Suede desert boots are a mainstay—McQueen rarely straddled a bike without his—but designers never ventured beyond khaki and brown. That just changed. For spring, the boots got spiked with an array of colors that will give new life to your jeans, chinos, and suits. It's time to let those tan boots fall to the back of the closet—and go electric.
Let's face it, by the end of a long workday, our collars and ties don't look as crisp as they did when we first knotted up in the morning. Here's a solution: Try a tab-collar dress shirt with a built-in button that attaches under your tie for that neat-as-a-pin look—without the pins. The higher, pinched-in collar makes even the simplest tie look like a special event and frames your face in a flattering way. Maybe that's why Daniel Craig wears one as Bond in Skyfall: He can spend the day zooming across Istanbul rooftops on a motorbike yet, come nighttime, still have his tie knot in place to hit the casino and seduce the bad guy's bodacious girl.
This time of year, one nasty puddle can send your dress shoes to a soggy grave. But now, you can fight back. At its Milan fashion show, Prada unveiled shoes that looked like they had old-school galoshes on them. Turns out the shoes are dipped in rubber—an innovation in the war on winter. But if you're looking to get in on the most practical style of the season for a little less coin, Swims makes rubbers in zippy colors that snap onto your brogues and don't cost a lot of bucks.
Dressing well in winter can be tricky. The conundrum: How do you fight the big chill without getting deathly sick of your giant winter coat? Short answer: Leave the coat in the back of the closet as long as possible by learning to layer up. The field vest, once thought of as a blue-collar staple for postal workers and Wichita linemen, is now offce-ready, thanks to high-fashion designers like Belstaff and lower-cost hubs like Club Monaco. The vest's lightweight quilting adds warmth without bulking up your flannel suit or that new tweed sports jacket you just snapped up. Click through to see rap's hottest rookie, Big Sean, wear it three more ways. Plus: A full range of layering tips and tools that will help stave off the boring-winter-coat blues.
Maybe you think a topcoat is only for Gordon Gekko types or that you don't wear enough suits to make the investment worthwhile. Which doesn't make you wrong so much as... Wait, yeah, that's wrong. The right topcoat—one that's slim and stops above your knees—can do more than shield your two-piece. A subtle wool tweed version in a deep charcoal gray, like this affordable take by Banana Republic, looks proper whether you're RSVP'ing to a weeknight dinner party or running weekend errands. Turn the page to see why the topcoat should be the first thing you think about—and the last thing you put on—this fall.
That's right, cuffs are back, and this season you should add them to every suit pant, flannel, cord, and khaki in your new fall wardrobe. Cuffs anchor your pants so they hang stylishly straight while also adding a subtle hit of character. Tell your tailor to give you an inch and a half of cuff, and get him to hem your pants a good half inch above your shoes to show some sock. If he says the average customer likes no cuff and a big break, look him in the eye and say, "I'm not the average customer.
Over the past few years, we've been celebrating denim and chambray shirts for their cool workwear vibe, but you can't really wear either in the boardroom. Until now: Designers have hit upon this new indigo dress shirt. It's made of the finest cotton and marries up perfectly with a suit and tie. Whether the collar buttons down or is semispread, the shirt can hold its own at a power meeting or give you an edge over your fellow business buds in their pedestrian blues. Try it out first on a Friday, then work it into your everyday rotation. And if you take your jacket off, roll up the sleeves. That always says "man at work," whether you're riding a quarter horse or just your office Aeron.
Warby Parker's mission is to blow up the established model by selling vintage-inspired eyeglasses—with prescription lenses—at crazy affordable prices. This is how it works: Go online and pick up to five frames, which they'll send you for a test run. Let 'em know which pair you like best, and in ten days it'll be back on your nose, with your scrip in place. And now the four-eyed founders of W.P. are doing prescription sunglasses, too. Just be sure to enlist a trusted second opinion before you commit to a frame. Even if you had 20/20 vision, you'd still be a dubious judge of what belongs on your face.
I know what you're thinking: Why the hell would I buy a white suit?! Well, for one, it's going to be a sticky summer, and you need a wardrobe boost to help you stay cool. The new white suit isn't a business suit—and it's definitely not the Colonel Sanders or the Saturday Night Fever. The idea is to dress it down, embrace the wrinkles, and let it get a bit dirty. When you treat it that way, you'll be surprised how versatile it becomes: For drinks by the beach, team it with a tee. For an alfresco dinner, ditch the pants and wear the jacket with jeans. Or pair the suit with a strong checked shirt like you see here for every summer wedding. Unlike the bride's dress, this suit won't imply you're a virgin.
Face it: We're no longer living in an era when you can wear the same pair of blue jeans—or even different pairs of blue jeans—seven nights a week. That's why, right now, we're seeing red. Red skinny cargo pants, red five-pocket jeans, red tapered chinos. If you trust us and just go for it, you'll find that a pair of these pants instantaneously kicks up both your style and your confidence. One thing to remember: With pants this bold, the rest of your outfit needs to chill. So pair those loud legs with neutral standards like a light gray sports jacket (for a European vibe) or a dose of black (for a look that rocks harder than Jack White).]
We know that your bleary-eyed morning belt decision can be weirdly crippling ("Do black shoes always require a black belt?"), but let's put a stop to that now: Buy J.Crew's slide-buckle belt in brown or black and wear it with every pair of shoes you've got. The slide buckle has a one-size-fits-all system that accommodates a man's ever-changing waist. We think it adds class to any pant that you wear it with—from trousers to denim to Dockers—and guarantee it will only get better as it ages.
Foul weather is no excuse for foul boots. Luckily, Sorel has been making hard-core blizzard footwear in the icecold tundra of Canada since the 1960s, so these Canucks feel your frozen-toed pain. We love the all-black styling of the Kitchner Frost boot, with its rubberized tread, sleek leather upper, and manly felt lining. A lot of the competition is heavy as a brick, but the Kitchner is light as snow—and affordable, too. It'll keep you feeling warm and looking, well, hot. So tuck a pair of tweed trousers or skinny jeans inside these boots—and head out into the urban tundra without fear.
Ready to take the guesswork out of your mornings? Start with Black Label dress shirts by Ralph Lauren. While all the other office drones are in boring blues and stark whites, these shirts will show you're a man apart, thanks to a range of striking solids (like icy French blue) and patterns (lavender stripes). The smaller-than-normal collar won't swallow your slender ties, and even when you ditch the jacket, the silhouette will keep you looking lean and tucked in. It's the most off-the-hook off-the-rack shirt money can buy.
Run, don't walk, to your favorite style franchise and put down some cash for a black leather bomber jacket. This jacket has just the right bones: It was popularized by fighter pilots during World War II and given the Army-Navy specification number A-2. The 2011 version is all-black (ditch the Indiana Jones brown!) with just enough military details to keep the macho mojo going. Wear it in all the ways hip-hop head-turner J. Cole does here—and keep it on inside the club to drop a bomb on the competition.
The pattern that the Scottish call tartan and Americans call plaid originated a few thousand years ago and became globally cool by the nineteenth century. That was a long time ago. Today this most classic of menswear looks is getting a twenty-first-century jolt, thanks to a handful of creative tie designers. The color combinations are edgier and the tie width has shrunk, so you can feel meaner and leaner. The wool fabric stands up to your sturdier fall looks. Match one with a white oxford shirt and a flannel suit to get the boardroom buzzing, or team it with a chambray work shirt and a tweed jacket to get buzzed on the weekend. Either way, you'll be a little more rad in plaid
Army-navy stores have been offering civilians a bit of wartime machismo at a fair price for decades. But in the style world, there's a new revolution going on right now: Inspired designers are reinterpreting camouflage by tweaking the patterns and splashing them across the most unlikely places. This Hamilton button-down, for example, combines the cut of a classic dress shirt with the mojo of a vintage print. Click through to find a new way to wrap your wrist, knot your tie, and lace up your kicks without ever blending into the background.
Saturdays NYC is the coolest store in America right now. This SoHo surf shack was conceived by three not-so-laid-back guys on a mission: to create a space for those living, working, and surfing around the big city. The inventory is dominated by Saturdays-designed favorites like striped surf trunks and small-collar shirts; it's also well churned with the boys' favorite wet suits and surfboards. Get all the Saturdays gear at its Web site, or come visit this one-of-a-kind hut. You'll have your best Saturday yet, no matter what day it is.
New York designer Eunice Lee is a guy's girl. Her Unis collection is filled with hip, dude-friendly pieces engineered to give her male friends a big dose of confidence. Let's face it, most men feel the need to hide their legs under baggy, shin-grazing cargos. Not anymore. Eunice designed her Emmett short to be trimmer and shorter than your clamdiggers and to sit on your hips, just like your favorite jeans. The tapered silhouette has a "dressed-up" vibe—perfect for a fitted-shirt-and-tie combo (or your raddest surfing tee). Try an Emmett in any one of five shades, from grass green to pool blue, and start building your summer confidence.—Jim Moore
A pair of Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunglasses will instantly bring out your inner Don Draper, your talented (and stylish) Mr. Ripley, and your iconic Malcolm X. The best part about these retro-looking shades is that their throwback cool works on everyone, making you the movie star, the heartthrob, the rebel. Ray-Ban is best known for bringing back its notoriously hip Wayfarer style; now it's reissued the Clubmaster. Wear yours en route to the office to complement your trimmed-down business suit, or on the weekend to shade your distressed jeans. Either way, they'll make you the master of your own club.—Jim Moore
We Americans might be crazy for our heritage brands, but the French have heritage we can't touch. Take the Breton fisherman's sweater, which has been keeping the French navy warm since 1858. It eventually caught on among the unenlisted (Jean Seberg wore one in the indie classic Breathless) and even among the un-French (Picasso and Warhol favored them, too). The Breton is marked by graphic stripes, fitted sleeves, and a boatneck and comes in a range of weights, from thick sweaters to this heavy tee. Saint James has been making them since the 1950s and always cuts them trim for easy layering—which in turn gives you a modern fit. Perfect for a more stylish spring, on land or at sea.
We're very vocal about our love for dress shirts with semispread collars. Hopefully that's what you wear to work. But now we'd like to turn your sights to a slightly rounder approach. It's called the club collar, and it's come in and out of fashion over the past hundred years. Like many things old and gentlemanly (pocket squares, bow ties), this style is back, thanks to designers like Patrik Ervell, Unis, and Bespoken. We suggest you wear it one of three ways: with a slim tie, without a tie yet still buttoned up, or unbuttoned at the neck with a cotton suit. It's a shirt with a little bit of nostalgia that packs a whole lot of cool.
Merrell has been the gold standard for authentic hiking boots for thirty years now. The goal has always been the same: Keep your feet dry and treat them to the comfort of sneakers, even in the worst of icy conditions. The Wilderness boot doesn't just earn high marks for durability and comfort—it's also the pinnacle of alpine style, with a stealth-like design made possible by badass technology and minimal seams. (The boot is constructed from full-grain waterproof leather and a rubber sole.) We also really dig the electric blue laces, standard issue with every pair.
As a stylishly dressed gentleman, you'll need a serious pair of boots this fall. Not just the slush-kickers to help you on salty sidewalks and icy roads, but something a bit more refined. Enter the wingtip boot, the genius invention of the Brits, who created it before we Americans even existed. The boot's elegant profile resembles that of a sturdy-soled lace-up with punched-wing detailing, but when you cross your legs—voilà!—you've got winter protection. They're perfectly appropriate with a heavyweight suit made of brushed flannel or lofty tweed, and equally stylish when paired with rigid jeans. So go ahead, cross your legs and give 'em the boot.
Now that you've channeled your inner Don Draper by mastering the art of the perfectly folded white pocket square, it's time to turn things around—literally. Try the unstudied approach by flipping over the handkerchief, allowing the seamed edges to fan out casually. The layering looks especially good when the edges contrast in color; it adds informality to a CEO pinstripe and dresses up a gutsy tweed. We like a cotton square—it holds its shape and doesn't sink into the pocket like a square made of silk. And if you go for a vibrant check or plaid, you'll achieve a nonchalant yet elegant look that even Don Draper might approve of.
In the 1950s, it didn't matter if you were a bobby-soxer in a long skirt or Elvis Presley onstage in shiny black trousers—you owned a pair of saddle shoes. They were the footwear of choice for good girls and bad boys alike. This summer they're suddenly everywhere again, available from niche designers as well as big names, like this tri-tone, leather-soled version from Cole Haan. (And if you dig the old-school rubber-soled style, don't worry—G.H. Bass still makes great ones.) Wear yours with a slim-cut lightweight cotton suit or go sockless in a pair of rolled-up selvage jeans or skinny chinos. And don't be afraid of a smudge or two; you're not on your way to a sock hop.
Adam Brown and Julia Simpson-Orlebar aren't designers; they're great friends who had an even greater idea—create a good-looking, simple pair of summer shorts that can also be worn in the water. Within a few years, the two Brits had parlayed this brainstorm into their namesake company. Now stylish gents and surf dudes alike can reach for the Bulldog trunk, a well-cut, quick-drying, nonshiny pair of swim shorts that takes you from the street to the boardwalk, into the ocean, and back again. The side tabs and hidden zippered back pocket give these shorts a tailored look, while the inner lining makes them totally beachproof. And they're available in twenty beachworthy colors. Orlebar Brown calls them distinguished simplicity; we call them endless summer in perfect style.
Wearing suspenders used to be a practical move. Back in those Bogart days, you'd go about your business with your pants perfectly "suspended," rather than cinched by a belt. Now, like plenty of other midcentury essentials (tie bars, pocket squares, fedoras), suspenders feel in again after being out for so long. Thin clip-ons channel a punk-rock vibe, while wider, button versions deliver more of a neo-preppy message. Either way, keep your outfit simple for a custom—not costume—look, and turn the page for more on spring's must-have piece of gear.
A pale blue chambray shirt is as timelessly American as, well, Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke. But what if you're in the market for something a bit more timely? Enter the style-minded gray chambray. It makes for a perfect match with a cotton jacket and tie on a hot city day, or with swim trunks and flip-flops on a sandy beach. Lands' End has issued a version as part of its new Canvas collection. It features a trim fit and even trimmer price tag. The shirt comes washed and worn-in and arrives at your doorstep ready to throw on. The white stiching gives it authentic workwear detailing without looking like you picked it up at your local hardware store. Gray collar is the new blue collar.
Maybe you're a die-hard fan of the original Rod Lavers, or maybe you're a guy who sees a pair and says, "Dude, are your sneakers... mesh?" Either way, it's hard not to love what Adidas has done to this forty-year-old virgin. The sneakers are now slimmer and more streamlined, and they're alarmingly light. Meaning they'll keep your feet dry during the steamy summer months ahead. These Lavers look great with cotton khakis, seersucker shorts, even suits. A perfect match, since 1970.
A polo shirt isn't always just a polo shirt. At least not when it's designed by Scott Sternberg, the founder of L.A.'s Band of Outsiders clothing line. He got his start five years ago by introducing us to a new (skinny) breed of schoolboy striped ties. Next came shrunken madras blazers, quirky corduroy suits, and gray flannel Top-Siders. Now his passion for what those in the business call "collared knits" is seen for the first time on this page. The polos are made of a light, durable Japanese cotton and have a distinctive retro fit. Worn here by actor Dave Franco—younger brother of James—the shirts are available in more than a dozen color and pattern combinations. Each one is designed to make you feel more like an insider while still being an