The Friday Read: Lucio Castro, Band of Outsiders and Lollapalooza

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 has, for me, been a whirlwind to say the least. What with putting in some time on the clock planning for a big Timberland Boots event in September (excited about that one!), hanging out with my friends from Made PR at the lovely Self Edge Denim store on Thursday night and of course, planning for my upcoming trip to Greece, time has really sailed by! (See what I did there?). Stateside, who among us is heading to Lollapalooza? The Friday line-up in particular looks great! On the style side of things however, some pretty big news hit this past week-and-a-half or so on all fronts, from the release of the new Converse Chuck Taylor II late last week to the debut of Everlane’s Slim Pant earlier this week —  more on that tomorrow on this very site. And in the meantime, the latest and greatest across the rest of style media follows  below. Stay tuned for dispatches from abroad and if you aren’t already, follow me on Instagram for more.

  • The always on-point crew over at Dappered runs through the style essentials you need in an always-essential color — deep, dark navy. A great list (although I have to argue for a great chambray shirt).
  • Up-and-coming menswear designer Lucio Castro, who recently showed his SS16 collection at #NYFWM, talks to Get Kempt about the inspiration behind his collection and his (very) unconventional journey to designing clothes.
  • Complex offers up some more information on the mysterious — or rather, financially-focused — closure of cult brand Band of Outsiders and what the future does (or doesn’t) hold for the brand.
  • Long(ish) Read of the Week: Excellent lifestyle site A Continuous Lean gives us a glimpse into the sights and soul-stirring music of Eaux Claires, the newly launched Wisconsin festival hosted in part by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

While we’re still at things on the style front, have you glimpsed the latest release from Brooklyn’s own GREATS? Its much-loved Royale silhouette gets a fresh update in time for the last half of summer, featuring canvas and a gum rubber sole. Check ’em out here.

Need something else to peruse at work?

      • Kick your feet back and throw on a pair of slick loafers — like those sold by Andre Coton — and while you relax, learn more about them in my latest VOUCH Mag post.
      • Throw on a henley when you hit the beach or the pool this weekend, too – but not before checking out this handy shopping guide.

Florsheim

Ernest Alexander

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Style abroad: Packing for a cruise on the open seas

Hopping on a plane for a 10-day jaunt (read: cruise) to Italy and Greece later this week. Watch by Daniel Wellington. 'This Bag Is Not Yours' luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Weekender by Navali.
Hopping on a plane for a 10-day jaunt (read: cruise) to Italy and Greece later this week. Watch by Daniel Wellington. ‘This Bag Is Not Yours’ luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Weekender by Navali.

There are certain types of trips it seems you only get to take once in a lifetime, honestly. This coming weekend, I’ve got the great opportunity to embark on one such trip, as luck would have it. The Hayhoe family (Mom, Dad, sister, brother and sister-in-law) is heading overseas for a cruise through the Mediterranean — starting in the glorious city of Rome and swinging through Greece (Santorini, Mykonos, Athens and Katakolon, to be specific). It’s sure to be scenic and extraordinary, despite the economic tensions gripping Greece. But I face a decidedly more trivial challenge — what the heck am I going to wear? And how am I going to get it all there?

While I’m absolutely a Lean Wardrobe advocate, a slightly longer trip and variety of situations has me raiding my (somewhat extensive) closet to come up with outfit solutions. Formal cruise dinners, casual excursions, time spent by the pool and on the water and of course, some extensive travel. Yes, this trip has it all. So I’m hoping what I throw in my Navali Stowaway Weekender (a companion on other trips) sticks. To carry the rest of my gear, I’ll be toting along a durable

On the left: Olive Bonobos Washed Chinos, Sky Blue Combat Gent chinos, grey Billy Reid selvedge denim, white Mott & Bow denim (just part of the lineup). On the right, top to bottom: Pistol Lake henley, J. Crew Factory printed shirt, Steven Alan pocket tee, H&M V-neck, American Apparel & Everlane pocket tees.
On the left, from the bottom: Olive Bonobos Washed Chinos, Sky Blue Combat Gent chinos, grey Billy Reid selvedge denim, white Mott & Bow denim. On the right, top to bottom: Pistol Lake henley, J. Crew Factory printed shirt, Steven Alan pocket tee, H&M V-neck, American Apparel & Everlane pocket tees.

For the everyday wear, I’m bringing along a selection of T-shirts both more plain (like my heather burgundy Steven Alan pocket tee, an American Apparel tee and a new Ace Rivington crewneck, not pictured) and ones with a bit more visual cues (like my Pistol Lake henley and a J. Crew sailboat tee — unfortunately sold out). For time spent by the pool and heading ashore, any option should work within reason. And when I travel, I’ll be throwing on my favorite Everlane pocket tee under my older (circa 2013) J. Crew blazer for easygoing travel style. I’m packing a vintage ballcap for a bit of extra protection from the sun, too — courtesy of the excellent folks at Goorin Bros.

From left to right: Pistol Lake sweatshorts, Athletic Propulsion Labs basketball shorts, Frank & Oak linen shorts and Orlebar Brown swim trunks.
From left to right: Pistol Lake sweatshorts, Athletic Propulsion Labs basketball shorts, Frank & Oak linen shorts and Orlebar Brown swim trunks.

Those tees should be a  nice complement to the selection of casual shorts you see above– my Pistol Lake sweatshorts, pictured at left, are proving to be a personal favorite, comfortable yet functional and relatively tailored for a pair of sweatshorts. I’m also tossing some technically advanced Athletic Propulsion Labs basketball shorts in my bag for work-outs and hiking through the mountains of Greece. My Frank and Oak linen blend shorts should be ever-reliable in the heat, too (read more about them and the brand here), and I’m also packing my Banana Republic khaki shorts (similar to these). On the swimwear front, I’m looking forward to taking my Orlebar Brown Setter trunks out for a dip (as featured here – haven’t been working out as much as Bond though).

Pictured on the left: A rundown of versatile shirting for the trip, including a Bonobos Oxford, GAP chambray, short-sleeve Saturdays NYC buttondown and a vintage thrift store shirt perfect for sipping some brews.
Pictured on the left: A rundown of versatile shirting for the trip, including a Bonobos Oxford, GAP chambray, short-sleeve Saturdays NYC buttondown and a vintage thrift store shirt perfect for sipping some brews.

Which brings me to my steadfast decision to bring perhaps more pairs of pants to a Mediterranean cruise than you might expect — what can I say? I prefer pants. For the flight there, I’ll undoubtedly be wearing my new pair of Mott & Bow white denim — they’re exceedingly comfortable thanks to a hint of stretch and will hopefully allow me to blend in stylishly once I land in Italy (I’ll also be bringing along some olive Washed Chinos from Bonobos for comfortable travel). And because one can never bring enough jeans on a trip, my grey selvedge Billy Reid denim should do the job nicely for more dressed-down dinners and travel days, while some sky blue Combat Gent chinos in a versatile slim-straight cut should do the trick for both casual and more crisp wear. For pairing with those jeans, I’ve got both a brown leather J. Crew dress belt  and more casual striped and braided options. The number of pairs of pants I’m packing means I’m actually dialing in my shirts (somewhat) – a white Combat Gent Oxford, a blue Bonobos Oxford, my trusty GAP chambray shirt and my breathable and airy Stock Mfg. Co linen shirt should work well within a rotation. I plan to complement those with a patterned Saturdays NYC short-sleeve shirt and a vintage thrift store ‘Drinks’ shirt (check it out in more detail here).

But for those occasions that call for a significantly upped style game, I’ll be pulling out the big guns. As this is a Mediterranean cruise and all, I enlisted my friends at Combat Gent to set me up with perhaps the most fashion-forward number in their arsenal, the Steel Blue Glenplaid Double-Breasted suit as you can see above. I’m looking forward to breaking up the blazer with some custom grey suit pants and a crisp white Endurance Shirt via Combat Gent as well — and the rest of the time, my J. Crew blazer should certainly be able to pull double duty when worn with accessories like a red floral pocket square (similar to this one).

The footwear rundown for a continental trip. Jute loafers by Andre Coton. Brown leather loafers by G.H. Bass. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Black athletic sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Leather chukka boots by Timberland.
The footwear rundown for a continental trip. Jute loafers by Andre Coton. Brown leather loafers by G.H. Bass. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Black athletic sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Leather chukka boots by Timberland.

And given the variety of outfit pairings I’m hoping to line up, my shoe ensemble is stretched a little bit more than usual. For travel, my Timberland Coulter Chukka boots (courtesy of my day job, in full disclosure) will likely get the job done while the rest of my footwear is packed — neatly — away. I’m also bringing along my versatile G.H. Bass leather loafers (read more on them here) as well as my trusty GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers. I’m planning to pair the loafers with everything from chinos and T-shirts to jeans and short-sleeve shirts. And on the athletic and shore exploration front, I’m quite excited to try out my Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers (a GearHungry post on those sneakers will be up soon!). But the footwear that might best fit in with the continental style one sees throughout Greece and Italy is coming on the trip courtesy of start-up loafer brand Andre Coton. These jute fabric loafers are without a doubt the most unique footwear style I’ve tried, but I’m hopeful (confident?) they’ll go well with my more formal outfit pairings.

More everyday carry accessories to round out the suitcase. Travel Kit by Baxter of California. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Steno Book by Field Notes. Tan leather keychain by Apolis.
More everyday carry accessories to round out the suitcase. Travel Kit by Baxter of California. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Steno Book by Field Notes. Tan leather keychain by Apolis.

Rounding out what looks to be a very full set of bags is a great Travel Kit courtesy of Baxter of California (read more on the brand here; I’m told the Travel Kit restock is imminent, so keep your eyes peeled). And while I’m not packing many socks, a few pairs of Richer Poorer no-show socks and a pair or two of patterned socks (for matching with shades of blue) should fit right in. A few everyday carry accessories, like a handy pair of American-made sunglasses, my black rubber Stuhrling Aquadiver watch, my stainless steel Invicta dive watch and my new Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol watch will also be with me as options for daily rotation. Luckily other than my blazer for travel, I’m leaving outerwear behind — which will hopefully prove to be the right choice. To protect my laptop, I’m stowing my computer in my new Issara leather laptop sleeve (available now on the brand’s site), while a reliable Field Notes Brand steno book should more than help me keep track of my travels.

Ernest Alexander

That marks just about everything I’m bringing with me — whether it’ll prove foolish or a wise choice to forgo (somewhat) the Lean Wardrobe philosophy, time will tell. Just because I’m jetting off doesn’t mean the site will be forgotten, however — look out for another guest post via Madhav of Wardrobe Domination, as well as a Style Q&A with my buddy Barron from the excellent menswear site Effortless Gent. Of course, we’ll still close out the week here with the Friday Read and a good ol’ Style Pick — stay tuned, stay stylish!

Are you taking any big trips to close out the summer? What are your go-to travel essentials?
Ben Sherman US

Brand Profile: Baxter of California

One of the first men's grooming brands still gets it right today. Photo courtesy of Baxter of California.
One of the first men’s grooming brands still gets it right today. Photo courtesy of Baxter of California.

Here on The Style Guide, grooming has been a topic that’s been a focus occasionally, but not for the most part. Like other style upgrades though, the grooming game is one where guys can begin to set themselves apart – much like upgrading your home accessories or interior design. And in a similar fashion, smaller efforts go a long way toward a better overall picture (and appearance), and can really add up to a much better lifestyle all around. Again, it’s still grooming we’re talking about here. While upstarts like Brickell Men’s Products are absolutely getting it right on the newer end of the men’s grooming craze, there are some established brands that continue to deliver on product that really just works.

An inside look at one of the brand's most comprehensive kits -- the Best of Baxter box. Photo courtesy of Baxter of California.
An inside look at one of the brand’s most comprehensive kits — the Best of Baxter box. Photo courtesy of Baxter of California.

Baxter of California is one such brand that’s been at it for decades, revolutionizing its products over the years and really dialing in its approach. The brand’s roots are distinctly West Coast, right down to where they were founded five decades ago (its Super Skin Conditioner was specifically designed for protection from sea and salt air). The designs on the bottles and the packaging even now are clean and crisp, the fonts and colors stick to blue, black and white (a classic menswear combo if ever there was one), and the product – most importantly – delivers, too. If you’re looking for a place to start exploring an improved grooming regimen, Baxter is as good a place to start as any.

They’ve nailed it down to essential areas like Hair, Skin and Body Care products, although they also offer deodorant and candles, too. Plus, packages that combine the highlights into one are available for purchase – crucially, the Best of Baxter package boils things down into one essential set, as does the Travel Kit (soon to be restocked, I’m told, and which you can get a small look at below).

Just part of the spread from the Baxter Travel Kit -- a worthy pickup when it goes back in-stock.
Just part of the spread from the Baxter Travel Kit — a worthy pickup when it goes back in-stock.

Having got my hands on a sample of the Travel Kit in advance of a trip to Greece, I’m here to tell you it’s worth the investment for any trips you might take. For someone who hadn’t truly paid attention to many grooming products before this year, that’s a first. I had previously bought the Under Eye Complex from the brand, and while it initially struck me as a somewhat odd product to use, it definitely does its job well.

Prepped to travel with key essentials from Baxter. Notebook by Field Notes. Keychain by Apolis.
Prepped to travel with key essentials from Baxter. Notebook by Field Notes. Tan leather keychain by Apolis. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

So that’s a worthy pickup (if $28 at first seems like too much for a small tube of cream, rest assured that it does last through multiple months of daily use, at the least). The Travel Kit expands on that value-for-size philosophy and rounds things up nicely into a getaway-ready package (much like other stylish travel accessories worth your time).

The kit contains everything you could ever need for hitting the road, including the brand’s Daily Protein Shampoo and Daily Face Wash, After Shave Balm and Oil-Free Moisturizer. I’ll admit I’m not much in the way of shaving my beard, but when the time comes, the Super Shave Balm (also contained therein) should do the job nicely.
Ernest Alexander
Much like Brickell Men’s Products, Kiehl’s, Jack Black or other grooming brands with an all-around focus, Baxter has a clear vision when it comes to product design, packaging and functionality. These are items that get the job done and do so in a way that’s not incredibly expensive. In fact, it’s fairly approachable. If ponying up for grooming products stretches the budget thin, simpler alternatives will likely do the job. But upgrading to an established name can absolutely yield quality that’s worth a slight investment – and a better appearance at the end (or the start) of the day.

Do you have a go-to grooming company or product? Have you ever tried out Baxter of California?

Ben Sherman US

Style Pick of the Week: Pistol Lake Sweatshorts

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 casual summer style essential made the right way.
A casual summer style essential made the right way.

This week’s Style Pick is coming at you courtesy of Pistol Lake – yes, that name keeps popping up here, particularly in regard to the brand’s henleys. It’s simply too hard to resist when a company features American-made, sportswear-inspired basics that hit that happy medium of rugged and classic, and do so at a pretty decent price. For the record, these are sweatshorts, to be sure, so they’re decidedly more dressed-down than other Style Picks — like these Billy Reid trousers. But when it’s exceptionally hot out, shorts are definitely what’s called for (check out more ways to beat the heat at the link).  And in a range of versatile colors that would definitely pair well with a crisp Pistol Lake Henley,  buying something from the brand for your bottom half is a wise move.

The sweatshorts will also soon be available in a brand-new Moss colorway.
The sweatshorts will also soon be available in a brand-new Moss colorway.

And like joggers, sweatshorts are part of the ongoing #menswear trend of using laidback materials and styling to craft everyday items. In that sense, these might be too casual for some. But if you’re looking for a comfortable pair of shorts to throw on around the house, heading to the park or zipping down the street for a patio brunch or lunch, they’re definitely a solid bet – and they definitely do look better than baggy cargo shorts. They’re comfortable, featuring a thick old-school athletic waistband and garment-dyed French terry cotton. And yet, the cut on them is surprisingly like a pair of tailored shorts – these are not your baggy gym-class shorts of old. The best part just might be the fact that they feature a built-in, hidden cell phone pocket. If you’re feeling your way toward small style upgrades, a classed-up pair of comfortable shorts in a solid color is an excellent way to spend some of your summer fun money.

Thinking about trying a pair of sweatshorts out? What’s your take on the ‘athleisure’ trend as a whole?

Ben Sherman US

Ernest Alexander

The Friday Read: New SPECTRE Trailer, Italian Fashion and Jake Gyllenhaal

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.

What a week it’s been, to say the least! I kicked things off by attending the excellent Capsule Show, an international fashion and lifestyle brand exhibition  — I snapped a nice photo montage of the best brands I saw here. I also had the chance to attend a preview for a new industrial design project by Apolis launching later this year. The brand is partnering with Chivas Regal to turn excess glassware from the spirits company’s massive factories into sets of glass tumblers – very cool stuff. You can read more about the preview and catch a glimpse of yours truly (hint: navy floral shirt) in the brand’s blog post on the event. And now, I’m heading back to Michigan for the weekend to catch up with college friends. But enough about all that — onto this week’s reading (and watching).

  • We start things off not with an article, but with a video. If you haven’t seen the trailer for the new James Bond film SPECTRE yet, stop what you’re doing and go watch. Suffice to say — it looks stunning.  And the #menswear contained therein looks stunning as well. The classic cream dinner jacket. The chunky turtleneck. And those Tom Ford shades. Wow. While opinions on  Mr. Craig have been divisive sometimes, you’ll find no such talk about that from this writer.
  • On a bit calmer front, Cool Material thinks your phone is missing some apps, and they rounded up the eight best apps you don’t know (or do you?)
  • The New York  Times reports that Italy is planning to use its significant fashion industry clout by investing in the U.S. as a major future fashion market, to the tune of more than $20 million in investments.
  • GQ.com has the scoop on what Jake Gyllenhaal has been wearing to promote his latest movie, Southpaw (hint: the dude likes the air tie a lot).
  • Long Read of the Week: This week’s Friday Read, like last week’s post, eschews the Long Read portion — giving you more time to go back and watch that SPECTRE trailer.

That’s all on the Friday Read front here — but if you insist on reading something else…

Ernest Alexander

Ben Sherman US

Style Upgrade: The Slim Wallet

Editor’s note: This is the first in an ongoing series covering quick and easy upgrades to style dilemmas a guy might face once in a while. Check back for more entries in the series.

Does this look like your wallet? Or someone you know? Friends don't let friends stuff their wallets.
Does this look like your wallet? Or someone you know? Friends don’t let friends stuff their wallets.
What’s the one thing you carry with you, likely everywhere, everyday? A wallet, or some way or system of storing credit cards, cash, etc. But the thing with that is … it can be a lot. Sometimes, George Costanza-esque (although hopefully not!). Getting your wallet and valuables in order is but one step that goes hand in hand with bettering your style – and your lifestyle in general.
Ben Sherman US
Swapping out that wallet, of course, requires an evaluation of the goods you’ve got in your current one. Excess or old gift cards or receipts? Unless you’re overly sentimental, those can probably be tossed. That value rewards card for a store you never visit? Ehh, probably to the trash can. So that leaves you with the essentials. Storing those is the next step – and with clothing getting slimmer all the time, what does one reach for? Even if you find yourself leaning toward straight leg pant cuts, a good answer is the card case.

What your wallet and credit cards situation should probably look like instead. Read on to learn more about both of these options.
What your wallet and credit cards situation should probably look like instead. On the left: Land’s End Landmark Newton Cardholder. On the right: Linjer Leather Goods’ Mocha Cardholder. Read on to learn more about both of these options.
In a way, it’s like a Lean Wardrobe for your wallet – making do with less, but using those items more efficiently. Paired with a sturdy money clip (like this clever option from Owen & Fred) for some cash, it’s a combination that truly does look stylish while also serving a nice function. And luckily, designers and brands big and small are making versions that lean either super luxe or quite rugged. New leather goods startup Issara makes a truly sleek version with two exterior slots for cards and one additional interior slot at a price that’s not quite investment-grade (but not exactly cheap, either).

A money clip like this one from Owen & Fred will help you keep track of cash once you slim down that wallet.
A money clip like this one from Owen & Fred will help you keep track of cash once you slim down that wallet.
Another significant upgrade at an affordable price would be the Land’s End Landmark Newton Cardholder. It’s on sale right now for just under $15, a pretty darn good price when you consider it’ll go with you everywhere, and the middle-of-the-road brown or black options work in equal measures. Linjer Leather Goods also makes a nice and slim card case in brown as seen above. If you can’t quite let go of your traditional wallet but want to lose the excess bulk, the Mocha Leather Billfold from Linjer is sleeker yet not quite as toned down as a card case.

The slim silhouette and eyecatching use of fabric make this piece from The Hill-Side a true splurge.
The slim silhouette and eyecatching use of fabric make this piece from The Hill-Side a true splurge.
Skagen’s Torben Card Case also would get the job done quite nicely, although there’s a small branded logo stamp on one side, which some might not like. If you really feel like selling out when it comes to this style upgrade though, The Hill-Side (one of GQ’s best and brightest) makes what looks to be an amazing navy herringbone tweed wallet featuring burnished edges, Italian cowhide leather – and more importantly, a slimmed-down yet still traditional wallet shape. There’s no way that thing’d get bulked down by receipts … right?

That’s all for the first Style Upgrade in this series – have you made the switch yet? What card case and/or money clip are you carrying around these days? Let me know!

Ernest Alexander

Online Shopping Picks: Rugged Men’s Henleys for Summer Weather

What started as a functional shirt for British rowers is now a style staple. Short-sleeve olive henley by Pistol Lake. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.
What started as a functional shirt for British rowers is now a style staple. Short-sleeve olive henley by Pistol Lake. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

So this site just ran an Online Shopping Picks piece awhile back detailing the best T-shirts for spring and summer — so what makes a henley different than a T-shirt? It’s all in the details. By its nature, a henley, with a two-to-four-button placket on the front, has slightly different visual details than even a pocket T-shirt — and it can sometimes get boring to wear pocket T-shirt after pocket T-shirt (take it from a guy who has about five). The henley has evolved from its origins as sportsman’s shirt into a symbol of rugged 21st-century style — check out how Daniel Craig and Chris Pratt rock the style, for starters. While one shirt won’t turn you into a dinosaur-fighting badass, it doesn’t hurt to emulate that move — and the five selections below just might help you do that.

#1. Buck Mason Short Sleeve Henley in White, $45

Made in the USA the right way for a fair price.
Made in the USA the right way for a fair price.

Just as with Buck Mason Oxford shirts, this henley is made in the U.S.A and is but one of the many excellent basics the brand has updated for modern times. The Pima cotton keeps this shirt soft, while small details like a rounded hem, a clean four-button placket and ribbed cuffs at the sleeves all set it apart from more typical henleys. This is the type of shirt you can wear on its own now with rugged denim or slim chinos, and continue wearing under cardigans (a la Mr. Craig) well into the fall and winter.

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

Rugged and deeply cool at the same time, and made in America on top of that.
Rugged and deeply cool at the same time, and made in America on top of that.

You very well might recognize that henley from the above picture, or from this spring Style Pick post. It keeps popping up simply because it’s just that good — as far as made in the U.S.A quality for the price, there’s nearly no better value out there than what the dudes at Pistol Lake are doing. While the olive (or Quartermaster) number has proven excellent and versatile on a personal note, the Faded Black colorway would be the epitome of rugged downtown cool when paired with grey jeans and some white sneakers — the unfinished sleeves are perfect for rolling or styling as you please.

#3. J. Crew Slim  Broken-in Short-Sleeve Henley — $34.50

A decidedly brighter shade than other options on this list.
A decidedly brighter shade than other options on this list.

Unlike its counterpart above, this J. Crew henley isn’t made stateside. It does, however, boast a cheaper price, a range of colors to pick from and a seasonally appropriate sunfaded wash. The faded black, navy, red and white colorways all have a large range of sizes available (rather surprisingly), but the red color would be an interesting change of pace and still wearable with navy or light grey chinos and leather sneakers for a high-low look.

#4. Steven Alan Self-Placket Henley — $48

A deep indigo blue color with some unique, sporty touches.
A deep indigo blue color with some unique, sporty touches.

What’s got the texture and striped pattern of a polo, but the more laidback design of a henley? This lovely Steven Alan piece, that’s what. It’s made from a heavier textured cotton blend, so it might not be nearly as breathable as the other options shown here, but it’s got some neat styling touches. The shorter two-button placket adds an almost retro look, while the heavy textured cotton creates a microstripe pattern — can a regular henley do that? Nah. At $48 on sale (marked down from $125), it’s a little pricier but honestly still a downright steal.

#5. Billy Reid Pensacola Polo in Steel Blue, $78

A cool sky or (Steel) blue color and designer details like Mother of Pearl buttons make this a standout piece.
A cool sky or (Steel) blue color and designer details like Mother of Pearl buttons make this a standout piece.

Unlike some of the other entries on this list, this piece isn’t made in America — it’s made at the source in Peru though with heathered Peruvian cotton. It’s the priciest of the bunch by a good amount, but the side vents and four-button placket actually make it a bit dressier — and more versatile, by default. This piece should wear a little more like a polo, so that means you can and should take it for a spin with a khaki blazer. The contrast stitching and mother of Pearl buttons also upgrade it slightly — and with Billy Reid, you know you’re getting quality.

Florsheim

Now if none of these options float your boat (or you don’t fancy spending close to $50 on a henley), be sure to give old standbys like Old Navy or Target a look — you’re getting fairly solid quality for low prices and the option to buy a few at a time if you’re into that sort of thing. On the more lux end of things (but just missing the cut on this list), Club Monaco does a linen henley in a dark blue that you could even wear with, say, a light grey linen suit.

What are your thoughts on this list? Which of the above options would you (or will you) pick up? And what’s your favorite way to wear a henley?

Ben Sherman US

Style Pick of the Week: Mott & Bow White Denim

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. Note that this week’s pick is a new release!

The newest introduction from an affordable e-commerce denim brand.
The newest introduction from an affordable e-commerce denim brand. Photo courtesy of Mott & Bow.

Every so often, it’s nice to switch up the normal rotation of dark denim or chinos (or lightweight dress pants) many of us throw on during the warmer months. Branching out from there can lead one to lightwash denim, maybe even some chambray trousers. But it can take some warming up to throw on all-white denim (there are plenty of ways to wear it, as seen on DETAILS.com). Some cream-colored jeans (a la James Bond in Quantum of Solace) can also fit the bill. But if you feel like giving white jeans a shot and supporting an up-and-coming brand, check out the newest release from Mott & Bow. Their brand-new, sharp white denim is this week’s Style Pick of the Week (cue fireworks and emoji applause). The brand is doing things the right way, sourcing quality fabric from Turkey for this pair and others (you may recognize them from this blog, or more likely, from the pages of Esquire).

The Skinny fit of Mott & Bow's  new white denim features a trim 13 1/2" leg opening.
The Skinny fit of Mott & Bow’s new white denim features a trim 13 1/2″ leg opening.

Again, white denim is a pretty bold style move, but the best thing about this set from Mott & Bow is that unlike other designer brands or even smaller merchants like J. Crew, you won’t fork over an arm and a leg (or two legs in this case) to get them. At under $100, these should be a very solid buy. They’re available in a Skinny version featuring a 13 ½” leg opening, as well as Slim & Straight fits. From personal experience with the Skinny version, the style fits remarkably similar to a J. Crew 484 jean or a Uniqlo Slim Fit Stretch jean – and the 2% built-in elastic material in this Mott & Bow pair ensures comfort as you move around in the heat. These look to be the ideal jean to wear with … well, just about anything, from a khaki blazer or a polo to a navy pocket tee (especially the pocket tee) and some some solid leather desert boots. The look in the top photo is particularly crisp yet casual thanks to the navy blazer. Just keep the all-white get-up in the closet unless you fancy yourself a runway model, ehh?

What do you think of the newest release from Mott & Bow? How would you style white denim?

Ernest Alexander

The Friday Read: New York Fashion Week: Men’s, J. Crew Mercantile and Rob Gronkowski

Ben Sherman US

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.

First of all — based on that headline, this Friday Read should  be pretty good, eh? And with the arrival of  this post comes the end of a pretty momentous week around these parts (these parts being NYC). The first-ever New York Fashion Week: Men’s rolled right on through, bringing with it some stellar shows and epic street style. I myself had the chance to go to Todd Snyder’s outstanding SS16 collection preview as well as spend time with industry contacts at GQ’s The Gent Lounge. This was, as always, on top of other writing pursuits – definitely no better way to experience parts of fashion week than by doing a little bit of everything! Check out a recap of most of my activities over at my Twitter account, if you’re so inclined. And as always, start your weekend off right with some style reads.

  • As part of its partnership with #NYFWM, East Dane (the #menswear arm of Amazon Fashion) caught up with a few key style influencers ahead of the shows.
  • Near the middle of the week, industry publication Business of Fashion reported that J. Crew is set to launch J. Crew Mercantile, a lower-priced line of shops targeted toward budget-conscious consumers
  • Ever wondered what it’s like to party with notoriously wild Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski? No? Esquire shares an excerpt from what should be an, um, insightful memoir?
  • Long Read of the Week: Bloomberg Businessweek explores the many cultural and media-driven factors that shaped the rise of the modern political campaign logo – including a certain very recognizable letter logo

Still got your eyes peeled for more style reads?

    • Check out five great swimsuits that would be best to hit the water with during this big beach month
    • Read up on a brand you should be pretty familiar with if you check out this site – United By Blue, the latest company I profiled for VOUCH Mag (for a full Q&A) with the company’s founder, head here).

Ernest Alexander