Men’s Style: The Modern Style Statement

Do you love fun prints that stand out of the crowd? Are you not afraid to mix two opposite colors to create a noticeable look? If so, your style statement is “modern”. Modern menswear takes classic pieces and adds interesting details, prints and colors to make them stylish. For example, your classic button downs are worn half sleeve, your polo shirts have accents and your chinos are colorful and cut slim.

Modern Look Examples

Photo Credit: @rules_of_thumb, @iamcharisteas

Photo Credit: Pinterest, What My Boyfriend Wore

Ironically, modern style has elements of the 1950s, when menswear consisted of fitted clothing and clean lines. Remember Back to the Future? That was set in the 50s! Modern menswear takes the 50s look and makes them current by adding a little flair to the pieces. The modern man’s image says he’s creative and doesn’t want to blend in with the crowd.

Key Pieces

The modern guy’s wardrobe consists of classic pieces like button downs, chinos, jeans, and polos, but they all have a twist. Your prints are fun and bold, your jeans are colored and slim, and if your socks are exposed, they usually have an eye-catching pattern showcasing your personality.

Button Down Shirts

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Your button down shirts come in long sleeves, but more importantly short sleeves! You don’t care for classic prints like plaid or stripes, instead, you go for repeated geometric, floral, and novelty prints. Your shirts make you feel like life is a vacation!

Polo Shirts

Photo Credit: Ted Baker

You embrace the preppy look of polo shirts, but make them modern with stand out details. Whether it’s repeated patterns, interesting pockets, fun collars or details like stripes across the chest, modern style finds a way to bring a polo shirt back to life.


Photo Credit: Bonobos, Ted Baker

You could wear jeans like everyone else, but why do that? Instead, chinos are the go-to for the modern man. Your chinos should fit slim and can even be ankle cut from time to time to add a little flair. One of your favorite outfits is a colorful chino paired with a fun printed shirt.


Photo Credit: Rag and Bone, 7 for All Mankind

Alright, fine…you’ll wear jeans, but they can’t be boring! Going for non-blue jeans is the perfect way to make your look modern. Try colored jeans like white, burgundy, green, and khaki.


Photo Credit: Ted Baker, Michael Kors

When it comes to jackets, you like going for style forward options like bomber jackets, shirt jackets, and suede. Adding color through your jacket is totally an option! You want clean lines and minimal pockets for a sleek and modern look.


Photo Credit: @matthewzorpas, Paul Smith

The modern guy makes a classic suit look pretty cool! Whether it’s pairing it with sneakers, a fun printed shirt or going for a bold all over print, your look isn’t an ordinary black or grey suit.


Photo Credit: Paul Smith, Common Projects

Dressy sneakers help you dress down your otherwise polished look, but still keep it style forward. You go for interesting details and colors in your shoes too! If going for a busy shoe, it’s important to create the outfit around the shoe (i.e. don’t have too many competing prints and colors in your outfit).


Photo Credit: Taft, Johnstron and Murphy

You stick to classic silhouettes and even go for dressy options when it comes to boots. You want your boots to be slim cut and keep up with your polished look. A brogue boot with interesting materials or colors is a great choice!

Oxford and Derby Shoes

Photo Credit: Admirateur, Common Projects

If you need to dress up a bit, you’ll go for classic oxford or derby shoes. Going for details like a wooden outsole makes the look modern. To keep the look fashion forward, you’ll roll up your slim chinos and throw on some no show socks.


Photo Credit: Ted Baker

If your socks are exposed, they are bold, bright, and show your personality. Fun socks are a stylish detail more men need to rock! The modern guy isn’t afraid of being daring, especially with his socks.

…and that’s how you dress if your style statement is modern! Again, a big piece of the modern look is to have fun with prints, details and colors that are out of the ordinary. Your stand out style shows you’re an interesting person who has a lot to say through their clothes. This is one of my favorite looks that can be easy to achieve with the right pieces, and now you know what they are.

Men’s Style: The Rugged Style Statement

Did you know everyone has a style they are innately attracted to? Yes, even you! Whenever I work with a new client, I make them do an exercise where they share a couple of images of style THEY think is attractive with me. From this exercise, clients learn so much about themselves and what details they care about. It’s also fascinating to see how different everyone’s aesthetics preferences are.

Understanding what you like is very helpful when it comes to updating your style because it gives you a direction to follow and build on. I call this your style statement! That being said, there are a couple of men’s aesthetics out there, so i’ve decided to do a series of posts defining each one to help you better understand what yours is. The beauty of understanding different aesthetics is you can mix and match them to create a look truly unique to you.

This week we are focusing on the “rugged” look. What is “rugged” style you ask? Men who like the rugged look keep their style practical and casual, however they add in hints of edginess through a military aesthetic.

Men’s Rugged Style Examples

Having a couple of button undone on your henley shows your casual side

Denim jackets in grey and black help achieve a rugged look

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The boots have a distressed feel to them

Field Jackets are a must-have

Photo Credit: Zimbio, Pinterest

The rugged guys’ boots look broken in, his clothes have a bit of distressed detail in them, and he doesn’t care to look so clean cut. Rugged guys like their color palette consisting mostly of earthy and neutrals colors like olive green, burgundy, burnt orange, grey, blue, black and white. A couple of pieces that stand out in the rugged aesthetic are: jeans, denim jackets, field jackets, henleys, bracelets, leather, boots and sneakers.

Key Pieces for the Rugged Look

The rugged aesthetic takes casual clothing and adds a hint of edge through subtle patterns and focuses on small details like the style of buttons. The Rugged guy’s boots say he isn’t afraid to get them dirty, his jackets have a military touch to them and his prints and patterns are muted and subtle.

Here are a couple of key pieces that can help get your look started…


Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

Going for jeans and pants neutral and earthy colors can help you achieve the aesthetic. Rugged guys dress for the outdoors and their color choice reflects that. Guys with a rugged aesthetic avoid bright colored bottoms.



Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Going for henleys with interesting closures at the neck is a subtly edgy detail that brings out a masculine style. Additionally, going for textures in your henley makes it not look so clean, for example, a ribbed or waffle henley is a great choice.


Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

Solid t-shirts are an easy go to. However, t-shirts with subtle patterns can help your otherwise muted look stand out a bit more. Again, rugged guys avoid bright colors and stick to muted and earthy tones like olive green, blue, grey or burgundy.

Polo Shirts

Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

The rugged guy can totally rock a polo shirt without looking like he’s going golfing. The key is to go for some cool details like edgy buttons or no buttons at all to make the polo look very casual.

Button Down Shirts

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Being rugged doesn’t mean you avoid button downs, you just go for a specific style. When the rugged guy dresses up, he’s not afraid to have a bit of sheen in his shirts like the blue example above. Plaid shirts totally work, but the key here is to make sure the colors stay in the muted, earthy or neutral categories. Rolling up your sleeves is always a great idea for the rugged guy.


Field and Shirt Jackets

Photo Credit: Bloomingdales

Field and shirt jackets are perfect for the rugged aesthetic. Field jackets have a military look to them and can be paired with any casual tops. Alternatively, if you want to dress up a bit, a suede brown jacket will be the perfect layer.

Casual Blazers

Photo Credit: J. Crew

The rugged man keeps his blazers unstructured and in casual fabrics like knit and cotton. He likes the look of a blazer, but wants nothing to do with their formalness of it.

Suede and Leather Jackets

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

Leather is a great addition to your wardrobe, especially when trying to achieving a rugged style. Leather works for dressing up your outfits, while suede can help keep them a bit more casual.


Photo Credit: Bloomingdales, Thursday Boot

Casual boots are an easy go-to footwear choice. When it comes to the style of boot, you can go for a hiking, combat or work boot. Wearing your pants over your boots or tucked into the top of the boot are both great options.


Photo Credit: Frye, John Varvatos

When going for sneakers, rugged guys like to go for something a little different. The two examples above are unique because of their color, distressed feel, pattern choice and small stand out details. You want your sneakers to look broken in, brown leather or black and grey patterns helps achieve that.


Photo Credit: John Varvatos, Etsy: Hagar Talmore

Don’t be afraid to accessorize a bit! Going for cool scarves with muted colors, interesting blends and subtle patterns makes your look stylish and unique. Your look embraces the outdoors, so leather bracelets go hand in hand with it… no pun intended!

…and that’s how you achieve a rugged look! This is a great choice for the understated guys out there who still want style, but not take it over the top. The overall look is pretty casual, but the key is to have hints of unique details to keep it stylish.

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: 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: How to Add More Flair to Your Outfits

Ever wonder how can you add a little more “flair” to your outfits? By “flair” I mean, when men have such limited pieces of clothing they can wear, how can you stand out of the crowd? Surprisingly, it’s the little details that can help you achieve a unique style.

Here are a couple of tweaks that I share with my clients to help them add some flair to their outfits!

Pocket Squares

Photo Credit: The Coolist

Don’t underestimate the power of a pocket square! It’s the perfect little touch that makes you look extra stylish. Some guys think they can only wear them at weddings or formal occasions, but they pair really well with a classic jeans, blazer and button down look.

When picking out a pocket square, make sure it compliments your outfit. By compliment, I don’t mean the same color (i.e. solid green tie + solid green pocket square = don’t do it!). Instead, use the tie to bring out a color in your pocket square. In the example below, you will see there is a hint of burgundy in the pocket square, which is then brought out with the tie. This is the easiest way to make sure you match. That’s the beauty of printed pocket squares, you can match more than one tie to the look.

Photo Credit: Anosart, Pinterest

Alternatively, you don’t have to have the color of the tie in the pocket square. However, you should compliment the two colors (i.e. burgundy tie and navy blue pocket square).

If you are not wearing a tie, make sure your blazer and pocket square colors compliment each other.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Here are 3 ways to fold your pocket square:

Photo Credit: Fashion Infographics


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Have fun with your socks! Next time you’re in the market for some socks, ditch the white ones and go for some pattern and color. Let socks reflect your personality, for example, if you’re obsessed with space, get some socks with astronauts on them.


Photo Credit: Pinterest

Next time you wear a suit, put on a pair of suspenders! Suspenders are the perfect addition to your suit that says, “I know style”. Some guys prefer them with suits only, and that’s okay. If you love the look and want to see how you can incorporate it into your other outfits, you can pair them with jeans and slacks.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

If you are wearing suspenders with a suit, they should be worn with a tie and match the tie as well. By match, I mean they can be the same color or a color that compliments the tie (i.e. navy blue tie, burgundy suspenders).

If you are not wearing suspenders formally, you don’t need a tie. If this concept is new to you, try a pair of leather suspenders like in the photo above as a “safe” place to start.

Unique Prints in Shirts

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Ditch the plaid and go for prints that have a little more personality. Now days, you see more and more fun prints in stores and it’s for a reason, they look good! You can go all out with bigger statement prints or if you like more of a subtle look, go for a micro-prints, which are tiny repeated patterns.

Photo Credit: Instagram: @rule_of_thumbs, Ted Baker

If you’re going for a black and white or grey and white print, you can play around with pant colors. If you go for a busy print with a couple of colors in the shirt, pick one color from the shirt to make it your pant color. You can also pick a complementary color.

Colorful Pants

Photo Credit: I Am Galla, Pinterest

Think outside of the box when it comes to your pant colors. It’s easy to fall into the pattern of neutrals chinos or blue jeans, but you should experiment a bit if you want to stand out of the crowd. If you’re new to colorful bottoms, stick to earthy or jewel tones like burgundy, burnt orange or green since you can pair them with neutral colored shirts.

Photo Credit: Bonobos

Photo Credit: Idle Man

Cuffing Jeans

Cuffing your jeans is an easy way to add some flair and something you can do tomorrow. You can cuff your jeans with any type of shoe, such as sneakers, oxfords, boots etc.

Photo Credit: Dress Code Clothing

You can cuff them a couple of ways:

(1) one simple outward cuff like in the photo below (~2 inches). Careful not to make it too thick.

Photo Credit: Articles of Style

(2) Or roll it one more time to have the style of cuff below

Photo Credit: Idle Man

(3) Thin roll your jeans, which is a thinner cuff (~1 inch)

Photo Credit: Gear Patrol

(4) Pin roll your jeans, which makes the ankle slimmer

Photo Credit: Gear Patrol

No Show Socks

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

If you are cuffing or rolling your jeans, try the look with no-show socks. Although discreet, this little flair shows that you made an intentional style choice. You can try this look with shorts, jeans, chinos or dress pants. In terms of footwear, you can try this look with anything from sneakers to dress shoes.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

The key here is to get a good pair of no-show socks that grips the back of your foot so they don’t keep slipping.

Alright guys, there you have it, a handful of tricks you can do to stand out of the crowd! When it comes to looking more put together, sometimes it’s the small details that play a huge role in appearing more stylish.

Men’s Style: Rain Friendly Footwear for Men

It’s raining, it’s pouring… and you don’t have the right shoes to go outside. Sounds like a dilemma every guy has experienced before. Now, you could opt for a classic pair of rubber boots, or as the British call it, Wellies, but rubber boots can be a drag. The problem with rubber boots is they are heavy, not breathable, and require you to change out of as soon as you get to your destination.

Well, I have a better and more stylish solution for you: welcome to the wonderful world of waterproof shoes and boots!

Before we get started, please note: “water-resistant” and “waterproof” are two different things. Water-resistant means it can stand being in water for a limited time (i.e. walking from A to B while it’s raining), while waterproof means you can be in a downpour for extended periods of time and zero water will seep in. Keep these terms in mind when you are searching for your perfect pair and decide what your needs are.

Alright, let’s see what I have for you…

Waterproof Sneakers

Photo Credit: Zappos, Greats

All weather sneakers are pretty cool and are a subtle way to protect yourself from the elements. They look like ordinary sneakers, but are made with water-resistant or waterproof materials. You can go for a high-top, which goes up to your ankle, or a low top, which stops below your ankle. If you’re a casual guy and your go-tos for the weekend (or even work) are casual shoes like sneakers, these will work great for you.

If you prefer a water-resistant sneaker, opting for a sneaker made out of wool can deliver style, protection, and breathability. Best of all, you can wear your wool sneaker day to day and not just on rainy days.

Waterproof Casual Boots

Photo Credit: Zappos, Timberland

Photo Credit: ZapposClassic Work BootIf you live in an area where it snows, boots are a better option than sneakers, for winter at least. A casual boot, like a “work boot”, is perfect for the guy who has an overall casual style (i.e. wears jeans and t-shirts most of the time). These boots will give you excellent grip, protect your feet from wetness and make sure you look stylish. Bonus: you can take them hiking!

Waterproof Smart-Casual and Dressy Boots

Photo Credit: Nisolo, Cole Haan

What if I told you there is a stylish boot you can wear to work and it’s waterproof? They exist! Waterproof boots come in many styles including Smart-Casual and Dressy ones. Waterproof Chelsea and Chukka boots, for example, are perfect for those who don’t want to change into different shoes when they get to their destination. Going for a waterproof version of your favorite boot style will pay for itself because you can wear them day to day too.

If you want to learn more about different boot styles to see which one appeals to you, check out The Ultimate Guide to Boots where I give you the who, what, where on boots.

If you weren’t convinced before, there you have it: plenty of stylish water friendly shoe options besides rubber boots to get you through wet weather. Whether it’s April showers or severe winter weather, you’ll be ready to take on the elements best foot forward.

Men’s Style: Guys, Let’s Chat Sandals

If I told you there’s such a thing as stylish sandals, would you believe me?

Whether it’s summer or vacation, a lot of guys are stuck thinking they can’t show their feet. Or, what’s worse, they put on out of date camping sandals and ruin a completely acceptable outfit. Never fear, I’m here to set a couple of things straight (1) you can wear sandals and (2) there are certain styles of sandals that are more stylish and modern than others.

First, Let Me Tell You What To Avoid

Photo Credit: Zappos, Zappos

Photo Credit: Zappos,

Look, I get it… they’re comfortable. But please, don’t wear these styles of sandals unless you are going camping and crossing through rivers and jumping in swimming holes. These sandals scream old Dad sandals and I won’t let you be that guy.

Alright, now that I’ve broken your heart and told you what to avoid, let me show you what looks good!

Classic Styles


Photo Credit: Zappos, Zappos

Hey, look! They’re comfortable and yes, they’re stylish! Birkenstocks are on my “yes” list because besides being comfy, they can look stylish with the right outfit. Pros: they’re masculine, great quality, and are easy to slip on and off.

Photo Credit: Idle Man, I Am Galla

Leather or Canvas Flip-Flops

Photo Credit: DSW, Abercrombie

Yes, you read it right. I said flip flops. Flip flops can be stylish! The key here is to go for leather or canvas straps rather than cheap rubber ones. If you’re going to the beach and planning on getting them dirty, yeah, go for rubber, but if you’re on wandering around the boardwalk on a beautiful summer day, go classy with the leather or canvas.

Photo Credit: Idle Man, The Subtle Things

Fashion Forward Styles

Buckle Sandals

Photo Credit: Zappos, Zappos

They’re sleek, minimal, and stylish. If I see a guy wearing these, he exudes confidence and good taste. Best of all, they pair really well with button downs and shorts without taking away from an otherwise smart-casual look.

Photo Credit: Fashion Beans, Pinterest


Photo Credit: Nordstrom, Dune

Slides are perfect for the guy who likes the leather sandal look, but wants to be able to slip his shoes on and off quickly. Going for leather slides really classes up the look. However, if you are planning on walking around a lot, a buckle sandal might be more comfortable.

Photo Credit: Nordstrom, Pinterest

Can I wear socks with my sandals?

NO. Unless you’re on the New York Fashion Week catwalk and walking for some high end brand who is trying to make a statement, don’t do it.

Or, if you’re trying to go all out artist… maybe. But notice he has fun printed socks that go with his “hipster” look. I doubt you’re trying to achieve this look, so stick to my first answer: avoid.

And don’t be fooled into thinking you can pull them off with your athletic white socks… you will look like this:

Besides repelling people, you will get a pretty bad tan line. So, just don’t do it.

But my feet… they’re ugly.

Look, people don’t care about how your feet look, so let them be free! Unless, of course, the person you’re with has some weird pretty feet fetish, well, that’s a different story. Other than that, you’re good! If you’re paranoid about your feet, get a pedicure. Pedicures are relaxing, a lot of guys get them, and they’ll make your feet so fresh and so clean. You’ll thank me once you do it. Lastly, keep your toenails trimmed, people notice that more than anything else.

With Spring/Summer on the horizon, warm weather and vacations call for summer footwear aka sandals. Don’t be shy, wear them and rock them! Hope you enjoyed the post!

5 Easy Style Tips for Men that Won’t Sacrifice Comfort

I get this scenario a lot: I’m a twenty/thirty-something guy living in San Francisco. I wear a t-shirt, jeans, hoodie, and running shoes to work everyday. I want to  look more put together, especially because I like to go out after work and on weekends. How do I look stylish without sacrificing comfort and time?

Being stylish doesn’t mean spending hours getting ready every morning. It’s more about having a wardrobe that’s easy to work with.

Here are my top 5 picks to create a more stylish and comfortable wardrobe.

1. The Perfect Black Jean. Black jeans are your best friend. They go with virtually anything and are easy to dress up or down. Look for a pair with a lot of stretch so it almost has a sweatpants feel. Fit wise, look for a slim fit to make you look taller. .

2. The Long Sleeve T-Shirt. I take it you have plenty of short sleeve t-shirts, but what about long sleeve? Long-sleeve t-shirts (or henley) are great for looking more put together, but with zero added effort. I personally love the way long sleeves make a guy’s arms look. You can also roll them up for a more effortless/stylish look.

3. Boots. Ditch the sneakers and invest in a comfortable pair of boots. Some of my favorite styles are the Chukka or Desert Boot. These boots are comfortable and can dress up any outfit (even jeans and a t-shirt!). Nordstrom has a great selection in a variety of colors that are worth checking out.

4. Wool Bomber Jacket. Out with the techy sweatshirts and in with the soft jackets! Structured jackets add style instantly and work great indoors too. This could literally be your everyday San Francisco weather friendly jacket. Best part: you can just throw one on over your t-shirt and look sharp.


5. Button Downs. Alright, this one might be more daring, but a fitted button down is the easiest way to dress up a pair of jeans. They make great outfits for dates, going out to bars or clubs, or just hanging out around the city. Find one with stretch so it doesn’t feel like a traditional dress shirt. Have fun with colors and prints. Ben Sherman makes great slim button downs.