Online Shopping Picks: Cyber Monday Deals

Doing any shopping this Cyber Monday? Have that credit card at the ready, and shop responsibly.
Doing any shopping this Cyber Monday? Have that credit card at the ready, and shop responsibly.
Editor’s note: For a full rundown of shopping picks from plenty of brands, be sure to click here.

While some brands have taken a step back from the madness that is both Black Friday and Cyber Monday (and kudos to the folks from REI and elsewhere), others have been going full-tilt on sales since the week before Thanksgiving. So shopping around these times should always be about balance. Having covered some Black Friday madness in my past life as a student journalist, it’s certainly stuck with me, and the same craziness can still apply to online shopping when brands push deals so early. I’ll definitely be doing some shopping too, and my thought is this: Check out the brands you like, peruse through the offerings and if you’ve shopped there before and had your eye on something — now’s the time to get it while saving some cash. It’s also a great time to find out about new brands, who often offer nice deals to entice shoppers. What follows below is a rundown of brands that meet the tricky balance between quality and price — so there are some familiar names, to be sure. Yet, that dependability and reliability can be welcome in the world of online shopping. What deals do you have your eye on? Let me know and thanks for reading! Happy shopping.

The Deals:

Frank & Oak: Extra 15% Off Sale Items with Code EXITROW; New Customers Get 25% Off First Purchase with code FNOFIRST25

What To Look For: Discount Knitwear, Tailored Wear & Sweaters

A glenplaid sweater and a colorblocked henley are but two of the picks you should look for from Frank & Oak.
A glenplaid sweater and a colorblocked henley are but two of the picks you should look for from Frank & Oak.
So these guys have two deals going — their regular deal for first-time customers (25% off your first order) and then that extra 15% off sale items discount. Frank & Oak always seems to nail it with its monthly Hunt Club Crate launches, and particularly its nice mix of classic and on-trend styles across the board. And now is as good a time as any to hop on a statement piece, like this unique Prince of Wales Wool Blend Sweater at a reduced price, or some solid knitwear like the above henley. This chambray blazer also wouldn’t be a bad bet, either (although only two sizes are left — get the full rundown of sale picks here).  On the shirting front, there are some decent picks available (like this Blended Plaid Shirt), although sizes on sale items are going EXTREMELY quickly A solid selection of ties and small accessories shouldn’t be overlooked, either.
Florsheim

J. Crew Factory: 50% Off Everything Sitewide; Free Shipping on Orders of $50 or more w/ code SHIPGIFTS

What To Look For: Casual Shirting and Sweaters

An on-trend pick, and a classic pick -- both at agreeable prices from JCF.
An on-trend pick, and a classic pick — both at agreeable prices from JCF.
J. Crew Factory indeed does get things right when it comes to the balance of quality and price they provide — some of the items on-tap are mighty similar to what J. Crew itself produces. The brand’s sales are notable for both their frequency and the markdowns they provide, and this year’s offering is no different — they made this list last year for that same reason. And if it’s a basic wardrobe refresher you need, something like the slim washed shirt pictured on the right would be a very solid, four-season purchase for under $30. Conversely, if you wanted to dip your toes into a trendier style without throwing down a lot of money, the brand has this sharp Fair Isle number on tap.

Bonobos: 30% Off Sitewide w/ Code MONDAY (Up to 60% Off Sitewide)

What To Look For: Splurge Outerwear and Knitwear

A killer topcoat and a killer henley, both items you should consider picking up on sale.
A killer topcoat and a killer henley, both items you should consider picking up on sale.
There’s no question that Bonobos’ product offering and design has expanded markedly from the stellar pants it started out selling (in the interest of full disclosure, I interned for the brand in 2014, but that in no way impacts my view of them). For as great as that’s been, some of the brand’s prices are still just a bit much. That’s why, given the discount they’re offering, it makes sense to pick up a staple piece of outerwear like the Mainline Topcoat. It’s an elevated take on a topcoat you can wear with everything from a grey crewneck sweater to a crisp blazer.  And yes even with that 30% off code, it’s pricey. But it’s a great investment piece. And a heads-up that you can knock 35% off your purchase of $500 — so maybe throw in a pair of socks? In that same vein, the brand’s knitwear is well-made yet also often pricey — this is another time to perhaps snag a more expensive piece you’ve had your eye on, like this waffle henley or a reliable and warm-looking navy bomber jacket. Of course, don’t sleep on the brand’s classic chinos or its corduroys or versatile brushed buttondown shirts.

JackThreads: 50% Off JackThreads Cashmere Crew & Vee Sweaters; Various Sale Deals [90% Off Warehouse Items, 70% Off Outerwear, 60% Off Boots and More]

What To Look For: JackThreads Collection + Third-Party Footwear

You can snag two sweaters for the price of one from JackThreads' new menswear line.
You can snag two sweaters for the price of one from JackThreads’ new menswear line. Photo courtesy of the brand.
JackThreads is yet another brand that made last year’s Cyber Monday shopping list, and it only makes sense — the E-commerce retailer has done a great job launching its own line while still dishing out some nice third-party goods. Exhibit A in that regard are the boots that Crevo has produced for the site — that’s a solid, rubber-sole captoe for under $70, along with a whole host of other footwear brands, including some decent-looking J75 chukkas for under $50 (sizes are going way quick, though). Of course, the brand’s newly launched menswear line is nothing to laugh at either — those cashmere crew and V-neck sweaters are an insane steal at just a shade under $50, with 33 colorways available. On another note, taking a swing through the site’s sale section can offer up some great deals, too (as much as 90% off in some cases).

Ben Sherman US

Where Else To Look: Old Navy (40% Off Everything, No Exclusions), Target (30% Off New Styles & More)  & H&M (20% Off Orders of $25 Or More w/ Code 2020, 30% Off Orders of $30 Or More w/ Code 3030, 40% Off Already-Reduced Sale Items w/ Code 4040)

A striped henley from Target, a solid chambray from Old Navy and basic sweats from H&M -- all with the chance for discounts today.
A striped henley from Target, a solid chambray from Old Navy and basic sweats from H&M — all with the chance for discounts today.
With so many brands offering up a multitude of discounts and sales for such a huge shopping day, there’s a lot to sort through in terms of getting a great deal and a quality product. Target is one such outlet that’s upped its menswear game in recent years, as has Old Navy. Both brands are always worth a look if you need budget knitwear, like henleys or pocket tees (case in point: this striped Target Merona Henley for under $10). Old Navy’s denim even stacks up decently well in terms of quality for the price, and that 40% discount brings the price down below $23 (look for something slim with some built-in stretch); plus, its chambray shirts are a solid pickup. So to snag an item (or two or five) at further discounts could set you up well if you need a bit of a style upgrade for the holidays. A place like H&M is now pushing items at even deeper discounts for Cyber Monday (witness that 60% off Black Friday deal they just offered), so sales are an optimal time to pick up a trendier piece or just a basic pair of sweatpants for not a lot of dough — and given that quality can sometimes be suspect, it’s always good to keep some cash in your wallet.

And it’s worth one final mention that more premium retailers like Todd Snyder often offer up sale items at even further discounts than usual — this writer was able to snag a sweater for $50 that was originally priced at $175 last year. The same can be said of some of the more premium American brands we all know and love, like Allen Edmonds (sale shoes as low as $125) and Apolis (20% off sitewide through the end of Monday). If you’re in need of a less dressy footwear upgrade, Brooklyn’s own GREATS has a series of tiered deals going on throughout the day, including some discounts on its premium Italian-made sneakers. Move quickly and you might be able to solidly restock and refresh your wardrobe with enough leftover for Christmas gifts (hopefully).

How much Cyber Monday shopping will you be doing this year? What go-to brands do you look for?

Join the Hunt Club - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank & Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!

Advertisements

Style Pick of the Week: Thursday Boot Company Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka

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.

One option to style the versatile Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka from Thursday Boot Company. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Baseball jacket by Grayers. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. VIntage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin.
One option to style the versatile Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka from Thursday Boot Company. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Baseball jacket by Grayers. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. VIntage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin.

As my personal style has evolved over the years, my interest in footwear has grown, too. After all, learning more and more about clothes necessitates changing up how you dress for various occasions (from a job interview to heading to class and then work), and footwear goes hand-in-hand with that shift in perception. Now, I love my white sneakers for spring and summer, and I’m all about a sturdy pair of leather boots for fall and winter, but to me, there’s one type of shoe you can rock nearly year-round — the ever-reliable chukka boot. I’ve rocked the two-eye ankle boot style in some form for the better part of three or four years. Some are crafted from fine leather, some are crafted from suede; make no mistake about it though, the style fits in exceptionally well with everything from a polo and chinos in hot temps (ask James Bond) to a henley and dark denim in the chilly fall, as you can see here. And for the price, there might not be a better option than the Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka on the market right now from Thursday Boot Company. The brand has taken some flack from some online commenters out there (what footwear company hasn’t?) but my experiences have been nothing but great, and these chukka boots fit that bill as well.

Pair these boots with everything from slim denim to chinos (don't forget a pop of color in your sock game). Baseball jacket by Grayers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Slim denim by Mott & Bow.
A closer look at the pleasantly rich suede, which has  held up quite well for the price. Baseball jacket by Grayers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Slim denim by Mott & Bow.

Crafted with a  Goodyear welt construction that feels more sturdy than the price would suggest, the Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka in particular is an ideal piece of three or four-season footwear — think a tee and slim grey chinos in spring and a shawl cardigan and grey denim later in the year. And the dark chocolate color ensures they’ll do well in the transitional time of spring through the fall. Planning for lots of wear is even easier given that the suede is of great quality for the price — it’s smooth and sleek, and it’s held up well through a weekend exploring Washington, D.C. on foot. The full-glove leather lining is also quite soft, and one of the first things you notice about these boots is a slightly higher-cut ankle than your average chukka boot — that also extends the sleek feel and makes it easier to pair with slim denim. If you’re heavily invested in your footwear and used to paying substantially more than the purchase price of these chukkas, the Suede Scout might not satisfy you; if on the other hand though, you’re willing to pay a more-than-reasonable price for a versatile pair of chukka boots from a company on the rise, you’re in luck — Thursday Boots has you covered.

Editor’s note: Look for a full review of these boots in the weeks ahead.

Have you tested out any footwear from the brand? What’s your take on these chukkas and how would you style them?

Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

The Friday Read: Black Friday Deals, Jimmy Fallon and Quoddy

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. 

Incredulous as it might seem, Thanksgiving has passed and we’re fully into that shopping frenzy that seems to kick off (or continue) with Black Friday and Cyber Monday (a heads-up that some choice deals today are listed below the usual Friday Read). But before we launch into that madness, how was your Thanksgiving? I had a relaxing and lovely day with family in West Virginia — the train ride to get here was quite a long one, so it’s a good thing I had some stylish travel gear with me. Where is this weekend taking you? Wherever that might be, I hope it’s time well-spent with the ones you love. I’m thankful this time of year in particular for the chance to have a job that I love and pursue my passions through this blog — thanks so, so much for reading! Before you grab a turkey sandwich, check out our Friday Read as planned and get ready to do some shopping. Look for a Cyber Monday rundown after the weekend, and the regular ol’ Style Pick hitting tomorrow.

  • Esquire put together a very well-done profile in this month’s print issue on late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon and how he’s handled the business of being, well, Jimmy Fallon every night in front of millions.
  • In time for the holidays, Quoddy and Sperry Topsider team up on a “Made in Maine” collection that should prove fit for some Northeast exploration. The black-soled moc camp boot looks especially promising.
  • Have some downtime this weekend?  A few weeks back, Paste put together a list of the top 100 movies streaming on Netflix this month.

And now without further ado, a selection of some Black Friday deals & steals from a few choice brands…

  • Frank & Oak — The noted Canadian menswear retailer is offering up to 65% Off, no code required, with new deals to follow for Cyber Monday.
  • GREATS — The terrific Brooklyn sneaker retailer (read reviews here and here) is offering 20% off sitewide and launching the second edition of its sneaker collab with NFL running back Marshawn Lynch.
  • Owen & Fred — Get $10 off your order of $30 or more at the popular menswear & home goods outlet with the code MURPHY (and read more on what to buy from the brand here).
  • Florsheim — On the dressier side of things, get 20% off sitewide with the code LNKTG15 through the end of the day.
  • Mott & Bow — Get 10% off orders over $96 w/ the code SMALL, get 20% off orders over $200 w/ the code MEDIUM and last but not least, 30% off orders over $300 with the code LARGE [and all you newbies can get 15% off your first order aside from those deals].
  • JACHS NY — Get 50% off on Black Friday with the code THANKSGIVING, plus free domestic shipping on orders over $100 (read up on a nice cardigan from the brand at this link).
  • J. Crew Factory — A Style Guide favorite, the brand is taking 50% off everything through November 29, with free shipping on orders of $50 or more with the code SHIPGIFTS (Editor’s note: Look for more picks from J. Crew Factory and Frank & Oak on Monday).
  • Grayers — Another Style Guide favorite, get 25% off sitewide through Cyber Monday with the code CYBERSALE
  • Combatant Gentleman — Everyone’s favorite affordable tailoring brand is in the midst of running 8 days of deals — check out the site for more, and catch up on a Combat Gent blazer review before you buy (if you please, that is).
  • Baxter of California — The grooming experts are giving customers 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25, now through November 30 (before you buy, read more on the brand here).
  • KOMONO — The noted watch & sunglasses retailer is taking 20% off & throwing in free shipping now through November 30 (read up on a great watch from the brand here).
  • Richer Poorer — One of the best sock retailers in the business, the brand is giving folks 40% off sitewide now through Cyber Monday (get the lowdown on some essential no-show socks before you buy).

Keep in mind that this is but a fraction of deals out there, with more to come on Monday. Enjoy the weekend and thanks for reading!

Stay stylish,

-Beau

The Product Review: Reef Outhaul Lux Chukka Sneakers

Editor’s note: For a wide range of product reviews on everything from watches to jeans, click here.

Styling black chukka sneakers for travel. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Grey shirt-jacket by Addict UK. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.
Styling black chukka sneakers for travel. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Grey shirt-jacket by Addict UK. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

The great thing about personal style is that it’s always changing and developing, shifting according to your tastes, your lifestyle and current trends in the marketplace. This has been no more true than for yours truly across the past few weeks – namely, in my footwear preferences. I love a great pair of boots, and I certainly love sporty sneakers, too. But in the midst of that, I’ve found myself drawn more and more to black footwear – be it side zip or moc toe boots or, in the case of this post, black sneakers.

Perhaps it’s NYC starting to rub off on me, but there’s something quite crisp and sleek about black footwear – and it’s a trend that’s been coming back in a big way in recent years. Witness Bond himself rocking several pairs of expensive and sleek black footwear in the latest franchise installment. And in turn, this has brought me to another style crossroads –wearing and styling black chukka sneakers (not as fancy as what 007 wears, admittedly). There’s an unexpected brand that’s doing a nice, comfortable take on the sneaker, and it’s one you should consider when you fill up your shopping cart next time.
Ben Sherman US

Now before a few weeks ago, I wasn’t familiar with Reef as either  a surfwear brand or an apparel brand, period. But when I got the chance to check out a pair of the brand’s sneakers thanks to the brand’s great PR team, I took the opportunity to dive in headfirst. And like the brand’s apparel (particularly a new workshirt from a collaboration with Lee Jeans), I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality, comfort and durability of these particular sneakers – the Outhaul Lux in Black, to be specific. It’s a style that’s been a remarkably hot seller from the brand’s fall line, too – Amazon does have a better range of sizes available as of post time, though.

Another casual way to wear these sneakers -- with a sturdy workshirt, slim denim in a fall-appropriate shade and a nice watch cap. Workshirt by Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Glasses by Warby Parker.
Another casual way to wear these sneakers — with a sturdy workshirt, slim denim in a fall-appropriate shade and a nice watch cap. Workshirt by Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Glasses by Warby Parker.

I definitely love a great pair of sneakers, especially from a brand like Brooklyn’s own GREATS, but now there’s some competition in my closet. Reef has been known more in the past for its surf-focused offerings, but they’ve certainly done a nice job with these sneakers. I’ve worn them to work with a plaid shirt and grey crewneck sweater, and I’ve also thrown them on to do quite a bit of exploring across travels to Grand Rapids and Washington, D.C. these past two weeks. Thankfully, they’ve been up to the challenge.

Crucially for sneakers, the first noticeable thing about these guys is the comfort level – the outsole features solid traction, something tough to get in a black leather sneaker on occasion, and the injected molded insole adds another layer of cushion and durability. For being a chukka sneaker, they’re quite light – that’s another positive that’s made these a solid choice for lots of walking.

One way to style these sneakers -- with a solid baseball jacket (via Grayers), a vintage ballcap (via Goorin Brothers) and a dependable weekender bag (by Navali).
One way to style these sneakers — with a solid baseball jacket (via Grayers), a vintage ballcap (via Goorin Brothers) and a dependable weekender bag (by Navali).

The premium full-grain leather upper makes for a pretty slick look and decent styling potential, too. As you can see from these photos, I opted to style them in two casual, rugged get-ups – notice my love of grey workshirts and henleys, namely. So they’ve been a very solid casual sneaker. Granted, they’re not as dressy or quite as versatile as a shiny black leather sneaker, but the monochrome color still makes them quite sharp. The nubuck leather is of good quality, too – it hasn’t shown that much wear and tear or creasing, a factor that’ll allow them to be worn in more high-low situations (think a navy blazer and slim khaki chinos plus these sneakers).

A closer look at the diagonal stitching that runs up the side of these Reef chukka sneakers.
A slightly closer look at the diagonal stitching that runs up the side of these Reef chukka sneakers, which some might not like.

However, just as they’re not as dressy as a black leather sneaker, the slightly rounded toe makes them less sleek – and thus less versatile. But, they’re definitely still able to function as a business-casual sneaker, albeit in a bit more unique fashion. The chukka-style cut is a nice change of pace from lower-cut sneakers. Those types of kicks definitely have their place in spring and summer, but a chukka sneaker screams fall style to me – perhaps it’s the shifting weather or the switch back to higher-cut boots as the temps drop and leaves fall, but a chukka sneaker is a lighter way to convey a similar style. The padded ankle makes these more comfortable than boots, too (as it should be with sneakers!). Plus, the higher cut aligns well with slimmer pants that have minimal break, creating a nice silhouette. And again, that sleek black color is probably best to wear casually at first — rotate them in as you might a pair of suede chukkas, or regular low-cut sneakers, and more styling options will definitely start to open up.

The one thing some might not like about these sneakers is the diagonal detailing stitched onto the side of the sneakers. It’s an almost tribal-like pattern but as it’s done up in black stitching, it doesn’t detract from the sneaker too much for me. Elsewhere on the shoe, waxed laces that have some nice stretch are a welcome touch.

The price on these is pretty solid, too – at $95, it’s always refreshing to see a good sneaker sold for under $100. GREATS and more classic sneaker brands like Vans might have them beat price-wise, but for a company known for its surfwear offerings, this is a solid sneaker effort that’ll continue to get good wear through fall and into the early part of winter.

Have you picked up sneakers from Reef? What’s your take on the black chukka sneaker in general?

Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

East Coast style: A weekend away in Washington, D.C.

Editor’s note: For more travel style features, punch your ticket here.

Hitting the road again. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.
Hitting the road again. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

This past weekend, I found myself on the road yet again, hopping on a quick train from NYC to another bustling East Coast metropolis, Washington, D.C. to reconnect with some high school friends. And along the way, I realized there might not be a better way to travel the coast than by train — the scenery was beautiful, especially seeing fall colors change as the sun set. And the weekend in D.C. was a fun, if fast-paced, trip that also gave me the long-awaited chance to break out some of my favorite fall style items. It was also neat to be able to explore more of a city I had previously only known for its monuments — I can safely say the nightlife scene is excellent, and stretches of the city (particularly the Georgetown area) offer superb #menswear shopping.

Exploring DC and walking along the Potomac River. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Broothers. Glasses by Warby Parker.
Exploring DC and walking along the Potomac River. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Broothers. Glasses by Warby Parker.

To travel down to D.C. on Friday evening, I kept things simple and casual, pairing my trusty Mott & Bow denim  with perhaps my new favorite pair of shoes, my Chocolate Suede Scout Boots from Thursday Boots (as seen in this Thanksgiving Style Suggestion last week). The boots are the perfect epitome of high-low footwear — they appropriately dressed up the navy crewneck sweater and Russel Baseball Jacket (via Grayers) I wore to travel, and their sleek shape, comfortable fit and high-quality suede made for a nice finishing touch to a new burgundy henley I received from the great folks at Pistol Lake. That piece in particular is a perfect fall color, and it’s crafted from soft-yet-sturdy jersey cotton for some nice comfort (although it is a bit more expensive than a typical henley). As you travel, I would definitely recommend investing in some similarly stylish travel gear, namely layers that you can take off and add with ease (like the crewneck sweater and baseball jacket), and solid shoes able to be worn from dinner to the bar and back around town.

Hitting the road in style again. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.
Hitting the road in style again. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Accessories that are a step up from the norm (i.e. a vintage ballcap versus an athletic logo ballcap) can definitely complement travel style, too — the Goorin Brothers cap pictured above is one of my favorites for that reason. And for the cold weather, I would recommend ponying up a bit more for a nice pair of go-anywhere leather gloves, as I did with my Buffalo Bobber Gloves from Iron & Resin. They were comfortable to throw on and should definitely break in beautifully over time — the leather is just that nice! Some well-crafted socks in a toned-down yet stylish Fair Isle pattern (as seen later in this post) from American Trench capped things off and paired well with my suede boots. And it was crucial to have comfortable accessories to get around town.

After my quick train ride, our Friday night took us to Kelly’s Irish Times, a revered D.C. bar that took home prestigious honors as Esquire Magazine’s top bar in the District last year. The beer was tasty (as always), and I would recommend you grab the tater tots if you get the chance to stop by. A Metro ride — an easier experience compared to getting around NYC on the subway system — took us back to my friend’s brother’s apartment and an early night in preparation for a marathon day of watching football (GO GREEN!)and exploring D.C.

Stopping for a second near the Capitol Building. Quilted shirt-jacket by Addict. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.
Stopping for a second near the Capitol Building. Quilted shirt-jacket by Addict. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

To get around the city, I threw on another new favorite pair of shoes, my Reef Outhaul Lux sneakers.I’m normally not a fan of much black footwear, particularly sneakers, but I’ve found myself drawn more and more to black sneakers and boots as of late (perhaps NYC is rubbing off on me?). These sneakers in particular were comfortable and easy-wearing for lots of walking; there’s a substantial amount of traction on the sole, and the full-grain black leather upper gives them a nice, premium touch. Comfortable sneakers are definitely another must on any trip (read up on some the sneakers you should own now, while we’re at it). Good footwear was definitely crucial as we explored the area near the Capitol and posted up at the Capitol Lounge, a Michigan State-centric bar that proved the perfect atmosphere for another thrilling finish and Spartan victory (again, GO GREEN!)

Ben Sherman US

I was more than able to fight a bit of a chilly evening thanks to some nice brews at the Capitol Lounge (again, worth a stop in D.C. if only for the French fries) and of course, a quilted shirt-jacket via UK sportswear company Addict. I wrote on Saturday about the great layering potential a nice shirt-jacket or workshirt can provide, and this padded option worked as a jacket pretty seamlessly. Although I hadn’t heard of the brand before, I’m definitely happy with this piece, and it’s another lightweight yet insulating layer that can work effectively as you travel from, say, the airport to an afternoon exploring the city. A great pair of jeans is also an absolute must-have, and it doesn’t get much better than Mott & Bow, who’s nailed the fit of their denim for a pretty nice price — they were a terrific pick for lots of walking and also different style situations.

Refined chukka boots helped with high-low style throughout the trip. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim denim by Mott and Bow. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Fair Isle socks by American Trench. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.
Refined chukka boots helped with high-low style throughout the trip. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim denim by Mott and Bow. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Fair Isle socks by American Trench. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Dark denim is a fail-safe style option, and this pair also proved appropriate for some celebratory festivities at the massive Penn Social, an arcade-bar hybrid with fun games and a nice atmosphere. From there, we stopped through a classic college-type bar, Sign of the Whale, before calling it a night — celebrating Spartan wins can be exhausting! Luckily, we were still able to make it into D.C. for a relaxing afternoon walking along the Potomac River and admiring the lovely view from atop the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. All that activity was made more enjoyable despite the cold thanks to the layers I wore, namely that comfortable Pistol Lake henley and my Grayers baseball jacket. Again, the comfort and traction provided by my chukka boots was also key, as I covered a lot of ground exploring the Georgetown neighborhood and its standout menswear scene, from Billy Reid to COACH and Jack Wills.

Inside the much-hyped Billy Reid store in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.
Inside the much-hyped Billy Reid store in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

If you do get the chance to go to that area of town, I’d definitely recommend you make a point to stop through Billy Reid — the shop is very well-curated, the product is beautiful and the staff is friendly and attentive (can you tell I’m a fan of the brand?). With that being said, all that activity made for a fun but tiring afternoon — and that capped off what was a quick yet extremely fun-filled weekend! It was neat to see more of the character of Washington, D.C. — particularly some of the quirky touches (bunches of Richard Nixon memorabilia at the Capitol Lounge, for one), that the city has to offer. While it’s different in pacing and the overall atmosphere from New York City, it’s a prime city to visit in the fall, and I’m certain there are more hidden gems I didn’t find yet! I’ll definitely be back. Until we hit the road again, thanks for reading.

Stay stylish,

-Beau
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

Style Pick of the Week: Reef x H.D. Lee Workshirt

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 herringbone workshirt can become a go-to cold weather layer. Workshirt via Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim brown jeans by Bonobos. Navy henley by United By Blue. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Black sneakers by Reef. Glasses by Warby Parker.
A herringbone workshirt can become a go-to cold weather layer. Workshirt via Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim brown jeans by Bonobos. Navy henley by United By Blue. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Black sneakers by Reef. Glasses by Warby Parker. Silver dive watch by Invicta.

For those in-between times when it’s chilly — but not too cold — and you feel like incorporating a dash of casual yeat rugged style into your fall ensemble, there’s one piece of gear you should reach for. While a crisp fall jacket can provide great styling potential, sometimes we all need to switch it up. And that’s where a great workshirt can fill a hole in your wardrobe. Sure, you might not wear it out to cut wood, but what’s the harm in looking a bit rugged? There are various takes that could fall into this larger category  — you could argue that it’s simply a lined shirt crafted out of a thicker fabric, like this piece from J. Crew’s Wallace & Barnes line. Crucially, it’s a style that’s made for layering, whether over a great fall henley or atop a tough chambray shirt. And while you might not have heard of the brand before now, you’d do well to check out the workshirt being offered up by surfwear brand Reef in collaboration with heritage denim maker H.D. Lee this fall (also known as Lee Jeans). The collaboration itself is a well-edited collection of some staple menswear items mixed in with some more unique pieces (think an essential shawl sweater alongside the surfboard bags for which Reef is known). I was admittedly a bit skeptical at first (a surf brand selling fall apparel?), but after being sent a workshirt to check out on a trip to Michigan, I came around.

One weather-ready way to accessorize the rugged Reef x H.D. Lee workshirt. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Gloves by Iron & Resin. Black sneakers by Reef.
One weather-ready way to accessorize the rugged Reef x H.D. Lee workshirt. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Gloves by Iron & Resin. Black sneakers by Reef.

For those who support American manufacturing (as we all should!), it’s a style that strikes a good balance between quality and price. It’s somewhat cost-prohibitive at $140, but that pales in comparison to similar workshirt/shirt-jacket styles offered by the likes of Saturdays Surf NYC. And the Reef x H.D. Lee piece backs up its price, too. The charcoal color is basic and versatile, able to be casually paired with some slim brown jeans  and black sneakers, as seen at the top, or worn with black denim and a sturdy pair of roughout leather boots. It would even work more casually with some navy sweatpants and sneakers on the weekend. You could feasibly wear this out for a hike and back, too. The herringbone yarn dye definitely gives it a great fall and winter vibe, too, and the chambray lining provides a bit of extra insulation. That it still manages to fit trim atop a navy henley makes  it a tremendous layering option. It could also be worn unbuttoned over a heather pocket tee with khaki chinos  and a merino watch cap (as I did here) for a quick jaunt around town. Side pockets at the hips are pretty handy, too. It’s available up to every size but XXL at the moment, so the time is ripe to pick it up, throw it on and get out there this fall & winter.

How would you style this workshirt for fall & winter? Would you consider checking out this style? Let me know and thanks for reading!
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

The Friday Read: DETAILS, Bill Simmons and The National

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.

To any new readers here: Welcome! And to you old regulars, welcome back. Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving already? The fact that it feels like it was just Labor Day (and the start of summer before that!), is pretty crazy! Next week, I’m looking forward to a relaxing trip to West Virginia to see family — where are you headed? And while we’re at it, what are you wearing for the holiday? It certainly won’t be long before Turkey Day — but prior to that, I’m actually hopping on a train this evening to Washington, D.C., where I’ll be re-connecting with some high school friends passing through the area. That adventure comes on the heels of a trip to Michigan last weekend, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what D.C. has on-tap (pun intended, wink wink). [P.S. Follow along with my style picks via Instagram and Twitter]. What are you most looking forward to this coming weekend? While you think on that, take a look at this edition of the Friday Read, which features a pretty monumental shake-up in the menswear editorial world.

  • The New York Times reports that men’s lifestyle magazine DETAILS (of which I suspect many of us know and read regularly) is being shut down by Conde Nast after its December issue; it should be noted that DETAILS.com will gradually fall under the umbrella of GQStyle.com, yet this is another sad day for the fashion publishing industry.
  • In happier news and in a welcome return to the stage, Bill Simmons sat down with President Obama for GQ’s Men of the Year Issue, and the interview is insightful and well-done.
  • This piece isn’t necessarily style-related, but it’s fascinating nonetheless — Vox revisits a series of ads released in the ’90s by AT&T that provided a pretty accurate picture of future technological advancements.
  • Long Read of the Week: In the most fascinating piece on a band I’ve read in a long time, Stereogum catches up with The National as the revered indie rock band transitions back into recording after time apart pursuing some incredible side projects. It’s a deep look at a band that’s one of my all-time favorites (it doesn’t hurt that they have significant Brooklyn roots near my old neighborhood, either).

Missed out on more menswear this week?

Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

Style Suggestion: Thanksgiving Day

All ready to pack up next week? Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali.
All ready to pack up next week? Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali.

Editor’s note: For past Style Suggestions covering Turkey Day, head here.

It’s hard to believe that as I type this post, we’re looking at the third — yes, third — Style Suggestion covering Thanksgiving Day on The Style Guide. Only three, you say? Well, it feels like more than that — it’s been a great journey, with a big move to NYC and some job changes interspersed among all that, and it’s one that I’m thankful for every day. That, of course, includes the cool brands I get to work with and much more importantly, the awesome, engaging people who read this site!

And none of it would be possible without the support and love of my family & friends (some of whom might be reading this post — Hi, guys!). So in the run-up to the holiday next week, that’s what’ll be on my mind. But as to what’s on your mind — hopefully that centers around being quite thankful, too. But, say perhaps your thoughts on are what to wear, or the travel gear you should pack to get to your holiday destination? That’s what we’re covering below — and we’re keeping things casual-crisp in this Style Suggestion. Take a read and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

The Sweater: Frank & Oak Horizontal Cable Sweater in Navy — $66

A horizontal knit and herringbone texture keep this sweater quite visually appealing.

Frank & Oak is a brand that continually gets a lot of things right, something that’s quite tricky to do when you balance putting out monthly collections  with adding to a growing brick-and-mortar presence. But they do it quite well, particularly when it comes to churning out staple fall & winter layering pieces. This reasonably priced cotton sweater nails that equation — it’s cut trim in a sharp, neutral color, yet the formality is toned down by cable knitting; that touch also gives it a good bit of visual interest. It’s less formal than a crisp merino V-neck, so if that’s the way your holiday situation is shaking out, you might want to reach for one of those instead. Conversely, adding in a nice knit tie could dress things up in a pinch if need be.

The Shirt: UNIQLO Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Oxford — $19.90 (On-Sale)

Keep it simple and crisp with the classic white OCBD for Thanksgiving.
Keep it simple and crisp with the classic white OCBD for Thanksgiving.

UNIQLO continues to rightfully earn its status as a maker of basics that hold up pretty well for the price, and that extends to its shirts in this case. When these are on-sale — and even when they aren’t — they’re an excellent value. The slim fit white Oxford shown here does indeed fit nice and trim, and like most UNIQLO products, these should have some decent stretch built in (more on why that stretch important when we get to the pants). The white Oxford is a style basic that stands up to the challenge of Thanksgiving — it’s likely a day spent in someone else’s home around a special occasion, so it helps to look polished. Yet, it’s not overly dressy, and it seems Thanksgiving is a good holiday to try out going tieless. Yes, it’s a navy sweater-plus-white shirt combo up top, but the texture of the sweater ups the ante.

The Pants: JackThreads Slim Corduroy Pant — $59.50

A basic corduroy that nails the affordability-quality equation and provides nice, er, function for the holiday.
A basic corduroy that nails the affordability-quality equation and provides nice, er, function for the holiday.

This particular pair of pants might seem quite familiar if you’ve perused this blog as of late; they were the top pick in a feature on the best men’s corduroys for fall and winter, and they’re back this go-round. They combine a slim, modern fit, a versatile color and perhaps most importantly for this holiday, a hint of stretch built in (y’know, for all that physical activity you’ll be undertaking on Thanksgiving). However, any pair of corduroys from this list could feasibly work. At any rate, cords will add another dose of texture to the outfit while still appearing a bit more formal than dark denim would, yet they’re not as dressy as some grey trousers — that’ll work well with the fact that we (or just you?) are going tieless here.

The Shoes: Thursday Boots Chocolate Suede Scout Boot — $149

A Goodyear welt, a sharp brown suede color and a slim silhouette make these chukkas look pricier than they are -- a nice addition to the outfit.
A Goodyear welt, a sharp brown suede color and a slim silhouette make these chukkas look pricier than they are — a nice addition to the outfit.

When you take one look at this shoe, you might think it retails for almost twice what it does. The Scout line of chukka boots is a recent introduction from Thursday Boots, and the Chocolate Suede Scout Boot really does look like something else (note that they also come in a crisp Brown Leather option). Thursday Boots, while the target of some criticisms, has provided this author with good quality over time as far as my Roughout Captain Boots are concerned, so we’ll stick with the brand here. On a style points note, these definitely look like something James Bond might’ve worn back in Quantum of Solace. And they’re a worthy pick to finish off this outfit, too — the silhouette makes them less obtrusive than a work boot, and the suede tones down the formality appropriately. Yet, they’re still dressier than crisp sneakers (as great as those can be to wear). That’s what we’re going for here, ultimately.

The Belt: Land’s End Distressed Vintage Jean Belt — $39.00

Go for a bit of visual interest with your belt, as with the rest of your outfit, and you'll be pleased with the results.
Go for a bit of visual interest with your belt, as with the rest of your outfit, and you’ll be pleased with the results.

If at first you experience some sticker shock over the price of this belt, rest assured — it’ll be alright. Paying a bit more for an item you can get lots of wear out of — potentially even every day of the week — is a very solid investment. And if you find yourself dressing in a manner similar to this outfit a lot, a belt with some rugged distressing is one you can reach for over and over. The roughed-up, full-grain leather continues to add a dose of texture to this ensemble in a situation where one could easily reach for a sleeker, and more expensive, dress belt. Not to worry that it doesn’t match up with the dark brown suede — it’s perfectly acceptable to break that rule when you’ve got suede shoes.

The Watch: Timex Waterbury Chronograph — $100

Design details like the aged-looking leather strap and the rugged-refined dial pair nicely with the rest of this outfit.
Design details like the aged-looking leather strap and the rugged-refined dial pair nicely with the rest of this outfit.

Timex hits the nail right on the head with a watch that’s rugged and refined, decently dressy but still acceptably casual and more importantly, ideal for the holiday — all for $100. The Waterbury line was introduced earlier this year to play off the brand’s heritage (and perhaps challenge brands like Shinola?), and it stands to reason that they’ve grabbed some customers with a lower price point and pretty good looks, to boot. The brown dial and aged brown leather strap match up nicely with the overall smart-casual vibe of the outfit. Plus, the strap itself adds some nice texture to an outfit that’s already quite full of it, from the corduroy pants to the cable-knit sweater and the suede boots. Plus, it’ll keep the time well and stand up to a reasonable game of backyard football.

The Socks: American Trench Fall Triple Stripes Sock — $14.50

Complementary colors and a breathable blend of recycled cotton make these socks comfortable AND stylish.
Complementary colors and a breathable blend of recycled cotton make these socks comfortable AND stylish.

If you aren’t yet sold on American Trench, it’s a brand that you absolutely should consider checking out. They’ve popped up here in a Style Q&A , and that gives some great insight into who they are as a brand. In short for the uninitiated: they source premium fabrics and construct their socks (and other gear, like merino watch caps) in U.S. factories, so the price that you pay is more than worth it. And in this particular instance, the Triple Stripe Sock adds a nice complimentary color scheme to the overall outfit without detracting too much from each individual piece. Plus, these socks are comfortable and crafted from a breathable blend of cotton — all too crucial if you slip off the shoes and pad to the kitchen for that second (or third) serving at halftime.

So that’s what’s in the books as far as this Style Suggestion goes — remember above all else that no matter what you wear next week, it’s about celebrating the day with the people you love, and being thankful for what’s on your plate. That’s something that definitely transcends style.

With that said though — thanks, as always, for reading.

Stay stylish,

-Beau
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

Florsheim

Fighting the chill: A November weekend in Michigan

Editor’s note: For more travel-centric blog posts, click here.

The sun sets on a crisp fall Saturday in Grand Rapids.
The sun sets on a crisp fall Saturday in Grand Rapids. View courtesy of my friend Chris’s apartment.

As I explored the lovely city of Grand Rapids this past weekend, I was struck by how lucky I am to have lived and grown up in such a beautiful state, and to have such great friends. The opportunity to travel back is, of course, not lost on me either.While it was tricky to balance working from Brooklyn and hopping on a flight back to Michigan after a whirlwind week of Timberland-centric press work, I did indeed manage to make it in one piece! And it was truly a great time in Grand Rapids, the home of famed festival ArtPrize and also some decent brews (to say the least). This was all in spite of the fact that I was greeted, in characteristic Michigan fashion, by a bit of brisk weather. Luckily though, I had proper style gear on-hand to brave the elements.

Stumbling upon cool murals was a highlight in a city known for its burgeoning art scene. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Down jacket by JACHS NY. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Leather chukkas by Timberland.
Stumbling upon cool murals was a highlight in a city known for its burgeoning art scene. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Grey jacket by JACHS NY. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Leather chukkas by Timberland. Dive watch by Invicta

To get home, my Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag and Navali Weekender were  more than durable, yet that wasn’t my primary concern! Packing gear to beat the cold while also in transit was the bigger ordeal– how to pack light yet layer up and stay comfortable? Answer: A terrific pair of Mott and Bow denim with stretch built in,  plus some solid outerwear. It’s pieces like these that can make your travels a heck of a lot easier in terms of comfort (UNIQLO also offers somed nice stretch denim at a different price point). To complete my travel get-up, I went with a striped J. Crew henley — always a rugged style suggestion for fall — underneath a quilted yet surprisingly lightweight down coat from JACHS NY. The jacket was comfortable to get around the airport and not too hot — it would be a good travel pickup as you look to bundle up and hit the road this holiday season.

Just a look at some of the cold-weather gear I packed, including my Reef x H.D. Lee workshirt, Iron & Resin gloves, American Trench merino watch cap and black Reef chukka sneakers.
Just a look at some of the cold-weather gear I packed, including my Reef x H.D. Lee workshirt, Iron & Resin gloves, American Trench merino watch cap and black Reef chukka sneakers.

Complementing my travel outfit were my trusty Timberland Coulter Chukka Boots — I’d also recommend you pick up a nice pair of leather chukkas for fall. To say they go with everything – even a T-shirt and jeans – is an understatement. To keep things simple packing-wise, I opted just to bring one watch — my ever-reliable Invicta 8926 Pro Diver (still ticking!). However, I loaded up on a few pairs of comfortable and stylish American Trench socks, plus my nice watch cap from the brand. The cap was a huge help, and though I had hoped it would be temperate enough to forgo them, my Iron & Resin gloves also proved invaluable in the cold.

Exploring Beer City U.S.A was a highlight. Workshirt by Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Navy henley by United By Blue. Merno watch cap by American Trench. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Jesse O'Brien.
Exploring Beer City U.S.A was a highlight. Workshirt by Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Navy henley by United By Blue. Merno watch cap by American Trench. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Jesse O’Brien.

To get around Grand Rapids, I layered up in a nice, insulating ribbed cotton henley via the fine folks at United By Blue (you might remember that piece as this past week’s Style Pick, in fact). I layered that underneath a brushed flannel workshirt from the new Reef x H.D. Lee Shelter Supply Collection Holiday capsule. You might recognize H.D. Lee as Lee Jeans, and the brand teamed up with noted surfwear retailer Reef on a seven-piece offering that you won’t want to miss if you love American heritage style (and who doesn’t??). Look for more on the workshirt this coming week on the blog, as it was a durable-yet-cozy layering piece that’ll quickly become a winter essential.

A superb burger paired with a nice stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.
A superb burger paired with a nice stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

And as far as tough style goes, that was definitely in play from location to location. I had the chance to check out the legendary Stella’s, a Grand Rapids icon that serves more whiskey than you can shake a fist at – and oh yeah, their burgers also took home a pretty prestigious prize from GQ in recent years. A stop there for a late dinner Friday night was followed by trips through the tasty Mitten Brewing Company and a stop at Long Road, a great distillery that serves up excellent crafted cocktails (a tip: try The Machine, a coffee-and-vodka combination). To round out the night, we hit up The Winchester, another great bar with an easygoing vibe and plenty of Michigan beer on tap.

After all that, um, activity Friday night, we needed a bit of a pick-me-up on Saturday morning, so clad in my trusty Reef workshirt, we headed to Grand Rapids Brewing Company for an incomparable Bloody Mary bar (can’t beat $4), and a little Saturday college football action featuring our beloved Michigan State Spartans.

Ben Sherman US

I paired the workshirt with my Bonobos Travel Jeans in a fall-appropriate shade of light brown. and the combination worked seamlessly with some new black chukka sneakers, also via Reef. Having the option to take off and add layers while navigating around the city (and namely, from brewery to bar and back) was quite crucial. As to travel style — if you haven’t explored the potential of tossing on a workshirt in place of a jacket, either via Reef or another lower-priced option (like this number from UK clothier ADDICT), I’d advise you do so! Workshirts can be layered over chambray shirts, or worn on their own atop a henley, and the results scream rugged style. When you consider that it can be worn as a jacket or as a true shirt on its own, it’s worth paying a bit more than for your average flannel.

A reverential approach to beer (the brewery is housed in an old funeral home) keeps things classic at Brewery Vivant.
A reverential approach to beer (the brewery is housed in an old funeral home) keeps things classic at Brewery Vivant.

For yet another night out on the town in Grand Rapids on Saturday,  I met up with my best friend Chris, the unfortunate guy who accidentally sat next to me on the bus heading to my first day of kindergarten. So it was awesome to catch up (look for Chris running absurdly fast at your next marathon). The option as to what to do or where to go was pretty easy – being in Beer City U.S.A. makes things rather easy in that regard, so it was excellent to stop into the revered Brewery Vivant. If you want outstanding beer in a beyond-cool environment, I’d recommend you hit up that spot. (Of note: the Farmhand Farmhouse Ale is excellent.).

Stops through a series of Grand Rapids bars followed on Saturday night, including The Meanwhile, an eclectic bar that wouldn’t be out of place in Brooklyn. We also managed to make it for a nice beer at the relaxed Harmony Brewing Company to round out a nice night filled with great times and great friends.

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts features a relaxing loft space filled with Herman Miler pieces. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Striped socks by American Trench.
The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts features a relaxing loft space filled with Herman Miller pieces. It’s the ideal spot to stop and recharge as you explore the city. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Striped socks by American Trench.

Of course, Grand Rapids is about more than beer though – it’s got a bustling arts and culture scene, and if you’re familiar with the massive, citywide art fair and installation that is ArtPrize, you definitely know it’s worth the trip. And the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts fits right in with the city’s cultural scene. My friend Chris and I had the chance to explore it on Sunday, and the tranquil setting, crisp design and engaging artwork definitely made an impact on me.  The city, of course, also has a nice mix of up-and-established large-scale entertainment entities (like the VanAndel Arena), and it’s on the come-up as they say: construction is booming, new apartment complexes are popping up left-and-right and the city is hanging onto its reputation as being family-friendly. Other outposts like Madcap Coffee, a world-class downtown spot, helped make an afternoon spent exploring the city all the more enjoyable.

Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Delicious, creamy Oatmeal Stout by Founders Brewing.
Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Delicious, creamy Oatmeal Stout by Founders Brewing.

To cap off a whirlwind weekend, we made a stop at yet another revered beer institution, Founders Brewing. The space now features heated outdoor seating, and a relaxed vibe plus some excellent beer was a tremendous way to cap off the trip. The beautiful weather and eclectic mix of new and tried-and-true spots made for an awesome weekend reconnecting with some great friends and exploring a bit more of a city I hadn’t seen in a while. When you travel there, I’d of course recommend bringing some cold-weather travel gear – but more than that, I’d recommend you simply enjoy your time in a city that’s a fine example of the Midwest.

What do you think of these cold-weather style picks? More importantly, have you been to Grand Rapids before, or are you traveling there soon?

Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!