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. Great news! You’ve got a hot date. You’re going some where nice, but not suit & tie nice. Jeans? Probably not. But you also don’t want to look like you stepped out of a business casual cube farm either. Here’s one way to balance being put together, without looking like you’re trying way too hard. The key? A great looking, easy to wear jacket, and belief in the theory that less really is more. (Sidenote: Want to learn how to make that delicious looking cocktail up there? Of course you do. Here’s how to do it.)
The Sportcoat: H&M Dark Blue Italian Wool Textured Blazer – $89.99 ($129). Discovered this thing during our semi-annual best blazers/sportcoats post. As close as you’re gonna get to the fantastic unconstructed Italian wool blazers from Bonobos, but without shelling out an arm and a leg. Now under $100 as part of their Columbus day promotion. Great for heading out on the town in, since it’s barely lined, and wool naturally regulates temperature. So if the bar/restaurant you duck into is unexpectedly warm, you won’t boil over. (NOTE: If you end up buying something else from H&M that puts your total over $100, you can use the code 3825 to take 20% off $100+ through today, 10/10/16.)
The Shirt: Nordstrom Smartcare Trim Fit Solid Dress Shirt – $55.00. One of the best in the business, and it ships and returns for free.
The Pocket Square: TheTieBar Wool Plaid “Blackmore” – $10.00. Adding a bit of subtle color here. One side is all plaid, the other is a micro floral pattern. Wool fabric stays matte so you avoid the cheese-ball silk pocketsquare look.
The Belt: UNIQLO Italian Leather Stitched Belt – $29.90. A bit more refined than a standard chino/jeans belt, but not so dressy that you can’t wear it with cords.
The Scarf: UNIQLO Cashmere in Black/White Check – $49.90. If you’ll be hopping about to multiple locations, and/or you’re headed somewhere crowded, consider leaving your coat in the car/on the hook at home. Wear a scarf and gloves, and with your sportcoat, you should be okay between stops (assuming there’s no precipitation). That way, you can stash your scarf/gloves under the bar/in the corner of the booth upon arrival, and not have to worry about a bulky coat.
The Gloves: Ralph Lauren Quilted Leather Gloves – $88. Always a good bet. Not super thick, but not unlined either. They’ll keep your hands warm without looking like you’re headed to hike up K2. They will eventually start dropping in price.
The Watch: Daniel Wellington “Bristol” – $81.22. Less is more with this look, right? And nothing executes that as well as a dead simple wristwatch. Which happens to be the Daniel Wellington brand’s specialty.
The Boots: H&M Brown Suede “Premium” Chelseas – $99. Some of you are probably super sick of seeing chelseas on this website. But they really work here. And H&M’s made in Portugal line delivers for a surprisingly affordable price. Want laces? Go with a slim and sleek chukka instead.
The Cords: GAP Straight or Slim Fit Cords in Grey – $38.97 w/ CRISP ($64.95). The comfort and familiarity of a jean, but in a color and fabric that you can dress up just a bit more. Pressed grey chinos or dress pants would work here too, but cords, even with their 5-pocket styling, should look plenty fine. Plus, these are on sale all the time. If you think the cords aren’t dressy enough for the shirt? Swap out that true dress shirt for a lightweight, button down poplin.