Best Men’s Denim | Jeans Under $100

Denim is the absolute foundation of your pants rotation and the importance of stylish, well-fitting denim can’t be overstated.  It’s so important, in fact, that we’ve covered it multiple times before, in our Dark Wash Jeans Essentials piece and in our Jeans Fit Guide.  So, before you go any further, make sure you check those out, the basics we cover in those articles are critical in knowing what to look for in your denim.

These days jeans come in a huge range of price points and while many people can get snobby about their jeans, we believe that great denim doesn’t have to be expensive.  The picks we have below offer you everything you need at an affordable price. One thing to remember, when it comes to denim colors focus on dark washes first, so dark indigo and black, and then grey and medium blue.

DSTLD – $80-$85

DSTLD offers great fit and quality for the money. They have great black and grey options and we also love their dark indigo wash, it’s a nice rich color and the subtle grey stitching blends in.

DSTLD Skinny Slim Fit

DSTLD Straight Fit

 

Banana Republic – $98

Banana Republic offers a range of fits and styles but we really their basic version the most.  At just under $100 the quality is great and there are fits for every body type.  Just a solid, all-around classic pair of denim.

Banana Republic Slim Fit

 

Uniqlo – $49.90

We’ve always been big fans of Uniqlo’s budget-friendly style.  They always do clean and versatile very well and like their awesome chinos, their jeans are no exception.  They’ve got two great fits, and we love the black jeans they have in stores and online right now.

Uniqlo Slim Fit

Uniqlo Straight Fit

 

Levis $50-$60

You can’ talk great denim without talking about Levis, they still make awesome jeans. We recommend the 511 Slim Fit and the 514 Straight Fit as the two to look for. (The 513 slim straight is also a nice in-between option too.) Stick to the dark and medium wash indigo or their black and grey options. At around $50-$60 these are classic and affordable, you can’t go wrong.

Levis 511 Slim Fit

Levis 511 Grey

Levis 514 Straight Fit

Levis 514 Grey

513 Slim Straight Fit

Men’s Fall Style Essentials For 2019

Fall and cooler weather will be here before you know it and it’s time to start thinking about transitioning your wardrobe.
A key thing to think about with your fall wardrobe is changing temperatures, you want items that layer easily or can be versatile enough for varying temps. Like with the rest of the items in your Essential Wardrobe you want pieces that will have you looking sharp no matter your height, body shape, or age.

One quick note, while I love them, you’re not going to see henleys on this list because there are only a select few men that actually look good in them. We did an in-depth article on henleys previously and you can check out why I feel so strongly that only certain men can wear them.

Now, onto our picks for the Men’s Fall Style Essentials you need right now!

 

Denim Jacket

Classic, stylish and easy to layer, a denim jacket is a great pick for fall. Make sure the fit isn’t boxy – you want a slim fit. Also, we recommend a medium to light wash as they pair easily w your dark wash denim and with other go-to fall pants like chinos and corduroys.

Picks:

Uniqlo

AllSaints

Levis

Everlane

 

Crewneck sweater or sweatshirt

I love these because of their casual vibe and versatility, they can function as an outerwear piece over a tee or be layered underneath something else (like that denim jacket we just mentioned) when it gets colder. Stick with solid colors like light grey, charcoal, black, dark green, and burgundy.  You can go with cotton options or look for lightweight merino wool versions.

Picks:

H&M

J.Crew

Brooks Brothers

Todd Snyder

 

Suede or wool bomber jacket

Yes, our love of bomber jackets is well documented, and for good reason, they look great on everyone. The softer, more textured material or wool or suede complements the Fall season.

Picks:

Officine Generale

APC

H&M

Brooks Brothers

 

Casual Collared Shirt

We love a solid flannel or a check pattern and you definitely should have one or two of these in your closet to mix in with your wardrobe. These are great on their own or layered underneath a sweater or jacket or both if it’s chilly. Don’t forget: the length of the shirt should hit around mid-crotch/mid zipper. This allows you to wear untucked for a casual look or tucked in for a more polished look.

Some of our absolute favorite collared shirts come from The Tie Bar and they just launched a new line of fall casual shirts and, just like all their other shirts – they’re fantastic! They fit true to size, come in various sizes for all body types and are very high-quality relative to the price. Dorian has, over the last year or so, completely replaced his collared shirts with ones by the Tie Bar.

Picks:

The Tie Bar Casual Shirts

 

Chinos or corduroy pants

Both are classic go-tos for the Fall season. The darker autumn colors: dark green, darker brown, burgundy are perfect for this time of year and the thicker material makes them extra warm.

Picks:

Uniqlo

J.Crew

Rag & Bone

Our Favorite Budget-Friendly Chinos

 

Suede or leather Boots

Fall is the perfect time for suede footwear and to break out your boots. Chukka, desert, or work boots in light or dark brown suede are super versatile with denim or chinos.

Picks:

AllSaints

Allen Edmonds #1

Allen Edmonds #2

Johnston Murphy

How Much Should You Spend On Clothes?

As we always discuss, the right mix of items in your Essential Wardrobe is key in giving you the foundation to dress stylishly no matter what the occasion or your age range.  The great news is, it doesn’t matter what your budget is, you can build a stylish wardrobe no matter much you have to spend. 

Yeah, we know, many people often complain that you “need a lot of money to dress well” but that’s just not true.  It does take some proper strategy to know where and how to spend your hard-earned money though, and that’s where we come in. Figuring out where to save and splurge on items is a question we get asked all the time so in this edition of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re giving you our advice on how much money you should spend on clothes!

 

How Much Of Your Budget Should You Spend On Clothes?

Good news, this is simple: it doesn’t matter! Figure out what you’re comfortable with, no matter how much you have, and stick to that.  There are stylish options for everyone and every budget.

 

What To Invest In?

Both of us agree that dress shoes / boots and outerwear (jackets, peacoats, bombers) are the two places that it’s worth it to invest in.  Quality items in these categories will give you many years of wear and style.  Ashley also believes that if you dress up every day, or very frequently, it makes sense to invest in quality suits and blazers.

 

What To Go Cheap On?

Outside of the previously mentioned items, both of us agree that you can go much more budget-friendly on t-shirts, jeans, chino pants, and button-ups.  These items are easily replaced at any price point and will look sharp no matter how much you spend, provided you’re shopping smartly.

Back To School Style Mistakes Men Make

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some style tips to help you look your best this Fall. We see a lot of these common mistakes young guys make by either trying too hard or not trying enough. You want to find a balance between effort and casual dress, all while staying comfortable.

The good news is a little birt of effort in the style department goes a long way, so all of these back to school style mistakes are easily avoidable.

 

Socks and Slides

There’s no excuse ever. Pick up some Vans slip-ons, they’re just as comfortable and low-maintenance, plus they’re much more stylish.

Slip-On Picks:

Vans

SeeVees

Sperry

 

Too many logo tees

Leave that for all the annoying kids who are decked out in their logo tee, pants, and socks. They look ridiculous, don’t join them. Stick with the basics and go with something from H&M and Uniqlo, they make our favorite t-shirts that Ashley uses all the time with clients.

 

Not Putting In Any Effort

Your wardrobe doesn’t have to be fancy but you should care about what you’re wearing.  That’s why we made it easy on you and put together a list of all the essentials you need for a stylish back to school wardrobe.

 

Basketball Shorts All The Time

Why? Unless you’re on the court or on the couch you shouldn’t be wearing basketball shorts.  Grab some dark joggers instead, they’re just as comfortable and look a lot better.

Jogger Picks:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Too much hypebeasting

It reeks of trying too hard. If you want to sprinkle it in here and there, totally fine. But don’t jump in with both feet and wear all the trends at once, all the time. Again, we did a back to school essentials article that sprinkles in just the right amount.

 

Not caring about grooming

Look, there might be days you don’t want to style your hair. Fine, no problem, throw on your favorite baseball cap. But, here’s no excuse to have overgrown, unwashed hair or neglected skin. Your overall appearance, especially when it concerns hygiene, will be a huge make it or break it situation when it comes to people wanting to hang out with you. Check out all of our grooming tips in our grooming section. From haircuts to skincare, we’ve got all the tips you need.

 

Wearing only workout gear

Unless your an athlete and it’s absolutely necessary because of your schedule, then there’s no excuse. It’s lazy and looks like you might be hiding a less than desirable physique. You wanna feel just as comfortable? A pair of some Adidas Ultraboosts, black joggers, a tee or a hooded sweatshirt, and a bomber jacket will look 100 times sharper.  All of our picks are right here.

Men’s Back To School Essentials

You’re headed back to campus and we’ve got some picks to help you look your best this Fall. We know that school can be stressful and the last thing you have time for is thinking about what to wear. However, we can all agree that you still want to look your best which is why picking up these pieces will take the guesswork out of what outfit you should wear because they all can go together easily and stylishly.

The key to solid back to school items are ones that are comfortable, stylish, inexpensive, and versatile, and these back to school style essentials will have you covered for the entire year.

 

 

Sneakers

You need a good everyday sneaker that’s comfortable, stylish, and affordable. We’re huge fans of the Vans Old Skool sneakers which come in a bunch of different colors and patterns, though I love the black and white ones the most. If you’re going to get a pair of white sneakers, I’d opt for leather like the Stan Smiths which are easier to keep clean than canvas kicks.

Picks:

Vans

Stan Smiths

More Sneaker Picks

Jason Markk sneaker cleaning wipes

 

Well-Fitting Jeans

Some well-fitting slim jeans in dark indigo, black or dark grey will get you through the entire year and beyond. Remember you only need to wash them every few months if you let them air out every day on the back of your chair or on a hanger.  Want some fit tips? Check out our jeans fit guide.

Picks:

Levis

Uniqlo

J. Crew

 

Pull-Over Hoodie

A pull-over hoodie is super comfortable and versatile. You can wear it on on its own or you can layer underneath your jacket when it gets cold. Definitely skip the logos here, leave that to the kids who look ridiculous in their all logo fits. One note, we’re not fans of the zip-up hoodies because they tend to look sloppy and have this weird bunching in the front when you sit.

Picks:

Champion

J.Crew

Uniqlo

H&M

 

T-Shirts

Pick up 5 or 6 of these since you’ll pretty much be wearing this every day and stick with basic colors like black, white, navy, and grey. Remember fit is king. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitting t-shirt and jeans outfit – it’s unbelievably attractive and that simple knowledge on fit will instantly set you apart from everyone else.

Picks:

Uniqlo

H&M

Amazon Goodthreads

The Best Budget-Friendly T-Shirts

 

A Versatile Jacket

Our favorite being a bomber jacket – whether it’s leather, nylon or cotton. It doesn’t matter what your size or build is, this jacket looks great on every guy and it’s super easy and comfortable.  It’s really easy to add layers, like a hoodie, underneath when it gets cold. Also, it just looks cool-as-hell so wear in and out of school.

Picks:

H&M

Gap

J.Crew

Bonobos

 

A Casual Button-Down Shirt

Versatility is key here and you want one that you can wear untucked or partially tucked in the front. Casual button-downs are shorter in length then dress shirts so they should hit around mid-crotch. Pair this with your jeans and sneakers, maybe throw on your bomber jacket for the ultimate, “Oh this? I just rolled out of bed and threw this on.” It looks cool, stylish, and like you put in zero effort in the best way possible. We recommend solid oxfords and darker, fall plaid casual button-downs.

Picks:

J. Crew

H&M

Uniqlo

5 Shirts Every Man Should Own

 

Crew Neck Sweatshirt

We like sweatshirts because there’s a casualness that compliments your on-campus fits and you can throw them in the wash instead of having to have them dry cleaned.  As with hoodies, skip the logos and keep them clean and simple.

Picks:

Champion

Everlane

Uniqlo

Todd Snyder

 

Backpack

Like everyone, you need something to carry your notebooks, laptop, and gear every day and just like your clothes, it’s important to pick up a backpack that keeps you organized, looks sharp, will last you all year, and won’t break the bank. We’ve discussed the ins and outs of our favorite backpacks before, and the key is finding the right size and style.

Picks:

Incase

Herschel

Aer

Everlane

More Backpack Picks

 

Sunglasses

The right shape can instantly up your style game, but the wrong shape can really work against you. Stick with a classic style that compliments your face shape.  Check out this article for more on how to choose the right sunglasses for your face shape.

Picks:

Ray-Ban

MVMT

Crap

Warby Paker

Additional Picks

 

A Second Pair Of Pants

A man can’t live on denim alone so it’s wise to consider a few more options. We definitely recommend chinos, they’re comfortable, stylish, and affordable. If you go for chinos, go with navy or charcoal grey as that’ll go with everything. If chinos aren’t your style grab some sharp jogger pants for a different option. Go with black or charcoal as they’ll not only look the best but it will keep them from looking too much like your workout gear.

Chinos:

Bonobos

Uniqlo

J.Crew

Gap 

Joggers:

H&M

PacSun

Gap

Mack Weldon

 

Top 5 Men’s Sneakers of 2019

You asked for it and we delivered! As you probably know by now, you can wear sneakers more places than ever these days and that means it’s even more important to give your sneaker purchases extra consideration. That said, this isn’t an excuse to just wear your gym shoes everywhere! Choosing the right pair of sneakers is more than just wearing athletic shoes with jeans or chinos, you’ve got to find the right balance of style and color and also consider the shoe shape.

With that, here are our picks for the Top 5 Men’s Sneakers of 2019 plus a few extra picks we really loved!

Nike Retro Sneaker

We love a good retro sneaker and this version from Nike is a new update on a classic silhouette. It’s got a suede and nylon upper and comes in some very cool bright colorways. A great casual shoe for chinos, jeans, or shorts.

 

Vans

You can never go wrong with a classic skate shoe vibe and this Vans sneaker is a total winner. It’s really well-priced and comes in two basic colorways that will go with everything in your closet.

 

Adidas Ultraboost

One of our absolute favorite running sneakers, this recently updated version of the Adidas Ultraboost is crazy comfortable and comes in a ton of great colorways. We love the bolder versions but the classic triple white, triple black, and grey are always stylish as well.

 

Wolverine High Top

This definitely isn’t a basketball sneaker. As we mentioned earlier, dressy and casual shoes are pretty interchangeable these days, and a nice leather high top can work with a variety of different looks. Wolverine is known for their boots and the leather is really excellent and the shoe is very comfortable. They also come in a sharp low-top version as well.

 

New Balance

Another great retro-inspired sneaker, this one mixes in technical materials and a sleek monochromatic colorway to give it a cool vibe that’s a great middle-ground between retro and modern. It’s definitely got an athletic vibe but it’s still sleek and sporty enough to work with denim, chinos, or shorts.

  

Koio Suede Sneaker

A suede version of a sleek minimal silhouette is a great way to add a bit of extra style and texture to your sneaker rotation. We were fans of their classic white leather sneaker from Koio and this suede version is excellent. We love the monochromatic design and the suede is very soft and high-quality. and there is a range of great earth tone colorways to choose from.

 

Nike Epic React

In a similar vein as the Adidas Ultraboost, the Nike Epic React is a super light and comfortable modern running sneaker that combines technical looks and a versatile silhouette. Like the Adidas, you can go with a simple monochromatic colorway or try a bolder color for extra personality.

 

Beckett Simonon

We reviewed these in a recent video and we absolutely loved them. The clean design, excellent price point, and high-quality leather make them one of our favorite sneakers this year for sure. A sure-fire go-to for casual or more dressy looks.

Nike React Element

Usually, we’re pretty picky about futuristic-looking shoes and tend to avoid streetwear trends, but this version from Nike features a really cool design but isn’t too chunky or odd-looking. It’s versatile enough to wear with denim or joggers and is very lightweight and comfortable. With a unique design like this, you can definitely lean into the bold colorways but also, you can never go wrong with a simple black and white combination.

Beckett Simonon Reid Sneaker Review – Are They Worth It?

By now you probably know how important it is to have a sharp white sneaker in your footwear rotation.  They’re probably the most versatile casual shoe you can own.  We’ve discussed other styles in the past, and in our latest edition of Worth It, we’re reviewing a new entrant in the minimal white sneaker game, the Reid from Beckett Simonon

We’ve been fan’s of their products in the past, namely their leather weekender bag, but how does this sneaker stack up? Tune in and find out if we think the Beckett Simonon Reid sneaker is worth it!

 

Pros

Great Design – We loved the clean, minimal design and sleek profile.  It has a nice shape and zero branding.

Good Materials and Construction – We really liked the high-quality full-grain leather and solid construction.

Multiple Colors – We tested the white version but there are a bunch of other versatile color options too.

Good Price – These are an outstanding value at $149.

 

Cons

While Dorian had a very small issue with the heel, Ashley had zero cons and we both really loved this shoe!

 

Verdict

Ashley and Dorian: Worth It!

We loved the design, quality, and comfort.  These are a great, very well-priced option in the leather sneaker market.

Shop The Beckett Simonon Reid Here

Top 3 Men’s Shoes For Summer

Warm weather and summer events make for special shoe demands, so you want to be prepared with the right summer footwear. You want shoes that are going to keep you cool and also look stylish with your summer looks. One caveat before we jump in though: while you may be tempted to wear flip flops all summer, don’t do it! Unless you’re headed to the pool or beach you should be wearing a proper shoe, so keep them in the closet unless there’s water present.

Don’t forget to check out all of our picks below!

 

 

 

Boat Shoes

A summer classic, these are great all around casual shoes. Stick with the classic style in leather and look for colors like brown, tan, navy, or grey. Despite what you may have seen, these aren’t meant to be dressed up though, only wear these with shorts and very casual chino outfits.

Boat Shoe Picks:

Sperry

L.L. Bean

Rancourt & Co.

 

Espadrilles

A stylish warm weather canvas shoe, espadrilles are very lightweight and breathable. These look great with everything from shorts to chinos and you can get them in solid colors or go for a fun pattern.

Espadrille Picks:

Soludos

Diegos

Castaner

 

Suede Driving Mocs

A great casual shoe with a little more polish, you can wear driving mocs with everything from shorts to chinos and a blazer. I recommend these in suede over leather because in the warmer months leather can just look a bit to heavy and formal. Two rules about drivers I always see guys break: never wear them with a suit (too casual), and always wear them without socks or with no-show socks.

Suede Driving Moc Picks:

Tod’s 1

Tod’s 2

M. Gemi

Budget-Friendly

Dorian’s Outfit

Floral Shirt