menswear contingent as a solid back-up option. As to the price, well… you could stick around for a sale, but know that the denim is coming from Japan.
Florsheim

#4. Bonobos The Jetsetter Jean — $168

A rough-and-tumble wash gives this denim a unique look.

A rough-and-tumble wash gives this denim a unique look.

Is it just me, or have Bonobos denim prices hopped up a bit in recent years? At any rate, this stretch denim features 2 percent elastane built in (like some pairs of Mott & Bow denim), and should fit as solidly as Bonobos’ famous chinos.  The Medium Blue wash leans decidedly darker than some of its counterparts on this list, so it could more easily be paired with, say, a navy blazer and a white Oxford (although that would be a solid combination with any pair on this list). Rock these guys just as they’re shown on the brand’s Web site — with brown suede chukkas — and you’ve got a casual style combo ready for date nights or days at the office.

#5. Ace Rivington Italian Comfort Denim in Medium Vintage Wash — $239

A more classic fit and medium vintage wash tie right into the quality one expects from an American-made brand.

A more classic fit and medium vintage wash tie right into the quality one expects from an American-made brand.

While this pair of denim isn’t as light in color as its counterparts here, it’s the way to go if you want an incredibly sturdy (and pricey) pair of washed denim. Ace Rivington takes the quality and construction of its garments as seriously as its unique backstory, and that’s resulted here in a quality pair of more classic-leaning denim. They feature a slim, tapered fit (it won’t be overly skinny) and a medium rise. Note that this pair comes with a 34-inch inseam — so these might need to be rolled, or they can simply be cuffed to your liking. Either way, you’re getting a middle-of-the-road that’s another nice way to ease into lightwash denim.

If you still find yourself scouring the far corners of the Internet for a great pair of lightwash denim, know that there were a few brands that didn’t make the cut here. Specifically, classic retailers like Old Navy are producing lightwash jeans with a hint of stretch, and you can even snap up slim-fit jeans in a lighter wash from Target’s Mossimo line for an excellent price.  When picking up your pair and styling them, pair them with the same style staples as you might a slim pair of dark denim — think rugged short-sleeve henleys, a printed short-sleeve shirt or a classic white Oxford to start. Don’t worry — there’s plenty of time to grab your pair and get on the lightwash denim (which is totally a thing, trust me).

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