Live Action Getup: Lightweight Rugged Casual

Live Action Getup: Lightweight Rugged Casual
Looking and feeling great doesn’t have to mean dressed up.

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men fashion denim shirt black jeans outfit ideas

Denim shirt: Gap, $42 / T-shirt: Gap, $15 / Sunglasses: American Optics, $59 / Watch: Timex, $40 / Jeans: Levi’s, $42 / Boots: Thursday Boot Co., $199

A simple-faced watch with a gray NATO strap watch pairs great with an otherwise minimalist outfit. Even better? Timex Weekenders can be had for as little as $25, and the ability to swap the strap in a matter of seconds gives you infinite style possibilities.

men denim shirt

men denim shirt

These square-framed American Optics sunglasses were one of the first ‘real’ sunglasses I’ve ever bought, and not only have they held up great in terms of quality since I bought them 8 years ago, their style has maintained since their military introduction 6 decades ago. Good enough for the men who landed on the moon, they’re good enough for me. I find them to be less Top Gun-bro than their tear drop-shaped aviator counterparts.

men summer outfit fashion - denim shirt square aviators

This Getup can actually be worn in many different scenarios and destinations, primarily because of the foundation the black denim provides. Drop the denim shirt for a super-casual but put-together mid-day look; button up the denim shirt for an evening at a nicer drink spot or a music show.

men summer outfit ideas denim shirt suede boots black jeans

These boots are made of ‘rough out’ leather – literally when the rough side of full grain leather is on the outside, giving them a tough rugged aesthetic. But because of their slim sole can be worn more dressed up just like a Wolverine Thousand Mile Boot. Grabbing for footwear in a tan color like this stops the outfit from getting lost in the black jeans.

This is my 1978 Corvette – I bought it when I was 25 for $9,800 and it’s so much fun to drive on an evening with T-Tops off. I wrote an extensive post on how and why you should buy an old vintage sports car. If you shop smart for the right car (Corvette, Camaro, muscle car, Triumph, Fiat), you can get a wicked fun machine for less than $10k.

One very good reason to do it now? The older you get, the more responsibility you’ll get, so the likelihood that at 35 or 40 your financial priority for an extra $10,000 will be something fun to drive on the weekends is next to zilch. But once you have it, you’ll have it for as long as you take care of it. You won’t regret it, and if you do, you can always sell it – and again, when buying smart, you’ll at least come out even.

1978 corvette - how to buy a vintage sports car

My 1978 Corvette – read my experience of buying it

What do you think of this look? Chat with me in the comments! And don’t forget to pin the images to your Pinterest style mood boards to come back to later.

Andrew is the founder and editor of Primer. He's a graduate of American University and currently lives in Los Angeles. Read more about Primer on our About page. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.

  • Zac Silk

    I normally wear a getup similar to this: Chambray shirt, black denim and chukka boots. I think it’s a great getup because like you said Andrew it can take you lots of places.

    The next thing I’m going to be getting is a pair of AO’s if I can find a selller that ships to the U.K.

    I’m just in the process of finding some summer weight denim. I’m going for white jeans for the moment as they’re the only thing cool enough.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Awesome! Are the AO’s for sale on the UK Amazon?

      • Zac Silk

        I’ve just found they are, so I’ll grab a pair. Did you opt for the polarised grey lenses?

  • Dan M

    Definitely a classic look. Tottally dig it, and that fine car doesn’t hurt either!!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Haha thanks!

  • Joseph Padilla

    +1 to the overshirt. I could easily replace a denim shirt with an olive shacket and it’d still have that bad-a** vibe. Right, @zacsilk:disqus?

    This’ll totally be my kind of look moving forward for the summer.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ce1211bd5eadf0970765984dbb93bf33238ab0da3bd6c9da8fb936751aa5a1c.jpg

    • browneagle44 ロベルト

      Uniqlo?

      • Zac Silk

        I’ve seen a few of these pieces at Uniqlo if that’s what you’re asking about Eagle? Or are you just asking about the brand in particular?

        • browneagle44 ロベルト

          Nah, the military shacket- I saw it on Uni’s Instagram a month or so ago.

          • Zac Silk

            That’s a great piece and true to size. I’ve got one myself and hopefully they’ll be coming back in stock so I can get the other two colours. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d25c1f1bf04befa19100e19c3b52c926c84900207423c5fd19395c36c638767e.jpg

          • browneagle44 ロベルト

            I made the mistake of getting one too small, and I’m waiting for it to get back in stock to exchange sizes 🙁 Live and learn, always!

          • Zac Silk

            Well exactly live and learn. I’ve done that a lot of times are I’m sure you’re not alone. Looks like it’s a popular item so fingers crossed it comes back.

            I’ve tried to talk to a number of Uniqlo employees to see for certain but I could never get an answer.

            You could try joining the email alter list for the product. Uniqlo should email you when it’s back in stock in your size. As opposed to you having to constantly check up on it.

          • browneagle44 ロベルト

            Right? They’re noncommittal about anything, which is fair, but frustrating.

            Birmingham just got an H&M, and there’s rumblings IKEA could pop up next, so I’d wager we’re big enough to get a local Uniqlo. Fingers crossed.

          • Zac Silk

            Let’s hope so, they’re popping up everywhere. My closet one is London so at least an hour away from me. But it’s worth it as I always end up walking out with something.

          • browneagle44 ロベルト

            They have great basics, and they basically give stuff away when it’s on sale.

            The closest one to me is Orlando, which is 12 hours away, so there’s *cough cough* room for expansion in the southern US!

          • Zac Silk

            They really need to expand to the U.K also. Their white tees are a staple for me. Classic and cheap, pretty much the perfect combo.

          • browneagle44 ロベルト

            Exactly! Their airism basics are super great for travel, because they offer the same benefits as the beloved Ex Offico goods (dries quickly, packs tightly) for about 1/3 the price. Great stuff.

          • Zac Silk

            I’ve yet to try the airism line, but I’ve heard good things. I’ll have to give it a try now particularly for summer. What airism pieces have you tried?

          • browneagle44 ロベルト

            The regular boxer briefs and tees, though the mesh looks like it would be good for the gym. I work in a business casual office, and they both do a great job of helping keep me cool and getting rid of sweat. I’ll probably pick up some of their linen goods soon to maximize the airflow, now that July’s right around the corner.

          • Zac Silk

            Seems like another hit from Uniqlo then. I’m with you on the linin I need to get more of that in my wardrobe for the summer.

          • Joseph Padilla

            Airism vs Heattech, which do you find of better value for your needs?

          • browneagle44 ロベルト

            Depends on the situation, obviously, but I find Airism works better for it’s intended purpose. I have some Heattech stuff, and I compared them to some Nike Pro shirts I have, and Nike was hands down warmer. Airism does a super job of letting air breathe and letting sweat dry faster, which is a godsend going into July. That being said, Heattech has some basics like socks that work just as well as wool socks, but with less bulk.

          • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

            I’ve been looking for a light military jacket/shirt for a Getup I’m planning, this one is from Uniqlo? I can’t find it on their website.

          • Zac Silk

            Hi Andrew, unfortunately that one is out of stock. I’ve put myself on the email list for when it comes back in stock.

            Here’s one from Gap I’ve got last season that ran slightly big. As I recall we’re about the same height so a small may work for you: http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=48872&vid=1&pid=523285002

          • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

            Oh nice!!! Thanks for finding that!

          • Zac Silk

            Just curious Andrew, what size did you go for with the denim shirt?

          • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

            Mine is a small I believe.

          • Zac Silk

            Thanks Andrew. I’ve got both sizes on order to pickup this weekend so I’ll be posting my version of the getup soon.

      • Joseph Padilla

        Yup! 👍🏼

        • browneagle44 ロベルト

          NIce! I wish there was one closer to where I live- I’ve heard their sizing can be off on some things.

          • Joseph Padilla

            As far as I know, US and Asian sizing are different. Every time I go to the Philippines, where their merchandise is a tad less expensive, I gotta go a size larger than usual.

    • Zac Silk

      You’re not wrong there Jospeh. I’d go as far as pairing it with some white denim like Andrew’s last getup. When the weather gets warmer of course. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7ba786e5ced181dd9d1955441357b49db779b51cffa55438d93870d79627ab6f.jpg

    • Zac Silk

      But that denim shirt is awesome as well. I’m definitely going to be layering a bit more in summer with t shirts and shirts. I’m starting to embrace the casual non button down collared shirt.

      • Joseph Padilla

        Just imagine how it’ll go with a band collar chambray. 😉 😎

        • Zac Silk

          You read my mind! Triple denim now that’s a game changer. Just kind of sad I’m storing the leather biker away for the summer 😉 😛

          • Joseph Padilla

            Yup, summer to me is my Kryptonite. My leather biker powers become useless. 😄😂🤣

            That being said, thank God for SF Bay Area summers! They tend to be cooler than usual. 😉

          • Zac Silk

            You may have a similar climate to the U.K then. We’ve got temps in the mid 70’s most of the summer. So that overshirt is going to get a lot of use once the sun goes down.

          • Joseph Padilla

            That’s how I like my summers! Exactly why I like places such as SF and London. Also, you can layer it like this:

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1598252a207ac778ae127b1d0edd62382dc43b192f70720b070afe2ef81db7ed.jpg

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23201f70ce9f1be26ea88fee40de401354894bdf3b4dd599290563959788b881.jpg

            First one is with my H&M Harrington and the second one I see with much AllSaints biker. Probably more ideal if it were layered under a jacket with a straight opening insted of an asymmetrical one.

          • Zac Silk

            Both are really solid looks. I think you can break the rules a bit with layering. I mean look at R Gos layering leather jackets under overshirts. I think the biker may get a little lost if it’s layered under a coat. I’ll give it a try and see how it goes.

          • oobleck

            *nod* I’m just down the road from you, @joseph, in SJ, and the heat has been brutal on my style fu. I’m up to my eyeballs in linen. My leathers are getting lonely too. At least they have each other.

            I do miss the SF summers.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      I LIKE it!

  • browneagle44 ロベルト

    A good watch can go far. I have a Breda Valor (https://www.bredawatch.com/collections/mens/products/breda-valor-1707c-black-black-watch?variant=24773618371) and it pairs nicely with NATO straps as well 🙂

    • Zac Silk

      That’s an awesome watch at a great price. I’ve got an Invicta Pro Diver that I wear year round. But I am considering a NATO strap for the summer.

      • browneagle44 ロベルト

        Can’t beat a good diver 🙂 Maybe it’s because I’m more a backpacker than diver- dad was an Army guy- but I wear field watches year round. My current favorite is a Boldr watch I picked up through Watch Gang. Swapped its band out for a leather NATO band as well.

        • Zac Silk

          Sounds like a great deal. I need to get onto some subscription services too. It seems like you’re always striking it lucky with the boxes.

          But seems like the NATO is the way to go in summer.

          • browneagle44 ロベルト

            I had more roundabout luck with Watch Gang- they’ve improved since I ordered mine out of curiosity and now have a style survey to fill out, but when I ordered mine it was pure luck of the draw, and I got a hideous-looking watch from Egard. Luckily, I found someone on their Facebook group willing to trade!

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Nice find!

  • Joseph

    Could you replace the slub tee with a henley in the same color?

    • Zac Silk

      Personally, I’d say go for it. It would give the look a more edgy feel, but some may feel that it’s too many buttons. But i’m a big advocate of the henley and wear it with almost anything.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Yeah absolutely. I’m a huge fan of henleys. They’re great in almost any situation.

  • Mark Hancheroff

    I like the slotted rims on the car. Great 70’s look.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Thanks Mark!

  • Ryan N

    In my research on lightweight denim, it’s apparently recommended to go 100% cotton instead of stretch, because those stretch fibers don’t breathe as well as a simply lighter cotton weave. Thoughts?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      I haven’t come across that or experienced that. Stretch denim generally only includes 2% stretch material, so breathability differences should be negligible but the comfort advantage would be noticeable.

  • Toro

    still don’t know what to think of Timex – so much stigma from elementary school watches.

    thoughts from anyone else?

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      What stigma is that?

      • Toro

        cheapness – literally and figuratively.

        I’m always reminded of the black dorky digital Timex calculator watch I had as a kid

        • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

          Interesting! Timex has been around for a lonnnng time and has some really sharp pieces. (Look at the Red Wing or Todd Snyder collaborations.) The only real complaint is that their tick is noticeable if you’re listening for it or if it’s sitting next to your bed.

          • oobleck

            Yeah man. The Waterbury line and Fairfield Weekender are really nice looking. They take a beating too, with no tears if I fnck it up.

            I’ve got a nice speedmaster homage chrono from Timex that looks really sweet.

  • rogun

    Still loving that vette Andrew!

    I once had a wicked Fiat X19, but sadly I got rid of it long ago.

  • oobleck

    I’ve been thinking lately about getting a fun weekend car. Not something classic, though no less exciting. I’ve been looking at the now dead Chrysler Crossfire Roadster convertible: the American styled Mercedes SLK.

  • Zac Silk

    Just grabbed myself the denim shirt. It was a great find on final sale. As it’s denim I’m hoping it will stretch out as it’s slightly tight.

    But if you guys in the U.S can still grab one I’d definitely recommend it.

    Gone for a double denim look by contrasting the washes. But just took this picture in the fitting room. I’ll probably pair it with chinos for a smarter look in the future. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/75dc8be19aa5d0ce7c2b3d5d0f575ea5a9d0f7acb0fe10934de0f3677f381e33.jpg

    • http://www.primermagazine.com/ Andrew

      Nice!!! Looks great Zac. It will stretch a little, mind did.

      • Zac Silk

        That’s great to know. It’s slight tight at the shoulder blades, but I found the small gave me the fitted look I was searching for. Thanks for being so helpful with the sizing, I can’t wait for the next getup.

  • http://www.angeljackets.com/ Humayun

    Nice combination of Black with Brown, its simple to have a good casual style with your article.