What are you going to wear? Sometimes it’s good to look at a few suggestions then add your own tweaks and ideas. That’s what these are for. This one is for the dressed down affairs that might be out, or, might be at someone’s house. These are the parties where most guys are in bulky uncomfortable sweaters. Jeans are acceptable, but dressing them up with a blazer will absolutely take the look to another level, while not getting snooty.
The Sportcoat: J. Crew Factory Grey Glen Plaid Blazer – $89.99 w/ EXTRA40. A little pattern, but subtle in color (because, y’know, it’s grey). Also, fear not when it comes to wearing brown shoes with a medium to darker grey blazer like this one. You bet it’s possible. And besides, check out the buttons on the jacket. Those are brown. Priced a bit high at post time, compared to the last few days, so maybe hold out for a sale? Should drop to $115-$120ish at some point. UPDATE: Or… it’s actually an extra 40% off now (it’s a clearance item apparently) with the code EXTRA40. Huge thanks to Brandon C. on Facebook for the tip!
The Sweater: J. Crew Factory Slim Merino V-Neck in “Caramel” – $34.50. We’re going for a dressed-down version of Stephen Colbert’s GQ suit & sweater bus outfit. If you tend to run warmer than most, skip the sweater.
The Jeans: Levi’s 514 Straight fit in Tumbled Rigid – $36.99. Or, whatever your favorite brand and cut of dark wash jeans happens to be.
The Watch: Timex Brass Case Field Chrono – $41.81. Rugged and inexpensive.
The Gloves: Topman Harris Tweed + Leather Gloves – $35.00. Honest to goodness Harris Tweed from Scotland for an oddly low price. Ships & returns free since they’re sold through Nordstrom, and that’s key, since Gloves can be tough to get the right fit on sometimes.
The Belt: Banana Republic Textured Italian Leather Belt – $29.50 ($49.50). Yes, you’re supposed to match your leathers, but when it comes to suede shoes, your belt & watch strap can be regular ol’ calfskin. That said, the extra pebbling here helps bridge that texture divide even more.
The Shoes: H&M Suede Chelsea Boots – $59.40 w/3229 ($99). Cheap alternatives to the outstanding brown suede chelsea from Jack Erwin. Finger’s crossed on these. They could either be a steal, or, a total dumpster fire. Efforting an in-person. Ships free w/ the stackable code 3247.
The Shirt: GAP Modern Oxford in White – $29.70 w/ HOLIDAYS ($49.50). A clean, simple basic that you can wear over and over again. One way to make this outfit look a bit more dressed up, but by only making subtle changes, would be to switch out this shirt for a standard, smooth poplin dress shirt, and then wear a more refined watch. Just those two switches will really dress it up noticeably, even with the denim in play.
The Coat: Nordstrom Wool Blend Topcoat – $177.49 ($295). Long enough to cover your sportcoat’s tail, but not the more formal, knee length topcoats you’d see at a more dressed up event. It’s Nordstrom, so expect solid quality for the price.
The Scarf: Orvis Made in Ireland Black Sheep Wool Scarf – $69. All hail the black sheep out there. Made in Ireland. Great cable pattern. The lack of dying is what helps it stand out. Ships free with the code SHIPFREE.
The Host/Hostess Gift: Hahn GSM – $13.99. Anyone who throws a party expecting their guests to bring host/hostess gifts is… questionable. But y’know what resonates with a host/hostess who’s busted their butt to get the shindig ready? A small bit of appreciation for them inviting you over to eat their food and drink their booze. Find a bottle of wine or whiskey that punches above its weight. Ask around if you’re not a self proclaimed expert in such matters. Bring it. Find them. Show them and thank them and then ask where you’d like them to have you put their newest bottle.