Update on Hucklebury

Hucklebury Label 1024x682 Update on Hucklebury

Remember several months ago when I posted about a shirt company called Hucklebury? Well, it turns out that they’ve been up to a lot since I last checked in with them.

They started a Kickstarter showcasing their new products, and there are some marked improvements from their previous shirts, which I still enjoyed.
The Green Madison Gingham 02 Hucklebury Update on Hucklebury

So here are the main differences:

1. The shirts are now made in the USA, all sourced from SF.

2. They have a 365 day guarantee, where if anything rips or is dissatisfying, they’ll fix it.

3. They have a $78 price point now, for a better shirt.

Seems like a pretty legit deal to me. Check ‘em out if you have a chance.  Here’s their kickstarter.

 

Light blue OCBD

I personally think that the light blue oxford cloth button down (OCBD) shirt is one of the most versatile pieces you can own. Just to demonstrate, I’ve outfitted my personal Brooks Brothers OCDB in two ways. One being more formal, the other being more casual. Check it out.

First, a casual OCBD look. I paired my shirt with a pair of shorts and sneakers to keep cool during the summer months.

cas2 1024x682 Light blue OCBD

Remember that you don’t want your shorts to be any longer than seen above. Keeping it right at/above the knee is a great length in my opinion.

cas3 1024x719 Light blue OCBD

I love a classic white sneaker. So easy to wear.

cas4 1024x700 Light blue OCBD

Roll the sleeves up and wear the shirt like a short sleeved dress shirt.

cas5 1024x702 Light blue OCBD

Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Shorts: Uniqlo | Shoes: Converse

Watch: Timex | Belt: Uniqlo

 —

And now for the more formal look. I wore this outfit to a client dinner the other day actually. Personally thought it worked quite well.

form2 1024x1005 Light blue OCBD

The grey trousers / navy jacket look is actually one of my favorites.

form3 1024x684 Light blue OCBD

Colorful socks per usual.

form4 1024x754 Light blue OCBD

Can’t forget your accessories (belt/watch).

form5 1024x700 Light blue OCBD

Jacket: Black Fleece | Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Belt: J.Crew

Pants: Uniqlo | Watch: Timex | Shoes: Peal & Co | Socks: Paul Smith (similar)

I encourage you all to get yourself an oxford cloth button down shirt, especially in the color light blue. Dress it up, dress it down, dress it all around.  It’ll work with more combinations of outfits than you can possibly imagine.

 

Product Review: Hucklebury Shirts

hucklebury 1338157935 600 Product Review: Hucklebury ShirtsVisit Hucklebury‘s site.

One thing that I think I have too much of in my closet is shirts, more specifically, dress shirts. As a result, I haven’t been all that interested in these new shirt companies popping up that claim to have the latest and greatest in “shirt-building” technology. I’ve stuck with my tried and true Brooks Brothers, Thom Browne, and Gitman Vintage shirts, and haven’t really looked back.

However, the other day, I had the pleasure of meeting a guy named Parag, one of the founders of Hucklebury, an online shirt-maker based in San Francisco. He told me about his line of ready-to-wear dress shirts, and actually got me pretty curious. Why? Because he brought some shirts for me to look at, and my first impressions were wildly positive.

I took a couple of the shirts home (unfortunately they weren’t my size, so I had to have my friend try them on) to see what I thought of them overall. Here are some pictures of the shirts I received:

huckle1 1024x682 Product Review: Hucklebury Shirts

huckle2 1024x682 Product Review: Hucklebury Shirts

As you can see, these are the same shirts that were actually used in the Signature Style post I put up yesterday. For more pictures, check that post out.

So let’s get into the review. I’m judging these shirts on five main criteria: fit, design, quality, value, and experience. See below for my thoughts.

Fit: Hucklebury offers two fits for their shirts, classic and slim. I personally took home just the slim fit, but I’ll tell you, the shirts fit pretty damn well on my buddy. They have a very tailored look to them that I generally see on Made-to-Measure shirts, and also have a decent length for untucking if you’re average or slightly above average height. There are darts on the back for that more tailored look, but the shirts aren’t overtly slim either. I have a feeling that the fit would work well with a wide array of folks. One problem, I will say, is that they don’t offer a smaller size than 15″ x 32″ at the moment. They told me they will be changing that soon, but just wanted to let you all know in case you’re a smaller guy.

Design: Checking through their site, most of their patterns and designs are pretty solid. Nothing too flashy, nothing too outdated. Classics like gingham, stripes, checks, and solids are all in the mix, and the colors they offer are standard. One interesting note though: the classic fit shirts are offered with a spread collar, while the slim fit shirts are offered with a button down collar. You can’t get it any other way. Not sure why they did this, but just wanted to let you know in case you decide to order.

Quality: I think this is where Hucklebury excels. The quality of the shirts is wonderful. These shirts are made of 100% Egyptian cotton from some of the best mills around, Thomas Mason and Tessitura Monti included. The construction is rock solid, the attention to detail is awesome (check out the collars, cuffs, darts, and buttons), and clearly you can see that a lot of thought has been put into making each shirt both comfortable and durable. So in all, the fabric, stitching, and detail is top notch. No complaints here.

Value: Right now, shirts are between $110 and $120 a pop. Though these shirts might be worth the price, I feel like this is dangerous territory to play in, especially considering that there are many shirt makers out there offering made to measure stuff within the $80-$100 range. I do still think that the fabric and quality justify the price, but I can’t say that these shirts necessarily have amazing value.

Experience: The website was pretty easy to navigate, the customer service was wonderful, and the process was self explanatory. No problems for me. Also, the good news is that if there are problems or concerns, you can give feedback directly to the owners, and Parag has told me that they take feedback very seriously, and have made many adjustments as necessary.

So in conclusion, do I like these shirts? Yes. Do I wish they offered more sizes, variation in collars, and cheaper prices? Yes as well.

So they’re not perfect, but the superb quality and fit certainly win me over, and get my recommendation overall. If you’re in need of a new dress shirt, try Hucklebury out. If anything, you’re supporting a San Franciscan shirtmaker’s endeavor to bring you the best quality stuff at reasonable prices.

Signature Style: Dressy Casual

So today, I’m bringing back the signature style series I started a while ago. And this time, it’s all about the dressy casual look.

If you work in an office environment, the term “business casual” is probably one that you’re pretty familiar with. Well, dressy casual is kind of the same thing, but arguably a bit more informal. Still, the term is both narrow and wide at the same time, since it basically describes an outfit that lies somewhere between formal and casual, and that middle-ground is always up for debate.

To me, the dressy casual look can range from as casual as an untucked oxford shirt + dark denim + desert boots, to as formal as a navy blazer + white poplin dress shirt + grey slacks + black dress shoes. Suffice it to say, the term is slightly ambiguous.

Well, I’ve outfitted my buddy Eugene with a fairly versatile dressy casual look that can be a bit more formal or casual based on how you wear it. See below.

eugene4 1024x742 Signature Style: Dressy Casual

Solid dress shirt, leather belt, dark chinos, and suede boots.

eugene8 1024x997 Signature Style: Dressy Casual

If you want to go even more casual, untuck your shirt. Just make sure that the length of the shirt fits kind of like what you see above.

eugene2 1024x794 Signature Style: Dressy Casual

Layer on a light V-neck sweater to change things up every now and again. Plus you can stay warmer if it’s cold outside.

eugene1 1024x713 Signature Style: Dressy Casual

It’s summertime. To make things more casual, expose some ankle, and people will know you’re a stylish guy.

eugene3 1024x663 Signature Style: Dressy Casual

Don’t like V-neck sweaters? Try a cardigan. Works just as well, if not better.

eugene5 1021x1024 Signature Style: Dressy Casual

I personally like a slim taper to my chinos or slacks. Seems to make a huge difference.

eugene6 842x1024 Signature Style: Dressy Casual

If you have a leather banded watch, please wear it with an outfit like this. It’s an extremely important cherry on top.

eugene7 900x1024 Signature Style: Dressy Casual

And if you want to be more dressy with an outfit like this, tuck the shirt in and maybe even layer on a sport coat. 

 Shirt: Hucklebury | Belt: J.Crew | Watch: Timex | Cardigan: Etro

V-Neck Sweater: Merona | Pants: J.Crew | Shoes: Clarks

The outfit above is quite easy to reproduce. Just get a pair of well fitted chinos (or dress pants for those who need to be a bit more dressy), tuck in a solid or lightly patterned dress shirt, add some leather shoes, and you’re good to go! For the win, my friends.

Some questions about dress shirts

mens dress shirts ties header Some questions about dress shirts

Source: Nordstrom

So the other day, I got a question regarding my essential man’s wardrobe post that I put up several months ago. The question was specifically around dress shirts, and I decided to try something a little different this time around by answering via audio instead of text. See below.

Q&A : 1

Trying to upgrade Simpler Man one day at a time!

Oh yeah, if you hate this approach and think this is a terrible change, let me know in the comments below, I’m all ears gentlemen.

 

Dress shirt & tie, and Hugh & Crye dress shirts

I like ties. The look and feel of putting one on just makes my day. Yes, I know I sound like a weirdo saying this, but I’m being truthful.

However, the problem with ties is that they are simply too formal for most everyday situations. I work in tech, so a tie is definitely a no-no. I also live in San Francisco, which is a city that never got the memo that says it’s okay to be formal every now and again. Thus, you can see my dilemma.

Well, I think I’m going to go against the status quo on this one. I’m going to try and start wearing ties on a more regular basis in this uber casual environment I live in.

I also want to make sure I ease into the process, and casualize (likely not a real word) my necktie outfits a bit, pairing ties with more casual pieces. Like below:

Shirttieonly1 Dress shirt & tie, and Hugh & Crye dress shirts

Wearing wool cargo pants here (cargo pocket not really visible in the picture) and a patterned shirt, to bring the formality down a bit. 

Shirttieonly2 Dress shirt & tie, and Hugh & Crye dress shirts

Another way to make things more casual is by rolling up the sleeves and going jacket-less. 

Shirt: Hugh & Crye | Tie: Drake’s | Pants: Ovadia & Sons | Shoes: Peal & Co.

I also want to mention that in these pictures, I’m wearing a dress shirt by a company called Hugh & Crye. They’re a relatively new business, but in perusing their site, I noticed that they have some really good looking shirts, not to mention ties and pocket squares to complement.

What interested me the most about this company was their approach to fit. With any online shirtmaker, I often hesitate to purchase because I’m afraid that the fit will be poor. My dimensions aren’t necessarily cookie-cutter, so it’s always a challenge. Well, the good news is that Hugh & Crye has this pretty nifty chart that gives people more options when it comes to sizing. If you’re skinny and short, then there’s a shirt for you. Tall and slim? No problem, got you covered.

Personally, I think the fit, right out of the box, was pretty great for me. The picture below might make it seem like there’s tugging in some areas, but it’s actually a bit deceiving. There’s decent room in the shirt, and thus, it’s comfortable.

Shirttieonly3 1024x598 Dress shirt & tie, and Hugh & Crye dress shirts

Altogether, I think the designs are solid, the fit is wonderful, and the online shopping experience is awesome. But of course, the main question you’re all asking is how is the quality?

Well, I’ve only had the shirt for a week, so please take my words with a grain of salt. However, based on fist impressions, the shirt is pretty good for the price. You can usually get a shirt at Hugh & Crye for $85 ($105 for luxury), and sometimes on sale for $60. The material is comfortable, the collars are nice and structured, and the construction seems to be good overall.

I won’t say that these are the best shirts I’ve gotten at this price point though. First off, the fabric could stand to be both more breathable and hefty. Perhaps I need to try out their other fabrics, but the shirt I have necessarily doesn’t scream luxury to me. Second, the construction is good, but I find myself being a little scared to test the limit on how well the seams are stitched together, because I can’t help but feel like they’re delicate.

Overall though, I can’t complain. Great fit, amazing customer service experience, decent quality, and solid designs? Call me in.

Naval stripe undershirt

naval stripe 2 Naval stripe undershirtSource: Black Fleece

Sometimes, it’s good to wear an undershirt beneath your collared button down. I don’t always recommend it, but when you’re in the dead heat of summer, it’s good to have your perspiration stopped by a layer of cotton instead of soaking through your expensive oxford shirt.

Generally, the usual suspects for summer undershirts are solid-colored white or gray v necks. Classic, abundant, and simple, who can argue?

Well today, for the heck of it, I will. A new trend is on the rise (I think?), and surprisingly, I’m 100% on board this time. It’s none other than the naval stripe undershirt.

naval stripe Naval stripe undershirtSource: Iseastripes

I believe naval striped crew neck T-shirts, peeking out underneath a collared shirt or jacket, can add some spice and unexpected flare to your outfit. When in neutral colors, like white/blue or blue/gray, naval striped shirts can be quite versatile, and work with tons of different colors and patterns.

Instead of opting for a V-neck like I usually do, I think crew necks work best here, as they will purposely be visible when wearing button ups with the first or second button unbuttoned. Also, they should be lightweight and comfortable, generally 100% cotton. Though quality is always important, let’s be real; at the end of the day, these are just T-shirts, and you shouldn’t break the bank just to get some.

I’m planning on getting a couple naval stripe shirts myself, and encourage you to get on board too, especially if you’re interested in adding some subtle variation to your outfit.

Here are a couple at different price points for you to check out:

~$10: Uniqlo, Club Room

~$20: River Island, Asos

~$40: American Apparel, Wolsey, Ralph Lauren

~$60+ : Black Fleece, Sunspel, St. James

Dos & don’ts : buttoning your shirt

dos and donts buttons Dos & donts : buttoning your shirt

It’s so interesting how one button can make such a huge difference in a shirt’s aesthetic.

These days, there are a bunch of people (ie: hipsters) out there buttoning their shirts all the way up, giving the shirt an “invisible tie” look that I’m not much a fan of. Not only is it less comfortable than what you could be doing, but it just looks a bit off. My thought is, if you aren’t wearing a tie, then at least unbutton one button.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who feel like it’s okay to show off their bare pecs, and play strip tease with their business casual outfits by unbuttoning at least 3 buttons on a shirt. Cover yourself up sir! I’m a fan of the bench press as much as the next, but honestly, I don’t like seeing other dudes’ pecs and nips. Take it down a notch and unbutton just 2 buttons.

In summary, when you’re wearing a button up shirt, unbutton 1 or 2 buttons (depending on how free you feel) and call it a day. It’ll look good & feel comfortable. Booyah.

Henleys

henley Henleys

Oliver Peoples Sunglasses :: Vince Henley T-shirt :: Calvin Klein Jeans

If casual is the name of the game, no piece of clothing is quite as iconic as the T-shirt. Whether it’s a plain white T-shirt, a graphic T, or a V-neck, I’m sure we all have a bunch of these bad boys stacked in our closet somewhere. I personally love T-shirts, and wear them as often as I can.

Unfortunately for me, often is not very often at all, as I’m finding that I hardly wear T-shirts when going out. In my opinion, they are too casual for the office, they aren’t very evening-appropriate, and they can be a bit boring (or too rambunctious if it’s a graphic T). For these reasons, I usually opt for a casual button down or polo in most informal settings.

Despite this, we all know how much more comfortable a T-shirt can be than a button-down. They’re so easy to put on and take off, and can oftentimes feel like a second skin, due to their lightweight and soft nature. Oh the dilemma, what can we do about this situation?

Enter the HenleyA stylish offshoot of the long sleeve or short sleeve T.

tumblr lthto67lsh1qzm5y8o1 r3 500 HenleysHenleys are my go-to shirts when I just want to feel comfortable. They look a bit more sophisticated than a regular t-shirt or long-sleeve shirt, and can work extremely well with a variety of outfits. Slap a sports coat or jacket on top, and you’ve got the casual chic thing going on. Maybe wrap a cardigan and scarf around the henley on a crisp day, and you’re not only fashionable, but comfortable and warm too.

I would recommend getting a couple henleys if you can, both in long sleeve and short sleeve forms. Now, this isn’t a piece I would invest heavily in. I personally own a couple cheap Old Navy henleys and they look and feel great. Sure they probably won’t hold up for ten years, but these types of pieces are meant to be replaced once in a while. It’s okay to treat them the same as your regular crew neck undershirts.

Also, I’d recommend staying away from any graphics on the shirts themselves. Stick with solid colors or subtle patterns, like thin stripes. We want to remain simple on this piece as much as possible.

Here are some of my recommendations:

~$10: Old Navy or Uniqlo Henley (none online, but in store there’s plenty)

~$20-$40: Gap Marled Henley

~$40-$75: Vince Henley

~$75+: Todd Snyder Classic Henley

If you don’t own one, I would highly recommend going out and buying yourself a couple henleys. The “comfort” part of your psyche will thank you immensely while the “fashion” part of your psyche will nod in approval.

Ask me: wave #2

Time for the second heat of question answering. Thanks for writing in guys! I know there’s several more questions that have come to me, so I’ll make sure to get to them in a future post.

Also, you can leave comments below as well!

Are cargo pants back in? If I wanted to get some, any recommendations? – Andrew
You’re in luck! Cargo pants are coming back in, but you must know that it’s a different breed of cargo pants that are in today, compared to ten years ago (give or take a couple years). Cargo pants today are slimmer, tapered in the leg, and with a little less fabric on the pockets, to keep the slimmer look in tact. I own a pair of Uniqlo Perfect Shape cargo pants and love them. Not only are they great quality, but also relatively inexpensive at $39.90. Uniqlo is only in NYC (and SF, starting Oct 5) so if you can’t get them there, I’d recommend either Ralph Lauren or GANT by Michael Bastian.

199526 358 fv 1 Ask me: wave #2

Not a question, simply feedback. All I can say is that I love what you’re doing, this blog is absolutely wonderful. The blog is simple and easy to follow and your posts are helpful and informative. Please keep posting more! icon smile Ask me: wave #2 – James

Man, you are too kind. Thanks so much for following, and I appreciate the comment. Things like this keep me going!

Is it OK for a dress shirt to be a little baggy when wearing a suit? Also, I like the option of wearing my shirt untucked with jeans or tucked with chinos, so I get 16.5 34/35 slim fit Brook’s Brothers button downs that seem to do the trick. The problem, however, is that I can’t close the collar without feeling uncomfortable, so dressing up the casual a bit with a tie is out of the question. Do you have any recommendations? I know BB is European cut and thus the better fit, but do I need to sacrifice the collar space for a better-fitting shirt?- Adam

Great questions Adam! To your first question, having a baggy dress shirt is OK, but unfortunately that’s about it; you can certainly look better.  We want to make sure to get rid of as much excess baggage as we can with our clothing, since it will only make us look bigger than we are (even if you are already quite a big dude). This is true even when you are wearing a suit. If you notice carefully, you’ll find that the suit gets a bit wider on the sides when your dress shirt bags up. Plus, we oftentimes take off our suit jackets, so it pays to have a slimmer shirt. Now, this doesn’t mean go and find the slimmest possible shirt on the market. You’ll look ridiculous if you’re bursting at the seams. I would opt to find a shirt that fits well in the shoulders and chest in a slim / city / tailored / European cut. If they still don’t fit, then buy a sizing that is slightly more loose (again with the shoulders and chest fitting well) and then get it taken in from the back by a tailor for $15-20 bucks.

To your second question, the short answer is no, don’t sacrifice the collar space for a better fitting shirt. Part of the reason a BB button down is so valuable is its versatility both casually and formally, and you don’t want to throw that away. However, there is a way to make this work. If you like BB shirts, I’d say stick to the slim fit in the larger size, (maybe 17 34/35) and again, pay 15 bucks to get the sides taken in by a tailor. This is a really easy job, so I’m sure your local laundromat can do it for you cheap. You’ll find that the collar fits fine, and you also have slim sides. As long as the shoulders fit fine, and the sleeves aren’t too long/short, you’ll have yourself a very nice looking shirt for both casual and dress occasions. I can’t stress this enough… just take it to a tailor and your shirts will look 20x better.