Peel off the parkas and snow gloves, and say goodbye to hell winter. Colorado’s much-anticipated spring weather has finally arrived and we couldn’t be more stoked.

Now I’ll spare the whole “new beginnings” and “the blossoming of spring” cliche, but the transitioning of seasons is a great and necessary time to refresh and expand your wardrobe. If you’re like most guys, you think all you need for the warmer temperatures is a few T-shirts, a couple of cargo shorts, and a pair of neutral-colored mandals. But there’s actually a batch of more mature, more stylish spring options every man can incorporate into his wardrobe. I refer to these items as essentials — the pieces that preserve practicality and maintain classic appeal. There’s nothing trend-driven on this list, just quality gear that will get you through the 70 degree-plus conditions in a sharp and cool manner.

Canvas Shoes

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I get it: You like your pair of worn-in trainers and rainbow sandals because they’re comfy and easy. But do you really want to look like a middle-aged soccer mom who’s ready to stomp out good taste with her sensible shoes? No. So up your game and get a pair of time-honored canvas kicks. Be it sneakers, plimsoles or loafers, these shoes are an excellent option for the spring season. They’re durable, comfortable and classic, and come in a wide variety of styles that are suitable for any man of any age.

Grey Crew Neck Sweater

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Brooks Brothers Cashmere Crewneck Sweater / Patagonia Men’s Special Edition Cashmere Crew / Brooks Brothers Supima® Crewneck Sweater / Norse Projects Tristian Perforated Sweat / Gap Lived In Crew Pullover – heather grey / Gap Essential Long Sleeve Crewneck T – heather gray

The great thing about season essentials is that they’re a collection classic pieces you can wear from year to year. Assuming you’re not in a position to drop a ton of cash on trendy items that are only wearable from May to September, it’s important to invest in the basics. And it doesn’t get any more basic than the light-grey crew neck sweater. With its straight-forward, no-nonsense appeal, this essential item can be added to various looks for various occasions. Dress it down with a pair sneakers and jeans, or dress it up with a cotton blazer and chinos.

Shorts

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Chino shorts / Dsquared2 Bermuda Shorts / QUIKSILVER Minor road short / O’Neill Brookside Chino Shorts / Old Navy Mens Slim Fit Linen Blend Shorts 10 1/2″ – Calla lilly / TOPMAN Burgundy Chino Shorts

Toward the end of spring, Colorado can get hot as hell. And in the interest of avoiding heatstroke and unsightly ass sweat stains, you’ll need to throw on a pair of shorts every now and then. Just make sure they’re neutral, well-fitted and made of light cotton or linen blends.

Chambray Shirt

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Hentsch Man Slim-Fit Chambray Shirt / J.Crew Grey chambray utility shirt / J.Crew Indigo Japanese chambray shirt / Bonobos Fall River Chambray – Grey

Often referred to as the common workman’s shirt, the long-sleeve Chambray button-down is one of the most versatile and sensible spring items a man can wear. Equal parts stylish and rugged, this lightweight classic can be worn as layering piece or simply plain – making it adaptable to the fluctuating weather conditions Colorado is known for.

Chinos

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SEVEN FOR ALL MANKIND Cotton-Linen Blend Chinos / J Brand Rivet Chino / Canali Stretch Cotton Chinos / BOSS Black Man Crigan Linen Twill Chinos / TOPMAN Grey Vintage Slim Chinos

There was a time when I had a slight aversion to chinos — strictly because I associated them with old dudes who used terms like “whipper-snapper.” But I’ve since grown up and acknowledged their appeal. They’re a nice substitute for jeans and slacks, and maintain a nice balance between dressy and casual. You can sport them with a baseball T, cardigan or oxford — just make sure the fit is right.

Cardigan

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MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA v-neck cardigan / GUCCI knit cardigan / GUCCI knit cardigan / ZANONE classic cardigan / COMME DES GARCONS PLAY V-neck logo cardigan / Maison Martin Margiela Grey Elbow Patch Cotton Cardigan / PS PAUL SMITH v-neck cardigan / OBEY Vagabond Cardigan Sweater

Forget all that noise about cardigans being outdated. It’s time to embrace your inner Mister Rogers. 
Although a longstanding staple in menswear, you might shy away from these sweaters because of their old-man undertones. But take a cue from your generation’s more dapper guys and add this essential to your closet. Coming in a variation of fabrics, colors and styles, they’ll allow any guy to be comfortable while looking at least half-way decent.

Trench Coat

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SALVATORE FERRAGAMO classic mac / MAHARISHI Mac 2 O Coat / Reiss Curzon Concealed Placket Mac / APC Raglan Mac

Like it or not, rain and cool weather is inevitable during spring, so you must prepare for such conditions by investing in some sharp outwear gear. A puffer, parka or wool-anything jacket is not practical for this season, which is why I recommend a classic trench coat (preferably in neutral tones to increase the versatility factor).

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