Style Q+A: Jamal Jackson, StyleSocietyGuy

Editor’s note: To catch up on other Style Q+A entries, start here.

Jamal Jackson, of StyleSocietyGuy, is a recognizable face with a terrific sense of personal style.

Jamal Jackson, of StyleSocietyGuy, is a recognizable face with a terrific sense of personal style.

The great and exciting thing about living in a place like New York City — or really, finding a community filled with like-minded people anywhere — is how many different people you get the chance to cross paths with, through either personal or professional interaction, or both. I’ve been really lucky to learn a lot from so many great people since getting interested in the menswear world (most of whom have been profiled in Style Q+A pieces!), and that list grows by the day. Through attending events as part of the GQ Insider community, and through some work we’ve done together as part of my day job with Timberland Boots, I’ve had the chance to become close friends with Jamal Jackson, also known as StyleSocietyGuy. As we’re in the midst of New York Fashion Week: Men’s here, you might recognize him from his extremely well-curated Instagram or his Web site , where he offers up a bevy of menswear styling suggestions, new brands to watch and lifestyle content focused on things like home design and music. And of course, there’s the small business of Jamal topping Mr. Wooster (and other well-dressed dudes) on Esquire.com’s rundown of the best-dressed guys at New York Fashion Week: Men’s this past summer. Moreso than that, Jamal is a great guy, a heck of a friend and one of the best in the business at partnering with established and up-and-coming brands and telling cool stories.

And as with every day in the digital style universe, it’s great to be able to look at what someone else is wearing, or how they’ve styled a certain item, and draw inspiration from that — even if their personal style is a bit different than yours.  So with that in mind, I caught up with Jamal to find out about running his site and how he charts — literally — his very busy days. Enjoy!

The Style Guide: How did your personal interest in style and fashion get started?

Style Society Guy: My dad has always been into grooming and style. Mostly, he had grooming and excellent hygiene, so my interest in menswear grew from there. I’d say I really started getting into it in middle school .

 Your Web site and Instagram presence is impressive and seems to grow by the day – what’s that development been like? (Editor’s note: Find Jamal on Instagram here).

SSG: I noticed that I have spurts in my stats …but I’m noticing that it’s mostly organic — just how I wanted it to be. The downside of it is that I don’t know exactly who referred a visitor to my site until someone tells “Oh, (my friend) told me to check out your site.” I wish I could measure those stats more but it makes me want to strategize how I produce my content everyday.

TSG: On that note, what’s a typical day like for you? 

SSG: This might sound kind of crazy, but I work from one Excel sheet. I have several columns in that one sheet — every day of the week and what I should be doing hour by hour. It sounds kind of stressful but it really disciplines me. Although I don’t follow every single task at every hour, it’s a good guideline to … keep me on track.

Right now, I’m working at a work space called Projective in Freemans Restaurant in New York’s Lower East Side. I don’t have a specific office spot except for home at the time, but I’m good at documenting as I travel.

The day consists of meetings, video calls, press previews (whether it’s a market week or not), webinars, nightly events, and usually dinner with potential clients or digital friends.

Jamal also frequently works with top-flight brands during trade shows and manages his own growing social media platforms.

Jamal also frequently works with top-flight brands during trade shows and manages his own growing social media platforms.

TSG: On that note, what’s something that people might not know about running a Web site and digital presence like yours?

I think this is a common answer, but I’m going to say the amount of work it takes to produce one post. From the outside, it seems like what it takes to create a blog post is  to take the photos and write about what you’re wearing. However, it is far more than that. You need to plan to not wear other competitors in one post … speak on details of the clothing, amplify the brand’s voice and speak to the focal point of the product and the brand. Another aspect is how long it takes to shoot photos, gather your photographer and edit 350-450 photos 3 times a week.

Jamal as seen on the street during the first-ever New York Fashion Week: Men's this past summer.

Jamal as seen on the street during the first-ever New York Fashion Week: Men’s this past summer (Esquire.com ranked him #2 in its weekly rundown!).

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen over the past few years as far as the menswear community goes?

I’m seeing a lot of guys being comfortable with showing their personal style and grooming regimens. Its actually ‘a thing’ now. I love that menswear influencers can bring readers to share what they’re are wearing and interaction going, brands are also happy with this as readers give very honest feedback on products ..bascically for free. This is a good time for brands to actually listen up and pay attention to what audiences have to say.

TSG: What’s one item (or perhaps one outfit) every guy should have in his wardrobe?

SSG: A denim or chambray shirt, I swear it works with EVERYTHING.

TSG: What’s one style resolution that you have for 2016 looking toward the rest of the year?

SSG: As of now I don’t have one set in stone. But. I plan to actually start wearing more of what’s buried in my closet, the items that still have tags on them. I tend to wear my favorites because…they’re my favorites.

To see what Jamal’s up to on a daily basis, head to the StyleSocietyGuy Instagram or check out his Web site.

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Sand & sun: Packing for a Florida Christmas

Editor’s note: For more travel style posts, fly this way.

Travel gear for the road ahead. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Print magazine by Gear Patrol

Travel gear for the road ahead. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Print magazine by Gear Patrol

Going from a place where the past weekend called for a sweater to a locale where temps are in the 80s is a style conundrum that I haven’t faced too often, especially at Christmas. But such is the situation I find myself in as I prepare to head to Florida today for what should be a lovely and relaxing Christmas weekend. Don’t get me wrong — I love the sun and sand. But I’m an especially big fan of fall and winter style — layering, a great fall or winter jacket, a nice henley — it’s all fair game once the temperature drops. So since my parents moved full-time to Florida about two-and-a-half years ago, it’s been different than the chilly Michigan winters of Christmas’ past — a welcome change of pace, but still different. I know I’m definitely lucky to escape to some warm weather, and I always welcome the chance to change things up style-wise. So with that in mind, I’ve set to work crafting a carry-on that’ll help me fly in style and beat the heat.

A new piece of luggage from the responsible hands of United By Blue.

A durable carry-on for this trip from the responsible hands of United By Blue.

I’m taking along a new piece of luggage, a sturdy and functional United By Blue duffle bag made from solid waxed canvas. The Moss color is just different enough from my Navali Stowaway Weekender, so it’s a nice addition to my everyday travel carry. And as I’ll also be on the road in the coming weeks, it’ll certainly get a lot of use (look for a full review in February). At $188, the price is well within range for a durable weekender. The centerpieces of my bag will be some summer style essentials I’d put away for the time being. As far as casual style goes, it’s hard to beat a trim polo in a nice material, like my trusty Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo from this year’s line, plus a soft Grayers slub nep jersey polo and my ever-reliable Esquina oxford from Saturdays Surf NYC. To me, having pieces that can work with shorts or chinos alike while keeping you cool is a pretty big key when traveling to warm locales — I tried to follow the same packing method when heading to Italy earlier this summer, in fact.

Simple, easygoing tees from Pistol Lake and United By Blue, plus my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks.

Simple, easygoing tees from Pistol Lake and United By Blue, plus my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks.

That means it’ll also be time for me to break out some solid T-shirts — I love a great henley, especially a rugged short-sleeve henley from the likes of Pistol Lake, a Style Guide favorite. The brand’s V-neck tee (as seen in another warm-weather trip to Los Angeles) will also be in my bag, as will my trusty Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Shorts. And it wouldn’t be a comfortable, casual Christmas if I didn’t get to test out a new pocket tee from Tommy John, a basics maker that’s gained steam as of late in the online community for its well-crafted knitwear So the Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey should definitely be a laidback yet not-sloppy option for the warm weather. I’m going to complement those shirt and polo offerings with an always-versatile chambray shirt or two. And I’ll be breaking out some crisp khaki shorts from Banana Republic. That being said, I do love a great pair of Mott & Bow dark denim, so I’ll likely be bringing that pair along for travel wear. I’ve found that among other pant options, my olive Bonobos chinos have fared well in everything from oppressive heat to blistering cold, so they’ll make their way into my bag, too.
Ben Sherman US
Outerwear will definitely be on the lighter side for this trip, and will hopefully stay in my bag once I take off from NYC!But a baseball jacket lined in chambray like the Russel Jacket from Grayers is likely going to be my best bet for travel; removable, easygoing layers like that can also lend some polish to your travel look, and a baseball or bomber jacket can even be worn over a collared shirt like a blue Oxford-cloth buttondown. If I could, I would also bring along a trusty denim jacket, as it can be styled with slim tan chinos or lightwash denim with ease — sadly, there won’t be room this time around! Rounding off warm-weather style isn’t complete without some solid sneakers and another pair of versatile shoes, though.

The shoes I'm bringing with me. From front to back: Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka by Thursday Boot Company. White Wilson sneakers and navy Rosen runners from GREATS Brand.

The shoes I’m bringing with me. From front to back: Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka by Thursday Boot Company. White Wilson sneakers and navy Rosen runners from GREATS Brand.

After putting them away for the fall, I’m looking forward to busting out my white GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers, and I’ll also be bringing along my navy Rosen runners from the brand. Heck, I might even pack my Leather Wooster slip-ons (shocker, also from GREATS) if my luggage allows. When you travel, I’d look to pack similarly versatile and comfortable shoes — a pair of brown suede chukkas from Thursday Boot Company, fit for both formal and dressed-down style, will be on my feet as I hit the road. It’s equally to your advantage that these days, a nice leather sneaker or chukka can work in nearly any situation — even with a blazer and chinos if needed (make sure those kicks are clean and free of logos — look here for more ways to style classic sneakers).

The trusty toiletries kit I'll be taking with me -- including a sharp pomade, a slick styling comb, "soap-on-a-rope" and some Richer Poorer socks.

The trusty toiletries kit I’ll be taking with me — including a sharp pomade, a slick styling comb, “soap-on-a-rope” and some Richer Poorer socks.

As my bag will be pretty full, I’ll be keeping it simple on the watch front — I like to rely on one-to-two watches on trips like these, usually a great leather watch like the Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol and my always-solid Invicta 8926 Pro Diver. Either can be worn with everything from a tee and shorts to a polo and chinos — and that’s exactly what I plan to do. Great style can even extend to your toiletries and other stylish travel accessories. With that sentiment in mind, I’m definitely excited to make use of a sweet BYRD x Richer Poorer Dopp Kit — the California haircare brand teamed up with one of my favorite sock makers on a sturdy nylon tote filled with a nice pomade, a flexible comb and the cleverly-named “Soap on a Rope.” No trip would be complete without a few last finishing touches, including some crisp Woodbuds headphones, a nice Issara leather laptop sleeve and a brass money clip via my friends at Owen & Fred.

Of course, although I always look forward to hitting the road in style, I’m particularly looking forward this time around to getting some rest and relaxation with my family. The sunshine certainly won’t hurt, either! Have a great Christmas, and if you fancy, swing through this way on Friday for a Christmas edition of the Friday Read and a Saturday Style Pick.

Stay stylish!

-Beau
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Men’s Style Christmas Wish List 2015

Editor’s note: To check out past Christmas Wish List posts, click here.

Alright, folks — you know the drill. In just a little over two weeks, Santa’s coming to town (yes, Santa!). And that hopefully means some stylish gifts for us menswear aficionados out there — but more importantly, some great time spent with loved ones. However, it can be pretty sweet undoubtedly to get just what you want under the tree. As to your humble style blogger over here — well, I’ve got my eye on some nice gear as well (just look at my Wish List Pinterest board for starters). Budgetary constraints definitely put some limits on these things the rest of the year, but a guy can dream … right? What’s on your Christmas Wish List?

#1. FRYE Company Grand Tall Lace Sneaker — $288

Antiqued leather and rawhide laces put these sneakers a cut above the rest.

Antiqued leather and rawhide laces put these sneakers a cut above the rest.

If you follow this blog, you’re probably well-acquainted with the fact that I love me a great sneaker (particularly from Brooklyn’s own, uh, GREATS). And throughout the fall and winter, I find myself always on the hunt for a terrific high-top leather sneaker — the style just seems to go well with the heartier textures and colder weather of the season. FRYE is normally known for its rough-and-tumble boots, yet these sneakers look absolutely superb. The rich cognac color would pair well with black, grey or blue denim, and they look dressy enough to wear with a navy blazer and some burgundy cords, too. Alas, they’ll have to stay on the wish list for now.

#2. Apolis Wool Chore Jacket — $328

A versatile color and an updated take on a classic silhouette make this item worthy of the Holiday Wish List.

A versatile color and an updated take on a classic silhouette make this item worthy of the Christmas Wish List.

Yet another item that’s pricey yet drool-worthy, and that’s why it fills out the second spot on this list. Apolis has done a great job combining quality product and an emphasis on doing business the right way. They don’t lose any style points in the process — its outerwear across the board represents updated takes on classic workwear styles, and versatile options ike this olive chore jacket provide great styling potential. That goes for blue or black denim, or even light grey chinos. Its indigo jackets are frequent hot sellers as well, but I think this colorway would be just as versatile — can you hear me, Santa?
Ben Sherman US
#3. Shinola Runwell 41mm Watch — $550

A football leather strap and a crisp dial are excellent finishing touches for a stellar timepiece.

A football leather strap and a crisp dial are excellent finishing touches for a stellar timepiece.

A Shinola Runwell watch made my Christmas Wish List last year too, and a new Shinola Runwell watch from the American-made brand is more than worthy of inclusion in this year’s edition. Shinola has a penchant for watches of exceptional quality, on top of subtle design touches that create a pleasing overall package. The dark camel football leather strap is one such feature here. The black dial and gold numerals build off the crisp style for which the brand is known, and that 41mm case diameter hits the sweet spot. Again, taking notes Santa?

#4. JackThreads The Bomber — $149.50

Just one of the many Wish List-worthy items from JackThreads' new menswear line.

Just one of the many Wish List-worthy items from JackThreads’ new menswear line.

Two jackets on one Christmas Wish List? Yes, sir — they’re both that great-looking. While this bomber jacket certainly isn’t as cost-prohibitive as the other items on this list, a buck-fifty is still a good chunk of change to throw down — and this is coming from a guy who loves his jackets.  JackThreads has done a tremendous job launching its new menswear line, and it’s filled with modern updates on stylish essentials; one such example can definitely be seen here. This is the kind of jacket I might wear with a great henley and some slim denim on the weekends, or over a knit tie and chambray shirt to work.

#5. Todd Snyder Great Lakes Sweatshirt — $198

A touch of home in a stylish (and expensive) sweatshirt.

A touch of home in a stylish (and expensive) sweatshirt.

Just as Shinola nabbed a spot on this list for the second year in a row, so too does Todd Snyder. There’s something about the noted American menswear designer and his penchant for mixing heritage sportswear and contemporary fits, as he continually does with his collaborations with Champion. I have a soft spot for the Great Lakes Sweatshirt in particular, as I love visiting my home state of Michigan. The piece on its own is the epitome of a casual weekend sweater — stylish, versatile and made with what looks to be high-quality washed cotton. Can you ask for much more in a crewneck sweater?

So that about wraps up my Christmas Wish List for this year, although I can say in advance that I’ll certainly be looking forward to spending plenty of high-quality time with my family in sunny Florida in a few weeks’ time. And if in the meantime, one of these gifts ends up under the tree, I certainly wouldn’t be mad about it!

What’s on your Christmas Wish List? Any of the above picks?
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Style Pick of the Week: Frank & Oak Plaid Light Flannel 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.

Another modern shirting release from Frank & Oak for consideration in your wardrobe.

Another modern shirting release from Frank & Oak for consideration in your wardrobe.

Here on The Style Guide, I write a lot about excellent seasonal pickups, from trim fall and winter blazers to slim corduroys. There’s one brand that nails some of those seasonal pickups better than the rest, though. If you’ve kept up with the digital #menswear scene and the digital pages of this blog (good for you!), you’ll recognize Frank & Oak. The brand popped up in this week’s Holiday Party Style Suggestion, and they’ve also been featured in two Hunt Club Crate reviews. However, if you’re not familiar, they’re absolutely worth a look. The Canadian retailer has made its name delivering monthly collections featuring of-the-moment looks for not a lot of money (for the most part), and they’ve also upped their retail presence significantly recently with several Canadian locations and shops Stateside in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. for now. You can get in on those collection releases via the brand’s Hunt Club, which offers free shipping and home try-ons, and that’s a great thing considering F&O offers some of the better -value shirting on the market. Luckily, the Plaid Flannel Shirt that you see here — part of this month’s Hunt Club collection — has hit the market just in time for chillier days ahead in December and beyond.

A slim buttondown collar keeps this shirt casual yet ready to pair with like-minded lapels.

A slim buttondown collar keeps this shirt casual yet ready to pair with like-minded lapels.

At just $48, it’s priced higher than something from the likes of J. Crew Factory but comes in lower than a blue J. Crew flannel shirt — yet one could argue the quality of Frank & Oak’s shirts is definitely on-par with the big-brother brand. This Frank & Oak shirt has just as many positives to it as a more expensive piece — combine a trim fit with a rather understated plaid pattern and a casual buttondown collar, and you’ve got a shirt that can pull double-duty under a herringbone blazer during the week and atop a henley and some navy cargo pants on the weekends. The slim collar is an oft-overlooked aspect of some shirts, too — in this case, that helps it pair just fine visually with a thin-lapel blazer (as most suiting leans that ways these days). And the color and styling potential is such that it’s a nice upgrade from a typical buttondown — injecting some pattern where you might normally go with a solid shirt is always a good call. Here’s hoping this finds its way into your stocking this holiday season — or into your closet before then.

What’s your shopping experience been like with Frank & Oak? What’s your take on this shirt and how would you style it?

The Product Review: Reef Outhaul Lux Chukka Sneakers

Editor’s note: For a wide range of product reviews on everything from watches to jeans, click here.

Styling black chukka sneakers for travel. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Grey shirt-jacket by Addict UK. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

Styling black chukka sneakers for travel. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Grey shirt-jacket by Addict UK. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

The great thing about personal style is that it’s always changing and developing, shifting according to your tastes, your lifestyle and current trends in the marketplace. This has been no more true than for yours truly across the past few weeks – namely, in my footwear preferences. I love a great pair of boots, and I certainly love sporty sneakers, too. But in the midst of that, I’ve found myself drawn more and more to black footwear – be it side zip or moc toe boots or, in the case of this post, black sneakers.

Perhaps it’s NYC starting to rub off on me, but there’s something quite crisp and sleek about black footwear – and it’s a trend that’s been coming back in a big way in recent years. Witness Bond himself rocking several pairs of expensive and sleek black footwear in the latest franchise installment. And in turn, this has brought me to another style crossroads –wearing and styling black chukka sneakers (not as fancy as what 007 wears, admittedly). There’s an unexpected brand that’s doing a nice, comfortable take on the sneaker, and it’s one you should consider when you fill up your shopping cart next time.
Ben Sherman US

Now before a few weeks ago, I wasn’t familiar with Reef as either  a surfwear brand or an apparel brand, period. But when I got the chance to check out a pair of the brand’s sneakers thanks to the brand’s great PR team, I took the opportunity to dive in headfirst. And like the brand’s apparel (particularly a new workshirt from a collaboration with Lee Jeans), I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality, comfort and durability of these particular sneakers – the Outhaul Lux in Black, to be specific. It’s a style that’s been a remarkably hot seller from the brand’s fall line, too – Amazon does have a better range of sizes available as of post time, though.

Another casual way to wear these sneakers -- with a sturdy workshirt, slim denim in a fall-appropriate shade and a nice watch cap. Workshirt by Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Another casual way to wear these sneakers — with a sturdy workshirt, slim denim in a fall-appropriate shade and a nice watch cap. Workshirt by Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Glasses by Warby Parker.

I definitely love a great pair of sneakers, especially from a brand like Brooklyn’s own GREATS, but now there’s some competition in my closet. Reef has been known more in the past for its surf-focused offerings, but they’ve certainly done a nice job with these sneakers. I’ve worn them to work with a plaid shirt and grey crewneck sweater, and I’ve also thrown them on to do quite a bit of exploring across travels to Grand Rapids and Washington, D.C. these past two weeks. Thankfully, they’ve been up to the challenge.

Crucially for sneakers, the first noticeable thing about these guys is the comfort level – the outsole features solid traction, something tough to get in a black leather sneaker on occasion, and the injected molded insole adds another layer of cushion and durability. For being a chukka sneaker, they’re quite light – that’s another positive that’s made these a solid choice for lots of walking.

One way to style these sneakers -- with a solid baseball jacket (via Grayers), a vintage ballcap (via Goorin Brothers) and a dependable weekender bag (by Navali).

One way to style these sneakers — with a solid baseball jacket (via Grayers), a vintage ballcap (via Goorin Brothers) and a dependable weekender bag (by Navali).

The premium full-grain leather upper makes for a pretty slick look and decent styling potential, too. As you can see from these photos, I opted to style them in two casual, rugged get-ups – notice my love of grey workshirts and henleys, namely. So they’ve been a very solid casual sneaker. Granted, they’re not as dressy or quite as versatile as a shiny black leather sneaker, but the monochrome color still makes them quite sharp. The nubuck leather is of good quality, too – it hasn’t shown that much wear and tear or creasing, a factor that’ll allow them to be worn in more high-low situations (think a navy blazer and slim khaki chinos plus these sneakers).

A closer look at the diagonal stitching that runs up the side of these Reef chukka sneakers.

A slightly closer look at the diagonal stitching that runs up the side of these Reef chukka sneakers, which some might not like.

However, just as they’re not as dressy as a black leather sneaker, the slightly rounded toe makes them less sleek – and thus less versatile. But, they’re definitely still able to function as a business-casual sneaker, albeit in a bit more unique fashion. The chukka-style cut is a nice change of pace from lower-cut sneakers. Those types of kicks definitely have their place in spring and summer, but a chukka sneaker screams fall style to me – perhaps it’s the shifting weather or the switch back to higher-cut boots as the temps drop and leaves fall, but a chukka sneaker is a lighter way to convey a similar style. The padded ankle makes these more comfortable than boots, too (as it should be with sneakers!). Plus, the higher cut aligns well with slimmer pants that have minimal break, creating a nice silhouette. And again, that sleek black color is probably best to wear casually at first — rotate them in as you might a pair of suede chukkas, or regular low-cut sneakers, and more styling options will definitely start to open up.

The one thing some might not like about these sneakers is the diagonal detailing stitched onto the side of the sneakers. It’s an almost tribal-like pattern but as it’s done up in black stitching, it doesn’t detract from the sneaker too much for me. Elsewhere on the shoe, waxed laces that have some nice stretch are a welcome touch.

The price on these is pretty solid, too – at $95, it’s always refreshing to see a good sneaker sold for under $100. GREATS and more classic sneaker brands like Vans might have them beat price-wise, but for a company known for its surfwear offerings, this is a solid sneaker effort that’ll continue to get good wear through fall and into the early part of winter.

Have you picked up sneakers from Reef? What’s your take on the black chukka sneaker in general?

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Style Pick of the Week: Reef x H.D. Lee Workshirt

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.

A herringbone workshirt can become a go-to cold weather layer. Workshirt via Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim brown jeans by Bonobos. Navy henley by United By Blue. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Black sneakers by Reef. Glasses by Warby Parker.

A herringbone workshirt can become a go-to cold weather layer. Workshirt via Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim brown jeans by Bonobos. Navy henley by United By Blue. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Black sneakers by Reef. Glasses by Warby Parker. Silver dive watch by Invicta.

For those in-between times when it’s chilly — but not too cold — and you feel like incorporating a dash of casual yet rugged style into your fall ensemble, there’s one piece of gear you should reach for. While a crisp fall jacket can provide great styling potential, we all need to switch it up sometimes. And that’s where a great workshirt can fill a hole in your wardrobe. Sure, you might not be in the mood to wear it out to cut wood, but what’s the harm in looking a bit rugged? There are various takes that could fall into this larger category  — you could argue that it’s simply a lined shirt crafted out of a thicker fabric, like this piece from J. Crew’s Wallace & Barnes line. Crucially, it’s a style that’s made for layering, whether over a great fall henley or atop a tough chambray shirt. And while you might not have heard of the brand before now, you’d do well to check out the workshirt being offered up by surfwear brand Reef in collaboration with heritage denim maker H.D. Lee this fall (also known as Lee Jeans). The collaboration itself is a well-edited collection of some staple menswear items mixed in with some more unique pieces (think an essential shawl sweater alongside the surfboard bags for which Reef is known). I was admittedly a bit skeptical at first (a surf brand selling fall apparel?), but after being sent a workshirt to check out on a trip to Michigan, I came around.

One weather-ready way to accessorize the rugged Reef x H.D. Lee workshirt. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Gloves by Iron & Resin. Black sneakers by Reef.

One weather-ready way to accessorize the rugged Reef x H.D. Lee workshirt. Merino watch cap by American Trench. Gloves by Iron & Resin. Black sneakers by Reef.

For those who support American manufacturing (as we all should!), it’s a style that strikes a good balance between quality and price. It’s somewhat cost-prohibitive at $140, but that pales in comparison to similar workshirt/shirt-jacket styles offered by the likes of Saturdays Surf NYC. And this Reef x H.D. Lee piece backs up its price, too. The charcoal color is neutral and versatile, able to be casually paired with some slim brown jeans  and black sneakers, as seen at the top, or worn with black denim and a sturdy pair of roughout leather boots. It would even work more casually with some navy sweatpants and sneakers on the weekend. You could feasibly wear this out for a hike and back, too. The herringbone yarn dye definitely gives it a great fall and winter vibe, too, and the chambray lining provides a bit of extra insulation. That it still manages to fit trim atop a navy henley makes  it a tremendous layering option. It could also be worn unbuttoned over a heather pocket tee with khaki chinos  and a merino watch cap (as I did here) for a quick jaunt around town. Side pockets at the hips are pretty handy, too. It’s available up to every size but XXL at the moment, so the time is ripe to pick it up, throw it on and get out there this fall & winter.

How would you style this workshirt for fall & winter? Would you consider checking out this style? Let me know and thanks for reading!
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The Friday Read: DETAILS, Bill Simmons and The National

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.

To any new readers here: Welcome! And to you old regulars, welcome back. Can you believe it’s Thanksgiving already? The fact that it feels like it was just Labor Day (and the start of summer before that!), is pretty crazy! Next week, I’m looking forward to a relaxing trip to West Virginia to see family — where are you headed? And while we’re at it, what are you wearing for the holiday? It certainly won’t be long before Turkey Day — but prior to that, I’m actually hopping on a train this evening to Washington, D.C., where I’ll be re-connecting with some high school friends passing through the area. That adventure comes on the heels of a trip to Michigan last weekend, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what D.C. has on-tap (pun intended, wink wink). [P.S. Follow along with my style picks via Instagram and Twitter]. What are you most looking forward to this coming weekend? While you think on that, take a look at this edition of the Friday Read, which features a pretty monumental shake-up in the menswear editorial world.

  • The New York Times reports that men’s lifestyle magazine DETAILS (of which I suspect many of us know and read regularly) is being shut down by Conde Nast after its December issue; it should be noted that DETAILS.com will gradually fall under the umbrella of GQStyle.com, yet this is another sad day for the fashion publishing industry.
  • In happier news and in a welcome return to the stage, Bill Simmons sat down with President Obama for GQ’s Men of the Year Issue, and the interview is insightful and well-done.
  • This piece isn’t necessarily style-related, but it’s fascinating nonetheless — Vox revisits a series of ads released in the ’90s by AT&T that provided a pretty accurate picture of future technological advancements.
  • Long Read of the Week: In the most fascinating piece on a band I’ve read in a long time, Stereogum catches up with The National as the revered indie rock band transitions back into recording after time apart pursuing some incredible side projects. It’s a deep look at a band that’s one of my all-time favorites (it doesn’t hurt that they have significant Brooklyn roots near my old neighborhood, either).

Missed out on more menswear this week?

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