Footwear Friday: The Chukka Boot

Hey Gents,

On this new weekly segment, “Footwear Friday,” I’m going to clue you in about different types of footwear as well as recommend some products that fall under that category. Step up your kicks game!

Chukka 2

This week, I’m zoning in on the Chukka boot. One of the grail pieces of footwear, the chukka is incredibly versatile and should be a staple in any basic men’s wardrobe. They are typically made of leather or suede and are more comfortable than walking through a field of marshmallows. Historically, they were used by British military to traverse the desert with efficiency; however, modern day chukkas aren’t typically built for that utilitarian of a purpose. We wear them because of their versatility and looks.

The versatility lies in their flexibility. You can dress down a pair of slacks for less formal settings, yet they’re a step above most sneakers. Pair them with cuffed jeans to become the king of casual. You’re not going to run a marathon in these, but they’re very comfortable for most regular settings. Chukkas usually come with a crepe, if not, rubber sole. Traction isn’t usually an issue and as long as you don’t drag your feet, they wear at a normal pace.

As far as looks go, chukkas are primarily sold in neutral, earthy tones so they don’t clash with many colors. You can rock jeans, chinos, and any other type of long pants and distinguish yourself compared to your typical sneaker-wearing mouth breather. They’re both sleek and rugged at the same time– consider beating them up to give them “character.” A quick caveat though: be wary of wearing chukkas with shorts. I’d say they normally don’t work because they rise up too high on the ankle, but some low rise variations do exist and some people can actually pull it off.

CDBMy recommendation would be the quintessential chukka, the Clark’s Desert Boot (CDB). Personally, I don’t wear many things besides the Clarks during every season besides summer. Whether you leave the house to run errands, hang with friends, or to flee the country and it’s time to choose a shoe, CDBs should always be a contender for the green light. From personal experience, the sand suede coloration goes well with almost any color of jeans and pants.

Now, I would normally give you an alternative suggestion for a different price range but I recommend you don’t budge on the Clark’s. There are so many clones out there, but consider this: You can spend maybe $25-50 less on a clone of inferior quality, but they might last you a year or two of good wear at most. If taken care of properly, I’ve had accounts of Clark’s lasting 5-7 years. Mine are personally on their third year and they are still going strong. #gogetyousome!

Your Style Consultant,

Jack

Spring/Summer 2014 Style Trend: Florals

Hey Gents,

One of the big trends that made itself prevalent on the European catwalks for this upcoming season was the floral pattern.  Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Prada, Dries Van Noten and many other notable designers had some pretty bold floral designs that will surely creep into the mainstream in the year to come.

Gucci Floral

The reason I’m focusing on this is that even though I don’t expect any of you to wear a floral shawl/blazer hybrid over floral cropped pants (Gucci), we can honor the trend on a smaller scale by incorporating it in the form of an accessory or just one piece of an outfit in the context of our day-to-day. For example, I plan on rocking my floral necktie (pictured below) often, but that’s probably going to be the extent of it! Nothing too fancy, but it’s a nice nod to what the European designers are doing and it’ll keep me ahead of the curve.

My recommendation would be to get one of these Linen Flower Ties at The Tie Bar. It’s an effortless way to step up your style game in an office or casual environment. If you want to be a little more bold though, I’d recommend a Floral Shirt that you can pair with a patternless bottom. Just note that since floral is such a strong pattern, you’re going to want to keep the patterns of the other pieces of your outfit relatively bland (I’m talking solids) to feature the floral and prevent clashing. Try Gitman Brothers for some rad shirts this season!

TTB Floral

Your Style Consultant,

Jack

What Not To Wear Wednesday: Cargo Pants

Hey Gents,

On Wednesdays I choose an article of clothing that should absolutely not be worn and give you a recommendation of something you should substitute that piece with instead. Today’s topic: Cargo pants.

Cargo Pants.jpg

Your bottoms (long pants and shorts included) should in no way, shape, or form be cargo. Unless you’re prodding rattlesnakes in the desert or trapping crocodiles near a river, avoid them at all costs! It’s probably one of the most common transgressions I witness on a regular basis. There is so much extra material and bagginess that it ruins your body’s natural outline and people will wonder what sketchy things you’re trying to smuggle somewhere. If I see you wearing cargo shorts, it tells me you are also likely to:

• Wear socks with sandals
• Be unemployed
• Not give a damn about your appearance

Here are some alternatives you should consider, to step up your style game:

• During the Fall/Winter, try a flat-front chino. Let me emphasize: do not get a pleated pair because you’re not attending church during the dust bowl era. Any casual mens clothier will have them, such as Uniqlo, Jcrew, Brooks Brothers, with my preference being for the Dockers Alpha Slim Tapered Chinos, for their variety of colors and unbeatable fit. You can find them on Amazon or a department store like Macy’s or Nordstrom and typically range in the $30-$50 spectrum. Cuff the leg openings for extra appeal.

Chino Pants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

• During the Spring/Summer, try a pair of flat-front chino shorts for reasons exactly the same as above. For the shorts, I prefer the Uniqlo Chino Shorts for their great value encompassing price (around $30) and color options. Pair the pants with a patterned button down with the sleeves rolled and a pair of white buck oxford shoes for a great spring/summer look!

Chino Shorts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Style Consultant,

Jack

Introduction

Hey Gents,

I am going to quickly discuss my vision and expectation for this column, so you can decide if this going to be your flavor. As of right now, I am envisioning this as a series of open letters to the uninformed men out there who want a reference for nearly all aspects of modern men’s fashion trends. It’s not meant to be pandering or condescending at all. Read it with a general spirit of helpfulness, motivation, and self-improvement.

My expectation is that you, the reader, will NOT take these discussions and recommendations and follow them to a T.  Because that would make this publication a strict guide, and that’s not what I want. I want this to be a conversation– one that takes the form of me making recommendations, highlighting certain trends, and raising certain questions about style. Your response should be in the form of action in your day-to-day. Try new things, be bold, and develop confidence in your own sense of style. Add to the culture of style, which is subjective to begin with.

That’s about it for an introduction. If you decide to cite me in real life, just call me your stylist, advisor, or something of the sort. It’ll sound better to your friends that way. I’d also do a bio, but you’ll probably find out more about me as I go along, so I’ll omit that for now. Enjoy the ride!

Jack