POTW: 2 Summer Items

This week, since I’m in New York, I wanted to feature a few summer items from a friend and one of my favorite New York-based designers. On top of that, I’ve been meaning to hang out with Barron from EffortlessGent.com, so what better way to kill a few birds with one stone?

$148 – Todd Snyder Short Sleeve Navy Floral Collared Shirt
$150 – Todd Snyder x PF Flyers Suede Rambler Lo Sneaker in Beige

Budget Friendly Options

$55 – Topman Navy Floral Print Short Sleeve Shirt
$100 – Adidas Originals Court Vantage Sneakers In Brown BB0128

Here’s why I love them:

  • The 100% high quality linen coupled with the navy and white color palette of the shirt will keep you cool all Summer long for years to come.
  • The champagne suede sneakers are a great way to add a stylish, yet neutral color to your summer wardrobe. Wear with the floral shirt and some white or light blue denim, navy or charcoal chinos or shorts.
  • You get what you pay for. High quality materials and construction coupled with well thought out, sharp designs are hard to come by. Trust me.
  • Did I mention these are neutral items that are easy to incorporate into your existing wardrobe?!

Best Ways To Wear

$125 – J.Crew 484 Slim Stretch Jeans in Whitford Wash
$40 – Uniqlo Slim Fit Flat Front Stretch Chinos in White
$25 – H&M Chino Shorts in Navy

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.

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$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.

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$40 – J. Crew Broken-In Slim Polo Shirt in black
$10 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black (**THESE ARE THE BEST POLO SHIRTS!!!!)
$228 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in blue hood
$70 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in blue flame
$410 – Common Projects Achilles Leather Sneakers
$75 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith 
$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.

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$620 – All Saints Zeno Leather Bomber Jacket in black
$200 – Zara Leather Jacket
$90 – James Perse Clear Jersey Crew in black
$30 – Armani Exchange Pima Crew in black
$170 – Diesel Buster 0607A Tapered Jeans
$70 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in blue flame
$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.

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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.

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$1395 – Burberry Slim Fit Wool Part Canvas Suit (navy)
$425 – J.Crew Navy Ludlow Suit Jacket in Italian Wool (navy and charcoal)
$225 – J.Crew Navy Ludlow Suit Pant in Italian Wool
$90 – TopMan Grey Slim Fit Suit
$280 – Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords (black or brown)
$275 – Johnston & Murphy Hyde Park II Cap-Toe (black or brown)
$19 – The Tie Bar Grenafaux Tie (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.

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$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

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 Sneakers For 2017

I want to talk about the Top 4 sneakers for 2017. These are 4 sneakers I highly recommend if you’re looking to put together an intentional sneaker collection that’ll cover you for some of the different aspects of your life. For example, working out, traveling, or just needing an everyday, lifestyle sneaker.

4. Nike Flyknit Racer

This is a great athletic sneaker because it weighs practically nothing and the woven upper makes it very breathable. Also, these are a great lifestyle sneaker that you can wear with your casual clothes because the design is so minimal and it has a very sleek silhouette.

Flyknit Racer Ashley Weston

$150 – Nike Flyknit Racer (in Black/White or Black/Anthracite/Black)

3. Converse All Star & Jack Purcell

These are classics and super easy to wear year-round. Leather or canvas options are great – and always default to low-tops because they’re easier to wear than high-tops.

Converse All Star and Jack Purcell Ashley Weston

$80 – Converse Jack Purcell Tumbled Leather Low Top (in white and black)
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Canvas Low Top (in white, navy, and black)
$65 – Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Low Top (in white and black)
$50 – Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Low Top (in white, navy, and black)

2. Adidas UltraBoost

I love the minimal design of the UltraBoost. The knit upper makes it very breathable too. You can treat these as your everyday sneakers or make them your running/workout shoes because they’re super comfortable.

Adidas Ultra Boost Ashley Weston

$180 – Adidas UltraBoost

1. Adidas Stan Smith

This one will be on my list every year until something better can replace it.

These are a great lifestyle, everyday tennis shoe. Also, they’re not expensive and relatively easy to keep clean if you give them a wipe down every week or two and don’t go hiking in them. Remember, women look at your shoes for an indication of what type of man you are. Clean white shoes = this dude’s got his shit together.

Adidas Stan Smiths Ashley Weston

$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Shoes (with either the green or navy logo)

 

Notably absent in my list are basketball sneakers because those are for a very specific group of men out there who either play basketball or are crazy sneakerheads. Some guys can pull them off really well, while others end up looking immature and silly in them.

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)

Lightweight Wool Spring and Summer Jacket

POW: Lightweight Wool and Cotton Jacket

Last Sunday I was getting a client ready for the Oscars, and a friend of his was wearing this incredible lightweight wool jacket that I knew I had to share with you. It’s been quite awhile since a jacket got me this excited.

There’s several reasons why I love this jacket for Spring and Summer, or year-round if you live in a warmer climate: lightweight wool and cotton fabric, incredible construction, texture and color, and its so damn stylish. Normally, I’m not a fan of pockets on the front of a jacket for all body types, as they can add bulk and throw off your proportions if you’re a thinner guy, but, as you’ll see in the video above, these pockets blended in so seamlessly that it isn’t an issue at all.

Wear it with a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers or dress it up with a collared shirt, wool trousers, and dress shoes – it will go with most casual and dressy casual outfits. Yep, this jacket is that good.

Apolis Indigo Wool Chore Jacket

Jacket

I went into the store and had my friend Michael, who’s average height but a broad build, and Dorian, who’s 6’3″ and slim, try the jacket on and they both looked great in it. See the video above to see what I’m talking about. Also, Dorian ended up picking up the blazer version of the Chore jacket for himself.

$278 – Apolis Indigo Wool Chore Jacket

How To Wear It

Crewneck Sweater

$158 – J.Crew Lightweight Italian Cashmere Crewneck Sweater  (in Heather Dove)
$122 – Life After Denim Lacrosse Crew
$40 – TopMan Grey Ripple Textured Raglan Slim Fit Sweater

White T-Shirt

$60 – James Perse Short Sleeve Crewneck
$10 – TopMan White Slim Fit T-Shirt

Jeans

$228 – JBrand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas
$70 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans (Blue Flame or Dark Hollow)

Sneakers

$509 – Common Projects Achilles Low Premium 
$65 – Converse Jack Purcell Classic Low Top (in White or Black)