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. If you haven’t gotten your first taste of spring yet, it’ll be coming soon. First we went casual, now we’re going smart casual. Working in some tailoring, but if the jacket comes off you’ll still look sharp, put together, and new-season-appropriate.
The Blazer: Bonobos Unconstructed Italian Wool Blazer – $400: The legend. Barely-there construction. Totally unlined back and unpadded shoulders. Crisp, cool, Italian hopsack wool. The more affordable alternative: Try this jetsetter knit jacket in houndstooth for $150. Final sale though.
The Watch: Orient Men’s 2nd Gen. Bambino Ver. 2 – $126.50. Still one of the best bang for the buck items in the men’s watch world, if not men’s style as a whole. Has a retro feel, just like the polo.
The Polo: Tie Bar Tipped Cotton Sweater Polo – $45. Mercerized cotton for a smooth feel and look. Old-school tipping at the collar, placket, chest pocket, and sleeves.
The Pants: J. Crew “Catskill Green” Stretch Chinos in 484 slim or 770 Straight – $89.50. Earth tones! They’re big this year. Lots of olives, browns, greens, etc. Doing the “northern lights” thing here with pants and a blazer, only in a slightly more relaxed version with the unconstructed blazer up top, and the washed chinos down below. Navy polo balances it all out. You could also go with a white dress shirt here, if you want to go all earth tones/let those colors carry the day.
The Sunglasses: Warby Parker Fletcher in Antique Shale Fade – $95. Contemporary while still keeping it relatively quiet. Blueish gray uppers blending into the warmer-brownish tones of the lower half of the frame.
The Belt: Banana Republic Reversible Leather Dress Belt – $65. Nothing too complicated here. A basic brown leather belt that’s reversible with black on the other side. A dress belt, but not so slick and dressy it can’t be worn with chinos.
The Socks: Made in the USA Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion Socks – $21.95. NOT big, thick, squishy camp/cabin socks. But not paper thin dress socks either. Just right. Comfortable. One way to mitigate/compensate for cheap shoes is to wear really good socks. Darn Tough makes really good socks.
The Shoes: DSW “Crown Vintage” Chelsea Boots in Taupe Suede – $59.99. Could be cheap winners? The texture and color leans towards warmer weather, but many of us are still wearing boots now and again. These are a foot (or feet) in both camps. UPDATE: word from reader Sam M. is that these have little to no traction. Real slick. Which is weird because the soles look specifically like they tried to put some traction on there. But if the material is slick? It won’t help. Thanks again to Sam M.
(Top Photo Credit: Wei Fukuyama)