See Now, Buy Now: Mott and Bow Is Making Some of the Best Black Jeans for Men

Best men's black jeans.

If you’re anything like me, perhaps you’re searching for ways to subtly switch up your style without veering too far from the path of your established style favorites, like a pair of the best jeans for men. The classic jean, with its five-pocket design and timeless roots, is, of course, a well-established, everyday go-to, but what about when you want to step things up a touch from your favorite pair of blue jeans without overdoing it?

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Well, I’ve got just the ticket: Head over to Mott and Bow, the DTC masters of some of the best jeans for men, and search instead for some of the best black jeans on the market. If you’ve read any of my Mott and Bow reviews over the years, you know they make some of the best lightweight jeans and other styles in a range of crisp colorways (and they also excel at buttery-soft T-shirts, sweatpants and more!).

Best black jeans for men to wear now.

That being said, it’s the Mott and Bow Mercer Jeans in Midnight that have really caught my eye as of late, with a polished Slim fit and a deep, inky black color that’s both edgy and cool, yet ever so slightly ready for business casual looks. Yes indeed, if you’re wondering “Can you wear jeans to the office?” I’d say you certainly can — as long as that pair fits well, doesn’t have any noticeable distractions (goodbye, trendy ripped jeans!) and comes in dark, versatile colors.

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Again, the Mott and Bow Mercer Jeans in Midnight are just the ticket. They’re made from a midweight 10oz. cotton denim blend, rounded out with elastane for crucial stretch. Beyond that, the fabric itself within the Mott and Bow Mercer Jeans in Midnight is a comfort stretch fabric that moves with you reliably all day long. Plus, plenty of sizes and three inseams are available, which should work for most body types.

And the Midnight shade of your new favorite pair of black jeans should retain its deep color over time, minus some slight fading in parts that receive heavy wear. Above all though — and considering the agreeable $129 price tag — the Mott and Bow Mercer Jeans in Midnight have the potential to be a stylish, slightly edgy yet versatile pair of go-to, must-buy jeans. Make your next style switch-up today.


Style Pick of the Week: Mott & Bow Crosby Denim

A go-to pair of classic dark blue denim for any day of the week.

If you peruse the pages of The Style Guide with any frequency, there are classic men’s style brands (or newly classic men’s style brands!) that come up from time to time. Across the years, Mott & Bow has been one of those brands, a reliable producer of the best denim for men — including the utterly timeless Mott and Bow Crosby Denim as seen above. What makes them so special? That’s why we’re here, folks. (On that note, head to this link to read my Mott and Bow product review). From the brand’s classic denim shirts to its mobile, versatile classic dark blue denim, this quickly growing E-commerce brand (based in NYC) makes it surprisingly easy for guys to find a great-fitting pair of jeans, seeing as they offer fits ranging from Straight to Skinny. The Mott and Bow Crosby Denim are of the slim variety, and that should sit just right for most of us guys. And lest this all start to sound too complex or too pricey — they’re just jeans, after all — know that Mott and Bow offers a free try-on size option. And when you consider the agreeable pricing (the Mott and Bow Crosby Denim start at just $108), you’re getting a pair of the best men’s blue jeans for a downright steal.

SHOP: The Mott and Bow Crosby Denim

A fit that’s slim but not too slim, ideal for any season.

And whether or not you’ve tried a pair from them before, you should know that Mott and Bow denim doesn’t pull any punches in terms of style points or quality, either. Case in point: These stylish blue jeans are made from an agreeable 12.2oz. cotton denim & feature 2 percent elastane. In short, that means these are classic blue jeans through and through, neither too heavy (a la selvedge) or too lightweight and stretch (a la cheap jeans from a fast fashion retailer). Yes indeed, these are some of the best men’s jeans on the market — and the use of a pleasing 6-month wash. For the unitiated, that involves using a resin spray, hand scraping & drying across multiple steps — resulting in the classic Mott and Bow look and finish you see today. Because the Mott and Bow Crosby Denim are such a timeless pair of denim, that means you can wear them with everything from a charcoal Oxford shirt and classic suede chukka boots to a crisp white tee and your favorite pair of leather sneakers. And when fall rolls around, throw on a rugged chambray shirt, a classic shawl cardigan and your favorite pair of leather boots to head out for a pint (or heck, a day at the office). There’s really no wrong way to go about wearing the Mott and Bow Crosby Denim, I can guarantee that.

SHOP: The Mott and Bow Crosby Denim



See Now, Buy Now: Mott & Bow’s Warren Denim Is As Classic As It Gets for Summer

Slim, made with a reliably stylish wash and priced to work plenty hard for you this summer.

Do you, like me, absolutely love yourself a stylish pair of denim? So much so that you can’t bring it upon yourself to hang up your slim jeans even when temperatures rise in the spring and summer? If that’s the boat you find yourself in, you best keep reading today’s all-new entry in our See Now, Buy Now series — the Mott & Bow Warren Denim are your solution, my fellow denim lovers. We certainly love ourselves some Mott & Bow denim here on the blog — that’s no secret. This E-commerce brand launched with a focus on denim in a range of sizes and crisp, classic washes, and they’ve since expanded that offering to everything from denim shirts to perfectly washed tees. I find myself coming back to the Warren Denim time and again for that crucial combination of rugged styling potential and a classic light wash, plus an easy wearability no matter how hot it gets. If that sounds like something you desperately need in the weeks and months ahead, you’re in luck.
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The Mott & Bow Warren Denim toe the line between a heavily retro-leaning light wash and a nice medium wash, making them ideal for wearing with outfits both laidback and a bit more crisp. Take, for instance, a heather grey pocket tee,  a lightweight navy blazer and classic suede boots. The Warren Denim are your go-to pick, all thanks to the cotton-elastane blend, the pleasing light weight and the slim fit. Feeling a little more rugged? Wear the Warren Denim with a rugged short-sleeve henley and classic canvas sneakers for all-day weekend style. The Warren Denim are made durably from Candiani denim, some of the best stuff out there. And the price point is more than agreeable, too. $128 for a slim pair of light wash denim that’ll last all summer? That’s a surefire bet, folks.

Are  you going to snag a pair of the Warren Denim for your summer wardrobe? How would you wear them? 

Style Pick of the Week: Mott and Bow Graham Denim Shirt

Mott and Bow

A tailored denim shirt crafted with premium Italian cotton and an excellent price. That’s a winner in my book, folks.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you haven’t yet heard of Mott and Bow — or the brand’s recently launched stylish denim shirts — you’re in luck today. Quite lucky, in fact — we’ll fill you in on everything you need to know in our latest Style Pick of the Week.  The brand does quite a lot well when it comes to manufacturing affordable men’s denim with premium quality and construction in mind. With a range of washes — including the slim black Morton Denim and a set of handsome Italian-made denim — there’s little that Mott and Bow can’t do. They even make stylish twill denim — a pair of which took with me on a spring road trip to Washington, D.C. with great results.

And lest we forget, it really all starts with the classic Mott and Bow Mosco denim — an easily wearable pair of slim blue denim if ever there was one.  Given the brand’s history of affordability and quality, the launch of  a full line of slim denim shirts — available in both the buttondown collar Wythe option and the spread-collar Graham Shirt as seen here — was greeted with excitement by this #menswear writer earlier this spring. And that’s why right now, in the throes of summer, there just might not be a more versatile or easy-to-wear shirt than the Mott and Graham Denim Shirt — yes indeed, it’s true!  We’ve all been through the ringer when it comes to summer style essentials at this point — it’s been too hot for too long, and perhaps you’re looking for a way to switch things up from your slim polo shirts or the like (no matter how much you love ’em). And that’s where the Mott and Graham Denim Shirt  comes into play.

Mott & Bow

With a pleasing wash and a crisp spread collar, the Graham Shirt can very easily pull double-duty in casual or dressy style situations.

It starts with yarn-dyed indigo fabric from Albiate 1830, which certainly has an excellent pedigree in terms of producing standout denim shirts. The Graham Denim Shirt, like the Wythe Shirt, comes in three crisp colorways, yet it’s the light blue option that your Style Guide author appreciates the most. Certainly, it’s one of the best men’s denim shirts out there — if not the best. Ehh? Who’s with me? The light blue option is a pleasing, summer-friendly shade — easy to pair up with light stone chinos, classic tan chinos or dark blue denim (preferably from Mott and Bow). And the style points don’t stop there. Want to switch up your summer suit? Pair this shirt with a silver knit tie and ideally, a khaki cotton or dark navy suit. Add stylish men’s dress shoes consider yourself set for your next meeting. However: If you — like me — feel most comfortable in casual style, the Graham Denim Shirt works admirably well. Despite the crisp spread collar,  the  Graham Denim Shirt should work just as reliably with even your most laidback off-duty pieces. So, don’t be afraid to team it with slim chino shorts and classic white sneakers for a long weekend brunch or a trip to your local farmer’s market. And it’ll even work with the most pared-down of style combos. Take the Graham Denim Shirt and pair it with minimal, slim black denim and leather high-top sneakers, to start. That’s an ensemble that’ll work in the summer, the fall, the winter, as you dress for a rock concert … it’s a winner all the way through.

Yet right now — in these trying, heated times — I’d wear it with tailored linen trousers and brown leather loafers, along with a stylish  leather watch. To where, you ask? To the office and to happy hour afterward, or to your next summer wedding underneath a classic navy blazer. Heck, take this shirt, team it with olive chinos and classic suede chukkas, amd consider yourself set for a decidedly stylish, slightly Italian Casual Friday. Again, as much as you might love your favorite summer polo, the  Graham Denim Shirt is a reliable way to switch up your style rotation in any situation  you can dream up. And the best part? You can snag the  Graham Denim Shirt at a discount through Huckberry for just under $76 (at the time of this writing, that is). Hurry while it’s around, though. Have questions on how to style the  Graham Denim Shirt? Ideas as to how you’ll wear it? Leave ’em in the comments below, or catch up with me on Twitter — I’m friendly, promise!

Thanks for reading — enjoy the rest of the weekend!


Read My Mind: Trekking to New Jersey to see The Killers

Exploring Philly’s Rittenhouse Square casual rock style with my Florsheim Forward Lo Lace-ups, slim Mott and Bow denim and my Bridge and Burn Outsiders Tee. I finished off the ensemble with the rugged Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver & my Component gunmetal sunglasses. Rock on!

This past Sunday was a pretty special one — to say the least. And for once, I’m definitely not talking about how I dressed for Sunday brunch. It was an early, bright and sunny weekend day as I trekked out of NYC — first to Philadelphia, then to nearby Camden (that’s New Jersey) — for the Radio 104.5 Birthday Celebration , headlined by none other than … The Killers. As we all know, we here at The Style Guide can never pass up a brilliant show — and by we, I mean me. Why the quick trip and the multi-state trek? The headlining act says it all — but the one-day mini-festival, much like Governors Ball 2017, was packed with a plethora of other worthwhile, fun and enjoyable acts (from Foster the People to Bleachers). Of course, prime music festival style was in order. Undeniably though, the main attraction was one of the most extraordinary bands of this generation, The Killers. Having seen them at Governors Ball 2016, I thought I was ready for it — does anything really prepare you to hear songs you’ve loved for half your life, though? For the occasion,  I certainly had to take along a few choice #menswear pieces — and my air guitar (… and my air drums). Of course, that journey was preceded by a stylish weekend in Brooklyn, too. So, strike up the band, cue up “A Dustland Fairytale” and let’s hit the road.

Easy-to-wear slip-ons from Blu Kicks, teamed up with my tough Graf Lantz Traveller Bag, the unique Electric California sunglasses, a USA-made Simon Versus tee and headphones from my Bespoke Post Vibes Box.

To prep for my trip while staying productive, I trekked to a favorite Brooklyn haunt on Saturday — the rugged, well-appointed and tranquil Upstate Stock in Williamsburg. From breezy days off to sunny Sunday afternoons to a Fourth of July weekend visit last summer, I can never resist the excellent iced coffee, handsomely designed menswear and crisp home goods on display at one of my favorite shops in the city. For an afternoon 0f blogging — and a mix of comfort and laidback style — I teamed the USA-made Simon Versus Rotterdam T-Shirt  with my stretchy, athleisure-inspired Influencer Stretch Twill Pants from Kit Culture. Seeing as I also took the chinos on a February trip to New Haven to see Young the Giant, it was fitting that I broke them out this weekend. When rolled up, I was able to easily slip on my new, neatly designed Blu Kicks Cali Bear Slip-ons — they personify laidback cool and West Coast vibes, something that can be hard to channel in NYC from time to time. I matched up the ensemble with my equally laidback Electric California Leadbelly Sunglasses, a perfect (and California-centric) complement to the look. As always, my LSTN. Sound Co. Fillmore Headphones from the terrific Bespoke Post Vibes Box helped me prep for Sunday’s festival with both style and excellent audio quality.

Sunday brought with it an early train ride out of the city (and a much-needed stop for a delicious pick-me-up at Rival Bros. Coffee in Philadelphia) before venturing across the Delaware River to the BB&T Pavilion. To haul my everyday carry, I toted along my Graf Lantz Traveller Bag and Owen and Fred Flight Brief for the occasion — per usual, both proved sturdy and sleek. For comfort and style, it was tough to beat my Florsheim Forward Lo Lace-ups. They combined the slick look of a dress shoe with the comfort of sneaker — they were versatile and comfortable for  getting to the train, getting to Philly and jamming out to the extraordinary rock of The Killers! And my well-made Bridge and Burn Outsider Tee combined comfortable fabric with the simplicity of a classic black tee — ideal for a rock show. That one-two punch was nicely accented by slim Mott and Bow denim — always a favorite.  And sharp Component gunmetal sunglasses added a bit of flair to the look, while my rough-and-tumble Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver stood up to a busy Sunday of great music. For your next mini-festival, bring along similar essentials — a classic black tee, slim denim and leather sneakers are all great places to start. 
Sutro Shoes Inc.

A crisp black tee, classic leather sneakers and slim denim, plus my Tanner Goods Natural Billfold, Bespoke Post Vibes Box headphones  & sharp Component gunmetal sunglasses — all essential for a great day of music.

With a bustling day of live music ahead of me, I hopped across the river in anticipation of a stellar day of live music at the neatly designed BB&T Pavilion. It was a day of firsts — my first time seeing the energetic pop of Foster the People — and “seconds,” as it were (my second time in about a week seeing the ’80s-inflected rock of Bleachers). And with the sun high in the sky and a buzzing crowd building, fun acts like ARIZONA — recent NYC openers for indie pop phenom COIN — got the crowd moving and on their feet. That’s where my Florsheim Forward Lo Lace-ups came in handy, of course. With two festivals under my belt in about a week — including the incredible Governors Ball in NYC — I felt more than prepped for a mind-blowing set from The Killers. Boy, did they deliver.

It felt like a long build-up toward the highlight of the day, for sure. With a prime spot in the third row (a very lucky, unexpected and timely ticket grab), I felt almost too close to this remarkable band, their remarkable energy and the unmatched showmanship & stellar voice of Mr. Brandon Flowers (a true hero of mine — and quite the stylish fella, if we’re keeping score).

Once that band gets on a roll — essentially, right from the instantly recognizable opening notes of “Mr. Brightside” — they simply can’t be stopped. It’s nothing short of pure joy to hear them power through hits and crowd favorites, song after song after son. They’ve got a TON of ’em, from the joyous dance rock groove of “Spaceman” to the driving surge of “For Reasons Unknown,” the Springsteen-esque flair of “Runaways,” the powerful “Read My Mind,” the poignancy of “A Dustland Fairytale,” the sharp groove of “Somebody Told Me”  — and that barely scratches the surface. “Smile Like You Mean It” brought the crowd to its feet, and “All These Things That I’ve Done” drew a wildly enthusiastic response  — at least, from what I could see through my tears of sheer joy! Sunday night also saw the debut of a new track, the Springsteen-inflected “Run For Cover,” a thrilling, driving song the band originally wrote for 2008’s “Day and Age.” It’s a hit in the making, trust me.

I simply can’t say enough about this remarkable band — they’re truly a must-see, and a generational wonder at that. I didn’t want the night to end — and yet, it wrapped up too soon.

A breezy Gant Rugged striped shirt, slim chinos and suede chukkas from Astorflex, accessorized with my Bespoke Post Vibes Box headphones. Now, that’s perfect #MenswearMonday style if I’ve ever seen it.


As always seems to be the case with a busy weekend of live music, time flies by too quickly — that’s equally true whether I’m exploring Brooklyn and checking out a show at Brooklyn Steel or trekking down to Camden and Philadelphia. So, with quick-moving, office-friendly style in mind, I’m dressing to look sharp on this particular Monday (I’m planning on listening to The Killers all day via my Bespoke Post Vibes Box, of course). For work style to beat the heat, I threw on a casual, cool and comfortable GANT Rugger Indigo Oxford Striped Shirt. Your classic Oxford shirt, this is not — it’s better, thanks to the breezy fit and indigo dye. It’s a nice complement to my Johnston and Murphy Slim-Fit Garment-Washed Chinos. Just like my Taylor Stitch Slim Stone Chinos, they’re a nice change of pace from your everyday pair of khaki chinos, and they’ve proved a dressy-yet-versatile move alongside my classic Astorflex Greenflex Suede Chukkas. You might recognize ’em from a recent Style Pick of the Week entry, and I can’t recommend their blend of comfort, sustainability and style enough. When worn with my rugged (yet office-appropriate)  Timex Waterbury Chronograph, I’d wager that’s a winning combo head-to-toe. The next time you dress for the office in the heat, look for breezy shirting, slim chinos and versatile, stylish suede chukkas.


To say the least, there’s definitely a lot to be done at my day job on Monday — and yet, I’ll be carried through today (and this week … and maybe the rest of the year?) by happy, joyous memories of the amazing show put on by The Killers. Once — even twice — simply isn’t enough when it comes to seeing this exceptional band. I definitely consider myself lucky to have seen both times, and I’ve got a third show in my sights when they come around. Of course, I’ll have to refresh myself when it comes to how to dress for a rock concert, and I’d advise you do the same. Again, never pass up the chance to see one of your favorite bands — even if it means hopping a train to Philly and a ferry to New Jersey. For now — thanks for reading, come back tomorrow for our next #OOTD entry, and we’ll see you down in front.

Stay stylish!


The Friday Read: Black Friday 2016 Shopping Edition

Ahh, so it’s here again — Black Friday. If you still haven’t recovered from a healthy dose of turkey and football, we’re here to help you at The Style Guide. It’s a bountiful time for shopping — namely, right here from your laptop. And as great as the weekend is, it’s also important to take some time to kick back, enjoy the holiday with loved ones. But make no mistake, there are deals to be had wherever you look. With plenty of retailers opening their doors and starting online sales well in advance of Black Friday, some of the below deals have been going on for a while. But fear not, you’ve got plenty of time to catch up on all of your #menswear shopping needs. Yes, make no mistake, there are some excellent sales out there — with a slew of promotions from Huckberry, Shinola, JackThreads and plenty more favorites, it’s the ideal time to knock a few items off your style wish list. Without further ado — bring on the Black Friday deals!

Huckberry: The lauded online retailer is offering tons of deals through Sunday, namely featuring the following brands:

Sword & Plough: The men’s and women’s accessories company — as featured in this stylish fall travel ensemble — is running a Thanksgiving week sale giving you 20 percent off all the way through Tuesday! They support veterans every step of the production process, so the brand is certainly worth a look.

Mott & Bow: Everyone’s favorite denim brand has a nice Black Friday deal going on today. Use the code ‘BLACKFRIDAY’ to get 10 percent off orders of $150 or more, 20 percent off $250 or more, or 30 percent off $350 or more of Mott & Bow gear.

Johnston & Murphy: The heritage footwear maker is offering select shoes and boots for up to 30 percent off.

JackThreads: Another Style Guide favorite has been running a Price Drop & Lock Guarantee  for the past few weeks, meaning low prices. well, drop and stay there; oh, and they’re giving everyone 25-30 percent off site-wide for Black Friday! And on Cyber Monday, they’re offering 30 percent off site-wide, all day.

FOURLAPS: The neat athletic brand upstart is providing some nice deals on stylish workout gear — you can snag the Dash Tank, Bolt Short and Smash Tee $30 through Monday, November 28th. And once Cyber Monday hits,  you can shop the Silver Charge Tee for $20

CHASE54: The performance and style-focused golf brand is serving up a nice deal through Cyber Monday —take 30 percent off any two-piece bundle and 40 percent off any three-piece bundle.

Batch Men’s: Batch is serving up a rare sale deal — makers of rugged-refined staples like the Tactician Utility Shirt, they’re offering 40 percent off a wide selection of shirts; get the deal using the code ‘THANKS’!

johnnie-O: The preppy, sport-inspired clothiers are offering a nice Black Friday deal — use the code ‘Tweener’ to buy one button-down, get another button-down free.


GREATS: In addition to launching two new sneakers (the third iteration of its Beast Mode collab with retired NFL star Marshawn Lynch, plus a special “Black Friday” edition of its low-cut Royale sneaker), the Style Guide favorite and is giving y’all 20 percent off and free shipping sitewide for Black Friday. That goes along with a series of tiered deals on Cyber Monday: namely, you’re looking at 20 percent off and free shipping sitewide from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m., then 25 percent off and free shipping from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., capped off by 25 percent off and free shipping on all shoes under $100 from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. Hop to it!

Old Navy: The noted casual retailer — who seems to churn out better and better men’s apparel by the season — is offering 50 percent off through Black Friday. That’s a heck of a deal, y’all.

Shinola: The brand is launching its Special Edition All Black Collection, an assortment of signature all-black Shinola products, debuting today.  It includes the brand-new Shinola Runwell Wall Clock and Shinola Power Supply Cords made in partnership with General Electric, plus an all-black Shinola Runwell Turntable, a 47mm Runwell watch with a PVD black sandblasted case and black dial, a one-of-a-kind black tandem bicycle and the Shinola + Benchmade Titanium 765 Pocket Knife. That’s a heck of a lot of gear! Read more about Shinola on Effortless Gent.

Sunday Somewhere: The eclectic sunglasses brand with an international following is giving you stylish guys up to 50% off storewide through Monday, excluding regular eyeglasses & accessories. No discount code needed!

Links of London: Need a special gift for that special someone? Refined British jewelry makers Links of London are offering 25 percent off for Black Friday, both in stores and online, until the 27th, with that same deal running online only through Cyber Monday. And if you spend $495, you’ll receive the brand’s Limited Edition Timeless Diamond Bracelet, a promo that runs in-store from the 28th, and online from the 29th, until December 11th.

Baxter of CaliforniaThese fine purveyors of high-quality men’s grooming products are offering 25 percent off the entire site now through November 28th.

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes: Until the 27th, you can get  20 percent off sitewide, plus free shipping, with the promo code DRS20FS. Then, on Cyber Monday, you can take 25 percent off sitewide, with free shipping also included, using the code DRSCYBER.

Reef: The surfwear and basics brand is serving up free 2-Day Shipping on all orders until the 28th using the code REE2DAY.

Richer Poorer: The standout basics brand is offering 40 percent off sitewide for Black Friday.

Steven Alan Optical: Until November 29th (that’s next Tuesday), you can receive 25 percent off all Steven Alan Optical eyeglasses and sunglasses with code BFWKNDSALE16.

Well, folks — that’s just a selection of some of the best #menswear deals out there on the market. From places where you can knock out all your shopping at once — like Huckberry — to e-tailers like JackThreads and Shinola who serve up stylish outerwear and accessories, this weekend is one of the best of the year (if not the best). And if you’re a fan of shopping and scoring deals? You’d do well to hop to some shopping. Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving weekend — and we’ll be back tomorrow as scheduled with our Style Pick of the Week.

Stay stylish, my friends!

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#OOTD: How to Wear a Bomber Jacket This Season

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

Ahh, yes. The classic bomber jacket. A men’s style staple that’s experienced a huge resurgence in recent years, in part thanks to certain, ahem, celebrities (Mr. Kanye West among them). But how do you take a style that’s seen on the runways and boil it down to an essential, easily wearable outfit? A solid menswear #OOTD, if you will? That’s why we’re here today at The Style Guide, and after you read the below, your questions will all be answered (hopefully). The key with looking at a major trend sometimes isn’t too follow it exactly — that is to say, you can buy that Alpha Industries bomber jacket, but maybe (no, definitely) switch it up from how Yeezy wears it. In this case, we’re working with a different bomber jacket entirely, and classic style staples like a slim chambray shirt and … well, we’ll leave that to the imagination for now. Have thoughts or suggestions on how you would style your bomber jacket? Leave a comment below or join the (very fun!) conversation on Twitter.

Slick, sharp and casual -- just the right way to wear a bomber this fall.

Slick, sharp and casual — just the right way to wear a bomber this fall.

The Bomber Jacket: Bridge & Burn Northrup Olive Jacket, $218 — See, I said we were using a different bomber jacket entirely — right? The olive color is neutral and yet still a change of pace from navy or that military green typically seen on bomber jackets, and the front snap hip pockets and stand-up collar are neat design touches, too.

The Chambray Shirt: JackThreads Chambray Workshirt, $49 — The great thing about starting an outfit with a neutral bomber jacket is that any classic chambray shirt in your arsenal would work — yet this neat patterned workshirt offers a heftier weight for fall, plus a pattern that’s just different enough.

The Denim: Mott & Bow Slim Morton Denim, $128 — You (probably) should recognize the Mott & Bow Slim Morton as a recent Style Pick of the Week entry, and it’s a good pick here because of the super-comfortable four-way stretch and dark black color in a no-fade rinse.

The Sneakers: UGG Kramer Sneakers, $120 — Your humble author discovered the comfort and style of UGG men’s sneakers during a summer trip to Michigan, and the Kramer falls right in line with those same qualities. Surprised? Don’t be — these are a reliable, stylish high-top sneaker pick for the season ahead.

The Socks: ICNY Half-Calf Gradient Socks, $13.98 — Sometimes, you just need simple, straightforward socks that offer neutral color, comfort and performance. You get all that with this pair for a pretty decent price, and the fact that the fine folks at Huckberry sell ’em is a positive.

The Watch: MVMT Watches The 40 in Rose Gold/Natural Leather, $120 — Since when can you get a crisp, versatile watch fit for both casual and dress situation? At a low price, to boot? Since MVMT Watches started making ’em, that’s when. The case diameter is just right, and the look is crisp and clean for just over $100.

The Belt: Tanner Goods Classic Belt in Hickory, $99.98 — Looking for an investment-worthy belt that’ll break in beautifully and offer a rich accent to dressy and casual outfits? Here it is.

The Everyday Carry: Bull & Stash The Stash Notebook (5.5″ x 9″), $50 — $50? For a notebook? Bear with me. Bull & Stash Notebooks support American-made production and top-notch quality, and they’re refillable — just swap out the paper when you’re done (save those memories though).

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

If the below #OOTD feels a bit too casual for you with those sneakers, swap them out for a pair of stylish men’s dress shoes (casual wingtips are a nice way to go), or heck, keep the sneakers and add a navy knit tie to wear this to the office. This sort of casual yet put-together look might be best for a  weekend coffee run or, dare I say it … Sunday brunch. And since it’s a midweight approach to wearing a bomber jacket — note the lack of a heavy hoodie, a la Kanye — it should work in the early fall or spring in the right conditions. For a bomber jacket that’s certainly an investment, it’s a positive that it can be worn multiple ways. For a look at how yours truly styles spring and fall outerwear for similar situations, head over to Instagram — maybe? Please?

‘Til the next #OOTD,


Rolling the dice: Heading West for Liberty Fairs Las Vegas

Editor’s note: To recap the last time I hit the road, click here.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

Out of all the things that excite me about New York City and the chance to work in the menswear industry, there are certain parts of the job that just can’t be beat. Although I certainly hope to do a lot more, I’m pretty thankful and lucky right now that I get the chance to travel for my day job, and blog about that travel, at the same time. Such was the case these past four days , as I headed west to Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas; it’s a twice-yearly men’s fashion trade show that makes stops in NYC and Las Vegas, showcasing what’s new and next in the industry. That means everyone from fashion magazine editors to publishers, bloggers and sales representatives are gathered under one massive roof to scope out seasonal trends, post relentlessly on Instagram and of course, do business — everything from socks to shoes to outerwear is on display by brand. It’s a busy, hectic time, which didn’t leave much opportunity to sight-see. Although I experienced a bit of the bustle during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, hitting the road to travel and check out Liberty Fairs in a city like Las Vegas was another animal entirely. As always, that’s why I hauled my favorite #menswear essentials with me.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

As I’ve been on the road a lot lately, my durable, rugged Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender has gotten a lot of work — and for good reason. If you don’t have a stylish weekender bag, and you’ve instead been relying on an old suitcase or a gym bag, making the switch is a mighty good investment. Unlike a recent trip to Michigan for a bachelor party, Las Vegas presented quite the different set of challenges — that would be the extreme heat, of course.  Standard, sweat-wicking materials just wouldn’t do, though. With style in mind, I was happy to test out a new T-shirt from Public Rec Apparel. Known for its All Day Every Day Pant, the brand recently launched a super-soft, super-comfortable and super-durable T-shirt. The tee is made with a remarkable sweat-wicking fabric blend in a  silhouette that still looks smart on its own or under a blazer — you can’t say that about your standard gym wear.  And that tee was complemented nicely another staple that merges athletic performance materials with a tailored silhouette. Yes, the OLIVERS Apparel Capital Short was just the right pair to wear from New York and right into the Vegas heat — the shorts feature a nylon-spandex blend & four-way stretch, yet fit and looks like a pair of slim chino shorts. Those two pieces kept me comfortable, which was crucial for a long travel day.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi's. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi’s. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

With my accommodations all set and a busy slate of trade show appointments locked in, it was time to hit the ground running on Monday. Throughout the course of a busy two days, it was excellent to be able to catch up with some great blogger friends like Leo of Levitate Style and Danielle of She’s A Gent. The duo was among a group participating in The Studios at Liberty Fairs, a partnership giving creatives the chance to create content — everything from photos to videos, portraits and social media posts — with brands and fellow influencers across three very busy days at the trade show. So given the need to look camera-ready, I tried to rise to the occasion while fighting the heat. A soft Steven Alan pocket tee was just the ticket in that regard — especially when paired with my Grayers Ivy Blazer, a casual linen-cotton jacket with unique patch-button pockets and a casual feel. If you’re looking for a way to dress down your summer blazer, you can’t go wrong with a garment-dyed tee. The combo helped me move in style around the trade show, as did a pair of sharp-yet-edgy Levi’s 505C Jeans, made with a hint of stretch and featuring a faded grey-black wash. They’re a slightly cooler take (figuratively and literally) on heavy dark denim and a blazer, particularly when moving around a lot. I finished off the combination with a pair of rugged Timberland leather chukka boots and my ever-dependable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, a frequent travel companion and just one of a few stunning watches from the Timex x Todd Snyder partnership.

With Day 1 in the books, it was a quick turnaround for another busy day at Sands Expo at The Venetian scoping out the bustling (and hustling) crowd of #menswear aficionados. Throughout the day, I checked out the wares on display from perennial Style Guide favorites like Red Wing Heritage and (potential) soon-to-be favorites like Hudson Shoes.  It was a great mix of brands, including everyone from accessories companies like Herschel Supply Co. to sock brands like Happy Socks. All the while, I again took on the day — and the heat — in style. I stuck with some of my favorite style essentials, like my JackThreads Denim Shirt (a very wearable shirt no matter the season). I complemented that with my Taylor Stitch Slim Stone Chinos — they’re unbeatable for the price and quality.  And when you’ve got versatile staples like those two pieces, stylish Steven Alan sunglasses and sturdy leather chukka boots are a nice finishing touch (the pair seen here is from Timberland — you can snag a similar style from Thursday Boots for a nice value).  On the accessories front, my ever-reliable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was the perfect timepiece for the occasion — it goes with just about everything thanks to the crisp retro dial and grey NATO strap. For being on time to various meetings and catching up with friends (all on the job), it helped keep me in line. That outfit combination worked well for the evening, too — it’s not every day you get the chance to attend a party thrown by the Hearst and Esquire teams (yes, that Esquire). Luckily, my smart-casual combination was able to take me from a day on the trade show floor to enjoying some delicious cocktails without missing a beat (that’s what we’re all about here at The Style Guide).

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Mott & Bow. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

Sadly, my time at Liberty Fairs came to an end all too quickly — today called for a flight back to NYC. For one last push through the heat of Vegas, I grabbed the aptly named Marco Polo from Life/After/Denim. It blends a modern fit with a garment-washed look and feel, plus an open collar (one featuring no buttons). The overall effect is breezy and casual, but it’s one that still looks put-together for a cross-country flight when teamed with the ever-stylish Slim Warren Denim from Mott & Bow. For only about $20 more than what the brand normally charges, you’re getting a well-fitting pair of Italian-made denim — they were the perfect complement to my lightweight Brooks Heritage Chariot Runners in color and silhouette. Throughout the day, kept track of my flight time with my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono and chronicled my adventures with my handy Word Notebooks Adventure Log — both of which you should bring along for a weekend getaway.

As great of a time as it was in Las Vegas, it was even better to reconnect with great friends and fellow bloggers — plus, some terrific brands you’ll (hopefully) see a lot more of here and on my Instagram in the coming months. Forging partnerships and featuring great brands and products is terrific, but meeting great people in a like-minded environment is even better.  Even though it’s been a heck of a busy week so far — and it’s only Wednesday (!) — my travels aren’t quite done yet. We’re looking at one day back in NYC before I hit the road on Friday to head back to my hometown of Mason, Michigan for my great friend Andy’s wedding. Seeing my friends for his bachelor weekend in Grand Rapids was an absolute blast just a few weeks ago, so this upcoming trip is bound to be just as incredible (even if it’ll be powered by lots and lots of coffee). If you’ve got menswear musings or questions on what to wear for your next Las Vegas trip, shoot me a tweet on Twitter or follow along on the daily via Instagram.

Look for the Friday Read and Style Pick later this week, and swing back through the blog on Monday for yet another Michigan trip recap — stay stylish!

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Pure Michigan: A weekend back in the Mitten

Editor’s note: Click here for more posts related to traveling in style.

Exploring Grand Rapids in style on a summer Friday. Plaid Poplin Shirt by JACHS NY. Slim Ludlow Denim by Mott & Bow. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Exploring Grand Rapids in style on a summer Friday night. Plaid Poplin Shirt by JACHS NY. Slim Ludlow Denim by Mott & Bow. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Although it seems like I was just in Michigan for a summer wedding yesterday, it’s actually been … well, only about two weeks. And yet, this past Friday, I found myself boarding another plane, this time to head to one of my favorite places in the state (that would be Grand Rapids) for my friend Andy’s bachelor weekend (and congrats on the upcoming nuptials, fella!). Now, the last time I was in Grand Rapids, it was for  a November road trip — so the temperature, weather and list of activities was just a bit different. Time flies by in New York City, so it’s always great to slow down, get back home and reconnect with … Pure Michigan (got that one out of the way). Of course, as with my other summer trips — including a stop upstate for a concert and a Memorial Day weekend in New York — I loaded up my bag with all the menswear I could possibly carry; in this case, that’s quite a lot.

Packed up to hit the road. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Packed up to hit the road. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Voyager Waxed Weekender & leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Millbrook Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical.

Any great trip — to Michigan or elsewhere — starts with a great bag, one with plenty of room to carry your essentials and more. While I alternate between my trusty Navali Stowaway Weekender and my durable Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, I chose my O&F bag for this trip. It’s made from premium Martexin waxed canvas and finished off with leather accents from fellow made-in-America purveyors Wickett & Craig. It has interior zipper compartments to hold all your gear, and in my case, that included my always-dependable Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit, which I stocked with handy travel grooming essentials from brands like Tread for Men (their Traveler Sunscreen is a must in the summer) and Baxter of California — the Under Eye Complex is an underrated and handy piece to have when traveling. Elsewhere on the accessories front, I knew a hot Michigan weekend was in order. That meant my Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses were just the ticket — seriously, we’ve got more than cold winters back home. I always appreciate the chance to rock a subtle, stylish hat when the sun beats down, and the Flat Wool Cap from Bridge & Burn is a nice upgrade to the typical athletic logo ballcap — it’s slightly refined and yet still casual.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

All of that gear helped me pack & transition in style from an early flight out of NYC to a sunny evening in downtown Grand Rapids. As I always appreciate the chance to look sharp and travel in style, I grabbed the lightweight, casual and comfortable Green and Navy Plaid Poplin Shirt from JACHS NY. A well-fitting, casual basic like that works well when worn untucked (as you can see in the top photo) or when tucked in with a lightweight blazer. In this instance, it paired up well with the Slim Ludlow Denim from Mott & Bow. These jeans are built with a hint of stretch, ideal for a long day of travel.The light blue color also played well off my Hudson Belt from Arcade Belt Co. , ith its navy color and stretchy smartweave fabric. That was also the case with the very lightweight, very comfortable UGG Freamon Sneaker   — they looked great and worked perfectly for getting from the airport and around Grand Rapids. Yes, you read that right. UGG does men’s footwear, and they do it well — more on that later. And my tough, rugged and refined Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono also provided on-point travel style. As far as getting around Grand Rapids, it was an opportune time to catch up with my great friend Andy and his future fiancée Courtney for a delicious dinner at Derby Station in East Grand Rapids (hint: Get the Adult Grilled Cheese and finish it off with a Farmhand from Brewery Vivant — it’s a light, crisp and flavorful French farmhouse ale that’s perfect for hot summer nights). With Friday off and running, we also had just enough time to stop into The Meanwhile, an eclectic spot that feels like it would fit well in Brooklyn — with gin-and-tonics available for $4, the prices would stand out back in New York City.

Taking on Saturday in sporty, casual style. Vesper Polo and Ace Short by Mack Weldon. Hayden Gray Linen Jacket & Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Taking on Saturday in sporty, casual style. Vesper Polo and Ace Short by Mack Weldon. Hayden Gray Linen Jacket & Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

A fun Friday night led into yet another busy day on Saturday around Grand Rapids — and away from the city — with plenty in the works. To take on the day, I reached for a crucial style move in the heat: We’re talking here about the new, very breathable, lightweight Mack Weldon Vesper Polo. With a name inspired by the original martini sipped by James Bond, it was perfect in a figurative and literal sense for the  hot weather — seriously, the micro-mesh fabric and crisp Total Eclipse Blue color proved comfortable and sharp. The same thing goes for the Mack Weldon Ace Short — it’s another piece from the brand’s line of essential basics that fits & performs well, thanks to the French terry fabric and multiple discreet-but-useful zipper pockets. And that comfort proved essential for walking the city and grabbing a morning pick-me-up at the renowned Madcap Coffee, one of the top coffee shops in the country and a great place to catch up with my old MSU friend Pat Evans (he’s a heck of a writer and a beer aficionado to boot — grab his book on the history of Grand Rapids beer while you’re at it). We also had just enough time to swing by one of the city’s best new lifestyle shops, Brothers Leather Supply. They make ridiculously well-crafted bags and leather accessories, and they do it right in Grand Rapids — check out the photo below for a sneak peek, and look for more content on them on the blog  soon! Pat and I also took the time to hit up one of my favorite Grand Rapids stops, the renowned HopCat (purveyors of amazing beer and great burgers across the Midwest) before I reconnected with Andy and the crew for a vigorous round of foot golf in the Michigan countryside — it’s a heck of a workout if you’re used to sitting at a desk all day! Of course, all that activity meant that accessories like my Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses and the Bridge & Burn Flat Wool Cap also proved quite useful.

One of Grand Rapids' finer menswear establishments, Brothers Leather Supply.

One of Grand Rapids’ finer menswear establishments, Brothers Leather Supply.

And it goes without saying that my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch (currently on backorder but still a must-buy) was the perfect, sporty watch to meet the dual focuses of outdoor activity and indoor beer-tasting — it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.  Truly, there aren’t that many watches that can look great and perform well when traveling, bar-hopping or hitting up the Panorama music festival, but that watch is one of them. Of course, the occasion called for comfortable footwear, too. That’s where the UGG Freamon Sneaker came back into play. Featuring the brand’s traction-focused Treadlite technology and a sharp white sole, the  Seal (or light grey) option sent courtesy of the brand (thanks, guys!) provided a dash of unexpected style alongside the blues in my outfit. In fact, you can look for much more from them this fall on the blog. . And to finish off the look, I reached for some comfortable, breathable striped no-show socks from Sock Genius — when you’ve got lightweight summer sneakers along for the ride, grab stylish no-show socks to keep your feet (and your sneakers) in shape.

A busy Saturday out and about led us to a night of sampling brews and bites around Grand Rapids — that included a stop through the renowned and quickly growing Founders Brewing Company, one of my favorite spots in the city. We also carved out time to check out the first-ever distillery in the city, Long Road Distillers — they make a mean gin-and-tonic and a refreshing array of craft cocktails. For those activities, I switched up my footwear and reached for the tough, sturdy and stylish Natural Diplomat Boot from Thursday Boots, and I grabbed my rugged Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collaboration — it’s the ideal mix of casual and smart, and it worked just as well throughout the weekend. If you have to travel with only one watch, that just might be the one to grab. The entire combination worked well for a fun night out celebrating our great friend Andy — and it’s got me even more excited to be back in Michigan in less than three weeks for the wedding! If you’ve still got a summer wedding on your calendar, here’s what you should wear.

Sunday's outfit grid for a day of travel. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

Sunday’s outfit grid for a day of travel. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

With a very busy Saturday night in the books, it was time to load up on coffee and hit the road for a relatively easy flight back to New York City (a welcome change from some past travel struggles getting back to Michigan). I still dressed in durable travel gear for the trip — my Thursday Boots Natural Diplomat Boot in particular was the perfect pair of boots to wear to get back to Manhattan; they’re rugged-yet-refined, and went well with my Taylor Stitch Slim Chinos in Light Stone.  And my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was again up to the challenge of traveling in style — each piece was offset nicely by what just might be my new favorite casual shirt, the JackThreads Denim Shirt. It fits slim, the light wash cotton denim is soft and moves well, and the styling potential is on-point (look for it in an upcoming #OOTD post, in fact). And with all that gear ready to go, it was time to hit the road back.

Yet again, it feels like this past weekend in Michigan was too brief. It was great to explore one of my favorite cities in Michigan, and I’m just as excited to return again. And of course, you really can’t quantify the value of spending time with lifelong friends. On the plus side, there’s another chance for me to get back to Michigan — I’ll be back in just three weeks (again!) for Andy’s wedding near my lovely hometown of Mason. That trip will be just as fun, and with just as many chances for … (wait for it)… Pure Michigan relaxation (yes, I went there again). If you’ve got questions on how to travel in style or just want to chat menswear, check out my Twitter account or hit the ‘Follow’ button over on Instagram.

Until the next flight boards,


Style Suggestion: How To Dress for A First Date

Editor’s note: Head this way for more menswear style suggestions.

So, you’ve done it — secured a date! Very well-done, indeed. But what to wear? More importantly, what to wear for a spring or summer-specific situation, like a patio date? Or for that matter, a casual indoor date? You certainly want to dress to impress, but unless you’re heading somewhere exceptionally fancy, it’s probably best to stay away from a full-on suit (that’s step number one). Step number two — read up on a versatile style suggestion geared toward both of those situations– but know that the same building blocks (a stylish chambray shirt, slim jeans and crisp chukkas) can be customized to any season, and with some tweaks (adding a blazer or a sweater, for example), you can create at least two different looks based on the weather. That’s what the below style suggestion aims to get done. It goes without saying that you should look a bit more cleaned up than when out on a bar crawl with friends, and you should certainly class it up from casual weekend style — so, if you want an outfit that checks those boxes, read on! If you have questions in the meantime on how to dress for the occasion, head here or here for style in action. Good luck out there, and let me know

The Jacket: Bridge & Burn Hayden Gray Linen Jacket — $188

A straightforward-yet-stylish jacket with subtle detailing, including that printed liner.

A straightforward-yet-stylish jacket with subtle detailing, including that printed liner.

This piece of outerwear has popped up on the blog from time to time (including in this site’s guide to the best spring jackets), as it’s premium and stylish in a subtle way. It’s a classic silhouette with an updated fit and an easily wearable color, and it’s made with some eye-catching details, including the printed jacket liner. It’s not as dressy as a classic blazer, but functions as a solid outer layer should you need it if the night gets breezy. Other than that, it looks just right over a slim chambray shirt with or without a tie on this first date or elsewhere — it’s playing it (somewhat) safe while exuding great style.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch The Hyde Chambray Shirt — $99.98

A classic chambray shirt never fails, especially one cut a bit dressier.

A classic chambray shirt never fails, especially one with a bit dressier styling.

It seems that in nearly every style situation, a classic chambray shirt just …. works. When it’s the Taylor Stitch Hyde Chambray Shirt, it’s even better. It’s the more modern answer to a blue Oxford, as it incorporates great visual interest thanks to the textured fabric. Plus, it’s a four-season style essential — we’re talking wearing with a shawl-collar cardigan in the winter, and on its own in the warm weather for a first date. The semi-spread collar leans dressier than a button-down collar, but it can still be rocked without a tie (roll up the sleeves when your jacket comes off to heighten that effect). And if you do decide to go dressier? It would look just right with a grey knit tie.

The Denim: Mott and Bow Slim Mercer Light Denim — $108

A lighter shade that's not quite bright white -- perfect for spring and summer.

A lighter shade that’s not quite bright white — perfect for spring and summer.

While classic dark blue denim would certainly work here, there’s something appropriate to warm weather about lightening up the color of your denim. In particular, a light shade of khaki is a unique style swerve that’s still easily wearable. Some can be hesitant about wearing white denim (yours truly included), so khaki is an easier way to switch up your wardrobe for warm weather. The light khaki color makes the chambray shirt and gray jacket stand out a bit more, too. And Mott & Bow’s Slim fit is going to be pretty agreeable to most body types (even if you’re not used to a slimmer-fitting pair of denim).

The Boots: Astorflex Greenflex Dark Khaki Chukka Boots — $145

Chukka boots that hit the right note between dressy and casual.

Chukka boots that hit the right note between dressy and casual.

A reliable, essential pair of suede chukkas is another safe and stylish bet to make, particularly for a first date. In this instance, these suede chukka boots are understated and casual, yet crisp enough to fit right in with that light khaki denim and blue chambray shirt. The color contrasts nicely with the khaki denim, and again, that essential pairing of chukka boots and a chambray shirt is one that works across all seasons. If the date leans a bit dressier, you could always swap in a pair of leather wingtips. Either way, these boots are sustainably made and sourced, so they’d be a worthy footwear choice.

The Socks: American Trench Triangles and Chevrons Socks — $19.50

Not too plain, not too dressy -- just right.

Not too plain, not too dressy — just right.

As has been the theme of this outfit, sticking with subtle, stylish and slightly refined finishing touches is the way to go. Luckily, American Trench knows that’s just what guys need nowadays. The brand’s socks, though pricey, are a Style Guide favorite for their understated style, nice colors and good selection. The print on this pair plays nicely off the color of the shirt and the denim while not getting too far out there. Although one pair is pretty pricey, it’s an investment that’s worth it — they show a touch of personal style without detracting from the rest of the outfit.

The Belt: Arcade Belt Co. The Hudson Belt — $31.98

Leather detailing that contrasts nicely with the navy color.

Leather detailing that contrasts nicely with the navy color.

Everyone should (ideally) have a classic leather belt in their rotation. Here though, the easy pick is a belt that injects a bit of color into the middle of your outfit while also incorporating some spring and summer texture. If, as we always talk about, style is in the details, then this belt certainly fits that principle. It goes with the overall color scheme of the ensemble, and plays nicely off the blue chambray shirt. It’ll allow you to tuck your shirt in without looking like you left behind a part of your outfit, as well. That’s pretty crucial, yeah?

The Watch: Timex 38mm Watch — $138

Yet another timepiece that features tough Red Wing leather in the strap.

Yet another timepiece that features tough Red Wing leather in the strap.

If you are as of yet unacquainted with the rugged, straightforward and affordably priced stylings of some of the timepieces within the Timex collection, I’d update yourself accordingly now. This revamp really picked up with the introduction of the Timex Waterbury line, continued with the Timex x Red Wing collaboration unveiling earlier this year, and rolls right on through with this simple-yet-rugged timepiece sold via Todd Snyder.  This understated 38mm watch also features Red Wing shoe leather in the strap, which means it’s ultra-sturdy, ultra-stylish and definitely fit for a first date.

The Finishing Touch: Byrd Matte Hair Pomade — $22

An easy way to look good -- a bit of matte pomade and some light styling can go a long way.

An easy way to look good — a bit of matte pomade and some light styling can go a long way.

Some of us eschew hair product altogether, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, it can be nice to spruce up your mane (particularly if it’s humid out) with a little matte finish pomade — that means you won’t get an overly shiny looking hairdo.  And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t overdo it — just enough to achieve a nice, put-together look. We’ll cover off on more summer grooming essentials next week, but make sure you take care of the basics (y’know, brushing your teeth, wearing deodorant, etc.) beforehand, too.

Preparing for (and then, well, going on) a first date can be a bit nervewracking — it’s about making a first impression, but it’s also about compatibility and finding the right fit. I’ll leave the restaurant/bar/activity choice to you, but the above ensemble should work with some mild tweaks across the spring and summer. The adage that you only get one shot to make a first impression is certainly true, particularly when it comes to style on a first date — clothing isn’t everything, to be sure, but if you start things off looking crisp and polished, that can only signal good things ahead (one would hope!). Plus, first dates should be fun, and dressing in some of your favorite style essentials is a great way to approach it with that mind set. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Head over to The Style Guide Facebook page to keep the discussion going!

Don’t forget to pick up the check,


Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.