In the fall of 1998, designers Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos met as freshmen at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Less than a decade later, upon relocating to New York City, the duo launched Shipley & Halmos, a house that nails the essentials – slim-fitting suit pants, Cafe Racer-approved leather jackets, and woven shirts that can pull double duty with jeans and a suit. "The clothes are ultimately meant to be a means to reflect a certain lifestyle and a certain aesthetic," says Shipley. In the case of his five-year-old brand, that means a hybrid of New England prepsters and CBGB rejects. Among its achievements this spring is a modern take on the classic navy blazer. The single-breasted Two Button Sport Jacket is slim-fitting, with thin-notched lapels – or as far away from the gold-buttoned monstrosities of sea captains and country clubs as you can get. "We're designing clothes for guys who don't want to feel like the clothes wear them," says Shipley. "They can match it with anything else in their wardrobe – that's what we intend." [$595;]