#OOTD: How to Wear A Polo Shirt This Summer

If you’ve been dressing for warm weather for a few months now, perhaps your #menswear rotation feels a bit stale. After all, perhaps you’ve got that slim-fit polo shirt and yet … don’t quite know how to wear it or what to wear it with? Aside from pairing it up with slim light wash denim or tailored chino shorts, there are a few key moves you should keep in mind when using a slim polo shirt as the basis of your ensemble.  Importantly, don’t shy away from pairing up said polo with a tailored jacket. The key to getting that oft-coveted versatility so many of us seek in a stylish summer polo? It all starts with a shirt that’s dressy, crisp and tailored — yet easy to wear with just about anything. That’s where Criquet Shirts comes into play. Namely, its Slim-Fit Player’s Shirt — crafted with a sharp collar, quality fabric and breathability in the summer heat — is a winner. I can certainly vouch for that, having taken a few of the brand’s polo shirts on a Memorial Day weekend trip to Florida.  And I think you’ll be similarly pleased if you pick up a Slim-Fit Player’s Shirt  for yourself — so stay tuned, read on and let me know what you think of the following outfit via The Style Guide Facebook page.

Nautica

A sharp, slim-fitting polo plus a crisp suit jacket and garment-washed chinos — all staples that are stylish and summer-friendly.

The Shirt: Criquet Shirts Slim-Fit Player’s Shirt in Midnight Cowboy, $79 — As we’ve mentioned before, Criquet Shirts knows how to make a nice, wearable and modern-yet-classic polo — you know, the kind McQueen might’ve worn.

Florsheim
The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket, $278 — Made in part from linen — the of-the-moment fabric you need in your closet  this summer — the modern Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket nicely offsets the sharp polo.

The Trousers: Johnston and Murphy Slim-Fit Garment-Washed Chinos, $88 — While you could certainly wear your Criquet Shirts Slim-Fit Player’s Shirt with matching Taylor Stitch suit trousers, slim chinos in a pleasing off-white shade are summer-friendly and a bit more casual.

The Shoes: Nisolo Calano Oxford, $188 —  Clean, simple and well-constructed, the Nisolo Calano Oxford is a sharp alternative to traditional brown wingtips.

The Socks: Arvin Goods No-show Socks (Three-pack), $30 — Thanks to past entries on this site — including how to wear linen trousers this summer — I’d wager you’re familiar with the comfortable, affordable Arvin Goods No-show Socks — they’re a critical way to keep your feet cool when worn with rolled chinos.

Ben ShermanThe Watch: Orient Bambino Second Generation, $179.98 — For a look that incorporates both tailored and more casual elements, reach for a handsome, clean watch like the Orient Bambino Second Generation.

Sutro Footwear

The Sunglasses: Norton Point Charlie 014 Sunglasses, $99.98 — A returning entrant from this site’s Style Pick of the Week series,  the Norton Point Charlie 014 Sunglasses blend versatility and retro style easily.

The Everyday Carry: This Is Ground Mod 15-Inch Laptop Case, $419.98 —  Want to look sleek and office-ready? Take all of your daily essentials in the This Is Ground Mod Case, a handy, sharp accessory.

When stepping out in something a little bit different from the everyday — in this case, a slim-fit polo shirt worn with the sharp Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket  — the key is getting that polo fitted properly from the get-go. That allows you to throw on a tailored jacket and slim chinos. With those pieces in order, you’ll definitely step out in style with the sleek-yet-rugged  Nisolo Calano Oxford. Naturally, other stylish accessories should get some play, too. Although a small detail, I can’t recommend the Arvin Goods No-show Socks enough, and I certainly can’t recommend the Orient Bambino Second Generation enough, either. Oh, and lastly ….retro style inspiration is the way to go when wearing a throwback polo, so something along the lines of  Norton Point Charlie 014 Sunglasses should treat you very nicely. Where are ya going? Don’t leave before securing your everyday carry with the This Is Ground Mod Case. I think that covers all of the bases here — with that being said, I leave it up to you to shop this look, wear this look and quite simply … crush it wearing this look.

Thanks for reading — stay stylish!

-Beau

Style Q+A: Bridge and Burn

First of all, welcome back to another entry in our ongoing Style Q+A series.  From purveyors of rugged goods like NYC’s Rivay  to the masterminds at Tread for Men Grooming, I hope you’ve enjoyed following along.  And as always seems to be the case, we’re giving you what I think is another great entry worth your time today (and as an aside, it contains perhaps my favorite quote from our Style Q+A series — see if you can spot it). If you peruse the pages of this site — from pieces like how to wear a bomber jacket  to the best men’s denim shirts to buy now, you’ll surely recognize the brand featured here. Yes, today we’re talking about Bridge & Burn, a brand with a heck of a backstory and roots that extend all the way out to Oregon more than a decade ago. With a computer science background and experience starting and running two different brands — each of which  have lent unique qualities to the stylish, functional and timeless aesthetic of Bridge & Burn — founder Erik Prowell is just the guy you want to see if you need to upgrade your outerwear or pick up a heck of a versatile shirt (or learn about the Pacific Northwest, for that matter). From simple-yet-soft graphic tees to refined chinos  and hard-wearing jackets, you’ve got yourself a winning look any time you throw on the brand’s gear. In fact, Bridge & Burn’s recent collaboration with Kiriko is equally stunning, featuring a mix of chinos, overshirts and engineer stripe shirts done up with beautiful patterns and incredible fabrics — in short, amplifying a lot of the great work you see from Bridge and Burn on a daily basis. With all that being said, they’re a brand worth knowing if you value quality construction, well-executed details and timeless wearability. It’s been a treat to learn more about Bridge & Burn and experience their high-quality goods while meeting the team behind the brand across these past few months. With that being said, I hope you’ll enjoy learning more, too. Take it away, Erik!

The original Bridge & Burn graphic.

The original Bridge & Burn graphic.

The Style Guide: Tell me about the start of the Bridge & Burn brand?
 
Erik Prowell: To be honest, I really didn’t know what I was doing when I started Bridge & Burn. I studied Computer Science in college and worked as a software developer for a few years. My friend and I started making graphic tees for fun and it snowballed into a pretty decent business where we were selling to over 200 stores nationally including Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters. Through that business, I started going to trade shows and was exposed to the wide world of apparel. At the shows, I’d see all these pieces that had great silhouettes but always seemed over-designed. When I started my goal was to make clean, classic pieces that I wanted to wear.
The name Bridge & Burn was inspired by the first t-shirt I ever designed.
It was a burning match under a bridge — because sometimes you have to burn the bridge to past expectations in order to follow your passions into an unknown future.  
A look at the Bridge & Burn x Kiriko collaboration -- read on for more.

A look at the Bridge & Burn x Kiriko collaboration — read on for more.

TSG: The Northwest seems to have played a big role in the brand’s evolution and design — tell me a bit more about that approach?
EP: The Pacific Northwest is known for its quality of life. It’s not about excess. It’s not about the next big thing. It’s about knowing what is good and how to enjoy all that is good to the fullest. I grew up in Oregon, and I chose to start Bridge & Burn in Portland because I love this city. It’s small, it has character, and is full of inspiring, creative people. Our location can be challenging, as most of the apparel world is centered in New York and Los Angeles. It’s more difficult to make connections and I am forced to travel quite a bit. That said, our origin naturally differentiates the brand and gives us unique character. Our designs come from a different point of view and the landscape inspires every aspect of our designs from the colors we choose to each garment’s simple functionality.
TSG: What’s one essential every guy should have in his wardrobe? 
EP: Every guy should have good socks and a great jacket (Editor’s note: Check out American Trench socks in particular, and read our piece on how to wear a bomber jacket for a Bridge and Burn take on the style).
Frank & Oak
TSG: As interest in men’s style specifically has increased, has that benefited the brand?
EP: Definitely. Our approachable designs and moderate price point makes it easy for guys to ease in to the world of fashion. And for those who are already there, we offer new fits and fabrics each season to keep them on trend with new ways to express their own personal sense of style.
TSG: Any exciting upcoming new product launches readers should know about? 
EP: We just launched our most ambitious apparel collaboration ever, with fellow Portland retailer, Kiriko. Bridge & Burn x Kiriko is a limited capsule collection for men & women. The aesthetic was inspired by classic American workwear fused with Japanese minimalism and heritage textiles. The designs are classic Bridge & Burn with a modern japanese twist. For more on the collaboration and the incredible Japanese fabrics we sourced with Kiriko, check out our blog post.
So, there you have it — beautiful fabrication, classic designs and a timeless approach to style. Follow Bridge & Burn on Twitter and Instagram for more — and get shopping!

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.

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Sunglasses for Summer

Editor’s note: For a full suite of stylish shopping picks, click here.

Stylish sunglasses are a must for the summer months. This particular Tom Ford pair was a Christmas gift from Santa. Pima Crewneck by Mack Weldon. Light Khaki Ludlow Denim by Mott & Bow. Brown Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Customized Fairfield Weekender by Timex.

Stylish sunglasses are a must for the summer months. This particular Tom Ford pair was a Christmas gift from Santa. Pima Crewneck by Mack Weldon. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Brown Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Customized Fairfield Weekender by Timex.

Spring has, to this point, presented all kinds of online shopping to be done, from picking up stylish suede chukkas to lusting after the best spring sneakers and short-sleeve shirts. But what about those other finishing touches? Particularly one that just might be the  most important part of your everyday carry, whether you’re traveling abroad or zipping down the street. I’ll give you a hint — you sure as heck won’t need ’em when it rains! Indeed, we’re talking effective, stylish sunglasses for the rest of spring and all summer. It’s virtually never too late to buy a pair — heck, grab the right frame (classic in shape and with lenses that aren’t too crazy) and you’ll want to wear them even with it’s cloudy. They’re a nice thing to have when the snow gets too reflective for those of us in colder climes, as well. So, for matters of style, there’s a lot at stake. Grab one of the pairs listed below — just try not to lose ’em at the gas station.
Florsheim
#1. J. Crew Jack Sunglasses in Silver Navy, $98

A new (yet already-classic) option from a brand that nails all kinds of style staples.

A new (yet already-classic) option from a brand that nails all kinds of style staples.

The brand’s quest to take over the wardrobes of discerning #menswear fans everywhere continues at a pretty rapid clip, and J. Crew’s new sunglasses definitely make it easy to become a fan. The Jack is a classic aviator style with crisp blue lenses, a stainless steel frame and a 52mm lens diameter that should work for most face shapes. These could be reliably dressed up with a well-tailored suit, and they’d add a classic American feel to a short-sleeve henley.

#2. Warby Parker Batten Sunglasses in Jet Blue, $145

More than a passing resemblance to the sunglasses worn by James Bond in Skyfall.

More than a passing resemblance to the sunglasses worn by James Bond in Skyfall.

Do you sense a theme here as far as versatile sunglasses go? Warby Parker excels at producing modern designs that are still wearable for all sorts of face shapes, including this classic aviator style. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the sunglasses worn by James Bond in Skyfall, and that’s a very good (and very cool) thing. The crucial part about that is you get them without the Bond-esque price tag — and with the option to add in prescription lenses if you so choose.

#3. Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses in Dark Stripe Tortoise — $165

Perfect for dressing up with a suit or rocking on their own with a tee and chinos.

Perfect for dressing up with a suit or rocking on their own with a tee and chinos.

If you don’t fancy yourself rocking a pair of aviator shades, perhaps reach for something that’s a bit more unique but still versatile in terms of style. That would be the Millbrook from Steven Alan Optical, the premium eyewear offshoot of American menswear brand Steven Alan. The great part about these shades is that they come without a premium price tag (as far as other, higher-end options are concerned). The Italian acetate used to make these is about as good as it gets, and the rose gold detailing is a slightly retro touch.

#4. Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer — $150

A design that's endured for sixty years, at a decent price.

A design that’s endured for sixty years, at a decent price.

It practically wouldn’t be a sunglasses roundup if Ray-Ban wasn’t included (or at least considered) for this list — right?While some aren’t partial to the logo they place on one lens of seemingly all their models, the Ray-Ban Wayfarer has stood the test of time (and experienced a style resurgence) in recent years because it fits tons of different face shapes and just looks downright cool in the process. The price isn’t backbreaking, and the style works with a classic navy suit now or as a complement to a shawl cardigan (much) later on in the year.

#5. Sunday Somewhere Maximus Sunglasses — $250

A distinct, yet not too-far-off-kilter, approach to sunglasses that just works.

A distinct, yet not too-far-off-kilter, approach to sunglasses that just works.

While it’s well and good to consider classic styles like the aviator and the Wayfarer in your sunglass search, sometimes, you want a frame shape that’s a bit different. We’re not talking electric blue lenses or something out of the 70s, just a bit more distinctive. The Sunday Somewhere Maximus is a tough, strong frame with a slightly wider lens diameter. It’s a step up in price from the other options on this list, but it exudes effortless cool — these are sunglasses well-suited for, well, a suit.

Choosing sunglasses can definitely be a rather tricky process. Namely, it pays to try on styles in a store before picking the perfect pair. Try-on programs done by the likes of Warby Parker are really helpful in easing the stress of that process — and with a lot of sunny days hopefully ahead, being efficient with that cash is going to be key (and hopefully, leave some leftover funds for a few summer brews). If you want to reach for a classic American style, pick up a pair on the relative cheap from Randolph Engineering (a past Style Pick of the Week feature). Heck it’s even tougher to beat something from the American Optical line of sunglasses. But again, finding the right frame shape and the right price are paramount. Let me know what pairs you’re considering via Twitter!

Until next time — thanks for reading,

-Beau

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The Product Review: Issara Leather Laptop Sleeve

Going in person with a leather laptop sleeve from Issara. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Pennant by Three Potato Four.

Going in person with a leather laptop sleeve from Issara. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Pennant by Three Potato Four.

It seems as you get more into menswear and dressing well, you begin to appreciate the nuances of clothing design, trends, colors — the whole nine yards. That translates, at least for me personally, into a greater interest in the deeper nuances of everyday life – things like home design, accessories, better-tasting coffee,  a greater appreciation for craft beer and nice food … you get the picture. And so it makes sense that lots of sites – and individual companies, from Huckberry to Bespoke Post and beyond, are catering to guys who are interested in nuanced style and lifestyle upgrades all the way across the board – not just in menswear. That’s created a trickle-down effect, and an opportunity, for companies who appreciate and practice craftsmanship and quality, particularly in the smaller areas of life – like leather goods, for example.

Issara is one such company that’s emphasizing quality and nuanced design in its pieces, creating premium offerings that can offer a style upgrade to an area you might not think about. Exhibit A: your laptop sleeve. I myself used a freebie I got back in college for the longest time – but when founder Rosh Govindaraj approached me last year about learning more about her brand and reviewing a sleeve, I began to think about the idea of larger upgrades as a whole, from a laptop sleeve to a nice leather bag to small home goods from the likes of Owen & Fred and beyond.

And Issara’s story is an attention-grabbing one, too – the brand’s name means “freedom” in Thai, and its roots stem from Govindaraj’s love of travel – and her search for well-made leather bag that didn’t cost an arm and a leg. So the brand was born, and its focus on working with two small workshops to produce its leather goods – including beautiful leather bags and minimal wallets – echoes the commitment to craftsmanship that so many are taking an interest in nowadays. The company’s emphasis on social responsibility and improving the lives of its workers is again a welcome change from headlines you tend to see across the fashion industry.
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With all that being said, I can say that after taking the company’s Navy Laptop Sleeve across the globe and packed in my trusty Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag for daily work commutes, I’d recommend you look into making a similar upgrade yourself (budget permitting, of course).

Just enough room in this Issara leather laptop sleeve to carry some nice essentials. Orange notebook by Shinola. Grey notebook by Public Supply. Wooden earphones by Woodbuds.

Just enough room in this Issara leather laptop sleeve to carry some nice essentials. Orange notebook by Shinola. Grey notebook by Public Supply. Wooden earphones by Woodbuds.

Again, we’re not talking about something you can readily see, like a sturdy pair of everyday boots or tough chinos – but in the same way that those items can be used time and again, a dependable laptop sleeve can go with you everywhere, every day. Issara’s version in particular, while pricey at $129, is an investment that lives up to the price – and size options allow you to hold something as small as an 11” laptop or as large as a 15” laptop (like the sleeve hown here). Note that if you’re looking for something a bit different, Saddleback Leather also has a selection of tech sleeves. The navy color of this Issara piece is a nice neutral that stands out in a sea of plain black laptop sleeves (it also comes in a beautiful shade of Cognac). If you believe (like your humble author) that style is in the details as much as the overall product, then here’s a nice example.

Another way to accessorize a monogrammed Issara leather laptop sleeve -- with a tasty brew after a hard day's work. Watch by Timex. Horween Chromexcel Color No. 8 watch strap by Form-Function-Form. Tan leather keychain by Apolis.

Another way to accessorize a monogrammed Issara leather laptop sleeve — with a tasty brew after a hard day’s work. Watch by Timex. Horween Chromexcel Color No. 8 watch strap by Form-Function-Form. Tan leather keychain by Apolis.

It’s lined in slate grey twill, so that’s a neat touch with a bit of #menswear roots. The option to have your sleeve monogrammed for $10 extra is a customization that again can set you apart from the masses in a good way. The sleeve is sleek and stylish – it’s not often at all that you can say that about a laptop sleeve. While the price might seem a lot compared to the lower-budget options available, the protection and the thickness of the sleeve is solid, the Japanese zipper (with a leather pull) has proved sturdy, and the interior side pocket is just large enough to carry a 5” x 8” Public Supply notebook and a few pens.
Florsheim
This Navy Laptop Sleeve will definitely look handsome alongside everything from a standard leather briefcase to a durable satchel, and mine personally has stood up to being lugged around through airports and the subway just fine. The great thing about the sleeve itself is that it has more than enough room for a folder or two within, plus your laptop. And, as seems to be the case with people looking for more minimalism in their lives, you could feasibly carry the sleeve sans bag without it clashing at all alongside an #OOTD ensemble.

Ponying up that amount of money up front for a laptop sleeve might not be achievable at the moment for everyone, but like those dependable winter boots or a warm topcoat, it’ll feel great to use it as often as possible. And when the color and styling of a laptop sleeve falls in line with the sort of style you’re looking for in the rest of your outfit, that can only be considered a positive.

Would you consider making this style upgrade? Or will you stick to what you’ve got in your bag right now?
Ben Sherman US

Style Q+A: American Trench

Editor’s note: To check out other Style Q&A pieces, head here. 

Just a snapshot of some of the eyecatching styles produced by American Trench. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Just a snapshot of some of the eyecatching styles produced by American Trench. Photo courtesy of the brand.

You can’t help but admire brands that delve into a product niche and ideology, and really live out that commitment. Jacob Hurwitz and David Neill have done that and then some as they’ve built American Trench, a brand with whom you may be familiar if you’ve read any of my work on VOUCH Mag — or if you’ve seen their socks in GQ. The duo developed the brand with the simple idea that manufacturing high-quality goods can be done right here in America, and they’ve stuck to it with the help of a Kickstarter launch in late 2012. I had the great fortune to check out a set of excellent American Trench socks for a review on GearHungry (and you can expect to see more of them around these parts, too). The socks are eyecatching, comfortable and quite well-made — everything you could want on your feet. And in corresponding with Jacob, he and David have a tremendous focus on doing right by the people they work with — something to be applauded and recognized. The brand makes a pretty killer trench coat, to boot. I caught up with Jacob for a few questions recently, and the interview is (I think) absolutely worth a read if you’re into supporting brands who take care of their own — and make a pretty nice product, to say the least!

The Style Guide: Tell me more about the inception of American Trench and the ‘A-ha!’ moment that spurred it on?
American Trench: I took a trip to London with my wife in the summer of 2009 and bought a trench coat there, because when in London, one must buy a rain coat, even in the summer.  After getting home and reading day after day about continuing layoffs and job losses, my friend David and I were talking about US manufacturing.  We wanted to make something. The idea came up…who makes trench coats in the USA?  The answer – no one.  So we set out to do it.  We had no experience in apparel, so it took 2.5 years, but we make something special.
TSG: American manufacturing is at the core of your business — expand a bit on your philosophy behind that commitment to domestic manufacturing, and are there other brands you admire doing similar things?
AT: American manufacturing is why started the company, plain and simple.  All of our products are either knit or cut and sewn in the USA.  We try to use domestic source materials when possible and appropriate, but each item has been manufactured at a factory in the United States.  Our philosophy can be summed up pretty succinctly: make the best you can make and do the best you can for the people around you. When we read about Brunello Cucinelli’s desire to make all of his products in Italy, which is well documented, it doesn’t sound nationalist. He makes it very clear that this is how he can best help the people around him.  The best part about buying USA made?  It’s totally in alignment with the core principles of our country – freedom and liberty.   Buying USA made is not mandatory nor does it require belonging to a specific race, class, group, or political party.  In the land of liberty, the greatest freedom we all have, what we choose to buy, can actually can create change!  So there it is — vote with your wallet.
The brand's relatively understated styles add a nice touch of color to any outfit. Photo courtesy of American Trench.

The brand’s relatively understated styles add a nice touch of color to any outfit. Photo courtesy of American Trench.

TSG: American Trench has a pretty particular product focus between knitwear, socks and your outerwear — how did that come about?

AT: We decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to bring our trench coat to market and realized that we wanted to have a way for people to support us on Kickstarter even if they didn’t have $700+ to drop on a rain coat.  So we decided to offer USA=made socks, because who can’t afford a pair of good socks?  After Kickstarter, we started to get wholesale interest in the sock side of the business.  People were looking for made-in-the-USA (product) and accessories, and we had both.  We also found some awesome sock mills — one in Reading, PA and another in North Carolina.  Interest in the rain coat never died down, so we become dual-focused on accessories and outerwear.

TSG: What was the biggest challenge (or series of challenges) you encountered in your journey to source fabric, materials and production partners for your trench coat?
AT: There have been challenges at each step, although that’s true for any business.  Making the trench was a beast, we choose to make a super complicated product to start, with 70-plus pattern pieces.  It took two tries to find the right factory, and not without a lot of screw-ups and fixes.  Pattern making is not easy, nor is production.  It’s a complicated business. Knitwear is not walk in the park either, samples and production sometimes don’t end up being the same.

Florsheim

TSG: What’s one style mistake you see too many guys make?  
AT: Scale and proportion.  If you going to wear slim jeans or trousers, the rest of the outfit should be slim.  Then all items will be in proportion.  You can’t wear your favorite decade old blazer with your new trim pants and vice-versa, the scale of each garment is totally out of sync.  Likewise, sometimes a little looser look can be really refreshing, but make sure the rest of your outfit matches the same scale.
The other thing I would say is that less is more.  Don’t cram too many colors, patterns, and styles into one outfit.  For example —  if you wear your double-monk shoes, keep the suit solid and the socks toned down; double-monk shoes are a big statement.  Instagram style is its own universe, and should be taken treated as half-fantasy, half-reality.  Less is more!
If you have square-toe dress shoes in your closet from ten years ago, thank them for their service and put them in the trash.
TSG: What’s one style-related item every guy should own?
AT: Tough one.  But regardless of the item, quality over quantity.  I think a good pair of versatile shoes is a must.  I’m talking about something that can be dressed up or down, with a suit or denim.  Great shoes make a good suit look great and turn your socks into a star.  The Longwing 975 and PTB 990 styles by Alden are classic.  They ain’t cheap, but you can wear them with anything.  I really love the Rancourt cap toe as well.
That’s all from Jacob this go-round. If you’d like to support the brand more, check out their Web site or catch them on Twitter.