Style Suggestion: How to Dress for the Gym

Editor’s note: Head over here to see more men’s style suggestions for all sorts of situations.

Most guys consider how to dress for various occasions — that all-important first date, or an important day at a business casual office. But off-duty, there’s a tendency to reach for whatever’s easiest or readily available. That’s certainly seems to be the case with dressing for the gym, where you tend to run into fellas wearing cut-off tees that are simply too small, or else gear that’s seen better days (that goes for beat-up sneakers to tees and beyond). If you’re just fine wearing your trusty tee to the gym, go for it. But if you want some new, fresh gear that looks clean and simple while performing like your a true piece of workout apparel, you’re in for a treat today. Plenty of your favorite menswear companies — as you’ll see below — are making simple, straightforward, functional apparel, shorts and footwear that stand up to the challenge of extra reps while looking pretty good (all things considered). The Bonobos GoodSport line is one such recent introduction to the category that’s drawn tons of praise, and you’ll get a look at other stylish men’s workout picks below. So, stick with us — there’s something to be said for applying those crucial style upgrades to every category of your life — from that slim casual watch to a¬†cool pair of casual sneakers and on into the gym.¬†Pack up your gym bag and get moving — it’s time to dress in style for the gym.

The Shirt: Bonobos GoodSport Core Short Sleeve Tee in Heather Navy — $68

A new introduction from a brand making its first foray into athletic gear -- stylish and easily wearable.

A new introduction from a brand making its first foray into athletic gear — stylish and easily wearable.

While there’ve been some concerns as to the price point at which Bonobos is selling its new GoodSport line — Lululemon offers up men’s tees for about $10 less — it’s worth noting that you’re getting that trademark fit and quality for which Bonobos¬†is known … just translated into workout gear. The Core Short Sleeve Tee is nothing fancy, with a simple heather navy color and reliable fit, plus a lack of ostentatious branding found on other workout gear (sans the small logo on the left sleeve). Try it out and let me know what you think, will ya? Note that if it’s chilly outside for your walk from the parking lot, you can add a minimal, clean zip hoodie (yes, those are acceptable in certain situations) and tailored sweats from Fourlaps — find out more on them below.

The Shorts: Fourlaps Advance Short –$49.50

A simple pair of shorts that's drawn acclaim from publications like Men's Fitness (as you can see in that photo).

A simple pair of shorts that’s drawn acclaim from publications like Men’s Fitness (as you can see in that photo).

Your gym shorts should be as simple, straightforward and reliable as your workout shirt — the Fourlaps Advance Short achieves that objective nicely. Your author had the chance to test out some of the brand’s gear during a summer trip to Florida, and if this pair of shorts performs like the brand’s Dash Tank, you should be more than set for a productive and good-looking workout session (yes, there’s such a thing). The black color will match easily with your existing gym gear, and it beats wearing bright neon shorts — right?

The Sneakers: Athletic Propulsion Labs TechLoom Pro Running Sneakers (Available via East Dane)

apl-sneakers

Although it’s important to wear gear on your top half that provides reliable performance, it’s all the more important when it comes to your sneakers. For an extra bit of bounce and some serious spring in your step, Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers are very, very tough to beat. We’re talking clean, minimal and futuristic looks and technology that’s ahead of the game (there’s a reason the brand’s basketball shoes were banned by the NBA). I had a chance to test out¬† a similar pair of the brand’s shoes on¬†a trip to Italy last summer, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Leon Active Performance Socks¬†—¬†$14

Neutral, sport-inspired and made with breathable fabric.

Neutral, sport-inspired and made with breathable fabric.

Just as with your workout tee and shorts, proper athletic socks that still look decent are easy to overlook. Richer Poorer is a big Style Guide favorite, normally known for its no-show socks and more colorful designs — yet they can do a pair of active-minded socks better than one would expect. They’re made with moisture-wicking fabric and a padded footbed, plus breathable ventilation points and some varsity-inspired stripes. That’s performance and style in one — although if you prefer low-cut athletic socks, you could always spring for a basic pack from Under Armour.

The Watch: Timex IRONMAN Classic 30 Watch — $42

Not exactly the most fashion-forward timepiece, but it gets the job done.

Not exactly the most fashion-forward timepiece, but it gets the job done.

Some guys might not want to — or feel like they have to — wear a watch when working out. But if that’s an accessory you need, it’s best to stick with a reliable, high-performing classic that gets the job done.¬†It might seem counterintuitive to splurge on a workout shirt and skimp on a watch, but that’s up to you.¬†If you want to keep it simple and stick with a watch you already own, you could always reach for a straightforward, durable rubber-strap watch like the Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray (a longtime Style Guide favorite) — you lose the functionality of a sports watch, but gain back a bit more style cred. However¬† — at the end of the day, most folks won’t be paying too much attention to your watch. Your reps on the squat rack, on the other hand…

The Gym Bag: United By Blue Trail Weekender — $97.98

A bit more refined than your average gym bag -- that makes it more versatile, though.

A bit more refined than your average gym bag — that makes it more versatile, though.

OK, so the United By Blue Trail Weekender isn’t exactly your classic gym bag, per se. But if finding stylish versatility in a great bag is your main goal, this¬†one can function as your gym bag and a regular weekender (in the same day, one would imagine). It’s made with a¬†water-repellent finish and features leather accents, so it’s certainly classier than¬†an gym bag adorned with athletic logos. It’s also built with a¬† padded laptop sleeve, so you can stow and go to and from work. If you want things a bit more segmented, look toward the Novel Duffle from Herschel Supply Co.

The biggest key to keep in mind when dressing for the gym is that it certainly comes down to personal preference — there aren’t any fashion police grading your gym garb (no, not even me), and I’d advise you to wear what’s going to get you to your personal goals. If that process involves upgrading your gym gear, we’ve got some great building blocks for you here — be it a better gym shirt, neutral and performance-ready shorts or tremendous Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers.¬† Some of the gear shown here¬†— like that United By Blue Trail Weekender— can be re-tooled for other adventures. And brands like Richer Poorer offer the comfort of a brand you trust, but with a handy performance-related edge. If you’ve got suggestions to upgrade or change this look, let me know on Twitter — or drop us a line in the comments below.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

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Style Suggestion: What to Wear For Labor Day Weekend

Editor’s note: Head this way for another Labor Day style suggestion.

It’s pretty wild to think that summer’s now in the rear view mirror — just about, that is. If you didn’t hit the road for Memorial Day weekend or the Fourth of July , perhaps now is the time for you to take that big summer trip. If it involves dressing to head to the beach, we’ve got you covered. And if it involves a multitude of activities — some travel, some play, some relaxation — hopefully, the below style suggestion has you covered. That goes for heading to your destination, kicking back during a barbeque and perhaps strolling around town. Of course, dressing for summer travel should be top of mind, too.¬†¬†And in the event it’s unbearably hot where you’re headed, no need to fear — some #menswear-centric¬†tips for dressing for the hot weather should set you right. Either way, it’s about meeting the occasion in style and keeping versatility, fit and function in mind. And if the pieces below can work for other style scenarios, that’s all the better. Let me know of your Labor Day plans — and get the discussion going — on Twitter or Facebook. Now as for me — I’ve got some weekend adventures to the up-and-coming coastal city of Asbury Park, N.J.,¬†coming up, and I’ll be taking my favorite style essentials with me. Keep up with everything on Instagram, while we’re at it. In the meantime, stay stylish!

The Shirt: Dockers Premium Wrinkle Slim-Fit Twill Shirt — $68

A unique texture and solid color make this shirt an easy pick-up.

A unique texture and solid color make this shirt an easy pick-up.

First of all — we’re going with a long-sleeved shirt here for a bit more versatility (yes, even in the heat). Let’s say you need to throw on a¬†casual cotton tie¬†at some point during the weekend¬†— this twill shirt has you covered. Dockers might seem like a unique choice as far as shirting given how popular the brand’s Alpha Khakis have been as of late. But this shirt has a unique texture, a color combo befitting of the last gasp of summer (not too bright, not too dark), and a slim fit. That makes it an easy pick — supplement it in your bag with a¬†slim pocket T-shirt and a light blue polo.

The Shorts: OLIVERS Capital Short —¬†$68

Available in a darker Navy or the colorway seen here, these shorts are flexible, functional and fashionable.

Available in a darker Navy or the colorway seen here, these shorts are flexible, functional and fashionable.

These shorts might look familiar to some readers — they were the subject of a recent Style Pick of the Week feature, and we’re keeping them around for their versatility, comfort and excellent fit.¬† In a heightened blue-grey color, they add a nice bit of contrast to the Dockers shirt shown above. For being made from a nylon blend, they have a flattering, tailored fit and all the touches one would expect from a pair of slim chino shorts. That means the side draft and rear welt pockets rid the silhouette of excess fabric, and the above-the-knee fit is essential in terms of both style & ease of movement. Still not sold? They’re comfortable as heck for all-day travel, as I found out during a recent trip to Las Vegas.¬†If they can handle that, they can handle anything. Oh, and don’t forget a comfortable belt built with quite a bit of stretch.

The Belt: Arcade Belt Co. Crawford Belt — $36

Easy to wear and easy to buy, thanks to an agreeable price.

Easy to wear and easy to buy, thanks to an agreeable price.

For situations where you’re moving around a lot, comfort is of the utmost importance. That’s absolutely the case with your belt — a leather belt, while appropriate here, could potentially be uncomfortable for running or lots of walking (or sitting, or standing). A belt that mimics that look and feel, yet does so while also incorporating a weather-resistant smartweave fabric, is the way to go. Yes, the Crawford Belt is your versatile answer to comfort and style — tough to find in a belt these days.

The Sneakers: Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon — $75

Part classic runner, part modern-day sneaker. Perfect for a weekend that calls for a bit of everything.

Part classic runner, part modern-day sneaker. Perfect for a weekend that calls for a bit of everything.

What’s one way to offset the somewhat standard combo of a button-down and shorts? A stellar pair of sneakers. When the team at JackThreads sets its mind to something, they usually do a pretty stellar job. That’s the case here with the Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon, another recent Style Pick of the Week feature that makes a reappearance here. In simple terms, these sneakers combine retro cool with a sharp, clean aesthetic. They’d be just as easily wearable with a pair of slim sand chinos as they would with the casual combination seen above. Plus, the price is stellar for a¬† name-brand collab, and the Navy colorway is pretty neat, too.

A sporty perlon strap and a refined dial design bridge the gap between casual and dressy.

A sporty perlon strap and a refined dial design bridge the gap between casual and dressy.

Did you think we forgot about a stylish casual watch here at The Style Guide? Not a chance. There are a lot of subtle touches in this particular Jack Mason timepiece that make it quite the purchase, from the black perlon strap to the elegant-yet-versatile face to the fact that the 42mm case diameter should work for a variety of wrist sizes. The Super Luminova markings are helpful for reading the watch when it’s dark out (by a bonfire that’s dying down, perhaps?). Plus, the 100-meter water resistance is useful for casual time spent in the waves or by the pool.

The Sunglasses: Sunski Madronas Sunglasses — $55

A solid pick-up that can stand up to the rigors of the weekend.

A solid pick-up that can stand up to the rigors of the weekend.

Finding the right pair of stylish sunglasses at the right price is an ordeal, sometimes. You want a versatile, classic frame shape, plus durability and an agreeable price — where to go? The Sunski Madronas is your answer to all those categories. A functional frame shape and a look that’s crisp-yet-casual make this pair of shades a¬†heck of a deal. And for under $60, they can get beat up a bit without too much worry. So if things turn competitive in that backyard football game, you’re all set.

The Weekender Bag: Huckberry Bradley Mountain Weekender Duffle — $179

A ruggedly handsome bag with the specs to back it up. Use this thing day after day, trip after trip.

A ruggedly handsome bag with the specs to back it up. Use this thing day after day, trip after trip.

So, you might’ve been reading this post and thinking to yourself: “Gee Beau, those picks are great and all, but… how the heck am I packing this stuff?” My friend, meet the Bradley Mountain Weekender Duffle. It’s a favorite of Huckberry readers — and a heck of a lot of other people — for its beastly specs and handsome looks. Your humble author is talking, of course, about the blend of Field Tan Martexin waxed canvas, solid copper rivets and organically processed oiled leather — not to mention, its made-in-America construction. All of those should definitely have you sold on the Bradley Mountain Duffle — if not, see me after class.

¬†All things considered, hopefully the above Labor Day style suggestion has you all covered for the weekend. It can be tough to pack a¬†bag full of gear for every possible situation — space is limited even in the best weekender bags, after all. But packing smart — there’s a secret weapon we can all keep in mind. In this case, pieces like a textured shirt that toes the line between formal and casual is a solid bet, as are shorts that combine performance, comfort and style into one. Sharp, eye-catching sneakers are a solid complement to a dressier pair of footwear (say, slim leather loafers?). And accessories like a versatile watch and a tough weekender bag never fail you — that’s why they’re worth investing in when buying. If you think I missed any picks, let me know at The Style Guide’s Facebook page, or drop your own suggestion in the comments below.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Style Pick of the Week: Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers

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.

Reebok JackThreads Sneakers

JackThreads updates a classic — with very pleasing results. Photo courtesy of JackThreads.

What’s a guy to do when he feels like he’s got the basics covered? We’re talking classic pieces you can rotate in and out, and wear every day. In the footwear game, that could mean everything from leather loafers for spring to classic white sneakers to durable fall boots. Every once in a while though, you get the itch to switch things up a bit — but not too much. That’s where a collaboration effort that’s at once classic and style-forward makes perfect sense. And that’s where today’s Style Pick comes from — the Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon is firing on all cylinders; believe me, these sneakers are certainly worth your time.¬† Although some aren’t into the retro style of these kicks, there’s no question that as far as trends go, this silhouette manages to be of-the-moment without going too far off the beaten path¬†(that’s why they’re a good pick to switch up your footwear¬†closet). The overall feel and look is sleek and well-composed. Both Reebok and JackThreads have teamed up admirably¬†on a stylish runner that blends premium pigskin suede with rich leather accents and a durable nylon upper — the combination is pleasing to the eye, and quite high-quality. And for just $75, you’re getting a heck of a sneaker.

Take your pick between White or Navy -- neither can go wrong. Photo courtesy of JackThreads.

Take your pick between White or Navy — neither can go wrong. Photo courtesy of JackThreads.

Either the White or Collegiate Navy option are going to take care of business for you — after checking out the White pair for just over a week now, they’re a winning pick in my book. In fact, they worked very well on a trip back to Michigan when paired with a slub polo and shorts,¬†yet¬†they also would’ve stylishly complemented some slim sand chinos I brought with me. And¬†that¬†attention to detail in design¬†& execution¬†extends to the small touches that make these kicks unique to JackThreads — we’re talking orange-tipped laces, an orange shoe lining and an orange outsole on the navy pair. Despite those pops of color, these shoes aren’t too ostentatious at all — the retro silhouette manages to feel streamlined and understated. Even when worn for long periods of time, these sneakers feel comfortable and bounce back nicely. If properly cared for with the right suede-cleaning tools and other spot touch-ups, they could reliably work in spring, summer and early fall. The versatility is such that you could try pairing them with, say dark khaki corduroys (almost sold out now, but sure to be restocked soon!) and a classic crewneck sweater when it gets¬†a bit chilly in early fall. And right now, you should definitely break them out with everything from slim chino shorts to light wash denim. The only doubts you should have are whether to buy these in White, Navy — or both.

Style Pick of the Week: GREATS Royale White Sneaker

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.

Classic, reliable, wearable with anything, and a bit dressier than the classic canvas sneaker.

Classic, reliable, wearable with anything, and a bit dressier than the classic canvas sneaker.

So, we’re back at it again on The Style Guide with a pair of classic white sneakers, just as we covered off a few weeks ago. But there’s something different about the GREATS Royale White Sneaker. What’s that, you ask? Well unlike the SeaVees Legend Sneaker (a highly versatile set of kicks in its own right), the GREATS Royale is just a bit more premium and¬†just a bit more fashion-forward, crafted from a premium Italian leather¬†that¬†makes it endlessly wearable all through summer. And if you follow this blog at all, you know I’m a sucker for great footwear (wink, wink) — that goes for everything from the¬†GREATS Wooster Slip-on to the brand’s¬†Navy Rosen Runner.¬†And in this instance, the GREATS Royale is yet another excellent example of why it’s so essential to have a stylish pair of summer sneakers (or two, or three, or five) in your wardrobe rotation. So that’s why, in a nutshell, we’re covering off on a great pair of white kicks. With the casual versatility that’s permeating the #menswear world today, white leather sneakers are a reliable stand-in across at least three seasons (yes, even in fall). But when the weather’s warm out, they’re a great go-to. They add a crisp finish to simple rolled denim and a short-sleeve henley, they bring an air of sporty cool to slim tan chinos and a classic polo , and they work very well with linen khaki shorts and a¬†striped tee (check out this Instagram post for an example of¬†one way¬†to style white sneakers). And that’s not even covering off on the ultimate way to style these guys…

GREATS starts with details like rich full-grain Italian leather, and builds silhouettes that are affordable and high-quality.

GREATS starts with details like rich full-grain Italian leather, and builds silhouettes that are affordable and high-quality.

That, my friends, would be with a more daring combo — think rocking these¬†guys with¬†a textured blue chambray suit and white OCBD, or alongside some light grey chinos and that same blue chambray jacket for a great mix of tailored style. And when you mix and match other separates — like swapping in a white polo over the suit’s blue chambray trousers — you get an even more summer-ready combo; it’s not often that¬†you find sneakers you can wear to brunch or the office, but these are¬†just the ticket. Crucially, you get all this versatility for just $159 from GREATS, and the brand (if you’re unfamiliar) brings its knowledge of craftsmanship and quality to the table from start to finish. We’re talking full-grain Italian leather and waxed cotton laces, for starters. And if the GREATS Royale is anything like its other sneakers, it should be ridiculously comfortable, fairly easy to clean and long-lasting. You can’t ask for much more than that, can you?

Do you own the GREATS Royale? How do you like ’em, and how would you wear them?

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

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Style Pick of the Week: Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Sneakers

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.

A great new sneaker release from a much anticipated spring collaboration.

A great new sneaker release from a much anticipated spring collaboration.

Perhaps it’s the recent influx of sunshine (however brief and chilly)¬†here in NYC, or maybe it’s a sudden flurry of new spring arrivals hitting many a Web site, but I’ve definitely been doing some seasonal “planning-ahead” as far as #menswear goes. Do you find yourself in the same boat? With that being said, the forecast still calls for more chilly weather. Even still, the latest iteration of the ongoing Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers collaboration is absolutely a winner, and it takes the cake as this week’s Style Pick of the Week —¬† particularly the Nubuck Rambler Low as seen here. A great pair of crisp, clean and classically inspired white sneakers is a style essential nearly all year-round — even into the chillier days of fall. And although the Nubuck Rambler Low is a spring release, it’s a pair of sneakers you could match up with all kinds of outfits through the spring, summer and on into Labor Day. They incorporate all the elements you’d expect in a great pair of white sneakers, with a few added touches.

A slim toe shape and the captoe detailing make these suitably dressy for pairing with a blazer this spring.

A slim toe shape and the captoe detailing make these suitably dressy for pairing with a blazer this spring.

For one, the contrasting gum sole is a welcome¬†design elements¬†that’s popped up on lots of sneakers as of late. The captoe detailing and open-lace stitching are also¬†nice¬†touches that make these the ideal dressy or casual sneaker. They’d be the perfect pairing with some olive chinos and a navy polo when it gets warm out, and they’d even work now with slim dark denim and a navy bomber for a welcome shot of contrasting color. Plus,¬†these¬†guys would go great¬†with an unconstructed blazer and lightwash jeans for a great¬†Casual Friday look (the Perforated Rambler High would also work in this regard, but spring seems better suited for low-tops anyways).¬†The Todd Snyder logo at the nylon heel tab is a cool touch that lets you know the type of designer quality you’re getting, as well. On that note, for a name brand collaboration like this, the price isn’t terrible, particularly when you consider that you can rock ’em more like dress shoes than sneakers.¬†And the construction should definitely be solid — P.F. Flyers has decades of experience doing that.¬† It’s also part of a welcome series of collabs the lauded American designer has launched in recent years — look for some great new footwear on the dressier side of things from Todd Snyder’s partnership with Cole Haan later this spring. For now though, it’s sneaker time. Sadly, warm weather is likely a ways off for most of us. But hey, a guy can dream of spring, and these sneakers, and a spring style wish list … right?

Until Monday,

-Beau

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Style Upgrade: Sharp Sneakers

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

There's still a good amount of time for short sleeves -- and a great pair of sneakers. Short-sleeve shirt by H&M. Slim chinos by Frank & Oak. Navy suede sneakers by GREATS Brand.

There’s still a good amount of time for short sleeves — and a great pair of sneakers. Short-sleeve shirt by H&M. Slim chinos by Frank & Oak. Navy suede sneakers by GREATS Brand.

Before you double-check your calendar, we’re definitely diving into sneakers right now on The Style Guide — even as it gets closer to October and boot season. Lest you think that means it’s time to shelve your sneakers, it’s far from it — there are plenty of ways sneakers can be styled sharply (particularly if they’re crafted from nice leather or sturdy canvas — like the pairs you’ll read about below). It seems so many brands are making sneakers now, it’s tough to keep track — from venerable institutions like Rancourt & Co. to newer, digital-focused upstarts like Gustin (more on both of those brands in a bit). That’s precisely why sneakers are such a great style upgrade. When premium brands make sneakers fit for wearing with everything from chinos to dark denim, it’s worth taking notice. My friend Madhav of Wardrobe Domination covered¬†great men’s sneakers¬†in detail earlier this year, so if you’ve need some shopping suggestions, that post is also worth a look.

Switching out your sneakers doesn't have to mean reaching for something flashy -- a classic pair of white captoes (like the GREATS Wilson) can do the trick. Short-sleeve buttondown by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Switching out your sneakers doesn’t have to mean reaching for something flashy — a classic pair of white captoes (like the GREATS Wilson) can do the trick. Short-sleeve buttondown by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Switching out some tired running sneakers is just one step on the path to better style, and it requires small changes, bit by bit. It doesn’t have to require a lot of money, though. And maybe you’re¬†just looking for a different pair of kicks.¬†That’s why it never hurts to reach for a fail-safe classic in a low-key color if you’re switching out your kicks — that fail-safe classic is, in this case, a revamped style. Yes, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II ¬†release¬†was much-hyped earlier this summer, and with good reason — it’s a functional update to a style that looks right with all kinds of casual (and even business-casual outfits). Other newer brands are also taking on the captoe sneaker silhouette¬†and competing admirably — GREATS and its Wilson sneaker¬†certainly come to mind. And as the weather ramps up for most of us, a trusty leather high-top sneaker can provide nearly as much durability (in some climates) as a leather boot — take, for instance, the Royale High from GREATS as detailed in this site’s recent Fall Style Wish List post.

Two different takes on a sneaker, both sold by J. Crew.

Two different takes on a sneaker, both sold by J. Crew.

Among other high-top sneaker offerings, the Canvas SK8-Hi from Vans is a classic style that many seem to love — that side stripe sets things off just visually enough, too. With so many sneaker options out there, sometimes it’s nice just to have everything in one spot — take J. Crew, for example. The much-maligned retailer really does offer a ridiculous amount of sneaker options , from the decidedly sportier Nike Killshot (still a worthy upgrade from running shoes) to high-top suede sneakers with minimal details crafted in Africa (as seen above). The pair on the right would look particularly killer with some dark denim and a charcoal blazer. And that’s the beauty of a great pair of sneakers — they can be worn just as you would a fine pair of stylish dress shoes if you nail the fit and proportion of the rest of the outfit.

A look at a low-top sneaker that Gustin produced earlier this year. Many of the brand's current high-top options are funding quickly.

A look at a low-top sneaker that Gustin produced earlier this year. Many of the brand’s current high-top options are funding quickly.

If you still find yourself in the market for a more basic, beater-type pair (say, if you happen to live in a warmer-weather area), the SeaVees Army Issue Low should offer what you’re looking for. On that note, places like Urban Outfitters sell standard-yet-sharp styles like low-cut, gum-sole Vans for under $60. But, if you’re in need of a truly durable and higher-cut sneaker, Gustin is definitely worth a look — the brand is pre-funding opportunities for pairs of its Italian-made sneakers (like these stellar Blue Gum Sole High Top Sneakers), although the majority of those styles won’t ship until next year (bummer!).¬†But if it’s a quicker purchasing turnaround you’re in the market for, keep an eye on Frank & Oak and the brand’s monthly collections — its most recent¬†September offering¬†included a full lineup of excellent-looking leather sneakers.
Ernest Alexander
Not to be outdone by classic brands, even luxury companies are getting in on the sneaker game — it’s safe to say the Tom Ford Orford Sneaker¬†is just one of any number of options outside the typical Style Guide budget. Of course, no mention of sneakers in this day and age is complete without paying homage (or at least linking to?) the style that begat a thousand copycats — the Common Projects Achilles Low.¬† It’s expensive, it’s minimal and it’s one pair that really deserves exceptional care.

Upgrading or switching out your sneakers doesn’t have to be ludicrously expensive or painful though — the key is finding a style that fits your lifestyle, ideally one that can be dressed up or down (that’s where sharp leather sneakers from brands like GREATS or Frank & Oak come in). And sneakers can complement other style upgrades, too — there are few places where slim denim¬†and a nice pair of sneakers can’t go.

What’s your go-to pair of sneakers? And how would you style an upgraded pair of nice kicks? Let me know!

Want more style musings throughout the day (who doesn’t??). Follow me on Twitter @BoKnowsClothes.

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