Men’s Spring Style Essentials – Spring 2011
The sun will come out again. I promise. Even though a good portion of the Northern Hemisphere is still grinding out what’s become a pretty obnoxious winter, Spring isn’t too far off. The sun’s annual crossing of the equator and subsequent beeline for our neck of the woods is almost upon us. So lighter fabrics, colors, and warm weather options are what you should be stocking up on. Here’s a few of the safer plays that aren’t too trendy, too pricey, and should get you ready for the rays produced by that large ball of fire in the sky. Once it finally reappears.
Grey Suede Shoes: Kenneth Cole Bottle Nose – $169 | Type Z Fresh – $87.20 (reg. $109)
White Bucks are classic but grey brings it down a welcomed notch. Use em’ as transition shoes between your heavier jeans into your lighter chinos, then once you get to summer don’t be afraid to wear them sockless. Easy to pair with standard spring lighter tones, or dark and bold colors for heading out at night.
The lighter-weight but still long enough coat: Boden – $198.00 | Topman – $160.00
Having a three season coat (just not quite warm enough for winter) which still covers your suit jacket is a difference maker. April Showers, May Flowers, Pilgrims, etc… There’s still weather even though it’s not ice and snow, & the mornings will still be chilly for awhile. The Boden is a single breasted mac with a great pattern. The Trench is by Topman and has a perfect not too long or too short length. Credit to reader Vaughn who discovered and purchased the Topman in London while on business.. (*Cough* if you’re on Boden’s email list, you probably got a click through email that’ll get you 20% off + free shipping through Thursday. That puts it at $158)
The Tie With Texture: TheTieBar – $15.99 | 1901 Knit – $23.90 (reg. $49.50)
The weather gets warm and everyone gives up on wool. But a wool tie around your neck is a laid back, casual texture that’ll partner up well with cotton and linen. If not wool or wool mix, try a knit or a linen silk blend. Just something that’s not iridescent silk. Textures can clash just like colors.
The ultra-relaxed suit: L.L. Bean Signature New Traditional Twill Blazer & Pant – $194.00
Warm weather can be uncomfortable. Even cotton or linen suits, if they’re super structured, can feel a bit stuffy when the temps go up. These suit separates are as un-stuffy as it gets. Expect the full review Friday.
The Web GROMMET Belt: Lands’ End Canvas – $12.99 (reg. $29.50)
Web belts are a good, casual, light change of pace from your leather standards. But a belt is pretty useless if it doesn’t hold any kind of torque. Yes your pants should already fit, but nobody wants a droopy buckle. (Sounds like a medical condition). Get a web belt with grommets. That way it’ll stay put.
Tattersall Anything: J. Crew Secret Wash Button Down – $59.50
Gingham was the pattern of 2010 and is here to stay. Tattersall, the check/slim/more subtle square pattern will be just about everywhere this summer. Not a stripe, not a bold square, but a mix of the two. The J. Crew option isn’t cheap, but it gets it all precisely right.
Johnny Cash – At San Quentin – $7.67 | At Folsom Prison – $7.44
There’s really not a bad time of year for Johnny Cash, but there’s something about Johnny Cash and his prison performances that seem to be made for blaring out of open windows. Just make sure you’re good with your neighbors. If you’re close to Amazon’s super saver free shipping on a purchase and need something to meet that threshold, pick up either of these..
The Sneaker: Jack Purcell Johnny – $44.90 (reg. $79.50)
The Converse Jack Purcell isn’t quite as paper thin as the Chuck Taylor, and the updated “Johnny” version is a decent enough update. More stitching, another couple of canvas pieces at the side, and less price. Also available in navy and olive. First showed up in the President’s Day sales.
Simple Watches: ESQ Filmore – $195 | Golana – $109 | Swiss Army Maverick II – $258
We all got our wild grosgrain strap fix last summer. This summer consider a return to simplicity. The round ESQ Filmore is back and still costs less than $200. It’s tough to find a brown strap/black dial watch, and the Golana aero-handed Terra Pro delivers for around $100. The Swiss Army Maverick II has all the bells and whistles.
The Lighter Shade of work bag: Ben Sherman – $59.99 | Jack Spade – $297.00
Almost everyone’s work brief is either black or dark brown. Brightening up your brief isn’t out of the question. Come fall when we all return to blacks, grays, and blues, it’ll stand out. But not in a bad way.
The Beer: Grand Teton’s Persephone Imperial Pilsner
Even ale diehards will love this one. Incredibly flavorful with actual strong hop character, Grand Teton’s reserve pilsner will change your mind on what pilsners should taste like. Double the strength at 8.76%. The brewers don’t recommend sticking it in the cellar since the strong flavors will fade, so drink it now. That’s good to hear. See more in-depth reviews here, and here.
The Car: 2003 BMW Z4 Roadster – $13,000 – $16,000
Yes, some would consider it a bit ugly. But so are most of us. What it is, is unique. A bit of a pain on the upkeep side, but almost all fun to drive cars are. (See the RX-8). Not a good idea for a daily driver if you have a decent commute. But not everyone has a real commute. Is it impractical? Quite. But for $250 – $350 a month depending on your down payment? Hell, why not. You could die tomorrow. But if you do, just make sure you don’t expire behind the wheel of this thing in some fit of testosterone fueled stupidity.