The Product Review: The Michael Bastian x Uniqlo Polo, 2015

Going in-person with the latest from the Michael Bastian x Uniqlo 2015 collection. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Liz Todd.

Going in-person with the latest from the Michael Bastian x Uniqlo 2015 collection. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Liz Todd.

When the Michael Bastian x Uniqlo collaboration was first announced way back in the spring of 2013,  there was some uncertainty as to how the partnership between the fast-fashion outlet and the lauded American designer would sell — and more crucially, how it might be received (at least from this #menswear writer). Well, those questions were answered when polos flew off the shelves in-store and online. Last year’s collaboration polos offered more eclectic designs mixed with traditional prep-sportswear touches, but didn’t seem to sell nearly as well at first — so the question remained, would the collaboration return?

Washed polo by Michael Bastian x Uniqlo. Navy chinos by Bonobos. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew Factory. Silver dive watch by Invicta.

A look at the trim fit of a polo from this year’s collab. Navy chinos by Bonobos. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew Factory. Silver dive watch by Invicta.

It’s back in full force, and then some. This year’s run expands on the customary, well-designed polo set to include colorful T-shirts, tank tops and two styles of shorts – but the polos really caught this writer’s eye. There’s again a mix of quirky designs alongside classic prep polos, like ones with thick rugby stripes and open collars. I opted for a more middle-of-the road option, a washed pique polo in a medium royal blue with a buttondown chambray collar (also available in colors ranging from white to orange). As with last year’s offering, count me highly pleased with my pickup — perhaps the first of a few from the line.

 

A look at the rather substantial collar and small details, like a notched V & extra button at the biceps.

A look at the rather substantial collar and small details, like a notched V & extra button at the biceps.

While one might expect a chambray collar to be floppy or lack structure, I’ve found it to be fairly substantial. It’s slightly larger than the typical polo collar, with a nice roll and the ability to stand up across the day thanks to that buttondown collar (in particular, that style from the brand in general is worth a look). The mix of light purple & blue stripes on the collar is a stylish and effective way to break things up visually, and I had no problem pairing it with a thicker-striped cream & navy belt (different pattern scales, see?). The dressier four-button placket gives the shirt a casual-but-polished feel. As a bonus, the washed pique fabric is soft and breathes pretty well for being a thicker material. It’s got a nice hint of stretch to it, and a Medium fit my six-foot, one-inch frame nicely — it was trim across the chest, through the shoulders and particularly at the sleeves (no baggy golf polo issues here). The V-shaped notch and extra button at the bicep is the sort of detail that design aficionados can appreciate, while the button-flap chest pocket is a neat visual touch, too.

One of the many ways this polo can be styled. Slim dark denim by Bonobos. White sneakers by GREATS. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew Factory. Silver dive watch by Invicta.

One of the many ways this polo can be styled. Slim dark denim by Bonobos. White sneakers by GREATS. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew Factory. Silver dive watch by Invicta. See more on Instagram.

The color on this option is also a nice change of pace from more solid navy polos. There’s a marled-like texture to the fabric because of the pre-washing, and this shade of blue plays well off darker denim or navy chinos (as you can see here). This polo would also look right at home with light to medium-grey chinos or a deep tan khaki pair, too. The buttondown collar makes this one polo you can wear with white sneakers and a blazer — an unconstructed navy option (keep coming back to that one, right?) offers lots of easygoing polish.

Another look at how you could style pieces from the collaboration. Image courtesy Capsule Show.

Another look at how you could style pieces from the collaboration. Image courtesy Capsule Show.

I actually paired my selection with a light tan V-neck (similar to this J. Crew sweater) on a recent chilly spring day to great effect, too. The collar stood up throughout the day and the fit of the polo itself was trim enough to accomodate the extra top layer. As with last year’s polos, this is one designer collaboration worth looking into — it seems as if Uniqlo has really made that their forte, what with the recent reintroduction of the “Best of J+” collection with famed minimalist-minded designer Jil Sander. At the prices these polos are going for now (2 for just $39.90), I’d suggest you grab at least two — or perhaps more.

What do you think of the designs in this year’s collaboration? How many are you planning on picking up (if any)?
Florsheim

Ben Sherman US

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Back in Stock: The Return of Michael Bastian x Uniqlo For Spring 2015

A quick look at some collaboration offerings.

A quick look at some collaboration offerings.

Some big news on the men’s style front this morning — famed American designer Michael Bastian’s wildly affordable and wildly popular collaboration with quick-moving basics brand Uniqlo is back in stores this spring — specifically, as of today.

Plenty of '70s vibes and athletic influences seen here.

Plenty of ’70s vibes and athletic influences seen here.

The polos launched on the U.S. site early this morning, and early indications are that this collaboration is definitely worth dropping some cash on. There are classic thin and thick rubgy-stripe versions that bring to mind sporting influences (much like some pieces in last year’s collaboration). There are also plenty of wild prints — paper airplanes or red dragons, anyone? Contrast collars, classic piped-sleeve polos and a more adventurous open-collar style (that also appeared in last year’s line) help to round out the polo offerings.

A washed cotton polo from the Uniqlo x Michael Bastian 2014 collection. Jeans by J. Crew (484 fit). Belt by Merona. Desert boots by Clarks. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

A washed cotton polo from the Uniqlo x Michael Bastian 2014 collection. Jeans by J. Crew (484 fit). Belt by Merona. Desert boots by Clarks. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Men’s shorts, tees and tank tops are also being added to the line for the first time, according to industry news site Shophound — this is something that should please many of us who simply want more of the collection. The bush-short style of four of the pairs is unique, to say the least, but it could provide a more tailored touch. From personal experience, the collaboration’s polos are relatively soft and breathable for pique fabric, a definite bonus. The washed cotton polos are also breathable and very wearable. They fit trim and best of all, usually go on-sale via a bundle pack (buy 2 for $29.90, for example). This year’s polo crop comes in at prices starting around $25 — a terrific price for a standout (and much-anticipated) collaboration. Pick up a few while they’re still around.

Starter Style Review: Banana Republic

Editor’s note: Building great style on a budget can be difficult and expensive. This is the sixth part in an occasional series chronicling great locations to start a wardrobe and buy affordable, good-looking style staples. Catch posts 1-5 in the series here .

The more formal, older brother of the Gap, Inc. group.

The more formal, older brother of the Gap, Inc. group.

Earlier in the year, I took a  look at some essential stores that can be used to start building great personal style at nice, affordable prices. Now, we’re getting back to that same idea, diving into the dressiest of the Gap-Old Navy group — Banana Republic. It’s a store that most of us seem to shop at during one point or another, and it’s not that tough to see why. The prices are, by and large, affordable. The quality is well put-together, and the items feature a fairly good bit of variety. So why does a store like J. Crew seemingly get more attention and appear more on the cutting edge? It’s a question worth considering.

A trip to an NYC Banana Republic (the Upper West Side location, for those curious) offered some answers to those questions and revealed some unconventional items. BR does a lot of things well, quite well, but doesn’t appear to stand out in one particular area (as J. Crew does with its Ludlow suiting and its curated collaborations with brands like Mougin & Piquard or Timex and Alden). However, that doesn’t mean the store is worth overlooking in its entirety.

A selection of lighter-weight blazers on display.

A selection of lighter-weight blazers on display, right next to some polos.

Namely, the store’s lighter-weight blazers and tailoring are a particular strong point. From houndstooth linen to a light grey cotton-linen blend and a khaki option, all were relatively high-quality, with nice, trim fits, minimal interior lining (a crucial point in the hot weather), and features like slimmer lapels. The basics were included too, like some navy and light grey suiting options. However, the selection even in this NYC store was nowhere near as extensive as the website, and only appeared to include the brand’s Tailored Fit option, as opposed to the trimmer Modern Slim option. On the other hand, there were quite a few tailored dress shirts and silk ties on display, making BR a pretty solid first bet to pick up a starter suit and tie set.

Some of the extensive shirting and ties offered at BR.

Some of the extensive shirting and ties offered at BR.

So, the suiting and dress shirt selection is solid and reasonably-priced. What about the rest of the store? Banana Republic has, to this point, done a nice job staying competitive in the men’s footwear market. Some of the more modern options offered in-store (like the Ryan suede double-monk strap shoes, as reviewed here) seem durable and of reliable quality in terms of construction and appearance. And the options offered in-store seem to reflect that  — basic oxfords in grey and navy suede, a chukka sneaker option and some leather loafers, among others. The selection had nice variety in terms of color and options offered, and when on-sale, (like the 30% off featured on this particular day), the prices are knocked down to just north of $100 for some shoes — definitely not a bad price at all.

Shoes on shelves, mostly in summer suede.

Shoes on shelves, mostly in summer suede.

But, it seems Banana Republic could do more to draw in younger customers looking for more contemporary items. The brand’s slim-fit denim is a relatively recent arrival, and exists on the website next to a relaxed-fit option — admittedly, most younger, trimmer guys are looking for something a little more polished and free of most pre-distressing, as found in some of BR’s pairs. Now, not that a lighter-wash or slightly distressed jean is a bad thing (it’s certainly not, especially in the spring or summer) but when combined with a slightly less-trim fit, it would seem that J. Crew has Banana Republic beat in this department (with its slim 484 fit).

The 'vintage straight' fit, as seen in-store.

The ‘vintage straight’ fit, as seen in-store.

Elsewhere however, the brand turns up some pleasant surprises. Many seem to love the dressy sheen of BR’s Luxe-Touch polos,  which can also be worn fairly casually with shorts. Some other eye-catching options include the washed vintage polos (as seen near the bottom of this page) and a bevy of striped and colorblock selections (try and avoid that logo, though!). And some more unique, sporty-looking summer and early fall sweaters were on display, too (think thicker, athletic-inspired stripes, sturdy buttons and ribbed collars — like this option here.

The store’s selection of T-shirts, in both crewneck, V-neck and pocket options, is pretty straightforward, although the shirts that combine, say, colorblocking, a slight wash and a pocket (as seen online) look promising for the future. Much of the same goes for Banana Republic’s shorts, which recently underwent a slight overhaul with the introduction of the slimmer-fitting Aiden short. As always, be sure to keep an eye on the sale section — a spin through that area of the store turned up some pieces with a pop of color, including the dark green military-inspired jacket below (which was not available on the website).

photo 1While the brand has done a nice job positioning itself as a good entry-level location for suiting and tailored blazers, as well as standard sweaters, polos and T-shirts, it appears there’s one key factor that could be keeping younger customers out of Banana Republic stores. The brand seems a little more straightforward and less edgy than, for example, J. Crew, and has only fairly recently introduced more tailored fits in some products. The slimmer fits are largely a positive step, but it’s come a bit later than other brands.  And the same qualities that make it ideal to build starter style also might keep more stylistically advanced customers away.

At the end of the day though, it’s a store that’s worth checking out for affordable, more tailored basics and some good steals in the shoe department. When combined with slightly more forward brands, like J. Crew, BR’s products can definitely exist side-by-side as part of a well put-together wardrobe. That’s about all you can ask from your closet.

The Product Review: The Uniqlo x Michael Bastian Polo

Ernest Alexander

A washed cotton polo from the Uniqlo x Michael Bastian collection. Jeans by J. Crew (484 fit). Belt by Merona. Desert boots by Clarks. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

A washed cotton polo from the Uniqlo x Michael Bastian collection. Jeans by J. Crew (484 fit). Belt by Merona. Desert boots by Clarks. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Editor’s note: For a review of the 2015 edition of this polo, click here. And for details on the breaking news launch of the line, check out this story

As spring gets closer to summer (on the calendar, at least), certain style items should definitely move to the front of your closet — namely, the classic polo shirt. Short-sleeve shirts, as well as polos, are style essentials for the warmer months and as long as the fit is kept trim through the body and sleeves, the right short-sleeve shirt can go many different places. What’s so great about the modern polo is the variety of unique takes on the classic style  —and that’s what the latest collaboration between Michael Bastian and Uniqlo does so well. This year’s edition of the collaboration has been out for some time now, but it’s definitely still worth looking into. Last year’s collection between the famed American designer and the fast-fashion outlet was an instant hit, selling out seemingly faster than the shelves could be stocked (at least in an online sense). In glancing through the site at various times last year, several styles were sold out completely for days at a time.

From inside the Broadway Avenue Uniqlo store.

From inside the Broadway Avenue Uniqlo store.

Some of the buzz seems to have died down a bit judging from the amount of styles and sizes left in some varieties within this year’s collection, but all the hallmarks of good design remain. There’s a wide mix of colors, including some with thick rugby stripes and open collars (reminiscent of a soccer jersey), and other polos with small prints and plaids. On a recent trip to a Uniqlo store in NYC, the shelves were positively stocked with these polos, nearly all of them marked down to under $23. For the fit and quality, that’s an outstanding price. Perhaps the most eye-catching in this collection are the polos with miniature animal print designs on them. While some are against such a trendy look, they hit the personal sweet spot in terms of a shirt with just enough personality.

The two printed polos in the personal collection have a longer four-button placket and a fairly substantial collar that stands up well on its own for most of the day. A small, button-triangle opening at each of the sleeves near the bicep is a nice added detail. And of course, the prints themselves are quite entertaining. Grey with white raccoon print? Sure. White with navy blue elephants? You bet. They bring just enough interest without being overly distracting — something that’s helped in no small part by the largely neutral colors used in each design.

One of the printed polos from the collection. Black jeans by American Apparel. Desert boots by Clarks. Watch by Stuhrling. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

One of the printed polos from the collection. Black jeans by American Apparel. Desert boots by Clarks. Watch by Stuhrling. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Those neutral colors make them easy to pair with just about anything, from dark tan or brown chinos (or even black denim, as pictured) to a more colorful, complementary pair of shorts. Since the polo brings some pop with the print, it’s best to keep the shoes (and pants) minimal-looking. However, you can liven up your accessories a touch with a patterned watch strap in a complementary color without going too overboard.

Additionally, the fit of the shirts is spot-on; a medium is just trim enough without being too tight. And for being made out of pique material, the fabric is fairly breathable and stretchy — not too suffocating, like other pique-type materials (the materials listing puts it at 100% cotton). And on top of the other perks, the collection is extensive enough that if you’re in the market for a less flashy polo, there are plenty of more subdued options with just enough detailing (including this white option with two front-button pockets, as pictured at the top).

For now, the polos are on-sale through Uniqlo for at 2 for $29.90 — with a deal that great, a huge variety of options and styles, and a nice, modern fit, these polos are worth every penny.

Ben Sherman US

Spring Style Essentials, Part 2: Shirts

A short-sleeve shirt (or a polo) can be the perfect style pick for spring and summer. Shirt by Express. Jeans by J. Crew.  Sunglasses by Ralph Lauren.

A short-sleeve shirt (or a polo) can be the perfect style pick for spring and summer. Shirt by Express. Jeans by J. Crew. Sunglasses by Ralph Lauren.

When the weather warms up, some key style moves can make the transition from fall or winter to spring decidedly easier. In the shirting department, we’ve seen some critical trends pop up in recent months, especially the resurgence of the short-sleeved collared shirt. While that’s certainly a style move worth exploring, the first (and perhaps easiest) way to make the transition is with a simple polo shirt. That’s not to say that long-sleeve collared shirts should take a break permanently from your wardobe; rather, think of the polo as a worthy substitute on more days. It might bring to mind a bland uniform look, but even James Bond wears polos now. Although it’s an item most of us have had in our closet and worn for years, the biggest way to upgrade the look now revolves around some main keys, starting with fit and moving on to color.

With spring officially here, reach for a polo and matching shorts. Navy polo and shorts by J. Crew Stanton. Belt by Target Merona. Glasses by Burberry.

With spring officially here, reach for a polo and matching shorts. Navy polo and shorts by J. Crew Stanton. Belt by Target Merona. Glasses by Burberry.

Think of the polo as a the warm-weather version of an Oxford cloth button-down.The polo is virtually fool-proof as a casual (or sharp) item when it comes to your top layer in terms of versatility — it can be worn to class, to work in a fairly casual environment, and out to dinner or drinks on a  patio. But, what helps with versatility is fit. Retailers now are stocking slim-fit polo options at great prices by the dozen, and that’s exactly how the ideal polo should fit, even if you have some more bulk. The sleeves should hit about mid-bicep, and the fit through the torso should be clean — think minimal extra fabric bunching around the sides or waist.

Once you’ve nailed the fit, it’s a wise bet to experiment with color. The lighter, warmer weather of spring is the ideal time to work some more vibrant colors into your wardrobe — something like a crisp, clean white is a nice place to start, but unique shades of red and light blue are also fairly versatile additional colors to start with. And if the fit of the polo is right, experimenting with some pattern can be more easily done — take a look at the rest of the Michael Bastian X Uniqlo collaboration for some extremely competitively-priced patterned polos.

A slightly more unique take on light denim paired with the short-sleeve shirt. Canvas sneakers by Urban Outfitters.

A slightly more unique take on light denim paired with the short-sleeve shirt. Canvas sneakers by Urban Outfitters.

Short-sleeved shirts also are another easy way to mix things up in your closet. The short-sleeved shirt has gained a bad reputation in recent years (think Dwight Schrute) but recent updates on the style are a far cry from that. Like the ideal polo, the short-sleeved collared shirt incorporates a slimmer fit through the sleeves and body. Picking a shirt with a bit of a pattern or stripe to it mixes up the bad stigma of the short-sleeve dress shirt even further (ASOS offers a wide variety of short sleeve shirts with patterns and prints  at nice prices, to start). And with both the polo and the short-sleeve shirt, the possibilities for what you do with the rest of your outfit are pretty limitless also (as long as your bottom half matches nicely in terms of color with the top half). Dark denim is a nice anchor to any outfit, and in the spring and summer, lightwash denim (as pictured above) works well with various neutral shades. Shorts in neutral colors (think a dark or light khaki) downplay the loudness of a printed shirt or polo, too.

So the next time you reach for a long-sleeve shirt in the hot weather, turn instead to a short-sleeved variety, or a polo, with some color and pattern. In the right cut and style, it’ll keep you on trend and also sharp — just about all you can ask for from a piece of clothing.

Spring Style Suggestion: Bass ‘Weejun’ Loafers

There are certain pairs of shoes out there that are timeless classics, avoiding the cycles of fashion and pairing with numerous outfits no matter the year. These types of shoes are near-legendary in most #menswear circles — they’re ubiquitous but never seem to reach a peak oversaturation point. Think Clarks desert boots in beeswax, or a sturdy pair of Wolverine 1K boots or a slick, sharp pair of captoe dress shoes in black or brown. Heck, even L.L. Bean’s slightly polarizing (but wildly effective) Duck boots have gained a cult following of sorts. That’s not to mention things like the Sperry Top-sider boat shoe or a low-cut pair of Jack Purcells or Chuck Taylors in the sneaker market. As if they weren’t already on that list, don’t overlook the inimitable, one-of-a-kind Weejun Loafers from G.H. Bass.

The Bass Weejun Loafers — Spring Style

Bass loafers worn in a spring casual outfit. Jeans by J. Crew. Blazer by Gap. Watch by Invicta. Glasses by Burberry.

Bass loafers worn in a spring sharp-casual outfit. Jeans by J. Crew. Blazer by Gap. Watch by Invicta. Glasses by Burberry. Shirt by CPO Provisions – Urban Outfitters.

Introduced to the world as an updated, fun take on a Norwegian farm shoe in the late 1930’s, the Weejun has since become a style staple across the country for combining that perfect mix of casual and prep. Also known as the “penny loafer”, it certainly has its fair share of sharp (and not-so-sharp) East Coast-type style attached to it. But it’s surprisingly versatile and wearable in a number of situations. And, the company now offers shoe care products, Oxford dress shoes in a pleasantly light array of colors and driving loafers and moccasins, among others.

On a personal note, I’d always found loafers a tough shoe to pull off. They required the right setting, the right outfit and most importantly, the right weather. Given a recent trip to Florida and the oncoming signs of spring, the timing was just right to try out a pair for the first time. The shoes are well-made and the quality doesn’t drop even when on-sale from a Bass outlet.  The leather feels relatively sturdy and smooth, and when paired with a brown leather care product, it seems as if these shoes could last a long time.  A size 10 1/2 (a 1/2 size up than normal) isn’t terribly loose, either. More importantly, like any other great pair of brown shoes, they seem to have loads of versatility. And they exist in the perfect realm between a canvas sneaker (better than running kicks, but too casual) and flip-flops (which should ideally only be worn for guys by the water or at the pool).

Given spring’s approaching weather, taking  a sharp brown loafer out for a spin with a pair of lightwash denim, as shown above, is a more unique style move than sticking with dark denim or chinos, although both of these certainly could be done as well. The slick leather offsets the more casual, relaxed nature of both the light and the dark denim, so those combos could work interchangeably. The washed khaki chino blazer from Gap (picked up in an outlet store) as pictured is relatively slim off-the-rack, unstructured and easily wearable with a simple printed button-down (something like this Urban Outfitters number could do the trick).

Keeping vacation time this spring with Bass Weejun loafers. Pocket square by J. Crew.

Keeping vacation time this spring with Bass Weejun loafers. Pocket square by J. Crew.

Of course, the right pair of slim chinos (feel free to work in some color here, too) would work outstanding here, as well. On the top half of your outfit with these loafers, the possibilities are pretty endless. Because lightwash or dark denim provides a sort of hi-lo contrast with a leather loafer, everything from a white henley to that patterned shirt and khaki blazer combo would work (as seen above). Polos (and perhaps a popover as an alternative) are surefire bets as well — work in some color too! And, as many of us have surely seen, the Weejun loafer doesn’t look one bit out of a place dressed up with shorts. As with any of these outfits though, when it gets noticeably warm, outside, be sure to ditch those socks. Some are partial to wearing a loafer with socks in the colder months, but that combo seems counterproductive when it’s snowing heavily. When going barefoot in the warmer months, if you prefer alternatives other than foot powder, no-show sock alternatives are discussed in great detail here by Barron at Effortless Gent).

Experimenting with Weejun loafers and shorts. Navy polo by J. Crew. Shorts by J. Crew Stanton. Belt by Target Merona. Glasses by Burberry.

Experimenting with Weejun loafers and shorts. Navy polo by J. Crew. Shorts by J. Crew Stanton. Belt by Target Merona. Glasses by Burberry.

Note that the proper pair of shorts should hit above the knee and lean slim, not baggy (ditch those cargo shorts at home, preferably). And the right pair of shorts in the spring and summer ideally have a pop of color (note the red in the photo). Tremendous above-the-knee, well-fitting shorts can be found at nice prices by the bunches over at Land’s End Canvas (look for something with a 7-9″ inseam, perhaps the Comer Chino or Chambray options). J. Crew’s Stanton short is well-deserving of praise, (as pictured above). And it seems like even Old Navy is offering a slim-fit short in a variety of colors with an inseam just past 9″. Because the brown loafers are relatively minimal, they provide lots of room for experimentation with colors. And if you feel so inclined, that polo or popover shirt could certainly be tucked in (based on how it fits and feels — that look is too preppy for some; not that there’s anything wrong with that!).

Even in warmer weather, one pair of shoes can take you a lot of different places when combined with more unique items like lightwash denim or a spring or summer blazer. Of course, a staple as classic as Weejuns (which have barely changed across the decades) pairs perfectly with other timeless essentials, like polos, slim shorts and slim jeans in a variety of washes. When the weather does warm up in your neck of the woods, Weejuns could (and should) become a go-to spring and summer shoe.

Starter Style Review: Target

Editor’s note: Building great style on a budget can be difficult and expensive. This is the first part in an occasional series chronicling great locations to start a wardrobe and buy affordable, good-looking style staples. Look for more in the coming weeks! 

Bullseye. Starting things off with Target. Yep, Target.

Bullseye. Starting things off with Target. Yep, Target.

Putting together a great wardrobe can seem a daunting task at first. Starting from the ground up, particularly trying to build in style essentials on a budge, is also taxing to a certain degree. But thanks to the explosion of an interest in men’s fashion, plenty of stores are now carrying more style staples than ever before — and at great prices.

In fact, when style inspiration comes from so many places (including affordable brands like Old Navy and Uniqlo), it can actually be tough and tiring getting bogged down in a long list of locations. That’s why it’s wise to keep certain stores from slipping under the radar. Chains with surprising names are increasingly stocking everything you could need to build some a basic wardrobe, including Target, however unlikely it might seem (witness Target’s collaboration with noted designer Phillip Lim this past fall).

A look at some of Target's shirt selection.

A look at some of Target’s shirt selection.

Target’s Merona line offers fantastic men’s style items, including, at varying times, a nice selection of blazers.  A recent trip through a Super Target revealed just as much. Keep in mind that Super Target is larger than the typical Target store, of course, but just as many style essentials were on-hand.  In addition to the Merona line, the rest of the men’s section was well-stocked with Mossimo polos in a variety of colors, v-neck and crewneck t-shirts with stripes, patterns and bright solid colors, and some shorts with interesting patterns for spring and summer.

Shelves were also stocked with short-sleeve and long-sleeve henleys, two pieces that can become layering staples year round. There was also a nice selection of corduroys in seasonally appropriate shades (as seen below), and slim-fit jeans from Denizen, a branch of Levi’s. The store’s Merona Oxford cloth button-downs are a particular personal favorite, and at a nice price point, too. For under 25 bucks a pop, it’s tough to turn down an item that can pair with so many different outfits.

A rich shade of orange in a seasonal corduroy.

A rich shade of orange in a seasonal corduroy.

Along with some style staples, the store also offered pieces with a slightly trendier take (like the sweater below). An item like that isn’t for everyone, but through collaborations with designers like Phillip Lim, the chain is offering affordable pieces with a more fashionable bent that could be worth taking a risk on if you fancy changing things up. In addition to those trendier pieces, the store’s shoe collection is also solid, featuring some solid desert boot-type silhouettes, along with loafers and dress shoes.

Classic crewneck sweater with a trendy pattern.

Classic crewneck sweater with a trendy pattern.

Accessories are a high point, too. Things like socks (in mainly solid colors, but with some wild patterns) can also be had at low prices, as can, for example, undershirts. Notably, Target offers one of the better deals on the versatile, casual and ultra-affordable Timex Weekender and Timex Easy Reader, two watches that, when paired with the right outfits, are as versatile as any below $100.

In addition to these items, there are certainly some hidden gems waiting to be uncovered in Target’s shelves, all at great prices most likely. When stores like Target do something as unexpected as men’s style in such a surprisingly good fashion, it’s definitely worth checking out. Keep that in mind as you browse the shelves for groceries on your next trip to the bullseye.