Men’s Style: How to Nail the Athleisure Look

It seems like there is a causal wave seeping into fashion and it’s being embraced by both comfort lovers and style enthusiasts everywhere. The days where you can wear sweatpants and look cool are upon us, friends. This sent from heaven style is called… Athleisure, combining athletic + leisure.

The Athleisure look is made up of casual yet stylish combinations like cool sneakers, causal jackets, joggers, chinos, polo shirts, sweaters, t-shirts and other menswear essentials all worn with a sporty touch. These pieces are meant to be worn on the weekend, while you run errands, hang out with friends and anywhere else you can dress casually. So, how does one embrace this casual style without looking like you’re back in high school and just put on the first thing your sleepy eyes saw? This post will show you how to rock the Athleisure look like a modern stylish gentlemen, all the while keeping comfort top of mind.

Sporty Hoodie + T-Shirt + Rolled Jeans + White Sneakers = Athleisure

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The image above is an example of sleek Athleisure style. The hoodie brings in the sporty touch, while the rolled jeans and white sneakers bring in the casual day to day wear. Notice details like hidden socks and rolled up jeans to really style this otherwise casual look.

The Athleisure Look Checklist

You can wear a lot of pieces from casual to dressy with your look, but there are some key pieces that help you set up a base. I’ll break down each piece down further below, but your essentials are: bomber jacket, shirt jacket, denim jacket, full zip sweatshirt/hoodie, polo shirt, t-shirt, crew neck sweaters, henley, joggers, chinos and sneakers. You don’t need all of them, but see which ones look good to you and filter (i.e. you might like a bomber jacket over the shirt jacket, you don’t need both).

The key to athleisiure is intention. You are intending for your look to be casual, but more importantly, stylish. Having the basics I mentioned above will help you build a base and then you can incorporate pieces from your wardrobe to add to the look. For example, you can layer your outfit with dressy items like cardigans and overcoats, but keep it sporty with joggers and sneakers. The same goes for leather jackets. You can totally wear jeans with Athleisure, just make sure they are slim and roll them up for a styled look.

Notice the socks in this look, they are intentional and look pretty stylish

A leather jacket with a sweater or hoodie under looks great

Photo Credit: J. Crew, Fastbest

Notice the look is styled around the shoes, this is intention

A track suit? Yup! The white shoes and no show socks make this look modern and stylish

Photo Credit: Articles of Style, Gentlemen Within

Alright, let me break the pieces down a bit further….

First, get some cool sneakers

Photo Credit: Esquire, Nike BeTrue Collection

I know in some of my previous posts I told you to ditch the workout shoes and get some dressy leather sneakers, but thanks to Athleisure, we can incorporate some cool athletic sneakers into your look. You can go as bold or subtle as you want.

Bold Sneakers

The subtle camo shirt jacket doesn’t take away from the bold sneakers

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Remember the days when everyone was snagging a pair of Jordans, Air Force Ones and all the other cool sneaker collaborations entering the market? Well, sneaker-heads will show you it’s definitely still a thing. Having a pair of interesting sneakers is a style statement, if worn right! Again, the key here is intention. I noted in the 4th set of looks above that the guy styled his outfit around the sneaker and it looks really cool. If your shoes are busy, consider keeping the rest of your outfit neutral or with subtle hints of color.

Nike x Off White Collab

Nike x Commes des Garcons Collab

Want to check out some of the top collaborations with plenty of bold choices? Here ya go!

Dressy Sneakers

mens CK tshirt with black jeans and stan smith white sneaker athleisure

Photo Credit: @MagicFox

Bold sneakers seem a little out there? No problem! Stick to a simple dressy leather sneaker to achieve a classic street style. If you like having a bit of detail, go for a pair with an accent. Check my article on how to wear dressy leather sneakers for additional tips on how to style them and some of my favorite brands.

Pharrell x Adidas Collab

Paul Smith Sneakers w/ Accent


You will notice in most of the photos the ankles are exposed and it really ties the look together, which works great for Spring and Summer. For colder days, you can show some sock, i’ll explain below…

No Show Socks

Photo Credit: I Am Galla

If you’ve read my other articles, you know how I feel about no-show socks. These are key when it comes to wearing sneakers with joggers and chinos for a modern and stye conscious look. Need a good pair that don’t slip when you walk? Check these out!

Showing Socks

Sock color and texture compliments the blue

Photo Credit: J. Crew

Alternatively, if you do want to show some sock, show it with intention. You want the sock color to compliment the rest of your outfit. Going for socks with a bit of texture or pattern is fine as long as it adds to your outfit.

Slub Socks have Texture

A fun print can add to a neutral look

Photo Credit: J. Crew


Having that perfect jacket to top off your casual look takes it to the next level. This is where casual layers like denim, bomber and shirt jackets come into play. If you want to learn about all the different types of jackets, check out this post.

Bomber Jackets

mens bomber jacket white sneaker black jeans athleisure look

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Bomber jackets are essential to the athleisure look because they are the perfect mix between casual and stylish. Bombers come in many different materials like suede for a bit of dressy look or cotton with spandex, which basically feels like a sweatshirt, for a more casual look. Note: if you have an oval body type, bomber jackets with an elastic band at the bottom will exaggerate it, go for one that doesn’t have an elastic band.

Flat neck bomber jacket with elastic band at the bottom

Suede collar bomber jacket without the elastic band at the bottom

Photo Credit: Everlane, ASOS

Shirt Jackets aka Shacket

mens suede shirt jacket chinos white sneakers hoodie outfit athleisure

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Shirt jackets aka shackets are pretty cool! You can go as thick or thin as you want, weather pending of course. Pairing this layer with your joggers, chinos or jeans elevates your look.

Thin cotton shacket

Thicker down-filled shacket

Photo Credit: ASOS, Common People

Denim Jacket

mens joggers with jean jacket and hoodie athleisure outfit

Photo Credit: Crystalin Marie

Denim jackets are the perfect layer that go with chinos, joggers and hybrid pants (i.e. a jogger chino or technical wear chino). Wearing hoodies or unbuttoned flannel shirts under your denim jacket is an excellent way to add warmth for the colder days. You can also wear jackets or overcoats on top of your denim jacket.

Photo Credit: Everlane, 7 for All Mankind


Photo Credit: Nautica

Joggers are an essential piece for your athleisure look. If worn right, you can look effortlessly stylish. If worn wrong, you’ll look like that kid in high school gym class. Joggers come in many materials and styles like sweatpants or chinos. However, I encourage you to look into some “dressier” joggers like the striped ones below.

Dressier joggers for a stand-out style

Hybrid chino-jogger

Photo Credit: Top Shop, Nordstrom


mens ted baker chinos sneakers scarf button down athleisure look blazer
A dressy athleisure look = button down, sporty blazer, chinos and sneakers

Photo Credit: Ted Baker

Chinos are a must have for a sophisticated athleisure look. If you read my Technical Wear article, I mentioned tech wear chinos, these are your best friends for comfort and style. The key here is to roll them up at the bottom and expose some ankle for a styled look. The look pictured above is how to turn an otherwise dressy look into an athleisure look.

Rolled up chinos

Anke cut chinos with a drawstring

Photo Credit: Goodman Brand, Wesc (Nordstrom)

Polo Shirts

mens athleisure polo shirt chinos white sneakers outfit

Photo Credit: What My Boyfriend Wore

Some people cringe at the thought of polo shirts, it reminds them of what their mom used to make them wear when they were young. First, I give you permission to forget the past. Polo shirts, both long sleeve and short, help achieve that sporty-luxe look we’re going for. They key here is to find polo shirts with cool and modern details. Alternatively, if you don’t like stand out details, go for colors like deep burgundy, green or black for a sleeker look. Also, you can go for technical fabrics to keep up with the sporty look (i.e. not cotton).

Ted Baker makes fun polo shirts with a sporty touch

The arm details makes this not your average dad polo shirt

Photo Credit: Ted Baker

Wearing a Suit as Athleisure

Casual fabric suit + t-shirt + no show socks + white sneakers

Photo Credit: The Unstitched

If you really want to step up your style and sophistication with athleisure, wear a casual suit with some sneakers and a neck t-shirt. This look is very classy and is sure to turn heads. The key here is to go for suits with casual fabrics like cotton, linen or technical fabrics and pair the look with a crew neck t-shirt. The details matter, exposing some ankle with your casual suit makes it more intentional.

Has your mind been blown? You can look stylish and be comfortable! It’s a thing and it’s awesome. You will notice the details matter when it comes to the Athleisure look like rolling your pants, no-show socks, and layering to name a few, so definitely keep those in mind. You can add in accessories like bags and hats like beanies if you have a need for them.

Hope you enjoyed the article! See you in the next one…

Men’s Style: Technical Wear Meets Modern Style

Whenever I have a consultation with a client and ask if they run “hot” or “cold” about 95% of the time men tell me they run “hot”. This alone tells you there is a huge need for clothing that won’t absorb sweat and need to be washed or dry cleaned after each wear. Sound too good to be true? Let me tell you a bit about technical wear!

When you hear the term “technical wear” your mind jumps to gym clothing, but there’s a whole other world that you might not know of. Now days technical wear can be button down shirts, dress shirts, chinos, slacks, jeans, socks and underwear. If you hate wrinkles, sweat a lot, bike to work, travel or shrink your clothes… your problems are about to be solved. Come take an airy walk through the wonderful world of day to day technical wear!

What is Day to Day Technical Wear?

Modern technical wear takes fabrics gym clothes are made out of and converts them to everyday wearable designs like dress shirts, blazers, pants and suits. These garments offer excellent breathability, stretch and quality. Unlike traditional cotton clothing that can shrink or hold stains, tech wear is made up of synthetic materials like rayon and polyester, but with added softness. This is important to note because not everyone loves the feeling of synthetic fabrics, but if you want the benefits I mentioned, they are worth at least a try.

The founder of Ministry of Supply ran a marathon in a technical wear suit!

Photo Credit: @ministryofsupply

That photo above is no joke, one of the founders of Ministry of Supply, a technical wear brand, ran a half marathon in one of their suits. I’m telling you, if you are looking for breathability, moisture wicking, and odor controlling clothing, you’ve struck gold!

Brands Worth Checking Out

Are you ready for the days your jeans won’t rip when you bike or your shirt isn’t drenched after a dance off at a wedding? Awesome! Below are a coupe of brands that nail both style and quality.

Ministry of Supply

Photo Credit: Ministry of Supply

Ministry of Supply is a pretty cool brand! If you have to dress up for work or travel a lot, their selection of dress shirts, blazers, polos, sweaters, pants and shorts will hit the spot. Made for movability, breathability and easy care, their clothes promise that and so much more. Their price ranges from $40 for a t-shirt to $495 for a blazer. Don’t let the price tag deter you, these clothes are meant to last for a while, so consider these a long term purchase. Keep a lookout for promotions like getting 15% off 3 or more of the same category, which they do often. Also, they offer free shipping and free returns, who doesn’t love that?

Mizzen + Main

Photo Credit: Mizzen + Main

Mizzen + Main has been making waves with their dress and button down shirts. They even started carrying henleys, polo shirts, tuxedo shirts and accessories that have the same promise of wicking sweat, durability, easy care and stretch. What I like about M+M is they offer trim, standard and tall sizes and have a size finder on their website. Prices range from $55 for henleys to $125 for dress shirts. Keep a look out for promotions to score a deal. They offer free shipping and free returns and even Nordstrom carries them.


Photo Credit: Outlier NYC

If you are in the market for a pair of pants that will last you for years, Outlier is your brand. I really like Outlier for their quality and style. Most notably, their pants have won the hearts of many guys by coming in slim versions. Outlier offers denim, chino and dress pant styles you can wear to work, traveling and beyond. Their pants don’t come cheap, but the quality pays for itself. In addition to their pants, you can find shirting made out of merino wool, which don’t absorb odor and give you excellent breathability. Pants start at $198.

Theory’s Neoteric Pants

Photo Credit: Theory

Although Theory is not a tech first brand, they have excellent technical pieces season to season. Their Neoteric pants have a lot of stretch and movability, perfect for biking and traveling. I’ve put clients in their pants and they instantly fall in love with the style, fit and comfort. Theory makes slim and regular fits to keep you looking modern. Their pants start at $195, but keep a look out for sales at Bloomingdales or Nordstrom Rack to score a deal.


Photo Credit: Twillory

Men have been loving Twillory’s dress shirts. They offer dozens of patterns and keep their promise of easy care, moisture wicking, cooling tech, wrinkle resistant, and most importantly, comfort and stretch! From basic blue to classic plaids, you get plenty of choice. The shirts go for 2 for $119 or $55 each if you buy 4 or more, making them less expensive than the other brands I listed. With guaranteed fit and free shipping and returns, it’s definitely worth it to give these a go!


Reversible blazer, brings back fond memories of Fresh Prince!

Photo Credit: Betabrand

This San Francisco brand has a special place in my heart because they are right in my neighborhood! Betabrand plays around with fun prints through their shirts and jackets as well as keeps comfort top of mind through their pants. If you want dress clothing to be bike, travel and karate kick friendly, they have your back. I especially like the pants color selection and appreciate they come in slim and ankle cut fits for a modern style. They also have bike friendly jeans!

What Should You Try?

Alright, now you’re curious and want to get your hands on one of these items and see what the fuss is all about. I say do it! Start with a classic white dress shirt. Next time you have to travel or attend a wedding, give this baby a spin and see how it goes. I have some friends who dance up a storm at weddings and really appreciate the stretch and moisture wicking technology. Best of all, you don’t need to iron them!

Since summer is coming up and you might have travel plans, also consider shorts or pants. Imagine being able to take one pair of bottoms that you can rewear without washing them when traveling. Sounds great right?

Wait, Let’s Not Forget Underwear

So you have your shirts, blazer, pants and henleys, but what about what goes underneath them all? Yes, underwear matters and finding a great one can really be a game changer. Here are a couple of brands that are killing it in the technical underwear game that you should check out. Type of underwear is a personal choice, but you can’t really go wrong with boxer briefs or trunks.

Mack Weldon

Photo Credit: Mack Weldon

If you’re open to upgrading your underwear, Mack Weldon is a name that says quality, comfort and longevity. They don’t come cheap at $24 a pair, but once you try them, you’ll never look back. Note: if you spend $100, you can get 10% off and if you spend $200, you can get 20% off on their site. Mack Weldon also offer loungewear, socks and basics like polo shirts and t-shirts.


Photo Credit: MeUndies

Alright, maybe you’re not ready to jump into a pair of Mack Weldon’s, no problem. Give MeUndies a try! I especially like MeUndies because they come in fun patterns that you probably wouldn’t gravitate towards on your own. Funky patterns not your thing? They have solids for the guys who like to keep it classic. MeUndies are made of Micro-Modal, which is a soft and lightweight fabric built to last. Undies go for $24, but if you subscribe, you can get a pair every month for $16. You can also get packs of 3, 5 or 10 that range from $15 to $18 a pair. MeUndies also offers lounge wear, t-shirts and socks.

Uniqlo Airism

Photo Credit: Uniqlo

MeUndies and Mack Weldon still seem a little out there? Give Uniqlo Airism a go! I love the Airism undershirts and their underwear should be coveted too! With each pair going for $9.90, these are definitely worth a try. Airism offers cooling technology that releases heat and moisture and is very breathable. If you like the underwear, definitely get an undershirt too. Tip: I always tell clients to go for the V neck undershirts because I don’t like when undershirts show.

Has your mind been blown by all that’s going on in the world of technical wear? It’s amazing to see that comfort and quality is taking a priority with day to day wear. Once you see the performance of these garments, it’ll be hard to go back to basic cotton. Like I said, some of these items cost a little more than the average, but you’ll be getting many more years of wear out of them, so don’t think small.

Men’s Style: Backpacks Meet Form + Function

Once your wardrobe starts coming together, it’s natural for you to start thinking about accessories. A major accessory that comes to mind is your day to day backpack. Gone are the days of wearing that Jansport bag you once rocked in high school or your messenger bag that makes your one shoulder sore. Instead, this post is dedicated to bringing your attention to some awesome brands that are making waves in the backpack world.

Your backpack is something you carry everyday and stores bulky items like your laptop, gym clothes, lunch, and water bottle to name a few. Not only should it be comfortable, but also durable, have easy access to your essentials, save your belongings from wet weather, be lightweight, and of course have a sleek design. Luckily, the backpacks down below have it all!

From lowest to highest price, here are my list of my top backpacks!

Ps. Feel free to browse the site I linked to learn more details about the backpacks, styles and colors they offer. Also, i’ve made note of the ones that are waterproof and water-resistant!

Please note I am not sponsored by any of these brands. Some links are Amazon affiliate links, thanks in advance for your support!

CHROME – Hondo Backpack ($100)

San Francisco based Chrome Industries makes minimal and sleek backpacks that are great for cyclists and walkers alike. With rip proof fabrics, lightweight designs, water-resistant coating and comfortable back padding, you can use this bag for work and beyond. This bag comes in 4 colors. The Hondo is my favorite from Chrome, but check out their site to see other designs.

Size: 21 Liters
Laptop Size: up to 15”
Bonus: 15% off your first order, Free Shipping, Lifetime Warranty

TIMBUK2 – Authority Backpack ($129)

TIMBUK2 is also a San Francisco brand that has been making waves in the backpack world. They are known for affordable, stylish and functional backpacks that are water-resistance, have air mesh backs to help with breathability and cushy straps for shoulder support. These backpacks even have a rear laptop area, keeping your tech nice and safe. This backpack comes in 7 colors. It doesn’t just stop here, TIMBUK2 has MANY backpacks.

Size: 28 Liters
Laptop Size: up to 17”
Bonus: 10% off your first purchase, free shipping, lifetime warranty

EVERKIStudio Backpack ($120)

The Studio backpack is slimmer and has a more conservative design than the others I’ve listed. If you are a traveller, this bag has a slip for the trolley handle, making it great for travelers. The laptop compartment has cushioned corners for those who seem to forget their computer is in their bag until they toss it on the floor. The storage compartment has a bright orange lining, letting you quickly and easily find what you are looking for. Oh and they take pride in their ergonomic design – I’m sure your back with thank you! The Studio is my preferred design, but definitely check out their other bags!

Size: 14L
Laptop Size: Up to 14.1”
Free shipping, 30 day returns, limited lifetime warranty

DULUTH PACK – Scout ($145)

For those ready to ditch their leather messenger bags, but don’t want a bag that looks too technical, Duluth Pack has a good one for you. This bag has a cozier look, making it perfect for the rugged or dressy guy who doesn’t want too much of a modern and minimal look. Don’t underestimate this bag’s quality though, it’s made of durable fabrics, has a spacious interior and definitely keep comfort in mind. Note: the waxed canvas bag helps shed water easily. This bag comes in 16 colors and has other designs as well!

Size: 15 Liter
Laptop Size: not listed, but bag is 17” tall
Bonus: Lifetime guarantee  

LANDER – Commuter ($150)

If your gym bag travels with you almost everyday, this bag might be the miracle you’ve been waiting for! The Lander Commuter bag has a cargo pocket for your gym clothes and shoes, keeping it separate from your tech, lunch or anything else in your bag. It doesn’t stop there, this bag is made of rip proof fabric, neatly stores charging cables, waterproof, and overall very durable… it’s made for the outdoors. This bag also comes in a “traveller” version if you want to use it for traveling.

Size: 25 Liter
Laptop Size: up to 17”
Bonus: 15% off, 1 year Limited Warranty

AER – Duffle Pack 2 ($170)

My guy friends rave about this bag! Here’s why: it’s a backpack and a duffle bag. You can take to work, the gym and even on weekend trips! Hold it by the handle or wear it on your back, the choice is yours. The AER is a spacious bag with a shoe compartment, padded and mesh back for breathability, has top and side handles, comfortable shoulder straps, and is water-resistant. This bag is available in 3 colors. They have a couple of different collections worth checking out.

Size: 24.6 Liter
Laptop Size: up to 15.6”
Bonus: Available at Nordstrom: free shipping, free returns, lifetime warranty

Men’s Style: The Ultimate Guide To Boots

From Chukka to Chelsea, boots have become a staple piece in the modern man’s wardrobe. Whether you like to dress up or down, there is a boot out there for every occasion. Wearing a pair of boots with even the simplest outfit can elevate your style.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Magic Fox, Pinterest

Feel free to read it in order or check out the table of contents to jump to sections.

Too Long; Didn’t Read

What Are Boots

From ankle to sole, there are many parts that help make up a boot’s form. Understanding boot construction is the best place to start since i’ll be using these terms throughout the guide.

Boot Collar: helps minimize irritation of the Achilles tendon and lower calf (depending on the height of the boot).

Hook Fastening: hooks you can put the laces into to further secure the boot.

Upper: literally the upper part of the boot. If you see a label that says “leather upper”, that’s the only part of the shoe that is leather.

Eyelets: the holes that the laces go through.

Stitch Down Construction: where the outsole and boot are sewn together. Stitch down indicates a good quality boot.

Tread: the bottom of the boot, which provides grip.

Insole: refers to the inside sole of the shoe – a good shoe will have a comfortable insole, while cheaper ones might not. However, you can always put your own insole into a boot.

Outsole: outside sole of shoe.

Tongue: the piece of fabric under the laces


Styles of Boots

Boots come in three styles: casual, smart and dressy. Casual boots are meant to be worn when you do not have to dress up at all (i.e. weekend). Smart refers to the Smart-Casual style, meaning these boots can be worn to work, on a date, or anywhere you want to make a good first impression. Dressy boots can be worn to more formal occasions or even with a suit, but are not limited to formal only outfits. I’ll point out these looks in the photos, so you can understand them better.

Casual Styles

Casual boot styles can be worn day to day and don’t offer a formal look to your outfits.

Work Boots

When you think of a work boot in the traditional sense, a steel toe boot might come to mind. However, the modern work boot is a day to day shoe that is perfect for the guy who likes to keep things on the casual side. Work boots are defined by their casual and bulkier style, especially in the toe area which can be reminiscent of the steel toe look. Some popular companies that specialize in work boots are Red Wings, Timberlands and Doc Martin’s, each having their own distinct style of a heavy duty work boot.

Doc Marten Boot

Red Wing Style Boot

Photo Credit: Nordstrom, Nordstrom

Timberland Boot

Classic Suede Work Boot

Photo Credit: Timberland, Nordstrom

Cap Toe Classic Work Boot

You can wear it hiking

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Looks great with casual clothing

Timberland work boot outfit

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Work boots look the best with casual clothing such as jeans and washed chinos. Avoid work boots for any dressy occasions or environments you need to look professional in.

Combat Boots

Classic Combat Boot

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Rugged style boot

Clean and classic style boot

Photo Credit: Fashion Runway, Bedstu

Dressed up combat boot

Dressed down combat boot

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Thousand Yard Style

Note: If you go for a really minimal black combat boot, you can wear it formally

Combat boots are a style of boot that have more of a military look to them, hence the name. They are defined by their higher length and laces that go up to the very top. Combat boots come in rugged and sleek styles, which are perfect for the guy who wants a little edge in his looks. If the thought of repeatedly undoing and doing laces is already driving you crazy, opt for boots with a zipper on the inner side of the boot.

Hiking Boots

Day to day hiking boot

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Although the first thought that comes to mind when you hear hiking boots is REI, or any other outdoor gear store, rest be assured there are hiking boot styles that work for day to day. Hiking boots can be defined by their soles because they have visible treads, thick laces, and hook like eyelets. Hiking boots work best with casual wear and are perfect for the guy who likes to dress for nature.

Photo Credit: Fashion Beans, Pinterest

Photo Credit: Bruno Cucinelli

Before you think Hiking boots are only for the very casual, they come in dressy version as well.

Dressed up hiking boot: great for winter

Photo Credit: GQ

If you have a very casual and outdoorsy style, modern hiking boots can be the ones for you. Keep in mind, they do fall in the casual category and should not be worn to any professional or formal occasion.

Smart Casual Styles

Smart Casual styles let you dress up or down your outfits depending on what look you are going for. Jeans make these boots look more casual, while chinos can add a dressier touch.

Apron or Moc Toe Boots

Moc Toe (or Moccasin Toe) boots, also called Apron toe boots, resemble a moccasin shoe with its square shaped toe cap. These boots can range from a casual style, usually with a white rubber outsole, to a smarter style with a wooden outsole. This style of boot looks best with jeans and chinos.

mens apron toe boots brown leather

Wooden outsole = dressed up boot

Photo Credit: McCaren and Sons

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Wooden Outsole = Dressy

Rubber outsole = casual

Photo Credit: J. Crew, Pinterest

Chukka or Desert Boots

The Chukka boot is the perfect starting point for someone wanting to get into the world of boots. They can easily be dressed up or down and go with everything from t-shirt and jeans to business attire. Chukkas are defined by a low eyelet count and ankle length. You might have heard the term “Desert Boot”, which is basically a Chukka, but with a rubber sole. Chukkas are good for dressing up, while a desert boot is good to keep things casual.

Classic Chukka Boot

Photo Credit: DSW

Desert Boot = rubber outsole

Chukka Boot = wooden outsole

Photo Credit: Idle Man, Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Ashley Weston

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Chukka boots come in suede fabrics, which are great for a middle point between a leather chukka boot and a desert boot.

Dressy Styles

A classic dress boot can range from being very dressy to somewhat dressy depending on a couple of factors such as the finish, simplicity, and toe style. The more simple a boot, the dressier and more formal it looks. For example, going for a grainy leather finish can make the boot look slightly less formal, while going for a shiny leather finish makes it dressier. Also, a simple outsole can make it look more formal, while going for a contrast outsole (i.e. wood) can make it slightly less formal.

Plain Toe Boots

A plain toe boot doesn’t have a design at the front top of the boot.

Plain Toe = Nothing on the front toe

Plain toe dress boot with contrast sole

Photo Credit: Nordstrom, Allen Edmonds

Photo Credit: Thursday Boot, Pinterest

A simple boot makes it dressier

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Cap Toe Boots

Cap toe boots are defined by a line going across the front top of the boot. The cap toe can be a simple line or have a more decorative one known as “brogue”.

Cap Toe = Line across the front top

Photo Credit: J. Crew, Johnston & Murphy

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Brogue Boots

If you like a little more going on in your shoe, a Brogue boot is a great choice. These boots are defined by their decorative perforations such as a wingtip, medallion or cap toe design at the front top of the boot. These boots fall on the dressier side of things and are perfect for suits or simply dressing up your jeans and button down outfit.

Cap Toe: There is a decorative line across the front top of the boot.

Brogue Cap Toe

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Wing Tip: There is a wing like design on the front top of the boot.

Wing Tip

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Medallion: There is a design at the top front of the boot. In the example below, you can see two toe styles can be combined, in this case cap toe and medallion.

Medallion + Cap Toe

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Combination: Two or all three designs can be mixed together into one boot.

Medallion + Wing Tip

Photo Credit: DSW

Brogue boots look great with cuffed jeans

Photo Credit: ASOS, Pinterest

Chinos and brogue boots

This cuff is slightly high, could be lower

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Don’t know where to start? The “safest” place to start is with a plain toe boot because it can be dressed up or down without thinking too much about how the design works with the rest of your outfit. However, if you plan on having a couple of pairs of boots, it’s fun to experiment with different designs. Think of the design as the “bespoke” aspect of your outfit. Refer to the images above on how to best wear a wingtip boot.

Balmoral Boots

If you want a boot for suits and dressy occasions, a Balmoral boot is an excellent choice. The boot is defined by lacing up high at the ankle, hook closure and distinct stitching or contrast fabric between the upper and lower boot. Balmoral boots usually come with a cap toe or wing-tip design.

Balmoral boots have a distinct line that separates the upper

Photo Credit: Bodileys

Photo Credit: Pinterest, GQ

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Splash News

Chelsea Boots

Chelsea boots have a clean and simple toe, which allows them to easily be dressed up or worn with a “smart” look. The shiny leather boot versions do fall on the dressier side of things, but the suede version can be worn with something as simple as a t-shirt and jeans. Chelsea boots are defined by stretchy fabric on either side of the boot, which makes them easy to put on and take off.

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Fashion Gens

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Jodphur Boots

Jodhpur boots are a great choice for guys who like a clean boot, but also enjoy a Western vibe. Jodhpur boots are defined by their buckle that hits at the ankle.

Photo Credit: Heddels

Photo Credit: J. Fitzpatrick Footwear, @irvinrandle

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Monk Strap Boots

If you love the look of Monk Strap shoes, well guess what? They come in a boot version too! Monk Straps are defined by their double buckle and can come in everything from plain toe to brogue styles.

Photo Credit: Amazon

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Santoni

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Zipper Boots

If you hate the thought of constantly undoing and doing laces, a zipper boot might be the perfect match for you. Most of the boots I described above do come in zipper versions.

If your boots are lace up, the zipper will be hidden in the inside of the shoe. You do not have to untie your laces if you have a zipper.

Photo Credit: Frye

If you are going the zipper route, opt for a sleek pair of zipper boots rather than a bulkier one. The example below on the left shows a square and bulky style I recommend staying away because they look very old school. However, the example on the right is a better choice because it’s slimmer, has a nice wood accent, and the round-ish toe style is way more modern than a square toe.

Old School and dated

Sleek and modern

Photo Credit: Zappos, Johnstron & Murphy

What Style of Boot Should You Go For?

Alright, now that you know all the styles of boots, which one should you go for? Start by asking yourself if you prefer to dress casual, smart or dressy.


If your overall style preference is casual, it’s best to go for a work boot style shoe. Work boots keep up with your t-shirt and jeans look, but can also go with a button down for those days you want to look smart-casual.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Smart Casual

If you want a boot that can work for dressy and casual occasions, Chukka boots are you go-to. You can wear them with a t-shirt and jeans or with something business casual.

Photo Credit: Cobble & Hyde, Pinterest


If you prefer an upscale look and find yourself dressing up more often than not, a Chelsea boot is a great starting point since they pair really well with dress pants and even dress up jeans. If the no-lace look isn’t your thing, go for plain toe dress boot with laces.

Photo Credit: @AlexanderLiang, Pinterest

If you like having a bit of flare in your style, go for a boot with a wing tip design. Wing-tip boots can work well with everything from a t-shirt and jeans to suits.

Photo Credit: Norris Dantaford

How To Wear Them

Boots are easy to pair with jeans, chinos and dress pants. If you want to elevate your look, there are small things you can do like cuffing your jeans that can help achieve that.

Jeans and Chinos

Pairing jeans and chinos with boots is an easy look, especially for first time boot wearers. Let’s go over a couple of tweaks you can make to appear more stylish.

Rolling and Cuffing with Boots

There are a couple ways to wear rolled pants with boots and it depends on your boot style. If you boots hit at the ankle, you can roll your pants up to the top of the boot.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Photo Credit: Swagger New York, Pinterest

If your boot has a slim opening and goes above your ankle, you can roll your chinos to the middle or the top of your boot.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

You can also roll and tuck the front part of your chinos under the boot tongue.

Just front tucked, works with slim pants

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Over Your Boots

If your boots are slim at the ankle, you can wear your pants over your boots for a clean and classic look.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

The Half Tuck

If your boots have a tongue that sticks out (like in a desert boots), you can tuck the pants into the tongue and have the rest of the chino naturally fall to the sides and back.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The Full Tuck

You can tuck all of the bottom of your pants into your boots. Slim pants work better for this look. You can either fold the pant out and then tuck it in like the example on the left. You can also tuck them into your socks and let them naturally fall out as you walk like the example on the right.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, I Am Galla

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Dress Pants

When it comes to dress pants and suits, always wear your pants over your boots. Opt for dressier boots to keep up with the look. Your best options are: Balmoral, Brogue Boots, Plain Toe, Cap Toe, Jodphur Boots, Zipper Boots or Monk Strap Boots.

Photo Credit: Pinterest, D’Marge

Photo Credit: Pinterest

What to Wear With Boots

What to wear with your boots can be broken down by Casual, Smart, and Dressy. You can mix and match the tops, bottoms, and shoes to make something casual look more dressy and vice versa.

A couple of notes:

  • (1) Avoid boots in the casual or smart category with formal suits
  • (2) All boots can go with jeans, but stick to dressy boots for dress pants and chinos
  • Casual: Jeans or Shorts
  • Smart: Chinos
  • Dressy: Dress Pants or Slacks
  • Casual: T-shirt, Henley
  • Smart: Button Down Shirt, Polo
  • Dressy: Dress Shirt
  • Casual: Sweatshirts, Hoodies
  • Smart: Cardigan, Sweaters
  • Dressy: Blazer
  • Casual: Denim Jacket, Bomber Jacket, Parka
  • Smart: Suede Jacket, Leather Jacket, Harrington Jacket, Quilted Jacket
  • Dressy: Peacoat, Over coat

Example Outfits

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Style: Casual
Items: Boots; T-Shirt (Casual); Jean Jacket (Casual); Shorts (Casual)
Stylist Note: When it comes to wearing boots with shorts, it’s best to stick to a desert boot because of its low cut and casual style. Your socks should not show.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Style: Casual
Items: Boots; T-Shirt (Casual); Jacket (Casual); Jeans (Casual)
Stylist Note: Boots can make even the simplest jeans and t-shirt outfit look stylish. Pair the look with a jacket, in this case a denim jacket, for the perfect layer. The contrasting colors on the boots look great.

Photo Credit: Sobatak

Style: Casual
Items: Boots; Button Down (Smart); Jacket (Casual); Jeans (Casual)
Stylist Note: A work boot with a button down and jeans can keep things on the casual side. Timberlands can still be considered stylish guys!

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Style: Rugged
Items: Boots; Sweater (Casual); Jacket (Casual); Jeans (Casual)
Stylist Note: Boots pair really well with leather jackets and help keep up the rugged look.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Style: Smart Casual
Items: Boots; Sweater (Smart); Chinos (Smart);
Stylist Note: Chukka boots are a great alternative to dress shoes when you want to look business casual for work.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Style: Smart Casual
Items: Boots; Button Down (Smart); Chinos (Smart);
Stylist Note: The suede desert boot adds the perfect casual touch to this look, but can easily be taken up to dressy-smart by wearing a leather boot.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Style: Smart with hint of Bespoke
Items: Boots; Button Down (Smart); Vest (Dressy); Sweater (Smart); Jeans (Casual)
Stylist Note: If you like that classic bespoke style, boots are the perfect footwear to achieve that look.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Style: Dressy
Items: Boots; Dress Shirt (Dressy); Blazer (Dressy); Jeans (Casual)
Stylist Note: Pairing your jeans and blazer with a sleek pair of Chelsea boots keeps up with the dressy side of things.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Style: Business
Items: Boots; Dress Shirt (Dressy); Jacket (Casual); Slacks (Dressy); Tie (Dressy)
Stylist Note: Plain toe dress boots work well with slacks and a dress shirt. You can also pair this look with a brogue dress boot.Photo Credit:Pinterest

Photo Credit: GQ

Style: Dressy Casual
Items: Boots; T-Shirt (Casual); Suit (Dressy)
Stylist Note: Suits and boots go really well together and add a non-traditional element to the look. If you need to be formal, go for a plain toe or brogue boot. This look can easily be worn with a dress shirt and tie and still look amazing.

Photo Credit: Soletopia

Style: Dressy
Items: Boots; Dress Shirt (Dressy); Suit (Dressy)
Stylist Note: Wearing Chelsea boots with a suit keeps up with the formal look and is always a safe option if you are unsure what boots to pair with a suit.

Overall Fit

First and foremost, boots should be comfortable. The beauty of going for a good leather boot is it will stretch with your foot as you wear them.


Make sure there is no rubbing at the back of your ankle or leg. Eventually it will break the skin and you will bleed, which is no fun. Sometimes boots can do this at the beginning as this is the “breaking in” period. A temporary solution is to buy a cushioned band-aid and stick it in the irritating area.

Insole & Toe Cap

Photo Credit: Super Feet

Your foot should fit comfortably in the insole. It should not be able to move back and forth. However, make sure your toe isn’t up against the front of the shoe, there should be a little room. Do not buy boots that are too large because your foot and boot’s flex point should line up. The flex point is the curve in the middle of your foot at the bottom. If they do not line up, you can cause harm to your foot.

Make sure your toe isn’t hitting the top of the boot. That means the shoe is too small for you and you need to move up a size. You should have wiggle room. If you have wide feet, opt for a “W” size boot.

What a Cobbler Can Fix

Just like there is a tailor for your clothes, there’s a cobbler for your shoes. Here are some things they can fix for you:

  • Shoes too tight: A cobbler can stretch out your shoes. They have a machine at their workshop that can target a specific area to stretch. This includes a pinching toe, tight heel or tight calf.
  • Replace Sole: Whether you’re in need of a brand new sole or don’t like the one your current boot comes with, a cobbler can resole your boots. If you love your boots and they are a bit slippery at the bottom, a cobbler can put in a no-skid sole for you. Your soles must be resoleable, so it’s best to ask if they are when you buy your boots.
  • Uncomfortable Insole: a cobbler can add padding to your insole.
  • Smelly boots? Don’t need to toss them. A cobbler can professionally clean your boots inside and out. You can also get a spray for the inside of your boots, there are some good ones out there
  • Waterproof your boots: Alright, if you’ve ever lived in a rainy or snowy area, you know the feeling of wet socks. Well, a cobbler can protect your shoes from the elements!

What You Can Fix

There are certain things you can do at home to protect or refresh your boots.

  • Protect your boots with a leather and suede protector. The spray creates a protective barrier that will stop scratches or stains to sink into your boots. You can also buy waterproofing spray, but don’t expect it to get you through a torrential downpour for 5 hours.
  • Boots smell? Get a deodorizing spray to keep them lasting longer.
  • Add in your own insoles if the inside of your boot isn’t comfortable.
  • Stretch your boots with a leather stretching spray.

What to Look for in a Boot

When it comes to boots, there are a couple of things you should look for if you are “investing” in them. Details like types of leather and stitch down construction can help your boots last longer and make sure you get more bang for your buck. If you are not looking to “invest” in a pair of boots, look for comfort and style.

Types of Leather

Knowing what a “good” vs “bad” leather is will help you spend wiser. Keep in mind, i’m not telling you to spend a ridiculous amounts on boots, but what I am telling you is to make sure you’re not overpaying for something that isn’t as good.

Full Grain

Image result for full grain leather
Photo Credit: Signature Leather

Full grain leather is the best in class. If you see this on the boot, it’s a great sign. Not only is it the strongest and most durable leather, it ages well and resists moisture.

Top Grain

Top grain leather is a step below full grain leather. It’s not as durable because the top layer of the leather has been sanded down to make it look more uniform. However, it’s not a bad choice compared to some other leathers out there.

Bonded Leather

It’s exactly what it sounds like, leather scraps that are bonded together to create a sheet of leather. Although it’s technically real leather, it’s not as durable as full grain or top grain. Don’t spend a lot on these.

Genuine Leather

This term sounds amazing, but sorry guys, it doesn’t mean what you think it does. Genuine leather is made from the bottom cut, but doesn’t have any grain and is heavily processed. So yes it is leather, but it’s not good leather. You might be better off buying faux leather. Don’t spend a lot on these.

Corrected Grain Leather

Image result for full grain leather examples
Photo Credit: Ozapato

This leather can look fancy, but it’s actually low quality leather that has been printed with fake grain to make it look luxurious and real. Don’t spend a lot on these.


If you see a really cheap pair of “leather” boots, double check the label, they might be polyester. Polyester can look like real leather, but it’s a synthetic material. Make sure you don’t spend a lot on these.

Leather VS Suede


Suede and Leather are generally the same material, which is cow hide. However, Suede is the inside of the hide whereas leather is the outside of the hide. Suede can also come from sheep and pigs.

Image result for full grain leather
Photo Credit: Jackson Wayne Leather Goods

Dressy Factor

Suede and Leather are generally the same material, which is cow hide. However, Suede is the inside of the hide whereas leather is the outside of the hide. Suede can also come from sheep and pigs.



Photo Credit: Gant, Taft

Suede Dressed Up

Leather Dressed Up

Photo Credit: Pinterest, GQ

Note: An easy rule of thumb to remember is: if you are trying to be formal, go for a darker boot. Dark does not mean only go for black, but going for a dark brown, dark burgundy etc.

What’s Better?

If you’re looking for durability, you probably shouldn’t go for suede because it is more fragile and will get damaged when it comes in contact with water. However, if you are going for pure aesthetics, suede is pretty good looking! Suede might not be your day to day shoe, but it can definitely be a nice boot to have in your wardrobe.

Stitch Down Construction

Photo Credit: Truman Boot Company

See the white stitching? That’s stitch down construction. If your boot has this, excellent! It’s a marker of a good pair of boots. This stitching connects the upper boot to the sole of the boot. What’s neat about this style of stitching is it allows you to resole your boots if you need to, making them last for years on end. Other words used for stitching: Norwegian Welt or Goodyear. The alternative to stitching is a glued down sole, which as you can imagine, will eventually detach from the boot.


Photo Credit: Real Men Real Style

If you live in a place where there are cold and wet winters, having good treads on your boots is going to save you a lot of slips. You can always get a cobbler to add treads if your current pair doesn’t have them.


For your first pair of boots, go for either black or brown since they are a staple color to have. Black and brown boots are very neutral and go with everything.

Classic Colors

When buying your first pair of boots, go for classic colors like brown, black or grey.



I can safely say brown leather boots go with almost every outfit under the sun. Think of brown boots as a pop of color in your outfit. For example, if you’re wearing all dark colors (i.e. black t-shirt and dark blue jeans) a brown boot is great for breaking up the darkness and bring your outfit to life.

  • Brown boots work really well with neutral, earthy, bold and bright colors
  • Medium brown boots are an excellent choice
  • Brown boots work for formal occasions as long as the boot is dressy

Photo Credit: Pinterest, @krueger_patrick

Photo Credit: Pinterest, The Fine Young Gentleman

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Rowanrow

Photo Credit: Pinterest, He Spoke Style


Suede brown boots can be a little tricker to pair, but the key is to stick to neutral and earthy shades in the rest of your outfit.

  • When wearing light brown suede boots, it’s pleasing to the eye if there is another piece in your outfit that is light as well (i.e. shirt, pants etc).
  • Medium to dark brown suede boots go really well with earthy or deep colors
  • If you like bright pants for Spring, light to medium suede boots work great

Example of light boot with light shirt

Medium brown boots work well with earthy colors

Photo Credit: Royal Fashionist, @chrissleman

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Styleoholic

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest


Just like brown, black boots go with almost every outfit under the sun. If you’re not sure where to start, black is a great option.

  • Black boots are great for more formal outfits like suits
  • Black boots with broguing or a wooden heel is a great option to add flare
  • Brown boots work better with lighter colored bottom (i.e. light blue), black might be too harsh with a soft color
  • Black boots are great for guys who like a bit of a “motorcycle” edge in their looks
  • Black suede boots are a great option if shiny black seems too formal for you

Photo Credit: Idle Man, Idle Man

Photo Credit: Pinterest, @magicfox

Photo Credit: @magicfox, Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest


After you have your black or brown pair of boots, grey is a great color to add into your rotation. In terms of pant colors, grey boots work with other neutral colors like blue, white and black, and pair really well with earthy colors like burgundy and green.

  • The easiest way to wear grey boots is by having a 2 neutral colors and one pop color (i.e. white t-shirt, blue jeans and green jacket). Don’t go past 3 different colors in your clothes
  • You can also wear all one color (i.e. all black or all blue) and have the grey boot be the pop of color
  • Don’t wear the same shade of grey in your pants and shoes
  • You can wear opposite shades like dark grey pants and light grey boots
  • You can wear a grey top (i.e. sweater or coat) and grey boots of the same color and it will look fine since the two items are away from each other

Photo Credit: Pinterest, @magicfox

Photo Credit: On Point Fresh, Style Mann

Photo Credit: Hello His, Pinterest

Other Colors

After you’ve covered your basic colors, you can have a little fun and experiment with secondary colors that can take your look to the next level.


Although they are more rare, green boots are a unique color to add into your rotation. The key is to let the green boot be the statement piece in your outfit and you can do this by wearing dark or neutral colors with the boots.

  • Blue, black, beige and white bottoms pair the best with green boots
  • When wearing green boots, it’s best to pair them with earthy or neutral colors
  • Green suede boots are an excellent fashion forward choice

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Alden

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest


If you really want to stand out of the crowd, white boots can be a fashion forward statement. Only word of warning: good luck keeping them clean!

  • The best way to wear white boots is with neutral colors like blue, black, white and grey
  • Cream boots can be a good alternative if white seems too bold

Photo Credit: Pause Magazine, Timberland

Photo Credit: Pinterest


Burgundy boots can go two ways: classic or fashion forward. A leather burgundy boot is the classic choice because it can be worn exactly as a medium brown boot would. However, a brighter burgundy boot is great for making a fashion statement.

  • Burgundy goes really well with other earthy colors
  • Can treat a burgundy dress boot like a brown dress boot
  • Perfect way to add a splash of color to your boots without going overboard

Photo Credit: Pinterest, J. Crew

Photo Credit: Fabripagllari, J. Crew

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Thousand Yard Style


If red isn’t your thing, maybe blue is! Blue boots can be a fun color to add to your collection. Navy boots can be as subtle as black, but lighter blue boots can be your statement piece.

  • The best way to wear blue boots is with blue, black, beige or green bottoms and a neutral top
  • If you like blue, but don’t want the whole boot to be blue, go for a blue accent in the heel
  • A darker blue will be easier to pair than a lighter blue

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

Photo Credit: Look Book


Taking care of your boots will help them last longer, especially if you are going for full grain leather or suede. I know sprays and lotions seem like a marketing ploy to up-sell you, but some of them really work.

Overall Protection

The first thing to do is spray your boots with a Leather and Suede Protector.A protector will prevent scuffs, stains from setting in, and any water damage. You only need to spray your boots once a month. A universal protector will do the trick.

If you are “investing” in your boots and going for real Leather or Suede, follow the rest of the instructions below:

Leather Care

  • Just like our skin, leather needs moisture, so apply a good leather conditioning cream to the boot from time to time.
  • A damp wet cloth can help clean leather.
  • If your leather gets wet, let it dry naturally.
  • Get your boots shined from time to time.

Suede Care

  • You can brush your suede before and after applying the protector spray.
  • Small scuffs to your suede can be erased with a rubber eraser or a toothbrush.
  • If the stain is liquid, try using cornmeal or talcum powder on the spot. If it’s dry, try white vinegar (vinegar works great for salt stains as well).
  • Get a good suede brush to rejuvenate the fabric! Holding it above steam and then brushing can help the driest of suede come back to life.

Note: Keep in mind, water and suede don’t mix, so avoid wearing them in the rain or putting water directly on them when cleaning.

Shopping Notes


Your boots are made for walking, make sure you can walk hours on end in them. An excellent insole will help with this. Add your own insole if you like the boot overall, but wish the insole was a bit more cushioned.

Boots You Can Resole

If you are “investing” in your boots, make sure boots are resoleable. If 5 years down the line the only thing that’s messed up is the sole, you can make them anew!

Know What You Are Getting

You don’t need to buy the most expensive boots, but just make sure you’re not being ripped off.

Take Care of Them

Take care of your boots. Get good cleaners and protectors and apply them every one or two a months depending on how much you wear them.

Avoid Flashy Brands and Go for Quality Brands

Go for a brand that has a good reputation. There are new and old brands that make excellent shoes. Beware of flashy brands that will charge you for the label rather than quality.

Real Leather Stretches

Real leather stretches slightly as your wear it, so don’t buy your shoes too big. If you are getting a brand new pair of boots, chances are 0 to a few people have tried them on before, so expect them to be a bit snug at first. If you already bought boots and they stetched out on you, add in an insole to make them tighter.

Look at Customer Reviews for Sizing and Fit

If you’re shopping online, pay attention to customer reviews and how sizing worked for them (i.e. runs large or runs small) and order accordingly. Sometimes the description says true to size, which is not always the case. The example below shows the store’s fit note and the customer’s fit note, which are the opposite.

Says “True to Size”
Customer Reviews Say They Fit Big


What’s better round or square toe?

When it comes to dress boots, a slight round toe is the better and more modern option. Square toe can be hard to pull off because it looks too trendy and odd with jeans. Moccasin boots are the only exception because that’s how they are meant to be.

Photo Credit: Amazon, Johnston & Murphy

Can men pull off rain boots?

There are 2 ways to approach rain friendly boots: you can go for low cut rubber boots or find a pair of leather boots that are waterproof. I recommend going for the latter because you can wear them day to day and on rainy days. Rubber boots, on the other hand, can get hot and heavy, making you want to switch out of them once you get indoors. While shopping online, use the keyword “waterproof” and the style of boot you like (i.e. waterproof chukka) and you will find some nice options. Spray your waterproof boots with a protector to make them last longer.

Waterproof Chukkas

Rubber Boots

Photo Credit: Zappos, Zappos

Waterproof Apron Toe Boots

Photo Credit: Timberland

Can’t I just spray my regular boots with waterproof spray to make them waterproof?

Waterproofing sprays are made more for protecting the skin of your boot, rather than sealing the seams to prevent water from seeping in. If you are caught in light rain, it could work. However, if you get caught in a downpour and have a mile to walk, you’ll probably have wet feet by the end.

What should I look for in a boot?

  • Start with comfort. Boots should be comfortable, so you can wear them for hours. The footbed should fit your foot well. You can always put in your own insole if you’re getting a great deal on an excellent pair of boots, but the bed is a little off.
  • Next, quality. Fabric and stitch down construction are the other key factors that will determine whether you have a good boot or not. You don’t need to spend hundreds on a full grain leather boot if you don’t want to, but make sure you’re not paying a high price for bad leather.
  • Spending $200 to $300 on a good boot that will last you for years is worth the investment versus spending $80 on boots and having to replace them often. Also, who wants uncomfortable cheap boot that you have no desire to put on. Now that’s really wasting money.
  • If shopping online, find a place that has free shipping and free returns, so you can order 2-5 of your favorite pairs and have a try on session at home.

Can I wear boots with shorts?

Generally, I would say avoid wearing boots and shorts. However, there is one exception and that is a desert boot or suede chukka boot because they don’t go up the ankle as much. It’s best to wear low cut socks to keep up with the “summery” look.

Desert and Chukka boots with shorts

Photo Credit: Pinterest, Pinterest

If you don’t want to look like a mailman and also get a very bad tan line, avoid the following:

Avoid any high boots or socks with shorts

Photo Credit: Pinterest

You made it to the end of the guide. You’re a boot expert now! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy Boot Shopping!

Men’s Style: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Body Type

The Golden Rule: Just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s for you.

I’m a huge believer in dressing for your body type simply for the reason that it’s going to make you look better instantly. Simple things like tucking your shirt in, wearing the right length, opting for a certain direction of stripe can do wonders for things like making you appear taller, have your shoulders look more broad, and give an illusion of a V-shape to your body.

In the guides, I’ve allowed you to filter information by body type, so you can skip what’s not applicable to you and focus on what is. If you feel you are in-between two body types, feel free to select both. I don’t expect every man in the world to fit into these categories, but take your best guess as to which one applies to you and check out the tips.


Triangle men are defined by their narrow chest and shoulders, and wider hips and waist. Triangle men can have sloping shoulders as well. Whether it’s aging or just your love for beer, men can fall into this shape easily. The goal with clothing is to broaden up the shoulders and chest, make the stomach appear slimmer and balance out the lower body with the upper body.

Key Factors:
  • Narrow Chest and Shoulders
  • Larger Around the Waist and Hips
  • Hips are Wider Than Shoulders

Goal: Broaden up shoulders and create a taper from chest to waist with clothing.


Photo Credit: Pinterest, The Sun, Getty Images


Inverted Triangles are the guys that hit the gym more often than not. They have broad muscular shoulders and a narrow waist. Muscular thighs and legs also come with the package.

Key Factors:

  • Broad and Muscular Shoulders
  • Narrow Waist
  • Muscular Arms and Legs

Goal: Make sure the upper body doesn’t look huge compared to the lower body.


Photo Credit: Pinterest, Men’s Fitness, Pinterest


Men with a rectangular body shape usually have a straight upper body. The shoulders are roughly the same width as their waist and hips, making a straight line. There is a range from slim men to athletic men who have this shape.

Key Factors:

  • Slim Shape
  • Straight Line From Chest to Hips
  • Can Be Considered “Tall and Lanky”

Goal: Add some bulk and shape to the top half of the body by create an illusion of a “v” shape.


Photo Credit: MTV UK, GQ, H&M


Ovals carry weight in their upper body, specifically at the chest and stomach area. Some men are naturally rounder, while other men can become this shape with age.

Key Factors:

  • Bigger Stomach and Chest
  • Round Shape
  • Slimmer Legs and Shoulders in Comparison to Torso

Goal: Balance out the upper and lower body.


Photo Credit: Notoriously Dapper, Star Now, Esquire


Clothing designers design for this shape because it can be considered desirable and “average”. The shoulders are the broadest part, while there is a slight taper going down to the waist. The legs are defined and lean.

Key Factors:

  • The waist is the narrowest point in the upper body
  • The rib cage widens steadily up to the collarbone and shoulders
  • Muscles are defined, but not overtly athletic

Goal: Work with clothes that define the body to show off the shape.


Photo Credit: Pacific Coast News, Pinterest, Canal Masculino

There you have it, the common body types amongst men. It’s understandable that not every man in the world fits into these shapes. If you feel you are between two body types, you can read the advice for both body types in the guides. The body type tips are there to help you look your best by working with your body and ensuring your clothes fit you properly.


Women’s Beauty: The Best Makeup Remover I’ve Ever Used

Please note: I am not sponsored by this product, I just REALLY REALLY love it. Any Amazon links are affiliate, thanks in advance!

If I had to look back at 2018 and think about what my best purchase was, hands down it was my The Original Makeup Eraser makeup remover cloth. I used to be all about the wet makeup wipes, but after seeing how much waste and breakouts were produced from disposable wipes, I wanted a better solution. There I was, wandering the aisles of Costco and I spotted this peculiar item promising to erase my makeup (including waterproof mascara… what?!) with just warm water and this terry cloth like towel. If you know me, I’ll try anything once, so I bought it.


Much to my surprise, this towel did exactly what it said it would do. I have a tendency to be super lazy before bed, but I know I HAVE to take my makeup off before catching some Z’s or i’ll break out (great motivation, right?). What I like about the towel is there is a short fiber side you use for removing make up and the longer fiber side for exfoliating. Make up was off, skin was exfoliated, and I was ready for bed in minutes!

Here’s how to use the cloth:

Step 1: wash your cloth before first use

Step 2: wet your face with warm water

Step 3: wipe away (not too hard)

Step 4: use it until it starts getting very dirty

Step 5: throw it in the wash 

I’ve had mine for about a year now and there’s no wear in sight. Don’t let the $20 price tag throw you off, it’s totally worth it. The Original Makeup Eraser promises to last for at least 1000 machine washes and I wash mine about every two weeks. I haven’t tried any of the knock offs on Amazon, but judging from the reviews, I rather stick to the Original Makeup Eraser. My biggest concern is for it last a long time and quality, so I rather buy and support something I trust.

If you’ve been looking for a cost-effective, chemical-free, environmentally friendly makeup removal system that actually works, looks like you’ve struck gold! I personally get the pink one because it’s easier to find in my laundry and I can easily see when it’s time to wash it.

If you want it in the next 2 days, you can find The Original Make Up Eraser on Amazon Prime

Here are the other colors available (with links!):

Note: Amazon links are connected to my affiliate program, thanks in advance!  

Lastly, give yourself a pat on the back if you’ve decided to ditch wet wipes. According to the Makeup Remover website, about 7.6 billion pounds of wipes are thrown out each year! That’s absolutely ridiculous! Well, now that you found a better solution, come join the movement and save a little moola while you’re at it! 

Want to see the cloth in action? I like this girl’s video…

If you’ve tried the cloth, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks for reading!



Men’s Style: Why You Should Have Dressy Sneakers

Nothing kills an outfit like the wrong shoes. I see it all the time, guys wearing running shoes with a giant athletic logo splashed across the side with their day to day outfits. Guys, please don’t do this. Save your running shoes for the gym, there’s a much better looking and equally comfortable solution that should have your attention instead: The Dressy Sneaker. You’ve probably seen me mention “dressy” sneakers as a wardrobe must and they are! In this post, I’m going to dive a little deeper to explain exactly what is a “dressy” sneaker and how and when you should wear them.

Don’t let the word “dressy” throw you off, it’s just a way to describe a sneaker not meant for the gym or other athletic activities. Instead, dressy sneakers are great for day to day wear like hanging around town, coffee shops, brunch, bars, casual dates, picnics, running errands, day parties, casual work environments, traveling etc. Alright, let’s dive in to the wonderful world of dressy sneakers!

What Are Dressy Sneakers?

When the word sneaker comes to mind, it’s easy to think of your classic Nike or Adidas brightly colored running shoes. There is nothing wrong with those shoes, but I don’t want those to be your go-to shoes for casual wear. Dressy sneakers are more sleek and subtle by usually being solid in color, made of leather or suede, and have a 1 inch flat rubber sole.

Compare the footwear in the image on the left and right…. Good Example


Photo Credit: Pinterest, I Am Galla

The right looks so much better and way more intentional and put together. The one on the left looks amateur.

How Do You Wear Them

Whenever you want to dress casually or dress down a dressy look, your sneakers can help you achieve this without sacrificing style. Whether it’s t-shirts, henleys, button downs or jeans, chinos or shorts, your sneakers will work with all your looks. To better explain how to put your outfits together, let me breakdown a couple of looks for you.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Outfit Breakdown: Sweatshirt, joggers, white sneaker

Note: The white sneakers make this very casual look very well put together.

Photo Credit: Primer Magazine

Outfit Breakdown: Henley, cardigan, jeans and sneakers

Note: This is such an easy and comfortable look and the rolled up jeans and sneakers pull the look together perfectly.

Photo Credit: D’Marge

Outfit Breakdown: Bomber jacket, t-shirt, shorts and sneakers.

Note: The beauty of sneakers is they can go with shorts and make a very casual outfit look very stylish and sophisticated.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Outfit Breakdown: Casual denim shirt, white t-shirt, rolled up black jeans and white sneakers

Note: If you’re into the unbuttoned shirt look, your sneakers will work really well with it.

Smart Casual

Photo Credit: He Spoke Style

Outfit Breakdown: Leather jacket, tucked in button down, chinos and leather sneakers.

Note: If you like looking a little more dressed up, your sneakers can keep the look relaxed, but still sophisticated.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Outfit Breakdown: Crew neck sweater, casual slacks, brown leather slip on sneakers.

Note: If you want to make the most of your slacks, you can dress them down by wearing no show socks and sneakers. If you hate laces, this is a great example of slip on sneakers instead of lace ups.

Photo Credit: I Am Galla

Outfit Breakdown: Button down, chinos, brown leather sneakers

Note: If you love a classic button down and chinos look, your sneakers can help make this look weekend friendly.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Outfit Breakdown: Casual blazer, t-shirt, chinos and white sneakers

Note: This is the perfect example of how sneakers can make a casual blazer look very comfortable, stylish and weekend appropriate.

Photo Credit:

Outfit Breakdown: Half sleeve button down, rolled up chinos, no-show socks, and white leather sneakers

Note: I love this look for summer, it’s so stylish and easy to wear. You will be sure to stick out of the crowd in a very stylish way.


Outfit Breakdown: Casual suit, dress shirt, sneakers

Photo Credit: Lifestyle By PS

Note: If you’ve ever wanted to wear a suit casually, your dressy sneakers will help you achieve it.

Photo Credit: Lifestyle By PS

Outfit Breakdown: Casual suit, dress shirt, sneakers

Note: Curious to try a t-shirt and casual suit look? Throw on a pair of dressy sneakers and you’ll be good to go! Jay-Z (the rapper) wears this look a lot and I love it. The key is to wear a cotton or other casual fabric suit.

No Show Socks

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Wearing no show socks when you’re wearing joggers or rolling your pants with your sneakers is going to earn you 100x style points. This small detail shows you know how to rock a pair of dressy leather sneakers the right way. No-Show socks can be purchased from anywhere. The key is to have a rubber backing in your sock to prevent them from slipping. Trust me, the most annoying thing is when you need to constantly pull up your no show socks. Here’s what I found on Amazon!

How To Lace Them

Some laces end up being very long and you end up getting a giant bunny loop situation happening in your shoes, which throws off the clean and sleek look. It happened with a client of mine, he had these beautiful black dressy leather sneakers on and every time he’d try them on with an outfit, something was putting me off. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was that made them look very amateur and young. I took his shoes and hid the bunny loops behind the tongue of the shoe and he slipped them on. Boom! There it was, the amateur look was gone and a minimal sleek sneaker was shining in all its glory. He was even blown away of how big of a difference this small detail made.

Photo Credit: Pinterest,

The laces on the left look terrible, the laces on the right look so sleek!

To achieve this clean look, try the “Display” shoelace method.

Photo Credit:

“Display” refers to how stores set up their shoes to look nice and sleek. The key have the very top of the laces go into the lace hole rather than come out. You can tie the laces behind the tongue and make them slip on shoes. Additionally, you can get Shoelace Lock Clips, so you don’t have to constantly re-tie your shoes.

Slip-On Sneakers

If you hate the thought of laces all together, you can go for dressy slip on sneakers. You can wear them exactly the same as lace up sneakers.

Photo Credit: The Style City

Slip on sneakers look slightly more casual than sneakers with laces, however, they can achieve a very similar effect. Who doesn’t want shoes that are easy to slip in and out of?

Hybrid Sneakers

Hybrid sneakers are interesting mix of dress shoes and sneakers. They offer a stylish and unique look if you’re ready to step up from a simple sneaker. Hybrid shoes have the look of a dress shoe (i.e. oxford, derby, monk strap etc.) at the top, but the sole of a running shoe. My personal favorite is the hybrid monk strap sneaker.


Photo Credit: Cole Haan, Florsheim

The photo on the left is an Oxford Hybrid Sneaker. The photo on the right is a Monk Strap Hybrid Sneaker.


Photo Credit: DG Manila, Pinterest


The key is to wear no shoe socks and ankle pants to make this look modern and sleek. You can wear this style of sneaker with a blazer and chinos for a Smart Casual look as well.


My top recommendtions for dressy sneaker colors are: white, black, grey or brown. These neutral colors will go with almost all of your outfits. Let’s look at the colors in more detail!


Photo Credit: Common Projects

White is pretty classic when it comes to dressy sneakers. You will notice the majority of my photos had white sneakers because those are the ones that look the freshest. However, they do require a bit more maintence because you want to keep them white and clean. If you’re up for the challenge, I personally say white sneakers look the most stylish.


Photo Credit: Greats

If white makes you feel overwhelmed, go for black sneakers instead. They’ll go with everything and be easier to maintain.

Brown or Burgundy

Photo Credit: Magnanni


I personally love brown sneakers, especially when they have a “wood” finish like the example above. They are great for breaking up dark outfits and are more rare than black and white.

Photo Credit: To Boot New York

If you want something softer than black, but not as bright as white, try grey! Grey shoes are very neutral and will go with a lot of colors. Grey suede is a favorite of mine because it has a softer effect and looks very classy. However, you never want to wear suede out in the rain because it will get ruined. Alternately, grey leather is a great option if maintaining suede scares you.


Photo Credit: Amazon

Get a protect all spray (left) and an odor spray (right) .


The more you take care of your shoes, the longer they will last. Clean your shoes every couple of months (or when they start looking a bit worn) and spray them with a water-repellent protector. Protectors are great because if you spill anything like red wine on your white shoes, the drops will slip right off. I like the Jason Markk spray because it doesn’t yellow your shoes like some sprays can.

Dirty laces are a style killer, so make sure your laces look fresh. You can wash your laces if they start to look dirty. However, if they are really looking worn, replace them.

If you have a tendency to ruin your shoes because of odor, keep a odor fighting spray around and spray them after a couple of wears or more often if you need to. I personally like this Spray. It’s normal for shoes to smell eventually, especially if you are wearing thin socks. Don’t ever not wear socks for the no-show sock look, you will ruin your shoes much faster.

When Are Dressy Sneakers Appropriate?

Just because they are considered a “dressy” sneaker, doesn’t mean you should be wearing them at formal events or parties. Save your leather sneakers for your casual and smart-casual outfits. If your workplace is casual, you can wear them there.

The casual suit look with sneakers is best for weekend or vacation, when you want to look sleek and relaxed. Day time parties are great for this look as well!

When Are Actual Running Shoes Okay?

For the most part, save them for the gym or athletic activities. However, if your outfit is very casual like joggers or sweatshirts, you can wear your running shoes out and about. When you are wearing jeans or chinos, don’t wear your running shoes. I know sneakerheads won’t agree with me on this, but we’re aiming for smart and classic styles, not trends.

My Top Sneaker Picks

Dressy leather sneakers can range anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on what you are looking for and your budget. The most important thing to look for is comfort since you’ll be wearing these instead of your running shoes. Try a couple of different brands on to see what fits your foot the best. There are new brands popping up everyday specializing in dressy sneakers, so it’s best to order a couple of pairs and see what fits the best. Here are a couple of my top recommendations going from the lowest to highest pricetag:

Adidas Stan Smith or Neo ($45+)

Photo Credit: Adidas

Adidas is a classic brand that comes to mind when it comes to sneakers. They have their Neo white on white sneaker that is super clean and at a low price point. The Stan Smith is their more popular one, which will run you about $75.

Cole Haan Crosscourt ($70+)

Photo Credit: Cole Haan

Cole Haan makes really lightweight classic dressy sneakers at a good price point. You can typically find them for $70 to $100, depending on if you can get them on sale. Cole Haan also plays around with hybrid sneakers a lot.

Ecco Soft 8 ($150+)

Photo Credit: Ecco

Eccos are one of the most comfortable shoes you will probably try on. I especially like their Danish collaboration for very minimal and sleek sneakers. Eccos will run you about $150, but you can sometimes find them on sale.

Greats Royale ($180)

Photo Credit: Greats

Greats is a Brooklyn based brand that has been around for a couple of years and produce excellent quality Italian sneakers. They have a weatherproof version too! Greats will run you about $180 for the classic leather sneaker, but you will get free shipping, free returns and great customer service. If you sign up for their email list, you can get 10% off.

To Boot Knoxx ($325)

Photo Credit: To Boot

If you’re ready to invest in your sneakers and absolutely love quality and crafttmanship, To Boot makes an excellent dressy sneaker. If you love the suede look, they have a couple colors out every season. They will run you about $325. Keep a look out for them on sale.

Magnanni Elonso ($325)

Photo Credit: Magnanni

Common Projects ($400)

If you’re ready to splurge, Magnanni is an Italian brand that nails the dressy leather sneaker as well. I love their wood finish sneaker I showed in the brown category as well as the clean look they offer. You can sometimes find them on sale, so keep a look out. These will run you about $325.

Photo Credit: Common Project

If you’re looking for the trendiest brand and quality dressy sneakers, Common Projects could be for you. They are handmade Italian sneakers that became very popular in the last couple of years. Be prepared to spend a shiny penny, but they do look pretty sleek and have a cool logo. Common Projects will run you about $400.

There you have it, one of the easiest and most comfy swaps you can make in your wardrobe to look modern and stylish. Hope you enjoyed the post! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or want me to tackle other burning questions you may have.

If you loved this post, make sure you subscribe to my email list, so I can let you know when the next one is out!

Men’s Style: How to Wear Burgundy Pants

Whenever a client asks me how they can stand out in the sea of neutral colored clothes available to men, I tell them to add some color to their pants. It’s so easy for men to gravitate towards easy neutral or classic colors, but why not switch it up a bit?

One color you’ll notice that i’m always sure to mention in my guides and posts is burgundy. Burgundy is the easiest color you can add into the mix after you’ve covered your basic blue, black and grey bottoms. It’s a color that men don’t naturally gravitate towards, but once they see how I pair it into a look, they love it! Trust me, it’s one of those colors everyone hesitates on at first sight, but once they try it on, it’s a game changer.

The beauty of burgundy is you can keep things calm by wearing it with navy blue, grey, white or black or be a bit more colorful by pairing it with a light pink, chambray blue, olive green, or dark khaki. Bonus: If you’re looking to create a minimal wardrobe, this color can easily be thrown into the mix.

Any garment that you see in a neutral color (i.e. cream henley) can be worn as a different garment (i.e. cream t-shirt). Your neutral colors are: navy, grey, white, cream and black.

Where it gets slightly trickier is with the blue and pink button downs. I would suggest only wearing those colors in the form button downs with burgundy pants because the collar shirt helps create the smart-casual look, while a pink t-shirt doesn’t achieve much. Wearing button downs in neutral colors is perfectly fine.


  • Top: Cream
  • Jacket: Jean jacket, Navy, Olive Green, Dark Khaki
  • Shoes: Brown
  • Top: Grey
  • Jacket: Jean Jacket, Navy, Olive Green, Dark Khaki
  • Shoes: Any color in diagram
  • Top: Light Pink
  • Jacket: Dark Grey
  • Shoes: Brown
  • Top: Medium Blue or Chambray
  • Jacket: Light Grey, Navy, Olive Green, Dark Khaki
  • Shoes: Any color in diagram
  • Top: White
  • Jacket: Jean Jacket, Light Grey, Medium Grey, Dark Grey, Navy, Olive Green, Dark Khaki
  • Shoes: Back, Brown
  • Top: Navy
  • Jacket: Jean Jacket, Olive Green, Dark Khaki
  • Shoes: White, Black, Brown



Photo Credit: Pinterest

Dark Khaki + Denim Jacket + White Printed Button Down + Burgundy Pants + Brown Shoes

I love this combination of layering! The brown jacket meshes really well with the denim jacket and burgundy pants. It’s best to keep the shirt underneath on the light side to add some slight contrast.


Photo Credit: Instagram @BlakeScott

Navy Jacket + Chambray Shirt + Burgundy Pants + Brown Shoes

Chambray and burgundy make a fun combination that is sure to make your outfit pop. It’s best to wear this combination with a brown shoe and a dark jacket to tone things down.


Photo Credit: I Am Galla

Light grey jacket + White Shirt + Burgundy Print Tie + Burgundy Pants + Brown Shoes

If you want to dress up your burgundy bottoms, pairing the look with a light grey blazer, crisp white dress shirt and a burgundy tie to match is such a beautiful combination. If you have burgundy dress pants, this outfit is perfect for a wedding or speaking engagement where you want to stand out. Going for black or medium brown shoes would complete the look really well. You could also do a white shirt with a subtle microprint to make it even more fun like navy, black, or grey.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Light pink shirt + Burgundy Pants + Brown Shoes

I like the idea of wearing burgundy with light pink for a monochromatic look. This look is best with brown shoes to keep up with the softness.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Burgundy goes really well with other earthy tones like green, without making your look too bright or colorful. The navy blue sweater under the green jacket help keep the look toned down.

Olive Green Jacket + Navy Sweater + Burgundy Pants + White Shoes


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Dark Grey Jacket + Light Grey Shirt + Burgundy Pants + Brown Shoes

A dark grey or brown blazer pairs really well with burgundy and helps keep the look toned down. Going for a light grey shirt helps keep the look soft and not have too much contrast.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Olive Green Jacket + Black T-Shirt + Black Shoes

I added this image mostly to show how clean black boots and burgundy pants look together. I also want to note pairing earthy tones like olive green and burgundy works well together, but isn’t a look for people who like to keep things unstated.

Alright friends, I’ve prepped you on all the ways you can wear this awesome color. If you’re still not sold on the pants, try wearing burgundy as a top. Burgundy henleys, t-shirts and sweaters look great and can pair easily with neutral bottoms. It’s a tiny step in color, but a huge step in standing out of the crowd and looking effortlessly stylish. The world of burgundy pants awaits you!

Beauty: Search for the Best Natural Deodorant

Hey guys, I’ve updated this list with my latest findings. Finally found a deodorant that works for me!

If you know me, you know I’m always on the hunt to replace my day-to-day beauty products with natural ones. One that has proved difficult to find is a natural and aluminum-free deodorant that actually works. I stopped using aluminum based deodorant a couple of years ago when I read aluminum prevents the body from detoxing.

After wanting to give up, I decided to do another round of testing and am happy to say… I think I finally found it!

I’ve tested out 9 natural deodorants and here are my results:

1. Native, $12.00 – OMG Love! 


This is the latest one I’ve tried and I gotta say I LOVE it! It’s the only one that has worked for me so far, especially for keeping odor away. I wish they made a clear version since some white deodorants can make my underarms dark, however this hasn’t been too bad about it. I really like lavender & rose scented one, but they do have an unscented one for those who prefer that. Want a free travel size deodorant when you buy a full size one? Here’s a link for ya!

2. Primal Pit Paste– Almost!


I was excited when I first heard about Paleo Pit Paste. It was available at my local health food store and at a decent price point. It worked for combatting odor and wetness, but it started burning my underarms (ouch!). I was talking to a friend recently about natural deodorants and she told me they have a baking soda free version out now, which I think is the culprit. Since i’m hooked on Native, I haven’t tried it the baking soda free version.

3. Crystal, 3 for $17– I wish!


If Crystal Natural Deodorant works for you, amazing! It’s the most cost effective. Unfortunately, it wasn’t strong enough for me. Worst of all, my clothes started smelling (nightmare for a fashionista!). However, the reason I put this as #3 is because I have friends that rave about this deodorant. I guess it works great for them, so if it works for you, I say do it! It comes in a liquid rollon or a solid crystalyou have to add some water to.

4. Bali Secrets, $12.99 – Like!


Bali Secrets is a great deodorant as well! It has a slight scent to it, but it went away after a while. If you don’t have a huge wetness problem, this one won’t dry you out like the magnesium may. Bali Secrets was great for protecting against odor too. It’s small enough to fit in your purse in case you ever need reapplication (I haven’t had to so far). Remember to let it dry before putting your arms down. Also, a little bit goes a long way.

Update:Bali Secrets does contain Potassium alum, which is a natural mineral salt made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. While this is a way better alternative to what you see in stores, it is not completely aluminum-free.

5. Lavanila, $12.81 – Meh!


I didn’t love this one. This deodorant is a white solid. I personally like clear deodorants because my underarms get a little discolored when I apply white deodarants to them. It didn’t help with keeping me dry. The scent isn’t bad, but it didn’t do the trick for me.

6. Tom’s, $3.26 – Nah!


The price is good, but it definitely didn’t work for me. It didn’t help with wetness or odor protection. If you don’t sweat too much or don’t have any odor, I would say it’s good for the price. However, if you work out and need heavier protection, this guy is not for you.

7. Lafe’s Aloe Spray Deodorant$5.19 + Shipping – Nope!


I initially tried this stuff at a gym and thought it worked, but quickly realized it’s not good for day-to-day use. I applied it at night after showering at the gym and it was fine over night while I was sleeping, but that’s about it. My underarms stayed wet and it wasn’t a great odor protecter during the day.

8. Lush Greeench, $20.89 – So-So!


It will protect you for half the day, but you will need to reapply. The only problem is how do you re-apply loose powder without getting it all over your clothes? I made my own mixture of lush powder, coconut oil, and baking soda and turned it into a solid to fix that, but it just created more work. It somewhat protected from odor, but the wetness was still there. I prefer the magnesium or Bali secrets one over this guy.

9. Vitale 100% Confident, $18 – Ugh!


I’m beginning to think spray deodorants aren’t for me. This guy didn’t protect me from wetness or odor. I had to return it because it was a disappointment. This is alright if you don’t have wetness or don’t need odor protection.

In conclusion, Bali Secrets was my favorite because it protected me from wetness. The magnesium one is a close second if you don’t need a lot of wetness protection. I hope it works for you!

Stay healthy friends! Thanks for tuning in 🙂

Men’s Style: The Perfect Smart Casual Starter Wardrobe

Not knowing where to start is a huge pain point for anyone trying to get their wardrobe together. It can feel overwhelming and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! Whenever I have a client that is starting from scratch, meaning most of their wardrobe is outdated and they want to start anew, I have a formula I like to follow. The formula ensures their needs are met and they have numerous combinations to wear day in and day out. The formula is as follows:

Starter Wardrobe = Perfect Dozen Shirts + 3 Pairs of Jeans + 1 Chino + 1 Jacket + 2 Shoes

This formula allows for a minimum of 50 outfits to start off with and, moving forward, we can add a piece at a time to create more. That number can be doubled if we stick to a specific color palette, making it more of a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is when all the tops go with all the bottoms, but it limits you with what colors you can work with. With my system, I like for my clients to have a variety of colors, so I go as capsule as I can with a few easy exceptions.

If you are doing this on your own, you don’t have to buy everything at once. Instead, use this formula as a blueprint to make targeted purchases and not get distracted by sale or bargain items that don’t serve you. It’s really fun to plan and research your next purchase and get a couple of high quality items that will last you a long time versus a bunch of cheap things that only last a couple of wears before they start looking beat up.

Perfect Dozen Shirts

Nailing your perfect dozen shirts allows you to have a shirt for every occasion. Your perfect dozen can be a mix of button downs, henleys, polo shirts, and/or t-shirts.

Here’s an example of a perfect dozen I’ve created:

For the average guy, I like to break it up by: 4 button downs, 3 henleys, 2 polo shirts and 3 t-shirts. However, your lifestyle and personal taste dictates how you would distribute your dozen. For example, if you would never wear polo shirts, but love button downs and henleys, go for 5 button downs and 4 henleys.

Why these shirts?


Polo shirts are great for dressing up or down and go well with a range of bottoms from chinos to shorts. When picking out a polo shirt, go for something a little more modern and fun like the burgundy polo I picked with the subtle pocket detail in my example. If you like to keep it simple, go for a soft cotton or cotton-blend unstructured polo (unstructured = loose collar) and avoid the textured sports polos you see everywhere (remember, you’re not playing tennis in this). I went for burgundy and army green because these colors look great both at night and during the day.


Once you do find the perfect t-shirt, grab a couple of colors. You can never go wrong with having a classic black and grey t-shirt. For your third t-shirt, go for a bit of color, in this case I picked deep green. The color you pick can vary on the season you are in. Remember, you can always make a t-shirt look fashionable by wearing it with a pair of boots and fitted jeans, so don’t underestimate the power of a good t-shirt! Make sure you focus on fit and quality.


I love henleys! In case you don’t know what a henley is, it’s a long sleeve t-shirt with a couple of buttons at the top. Think of it as a step up from a t-shirt and a nice change of pace from a button down. They come in a variety of fabrics and styles, letting you dress them up (i.e. cotton-blend fabric with subtle stitching) or keep it casual (i.e. 100% cotton with more obvious stitching). In my example, I went for grey, cream and medium blue. Cream and blue can be dressed up by wearing them with black jeans and brown boots, while the grey would still look casual with the same combo.

Button Downs

It’s always good to have a couple of button downs in your arsenal. When picking out your shirts, go for a range of prints and colors. In this example, I went for plaid, micro-print (blue), a pop of color (red with a white pattern), and a solid one (light grey). Whatever your mood or occasion, you’ll have a button down for it. You can wear these untucked and tucked.

Look at that… your perfect dozen shirts, smart-casual style! Again, you can distribute yours based on what you personally like and where you live. In my example, I picked these because San Francisco has a temperate climate ranging from 50s to high 60s, so muted colors work well here. However, if you live in Florida, long sleeves might not make sense, so you could go for short sleeve button downs and henleys. Also, your color palette might be a bit brighter for hotter environments. Take your time finding the perfect tops. Start with one from each category. Once you find a brand that works for you, see what other styles and colors are available to keep building up. Now that you have your tops, let’s gets your bottoms squared away!

3 Pairs of Jeans

Having 3 pairs of jeans that go with your perfect dozen is the next step. All jeans don’t have to go with all your shirts, but make sure at least two pairs of bottoms go with each top to get the most out of them. For example, all the tops work with dark blue and black jeans, making 24 different outfits. If I were to add in another pair of jeans, I would pick dark grey since they would easily go with all the shirts I picked. Note: the light grey henley works with the grey jeans for a monochromatic look, I would just make sure the shoe breaks up all the grey (i.e. your shoe can be white, brown or even black). Now you have 34 different outfits!

Note: If you live in a warm place and wear shorts, you may want to start with 2 pairs of jeans and 1 pair of shorts.

Note: If you have a harder time finding pants rather than tops, you should start by finding your 3 pairs of bottoms and match the tops to them.

A Pair of Chinos

It’s always nice to have a chino in the mix to switch it up from wearing jeans all the time. With the shirts I picked, I would add in a light chino since it would work with all of my button downs, t-shirts, polos and henleys. Since Spring is around the corner, this light stone chino can take me into Spring and Summer, but still work in Fall and Winter with a darker top.

Again, if you live in a hot environment, you may want to opt for chino shorts.

A Minimal Jacket

Nothing breaks a look like the wrong jacket. I see it all the time, a perfect outfit topped off with a bright orange North Face jacket that doesn’t go with the rest of the outfit. Your jacket doesn’t have to be anything over the top, instead, the more minimal the jacket, the more it’s going to go with. Going for a minimal jacket is not only going to complete all your looks, but gives you a stylish go-to layer you don’t need to think twice about.

With the palette I selected, a navy blue or black jacket will go with all the picks. I went for a collar jacket because it looks great with anything from a t-shirt to a button down and can be worn open to look effortlessly stylish. The style and weight of your jacket will depend on where you live and what your needs are. For example, if it stays cold until the end of Spring where you live, you may want to go for a peacoat or heavier wool jacket. However, if it’s pretty warm where you live and you sometimes need a jacket in the evenings, you can go for something thin like linen.

2 Pairs of Go-To Shoes

For your first two pairs of shoes, I would pick a pair of smart-casual boots and a sleek leather sneaker. Your sneaker will go with all your looks and keep them dressed down, while your boot can dress up even the most simple t-shirt and jeans outfit.

I went for a brown Chukka style boot for this example because brown goes with everything and adds a pop of color to my otherwise muted wardrobe. Alternatively, you can go for a black boot, which will also go with everything, but will keep things subtle. For my sneaker, I would go for black, white or light grey.

To me, a sneaker and running shoe are two different things. Save your running shoes for the gym and keep your sleek leather sneakers for day to day wear. You’ll always catch me saying “sleek leather sneakers”, and when I say that, I am refering to the black example above and the white one below. Your “running shoes” with a giant logo splashed across the side, on the other hand, makes your outfit look amateur. It’s the easiest and most comfortable switch you can make to step up your game.

Alright guys, there you are, your blueprint to master the smart-casual look. What’s awesome about these picks is you have an outfit for each occasion and can make so many different combos. When you are ready to expand your wardrobe further, you can add in sweaters (i.e. zip up sweaters, cardigans etc.) and “nice” sweatshirts (i.e. bomber style sweatshirts, zip up collar sweatshirts etc). Colored bottom are also a great way to expand your collection, for example, you can add in a green or burgundy pair of jeans or chinos to turn it up a notch. Green and burgundy go really well with white, navy blue, grey tops.

Remember, you don’t need to get all these things at once. By spreading out your purchases, you can focus on quality and not quantity. My clients spend a little more on their jeans, but they’ve been wearing them for years on end with no wear in sight. Also, investing in a nice t-shirt or henley ensures they don’t pill or look worn after 5 washes. You can always keep a look out for nice brands in discount stores like Nordstrom Rack or Off Saks 5th to get more bang for your buck. Shop smart my friends!

Still feeling overwhelmed? Check out my new Digital Styling Service where I personally make outfits for you, and once you approve them, you’ll get them shipped right to your door.