4 Colors Of Denim You Should Own

Denim, it’s an absolute staple, and you can wear jeans just about anywhere these days. But, it’s important to have the right colors for the job. I don’t recommend all colors of denim for every occasion so you should not only know what 4 colors you need to have, but also the right and wrong times to wear them

For more, don’t forget to check out our Jeans Fit Guide and our tips on how to take care of your denim!

The four colors of denim I recommend owning are dark indigo, a lighter wash of blue, grey and black.

Dark Indigo

If you own just one pair, a dark wash indigo is the one to own, so buy these first!  It’s the most versatile and can be worn dressed up with something like a blazer and loafers or with everything casual like sneakers and a t-shirt. If you work in a business casual office dark indigo jeans are a great alternative to chinos on casual days.

Light Wash Blue

Not as versatile as a darker wash, I recommend a lighter blue for more casual situations.  Be careful not to go too light on the wash as the very light shades tend to be a bit too trendy and can veer a bit too young.

Grey

While not as important as dark wash jeans, grey jeans can be quite versatile.  Stick with a medium to darker grey wash and don’t be afraid to dress them up.  Think of them kind of like a pair of grey chinos in terms of how and where you would wear them.

Black

I love a good pair of black jeans and they’re almost as vital to your wardrobe as dark indigo jeans. They have a little bit of a rocker vibe to them and look great for nighttime occasions. You can never go wrong with a pair of black jeans, a white or grey shirt, and a pair of sneakers or boots.

Denim Picks

Dark Wash:

Diesel Buster

APC Petit Standard

RRL

Uniqlo Slim Fit Selvedge

Levis 511

Gap Slim

Light Wash:

Jbrand Tyler

Paige in Birch

Diesel Larkee

Uniqlo Slim Selvedge

Levis 511

Grey:

Jbrand Tyler in Luna

Hudson Blake in Metal

Jbrand Tyler in Slate

Gap Slim Fit

H&M Slim Fit

Black:

Diesel Buster

AG Tellis in Deep Pitch

APC Petit Standard

Levis Made & Crafted 511

Uniqlo Slim Selvedge 

 

How To Take Care Of Your Jeans

Knowing how to take proper care of your jeans is not only going to keep your go-to jeans looking sharp and clean for a long time, but save you money in the long run. So, in this video, we’re showing you all the tips and tricks on how to take care of your jeans!

Don’t forget to check our deep dive on all things jeans and our Fit Guide.

Jean Picks

Designer Slim Fit:

Tom Ford

RRL

JBrand Tyler Taper

Diesel Buster

Budget-Friendly Slim Fit:

Uniqlo Slim Fit Selvedge

Levis 511 Stretch

Gap Slim Fit

Designer Straight Fit:

AG Graduate

JBrand Kane 

Budget-Friendly Straight Fit:

Uniqlo Regular Fit 

Levis 514 Stretch

Gap Straight Fit

 

 

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!

POTW: Johnston & Murphy Burgundy Cap Toes

I was prepping for a fitting, and I came across these Johnston & Murphy burgundy cap toes that I thought you should know about. I’m not normally a fan of burgundy shoes because I often find the color to be difficult to wear and usually ends up being too much of a statement piece. But, these are different because the darker color is closer to a burgundy brown instead of the more reddish-oxblood color you often see with other “burgundy shoes” and that makes them much easier to wear. So, I had to make them my pick of the week!

 

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$155 – Johnston & Murphy Burgundy Conard Cap Toe 

Best Ways to Wear

The decorative broguing along with the brown soles adds a casual look to them making them easy to wear with your summer suits, like a green or navy cotton suit, or with some chinos or dark wash jeans. Blues, greens, and khaki go great with burgundy. If you’re ever unsure how to wear these, just know that whenever you wear brown dress shoes with a more casual outfit, you can easily wear these instead.

I also want to address the contrasting stitching. On more formal shoes it can be very distracting and pull the attention away from your outfit and really focus it on the shoes. But on a casual dress shoe, such as these, it works because you’re never going to be wearing them with a really formal outfit. So if you’re thinking about doing that, then please don’t.

Like I’ve said before, accessories are a great way to add some fun touches to your outfit and these shoes do exactly that.

BurgandyCapToeOutfits_AshleyWeston

 

Look 1

$40 – J. Crew Slub Cotton Deck-Striped T-Shirt
$68 – J. Crew Navy or Green Stretch Chino Pant in 770 Fit
$30 – Uniqlo Slim Fit Flat Front Chino in Navy

Look 2

$69 – Brooks Brothers Selvedge Oxford Sport Shirt
$70 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans (in blue flame, dark hollow and stump town)
$228 – JBrand Tyler Fit in Blue Hood

Look 3

$358 – J. Crew Ludlow Suit Jacket in Italian Cotton Oxford
$188 – J. Crew Ludlow Suit Pant in Italian Cotton Oxford
Shirting – See my dress shirt article
Ties – See my ties article

Steven Yeun Style

This article & video is part of the Celebrity Style Inspiration Series, where Antonio Centeno from RealMenRealStyle.com and I pick out great outfits from actors from movies and tv shows and demonstrate how to recreate and incorporate them into your wardrobe. 
In the other video/article, currently live on RMRS Channel & Website, we talked about Steven Yeun’s style from The Walking Dead, but I don’t think a lot of people know that Steven’s off-screen style is also very, very good. He’s one of the few male celebrities that I know who doesn’t use a stylist who looks amazing all the time. I’ve worked with him quite a few times over the years and he’s definitely one of the naturally best dressers I know – and a total sweetheart!

When I was deciding on which of his outfits to feature, I found this one from a red carpet appearance and loved it, so I texted to let him know that I was going to do a video about it. He said he was excited to see how I’d recreate it, so… Hi Steven! 

Below is Steven’s outfit I’m going to recreate for you. I specifically like this because it’s casual but has just the right blend of edginess to it with the boots and cuffed pants.

The Jacket & Sweater

I like Steven’s cardigan jacket a lot, but I prefer a bomber-style jacket instead (in my model image below) because not only does it look great on all body types, it also helps break up the top and bottom halves a little bit more with the black waistband, which also lends itself well to the cuffed pant and chelsea boot look. I had my model wear a plain white t-shirt underneath the sweater because it provides an extra layer of warmth and adds a nice little neutral accent just peeking through. 

Pants and Shoes

StevenYeunBottomHalfAshleyWeston

I added some dark wash jeans to stay true to the outfit and even though suede shoes are not my preference for most men, I went with similar suede boots because they work very well in Steven’s outfit. I especially love my choice because it’s a nice dark brown suede, which is easier to wear than a more reddish-oxblood brown or a lighter brown like Steven’s boots. My color choice will also look a little cleaner longer since it won’t show as many stains. 

And, of course, you’ve got to cuff/roll the jeans to complete the look.

My Version of this outfit

Topman Khaki Tailored Jersey Bomber Jacket (the original jacket I used isn’t available anymore, so this was the closest I could find from the same brand)
Life After Denim Heather Grey Astoria Crew Sweatshirt
Armani Exchange White Pima Crew Neck Tee
J Brand Tyler Slim Fit Stretch in Tumble
Vince Camuto ‘Bradbury’ Chelsea Boot

 

Designer Options

Frame Cotton Bomber Jacket 
Rag & Bone Depot Jacket
Acne Studios College Loopback Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt
Sunspel Loopback Cotton-Jersey Sweatshirt
James Perse Short Sleeve Crew Neck 
Jil Sander Slim-Fit Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt
Burberry Brit Slim-Fit Washed Stretch-Denim Jeans
RRL Slim-Fit Selvedge Denim Jeans
John Lobb Lawry Suede Chelsea Boots
O’Keeffe Bristol Suede Chelsea Boots

Budget Friendly options

ASOS Jersey Bomber Jacket With Contrast Ribs in Khaki
Topman Khaki Cotton Bomber Jacket
H&M Gray Melange Sweatshirt 
Selected Homme Sweatshirt
American Apparel Fine Jersey Crewneck T-Shirt
Armani Exchange White Pima Crew Neck Tee
Uniqlo Stretch Selvedge Slim Fit Jeans  
Levis 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in Sargent Cypress
ASOS Chelsea Boots in Suede
Johnston & Murphy Garner Gore Boots

Outfit Inspiration For Chelsea/Suede Boots & Bomber Jackets

 

Chiwetel Ejiofor Style – The Martian

This article & video is part of the Celebrity Style Inspiration Series, where Antonio Centeno from RealMenRealStyle.com and I pick out great outfits from movies and tv shows and demonstrate how to recreate and incorporate them into your wardrobe. 
As Antonio and I discussed in our other video about Chiwetel Ejiofor’s outfits to emulate, I love how unexpected this one was because who would watch a space movie and think they’d have amazing outfits in it? I thought Chiwetel Ejiofor’s style in the film hit the perfect sweet spot between dressy and casual that’ll be great for any man, regardless of his age or body type. I also wanted to include this one, because I’ve gotten a lot of questions from readers and viewers about how to wear shades of the same color. So I felt this was the perfect opportunity to show how it works.

Here’s the full outfit I’m going to recreate. I wish the full length images were a little brighter, but these were the best shots I could find. Also, they never fully show his shoes, so I’m having to guess a little bit on this one.

Chiwetel Ejiofor The Martian Ashley Weston4 Chiwetel Ejiofor The Martian Ashley Weston5

The Cardigan & Shirt

Chiwetel Ejiofor The Martian Ashley Weston8

Chiwetel is wearing a blue knit shawl collar cardigan with an oxford button down dress shirt. I put my model in a sweater by Rag & Bone and a Brooks Brothers Oxford shirt since they’re just so damn good. Check the outfit details at the bottom of this page for images and links.

Now, as I said in the video, you can either go with a white or blue Oxford button down, like I have my model wearing or you can go with a semi-spread collar dress shirt, or if you wanted to dress it down, you can go with a white v-neck or crew neck t-shirt.

T-Shirts-V-Neck-Crew-Neck-Ashley-Weston-Mens-Wardrobe-Essentials-Outfit-2

Funny enough, I created a similar look for my t-shirt story.

Pants, Shoes & Accessories

As for the pants, here’s wearing olive chino pants – which are just fine. But I don’t think olive is such a universal color and it’ll be hard to put them into other outfits. Since I’m a huge fan of dark wash jeans, especially for creating a more monochromatic look like I did with my model, I went with those instead. I also did this because it allows me to use some of my favorite shoes ever. Please follow my chino pants fit guide or my jeans fit guide so they’ll look amazing on you, regardless of your body type.

Like I mentioned in the intro, his shoes are never shown with this outfit, but to me this was an easy choice to go with some beautiful brown chukka boots. Blues like this are begging for a nice rich brown leather shoe and accessories, so I had to go with them.

Check my outfit details below to see the chukkas and accessories I’d pair with this outfit.

My Version of this outfit

Here’s my slightly modified version of Chiwetel Ejiofor’s outfit from The Martian. I hope you enjoy it!

Chiwetel Ejiofor Martian Style Ashley Weston3 1Chiwetel Ejiofor Martian Style Ashley Weston2

 

Rag & Bone Avery Shawl Cardigan
Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Button-Down Collar Dress Shirt
Diesel Buster 0845G
Warby Parker Watts Glasses 
The Frye Company James Chukka Boot


Designer Options

 

Brooks Brothers Shawl Collar Cardigan
Dolce & Gabbana Shawl-Collar Virgin Wool Cardigan
Brooks Brothers Milano Fit Button-Down Collar Dress Shirt
Burberry Cotton Oxford Shirt
Diesel Buster 0845G
J Brand Tyler Slim Fit Stretch in Tumble
Oliver Peoples Feldman Glasses 
The Frye Company Phillip Chukka
Allen Edmonds Dundee 2.0 Suede Boots

 

Budget Friendly options

 

Club Monaco Shawl-Collar Elbow Patch Merino Sweater
J. Crew Cotton Cardigan Sweater
Uniqlo Easy Care Oxford Long Sleeve Shirt
J. Crew Vintage Oxford Shirt
J. Crew 484 Stretch Jean
Levi’s 511 Slim-Fit Stretch Jeans
Warby Parker Watts Glasses 
Johnston & Murphy Copeland Chukka
Johnston & Murphy Grayson Chukka

Outfit Inspiration For Dark Wash Denim

The #AskAW Show: Episode 02

Have a question you’d like me to answer? Ask in the comments of this youtube video or send me an email.

Show Notes & Links

Q: I’d like to find a good pair of suede Chukka Boots, but I’ve got big feet – Size 15, can you help?

Allen Edmonds - Dundee Suede

Allen Edmonds – Dundee Suede

 

Q: What can I wear with my blue suede wingtips?

Dark wash jeans 

 

Q: How can I dress nicely in really warm weather?

Polo Shirts

 

Linen Button Up Shirt

 

Chino Pant

 

Shoes

 

Q: What watches would you recommend for a guy with skinny wrists who wants a brown band?

 

Q: What do you think about the proportions of this jacket?

Fashionbeans.com story I commented on. 

 

The White Sneaker

White Sneakers AKA Tennis Shoes are like jeans – everyone has them, but not everyone has the right ones or knows what to do with them.

Sneakers look good with any casual outfit (no suits, PLEASE!) and your color choice and how you care for them will have a big impact on whether you’ll look sharp, or just… blah. 

Have questions? Curious what others think?

Join us in the comments section of the video above.

 

Why White Sneakers?

If you’re reticent about white sneakers, I get it. My clients are a little freaked out by them in the beginning, too. But the reason I prefer white is they look super sharp and literally go with everything you’d wear casually. A pair of white sneakers instantly elevates an outfit to be a little sharper than it would be with other casual shoes. In my book, that’s a good thing.

As a woman, when I see a sharp-looking guy, I want to learn more about him. It’s impressive and intriguing. I’ve been busted for staring a few times because of this 🙂

If you really, really don’t want to get white shoes, go for a navy color then. They’ll still go with a lot of the other essentials on my list, but not as well as white.

High Tops or Low Tops?

For a foundational piece like this, leave the high tops for later. They’re not appropriate in many occasions where low tops are. High tops are definitely more sporty looking and with pants will bunch up around the ankles and can create a lot of stacking.

Canvas vs. Leather

This is when I’ll leave it up to your preference. Either one will work for the same occasions and outfits. Some people prefer natural fibers over leather. I prefer leather because it doesn’t stain as easily and they’re easier to keep clean, but they’re also (slightly) more costly. It’s entirely up to you. I’ll provide both options below.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

I’m always shocked to learn that most guys don’t know that women look at 3 things, in this order, when first meeting a man:

  1. Your face/head (duh!)
  2. Your fingernails
  3. Your shoes

Dirty or worn out shoes are a major turn off. Spend 30 seconds and take wet cloth or a Magic Eraser sponge and give your shoes a quick wipe down. I personally love using Jason Markk’s cleaning kit – check out my video about How To Clean Dirty Sneakers. A little effort goes a long way and will keep your shoes looking good for much longer.

The Best White Sneakers For Men

Designer Options

$495 – Givenchy Urban Street Leather Sneaker – all white (for white with a touch of blue on the heel, get these)
$495 – Saint Laurent SL/01 leather sneakers
$370 – Acne Studios Adrian leather sneakers
$410 – Common Projects Original Achilles leather sneakers

Budget-Friendly Options

$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Sneaker (leather option buy here)
$55 – Vans Old Skool Sneakers – in True White
$60 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

3 Ways To Wear

$200 – Topman Khaki Suede Bomber Jacket (the burgundy is no longer available, but I love this green suede version)
$10 – H&M Crew-neck T-shirt in black
$165 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in slate resin (Love that the color, stitching, and hardware are similar color)
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Sneaker (leather option buy here)

$13 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black (**THESE ARE THE BEST POLO SHIRTS!!!!)
$40 – Uniqlo Slim Fit Chino Pants in navy (Fit is awesome and they’ll hem your pants for free)
$55 – Vans Old Skool Sneakers – in True White

Burberry London  Slim Fit Travel Tailoring Wool Jacket
$78 – J.Crew Cotton Cashmere Slim Fit Cardigan in heather charcoal
$69 – Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Milano Fit Button-Down Collared Dress Shirt
$170 – Diesel Buster 0607A Tapered Jeans (I’ve bought my fiance 3 pairs of these – they’re that good!)
$73 – Brooks Brothers Leather Formal/Casual Belt in brown
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Sneaker (leather option buy here)

White Sneaker Outfit Inspiration/How To Wear White Sneakers