5 Best Budget-Friendly Spring Essentials

Finding the right budget-friendly Spring essentials is all about choosing the right affordable brands and focusing on the right accessories you can add to your outfit to really elevate your look and supplement your Essential Wardrobe.

Here are our picks for the 5 Best Budget-Friendly Spring Essentials for 2019!

 

  

1. Polo Shirts

We’ve always been huge fans H&M polos, the fit is great and they offer awesome bang for the buck. Get a range of basic colors (navy, black, grey, light grey) and wear them until Fall.

Picks:

Polos

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Alternative 2

 

2. Braided Leather Belt

A low-key way to mix up your belt style without doing anything crazy. These belts are best for casual looks and we recommend options in dark brown, light brown, or black.

Picks:

Belt 1

Belt 2

Belt 3

3. Silk Knit Ties

An easy, affordable way to mix up your tie routine. Silk knit ties add texture and a bit of casual flair that’s perfect for spring occasions (weddings/parties) or the office.

Picks:

My Favorite Knit Ties

Alternative Knit Ties

 

4. Chino Pants

Obviously, we love chino pants for Spring and Uniqlo chinos are the cream of the crop for budget-friendly options.  The fit and price are excellent and they even offer in-store hemming for free.  They come in slim and straight fits.

Picks:

My Favorite Budget-Friendly Chinos

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5. Canvas Sneakers

A classic casual sneaker option that’s both stylish and affordable.  Solid colors like white and navy are super versatile but don’t be afraid to mix it up with a fun checkerboard pattern or some color.

Picks:

Sneakers 1

Sneakers 2

Sneakers 3

Sneakers 4

Sneakers 5

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!

How To Clean Dirty Sneakers Tutorial

I’ve been getting a lot of emails and requests to do a video and article about how to clean your dirty sneakers so here it is. This method is for your canvas, leather, and knit/woven sneakers (like your Ultraboosts or Flyknits).

Tools Needed

Shoe Cleaning Tutorial Items Ashley WEston

$8 – Oral-B Toothbrush – Medium (2 ct.)
$6 – Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Cleaning Pads (8 ct.)
$10 – Jason Markk Premium Shoe Cleaning Brush – you’ll need this softer hog bristle brush if you’re cleaning premium leather or knit/woven surfaces (ex. Flyknits or Ultraboosts)
$7 – Sinland Microfiber Cleaning Cloth (6 ct.)
$16 – Jason Markk Essential Shoe Cleaning Kit (includes cleaning liquid and standard brush) – I personally love using JM’s cleaning solution and brush. I find it work’s perfectl and all his ingredients are specifically targeted to gently remove dirt from sneakers.
$9 – Seventh Generation Free & Clear Dish Liquid (2 ct.)
Instead of the cleaning liquid, you can use dish soap. Make sure its all-natural, which means it’s free from any dyes, fragrances and toxins so it won’t cause any possible yellowing.

Cleaning Just The Midsoles

If it’s just the midsoles that need to be cleaned:

  1. Dip a Magic Eraser sponge in water and then start rubbing the midsoles.

  2. For stubborn or textured areas where the dirt won’t budget – use a toothbrush and some Jason Markk cleaning solution or all-natural dish soap and scrub the area. The toothbrush’s tiny bristles should be able to remove most, if not all, of the dirt stuck in the porous areas.

  3. Wipe them down with the microfiber towel.

Cleaning the whole sneaker

1. Gather Supplies

You’re going to need a brush and some cleaning solution. If you’re cleaning premium leather or knit/mesh sneakers, then make sure to use a softer brush, usually made from hog bristles, like Jason Markk’s Premium Shoe Cleaning Brush. It’s important to be gentler on these delicate materials so they don’t get ruined.

2. Wipe Them Down

Give your sneakers a wipe down with a cotton or microfiber towel to remove any loose dirt on the surface. Paper towels also work, but they’re wasteful – hopefully you agree :).

3. Remove & Clean Laces

Remove the shoelaces if they’re dirty and/or the tongue needs to be cleaned. Be sure to wash your white shoelaces with a load of your whites (if you use bleach or not) on the hottest water setting and let them air dry.  For colored laces, you can add them to your colors while washing, preferably in cold water.

4. Scrub The Sneaks (duh)

Dip your brush in water, squirt some cleaning liquid on it, dip back in the water again, and then shake off any excess water. Start scrubbing the sneaker all over – midsole, upper and tongue (if necessary). You really want to work up a lather. You can always use a toothbrush for those hard to reach areas like on the tongue in the video above.

5. Wipe Them Down

Using your cotton or microfiber towel, wipe your sneaker to remove the foam/dirt. If you’re cleaning your Flyknits or Ultraboosts, you’ll want to use a dab and twist motion on the woven/knitted surface to soak up any moisture like I highlighted in the video above. That’ll ensure you don’t fray the material.

6. Let Them Dry

Now let the shoes air dry for a few hours, re-lace them and you’re good to go!

Top 4 Shoes For Spring Men

Top 4 Men’s Shoes for Spring

These are the top 4 men’s shoes for Spring that I really love. You’re probably not going to wear these with your Fall and Winter wardrobe, so it’s time to pull these shoes out of your closet and let them shine! Footwear is a great way to inject new life in your existing wardrobe, and these 4 shoes will make a stylish statement during Spring and Summer. 

Here are my top 4 favorite shoes for Spring:

4. Suede Double Monk Straps

I included these in my Top 10 Essential Items for Spring as well. Suede Monkstraps, whether you get a dark brown, grey, or navy pair, can just take an outfit to another level. It’s such a stylish touch to any outfit and can be worn with a suit, chinos, or jeans. Make sure to Scotch Guard them before you wear them for the first time – always gotta protect your suede items!

 

$685 – Crockett & Jones Lowndes Espresso Calf Suede
$398 – Brooks Brothers Suede Double Monk Strap
$275 – Crosby Square Conley Double Monk Strap (Espresso and Navy)
$80 – H&M Suede Monkstrap Shoes

3. Penny Loafers

I absolutely love penny loafers. They look so good when worn with no-show socks and a little bit of ankle exposed. Whether you cuff your jeans or chinos, or hem your pants so there’s no break or a little ankle showing. A leather loafer looks so chic and luxurious. I love Ferragamo’s loafers (I got a pair for my fiancé Dorian 2 or 3 years ago) and they’re totally worth the price because they definitely hold up and still look great after years and years of wear.

Penny Loafers

$760 – Ferragamo Penny Loafer Shoe
$185 – Johnston & Murphy Stratton Penny

2. Suede Driving Shoes

Think of them as the middle ground between sneakers and penny loafers. They’re just as comfortable as sneakers, yet dressier like a penny loafer. I also included these in my Men’s Summer Essentials ebook because they work during the warmer months in general.

My hands down, favorite suede driving shoe is from Tod’s. Everything about that shoe – construction, design, and color choice – is so damn sexy and incredible. It’s worth every penny, and there is no close second for me.

 

$475 – Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoe (in brown, navy, and grey)
$115 – Jack Erwin Parker Driving Loafer (in navy, chocolate, caramel)

1. Navy or Grey Sneakers (Canvas or Leather)

Outside of your white sneakers, I love a great navy or grey low top sneaker. They’re neutral colors so you can wear them with everything you have and they definitely won’t get dirty quickly.

If you want to splurge, Common Projects makes my favorite sneakers and a close second are by Lanvin.

 

$570 – Lanvin Shiny Cap Toe Sneaker (in navy or grey)
$509 – Common Projects Achilles Low Premium in Grey (or navy suede)
$75 – Converse JP Jack Sneaker (leather)
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Ox Sneaker (canvas)