The Best of Black and Tan… in Men’s Style

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Yes, wearing a black pair of pants with brown shoes will make you look like you got dressed in the dark, but not all black and brown combos should be categorically dismissed.  Black and brown, black and khaki, black and tan… all have the potential to look just as good as that certain beer combination tastes.  Examples below.  Top Photo Credit

Johnston & Murphy Tranum Saddle – $150.00

Stephan Urquelle's version of what Steve Urkel would wear.

A stereotypical white or light saddle shoe can look a little too Urkle.  But flip the contrast around, make the body of the shoe dark (in this case black) and more guys are willing to get under the Saddle-Shoe-Tent.  These are relatively new, haven’t gone on sale yet (here’s to hoping?) and the Italian Calfskin uppers are nice.  They feel well made, are real comfortable right out of the box, and the reinforced eyelets are a nice casual touch.  Tan leather on the heel too.  Wait for a sale?


Orient Explorer Automatic – $455 w/ SPRING2012 ($650)

Not cheap, but you'll wear it all the time.

It comes with an equally good looking reddish/burgundy band, but the black dial and off-white outer ring do real well if you swap that band out for a band that leans closer to cognac (as shown above).  Orient isn’t doing 50% off codes anymore (note: and we haven’t heard from their PR people in forever despite continued attempts to complete the 12-months of orient) so at $455 it’s a hefty, hefty splurge.  But worth it if you can scrape together the cash.  100m water resistance, skeleton caseback, 40-hr power reserve indicator, and a slide rule in case you, y’know, ever have to convert Dollars to Yen.  Full review here.


Wearing a black silk knit tie with your khaki/tan summer suit

Can go wrong, but can also go really right.

Here’s how to do it:  Skip the shined up standard silk neck tie, and instead opt for a black silk knit.  And don’t be afraid to get a thicker, 2.5″ or above knit either.  Crisp white shirt, and your shoes should be loafers with somewhat of a modern shape to them.  No clunky Weejun style penny loafers.  And avoid a high gloss shine on those shoes for this look.  Skip the socks.  Suit by Perry Ellis, Tie by Personality Milano.


Bed Stu “The Chuck” Card Case – $12.99 ($25)

Better than not bad for $13.

Bed Stu has a tendency to cross the line into gawdy when it comes to lots of their shoes.  And the stamped logo on this wallet is honestly a little big and noticeable, despite being tonal.  But for $13 (plus shipping through Jack Threads) it has way more looks than it should for the price.  Contrast stitching and an all tan backside.


Blue Claw Co. Made in the USA Worton Weekender – $298.00

Big. But fits in a regional jet's overhead bin.

This thing is a beast.  Made of non-rip ballistic nylon and real thick imported leather.  Heavy duty but still great looking.  2600 cubic inches of space, seems bigger inside, but carry on approved and fits in the overhead bin of a small regional jet.  Full review hereNOTE:  The black and tan thing not for you when it comes to luggage?  Maybe you’re looking to spend a little less?  The all black Worton Weekender (00 agent edition) can be had for 25% off with the code Dappered00.  Drops the price to $223.50.  Nice deal for a made in the USA weekender with this much space.


Allen Edmonds McTavish – $295.00

The dressed way up dressed down shoe.

Part of the Allen Edmonds “rough” collection which features a bunch of different styles that can be worn casually but have dressed up details.  Made from “waxy distressed leather” with a “double oak natural leather sole”.  Also available in the “natural” / tan color that seems to get much more attention.  Maybe not the easiest to wear around this time of year, but could look awesome with a grey linen suit if you’re lucky enough to have one.  Perfect for flannel trousers, tweed, and jeans in the fall.  Does go on sale from time to time, but hasn’t been on sale for awhile.  Ships free & fast through Endless.


Timex Easy Reader – $65.00 | Timex Flyback Chrono – $165.00

How busy do you like your dial?

These are somewhat recent additions to the Timex lineup, with the Easy Reader maybe being the best looking of that series.  Both come with a brushed black steel case and a Carmel colored band.  Both have received extremely positive reviews from those that spent the cash to get em’.  42mm for the easy reader and 43mm on the chronograph.


Herschel Ravine Duffel – $65.00

Good for the gym or the flight.

The right balance between ditching any extra frills and still great looking.  Also available in the same color scheme in a slightly larger version (with a shoe pocket) called The Novel.  Full review here.


The Black Jacket / Brown Suede Boots combo from Quantum of Solace

Proof that the black on your torso / brown on your feet combination actually can work.  Make sure there’s a light barrier in there like the pants, and please don’t kill a guy for the jacket.


Citizen BL5250-02L Eco-Drive Perpetual Calendar Chronograph – $240 ($400)

One of if not their best.

After 146 reviews on Amazon, this thing is STILL 4.5/5 stars.  One of Citizen’s best looking larger models.  Eco-drive movement, Titanium case, perpetual calendar.  Perfect for someone who wants a sportier version of the Orient Explorer and wants to save a few hundred bucks.


Mini Cooper S Roadster – $28,050 – $35,000

Pocket sized rocket.

And now Mini is making roadsters.  121 – 208 horses depending on the model, and the toffee colored leather interior looks equally as good with the barely-leaning-cream “pepper” white or the black.  Also available in a deep navy exterior paint job that when combined with the brown seats, it looks like (most) everyone’s favorite suit + shoes combo.  Not cheap by any stretch.  Will never satisfy those who will snort at anything smaller than a Camaro.