Gentlemen. B good. B polished.


Letters to the Editor: $200 Dress Shoes, White Jeans, & Combat Gent Warnings

If you’ve got a style tip, question, or anything else you’d like to pass along, you can send those in to If you’d rather your question not be featured in a future mailbag, just go ahead and say so in your email. Want more than one average Joe’s (HA!) opinion? Check out our forum, Threads.


Q: $200 shoes post. What about Meermin?


Saw your best dress shoes for $200 or under post. No Meermin? Meermin has to be on the list, no?.


You’re right. I should have had them in there, but with a few, big warnings as to the risks involved. Word is these are (still?) mainly made in… China(?), then finished in Spain. I think. But for $175, most will find Meermin’s styling choices, Goodyear welts, and materials used on their classic collection to be a bargain. It’s just the risk that comes with international shipping. It’s $35 to get them to the States, and you’re on the hook for returns. And that’s an expensive risk to take, since we’re talking about shoes here. A tailor can’t help shoes fit better. So while most see them as a hell of a deal… they’re certainly a risk. A risk that many just won’t want to take.


Q: White / Light Pants Suggestions?

White/Light Pants |

Do you have any recommendations for white/wheat colored pants? I always see them in ads and people invariably look great in them and they really set off the rest of what the person is wearing. That said, I’m not trying to look like a sailor. Thoughts on denim vs chinos? 

– Thomas

I’d steer away from denim, simply because they can be a little heavy/thick in the heat. And when shopping for these kinds of pants, I always look for something that’s a SUPER pale grey, instead of a bright white. They’re easier to work with. But if you do want bright white, I’m a fan of cotton/linen blends. Just be sure to wear grey underwear instead of white or navy or black. Also, these “tide blue” oxford cloth pants from JCF are terrific, and look more grey than pale blue in person. If you tend to run real hot? Try these technical fabric pants from GAP. Lots of stretch, and they breathe great.


Q: Combatant Gentleman?

I read your original post on Combat Gent and, knowing Dappered’s good reputation, decided to order a weekender bag from CG last December. It still hasn’t shipped, and they keep promising it will ship “soon.” I’ve waited too long to get reimbursement from my credit card. I did some research and I’m not the only one. I’d like to ask Dappered to write about this, and clarify that this is a company that people should be wary of. Your earlier positive review puts Dappered’s good name in jeopardy, and you should really clear the air.


Well hell, that stinks for Stephen and the rest of the guys out there who aren’t seeing the goods arrive when they should be arriving. Smells like Jackthreads. I have to say, I’m not that surprised. There’s a reason why we haven’t covered Combat Gent since 2013, and why we made it quite clear in that 2013 post that by either negligence or nefariousness, Combat Gent appeared to be misrepresenting what they were selling. “Super 120s” yet it’s 60% wool and 40% polyester? Plastic buttons instead of what they were claiming was bullhorn? Different branding on the sleeve compared to the jacket lining? They were $160 suits, so, whatever, but at least they fit fair enough for $160 and were actually showing up to your door back then. But something was fishy. Lots of buzzwords, with no evidence to back up warranting their use. To put it bluntly… all hat, no cattle. So consider this an update on that original post. Now with permission, we’ll go back to not covering them, and instead focusing on brands/products we believe in.


Q: Casual, Crepe Soled Chukkas

Casual, Crepe Soled Chukkas

I’m looking for some casual Friday/weekend chukkas, especially crepe soled and under a 100 dollars. Any good recommendations you may have?


Gonna be tough to beat the Clarks Original Desert Boot. The super cheap end would be the Luther Chukka from New Republic, but I don’t have any experience with that particular model. If you’re up for spending a bit more? The Italian Made Astorflex chukka is darn impressive, and while J. Crew’s crepe soled chukka is made in China, it is Goodyear welted.


Q. Thoughts on Smartwatches?

How do you feel about smart watches? Can I dress one up? Does it always have to be dressed down? Got any specific picks? 


I, personally, wear “dumb” watches on purpose, because among other reasons, I feel like I’m far too connected as it is. I often leave my phone in the car, or, (gasp) at home. To extend that connectivity to an apparatus that I can’t even hide in a pocket, and instead wear on my wrist, just isn’t my cup of tea. That said, plenty of guys like smart watches. And we’ve reviewed a few. The best looking one I’ve ever seen in the wild? The Withings Activite is awfully clean looking. Not a ton of features though.


Q. Watches Under $300?

That’s a “greater than” sign. 😆.

-PJ, via social media

Indeed. Three hundred dollars is greater than the cost of the watch pictured. I suppose we could have shot the image so the watch was on the left side of the frame… but… I ain’t that detail oriented.


Q: Style Scenario: Warm Weather Casual w/ Color

Style Scenario: Warm Weather Casual w/ Color |

Dark colors? When it is 100 degrees in the shade, then less clothing is more and light colors are preferred. Or get some air conditioning.

-Marilyn, via social media

Read the post Marilyn.


Those Desert boots look too hot. Again.

Shoes are way to hot.

-Victor, via social media

To hot? Know there knot. They’re called Desert Boots for a reason. Read the post Victor.

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