Editor’s note: To recap my last trip (earlier this week!), click here.
If it seemed like the last week was fast, it felt like the weekend flew by even faster — boarding your fifth flight in six days (including those pesky connections) will do that to you. But Friday’s early, early morning flight brought me once again back to my home state of Michigan, and my hometown of Mason for my great friend Andy’s wedding weekend (and a tip o’ the cap to my pal Chris for hosting me this weekend). It felt strange yet fitting to be back in the Mitten so soon — I was just in Grand Rapids for the bachelor party at the end of July, after all. But it was an honor to be in Andy’s wedding, and the trip back also presented the all-too-rare chance for me to spend just a bit of time in a town I really do love. Seeing as I was in Las Vegas for a work conference just a few days before, I also felt pretty confident I could dress, and pack, for the trip with style and attention to detail. Nothing like unpacking, then repacking almost immediately, to teach you about versatile style, ehh?
As I was in the wedding — held at the picturesque English Inn in the rolling Michigan countryside — my grey tuxedo was taken care of, other than my shoes; the crisp Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip more than got the job taken care of there (more to come on the wedding shortly, but it was an amazingly beautiful and fun night!). So with formal wear out of the way, my focus was on packing some casual style essentials into my dependable Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, along with my sturdy Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag. As I’ve talked about before on these (digital) pages, great luggage can keep your gear safe and stylish no matter where you go, and those two bags will set you right. To meet the challenge of traveling in comfortable-yet-crisp style, I grabbed one of my favorite tees, the Richer Poorer T-Shirt in Heather Grey, and topped off the look with a personal favorite, a vintage ballcap from Goorin Brothers. Now, we’ll be talking more about stylish pocket T-shirts on the blog on Wednesday *cough, cough* but know that this particular tee fits and breathes well while looking visually different than a plain crewneck. It offset my Mott & Bow Staple Denim in rather classic fashion — the dark wash and significant stretch in this pair of denim is ideal for travel. Comfortable footwear was also a must — for lightweight, casual style and a pop of color, I threw on the Blu Kicks Sand Chukkas, which I’ve been testing out with positive results these past few weeks. The unlined suede upper is ultra-comfortable, particularly with a pair of Richer Poorer cotton socks, and you can feel good about the fact that they’re handmade in Mexico from local materials for a great price.
And on the watch front, I picked a timepiece that’s as dependable and durable as any — I’m talking about the AVI-8 Hawker Hunter, a rugged, aviation-style watch with a case diameter that clocks in (pun intended) at a beefy 45mm. It still manages to come off understated thanks to the neutral beige leather strap, and it was the ideal travel companion as far as watches go — smart, functional and not fussy. The head-to-toe combo of comfort and style worked quite well for an afternoon spent in my hometown of Mason — as I said before, it’s not often I get to go back there, and it’s always a treat when I do. In this case, that meant a stop at Mason institution Bestsellers Cafe for a gourmet coffee. An early start to the day also meant that the afternoon was high time for some extra sustenance — cue up a stop at BAD Brewing Company, a stellar and relatively recent craft beer outpost that’s been drawing rave reviews for its homegrown brews and gourmet bites. Yes, I’d recommend a stop there if you ever pass through Mason — and it was the perfect way to cap off an afternoon stroll around the beautiful campus of my alma mater, Michigan State.
That tasty spot of lunch was the perfect way to tide me over until a post-wedding rehearsal stop at another highly regarded craft beer spot, the Lansing Brewing Company. It’s made major waves in the local craft beer scene for reinvigorating the city’s hops culture, and its three signature brews — including the cleverly named Angry Mayor IPA — do a fine job of holding down the fort alongside a rotating seasonal selection. From the Best Coast Pale Ale to the Ain’t No Drama Imperial Red, it’s representative of the atmosphere and quality of Michigan’s best breweries — and Lansing Brewing is just getting started (if you couldn’t tell, I’m a big craft beer fan). For the rehearsal itself and that much-loved trip to the brewery, I switched out my Richer Poorer pocket tee for a reliable favorite, my JackThreads Denim Shirt — it’s the perfect casual summer outfit topper, and it’s selling fast. It was my own slight variation on how to dress for a warm-weather bar crawl, if you will.
That casual style was similarly needed on Saturday for a bit of pre-wedding time spent around downtown Mason once again. To meet the summertime heat of Michigan in style, I threw on my trusty Grayers Slub Jersey Polo and my tailored-yet-comfortable Bridge & Burn Stringer Dune Shorts (you can grab a similar pair here); I finished the #menswear ensemble off with two everyday carry touches — my MVMT Watches Brown Leather Watch and the Scout Wallet from Andar Wallets. The polo was breathable and soft, and the blue & khaki colors played nicely off a really standout pair of sneakers — the Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon is a heck of a pair of kicks! They’re new as of this week, and they feature a premium blend of pigskin suede in a retro runner silhouette that’s sporty, classic and timeless. Oh, and did I mention they’re comfortable as heck? They were a nice pair of sneakers for a bit of pre-wedding fun (and if I were you, I’d check back on this blog later this week for a full Style Pick of the Week feature).
That casual ensemble played nicely into the wedding, where I put the Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip to good use with a slim grey tuxedo and classic navy tie. Enough about Saturday’s outfit, though — the wedding itself was extraordinary and the atmosphere was second-to-none. It was such a great time to be there for my friends Andy & Courtney (if you made it this far in the post, Hi guys!), and you couldn’t ask for a better venue than the refined English Inn. A beautiful ceremony and an awesome time with close high school friends thereafter were huge highlights and made for memories of a lifetime — the perfect time and reason to be back in Michigan. It’s tough to see everyone in one place at the same time, to be sure, so I’m certainly glad I made the trip back.
With that being said, a quick trip often calls for a quick turnaround, and such was the case after a long night of revelry at the English Inn. To head back to New York — and finish up the blog post — I reached for reliable travel style essentials. My Todd Shelton White Oxford was chief among those picks — there might not be as reliable or high-quality an Oxford on the market, what with customizable fit options, a substantial fabric and a tailored fit. I wore it casually with a pair of Old Navy Slim Khakis, plus the sharp, travel-ready Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip. Of course, my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was a necessary finishing touch. Like many recent travels, it was so worth it to be back — long journey, early flight and all. I know I’ll be back in the Mitten for at least one Michigan State football game this fall, but for now, I’m just grateful to have celebrated a great wedding weekend with lifelong friends. And it’s trips like this one that will take me out on the road again. Keep up with those travels here on the blog or at The Style Guide Facebook page, and I hope you pack up your bag with memories (and OK, some style) in mind the next time you travel.
‘Til the next post,