The Product Review: Todd Shelton Natural Chambray Shirt

Editor’s note: For product review on watches, boots, bags and everything #menswear, click here.

It can sometimes be surprisingly tough to find durable style essentials. That is, the type of piece you can wear over and over again thanks to its quality, reliability and yes, style. While there are a plethora of options out there for these types of things, from endless varieties of dark denim to great leather sneakers, how do you know which style or size or cut is right for you? That’s where Todd Shelton comes in — to take care of that guesswork for you, at least on the shirting front. You might be familiar with the brand — and this very shirt — from its inclusion in our Style Pick of the Week series, but we’re here today to go just a bit more in-depth. Why should that matter to you, my discerning menswear fan? For starters, the brand is all about the kind of style essentials this site (AKA yours truly) writes about in droves. For another, they’re a company that knows where its allegiances are forged — like a good number of stand-up, standout brands these days, that’s right here in America. And they sure do know how to craft a heck of an essential chambray shirt.

The chambray shirt on its own -- a slim fit and nice texture to the fabric make this shirt a keeper!
The chambray shirt on its own — a slim fit and nice texture to the fabric make this shirt a keeper!

That’s definitely what makes the brand worth a look — the knowledge and intuition to stick to doing great basics very well. And if you’re wary of ordering a chambray shirt like this one online, fear not. In fact, that’s a highlight of this review process. When the brand initially reached out to me late last fall, I myself was a bit skeptical of ordering sight unseen. However, that’s where Todd Shelton’s ingenious Fit kit comes in remarkably handy. You can either choose from basic fit options (which include the rarely found Small/Medium, Medium/Large and so on), or register for the Fit Kit. Once you fill in some basic customer information, a kit is shipped out to you containing what you might call a test shirt. You try on said test shirt and follow their instructions to record your measurements, before sending the test shirt and the aforementioned measurements back to the brand using a free return label (again, another small key that makes a big difference).

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

The customizations even go so far as to include Stomach Taper, Sleeve Taper and options to add on a pocket. And after all those boxes are checked off, you get a shirt sent back to you within a matter of weeks, completely customized and, in my case, exceptionally well-fitting. It’s the little things like that — plus the big things, like made-in-America production — that warrant the higher price tag. And yes, $200 is a steep price tag for a shirt if you’re on a budget or want to spend less on clothes this year. But as always seems to come up, compare that price to what you might grab at some place like H&M — three or four or heck, five times over. That’s the silver lining, my friend.

Just one way to style this shirt. Charcoal blazer by UNIQLO. Floral pocket square and brown leather belt by J. Crew. Red knit tie by 15ties. Navy suede 1000 Mile Boots by Wolverine. Striped socks by American Trench.
Just one way to style this shirt. Charcoal blazer by UNIQLO. Floral pocket square and brown leather belt by J. Crew. Red knit tie by 15ties. Navy suede 1000 Mile Boots by Wolverine. Striped socks by American Trench.

Now as to the shirt itself. The Natural Chambray fabric has excellent texture to it, and the flecks of white in the fabric help differentiate it from a classic blue Oxford shirt. This makes it a little more rugged and unique-looking, but just because there’s some texture to the fabric doesn’t mean the shirt is scratchy or uncomfortable to  wear. In fact, it’s soft and breathes fairly well for a chambray shirt. I went with  a slimmer fit all-around, and it fits like a charm. The armholes are high and the sleeves and shoulders are trim but still comfortable. Be advised that if you do choose the Short length in terms of the shirt’s hem, it is indeed a tad on the short side (but again, that’s likely the result of human error from yours truly). In terms of other looks, the white buttons make it a bit dressier than the black buttons on my GAP chambray shirt, so it can be worn a bit more easily with a wool blazer.

The versatility of this shirt means it's great for travel, too. Mt. Drew Duffle by United By Blue. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boot Company. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.
The versatility of this shirt means it’s great for travel, too. Mt. Drew Duffle by United By Blue. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boot Company. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

The light blue color also makes it the ideal contrast to slim dark denim and a shawl-collar cardigan — perhaps one of my favorite ways to wear the shirt, as you can see at the top of the page. It can also be layered with ease over a white henley for a vintage-inspired look. And the color stands out well with some slim tan chinos, too. My guess is that it can also pair just fine with some great spring or summer shorts when warmer weather does roll around. So it really is a true four-season chambray shirt, as the texture and the nice roll of the buttondown collar help it stand up to beefier sweaters and dark denim during the fall and winter. When it finally does warm up, there’s plenty of potential to wear it with all kinds of outfits, as well. The bottom line is that if you’re initially on the fence about dropping a lot of cash on this shirt, think of it as a great investment (and it can be made even more versatile if you pick up the point-collar option). Plus, it’s not often you can team a made-in-America shirt with everything from khaki shorts to grey chinos and still stand out for the right reasons.

Get the Natural Chambray Shirt from Todd Shelton here.

Do you own anything from Todd Shelton? How would you wear and style this chambray shirt?

Advertisements

Style Pick of the Week: Mack Weldon Merino Long-Sleeve Tee

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 plain ol' long-sleeve tee? Certainly not. A premium style upgrade? Definitely.
A plain ol’ long-sleeve tee? Certainly not. A premium style upgrade? Definitely.

There are definitely categories in the men’s style world that have been overlooked for years. That’s certainly true for things like underwear (yes, we’re going there), socks and crucially, base layers like long-sleeve tees. Athletic brands have generally dominated that market and focused more on functionality, but some companies have really honed in on a particular category and owned it — good news for you, my friend. So if you haven’t met ’em yet, say hello to Mack Weldon — and what just might be your new favorite T-shirt. The brand excels (and is primarily known for) its well-crafted and comfortable line of underwear, but it also puts out undershirts, T-shirts, sweatpants and even socks. So they’ve got a lot going on. But its Merino knits take the cake in terms of combining comfort and style. Crucially, I’ve had the chance courtesy of the brand to check one out over this past week, in fact. And while this Merino T-shirt might look like an ordinary long-sleeve tee, it’s anything but. So that’s a GREAT thing for the $78 price tag (bear with me!).

Just another one of four color options made with comfort, a tailored fit and style.
Just another one of four color options made with comfort, a tailored fit and style.

It’s built with antimicrobial technology, soft Merino wool and a Tencel blend that aids in that softness even more. The slim fit and raglan sleeves are modern design features that might seem small at first, but actually pay off in a big way. Raglan stitching (that’s the curved stitching at the chest) makes your chest and shoulders look broader, and the slim fit has a two-part function. Say you feel like going extra casual and rocking this tee with a blazer (something you can and should do) — the slim fit absolutely helps with that style maneuver, while the soft fabric and color options still make it different than a normal tee. And if you decide to wear it on its own with tapered sweats or even dark denim on the weekends? The modern fit is going to help you out immensely. My personal favorite of the bunch (four solid and versatile color options) is the Bluestone color — it echoes lighter shades for spring, yet it’s not so loud that it couldn’t be worn alongside darker colorways of blue, rust or even burgundy cords in the fall and winter. Unfortunately, the small size is sold out in that color at the moment; thankfully, there are other options!  At $78, it’s a premium investment for sure. However, you might not want to go back to your plain T-shirts after trying one of these on.

Do you own any Mack Weldon gear? How would you rock this long-sleeve tee?
Join the Hunt Club - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank & Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!


The Friday Read: David Beckham, American Apparel and New Mott & Bow Denim

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

I’m closing out this week on The Style Guide (and heading into next week) thinking ever so slightly of the impending arrival of spring. Doesn’t it seem like we were just talking wool blazers and fall sweaters? It’s pretty wild how the style cycle turns — even now, spring arrivals are hitting shelves (to that end, look for a spring style wish list next week). What top picks do you have your eye on for the coming season? Those new purchases seem to go hand-in-hand will looking toward spring travel, too. Rest assured that future posts will definitely cover off on those types of topics. For now, it’s the close of NYC Beer Week here in the city — somewhat unsurprisingly, there’s almost been too many great events to choose from around New York! So that’s definitely something I’m looking forward to this weekend. And as you look ahead to (maybe) cracking open a cold one yourself,  I’d recommend you kick back and catch up on what you should be shopping and reading this weekend.

  • David Beckham’s work with British brand Kent & Curwen just took another turn — get to know the label’s new creative director here, and get excited for the forthcoming, likely excellent, product.
  • This is from last week, but still worth a share — the fine team at Get Kempt developed what it’s calling the Sartorial Bill of Rights.
  • This story seems to be everywhere (or it certainly has been everywhere) in different forms in the past few years — HighSnobiety looks at the rise and fall of American Apparel.
  • Long Read of the Week: I just came across this feature as I was writing this post, and was sufficiently sidetracked. It might be from last fall, but Valet took an excellent look into “Ralph Lauren University,” interviewing several of the top-notch designers and creative folks who also worked for Ralph Lauren before launching into successful careers in their own right. It’s fascinating and includes plenty of big names, from John Varvatos to Todd Snyder!
  • Lastly — looking to get away out West, and in need of some great gear?

Still on the hunt for what’s new in the men’s style world? Keep looking below.

Florsheim

Online Shopping Picks: Stylish Men’s Chelsea Boots to Buy Right Now

Editor’s note: Get the scoop on all the #menswear you could ever need with all The Style Guide’s online shopping picks.

Chelsea boots via ASOS, with a bit of seasonal wear-and-tear. Learn how to style yours below, folks.
Chelsea boots via ASOS, with a bit of seasonal wear-and-tear. Learn how to style yours below, folks.

In case the headline wasn’t enough of an indicator, today we’re talking Chelsea boots on The Style Guide. Like other pieces that once seemed relatively trendy (remember when J. Crew  nearly single-handedly brought back the now-essential chambray shirt?), these guys have practically become a safe bet as far as a great footwear option for stylish guys. They’re not as hearty as a sturdy pair of winter boots, to be sure, but in the right style and color, they can definitely work in three seasons — and maybe four, if the snow holds out. The silhouette is generally sleek and sharp, and that seemingly goes for whether you pick ’em up in brown or black leather, or suede — all picks seen below. A bit of rocker edge never hurt anyone, either. And while at first it might take a while to get used to just slipping into a pair of boots — as it did for me — you might soon find they’re your go-to footwear option when you want to step away from leather sneakers, dress shoes or more military-inspired boots. Check out today’s Style Guide picks, and give us a look on Facebook for all the menswear content you can possibly ‘Like.’

#1. Thursday Boot Company Brown Duke Boot — $199

A reliable and (hopefully) hard-wearing pick from an upstart brand.
A reliable and (hopefully) hard-wearing pick from an upstart brand.

While it was an exceptionally close call between the Duke Boot and the Ellis Boot from Jack Erwin (option numero dos), a slightly lower price and more versatile brown leather swayed this writer (more readily wearable in winter, see?). Thursday Boots continues to be a solid option if you want to up your boot game for not a whole lot o’ dough, and they nearly always deliver. You get better quality than a pair of Chelsea boots from a fast retailer like H&M, yet you’re not ponying up an arm and a leg from a pricier brand. Added details like the studded rubber outsole should ensure a smooth grip no matter the season.

#2. Jack Erwin Ellis Chelsea Boot in Brown Suede — $220

Sleek and sturdy at the same time -- a nice combination.
Sleek and sturdy at the same time — a nice combination.

Perhaps it’s the thought of springtime being (hopefully) not too far off, but these beautiful Jack Erwin brown suede Chelsea boots end up near the top of this list for a few great reasons.  On the comfort end of the equation, these boots feature a rubber sole and full leather lining — both things you’ll be grateful for if you’re out and about a lot. And on the looks end of things, the suede appears rich and high-quality — take ’em for a spin with some white jeans when the time comes. Sure, they’ll require a little extra care and will probably be needed to shelved when heavy snow hits, but the rest of the time, they’re on the money.

#3. Wolverine 1883 Garrick Chelsea Boot — $175

Heritage-quality leather and rugged style details at an approachable price.
Heritage-quality leather and rugged style details at an approachable price.

As sold by East Dane, these boots are part of Wolverine’s 1883 line, which has more than a dozen individual styles on the brand’s Web site. The biggest thing to note here is that, somewhat incredulously, you’re getting the Wolverine brand name for under $200 — no small feat when you look at the brand’s 1000 Mile line (particularly the Camden Chelsea Boot). At any rate, the Garrick is a slightly more rustic-looking Chelsea boot, what with burnishing details on the toe and heel, plus that wrinkled leather. These will still do just fine with dark denim or navy chinos, and they’d even add a nice contrast to spring denim.

#4. ASOS Tan Suede Chelsea Boot — $68.43

Dark tan suede Chelsea boots that combine some unique color with a terrific price.
Dark tan suede Chelsea boots that combine some unique color with a terrific price.

Got an extra two quarters lying around? So these ASOS Chelsea boots are, it goes without saying, a downright steal for the price. And they’re another style that, like the Florsheim boots above, are a very worthy pickup if you’re looking to dip your toes into this trend. They’re cut a little lower on the heel for a slightly more continental look . Note that the suede isn’t the highest-quality, but it’s actually held up decently as part of a rotation and with less winter wear (the pair you see at the top of the page belong to yours truly — thanks Santa!).

#5. Florsheim Indie Gore Boot in Toffee — $99.90

More casual in nature thanks to the color and gore detailing.
More casual in nature thanks to the color and gore detailing.

Florsheim’s Indie Gore Boot has bit more going on visually than the typical Chelsea boot thanks to the side-gore detailing and the textured leather. Those aren’t all bad things, though. You’re getting a more casual pair of Chelsea boots — there is such a thing — for a great price. Feel free to beat these things up a bit; they’re the perfect pair to pick up if you’re just giving the silhouette a try. The Toffee color would sit nicely under some slim wool trousers now, and they’d work equally well under lightwash denim in the spring.

Putting together this list was quite tricky — it’s certainly no small feat to sort through Chelsea boot options when lauded retailers like Common Projects are throwing their (very minimal) hats in the ring. If you find yourself on an extreme budget but really want to go for the style, an option like H&M isn’t all bad for now, and more comfort-minded brands like Dr. Scholls are also producing Chelsea boots with a rugged edge. The biggest key to keep in mind is how you can make them work for you. If you find yourself wearing a lot of slim denim and mixing staples like tees with unconstructed blazers, the Chelsea boot is going to be a similarly slick style option. But if you need a more rugged pair of boots for crossing town, maybe save these guys for special occasions. Either way, it’s one footwear option I’d say you should give some thought to in the coming weeks — before everyone else beats you to the punch!

Stay stylish and happy shopping,

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


#OOTD: How to Dress Down a Wool Blazer

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

With winter weather still in full force for a lot of us, there can be a tendency to get into a bit of a style rut. That is, there are only so many ways you can style a shawl-collar cardigan or a crewneck sweater  before you want to change things up a bit. The good news is that, for so many of us, high-low dressing (that is, mixing and matching casual and formal pieces) is easier to do than ever before, regardless of what you might find yourself doing day-to-day. The below outfit makes use of some staples you likely already have in your closet (like dark denim, for starters) and puts ’em together in a slightly unexpected way. As a matter of fact, you might recognize the blazer from last week’s #OOTD post. Get the lowdown here, and then get those goods in your shopping cart.

Putting it all together -- combining style essentials you might already have in your closet.
Putting it all together — combining style essentials you might already have in your closet.

The Blazer: Frank & Oak Fairmount Deconstructed Blazer in Light Brown, $145 –A slim, soft sportcoat with a tailored fit and minimal padding — ideal for casual wear.

The Henley: JackThreads Daily Henley in Indigo, $34 — A great price for a superb piece that’ll age well over time; the “dressed-down” part of this outfit.

The Denim: Mott & Bow Skinny Mosco Denim, $96 — A classic pair of denim with great color and a nice bit of stretch (full review here). Note that Slim and Straight options are also available.

The Shoes: Frank & Oak Modern Leather Brogues in Dark Tan, $175 — Italian leather and European construction takes this pair to another level, plus  the color stands out remarkably well against the denim. Click here for a full Frank & Oak review.

The Socks: Anonymous Ism Wave Socks, $25 — Definitely a pricey splurge, but worth it for the quality and nice color they provide.

The Watch: Timex Waterbury Watch, $80 — A new Style Guide favorite; very well-priced, clean and classic. The ideal blend of casual and classed-up style.

Oh, and seeing as it is winter and all, finish off your oufit with my picks for the best winter accessories.

So with the above outfit in mind, I’d say give it a try just as soon as you can — when you pick up style staples that fit well and can be mixed and matched with ease, you’ll give yourself plenty of #OOTD options.

Would you rock the above look? How do you dress down your blazer?

The Product Review: United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle

Editor’s note: Click here for a plethora of product reviews on the right kind of gear to pack in your bag. P.S. Do you like The Style Guide on Facebook?

Taking the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue around the country. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.
Taking the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue around the country. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

The more you travel, you more you realize that it just pays to have the right gear. That goes for simple, smaller things like your toiletries kit, all the way on up to the right pair of shoes  or sturdy outerwear. It goes without saying then, that the bag with which you transport all this gear is pretty essential. And like other considered areas of your outfit, a great weekender bag can add a solid, reliable touch to your travel ensemble — seriously. It’s an area that should be overlooked, so when you find one that gets the job done, you should hold onto it. I’ve been traveling quite a bit in recent months, from a Christmas trip to Florida to a work trip to Utah, and a nice bag has proven critical to get from point A to point B. With that being said, the United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle that you see here has been more than up to the task of handling all of my style essentials.

Ready to hit the road with the Mt. Drew Duffle. Natural chambray shirt by Todd Shelton. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boot Company. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.
Ready to hit the road with the Mt. Drew Duffle. Natural chambray shirt by Todd Shelton. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boot Company. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

United By Blue should be a familiar name if you read this blog regularly — they’ve popped up in our ongoing Style Q&A series, and they craft everything from the duffle pictured here to responsibly made shirts, henleys and swim trunks. And as with any purchase, you can feel great about picking it up — they remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product sold, and they bring along their employees as volunteers to do it. So it’s no ordinary company you’re buying from, and that’s a very good. Namely, it means the quality and craftsmanship of this bag can stand up to the commitment they’ve promised.  And it means that no matter which of the five available colorways you pick up, you’ll be getting the same quality (for the record, I ended up going with the Moss option).

Brass hardware pairs well with the dark brown genuine leather straps.
Brass hardware pairs well with the dark brown genuine leather straps. The waxed canvas should hold up quite well, too.

If you’re going to be lugging this around the country as I’ve been, durability is going to be crucial. Luckily, the 18oz. organic waxed canvas is a huge plus — the bag has so far stood up to being jammed in overhead compartments and carried around on the subway, and it hasn’t shown any signs of ripping or giving out (pretty critical with how much gear I’ve packed into it at times). Now, it’ll certainly see lots more use going forward, but initial signs are quite promising. Another big aspect of that durability component is the hardware, as you can see from the above photo. The brass hardware teams nicely in terms of aesthetic with the genuine dark brown leather, but it also feels quite sturdy when picked up, too.

That is, it doesn’t feel like the leather handles are going to give way on you, or like the shoulder strap (also padded with that dark brown genuine leather) is going to suddenly break off. These are all big bonuses, and signs you should check out right away when grabbing your own bag. The leather handles, while sturdy, aren’t too stiff to carry the bag with — while the leather isn’t buttery-smooth, with repeated use, they’ll stand up to carrying while looking quite nice. So overall, this bag definitely has solid durability going for it.

Enough space for two pairs of sneakers side-by-side (plus gear not shown).
Enough space for two pairs of sneakers side-by-side (plus gear not shown).

Space is also a key when packing up a bag for weekend or long-weekend getaways. This bag packs a surprising amount of room (pun intended). I’ve repeatedly been able to fit two pairs of shoes (one pair of suede chukka boots and one pair of sneakers, for example) inside, along with various other knits, sweaters and pants. Compared to my Navali Stoway Weekender Bag, it definitely feels roomier inside, which is somewhat surprising given that the Navali Weekender utilizes more interior pockets and compartments. Note that the official measurements on the United By Blue bag are 24” Wide x 15” Height x 11” Diameter, compared to that Stowaway Weekender, which measures 22″ Wide x 12″ Height x 8 1/2″ Diameter). So this is really more like a three-or-four night bag as opposed to just a weekender bag (that is, if

Fit to carry all kinds of seasonal accessories. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Buffalo Bobber Leather Gloves by Iron & Resin.
Fit to carry all kinds of seasonal accessories. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Buffalo Bobber Leather Gloves by Iron & Resin.

 

One drawback might be that if you like things ultra-organized inside your bag — that is, divided up by compartments or sections — this bag doesn’t quite have that. There is an interior zipper pocket however, but that’s it. But given the bag’s roominess, I’ve always found that my gear fits in comfortably without things getting too jumbled up. As with any accessory you’re going to be bringing with you lots of places, looks are absolutely key, too. I’ve found the rich Moss color of this weekender to be a neutral complement to all sorts of travel outfits (again, style’s in the details!). It strikes the right balance between being unique yet not too outlandish. Any of the five other color options currently available would do much the same thing — particularly the rich Nutmeg color or the handsome Chocolate color. The lighter shade of tan even calls to mind a Filson bag.

Which brings us to a key differentiator between an expensive weekender and this one — price (not too hard to figure out there, ehh?). For a bag of this quality and styling potential, the price is just right. That’s particularly true when you consider that the Navali Weekender runs about $30 more expensive. It’s critical that this bag provides more space, more color options and a thicker waxed canvas (not to be overlooked when searching for something long-lasting). Keep in mind that if you were looking for something more smaller and more like an overnight bag, J. Crew Factory is currently offering up its Carson Duffel Bag for just $68.50. And on the slightly more casual front, J. Crew’s Harwick Weekender Bag is going for $148 (but that piece features nylon versus waxed canvas). Were you to go for something on the pricier side of things — like a true Filson weekender — know that the price is going to hop up significantly.

So when it comes to combining craftsmanship, quality and price with the right kind of looks, it’s tough to go farther than this United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle. The Moss color in particular is rich and eyecatching, the hardware is solid and well-crafted, the leather straps and detailing will break in nicely over time, and the price is on-point for what you’re getting. Heck, you might yourself making more excuses to use this bag than you thought.

Do you own the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue? Or is it on your Wish List?

Style Pick of the Week: Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Sneakers

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 great new sneaker release from a much anticipated spring collaboration.
A great new sneaker release from a much anticipated spring collaboration.

Perhaps it’s the recent influx of sunshine (however brief and chilly) here in NYC, or maybe it’s a sudden flurry of new spring arrivals hitting many a Web site, but I’ve definitely been doing some seasonal “planning-ahead” as far as #menswear goes. Do you find yourself in the same boat? With that being said, the forecast still calls for more chilly weather. Even still, the latest iteration of the ongoing Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers collaboration is absolutely a winner, and it takes the cake as this week’s Style Pick of the Week —  particularly the Nubuck Rambler Low as seen here. A great pair of crisp, clean and classically inspired white sneakers is a style essential nearly all year-round — even into the chillier days of fall. And although the Nubuck Rambler Low is a spring release, it’s a pair of sneakers you could match up with all kinds of outfits through the spring, summer and on into Labor Day. They incorporate all the elements you’d expect in a great pair of white sneakers, with a few added touches.

A slim toe shape and the captoe detailing make these suitably dressy for pairing with a blazer this spring.
A slim toe shape and the captoe detailing make these suitably dressy for pairing with a blazer this spring.

For one, the contrasting gum sole is a welcome design elements that’s popped up on lots of sneakers as of late. The captoe detailing and open-lace stitching are also nice touches that make these the ideal dressy or casual sneaker. They’d be the perfect pairing with some olive chinos and a navy polo when it gets warm out, and they’d even work now with slim dark denim and a navy bomber for a welcome shot of contrasting color. Plus, these guys would go great with an unconstructed blazer and lightwash jeans for a great Casual Friday look (the Perforated Rambler High would also work in this regard, but spring seems better suited for low-tops anyways). The Todd Snyder logo at the nylon heel tab is a cool touch that lets you know the type of designer quality you’re getting, as well. On that note, for a name brand collaboration like this, the price isn’t terrible, particularly when you consider that you can rock ’em more like dress shoes than sneakers. And the construction should definitely be solid — P.F. Flyers has decades of experience doing that.  It’s also part of a welcome series of collabs the lauded American designer has launched in recent years — look for some great new footwear on the dressier side of things from Todd Snyder’s partnership with Cole Haan later this spring. For now though, it’s sneaker time. Sadly, warm weather is likely a ways off for most of us. But hey, a guy can dream of spring, and these sneakers, and a spring style wish list … right?

Until Monday,

-Beau

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

The Friday Read: Mr. Porter, Dia: Beacon and New Music from Mainland

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

Here we sit on the doorstep of another start to a winter weekend — maybe you’re feeling a bit tired of chilly weather at this point? I certainly am — as a heads-up, tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week will aim to get you thinking ahead in a good way. It was a nice and slightly less hectic week around these parts, so that’s positive — still waiting on spring though! I’m particularly excited about some recent writing work I’ve been able to do with GearMoose (an excellent site in its own right), so that’s kept me busy outside of my day job, too.

Now if you do get the chance to step away from your busy days, I’d highly recommend a trip to the lovely small town of Beacon, NY — I took the time to get away for a bit last weekend and check out the sights and sounds of a relaxing (and on this weekend, very chilly) locale. It’s home to the world-class Dia: Beacon art museum, and some tremendous spots for craft beer and gourmet food — namely, The Hop and Draught Industries, both surefire winners. It was great to rest and recharge a bit. If you’re looking to do the same just an hour outside of NYC, that’s where I’d recommend you go. And that brings us back to the start of this weekend — before we get things going, sit back with some freshly-tapped #menswear news.

  • Have you ever shopped at Mr. Porter? Or is it a bit out of your price range? I find myself looking at a few items from time to time on the site — and with that, Mr. Porter is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its launch via GQ. The product mix certainly leans more continental, but it’s still worth a look if you know what you want.
  • Question No. 2: Are you a watch fan like yours truly? If so, Esquire dug up the best watches from SIHH (the international timepiece extravaganza), here for your viewing pleasure.
  • Question No. 3: On a non-style related note, are you looking to dig into some new music? Might I suggest Brooklyn indie rockers Mainland — they’re a heck of a band, they just wrapped a tour with Marianas Trench, and their music is catchy and relatable; get to that link for more details on their latest single.

Need more links to shop through? Start here.

    • Stock up on the best men’s grooming products for winter with my choice picks from this week’s post — they’ll have you beating the chill in no time.
    • The Style Guide (AKA yours truly) is all about excellent style essentials — that’s the focus of my new GearMoose series, in fact. Read more about Mott & Bow raw denim at that link.


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

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Grooming Products for Winter

Editor’s note: For more menswear-minded online shopping picks, including Oxford shirts and weekender bags, head here.

We’ve talked a bit about grooming lately here on The Style Guide,  namely in the form of this Doc Elliott giveaway earlier in January. But that giveaway is just the tip of the iceberg. Here in NYC, and I’d guess elsewhere for a lot of us #menswear fans, it’s pretty cold. And windy. And snowy, or rainy. All of that wreaks havoc on your skin, and if you don’t have a solid grooming routine in place, you could end up looking like this. There are a couple parts to assembling a solid grooming routine though, from caring for your face and beard (or stubble, or heck, no beard) to caring for your hands — so the below picks cover each of those bases (hopefully pretty well, too!). It’s not the full list of every brand you could look into certainly, but it’s a heck of a place to start — if I do say so myself. And if you haven’t given much thought to grooming before, it’s another small upgrade that can work in tandem with other style upgrades, especially if it was one of your style resolutions for 2016. So read on and stock up — you’ll beat winter in no time.

The Essential Moisturizer: Baxter of California Oil-Free Moisturizer, $24.00

A small tube that packs a big punch.
A small tube that packs a big punch.

One of the first steps to taking on winter is making sure your face is properly taken care of — and that starts with a hard-working, effective moisturizer from a brand that knows what it’s doing. The Baxter of California Oil-Free Moisturizer fits the bill perfectly. It’s a bit pricey for a small tube of lotion, but it’ll make a big difference — I’d say (although I’m no expert), using this as your last morning grooming step and your last nightly grooming step can definitely fight the effects of winter.

The Ultimate Beard-Care Kit: Doc Elliott Grooming Beard Care Combo Kit, $30

Two essential items in one package.
Two essential items in one package.

While $30 might at first look a bit steep for such a small package, rest assured that Doc Elliott Grooming absolutely knows what it’s doing in terms of beard care. This Beard Care Combo brings you two-in-one — the brand’s Beard Serum should work quite well as far as conditioning and smoothing that beard of yours, while the Beard Balm offers up even more protection. Two refined scent options are available, along with an unscented pick. There’s no wrong choice, my bearded brethren. And if you find yourself needing shaving essentials, we’ll cover that further down the line here.

The Hand Cream: Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, $15

From a brand known for its quality and longevity.
From a brand known for its quality and longevity.

Another oft-overlooked part of grooming — dry hands. We’re all prone to ’em, particularly in winter and even if you’ve got yourself some nice leather gloves. Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve uses a blend of botanical oils and natural wax (derived from olive oil, no less), should definitely prove a hydrating combination. Trust me, your co-workers — and yes, your partner — will thank you. The price is a bit steep for a small container, but the 22oz. size isn’t a bad value.

The Shaving Cream: Baxter of California Super-Close Shave Formula, $20

This shaving cream would be a wise pickup from a brand that does things like this quite well.
This shaving cream would be a wise pickup from a brand that does things like this quite well.

We turn again to a reputable brand known for its everyday essentials, particularly its well-known Super-Close Shave Formula. It’s hydrating and crafted with coconut oils for a smooth shave — having checked out some myself, it’s the real deal. It leaves no mess (it’s a thicker, fluffier blend than typical shaving cream), it’s a solid value and it’s got a hint of refreshment built in.

The Finishing Touch: Brooklyn Grooming Anchor Aftershave Tonic, $16

Handmade using organic ingredients, with a touch of Brooklyn edge to boot.
Handmade using organic ingredients, with a touch of Brooklyn edge to boot.

For when you’re all set shaving (and even if you just like to freshen up your beard after a quick trim), reach for a crisp aftershave made in part with aloe vera gel.  The brand says its scent blends exotic woods and balsam resins among others, and if you’re into it, it’s imbued with some unique spiritual elements (yes, indeed) — like immune-stimulating “holy wood.” At the end of the day, you be the judge of whether that works — but it should handle the basics in a refreshing way regardless.

While the above list might be a bit longer than the stock you have in your medicine cabinet right now, the best advice would be to pick and choose what works for you — at the very least, some solid basics, like a nice moisturizer and hand cream, can definitely sort out your grooming situation to start. And when used as part of a solid daily routine, they can impart some nice structure, style and of course, refreshment to your day. In the long run, they’ll all help you fight the aftereffects of winter — and come spring, the same routine will continue to take you far.

What’s your winter grooming routine like? Do you own any of these products or will you be making any new purchases.