Brand Profile: Todd Snyder

The man of the hour, American designer Todd Snyder.
The man of the hour, American designer Todd Snyder.

So, it’s been a bit of time since our last Style Guide brand profile. Quite a bit of time, in fact. But every so often, it’s nice to step back from the daily, ever-evolving process of crafting your latest #OOTD and get to know your favorite brands just a bit better. In this instance, that’s what we’re doing today with Todd Snyder.  It was a treat to check out the designer’s much-lauded Fall/Winter 2017 collection during New York Fashion Week: Men’s recently, and I can assure that more great gear is on the way. If you peruse the pages of The Style Guide regularly, you’ll surely recognize the designer’s namesake brand, keen eye for detail and sharp instincts when it comes to translating classic silhouettes into recognizable and easily wearable pieces. If that sounds like too tall a task for one designer to conquer, rest assured … it’s not.

The Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, done up in casual form. It's a keeper!
The Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, done up in casual form. It’s a keeper – read on for more!

The approach starts with a rather unique combination, namely his Midwestern roots and love of sports and classic menswear. Having interviewed Mr. Snyder on two occasions for The Manual, I can assure you he’s a true gentleman and as down-to-earth as it gets. As an Iowa native, he’s stuck with a unique formula that’s caught the eye of many a style blogger, writer, editor…. you name it. And it’s best summed up with updated takes on vintage staples — if that’s your thing, stick with us. Take, for example, last fall’s rendition of the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top, made with a sturdy military-grade canvas upper and featuring a tough rubber sole. They worked perfectly for me during a fall weekend in NYC, and if you were fortunate enough to pick up a pair, you’ll know they’re similarly versatile. That’s only the starting point for his work, however.

The designer's handiwork in action -- notably, the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top!
The designer’s handiwork in action — notably, the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top!

In fact, doesn’t even begin to cover the designer’s nuanced approach to other collaborations.  If you know Mr. Snyder for just one piece, it just might be the covetable, essential and casual Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt. Rest assured, you should snag one ASAP and make it your new weekend layering go-to. If spending nearly $100 on a crewneck sweatshirt is too much … just know that it’s worth the investment. The great thing is, it handsomely complements the designer’s other easily wearable staples (think less sportswear-inspired, more classic everyday pieces). We’re talking refined, versatile items like Japanese selvedge Oxfords and merino crewneck sweaters done in partnership with England’s John Smedley.  If there’s a designer that can do more while sticking to the same overall aesthetic, it’s tough to top Mr. Snyder.
Beckett Simonon

It nearly goes without saying that the brand’s accessories — from collaborations to third-party goods like rugged Red Wing leather boots — are all shoppable and enviable in their own right. In fact, the newly launched Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch is a perfect example of what the designer does best — take an older classic and bring it into the modern era. You should definitely team it with one of the brand’s Japanese chambray shirts — as seen in this site’s roundup of the best chambray shirts for men. Of course, the Timex + Todd Snyder Mod Watch as launched last summer was a hot-seller in its own right — and if you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love mine. Again, we’re talking about a designer who can do it all.

Quite possibly the only suit you'll need to buy -- ehh?
Quite possibly the only suit you’ll need to buy — ehh?

It would be remiss to close out this piece without focusing on the fact that Snyder even takes care of your more formal evening and office wear via his fantastic, accessible and high-quality Todd Snyder White Label suiting line. While plenty of designers are dabbling in multiple categories nowadays, you won’t often find one who does a suit as well as he does a  crewneck sweatshirt. If you only had to buy one suit, I might make it the Todd Snyder Sutton Suit in Navy Wool — think of it like an upgraded J. Crew Ludlow suit, with premium components, great fabric and plenty of wearability.  Again, it’s rare to find a brand that excels in so many categories, but Todd Snyder is a perfect company to check out if you want classic, reliable and timeless goods made with heritage quality and modern style in mind. Sounds pretty good to me — how about you?

Do you own any Todd Snyder goods? What other brands would you like to see in this site’s Brand Profile series?

Frank & Oak

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Style Pick of the Week: Eddie Bauer K-6 Boot

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

eddie-bauer-hikers-edited

 

OK, quick — check the weather. What’s in the forecast? Snow? Slush? Rain? All three. That’s where the  Eddie Bauer K-6 Boot — this week’s prime #menswear pick — comes into play. Trust me, we’ve got a great one on our hands here, folks.  Now, Eddie Bauer has long been known as a brand that’s got the heart of the outdoors woven into its DNA — check out the Eddie Bauer x Pendleton Skyliner Jacket for further evidence of that — but lately, the brand has taken a bit of a different approach. It encompasses a full lifestyle line that I’ve found unique, rugged and stylish. I was fortunate enough to take the Snowbridge Cardigan with me on a winter trip to Baltimore, and I’ve been similarly pleased with the versatility and rugged appeal of the Eddie Bauer K-6 Boot, a heck of a winter weekend style pick.  It’s a recent addition to the brand’s line, and it plays beautifully off the original silhouette first introduced by the brand all the way back in 1964. And if you haven’t picked up your favorite pair of winter boots, the K-6 Boot might handsomely fill that void — and then some.

For starters, these boots are about as tough and rugged as they come — absolutely perfect for surviving the polar vortex in style.  The Vibram outsole is sturdy, durable and highly functional, a huge help in navigating slushy, slippery terrain. Plus, the Goodyear welt is an added bonus you don’t find on too many hiking boots (or so it seems). What’s more, they’re about as stylish a pair of hikers as you’re going to find. That means they’ll work just as well with rugged blue or black denim and a chamois shirt as they will with a warm winter cardigan. The Paprika color in particular is rich and has aged well over time — and that’s going to be a critical style point to keep in mind as you dress for, say, a weekend coffee run. And with two lace options — either an eye-catching red pair of a yellow pair — it’s almost as if you’re getting two pairs of boots for the price of one. Take it from your Style Guide author — they’re definitely worth buying and wearing plenty throughout the last vestiges of winter (and well beyond).

What’s your take on the Eddie Bauer K-6 Boot? Would you buy ’em — and how would you wear them?

Beckett Simonon

The Friday Read: The Orwells, Canvas Jackets and Abercrombie & Fitch

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

There are weeks that, despite flying by in a blur, make you grateful for what you do and where you live. This week was definitely one of them. But first things first — how did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Happily in love or happily alone? Hopefully, you found our Valentine’s Day style suggestion helpful. As for me, I kept quite busy this week with pursuits both #menswear and music-related — as seems to be the case these days. And luckily, there’s perhaps no better place to pursue both of these ends than NYC. Yes indeed, there’s probably nothing I love more than a great live show — and this week’s been full of them. It’s always an honor and a treat to check out a show at the legendary Mercury Lounge — a former home to bands (and personal favorites) like The Strokes and The National — and seeing an upcoming band like upbeat, powerful Aussie rockers Gang of Youths  gives me hope for the spirit of the genre. So, that kickstarted the week — and of course, I rocked my JackThreads Munro Leather Biker Jacket for the occasion. But, that’s not all. If you haven’t yet plugged your headphones into the high-voltage, no-holds-barred rock of Chicago natives The Orwells, look out. It was a treat to attend their album release show at hallowed Brooklyn venue/record shop Rough Trade NYC, and the group’s brand-new album, “Terrible Human Beings,” is one you’re going to want to spin if you appreciate a simpler era in rock. Oh, and last but not least …. it’s time for show no. 3 tonight! Again, some weeks fly by in a blur, but I’m beyond excited to see the fun, positive and infectious rock of Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, supported by another amazing band in their own right, Canada’s Arkells. Who’s ready? Now, before you dash out to your own slate of concerts and weekend activities, catch up with what you missed in men’s style (and yes, music) this week. Keep up in the meantime via Instagram and Twitter — TGIF and cheers!

Huckberry

  • Let’s get your weekend started with a nice #menswear deal — shall we? You might recall Johnnie-O from a few past entries on this site, namely as part of my packing for a November trip upstate. And if you need a stylish, luxurious cashmere sweater or a new spring polo to get ready for the season ahead — ‘cuz it’s coming — do we have a deal for you. Now through February 25thuse the code ‘GENTS17’ to get 10 percent off your Johnnie-O order! Yes indeed, that goes for the classic Player’s Blazer and the shirt that I myself picked up (and featured on Instagram) — the Dustin Denim Sport Shirt.
  • Need a new pair of spring footwear? Of course you do. Check out Esquire’s recent roundup of the best men’s sneakers to buy now.
  • It was a real treat to write about an essential outerwear item — that’d be a waxed canvas jacket — for GearMoose. Yes indeed, check out my roundup of the best men’s waxed jackets, folks.
  • Alright, because it’s Friday, let’s get down to business — The Manual teaches you how to make a Boilermaker this weekend. Cheers!
  • Lastly — we’ll be back with a new Style Pick of the Week tomorrow, but keep yourself occupied for now by reading about the essential, rugged Abercrombie & Fitch Chamois Shirt.

And with that, I’m off to another show — how about yourself? If that’s the case, learn all about how to dress for your next rock concert. See you in the front row!

-Beau

Style Q+A: Bridge and Burn

First of all, welcome back to another entry in our ongoing Style Q+A series.  From purveyors of rugged goods like NYC’s Rivay  to the masterminds at Tread for Men Grooming, I hope you’ve enjoyed following along.  And as always seems to be the case, we’re giving you what I think is another great entry worth your time today (and as an aside, it contains perhaps my favorite quote from our Style Q+A series — see if you can spot it). If you peruse the pages of this site — from pieces like how to wear a bomber jacket  to the best men’s denim shirts to buy now, you’ll surely recognize the brand featured here. Yes, today we’re talking about Bridge & Burn, a brand with a heck of a backstory and roots that extend all the way out to Oregon more than a decade ago. With a computer science background and experience starting and running two different brands — each of which  have lent unique qualities to the stylish, functional and timeless aesthetic of Bridge & Burn — founder Erik Prowell is just the guy you want to see if you need to upgrade your outerwear or pick up a heck of a versatile shirt (or learn about the Pacific Northwest, for that matter). From simple-yet-soft graphic tees to refined chinos  and hard-wearing jackets, you’ve got yourself a winning look any time you throw on the brand’s gear. In fact, Bridge & Burn’s recent collaboration with Kiriko is equally stunning, featuring a mix of chinos, overshirts and engineer stripe shirts done up with beautiful patterns and incredible fabrics — in short, amplifying a lot of the great work you see from Bridge and Burn on a daily basis. With all that being said, they’re a brand worth knowing if you value quality construction, well-executed details and timeless wearability. It’s been a treat to learn more about Bridge & Burn and experience their high-quality goods while meeting the team behind the brand across these past few months. With that being said, I hope you’ll enjoy learning more, too. Take it away, Erik!

The original Bridge & Burn graphic.
The original Bridge & Burn graphic.
The Style Guide: Tell me about the start of the Bridge & Burn brand?
 
Erik Prowell: To be honest, I really didn’t know what I was doing when I started Bridge & Burn. I studied Computer Science in college and worked as a software developer for a few years. My friend and I started making graphic tees for fun and it snowballed into a pretty decent business where we were selling to over 200 stores nationally including Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters. Through that business, I started going to trade shows and was exposed to the wide world of apparel. At the shows, I’d see all these pieces that had great silhouettes but always seemed over-designed. When I started my goal was to make clean, classic pieces that I wanted to wear.
The name Bridge & Burn was inspired by the first t-shirt I ever designed.
It was a burning match under a bridge — because sometimes you have to burn the bridge to past expectations in order to follow your passions into an unknown future.  
A look at the Bridge & Burn x Kiriko collaboration -- read on for more.
A look at the Bridge & Burn x Kiriko collaboration — read on for more.
TSG: The Northwest seems to have played a big role in the brand’s evolution and design — tell me a bit more about that approach?
EP: The Pacific Northwest is known for its quality of life. It’s not about excess. It’s not about the next big thing. It’s about knowing what is good and how to enjoy all that is good to the fullest. I grew up in Oregon, and I chose to start Bridge & Burn in Portland because I love this city. It’s small, it has character, and is full of inspiring, creative people. Our location can be challenging, as most of the apparel world is centered in New York and Los Angeles. It’s more difficult to make connections and I am forced to travel quite a bit. That said, our origin naturally differentiates the brand and gives us unique character. Our designs come from a different point of view and the landscape inspires every aspect of our designs from the colors we choose to each garment’s simple functionality.
TSG: What’s one essential every guy should have in his wardrobe? 
EP: Every guy should have good socks and a great jacket (Editor’s note: Check out American Trench socks in particular, and read our piece on how to wear a bomber jacket for a Bridge and Burn take on the style).
Frank & Oak
TSG: As interest in men’s style specifically has increased, has that benefited the brand?
EP: Definitely. Our approachable designs and moderate price point makes it easy for guys to ease in to the world of fashion. And for those who are already there, we offer new fits and fabrics each season to keep them on trend with new ways to express their own personal sense of style.
TSG: Any exciting upcoming new product launches readers should know about? 
EP: We just launched our most ambitious apparel collaboration ever, with fellow Portland retailer, Kiriko. Bridge & Burn x Kiriko is a limited capsule collection for men & women. The aesthetic was inspired by classic American workwear fused with Japanese minimalism and heritage textiles. The designs are classic Bridge & Burn with a modern japanese twist. For more on the collaboration and the incredible Japanese fabrics we sourced with Kiriko, check out our blog post.
So, there you have it — beautiful fabrication, classic designs and a timeless approach to style. Follow Bridge & Burn on Twitter and Instagram for more — and get shopping!

#OOTD: Layering Up in Style This Winter

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

OK, so first of all — it’s Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re spending the day just as you’d like, and in style. To that end —  if you’re looking to shore up or switch up your casual winter style  after a few months of bone-chilling cold, this week’s #OOTD will sort that out nicely for you. We talked last month about how to wear a turtleneck this winter, but we’re going a bit more accessible and a bit more versatile today — as you’ll see below. It’s taking pieces that you might already have in your wardrobe, or pieces that you might be coveting — ahem, the Taylor Stitch Maritime Submariner Jacket — and putting in all together in a look that you can wear any day of the week. So, Sunday brunch? Check. Heck, Saturday brunch? You got it. And a weekend coffee date or a business casual day at the office? Absolutely. For more daily style inspiration, follow your Style Guide author on Instagram. Join us later this week for our regularly scheduled #menswear programming, too. Happy shopping!

Taylor Stitch
Taking classic pieces and upgrading the fabrics and fits.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Maritime Submariner Jacket, $248 — Ahh, yes. The warm, comfortable, slim-fitting and versatile Taylor Stitch Maritime Submariner Jacket. How could you not love it? Right? Right.

The Sweater: Bonobos Merino V-Neck Sweater, $58 — If you’re going to wear something more simple in form — like a V-neck sweater — you might as well make yours a high-quality, well-fitting piece in a rich winter color. Wondering how it should fit?  Read my recent Effortless Gent piece on how to find the perfect sweater (nudge, nudge).

The Oxford: JackThreads The Oxford Shirt, $39 — Is there a more classic combination for versatile, casual style than a V-neck sweater and an Oxford? Not quite — especially when it’s a great deal from the folks at JackThreads.

The Denim: Buck Mason Lou Slim Fit Jean, $175 — If you haven’t checked out Buck Mason, I’d advise you do so — from the brand’s classic short-sleeve chambray shirts to slim denim like this pair (faded just right), it’s tough gear for the modern man.

The Boots: Astorflex Bitflex Chelsea Boots, $180 — As sold by everyone’s favorite E-commerce retailer — that’s Huckberry, y’all — Astorflex makes essential, sustainable and stylish footwear. Yes, the Bitflex Chelsea Boots are a winning footwear choice.

The Belt: Abercrombie & Fitch Leather Belt, $44 — Sometimes, your accessories help define a casual ensemble. In this instance, a textured belt tones things down in comparison to a slim dress belt.

The Socks:  American Trench Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks, $16.98 — If you’re going to fill your sock drawer with only the best, might as well make your picks from American Trench — the brand makes beautiful, comfortable socks.

The Watch:  Tanner Goods Martenero Ace Automatic Watch, $549.98 — Just as a textured leather belt places this outfit in casual territory, so too does a rugged, handsome and eye-catching watch with tough Tanner Gods leather.  Truly, the Ace Automatic Watch is expertly designed and made to stand up to anything.

With versatility and great comfort & fit in mind, dressing in casual style can be easy and hey, fun. And if you’ve been looking for ways to switch up your style this winter, a great V-neck and Oxford is one way to go. These are pieces you might already have, but you can amp things up with something like the handsome, rugged Maritime Submariner Jacket and slick footwear like the Astorflex Bitflex Chelsea Boots. Oh, and if adding to your watch collection is a priority in terms of your 2017 style resolutions, there’s no better place to start than the very investment-worthy Ace Automatic Watch. If you have any questions or suggestions on this outfit, drop ’em in the comments or hit me up on Twitter. Talk to you soon, and thank you for reading!

-Beau

Frank & Oak

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Leather Watches To Buy Now

Whereas recent online shopping picks entries have covered everything from the best men’s home goods  to smaller accessories like the best gloves to buy for winter,  we’re going back to basics today. That is, we’re shifting gears to something that should likely be a part of your daily style ensemble — a great leather watch. We’ve taken a deep dive with rugged casual watches and stylish dive watches, but a simple, sharp leather watch can — and likely should — become an easy-to-wear, everyday go-to in your rotation. Even if you don’t consider yourself a watch aficionado, adding a crisp leather watch to a simple outfit — say, a classic chambray shirt and dark denim — can add visual interest, subtle style and a sense of purpose (notice how more folks use their phone to check the time than a watch?). At any rate, we’re focused on affordability, classic looks and wearability when it comes to today’s #menswear picks. Shop away, chime in on Facebook and follow yours truly on Instagram for a look at how I wear my favorite watches.

#1. Shinola Runwell Watch — $550

A clean, simple and versatile watch worthy of an investment.
A clean, simple and versatile watch worthy of an investment.

Let’s call this “the watch that started it all” — at least for this menswear writer. It’s tough to argue with Shinola’s crisp, classic and durable approach to watch construction — even if some oppose the brand’s marketing practices — but make no mistake, you’re buying quality when you buy a Shinola timepiece.  In fact, this very watch made a past men’s style holiday wish list on this site, and it’s still a coveted timepiece. Anyone out there have any experience with Shinola?

#2. Orient Bambino Second Generation Watch — $198.98

Orient Bambino
Super-sharp, classic and easy to wear with just about anything.

Whereas the Shinola Runwell leans more casual, the Orient Bambino Second Generation  is all dressy, refined and crisp style. With a textured leather strap, a just-right 40.5mm case diameter and minimal dial markings, it’s the watch you’ll want to wear with your best tailored suit this winter, and then slim stone chinos and stylish suede Chelsea boots come spring. In fact, the refined, sharp aesthetic means it’ll class up even a T-shirt and denim — give it a shot sometime in place of a more casual rubber strap watch.

#3. Seiko Dive Watch — $319.98

Seiko
A leather watch that can pull double duty at the office and on the weekend.

Leave it to Huckberry to offer up a versatile, tough dive watch with not one, but two strap options (suede leather from Lum-Tec and a rubber strap option). In an eye-catching red-and-blue color combo, the 40mm case diameter hits the sweet spot for those of us with larger or smaller wrists. The option to switch up the straps means this timepiece will work just as stylishly at the office with the leather option as it will with high-top sneakers and a classic crewneck sweater as you swap in the rubber strap. Two for the price of one, ya dig?

NOV CAMPAIGN: Photo of brown boots with logo (no border)

#4. MVMT Watches The 40 in Blue/Brown Leather — $120

A clean watch with an eye-catching dial-and-strap combination.
A clean watch with an eye-catching dial-and-strap combination.
The folks at MVMT Watches make essential, no-frills watches fit for situations both casual and dressy — and that makes ’em a Style Guide favorite. If you saw our January 2016 MVMT Watches product review, perhaps you’re already acquainted with the brand’s classic 40 Series. If not, consider this a great introduction. The  brown leather strap and blue dial are a study in handsome contrasts, and the relatively slim case means this is a great watch to offset everything from a tailored navy suit to a classic blue Oxford this winter — and well beyond.

#5. Linjer The Minimalist — $224.98

Clean, essential and unique. Everything you could want in a nice leather watch.
Clean, essential and unique. Everything you could want in a nice leather watch.

If you’ll recall, this site reviewed a sharp Linjer Leather Goods wallet all the way back in 2015 — the brand has certainly grown quite a lot since then, including its introduction last year of crisp, sleek watches.  In particular, the brand’s Minimalist Watch solidifies its place on this list, what with its super-sharp looks and a very clean dial. This is certainly a dress watch for any and all occasions, but again, the crisp design means you can wear it casually with dressed-down ensembles. And hey, you need a watch to offset your Linjer wallet, right?

Honorable Mention: Form-Function-Form Horween Leather Timex Fairfield — $98

Timex
A recent introduction from Timex meets a classic, tough leather strap.

If you’re looking to upgrade your watch collection on a budget, you’re going to want to check out this honorable mention. It’s comin’ at ya from our pals at Form-Function-Form and Timex — in particular, the Form-Function-Form team knows how to make a sturdy, handsome leather strap to reliably complement any watch. And when that watch happens to be a clean timepiece like the Fairfield, that’s all the better. It’s been refreshing to see Timex update its designs as of late, and the result is a surefire winner that looks great and pairs well with picks like a slim cardigan and dark denim.

That’s a wrap on today’s online shopping picks, folks. Which of the above watches are you thinking of adding to your collection? If you’re looking for sharp versatility, a pick like Linjer’s The Minimalist is tough to beat. On the more rugged end of the spectrum, Seiko packs plenty of functionality and eye-catching design into its timeless Seiko Dive Watch, while perennial Style Guide favorites MVMT Watches serve up go-anywhere style with the brand’s 40 Series. Hopefully, you’ve found these picks affordable and stylish — right? Shop on, stock up and see you out there.

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

Style Pick of the Week: Abercrombie & Fitch Chamois Shirt

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

Travel essentials fit for hitting the road and fighting the cold. Chamois Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Explorer's Cap by Huckberry. Messenger bag and 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. miUSA 585 Sneakers by New Balance. Magazine by Gear Patrol.
Quite possibly your new favorite winter shirt? Maybe, just maybe. Chamois Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Messenger bag and 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. miUSA 585 Sneakers by New Balance. Magazine by Gear Patrol.

As we’ve talked about time and again with our Style Pick of the Week series, building a winter wardrobe with top-to-bottom efficiency and style in mind is key. That starts with smaller touches like stylish winter accessories and carries on through to rugged winter boots, outerwear and versatile layering pieces. And with a bit of throwback style, prime layering potential and a slightly vintage feel in mind, that’s what brings us to today’s Style Pick. In short, we’re talking about the best shirt you didn’t know you needed, the Abercrombie & Fitch Chamois Shirt. It’s yet another example of an essential from a brand that continues to add to its very stylish and updated #menswear arsenal – if you’re not yet familiar with their revamp, it’s a story worth reading (and shopping). Yes, head of men’s design Aaron Levine – formerly of Club Monaco fame – has done an excellent job tapping into the brand’s illustrious heritage while leaving behind the baggy cargo shorts and gaudy polos of years past. If that sounds too good to be true, it really isn’t. This chamois shirt is the sort of classic piece that your father or grandfather might’ve taken camping or hiking – the Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt is another great example of this style. The brushed cotton of the Abercrombie & Fitch Chamois Shirt is especially soft and comfortable, the color is great (particularly to offset a casual hat like the and the design touches make it an instant (and easily wearable) new classic. With front-button chest pockets and a tailored-but-not-restrictive fit, it’s an astonishingly great winter men’s style upgrade – and this particular version is available for just under $30. Seriously – under $30 on-sale.

I had the chance to take the Abercrombie & Fitch Chamois Shirt on the road with me during a winter trip to Grand Rapids, and I was more than pleased with its wearability and style. I layered it over a tough, warm marled long-sleeve henley for a day of travel, and the slightly faded red color proved a perfect complement to pair of Abercrombie and Fitch denim, as it were. The shirt also worked nearly seamlessly for layering, and proved just as easy to wear when commuting to the airport as it did exploring chilly Grand Rapids. That’s exactly why you need a piece like this in your closet. The soft brushed fabric helps it wear more like an overshirt than a classic blue Oxford or even a rugged chambray shirt. Crucially, that means you can layer it over a henley or even atop a classic crewneck sweater for a visually interesting combo on a casual weekend outing. Of course, you can even layer it under a more edgy piece of outerwear — might I suggest the JackThreads Munro Leather Biker Jacket? Plus, it’s surprisingly warm and well-fitting – both small bonuses that make a difference when it comes to chilly winter weather (there’s no added bulk to be found). And again, the price really can’t be beat. If you find you can’t quite take the plunge when it comes to the more expensive Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt , the Abercrombie & Fitch Chamois Shirt is exactly the replacement piece you need. Heck, even if you’ve already got a rugged chamois shirt in your closet, I’d say you should absolutely run out and snatch up this piece – what’s the hold-up, ehh?

Let me know in the comments if you’re a fan of Abercrombie and Fitch’s recent revamp – and happy shopping!

-Beau

The Friday Read: Grand Rapids, Basic Outfitters and The Esquire Man

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

Phew — what day is it? Friday? If so, you’re in the right place with another edition of The Style Guide Friday Read. What a couple weeks it’s been — in a good way! Between hitting up menswear trade shows and New York Fashion Week: Men’s, followed by a winter trip to Grand Rapids (more on that in a second), I’m more than ready for this weekend. It was a heck of a start to the week as well, what with a unique  and fun spring campaign launch event via my day job drumming up menswear PR for Timberland (A hint: The brand’s sneaker-boots are where it’s at this coming season). With that being said … are you as tired as I am? Even still, there’s plenty of winter style to work — get shopping with the best men’s winter accessories and upgrade your space with stylish men’s home goods.  Or maybe you’re traveling this weekend — in that case, get smart with essential winter travel style. Before you close out the work week, I hope you’ll tune into what we’ve got ahead for you — namely, a fascinating look at the ongoing energy and focus that Esquire is bringing to the men’s media landscape in a time of turbulence. It’s a great piece. Oh, and we’ve got a look at a neat brand that’s helping you up your basics game. Yes, it’s all here. For a look at what’s going on in the #menswear world this weekend, join me on Twitter and Instagram. TGIF!

Beckett Simonon

  • A sharp addition to your summer footwear arsenal might have just arrived. What’s that, you say? Well, you can now pre-fund the smart, refined and waterproof footwear offerings from Gambino Alliance, a  recently launched Kickstarter that’s combining Italian leathers, liquid-resistant technology and memory foam comfort with versatile silhouettes like a sleek pair of Chelsea boots or a simple-yet-classic Oxford. Check them out — and pre-order them — via the Gambino Alliance site.
  • There’s certainly a lot going on in the menswear world this week, including the release of an unexpected — and unexpectedly awesome — new fragrance line from AXE. The AXE YOU grooming line includes everything from a daily fragrance to a body wash in clean, masculine scents; it’s certainly different from the old days of the brand! And it’s worth a look.
  • What is the mission of a men’s magazine nowadays? To provoke? To explain? To shed light on the world as it ought to be? Maybe a little bit of all of these things — the team at Esquire — and excellent, recently appointed editor-in-chief Jay Fielden — are setting out to answer these questions one issue at a time. So far, I think they’ve done an outstanding job — if you agree, you’ll love this piece from the New York Times on the future of Esquire.
  • As y’all know, we’re all about stylish, durable travel gear for this winter — check out how to dress for winter travel (in real life!) via my latest menswear trip to Grand Rapids. It’s a city with a stellar craft beer scene, some neat menswear shops — like Brothers Leather Supply — and plenty of classic Michigan scenery.

One more thing before you log off…

  • Don’t call it a comeback — call it an upgrade, if you will. It was great to learn more about Basic Outfitters for The Manual recently — here’s why you need to know this brand.
  • Before we close out for the weekend, I’d advise you to upgrade your gym gear — and possibly get ready for spring — with the Myles Apparel Everyday Short, my latest feature for the fine team at GearMoose.

OK, amped for the weekend? Beer at the ready — at least later in the day? Bingo.

Have a great one,

-Beau

Style Suggestion: What to Wear On Valentine’s Day

So, perhaps you think you’ve got everything sorted out for Valentine’s Day, from a killer dinner reservation — or a romantic night of your choosing — and a great gift. But not so fast there, fella. Have you given some thought as to what to wear on Valentine’s Day? The folks at Dappered always do a nice job tackling different scenarios, but today, we here at The Style Guide are helping you tackle the dressy dinner date (or night at the theater, or drinks and dessert … you get the picture). So, unlike our last style suggestion — that would be how to dress for winter travel — we’re going more refined and more tailored today. And crucially, we’re focused on layering up in style despite the chill. After all, Valentine’s Day is an excellent chance to show your significant other how much you care about them — and a small part of that is certainly putting your best foot forward. So, good luck out there and if you find yourself in need of more #menswear advice, don’t hesitate to hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Or heck, Instagram. Go to it!


The Topcoat:  J. Crew Ludlow Topcoat in Italian Wool-Cashmere with Thinsulate — $470

As classic a topcoat as it gets, at a not-so-bad price.
As classic a topcoat as it gets, at a not-so-bad price.

First things first, let’s start with a stylish winter topcoat to fight the chill. J. Crew has taken its classic Ludlow suiting silhouette and translated that into a heck of a modern, functional topcoat. It’s going to be the perfect complement to a tailored winter ensemble , what with its crisp color and sharp silhouette. If you need to go with a cheaper option, you could always grab the ever-reliable JackThreads Tieman Topcoat.

The Suit: Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket — $278 and Trousers in Grey Wool — $142.99

Quietly classic and essential for Valentine's Day.
Quietly classic and essential for Valentine’s Day.

Remember the handsome, essential Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket from this site’s post on what to wear on New Year’s Eve? Or how to suit up this winter? If you jumped on it at the right time and find this suit currently sitting in your closet, good man. The rich wool, tailored fit and go-anywhere versatility mean it might just be your best suit — thus, it’s perfect for a night out. Of course, something as classic as the J. Crew Ludlow suit wouldn’t go amiss here, either.

The Shirt: J. Crew Ludlow Spread-Collar Shirt in Mountain Stream Stripe — $88

A sharp shirt in an unexpected color.
A sharp shirt in an unexpected color.

Although a classic white dress shirt or a baby blue number would work just fine here, a striped  shirt with a strong collar is a unique and somewhat unexpected style move. The cool blue is a winter-friendly pop of brighter color, and given J. Crew’s quality, it’s the type of shirt that can be worn with other patterns — like a striped navy suit, somewhat similar to The Man Michael Fassbender.

The Accessories: Ties.com Hunter Green Antwerp Polka Dot Tie — $25 AND Ties.com Navy Edged Linen Pocket Square — $10

Blue and green makes for a unique, eye-catching color combo.
Blue and green makes for a unique, eye-catching color combo.

First off, yes, we’re going with a linen pocket square in winter. In this instance, the navy detailing adds a nice contrast to the grey wool suit, and it offsets the lighter blue striped shirt. Similarly, a green tie offers a bit of rich contrast to the suit-and-shirt combo. Plus, the polka dots add some nice visual interest, and it’s really tough to beat the standout prices on both of these pieces. Ya feel me?

The Boots: Thursday Boots Honey Suede Duke Boot — $199

A unique alternative to your typical dress shoe.
A unique alternative to your typical dress shoe.

Boots are indeed the move in this case, and particularly in suede — the texture just looks right up against grey wool, and this Honey shade is particularly handsome. While you could stick with a pair of classic men’s dress shoes, these boots are going to help you navigate slippery terrain with fashion and function in mind. If it gets too snowy outside, you might want to consider the waterproof Thursday Boots Cognac Suede Wingtip Boot.

The Belt: J. Crew Textured Leather Dress Belt — $68

Go with a reliable belt from a reputable brand.
Go with a reliable belt from a reputable brand.

If you’re going with a classic, essential J. Crew topcoat (and potentially a suit, too), why not pick up a stylish, simple and effective dress belt from said brand? The price is a bit, well pricey, yet this is the type of dress belt you’ll be able to wear frequently — even with dark denim and  a V-neck sweater. Easy enough, right?

The Watch: Orient Ray II — $234.50

The toughest watch in your collection? Maybe. The right Valentine's Day pick in terms of style? Without a doubt.
The toughest watch in your collection? Maybe. The right Valentine’s Day pick in terms of style? Without a doubt.

You surely didn’t think we’d leave anything to chance on a day like Valentine’s Day, right? No, not even a watch like the Orient Ray II is out of the question on this night. It’s an utterly classic, sharp and stylish watch made for all kinds of tailored occasions — especially a beautiful evening on the town. The stainless steel diver has connotations both dressy and rugged — maybe that’s why it’s a favorite of James Bond — and this timepiece is no different. Yes, the Orient Ray II is a tough watch for the rest of the year, and it’s a handsome complement to the hues of blue and green in the rest of this ensemble.

The Socks — American Trench Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks — $16.98

An easy pick when it comes to stylish socks that complement an outfit.
An easy pick when it comes to stylish socks that complement an outfit.

If you don’t recognize American Trench by now, then you’ve got another thing coming … just kidding. When a brand makes versatile, crisp socks that fit well and feel great, you should buy ’em in bunches. And when it comes time to wear them on special occasions, you should certainly break them out. These Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks are essential, versatile and add just enough color and texture to this outfit.

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Alright, did that post help you take care of your shopping? At least a little bit? It’s crucial to work with what you’ve got in your wardrobe — say, the essential Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket — and make it work for you in multiple situations. When  matched up with a unique striped dress shirt and smart accessories in eye-catching hues, it’s hard to go wrong. Plus, sharp suede Chelsea boots add a bit of visual intrigue, while a tough-yet-refined dive watch like the Orient Ray II  is the way to go in this instance. Hopefully, this is an outfit that impresses your significant other — just don’t forget about a meaningful gift and a fun evening. Deal? Deal. High-five, y’all!

Thanks for reading and stay stylish,

-Beau