As a special treat for you, today we have a guest post from the guys over at, your ‘one stop shop’ for screenprinted tees, hoodies, sweatshirts and workplace gear.

With over twenty years of experience, you know you’re in safe hands! This post takes a look at how utilitarian clothing doesn’t need to be drab or lifeless, with several top ideas to get you thinking.

Take it away, fellas…

Utilitarian clothing is not generally considered cool when it comes to aesthetics.  In the arena of “form follows function”, it is usually the functional aspect that takes precedence, from work uniforms to protective gear for sports and outdoor activities.  Who ever saw a trendy hip boot for fishing, a service uniform that didn’t make its wearer look drab and boxy, or a pair of hiking shoes that wasn’t Earth-toned?  Men often get the raw end of the deal when it comes to fashionable, functional clothing (with a color palette that ranges from brown to blue), but there are some items available will cover both your interests and your assets without making you look like a plebe.

1. Swimwear.

From the skintight trunks worn by pros and Europeans to Cali-cool board shorts, Speedo offers swimwear to suit every underwater purpose, from doing laps to snorkeling to a friendly game of surfside football.  With dozens of choices for pattern and color, every guy can find what he likes to fit his needs and his style.

2. Solar-powered cycling jacket.

Illum has created the perfect protective gear for cyclists everywhere.  The jacket itself is lightweight and form-fitting, making it a perfect addition to any cyclist’s wardrobe, but cool designs in white and red stripes do more than just make you look snazzy.  Electroluminescent ink elements are sewn into panels on the jacket in order to illuminate the rider at night (in lieu of, or in addition to, a bike light) and the best part is, they get their juice from the power of the sun (via a thin film solar panel in the sleeve), so you’ll never have to worry about replacing pesky (and bulky) batteries.

3. Work shirts.

These fall into two main categories for the men: polos and oxfords.  But whether you’re offering an upsize, tuning an engine, or blasting out emails, you want to be comfortable while you look the part.  Polo tees can be found at many fine retailers, but for super-soft cotton that won’t chafe (even when you’re moving all day) you really can’t go wrong with Old Navy, which offers a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes.  And those who use their muscles should check out the selection at Dickie’s, which offers protective work-wear that is practically indestructible and gives you that “bad boy” vibe.  Finally, for the button-down set, try something new with some of the cool duds at Oakley.  Their casual oxfords come in some interesting colors that are sure to wow at the office or on a night out, and comfort is clearly high on their list of priorities.

4. Convertible pants.

These zip-aways may not work for the office, but they’re great for the adventurous guy.  They go from long pants to cargo shorts in a single zip (and back again just as easily).  They’re casual, comfortable, and best of all, they provide for both hot and cold weather needs while managing to look like any other pair of pants or shorts in your closet.

5. Active underwear.

Most guys don’t think too much about their undergarments.  They find something comfortable, buy it in bulk, and wait for their lady to tell them when it’s time to replace.  But for the man on the go, active underwear is something to consider.  Patagonia offers a unique line of wick-away undergarments that dry quickly, won’t chafe, and glide under clothing to prevent riding up or showing seams.  While they only come in a couple of colors, there are several styles to choose from to match your personal taste in underwear.

    Post provided by Tony Benson: If you’re looking to create your own custom clothing, take a look at the selection Custom T Shirt Printing has to offer.

    Want to author a guest post of your own; get in touch via the contact page with your suggestions.

    About The Author

    Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

    4 Responses

    1. Nene33

      Great tips, I have a damaged nerve in my neck, so I always go for Polo shirts, because next to being soft, it also gives less pressure on your neck, but still looks dressed, and if you get the right one, it can even “up” the fashion in your look.

      And the cycling jacket is great. 8)

    2. Michael

      I disagree with with zip-off pants (the line created by the zipper is, in my opinion, horrendous)

      Functional clothes? Anything seersucker or linen. Plus using a bandana as a pocket square.

    3. ripvanwinkle317

      I agree wholeheartedly with the comments on swimwear and sports underwear. I would add that board-shorts, by far the most popular type of swimwear for the everyday man under 30, does not fit everyone. People with large upper bodies (muscle or a few extra-pounds) or of short stature are better off with swimwear that is shorter and less narrow, or shorter and more from fitting, respectively.

      However, I disagree in the dual shorts/trouser department. While I admit I fell into the fad at some point in high school, this trend is (or maybe should be) over. The zipper line in this pants is notorious for creating a “halo” midway down your legs, giving the trousers a very odd and unnatural structure. Instead, stores like Patagonia have great trousers that are made to be rolled up, and some of them even have small loops or buttons to keep them in place. And with a fairly wide selection of fabrics, colors and weights, it seems possible to find a pair that could be worn to the office in the morning, and then rolled up in the afternoon for a hike or some after-work rock-climbing.

      • Johnathan

        I think you hit the nail on the head with board shorts; like I always say, you need to trust your own eye – if you think that board shorts (or zipper pants for that matter) don’t suit you then go with your own judgment. Check out my recent post on swimwear for more details…

        I think convertible pants can look great given the right circumstances; as Tony point out, “These zip-aways may not work for the office”. But on an adventure holiday, they could be perfect in terms of both form, function and convenience.

        Thanks for the comment!