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So you’re looking to upgrade your style.

You’ve already got your power suit.

It’s right for your body and fits perfectly.

You’re ready to nail those dinner parties and boardroom appearances.

But wait…what about the rest of your life?

A big part of putting your best foot forward with style is finding clothes that fit and flatter. And you may have received advice about the best types of sport coats and dress shirts for your body.

But when it comes to the everyday staple pieces, there’s a lot more variety and way fewer hard-and-fast rules. How do you decide what will become your go-to pieces for years to come–and what will work, but never really WORK?

It helps to have a style formula that you can apply even to easygoing dress codes. Today, I’m going to walk you through three key pieces for each of five different body types. With these at the base, you can build a range of outfits that truly let you look your best in informal settings.

#1. Flattering Clothes for Thin Men

guy with thin body type

Body Type: This is a build with the shoulders and waist close to the same size.

Goals: Your goals are to create an illusion of shape by widening the appearance of the shoulders and concentrating on styles that taper your straight-up-and-down frame.

Your Key Pieces:

  • An all-purpose shirt with horizontal stripes or a horizontally-oriented pattern near the shoulders. It should be in a fabric that’s heavy enough to provide structure but thin enough to layer under jackets or sweaters.

As for the fit, you don’t want anything too wide that will billow out at the sides and back. Your height and sleek torso are worth showing off. Look for tall sizes or shirts with a little extra length so you can get a smaller size that fits your shoulders.

  • A versatile, layering-friendly sweater or button-down that adds some bulk to your frame and gives you more control over your silhouette. Try to have pieces in your wardrobe that can be layered even in warmer weather.

Fitted styles are your best friend when trying to create a classic V-shaped silhouette. You can utilize darted jackets with structured shoulders to build this look for dressier settings, and hoodies with tapered waists for casual wear.

  • Slim fit trousers in a light color give you some definition while adding bulk.

Look for a fit that touches your calves but doesn’t hug your entire leg. If you have a tall, thin build, long legs are probably one of your best features–and if you’re thin and short, a slim fit will make your legs look longer.

Light colors are best for casual wear–a dark color can be too slimming and give you spindly bird legs. A tan or khaki pair will create a more balanced appearance.

#2. Flattering Clothes for Fuller-Bodied Men

man in pants

Type: Full-bodied men have a shape where the center of the torso is broader than the hips.

Goals: You’re generally looking for slimming and framing pieces that look like they belong on you.

Your Key Pieces:

  • A quality “sack jacket” cut layering piece with wide lapels. Sack jackets are a style classic that looks great on bigger men. Although the traditional sack jacket is formal, you can find casual jackets that imitate its shape. It’s a great way to own your size and make the most of your best features.

Wide lapels add proportion and “match” your frame, making a wider torso an integrated part of your look instead of an obstacle. Look for solid colors for similar reasons–patterns won’t hide your shape, they’ll just draw attention to it. You don’t want all eyes to be on a feature it looks like you’re trying to hide.

  • Classic fit trousers that sit at your natural waist are another essential. If your pants fit well and sit at your natural waist, they’ll minimize any extra weight carried in that area that might look awkward or disproportionate with an incorrect fit.

A classic fit flatters your legs and balances your frame. Look for pleats to give you space to move comfortably while also providing vertical emphasis.

  • Suspenders. If you’re a bigger guy, you might have heard before that it’s best to wear suspenders with your formal looks. They’re also great with jeans and a button-down, though.

Suspenders will let you avoid belts that emphasize width and divide up your silhouette. They emphasize your height and direct the eye toward your face. And they’re a great way to add a pop of color to an otherwise standard outfit.

#3. Flattering Clothes for Muscular Men

muscular man

Type: Those who possess this body shape are often athletes or guys who work out who have a built up chest and shoulder area.

Goals: This physique is one many guys understandably want to flaunt, but it can cause a few issues with fit as manufacturers often cater to a more average build.

Your Key Pieces:

  • A regular fitted V-neck shirt (not ultra-low) balances the proportions of your shoulders. It should be fitted–not shrink-wrapped–to show off your physique tastefully.

Look for blocks of color or stripes below the waist. When dressing for casual occasions, you’ll want balance and a more a classic vibe. Drawing the eye to your trim midsection helps accomplish that.

  • Shorts or pants with a subtle horizontal pattern will balance out a built torso visually. They also help avoid your legs appearing disproportionate in casual looks, which are more likely to emphasize your shoulders.

If you have muscular legs, shop for pants that fit your seat and thighs comfortably (you should be able to pinch the fabric). The waist and length of a pair of pants are some of the easiest things to tailor.

  • Unstructured jackets. Your shoulders are built already, so look for jackets that are soft and unpadded in that area. You may need to have them tailored to look right for your waist or fit the length of your arms, but fit your shoulders first.

#4. Flattering Clothes for Men With Wider Hips

man with wider hips wearing corduroy pants

Type: It’s common for men’s bodies to be wider near the base of the torso, especially as you get older

Goals: You want items that provide shape and balance

Your Key Pieces:

  • A go-to shirt with a bit of shoulder structure–nothing fitted to tightly to your shoulders and arms, though. Your main objective is to balance out your waist and draw the eye to your face.

Look for something that’s darker around the waist than on the shoulders. Bright colors don’t work as well for you, but neutrals and subtle jewel tones will look great.

  • Corduroy or flannel pants. These heavier fabrics add some bulk below the waist to make your midsection appear balanced.

Look for something that sits at your natural waist with a medium drop (length between the waist and the crotch seam) and a classic fit with no tapering.

  • Scarves are the perfect accessory for those who are rocking the dad bod. It draws the eye to your relatively well-built shoulders and to your face while further balancing the width of your waist.

Look for ‘framing’ colors–matched to your hair in terms of lightness or darkness, and contrasting in base colors with your skin tone.

#5. Flattering Clothes for Men With Average Frames

average build man

Type: Shoulders slightly wider than waist–this is the shape most men’s clothes are designed for

Goals: You’re lucky–most clothes will work for you without a lot of trouble. You want to emphasize your natural features and stand out a bit

Key Pieces:

  • Jackets that follow your natural proportions. You don’t need a lot of shoulder structure, but if you’re wearing something that adds bulk to the waist, a little padding helps.

For these pieces, vertical patterns like pinstripes are very flattering, and if you’re short they can help utilize your shape to give you some height

  • Slim and classic fit shirts. Again, you’ve lucked out here in that designers generally have you in mind, but there are some things you want to avoid–namely, anything that’s too billowy around the waist.

Really seek out brands whose shirts suit your height or else come in a range of lengths for each overall size. Otherwise, get to know your tailor.

  • A bold accessory or two. An average body is a great thing to have in the menswear world…but let’s face it, you’re not dressing to be average. Accessories like scarves, ties, and hats are a great place to go distinctive and stand out from the crowd.

One way to do this is with classic details in eye-catching colors–bright argyle socks with dark jeans and a pair of boat shoes, a classy watch with a red or emerald green band. Just use sparingly, and always choose quality over attention-grabbing.

The universal rules of dressing for your body type basically boil down to:

  • Make sure it fits.
  • Pay attention to proportion–the balance between the shapes of your clothing and the shapes of your body.
  • Draw peoples’ attention where you want it to go–to your best features and your face.

With a little shopping around and practice, you can develop your eye for what fits your features best–no matter what kind of occasion you’re dressing for.

Click here to watch the Video – Hard To Shop Body Types

The post Men’s Clothing For Hard To Shop Body Types appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Men’s Clothing For Hard To Shop Body Types
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Published Date: Thu, 28 Sep 2023 16:26:59 +0000

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The Best CITIZEN Watches: Quality & Style On A Budget

Best Citizen Watches

3 citizen watches collage

A man should never neglect his wrist.

That is to say, choosing the right wristwatch is an absolutely pivotal determining factor that can make or break an outfit – and even your entire presentation.

Today, lots of men seem to be just fine without a watch. “I’ve got my phone!” you might say. “Why would I need a watch?”

Well, there are a lot of reasons why one would still want to display a watch upon their wrist nowadays.

Wearing a watch offers several benefits beyond just telling time:

  • Convenience: It’s quick and easy to check the time on your wrist, especially in situations where pulling out a phone might be inconvenient or rude.
  • Style and Fashion: Watches are often worn as fashion accessories, complementing an outfit and reflecting personal style.
  • Professionalism: In many professional settings, wearing a watch can convey a sense of responsibility, punctuality, and attention to detail.
  • Longevity and Durability: A well-made watch can last for years, becoming a reliable and enduring accessory.
  • Cultural and Personal Significance: Watches can hold sentimental value as heirlooms or gifts, carrying with them personal memories and stories.

Overall, while smartphones have largely taken over timekeeping duties, watches remain relevant for their practicality, style, and symbolism.

But you don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune for a great timepiece.

Among the best entry-to-moderate-level watch brands is CITIZEN. Founded in 1918, CITIZEN is a proven longtime quality watchmaker offering some exceptional values.

Looking to get a new watch yourself? Here are some of CITIZEN’s very best.

CITIZEN Promaster Dive: Model: BN0191-55L

CITIZEN Promaster Dive: Model: BN0191-55L

Proof that a dive watch can be fun as well as functional, the Promaster Diver serves up impressive durability, style, and features, such as Eco-Drive technology.

This model is powered by light and never needs a battery, so you’ll never need to open your caseback or compromise your dive again.

Featuring a striking stainless steel casing with an azure blue aluminum bezel and matching azure blue dial, this is as classic as a dive watch gets, and it’s often available for as little as $318.

CITIZEN Promaster Skyhawk A-T

CITIZEN Promaster Skyhawk A-T

The Citizen Men’s Promaster Air Skyhawk exemplifies the pinnacle of aviator watch design making it a standout in the world of pilot watches.

Like the Promaster Dive, this model is also powered by light and never needs a battery.

But in terms of the style department, it’s got a whole different vibe going, not to mention its atomic timekeeping abilities, spanning 43 cities, as well as a perpetual calendar, dual time, and more, all on a sleek digital display embedded within the dial.

Its sleek Super Titanium body is complemented by its distinctive black dial and orange detailing. A striking piece for as low as $712.



Sleek and sporty define this particular timepiece. Built with a versatile 40mm footprint, this watch’s design is surprisingly sophisticated with its silver-tone stainless steel case and a seamlessly integrated, matching bracelet.

Beneath a layer of anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the various models of the “TSUYOSA” champion a distinctive color tone on the watch face, as well as an elegant date window.

With multiple colored faces available, fit for all tastes, this model is a steal for under $340.

CITIZEN Garrison

CITIZEN Garrison watch

If you’re looking for something a bit more subdued, yet with a vintage-inspired design, look no further. The Garrison model pays homage to the golden age of travel with its brilliant caramel brown leather strap and its classic green dial.

It also stands out as a premier field watch, combining rugged durability with reliable functionality, making it an essential accessory for outdoor enthusiasts.

Once again featuring light-powered Eco-Drive technology, you’ll never need to replace any batteries.

With extra features and details like contrast stitching, bold numbering, and a subtle date window, this is a fantastic option for under $300.



A must-have for any watch enthusiast, this PCAT is a refined take in atomic timekeeping. With a rich brown leather strap and a 43mm rose-gold tone stainless-steel case, complemented perfectly with a stylish green dial, this piece certainly gets points in the looks department.

But it does a whole lot, too, with atomic timekeeping in 43 cities, Eco-Drive technology, a perpetual calendar, a power reserve indicator, and a chronograph. Packed with this many features, it’s a wonder it only costs $506.


CITIZEN Rolan model

The Rolan from Citizen offers the ultimate classic vintage style. Its 40mm gold-tone stainless steel case houses an elegant champagne-colored dial, and the look is perfectly rounded out with an ash brown leather strap.

Advanced features include Eco-Drive technology, ensuring it’s powered by light and never requires a battery. Additionally, it boasts a day/date function for added functionality.

The best part? It’s a steal, too, for only about $280. There’s also a silver-tone and black leather version if that’s more your speed. Talk about value!

CITIZEN Promaster Dive: Model: BN0168-06L

CITIZEN Promaster Dive: Model: BN0168-06L

A more casual version of the Model: BN0191-55L featured earlier on this list, this one still packs quite a punch.

Featuring a beautiful blue and red bezel and housed in a stainless steel case, this watch is sure to garner many compliments.

Its durable blue, water-resistant polyurethane strap gives it an extra sporty look, but its features don’t lie – this is an elegant watch, especially for only about $280.

CITIZEN Super Titanium Armor

CITIZEN Super Titanium Armor watch

The Citizen Armor watch is another Eco-Drive tech gem, only the Super Titanium version offers a truly distinct and unique style. Not only is it tough, but it’s incredibly sleek and modern in its design.

The unique casing stands out especially against a bold, black dial, and even includes a subtle date window. The superior scratch resistance and hardness provided by its sapphire crystal covering lends even more tough-factor.

But don’t be fooled, this watch sure can be dressed up, and it’s available for as low as $431.

CITIZEN Peyten: Model: BM7103-51L

CITIZEN Peyten: Model: BM7103-51L

Sometimes, you just gotta have it in gold. Or gold-tone, at least.

This model of the CITIZEN Peyten comes in a beautiful gold-tone stainless steel case and bracelet, and features a striking azure blue dial that’s sure to impress anyone who catches a glimpse.

With Eco-Drive technology, there’s once again no need to get any batteries replaced. Even better – it’s available for as little as $356.

CITIZEN The Citizen: Model: AQ4103-16E

CITIZEN The Citizen: Model: AQ4103-16E

The most expensive yet premiere timepiece on this list, The Citizen watch embodies the namesake of the brand due to its sheer brilliance and wow-factor. Combining superior precision with expert craftsmanship,

This model of The Citizen features a gold color Duratect-coated Super Titanium case for superior hardness and scratch-resistance and an elegant black washi paper dial with sparkling gold leaf accents.

The glittering accents enhance the understated beauty of the dial sprinkled with gold leaf using a traditional Japanese method called Sunago-maki.

Each dial is meticulously handcrafted by master papermakers, ensuring that each dial is one-of-a-kind.

Though available in other casing color and strap varieties, you can hardly get more elegant than the classic gold and black combination.

This piece represents the very best CITIZEN has to offer – which is why it’s the most expensive model on this list, at $3,800. For everything it brings to the table, however, we think it is well worth the price of admission.

A Bonus Watch For Star Wars Lovers

Winding Up

CITIZEN is an excellent brand that is very well worth having on your radar, whether you’re new to watches or a seasoned veteran.

They offer some truly exceptional values and a variety of styles suited for just about every taste and budget.

We hope you found this list insightful, and hey, maybe you’ll have found your new favorite timepiece. We sure hope so.

The post The Best CITIZEN Watches: Quality & Style On A Budget appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: The Best CITIZEN Watches: Quality & Style On A Budget
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Published Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2024 14:24:34 +0000

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Red Wing Boots: Essential Styling Tips Every Man Should Know

A Mans Guide To Red Wing Boots

man in red wings boots and jeans

Picking the correct piece of footwear can bring an outfit together.

Get it just right and nods of approval will come your way – slightly wrong and it can throw off an otherwise perfect outfit.

Here, I’ve provided a styling guide for a particularly versatile shoe, the American classic Red Wing Boot.

A long-time staple in American workwear culture, they work in a surprisingly diverse array of contexts, from workwear itself all the way to the smart side of casual.


red wing boot vintage poster

Gents, if any footwear brand has stood the test of time, it’s Red Wing.

Founded in 1905, they’ve served American heroes for over 100 years.

From the Pershing 1088, a favourite of soldiers in the trenches in WW1, to the Red Wing #708, a farmhand favourite from the 1950s onward, there’s a Red Wing for nearly every purpose.

From the 60s onwards, they increasingly entered the world of fashion, with models that catered to most social events.

While Red Wing boots are versatile, you need to pick the right one for your outfit.

Not every model is suited to every style of clothing, and it’s important to be conscious of that as a fashionable gentleman.

High Quality

red wing boots quality

Red Wing boots have long been symbolic of quality.

That same high level of attention to making workwear that lasts means those wearing Red Wing boots in a more fashionable way get boots that look great, and will look great for a long time to come.

The leather they’re made from goes through a complex 30 step process, being tanned, stretched and rolled.

When ready, the upper is fitted with a high-quality rubber sole, a staple of the Red Wing boot, printed with their Logo and grippy in a wide variety of environments.

Classic 6-Inch Red Wing Moc-Toe

Classic 6-Inch Red Wing Moc-Toe

A long time classic in the Red Wing line-up, the classic moc toe has become increasingly popular in recent years.

A result of the box-like construction is that it fits a wide variety of foot shapes surprisingly well. Those who have a wide forefoot or high instep may find them surprisingly comfortable.

They’re a popular shoe that goes with a wide variety of styles. More on the causal side of the spectrum, they pair well with jeans and a high-quality wool sweater.

Iron Ranger 8111

red wing Iron Ranger 8111 model

The boot was first designed for miners in the Minnesota Iron Range in the 1930s.

The cork in the midsole and the leather insole slowly fit to the wearer’s foot shape, leading to a naturally custom-fitted boot as it wears in.

A staple for both casual and smart casual wear, they match well with jeans and a heavy plait shirt, showing that the man wearing them is tough while comfortable, and ready to spend time on their feet in surprising comfort.

Merchant 6-In

The merchant 6-In is a great Red Wing option if you’re a man looking for a slightly unique approach to business casual.

Try pairing them with a chino pant, ideally made from a slightly thicker, more rugged fabric, and a button-down. For a more in-depth guide on choosing the right pant, check out my trouser style guide.

Adaptable and comfortable, this look will suit a wide variety of more casual work situations.

Sheldon 6-In

Sheldon 6 In

The Sheldon is an ideal option from Red Wing boots for gentlemen who enjoy a classic sports jacket.

Slightly more subtle and stylized than some of Red Wing’s other options, they bring business casual closer to the business side, and wouldn’t look entirely out of place in a country club.

The sports jacket allows for a certain sense of maturity. It shows a more serious gentleman in a specific social setting, aware of his surroundings and dressed accordingly.

To find out more about the subtleties of choosing a sports jacket, have a look at my article on the subject.

Guide to the Suit Jacket Blazer and Sports Jacket | Detailing the Differences of These Jackets

Williston Oxford

Williston Oxford

The Williston Oxford is formal enough to be worn with a two-piece suit while retaining a certain independent style.

Let me say this now – the Williston isn’t a true dress shoe, but if you’re willing to take a slightly adventurous approach to smart fashion, it could be perfect for you.

This Oxford by Red Wing can also be worn with jeans or chinos, making it another highly versatile option, potentially one of the best boots for men.

Red Wing Laces

red wing laces

Red Wing boots tend to come with both leather laces and a more traditional braided option.

Subtle style changes such as laces are a great way to add small, personalized touches to your aesthetic, showing that you’re a man with an attention to detail.

If you’re happy with the stock laces – great, they’ll serve you well, for decades if cared for. If you want laces in a slightly different color or material, you’ll be able to find them in any good shoe shop.

Make sure that the laces you buy fit the eyelets in the Red Wings you have.

Most Red Wings have thin laces, and wouldn’t fit wider, flat laces, even if you decided the style was appropriate for your circumstances.


goodyear welt

An important care and styling note is that you should make sure you get these shoes re-soled in good time.

Having shoes with worn-down soles is never a good look. It displays a lack of care, a certain contentedness with having possessions that are no longer in their prime.

Aside from the styling notes, if you leave it too long before getting your Red Wings resoled, it may no longer be possible.

Once the leather starts to wear through, shoes can no longer be fixed with new soles, and it might be necessary to buy new boots.

Red Wing themselves offer a shoe resoling service, available in most of their stores.

Leather Care

Keeping Suede Clean And Maintained brush shoes

As with any leather product, it needs to be cared for if you want it to last, and want to look great while wearing them.

Each different type of leather requires a slightly different care approach, necessitating different brushes, oils, and cloths.

To read more on the subject, have a look at my guide on cleaning, conditioning, and polishing leather.

In Conclusion

So, gents, as you can see, there’s a Red Wing boot for nearly every look.

From casual all the way to two-piece suits, what was once a work boot manufacturer now makes an option for almost all scenarios.

If you look after your Red Wings, they’ll last you for years, giving you a high-quality and comfortable set of footwear you’ll likely come to love.

For more advice on choosing the right shoe for your outfit, take a look at my article on the first 5 shoes I’d buy if I rebuilt my wardrobe.

The post Red Wing Boots: Essential Styling Tips Every Man Should Know appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Red Wing Boots: Essential Styling Tips Every Man Should Know
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Published Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2024 12:26:46 +0000

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Boat Shoes Are Back: Here’s How To Wear Them Right

classic brown leather boat shoes on a wooden deck

classic brown leather boat shoes on a wooden deck

Ah, the boat shoe. The once proud footwear icon has been, in many circles, turned humble in the last ten years or so. But as always, times-they-be-a-changin’ within fashion spaces.

You may have heard whispers. Hushed rumors that herald a mighty return. Could it be? Could the boat shoe be back in style?

Well, the truth is, they never really went out of style. Not truly. If anything, their rich history and newfound versatility is being recognized once more, and that means – they very well might be here to stay for good this time.

But What Are Boat Shoes?

Boat shoes, also known as deck shoes or top-siders, are an American classic invented by Paul A. Sperry of New Haven, Connecticut in 1935 as a utilitarian shoe to maintain one’s footing in slippery conditions.

pristine brown leather boat shoes on a wet, icy wooden deck

They are usually crafted from leather, canvas, or sometimes suede. Typically, they feature a moccasin toe shape, as well.

A distinctive siping pattern is cut into their trademark rubber soles, somewhat resembling the grooves along a rubber tire.

This provides them with a no-slip, non-marking grip that is considered ideal for boating and deck activities.

The Cultural and Contextual History of Boat Shoes

The very name, “boat shoes” is indicative of their strong association with boat ownership, symbolizing a degree of wealth and/or status.

Despite being a utilitarian shoe in nature, used by fishermen and yachters alike, they have gained something of a preppy, ivy-inspired reputation in recent decades.

One only needs to briefly parse through a 1980s J.Crew catalogue to see the evidence in spades. In preppy circles, their inherent ruggedness took on a new meaning, and became heavily associated with either crisp white or brightly-colored deck shorts, polo shirts, and a good dose of “do you know who my father is?” attitude.

college-aged guy wearing white shorts with tan boat shoes, a pink polo shirt with a popped collar, and sunglasses

Not only were boat shoes popular amongst this crowd – they seemed to influence other shopping trends and anchored an entire uniform that defined generations.

Clothing brands like Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, and others commanded looks that became briefly inseparable from the boat shoe’s implied aesthetics.

Only, for some reason or another, this look wasn’t always received well, appearing a bit tryhard to some and earning a bit of mockery here and there.

Perhaps their later life in fraternities across the country is what initially seemed to kill the boat shoe for a good chunk of the American public. While stereotypical “frat-bros” would not hesitate to view and describe themselves as “cool,” the rest of society, it seems, would disagree.

The aforementioned outfit consisting of colorful chino shorts, popped-collar polos, and boat shoes (often the iconic Sperry brand) became the subject of much meme-ry in the 2010s. And for a while there, it seemed the boat shoe was effectively dead.

Rarely seen except on the sunny beaches of Fort Lauderdale during spring break, worn by white-claw clutching college students who, on some level, have to be purposely leaning into the whole frat-bro look.

The Return of the Boat Shoe

But as always, the tides have shifted. Boat shoes are on the rebound, particularly in fashion-forward spaces. Which means a few brave pioneers are just now rediscovering them, and now you have the opportunity to do so, too. That is, before they truly re-enter the mainstream.

Heck, trends move so fast these days that by the time this article is published, we may very well be there already as a society.

man wearing sleek black boat shoes with white linen pants, a black belt, and a white linen shirt

The thing is, the rules have changed. Or rather, a whole new set of cultural associations mean that this time, we’re gonna do the boat shoe a bit differently. That means what we pair ‘em with. Where we wear them altogether.

Unless you’re specifically looking to replicate the frat-bro-of-old aesthetic, listen up! Here’s the game plan, gents.

How To Style Boat Shoes Today

First off, make sure you have a pair you love. We’ll recommend some brands at the end of this article, but make sure your boat shoes fit, don’t slip, and look fresh!

There are numerous ways to style boat shoes, but we’ll start off by reimagining the preppy summer uniform we were ragging on earlier.

Preppy Summer Redux

One of the things that often made the chino shorts of the late 2000s and early 2010s a bit lame is that often, they were cut far too slim and flat to demand presence.

While slim shorts can work in some contexts, boat shoes can benefit from a pair of shorts that have a somewhat wider thigh opening.

Bonus points for pleated shorts! They embody a charmingly dorky vibe to some for sure, but pleats will give them a bit more shaping and dynamism.

black man next to yacht wearing pleated, wide-legged off-white shorts with brown boat shoes and a brown knit polo

You don’t want to look like you’re being squeezed by your shorts. Let your legs (and other assets) breathe!

So what if you end up looking like a camp counselor from the 80s in the process? If we’re going to redefine the preppy aesthetic, we want to take it back towards its roots instead of catapulting it into twenty-first century trends where it doesn’t belong. That means going back in time a little and revisiting what’s worked in the past.

The length of your shorts is entirely up to your preference. Shorter lengths such as the ever-popular 5-inch inseam are a good bet, and even carry some historical reference! See just about any photograph of young JFK in summer attire if you want proof. It works!

A good rule of thumb is to just make sure your shorts end somewhere above the knee. Though even then, some fashion-forward folks today champion the longer short. It’s up to you, really.

While a plain polo shirt is a suitable top (avoid the popped collar, please), you can do a lot better, if you ask us. Consider a knit polo for something with a bit more texture, or a camp collar shirt. These can be worn regularly or even open over a ribbed tank that’s tucked elegantly into your shorts.

Traditionally, you’ll want to go sockless while wearing boat shoes. Just trust us on this one.

Boat Shoes and Business Casual

You might be surprised to see the two in the same sentence, but the fact is, boat shoes can be dressed up a bit for a somewhat elegant sartorial look in the warmer months!

The following recommendation is a somewhat involved and playful take on business casual, but we have no doubts you can pull it off.

Try pairing your boat shoes with a pair of crisp white trousers, in either cotton, linen, or even seersucker. As always – bonus points for pleats, and a higher waist!

Then, add a horizontal striped tee, either in a white/blue, red/navy, or similar iteration. Tuck the tee neatly and tie it off with a leather braided belt that matches your shoes.

man wearing brown boat shoes with white, pleated, high-waisted linen trousers

Finally, elevate the look with a navy blue blazer with gold-tone buttons. The final look is one that’s highly nautical in origin, but elegant and sophisticated enough for the office or a cocktail party.

Looking to go a bit more daring? Consider adding a bandana or neckerchief in a contracting fabric around your neck for an extra personal touch. For such a small piece, it sure can add a lot!

The Anchor of Smart Casual

Boat shoes work wonders in smart casual ensembles, and they should be treated as such!

One recommendation to consider as a mainstay style option is to pair them with jeans. Denim and boat shoes look pretty great together, and their moccasin construction can help you lean into both rugged or refined aesthetics.

Try pairing boat shoes with dark wash jeans, a white or light-blue linen shirt, and a tan linen blazer for a refined yet relaxed look that’s as timeless as it is effortless.

A bonus tip? Consider cuffing your jeans. Something about the contrasting denim tones gracing a classic pair of boat shoes just pops!

cuffed dark-wash jeans with brown boat shoes

Alternatively, try just a simple white tee shirt for something a bit more down-to-earth. Your boat shoes will complement the look!

Best Boat Shoe Brands to Try

Finally, a few specific boat shoe recommendations. Whether you’re looking to re-embrace these American style classics, or simply trying them out for the first time, here are a number of brands worth noting.

Sperry Top-Sider

Sperry Top-Sider logo

Named after the creator of the boat shoe, Sperry patented his trademark slip-sole in 1939. The rest, as they say, is history. You simply cannot discuss boat shoes without mentioning Sperry. So ubiquitous is the brand with the shoe type – it’s kind of like when people call all tissues “Kleenex.”

Their original boat shoe designs are competitively priced, well-made, and ever-lastingly stylish.


Sebago logo

Established in 1946 in Maine, Sebago has built a reputation for quality products at a fair price. They stock a wide variety of boat shoe models and have wonderfully inclusive sizing.

Down to the styling, their boat shoes are charmingly classic and traditional – and well worth your attention.

L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean logo

The legendary New England-based sportswear company should be no stranger to you already, but their boat shoe offerings are mighty underrated!

While they offer several classic moccasin type shoes, their Casco Bay Boat Mocs are some of the finest boat shoe options you can get for just under the $100 price point.

G.H. Bass

G.H. Bass logo

Perhaps best known for their loafers, G.H Bass offers a fine selection of moccasin-style shoes as well, including boat shoes. Their Hampton Boat Shoe is sleek and refined, making it easy to style up.

For something a bit different, their Ranger Super Lug Camp Moc shoe retains many of the distinctive features of a moccasin boat shoe – with an extra dose of presence (and a platform lug-sole)!

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren logo

Where classic American style goes, Ralph Lauren picks up the trail, dusts it off, and makes it ten times better.

Their Merton Leather Boat Shoe is particularly nice, with a classic white sole that fits right in with an elevated preppy aesthetic. There’s even a stunning colorblocked red/white/blue version that’s splendidly American, and ultra-sharp, too.


Paraboot logo

The French Shoemaker celebrated and revered by menswear and fashion enthusiasts worldwide offers an exceptionally high-quality boat shoe for the devoted fan.

Their Barth model is crafted from supple leather and features refined stitching. They’re pricey, but a worthy investment.

The post Boat Shoes Are Back: Here’s How To Wear Them Right appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio Centeno
Title: Boat Shoes Are Back: Here’s How To Wear Them Right
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Published Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2024 16:41:13 +0000

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