As I traveled down the East Coast this past Friday morning, I was able to look back on a heck of a lot of things besides the crisp winter scenery. It was outstanding to reflect on a great year of work, of time with family and friends, of travel and a great year of celebrating some of my passions — including live music and menswear, all rolled into one. And it was as good a time as any for this Style Guide author to catch a great show and bring along some of my favorite men’s style essentials, yet again. My travels this time around took me to the unique and ever-changing city of Baltimore to see joyous indie folk rockers The Head and The Heart — that’s a definite recipe for success. I’ve been really lucky to be able to travel in style (of course) so frequently to see great bands, from an upstate trip to see Lucius to a weekend trip to Providence to see (perhaps) my favorite band, West Coast indie rockers Local Natives. So it was fitting that on one of the last weekends of the year, I took to the trail again. What did I bring with me? Only the best gear I could pack into my Owen & Fred weekender bag — you knew that bag was sturdy as heck and travel-friendly, right?
As seems to be the case with the weather across much of the country, the weekend was an especially frigid one in Baltimore — and NYC. For my train ride down the coast and a day exploring Baltimore, I layered up accordingly as seen at the top of the page, starting with my trusty JackThreads denim shirt. Of course, a stylish shawl cardigan proved a crucial layering piece given the chill, and I prepared accordingly with the durable, thick-knit and unique Eddie Bauer Snow Bridge Cardigan. I topped those layers off with the slim, warm Old Navy Wool-Blend Topcoat, an unexpected offering from a brand that keeps improving its apparel and outerwear game. For a blend of flexibility, comfort and style — crucial when sitting on a train for a few hours, then moving about the city — my trusty Bonobos Travel Jeans in Allegheny Oak fit the bill perfectly, and played nicely in terms of color off my sturdy, tough-wearing Cole Haan Lockridge Moc Toe Boots. You might recognize those boots from this site’s piece on how to dress for the first snowfall, and they’ve got plenty of weather-ready bells and whistles — they’re waterproof and feature the brand’s Grand.OS technology, for starters. When paired up with my reliable-as-ever MVMT Watches Calypso Watch and tough accessories like my Grifter Company Ranger Gloves, I was more than set to battle the chill.
I also brought along my trusty Brothers Leather 810 Wallet .It’s a beautiful, handmade and essential wallet — and you can get 15% off that wallet, or any Brothers Leather item, using the code ‘BrotherBeau15’! Seriously, look into upgrading your everyday carry ASAP. Know that the next time you hit the road to a chilly locale, you should pack as many durable winter accessories as you can, too.
Stop number one on my trip? Of course, a stellar coffee shop — that’d be Artifact Coffee, and I’d absolutely recommend a trip of your own if ever you get to Baltimore. It’s a rustic backdrop for a tasty egg-and-bacon English muffin and a rich cup of coffee, plus some quiet writing and reflection. Properly caffeinated following an early train ride, a stop at one of the city’s neat menswear shops was in order. 16Tons — not a far walk from Artifact — is packed to the gills with vintage menswear, including sturdy tweed blazers, stonewashed denim jackets and a fair selection of tough moto boots. With my fill of menswear shopping, it was time for a much-needed burger at the lauded Abbey Burger Bistro — add the Guinness cheddar to your burger and top it off with a local Union Red Foxy IPA. I walked off the burger with a stroll through the neat Inner Harbor and Federal Hill areas of Baltimore, filled with beautiful red brick historic homes.
With a great lunch and a great day of exploration around Baltimore behind me, I was more than ready for a long-awaited show from The Head and The Heart — seeing as I missed the band’s NYC tour stop in October after years of listening, it was high time I got around to seeing them. Looking back on 2016, the group’s stellar third album, “Signs of Light,” was one of my favorites for its joyous, uplifting message, powerful harmonies, subtle pop influences and soaring guitars. It’s the kind of music we need a bit — or a lot — more of, and it resulted in a stunning live show that was a joy to watch.With a full day to look ahead to the show, I was beyond excited — and because I packed light and relied on style staples like the tough-yet-comfortable Cole Haan Lockridge Moc Toe Boots and the durable MVMT Watches Calypso Watch I was able to transition from day to night and fully enjoy the concert.
Checking out a new music venue in a new city is always a neat endeavor, and a packed Ram’s Head Live didn’t disappoint. The buzzing, multi-level venue also drew a nice crowd for folk rock trio Joseph, themselves a group quickly on the rise and capable of producing some powerful songs in the vein of Lucius or HAIM — yes, they’re that good. And they nicely complemented a beautiful performance from The Head and The Heart, who absolutely didn’t disappoint. I’d recommend you see them as soon as you can — the band’s beautiful vocals and soaring songs — soaring is the only way to describe it — were incredible. From the opener “All We Ever Knew” to a huge rendition of “Rivers and Roads” and stirring, fun versions of “Lost in My Mind” and “Shake,” it was among the better shows I’ve seen this year — and that’s saying something!
With an amazing live show in the books, I looked ahead to an excellent Saturday of Baltimore, including an amazing brunch & Bloody Mary at Baltimore institution Miss Shirley’s. Of course, a delicious, rich Nutella latte from 3 Bean Coffee was also in order. With chilly temperatures in the forecast yet again, I went with sturdy layers to fight the cold.. Namely, my slim and refined JackThreads Donegal Trousers provided a bit of a high-low style complement to my heritage-inspired Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt. Given the blustery, frigid weather, I also threw on my much-loved Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt, as seen at the top of the post. It’s a soft, warm and essential layering piece. And on the watch front, it doesn’t get any better than my rugged and durable Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph, all of which helped me navigate Baltimore in warmth and good time — seriously!
Unfortunately, my trip was over much too soon, and it was time to head back to NYC. The ceaseless cold weather showed no signs of relenting on Sunday, so I again reached for critical layers, starting with a brand-new, rugged-and-refined Abercrombie & Fitch Wool-Blend Henley Sweater. It’s a rich addition to any wardrobe, affordably priced and featuring a neat blend of sport and heritage-inspired style. For an afternoon spent exploring Williamsburg, I accented the sweater with a distinctive Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan — you can expect to see a lot more of this unique, comfortable layering piece soon. On the footwear front, I found myself reaching once again for my durable, tough CAT Footwear Sutter Boots — the brown burnishing is a handsome and classic design touch. And whether in cold weather or on a warm, sunny day, you really can’t go wrong with the ridiculously comfortable Kinzie Jeans from Mugsy Jeans, made with a ton of stretch for ease of movement. I complemented the ensemble with the Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph yet again — it’s a tough watch to pass up wearing!
As I bundled up heading back through Brooklyn, it was great to be able to reflect on a stellar weekend. It featured some of my favorite things — live music, menswear, travel and a requisite helping of craft beer and great burgers! It doesn’t really get any better, especially packed into the span of a few days. And any time I get to spend at my favorite spots in Brooklyn is also time well-spent. It’s been a whirlwind month of December — and a whirlwind year — but I’m really thankful to get the chance to travel, see great shows and bring along stylish menswear in the process. If you’ve got your own holiday travel coming up, I hope it goes well — and if you’ve still got gifts to buy, check out our men’s holiday gift guide, along with the women’s holiday gift guide. Happy shopping!
Thanks as always for reading — stay stylish!