Men’s Shoes (7 Ways To Up Your Shoe Game)

Hopefully, you’ve already got the wardrobe, grooming and other accessories locked down, so now its time to give your shoes some much-needed attention. 

Use shoe trees

They keep your shoes odor and moisture free and also help maintain their shape when you’re not wearing them. They’re a great investment that you’ll use for the next few decades, promise. In a pinch, you can also use the original paper inserts.
Favorites: These, or These

Use a shoe horn

When putting on your shoes, if you’re stomping your foot in, or tearing some of the skin off your fingers while using them as a shoe horn, you’re ruining the backs of your shoes, you fingers, or both. Whether they’re sneakers, dress shoes or boots, there’s nothing worse than the backs of your shoes getting wrinkled and faded because you’re not using a shoe horn.
Favorites: Choice #1, Choice #2

Tie your shoes properly

It may sound trivial, but where you separate the men from the boys is by paying attention to the details like how you tie your shoes. So you should definitely learn how to tie your shoes so the laces lay flat, at least, but frankly, there’s an even better solution in the next point.

Hide the laces

Nothing ruins a great outfit more than long, floppy and/or ill-tied shoelaces. What you really should do is hide them and the best possible way to do this ever is by using these special laces we found a few weeks ago that makes laces that are meant to be hidden. You only have to tie them once and suddenly all your sneakers and dress shoes are now slip ons with amazing looking laces. Seriously, they’re game-changers.

Keep them clean

Give them a quick rub down about once a week with a moist rag, sponge or paper towel, or as they get dirty. Then once a month, do a little deeper cleaning with a proper shoe cleaning kit for about 5 minutes once a month. If you’ve got dress shoes, you can also polish them, but typically, a little cleaning every few days goes a long way.

Get Rid Of The Stink

What some people don’t know is that actual smell is bacteria, and it’s living inside your socks, shoes, and on your feet, so it’s imperative that you kill the pesky bacteria before it turns into a foot infection or worse… There’s a spray that is fantastic and kills bacteria in 10 seconds and has a nice citrus smell. When storing your shoes overnight, pop these in them, as needed.

Buy Multiples

If you have a pair of shoes that you love and fear their eventual demise, the best thing to do is buy multiple pairs of them and swap them out to give them some rest. Coupled with using shoetrees and keeping them clean, your shoes will last significantly longer if you give them breaks between wearing.

Winter Accessories Every Man Should Own | Best Men’s Winter Accessories

Winter can be a tough time for your personal style, plus the weather and elements require special attention for your wardrobe and, more importantly, your accessories. That said, the right winter accessories will bring both function and personality to your wardrobe. It doesn’t all have to be about keeping warm (though that’s definitely important), it’s a great opportunity to add some extra style to whatever you’re wearing. For more basic tips, make sure to check out all of our Winter Essentials and our article on Winter Style Do’s and Don’ts

Here are our picks for the Men’s Winter Accessories That Every Man Should Own!

 

Cashmere / Wool Knit Hat

A must when it’s freezing. Go for a thicker rib knit and try cashmere for a luxurious touch that’s soft, light, and warm. Don’t be afraid to try a pop of color here too!

Hat 1

Hat 2

Budget-Friendly

 

A Patterned Scarf

The perfect time to add some color or pattern into the mix. Just a hint of it peeking out from under a coat is a sharp, stylish look. Cashmere is a great option here too, it’s very light and warm.

Picks:

Scarf 1

Scarf 2

Budget-Friendly

 

Gloves

We’re not talking about thick ski-style gloves, but something lighter but still warm. Look for knit versions in wool or cashmere or lined leather options for a sharp touch (especially if you dress up often).

Gloves 1

Gloves 2

Budget-Friendly

 

Slim Dressy Watch

Add in a thin watch that toes the line between dressy and casual so you can dress it up or down. Layered and formal outfits need a watch that’s not big and bulky. Wearing a big, sporty watch with dressier looks can just throw off the proportions. Luckily our friends at Nove watches have the perfect styles.  Their watches are high-quality, Swiss-made, and come in a variety of slim styles that work well with a range of looks. Plus, we’ve got a special deal for you guys. Use offer code AW20 for 20% off your purchase.

Picks (from the video):

Watch 1

Watch 2

 

Merino Wool Socks

Merino wool has incredible technical properties (warm, lightweight and dries quickly) and there are great options out there that are lightweight, warm, and stylish. 

Our Favorite Merino Wool Socks

Another Pick

 

Thermals

We discussed in our Winter Do’s and Don’ts, and the right pair won’t be bulky or too hot and can easily layer underneath both casual and dressy clothes. We really like our go-to pick below because they are very light, warm, and won’t break the bank.

Thermals Pic

 

Extra-moisturizing skincare products

Nobody likes the look of dull, dry skin and the cold, dry air can be brutal on your hands and face so take extra care to moisturize properly. The right products and a solid morning routine and evening grooming routine will really help keep your skin looking great during the winter.

Picks:

Moisturizer 1 – Get 30% Off With Code Ashley30

Moisturizer 2

Moisturizer 3

Moisturizer 4

 

Leather Lace-Up Boots With A Rubber Sole

Proper boots for the winter are crucial and if you’re dealing with a lot of rain and snow you want to make sure your boots are protected and have a rubber sole for traction and durability. Some of our picks below have a Dainite sole which is the gold standard in terms of protection and grip in wet, snowy conditions.

Picks:

Dress Boots 1

Dress Boots 2

Casual Boots 1

Casual Boots 2

 

Dorian’s Outfit Details

Jeans

Boots (similar)

Glasses

Peacoat

Sweater

Gloves (similar)

Scarf (similar)

Men’s Winter Style Do’s and Don’ts | Men’s Winter Style Tips

Winter can be a tough time for your personal style. Cold weather and the elements can lull you into just giving up, but don’t do it! These few simple tips can keep you looking sharp and feeling great, no matter how cold it gets! For more tips, make sure to check out our Fall/Winter Essentials Series!

Here are our Winter Style Do’s and Don’ts!

Winter Style Do’s

Do Add Some Colorful Jewel-toned Accessories

The right hats, scarves, and gloves are crucial for warmth and style. They’re also a great opportunity to add some color and pattern to brighten up your look. Colors like emerald green, a mustardy yellow, dark purples, reds, and blues are all easy to incorporate into your winter wardrobe and pack a stylish punch of color.

Picks:

Scarf 1

Scarf 2

Scarf 3

Hat 1

Hat 2

Hat 3

Gloves 1

Gloves 2

Gloves 3

 

Do Invest In Quality Outerwear

We talk a lot about where and when to invest, and outside of dress shoes & boots, outerwear is the other major area we really recommend investing in. You get what you pay for and with the right investment, a high-quality coat, peacoat, or jacket will last for years to come, keep you warm, and have you looking stylish.

Picks:

Overcoat

Overcoat 2

Parka

Puffer Parka

Parka 2

Peacoat

Peacoat 2

 

Do Get The Right thermals

There are many great brands offering very thin/lightweight thermals that’ll layer comfortably underneath your clothes and keep you warm. The key is to get a trim fit, that way they’ll lay flat and layer easily under everything from jeans to suits. Our pick below is light, warm and you can wear these as a base layer underneath your clothes or on their own as a long sleeve shirt.

Thermals Pick

 

Winter Style Don’ts

Don’t Neglect Your Skin

You may not think so, but cold-weather skincare is just as important as warm weather skincare. The cold, dry weather can be incredibly harsh on your skin and strip away it’s protection, so it’s super important to cleanse and moisturize properly and stay hydrated. There’s nothing more distracting and unattractive than dry, dull skin.

Luckily, our friends at Geologie have you covered. Geologie puts together a simple routine formulated for daily use. The products are personalized to your skin’s needs and work great for every skin type. We tested out their set that comes with 4 different products:  Everyday Face Wash, Vital Morning Face Cream w/ SPF, Repairing Night Cream & Nourishing Eye Cream. It even includes 2 bottles of face wash, one for your sink and one for your shower or to take with you to the gym. Plus, just for our readers and viewers, you can get 30% off your purchase with code Ashley30! Shop here and enter the code at checkout.

 

Don’t Forget To Layer

We talked about it for Fall, and it’s just as applicable in Winter.  Proper layering can help you regulate your temperature and look stylish no matter how cold it is, making sure you’re comfortable going from the cold outside to warm inside (subway, office, etc.).

 

Don’t Forget To Winterize your boots

Boots are essential footwear for Winter (our go-to picks for this year are right here) and the right pair can look amazing and last a long time. But, you’ve got to prepare them with the right leather treatments to keep them from getting ruined in the inclement weather.

Boot Treatment Kit

10 Ways You’re Killing Your Style | Men’s Style Mistakes

Once you’ve got the basics of style down, it’s important to focus on those little things that can make or break your personal style and everyday look. Something as simple as a little mistake can totally throw off your look or ruin otherwise good style choices. Oftentimes its something as simple as how you present a particular choice. No matter what it is, focusing on the proper details and nailing those can save you from potential disaster.  Some of these mistakes might be obvious but some you may not even know you are doing!

So, here are 10 ways you may be killing your style!

 

Being Overly Self-Conscious

Trying too hard can be as bad as not trying at all. Wearing trendy items that aren’t you or not wearing things that make you feel comfortable and confident are quick ways to ruin your overall style. People notice how you feel and if you’re feeling good about what you’re wearing and looking good, it will stand out.

 

Wearing Clothing That Doesn’t Work for your body type

Working with your body type is a huge part of getting well-fitting clothing. Choosing items that will flatter and fit well is crucial. Some easy items to avoid are henley shirts if you’re not fit or muscular, Chelsea boots if you’re a bigger guy, and classic straight-legged jeans if you’re a thinner guy. Check out all of our Fit Guides for tips about different body types and how things should fit.

 

Over-accessorizing

Yikes, this can go wrong so easily, over-accessorizing can be a huge problem. Johnny Depp, you are not. Go easy on rings, bracelets, and other flashy items and go for more subtle, refined accessories to show some personality or flair. Stick with 1 or 2 items max, like a pocket square and a watch.

 

Wearing too much cologne

A little goes a long way, and there’s nothing worse than smelling someone from 5 feet away. Nobody (especially women) wants that. If you can smell yourself, it’s too much.

 

Not paying attention to the details

Again, the little things matter, so take care to focus on them. Things like not lint rolling your clothing (especially dark shirts, suits, and jackets), wearing wrinkled clothing (just get our recommended steamer), and not tucking in your shoelaces really matter with your overall look.

Speaking of tucking in shoelaces (something Ashley is always super focused on as a stylist), our friends at Straight Laces have an ingenious shoelace set up that creates a clean, tucked look and basically turns all your shoes into slip on’s.  It’s such a smart, useful product and we’re using them on all our shoes personally and with Ashley’s clients. Seriously, they’re that good. Just for our readers and viewers, we’ve got a deal for 40% off 3 or more laces! Shop here and use code AshWeston40.

 

Not dressing your age

We’ve discussed how to dress well in your 40’s before and a big part of it is embracing your age and wearing items that are classy and age-appropriate.

 

Wearing dirty, old shoes

Hopefully, this goes without saying, but a bad pair of shoes can absolutely ruin your entire look. Keep them in good condition and shined up.

 

Not Grooming Regularly

Overgrown hair, beards, and fingernails are no bueno. Make sure you’re taking proper care of your grooming and putting your best foot forward.  Especially important in professional environments. We’ve got a ton of tips in all of our grooming guides.

 

Not taking care of your skin

Just like your grooming, proper skin care is an important part of your overall routine. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated but you should find a morning routine and an evening routine that works for you. Focus on moisturizing, good shaving techniques, and using the right products.

 

Wearing faded, ripped or pilled items

When items are faded (especially shirts, pants and sweaters), it’s time to send them off to the donation bin and get some replacements. If your sweaters are pilled, you just need to get a sweater shaver (we like this one best) to remove the little balls and get it back in good shape.

3 Men’s Boots You Need Right Now | Best Men’s Boots

It’s boot season! As we talked about in our Fall Shoes video, boots take an important place in your wardrobe and the right ones can have you looking stylish and protected from the elements all the way to Spring! If you’re in a part of the country that deals with a lot of rain, snow, or other inclement weather make sure you take the extra steps to protect your boots with proper weather-proofing and care. Great boots are all about versatility and all of these picks can be worn with multiple types of outfits from casual to dressy.  Here are the 3 men’s boots you need right now!

Click here to Get 20% off you ENTIRE Beckett Simonon purchase with code: AW. Thanks to our friends at Beckett Simonon for sponsoring this video!

 

The Dress Boot

Obviously this one goes best with your smart-casual outfits and Fall/Winter suits. If you don’t really wear many suits and wool trousers, then the next type of boot we’ll talk about is definitely more for you. As for these, there’s need to mess with a classic – it’s sleek and sophisticated, like the Porsche of dress boots. A captoe boot will add a bit of polish to everything and we love how the boot silhouette just adds a different vibe to your outfit. If you want something with a little extra flair, you can go with their version featuring broguing details.

Picks:

Captoe Dress Boot

Brogue Dress Boot

Wingtip Brogue Boot

Outfit Details:

Captoe Dress Boot

Jacket (similar)

Sunglasses

Sweater

T-Shirt

Pants

Watch

 

The Casual Boot

If you’re a man, and you don’t live in a tropical climate, you absolutely need a casual boot. There are many different options but like the dress boot, a super-versatile captoe style is sharp enough to dress up or down. You can also go with a plain-toe version too, but we prefer a captoe as our pick as it adds a more interesting touch. As far as broguing, we can go either way but overall we tend to like a cleaner design for this type of boot. This style of boot is outstanding because it is so versatile, wear it with casual denim looks or dress it up a bit with chinos or wool trousers. The sturdy, casual sole is polished but not too dressy.

Picks:

Black Casual Boot

Dark Brown Casual Boot

Wingtip Brogue Casual Boot

Captoe Brogue Casual Boot

Outfit Details:

Boots

Jacket (similar)

Sunglasses

Sweater

T-Shirt

Pants

Boots

Watch Strap

 

The Chelsea Boot

Super-sleek and stylish, the Chelsea boot should be treated as a dressier shoe. We like pairing black leather or dark brown suede Chelsea boots with slim, tapered black jeans or suiting and wool trousers. Protip: the key is to make sure your pants are tapered so they ever so lightly hug the top your boot. Black and dark brown are the key colors here and we like a suede version to mix up the texture a bit.

 

Picks:

Black Leather Chelsea

Dark Brown Suede Chelsea

Outfit Details:

Boots

Jacket (similar)

Sunglasses

Sweater

T-Shirt

Pants

Dressing Well On A Budget | Affordable Men’s Fashion Tips

Despite what you may think, dressing stylishly and well doesn’t have to involve a lot of money. We’ve talked time and again about how achieving style has everything to do with choosing the right items for a timeless essential wardrobe and nothing to do with how much you pay for something. Whether it’s the right budget-friendly denim and chinos, or affordable accessories that add a bit of personality, you can dress well on a budget, no matter what it is. Another bonus: women care more about how you dress, not what you spend on clothing, trust us.

So, with that, here are a few simple ways that you can dress well on a budget.

 

The Right Fit

It doesn’t matter how much you spend on clothes if they don’t fit they’ll look like crap! A well-fitting $75 bomber will look way better than an ill-fitting $2000 suit. If you handle this part properly, you’ve done 80% of the hard work. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with Fit Guides for nearly every wardrobe item in your closet.

 

Nail The Details

Small tweaks like well-chosen accessories (watch, pocket square, a tie bar, or watch band) will elevate an average look to a new level. These items can all be super affordable and when put together with a well-chosen, well-fitting outfit they’re really going to take your style to the next level with a bare minimum of investment.

 

The Right Shoes

There’s no quicker way to ruin a solid, stylish outfit than with a bad pair of shoes. Plus, it’s a fact women will notice your shoes and regardless of how much you spend, they should be clean, in good shape, and timeless in style. Don’t forget to consider the right shoe choice for the situation you’re dressing for. A shoe that’s too casual or overly-dressy with the wrong outfit is just as bad as shoes that are in terrible shape.

 

Dress for the situation

Dressing out of touch for the situation just makes you look like you’re trying too hard or you’ve got no taste, and neither one is something you want to impart to an observer. Whether you spent a lot or a little, if you’re overdressing for a barbeque or underdressing for a work event or wedding, nobody is going to care about your budget, they’re only going to notice how out of place you look.

Do Women Care How Much You Spend On Clothes?

One of the most common comments we see and hear time and again is “Women only care about men who spend a lot on clothing.” Now we believe that style is made up of a lot more things than just the clothes you wear and we talk a lot about how to build a stylish essential wardrobe on any budget. But, it is a fair question to ask.

So do women care how much you spend on clothes? Tune in and find out what we think!

Style and money are unrelated

Fit, and to a lesser extent, materials, denotes how “rich” you can look. You can be wearing a $5k suit but if it fits poorly and isn’t properly tailored, you’re still going to look like crap. But if you’re wearing a $500 suit that’s tailored perfectly and fits your body type well, you’re going to look like a million bucks. Dressing well in clothes that fit you isn’t expensive. Dressing poorly in designer clothing is very expensive and a complete waste of time and money, not to mention, no women will care if your suit is expensive if you look like a mess in it. Since we’re talking about fit, we’ve got Fit Guides for everything, so don’t forget to check ’em out!

Designer Doesn’t Always Mean Good

Covering yourself in designer labels to show how much you spend on clothes actually just shows a lack of class and tact. Wearing a $500 Gucci T-shirt is silly for two reasons: one, they’re knocked off so easily that often people assume it’s fake anyway, and two, did you really just pay $500 for a $2 shirt with a Gucci logo screen printed on it? To women, it makes you look like more of a sucker and its incredibly off-putting. Looking good is about the details and subtlety – women pick up on these more than most men know. 

Dress Within Your Means

We mention it a lot around here but it bears repeating, style is achievable at literally any budget. If you’re spending more than what your means allow on your clothing, that’s an instant alarm to a woman. It shows you’re either insecure or irresponsible financially. Either way, very unattractive. Be honest about your budget and stick with what works for it, it’s a much, much better look. Don’t believe us? We’ve got recommendations for budget-friendly denim, chinos, and more.

Dress For The Situation

If you’re wearing expensive clothing, but it’s inappropriate for the situation, women will be repelled. Wearing your brash, iced-out Hublot watch to a black-tie affair is just gauche. Flashy shows of money like this are inappropriate and they send up red flags like “insecure”, “ignorant”, “tacky”. Subtlety and class are infinitely more important to women, even when they don’t know it. EVERY woman, regardless of who they are, would jump James Bond’s bones because he’s subtle, confident, and elegant in his style. Remember that. 

The Verdict: Absolutely Not

Take it from a woman (and an incredibly accomplished one at that), the right women care about so many things that aren’t money and how much of it you spend (or pretend to spend) on your clothing. Style is about so much more than just what you wear and women know this. Style can be achieved no matter what your budget is, even if it’s zero, so don’t forget that!

 

Top 5 Men’s Shoes & Boots For Fall 2019

Now that Fall is officially here it’s an important time to consider your shoe rotation. Since we’ll probably get asked, no, this doesn’t mean these are the ONLY shoes you should wear during the Fall. Year-round essentials like sneakers and lace-up oxfords will always look stylish no matter what time of year. But, these are some specific style upgrades we’ve chosen to complement your wardrobe for this time of year. Make sure you check out our other shoe suggestions and our Fall Essentials to make sure you’ve got your Fall wardrobe dialed in for maximum style and versatility.

So, with that, here are our picks for the top 5 shoes and boots you need this Fall!

 

 

Lace-Up Boots

Fall is boot season and a sharp pair is an absolute necessity. There are a myriad of styles these days and a wide range of price points but if you’re just getting into the game, stick with the basics:  a sharp, slightly dressy pair of captoe or round toe boots. The right pair is sleek and sexy, pairs easily with your jeans and chinos as well as your heavier suits.

Picks:

Allen Edmonds 1 (from the video)

Allen Edmonds 2

Kenneth Cole

Johnston & Murphy

 

Leather High Tops

Dressy and casual shoes are pretty interchangeable these days, and a nice leather high top can work with a variety of different looks. This isn’t a basketball sneaker, it’s more of a cool hybrid between a boot and a standard leather sneaker so don’t be afraid to dress this one up.

Picks:

Wolverine (from the video)

Common Projects

 

Captoe Brogue Dress Shoes

Assuming you have a solid pair of oxford lace-ups in your rotation, a brogued pair is the next logical step. You can find conservative pairs to wear with suits or more informal pairs to wear with chinos and denim. Don’t forget, it’s important to invest in quality where you can and shoes are one of the best places to invest. We recommend these in either brown or black but black is the most versatile.

Picks:

Allen Edmonds (from the video)

Kenneth Cole

J. Crew

Brooks Brothers

 

Chukka Boots

The dress boot’s slightly more low-key cousin, the chukka silhouette is extremely versatile and looks just as good with a suit as it does with denim and chinos. This style looks great in brown or black leather and also is an excellent style to look for in suede.  We love suede for the fall season because it adds just a bit of texture to your overall look.

Johnston & Murphy Leather (from the video)

Wolf & Sheppard Suede

Allen Edmonds Suede

Allen Edmonds Leather

 

Chelsea Boots

If you don’t already have a Chelsea boot in your rotation, now’s the time.  It’s a great alternative to a dress boot for your heavier suits, wool trousers, and black or dark wash denim.  For Fall we are recommending a black leather or dark brown suede as the choices here.  These picks are great because they will work for you year-round, no matter what you’re wearing. One warning though, if you’re on the bigger/broader side Chelsea boots aren’t a great choice for your body type, so just stick to lace-up boots.

Picks:

Kenneth Cole (from the video)

To Boot (similar to video pick)

Cole Haan

Johnston & Murphy