The Simplest Casual Look
Although I enjoy wearing tailored clothes on weekdays, I dress pretty casually on weekends. Lately, that’s meant dark blue jeans with a clean white t-shirt and a nice, brown leather jacket. For shoes, I wear either sneakers or boots, and if it’s cold outside, I layer with a heathered grey sweatshirt. I find it’s one of the simplest, easiest looks you can put together, and depending on your lifestyle, very well suited to casual weekend activities with friends.
For jeans, I really like 3sixteen’s SL-100x model. It’s a slim straight-legged cut made from a medium-weight selvedge denim that doesn’t bag as easily as other brands’. I’ve also been admiring their premium 3sixteen+ line, as well as Flat Heads 3009s and Iron Heart 634s. Those are made from unsanforized denim, which Kiya at Self Edge tells us will yield more interesting fades over time (without the need to forgo washing, thankfully). For something more affordable, check out Albam, Gustin, and Uniqlo’s Made in Japan offerings.
For the t-shirt, I stick to a pretty basic Hanes’ Beefy-T (I get the one with a chest pocket). It has a stoutness that I think works well with this kind of look, and it can be easily found on sale for about $6. Jesse has also recommended Costco’s Kirkland t-shirts for this sort of thing. For something thinner and stretchier, check out Alternative Apparel, which Jesse does bulk orders on every summer, and American Apparel. Levis also has a nice model that’s in between the toughness of Hanes and the fineness of the last two brands.
Finally, there’s the leather jacket. These can get astoundingly expensive, but it’s worth buying the best you can afford. Just as you can get away with a pair of cheap chinos and dress shirt if you have a really nice fitting sport coat, you can skimp on the jeans and t-shirt if you have a really beautiful leather jacket. 
Some of the best makers here include Good Wear Leather, Bill Kelso, The Real McCoys, Eastman, and Aero. These brands specialize in making reproductions of vintage flight jackets, and they make them as tough as the originals. Temple of Jawnz is also a favorite among style enthusiasts. They’re sadly closing up shop in a month, but are doing one last call for custom orders. 
The price points for any of these is pretty expensive. We’re talking $750 to $1,500 for a jacket, and some even have waiting lists that stretch back a year. As usual, a more affordable option would be trawling eBay and vintage stores, but what you save in money, you’ll spend in time. You could also go for a similarly rugged jacket style, but one not made from leather. One of my favorite stores, Bench & Loom, has some really handsome pieces, and they’re holding a 20% off sale with the code SPRING20. The code is good for both sweaters and outerwear, with some brands being excluded (Mister Freedom, Schott NYC, Buzz Rickson, and The Real McCoys).

The Simplest Casual Look

Although I enjoy wearing tailored clothes on weekdays, I dress pretty casually on weekends. Lately, that’s meant dark blue jeans with a clean white t-shirt and a nice, brown leather jacket. For shoes, I wear either sneakers or boots, and if it’s cold outside, I layer with a heathered grey sweatshirt. I find it’s one of the simplest, easiest looks you can put together, and depending on your lifestyle, very well suited to casual weekend activities with friends.

For jeans, I really like 3sixteen’s SL-100x model. It’s a slim straight-legged cut made from a medium-weight selvedge denim that doesn’t bag as easily as other brands’. I’ve also been admiring their premium 3sixteen+ line, as well as Flat Heads 3009s and Iron Heart 634s. Those are made from unsanforized denim, which Kiya at Self Edge tells us will yield more interesting fades over time (without the need to forgo washing, thankfully). For something more affordable, check out Albam, Gustin, and Uniqlo’s Made in Japan offerings.

For the t-shirt, I stick to a pretty basic Hanes’ Beefy-T (I get the one with a chest pocket). It has a stoutness that I think works well with this kind of look, and it can be easily found on sale for about $6. Jesse has also recommended Costco’s Kirkland t-shirts for this sort of thing. For something thinner and stretchier, check out Alternative Apparel, which Jesse does bulk orders on every summer, and American Apparel. Levis also has a nice model that’s in between the toughness of Hanes and the fineness of the last two brands.

Finally, there’s the leather jacket. These can get astoundingly expensive, but it’s worth buying the best you can afford. Just as you can get away with a pair of cheap chinos and dress shirt if you have a really nice fitting sport coat, you can skimp on the jeans and t-shirt if you have a really beautiful leather jacket. 

Some of the best makers here include Good Wear Leather, Bill Kelso, The Real McCoys, Eastman, and Aero. These brands specialize in making reproductions of vintage flight jackets, and they make them as tough as the originals. Temple of Jawnz is also a favorite among style enthusiasts. They’re sadly closing up shop in a month, but are doing one last call for custom orders

The price points for any of these is pretty expensive. We’re talking $750 to $1,500 for a jacket, and some even have waiting lists that stretch back a year. As usual, a more affordable option would be trawling eBay and vintage stores, but what you save in money, you’ll spend in time. You could also go for a similarly rugged jacket style, but one not made from leather. One of my favorite stores, Bench & Loom, has some really handsome pieces, and they’re holding a 20% off sale with the code SPRING20. The code is good for both sweaters and outerwear, with some brands being excluded (Mister Freedom, Schott NYC, Buzz Rickson, and The Real McCoys).

Q and Answer: What’s the best white tee?
D2F asks: Do you  have any suggestions for good, long lasting plain white t’s? 
Most white tees simply won’t last too long. White will yellow with laundering, sweat and soil no matter what you do. Good laundry habits will certainly help (wash your shirts soon after wearing), but the white t-shirt is essentially a disposable item.
With that in mind, I have three recommendations.
For everyday wear, I really like Alternative Apparel, which is why we’re selling them this week. They’re very, very soft, a little bit fine with nice stretch, have a reasonably slim fit and are a nice medium between long enough to tuck in and too long to wear untucked.
If you prefer a stouter cloth, I really like the Kirkland brand tees sold at Costco. They’re a little boxier and a lot heavier. They’re not really soft, but they’re very sturdy and very cheap. They’ve been replaced in my wardrobe by Alternative, but are still a very solid choice.
For undershirts, I’ve been really happy with the shirts that our long-time advertiser Ribbed Tee have sent me. They’re about ten bucks apiece, and they’re designed as undershirts, not as undershirt-outershirt hybrids. That means they’re pretty long and they’re ribbed to fit close. As I wrote before, I love the softness of the modal-blend shirts, but they also pill a bit and feel a little clammy. The original ribbed all-cotton model feels soft for a ribbed tee, but not as soft as a non-ribbed tee. They just sent me their Retro model, which is a poly-cotton blend, and they’ve done a nice job of recreating that favorite 80s t-shirt feeling there, if that’s your preference. If you’re looking for an undershirt, though, I haven’t seen any better.
Otherwise, just get your white tees from Bubble’s Depot.

Q and Answer: What’s the best white tee?

D2F asks: Do you have any suggestions for good, long lasting plain white t’s?

Most white tees simply won’t last too long. White will yellow with laundering, sweat and soil no matter what you do. Good laundry habits will certainly help (wash your shirts soon after wearing), but the white t-shirt is essentially a disposable item.

With that in mind, I have three recommendations.

For everyday wear, I really like Alternative Apparel, which is why we’re selling them this week. They’re very, very soft, a little bit fine with nice stretch, have a reasonably slim fit and are a nice medium between long enough to tuck in and too long to wear untucked.

If you prefer a stouter cloth, I really like the Kirkland brand tees sold at Costco. They’re a little boxier and a lot heavier. They’re not really soft, but they’re very sturdy and very cheap. They’ve been replaced in my wardrobe by Alternative, but are still a very solid choice.

For undershirts, I’ve been really happy with the shirts that our long-time advertiser Ribbed Tee have sent me. They’re about ten bucks apiece, and they’re designed as undershirts, not as undershirt-outershirt hybrids. That means they’re pretty long and they’re ribbed to fit close. As I wrote before, I love the softness of the modal-blend shirts, but they also pill a bit and feel a little clammy. The original ribbed all-cotton model feels soft for a ribbed tee, but not as soft as a non-ribbed tee. They just sent me their Retro model, which is a poly-cotton blend, and they’ve done a nice job of recreating that favorite 80s t-shirt feeling there, if that’s your preference. If you’re looking for an undershirt, though, I haven’t seen any better.

Otherwise, just get your white tees from Bubble’s Depot.

Eight Days of Style
Reader Lucy wrote to us to ask that we suggest eight super-basic, affordable Hanukkah gifts for her boyfriend “to replace his stained light-wash jeans and Nine Inch Nails t-shirts.”  We’ll offer one choice for each day the oil burned.
Above: a pack of plain white t-shirts by Kirkland, house brand of Costco.  About ten bucks for six shirts.  Nice heavy cotton, a little on the beefy side, if you’re not too tall, consider sizing down.  (If you’re classy, we like Alternative Apparel, but if you’re thrifty, these will do well.)

Eight Days of Style

Reader Lucy wrote to us to ask that we suggest eight super-basic, affordable Hanukkah gifts for her boyfriend “to replace his stained light-wash jeans and Nine Inch Nails t-shirts.”  We’ll offer one choice for each day the oil burned.

Above: a pack of plain white t-shirts by Kirkland, house brand of Costco.  About ten bucks for six shirts.  Nice heavy cotton, a little on the beefy side, if you’re not too tall, consider sizing down.  (If you’re classy, we like Alternative Apparel, but if you’re thrifty, these will do well.)