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. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and three style scenarios will be tackled in the next few days (going out, staying in, & staying in solo). After the last few years of craziness, a lot of us are re-embracing what used to be seen a bit cliche. And that means a nice dinner out on Valentine’s Day. Dress your best, embrace the silliness, and have some fun.
The Suit: Spier and Mackay 100% Merino Wool Half Canvas Navy Suit – $378. You bet a suit. Why not? If you’re going out on Valentine’s Day, embrace it and suit up. A navy suit is an essential, so thinking most of us have one of these already on hand. And Spier’s core line of suits feature really nice Australian merino wool, a Bemberg lining that’ll breathe noticeably better than some department store suit, and a half canvas construction that’ll only get better and more comfortable with time. Yes they’ve introduced an even more affordable line of suits, but their core line continues to be the best bang for the buck on the market. Period.
The Pocket Square: TheTieBar Floral Line Art in Charcoal – $14. Floral because it’s Valentine’s Day, dark and handsome because you’re not some cheap gas station red-hearts-emblazoned Valentine’s day display.
The Shirt: Banana Republic Premium Poplin Dress Shirt in Gray – $90. A bright white shirt could look a little too stark. And don’t be scared. Grey shirts with navy suits look pretty sharp. Just different enough. A light blue shirt would work here too. The more affordable option: Since BR hasn’t been running sales much lately, if you want to take the gray shirt thing for a spin on Valentine’s Day and need a new shirt, now… try the Bonobos Desk To Dinner Shirt in gray herringbone. It’s on sale for $69. Not cheap, but cheaper. And it should ship fast.
The Watch: Baltic Assembled in France HMS 002 Automatic w/ Black Saffiano Strap – $395ish. Pure class. Baltic is a newer brand on the watch-scene, and they’ve seen an enormous, well deserved rise. Automatic Miyota 8315 movement which provides 60 hours of power reserve. 38mm diameter. Ships and returns for free. Crystal is a domed Hesalite, so it’ll scratch. But a tube of polywatch and a clean, very soft bristle toothbrush can polish out any dings and nicks you pick up along the way. Priced in Euros, so price will fluctuate depending on the exchange rate. The more affordable option: The new 38mm Orient Bambino would look great here.
The Belt: Banana Republic Reversible Leather Belt – $75. C’mon BR. Could use a sale, please. But hey, it’s two belts in one!
The Shoes: Nordstrom Dane Cap Toe Oxfords – $99.99. Many style aficionados are probably saying “ahhh! Black shoes with a blue suit?? You can’t do that!” … But it’s not a blue suit. It’s a navy suit. And it looks super sharp. See midnight navy tuxedoes with polished black shoes. We’re going for a less formal version of that here. Having a pair of black oxfords is about as close to a “must” as it gets in menswear (there just aren’t nearly as many rules as others would have you think). Yet at the same time, most guys won’t wear their black shoes as much as their brown ones. Therefor, while they’re a “must,” you can cheap out on your black dress oxfords a bit since they probably won’t see frequent wear. Full review of the Nordstrom Dane can be found here, albeit in brown. Want to spend? Can’t go wrong with the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue. Want to hit something in between the Nordy budgets and the AEs? Try Spier’s new line of blake stitched footwear.
The Socks: Allen Edmonds Over-the-calf Merino Cool Dress Socks – $22.50. Going with black because they look a little more charcoal, and that ties in the shirt and shoes nicely. Navy would work just fine too.
The Scarf: Kent Wang Made in the UK Merino Wool Scarf in Burgundy Plaid – $45. It’s February. It’s Valentine’s Day. A burgundy scarf seems appropriate.
The Gloves: Kent Wang Deerskin Touchscreen-Compatible Gloves – $95. One of their bestsellers. Bit of a legend.
The Outerwear Strategy: Leave the coat in the car (if possible). If you’re driving and it’s not too far of a walk to the restaurant, consider leaving your heavy overcoat in the car. The scarf and gloves should get you indoors without freezing your tail off. Unless they have a coat check, you’ll be stuck with a bulky topcoat taking up space at your table. And on a busy night like Valentine’s/Valentine’s weekend, space will be at a premium. Don’t freeze to death, don’t soak your suit. But if you can leave the coat, leave it.