Being Basic: Stylist

I get a lot of feedback from folks because nobody’s wearing a suit & tie anymore. Not only is it no longer required dress code in most professions, but lots of folks won’t wear them voluntarily at all.

So I decided to put together some visual examples to highlight how dressing intentionally and putting care into your wardrobe applies across the board, from the most casual outfit to the most formal.


On weekends when I’m running errands or meeting friends at a bar you’re likely to see me in something like this. The major things to pay attention to are:

  • Henley instead of a t-shirt: Visually a little more interesting, and also more flattering if you’ve got rounder features like I do
  • Jeans that fit properly! There’s not too much material bunching at the ankles, and no “relaxed fit” baggy bullshit around the legs.
  • Chukka boots: I love these things. Partially because I’m a huge Steve McQueen fanboy. That being said they’re an amazingly practical shoe, and an easy way to bump up from the beat up pair of sneakers you’re probably wearing right now.
  • Lightweight Field jacket: For the 2 1/2 weeks that it’s cold enough in Texas to warrant a jacket, this is a great one. Pick something that’s not too heavy, and jives with your style.

Smart Casual

Depending on where you work, you could probably get away with wearing this to the office. If I want to dress “nice” without being overly fancy or risk being overdressed I’ll go to something like this:

  • Chambray shirt: Originally workwear, so much more casual than a crisp dress shirt.
  • Dark denim: A good bridge between casual pants and dress slacks.
  • Derbys: A leather lace-up that’s more casual than the traditional Oxford. You could easily do this with the chukkas or other polished leather shoe/boot.
  • Jacket/Vest: Either one works, and you can see how it elevates the look just slightly, but without being stuffy and formal. The vest offers the advantage of not having to tuck your shirt in over the holster

Business Modular

Something like this would be equally appropriate at a business meeting or an anniversary dinner. I call this one “modular” because as long as you keep the basic tenants, you can kinda plug & play different things to your tastes:

  • Dress shirt: Your standard button-up shirt. If you want to play it safe, stick with light blue, lavender, or pink. White can be a little too formal, plus they’re just a pain in the ass to keep clean. If you want to, you can toy with different fabric textures & patterns.
  • Trousers: Actual slacks. Same kind of fabric they make suits out of. Lighter weight, so they’re super comfortable. Blues and greys will give you the most mileage.
  • Sport coat: Firstly, make sure it fits right! (Those sleeves are just a smidge too long). Also make sure it’s not close in color/shade to the pants. It’s supposed to complement and contrast, not match.
  • Shoes: Leather. Polished. Either brown or oxblood. Black shoes are reserved for formal occasions.

Featured Gear

My comparison of Slidebelt & Kore Essential

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