Style Suggestion: Memorial Day

Memorial Day really is one of the first significant outdoor occasions of the spring and summer for many around the country – after a long winter, summer’s imminent, and the holiday might bring with it some travel and time with friends and family. Ideally though, it involves getting outdoors for a little bit of everything — maybe a barbecque, a trip to the water or a little exploring. But what do you wear for such an occasion? Tweaking the standard outdoor get-up doesn’t take that much work — and you can support some quality brands in the process.

The Shirt: Buck Mason Navy Crew Slub Tee — $24

Small design touches make this a better option than a regular tank top or ratty old T-shirt.

Small design touches make this a better option than a regular tank top or ratty old T-shirt.

First seen not too long ago on this site’s roundup of the best T-shirts for spring and summer, this pick is much more than just a T-shirt. The deep navy color and slubby texture differentiate it from a plain old tee, and the rounded hem and slouchy collar are added design touches, too. The fact that it’s American-made doesn’t hurt, either. If the situations calls for a polo, you could always pick up a cheap yet well-designed option from this year’s Michael Bastian x Uniqlo collaboration or perhaps a nice short-sleeve buttondown from Ernest Alexander.

The Shorts: J. Crew Factory Stadium Short in Chambray — $29.50

Sporty elements like the elastic waistband mesh with an airy chambray fabric in these shorts.

Sporty elements like the elastic waistband mesh with an airy chambray fabric in these shorts.

Some might argue that these are just a shorter version of jogger pants – why add in something like a drawstring waistband to a pair of shorts? Well, when you’re out and about on Memorial Day, you might find yourself playing catch, grilling or taking a hike — the elastic waistband adds a casual and functional element to these chambray shorts, while the fabric and construction are a notch above athletic shorts (no belt needed, either). If you find they’re still too casual, you could grab a more refined pair from this list.

The Sneakers: GREATS Brand White Wilson Sneakers — $49

A durable captoe and the crisp white color make these the perfect high-low sneaker option.

A durable captoe and the crisp white color make these the perfect high-low sneaker option.

A full review of these sneakers can be found here  — but in short, they’re the ideal combination of excellent looks for a stellar price. They’re quite a bit cheaper than a pair of similar white kicks from the revamped Converse Jack Purcell line, they look more crisp than a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars (no pesky logo or side stripe on the sole), and they’re still functional enough to move around in — plus, at that price they can take a bit of a beating without too much worry. If you want a more no-frills option, you could always pick up a leather slip-on (the latest release from GREATS) or a beater pair of  canvas Vans sneakers.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Beginner No-Show 2-pack — $15

No-show socks that'll help your sneakers fit better and  last longer.

No-show socks that’ll help your sneakers fit better and last longer.

No-show socks are among those essentials for the warmer weather that can make quite a big difference — they prolong the life of your sneakers and help your kicks fit better while avoiding the foot funk that can come from going barefoot with shoes. The simple design options for Richer Poorer socks mean these are a better choice than no-show or low-cut athletic socks, too.

The Sunglasses: J. Crew Factory Tortoiseshell Sunglasses — $19.50

Mighty cheap but still stylish.

Mighty cheap but still stylish.

Some people are all about their sunglasses and really dig expensive pairs – if you’re not one of those people, or if you’re the type to lose them or sit on them throughout the summer, it doesn’t hurt to snag a pair or two of these cheap shades. You still get a unique frame shape, neat tortoiseshell pattern and the confidence of buying from J. Crew Factory — better than a drug store pair, right? You could always spring for a customizable pair of Ray-Ban’s New Wayfarers or an American classic, Randolph Engineering Aviators.

The Watch: Timex Weekender Slip-Thru Strap Watch — $40.45

A no-frills design that takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

A no-frills design that takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

Timex watches are renowned for the combo of price and durability they provide. The company doesn’t produce anything overly fancy, but its Weekender series works with plenty of NATO watch straps and provides a classic, clean design that’s not too casual or dressy. In this case, the red and blue stripes of the strap play off the blue in the shirt and the grey of the shorts, although a red floral NATO strap would also provide a fun pop of pattern and color. An efficient field watch would also work here.

With some slight tweaks, this same outfit template could work for nearly any warm-weather situation in your future — and either way, I hope your Memorial Day entails great times with friends and family … and maybe a cold beer or two.

What do you think of the above get-up?What will you be wearing (and doing!) for the long weekend?

Ernest Alexander
Nunn Bush

Advertisements

Style Pick of the Week: GREATS Brand Wooster Leather Slip-on

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. Please note that the below post has been updated to reflect the pre-sale release date and price of these shoes.

Who needs laces indeed? The newest pending release from GREATS Brand.

Who needs laces indeed? The newest pending release from GREATS Brand. Photo courtesy of GREATS.

Summer time is almost here folks, and if you haven’t made the transition from your sturdy winter boots to some crisp white sneakers or classic runners, now is definitely the time to start doing so. All of this talk of transitioning seasonal styles is also bringing out some more unique footwear options — specifically the evermore ubiquitous slip-on sneaker. Some retailers like J. Crew have been producing this style for a while now, but there haven’t been many that combine so many nice elements into one package — like the soon-to-be-released Wooster leather slip-on from Brooklyn’s own GREATS.  The pre-sale for these shoes launched today (Thursday, May 21) — and if you’re on the early access list, you can get the shoes here for $149 now.I’m a  huge fan of the brand and the quality sneakers they produce for the price, so when I saw news of the latest release (named for #menswear icon Nick Wooster), I was effectively sold (on writing about them, at least!).

A close-up look at both the Blanco and Cadet versions. Photo courtesy of GREATS Brand.

A close-up look at both the Blanco and Cadet versions. Photo courtesy of GREATS.

The brand has already produced multiple different runs of the same style using the Wooster name — two colors of a wool slip-on, a white bison leather version with accessories maker Parabellum and a  Wooster x Lardini collaboration designed in conjunction with the style legend earlier this spring. The leather Wooster in particular looks like the best of the bunch though — five different colorways (a few of which also made it onto my Wish List Pinterest board linked in the Editor’s Note), beautiful-looking leather and the perfect mix of summer cool and sharp style. The Cadet or Blanco pairs in particular (that’s a deep navy and white for the uninitiated) could easily be styled with everything from shorts and a short-sleeve henley to chinos and an easygoing blazer-and-tee combo — keep your eyes peeled for the release of these early next week because if history tells us anything, they’ll go fast.

Have you picked up any sneakers from GREATS? Would you buy these? How might you style them?

Ben Sherman US

The Friday Read: Field Coats, Summer Style Essentials and Leather Wallets

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.

Well folks, we made it — reached the end of another week! Is it payday for you today? Don’t spend it all in one place, now. What are your weekend plans? It’s almost the start of what’s sure to be a busy summer travel season, and your hardworking team of one will have some great content coming your way on summer swimwear, summer suiting and travel accessories in the coming weeks — so stay tuned! In the meantime, this weekend’s Friday Read is big on content and low on anything boring. Enjoy!

  • Gear Patrol dips its toes in the fashion waters with a roundup earlier this week of 10 fashionable field coats fit for the streets — it might be spring, but outerwear like that can definitely still come in handy (as would one of these  jackets).
  • In keeping with a theme of round numbers, my buddy Joe at Dappered dives into 10 summer style essentials for the well-dressed guy; it’s an excellent list worth keeping handy.
  • Frank & Oak sits down with young-yet-talented leathermaker Maximum Henry Cohen of his namesake leather company and gets a neat look into his design and production process — along with his thoughts on all things #menswear.
  • Long Read of the Week: While this is more a news item than anything, Verizon’s acquisition of AOL throws some interesting wrinkles into the mix for the communications industry and advertising (for all you AdWeek readers out there, I think).

Need more style content in your life?

What else would you like to see in The Friday Read? Or on the site in general? Let me know here

button

Online Shopping Picks: Grayers

Classic prep looks reinterpreted for the modern age.

Classic prep looks reinterpreted for the modern age.

Editor’s note: For more online shopping picks covering everything from great brands, gift guides and the best warm-weather blazers and shorts, head here.

With so many brands competing for limited time and money from consumers (who are ever more discerning with their purchases), the modern menswear company really has to be able to do it all across several different categories — from dressier pieces to casual tees and those in-between items, like versatile chinos.  Grayers, founded by Ralph Lauren veteran Peter Georgiou, fills that niche pretty nicely for a fairly new brand. The company prides itself on classic, prep staples with a slight British edge — Grayers was the name given to gray wool flannel trousers in 1950s Britain, one of the first waves in menswear’s casual renaissance. You may recognize the brand from this site’s roundup of the best spring jackets a few months back, but the company does a lot more than outerwear. Five other pieces worth checking out from the company’s online shop are highlighted below. (Editor’s note: The brand also has some new arrivals in stock over at STAG Provisions’ Web store). Happy shopping!

#1. Belmont Slub Madras Shirt — $85

A summer plaid that uses indigo in a unique way.

A summer plaid that uses indigo in a unique way.

For a casual shirt in a soft wash, that price is a notch above J. Crew prices. But this madras blend incorporates some bright bursts of color over an indigo yarn base, a pretty unique touch when it comes to using that deep shade of blue. It grabs the top spot on this list because it’s the perfect blend of dressy and casual — you could wear this with a lightweight navy or khaki blazer and chinos, or a pair of lightwash denim and white sneakers (sleeves rolled, of course). The lighter weight is also going to come in handy these next few months.

#2. Matthew Plaid Blazer — $131.30 (On Sale)

A sale price that makes this blazer mighty tempting.

A sale price that makes this blazer mighty tempting.

You’d have to round up three dimes if you were paying for that blazer in cash, curiously enough. If the above shirt is a bit pricey, this plaid blazer is practically a steal at that price — we’re talking J. Crew Factory price levels here. But even at that discounted price, you get a heck of a lot of pattern in a warm-weather cotton poplin-lined jacket. It calls to mind other patterned blazers but plays down the scale of the plaid a bit. This is the kind of blazer you’d want to keep in the closet when wearing the above slub madras shirt — but with a crisp white buttondown, it’d look great.

#3. The Newport Chino in Gray — $52.80 (On Sale)

Four-season color and fabric at a manageable price.

Four-season color and fabric at a manageable price.

While some of Grayers’ other chinos are running at full-price right now, this particular pair gets a fairly substantial sale knockdown. A pair of mid-gray chinos like this are often very underrated as a four-season pant — the style and fabric works with everything from a nice lightweight T-shirt in spring to a cardigan or V-neck sweater and winter boots when it gets colder. That mid-gray base would even allow you to wear the Matthew Plaid Blazer shown above, as it can anchor the bolder pattern.

#4. Marlowe Slub Pique Polo — $75

Slubby color and texture differentiate this from the typical pique color.

Slubby color and texture differentiate this from the typical pique color.

At full price, this polo is rather expensive when lined up against cheaper options — that much is true. This is the kind of piece that could really see lots of use in the spring and summer, though. It’s not as dressy as the Luxe-Touch polo from Banana Republic, and it’s got just a bit more character thanks to the slubby weave — but it’s still office-appropriate when paired with some crisp chinos or denim. The fit is listed as Slim, so that’s also promising, and the sand washing process should give it a unique texture.

#5. Blair Cardigan — $67.50

Design details like the shawl collar make this piece masculine and tough.

Design details like the shawl collar make this piece masculine and tough.

Recommending a cardigan? With warm weather on the way? Heck yes, I am — if only for the reason that the sale price here is almost too good to pass up. On top of that, the heather-grey fabric, shawl collar and double-breasted styling give it the feel of a knit blazer that you could style with everything from a T-shirt to a chambray shirt. It’s a cotton-polyester blend, so it’s not the most prime fabric combination, but the site says it’s lined in heritage flannel shirting, an added design detail that should also bring some significant warmth when temperatures start to drop — or if things get a little chiller than expected this spring.

Although this is just a cross section of the site, there are other areas worth perusing, too — including the brand’s knitwear and shorts. They’ve also put together a pretty extensive Sale section that offers up pages and pages of potential shopping picks. In the meantime, shoot me an email via the Contact page if you think I missed any key offerings!

Have you ever bought from Grayers? What are your thoughts on the brand?

 

Online Shopping Picks: Best Spring & Summer T-Shirts

One of my favorite warm-weather T-shirts. Nautical printed shirt by J. Crew Factory. Navy herringbone shorts by Frank & Oak. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Liz Todd.

One of my favorite warm-weather T-shirts. Nautical printed shirt by J. Crew Factory. Navy herringbone shorts by Frank & Oak. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Liz Todd.

Editor’s note: For more online shopping picks covering everything from great brands, gift guides and the best warm-weather blazers and shorts, head here.

A T-shirt’s a pretty simple item of clothing, right? Not too much to think about, certainly? When you look at it that way, any old graphic T-shirt will do. But so many brands and designers are upgrading this simple, iconic item of clothing with richer colors, better fabric and texture, more nuanced details and even wilder patterns that you would typically find on buttondown shirts. And that’s why it’s a better choice in this case to reach for something other than a plain ol’ white crewneck T-shirt or (particularly) a tank top. Some tanks are well-made and definitely work for some guys, but that’s beside the point — a T-shirt or short-sleeve henley just looks a bit better and could even be considered a bit more versatile.  Here are five solid (non-tank) options to round out your warm-weather wardrobe.

#1. J. Crew Factory Slim Placed Stripe Tee — $24.50

An upgraded basic thanks to some small design details.

An upgraded basic thanks to some small design details.

So this T-shirt will set you back a bit more than paying for a pack of classic white T-shirts — but there’s a reason for that upgraded price tag. J. Crew Factory’s quality is, by some accounts, on par with its elder sibling J. Crew when it comes to basics like this. This tee combines a slim fit with a nice shade of navy perfect for pairing with spring shorts or khaki chinos — the white, nautical-leaning stripe and chest pocket are also subtle design touches that differentiate it from a plain crewneck. Note that Old Navy has a nearly identical version of this piece for about half the price, although you lose out a bit on quality.

#2. Pistol Lake Short-Sleeve Henley — $35

Changing up the typical crewneck or pocket T-shirt. Henley by Pistol Lake. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Dark denim by Mott & Bow.

Changing up the typical crewneck or pocket T-shirt. Henley by Pistol Lake. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Dark denim by Mott & Bow.

The second option on this list isn’t a plain pocket T-shirt, to be sure, but everyone needs some diversity in their warm-weather wardrobe (this coming from a guy who’s got about three crewneck pocket tees in his closet). And a henley is a perfectly rugged way to break up the typical short-sleeve shirt rotation. This pick from Pistol Lake is as solid a choice as you’re going to get — made from soft, breathable 6 oz. jersey cotton, it’s sturdy and well-constructed. The price is a tad higher than a  standard pick, but you support American-made ingenuity and attention to detail.

#3. Buck Mason Navy Crew Slub Tee — $24

Slouchier collar, rounded shirttail and a deep navy color — definitely not the standard crewneck.

Slouchier collar, rounded shirttail and a deep navy color — definitely not the standard crewneck.

For all the talk here about breaking things up visually with a solid chest pocket, sometimes there are, in fact, crewneck options sans pocket that work well. In this case, the navy crew slub tee from Buck Mason combines a slightly wider collar with an inky indigo color and slubby texture for some different visual details. The rounded hem is a touch also not seen on other T-shirts, and it’s got the kind of easygoing vibe that just works in the spring and summer. Its price, again, goes toward supporting made-in-America production, which seems to be missing a lot of places these days.

#4. Bonobos Yarn Spun Heather Printed Tee — $45

An eye-popping pattern and a rather eye-popping price, too.

An eye-popping pattern and a rather eye-popping price, too.

A couple of things might catch your eye about this T-shirt — for one, the price is pretty darn high for a basic. And that pattern will absolutely turn some heads (it’s also available in a green floral option). Bonobos is definitely to be applauded for its commitment to breaking away from just making pants; this T-shirt in particular shows that. It’s the kind of pattern that will work for some … and might not work for others. But if you’re heading to the beach or a fun summer party, this is one way to upgrade a plain tee or tank top.

#5. Gustin Pocket T-Shirt 2 or 3-Pack — $28 or $42

Three colors of this pocket T-shirt were available in the first run. Photo courtesy of Gustin.

Three colors of this pocket T-shirt were available in the first run. Photo courtesy of Gustin.

Now this next option here is slightly tricky owing to the nature of Gustin’s business model. The San Franciso-based, US-production-led outfit produces runs of items only when they’re 100 percent funded — so if an item funds quicker than expected (or if it doesn’t fund at all — very rare), you miss out on the chance to buy it. However, new varieties of everything from T-shirts to denim are being added nearly daily, so it shouldn’t be too hard to stock up on a 2 or 3-pack of pocket T-shirts. Currently, the company is offering up a 2-pack of black or white pocket T-shirts — that pocket is the ideal way to break up the plain-ness of a white or black crewneck, although something like heather grey would be more versatile when it’s on tap again for the brand.

In any roundup, and particularly ones involving a basic item made nearly everywhere, there are going to be some left out. Bonobos’ Yarn Spun Striped Pocket Tee in a soft-washed red is a covetable choice thanks to that sunfaded color and subtle stripes, and even Buck Mason’s Army Green Crew Slub Tee was tough to pass up.  The Slub-Knit Pocket Tee from Old Navy was also a close finisher, but just missed the cut — keep in mind that places like GAP also do simple, affordably priced basics.

What’s your go-to summer T-shirt? Will you be picking up (or have you already bought) any of the above picks?

 

Style Pick of the Week: Pistol Lake Short-Sleeve Henley

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.

A trim fit and vintage details make this short-sleeve henley from Pistol Lake a winner. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Dark denim by Mott & Bow.

A trim fit and vintage details make this short-sleeve henley from Pistol Lake a winner. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Braided leather belt by Target Merona.

First things first — yes, that headline is correct. And no, this post isn’t a repeat! Although an outstanding long-sleeve henley from the team at Pistol Lake was featured as a style pick earlier this year, the one discussed here is in fact a completely different shirt (alright, it’s still a henley) from the same company! (In full disclosure, William, Shane and Andrew were kind enough to send me this particular piece for another post). The Los Angeles-based brand, for those who aren’t familiar, is a sportswear and vintage-inspired outfit making durable, rugged and stylish basics right here in America. The attention to detail and craftsmanship with each piece I’ve received has been second to none — and that’s something that’s not lost with this short-sleeve henley in either presentation or construction.

Attention to detail in craftsmanship and packaging from the Pistol Lake team.

Attention to detail in craftsmanship and packaging from the Pistol Lake team.

It’s crafted from 6 oz. 100% cotton jersey fabric, although the weave of this shirt feels lighter and thinner (in a good way) than its long-sleeve counterpart. It’s also available in a vintage-looking, yellow-leaning white and a faded black but I went with the olive option — a perfect three or four-season neutral when layered right (say, with a spring jacket or a shawl cardigan when it’s chillier). The three-button placket doesn’t feel too flimsy or stiff, sometimes a problem when it comes to henleys. The fit is trim across the chest and through the body, and the unfinished sleeves, which can easily be rolled up slightly, are a detail that give this garment-dyed henley an even more rugged, vintage look. Details like double-stitching through the chest seams also help with a trim fit and solid construction. While it’s a bit pricier than a standard short-sleeve henley you might pick up elsewhere, the difference in price is absurdly small for such a jump in quality. Summer’s almost here, and this just might be the perfect casual shirt for the season.

Have you bought anything from Pistol Lake? How would you style this henley?

Editor’s note: Got your shirt game in line but looking to upgrade your bag as part of your everyday carry? Check out what the team at Issara is doing, making ethically crafted, beautiful leather goods! 

The Friday Read: Mother’s Day, Pop-Up Flea and Expensive Watches

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.

This past week flew by, didn’t it? Maybe that’s just me? At any rate, it’s an exciting weekend coming up (it’s Mother’s Day, remember!? Last-minute gift guide here, fellas). It’s also an exciting time to be in New York City (or at least following the menswear community in general). Pop-Up Flea, a quarterly pop-up shop/traveling roadshow extravaganza of sorts devoted to mixing excellent heritage-type brands with quirky wares from new upstarts, is running from May 8 — May 10 here in NYC. Let me know if you’ll be there or if you’ll be following along — and in the meantime, peruse through the below articles just in time for the weekend.

  • The folks behind excellent menswear and lifestyle site Get Kempt offer up five cultural phenomena that have shaped their outlook this week — what they’ve been reading, watching, listening to … you get the idea.
  • Michael Williams of heritage-focused blog A Continuous Lean dishes on much-loved and much-coveted watch brand IWC and its 75th anniversary collection. For watches that won’t induce so much sticker shock, head here.
  • Speaking of telling time … this technically ran late last year, but the team behind upscale fashion & accessories site Need Supply Co. takes you through everything you need to know about watches.
  • Long Read of the Week: Narratively offers up a positively fascinating account about the lengths to which one man went in his love of the NYC transit system (yes, you read that right).

Still have a hankering for something to read?

  • If you’re interested in learning about Apolis and the brand’s mission of global advocacy merged with excellent clothing, I wrote a profile on the brand this week.
  • Thinking of buying something from this month’s Hunt Club offering via Frank & Oak? Check out a review last month’s crate here.

And a final note for you — looking to get in on the ground floor of a luxury leather goods project? Issara launches a premium line of accessories and bags later this weekend — sign up for early access here

banner