What is it that makes good style stand out? What differentiates style from fashion? I think style means dressing and grooming appropriately for all situations with a certain level of sophistication and accentuation without looking forced. Ok, so what does that mean? Well, let’s start off with a disclaimer. I don't think everyone needs to or wants to dress with style. Some people love dressing casually all the time. Some like to be fashion-forward. Some like to follow the current trend. There is no right or wrong, just a personal preference. My preference falls in the style camp. However, to me style is not about wearing a suit all the time. No one wants to wear a suit all the time. But I do want to dress well, no matter what I’m doing, with the exception of yard work or housework. While performing work around the house, I could care less what I look like.
The weekends are a particularly challenging time to dress with style. Typically, we want to throw off whatever monkey suit we've been wearing all week and hunker down with a pair of sweatpants, a ratty old t-shirt and and a pair of 407s. So what are we supposed to do? Let’s break down the weekend outfit into four categories: tops, bottoms, footwear, and accessories and run through them piece by piece.
In my opinion t-shirts should be left for those activities where style doesn’t matter: painting, cleaning, gardening, exercising (yes, exercising. I don’t care what anyone wears to the gym. You should be getting sweaty and gross, not putting on a fashion show). Try a little experiment this summer. Every time you feel like throwing on a t-shirt, pick up a polo shirt instead. There’s really not much difference between the two, except a little texture and a collar, but those small changes are everything in the world of style. And you all really know how much I love a good polo shirt. Ok, so now that you’ve moved your polos to that ultra-casual position in your wardrobe, try wearing a crisp, simple button-down shirt during most of your weekend relaxing activities. Again, the added details (a collar, some texture, and some detail with the buttons) will mean the world. The colors should be simple. A clean, pressed white Regent Fit shirt from Brooks Brothers or light blue Daily Grind shirt from Bonobos will speak volumes without you having to say a word or feel like you’re trying to impress. And yes, you have my full permission to leave your shirt untucked (weekends only).
Look, I love jeans. I grew up in jeans. They were the only pants durable to survive BMX bike races (and wipeouts), dirt clod fights, camping trips, and a whole slew of things my mother would probably ground me for, even today. That being said, give the blue jeans a rest. Just for a little while. You’re going to need them to rake some leaves this fall. A lot of great designers are putting out killer pants right now, easily replacing your jeans whether you’re grilling at a summer barbecues or reading the paper with a pot of coffee on your deck in the morning sun. I personally am really into these linen blend pants from Perry Ellis and the “Summer Weight” line of chinos from Bonobos. And if you really, really can’t kick the denim habit, at least change up the color. Try these travel jeans, also by Bonobos, with a little stretch for added comfort and available in a variety of colors.
The first thing I want you to do is take your socks, throw them in your sock drawer, and wave goodbye until after Labor Day. I’m officially declaring this the 2015 Sock-free Summer. Sure, I know it’s completely unrealistic to go all summer without socks, but, dammit, I’m going to try! So what are your options without socks? I personally have two. First are my white canvas Jack Purcell Converse low-tops. These classics are the perfect weight, color, and style for weekends. The canvas breathes, preventing your feet from becoming a sweaty mess, and I love the metal lace caps that keep the laces from fraying. If I’m going to wear leather shoes in the summer, I want to keep them as light as possible. Driving mocs are the perfect way to add a little leather without weighing your feet down too much, and these Tod’s are some of the best available.
Sunglasses are a weekend staple, and no brand exemplifies that relaxing, weekend style more than Ray-Ban. Whether you choose a pair of Wayfarers, Aviators, or Clubmasters, you cannot go wrong. While I may be recommending some leather for your feet, I would suggest removing the leather from your waist. A simple D-ring belt with a vibrant madras pattern will add the right touch of color, while this blue and white braided belt by Kiel James Patrick adds a wonderful texture to your simple, summer style. Finally, there’s only one watch I wear on the weekends. This watch is so weekendy (spell check says that’s a word!) that it has the word weekend in it’s name. Keep the leather dress watches for your nights out and keep the giant diver and aviator watches for the golf course. A simple watch with a nylon strap is all you need for some weekend relaxing.
Ok, so another long post, but I hope you found some helpful tips here. I’d love to know what you think. Be sure to leave a comment and add us on social media.