Remember the Casual Male catalog? Yikes. But in today’s increasingly casual world, it is more and more difficult to navigate the sartorial terrain. Especially since, as Cole Porter wrote, “anything goes.”

So this year’s gift guide is going to incorporate a few ideas to upgrade your casual style. I hope this is useful for the significant others among you who have long wondered “why can’t I get him to dress a little better?”

The answer to that question is usually rooted in the stock answer “I just want to be comfortable.” So, let’s go casual, comfortable and still try to upgrade that “off duty” look.

Today, we’ll get to the bottom of things: trousers and shoes. It’s a small step from jeans to khakis and a sidestep from khakis to corduroys and moleskin. Two classic colors for cords are the golden, ginger-ale hue and hunter green.

Barbour of England’s Traditional Drainpipe Moleskin Trousers

Land’s End Fine Wale Tailored Cords in Loden Green

So far so good? Good! Now let’s get out of the oh-so-comfortable boat shoes/moccasins and trainers into a pair of leather shoes.

I know it’s too much to hope that we can convince anyone who isn’t daring to wear a pair of Belgian Shoes even in the privacy of his own home — Mr. Casual is seriously comfortable, especially with a pair of cashmere socks — but there are moccasins and there are slip-ons. The key in a more elegant shoe is the toe shape. This is pretty…

Crockett & Jones Sydney in Espresso Suede

For those men who favor trainers/sneakers for their comfort and support, how about a chukka? They too have a sporting heritage named for the “innings” of a polo match.

Crockett & Jones Millbank in Dark Brown Suede

Nervous about suede? Try a nice calfskin with an elegant silhouette.

Paul Stuart’s Mervin Loafer

We’ll move to above the belt next.

One Response to Gift Guide 2012: Casual Male

  1. Brohammas says:

    those last loafersw ould be great. Perhaps they would get Tintin to stop mocking my footwear, or better yet, perhaps I would no longer deserve it.

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