Top 3 Outfits For Spring & Summer

The warm weather will be here before you know it so it’s time to start thinking about your Spring and Summer wardrobe options. With that in mind, here are my Top 3 Favorite Outfits for Spring & Summer 2018. All of these looks are super versatile and are going to have you looking stylish no matter what’s on your calendar. Don’t forget to check out all the info below for each outfit’s details.

 

 

Outfit #1

For this first outfit, I started with a lightweight blue suit that’s great for summer and paired it with a fun Hawaiian print shirt to add some extra personality. You could also try a floral or botanical print shirt, and it’s a great way to give your suit a whole new vibe. I then added a tipped pocket square that picks up some of the colors in the shirt and finished the look with penny loafers and a cool pair of blue framed sunglasses. For a relaxed suiting look like this, I also like having a slightly shorter hem on the pants to show a bit of ankle.

Outfit Details

Designer Suit: Brooks Brothers Suit

Budget-Friendly Suit: H&M Linen Suit Jacket and Linen Suit Pants

Floral Shirt: J. Crew Shirt 

Shirt Alternative: Topman Shirt

Pocket Square: The Tie Bar Pocket Square 

Designer Loafers: Prada Loafers

Budget-Friendly Loafers: Johnston & Murphy Loafers

Sunglasses: Warby Parker Sunglasses 

 

Outfit #2

For the second look, I went with an everyday monochromatic look that’s relaxed but still well put-together. This light blue shirt in linen very lightweight and breathable and I paired it with another summer staple, a crisp pair of chinos. I finished the look with grey suede driving loafers to bring it all together.

Outfit Details

Shirt: Uniqlo Linen Shirt

Chinos: J.Crew Chinos

Alternative: Uniqlo Chinos

Belt: Brooks Brothers Leather Belt

Shoes: Tod’s Suede Tie Driving Moc Loafers 

Loafer Alternative in Brown: Tod’s Suede Driving Moc Loafers

Budget-Friendly Loafer Options: Zappos

Sunglasses: Warby Parker Sunglasses

 

Outfit #3

For the third and final look, I went with another “elevated casual’ outfit that’s great for both the week or weekend. I started with a lightweight, unlined blazer and paired it with a relaxed mandarin collar button up and some green chinos for a splash of color. As I mentioned in my color matching article, I love pairing blues and greens together and the crisp white shirt is the perfect complement. I finish it with some fresh white sneakers to add a relaxed vibe.

Outfit Details

Blazer: Brooks Brothers Blazer

Budget-Friendly Blazer: H&M Blazer

Button Up Shirt: Topman Shirt

Chinos: J.Crew Chinos

Chinos Alternative: Uniqlo Chinos

Sneakers: P.F. Flyers Sneakers

Sunglasses: Tom Ford Sunglasses

How To Wear and Match Colors Like A Pro

I know you’ve probably experienced that sense of dread as you’re standing in front of your closet, possibly pantless, definitely shirtless, thinking to yourself “How the hell do I figure out what shirts go with what pants?” or “How do I know which colors go well together?” So before you throw your hands in the air and wear your bathrobe to the office (not recommended, by the way), take a deep breath, I’ve got you. Here are a few of my foolproof strategies for wearing color; master them and in no time you’ll be looking sharp, feeling chill, and have your morning routine dialed in.

Keep It Simple

If you don’t know where to begin, I always say keep it simple. On the dressy side of things, that means starting with a solid white shirt and a neutral black, charcoal, or navy tie. No matter your suit or blazer color, a white shirt and one of the mentioned tie colors will work every time. On the casual side, the same holds true: a white shirt never fails. Whether it’s a basic button-down oxford, one dressed up with a blazer, sweater, or lightweight jacket for a night out, or a T-shirt paired with denim or chinos, the white shirt just works.

Go Monochromatic

Here’s another approach I like to use with my clients. Going monochromatic involves pairing different shades of the same color for a complete look. This is not only simple to execute, but it looks both cool and modern.

I recommend starting with blues or greys because they work best visually and are the easiest to execute with everyday pieces. By all means, throw in some subtle patterns (like in your shirt or tie) when layering to add a visually interesting element. I also like an all-black look, but the key to making it work is layering different textures/fabrics.

Consider Your Skin Tone

Our final piece of the puzzle has to do with your skin tone. Now I get asked all the time about matching clothing colors to eye and hair color and the only thing you need to know about that is this: it doesn’t matter one bit. Women pay attention to their eye and hair color when putting on makeup because certain colors can highlight their facial features. When it comes to men, this does not apply unless you’re wearing makeup. The only thing that you should consider is your skin color in regards to clothing choice.

Yellow Skin Tones

For men of Asian descent or those who have yellow tones in their skin, you’re going to want to avoid lighter/pastel versions of the following colors: tan, off-white, yellow, and orange. They’re only going to make your skin look sickly or muted. Solid, darker versions of these colors are ok, and from there, you can wear any other colors.

Brown Skin Tones

If your skin is on the brown spectrum (anything from light to dark) you want to avoid any brown color that closely matches your skin color. Otherwise, you’ll look dull and lifeless. Choose something darker or lighter from your skin and you’ll be in great shape. I highly recommend wearing colors like reds, yellows, greens, and blues, because they’ll look great against your warmer skin tone.

White or Pale Skin Tones

For those of you who burn at even the slightest hint of sunlight, you want to avoid reds, yellows, pinks, and oranges in all shades and forms. These colors are really going to bring out the pink undertones in your fair skin and make you look flushed or washed out. A good rule of thumb to follow is that “cool” colors are good.  Wearing colors like blues, greens, purples and their variations are going to look great against your skin and complement your fairness.

My Favorite No-Fail Color Combos

Finally, I’m going to share an easy cheat sheet with you, a few of my favorite, go-to combinations and how to wear them. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing these casually or dressed up, all of these color combinations are going look great.

Navy and Brown

Both classic and modern, navy and brown go together like peanut butter and jelly.  From dark denim and a brown jacket or blazer to a navy suit with brown accents, to something as simple as tan chinos and a navy casual jacket, this combination is one you absolutely should master.  Throw a white shirt into any navy and brown combination for an easy way to bring it all together.

Blues and Greens

Speaking of rock-solid, one-two punches that work in tandem, blue and greens together are always on point. The wide range of hues gives you the option to dial up the statement level (or tone it down), depending on what shades you choose, what occasion you’re dressing for, or how adventurous you’re feeling.

My favorite ways to wear these colors together are:

  1. A navy suit, light blue shirt, and a green tie
  2. A blue oxford or t-shirt, green chinos, and brown leather belt with chukka boots

Black, Grey, and White

Simple?  Sure. Always sharp, clean, and in good taste? You bet. If you’re one of those guys who can appreciate the idea of a modern uniform or the utmost in classic simplicity, stick to this graphic combination and feel confident knowing you’re always going to look great.

My favorite outfit combos for these colors are:

  1. Grey suit, white shirt, and black tie.
  2. Black bomber jacket, white shirt, and grey pants.

Charcoal/Grey and Pastels

We’ve obviously established the awesome versatility of charcoal and grey, so it makes sense that they would also work well with pastels.  The great thing about pairing them with shades of grey is that their impact is taken down slightly. So, you get the benefit of a splash of color but you’re never going to be over-the-top preppy guy from Martha’s Vineyard or look like you’re on vacation in the Caribbean.

My favorite outfit combos:

  1. Grey suit, white or pastel shirt, and any simple dark tie (pastel shirt) or pastel tie (white shirt).
  2. Grey or charcoal casual jacket, pastel shirt or sweater, and navy pants.

I hope that was helpful and as you can see, wearing colors doesn’t have to be confusing or scary, so give it a shot!

The Essential Business Casual Details & Outfits

To me, business casual for men’s outfits is a loose definition, but it definitely has an upper and lower range of what’s appropriate. The only true way to determine what it means is by looking at it in relation to the current dress code of the company or function you’re dealing with.

Things to avoid in business casual

Ties

There are rare exceptions, but when in doubt, go without.

Shorts

These are too casual no matter how they’re worn and I’d argue that a man shouldn’t wear shorts in 95% of situations, anyways.

T-Shirts

While I love them, they have no place in a business casual outfit.

Not Tucking In Your Shirt

The sin of all sins for a business casual outfit, no matter your body type, is not tucking in your collared shirts. Polo shirts should only be worn untucked, but the exact opposite is true for collared shirts. It just looks sloppy.

 

Now let’s go over the typical outfits and when they’re appropriate to wear.

Standard Business Casual

For most companies, whether they require a suit (maybe no tie) or a blazer or collared shirt everyday, there are two types of business casual outfits. How close the dress code is to a full suit will determine whether you should wear a jacket or not. Also, depending on the time of year, you may go for lighter or heavier weighted fabrics for your jackets and pants. Hotter = lighter.

With A Jacket

If you are required to wear a suit and tie everyday, definitely go with this one.

Sport Coat/Blazer

Here’s another article I wrote about heavier sport coats/blazers for the Fall & Winter months. Please, whatever you do, don’t wear a suit jacket in place of this. The fabric is too thin and it won’t match the fabric weight of the pants you’ll be wearing.

Oxford Button Down Shirt or Semi-Spread Collared Shirt

Make sure either of these are tucked in to your pants. Definitely wear a belt that matches your shoe color, as well.

Wool trousers, Chino Pants or Dark Wash Jeans

The more formal the dress code, the more likely you should wear wool trousers. Chinos are a little less formal or more used during spring and summer, while jeans a little less so than chinos and typically used year-round. Never, ever – unless the suit pants are a very thick wool (similar to wool trouser weight) – should you wear suit pants without the accompanying jacket.

Oxford Dress Shoes, Monk straps, Brogues, WingtipsBoots (Dress or Chukka) or Loafers

The second you’re not wearing a full suit and tie, you can basically wear anything but sneakers with your business casual outfit. I’d default to Oxfords, Monk Straps or Loafers – either in suede or leather, but any of the options above are acceptable.

Without a jacket

If the dress code or occasion is slightly more casual, you can forgo the jacket and wear this business casual outfit, instead. There’s a few small points to consider.

V-neck sweater

If the weather is too warm, then definitely swap out the sweater for a blazer from the previous section, or, if it can be more casual, go to the next outfit, instead.

Shirt

Same as the previous outfit. You can wear a tie, like in the above picture, but it’s not necessary at all.

Pants

Wool trousers or dark wash jeans. Chino pants have a fabric weight that is too light to go well with v-neck sweaters.

Shoes

Same as previous outfit.

 

Casual Business Casual

This type of business casual outfit is appropriate if there’s a pretty casual dress code normally, or the event is very informal. If you see “business casual” as a requirement anywhere, this is the least formal outfit you can wear that is still appropriate for the dress code. Anything less than this is not business casual.

Harrington Jacket 

This is one of my favorite jackets of all time and fits this outfit perfectly. Obviously, only wear this if the weather is requiring a jacket.

Polo Shirt or Oxford Button Down

I’d probably default to a polo shirt unless you knew for a fact you were going to wear the Harrington Jacket or the weather is cooler. Unless you’re a slimmer guy, an Oxford Button Down worn without a jacket on top of it doesn’t look too good. No matter what, though, make sure the polo shirt fits like a glove or you’re going to look like a goofball and if you wear the oxford, please tuck it in.

Chino Pants or Dark Wash Jeans

Chino pants are the default in an outfit like this, but dark wash jeans are just as appropriate. I’d let the time of year or weather dictate whether I went with chinos or dark wash jeans. The colder it is, the more I’d lean toward wearing the jeans over the chinos.

Sneakers, Loafers, Dress Shoes or Chukka Boots

The more classy you want to make this casual outfit, the more I’d learn toward dressy shoes.

 

That’s it! Hope this is helpful!

Wool Blazers & Sport Coats

I’m sure you’ve already seen my article/video about a Navy Wool Blazer in my Wardrobe Essentials Series, riiiiiggghhht? If not, then please read and watch it first before we talk about Fall and Winter wool blazers/sport coats, because I’m going to assume we’re on the same page in regard to the differences between a blazer, sport coat and suit jacket as well as how your blazer should fit your body type as well as the finer details of what to look for in a quality blazer. Otherwise, you will probably be lost or think this article is a little anemic. There will be a few critical differences between your year-round blazers and your specific Fall and Winter wool blazers. So let’s get into them.

1. Fabric Weight

The most important difference during this time of year is the fabric weight of your blazer.

You want a much heavier wool fabric, like Harris Tweed, for three reasons:

  1. It will keep you much warmer during this time of year.
  2. The heavier weight pairs better with similar weighted fabrics during this time of year – Like your wool ties and pocket squares, wool trousers, sweaters, cardigans, etc.
  3. If it has a tighter weave, like Harris Tweed, it’ll be more durable, robust and repel water and snow better.

To get technical for a moment, a typical weight you should look for is around 12 ounces, but you can go all the way up to 16 to 20 ounces. For year-round wool blazers, I prefer a fabric weight of between 8 to 10 ounces, depending on your climate. In comparison, for hotter climates/seasons, I usually go with somewhere around 6 ounces for the fabric weight.

You’ll instantly notice the difference of fabric weights when you feel the blazer in-person. It’s a little harder to see it in in pictures, so I would suggest going to a store that carries suits to see it for yourself.

Long story short, you want a thicker wool for this time of year.

2. Color

The second difference is the colors for the time of year. Unlike the year-round wool blazers, this is the time of year where you can wear richer, more jewel-toned colors, all based on your skin tone, of course.

The best way I can describe colors is to think of the leaves changing to their fall colors and those are the colors you want for the season. So that typically means these colors:

  • Browns
  • Burgandys
  • Greens
  • Blues
  • Oranges

I went over all these colors and how to wear them based on your skin tone in my introduction article & video to this series.

3. Patterns

The last and final thing to consider for your Fall & Winter wool blazers are the patterns. Since you’ll be wearing heavier items, bold and heavier patterns work great this time of year.

My favorites are:

All of these patterns are included in my selects from various brands below.

Best Ways To Wear A Wool Blazer During Fall & Winter

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H&M Dark Khaki (Green) Blazer
J.Crew Cotton-Cashmere Crewneck Sweater in Jacquard
The Tie Bar Kingsley Attune
H&M Wool Suit Pants
Aldo Acerrassi boot
Rolex Submariner Date
Tom Ford Snowdon Sunglasses

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Topman Light Brown Wool Rich Formal Coat
The Tie Bar Chambray Shirt 
The Tie Bar Wentworth Plaid 
The Tie Bar Kingsley Attune Pocket Square 
The Tie Bar Metallic Navy Tie Bar
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
Johnston & Murphy Cormac Double Buckle Monk Strap
John Varvatos Prince Sunglasses

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H&M Wool-Blend Blazer Slim Fit
Brooks Brothers Milano Spread Collar Dress Shirt
The Tie Bar Score Check Tie 
The Tie Bar Olive Green Tie Bar
The Tie Bar Southeast Plaid Pocket Square
Diesel Buster 0607A Jeans
Allen Edmonds Poplar Dress Belt
Allen Edmonds Strand Cap-Toe Oxfords with Dainite Rubber Sole
IWC Portugieser Automatic Dress Watch
Tom Ford Snowdon Sunglasses 

All of these blazers are from companies that I love. Zegna, Canali, and Brooks Brothers’ blazers have superior construction and the fit, color, and pattern are exactly what I look for in a standout blazer for my clients. For more budget-friendly options, I really like J.Crew’s english tweed sportcoats. The weight of these blazers are perfect and the solid textured colors (brown, grey, and navy) will never go out of style. For a nice camel or dark green blazer, Topman and H&M, respectively, make these nice blazers. The fabric isn’t as thick as I’d prefer, but the price point is hard to beat so I’m willing to overlook that.

$2,895 – Ermenegildo Zegna Windowpane Two-Button Sport Coat
$1,595 – Canali Tic Two-Button Sport Coat
$538 – Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Multi-Windowpane Sport Coat
$418 – Brooks Brothers Fitzgerald Fit Blue Harris Tweed Tic with Windowpane Sport Coat
$350 – J. Crew Ludlow Legacy Blazer in American Wool
$220 –Topman Light Brown Wool Rich Formal Coat
$200 – TopMan Selected Homme Navy Blazer
$70 – H&M Dark Khaki Blazer

Series Intro & How to Match Clothing Colors To Your Skin Tone

In this series, I’m going to show you the must-have Fall and Winter items that every well-dressed gentleman should own. That means I’ll be talking about:

  • Boots and Shoes
  • Coats & Jackets
  • Shirts & Sweaters
  • Suits
  • And various Accessories

Like always, I only recommend products that I’ve personally touched and worked with – in all budget ranges. I’m fortunate in that I get to touch hundreds of menswear items a week, so when I say something is great, it’s not because I got paid to sell you a bunch of cheap [email protected]*t like everyone else – it’s because I have actual experience with these items.

This series is a supplement to my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Series. In that series, I covered the year-round essentials that you should have in your closet already. If you haven’t read/watched those articles and videos, do that first so we’re on the same page.

The Best Colors & Patterns For The Season

fall-winter-colors-patterns-men-ashley-westonSince I don’t want to go over colors and matching them in every single video in this series, let’s talk about Fall and Winter colors and patterns and how to match them to your outfit and skin tone.

The appropriate colors for this time of year are:

  • Mid to darker greens
  • Shades of browns (camel to dark brown)
  • Shades of blues (light chambray to navy)
  • Shades of gray (light, medium and dark)
  • Burgundy and wine colors
  • Darker or “burnt” Orange

As for patterns, this is what I like to call “plaid season”. It’s the best time of year to wear plaid because its more visually heavy and pairs nicely with the heavier clothing you’ll be wearing, like sweaters, wool coats and wool trousers. For outerwear and Fall/Winter suiting, I love a good windowpane, as well.

HOW TO Match & wear COLORS BASED ON YOUR SKIN TONE

If you’re darker skinned, this is less of an issue because those colors look great on you. But if you’re pale or yellow-toned, this can be a disaster if you don’t know what you’re doing.

PALE or Yellow Skin

If you’re pale or yellow skin toned, make sure that your camel, burgundy, or burnt orange pieces are an outer layer and not a base layer. Let me show you what I mean.

You’ll notice in the below photo that I have my pale model wearing a camel sweater. But you’ll also hopefully notice that there is a white ring of a t-shirt sticking out from under the collar.

This is VERY important because that little sliver of white provides separation between the skin and sweater. The camel color would completely wash out his skin tone and make him look sickly if it wasn’t there. It’s much more apparent in person than images, too.

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Below is the same model wearing a burnt orange sweater, but you’ll notice that I have a gray plaid shirt under the sweater to provide that necessary separation of the sweater from his skin. If that wasn’t there, the orange would bring out the pink tones in his skin – which would make him look red and flushed.

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And lastly, going back to my white sneaker article/video, I styled my model in a burgundy bomber jacket with a black t-shirt. The shirt provides the necessary visual separation to not bring out the pink tones in his skin.

If I had him in a black jacket and burgundy t-shirt, instead, he would look oddly red-faced. This combination, though, would look awesome on someone with darker skin.

burgundyjacket-2

So to recap: If you have a pale or yellow skin tone and want to mix Fall/Winter colors into your wardrobe, just make sure it’s an outerwear piece with visible neutrals (white, grey, black, navy) underneath.

DARKER SKIN

Now, if you’re darker skinned, you can still follow the pale/yellow skin rules above because it’s the classic way to wear color and looks good on everyone. So when in doubt, wear your statement color as outer layers. But with darker skin tones, you have the added advantage of being able to wear all these colors in your shirts and sweaters and then have neutral outer colors because the contrast looks great with your skin tone.

Here’s some examples of outfits that look great on darker/warmer skin tones that would look horrible on a guy with yellow or pale skin:

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Just do me a favor, though. Don’t go overboard with color. Have one standout color in your outfit and then pair it with neutrals everywhere else. When you start throwing burgundys, greens, blues and browns all in one outfit, it’s just too much going on.

How To Wear PLAIDS AND PATTERNS

It’s a great time of year to incorporate them into your wardrobe. I prefer to keep the plaids to collared shirts because it looks good on everybody and is really hard to mess up. You can wear them on their own, with the sleeves rolled up, or throw on a nice solid colored sport coat, bomber or trucker jacket over it and the shirt will look great.

As I mentioned earlier, I also love a good windowpane. This looks great on pants, suits, sport coats/blazers and overcoats.

The key to wearing patterns is to make sure the rest of the items in your outfit – pants or jacket/sweater/coat are solid neutral colors. It’s when you start mixing patterns that’ll get you in trouble real quick.

So pick an item in your outfit (normally a shirt, sweater, jacket or coat) for a pattern and then have everything else be a solid color. And also make sure that just like with your ties and pocket squares, you want a color in your plaid to be a similar shade of one of the colors in your pants or jacket/sweater. Then you’ll have a nice, classy and cohesive look.

My Favorite COLOR COMBINATIONS For The Season

Here’s some color combinations I love and use with my clients during this time of year:

  • Green and blue
  • Gray and brown
  • Blue and brown
  • Burgundy and blue
  • Burnt orange and blue

These are my go-to colors and if you stick to these combinations, you’ll look sharp and timeless during this season.

So without further adieu, let’s get into the Men’s Fall and Winter Essentials.

Men’s Summer Essentials Ebook

In this ebook, I’ll detail the items you need for summer, why you need them, and where to get them – in designer and budget-friendly options.

These items will work very well with the rest of your year-round essentials, so if you haven’t seen that series, check it out first.

My goal is to ensure you’re comfortable, wearing appropriate colors and items for the season, while looking amazing and not like a douchebag.

So download the book, pour a glass of… something (I prefer rosé) and let me show you the good stuff!