Style Pick of the Week: Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boots

Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boots

Classic, stylish and easy-to-wear chukka boots via Astorflex, shown at the top right with travel essentials from Owen and Fred, Abercrombie & Fitch, Huckberry, Nautica, Herschel Supply Co. and Electric Sunglasses.

Is it just me, or is it time for a seasonal footwear upgrade with a pair of the best boots for men? Think: Something that’s not a sneaker, but not a burly leather work boot that’s uncomfortable to wear — something that’ll work for nearly every style situation, from a casual weekend barbecue to a stylish road trip. Who’s with me? Perhaps the Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boots come to mind — no? I recently took my own pair on a spring road trip to Indiana, and can definitely vouch for them.  They’re an updated take on the classic desert boot, crafted with a crepe sole, high-quality suede and the type of easygoing silhouette that pairs just as well with your favorite chinos as it does with slim light wash denim on breezy summer days. In fact, I’d hope you recognize the Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boots as seen above from a few posts on The Style Guide.

Namely, the rich Dark Khaki colorway seen here will work as you dress for Sunday brunch or look for ways to upgrade your casual shirt — don’t think you should shelve all of your chukka boots entirely just because the thermostat starts to climb. And know that these Astorflex chukka boots also come in the equally versatile Stone and Grey colorways. Indeed, with a blend of comfort, style and accessibility, the Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boots — just like the brand’s Astorflex Chelsea Boots —  are a seasonal must-have in any color. Trust me: That goes for spring, summer and fall. Seriously, keep them on hand to wear with a rugged chambray shirt and dark selvedge denim to a fall tailgate — it’s a winning combo if you’re looking for insight into how to wear chukka boots. But, back to matters of summer style — what makes these a must-buy?

For starters, it’s tough to find a chukka boot that features eco-friendly, handmade Italian construction out there — let alone with a sub-$150 price tag. And to find one that goes with everything from slim stone chinos to dark denim to slim light wash jeans in the summer can be tricky, too. That easygoing versatility is what sets these Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boots apart in so many situations. Rather than resorting to minimal athletic sneakers, jeans and a slim pocket tee, try out these chukka boots and perhaps a tough dive watch — instant style upgrade in the making, and certainly one of the best men’s style moves you can make. And because they’re sold via Huckberry, you can be sure that they’re up to snuff in terms of quality and great looks. It’s also worth noting that the desert boot is a stone-cold classic silhouette — as if you needed another reason to buy these. In addition to real-life functionality for British soldiers, they’ve gained an iconic status — up there with classic white sneakers — that’s tough to top on the footwear front. So, despite summer weather finally catching up to us … there’s no reason not to wear a classic pair of desert boots like the affordable, easy-to-wear and stylish Astorflex Greenflex Chukka Boots.

How would you style these boots? To pick up inspiration from yours truly, check out my Instagram. And send me a note on Twitter if ever you have #menswear questions.

Stay stylish!

-Beau

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Style Pick of the Week: Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt

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.

af-wool-shirt-edited

Didn’t think Abercrombie & Fitch could do shirts with serious, heritage-inspired style? Think again. Glasses by Frameri. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

First things first — Happy Saturday! What’s on your weekend agenda? Hopefully, some menswear shopping — and of course, a little reading at The Style Guide. Second of all — we’re back at it in the ongoing Style Pick of the Week feature, and fittingly enough, Abercrombie & Fitch is back in the fold. From seasonally appropriate outerwear — like this beautiful Leather Bomber Jacket — to a new-and-improved focus on quality basics like denim, the A&F brand seems to be coming back in a big way. That’s due in large part to the efforts of the brand to focus once again on quality heritage-inspired basics, driven by Sir Aaron Levine (Editor’s not: He’s not actually a knight). But his approach to redefining modern basics with quality materials helped propel Club Monaco ahead, and in short, pieces like the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt represent his new take on the brand very nicely. A wool shirt, you might ask? What’s wrong with a classic chambray shirt? Well, nothing. But there’s something refreshing about switching up your fall shirting rotation, particularly when it involves reaching for a soft, slim-fitting and easily wearable shirt in a unique wool-cotton blend fabric.  Those details make it a keeper — and the styling potential will have you reaching for it time and again.
Huckberry

What’s not to love about a shirt that evokes the rugged outdoors and classic camp shirts? It features a shirt-jacket design with thicker corozo buttons and a pleasing Heather Oatmeal color — it’s just different enough from your classic white Oxford. Although the shirt is thicker than most, the cotton blend makes it easy to wear this shirt on its own with slim light wash denim for a more casual fall look. Even with the slightly heavier weight, it would also pair up nicely atop a rugged fall henley and your favorite pair of leather boots. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised with its ability to slide nicely underneath a quilted field coat — it’s a foolproof fall layering method. Of course, you can’t go wrong layering it underneath a classic grey crewneck sweater, either. Lest we forget, the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt  is the type of piece that would also work very nicely underneath an indigo chore coat — although if you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you already know that (Wink, wink). Another bonus to buying this shirt now? It’s quite the steal — you get J. Crew-level quality and a price that’s competitive, but not otherworldly.  Yes indeed, there are many positives to picking up this shirt — from the versatile styling potential to the solid price, it’s a heck of a deal. So, what are you waiting for? Dash off to pick up the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt , ASAP.

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The Friday Read: Bastille, U.S. Authentic Leather Jackets and National Sneaker Day

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.

Do you ever reach the end of a week and look back at what a whirlwind it was? That was the case for me, starting even as the week kicked off. Live music is a real passion of mine, and in place of my typical Sunday dinner, I bought a last-minute ticket to The Meadows Afterparty — shows following the first-ever iteration of The Meadows Festival, to see an all-time favorite band, The Temper Trap!  Talk about an unexpected Sunday night opportunity and a tremendous show, at that. If you get the chance, the group’s new album, “Thick As Thieves,” adds a dash of blistering Southern rock influence to their impressive discography (hearing “Sweet Disposition” live was an absolute treat for a Sunday night!).

That led into another unexpected, last-second opportunity — you haven’t lived until you’ve scrambled to snag a ticket on StubHub for Bastille, the extraordinary pop-rock band who blew up the airwaves with “Pompeii” three years ago. It was a very rare treat to see them play at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, one of my favorite venues in New York City, as part of a special mini-tour preceding a truly global effort in support of their excellent second album, “Wild World.” It was made all the more special by the small crowd (see this video as an example!) and the fact that they played nearly all the way through the new album — soon-to-be hits like “Blame” and “Power” are truly live standouts! Catch them on tour if you get the chance (nudge, nudge). Of course, I took it all in stride dressed for a rock concert. It’s a privilege to be able to catch so many great shows multiple nights a week, especially here in the Big Apple! Please go see Bastille if you get the chance — you won’t regret it! And as to the rest of the week, well, we’ll just have to catch up on all things menswear below. It’s bound to be just as busy of a weekend, as I’m hosting my family up from Florida — look for a full personal style blog post coming on Monday!

  • So, get this — National Sneaker Day is coming up on October 9th (who knew?) and the folks at Brooks Heritage want to set you up right, namely with an array of colorful, classic silhouettes that they’ve perfected through the decades. Having checked out a pair of the brand’s Chariot Heritage sneakers, I can vouch for their comfort and quality! See how to style them (for warmer weather, admittedly) in this personal style blog post.
  • Speaking of National Sneaker Day — have you caught wind of the stellar made-in-America partnership between New Balance and Danner? The two brands have teamed up on the American Pioneer Project, one part domestic manufacturing effort and major parts stellar menswear collaboration. First up — the made-in-Maine Danner x New Balance 585, a heck of a premium sneaker made from Horween leather, featuring the kind of silhouette you can wear easily with a blazer and dark blue denim. And thereafter — the Danner Light x New Balance Boot, a hybrid hiking boot featuring New Balance’s signature color palette and a neat blend of materials (we’re talking Horween leather, Cordura mesh and grey suede, to start). Shop ’em now, wear ’em all season!

  • Although a stylish cardigan is a fall menswear must-have, it’s just as essential to have a closet stocked with other sharp sweaters — like these Jamieson’s of Shetland Crew Knits as covered by Well-Spent this week.
  • We all love a rugged Western shirt (like the one seen in this #OOTD), right? Well, GQ covered an especially expensive iteration this week — oh, boy.
  • In need of a new briefcase? Give THE WINGCASE a try — the brand just launched a Kickstarter funding effort for what they’re calling “the smartest briefcase in the world,” complete with a built-in charger and two-in-one functionality via removable compartments. It’s funding quickly, so get on it while it lasts!

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Oh, and one last thing — if you need a durable, heritage-quality leather jacket, check out this week’s #OOTD covering a great option from U.S. Authentic, a brand that’s new to the scene but doing things the right way when it comes to stylish outerwear.

That’s all for this week — keep up with this weekend’s menswear looks via Instagram, and in the meantime — stay stylish,

-Beau

Style Suggestion: How to Dress for the Gym

Editor’s note: Head over here to see more men’s style suggestions for all sorts of situations.

Most guys consider how to dress for various occasions — that all-important first date, or an important day at a business casual office. But off-duty, there’s a tendency to reach for whatever’s easiest or readily available. That’s certainly seems to be the case with dressing for the gym, where you tend to run into fellas wearing cut-off tees that are simply too small, or else gear that’s seen better days (that goes for beat-up sneakers to tees and beyond). If you’re just fine wearing your trusty tee to the gym, go for it. But if you want some new, fresh gear that looks clean and simple while performing like your a true piece of workout apparel, you’re in for a treat today. Plenty of your favorite menswear companies — as you’ll see below — are making simple, straightforward, functional apparel, shorts and footwear that stand up to the challenge of extra reps while looking pretty good (all things considered). The Bonobos GoodSport line is one such recent introduction to the category that’s drawn tons of praise, and you’ll get a look at other stylish men’s workout picks below. So, stick with us — there’s something to be said for applying those crucial style upgrades to every category of your life — from that slim casual watch to a cool pair of casual sneakers and on into the gym. Pack up your gym bag and get moving — it’s time to dress in style for the gym.

The Shirt: Bonobos GoodSport Core Short Sleeve Tee in Heather Navy — $68

A new introduction from a brand making its first foray into athletic gear -- stylish and easily wearable.

A new introduction from a brand making its first foray into athletic gear — stylish and easily wearable.

While there’ve been some concerns as to the price point at which Bonobos is selling its new GoodSport line — Lululemon offers up men’s tees for about $10 less — it’s worth noting that you’re getting that trademark fit and quality for which Bonobos is known … just translated into workout gear. The Core Short Sleeve Tee is nothing fancy, with a simple heather navy color and reliable fit, plus a lack of ostentatious branding found on other workout gear (sans the small logo on the left sleeve). Try it out and let me know what you think, will ya? Note that if it’s chilly outside for your walk from the parking lot, you can add a minimal, clean zip hoodie (yes, those are acceptable in certain situations) and tailored sweats from Fourlaps — find out more on them below.

The Shorts: Fourlaps Advance Short –$49.50

A simple pair of shorts that's drawn acclaim from publications like Men's Fitness (as you can see in that photo).

A simple pair of shorts that’s drawn acclaim from publications like Men’s Fitness (as you can see in that photo).

Your gym shorts should be as simple, straightforward and reliable as your workout shirt — the Fourlaps Advance Short achieves that objective nicely. Your author had the chance to test out some of the brand’s gear during a summer trip to Florida, and if this pair of shorts performs like the brand’s Dash Tank, you should be more than set for a productive and good-looking workout session (yes, there’s such a thing). The black color will match easily with your existing gym gear, and it beats wearing bright neon shorts — right?

The Sneakers: Athletic Propulsion Labs TechLoom Pro Running Sneakers (Available via East Dane)

apl-sneakers

Although it’s important to wear gear on your top half that provides reliable performance, it’s all the more important when it comes to your sneakers. For an extra bit of bounce and some serious spring in your step, Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers are very, very tough to beat. We’re talking clean, minimal and futuristic looks and technology that’s ahead of the game (there’s a reason the brand’s basketball shoes were banned by the NBA). I had a chance to test out  a similar pair of the brand’s shoes on a trip to Italy last summer, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Leon Active Performance Socks — $14

Neutral, sport-inspired and made with breathable fabric.

Neutral, sport-inspired and made with breathable fabric.

Just as with your workout tee and shorts, proper athletic socks that still look decent are easy to overlook. Richer Poorer is a big Style Guide favorite, normally known for its no-show socks and more colorful designs — yet they can do a pair of active-minded socks better than one would expect. They’re made with moisture-wicking fabric and a padded footbed, plus breathable ventilation points and some varsity-inspired stripes. That’s performance and style in one — although if you prefer low-cut athletic socks, you could always spring for a basic pack from Under Armour.

The Watch: Timex IRONMAN Classic 30 Watch — $42

Not exactly the most fashion-forward timepiece, but it gets the job done.

Not exactly the most fashion-forward timepiece, but it gets the job done.

Some guys might not want to — or feel like they have to — wear a watch when working out. But if that’s an accessory you need, it’s best to stick with a reliable, high-performing classic that gets the job done. It might seem counterintuitive to splurge on a workout shirt and skimp on a watch, but that’s up to you. If you want to keep it simple and stick with a watch you already own, you could always reach for a straightforward, durable rubber-strap watch like the Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray (a longtime Style Guide favorite) — you lose the functionality of a sports watch, but gain back a bit more style cred. However  — at the end of the day, most folks won’t be paying too much attention to your watch. Your reps on the squat rack, on the other hand…

The Gym Bag: United By Blue Trail Weekender — $97.98

A bit more refined than your average gym bag -- that makes it more versatile, though.

A bit more refined than your average gym bag — that makes it more versatile, though.

OK, so the United By Blue Trail Weekender isn’t exactly your classic gym bag, per se. But if finding stylish versatility in a great bag is your main goal, this one can function as your gym bag and a regular weekender (in the same day, one would imagine). It’s made with a water-repellent finish and features leather accents, so it’s certainly classier than an gym bag adorned with athletic logos. It’s also built with a  padded laptop sleeve, so you can stow and go to and from work. If you want things a bit more segmented, look toward the Novel Duffle from Herschel Supply Co.

The biggest key to keep in mind when dressing for the gym is that it certainly comes down to personal preference — there aren’t any fashion police grading your gym garb (no, not even me), and I’d advise you to wear what’s going to get you to your personal goals. If that process involves upgrading your gym gear, we’ve got some great building blocks for you here — be it a better gym shirt, neutral and performance-ready shorts or tremendous Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers.  Some of the gear shown here — like that United By Blue Trail Weekender— can be re-tooled for other adventures. And brands like Richer Poorer offer the comfort of a brand you trust, but with a handy performance-related edge. If you’ve got suggestions to upgrade or change this look, let me know on Twitter — or drop us a line in the comments below.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Reader Giveaway Opportunity: #Menswear Essentials

Editor’s note: The below giveaway is made possible through a partnership with Nakturnal and features prizes from East Dane. Read on to win!

East Dane stocks head-to-toe menswear essentials -- if you're lucky, this guy could be you. Photo courtesy of East Dane.

East Dane stocks head-to-toe menswear essentials — if you’re lucky, this guy could be you. Photo courtesy of East Dane.

Although The Style Guide just ran a reader giveaway earlier this month with the great team at Tread for Men, we’re running another one today, and it’s focused on #menswear essentials — not bad, right? After all, you can never have enough stylish pieces with which to put together outfits. We’re talking menswear essentials that you can, and should, pick up and wear on the daily — things like a slim chambray shirt, dark denim, or suede chukkas. But where to find such essentials? Well, there are certain E-commerce sites that offer up all those pieces at once, with an eye for style that’s continental and classic. East Dane is one such site — if you’ve read this blog, you know that your humble author is definitely a fan. And if you can see that photo above — all East Dane pieces — you best believe they know what they’re talking about.

That’s why I’m so pleased today to partner up with Nakturnal and offer up two (yes, TWO!) $100 gift cards to East Dane and the site’s well-curated assortment of men’s lifestyle goods. The site’s slate of brands runs the gamut from venerable institutions like Filson and Converse to up-and-comers like Public School  — truly, they’ve got something for everyone. Particularly if you’re looking for something like a great pair of men’s jeans, they’ve got you. And if you want to get 50% off men’s goods right now — everything from chukkas to shirts to blazers — well, they’ve also got you. Now, note that if you’re based outside the U.S., shipping is free for orders of $100 or more, but you’re on the hook for any potential customs tariffs — we’re all about saving you money here at The Style Guide, see?

But back to the menswear at East Dane: It’s a terrific mix of classic, straightforward-yet-continental pieces, and in all, you could feasibly spend hours zipping around the site — as I’ve done in the past. If you want to dive right in and earn that gift card mentioned above, follow the giveaway details below; best of luck to those entering, and join the menswear conversation at The Style Guide Facebook page in the meantime. And the great thing is, you’ve got a whole week to enter! Good luck!

To win one of two $100 East Dane gift cards, comment below or share a link in the comments detailing your favorite item on the East Dane site.

Editor’s note: This contest ends at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23rd.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Style Pick of the Week: Jack + Mulligan Ali Duffel

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.

Ali Duffel 2

If you’ve been paying any attention to your television or the Internet across the past week, you’ll know the Rio Olympics are well underway. They’ve given us a bunch of gold medals for the U.S., and a seriously large amount of Michael Phelps face memes (that’s the last you’ll read of it, sorry). Even yours truly at The Style Guide published a post on what to wear to watch the Olympics. Well, there’s still plenty more where that came from — and the best part about this week’s Style Pick? You can use it all year-round. Yes indeed, the Jack + Mulligan Ali Duffel is your answer to quite a few different questions. Namely, where can I find a gym bag that actually looks good? Maybe one that’s not too bulky, either? Truly, the stylish gym bag is an underrated style upgrade you should definitely consider making, and the fact that this option’s got patriotic roots only helps during this time of year (the $115 price tag isn’t too bad, either). The bag is named for the great boxer and Olympic gold medalist himself (that would be Muhammad Ali, folks), and it’s part of Jack + Mulligan’s “Pursuit of Greatness” capsule collection. The Ali Duffel is available in four colorways, but allow me to put forth a little Saturday menswear argument — the Ivory/Sport Blue combination is the only one you need if you find yourself Stateside. Why’s that? Keep on reading.

Available in three additional colorways, the Ivy/Sport Blue might be your best bet. Photo courtesy of Jack + Mulligan.

Available in three additional colorways, the Ivy/Sport Blue might be your best bet. Photo courtesy of Jack + Mulligan.

The water-repellent canvas body is stylishly offset by what’s truly a sporty blue colorblock on the bottom panel, plus fittingly American red-striped handles made from sturdy cotton.  Right down to the blue water-resistant nylon lining, the whole combination is old-school yet crisp. It’s the kind of bag that might stylishly complement something like a rugged-refined Todd Snyder graphic T-shirt as part of a casual off-duty look. And when you do take it to hit the gym, it’s going to stand out subtly and stylishly — no garish athletic logos or overly padded shoulder strap here. The entire combination is surprisingly sharp, and the patriotic look and feel of the moment means there’s no better time to buy it. If you’re heading to an Olympics viewing party, it’s a neat way to lug a few everyday carry essentials (plus a few brews) around — and it can serve the same function the rest o’ the year, as well. If you’re feeling particularly patriotic, you could even grab a Jack + Mulligan U.S.A. Baseball Cap to really complete the look. Finish it off with the comfortable, athletic-inspired Ace Short from Mack Weldon and you’ve got an entire ensemble that’s patriotic, fresh and ready for some relaxation (and rabid cheering, of course).

Will you be buying the Jack + Mulligan Ali Duffel?

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.