Welcome back, spring.
We have missed thy many allowances.
Beaches. Barbecues. Finishing our workday before the sun does.
And, of course, your warm-but-not-overwhelmingly-so embrace that allows us to dress pretty much however the hell we want without sacrificing comfort.
With that in mind, we recently teamed up with Nordstrom on the 10 spring essentials every well-dressed man needs.
Today: we’re gonna tell you the dos and don’ts of donning those 10 items.
The chambray shirt. The spring weight suit. The clean white sneaker.
There are ways to wear these things properly, and ways to make those in your company blush and/or grimace.
We advise the former.
Do: Dress it up. Bombers may have a rugged, function-over-form pedigree, but pair a fitted number in a dark hue with trousers and a tie and you’ve got yourself a bona fide Happy Hour head-turner.
Don’t: Wear it over another jacket. Especially a blazer. Throw on a cardigan if you need an extra layer.
Do: Wear it with a suit. White kicks work best, but anything in a solid color can hunt. Just make sure you’ve got a healthy contrast between the color of the shoes and the color of the slacks.
Don’t: Go sockless. Ever. Even in the off chance you’re some mutant with un-smelly feet, why risk it? Five packs of no-shows will get you through the season.
Do: Wear it with a slub cotton tee and a pair of loafers, moccasins or espadrilles for a laid-back warm-weather look that still plays at any outdoor soiree other than one at which two people were just joined as man and wife.
Don’t: Pair it with anything dark or muted – lightweight suits and colorful accoutrement are a match made in heaven. And the Lord knows better than you do.
Do: Wear it with a tie. Knit ties are ideal. Just avoid chambrays that border on denim. Those are for bolos.
Don’t: Wear an undershirt. Myth: “Undershirts prevent pit stains.” Truth: light, breathable fabrics — which most chambrays are — prevent pit stains.
Do: Opt for a more fashion-forward frame than you’re used to (like these horn-rimmed Ray Bans or some Warhol lites from CRAP Eyewear). Tortoiseshell is not a subtle colorway. Nor should the frames be.
Don’t: Pair with too many other patterns. A good rule of thumb is to wear a layer of solid color between your patterns to make the latter pop. Tortoiseshell glasses + plain white oxford + patterned pants? Yes. Tortoiseshell glasses + plaid shirt + patterned tie? Try again.
Do: Wear after sunset over faded jeans to a beach, boating or BBQ-ing affair to earn the title of most comfortable guy in the room.
Don’t: Spill BBQ sauce on it. That’s unbecoming.
Do: Beat the hell out of ‘em. Yardwork, camping trips, tinkering in the garage — these jeans look better with wear. Set a crispy selvedge pair aside for more formal occasions.
Don’t: Wear it with a tie. These aren’t your dress-up jeans.
Do: Roll the sleeves. Once or twice: recommended. Three times: we’ll allow it. Any more and your sleeves were too long to begin with.
Don’t: Tuck it into shorts. Unless you’re on a golf course. In which case, take it off and put on a polo.
Do: Go wild with your shirt choice. And we don’t mean gingham and plaid. Think paisleys. Geo tribals. Island florals. The navy blazer is sartorial bedrock: a subdued, agreeable base for you to build upon as you see fit.
Don’t: Wear it with black pants. Everyone in the room will assume you got dressed in the dark. Or you’re colorblind.
Do: Leave an inch on that cuff and show off some ankle. Beware of swooning ladies in your immediate vicinity.
Don’t: Wear them with shorts. You may see it on the streets of Paris and NYC. You may be tempted to try it yourself. But you should take a deep breath and refrain. Monks skew high on the formality scale, and should be matched accordingly.