Thursday, April 12, 2012

Guy Style - First Edition!! How to Beat The Boardshort Blues

Reader question:

My California-born fiancé thinks its OK to wear boardshorts and Rainbow sandals to lunch in DC or to really any occasion.  Also he will put on a brown shirt and a brown belt with black shoes.  His main problem is his shoes aren't right for the occasion.  He has a problem with his belt and his shoes matching the rest of his outfit, whether it's color or occasion.  As his fiancé, what are some things you can suggest to him to be comfortable and casual?

I am SO excited to answer our very first guy style question here on Secrets of a Stylist!! Male readers, this is primarily a professional women's fashion blog, but if you have any questions please feel free to submit them!  I am more than happy to talk about men's fashion as well if there are any of you out there:)

I actually love the California-cool look for guys, and style my own husband's casual weekend looks in very much the same vein.  However, there are a few easy substitutions you can do to elevate the look from California beach-chic to DC casual-conservative.  First, if he loves shorts, swap his board shorts for a great pair of plaid shorts.  To keep him comfortable, stick to brands like Hurley and Volcom, which offer a wide range of shorts that would be appropriate in any casual DC establishment.  There are a wide variety of colors and prints to be found at Macy's and stores like Ross/Marshall's/T.J.Maxx.  I find that sticking to a flat front short *without cargo pockets* is the best way to go to keep the look current, age-appropriate, and to avoid the teenage boy look.  Some good options:

If you want to dress up his footwear for a nice lunch date with you, have him slip on a nice sneaker rather than his Rainbows.  This pair from Sperry is dressy enough but still has the slip-on comfort and easy style he's used to:

To avoid the brown belt-black shoe conundrum, encourage him to keep all of his clothes in one color palette (either black or brown.)  This means that everything in his closet will match, enabling him to grab any items and ensure they go together perfectly.  You could also keep his casual clothes black and his dressier clothes in the brown family, as I have shown here.  This will alleviate headaches for him and for you.

For a dressy-casual evening out, every guy looks great in a nice collared shirt.  Pair with his favorite jeans or slacks, and a nice oxford shoe or driving moccasin.  For cooler nights, a zip-front pullover sweater looks sharp:

Hope this helps!

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