Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Five spring essentials that should be in every man’s closet

Flickr/Ahmad Karimi

It is that time of year when the days get longer and the sleeves get shorter. Yes, it is springtime. Although there are still lingering patches of snow, the ground is starting to thaw. Have no fear: here are five essentials to help put the spring back in your step in the upcoming months.

Canvas shoes

Feet, just like human beings, need to be able to breathe. Canvas is the perfect material to keep your feet dry through the warmer months, and stylish men in Europe have been wearing espadrilles long before TOMS came around. The great thing about this type of shoe is that it is so versatile. A pair of canvas shoes looks just as nice on the beach as it does walking around town. In addition, they come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Go old school and rock a pair of Chuck Taylors, or take a more classic approach with Converse’s rerelease of Jack Purcell’s signature canvas tennis shoes.

A more classic brand like Sperry will help you make a splash with its vibrant colors and plaids. On the other hand, the skating brand Vans offers an edgier look with striped and checkered styles.

Canvas shoes are best worn sans socks because your feet will be cooler and give a certain, as the French say, je ne sais quoi.

A V-neck T-Shirt

Just as a V-neck sweater is an important piece of any guy’s wardrobe in the fall and winter months, the same cut in a tee is great for springtime. A V-neck is extremely versatile. It can be dressed down with a pair of shorts and espadrilles, or dressed up with a sports coat and a nice pair of linen pants. In terms of adding a highlight of color to an outfit, a vibrant V-neck does the job quite nicely.

Be wary men: this is not a game of “how low can you go.” No one wants to see your chest forest. Also, make sure that the cut of the T-shirt is slimming, but not too tight. If your arms are above your head and your stomach is showing, then you are wearing the wrong cut.

Cotton shorts and cut off shorts

Cotton shorts will be your best friend. These shorts should fit well, not hanging below the knees but ending above them – these are shorts, not Capri pants. A good color to start off in would be navy or khaki; either way you can’t go wrong. Cotton breathes well, helping you keep cool in the heat and warm in the cooler nights. As for the more sartorially inclined, the preppy look is best. From madras plaid to seersucker, J. Crew has it right. Their shorts cut is excellent and the material is superb.

Some of the best shorts are homemade, and free things are always awesome, so save some cash and grab a pair of scissors. The best way to get the most out of an old pair of jeans or khaki pants is to make a pair of cut-offs, cutting the pant leg just above the knee. They’ll be the best pair of shorts you never bought.

A short sleeve button-down

A nice button-down shirt frames any guy’s face well, just like a V-neck. Make sure the shirt is not too long, so it can be worn un-tucked. In a button-down, the material should definitely be lighter, like linen or cotton. Additionally, a slimmer cut is key: it should fit like a V-neck tee, or possibly a little bit looser. Ben Sherman has been making awesome short sleeve button-downs since 1963.

If you are just getting into rolling up your sleeves, then starting off with solid colors is the best option. Once more comfortable, plaids, stripes and polka dots await you. Throw one of these on with a pair of well-fitted shorts and canvas shoes, and you are ready turn some heads.

A sports coat

Think of it as a grown-up version of a hoodie, because a sports coat is just as versatile. It looks just as good with a pair of jeans as it does with a fresh pair of khaki pants. In terms of color, classic shades like navy blue go well with everything. Do not worry about a sports coat getting wrinkled, since it is not as formal of as you might think.

Ryan Ford can be reached at [email protected].


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