3 Loafers Every Man Should Own

When you’re talking about versatile, stylish footwear, there are few styles I like better than loafers. I love that they can be dressed up or dressed down, and work for pretty much every season. There are many varieties out there these days, from simple to complicated, but I’d like to focus on three primary types that deserve a place in your closet, plus a few that maybe don’t.  Get ready, it’s loafer season for a reason.

 

Penny Loafers

A classic style that has stood the test of time, penny loafers are perhaps my favorite out of all the loafers. I love how versatile penny loafers are, they can be dressed up with a suit or dressed down with everything from jeans and a buttondown to chinos and a polo shirt. Brown and black are the two ideal colors here. For a secondary choice, a classic burgundy or oxblood color is an excellent option.

My Picks

Designer:

Prada

Ferragamo

Budget -Friendly:

Johnston & Murphy

Bass Weejun

Driving Moccasins

Originally designed for, you guessed it, driving, I love this style because they’re super comfortable and work well in a variety of casual situations.  They come in a few variations but I prefer the versions with a nubbed rubber sole or a full rubber sole for the look and comfort. For colors, the basics like brown and tan are great of course, but I also recommend versions in grey or navy for a pop of color.

My Picks

Designer:

Tods

Budget-Friendly:

Zappos

Boat Shoes

Another shoe that evolved from function – the no-slip rubber sole and lightweight design worked well on boats – boat shoes have become a classic warm-weather staple. I like them best with chinos and shorts for a relaxed alternative to sneakers. On the color front, go with blue, brown and grey for maximum wearability.

My Picks

Sperry Top-Sider

Alternative Loafer Styles

There are a few other loafer styles out there but I don’t generally recommend them because they can lean too specific in their look and style.

Tassel Loafers

This dandy look is popular with a lot of style bloggers out there, and while I don’t hate them, I just don’t think they’re ideal for most men from a style standpoint. Just like your clothes, your shoes should be streamlined, and while the tassels can give them somewhat of a “distinguished” look, I find them to be distracting, like an untucked pair of shoelaces.

Horsebit Loafers

Another type with a dandyish vibe that has become popular again (you may know them as Gucci’s iconic loafer), I am not a fan of them at all. They immediately age you up (and not in a good way), and I always expect a lawyer or Wall Street guy who is trying way, way too hard to wear these.

Venetian Loafers or Smoking Loafers

Both of these have a similar, streamlined shape and a formal look. Venetian loafers are unadorned and usually in leather while smoking loafers are typically velvet and have embroidery or embellishments on top of the shoe. I always view these as super formal, and that’s why I really only recommend wearing the patent leather or velvet versions with a tuxedo if you want to add some flair. I don’t recommend more casual versions in regular leather because it’s a style that’s quite outdated and doesn’t have the versatility I like. 

My Picks

Christian Louboutin

Vince Camuto

So no matter what you’re wearing, casual or formal, get out there and wear some loafers this season, your feet (and style) will thank you.

Sneakers Every Man Should Own

I talk a lot about what a crucial part of your wardrobe sneakers are and they definitely shouldn’t be an afterthought.  There are many great ones out there, but not all sneakers are created equal. Having a selection of classic, versatile styles will definitely take your casual wardrobe to the next level.  With that, here are my picks for the sneakers that every man should own!

 

Canvas Sneakers

PF Flyers 

These were also my top pick this year for shoes you need to own in 2018, and for good reason, they’re cheap, breathable, comfortable and have a unique take on the classic canvas sneaker.

Vans Classic or Converse All Star

If the PF Flyers aren’t up your alley or you want something other than white, consider one of these super classic, never-go-wrong sneakers. They’re cheap and look awesome with pretty much everything. I love them in white, navy, gray or even black.

Leather Sneakers

Stan Smith or Common Projects Achilles

I’ve talked about white leather sneakers a ton; I love how they’re clean, classic and add a little extra polish to a casual outfit. If you’re not a fan of white, definitely get the gray or blue versions of these.

Running Shoes

New Balance Retro Sneaker

Like I mentioned in my top shoe video, these New Balance retro running sneaker are affordable, look great, and are very comfortable. I love the woven upper, as it makes them extra breathable and very comfortable-just like wearing socks.

Adidas P.O.D. S3.1 or Ultra Boosts

Ultra boost soles are like walking on marshmallows, they’re the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever worn. Plus these are cool and unique without being crazy loud like other running shoes can be. If you want something less flashy, the classic Ultra Boosts are the way to go.

High Top Sneakers

Converse All-Stars

I like the all-white over all-black because the all black is really heavy-looking on your feet. If you want black, I’d actually suggest getting a version by John Varvatos, they’re a well-designed take on the classic Converse-style high top.

Nike SF Air Force 1

For those of you who really like a sporty high top sneaker, here’s one of my favorites that I’ve styled on a couple of my clients. I like the black and white colorway of these but the all-white ones look great too. I love the clean silhouette and the dual zippers at the heel make these shoes super easy to get on and off.

So those are my top picks for sneakers every man should own, hopefully you’ve got a few of them lined up in your closet!

Best Travel Accessories

Obviously, we all know traveling can be super hectic; between the crazy lines, delayed flights, and packed planes, there’s a reason there’s a bar right by almost every gate.  Outside of finding the right travel bag, being prepared with the right accessories can make your trip smooth and easy.  Both Dorian and I travel a lot for work so we’ve learned a thing or two about what to bring on trips, and we decided to put together a foolproof list that’s suitable for nearly any journey.  Plus, almost all of these items can be found on Amazon so it will make your pre-trip shopping as easy as a few clicks.

 

Here’s our go-to list of travel accessories:

Portable steamer

You never know what the iron situation will be where you’re going and a portable steamer is small, light, easy to pack, and super effective.

Small lint roller

A must-have for keeping dark clothing and suits/blazers looking their best, we love this version because it has an easy-to-use covered design.

Jack Spade dopp kit

In addition to having the right bag, a proper dopp kit is going to keep all your toiletries organized and in good order.  We also like this budget-friendly version from Herschel.

Wireless Bose or Sony Bluetooth headphones

Wireless headphones with noise canceling are ideal for plane trips and will keep your tunes or podcasts sounding crisp and clear.  They also keep you feeling much more refreshed and alert by drowning out the excessive plane noise. We also like this budget-friendly version from Cowin.

Eye mask for sleeping

A necessity if you plan on surviving that redeye, they block out all the light so you can get deeper, more restful sleep. We find that the versions that don’t sit right on your eyes (like the ones linked above) are much, much more comfortable and effective.

Cabeau memory foam neck pillow

Speaking of surviving a red eye, a good neck pillow is a must. Memory foam is the best because it packs up super small and is very comfortable. Plus, this one from Cabeau is Tim Ferris approved!

Portable battery from Belkin or Anker

Never miss another ‘Gram opportunity because of a dead phone again. These small, portable batteries will keep you charged up and ready to go.

The Bagel power strip

If you travel internationally you know the hassles of different wall plug adapters. The Bagel is very small and works worldwide to keeps all your devices charged up.

ExOfficio boxer briefs

These outstanding briefs are super durable and quick-drying so you’ll be cool and comfortable all trip. We’re big fans of ExOfficio and have featured them before.

Tech Dopp Kit from This Is Ground

Just like you keep your toiletries organized, having a handy case will keep your cords, chargers, and devices squared away and easy-to-find. We also love the Bandito from This is Ground and the Grid-it from Cocoon.

The Cord Taco from This is Ground

If you’re traveling light, sometimes a small cord organizer is all you need.

So now that you’re properly prepared for a smooth trip all that’s left is to grab some snacks and a drink at the bar, have a safe flight!

Top Men’s Accessories Under $100

Accessories may seem like a small thing but they’re one of my favorite ways to mix up your look and add some extra personality in a very affordable way. Whether you’re adding a new tie to your rotation, trying out a new watch or piece of jewelry, or bringing in something more utilitarian like a key holder, these extra touches to your personal style will go a long way.

With that in mind, here are my favorite men’s accessories under $100!

Tie Bar – The Tie Bar

A tie bar is great because it’s both utilitarian and stylish. It’s a small touch but you can mix and match with different colors, finishes, and styles to add just a bit of personality to your tie game.

 

Knit Tie – The Tie Bar

Speaking of ties, I love the texture and look of a knit tie because it’s just a bit different from the norm.  Plus, because of look and design, knit ties crossover to more casual looks very easily, so try pairing them with a blazer and denim or an oxford and chinos.

Silver Cuff – Topman

A silver cuff is a great place to start with men’s jewelry because it’s simple and not too over-the-top. Just make sure you keep it low key and only wear one piece of jewelry at a time. 

 

Brown Frame Sunglasses – Warby Parker

I love the colored clear-framed sunglass styles that are happening right now.  They’re definitely different enough to add something new to your look but not so bold as to be distracting. Don’t forget to check out my guide to finding the right frame for your face shape!

 

Blue Frame Sunglasses – Warby Parker

As I mentioned above, clear-framed sunglasses are my favorite type of eyewear right now.  Stick with a classic frame shape and you’ll hit just the right balance of modern and timeless.

 

Key Holder – Bellroy

Since I’m sure some of you have that bulky, disorganized key ring, I recommend this key holder as a simple, smart way to keep your keys organized in a stylish way.

 

Wallet – Bellroy

Just like the key holder above, Bellroy has a knack for making stylish leather goods that are the perfect mix of minimal design and high-quality materials. Their Low Down wallet is a great pared-down choice.

 

Slim Phone Case – Elago

Finding a phone case that’s both classy and protective is tough but Elago really nails it.  They’re remarkably slim and minimal but still offer a great fit and protection, no matter what type of phone you have.

 

Watch – Timex Weekender

Despite its name, the Times Weekender is the perfect budget-friendly watch for any day of the week.  In addition to being both high-quality and very affordable, it’s classic design works well with any wardrobe choice, casual or dressy.

 

Watch Straps – Suede, Perlon, Leather, and NATO-Style

Now that you’ve got a great watch you can further mix up your look by swapping out different watch straps. Add a leather or suede one for a polished look or try nylon and perlon for something more sporty.  Buy a few and switch them up depending on your mood, it’s easy and fun.

Backpack – KNOMO London Holborn Southampton Backpack

Finding a good backpack isn’t easy, and finding an affordable one is even tougher. That’s why I love this one from Knomo so much, it’s versatile and stylish without being too bulky, something that’s really tough to find at such a great price point.

The Best Men’s White Sneakers For Every Budget

As you probably know by now, I’m a huge fan of a classic white sneaker, they’re just one of those essential items that every well-dressed man should have and wear regularly.  They’re the anchor of a solid casual wardrobe, especially during the Spring and Summer months. As I mentioned in a recent video, white sneakers aren’t one of those items that have any kind of age restriction and everyone can wear them, it just comes down to styling them correctly, with age-appropriate pieces.  Plus, the great thing is, no matter your budget, there’s a white sneaker out there for you.

The Budget-Conscious

Converse All Star – $40

Talk about classics, these guys have remained nearly unchanged since they were first introduced in the 1920’s, and for good reason, they’re simple, affordable, and versatile.  You can knock around in them all spring and summer (a BBQ, the bar, the beach, wherever) and not have to worry about wrecking something expensive.

Wear Them With

Since they’re made from canvas and are the most casual, wear them with just about everything from shorts and a t-shirt to your favorite pair of denim or chinos.

The Mid-Range

Adidas Stan Smith – $75

Also a classic athletic style from back in the day (tennis, this time around), Stan Smiths take it up a notch since they’re made from smooth leather.

Wear Them With

Obviously, they’ll work with all your casual stuff like shorts, t-shirts, and denim, but since they’re made from leather, don’t be afraid to dress them up a bit with dark denim and a polo or long sleeve button down shirt.

The High End

On the high-end/designer side, you’ll have more diverse choices. These are some of my favorites:

Common Projects Achilles – $400

Sure, $400 may seem like a lot for a pair of sneakers, but these are worth it, I promise.  Invest in them like you would your dress shoes because they’re crafted in Italy from incredibly high-quality Napa leather and are very durable.  In short, they’re well worth the price.

Saint Laurent Court Classic Sneakers – $495

If you’re looking for a stylish hybrid of Stan Smiths and Common Projects, look no further.  They also come in a bolder version if you’re looking for a little extra pop of color.

Valentino Flycrew Leather Sneaker – $695

Now, if you’re a little more adventurous and want to go with something truly unique, you definitely can’t go wrong with go with the Flycrew sneakers by one of my favorite Italian brands, Valentino.

Christian Louboutin Rantulow Leather Sneakers – $850

Ready to stand out? For the crème de la crème, and something you really won’t see on anyone else anyone else, grab these. I use them a lot with clients and they’re absolutely fantastic.

Wear Them With

These super-clean design all work really well with dark denim, t-shirts, and button downs, but the higher-end designs and nice leather are also elevated enough to wear with a dressed-down suit or blazer if you want to try a more fashion-forward look.

Now that you’ve got your white sneakers ready to go, don’t forget to keep ‘em clean! Here’s a quick video on how to do it right, it’s simple, quick and effective!

Fall and Winter Boots & Shoes 2017

In this article and video, I wanted to show you some of my favorite boots and shoes for this Fall & Winter. If you missed my big men’s Fall & Winter Essentials series, you should definitely check that out first, since this is more of a supplement to that instead of the other way around.

Suede Boots

Although you can certainly go with leather boots, I am a huge fan of these suede ones by Allen Edmonds. Everything from the superior construction, to the neutral taupe grey color, which I’ll often use in place of black or brown, easily makes this boot a winner in my eyes.

$350 – Allen Edmonds taupe suede boots
$620 – AllSaints bomber jacket
$24 – J.Crew t-shirt
$118 – Banana Republic slim-fit jeans

Alternate Suede Boots

$285 – AllSaints suede boot

Suede Chukka/Desert Boots

Another favorite of mine are these suede chukkas (aka desert boots) which lend a very Autumn feel to any outfit. Again, just like with the boots I mentioned before, you can certainly go with regular leather Chukka boots, as well. But I love these, specifically because they have a slim profile and a comfortable crepe sole which will feel like you’re wearing sneakers. Pair them with jeans or chinos for a put-together casual look.

$295 – Allen Edmonds chukka boots
$230 – Allsaints denim jacket – One of my favorite denim jackets currently available. I love the lighter wash and distressed touches and the slim fit is incredibly flattering, which is really hard to find in denim jackets.
$20 – Topman striped t-shirt
$68 – J.Crew slim-fit stretch chino pant in green and brown (click here for their straight leg chinos) – I’m shocked at how spot on the fits and materials are.
$128 – Brooks Brothers suede belt in brown
$318 – John Varvatos sunglasses
$10 – Perlon Watch Strap

Alternate Chukka Boots

$168 – Banana Republic suede chukkas

Double Monk Strap Dress Shoes

Dress them up with a suit of down with jeans and a blazer. Double monk straps are timeless and will forever be a Fall (and Spring!) favorite of mine.

$120 – Johnston & Murphy double monk straps
$62 – J.Crew merino wool cardigan (currently on sale for 30% off)
$49 – Brooks Brothers navy plaid shirt
$358 – Brooks Brothers green sportcoat
$168 – Diesel slim fit jeans

Alternate Double Monk Straps

$150 – Aldo double monk straps

Grey Sneakers

Outside of white sneakers, grey is a Fall favorite of mine because it’s another neutral color that compliments the darker, more jewel-toned colors you’ll be wearing this season. You can go with suede, leather, or a fabric material, but just make sure to keep the design simple like these ones.

$215 – AllSaints Low Top Sneakers
$80 – J.Crew cardigan bomber (currently on sale for 30% off)
$24 – J.Crew white t-shirt
$118 – Banana Republic slim fit jeans

Alternate Sneakers

$80 – Converse Jack Purcell suede sneakers (or fabric option here) – I also like these suede sneakers as well.

Men’s Fall & Winter Accessories 2017

In this article and video, I wanted to show and discuss some of my favorite accessories for the Fall & Winter Seasons. Also, please be sure to not miss out on my whole series dedicated to the best men’s Fall & Winter Essentials.

 

Watch Straps

Fall and winter is a great time of year to change out the straps of your watches for more appropriate colors for the season. As for materials, I don’t have a preference, but leather, perlon and suede are some of my favorites. The best colors for this time are always going to be:

  • Browns
  • Oranges
  • Burgundy
  • Taupe/Gray/Green

The pictured straps, as well as many others types and styles are available at my favorite site for reasonably-priced straps: CheapestNatoStraps.com

I talked to the owner, Sofie, and she was kind enough to offer you an additional 10% off your purchase if you use offer code: AshleyWeston

Suede Belts

Since you’ll be wearing heavier fabrics during this time of year, it’s time to bring out the suede belts to add a more visual texture to your outfits to compliment them. I prefer a dark brown or gray color this time of year and the below options have these choices available.

$128 – Brooks Brother Suede Belt – the best color for the time of year.
$80 – Torino Suede Belts (Various colors – I like espresso & navy)
$25 – H&M Suede Belt

Wool Ties & Pocket Squares

Wool ties and wool knit ties and pocket squares compliment the textures you’ll be wearing this season. For how to wear them, watch the video at the top. Just know that you’ll never go wrong with the rule: Whatever item has a pattern (tie or pocket square), make sure the other item isn’t patterned. So if you’re wearing a patterned tie, wear a plain pocket square with a similar colored tipping.

The colors I love this time of year are:

  • Browns
  • Oranges
  • Burgundy
  • Grays
  • Greens

 

I’ve talked at length about my favorite pocket squares and how to wear them, so see my wool ties & pocket squares video/article for details.

Wool Knit Caps

They’re great this time of year to keep your head warm and they can look good  but remain functional when paired with some of your  casual jackets or even heavier Winter jackets.

Gray, Blue and Black caps are my favorite colors because they go with everything, but you can certainly mix it up with other colors, if you prefer. There’s one caveat when wearing them, though.

$90 – A.P.C. Wool Knit Cap – Multiple Colors
$10 – H&M Rib-Knit Cap

Leather Gloves

Leather looks great this time of year and help elevate your appearance by adding a sophisticated touch, while keeping your hands warm. Black or brown are easiest to wear, so I say just get one or both of those colors.

$30 to $40 – H&M Leather Gloves
$100 to $600 – Various Quality Brands @ Mr. Porter

Scarves

Keeping your neck warm should be a priority, but why not have your scarf also look good? As far as colors and patterns are concerned, I honestly view them like men’s socks, where you can definitely go crazy with them, so if you think a plain color is boring, go with some patterns. Generally, you want to go with the same general color palette of the season – so blue, gray, black, brown, orange, burgundy and green all look great this time of year.

As for materials, I don’t think it matters much, it just depends on what you prefer. I love a good wool or cashmere scarf, but a cotton one is also good, depending on how thick and warm you want yours to be. But, there may be a reason to avoid certain materials or colors.

I’ve discussed how to tie men’s scarves at length so check that out, too.

$10 to $100 – H&M Scarves – they make some of my favorite budget friendly scarves.
$15 to $50 – Uniqlo Scarves – also great budget-friendly options.
$50 to $500 – Mr. Porter has a great selection of many high quality scarves.

Top 4 Sneakers For 2017

I want to talk about the Top 4 sneakers for 2017. These are 4 sneakers I highly recommend if you’re looking to put together an intentional sneaker collection that’ll cover you for some of the different aspects of your life. For example, working out, traveling, or just needing an everyday, lifestyle sneaker.

4. Nike Flyknit Racer

This is a great athletic sneaker because it weighs practically nothing and the woven upper makes it very breathable. Also, these are a great lifestyle sneaker that you can wear with your casual clothes because the design is so minimal and it has a very sleek silhouette.

Flyknit Racer Ashley Weston

$150 – Nike Flyknit Racer (in Black/White or Black/Anthracite/Black)

3. Converse All Star & Jack Purcell

These are classics and super easy to wear year-round. Leather or canvas options are great – and always default to low-tops because they’re easier to wear than high-tops.

Converse All Star and Jack Purcell Ashley Weston

$80 – Converse Jack Purcell Tumbled Leather Low Top (in white and black)
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Low Top (in white, navy, and black)
$65 – Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Low Top (in white and black)
$50 – Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top (in white, navy, and black)

2. Adidas UltraBoost

I love the minimal design of the UltraBoost. The knit upper makes it very breathable too. You can treat these as your everyday sneakers or make them your running/workout shoes because they’re super comfortable.

Adidas Ultra Boost Ashley Weston

$180 – Adidas UltraBoost

1. Adidas Stan Smith

This one will be on my list every year until something better can replace it.

These are a great lifestyle, everyday tennis shoe. Also, they’re not expensive and relatively easy to keep clean if you give them a wipe down every week or two and don’t go hiking in them. Remember, women look at your shoes for an indication of what type of man you are. Clean white shoes = this dude’s got his shit together.

Adidas Stan Smiths Ashley Weston

$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Shoes (with either the green or navy logo)

 

Notably absent in my list are basketball sneakers because those are for a very specific group of men out there who either play basketball or are crazy sneakerheads. Some guys can pull them off really well, while others end up looking immature and silly in them.