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

12 Men’s Summer Style Essentials

Great summer style doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy, but given the temperatures, sun, and range of occasions, you’re going to need some summer style essentials to have you looking your best. Don’t worry though, we did the heavy lifting for you and put together a list of go-to items that are going to make this summer your most stylish one yet! If you’re looking for some more summer style tips make sure to check out our in-depth Summer Essentials E-Book (free download) and our Summer Style Do’s and Don’ts.

We’ve got a ton of picks below plus some features on key items we’ve covered before so make sure to check out all of our picks!

 

Polo Shirts

Polos shirts are an absolute summer essential because they’re so versatile and great for the hot weather. Wear them with everything from shorts to chinos to swim trunksH&M polos are a longtime favorite of ours, they’re budget-friendly and come in a ton of colors. We also love Uniqlo’s polos as well. Look for the basic colors like white, grey, black, and navy and wear them with everything from shorts to chinos. We’ve got a few tips to consider in terms of choosing the right fabric and style for your body type too.

Picks:

H&M

Uniqlo

Additional Picks

Chino Pants

A tried and true workhorse for your summer style, chino pants are lightweight and super comfortable. These pants look great with everything and can be dressed up or down for daytime or evening. Our favorites from Uniqlo are stylish, versatile, and budget-friendly. The fit is excellent and they even offer in-store hemming for free. They come in slim and straight fits. For a few other options, check out our Budget-Friendly Chinos rundown.

Picks:

Uniqlo

The Tie Bar

Additional Picks

 

NATO / Perlon Watch Straps

Switching up your watch band is a small, subtle style move that can add a little bit of extra personality. NATO and perlon straps are super affordable, come in a range of colors, and can be worn in and out of the water.

Picks:

Nato Straps

Perlon Straps

 

Stylish Swim Trunks

We recently picked our favorite swim trunks for the summer and the right pair is and an indispensable item for the weekend or any trip. Stick to options that resemble shorts and don’t be afraid to try a fun pattern or bold color.

Our picks for the best swim trunks of 2019

 

Sunglasses

Another must-have item, they’re going to add an extra dose of style while protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays. We’ve talked about finding the right sunglass frame shape for your face in the past, so consider that before making a purchase.

Picks:

Warby Parker

Ray-Ban

Salt

Oliver Peoples

Barton Perreira

Additional Picks

 

Hats

Speaking of sun protection, having a stylish hat is key when you’re spending extra time outdoors or at the beach and pool. We recommend a simple, casual ballcap or something more seasonal like a wide-brimmed Panama-style hat for style and sun protection.

Picks:

Brooks Brothers

Stetson

Scala

J.Crew

Herschel

Espadrilles Or Tennis Shoes

We discussed these shoe styles in our top 3 must-have shoes for the summer in a previous post and for good reason, the right casual shoe option that’s both stylish and affordable is important. Solid colors like white and navy are super versatile but don’t be afraid to mix it up with a fun pattern or some bolder color.

Picks:

Sneakers 1

Sneakers 2

Sneakers 3

Espadrilles 1

Espadrilles 2

 

Long-Sleeve Linen Shirts

One of our favorite summer style essentials, a linen shirt looks as good casually with shorts as it does with something a bit more dressy like chinos or cotton slacks. They’re always a great move during the warm weather and our favorites are very budget-friendly. Stick with the classics like solid white or light blue or try some bolder colors like olive, royal blue, or a fresh striped pattern.

Picks:

Uniqlo

H&M

Brooks Brothers

J.Crew

 

No-Show Socks

A key accessory in the summer, no-show socks can be worn with all types of shoes whether it be casual shoes like sneakers, boat shoes or driving loafers or dressier options like oxfords, monks, or penny loafers.

Picks:

Uniqlo – our favorite!

Bombas

Mack Weldon

H&M

 

Sunscreen

We can’t stress enough the importance of sunscreen, whether you’re at the pool or beach or just out and about. Don’t forget proper lip balm with sunscreen too!

Picks:

Anthelios

Neutrogena

Jack Black

Burt’s Bees

Jack Black

 

Weekender Bag

The importance of the right weekender bag for summer travel (and beyond) can’t be overstated. You want something sharp and durable with the right amount of space for a few days worth of clothing. We recently picked all of our favorite weekender bags for 2019, so check them out!

The Best Weekender Bags of 2019

 

A Good Book

Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or beach or on a flight out of town, a great summer read is definitely essential. We’ve picked our top 5 books every man should read previously, and our friends at GQ put together a pretty great list as well.

Dorian’s Current Pick 1

Dorian’s Current Pick 2

Top 5 Books Every Man Should Read

GQ Recommendations

 

When Should You Wear A Belt?

To belt or not to belt, that’s the question in this week’s edition of 2 Minute Tuesday! It may seem simple but there are actually some key situations and outfits you need to keep in mind when you’re thinking about putting on a belt. Previously we discussed what belt size to buy and our favorite belt picks, but now it’s time to break down exactly when you should and shouldn’t wear a belt!

 

Belts Are An Accessory

First and foremost, belts are an accessory, not a utilitarian piece. As we said in our fit guides, your pants should always fit properly without a bet and you shouldn’t be using a belt solely to keep them up.

 

Don’t Wear A Belt: When Wearing Suits

Even if a suit has belt loops, you don’t want to wear a belt with a suit, it ruins the line as the eye will be drawn directly to your waist and it will break up the overall vertical look.  Like we previously said, your suit pants should fit properly so your pants should sit on you without needing to be held up.

 

Do Wear A Belt: When Your Shirt Is Tucked In

Whether your shirt is fully tucked in or just partially tucked in (aka the French Tuck), you always want to wear a belt, regardless of whether you’re wearing jeans, chinos, or dress trousers.

 

Do Wear A Belt: With Jackets and Blazers

Typically with jackets and blazers, your shirt should be tucked in (unless its a very casual look with a t-shirt) so you’re going to always want to wear a belt with these types of looks.

Best Men’s Swim Trunks | Swimsuits For 2019

It’s peak swim trunk season and we want to help you look your most stylish at the pool or beach. There are a ton of different styles out there, but generally-speaking we always lean towards swimwear that can also look like you’re wearing shorts. That way you look great in and out of the pool.

Fit-wise, as we talked about in our swim trunk fit guide, you want to look for inseams around 5″ as they will hit around mid-thigh for most men.  We also recommend versions that have fabric on the thicker/stiffer side as they’ll look less clingy and keep their shape.  All our picks are below and Ashley chose her favorites at several different price points.

Here are our picks for the best men’s swim trunks for 2019!

 

H&M – $25

These floral print shorts have a 5″ inseam and come in a cotton blend, The fabric is going to be on the thinner side but that’s okay because the design is of a more runner-style with the elastic waistband and drawstring. Ashley chose this because this is a design that will hide any fabric sticking to you when you get out of the pool.  We love a fun pattern and the price is very affordable. They also come in a range of solid colors too.

 

Hill City – $68

Clean, simple and ready for anything, we love these basic swim trunks from Hill City thanks to their high-quality material and minimal design.  They’ve got a comfortable drawstring waist and handy pockets that will keep them looking sharp enough to be worn outside of the beach or pool.  The 6″ inseam is a nice middle-ground for guys of any height and they come in a range of basic colors.

 

Banana Republic – $98

We love this retro-inspired print and the zip fly and snap closure style. It really does look like a pair of shorts and will have you looking sharp in and out of the water, that’s why this style of trunks are our favorite.  The polyester material is durable and a little bit stiff so they will lay nicely against the body with a trim fit.

 

Saturdays NYC – $95

Another classic, minimal design, these trunks from Saturdays feature a fixed-waist boardshort design and a 6.5″ inseam with a nice trim fit.  We loved the streamlined design and very minimal branding.  The shorts also feature very nice, thick material with a bit of stretch for comfort and movement in and out of the water.

 

Onia – $140

We’re huge fans of the shorts from Onia, a luxury swimwear company from New York. They feature a really sharp and summery blue color with just a hint of pattern.  This pair of shorts comes in a nylon blend that’s nice and thick but with a hint of stretch so it will lay flat against the body. We like this version with a 5″ inseam best but there’s a 7.5″ inseam version for you taller guys too.  It has two front pockets and a handy rear pocket plus a thin mesh lining.  The snap closure and zip fly meet a fixed waistband in the front but the back portion of the waist has some elastic for added comfort, a really cool feature. As with anything you invest in, these shorts will last you a long time.

 

Orlebar Brown – $195

Orelebar Brown is another luxury swimwear brand and they’re known for their retro prints and photo print shorts.  We loved this retro-style version because it’s got a fun pop but it’s not overwhelming.  The quality is really excellent and the material is both durable and stretchy but also very comfortable. They have a snap waist and zip fly and a nice 5.5″ inseam that’s perfect for a range of heights. The design also features adjustable waist tabs, a very cool feature that not only gives you a precise fit but is s a nice detail you don’t normally see on swim trunks.

How Should Men’s Swim Trunks Fit?

Just because swim trunks are a casual item doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider their fit just like you do the rest of the items in your Essential Wardrobe. Like with anything else in our Fit Guide, a few missteps here or there and you could really not be doing your physique any favors.

So, now that you’re probably in the mindset for beach and pool time we thought we’d cover how your swim trunks should fit in our latest episode of 2 Minute Tuesday.

 

 

Length

Proportionally and visually, this is what looks best on men and as a basic rule, no matter how tall you are, your trunks should always above the knee by at least 3” above your knee.

Shorter Men

The length should hit at mid-thigh, at the longest. This proper length will make akes you (and your legs) look longer. 

Taller Men

For the right proportions, you can go a little longer between 3” above the knee to mid-thigh, at the shortest. 

Average Height Men

Go with the same guidelines as a taller guy, otherwise, your proportions will look off. 

 

Fit

Ideally, you want to be able to pinch between a 1/2″ to 1” on either side of your thigh. You can go up a little bit if you must but any more and you’re right on the edge of looking a little bit baggy and sloppy.

The waist should fit perfectly around without too much sagging or tightness.

 

Should You Tailor Swim Trunks?

You can shorten them, but we don’t recommend trying to get the legs slimmed, because there’s usually pockets and other things in the way and it can get expensive. There are enough styles out there for every man to be able to find a good fit.