Hey gents,

It’s my birthday! I’m the big 2-9 today, which is weird because that’s waaay close to 30. I still feel like I’m 22, and K would probably say I act more like 16 than anything close to 30, but hey, what’s age but a number, right?

If you’re a regular reader of EG, you know I’m all about a Lean Wardrobe and having fewer but better, more versatile items.

Still, there are a few things I could use in my wardrobe that I don’t yet have. Creating a well-curated closet is an ongoing process that’s never really finished, in my opinion anyway. Here are four things I hope to add sooner rather than later (so I can still enjoy them while it’s warm out).

1.) A khaki cotton suit

This one (pictured) in particular caught my eye in June’s issue of GQ. It’s listed at $249 from Club Monaco; too bad their site doesn’t actually have it anymore. Maybe in stores though?

This particular suit is super versatile, perfect for guys who want to get a lot of mileage out of one suit (that should be you) because you can dress it up or down.

Wear it with sneakers, loafers, or lace-ups. Throw on a dress shirt, a sport shirt, or a polo shirt on underneath (depending on where you’re going). Put on a regular tie or a bow tie. You can break it up and wear just the trousers, or just the jacket.

If I had this, I know I’d use it so much.

If this is a suit you hope to add to your arsenal, make sure to go with a medium khaki color. If you go too dark or too light, it may not be as versatile.

Don’t forget about the importance of fit and proportion, and you’re more than likely going to have to take this to a tailor.

2.) The Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Automatic watch

Another thing I’m big on is spending money where it counts, and skimping where it’s technically okay to do so. Watches fall into the “where it counts” category. You can get away with an inexpensive watch but sometimes it’s nice to splurge a little, especially on pieces you love and even more so when it comes to timepieces.

The Khaki Field Officer is an automatic watch, as opposed to a battery-operated quartz. The brand also has a long and interesting history, and I think it’s cool owning a piece of that.

From an aesthetic standpoint, I love the oversized numbers on the dial, the reversed off-white type on black face, stainless steel casing, and the calfskin leather strap. You can find it on Amazon for around $600. Not too bad for a watch of this quality, and even if you don’t like this particular look, there are plenty of other Khaki Field models. This one is my favorite.

By the way, I’m not recommending you get this particular one. The Hamilton just so happens to be a watch I’ve been eyeing lately.

If you’re in the market for a watch, take your time, do your homework, and find one you really like. Watches are tough to talk about and recommend, only because there are so many styles, brands, and price points. Keep in mind that you should love what you’re buying. Lots of guys make the mistake of buying something because someone else said it was cool, or someone said it was THE thing to own. F all that.

Buy what you love and know you’ll use. It’s okay to listen to people’s suggestions to help you find new things to explore, but after that, make your own decisions whether or not this particular thing is right for you. And that applies to everything, from watches to clothing to… everything else.

3.) Driving shoes in tan leather

I have a pair in grey suede that are perfect to wear in the summer. Sometimes I get tired of boat shoes and canvas sneakers, and this is a great alternative to both. I personally think the tan color can go with a lot of colors and it’s my favorite shade of brown leather for shoes, so I’d definitely pick up a pair of these.

4.) A casual, non-military-inspired jacket (Like these Harrington jackets)

I love the Harrington model because it’s a classic that was first released in the 30s. They enjoyed popularity throughout the decades and are still sold today. If Elvis and Sinatra can wear them on their days off, why can’t we, right?

I’d go for any of these colors, red being the most daring but also the most memorable. The khaki and navy selections are always appropriate and easy to wear with practically everything. Many brands make them at varying price points. The Baracuta G9 is probably the oldest model still in production today.

It’s my party and I’ll buy if I want to

Okay, maybe it’s not YOUR birthday today, but what are the four items at the top of your list right now? Let’s hear em in the comments below.

PS – in case you’d like to order one of these items for me, I’d be happy to email you my shipping address 🙂

[photo, photo, photo, photo]

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PUBLISHED July 10, 2012

Barron is a Lean Wardrobe Advocate and Founding Editor of Effortless Gent. He's from San Francisco but currently living in New York. Connect with him on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Tumblr.

  • Happy birthday my friend !

  • Corey

    Good recommendations and Happy Birthday, young man! (I can say that, I am 42). Good choice on the Hamilton watches. I have not bought one, yet, but probably will add one to my collection. I have about 5 watches I rotate on a regualr basis depending on attire and occasion, two of which are automatics.

    • What are the automatics you have? Just curious. Still looking to add that first nice watch to start off my collection. I’m hoping my future wife will get me a nice groom’s gift during our wedding next year. I’m dropping hints all over the place. 🙂

  • Joe

    Happy Birthday Barron!

  • Jed

    The G9 looks great. Does anyone have a US made alternative recommendation?

    • Bo

      Jackets such as these can be found on eBay for a variety of nice, low price points-I know Gap used to make one, but I’m not sure if they do anymore. I just picked up a Ben Sherman Harrington (a British brand) for only $50 on eBay including shipping.

    • US-made, never thought of that one. If I come across one I’ll let you know.

  • ryanjferrier

    Happy Birthday Barron! Thanks for all the great info you always post here. Keep us flossin’!

    • Thanks yo. High five! ps let’s get drinks soon.

  • Brian

    Today is my birthday too. Im 27.

    • Happy belated birthday! I’m late. haha

  • Happy Birthday! Thanks for all the great advice, this site among others changed my wardrobe forever.

    Still on my wish list is a watch that costs more than $500 (gonna take some time), a mans hat, and real sunglasses.

    • Glad to hear EG has made a difference, and for the better. Keep saving your pennies for that watch. I’m doing the same. Once you have it, wear it lots and one day pass it on to the next generation. That’s my plan, at least!

  • Greg_S
    • Love these! (Especially the very last link to that really handsome pair of trouser denim)

      • Greg_S

        Haha I had a feeling you might like that.

  • RayBan Wayfarers
    Mark McNairy suede bucks
    James Perse sweats for the weekend
    Unstructured Alexander McQueen jacket

  • oh and happy birthday 😉

  • Moises

    Happy birthday for yesterday man!
    I love the Khaki cotton suit! Great idea, definitely going into my list too.

    • Always a good piece to have, especially when you want to give the navy suit a rest and you want to look put together yet feel laid back 🙂

  • Happy Bday, mate. Have a good one!

    • Thanks for the birthday wishes my man!

  • Happy Birthday my friend!

    Now i don’t really have a gift to give but I do want to take a moment and just let you know how inspirational you are and how proud I am to watch this site and your work grow.

    I’ve been there from the beginning and I watched the whole thing take shape into the thing it is today. What i’ve taken from following Barron’s journey is the importance of courage. Courage to start a blog and put yourself out there. The courage to take a leap of faith on something like the clothing line, the courage to release the E-Book.

    This site was the inspiration for me to start The-Approach and his dedication to Effortless helps keep me on target too.

    God damn and I proud of you sir. Happy Birthday!


    • Sorry I’m a little late, but thanks for the kind words Christopher! I appreciate that. When I look back on the site and see how far it’s come, I’m quite proud of it as well… and I’m happy it can be a source of information for guys who want to step it up.

      Keep it up with your site, and you’ll be surpassing EG in no time 🙂

  • Geran Brown

    What driving shoes are those?

    • Lacoste makes them, I’m not sure of the exact model though.

  • Christopher Chan

    Happy Birthday! Great selection; I’ve been wanting a versatile khaki suit for a while, but I’m upping my shoe game at the moment.

    By the way, I love Hamilton. I have a dress watch (Jazzmaster) and it’s such a joy to wear- especially with the display back so I can watch the rotor.

    Just a word of advice though: Amazon is not an authorized dealer for some watch brands, and instead substitutes the original watchmaker’s warranty for one of their own (http://www.amazon.com/2-Year-Limited-Watch-Warranty-Watches/b?ie=UTF8&node=678277011). That said, they’re having a 75% off sale on some less expensive brands now.

    I am a member of the Watchuseek.com forums and have learned immensely about quality timepieces there. I have bought all of my watches with the exception of 1 on their sales forums, and I can say that I don’t think I’ve ever found as devoted and honest a bunch of enthusiasts as on the forums there. While shoes can go for several hundreds of dollars, watches can climb into the thousands, and the community there is respectful and vigilant against ne’er-do-wells. So, a small plug for their forums. Great information and deals to be had!

    Congrats again on another year and hope to see the EG blog grow!

    • Thanks for the advice re: Amazon. I’ve also checked watchuseek when researching and doing casual reading and have always found it to be a good resource. I’m a casual browser though, so I’ve never joined, but I think you’ve convinced me. Appreciate that! (Also looking forward to doing more browsing on the sales forums as well)

  • AN99

    Hey Barron,

    I could be wrong, but I think Club Monaco still has the cotton suit on their website. At least the suit is still on the Canadian version of it. They sell the jacket and the pants seperately:



    • That does look like the one… they don’t have it on the US site unfortunately. In fact I never saw it on there at all… not sure why. Thanks for the heads-up though 🙂

  • I’ve been looking for a khaki cotton suit for the last 1 1/2 years. It was the #1 item on my wishlist. I finally found one 3 days ago that was perfect…a slim Kenneth Cole at a ridiculously affordable price. I wore it for the first time yesterday to a wedding. 20 minutes into the reception, a friend spills an entire glass of Malbec on my crotch. I fear the suit is already a goner unless I can find a master launderer.

    I wish you far better luck.

    • That’s the worst story I’ve ever heard 🙁 Any luck getting that stain out?