Style Pick of the Week: Sock Genius No-Show Socks

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 whole post on socks? Sure thing, especially when they're comfortable and well-fitting ones from the Sock Genius line at Ties.com.
A whole post on socks? Sure thing, especially when they’re comfortable and well-fitting ones from the Sock Genius line at Ties.com.

Before we dive into this week’s post, know that the title is no mistake — we’re really talking no-show socks here today. And there’s plenty of good reason for that. It’s the end of July — so it’s plenty hot, and that heat isn’t going anywhere any time soon. If you snagged a pair or two (or heck, three) of no-show socks near the start of summer, you’ve probably been wearing them a lot. After all, they’re an essential to pair up with classic leather sneakers  or even suede Derby shoes beneath your favorite pair of rolled chinos. And if they’ve seen a lot of wear, maybe they could use a refresh. And maybe you want to check out a new, inexpensive and high-performing brand — that’s where the Sock Genius line of socks through Ties.com slides into the equation (and onto your feet). The brand’s no-show socks come in a range of patterns and colors, although a personal favorite is the Villa Park Stripe No-show Sock as seen above. In fact, I happen to be rocking this weekend on a trip back to Michigan to complement some classic SeaVees sneakers (more on that on Monday, though). The point is, once you give Sock Genius no-show socks a try, you might want to pick up plenty more pairs. And given that the quality and pricing is quite agreeable, it’s worth it — I was definitely pleased when I wore one of the brand’s ties and a sharp pocket square to a recent Michigan wedding, and I’ve found their no-show socks to be similarly pleasing to wear.

One of the many color and pattern combinations available through Ties.com and its Sock Genius line.
The La Habra no-show sock — one of the many color and pattern combinations available through Ties.com and its Sock Genius line.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Just like a comfortable and well-fitting pair of boxer briefs or a high-performing undershirt, the basics that are closest to your skin should stand up to the heat of the summer — that’s particularly true when being on your feet during the hot summer months. And whether you’re heading to Sunday brunch or bringing along a cooler to a backyard barbeque, you need no-show socks that can handle a lot. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that the variety of Sock Genius options (nearly 20)  combine nice patterns and colors that don’t look bad at all when it’s time to slip off your… slip-on sneakers, ehh?. If a pop of color (like the La Habra seen above) is too much though, they’re also offering up a classic four-pack of solid no-show socks for $30 — that’s quite the deal when one considers you’re getting a pair of no-show socks for almost every day of the work week. Again, style upgrades are in the details, and when you can snag no-show socks that perform admirably and look great, I say jump right on it. And hey, you can pick up a classic tie or pocket square while perusing the Ties.com site, too. See how to style no-show socks with other essentials on the daily at my Instagram, or ask away on any and all things #menswear over at The Style Guide.

Do you own any Sock Genius socks? Would you add the brand to your rotation, or is your sock drawer full?

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The Friday Read: Lollapalooza, Summer Travel and the Best-Dressed Men of the Week

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.  

As we kick off another Friday, I’m once again looking back on this week and heading to my home state of Michigan, as I was earlier this month for a summer wedding — that’s a lot of quality time (much-needed) back in the Mitten. And it caps off a busy week, particularly when I look back at the stellar time I had rocking out — and rocking some great menswear at NYC’s Panorama festival. On that note, is anyone heading to Lollapalooza this weekend? Or already there? Jealous! Either way, I hope you’ve been getting all your summer tunes and travel in  — and dressing to travel in style, too.  The summer’s definitely flying by, but it seems as good a time as any to look back. It’s taken me upstate to see Lucius, it’s taken me on a stylish Memorial Day trip,  and it’s taken me around New York City for some excellent product launches and blogger events in between — all while striking that tricky balance between versatile style and ease of movement, not an easy task in the heat of NYC. That busy schedule also leaves a lot of menswear news to catch up on — and I’ve picked out a few favorite pieces from this week below. After you’re done reading, follow along with my adventures back in Michigan via Instagram or Twitter, and check back here tomorrow for our Style Pick of the Week — rest assured, a full trip recap is coming along Monday.

  • Who dressed well this week? What lessons should you take from ’em? Those are precisely the questions Esquire answered as part of its summer-friendly Best-Dressed Men of the Week feature.
  • Lest you think that fashion is only for us average Joes, Starbucks is setting new dress code regulations for employees — that includes neutral colors, denim that’s not overly dressed and a recommendation toward small, subtle patterns in shirts …. those sound like some decent #menswear missives to follow, right?
  • Here’s one for all you spirits fans out there — I had the pleasure of attending a delicious celebration of this past Sunday courtesy of the fine folks at Patron, who dubbed it International Tequila Day. Since it is Friday and all, if you fancy stirring up some delicious drinks for yourself, check out some delicious tequila recipes from my buddy Sam over at The Manual.
  • And on the menswear front, you can never have enough stylish, durable socks — right? The team at American Trench knows this very well (and if you read The Style Guide, so do you!). It’s fitting that the brand just launched the latest addition to its line of well-made socks — the Mil-Spec Sport Sock is made with anti-microbial silver filament yarn in the heel, toe and sole. In layman’s terms, that means these socks kill bacteria and help keep your feet dry while feeling super-comfortable (and looking super-stylish). Look for more on those socks this fall on The Style Guide (wink, wink).

Want one more story to read? Here are two.

  • Yours truly appreciates a lot more than just fine menswear and craft beer — I also love me a great steak or burger, so I pulled together your top summer grilling essentials over at The Manual.
  • Just as I dig a great craft beer or some awesome live tunes, I also dig a well-made chambray shirt (and often combine all three at the same time). My latest GearMoose post covers the best chambray shirts for men — and you should buy one, or several, ASAP.

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Dopp Kits to Buy Now

Editor’s note: Stock up on a full set of #menswear essentials at that link.

We talk often at The Style Guide about holistic style — putting together outfits using the small details and looking to make style upgrades whenever possible. That should carry right on through to things like your everyday carry, and even smaller touches like the no-show socks you should wear this summer. So if those details are important, the gear that you bring along with you when hitting the road is all the more essential (at least in this writer’s mind). And let’s hope you’ve got some more summer travel in the works, in the meantime. Now, prepping in style for that travel starts with the big stuff — think a durable weekender bag — and whether you’re hopping on a train or hopping a flight, you need something that’s just as stylish to carry around the grooming essentials you should be bringing with you. It’s taken a lot of practice for this #menswear writer to get accustomed to planning out all those details, but it certainly pays off — and that’s definitely the feeling you should get when you pick up one of the best dopp kits to buy now.  As for me, I’ll be packing up my own kit this weekend in fact — heading back to my home state of Michigan for a bachelor party should be quite the fun time. And as you’re planning out your next trip, take some time, check out the below picks and get those plane tickets booked.

#1. J. Crew Abingdon Travel Kit — $58

Simple, stylish and effective -- exactly what you want from a great dopp kit.
Simple, stylish and effective — exactly what you want from a great dopp kit.

There’s a reason the fine folks at J. Crew sit so high up on this site’s Approved Brands list — they make a heck of a lot of head-to-toe men’s style essentials, and they do a darn good job at it. The Abingdon Travel Kit is just one of those pieces, made from a fine waxed cotton canvas and featuring details like burnished leather trim and brass-finish hardware. It’s the type of piece that would handsomely complement a rugged waxed weekender bag, and it’ll fit right in if you find yourself a fan of the brand’s classic style pieces — seriously, it’s tough to find a dopp kit that blends seamlessly with what you wear everyday. If that’s what you need, pick up this dopp kit ASAP.

#2. Baxter of California Dopp Bag — $25

A navy color that goes with everything, plus durable fabric.
A navy color that goes with everything, plus durable fabric.

For as much as J. Crew has the head-to-toe style game handled, the team at Baxter of California has you all set with everything you might need on the men’s grooming front. The brand’s Dopp Bag is no-fuss, made out of navy blue canvas and featuring a distinctive logo on one side. It looks like it’s about the perfect size to hold several of the brand’s travel toiletries (or else, those little bottles you pick up from hotel rooms and the like. And the navy canvas should be durable and hold up well to getting tossed into a bag. For $25, that’s not a bad deal.

#3. Wood & Faulk Dopp Kit in North Coast Grey — $110

Details like bridle leather accents and a carrying handle contribute to this bag's utility.
Details like bridle leather accents and a carrying handle contribute to this bag’s utility.

Before you balk at that price, know that with the way Wood & Faulk produces their goods, you’re getting a substantial return on your investment. The brand’s wares have popped up here on The Style Guide a few times before (namely in this essential chambray shirt #OOTD), and you’re certainly getting a handsome dopp kit here as well. We’re talking heavy canvas, bridle leather accents and brass hardware, plus a handle that makes it easy to carry. The Grey color of the canvas should age quite well over time, and the nylon interior is easy to clean and ready to stand up to multiple trips. Definitely worth the price.

#4. Byrd x Richer Poorer Light Carry-on — $74

There's a heck of a lot of functionality -- and extra goods -- packed into one dopp kit.
There’s a heck of a lot of functionality — and extra goods — packed into one dopp kit.

The Byrd x Richer Poorer collab is one that’s so much more than a dopp kit — wait ’til you see what’s in this one, in fact. You get a reliable dopp kit from Topo Designs, who certainly knows how to make functional everyday carry gear, and you get a plethora of other menswear goodies, including two pairs of Richer Poorer socks and a comb, “soap on a rope” and a light pomade from the team at Byrd Hairdo Products. You get all this for $74, and you get to keep the dopp kit — a good thing, as you’ll want to use it over and over no matter where your summer travels take you.

#5. Shinola Small Zip Travel Kit — $250

A stylish leather dopp kit that ... comes close to breaking the bank.
A stylish leather dopp kit that … comes close to breaking the bank.

For as splurge-worthy as Shinola tends to be (and in spite of the trouble the brand has found themselves in with the FTC as of late), they’re still a favorite of this site for the approach they bring to manufacturing products in the U.S. The goods really are high-quality, despite what doubters of the brand’s marketing tactics might say, so this dopp kit coming in at north of $200 makes it an investment … but a very solid one. If you do have the chance to check out the brand’s Detroit flagship (as I did on a trip to Detroit earlier this year), stop by if you’re a fan of quality design, display and merchandising.

Hopefully, some of the above picks caught your eye (and perhaps the attention of your wallet, too). It’s certainly an upgrade and a change of thought to think of the case that carries your toothpaste as being part of your everyday style, but it’s thinking in that manner that can pay dividends across the board. Whether you reach for a rugged waxed canvas dopp kit or a more refined leather dopp kit is all a matter of taste — but any of the above should be able to work with (and fit in) everything from a stylish weekender bag to a suitcase fit for business travel. If you see any brands I missed, shoot me a tweet on Twitter or drop us a line at The Style Guide Facebook page.
Frank & Oak

 

#OOTD: How to Dress Down a Summer 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 will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

As we’ve talked about in past #OOTD entries here on The Style Guide, summer style — particularly at this point in the season — can be a bit tricky. Perhaps you feel you’ve exhausted all the ways to wear shorts in the summer that you can think of, or maybe you’ve even tired of styling linen pants in the heat. But, that’s where summer also works out well. Since it’s warm, you get a bit of leeway when dressing. And that means you can put together stylish combinations that are also unexpected. Those khaki suit trousers? Break them up from the rest of your suit. Throw in style staples that should already be in rotation — like a classic navy blazer — and you’re set with an #OOTD that works for traveling in warm weather or waltzing to Sunday brunch. Oh, and a great polo is also a must-have. But where to get all this great gear? Look no further than the below ensemble — and follow along on Instagram to get more daily styling tips (if you feel so inclined, that is).

Mashing up your favorite style essentials, from a crisp summer polo to a classic blazer and comfortable slip-on sneakers.
Mashing up your favorite style essentials, from a crisp summer polo to a classic blazer and comfortable slip-on sneakers.

The Polo: Mack Weldon Vesper Polo, $68 — Yes, it’s true: The brand that makes your favorite long-sleeve merino tee is here with a new polo that’s crisp, well-tailored and made from very breathable micro-mesh knit fabric.

The Blazer: Grayers Cayman Blazer, $104.98 — At just more than $100, this blazer is a heck of a deal, made from 100 percent cotton and featuring Bemberg-lined sleeves (that’s the good stuff, FYI).

The Pants: Canvas by Lands’ End Stretch Chino Suit Trousers, $89 — Just when you thought you could only wear suit pants with a suit, along come these versatile chino trousers cut with a hint of stretch.

The Pocket Square: Ties.com White Edged Linen Pocket Square, $10 — A sharp navy blazer deserves a crisp white pocket square cut in a summer-appropriate weight, and at $10, this thing’s a steal.

The Sneakers: SeaVees Hawthorne Slip-on Standard in True Navy, $78 — A pair of classic white sneakers would also work here, but the navy plays nicely off the powder blue polo.

The Socks: Sock Genius Villa Park No-show Stripe Sock, $10 — The same spot you hit up to snag that pocket square can also hook you up with comfortable, stylish no-show socks for a nice deal.

The Watch: Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph, $225 — A sporty-yet-stylish polo calls for a  slick watch inspired by the world of aviation, and the navy blue strap plays handsomely off the crisp white dial.

The Sunglasses: Sunski Madronas Sunglasses, $39.98 — Simple is sometimes better when it comes to great style, and that’s the case with these durable and very affordably priced shades via Huckberry.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
Putting together an outfit when you’ve been dressing for the warm weather for a few months needn’t be all that difficult, even if at first it sounds taxing — especially when you’ve got pieces that combine subtle style efficiently. The base of the outfit is the same thing you might wear on the weekend — stylish slip-on sneakers — yet the other pieces, like the sharp polo and the navy blazer, are more suited to the work week. Yet in tandem, the combination works because the colors play well off each other and the overall ensemble — slightly sporty yet stylish — is very well-suited to summer. It’s going to be hot, and a breathable polo and cotton blazer work well together. Chime in with an #OOTD suggestion of your own at The Style Guide Facebook page in the meantime.

Do you own a new Mack Weldon polo yet? Would you style it with a navy blazer, or ditch the jacket and keep it casual?

Standout style: Rocking out at Panorama 2016

Editor’s note: Start here for personal style #menswear coverage.

The heat didn't stop me from rocking out in style. Linen-blend shirt by Old Navy. Silm Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Millbrook Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab.
The heat didn’t stop me from rocking out in style. Linen-blend shirt by Old Navy. Silm Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Millbrook Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab.

Here at The Style Guide, I’m pretty thankful to get to write about what I love every week. But it’s even better when I get to combine my passions into one post, as I did this weekend when I headed to the first-ever Panorama festival in NYC rocking some great men’s style gear and rocking out to excellent tunes along the way. Panorama was a unique merger of music, art and technology, curated by the same team behind Coachella – and Saturday’s lineup, featuring luminaries like Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens and The National, was stellar. The festival blended the buzzing atmosphere with some premium food and beverage curated in part by the great folks at Eater.com, too.And of course, the day presented the perfect opportunity for me to combine those aforementioned passions into one heck of an afternoon (although if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you’re aware of that!). Now, attending an outdoor festival in the heat of summer might seem like the opportune time to ditch decorum and dress to stay cool, but yours truly thinks just the opposite — bear with me.

Of note, stepping out on Saturday put me right smack-dab in the middle of some very hot weather — it was sunny, beautiful and in the 90s here in the Big Apple.  Even still, I was glad to be there as Panorama took over Randall’s Island, the site of this summer’s Governors Ball festival, (a similarly spectacular weekend). It was exciting to know that a quick subway trip brought me mere feet from (among others), The National, supremely talented purveyors of emotionally substantive music … but more on that in a second. Just know that for now, if you get the chance to see them, it’s a must. And if you manage to get as close as I somehow did, it’ll be even more astounding (just check out this video here, for one!).

Join Frank & Oak Elevate - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank + Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!To tackle the festival in style, I reached for a new pair of Thursday Boots — they’re a big Style Guide favorite for the way they blend price, quality and styling potential, and I tested out the rugged-refined Natural Diplomat Boot this weekend. It’s made from durable Horween leather that provided just the right amount of toughness, edge and style, plus excellent grip and plenty of durability for playing a little air guitar during a high-voltage afternoon set from British rockers Foals. Of course, they had to be able to fight for a spot in the crowd during a visually stunning show by Sufjan Stevens — and before that, I did plenty of rocking out to The National, one of my all-time favorite bands and the group behind one of my all-time favorite albums (that would be Boxer …. or perhaps it’s Trouble Will Find Me …. or maybe Alligator…). The band’s incredible, emotional show came after a blisteringly hot day out and about, and it’s a good thing I had apparel that stood up to the test. Challenges with the heat started early, even during a high-energy, engaging set from British duo Oh Wonder to kick off the day (note that if you dig what you hear from them, they’re working on a new album!).

Ready for a full day of rocking out. Linen-Blend Shirt by Old Navy. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Troubadour Socks by Richer Poorer. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belts. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Wristband by Panorama NYC.
Ready for a full day of rocking out. Linen-Blend Shirt by Old Navy. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Troubadour Socks by Richer Poorer. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belts. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Wristband by Panorama NYC.

Attending a great music festival often feels like multiple shows within one large, high-energy show — it’s fitting then, that my style blended multiple elements. To fight the heat (and yes, I’m aware I chose boots and denim), a linen-blend short-sleeve shirt courtesy of Old Navy worked quite well. Although the Navy color is now sold out, the white Flax Linen option on the site would be a reliable stand-in at your next music festival, with a much-needed linen blend and utilitarian chest pockets. It really was crucial to have versatile style, as the day shifted from a eclectic, mellow vibes of Oh Wonder  to a high-energy set put on Daughter. The quickly changing scenery called for durable accessories, too — no busted watches or sunglasses left behind here. Plus, my Tread for Men Traveler Sunscreen was a big help in protecting me from the sun.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Chief among the rest of those accessories was a new personal favorite, the outstanding Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch. It reliably updates a vintage style for the modern man. I accentuated that crisp watch with a fun-to-wear pair of Millbrook sunglasses via Steven Alan Optical, which clock in at an agreeable price on top of great looks ($165). Certainly, every cent helps when cooling down with some nice refreshments and powering through a day of great shows.

Keeping track of time during the day with the Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow.
Keeping track of time during the day with the Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow.

Lest we think the day was all about the big-ticket items (and bands), small touches really do go a long way in completing an outfit, such as the Hudson Belt from Arcade Belt Co. It’s made with stretchy, comfortable and durable navy smartweave fabric, and the color worked well alongside my socks, the lightweight, breathable, teal-and-grey color-blocked Troubadour from the team at Richer Poorer. Those socks paired with my boots for an added touch of comfort, and that was crucial — it felt like a long run-up into the evening, but it really was worth it.

That brings us back, once again, to The National. While I certainly looked forward to dressing for the day in style and checking out other great acts, I’d been looking forward even more to seeing the hallowed indie rockers return (relatively close) to their home turf. Seeing them two years ago at Calvin College back in my home state of Michigan was, to be quite honest, a lifechanging show (right up there with seeing Lucius at Daryl’s House Club in upstate New York earlier this year). And this time around, The National absolutely didn’t disappoint. Although the entire set was stellar, early renditions of “Don’t Swallow the Cap” and “Afraid of Everyone” were huge crowd-pleasers, as was an uptempo take on “Sea of Love” off of the acclaimed Trouble Will Find Me. Being that close to the stage for those songs was epic, seriously. The Dessner brothers are one of the tightest guitar duos around, and the Devendorf brothers reliably carry the rhythm section, too. What more can you ask for?

They’ve got a discography that’s so deep and versatile, an hour isn’t nearly enough — even at a festival.  A soul-stirring rendition of “Bloodbuzz Ohio” played well off of two new songs, “The Day I Die” and “Find A Way” fit right in with the rest of the band’s live set, which also managed to work in “England” off of High Violet. The variety in their setlist means you might hear your favorite track at an unexpected time, and it means you might have to wait a bit longer, too. “Fake Empire” was distinctive and well-done, cueing up the crowd for an intense, loud version of the classic “Mr. November” (just ask the folks next to me how much I enjoyed that one). Although Mr. Berninger stayed on stage for that song, he made his way into the crowd for “Terrible Love” — I’m surprised the fans let him go! It was nothing short of emotionally stirring and incredible, probably worthy of a full blog post in its own right. It was a two-year wait to see them, but I can only hope less time goes by before I see them again.

If you get the chance to check them out at one of the many festivals they tend to play during the summer, please do. The same goes for their friend and a top-billed act in his own right, Sufjan Stevens. It was time to put away those sunglasses (and grab another round), as he powered through a visually stunning set — both The National & Sufjan could definitely play for twice as long, what with their deep discographies and high-energy stage shows. Of course, an act like Kendrick Lamar is a huge crowd-pleaser and puts on a high-energy stage show of his own, which drew by far the largest crowds of the day.

It was a heck of a day that really was packed top-to-bottom — bands like Oh Wonder and Foals also rounded out the day nicely with afternoon sets that fit with the festival’s more eclectic vibe. Attendance felt a bit light at times, but it provided the chance to grab some prime real estate during killer sets by some of my favorite acts (particularly, as we all know…. The National). And gear like my durable Thursday Boots Natural Diplomat Boot and the Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was really crucial to taking on such a hot and busy day in style. It was such an honor and privilege to be able to see a renowned act like The National, and the rest of the lineup definitely didn’t disappoint. We’ll see if Panorama sticks around next year, but if they continue to curate an eclectic lineup packed with big names and solid variety, there’s a great chance it will be — and I’ll be there with my best menswear to rock out!

‘Til the next show,

-Beau

Huckberry

Style Pick of the Week: Mack Weldon Vesper Polo

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.

Easygoing, effortless and still sharp -- that's the Mack Weldon Vesper Polo for you. Photo courtesy of Mack Weldon.
Easygoing, effortless and still sharp — that’s the Mack Weldon Vesper Polo for you. Photo courtesy of Mack Weldon.

So, you sidle up to the bar on a Saturday night — maybe on a first date. What are you wearing? A polo inspired by the crisp, clean, effortlessly cool style of 007, that’s what. My friends, we’re talking today about the Mack Weldon Vesper Polo, a heck of a polo that puts together the favorite style principles of 007 in one shirt. It doesn’t hurt that it’s named for the original (and perhaps best-known) drink downed by everyone’s favorite secret agent. The Vesper Polo nails everything you should look for in a stylish polo for summer — it’s got a clean, modern fit, for starters. And the lightweight micro-mesh knit fabric is exactly what you need to keep you cool and dry in the heat of July (we’ll have an #OOTD styling this exact polo next week, in fact). After checking one out myself during a hot and busy #NYFWM, I’ve got to vouch for that. Plus, this polo is everything great style should be — it’s understated, it’s refined, it’s easily wearable, and the price ain’t half-bad either ($68, for the unitiated). It’s part of Mack Weldon’s effort to expand on basics that work for every guy’s wardrobe — if you’ve shopped the brand or participated in our most recent reader giveaway with these guys, you know that all too well. Add this polo to your other favorites of theirs — like an easily wearable Pima Crew Tee — and you’ll be on your way to building a sharp wardrobe any day of the week.

While the Kentucky Blue option looks great, Bond might go for the Total Eclipse Blue polo. Photo courtesy of Mack Weldon.
While the Kentucky Blue option looks great, Bond might go for the Total Eclipse Blue polo. Photo courtesy of Mack Weldon.

Join Frank & Oak Elevate - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank + Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!
Yet, the great thing about the Vesper Polo is that it’s a great place to start no matter your style level. Seriously, every guy can use reminders about things like proper fit, and this polo makes it easy. It’s wearable with slim shorts or tan chinos, and it doesn’t look out of place when worn in an even more laidback fashion — like atop your favorite swim trunks as you head to the beach or pool. And the self-collar doesn’t flop around like other polo collars — it’ll stay upright through the day (even moreso if you use collar stays), so you can rock it beneath a slim-fit khaki blazer to the office. The trickiest part about the whole endeavor might be picking a favorite color — the Kentucky Blue option seen here is reliable and crisp, yet that Total Eclipse Blue (a dark navy, really) is the same color favored by Bond in Casino Royale (although that option is a bit pricier). So you certainly can’t go wrong with a well-priced, well-performing, effortlessly stylish polo ready for the rest of summer (and even able to be rocked into early fall when layered under a shawl cardigan, for example. The toughest part is going to be putting it away when the weather turns cold — yet if you live in a warm climate, you’ll have the gift that keeps on giving year-round. Keep it handy for that next date in the meantime, yeah?

Have you picked up the Mack Weldon Vesper Polo yet? What’s your favorite style combination when it comes to polos?

The Friday Read: Panorama 2016, The Levi’s 505C and Radio Kangol

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.  

It’s quite tough to believe it’s already Friday around these parts — it genuinely seems like New York Fashion Week: Men’s just wrapped, and it also feels as if I was just in Michigan to attend my good friend Matt’s wedding (in style, of course). However, quick weekend trips tend to call for a quick turnaround time, and a busy week thereafter. Did you get the chance to catch all the content we pumped out this week at The Style Guide?  To recap — that includes a new suggestion for styling twill pants, brought to you by Savane. Here’s a hint: Take the brand’s Premium Flex Twill Pant and match them up with other dependable style staples; seriously, it’s all there. Or perhaps you’re in the mood to do some shopping? We’ve got you covered there, too — grab one of the best men’s dive watches via this site’s latest Online Shopping Picks post.  And lastly, let’s look ahead to the weekend — I’m quite excited to check out the first-ever Panorama festival this Saturday in NYC. It’s a cultural mash-up of art, technology and music, and that means some interesting exhibits, delicious food and drink and a bevy of great tunes from stellar artists — namely, personal favorites like The National, Sufjan Stevens and Oh Wonder, capped off by a heck of a headliner in Kendrick Lamar. Of course, I’m very much looking forward to getting back to Randall’s Island, site of this year’s Governors Ball music festival, and bringing along some great #menswear for the ride. You can check out my Instagram for a full rundown of the day’s festivities in real time, and you can also follow along on Twitter. In the meantime, let’s plug in and look back on the week in #menswear.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

  • Speaking of that lauded hashtag, Fashion Beans covers eight men’s street style legends to know — like, right now. It’s a great list, packed with plenty of style inspiration for anyone interested in men’s style.
  • If you’ve got a couple grand to drop, take a look at the newest watch from Piaget, the super-sharp and crisp Piaget Polo S watch — it’s the pricier answer to the best men’s dive watches covered here.
  • If you need a new pair of jeans (and who doesn’t?), take a look at the very cool, very retro and yet very of-the-moment denim just launched by Levi’s — the Levi’s 505C is an update on an iconic, yet under-the-radar, style worn by rock stars and pop culture icons alike for decades. The good news for you is that the style comes in both a fresh light wash and a classic dark wash, among other options. And if I didn’t know any better, I’d tell you to keep your eyes peeled on Instagram this weekend for some music festival content surrounding these jeans (wink, wink).
  • And speaking of brands that sit at the unique intersection of music and heritage — lovers of viral tunes are now set with a plethora of constantly updated global indie music, new from Radio Kangol. It’s an effort launched this week by the global headwear & lifestyle brand Kangol, and it uses a well-curated, deep series of intelligent-minded music labels to stream tracks that run the gamut from hip-hop to reggae to dance. It’s all in line with the brand’s connections to the music industry and its place on the heads of style and hip-hop icons alike — give it a listen here.

Last but not least….

  • Herschel Supply is teaming up with creative platform BHW to launch a series of ApexKnit backpacks that make use of a densely woven, high-tensile yarn to provide a hint of stretch and performance in the brand’s classic backpack silhouette; these backpacks are sleek, city-ready and commuter-friendly.
  • Speaking of great backpacks — grab one (or five) stylish backpacks for summer travel via my latest post on The Manual — it won’t let you down, promise!

That’s all for now — stay tuned for more style content from Panorama over on Instagram, and have a (very) stylish weekend in the meantime,

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Dive Watches

Editor’s note: To grab all sorts of goodies, head here for more #menswear shopping picks.

What's on your wrist, 007? We're talking stylish dive watches that won't break the bank today on The Style Guide.
What’s on your wrist, 007? We’re talking stylish dive watches that won’t break the bank (unlike the OMEGA Planet Ocean pictured here) today on The Style Guide.

We’re back today with another edition of The Style Guide, and we’re “diving” in (literally) to a crucial area for spring and summer (and heck, year-round) style — the best men’s dive watches to buy now. Why is it so critical and helpful to own a great stainless steel dive watch, particularly during the warmer months? As we’ve talked about time and again here, versatility in the #menswear world is paramount, especially when shopping on a  budget. Now, make no mistake — it pays to have an arsenal of versatile watches, including a stylish casual watch (think less rugged, more laidback). However, a tough dive watch — a style favored notably by James Bond — can be the accessory equivalent of a reliable pair of slim tan chinos. That is, you can wear it with nearly any outfit, from a classic pocket tee and dark denim to a tailored suit for a summer wedding (that’s especially true if it leans dressier in  nature), to a pair of chino shorts and white sneakers. And although there are rugged rubber-strap watches out there made specifically for diving, a stainless steel timepiece is the more versatile of the two options — lucky for all of us, there are plenty of options to be had that’ll work during summer when you head to the beach, and thereafter when you head to the bar. Functionality is key, but we won’t get into the specifics of debating watch movements (at least today). So settle in, pop open a new browser window (multi-tasking), and read on to find out more about the best men’s dive watches to buy now. (P.S. Check out my Instagram page for more tips on how to style a stainless steel dive watch).

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

#1. Invicta 8926 Pro Diver — $69.26

A Style Guide favorite and an excellent value for its style and quality.
A Style Guide favorite and an excellent value for its style and quality.

Watch  number one here has long been a Style Guide favorite — check out this 2013 review of the Invicta Pro Diver, for starters.  And while it doesn’t have the flash, name recognition or acclaim of the watch it’s patterned after (that would be the legendary Rolex Submariner), the Invicta 8926 Pro Diver is just as noteworthy for its combination of durability and style. That gets you major points over at Style Guide HQ, as my personal watch is still going strong. Now, it’s not fit for full-on deep-sea diving per se, but it’s water-resistant to 660 feet — that’s pretty far down. Plus the 40mm case diameter is a very nice size for most of us, and the styling potential is on-point.

#2. Orient Mako II Dive Watch — $325

Solid, reliable, durable and coming to you at a nice price -- the Orient Mako II.
Solid, reliable, durable and coming to you at a nice price — the Orient Mako II.

Whereas the Invicta Pro Diver is an affordable diver, the Orient Mako II jumps into another price range while still remaining in reach if you save up.  It’s from the brand’s most popular collection of watches, and for good reason — it’s no frills yet comes equipped with a handy and functional diving bezel, plus a 41.5mm case diameter that’s not too large on an average-sized wrist. The 40-hour power reserve is quite handy, and it again comes with a 660-foot water resistance built in. It’s right in the sweet spot in terms of both casual and refined style, so pair it up with a slim polo and sneakers with ease.

G-Star RAW

#3. Seiko 5 SNZH55  Stainless Steel Watch — $133.16

A beefier 43mm case diameter combined with dressier markings make this a versatile dive watch.
A beefier 43mm case diameter combined with dressier markings make this a versatile dive watch.

Seiko, like the aforementioned brands on this list, continues to provide on-point styling potential and quality at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Its Seiko 5 SNZH55 Stainless Steel Watch is but another timepiece that gets it right on multiple fronts, including a unique case design that eschews numerals in favor of dressier markings. Yet, you still get the functionality of a dive watch — the 43mm case diameter and 100-meter water resistance help see to that. It’s a nice mix of sporty and casual, so you can definitely rock it with a slim blue chambray shirt and grey chinos to the office, and wear it out on the weekends to a patio bar crawl. This particular model tends to sell out quickly, so get on it while it’s there.

#4. Stuhrling Aquadiver 664 — $71.69

A classic dive watch at a very affordable price.
A classic dive watch at a very affordable price.

Have you noticed that Amazon is a great place to find affordable dive watches?  If not, I’d definitely recommend you take a look at it (if you hadn’t guessed that from the above recommendations). Stuhrling is an underrated brand that’s also a Style Guide favorite, including the Stuhrling Classic Ascot Agent Watch on the dressier side.  The Stuhrling Aquadiver 664  features a smaller, more refined 39mm case diameter, so it leans a little crisper in both look and feel (if ever you were looking for a cost-effective dive watch to wear with a suit, this is it). It’s also made with diving in mind — the water resistance is 660 feet — so use it as you please on the water or on land.

#5. Shinola Runwell Stainless Steel Chrono — $900

Sporty, well-built and worth the investment.
Sporty, well-built and worth the investment.

Now, just because Shinola found itself in hot water recently with the FTC doesn’t mean that its watches should be sworn off entirely. The Shinola Runwell Stainless Steel Chrono in particular is a super-premium, super-durable and super-stylish take on the dive watch, with plenty of sporty style built right in. The 47mm case diameter is positively monstrous, so it might not be a good fit for everyone. However, it’s a bit different than the classic dive watch, with thinner links, a dressier look and feel and a water-resistant rating of less than 100 meters. So, wear it reliably and across a variety of occasions, but take care of it. Does that defeat the purpose of a dive watch? If you’re looking for versatile style out of an investment-worthy piece, certainly not.

It’s always tough to narrow down any product category in these Online Shopping Picks to just five options — if you want to go up in price, might I suggest a rugged watch built for the field from Filson, among other options. If you get stuck in your shopping search, the folks at Dappered always offer great picks for stylish men’s watches. And if you’re really in a spending mood, why not spring for a classic timepiece like the Rolex Submariner? Ahh, yes — that price. At any rate, sticking with one of the affordable picks above should have you set in matters of style and saving. That’s a win-win at any time of day, right?

Head on over to Twitter or catch up with The Style Guide on Facebook to continue the great dive watch debate.

 

Frank & Oak

#OOTD: How to Style Twill Pants with Savane

Editor’s note: The following post is brought to you by Savane. The Style Guide only works with and/or promotes brands and products used and enjoyed by its author.

Stepping out on a busy day with the Premium Flex Twill Pant from Savane. Trucker Jacket by JackThreads. Slim chambray shirt by Old Navy. Brown Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boots. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab.
Stepping out on a busy day with the Premium Flex Twill Pant from Savane. Trucker Jacket by JackThreads. Slim chambray shirt by Old Navy. Brown Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boots. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab.

Today’s #OOTD post is switching things up from the norm — and in this case, that’s a very good thing. Perhaps in your daily life, you find yourself on the go a lot — be it work, play or travel. That’s the case for myself as well, as  I’ve been traveling quite a bit this summer between busy days in NYC (we’re talking days at the office followed by trips around the country, including a Memorial Day weekend upstate ). So when Savane approached me as part of my writing for the Men’s Health MVP Network , I knew the brand’s twill pants were worth checking out as part of my active, everyday life . If you’re unfamiliar with Savane, they offer up everything from suit separates to dress shirts to the twill pants you see here (and you can find them everywhere from Amazon to JCPenney ). It’s around-the-clock wear that works particularly well to hit the office, have lunch in the park and head out to a networking event thereafter.

Take twill chinos from Savane, add American Trench striped socks, leather chukka boots from Thursday Boots, and a tough leather watch from the Timex x Red Wing collab.
Grab a sharp brown leather messenger bag then take twill chinos from Savane, add American Trench striped socks, leather chukka boots from Thursday Boots, and a tough leather watch from the Timex x Red Wing collab — you’re set for work &  play.

Given the need to dress in versatile style to transition from setting to setting, I rocked the brand’s Premium Flex Twill Pant in Ermine. They’re a reliably classic pair of pants that paired up nicely with my classic Old Navy blue chambray shirt and other personal favorites, like my durable Thursday Boots Brown Scout Chukka Boots and some stylish and continental Sunday Somewhere sunglasses. To finish the look off, I grabbed my durable leather watch from the Timex x Red Wing collab — all of the above are pieces that work seamlessly together for work or play. Of course, complementing those pieces with other sharp accessories, like a striped webbed J. Crew Factory belt, was essential, too.  However, the anchor of the whole outfit were the  comfortable and sharp Premium Flex Twill Pants. They’re tailored in a straight-tapered cut but offer room to move around in, a great thing for all you active fellas out there. And they worked seamlessly to take me from the office to a networking event later that night. They could even be styled in a manner similar to this #OOTD (that is, with a chambray blazer and sneakers). During both hot and cold days to come around NYC, I’m sure they’ll work just as well. For more on Savane, head here, and swing on through The Style Guide tomorrow for a look at the best men’s dive watches to buy right now.
Until then — stay stylish,
-Beau

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.