Spring is one of the best times of year. We slowly shed old man winter for longer and warmer days. But spring is always a middle ground for style…to warm for winter layers but still too cool to shed all those layers for your summer swag. So what do we do? Well, here are 5 simple tips to follow to elevate your style IQ.
Tip 1: Sweaters aren’t just for winter
First, make sure you stick with cotton sweaters for obvious reasons. Wool and thicker materials are just way too hot for the winter to spring transition. You want to wear a lighter sweater that allows you to breathe with the temperature swings. Bulky hoodies and jackets need not apply. Personally, I prefer V-Neck sweaters, but crew necks and cardigans also get the job done and look super stylish. Lastly, never wear a polo shirt under a sweater. Button down or dress shirts work the best. With the versatility of sweaters, you can pair them with a pair of shorts to strike the right balance between staying cool and looking good..
Tip 2: Brogues and Derby’s pair well with…everything
I love my Sperry’s for hot summer days hanging out by the pool or playing bocce ball. But lets face it; everyone and their brother wear Sperry’s. They are predictable. Turn some heads by wearing your dress shoes with shorts. But, before you go ravage your closet for a pair of shoes to pair with your shorts, there are few things to keep in mind. First, Brogues and Derby’s typically work best when paired with shorts. Loafers (except driving mocks) and Wing Tips skirt the edge and steer clear of Oxfords, which are way too formal to be paired with casual spring looks. Second, and most important, never ever go without socks. I love places like Soxy or Taft that make “no show” socks which cover your feet just enough to wick the moisture away, but give the illusion you aren’t wearing socks. Plus they keep your nice Brogues from smelling like feet.
Tip 3: Amp up your wrist game
Springtime is a great time to add some extra style to your wrist and call more attention to that awesome timepiece you love so much. Lets face it, that steel bracelet is heavy and hot in the spring and summer months. Swap it out for a leather or canvas Nato Strap. First, you’ll need a spring bar tool, which you can find pretty much anywhere for $10 or less. This will help you take off that chunky steel bracelet off. It also beats taking the watch to a jewelry store, paying $30 and waiting a week. I love the leather straps from either Form Function Form or Bulang & Sons; they are ultra modern and come in different colors and textures. However, if you aren’t keen on spending $50+ on a watchstrap check out Crown and Buckle, who has an awesome selection of different sizes and colors. They typically run between $8-$15 per strap. You don’t need to match the strap with anything in particular; any colorful option is a good choice.
Tip 4: Cuff-em!!
While I understand some guys may not want to rock Derby’s or Brogues with shorts…its not for everyone. Cuffing your pants lets you show a bit of ankle or sock and draws attention to those shoes for a cool spring look. But before we go any further, lets be clear, cuffing your pants is only acceptable in a casual or semi-formal setting. It is never stylish to cuff your pants in a formal setting. Ok, now that we got that out of the way, we’re ready to cuff. First make sure you have the right type of pants to cuff. Steer clear of boot cut jeans and/or pants. Cuffing these types of pants is never a good idea. Slim or Slim-Straight pants typically work the best. I love my Levi’s 511’s, which are the perfect “cuff material.” Second, make sure you aren’t cuffing more than twice; otherwise it will look like you’ve got sausages stuffed around your ankles, not a good look either. The goal is for you to be able to see your ankle or slightly below the ankle while standing straight up. Lastly, and this should go without saying, but make sure those shoes are shined or conditioned. Nothing kills an awesome outfit more than a pair of dirty, dingy shoes. Try this out and it will definitely draw attention to those shoes and show everyone you have the swag for spring.
Tip 5: Ditch the leather belt
While I love chunky leather or casual belts paired with Red Wing’s, they aren’t spring swag. That is why I really like swapping out leather belts for ribbon or canvas belts. Think of a ribbon belt, as a pocket square for your waist. Pair your belt with shorts, pants or jeans. Same concept with the Nato straps, you really can’t go wrong with colors or patterns. They are supposed to be different. These belts are typically on the cheaper side, so you won’t break the bank shopping for a bunch of them. If you are really budget conscious you can check out places like Thrift Stores or eBay and buy gently used or like new belts. I’ve had luck finding good stuff on eBay gently used or brand new at 50% off retail prices. Add a ribbon or canvas belt with the tips I mentioned above for a clean casual look that will surely turn some heads.
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