Style Pick of the Week: Tanner Goods Court Classic Mid Sneaker

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.

Does it get better than high-top sneakers made in America out of Horween leather? Only when they carry the Tanner Goods name.
Does it get better than high-top sneakers made in America out of Horween leather? Only when they carry the Tanner Goods name.

When it comes time to write up each week’s Style Pick, it’s often a pretty tough call — this week, there was no doubt about the item to feature. Hands-down, the stunning, splurge-worthy and incredible-looking Tanner Goods Court Classic Mid took the top spot. The reasons why are too numerous to count, but we’ll try to outline them nonetheless. These terrific high-top sneakers are coming at you via a partnership between Tanner Goods and another equally excellent purveyor of American-made craftsmanship, Rancourt & Co. The brand has been making shoes domestically for nearly 50 years, and if its recent foray into sneakers is any indication, they’ll be around for at least that long going forward. In this instance, they’ve turned their expertise toward the classic high-top sneaker, done up this time in fantastic Natural Horween leather and a really distinctive Honey Vibram sole — that’s nearly the best of the best when it comes to footwear, all boiled down into one shoe. The Natural leather of this pair of sneakers is going to age positively beautifully over time — and for the price tag, you’d be better be darn sure to hang onto ’em for years to come (they certainly qualified for my Style Wish List). It’s another great addition to the Tanner Goods footwear family –last fall’s P.F. Flyers Center Hi collaboration took a rich-looking Indigo Horween leather and redid it in much the same fashion. Talk about a pair of sneakers that’ll turn heads — and they’re extremely limited (just 80 pairs made). How exactly can you wear these guys, though? Just you wait.

Handmade in Maine from a company with nearly five decades of heritage.
Handmade in Maine from a company with nearly five decades of heritage.

Easy answer there — the distinctive color of these sneakers really lends itself well to rocking with dark denim or slim grey selvedge denim particularly, although they’d also add a nice pop to slim stone chinos. Lest we forget that spring and summer are about lighter colors and textures, don’t rule out how they’d look beneath slim light wash jeans alongside a natural pocket tee. And they’re the type of sneaker that can easily work with a blazer-and-tee combination (a personal favorite of this author). For the more stylistically adventurous, they’d add a great shot of color to a slim blue chambray suit this season. When you need dress stylishly for a spring bar crawl, they’re a solid option, too. The antique brass hardware finishes off the sneakers handsomely, and you even get a limited-edition coaster and key fob made from the same high-quality leather. It’s the little details that make the difference when it comes to style, and this pair of sneakers gets them absolutely right.

Would you invest in these Tanner Goods sneakers? How would you style ’em?

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The Friday Read: Fashion Supply Chains, Steph Curry and the Guinness Debate

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.  

Things have been developing quickly on The Style Guide this spring — it’s tough to believe it’s already nearly May! Right? If your spring has been going as fast as mine feels like it has, perhaps you’ve already locked down a stylish spring jacket or an awesome pair of leather loafers? What about some made-in-America sneakers? Join us for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week — no more hints. And in the meantime, let’s get on with the Friday Read. This past week, we’ve been in the midst of planning another spring event for Timberland — yet this time, we’re looking toward the brand’s Fall 2016 collections. Maybe that’s where the time is going! But back to the matter at hand. Is there content you’d like to see on the blog? Outfit suggestions? Certain categories covered more? Definitely let me know.  We’ll be angling to cover more lifestyle content in the coming weeks, including some changes coming to this particular feature. That doesn’t change the below #menswear news we’re covering here. Read on, and enjoy the weekend!

  • We’ll start with a worthwhile read for every fashion fan, as VICE dives into that arena by looking at how big-name fashion brands — some of the biggest in the world, in fact — are using secret supply chains; not very ethical, to say the least.
  • Just how valuable is Steph Curry to Under Armour as a brand? Pretty darn valuable! To the tune of … well, $14 billion. With a B. Pretty neat.
  • Like any self-respecting beer drinker, I love a good Guinness. Even if it’s pretty pervasive, is it craft beer? Check out what Men’s Journal had to say on the matter.
  • Style Note of the Week: In case you hadn’t caught wind of this as of yet, Well-Spent reminds us all that the Taylor Stitch Beach Jacket continues to fund — and continues to impress. Check out how to style it in this week’s #OOTD.

Still looking for more men’s style content? Get a load of the below.

That’s all for now, folks — look out for tomorrow’s Style Pick, and give us a shout on Facebook with style questions!

-Beau

2016 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Editor’s note: For some other suggestions on what to pick up Mom, head to last year’s Mother’s Day gift guide.

While many of us are experts at exactly what’s on our style wish list, things can get a bit … dicey when it comes to holiday shopping, and particularly, Mother’s Day. Wait? You didn’t know it was coming? Surprise! It’s almost here — May 8 might feel like it’s a ways away, but if that day caught you off-guard to begin with, we’re here to help. We’re covering a few choice picks for every type of mom, and you might even find some gear you like at the very same brands (looking at you, Shinola). Have a question on a style situation or a gift-giving scenario? Shoot me a tweet (on Twitter) and I’ll be happy to help. Good luck out there shopping — without further ado, catch the gift suggestions below…
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For the Style Aficionado: Shinola Wide Double Wrap Bracelet — $85

Different than a thin bangle or a standard piece of jewelry, and crafted with some neat attention to detail.
Different than a thin bangle or a standard piece of jewelry, and crafted with some neat attention to detail.

$85 is a lot to drop on a leather bracelet, to be sure, but Shinola crafts these pieces with the same attention to detail it applies to its stunning watches — that goes for both men’s and women’s accessories. The look of this wrap bracelet (in an eye-catching, rich navy leather) is a bit more unique than a standard thin leather bracelet or a silver bangle, although something along those lines could work, too. If the recipient in question isn’t so much into jewelry, one of the brand’s lovely small leather goods (like a wallet or a phone case) could be of interest.

For the Gardener: Air Plant Pods and Air Plant Set (Cost Varies — $10 to $15)

A delightful addition to any area of your home, and quite easy to maintain.
A delightful addition to any area of your home, and quite easy to maintain.

If you haven’t really planted or done much gardening lately due to weather or space constraints, air plants are a cool way to brighten up a living space and add a pop of color to various areas of your home. If the lucky mom is into gardening or simply caring for plants, the gift is all the better. Depending on where you buy them from, the air plants themselves are a downright steal. And the air plant pod purchasing options vary, too — a word that you have to hand over an email to gain access to the particularly colorful pods shown here, but that small move could definitely pay off in the form of a well-thought out gift.

For the Bookworm: “Eligible” by Curtis Sittenfeld — $17.12

A brand-new release that updates a modern classic.
A brand-new release that updates a modern classic.

This particular category was part of last year’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide, and it makes a triumphant return this year — after all, who doesn’t love to read in the spring or summertime? Particularly if it’s “Eligible,” an update of the classic “Pride and Prejudice”? Tough to top, especially written in a slightly cheeky and entertaining manner. A fun beach or travel read, at a low cost to you, the mindful shopper.

For the Foodie: Chrissy Teigen’s “Cravings: Recipes for All the Food you Want to Eat” — $14.95

It's been praised as maybe the "best celebrity cookbook of all time" -- test it out for yourself!
It’s been praised as maybe the “best celebrity cookbook of all time” by SELF — I’d say that’s a mighty fine gift.

Although Chrissy Teigen is arguably more famous for her modeling pursuits and being married to some dude named John Legend, she’s a pretty great chef, at least according to her Instagram — oh, and this book. She’s well-known, funny and engaging on social media, so there’s a good chance Mom might be a fan. On top of that the cookbook is a collection of her favorite recipes over the years, and it’s all put together in a fun, engaging and colorful manner. If her social media shares are to be believed, the food should be excellent — and enjoyable to make for whomever might receive this cookbook!

For the On-Trend Mom: Apprécier Mother’s Day Gift Shop

A sneak peek at what the site can do for you -- quickly and stylishly!
A sneak peek at what the site can do for you — quickly and stylishly!

If you find yourself in a really tough bind and can’t quite figure out what to get, see the above picks again — oh, and head over to Apprécier, where former InStyle Fashion Director Cindy Weber-Cleary offers up a few quick picks for Mother’s Day. The selection is well-edited, relatively affordable and varied — something for everyone, right?

While the above picks don’t cover the full range of options — perhaps consider a well-thought out exercise or travel-related gift if the mom in question loves either of those, for example, hopefully the above ideas get you thinking beyond a more typical gift. It can be tough to put yourself in another person’s shoes when searching for that ideal gift, but we’ve got your back here at The Style Guide! Stay tuned for this week’s Friday Read and Style Pick entries, and let me know how you do gift shopping over at The Style Guide Facebook page.


#OOTD: How to Dress for a Rainy Spring Day

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.

If you’ve been keeping up with the #OOTD series here on The Style Guide, you might notice that the outfits as of late have leaned more casual (if a tailored look is what you seek, head here). Perhaps it’s the shifting climate that has this menswear writer more geared toward shorts, perhaps it’s the effects of a stylish trip to Florida, or perhaps it’s the return of semi-chilly weather earlier in April that has me digging the chance to , well, actually wear shorts now that it’s a bit warmer — regardless, that’s where we’re headed today. Just because you go with a more casual vibe (note the drawstring shorts below) doesn’t mean you have to look sloppy. That’s doubly true even if it rains or it’s breezy — you don’t want just any spring jacket. In the case of the below, we’re talking serious protection from the elements, and some neat heritage style thrown in the mix. Work in some new spring sneakers and an easygoing watch, and you’ll be all set no matter how hard the rain comes down. Sound good? Good. Want to see a different #OOTD? Head to The Style Guide’s Facebook page for a chat!


Casual vibes upgraded thanks to some high-quality brands & subtle style details.
Casual vibes upgraded thanks to some high-quality brands & subtle style details.
The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Beach Jacket in Navy, $128: Another standout from a brand that’s chock full of ’em, this piece is currently pre-funding, but the general idea remains the same — tough outerwear can look great and take you very far. You could also grab a classic JackThreads Mac Jacket and perhaps some light wash denim instead if you wanted something similar now.

The T-Shirt: Bridge and Burn Graphic Tee, $36: The tee keeps this outfit casual (so it’s probably more weekend-minded), but it’s part of some style ugprades we’ve talked about — the graphic is subtle and understated, and the fit is on-point.

The Shorts: JACHS NY Indigo Linen Shorts, $89: Another fantastic style upgrade from standard shorts, they’re easygoing yet not frumpy. If it’s a bit breezy or you want to dress this outfit up, sub in a chambray shirt & dark denim.

The Sneakers: The Hill-Side Standard Low-Tops in Natural Duck Canvas, $175: If you haven’t gotten around to checking out a pair of The Hill-Side sneakers, I’d recommend you do so. Sturdy, well-crafted and stylish!

The Socks: Mack Weldon No-Show Socks, $14.50: The same brand that makes your favorite merino T-shirt also makes some handy socks for that “ankles-out” look so common in the warmer months.

The Trunks: Mack Weldon 18-Hour Jersey Trunks, $22: Just as their socks are worth a look, this brand knows how to craft a great pair of underwear (no, really). Again, an investment that’s also a significant style upgrade from standard boxers.

The Watch: Timex Weekender Fairfield, $75: A downright simple watch for a downright excellent price, ideal for all kinds of casual wear.

The Sunglasses: Spine Optics Aviator Sunglasses, $88.99: As with the above Timex watch, sometimes, simple is better. These sunglasses are durable and remarkably flexible, and won’t upstage the rest of your look.

As with other seasonal spring style suggestions, be it how to dress for Sunday brunch or how to prep for a spring bar crawl, your gear should fit where you’re going. That is, if a T-shirt needs to be subbed out for a slim plaid shirt, that’s the move to make. But alongside that, choosing to upgrade your casual basics — like standard sneakers for a sturdier pair, or old boxers for new trunks — should also be top of mind. Wardrobe reinvention doesn’t have to be done all at once, but small steps can pave the way toward great style. Pick up that Taylor Stitch jacket for me while you’re at it, ehh?

Stay stylish,

-Beau
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Online Shopping Picks: The 5 Best Men’s Watches to Buy Now

Editor’s note: To feast your eyes on all kinds of #menswear shopping picks, click over here.

Curious about what casual watch you need in your arsenal? Read on. The Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray is pictured here. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Sneakers by Reef. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake.
Curious about what casual watch you need in your arsenal? Read on. The Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray is pictured here. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Sneakers by Reef. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake.

Look down at your right wrist. Now, look down at your left wrist. Do you have a great watch on? Yes? No? Can’t tell? I’m here to help you sort that out today. When it comes to style upgrades, there’s no messing about here at The Style Guide. As a guy constantly on the hunt for a great watch, it’s an area that’s been a focus for me as of late — we even covered off on some more men’s watches on a budget last spring, so it’s high time to get after it again. And although it might not be the first thing you look to buy for yourself (whether you’ve owned a timepiece before or not), it can play a pretty crucial role in tying together an outfit. The right accessories just work that way. And while a casual watch might seem a bit out of place, we’re looking today for watches that you’d wear to, say, a relaxed spring bar crawl or a casual Sunday brunch, not to a boardroom meeting. Specifically, look for something Bond might wear in the Moroccan desert — you see where we’re headed with this? The below picks definitely reflect that spirit of adventure without the high price tag — casual in nature, ready for spring and summer (and beyond), and designed with a slightly more rugged feel in mind. If you think I missed any pieces, give me a holler on Twitter! Talk to you soon!

#1. Timex Waterbury — $100

A unique offering from a brand that does casual watches very well.
A unique offering from a brand that does casual watches very well.

Note that the original Timex Weekender could very well fill this top spot, too — it was a close call! But the brand so well-known for that style is doing something a little different with its Waterbury line. These watches blend rugged style, like that slightly aged leather strap, with a simple contrasting design on the dial and no real frills anywhere. It’s the perfect watch to grab when you want to mimic a leather dress watch without such a minimal look (like at that Sunday brunch). The price is definitely tough to beat no matter where else you look — it’ll take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’, to quote the brand.

#2. Daniel Wellington Classic Glasgow 40mm Silver Watch, $195

A style Bond would be proud to wear -- the merger of a dress watch and a sport-inspired strap.
A style Bond would be proud to wear — the merger of a dress watch and a sport-inspired strap.

For those who prefer a slightly more crisp watch merged with the sporty nature of a NATO strap, here’s your winner. Daniel Wellington has taken the ultra-minimal design and thin case of a dress watch for its Classic Glasgow  and done it up in a sharp silver color. The striped white-and-blue NATO strap is practically begging to be worn alongside a slim pocket tee and a great pair of summer shorts — even if it looks a tad too dressy at first, a watch this well-designed can work with any outfit (just be sure to keep it out of the water — it’s not built to go quite that far).

#3. Timex for J. Crew Vintage Army Field Watch — $98

Based on a decades-old archival design, this watch is worth the higher price tag compared to other Timex watches.
Based on a decades-old archival design, this watch is worth the higher price tag compared to other Timex watches.

J. Crew continues to knock it out of the park when it comes to partnering with renowned third-party brands, and this particular watch has surely ended up on many a style wish list over the years because of that. The Timex for J. Crew timepiece in question is based on a style from the Timex archives that dates back to the 1940s — talk about timeless. The olive strap is neutral enough to match with almost anything, and the simple case markings and smaller case diameter make this one subtle, stylish watch — to say it’s perfect for a backyard barbeque would be an understatement.

#4. KOMONO Winston Heritage Chambray — $99.95

Chambray on a watch strap? Can't go wrong.
Chambray on a watch strap? Can’t go wrong.

While chambray as a shirting or trouser fabric is versatile enough to rock year-round, it’s not often seen on watch straps. In this instance though, the KOMONO Winston Heritage would be a unique, eye-catching addition to your watch collection — it’s just different enough visually from a brown leather watch to make it worth your time (pun intended). The acid wash chambray strap is a neat finishing touch that would play nicely off inky selvedge denim and a navy crewneck, and it would also work alongside a slim short-sleeve henley and light wash jeans this spring. Casual in nature, ya dig?

#5. Stuhrling Original Aquadiver Manta Ray Watch — $48.40

Ultra-tough and ultra-dependable, this rubber-strap Stuhrling watch just works.
Ultra-tough and ultra-dependable, this rubber-strap Stuhrling watch just works.

By far the most casual and least expensive watch on this list, perhaps the Stuhrling Aquadiver is what you had in mind when thinking “casual watch.” A rubber strap watch is certainly the most rugged and dependable among this group, and it even performs just as a stainless steel dive watch might — that is, you can rock it in the water, on land and everywhere in between. It’s a heck of a steal for under $50, and my personal timepiece is still going strong after more than two years of use (read the full review here).

With a dearth of casual watches on the market, cutting any list off at five is tough. But brands that do dress watches well (like Daniel Wellington) also have the market cornered with more casual timepieces. MVMT Watches delivers options that certainly drift a bit louder in terms of style (like this all-black, rugged watch), but they could be a wise pickup if you’re a fan of the brand. If you fancy yourself a watch collector with some cash to burn, you could feasibly snag the same watch worn by James Bond in Spectre. Oh, man. On the slightly cheaper side of things, Shinola is even manufacturing super-rugged, sport-inspired watches that might be worth a look. If building up your watch collection is a goal of yours, start with the basics — like a brown leather dress watch — and then move into the more casual realm with picks that serve a twofold purpose. As for me? I think this list isn’t a bad place to start.

Until next time,

Stay stylish,

-Beau

 

Style Pick of the Week: JackThreads 3-in-1 Field Jacket

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 British Khaki color, plus functional style details, that are anything but ordinary.
A British Khaki color, plus functional style details, that are anything but ordinary.

Hello there Style Guide reader, and Happy Saturday! This week’s Style Pick of the Week turns things back to something that’s been missing in other recent Style Pick entries — a terrific piece of spring (and fall and heck, winter) outerwear.  If you read this blog regularly, you’re probably hip to JackThreads; that is, the E-commerce site that launched its own menswear line last fall to some great press (and much love from this here blog). They’ve concentrated on creating an edited collection of essentials sure to please any #menswear aficionado, from simple style staples like its Daily Tee to very spring-ready chino shorts and a classic lineup of pieces ranging from striped polos to Oxfords and chambray shirts (oh, and one heck of a shawl cardigan). Add to that collection a growing lineup of excellent outerwear — particularly its Collegiate Bomber (a favorite of this writer) and of course, the stellar 3-in-1 Field Jacket you see here. It certainly doesn’t command the price tag of certain other field jackets from bigger retailers, so some might be skeptical of the quality — but if you still haven’t pulled the trigger on a piece from JackThreads as of yet, rest assured that the quality really is remarkably on-point. And even though it’s warming up a bit, it’s still not too late to jump on this one– you’ll get plenty of use out of a durable, sturdy and sharp-looking field jacket on breezy spring and summer days (and nights). Heck, layer it up with the brand’s Indigo Sweatshirt when that snow hits (yikes, thinking ahead!), and you’ll be set.

Think you only get one jacket for the price? Think again. This liner is definitely fit for use on its own.
Think you only get one jacket for the price? Think again. This liner is definitely fit for use on its own.

In fact, a rugged field jacket is exactly the type of piece that would serve you quite well for occasions equally formal and laidback — like a spring bar crawl on the one hand, and atop a blue Oxford and navy knit tie the next. With its roots in, y’know, the actual military, it’s the perfect way to add some masculine style to already-masculine pieces like a cream henley or slim, dark denim. And the British Khaki color of this particular field jacket switches the palette up a bit from the typical navy or olive green field jacket you might see. It would definitely complement some slim light wash denim well, too. And lest you think it’s too rugged for wearing with anything but sturdy boots, it would probably do just fine when matched with navy chinos and brown leather sneakers for stepping out on the weekends. The detachable hood is perfect for when spring showers hit, and it packs in even more function on top of that. The navy inner shell would actually work as a fine jacket in its own right, what with hip pockets, a slim fit and a look that’s just a bit more ready to stand on its own than other jacket liners. And yes, you get all this for under $150. Unbelievable, right?

Have a suggestion for a standout item you think would work as a Style Pick of the Week? Let me know via Twitter!



The Friday Read: Spring Sneakers, Brian Johnson and What Women Really Think of Menswear

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.  

So, did you survive Coachella last weekend? (Kidding? Maybe? If you went, how was it?) And how about this past week? It was another one that flew by, what with several press previews to check out from some great brands, ranging from Herschel to Jason Scott (the brand’s 8th Avenue store is very much worth a look if ever you find yourself in NYC, and the knitwear is exceptionally soft). On another press preview-related note, if you haven’t given the folks at AVI-8 Watches a look, their military-inspired timepieces are rugged, durable, and sure to get better in the coming montsh. It’s exciting to be able to see what’s happening in the menswear world at large, and you can look for a lot of that content in the coming weeks and months via my writing work at The Manual! And with fall press previews already ramping up, that means another thing in this moment, more importantly — spring is officially here (confusing, right?). If you’re heading out on a spring bar crawl, we’ve got some gear to get you ready. And if you’re wondering what to wear for a casual spring weekend, knock yourself out. I hope the weather’s nice in your neck of the woods — we’ve got a great one in the works here. Get some styling inspiration for yourself (if need be) via my Instagram. And stay stylish in the meantime!

  • High fashion often leaves something out of the equation for those of us more interested in matters purely related to “style” — so the swirling rumors that a high-fashion designer (or designers) might join the more everyman-focused Calvin Klein are pretty interesting, to say the least.
  • Megan Collins (a good friend of The Style Guide) and some other stylish ladies spoke to Esquire.com earlier this week about what women really think of menswear trends — it’s a pretty neat piece!
  • Do you have a great pair of classic white sneakers in your arsenal as of yet? Men’s Journal recommends the five best pairs of white sneakers to wear this spring.
  • Long Read of the Week: It was big news in my neck of the woods when it was announced that Axl Rose would replace Brian Johnson in AC/DC. If you’re a hard rock fan (read: A fan of one of the greatest bands in the world, for that matter), Brian himself. issued a really heartbreaking letter about how his hearing issues forced him to stop performing in AC/DC. Tough stuff to read — if you’re in a tough spot as to what to do about your tickets, that makes two of us!

But wait, there’s more menswear!

  • There’s perhaps no brand associated more with the water — and uniquely styled looks built around that environment — than SWIMS. Learn about the brand’s Spring 2016 collection via my post this week at The Manual!
  • Grab a sharp pair of spring sneakers via this very Web site — if you missed that post when it originally ran, we’ll give you a pass (this time).

Enjoy the weekend, folks!

Thanks, as always, for reading,

-Beau



Style Q+A: Moore & Giles

Editor’s note: To catch up on other Style Q+A entries, click here.

Built for the road ahead -- it was great to catch up with team at Moore & Giles (makers of the Benedict Weekend Bag) seen here.
Built for the road ahead — it was great to catch up with team at Moore & Giles (makers of the Benedict Weekend Bag) seen here. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Whenever I get the chance to stop by various #menswear events happening around NYC or around the country, I’m always intrigued and curious to see who I might meet, or what brands I might discover. At this past December’s Pop-Up Flea in New York City (a cornucopia of great lifestyle and men’s goods brands all in one spot), it was hard not to discover the stunning leather goods on display at Moore & Giles. I got to chatting with the brand’s Director of Marketing, Daryl Calfee, about some of the stellar product the brand had brought (seriously, it was museum-worthy). He just happens to be good friends with my pals over at Brothers & Craft, so we naturally hit it off talking all things men’s style. I also got to know the brand a bit more, and it’s a worthwhile one to know. In addition to a massive collection of fine leathers,  they also produce their own line of jaw-dropping bags, renowned for their heritage quality and style (in fact, I covered the Benedict Weekend Bag for GearMoose). Throw in a well-curated, stellar assortment of home goods, and you’ve got enough gear to make your head spin (the 33 Chair in particular is Wish List-worthy).

Given the brand’s affinity for quality and nuanced design, it was great to be able to send over a few questions to Thomas Brennan, the brand’s Director of Design for Bags & Accessories. After you get a look into the Moore & Giles process, you very well might want a bag for yourself. Enjoy this one, folks!

(Editor’s note: In the meantime, got a brand or style personality you’d like to see answer some zingers?Let me know via Facebook or Twitter).

The Style Guide: Take me through the background of Moore & Giles and how you approach your work?

Moore and Giles:  The brand was founded in 1933 as a materials supplier to local shoe manufacturers. Donald Graeme Moore traveled around the area sourcing and selling everything from shoelaces and eyelets to nails and leather. Eventually his offerings narrowed to strictly leather   and his regional hunt gradually expanded into the global quest it is today to uncover hidden gems at tanneries in all corners of the world. The company develops, sources and sells millions of square feet of leather a year across a variety of industries including furniture manufacturers, private aviation companies, and high-end homes and hotels.
The bag division developed in 2007 when our president and vice president decided to take advantage of their access to such magnificent material and made a few travel and work bags to bring with them on their travels. The line has grown organically from that point into the extensive, well curated line of bags and accessories that exists today.
Our products are unapologetically traditional. Artisans have been tanning hides for millennia and hand-sewing the resulting leather into useful objects for just as long. Both the material history and the history of our own company add welcome layers of authority, grandeur, and natural beauty to our bags; my job is to simply accentuate the existing beauty of the material with understated designs that will age as well as the leather.
Just one of the exceptionally high-quality bags produced by the brand. Photo courtesy of Moore & Giles.
Just one of the exceptionally high-quality bags produced by the brand. Photo courtesy of Moore & Giles.
TSG:Where do you find your biggest sources of inspiration?
M&G: The leather itself is the primary inspiration. We are fortunate to have close relationships with a 150-year old tannery in Italy, which means that our “product development” begins with prototyping leather colors and experimenting with different finishes, various combinations of waxes and oils, milling times, and ironing treatments. These design decisions affect the finished product long before I ever sit down to sketch a specific silhouette. When I do sit down to design a bag, I tend towards clean exteriors, traditional shapes, discrete details——decisions that keep the natural beauty of the leather front and center.
 Reading books, talking with creative peers, and sifting through vintage stores all provide great creative fodder but for the ultimate design inspiration, nothing beats close observation of day-to-day routines. Take going on a business trip, for instance. As I’m packing, I want to make the job easier, tidier, more secure and I want my shoes kept separate from my shirts; when I’m going through airport security I need a convenient, safe spot to tuck my wallet and cell phone; when I’m putting my bag in the overhead bin I want easy access to my notebook or a magazine but don’t want to rifle through the body of the bag; if I’m meeting with a new manufacturer I want to have my business cards close at hand. I aspire to be more organized than I am and more put together than I often feel. Our bags help me on both fronts.



TSG: What, in your mind, can a great leather accessory do for a guy who might not have given it much thought before?

 M&G: In a lot of ways, having a great leather accessory is like be the owner of the easiest pet ever: It will never cease to amaze you how happy you get when you see it; you’re going to feel more fond of it the longer you have it; strangers will stop you and ask you about it. Added bonus: you don’t have to feed it and it arrives at your door already housebroken.
TSG: Are there new product categories that you want to expand into in the coming seasons?
M&G: What’s proving more interesting than expanding out across new categories is finding new ways to give the existing line more depth and texture. The sheer volume of colors and finishes of leather we have at our fingertips is dizzying. The collection of artisans who tan, stamp, hand-stain, carve, and etch, to whom we have access is incredibly deep. Eight years in, we’ve only scratched the surface of what the bags and accessories can look like. As an example: we introduced a bespoke program during the holiday season last year that has given our customers a chance to participate in the creative process by selecting from a more expansive palette of hides to use on a custom travel or work bag. Seeing the colors that customers gravitated towards——reds and purples and golden tans and cool grays——and the types of leathers they’ve responded to———leathers that are exceptionally rare, have more history, or age in unique ways——informed several recent releases (like our Modern Saddle collection featuring vegetable tanned leather) and inspired a roster of upcoming releases.
TSG: What’s one thing every guy should have in his closet in terms of style?
M&G: Wherever you sit along the style continuum between a tailored suit and leather lace-ups and raw denim and sneakers, our classic Benedict Weekend Bag is a worthy compliment. It’s simple, beautiful, and functional. Unlike some other sartorial decisions, I guarantee you’ll still be proud of yourself for owning one ten years from now.
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#OOTD: How to Dress for a Spring Weekend

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.

When the weather finally starts to warm up, bit by bit, it raises some interesting style questions — like “Where did I put those shorts?” or “Where are my sneakers?” (right?). We’re here today to answer some of those questions for you — whether it’s a spring bar crawl or just a casual weekend outing, keeping those crucial style principles of proper fit and functionality in mind is crucial. As this #menswear writer has mentioned before, casual doesn’t have to mean sloppy. That’s what the below #OOTD covers — be it a trip to a farmer’s market, a stroll in the park or a nice outdoor meal, it’ll be just as great to get outside in some warm weather as it will to look great doing it. If you have suggestions for additional #OOTD entries, let me know on Facebook! Stay stylish.

A lightweight jacket and a sharp popover take this outfit to another level -- read on for more details!
A lightweight jacket and a sharp popover take this outfit to another level — read on for more details!
The Jacket: Grayers Reston Quilted Jacket, $165: Because it might still be a bit breezy (or chilly, or rainy), this jacket is going to keep you dry, warm and stylish this spring. Previously featured on this site’s Spring Style Wish List.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch The Summer Popover in Navy Aloha, $98:  A popover is a welcome swerve from a stylish polo or even a well-crafted pocket tee; this one is visually interesting thanks to the rich pattern and color — waiting for it might be the hardest part (you can snag a similar one from J. Crew in the meantime).

The Shorts: Johnnie-O Catalina Shorts in Navy, $79: While there can be a tendency to reach for khaki shorts (never a bad thing), navy shorts are going to offer a nice monochromatic look alongside the jacket, and bring out the blue in that popover. Plus the 9″ inseam is a good length for most of us.

The Sneakers: SeaVees Legend Sneaker Standard, $78: A stylish pair of white sneakers is, as SeaVees might say, a standard (and essential) spring style pick. This silhouette is classic, crisp and affordably priced.

The Socks: J. Crew Factory No-Show Socks, $7: These socks have popped up in a few recent outfits here on this blog — get used to rocking no-show socks this spring and summer, folks.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Striped Belt, $14.50: With so much blue going on in this outfit, it only makes sense to reach for a belt that provides a nice bit of contrast thanks to that olive color.

The Watch: Shinola Rambler 44mm GMT, $750: Is this watch pricey? Heck yes. Is it the sort of extraordinary timepiece that we should all aspire to own? Well, yes. That as well.  (For more on Shinola, check out my latest Effortless Gent feature!).

While it might still be a bit too breezy for shorts in some cases, the above outfit is definitely one to keep in mind as the weather heats up. Slim navy shorts are a bit of a change of pace from a standard pair of khaki shorts, and a crisp popover adds a great bit of visual interest, too. A hybrid jacket is going to get the job done when the sun goes down and things get chilly, and pieces like sharp white sneakers and an outstanding watch will never go out of style. After all, that’s the goal with these #OOTD pieces. Have any suggestions for gear you’d sub in? Let me know!