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You may have noticed a couple extra menswear mags on the newsstand this month: GQ Style: What to Wear Now and the Esquire Big Black Book. In our grand tradition, we read them so you don’t have to, and in this very special edition of Well Pressed, we’ve got your full breakdown of the current state of the menswear universe.

Consider this your crash course in the spring’s trending menswear:

Cover

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: GQ in a font reminiscent of a disco-era t-shirt, on a black background reminiscent of another publication…

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Big Black Book : This publication, that is. Which, for this season’s edition, features a grayscale image of a well-tailored man laughing and drinking scotch. Standard.

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Page Count

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: 160

Esquire Big Black Book : 152

Inspirations

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: The Talented Mr. Ripley. Elvis Presley. Leo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet. A young Mick Jagger. Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch (below). David Hockney. Serge Gainsbourg.

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Esquire Big Black Book : Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch (again). Cape Fear. Marky Mark. New York. The Pacific Northwest. David Hockney (again). The Far East. The Tropics.

Suiting

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: Seems like this season is all about breaking the mold—be it with strong stripes, bold colors or simply forgoing the traditional shirt for a tee. Just promise you’ll be careful, alright?

Esquire Big Black Book : The gents here are less focused on trends, and more intent on keeping a balance of cool (temperature-wise) and stylish, all summer long. Their suggestions: linen, solaro, suede and seersucker. And forsaking shorts and tees in favor of a more buttoned-up look, despite the surely ensuing perspiration.

Tailoring

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: When it comes to double-breasted blazers, wear them fitted or you’ll end up looking like a late-night host from the ‘80s. And not in a good way (if there is one).

Esquire Big Black Book : “Embrace the Crumple,” a quick, timeless bit on getting over the fact that your linen suit will never be wrinkle-free. Words to live by in the coming months.

Outerwear

What to Wear Now: Endorsements for both handsome utility jackets and stylish sartorially-daring rain slickers. Like with suiting, bold is the theme of the spring here.

Esquire Big Black Book : Here too, we’re told to invest in functional field jackets and bright waterproof layers. Not like we needed the additional encouragement, but it doesn’t hurt.

Denim

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: The indigo train just keeps chugging along. Plus, white jeans with sweaters, tees, blazers, ties, non-ties, whatever really.

Esquire Big Black Book : Barely a mention to speak of, actually. Though in the photo shoot focusing on Western style, they’re understandably pictured pretty prominently.

Watches

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: Hat tip to the gents here for pointing us in the direction of Cartier’s first ever diver. Gorgeous.

Esquire Big Black Book : “Luxury at Any Price” shows off the spring’s most coveted wristcandy, no matter how much you’re willing to spend on it.

Grooming

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: Shorts are reentering the acceptable mainstream (as seen on Joe Mangianello, below). What that means for you: time get a better base tan, so as not to blind bystanders, and maybe start working on those quads.

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Esquire Big Black Book : Some helpful suggestions on how to keep your feet summer-appropriate. Likewise, here are a few more from us. And, well, some more after those.

Accessories

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: We’re definitely weary of this “bandanas as the new go-to neckwear” bit. But bucket hats? You can count us in.

Esquire Big Black Book : “The next time you feel warm, think about the actual discomfort your tie adds to the situation. Now think about how good you look buttoned up. We know you’ll make the right decision.” Damn straight.

Shoes

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: A moment in praise of the Jesus sandal: “If they can work with face paint and a skirt, you can wear them with a swimsuit and a t-shirt.” Fair point, but again, we’re weary.

Esquire Big Black Book : Brogues, and spectator shoes (brogues’ punchy younger brothers), are getting the traditional treatment, with holes pierced all the way through in a nod to their Scottish bog-trotting origins. Handy, maybe.

Parting Thoughts

GQ Style: What to Wear Now: A lot of good stuff, but it seems a bit more tailored to the Fashion Week contingent than the everyday man. Not that that’s a bad thing.

Esquire Big Black Book : As per usual this is a bit more focused of a guidebook; it doesn’t try to cover all the bases of men’s style but instead attempts to make a point—and make it well.

An as per usual, it succeeds.

—S.P.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Stephen Praetorius