If You Liked It Then You Shoulda Put A Spring On It

Is it just me? Or has Spring this year been more indecisive than a woman picking out a.......you know what, that's sexist, let me try again......than ME trying to pick out what pair of shoes to wear to a dinner with Ryan Gosling?  Here in Texas, it's been downright bipolar--80 degrees on Monday, a nail-bitting plummet to the 40s mid-week, only to soar back up to provide some gorgeously perfect sunny days over the weekend and then have the cycle drop-kick us in the sinuses all over again.

But after all the split-personality-inducing boxing, unboxing, and reboxing of winter gear over the past few weeks, I believe it's finally happened.  Like an old man on a porch with an arthritic knee, I can feel a change in the weather...except in my case my knee is my cell phone and my arthritic joint is my Weather Channel app.  The warmth is coming. Yet with such an imminent meteorological change for the better ahead, one can't help but wonder what the refined summer gentleman should be donning during the intermission known as Spring before it all-to-quickly gives way to the eye-ball-melting EasyBake oven of a Texas summer.

It is therefore in an effort to answer such musings today, my friends, that I present to you My Top 4 Favorite Spring Upgrades Under $50 (for the southern gentleman on a budget): 

1. Say It Wit'cha Chest
If you've understandably been living under a rock throughout the winter months you might have missed the news that the chest-stripe is back in a gargantuan manner. It's the resurrection of a gentleman's classic.  In fact, I recently found an old home video of my father wearing nearly this exact same shirt with 2 year-old me on a beach in California.  So, as it heats up outside, do yourself a favor and resist the urge to abandon all sense of style as you grab the nearest dingy college t-shirt.  Keep your dappermeter on 11 straight into the summer months with one of these astonishingly affordable numbers from Target.
Mossimo chest-stripe polo, Target, $15  

2.  The Tortoise and the Hair
By now you've noticed that the sun's hanging around a bit longer and determined to glare you to death on your morning commute.  So drive full on into the blinding eastern sky with confidence with a slick pair of tortoise shell clubmasters.  The classic shape flatters nearly every face shape and the dapper tortoise shell color goes with everything from a suit and tie to a pair of cutoffs and a henley.  And as far as the rest of your noggin goes (aka your man mane), now's the time of year to go short and cool--which I'm about to do very soon.  Here's a few looks to try if you'd like to keep your head cool when Dante's Inferno begins in your neck of the woods.
Tortoise shell clubmaster sunglasses, $20+

3. A Time for Color
There's the watch passed down from your great great grandfather that you're saving for your grandchildren, and then there's the watch that you wear every day as you stroll effortlessly handsome into work.  The Timex Weekender has been my day-to-day watch for over a year now and it looks as blasted new as the day I got it.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that I can swap out the band anytime I like and watch it transform into a totally different piece.  Add a blast of color to your regular wrist accroutrements this spring by swapping out you bands for a bold new statement.  And with bands that'll cost you right around $7, there's no reason not to change it up every other hour.
Timex Weekender, $27-42; Straps from $7

4. Add a Little Spring in Your Step
I had one of those shining light from heaven, choir of angels moments when, after months of hunting, I finally spotted these swagger-packed colored dress shoe laces at Nordstrom Rack last weekend.  Since then, everyone from my middle school students to the office lady in my apartment complex have done a double-take and thrown out some serious compliments.  To put it simply, and in the words of the aforementioned office lady, "I love those! They really pop!"  And pop they do.  For such a small detail a pair of colored laces can revitalize your 9 to 5 kicks like nothing else.  There's no reason your upper body should know it's Spring but forget to tell your feet--especially when it costs less than 2 bucks to get the message across. Grab a few dozen colors and tie'em on with your favorite lace-ups for those Spring days when the occasion requires something punchier than your espadrilldes or flip-flops.
Penguin Fashion Laces, Nordstrom Rack, $2

And there you have it. Now if you play your cards right down here in the good ol' South, we've probably got right around 3 weeks of this so-called "Spring" to rock all of this before we're sucker-punched in the face by the scorching hand of the summer solstice.  Enjoy shaking your fist at the elements for as long as you can, fearless gentlemen...just keep the sunscreen and ice chest at the ready.



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