Men’s Denim/Jean Jackets & How To Wear Them

After I released my Top 5 Fall Essentials article/video, I received a lot of questions about how to style different washes of denim jackets. I heard you loud and clear, so here’s some of my favorite ways to style them.

Light Wash

To avoid looking like you’re wearing a Canadian tuxedo, wear light wash denim jackets with chinos. You can pretty much get away with any color, but my favorites are navy, green, brown, and burgundy. My classic go-to formula is a t-shirt, chinos, and chukka boots. Crewneck sweaters or oxford button-downs are also good options as well.

$230 – Allsaints denim jacket – One of my favorite denim jackets currently available. I love the lighter wash and distressed touches and the slim fit is incredibly flattering, which is really hard to find in denim jackets. It fits true to size.
$20 – Topman striped t-shirt
$68 – J.Crew slim-fit stretch chino pant in green and brown (click here for their straight leg chinos)
$128 – Brooks Brothers suede belt in brown
$295 – Allen Edmonds plain-toe chukka boots
$318 – John Varvatos sunglasses
$5 – Perlon Watch Strap

Alternate Denim Jacket 

$90 – Levi’s denim jacket (in Queen) – You can never go wrong with this iconic denim jacket. Go with the next size down for this one because it’s not as fitted as the AllSaints one above and you always want a snug fit in the arms and body for all your denim jackets.

Dark Wash

If you only have the budget for one denim jacket, a dark washed one is what I’d choose. I love how dark the wash is because it’s easier to dress it up or down and it also has a slimming effect. I would avoid wearing jeans with a dark wash jacket unless they’re black because I don’t think it looks great and typically most men don’t know how to pair different washes of denim well. You can never go wrong with a pair of chinos and a crewneck t-shirt or sweater. If you want to dress the jacket up more, than pair it with some wool trousers and a collared shirt like I did in my fall accessory essentials article/video.

$118 – J.Crew denim jacket – Definitely go a size down than normal because you want a snug fit. Otherwise, the fit will be boxy which looks unflattering on every man regardless of your body type.
$24 – J.Crew t-shirt
$225 – J.Crew striped sweater
$40 – Uniqlo chinos in navy
$179 – Johnston & Murphy chukka boots
$415 – Tom Ford sunglasses 52mm

Alternate Denim Jacket 

$90 – Levi’s denim jacket (in Rinse) – Go with the next size down because you want a snug fit.

Grey Or Black Wash

Tall, dark, and handsome is how I describe the outfit you’ll be wearing with a grey (or black) denim jacket. Keep it all black – t-shirt, jeans, and boots. You can also go with a white t-shirt but I love how sharp an all black outfit looks with a gray denim jacket adding that perfect pop of monochrome color – it’s especially perfect for a night out.

$285 – AllSaints denim jacket
$75 – AllSaints black t-shirt
$168 – Diesel jeans
$750 – Prada chelsea boots
$415 – Tom Ford sunglasses in black

Alternate Denim Jacket 

$98 – Levis denim jacket

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

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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$198 – John Varvatos Collection Hamptons Silk & Cotton Polo Shirt in black or charcoal (Best luxe polo shirt!)
$13 – H&M Polo Shirt Slim Fit in black (**THESE ARE THE BEST POLO SHIRTS!!!!)
$165 – J. Brand Tyler Taper Fit in slate resin (Love that the color, stitching, and hardware are similar color)
$55 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in dark hollow
$410 – Common Projects Achilles Leather Sneakers in white
$60 – Adidas Originals Stan Smith (colorway: white/white/fairway – Also available @ Footlocker)
$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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$670 – All Saints Mower Leather Bomber Jacket in black (LOVE how minimal this jacket is – definitely a BIFL!)
$88 – Everlane Cotton Bomber in black
$60 – James Perse Clear Jersey Crew in black
$10 – H&M Crew-neck T-shirt in black
$170 – Diesel Buster 0607A Tapered Jeans (I’ve bought my fiance 3 pairs of these – they’re that good!)
$55 – Levi’s 511 Slim Fit Stretch Jeans in dark hollow
$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 Modern Fit Wool Part Canvas Suit (charcoal)
$498 – Brooks Brothers Red Fleece Grey Suit
$115 – TopMan Grey Slim Fit Suit (alternative for warm climates: Topman Charcoal Linen Suit)
$280 – Allen Edmonds Carlyle Plain-Toe Oxfords (black or brown)
$120 – Aldo Bandolla Dress Shoe (black)
$19 – The Tie Bar Grenafaux Tie (My, hands down, favorite solid tie – go with 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

POTW: The Best Men’s Silver Cuff Bracelet

I’ve been thinking a lot about men’s jewelry lately and what items, outside of a watch, would look great on every man regardless of his age. My pick of the week is this sterling silver cuff bracelet by Maison Margiela. Also, Le Gramme makes a similar one that I like a lot, too.

Maison Margiela Silver Cuff - Ashley WestonMaison Margiela Silver Logo Cuff

The reason why I chose this item is because the goal with your accessories is to have timeless, well constructed, minimally designed pieces. This silver cuff is an excellent way to add a stylish touch to your outfit. You should always stay away from anything that’s too flashy or obnoxious because that’ll end up making you look tacky.

It’s elegant and is made of sterling silver, and not brass, which will eventually tarnish (read: waste of money). Also, the simplicity of the item makes it easy to wear with any outfit, from something as casual as a t-shirt and jeans all the way up to a suit.

I also love the width of the cuff – It’s not too wide or too thin. It’s perfect for every man regardless of your height or build which is why it’s my pick of the week!

My Favorite Silver Cuffs

I highly recommend these two BIFL (Buy It For Life) cuffs. They’re made from pure sterling silver, barely weigh anything so you’ll pretty much feel nothing on your wrists, and the minimal design ensures your cuff won’t snag on your sweaters, jackets or shirt cuffs.

$525 – Maison Margiela Silver Logo Cuff
$400 – Le Gramme Silver Le 15 Grammes Cuff

For two budget friendly options, you can go with Miansai, which is going to feel a lot heavier, or Topman, which is made out of brass so will tarnish pretty quickly so you won’t be able to wear it for years and years down the road unless you’re pretty gentle with it.

$155 – Miansai Sterling Silver Singular Cuff 
$17 – Topman Silver Look Engraved Cuff

POTW: What to Wear When Going To The Gym or Airport

I’ve been getting a lot of questions and emails from you about what to wear when going to the gym or airport so you’re still stylish, yet comfortable.

Thus, my POTW are John Elliott’s grey sweatpants because they’re the only item you need to add to your closet in order to create this sharp outfit below. You should already have three out of the four items if you’ve been following my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Series for any length of time.

John Elliot Sweatpants POTW Ashley Weston

Here’s why this outfit is great:

Sweatpants

I love John Elliott’s clothes because he always does such a great job with creating high quality basics and these sweatpants are no exception. The construction and fabric choices are a cut above the rest, so if you’re able to swing it, I highly recommend these.

$190 – John Elliot Grey Escobar Lounge Pants (also in black)
$40 – Topman Grey Peached Skinny Joggers 

T-Shirt

You already should own a navy, black, and/or white t-shirt. These colors are perfect for the gym because they won’t show your sweat prominently like a grey tee will. Also, they look great with this outfit outside of the gym as well.

$80 – John Elliott Mercer T-Shirt
$30 – Armani Exchange Pima Crew

Jackets

Next, you should also already have a bomber jacket, whether it be navy or black, in your closet because as I’ve said before, bombers look great on every man, regardless of your age or body type. You can easily switch out the bomber for a zip-up hoodie if you want, but I wouldn’t change a single thing in this outfit.

$610 – Ami Navy Twill Bomber Jacket
$80 – Zara Technical Bomber Jacket 

Shoes

And finally, add some white tennis shoes or athletic sneakers from your closet to complete the look.

$120 – Nike Roshe Flyknit 
$75 – Adidas Stan Smith Sneakers

 

 

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)

 

Spring & Summer Suit Guide

There’s going to be some items in your closet that’ll need to transition for the Spring and Summer seasons, and that definitely includes your suits. If you’ve seen my other suiting articles and videos, then there’s some suits that’ll work year round, but there’s always room for some seasonal specific suits.

So let’s go through what you should look for in a Spring and Summer suit and the best shoes to wear during this time of year.

 

Colors

I love brown, green, and burgundy during these seasons, but I’m also a big fan of lighter colors such as: light to medium blues, light greys, and camel.

For bolder colors, like green and burgundy, I prefer that they’re solid because a pattern can be too bold of a look and make you look like a goofball.

Patterns

Experimenting with patterns is a perfect way to inject some fun and personality into your suits. I love windowpanes, plaids, checks, and stripes (ie. seersucker striped pattern).

It is perfectly fine to wear a darker color, like navy, but I always prefer to go with a navy windowpane or a nice navy plaid suit to help slightly break up the big swath of a dark color.

Fabric

During this time of year, there’s a lot of fabric choices to choose from – linen, cotton, seersucker, or a lightweight wool fabric.

Most Spring & Summer wool suits will generally be around 8 – 10 ounces, which is your typical year-round fabric weight. I tend to prefer 8-8.5 ounces as that’s a nice lightweight wool that’ll keep you comfortable.

If you live in a more tropical environment that’s hot and humid, I recommend going with fabric that is around 6 ounces, since it will be much lighter and more breathable. Linen is typically a very lightweight, breathable fabric choice although you will have to deal with the immense wrinkles that will accrue throughout the day – there’s just no way around it with linen, unfortunately.

Another really great fabric that doesn’t wrinkle and that’s quiet breathable is seersucker, which I really love. Traditionally, seersucker fabric is blue and white but there are a lot of different color variations these days.

Hem

pants - hem break - ashley weston
Aside from pattern, this is another area where you can add some flair to your Spring suiting.

There are 3 different hem lengths I recommend:

Exposed ankle – If you want a little bit of your ankle to be exposed than hem pants so they hit the top of your outer ankle bone. Make sure your pants are tapered pretty slim towards the ankle so that there’s not a bunch of fabric flopping around.

No break – When you want to wear loafers, have your pants hemmed so they’re barely skimming the top of your shoes. Again, pants should be tapered pretty slim towards the ankle.

Slight break – More versatile and appropriate for all occasions.

Pairing Your Spring/Summer Suit with Dress Shirts & Ties

For dress shirts, I love using pastel colors like light pink, light green, and sky blue and patterned dress shirts, like gingham and stripes.

For ties, I love polka dots, florals, and fun patterns during this time of year. I also really like using silk knit ties in solid colors since they complement the visually lighter suits. Just please, make sure your ties are proportional to your body type.

Pro Tips

If you want to inject some color in your charcoal or navy suit (that you already own), pair it with a gingham or striped dress shirt, or even a lavender or light pink dress shirt. This will help give a more Spring-vibe to your outfit.

If you go with a patterned suit, then make sure to keep your dress shirt and pocket square a solid color because you don’t want to go overboard with mixing patterns. The tie can have a pattern, though.

If you’re wearing a solid Spring colored suit, then gingham and striped dress shirts in pastel colors look really good here. You’ll want a bolder solid colored tie so that it stands out from the shirt and compliments your suit.

Shoes

If you’ve watched or read any of my other shoe videos and articles, I’ve specifically mentioned that you should save your suede items for Spring and Summer, and guess what? Now it’s time to bring them out.

My 2 favorite shoes to use are suede monkstraps and penny loafers.

The Best Spring/Summer Suits

Lightweight Wool Suit

I love the Brooks Brothers navy plaid suit – it was so easy to style it in a couple different ways on my friend Jordan O’Brien from The Gentlemen’s Cove.

$490 – Brooks Brothers plaid suit

$300 – Topman Dark Brown Suit

Linen

The Burberry and J.Crew gingham print suit are incredible and will make a stylish statement this Spring!

$1995 – Burberry Linen silk suit

$546 – J.Crew Ludlow Gingham Linen-Cotton Suit

$150 – H&M Linen blue suit (see matching pants here)

Seersucker

I’ll be updating this section soon as more seersucker suits hit the stores.

$498 – Brooks Brothers Seersucker Suit

Cotton

$2795 – Ermenegildo Zegna Cotton Suit
$456 – J.Crew Ludlow Italian Chino Khaki Suit (and matching pants here)