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?
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?!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s why this outfit is great:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
There’s only a few weeks of Winter left, so pretty soon we’re all going to have to start thinking about transitioning to our Spring wardrobe. So in addition to your year-round Men’s Essential staples that are already in your closet, Jordan O’Brien from The Gentlemans Cove and I each came up with a list of 10 Spring Essentials that every man should own.
My Top 10 Men’s Spring Essentials
1. Lightweight, Spring Suit
Whether you go with a linen, cotton, seersucker, or lightweight wool suit, these options will make a statement and keep you cool throughout the Spring and Summer months.
These lightweight blazers are perfect for casual Fridays at work or heading to lunch or dinner with friends. They’re a great way to insert a stylish statement while keeping cool. Linen will wrinkle a bit, but that’s part of its character so embrace it.
I love gingham shirts for the Spring because they can be worn dressed up with a suit or blazer or dressed down on their own or underneath a sweater. I included some great lavender, navy, and light grey gingham options below.
There’s no other brand that I love more than The Tie Bar. The quality, construction, and color/pattern choice can’t be beat by any other brand. Like I’ve always said, they’re not paying me to say this.
Polo shirts instantly make an outfit look more put together and Spring is the perfect time to start wearing them. I like John Varvatos, but be careful if you’re not in shape or have erect nipples because their silkier shirts will highlight these areas. The fit on Theory and Fred Perry polos is excellent and H&M is my go-to when I’m more price-conscious. You’ll need to replace those roughly every 8 weeks though due to fading.
Not only do short sleeve button-up shirts look stylish, but every man (regardless of age or body type) can wear these. There’s currently so many great options from J.Crew and come March/April, Topman will have an equally great selection.
I’ve maintained in some of my other videos and articles that you should save your suede for Spring. Well, it’s time to break out those items. I love the options below – you can choose from navy, light grey, and brown suede jackets. The A.P.C. jacket is a BIFL piece and will never go out of style.
Finally we’re entering ankle season, which means penny loafers can finally be worn. I love Ferragamo’s loafers (I got a pair for my fiance 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.
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!
Chinos should only be worn in Spring, Summer, and early Fall and that’s it. They’re a great alternative for those days when you don’t feel like wearing jeans and when you want to just feel cool and comfortable.
Whether you need some extra sun protection or want to look stylish while staying cool, straw hats are super breathable and lightweight. Every year I get J.Crew’s panama hat, but it only lasts the season before it starts to fall apart. I’m currently eyeing Loro Piana, Brooks Brothers and Stetson’s hats because I know I can count on the quality and construction.
I like long sleeve henleys when they’re worn as a layering piece, so underneath a casual button down shirt paired with some dark wash jeans and boots or sneakers. If you’re a slim or wider gentleman, I highly advise against wearing henleys on their own because they emphasize your body size even more (and not in a good way).
If you’re new to wearing denim jackets, I suggest going with a black or dark grey version because it’ll be a lot easier to wear, especially if you wear jeans a lot because you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a Canadian tuxedo.