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Rules of finer dressing: Spring style

I introduced my installment of Rules of finer dressing: Part I in the fall, followed by Part II in the winter. Both columns discussed the intricacies of dressing in nice attire, and, while I do love ties and dress shirts, styles have changed with the coming of spring, revising the rules of finer dressing for men.

The sunglasses

My favorite accessory of spring time is sunglasses. Each person has their own preference of sunglasses, but recently the retro look — aviators and tortoise-shaded glass — have been “in.”

Regardless of trend, sunglasses should always be chosen based on who the person is and what fits them best. I own a pair of Lacoste sunglasses that are definitely worth the price; they are tough glasses that look the same today as they did when I bought them.

Buying expensive sunglasses can be nice and they do last longer, but some people lose them every other week, so spending $400 on Ralph Lauren sunglasses may not be the best investment.

The shoes

Next on the spring fashion list is boat shoes. While these shoes have an odd name and sound like they belong on a beach, this type of footwear is just downright awesome. I own a pair of Sperry Top-Sider boat shoes, which are ideal since they are recognized by magazines like GQ and are also relatively cheap — around $70. Besides my preference, there are other brands of boat shoes, such as Sebago and Gucci.

Boat shoes are especially popular in the spring because they are a more casual choice than other shoes, yet still remain classy. Boat shoes also tend to be more comfortable than loafers or Vans, which makes them ideal for recreation activities or just lounging about.

The shorts and pants

In recent times, most teen men have grown accustomed to wearing cargo shorts in the spring and summer, making it seem overworn and very common. Chino shorts, such as those by J.Crew, are more classy than the typical cargo shorts because there are not nearly as many pockets. Featuring various designs and styles, these shorts can go with any outfit and make a bold fashion statement.

For those who dislike wearing shorts in general, there are plenty of other springtime pants such as khakis, chinos and even jeans, that breathe better than your average trousers, making fashionable pants much more comfortable in the California heat. Brands like Dockers or Diesel feature very stylish khakis and chinos.

The shirt

Completing a spring ensemble requires the all-important shirt. During spring, shirts can range from polos to more casual button-up shirts that are made to be untucked. In fact, one of my favorite button-up shirts is a Banana Republic linen shirt that literally looks like it just came out of the washer — styled to look wrinkled — and features a casual, comfortable appearance.

While there is nothing wrong with wearing graphic tees, I suggest that teenage guys try wearing solid T-shirts without logos. As well as creating a more professional look, this helps to simplify one’s wardrobe by featuring simple and versatile colors such as gray, purple or navy.

The softest shirt on the market right now is made by Alternative Clothing, and is sold for around $30 per shirt. I can personally vouch for this brand and say that they make the softest shirts you will ever feel, and, since one of the most important qualities when buying a T-shirt should be how it feels, this makes it a must. These shirts are sold at numerous chains including Macy’s and Nordstrom.

Another spring clothing option is the polo shirt. I suggest that a polo shirt should fit well with very little excess fabric. My personal favorite polo shirt is made by Penguin Clothing. It is a little pricey, but this brand features more than enough styles, and their shirts fit better than any polo shirt I have ever owned.

These guidelines are much different than winter since spring is a time to lay back and prepare for summer, so the most important rule for dressing in spring is to just stay comfortable and casual, while maintaing a sense of style.

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