2017 Spring Style Wish List

If it feels weird to be talking about spring — and this site’s Spring Style Wish List particularly — you’re not alone.  It seems not too long ago we were talking about the best men’s winter boots and stylish winter accessories — now, it’s not quite time to shelve those pieces yet, but let’s at least look to the season ahead. What do you say? Spring style can be quite an enjoyable time in the #menswear world — you still get to incorporate classic pieces, like a slim chambray shirt and classic leather chukka boots, and yet you get to do so with layered looks and tough spring outerwear. It’s not quite close (at all) to beach weather — and that means you don’t have to dress for summer heat  quite yet.  And of course, that pesky snow is melting away slowly but surely — break out that spring gear, folks! So, it’s a great time all around. I’d say you’ll certainly recognize some of the brands — and perhaps the pieces themselves — in the below wish list. What’s on your wish list? Weigh in via The Style Guide Facebook page, and follow along via Instagram to see how I style some of these picks. Cheers and happy shopping!

Beckett Simonon

#1. Abercrombie & Fitch Bonded Mac Jacket — $99

Your new favorite spring jacket -- perfect for rainy, breezy days & plenty of time in between.

Your new favorite spring jacket — perfect for rainy, breezy days & plenty of time in between.

 

Yes indeed, we’re starting things off with an excellent, classic and sharp jacket from the newly revamped Abercrombie & Fitch. The brand excels at creating modern updates to timeless, tried-and-true styles — we have former Club Monaco designer Aaron Levine to thank for that. And this cotton mac jacket is the perfect spring color and style; it’s fit for slipping on over a navy blazer or teaming with something as simple as a merino henley & light wash denim.  A&F certainly has plenty Wish List-worthy pieces — stick with us for more…

#2. Abercrombie & Fitch Garment-Dyed Oxford — $39

af-garment-dyed-oxford

Just when you thought A&F couldn’t get any better — they did. Right? Right.

Lest you thought we were done with picks from Abercrombie & Fitch, think again. Like the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt — an ideal winter layering piece — this simple-yet-stylish Garment-Dyed Oxford could be your new favorite spring shirt.  There’s nothing too fancy about it; it’s just a crisp silhouette with vintage-inspired detailing via the washed fabric, plus neat design touches in the way of the button chest pocket. Team this with sharp leather sneakers and stone chinos for easygoing seasonal style.

#3. Taylor Stitch Merino Henley — $98

Taylor Stitch

Potentially your new favorite spring layer, courtesy of Taylor Stitch.

If you didn’t know already, we here at The Style Guide are HUGE fans of Taylor Stitch. But who isn’t, right? The brand makes essential pieces for every season, and something as simple and yet well-made as the Taylor Stitch Merino Henley is a pretty easy choice when it comes to spring layering thanks to its breathable, comfortable fabric and great fit. Wear it on its own or wear it under a waxed trucker jacket for tough, effective style when it’s breezy out. Heck, wear this crisp Merino Henley under the  Abercrombie & Fitch Bonded Mac Jacket  as you dash out for a weekend coffee in the rain.

#4. Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand Watch — $174.98

Jack Mason

A handsome, substantial watch made for plenty of spring style situations.

Texas-based Jack Mason does an outstanding job when it comes to translating rugged, masculine and stylish inspiration into unique timepieces. Take the strong, sturdy Aviator 3-Hand Watch Featuring a handsome brown leather strap and a unique gold case-black dial combo, it’s the ideal casual spring watch. With a substantial — but not overly large — 42mm case and handy features like Super Luminova markings and an aviation-inspired dial design, it’ll definitely be one of the more unique timepieces in your watch collection.

#5. Life/After/Denim Classic 5-Pocket Pant in White — $148

Don’t be afraid of 5-pocket pants, especially in white — style them with a chambray shirt and suede chukkas.

Seeing as they make such high-quality, coveted goods, it should come as no shock that Life/After/Denim menswear sells out in a hurry. The Classic 5-Pocket Pant in White is one such popular offering, and it’s easy to see why. White 5-pocket pants are a great way to break out of a dark denim rut in the warmer months, and the 5-pocket cut here should be tailored, trim and easily wearable with everything from an indigo pocket tee and suede Chelsea boots to stylish leather dress shoes — trust me.

Honorable Mention: Brooks Heritage Renshaw Sneakers — $89.99

A new classic, based on … well …. an old classic.

It’s always mighty tough to narrow down any Style Wish List to five picks, and these retro-inspired, unique Brooks Heritage sneakers just missed the cut. They still get the nod here for an honorable mention though, as these kicks are a new offering from a brand that’s perfecting the right balance between vintage style inspiration and modern wearability. I’ve worn Brooks Heritage sneakers on a summer trip to Las Vegas and a winter trip to Florida, and I’m excited to break out this pair in the warmer months ahead.
Frank & Oak

Alright, folks — who’s primed for spring style? Ideally, the above Wish List picks will get you thinking and planning all sorts of #OOTD looks in the weeks and months ahead. Updated takes on modern classics — like the Abercrombie & Fitch Bonded Mac Jacket and the Garment-Dyed Oxford  are fresh, quick ways to upgrade your style, and you shouldn’t forget about the layering potential and functionality of an excellent base layer like the Taylor Stitch Merino Henley. Lest we forget about your accessories game, don’t sleep on the toughness, affordability and handsome style of the Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand Watch or the easygoing spring vibes of a crisp pair of tailored 5-pocket pants from Life/After/Denim. OK, all set with those notes? Shopping cart full? Good deal!

Good lookin’ out and stay stylish,

-Beau

The Friday Read: Young the Giant, Star Wars and Cole Haan

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

Where did the time go since last Friday? It was a beautiful three-day weekend here in NYC, so that certainly contributed to it. And with spring-like temperatures Saturday through Monday, it definitely got me planning ahead — I tried to enjoy the Brooklyn weather (plus delicious coffee and great menswear at Williamsburg’s Upstate Stock) as much as I could, but I couldn’t help but plan for this site’s Spring Style Wish List. Don’t worry — it’s on the way.  In the meantime, hopefully the team of one here at The Style Guide has given you plenty to read. If you didn’t catch this week’s brand profile on the inimitable Todd Snyder, do so now — and maybe pick up a great piece like the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt in the process.
Frank & Oak
Know that we’ve also got a new way to wear a cardigan via this week’s #OOTD series, and of course, another entry in the Style Pick of the Week series. As for me, I’m taking a (slight) break from menswear writing for a quick road trip to the famed town of New Haven, home of Yale University and, perhaps more importantly, this weekend’s Young the Giant show at College Street Music Hall! I kid, I kid — Yale is quite the big deal, but I’m excited for the show nonetheless. Of course, I’ll be dressed in travel style, too. It’s definitely been pretty neat to go on East Coast adventures, explore new cities and see great shows in the process — from seeing Local Natives in Providence to catching The Head and the Heart in Baltimore, I’ve been quite lucky to be able to hit the road this past fall and winter! Of course, you can follow along with my travels via Instagram and Twitter. For now, let’s kick of the weekend with some #menswear fun, shall we? Read on and see you for tomorrow’s Style Pick.

Beckett Simonon

  • Speaking of Young the Giant, this next bit of news caused me to yell out loud in excitement at my desk at work this week — Cold War Kids are touring with  Young the Giant later this summer! Who’s pumped? And the tour includes an NYC stop in September — crucial for all of us city slickers. But seriously … how exciting is that??
  • If you’re a Star Wars fan — and a fan of the many planned offshoot movies — then you’re likely aware of this already, and yet … the new, as-yet-untitled Han Solo film started shooting this past week, and that’s reason for fans of the character and the Star Wars universe to get excited. See, we’re about more than just menswear (wink, wink).
  • Esquire tells us all about how the ’90s are back in style — in a big way — and how you can dress like the era without going too far back in time.

Want to really get a jump on your spring style?

With that, we’ll close the curtain on another Friday Read — see you in the front row!

-Beau

Style Upgrade: The Casual T-Shirt

Editor’s note: This is the fifth in an ongoing series covering quick and easy upgrades to style dilemmas a guy might face once in a while. For more entries in the series, click here.

Upgrading the humble T-shirt today. Rust V-neck by Pistol Lake (more on the brand in a bit!). Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Randoiph Engineering. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Upgrading the humble T-shirt today. Rust V-neck by Pistol Lake (more on the brand in a bit!). Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Randoiph Engineering. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

It seems we’ve been heralding the start of spring weather here on The Style Guide for a number of weeks (at least if my spring style wish list is any indication), so that means a couple key things. Namely, a solid spring jacket and a stylish spring sweater are going to go far for you in the coming weeks (and on into cooler summer nights). Beyond that, what else is there to know? Quite a bit, actually. For one, plenty of us are going to find ourselves rocking more T-shirts and polos in the coming months than during fall or winter — likely on their own, or else after shedding a jacket or sweateer. For another, there are some definite ways to upgrade that T-shirt from a standard number. Perhaps you know the kind I’m talking about? A bit baggy, maybe a bit dirty, featuring an old logo (think the Abercrombie & Fitch tees of years gone by?). If that’s what you had in mind, know that there are far more wearable, far more stylish casual T-shirt options out there — and not a lot of them break the bank.

A neutral color, a trim fit and a not-too-deep V -- the hallmarks of a good V-neck.

A neutral color, a trim fit and a not-too-deep V — the hallmarks of a good V-neck.

By definition, you could consider a rugged short-sleeve henley part of the T-shirt category. But, we’re talking strictly tees here — things like a slim pocket tee, a heathered crewneck tee, or a reliable V-neck tee. You name a variation on a style within those three iterations, and it’s like that a great designer or brand has taken it upon themselves to perfect it. For you, my fellow T-shirt fan, that’s great news indeed. Take, for example, the surprisingly versatile V-neck tee. Pistol Lake crafts the particular tee you see at the top of the page, and its made-in-America ethos, slim fit and jersey fabric are all great qualities. The “V” itself in the right V-neck doesn’t dip too low (a la American Apparel), yet it still adds some nice visual interest as opposed to a plain crewneck. Mixing in some unexpected color here can be a good thing, too. I Keeping the fit slim is also positive. It’s definitely the most casual option of the bunch, but a good V-neck tee could even be rocked under a lightweight, unlined blazer on a hot (and not-too-dressy) workday. It would be wise to reach for an option that’s a bit more expensive — tees from retailers like H&M are often too flimsy (at least according to this menswear writer).

Just a white T-shirt? Think again. Slub cotton and a modern fit upgrade this Buck Mason number.

Just a white T-shirt? Think again. Slub cotton and a modern fit upgrade this Buck Mason number.

Designers and brands are also crafting variations on the crewneck, and packing in a  ton of simple style points in the process. Take Richer Poorer’s new pocket tees. They feature a workwear-inspired pocket, plus your pick of either a versatile Heather Grey or a just-different-enough Natural color. When you’re rocking a tee on its own (or even under a blazer), subtle changes in fabric and style details go a long way. Buck Mason is also a brand that’s taken on the tall task of upgrading the standard pocket tee — and they’re doing a great job at its. The White Slub Pocket Tee is cut to fit slim and trim, with exceptional-looking fabric. Either pick is a great option that can easily be worn on its own with slim stone chinos, dark denim or tailored sweatshorts. Of course, a heather pocket tee pairs perfectly with a rugged denim jacket, lest we forget.

One retailer, two solid T-shirt upgrades from JackThreads.

One retailer, two solid T-shirt upgrades from JackThreads.

But shelling out for the perfect tee doesn’t have to be expensive — even though some of the picks featured above lean a little pricey. JackThreads, as has seemed to be the case with its two seasonal collections, nails the price-quality equation in terms of knitwear. Namely, pieces like its Daily Vee in Heather Blue run for just $18 (or 2 for $30). Plus, the Daily Pocket Tee (pictured at left), offers the exact same deal and nice styling potential, to boot. If 30 bones strikes you as a lot for a T-shirt compared to a standard 3-pack of tees, know that the investment will pay off — this is a style upgrade we’re talking about, after all. In addition to reaching for deeper colors with some texture, mainstay brands like J. Crew turn out new T-shirt variations season after season. Take its textured pocket T-shirt, for example. Those bold stripes in an appropriately spring-like color make it a perfect tee to rock on its own.

An Affliction T-shirt, this is not. A sublte, stylish and sly effort from Todd Snyder.

An Affliction T-shirt, this is not. A subtle, stylish and sly effort from Todd Snyder.

Perhaps the most common stigma about the simple T-shirt is that, in this case, graphics should be thrown out entirely. While there’s a time and place for a loud graphic tee, this is …. not that time (sorry to disappoint). Luckily, classic (and classy) American menswear designers are turning instead to athletic inspiration to craft graphic tees that are decidedly more stylish than Ed Hardy tees. In particular, Style Guide favorite Todd Snyder is offering a cheeky take on the graphic tee as part of his collaboration with Champion, which mixes urban cool with vintage sportswear. Those are two very good things.

The biggest part about upgrading your T-shirt, however simple, might simply be checking out retailers (whether in-person or via online ordering) and trying on various styles. In particular, it’s worth a look into classic retailers like Old Navy, who can offer a huge (HUGE) range of options at really affordable prices with solid sizing. After all, you want a tee that fits modern (but not overly tight), and you want to pick up essential items that can be mixed in with other spring style classics. So, spending $170 on a T-shirt might not be the most economical or versatile for any of us. But, $30 for 2 stylish tees in versatile colors, for example? Now we’re talkin’. As we’re just into the start of spring, there’s plenty of time left for you to upgrade your T-shirt game. Let me know how your search goes over at The Style Guide’s Facebook page, or swing on through Twitter.

Stay stylish!

-Beau

2016 Spring Style Wish List

Editor’s note: For more seasonal style wish list pieces, head this way.

Perhaps one of my favorite parts of being on the verge of a new season is the ability to look ahead and envision how you’ll style certain pieces and wear certain outfits. Of course, that goes hand-in-hand with looking ahead to all kinds of fun seasonal activities. In the fall, my mind drifts toward crisp autumn weekends exploring NYC’s parks — hence, the fall style wish list you see here. And in the spring, that has me looking toward slightly warmer days, plenty of patio beers (and food), and time spent checking out great menswear haunts around the city. Perhaps it’s much the same for you — who doesn’t love a great spring brew, after all? And that brings us to our primary topic of conversation today on The Style Guide — the below Spring Style Wish List. It’s a mix of brands old and new, some pricey and some more affordable — but all eyecatching in their own right as we deal with (hopefully) the last few weeks of winter weather. What’s on your style wish list this spring? Check out the below and let me know on Facebook or Twitter!

#1. Mott & Bow Skinny Wooster Jean in Medium Blue — $118

Available in two washes, the Medium Blue Wooster Jean on the left looks the most promising.

Available in two washes, the Medium Blue Wooster Jean on the left looks the most promising.

While I love a standout pair of dark denim year-round, there’s something nice about being able to occasionally mix in a lighter shade of jean — heck, it’s even a nice change of pace. Mott & Bow has been excelling at the affordable denim game since its launch a few years back, and it seems like they’re continually introducing new washes and styles. The Wooster in Medium Blue is built with the most stretch of any jean the brand has introduced — 35 percent, to be exact! That’s a comfortable pair of jeans fit for many a spring bar crawl, and the light wash looks excellent.

#2. GREATS Brand The Pronto in Color Block — $240

A unique but pleasing mix of color and texture in a low-profile runner. Photo courtesy of the brand.

A unique but pleasing mix of color and texture in a low-profile runner. Photo courtesy of the brand.

So right off the bat, these sneakers might not be for everybody. There’s certainly a lot going on in there in terms of color. But if you’re into a more retro-inspired look, then the silhouette and the color combo are actually going to be perfect. It’s the kind of sneaker you’d be able to pair up with the above lightwash jeans and a slim T-shirt for easygoing weekend style. They’re definitely pricey for sneakers (particularly in comparison to other GREATS runners), but the brand seems to continually step it up in terms of quality. And hey, there’s a reason why it’s a style wish list, right?

#3. JACHS NY Short-Sleeve Striped Chambray Shirt — $69

Stripes plus workwear details in a light blue chambray shirt? Sign me up.

Stripes plus workwear details in a light blue chambray shirt? Sign me up.

JACHS NY is another brand that’s been gaining a bit of steam on social media as of late, and they always do a nice job with standout seasonal releases — particularly shirting. Spring is all about shedding layers and lightening things up in terms of color and texture, so this shirt definitely keeps things headed in that direction. The addition of stripes to this light blue chambray buttondown is another solid design touch — it adds a bit of workwear edge to a piece that should work quite well with khaki chinos and white captoe sneakers.

#4. Grayers Reston Quilted Jacket — $165

A solid substitute for your favorite blazer -- a functional hybrid field coat of sorts.

A solid substitute for your favorite blazer — a functional hybrid field coat of sorts.

As with your shirting and denim in spring, the idea of lightening things up should also apply to your outerwear. There are plenty of instances where you need something functional in the rain or a slight chill — yet you still want something versatile and modern. The Reston Quilted Jacket looks to fill that niche perfectly. The quilted detailing and three patch pockets give it a bit of a military-inspired vibe, while the standup collar and nylon construction make it sturdy and ready to fight the rain. It doesn’t hurt that it’s cut like your favorite blazer — it should be able to pull double duty on your commute and at work, and at a price that’s less than a traditional J. Crew jacket.

#5. JackThreads The Daily Pocket Crew — $24

So much more than just a standard crewneck. A nice color and slim fit help this piece stand apart.

So much more than just a standard crewneck. A nice color and slim fit help this piece stand apart.

First off, why did a pocket T-shirt make this style wish list? They’re more visually interesting than plain ol’ crewnecks, and cut in the right fabric & fit, they can work on their own or underneath everything from a cotton-canvas jacket to an unconstructed blazer. At the rate that JackThreads pumps out seasonal style staples like this khaki pocket tee, things are only going to get better. The color of this piece is just different enough from a more normal white pocket tee, so it’ll stand out nicely against lightwash denim and colored kicks … like the ones at the top of the page. Plus, the price is very easily attainable — it might be my first pick-up of this wish list, in fact.

When it comes time to pull together these Wish List pieces, it can be difficult at times. Many a retailer that excels at winter gear (like Todd Snyder) also puts out stunning spring product — take these Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers sneakers, for example. Certain brands that have sat things out in terms of style are also now starting to make a resurgence (lookin’ at you, Abercrombie & Fitch). And reliably stunning brands like Apolis and its Transit Issue Camerman Jacket just missed the cut. But there’s still plenty of great style to go around! I know I’m certainly looking forward to A) adding more items to my wish list as spring rolls on and B) checking some items off said wish list. For the time being…

Stay stylish,

-Beau

What’s on your spring style wish list? Any picks you’d poach from the above list?