Keep Portland Weird! A West Coast Weekend Adventure

Hanging out at TwentySix Cafe in versatile, rugged gear for exploring Portland. My Bridge & Burn Northfork Woodland Jacket, the Taylor Stitch Sashiko Shirt, All-American Washed Jeans from Flint and Tinder and my Grizzly Wheat President Boots from Thursday Boots worked out tremendously!

Before we kick things off in today’s latest travel style feature on The Style Guide, know that we’re not about to dive into a “Portlandia” parody (as outstanding as that show happens to be). No sir, this past weekend gave me the chance to head West — although I’d spent a weekend exploring Los Angeles and even made a trip out to Las Vegas for work last year, I’d never been to the City of Roses. I’ve been hearing great things about its balance of excellent #menswear, standout craft beer, a great culinary scene and of course, stellar live music — in my book, that’s more than enough reason to get out and adventure.


And the my long weekend brought with it the added value of an amazing concert — always a bonus! Yes indeed, seeing excellent synth pop band Future Islands play the renowned Crystal Ballroom was a heck of a treat on Friday night. Although it was quite the long trek to get out there following a long work week in New York, I did my best to pack in style (as you might have seen via my Instagram page). Come along for the journey!

Slim, faded denim, a durable Saddleback duffel bag, trusty James Dean Eyewear sunglasses … all that you need for a weekend out West.

Traveling in style and comfort can be a bit of a challenge — particularly on a long flight. That’s why I reached for my durable, pleasingly faded All-American Washed Jeans from Flint and Tinder. Made from premium cotton denim and finished with just a hint of stretch, my All-American Washed Jeans were a fine pair of denim to go from the airport to go to the hip, quiet and cozy TwentySix Cafe near my Irvington accommodations. And my uniquely detailed Taylor Stitch Sashiko Shirt worked just as well on the plane as it did trekking around Portland, particularly when teamed with the richly crafted Grizzly Wheat President Boot from Thursday Boots. To stay on time through it all, I reached for a brand-new, slim and refined Timex watch — the versatile leather strap proved easily wearable all day long. To shield my eyes from the sun in style, a new pair of James Dean Eyewear JDS100 Sunglasses looked great and proved up to the task. The next time your trip calls for exploring a new city on foot, reach for mobile denim, comfortable-yet-tough boots, a sharp watch and stylish, go-anywhere shirting. 

All the right details for exploring Portland, including a new Timex watch and my rugged Thursday Boots Grizzly Wheat President Boots.

And exploration was certainly the name of the game on Friday leading up to that night’s Future Islands show. Thankfully, my durable, rugged and extremely well-crafted Saddleback Rounded Leather Duffel Bag held up to the challenge of lugging around my favorite travel style essentials as I hopped from grabbing a crucial cold brew to the excellent Bunk Bar Wonder, one of a series of PDX locations offering gourmet sandwiches, excellent craft cocktails and a very solid beer selection. A hint — get the Molě Tator Tots, packed with delicious flavor. It was a great afternoon lead-in to a stop at the richly appointed Tanner Goods Flagship Store and the accompanying craft cocktail/beer bar & patio, The Wayback. This American-made brand has long been a favorite of mine for handsome leather goods, durable outerwear, stylish home decor and terrific attention to detail — it was a treat to finally stop by! So with coffee, menswear and craft beer on lock, that led to the night’s highlight: Future Islands bringing down a packed Crystal Ballroom with a stellar show! It helped that I dressed in comfort and style; I can simply never resist the chance to wear rugged leather boots to a concert, either.

The Baltimore-based synth pop band’s rise to fame has been a long one — they’ve played more than 1,000 shows across the country since 2006, often booking them on their own. And if you’re not familiar, I’d say you’ll recognize them from their 2014 appearance on Letterman playing hit single “Seasons (Waiting on You).” Believe me, frontman Sam Herring is every bit as energetic, passionate and enjoyable in person — I knew that from seeing the band play Panorama 2017 here in NYC! And their return to Portland was an anticipated one, coming as it did off the release of one of this year’s better albums, the emotionally packed “The Far Field.

With an extensive discography spanning five albums and plenty of crowd favorites, a Future Islands show is full of highs and lows, joy and passion — it’s a sight to behold, from hits like 2017’s “Ran” and 2014’s “A Dream of You and Me” to fan favorites like “Seasons,” of course! And Crystal Ballroom, what with a historic interior and a tremendous craft beer selection — including choice selections brewed in Portland — is simply a quirky, cool, standout venue for a live show. Did it top my trip to Nashville to see Young the Giant and Cold War Kids? It’s tough to say – but Future Islands blew me away yet again. Even dealing with a bit of jet lag, it was still a heck of a way to cap off a big Portland day.

Durable Allen Edmonds boots, a finely crafted Abercrombie cotton shirt and a durable Timex x Red Wing watch — perfect Portland essentials.

So, with Friday night in the books, my Saturday kicked off in style — from the ground up, as it were. For getting around Portland with durability, rugged looks and sharp versatility in mind, my brand-new Allen Edmonds Caen Cap Toe Boots worked extremely well. Of course, I started my day right on time with my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Watch, but stellar boots were just as critical. Coming from a brand mainly known for stylish men’s dress shoes, these rugged cap toe boots are a welcome addition to the Allen Edmonds line — and what’s more, they worked nicely in tandem with the crisp, easily wearable Flint and Tinder 365 Pants. Cut like a five-pocket pant and made from a blend of cotton and lyrca, my 365 Pants helped me grab a quick coffee at essential Portland stop Blue Star Donuts before kicking off afternoon shopping at Style Guide favorites Bridge & Burn. On the shirting front, I reached for a nice fall go-between — a new Abercrombie & Fitch Herringbone Shirt, courtesy of the brand. I can’t recommend the rugged versatility of Abercrombie & Fitch enough, and this soft-washed cotton shirt was able to withstand a full day out and about in Portland.

I packed a lot into an already busy day, including a stop at the excellent Kiriko Made shop — renowned for indigo textiles, excellent shirting and stunning attention to detail on items as small as pocket squares, Kiriko should certainly be on your shopping list if you get out to Portland.  And just as with my trip to Nashville, I had to hit up a renowned craft beer spot or two. The afternoon started with the Deschutes Brewery Portland location — a craft beer lover’s dream.  Lauded for rich, innovative and hard-to-find beers (at least back in NYC), I can’t recommend the nearly legendary Black Butte Porter or the Inversion IPA enough. It was a nice lead-in to another busy evening — centered, of course, around a trip to bustling sports bar The Independent to catch my beloved Michigan State Spartans take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish! And for a postgame brew, I headed to 10Barrel Brewing, another Oregon favorite that’s always a treat to sip.

Men's travel style

Heading back home in comfortable Standard Deviation denim, a classic Bridge and Burn tee and my trusty Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

To kick off my last and final day in style — and with a jolt – I stopped by the Ace Hotel Portland, a hip boutique hotel that’s also a favorite spot in NYC for post-work drinks and small bites. Oh, and the coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters? It’s excellent, too. I also made my final day count in terms of #menswear, from my Astorflex Greenflex in Dark Khaki chukka boots to my slim, stylish and well-fitting Standard Deviation denim. Standard Deviation does it right when it comes to stylish denim — the brand’s Two-Part Solution allows you to try out two pairs for 15 days to nail down your perfect fit; when the time comes, you pay the discounted price of $78 per pair. Not bad, ehh? And certainly stylish for exploring Portland and heading to Ecliptic Brewing for a nice brew or two before a long flight back home.

I also dressed in laidback style with a new Bridge & Burn Basic Tee, a slim-fitting number made with a breezy cotton blend. The Heather Wine color  of the Basic Tee also played nicely off my Astorflex Greenflex in Dark Khaki chukka boots. Luckily, my essential Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch ensured I stayed on time throughout the day.  For navigating a new city, reach for classic suede chukka boots and perhaps some favorite tunes, as I did when I plugged into stylish headphones from the Bespoke Post Vibes Box. With a busy, enjoyable and exciting weekend behind me, it was time all too soon to head hone. I appreciated Portland for its quiet atmosphere, its mix of amazing coffee, great menswear and live music, and the attention to detail in everything from food to craft beer. Is Portland “weird,” per se? It’s different than New York and Brooklyn, and that’s a great thing!

If you’ve got questions on the best things to do in Portland, drop me a note on Twitter. Follow along on Instagram for more men’s travel style tips, and check back tomorrow for a new #OOTD post.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

#OOTD: How to Wear a Blazer When It’s Hot This Summer

Let’s get down to business right off the bat — in the remaining time we’ve got this summer, you should certainly be considering how to wear a blazer this summer.  That’s especially true for when it’s hot out — like, really hot out. You’ll surely need all the help you can get. It seems simple enough at first, yet there are plenty of #menswear tips and tricks to consider when throwing on a streamlined suit jacket or a lightweight, classic blazer. For one, you’re going to want to start your search for the perfect summer jacket by going both lighter in weight and lighter in color — fabric blends that incorporate linen, like the option we’ll discuss in today’s #OOTD, are the way to go. The featured jacket in today’s ensemble does a nice job of checking both of those boxes — that featured jacket just happens to be he Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket, featuring a pleasantly earthy (yet summer-ready) charcoal color and a stretchy wool-linen blend. The fit is going to be modern, classic and easily wearable with other summer style essentials — a slim navy polo among them. Like other entries in our #OOTD series, it’s all geared toward casual, versatile and seasonally friendly style. But I won’t give the rest away — that’s for you to find out. Got questions on all things style and men’s lifestyle? Fire off a Tweet in  my direction, and keep up with all of my summer men’s style tips on Instagram.

Take your favorite lightweight blazer and pair it with a sharp polo and classic men’s dress shoes.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket, $278 —  You certainly know the Taylor Stitch brand and its body of handsome, stylish work — this stylish suit jacket functions just as well as a blazer, with more style and comfort to boot.

The Polo: Flint and Tinder Supima AirKnit Polo, $68 — Certainly, you can swap in your favorite navy polo here without buying this sharp, well-made option from Flint and Tinder… but why would ya want to do that?

The Pocket Square: J. Crew Cotton Pocket Square, $45 — A somewhat overlooked accessory that’s still crucial here — the cotton pocket square livens this outfit up and provides visual contrast to the casual polo.

The Trousers: Banana Republic Slim Non-Iron Cotton Stretch Pant, $89.50 — For solid, well-fitting and accessibly priced work staples, Banana Republic knows how to set you up. The light blue color contrasts nicely against the navy polo and light charcoal jacket, too.

Florsheim

The Belt: Banana Republic Stretch Leather Belt, $34.50 (On-Sale) — Might as well get your belt from the same spot you get your pants, right? This textured stretch belt is versatile and not overly dressy.

The Shoes: Allen Edmonds Strandmok Cap Toe Oxford, $295 — A positively gorgeous pair of exquisite footwear, crafted to last from the excellent footwear purveyors at Allen Edmonds.

The Socks: Arvin Goods No-Show Socks (Three-pack), $30 — You guessed it, folks. We’re actually going with no-show socks here — cuff those trousers a bit for European-inspired style points.

Nautica

The Watch: About Vintage 1844 Chronograph,$309.98 — Similar in nature to the refined, sleek and yet accessible Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph from Armogan, this About Vintage timepiece channels wearable, eye-catching style.

The Sunglasses: Knockaround Fast Lanes Sunglasses, $19.98— If you don’t yet have a pair of  stylish summer sunglasses in your rotation, then I’d say … you need the simple, durable and ridiculously well-priced Knockaround Fast Lanes Sunglasses. How much better can it get?

What’s the biggest key to keep in mind when styling a blazer this summer? In addition to finding that perfect fit for your stylish summer jacket, lightweight fabric is critical. The Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket  knocks it out of the park in that regard, and it’s able to be layered up casually with the crisp-yet-laidback Flint and Tinder Supima AirKnit Polo. A patterned pocket square rounds things out on your top half, and light blue trousers and a rich brown leather belt should provide solid visual interest to complete the main components of this summer-ready #OOTD. And when it comes to footwear? There’s hardly a more reliably stylish and well-crafted American footwear brand than Allen Edmonds — just don’t forget your stylish no-show socks. And before you leave the house, I’d strongly advise you to strap on a stylish leather watch from About Vintage — it’s vintage inspiration without the vintage price tag. The same can be said for those handy, durable Knockaround Fast Lanes Sunglasses. That’ll wrap things up for today — as always, the difference is in the details. How will you be styling your polo and blazer for the rest of the summer?

Stay stylish and stay cool,

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: Stylish Men’s Dress Shoes to Shop Now

As I clicked back through The Style Guide archives to prep for this post, I realized it had been far too long since we’d covered stylish men’s dress shoes on the blog. Like, nearly two years too long! A lot can happen in two years, folks. Of course, what can also happen in two years? Nothing at all. As in — if you buy an investment-worthy pair of men’s dress shoes from the below list,  you’ll be able to wear that pair frequently, day after day, with no need to trade ’em for a new pair. That’s the beauty of buying quality and paying a bit more, as you’ll see from the below list. We aimed for a mix of versatility and utility throughout the seasons — whether you’re suiting up for winter or dressed in classic spring style, the below picks should cover you for situations where you need to look sharp and feel comfortable. And with situations like spring and summer weddings come up, a dress shoe refresh could be in order. There’s certainly a lot of  technical minutiae when it comes to different types of men’s dress shoes . From the functional roots of wingtip brogues (the brogue detailing was meant to provide breathability in the rain) to the durable nature of a dress chukka boot, there’s a lot of ground to cover (pun intended). However, we’re going to focus on the basics: Shoes that look great with everything from a suit to chinos and a blazer, and perform just as well as you’d expect. If you’ve got additions to the list or thoughts, tweet at me incessantly on Twitter or leave a comment below. Happy shopping!

Frank & Oak

#1. Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Suede Boots — $445

The versatile and refined dress boot you didn’t know you needed.

Can suede Chelsea boots serve the same purpose as classic dress shoes? They certainly can, and I’m here to tell you why. Coming from the craftsmen at Allen Edmonds — who certainly know a thing or two about handsome footwear — the suede Chelsea boot becomes something more than an of-the-moment pair of footwear.  Built on the refined 943B last, this is a pair of dress boots as crisp as any on the market, made with high-quality brown suede, Goodyear welt construction and versatile looks (I wore mine with light wash denim and a navy blazer recently, for reference).

Greats

#2. Grant Stone Long Wing in British Tan Calf — $334.95

Huckberry

Striking dress shoes made to break in over time — beautifully done by Grant Stone.

We mentioned before that we’d dive into some investment-level dress shoe options, right? Well, here’s one for you — feast your eyes on the stunning, stylish and pricey Grant Stone Long Wing in British Tan Calf. These shoes definitely have a lot going for them — from the striking British Tan color to the eye-catching long wing detailing and a refined silhouette, it’s about as good as it gets. The Grant Stone Long Wing is made with a Goodyear welt and also designed to mold to your foot over time. The more you wear the Grant Stone Long Wing, the better they get.

#3. Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxfords —  $395

Allen Edmonds

It’s hard to beat classic brown leather cap toe Oxfords from Allen Edmonds.

For absolutely beautiful footwear that’s made with the utmost attention to care, look toward Allen Edmonds. The Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxford is, simply put, a heck of a dress shoe. Available in shades ranging from crisp black (suitable enough for the most formal occasions) to an intriguing navy leather, the classic shade of brown seen above is a safe bet to become your new go-to dress shoe. Minimal enough to wear with a suit and still able to work with dark blue denim and a V-neck sweater, they’re certainly worth the investment.

#4. Ankari Floruss Brogue Derby in Black — $182.98

Ankari Floruss

A classic black long wing that works for business casual and ultra-formal situations.

If you’re quick on the uptake, you might notice that we hadn’t featured any black leather dress shoes to this point — that’s changing with these fine brogue derbies from Ankari Floruss.  A recent addition to the men’s E-commerce game, Ankari Floruss is the work of noted menswear bloggers Moti Ankari and Marcel Floruss. Give them both a follow — these are some stylish fellas who know how to put together an outfit. And  they can do footwear, too — with the Brogue Derby, you’re getting style that’s sharp as a razor and ready to be worn with your favorite navy or charcoal suit.

Sutro Shoes Inc.

#5. Sebago Heritage Tassel Loafers — $115

Sebago

A prep staple that can be dressed up in the warmer months? Not too good to be true.

We’re continuing to buck the mold of traditional dress shoes here by recommending stylish leather loafers. Try wearing them just as you would brown leather wingtips — that is to say, with essential business casual favorites like slim khaki chinos and a navy blazer. In the spring and summer, they’re a way to keep your feet cool while still looking crisp and tailored. And coming from Sebago, you get a great price and excellent quality — I took the Heritage Tassel Loafers on an upstate Memorial Day trip last year and was mighty pleased. Shop away!
Honorable Mention: Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot in Noir — $169.98
Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot

A chukka boot that can be dressed up or down.

Thanks for sticking with us until the end — but we’re not done yet! Perhaps you prefer style that’s a bit more rugged — yet still able to be dressed up. Your Style Guide author is right there with you, hence the inclusion of the tough, well-made and uniquely stylish Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot. Granted, the Emilio Chukka Boot is a classic open-lace chukka boot, which is naturally more casual in nature. However, the silhouette is sleek enough that you could easily wear it with stylish light wash denim or slim chinos and a classic blazer — not to mention a winter-friendly suit later on this year.
That’ll do it for this week’s Online Shopping Picks entry. With any luck, you’re well on your way to snapping up some new dress shoes. In addition to classic, timeless picks like a well-designed Oxford, it pays to consider more unique options like the Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Boot. Beautiful, classic dress shoes like the Grant Stone Long Wing are just as worthy of your time and hard-earned dollars, and you could do worse than buying a pair of sleek black dress shoes like the Ankari Floruss Brogue Derby.  Keep in mind that beautifully made dress shoes should give you plenty of wearability, too — with the right mindset, investment-worthy dress shoes can work with dark denim and a casual navy blazer just as easily as with a light grey suit. The first step is just buying the right ones.
Enjoy the quest for your perfect pair dress shoes,
-Beau

Beckett Simonon

 

Online Shopping Picks: Stylish Men’s Dress Shoes

A shoe for every possibility. Don't worry -- the shoes on this list aren't that expensive

A shoe for every possibility. Don’t worry — the shoes on this list aren’t that expensive

Editor’s note: For more online shopping picks covering everything from great brands, gift guides and the best warm-weather blazers and shorts, head here.

As I was preparing this post, I got a question from a reader on the very topic about to be addressed below — what’s a great, versatile (second) set of shoes fit for a business casual environment and beyond? Well, that answer’s coming shortly. Meeting the needs of your everyday life while also having a sharp pair on-hand for seasonal occasions, like holidays or weddings, is part of building and maintaining a well-curated closet (although I doubt many of us have space like the above photo!). So with that in mind, I’ve pulled together some picks below that cover both specific occurrences as well as versatile three and four-season picks with a budget in mind. Let me know your thoughts and reach out with any questions via the Contact page!

The Versatile, Everyday Dress/Casual Shoe: Florsheim Jet Chukka, $135

Take your pick of black or brown, and wear 'em with jeans, chinos or a suit.

Take your pick of black or brown, and wear ’em with jeans, chinos or a suit.

If you already have an affordable dress shoe that can stand in for everyday wear (like the second option on this list), upgrading to something a bit unconventional is certainly one way to go. The Florsheim Jet Chukka has a sleek toe shape, sharp three-eye chukka boot construction and the ability to be worn both with slim chinos, dress trousers or jeans. This style can even be worn with a suit — just ask James Bond. The price is pretty agreeable for an offering from a respected brand, although on the regular dress shoe front, the Mercanti Fiorentini Wingtip Oxford would also be an exceptionally wearable upgrade for just about $15 more. Don’t sleep on something like the Aston Grey Captoe, either, and a slick Chelsea boot would be an alternative style option to look into as well.

The Budget Dress/Casual Option:  JC Penney Stafford Logan Wingtip, $49.99

Fit for weddings, office wear and casual Fridays.

Fit for weddings, office wear and casual Fridays.

This particular style has made a few appearances on this blog, notably in last fall’s budget style series. It’s received surprisingly solid reviews, similar to the much-loved Stafford Wingtip Boot of old. The quality isn’t anywhere near as strong as the Mercanti Fiorientini Oxford discussed above, but in a pinch, it should provide reliable style for the price. The color, while a little bolder than a more versatile dark brown, should work with everything from lightwash jeans to chinos. It’s also available in Black for that same low, low price — and considering these shoes normally retail for almost twice the current price, it could be wise to pick up a pair now.

Nunn Bush

The Upgraded Dress/Casual Option: Jack Erwin Adam Wingtip Oxford, $195

It doesn't get much more classic than a dark brown wingtip at a more premium price.

It doesn’t get much more classic than a dark brown wingtip at a more premium price.

So let’s say you’re in a unique spot — you can’t quite afford a pair of dress shoes from Allen Edmonds (more on those below) but you want a better-quality pair than the ones listed above. Where do you go? Jack Erwin has you covered. Produced in Spain and designed in New York City, the Adam Wingtip Oxford checks every box you might be looking to fill when hunting for a versatile, affordable shoe. The not-too-dark, not-too-light chestnut brown color, a full-grain calfskin leather upper and a pleasing toe shape allow for wear with everything from a suit to denim and a T-shirt if you’re feeling a bit more bold. The same style is also available in a very continental dark brown suede.

The Casual Three-Season ‘Dress’ Shoe: J. Crew Factory Calvert Suede Oxfords, 98

Dark tan suede + a rubber sole = an Oxford that wears like a desert boot.

Dark tan suede + a rubber sole = an Oxford that wears like a desert boot.

Suede is one material that, much like fine leather, fits in just as well during spring & summer as it does during fall. In fact, other than a pair of crisp leather loafers, there might not be a dress shoe more geared toward warm weather than a suede Oxford, like the Calvert from J. Crew Factory. While this pair leans much more casual thanks to a rubber sole, that also makes it a little more versatile. This shoe should wear and feel more like a suede desert boot, making it the perfect lightweight match for a light blue cotton suit and an outdoor wedding, or a pair of lightwash jeans and a short-sleeve henley. Wait for a sale and  they could dip below $70. The Kenton Suede Bucks from J. Crew provide similar summer style for about $100 more.

The ‘Serious Investment’ Dress Shoe: Allen Edmonds Fifth Avenue Captoe Oxfords, $385

American-made. Suit-ready. Five color options available.

American-made. Suit-ready. Five color options available.

By far the dressiest and priciest of the bunch, the Fifth Avenue Captoe Oxford is legendary in the premium footwear market for its made-in-America quality and sharp looks. While the brand has something for everybody, (including equally pricey wingtips), this captoe model has been around for decades and continues to hold its own. Considering the price of this shoe, it can and should be worn in as many ways as possible. The captoe is dressier than a plain old wingtip, but with a pair of slim cuffed denim and an unconstructed blazer, it wouldn’t look too out of place. Picking  up this pair in black would be conservative on the style spectrum, but if you own one pair of black dress shoes, make it these.

When sorting through the world of men’s dress footwear, there are bound to be brands left out. Banana Republic’s Digby Brogue gets an honorable mention nod, as does the absurdly expensive (yet lovely) Brown Plain Toe Blucher from Oak Street Bootmakers. Out of the above picks however, any option should be able to transition seamlessly from day to night, and from outfit to outfit.

Which of the above pairs is on your must-buy list? Are there any brands you would add? Let me know in the comments!

Need a sharp shirt or weekender bag to go along with your new dress shoes? Take advantage of the exclusive offer below from Ernest Alexander, now through July 31. Happy shopping!

$10 Off a purchase of $100 or more; Free Shipping on orders over $200 at Ernest Alexander Enter promo code: STYLEGUIDE10 at checkout. Valid 06-12-2015 through 07-31-2015

Ernest Alexander

Ben Sherman US

2014 Men’s Style Christmas Wish List

If you’re a  newly burgeoning or seasoned style enthusiast, there are lots of enviable, investment-worthy items out there that you’d presumably like to have in your wardrobe (I know I’ve got my share!). Unfortunately, cost is simply prohibitive for some of these items  — but the holidays (and the end of the year) are a great time to set new aspirational style goals and yes, dream of what Santa might be putting under the tree this year. If you’ve got your gift giving all taken care of, great! Onto your style wish list. If not, get on it! (This guide from earlier this week could help). It seems like there are new pieces that pop up on the personal wish list every day, but these are the highlights this season.

#1. Allen Edmonds Bleecker Street Captoe Boot, $345 (On Sale)

As sharp a pair of dress/casual boots on the market.

As sharp a pair of dress/casual boots on the market.

A pair of Allen Edmonds shoes made last year’s Christmas Wish List, and these boots are certainly worthy of that same distinction. Available in several eye-catching shades from the venerable American retailer, (including the classic Bourbon Calf shown above) this pair of boots would look as great with a suit as they would with dark denim and a striped henley. They’re certainly sleek, but the captoe breaks them up visually, making them a little more casual. And the ankle boot style is perfect for fall and winter, although at this price, they’d be a tremendous pair of year-round shoes.

#2. Shinola Runwell 41mm Leather Watch, $550

A classic in the making.

A classic in the making.

Shinola has exploded across the past roughly two years in terms of hype and media attention, with increased production and an even greater brick-and-mortar presence planned for 2015. The company’s ethos speaks for itself: sturdy, American-made products that combine great style with an authentic vibe (although there’s more to that ‘authentic vibe’ than meets the eye). While plenty of different colorways and strap combos are available (including a lovely burgundy-dial timepiece), the cream face and dark brown leather strap of the watch above caught my eye particularly. The dial isn’t absurdly dressy of course, but the watch has a certain refined air that could allow one to pull it off with a winter-weight suit and dress boots.

#3. Scotch and Soda Ralston Slim-Fit Jeans, $149

A slim, dark pair of jeans as worn by James Bond (off the screen, that is).

A slim, dark pair of jeans as worn by James Bond (off the screen, that is).

When most people think of high-quality denim, Scotch and Soda might not be that high on the list — after all, there are other brands making excellent denim on the cheap. However, this pair of Scotch & Soda jeans has something special going for them – they’re the same style and wash frequently worn by Daniel Craig; on top of that, they’re a solid, clean dark wash with a slim cut. Criticize Craig as James Bond, sure, but you can’t deny his excellent style on and off the screen. Additionally, yours truly once had the great fortune of owning a pair of the Ralstons — an untimely rip after years of hard wear ended that great run though, and these ended up back on the wish list as a result. Maybe one day…
#4. The Hill-side Cotton Herringbone Tweed Tailored Jacket, $396
A rugged jacket that's ready for winter.

A rugged jacket that’s ready for winter.

Brooklyn-based The Hill-side has a great thing going right now — a partnership with J. Crew is an excellent reflection of their current momentum. And the aesthetic — clean, well-made basics in unique fabrics and styles — is working very well for them. The above blazer captures that vibe perfectly. It looks to have a tailored cut and the ability to wear it casually with dark denim or some seasonally-appropriate burgundy cords. The patch pockets dress it down slightly, as does the marled herringbone tweed texture. On a budget-friendly note, Uniqlo makes a cheaper, similar-looking alternative here, although sizes are very slim at the moment.
#5. Todd Snyder x Champion Baseball Jacket Sweater, $295
A vintage-looking, sport-inspired shawl cardigan for when it gets cold.

A vintage-looking, sport-inspired shawl cardigan for when it gets cold.

Todd Snyder’s brand continues to rise quickly through the menswear world. He’s already taken home a slew of accolades in recent years, and he’s hit the sweet spot as far as designers who perfect a tailored, casual-rugged vibe. His collaborations with Champion always seem to be a major hit, and one would hope the high prices are a reflection of the inherent quality — thankfully, other pieces in the collaboration aren’t as expensive (when on-sale, at least). This baseball “jacket-sweater” looks thick and warm, and it also gives off a rugged, stylish vibe thanks to the sport-inspired trim and cuffs. The shawl collar is another masculine touch, too. Thus, it makes this wish list.
What’s on your style Christmas wish list? Any thoughts on this list? Leave them below!

Men’s Style Christmas Wish List

Thanks to thoughts from Siblings With Style’s female perspective, the Christmas spirit is alive and well in the Great White North…er, Michigan’s Siblings With Style hub. Personally, holiday season shopping is a pretty easy time to pinpoint what’s affordable and attainable for gift-asking — and what’s simply not. But without further ado, (and if Santa’s willing to splurge a little … or a lot), here’s what’s on my ultimate wish list this year.

The Bond Peacoat

By Billy Reid. As worn by 007 himself.

By Billy Reid. As worn by 007 himself.

While it’s essential to have a good navy peacoat on hand, there’s something special about this one. It could be the fact that it’s worn by everyone’s favorite secret agent in the latest Bond film, but the biggest draw is the quality and luxury it represents. Billy Reid is famous for high-quality goods and American style, and this peacoat is a classic wardrobe staple. Now about the price…

Clarks X Horween Chromexcel Leather Desert Boots

A beautiful burgundy leather.

A beautiful burgundy leather in a classic silhouette.

It’s clear that a good desert boot is a true style essential, but this pair takes the tried-and-true Clarks silhouette and bumps it up a notch, using rich Chromexcel leather in a great burgundy shade (among others). By taking a classic outline and ramping it up with unique and beautiful materials, they’ve created a hot collaboration with style to burn. This piece isn’t nearly as pricey as the Bond peacoat, for example, but from the looks of things, it’s still worth every penny. And more than worthy of my list, to boot … (pun intended).

Allen Edmonds Strand Cap-Toe Oxfords

A fantastic-looking, investment-worthy shoe.

A fantastic-looking, investment-worthy shoe.

Shopping on a budget for versatile and classic-looking pieces can make it difficult to splurge on the big-ticket items, items that will last decades or even longer. The Allen Edmonds Strand Cap-Toe Oxfords are a shoe more than worthy of that title, and more than worthy of envy. The American-based shoemaker’s items always seem to generate exceedingly positive reviews and have remarkable durability. In the case of this pair of shoes, they’d stand out with nearly any suit, from charcoal to navy or light grey. For one pair of shoes, they’re more than worth the sticker price.

Hamilton Khaki Field Watch

Black and brown? In a watch? Yes and yes.

Black and brown? In a watch? Yes and yes.

Although those two dominant colors might seem out of sorts, when it comes to watches, black and brown just … work together. And this case is no exception. It’s a enviable watch for yours truly, without a doubt. Hamilton watches are right at the edge of the ultra-expensive price point — they’re getting up there, but not unattainable necessarily. However, don’t mistake their quality — they’re absolutely a heritage watch company providing heirloom pieces. Maybe a watch to match those shoes above, too…

So that’s my personal Christmas wish list. Any thoughts or feedback? What’s on your list? Leave it in the comments below!

-Beau