Spring 2015 – The Best Looking New Arrivals in Men’s Style
This has been a rough winter for many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. And while some are still buried under unimaginable snow, the winter clearance events for retail are coming to an end. That means new arrivals are starting to show up in store, and online.
Spring/Summer 2015 is starting to look… riskier. More (& stranger) patterns. Flashier cuts, if not colors & fabric itself. Less structure and lining. And maybe an overall lean towards the casual, instead of dressed-up arena. Know that for many of these items, prices are sure to come down with sales & promos once the snow starts to melt. Now, let’s start to thaw out…
Wait. A shawl collar? Brilliant. Certainly expensive to start, but it’s Bonobos… so wait for a sale or code. Appears to be only made in their “slim” fit for now. Kind of a bummer there, being that their slims are not just super slim overall, they’re also shorter in the tail than their standard fits (which, don’t fit like a box to begin with).
Oh… Lord. Simplicity defined. Built on the brand new 201 last. And unlike the Norwich, the buckle on this new single monk seems to be slimmed down quite a bit. Currently only available in black, and the perfect-for-warm-weather walnut shade. Here’s to hoping they make em’ in a couple more shades of brown (or merlot maybe?).
GAP “Clean” Chambray Shirts – $35.97 w/ WINTER ($59.95)
The look of chambray without the workwear details. Four shades to pick from including a light grey, a sky blue, and the dark chambray seen above. Button down collar. Relaxed, but still leaning to the stylin’ side. Wear it with a knit tie and a khaki or stone colored cotton suit to a wedding this summer. Always on sale.
First, the unfortunate news. These aren’t as good as they used to be. They appear to have switched manufacturers (the previous grey and navy versions were made in Mexico if memory serves), and gone is the all wool shell and acetate linings. This one is 52% Wool, 46% poly, 2% Spandex, with a 100% poly lining. Made in China this time. Fit & feel is still decent though, with most needing maybe a little work at the sides, if that. Still, much better looking than any $150 suit deserves to be. Stand by in for an in person.
The Return(?) of UNIQLO Button Down Collar Polos – $22.90
Some guys just can’t grasp the genius of these. They don’t look like short sleeve dress shirts. At all. Even under a blazer. They’re a lightweight, not spongey, pique dry-knit, and that button down collar insures a collar that stands at attention all day long. Note that these are not the Michael Bastian polos. Some of those did have button down collars, but… those MB polo designs got a little fashion-y last year. These standard button down collar polos are much more basic. Size shown is a medium on 5’10”, 180 lbs.
B.R. Coated Navy Jacket – $118.80 w/ BRLOVEYOU ($198)
One mean looking jacket from the usually not-so-mean B.R. 74% Cotton, 26% Linen, and awfully moto-inspired. Stand up collar. Zip and button front. Nice shade of blue too.
From the same guys who did the Rossling & Co Kickstarter watch project. They launched this new racing-inspired chronograph on Kickstarter, and the thing took off like a shot. 40mm diameter, sapphire crystal. Same Seiko movement that’s in the Autodromo Prototipo. Now that the Kickstarter is over, and they’re just taking pre-orders for $299… is there any return policy? Can’t seem to find one. Hm. Delivery on these is estimated for June.
52% linen, 48% cotton, and (this is key)… it appears to be at least partially lined in a cotton chambray. NOT some plastic-bag-like suffocating polyester. A warning: H&M blazers are usually pretty short in length. Think UNIQLO, but with a more balanced button stance. Hard to deny the price though, and the white buttons add a nice shot of prep. Hat tip to reader Reid for sending in the style tip on this one.
The previous edition of the JP fell flat, with sneaker fans claiming noticeably worse quality and poor design. But at $95 (yes, ninety five dollars), this newest version runs the risk of coming up short, even if it really has been improved, thanks to the elevated price. Not everyone is gonna like the blue smile either. More on the 18 “new product features” over here.
Stay with me here, this gets a little sideways: Double breasted suits are going to get a lot of play this year. BUT… that means a step back from the DB in terms of style brashness would be peak lapels in summer shades. And thus, Suitsupply reigns in their Washington Fit’s enormous peak lapels for something slimmer, and adds a 2/3 roll. Not bad. Ticket pocket too. Still, half a grand for this much flash is a reach, but sharp all the same.
J. Crew Sportcoat in Italian Cotton – $171.00 w/ TODAYONLY ($228)
It’s back. Completely unconstructed. Totally unlined back. Barely-there self-fabric lined front, and lined sleeves. Lightweight, but the cotton is smooth & light enough that it’s not going to be confused with some casual chino blazer. $228 is a lot for an all cotton blazer, but man… this thing gets it so right on so many levels. Plus, it’ll go on sale from time to time, like it just did this morning. TODAYONLY gets you 25% off $125+ (exclusions apply, suiting is out of course) and free shipping no min.
B.R. Joshua Suede Double Monk – $88.80 w/ BRLOVEYOU ($148)
A great match for light grey or off white 5-pockets, a white shirt, and a blue cotton blazer. Solid feeling construction too. Not a super high nap to the suede, but not overly burnished either.
Hang on a second… that’s at Target? That doesn’t look half bad. Now, it could be a complete dumpster fire, or, it could be one of the cheaper (and possibly better looking) leather bags on the market. Got one on the way for an in person. Fingers crossed.
AKA the one-summer-special. Spit your coffee out over the price of the new Converse Jack Purcells? Don’t blame you. A hundred bucks is a ton for a canvas sneaker. These though… don’t expect much in terms of quality. But, the colors are nice. Shades of the Adidas Samba at the toe.
We’ve got a ways to go until shorts weather rolls around… but for plenty, their shorts arsenal begins and ends with these things. Outrageously comfortable, well constructed, lightweight but not flimsy, and nicely priced. Now… if they could just make a pants version, we’d be set. Sales drop these to the low $20s / high teens with some regularity.
The Return of Bonobos Oxleys – $90ish?
Speaking of oxford cloth… Bonobos made the switch from a super soft & casual cloth, to a more crisp and dressy cloth in the not too distant past. That sent a LOT of Oxley fans to the unenchanted land of disappointment-ville. Yet what was lost in softness was gained in workplace appropriate-ness. As with most Bonobos products, these start out aggressively priced, then drop with codes and sales.
And that, dear friends, is how you wear a cardigan sweater vest. A cardi-svest, as awkward as that term sounds, can be done. Maybe. Sorta. Best if you’ve got stronger shoulders.
Somewhere between a chino suit and a linen suit… is oxford cloth. Yeah, it’s gonna wrinkle, but it shouldn’t wrinkle as bad as linen, and it won’t be as stiff as chino. Just steer clear from eating anything with ketchup on it when wearing a suit like this.
Wow that’s expensive. But, with sales and what not… and hey, it’s gotta be something if it generates a review like this one: “THIS CASE IS OFF THE CHAIN. THIS BAG IS MADE OF THE PUREST MATERIALS YOU CAN FIND. EVEN MERLIN AND GANDALF CANT CRAFT A MASTERFUL PIECE OF ITEM CARRYING APPAREL LIKE THIS THING.” …Noted.
A blend of cotton and poly, these things appear to be totally unlined (at least on the back). Could make for a terrific ultra-lightweight jacket. Available in six color/pattern options, and that blue stripe shown above would be a perfect way to execute an ultra-cheap Derby Day getup.
So… some Sunday in May or June, instead of waking up and putting on some crappy pair of shorts and a dirty old t-shirt, consider putting on a pair of pants like this, and a polo… or a white linen or cotton button down. And go barefoot. Classic canvas sneakers, maybe. Still comfortable. Still relaxed. Still incredibly good looking. Think Cary Grant hosting an impromptu get together. If you feel stuck-up as hell after putting it on? Forget it. No shame there. But it’s worth a shot.
Pardon the moire (here’s what the pattern on the fabric looks like up close). First, the good: Great texture to the fabric, the not-too-wide or tall peak lapels are perfectly executed, and the ticket pocket is a great touch. Now, the bad: sleeve buttons are functional and it’s fully lined. The back & sleeves are lined in 100% poly, with the front being lined in an acetate/poly mix. That’s a bad combo for summer, but it should do fine in reasonable spring temps. Gonna have to wait a bit for a sale, being that blazers are almost always excluded from BR codes. Size shown above is a 40R on 5’10” / 185.
Straight outta the roaring 20s!… Minus the singlet feature of course. Things have changed, haven’t they.
As stated, a lot of this is super expensive since it’s going for full retail. Stay tuned for price drops thanks to sales and codes. Got a bead on something in the style world particularly interesting this spring? Send those tips in to: firstname.lastname@example.org.