$100 H&M Challenge – Celebrity Menswear Stylist Edition

H&M is one of our favorite budget-friendly stores and they have a huge range of items, from essential items to more trendy pieces. So, we thought it was time for Ashley to do a $100 challenge and show you three of her favorite looks, with each entire look coming in at $100 or under.

Outfit Picks

Outfit #1

Bomber

T-Shirt 

Chinos

Chinos Alternative 

Sneakers

Outfit #2

Bomber 

Oxford

T-Shirt

Chinos

Boots

Outfit #3

Sweater

Pants (only available in-store)

Pants Alternative 1

Pants Alternative 2

Scarf (only available in-store)

Scarf Alternative 1

Scarf Alternative 2

Scarf Alternative 3

Boots

Men’s Wardrobe Essentials: Lightweight Jackets

You know that confusing time when it’s still jacket weather but the temperatures are fluctuating from warm to cold and you’re chilly one minute and sweating the next? Yeah, it’s not easy to dress for that, is it? You’ve probably seen the word “transitional” used in and around this time relative to your wardrobe, but really it’s just a fancy word for “versatile”. With versatility and changing seasons in mind, let’s discuss a major key to a solid “transitional” wardrobe, the right lightweight jacket.

Whether you’re in bomb cyclone territory or more temperate parts of the country, the ideal lightweight jacket (or two!) is an important element because you can layer up or down depending on temperatures, all while maintaining style and a comfortable temperature. There are a million different versions in all manner of materials, but until you’ve completely nailed all the essentials, I recommend sticking to the classics for versatility, style and ease of wearing. No matter which one you choose or what the weather app on your phone is telling you, you can layer up confidently (t-shirt, collared shirt, sweater, whatever) for anything from work to a night out.

The Bomber Jacket

Also sometimes known as the MA-1 and tracing its lineage back to the uniform jackets designed for military pilots in World War II, the classic style and functionality of a bomber remains just as strong today as it was back then. Featuring a zip front, elastic waist and cuffs, and a low-profile collar, you can find stylish versions of the bomber in every conceivable material, from nylon and wool to cotton and suede. I absolutely love the versatility of a bomber jacket, and as I’ve said before, every man, regardless of age or body type, should have one in his closet.

outfit details here

Who Should Wear It

All body types and ages look great in bomber jackets – as long as it fits well – close to the body with arms and shoulders fitted like the above picture.

How To Wear It

A casual staple that’s infinitely versatile, the Bomber looks right at home with everything from a t-shirt and denim to chinos and a chambray or oxford shirt. Make sure the shoulder seams sit properly, almost exactly like how your suit jacket or blazer should fit and know that a bomber jacket that fits properly should stop right around your waist. Most bomber jackets are slightly shorter in the back, too, so don’t think something is wrong if you notice that. A longer bomber jacket tends to look odd and sloppy, so avoid it if you can.

For outfit ideas, see this article, as well as points 3 & 4 in this article/video.

The Trucker Jacket

Just like it’s close cousin the Bomber, the trucker jacket was born out of utility and remains a classic style piece to this day. Typically of shorter length and hitting around the hip/waist, the workwear-inspired trucker jacket often features a button or zip front, fabric-covered collar, and handy flap pockets on the front. I like all types of materials for trucker jackets but you’ll most commonly find them in sturdy waxed cotton or canvas (to protect against the elements), denim, and nylon.

outfit details here

How To Wear It

Another one my go-to casual recommendations, I love a trucker jacket with denim and desert/work boots. It looks stylishly masculine but still polished enough to be worn over a collared shirt without looking like you’re commuting to work on a horse.

For my favorite trucker jackets and the best ways to wear them, check out this article.

The Field Jacket

Going by many names (M65, Utility Jacket, Safari Jacket), this essential is just another example of how functional military-inspired designs still look sharp and stylish today. It’s slightly longer length should hit just past the hip and it commonly features multiple sets of pockets for extra utility when you’re on the go. The Field Jacket is a great protector against the weather yet light enough for the Spring’s rapidly changing temps, so look for it in cotton and nylon versions. Forest or Olive green colors are more traditional but I’m a big fan of navy (my favorite), darker browns or grays, as well.

Who Should Wear It

Stockier or larger men. The multiple pockets help break up your large top half and give a slimming appearance.

Who Shouldn’t Wear It

If you’re a slimmer guy and not 100% confident in how to wear this, avoid it because it’ll can make you look slimmer and like you’re swimming in pockets and fabric. I see this mistake more often than not. So when in doubt, skip it.

How To Wear It

Layer it over a cashmere sweater and an oxford or even your favorite dress clothes to add a bit of contrasting ruggedness to a polished look. Of course, it’s always perfect for your weekend morning coffee runs with t-shirts, jeans or tailored sweats too. I’d avoid wearing it with chino pants because the fabric weights are too similar and you’ll look like a 70’s action star pretty quickly. Ideally, you want something heavier on the bottom – jeans or wool trousers.

For my favorite field jackets and best ways to wear them, check out this article.

The Harrington Jacket

I’ve talked about my love of the Harrington jacket before, and for good reason, this jacket strikes that perfect sweet spot between casual and sporty and goes with pretty much anything. Look, if it’s good enough for style icons like McQueen, Elvis, and James Dean, it definitely deserves a place in your closet. The Harington blends a slight preppy edge with the functionality of a windbreaker and most often features a light cotton or nylon shell, zip-up front, and barrel button collar. Whether on the links, out and about, or heading to drinks, the Harrington has you covered. 

Who Should Wear It

All body types and ages look absolutely fantastic in a Harrington.

How To Wear It

The Harrington’s preppier look and vibe pairs perfectly with staples like chinos, t-shirts and button-ups, but it just as easily transitions to a casual evening out when layered with a light sweater, dark denim and sneakers or loafers. For more in-depth details, see this article/video.

The Denim Jacket

While it’s at home on the range or in a 50’s movie star’s vintage Porsche, the denim jacket can be just as stylish and useful to you on your own city streets. A classic for a reason, the denim jacket has seen a recent resurgence to staple status now that denim is pretty much everyday wear. While this short, button-up jacket doesn’t offer a ton of warmth, it’s vintage throwback style, when paired with a crisp white t-shirt or layered over a light cotton sweater, more than makes up for it.

outfit details here

Who Should Wear It

Everyone! It looks right at home on men of all ages and body types. The only caveat is if you’re an older man (50’s and above) you may want to avoid lighter colors, as it tends to look a little “trying to dress too young”, so stick to darker indigos or black if that’s you.

How To Wear It

Properly pulling off the Canadian Tuxedo is a very dicey (impossible?) move, so keep it simple and pair with chinos and black or dark denim, or opt for colors like grey, black, indigo, or light-washed denim. On the fit side, it needs to be tight in the arms and body and stop at the upper part of your waist, so keep it trim and short to avoid looking boxy or like a 90’s R&B music video backup dancer.

For more details, check out my more in-depth article/video here.

Men’s Leather Jackets & How To Wear Them – Bomber + Motorcycle

In this article/video, I wanted to do an update to my (4 year old!) men’s essential leather jacket story. A lot of the information in my previous article is still valid, so think of this as more of a supplement for why you should own a leather jacket instead of completely replacing it. As for the types of leather jackets I’m featuring in this video/article, you’ll likely notice that some are missing and that’s for a specific reason – I just don’t like them and they tend to not look great on most men. See the video below for an explanation of what styles I don’t prefer and why.

For the best ways to wear your leather jacket(s), check out the new video and my previous article and video here.

Biker Jacket

In my previous story, I mentioned that I didn’t like the biker style very much because they have a lot going on and should only be worn if you have a very specific rock and roll style. I still think this is true if you go with the traditional or classic-style biker jacket with the belt, chrome hardware and shiny leather. But, over the years, I discovered a slightly updated version that does away with the belt and replaces the shiny hardware and leather with matte options. Basically, this style of biker jacket removes all the things I disliked about the traditional versions, and now I’ve got to say, I’m much more of a fan.

As for how to wear them, I’d style with a t-shirt or sweater in white, black, or grey, dark wash or black jeans/chinos, and a pair of black boots. If you want to “dress it up” a bit, then pair with a casual collared shirt (leave untucked) in black, green, or burgundy, and some chinos or wool trousers.

$2395 – Burberry leather biker jacket – Burberry consistently makes some of my favorite leather jackets. You’ll pay for it, but if you can swing it, they’re totally worth the price and the fit is incredible. Remember, leather jackets are a BIFL piece.
$420 – AllSaints cargo leather jacket – all the hardware on this jacket is completely blacked out which I always prefer, but is tough to find. AllSaints’ leather jackets are worth the price and for the quality and construction, they’re a steal!
$420 – AllSaints leather biker jacket
$133 – AllSaints dark green shirt – this is the shirt Dorian wore throughout the video. The dark green color and cut of the shirt is super flattering for all shapes and sizes, especially if you’re thin or huskier.

Leather Bomber Jacket

I’ve said it a gazillion times and I’ll continue to say it, over and over again (all these articles feature bomber jackets) – regardless of your age and body type, from super thin to more rotund gentleman, every single man should have at least one bomber jacket in his closet because it’s a super versatile year-round item that can be worn a myriad of ways. Now whether you go with leather, suede or fabric options, that’s up to you. Frankly, I’d have each option, if your budget allows.

As for how to wear a leather bomber jacket, I always like to keep it simple. Pair with a crewneck sweater or t-shirt, dark wash jeans, and sneakers or boots. To make it more formal, I would pair with a white collared shirt, black tie, and wool trousers. The beauty of a bomber is that you can pretty much wear it with any kind of shirt – just pair with chinos, jeans or trousers on the darker side and you’ll never go wrong.

$500 – AllSaints leather bomber jacket – classic, classic, classic.
$500 – AllSaints leather bomber jacket in greyish blue – if you already own black, mix it up with this neutral-like color. Wear how you normally would with a black or brown jacket.
$465 – AllSaints leather and wool bomber – Dorian wore this in my Fall Shoes video and it’s such a sleek take on an all leather jacket. Super timeless and stylish.

Top 5 Men’s Fall Essentials 2017

Since Fall is upon us, I wanted to do an update and supplement to my Men’s Fall & Winter Essentials series. So don’t think of this as a replacement for the series, think of it as a next-tier type of video and article. Enjoy!
 

1 & 2. Denim Jacket + Chino Pants

My first pick for the season is a denim jacket. It’s perfect for this time of year and works equally well during Springtime, too. Not only does it look good on every body type, but you can layer the heck out of them depending on how cool or warm the weather is. I recommend my go-to styling formula for denim jackets: wear with a t-shirt or crewneck sweater and a pair of chinos and boots.

My second choice are olive, tan and burgandy chino pants. Some of my favorite colors for the season are olive green, brown, and burgundy, which you can easily wear with your other casual jackets and sportcoats.

Outfit Details & Notes

$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 material are. The color choices and friendly price have me stocking up on a handful of these for Dorian this Fall (Seriously, I’ve already added the green and brown ones to his closet!).
$128 – Brooks Brothers suede belt in brown
$295 – Allen Edmonds plain-toe chukka boots
$318 – John Varvatos sunglasses
$5 – Perlon Watch Strap

Alternate Denim Jacket & Chinos

$70 – Levi’s trucker jacket – You can never go wrong with the brand’s iconic denim jacket.
$225 – Rag & Bone slim fit chinos – I’m a huge fan of their chinos because they use a stiffer fabric that’s lays really nicely along the ankles and is super flattering on all shapes and sizes, especially if you’re a hefty fella.

3 & 4. Patterned Sweater & Boots

My third Fall Essential is a patterned sweater. Hopefully, you’ve already got the basic, plain sweaters, so now it’s time to add one that has a subtle pattern because it’s an easy way to add a visually interesting element to your outfits. Also, a pattern helps draw attention away from the torso which is especially beneficial if you’re a slim or husky guy.

My fourth Fall Essential is a pair of boots. You can go with leather or suede, dress or casual boots, but for me, I’m all about the taupe suede boots featured below. These are my hands-down favorite for the season because the color is the perfect dark brownish-grey so they can be used in place of brown or black boots.

Outfit Details & Notes

$100 – Topman acid wash bomber jacket
$148 – Brooks Brothers cotton cashmere birds-eye sweater – The softness, color and subtle pattern instantly caught my eye. No matter your shape or size, this sweater is flattering on everyone. They run slightly larger, so you should size down for the best fit possible.
$10 – Topman slim fit t-shirt in white
$118 – Banana Republic slim fit jeans
$350 – Allen Edmonds suede boots in dark taupe
$98 – Brooks Brothers silver buckle leather belt in brown 
$125 – Ray-Ban black sunglasses
$25 – Brown Leather Watch Strap

Alternate Patterned Sweater & Boots

$89 – Banana Republic wool birdseye sweater – I’m so impressed with not only the fit, but by the superior wool you can get for under $100. The brand sourced the wool from Zegna’s factory, which is always high quality and can easily set you back $600+.
$178 – Banana Republic suede work boot

5. Chambray Shirt

My final pick for the season is a chambray shirt. It looks great on its own or layered underneath a cardigan or jacket. I recommend wearing yours with chinos or wool trousers.

Outfit Details & Notes

$55 – Topman chambray shirt – I’m a huge fan of the lighter wash, but it’s worth mentioning that this shirt runs pretty slim, so if you’re a bigger guy, see my alternate choice below.
$68 – J.Crew slim-fit stretch chino pants in green and brown (click here for straight leg chino)
$98 – Brooks Brothers silver buckle leather belt in brown
$179 – Johnston & Murphy chukka boots in mahogany 
$625 – This Is Ground briefcase
$318 – John Varvatos sunglasses
$25 – Brown Leather Watch Strap

Alternate Chambray Shirt

$55 – The Tie Bar chambray shirt – If you don’t want a super slim fit and/or you’re a larger man, then get this shirt instead.

 

Thanks for reading!

POTW: The Best Men’s Polo Shirts Ever

I’m quite excited for my pick of the week because I’ve been constantly checking for the last few weeks to see if they’re available. Annnnnnnnd they are!! I’m sure you’ve already read my Essential Polo Shirt article so you know what to look for in a polo – so I present to you, my favorite polo shirt. 

H&M Polo Shirt - Ashley Weston

$10 – H&M Polo Shirt

Here’s a few reasons why I love them:

  • They have a great slim and stretchy fit.
  • The cotton fabric feels like a really soft t-shirt.
  • The collar has just the right amount of structure.
  • The price is very affordable. They’re currently on sale for $10.

Do yourself a favor and pick these up right now because they go in and out of stock constantly, and sometimes for weeks on end. The second I see them come up, I immediately order them because I’ve been burned in the past by waiting.

During this time of year, Dorian lives in these polos. He wears them all the time, but especially during the Spring and Summer months. I do want to point out, though, that the darker colored polos are not the most durable. I baby these by washing them in cold water with detergent, specifically for dark colors, and I let them air dry, but even still, the color for the darker polos will fade so you’ll need to replace them yearly if not sooner.

With all that said, these are still some of the best fitting and best looking polos ever.

Best Ways to Wear

I love polo shirts because they can easily be dressed up or down. If you’re running errands or want a super casual, yet put together look, then pair your polo with some dark wash jeans and white low top sneakers. Check out my Polo Shirt article for lots of other ways to wear a polo shirt, as well.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1
$10 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black
$168 – Diesel Buster 0607A
$75 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith 
$415 – Tom Ford ‘Snowdon’ Sunglasses
IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

You can also throw on a black bomber jacket or navy Harrington jacket as well as some chukka boots or even casual dress shoes for a slightly more dressed up look that’s perfect for going to a party or heading to dinner/drinks.

$200 – Zara Leather Jacket
$250 – Fred Perry Harrington Jacket in black
$390 – Baracuta G9 Harrington Jacket in navy
$175 – Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Chukka in black

3 Outfits Every Guy Needs

My articles and videos almost always center around a specific piece of clothing or accessory, so I thought it would be fun to switch it up and talk about 3 head-to-toe foundational outfits every guy needs. Once you have these 3 outfits, you can build an entire wardrobe around them. And here’s the beauty of them: from these 3 outfits, you can switch things in and out to add your own personal touch and truly make them your own.

Outfit 1

The first outfit is a casual one, comprised of a black polo shirt, a well-fitting pair of dark wash jeans and some white low top sneakers. This is a solid casual outfit that will always look great and put together on every man, regardless of your age or body type.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1

$198 – John Varvatos Collection Hamptons Silk & Cotton Polo Shirt in black or charcoal (Best luxe polo shirt!)
$13 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black (**THESE ARE THE BEST POLO SHIRTS!!!!)
$165 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in slate resin (Love that the color, stitching, and hardware are similar color)
$55 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in dark hollow
$410 – Common Projects Achilles Leather Sneakers in white
$60 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith (colorway: white/white/fairway – Also available @ Footlocker)
$415 – Tom Ford ‘Snowdon’ Sunglasses
IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

Outfit 2

I like to call this outfit ‘dressy casual’ because it transitions well from day to night. Throw on a leather or cotton black bomber jacket with a black t-shirt, dark wash jeans and black leather chukkas.

If you’re thin to average build, you can also wear a white t-shirt. However, if you’re a broader man that’s not in shape, and you decide to take off your jacket, then a white t-shirt will actually spotlight how big you are (and not in a good way). Also, the reason why you want to go with black chukkas is because black is the dominant color in your jacket. I went with leather chukka boots over suede and lace-up boots because the latter options won’t look appropriate for every season.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1-2

$670 – All Saints Mower Leather Bomber Jacket in black (LOVE how minimal this jacket is – definitely a BIFL!)
$88 – Everlane Cotton Bomber in black
$60 – James Perse Clear Jersey Crew in black
$10 – H&M Crew-neck T-shirt in black
$170 – Diesel Buster 0607A Tapered Jeans (I’ve bought my fiance 3 pairs of these – they’re that good!)
$55 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in dark hollow
$175 – Johnston & Murphy Conard Cap Toe Chukka in black

Why a bomber over a blazer?

A bomber is a very stylish, modern alternative to a blazer that works in almost all the same occasions and looks great for every man, regardless if you’re a teenager all the way to a retiree. A younger gentlemen in high school or college, for instance, wouldn’t necessarily need a blazer, so that’s why I’m not recommending it over a blazer. If the occasion does call for a sport coat or blazer, in a pinch, you can use the jacket in my next recommendation and dress it up like I did in the picture below.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1-4

Outfit 3

Lastly, my classic go-to formal outfit is a charcoal or navy suit with a white semi-spread collar dress shirt, black or charcoal tie, white pocket square, and oxford dress shoes. If you’re going with a charcoal suit, then pair with a black tie and black dress shoes. For a navy suit, pair with a charcoal tie, and dark brown dress shoes.

I love these two suits because it’s very easy to go formal by adding a tie or dress them down by forgoing a tie or swapping in a t-shirt instead of a collared shirt.

3-Outfits-Every-Guy-Should-Own-Ashley-Weston-1-3

$1395 – Burberry Modern Fit Wool Part Canvas Suit (charcoal)
$498 – Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Grey Suit
$115 – TopMan Grey Slim Fit Suit (alternative for warm climates: Topman Charcoal Linen Suit)
$280 – Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords (black or brown)
$120 – Aldo Bandolla Dress Shoe (black)
$19 – The Tie Bar Grenafaux Tie (My, hands down, favorite solid tie – go with black or charcoal)
$10 – The Tie Bar Solid White Cotton Pocket Square

POTW: The Perfect Blue Chambray Shirt

I was doing a pull for a client when I randomly stumbled on this indigo blue chambray shirt and I had to share it with you. It’s not often that a simple shirt like this blows me away, but this one was something special. It was the perfect shade of indigo blue, the buttons where a similar color to the shirt, so they blended in nicely. And the fit was really darn good. If you don’t already have one (or a few) of these in your closet, get one – or many!

Chambray Shirt Ashley Weston$45 – Topman Navy Wash Twill Casual Shirt 

This shirt will definitely not be available for too long so be sure to order yours if you’ve been wanting a chambray shirt for awhile now because it’s so tough to find one this good.

Best Ways to Wear

Chambray shirts look great year round. You can wear it dressed up with a sportcoat, dress it down with a bomber jacket, or wear it on its own with the sleeves rolled up and paired with some chinos or grey or black jeans.

IMG_0682

$149 – H&M Wool Blazer
$45 – Topman Navy Wash Twill Casual Shirt 
$198 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in Seriously Black
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

Bomber Jacket with Chambray Shirt - Ashley Weston

$250 – Life After Denim Flight Jacket
$45 – Topman Navy Wash Twill Casual Shirt
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

Chambray Shirt - Ashley Weston

$70 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Jeans (in black stretch, nightshine, or beluga grey)
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers
IWC Portugieser Automatic Watch

POTW: What to Wear When Going To The Gym or Airport

I’ve been getting a lot of questions and emails from you about what to wear when going to the gym or airport so you’re still stylish, yet comfortable.

Thus, my POTW are John Elliott’s grey sweatpants because they’re the only item you need to add to your closet in order to create this sharp outfit below. You should already have three out of the four items if you’ve been following my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Series for any length of time.

John Elliot Sweatpants POTW Ashley Weston

Here’s why this outfit is great:

Sweatpants

I love John Elliott’s clothes because he always does such a great job with creating high quality basics and these sweatpants are no exception. The construction and fabric choices are a cut above the rest, so if you’re able to swing it, I highly recommend these.

$190 – John Elliot Grey Escobar Lounge Pants (also in black)
$40 – Topman Grey Peached Skinny Joggers 

T-Shirt

You already should own a navy, black, and/or white t-shirt. These colors are perfect for the gym because they won’t show your sweat prominently like a grey tee will. Also, they look great with this outfit outside of the gym as well.

$80 – John Elliott Mercer T-Shirt
$30 – Armani Exchange Pima Crew

Jackets

Next, you should also already have a bomber jacket, whether it be navy or black, in your closet because as I’ve said before, bombers look great on every man, regardless of your age or body type. You can easily switch out the bomber for a zip-up hoodie if you want, but I wouldn’t change a single thing in this outfit.

$610 – Ami Navy Twill Bomber Jacket
$80 – Zara Technical Bomber Jacket 

Shoes

And finally, add some white tennis shoes or athletic sneakers from your closet to complete the look.

$120 – Nike Roshe Flyknit 
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers