$100 H&M Challenge – Celebrity Menswear Stylist Edition

H&M is one of our favorite budget-friendly stores and they have a huge range of items, from essential items to more trendy pieces. So, we thought it was time for Ashley to do a $100 challenge and show you three of her favorite looks, with each entire look coming in at $100 or under.

Outfit Picks

Outfit #1

Bomber

T-Shirt 

Chinos

Chinos Alternative 

Sneakers

Outfit #2

Bomber 

Oxford

T-Shirt

Chinos

Boots

Outfit #3

Sweater

Pants (only available in-store)

Pants Alternative 1

Pants Alternative 2

Scarf (only available in-store)

Scarf Alternative 1

Scarf Alternative 2

Scarf Alternative 3

Boots

Worth It? Cashmere Sweaters

Now that we’re headed into Fall it’s about time you start thinking about your sweater rotation. While cashmere is expensive, it’s no longer just a true luxury item, and you can now find cashmere sweaters at multiple different price points. We get asked about cashmere sweaters a ton so we thought it was time we gave you our opinion on whether or not cashmere was worth it.

Pros:

-Very light, soft, and warm.  Cashmere is the ideal material for sweaters.

-They are extremely comfortable and layer easily.

-Have a nice finish that can be dressy or casual.

Cons:

-Expensive to very expensive.

-Delicate and require extra care. Not as durable as merino wool or cotton versions.

-Cashmere sweaters now come at a huge range of price points so it can be tough to know the quality.

Verdict:

Ashley: Worth It
Dorian: Not Worth It

Picks

Designer:

Rag & Bone

Burberry

Theory

Brooks Brothers 

Budget Friendly:

Nordstrom

J.Crew

Naadam

Uniqlo 

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)

 

Series Intro & How to Match Clothing Colors To Your Skin Tone

In this series, I’m going to show you the must-have Fall and Winter items that every well-dressed gentleman should own. That means I’ll be talking about:

  • Boots and Shoes
  • Coats & Jackets
  • Shirts & Sweaters
  • Suits
  • And various Accessories

Like always, I only recommend products that I’ve personally touched and worked with – in all budget ranges. I’m fortunate in that I get to touch hundreds of menswear items a week, so when I say something is great, it’s not because I got paid to sell you a bunch of cheap [email protected]*t like everyone else – it’s because I have actual experience with these items.

This series is a supplement to my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Series. In that series, I covered the year-round essentials that you should have in your closet already. If you haven’t read/watched those articles and videos, do that first so we’re on the same page.

The Best Colors & Patterns For The Season

fall-winter-colors-patterns-men-ashley-westonSince I don’t want to go over colors and matching them in every single video in this series, let’s talk about Fall and Winter colors and patterns and how to match them to your outfit and skin tone.

The appropriate colors for this time of year are:

  • Mid to darker greens
  • Shades of browns (camel to dark brown)
  • Shades of blues (light chambray to navy)
  • Shades of gray (light, medium and dark)
  • Burgundy and wine colors
  • Darker or “burnt” Orange

As for patterns, this is what I like to call “plaid season”. It’s the best time of year to wear plaid because its more visually heavy and pairs nicely with the heavier clothing you’ll be wearing, like sweaters, wool coats and wool trousers. For outerwear and Fall/Winter suiting, I love a good windowpane, as well.

HOW TO Match & wear COLORS BASED ON YOUR SKIN TONE

If you’re darker skinned, this is less of an issue because those colors look great on you. But if you’re pale or yellow-toned, this can be a disaster if you don’t know what you’re doing.

PALE or Yellow Skin

If you’re pale or yellow skin toned, make sure that your camel, burgundy, or burnt orange pieces are an outer layer and not a base layer. Let me show you what I mean.

You’ll notice in the below photo that I have my pale model wearing a camel sweater. But you’ll also hopefully notice that there is a white ring of a t-shirt sticking out from under the collar.

This is VERY important because that little sliver of white provides separation between the skin and sweater. The camel color would completely wash out his skin tone and make him look sickly if it wasn’t there. It’s much more apparent in person than images, too.

fallwinteressentialsovercoatcamelsweaterashleyweston

Below is the same model wearing a burnt orange sweater, but you’ll notice that I have a gray plaid shirt under the sweater to provide that necessary separation of the sweater from his skin. If that wasn’t there, the orange would bring out the pink tones in his skin – which would make him look red and flushed.

orangesweaterplaidshirt-ashley-weston

And lastly, going back to my white sneaker article/video, I styled my model in a burgundy bomber jacket with a black t-shirt. The shirt provides the necessary visual separation to not bring out the pink tones in his skin.

If I had him in a black jacket and burgundy t-shirt, instead, he would look oddly red-faced. This combination, though, would look awesome on someone with darker skin.

burgundyjacket-2

So to recap: If you have a pale or yellow skin tone and want to mix Fall/Winter colors into your wardrobe, just make sure it’s an outerwear piece with visible neutrals (white, grey, black, navy) underneath.

DARKER SKIN

Now, if you’re darker skinned, you can still follow the pale/yellow skin rules above because it’s the classic way to wear color and looks good on everyone. So when in doubt, wear your statement color as outer layers. But with darker skin tones, you have the added advantage of being able to wear all these colors in your shirts and sweaters and then have neutral outer colors because the contrast looks great with your skin tone.

Here’s some examples of outfits that look great on darker/warmer skin tones that would look horrible on a guy with yellow or pale skin:

darkerskintoneoutfits-ashley-weston2

Just do me a favor, though. Don’t go overboard with color. Have one standout color in your outfit and then pair it with neutrals everywhere else. When you start throwing burgundys, greens, blues and browns all in one outfit, it’s just too much going on.

How To Wear PLAIDS AND PATTERNS

It’s a great time of year to incorporate them into your wardrobe. I prefer to keep the plaids to collared shirts because it looks good on everybody and is really hard to mess up. You can wear them on their own, with the sleeves rolled up, or throw on a nice solid colored sport coat, bomber or trucker jacket over it and the shirt will look great.

As I mentioned earlier, I also love a good windowpane. This looks great on pants, suits, sport coats/blazers and overcoats.

The key to wearing patterns is to make sure the rest of the items in your outfit – pants or jacket/sweater/coat are solid neutral colors. It’s when you start mixing patterns that’ll get you in trouble real quick.

So pick an item in your outfit (normally a shirt, sweater, jacket or coat) for a pattern and then have everything else be a solid color. And also make sure that just like with your ties and pocket squares, you want a color in your plaid to be a similar shade of one of the colors in your pants or jacket/sweater. Then you’ll have a nice, classy and cohesive look.

My Favorite COLOR COMBINATIONS For The Season

Here’s some color combinations I love and use with my clients during this time of year:

  • Green and blue
  • Gray and brown
  • Blue and brown
  • Burgundy and blue
  • Burnt orange and blue

These are my go-to colors and if you stick to these combinations, you’ll look sharp and timeless during this season.

So without further adieu, let’s get into the Men’s Fall and Winter Essentials.

The Holiday Party Series – Part 2: How To Dress For A Friend’s Party

In The Holiday Party Series – Part 1: How To Dress For The Office Party, we went over what to wear and how to act at this year’s formal or informal work party. In Part 2 of the series, we’re going to discuss how to dress for your friend’s holiday party.

A friend’s party is usually a more relaxed, but that still doesn’t mean it’s time to pull out the sweatpants and hoodies.

If you’re single, the holidays are a perfect time to meet someone special – for the night, the month, the year, or for life. And showing up like the well-dressed gentleman that you are, definitely helps your chances.

If you’re attached, your girl is going to love watching the other women ogle you from afar. I know that when someone looks at my man, I always think, “Yeah, that’s right, keep looking – he’s with me!” Any woman can appreciate a well-dressed man and they will, whether you’re attached or not.

Topman Dark Green Marl Slim Fit Sweater, $35
Brooks Brothers Non-Iron Regent Fit Mini Pinstripe Dress Shirt, $92
JBrand Tyler Taper Fit in Rasalas, $228
H&M Leather Dress Belt, $20
Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap-Toe Oxfords, $395
Topman SELECT Homme Grey Salt and Pepper Wool Rich Suit Jacket, $220

Throw on a dark green v-neck sweater over a crisp, light blue dress shirt. Leave the top 2 buttons undone and make sure the collar tips are tucked underneath your sweater.

Finish with a pair of slim, dark wash jeans. Avoid jeans that have whiskering, fading, or holes because they’ll make your entire outfit look sloppy.

Don’t forget to add a black belt (making sure the buckle isn’t too large) and black leather dress shoes to complete the look.

Another option is to pair the above outfit with a sports coat. If you go this route, add a pocket square to finish it off. Remember: It’s all about the details.

If you missed Part 1 of The Holiday Party Series: How To Dress For The Office Party, I talked about the thing that’ll make or break this outfit is whether you’ve layered properly. So keep those layers on the thinner side!

 

Tips & Etiquette

  1. Bring a nice bottle of wine to thank the host/hostess for throwing the party.
  2. Bring a few business cards, just in case.
    You never know who you might run in to.
  3. Introduce yourself to every person in the room.
    Avoid only talking to the people you know. It’s not weird or inappropriate to go up to strangers at this party because they were invited by your friend/host, just like you were. So use the fact that you have a mutual friend to introduce yourself.
  4. Before leaving, make sure to say goodbye to the host(s) as well as the people you spoke with that night.
    In the adult world, it’s extremely rude to leave without saying goodbye.