#OOTD: How to Dress for a Casual Summer Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Style Pick of the Week: Mott & Bow Italian-Made Denim

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

Mott & Bow denim

Two different washes, yet the same great price and excellent Italian denim.

We’re back this week with what just might be the item you’re thinking about least during this hot time of year — denim. Specifically, new Mott & Bow Italian-made denim, made in partnership with denim purveyors Candiani. But denim? In the midst of all this heat? Absolutely. And there’s a very good reason for that. From a true Mott & Bow classic, the  Skinny Mosco denim ( a reliable dark jean that wears well no matter the time of year), to the light wash Wooster denim (ideal for wearing in warmer temperatures), the brand can hardly go wrong. (Editor’s note: Truly! If you’ve had a bad experience with ’em, let me know in the comments or via email). The Mott & Bow brand offers a relatively quick and easy shopping experience with free home try-ons and returns, and they offer Slim, Straight and Skinny fits for under $100, for the most part. That goes for offerings they sell via Huckberry, and the gear sold on the brand’s Web site. Which brings us to their latest new release — premium Italian denim. A big thank you to the brand to sending along both pairs in this collection for review and features on Instagram, and today, I’m here to report back that they’re every bit as good as advertised. What exactly are you getting for the very fair price of $128 of Italian cotton denim? Scroll on down.
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A personal favorite -- the Staple, a slight switch from dark denim that just works.

A personal favorite — the Staple, a slight switch from dark denim that just works.

First things first — the brand’s two new styles offer up a nice bit of versatility. The Staple is a medium-dark blue wash that at first glance looks a bit like plain ol’ dark denim. Yet, closer inspection reveals that although these jeans start with a deep indigo base, they’re finished off with hand-sanding and a stone-washing process that gives them some unique coloration and fading. In fact, the above photo shows that off quite nicely. Make no mistake, these certainly aren’t heavily whiskered, overly distressed jeans. If anything, these jeans are a pleasant, premium change of pace from your regular denim. Plus, they’re comfortable as heck — a remarkable 20 percent stretch built in means they wear very comfortable, and the hardware, zipper and front button all feel sturdy. Heck, even the subtly branded back leather patch feels premium and durable. And again, that 20 percent stretch really makes them easily wearable in the heat. Now, style number two — the Warren, also starts with an indigo color. However, this pair is finished off with a lighter six-month wash, which consists of an intensive spraying, scraping and drying process for a well-worn look that’s entirely unique. On that, Denim Science as done by the folks at Mott & Bow is quite impressive, and you really do get a lot for under $130. Both jeans should fit you remarkably well, and know that they look crisp enough to pair with a classic pocket T-shirt and stylish white leather sneakers on the weekend, or as a complement to a tailored chambray blazer during the work week.  Oh, and they’re well-priced and in-stock at the moment, so please hop on it — will ya?

Do you own any Mott & Bow denim? Are you considering adding a pair or two of these to your wardrobe?

Style Pick of the Week: Mott & Bow Norfolk Raw Denim

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

Raw denim -- heavy stuff fit for the winter.

Raw denim — heavy stuff fit for the winter.

As most of us move into colder weather, there’s just something that feels right — and functional — in reaching for heavier, more thicker fabrics. That goes for chunky knit sweaters, flannel shirts, durable boots and of course, dependable dark denim. Mott & Bow has become a fan favorite among the staff (of one) at The Style Guide, and its newest offering looks to fill that heavy denim void if you’ve been on the hunt. Of course, they’ve released everything from white denim earlier this summer to dependable blue denim with a nice hint of stretch, but the Norfolk Raw Denim is only the brand’s second dry, unwashed offering (the Rivington Slim is the other). Available in both Slim and Straight fits, either pick is going to be a great way to go as far as new denim.

The Slim fit should be tailored but not too tight, easily wearable with winter style staples.

The Slim fit should be tailored but not too tight, easily wearable with winter style staples.

Raw denim is, by its nature, designed to be worn for as long as possible before the first wash (and there are many schools of thought on exactly how you should go about that). In the meantime though, the jeans will conform to your body and lifestyle, breaking in and getting better over time. The 100 percent 12.5 oz. Turkish cotton in this pair of Mott & Bow denim is substantial without being monstrously heavy (and that’s good news if you enjoy wearing denim in the summer). When it does come time to wash this particular pair, the fact that they’re sanforized — treated with a shrink-preventing chemical — means that they’ll retain the crisp fit you should be looking for. As with Mott & Bow’s other offerings, select sizes are indeed available for its ever-useful Home Try-on Program, and the pricing is pretty advantageous. While the denim isn’t as cheap as, say, UNIQLO’s dark denim offerings, you’re not looking at outlandish J. Crew pricing. In short, these jeans should be a very solid buy from a dependable retailer — and when it comes to dark denim, they’ll provide style versatility in bunches, particularly if you match them up with other rugged winter staples.

Get the Mott & Bow Norfolk Raw Denim now.

Let me know — do you have experience with Mott & Bow denim? Would you try out these jeans?
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