Editor’s note: Click here for another look at how to dress for summer in style.
The Fourth of July presents a double-edged sword in terms of style and planning (at least for us #menswear fans). It involves travel, it involves hot weather, and it involves a few different style scenarios. Now, I’ve spent the holiday in recent years in both Michigan and in NYC, so this past (or current?) long weekend was a bit of change, as I explored Brooklyn and NYC in style with friends. It can feel strange to stick around town when lots of people hit the road, but hanging around the Big Apple proved to be relaxing, fun and yes, very #menswear-centric (as always). Plus, it was a great way to test out some patriotic style fit for exploring the city, and the beautiful weather made it all the better — with more menswear activity on the way on this fine July 4th. I’m always up for traveling in style, but this time, that only involved the subway. However, you can put similar tips to use whether you’re hopping around town for coffee or lunch, or catching a flight coast-to-coast.
With the promise of Monday off, I set out to take on the weekend in style with a few warm weather-friendly combos. Saturday was an excellent day to explore Williamsburg, and for that endeavor, I tossed on a brand-new pair of slim chambray shorts from the fine Canvas by Lands’ End line. The terrific Canvas by Lands’ End collection updates several great menswear staples, from chino shorts to henleys, and these particular chambray shorts combine a tailored fit with a textured fabric that’s a nice change of pace from khaki shorts — give them a try if you get the chance. They worked perfectly with another updated style staple, a slim (and very soft) Moroccan Tee from basics maker Tommy John — the notched collar is visually interesting enough to work on its own, or layered under, say, a chambray shirt or even a navy blazer (not that this past weekend got that fancy). The combo was a visually interesting update on a casual T-shirt & shorts, and my colorful Brooks Heritage Chariot Runners offset it perfectly. On the watch front, I reached for a dependable style favorite, my Timex x Red Wing Heritage Waterbury Chrono — it’s the perfect mix of rugged and refined style, and it won’t break the bank. Plus, it works for travel — it’s both a bit dressy and casual — and it’s comfortable to wear for hours on end. I supplemented that with a pair of flexible, durable aviators from Spine Optics; they’re great to grab and go, as the frames and hinges are built to flex and bend, not snap.
The beautiful Brooklyn weather was just an added bonus to the main focus of my trip to Williamsburg (other than a quick haircut at the Corner Barber). I was able to spend some time and catch up with the staff at the recently opened Upstate Stock shop (as seen above). The shop is a really excellent, well-curated home to tons of lifestyle essentials, and its Web shop is just as well-done. From handmade soaps to refined stationary and men’s grooming goods, everything in the store is sourced domestically or made in New York state or the city itself (namely, fine leather goods from Slightly Alabama are produced nearby). In fact, picking up a few of the shop’s special-edition postcards (designed by the ridiculously talented Christian Watson of 1924us) is a personal favorite. The store is exceptionally well-appointed and laid-out — it’s a fine example of how to use space and natural light (and the reclaimed wood tables don’t hurt the aesthetic). They also stock pantry essentials and serve excellent coffee and pastries within the shop. Stop in, shop around, peruse the well-edited selection of obscure craftsmanship & lifestyle magazines, and stay a while — it’s a welcoming, friendly and calming atmosphere. Plus, there’s nothing better than celebrating American-made style for the Fourth of July. Of course, to take some goodies from the shop, I grabbed my JackThreads Daily Tote — made from real denim, it’s an eye-catching and efficient way to lug around a few small items for a day out and about.
A busy day of exploring led to a night out and about with some good friends in Manhattan — the great news is, I was able to transition my Moroccan Tee from day to night, and I traded in my chambray shorts for some slim light wash Mott & Bow denim. Made with a hint of stretch, the Mott & Bow Wooster is perhaps more comfortable than any denim I own — in either Skinny, Slim or Straight fits, I’d suggest you snag a pair and rock them as frequently as you can. For city-appropriate style, I stepped out in some leather chukka boots (that’s another versatile style move, as they work for travel & city exploration alike). And if you pack and wear versatile accessories — like a durable leather watch — you can also transition a timepiece from day to night … so, that’s what I did!
Sunday presented another chance to step out in style, followed by today’s much-needed holiday. The main Sunday directive? Head to the Festival of Independence at the South Street Seaport for an afternoon of tasty bites, cold beer and live music (capped off by indie rockers Wild Nothing, a personal favorite). Checking out live music in style is a must, and although skies were cloudy on-and-off throughout the day, I always relish the chance to dress for warm weather (especially given how brutal winter can be — right??). I grabbed some comfortable, slim-fitting Stringer Dune shorts from Bridge & Burn (they’re sold out in Khaki as seen here, but available in a just-as-versatile Gray). In keeping with the nautical theme of a day spent at the seaport, I tossed on my sailboat print T-shirt from J. Crew — it’s an older style, but I’d offer up a slim pocket T-shirt from the brand as a worthy alternative for concert-going or a casual day around town. Comfortable sneakers are a must-have when exploring or rocking out to live music, and my Pale Indigo Washed Denim Sneakers from The Hill-Side turned out to be a reliable and stylish choice, as always. Plus, they worked well in tandem with a simple-yet-refined brown leather timepiece from MVMT Watches (always a solid decision). And I kept the sun off my face with a Flat Wool Cap, also from Bridge & Burn — I’ve found it to be a sharp style upgrade from a plain athletic-logo ballcap (for a bit of a price, of course).
The day was an excellent one, and my style combo worked nicely to transition from the day into the evening. It’s always a treat to see an artist like Wild Nothing capture a crowd — particularly at a free show (as you can see above!). Jack Tatum and co.’s shimmery, breezy rock played well off the waterfront atmosphere, and tunes from the group’s new album, “Life of Pause,” were definite crowd-pleasers, including the record’s lead single, “TV Queen,” a wavy, low-key rock track characteristic of the band’s style. The group is jetsetting off to South America for a run of dates, but their new album is one of the better releases of the year to date, and they’re worth a listen in the meantime. Seeing them for free was a great way to cap off two of the weekend’s three days, but there’s more Brooklyn exploration — and fireworks — to come today. I’ll be taking on the day in my slim Mott & Bow denim, and accenting that with a pair of patriotic socks from DivvyUp, plus classic white Seavees sneakers and a reliable blue chambray shirt.
To get of-the-moment style tips and menswear musings in the meantime, check out your humble author on Twitter, and to see style in action, swing on through my Instagram. Any style questions? Shoot me an email anytime via the Contact page. Lastly — I hope everyone has a great holiday, and takes some time to be thankful for our amazing freedoms here. To be able to write this blog is a privilege, and it’s among the many that I’m thankful to have.
And finally: Thanks, as always, for reading,