#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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#OOTD: The Best Way to Wear Shorts this Summer

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.

We’ve covered lots of ground here in past #OOTD posts on The Style Guide, but it seems we’ve skipped over a crucial style tip — the best way to wear shorts when it’s hot out. If you’re anything like me, it can sometimes be tricky to put away your denim, be it a slim pair of light wash jeans or something darker in color. They’re an easy style to wear across any season, to be sure — but from time to time, the weather really just calls for shorts. However, we’re not talking baggy cargo shorts. The best shorts for summer are more tailored in cut, lighter in terms of weight and fabric, and able to be worn with everything from a slim pocket T-shirt to a crisp polo and most styles in between. The same goes for the footwear you can match ’em with (and the pick you see below is a bit of a style swerve). The versatility of a slim pair of shorts is great news for all of us, particularly if you like your #menswear a bit more eye-catching.  And if you’re hesitant to ditch your denim or chinos because shorts feel too casual, know that you can take some risks when wearing tailored shorts (click that there link for tips). The below outfit starts things off slow, though. It’s one of the best ways to wear shorts this summer — at least in the opinion of your humble author.

Step 1: Buy shorts for summer. Step 2: Rock shorts for summer using this #OOTD.

Step 1: Buy shorts for summer. Step 2: Rock shorts for summer using this #OOTD.

The Shorts: JackThreads Chino Shorts, $39 — If you haven’t yet snagged a pair of chino shorts, these should be your go-to. Trying them on is free through the brand’s TryOuts program, and the fit and fabric should be reliable and stylish.

The Shirt: JACHS NY Cream-and-Blue Horizontal Striped Short-Sleeve Shirt, $89 — Upgrade from a casual T-shirt with an easygoing short-sleeve number that fits slim and broadens your chest thanks to the stylish stripes.

The Shoes: Jack Erwin Parker Driving Loafer in Navy Suede, $115 — We all love our stylish sneakers, but give some suede driving loafers a try. This particular pair is cut long and lean, and the navy color is especially sleek.

The Socks: Ministry of Supply Atlas No-show Socks, $11.98 — As crucial as it is to get your footwear choice right, it’s even more essential to grab some no-show socks to complement those kicks (especially driving loafers). Note that although the Grey color is shown in that photo, Black is what’s in stock now.
 The Belt: Arcade Belt Co. The Hudson Belt, $31.98 — So, you’ve got the shorts all set; don’t forget about a belt, particularly an upscale accessory that incorporates a neutral color and summer-appropriate texture.
The Watch: Invicta 8926 Pro Diver, $84.14 — Tough, reliable and stylish is the way to go; this is a casual watch that still looks crisp and plays off the rest of the outfit perfectly.
The Sunglasses: Randolph Engineering Aviator Sunglasses in Gunmetal, $209.98 — To top off an outfit that’s got a bit of flourish (particularly those driving loafers), grab some classic men’s sunglasses.
The Necessary Accessory: Manda Organic Sun Paste, $28.98 — When it comes to getting out this summer, taking care of your skin is a must. Doing so in an organic fashion is even better.
The Everyday Carry: Appointed Mini-Jotter, $9.98 — Not everyone is partial to writing things down, what with technology everywhere, but when out on a casual weekend, it can be great to have a notebook handy to jot down your passing thoughts.

 Making the leap to wearing shorts more frequently than denim or chinos can be a work in progress, even when it’s warm out. But grabbing a slim, stylish pair in a neutral color allows you to pair them easily with essentials you’d also rock with classic denim — like a short-sleeve shirt, a casual watch and loafers, for example. And when you take the approach that khaki shorts can work with everything from a T-shirt to a classic Oxford shirt, that opens another world of possibilities (heading to the office for a half-day? Try out shorts with a blazer — perhaps).  Plus, keeping things affordable and simple helps when finding out the pair that’s best for you can help  a great deal. Are you on board yet? Good. For more tips on how to style shorts this summer, head on over to my Instagram, or jump on over to Twitter if you’ve got other summer shorts picks.

Frank & Oak

Style abroad: Travels through Greece and Italy, Part 3

The lovely waters on the beach in Mykonos -- just one of the many excellent sights we saw on our trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

The lovely waters on the beach in Mykonos — just one of the many excellent sights we saw on our trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

The good news is that I made it back to the States in one piece! The bad news is that my family cruise to Greece is now done. It really was an absolutely amazing time though, from hours spent eating and drinking on the beach in Mykonos and Katakolon to days exploring the Acropolis in Athens and the legendary Olympia. Our trip also swung through the lovely and iconic island of Santorini – with its whitewashed houses, narrow cobblestone streets and old-world charm, it was a huge highlight of the trip. And luckily, I found the clothing I packed to be more than adequate, too! [You can check out a packing roundup, plus entries from Part 1 and Part 2 of the trip, here].

Getting out and about in casual style. Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page. French  Terry Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs.

Getting out and about in casual style. Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page. French Terry Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Guest appearance by a fellow tourist on the right.

I knew going in that the trip would present lots of options for what to wear – from casual days at the beach (and the cruise bar) to formal dinner nights and a bike ride that actually proved to be quite strenuous. Days spent at the pool also called for a versatile swimsuit, like my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks as seen above.

For active-casual wear, I found myself consistently reaching for my Pistol Lake French Terry Sweatshorts and my Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers. The futuristic slant of the sneakers made them feel like less of a running shoe and more of a cool-casual sneaker option, while the sweatshorts (as seen here in a Style Pick of the Week entry) were comfortable and breathable. For those situations where I had to turn to dressier yet cool clothing, my Banana Republic khaki shorts and Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo were more than adequate, while a pair of linen-blend shorts from Frank & Oak also worked quite well.

Relaxing in casual style leaving Katakolon. Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Printed T-shirt by J. Crew. Leather Wooster Slip-ons by GREATS Brand. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Chatting with my dad (on the far right) and relaxing in casual style leaving Katakolon. Swim trunks by Orlebar Brown. Printed T-shirt by J. Crew. Leather Wooster Slip-ons by GREATS Brand. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Beer by Newcastle.

I found my footwear options to be adequate as well – I wore a pair of Timberland Coulter Chukka boots (courtesy of my day job) for travel, which proved comfortable and effective. The two pairs of loafers I brought along, one by Andre Coton and one pair by G.H. Bass, also saw use during casual and formal dinner situations alike, particularly with my Combatant Gentleman Sky Blue Chinos. My trusty GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers also proved durable and comfortable for exploring Athens and the Acropolis, and worked for dinner later in the day, too!

A look at some of the accessories I brought along for the trip. Vintage wool baseball cap by Goorin Bros. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering.

A look at some of the accessories I brought along for the trip, pictured specifically in Olympia.. Vintage wool baseball cap by Goorin Bros. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering.

If anything however, I brought along one too many long-sleeve shirts – while I wore my GAP chambray shirt, I didn’t get the chance to wear my Gustin Spring Plaid Shirt, as I often found myself reaching for more laidback short-sleeve options to pair with white denim or my Taylor Stitch chinos. On the accessories front, my black rubber strap Stuhrling watch was a sporty choice to pair with my sweatshorts and sneakers for strenuous shore excursions, and my Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol leather watch worked well with lots of dinner outfit combinations in particular. My stainless steel Invicta dive watch, a personal favorite, was a solid option with which to hit the beach, and I frequently reached for my Goorin Brothers vintage wool baseball cap (currently sold out online) – it was comfortable and breathable, crucial in the heat of Greece.

For those exploration-filled shore excursions, I took along my Satchel and Page Slim Mailbag – it’s proving to be very durable, sturdy and well-made (plus, who doesn’t love the smell of new leather??).

A formal look for the final night of the cruise. White Poplin Endurance Shirt and Steel Blue Glen Plaid Double-Breasted Suit by Combatant Gentleman. Glasses by Warby Parker. Watch by Daniel Wellington.

A formal look for the final night of the cruise. White Poplin Endurance Shirt and Steel Blue Glen Plaid Double-Breasted Suit by Combatant Gentleman. Glasses by Warby Parker. Watch by Daniel Wellington.

And my Randolph Engineering Concorde Flash Lens sunglasses worked excellent to combat the sun’s rays too. On the toiletries front, my Baxter of California Travel Kit was convenient, easy to pack and of course, very useful! For formal wear, my Combat Gent White Poplin Shirt and Steel Blue Glen Plaid Double-Breasted Suit were sharp, well-fitting and also able to be mixed and matched among the jacket and a separate pair of custom grey suit pants from Black Lapel.

Definitely one of the highlights of the trip -- checking out the amphitheater at the Acropolis in Athens.

Definitely one of the highlights of the trip — checking out the amphitheater at the Acropolis in Athens.

While the process of getting overseas was lengthy (to be expected!) and the time change was a somewhat difficult adjustment at first, I found the whole adventure to be beautiful, serene and highly enjoyable – Royal Caribbean and its staff are friendly, helpful and very gracious, too! It’s certainly a cruise I would take again, and I found several areas I would love to visit again, too.

I’m definitely grateful for the opportunity and the time spent with family as well – and of course, having the chance to work with a few excellent brands on trip gear was pretty neat, too! We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled content here on Wednesday (a product review of the aforementioned Taylor Stitch chinos), but if you’d like to check out more trip photos and content, check out #StyleGuideAbroad via my Twitter and Instagram accounts. Until next time, Greece!

Style Suggestion: Fourth of July

Putting together an outfit for the holiday that'll hopefully cause some fireworks (that is, in the reaction to said outfit).

Putting together an outfit for the holiday that’ll hopefully cause some fireworks (that is, in the reaction to said outfit).

Editor’s note: For more Style Suggestions covering what to wear at everything from a summer wedding to other holidays, head here.

In just a few short days, that well-known patriotic holiday centered primarily around fireworks, good food and great times will be here. It’s really starting to warm up everywhere, and that presents some tricky scenarios as far as what to wear while keeping cool and still looking good (if you’re curious about other Fourth of July options to wear, head here for last year’s rundown). Fourth of July is another summer holiday that, much like Memorial Day, can offer the potential for situations ranging from ultra-casual to a little more polished. Here’s an outfit that should toe the line between both. And if your holiday plans involve hitting the road, check out this post for accessories to pack, and this post for a primer on your potential travel get-up itself.

The Shirt: Michael Bastian x Uniqlo Polo, $14.90 (Sale Price)

One of the many options from this year's collaboration should keep you cool and looking sharp.

One of the many options from this year’s collaboration should keep you cool and looking sharp. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew Factory. Silver dive watch by Invicta Watches.

You read that price above correctly. This year’s collaboration between the noted American designer and the fast-fashion outlet has been another fairly successful seller, yet those prices are dirt cheap right now — so you could go a couple different ways with a purchase, from a grey-and-red striped option that nods to the holiday yet also throws off sportswear vibes, to a  more straightforward military-style chest pocket number. Heck, at that price you could buy both of ’em. Either way, these polos have a trim fit and aren’t too dressy or casual, whether you’re grilling in the backyard or heading to a nice patio restaurant. If a lightweight jacket is needed, you could throw on a neutral, lightweight (and classic) Harrington style from Ben Sherman US.

Ben Sherman US

The Pants: Mott and Bow Denim, $96

The Moso in Dark Blue in Skinny Fit from NYC-based Mott & Bow.

The Moso in Dark Blue in Skinny Fit from NYC-based Mott & Bow.

Now, $96 certainly isn’t cheap to drop on a pair of denim when some classic Levi’s go for about half that. However, Mott & Bow denim isn’t a heavy, overly rigid set of jeans that’ll cause overheating if the weather’s too hot. In fact, the brand’s Comfort Denim line offers jeans with 2% elastane stretch built in, for a pleasingly comfortable yet still slim fit. The Crosby in Dark Blue offers a versatile straight cut and a wash that could work across multiple seasons (even better — you can get 15% off your first purchase with the brand here). Tucking in the polo with those jeans is up to you; the Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polos seem to be cut slim enough to work either way. If it’s just too atrociously hot for pants, the Stadium Short from J. Crew Factory mixes a cool chambray fabric, flattering fit and an elastic waistband for ease of movement (potentially of use after wolfing down some hot dogs).

The Belt: Land’s End Club Stripe Elastic Belt, $39 OR H&M Braided Belt in  Light Beige, $12.95

Take your pick between a preppy Land's End option and a textured H&M pick.

Take your pick between a preppy Land’s End option and a textured H&M pick.

Unlike a more typical casual braided leather belt, the Land’s End option leans even more casual thanks to the elastic webbing, while still injecting some preppy style into your get-up. The mixed media option & beige color makes this a belt you could also wear in the spring & fall; conversely, you could go with a more patriotic red striped option. The H&M number also uses a neutral color and some texture to break up an outfit that might look a bit too stuffy with a plain leather dress belt — the incredibly cheap price doesn’t hurt, either.

Ernest Alexander Free Shipping

The Shoes: GREATS Brand Leather Wooster Slip-on, $149

A close-up look at both the Blanco and Cadet versions. Photo courtesy of GREATS Brand.

A close-up look at both the Blanco and Cadet versions of this versatile and sleek shoe. Photo courtesy of GREATS Brand.

GREATS definitely does get a lot of play on this blog, but with good reason — no brand right now is making shoes with the type of construction they make, for the low price point they offer. Crisp, casual options like the Wilson in White or the Rosen Runner in Navy could also be good pick-ups here for an even cheaper price. The Leather Wooster specifically is a relatively new offering from the brand that can go more casual or a bit dressier because of that sleek, no-laces look. The Cadet (or Navy) shade is perhaps going to be the most versatile choice here, although Nero (or Black) would certainly be equally adaptable. And to check out another way to style the Cargo (or Olive) shade of the Leather Wooster, head here.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Beginner No-Show Socks 2-Pack, $15

Two basic colorways among other choices at an affordable price.

Two basic colorways among other choices at an affordable price.

When you’re throwing on slip-ons as comfortable and well-made as the Leather Wooster, socks might actually not be much of a worry. However, a solid pair of no-show socks like these Richer Poorer no-show socks offer a layer of protection for your shoes and your feet. That’s especially important if you’re spending lots of time on your feet during the holiday. This pair should be a true no-show, offering that much-coveted, sleek sockless look. The price point isn’t too bad either, and the range of colors means you could pick up a few pairs to blend in with different types of footwear.

The Watch: Stuhrling Original Aquadiver Manta Ray Rubber Strap Watch, $83 OR Skagen Steel Mesh Watch, $165

Two choices, one sporty and one sleek, for a holiday that could involve activities in both areas.

Two choices, one sporty and one sleek, for a holiday that could involve activities in both areas.

Just as with Memorial Day, perhaps your Fourth of July plans involve heading to the beach or a body of water; while you don’t want a watch that’s clunky and overly large, you still want something that’s durable and tough — the Stuhrling Original Aquadiver (full review here) stands up to the test and doesn’t look too much like a digital sports watch. On the other end of the spectrum, the Skagen Steel Mesh Watch is super crisp and clean — no wasted design or added touches here. It is a bit pricier, but you get a watch that’s sharp enough to be worn during the week, and eyecatching enough to be worn on the weekends.

The Sunglasses: Randolph Engineering Concorde Flash Lens Sunglasses, $169

The Concorde Flash Lens series from Randolph Engineering -- an all-American pair of sunglasses for an all-American holiday.

The Concorde Flash Lens series from Randolph Engineering — an all-American pair of sunglasses for an all-American holiday.

This pair was first featured on the blog as this past week’s Style Pick of the Week, and they are lookers indeed (made in America, too!). There’s certainly nothing wrong with sunglasses you already might have, especially if they’re a timeless shape like an aviator or even the resurgent Wayfarer. But these shades as pictured here offer up a vibrant set of blue lenses that complements the theme of the holiday (if you’re into that sort of thing), while providing a style that’s versatile the entire year. The fact that they look like Mr. Bond’s preferred choice of eyewear in Skyfall isn’t a bad thing, either.

While these clothes can help you look good, the most important thing about this holiday is celebrating the occasion with family & friends — that’s something to be kept in  mind no matter what you were.

Will you be picking up any new items for the Fourth of July or the summer season in general? What’s your go-to fireworks-watching outfit?

Florsheim

Nunn Bush

Style Pick of the Week: Randolph Engineering Concorde Sunglasses

Ernest Alexander

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.

The Concorde Flash Lens series from Randolph Engineering -- looks similar to those worn by a certain secret agent, yes?

The Concorde Flash Lens series from Randolph Engineering — looks similar to those worn by a certain secret agent, yes?

Chances are, where you live, it’s getting hot right now about now. And sunny. Possibly even very sunny — what do you use to shield the sun’s rays stylishly? That’s a great question, and that’s why we’re here with this week’s Style Pick of the Week. It can be difficult to find sunglasses that strike a decent middle ground in terms of price, lack ornamentation or logos (looking at you, Ray-Bans), and still look good. And as far as American-made sunglasses — well, that whittles things down even further. One would be remiss to leave out American Optical, on that note. But let’s go a different direction:  Randolph Engineering’s reputation is rock-solid, their sunglasses aren’t insanely expensive (unlike, say, a similar shape worn by Mr. Bond) and the quality is self-evident. You’re getting military heritage and modern styling potential. While they stock a few different frame shapes (including a more squared-off aviator), the Concorde Flash Lens collection ties in that classic aviator shape and features looks that hit dead-on for Bond’s sunglasses, while being about half the price. Two frame options, 57mm and the larger 61m, are available — although some options take sizing down to 52mm. (A note on price: If you’re on an even tighter budget, the ever-dependable J. Crew Factory has a host of options from flashy to traditional).

Another sleek aviator option from Randolph Engineering, the regular Concorde series.

Another sleek aviator option from Randolph Engineering, the regular Concorde series.

 

While some would argue aviator sunglasses look a bit too “police-like”, it’s arguably the most versatile sunglass shape out there — thanks to the sleek chrome styling of the Flash Lens series in particular (plus the versatile blue lens color), these sunglasses work in situations both dressy and rugged-casual. Heck, the aviator style works particularly well in all seasons. And compared to even the regular Concorde series (no slouch in the looks department, either), this pair is $50 cheaper. Of course, you can’t throw on a great pair of sunglasses without some sharp swim trunks and a short-sleeve henley.

Do you own any sunglasses from Randolph Engineering? Would you consider picking up this pair? And what’s your go-to frame shape when the weather heats up?

Ben Sherman US