The Thursday Buy: These Freenote Cloth Chinos Could Be the Best Pants for Summer

Slim Fit Workers Chino – American Trench

The coolest chinos to buy right now, then wear through summer into fall and winter.

Proclaiming something the “best of the best” is a lofty bar to clear — as in, calling the Freenote Cloth Slim Fit Workers Chinos the best pants for summer might seem like a bit much, but they live up to that billing. As sold by the good folks at American Trench, I hope to tell you all about why they work so well in today’s new edition of The Thursday Buy. As a reminder, The Thursday Buy focuses on one must-have menswear pick, like the best men’s chinos. These certainly fit the bill. American Trench is a brand we’ve loved for a long time here on the blog, all owing to the fact that they make some of the best gear for men across the board (especially American Trench socks). It gets better, though: They also stock and sell plenty of stellar partner brands, like Freenote Cloth. In this case, American Trench and Freenote Cloth have come through again with these rugged men’s chinos, which feature a 10oz. Japanese Oxford canvas twill fabric for wearability starting right now (with your favorite T-shirt and high-top sneakers) and into fall and winter with a rugged denim shirt and one of the best men’s sweaters).

They’re built with a vintage wash, that classic workman-like cut (note the slanted front pockets to store your everyday carry), and Red Wing leather branding. Taken in total, yes, they could certainly be some of the best pants for men — for summer and beyond.

SHOP: The Freenote Cloth Slim Fit Workers Chinos from American Trench

#OOTD: The Best Way to Suit Up This Winter

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

Maybe as we enter 2017, one of your New Year’s resolutions has been to suit up more  — but if you don’t quite have the right gear to do so in winter weather, that can be a difficult endeavor. So, if you need a sharp tailored suit and durable winter accessories for the season, today’s Style Guide post you all set. It’s a bit different than wearing a summer blazer  — the need for added layers, for one — but you’re also going to want to start out with a more textured shirt and tie, plus tougher shoes. Lest we forget, you’ll still need to stay warm with a  crisp topcoat, too. So there are certainly more variables at play than when dressing up in the spring, summer or fall. If some of the below pieces look familiar, well, that’s the point of a versatile wardrobe — right?? Bear with me as we step into winter with serious tailored style, and I’d love to get your thoughts via Twitter on this look. Happy shopping!

Winter textures and accessories make a fine cold-weather suiting combo.

Winter textures and accessories make a fine cold-weather suiting combo.

The Suit: Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket and Trousers in Grey Wool, $456 — The ever-reliable, durable and winter-appropriate Telegraph Suit is just the right mix of crisp and casual when it comes to suiting — the grey wool fabric is classic, the patch pockets are casual and the fit is on-point throughout. Oh, and don’t forget a crisp dress belt.

The Topcoat: JackThreads Tieman Topcoat in Charcoal Houndstooth, $104.30 — Told you a sharp topcoat would be of particular importance, right? This charcoal houndstooth number is all old-school cool.

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The Tie: The Tie Bar Scramble Knit Stripe Tie, $25 — Want to shake up your normal tie rotation? Try a textured knit with seasonally appropriate burgundy stripes.
 
The Pocket Square: Ties.com Galveston Pocket Square, $10 — Are we breaking out a cotton pocket square in the dead of winter? We sure are, because this pocket square breathes a bit of life into the blue, red and charcoal combo on your top half.
The Boots: Nisolo Emilio LE Chukka Boot, $149.98 — This limited-edition, five-eye chukka boot lends some hearty visual interest to the wool suit, and is fit for stepping through the occasional snowdrift (occasional being the operative word).

The Socks: American Trench Superfine Merino Herringbone Socks, $28.98 — Want a pair of sharp socks that’ll still keep you warm? American Trench is the way to go — this pair is dressy, sharp and comfortable.

The Watch: Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Watch, $198.98 — Is it possible to get a quality dress watch for under $200? It certainly is, particularly when you reach for something as sharp, simple and classic as the Orient Bambino.

 OK, are you all ready to suit up for winter? When you start with a spread-collar chambray shirt and build up with key accessories like a classic knit tie and textured pocket square, a suit as handsome as the Taylor Stitch Telegraph Suit  is really going to shine. Meanwhile, sturdy Nisolo leather chukka boots should be tough and durable, while American Trench socks won’t let you down in the comfort or looks department. And every man should own a simple, crisp black leather dress watch like the Orient Bambino 2nd Generation.  How will you be suiting up this winter? Let’s hear it in the comments below — thanks, as always, for reading!
-Beau

Style Suggestion: What to Wear on New Year’s Eve

As 2016 draws to a (thankful?) close, it seems that a slew of important days fall one right after the other this time of year — from Christmas Day to today’s important style suggestion — what to wear on New Year’s Eve. Of course, days like these are important for the chance to spend time with family and friends, but a night like New Year’s Eve is also important in terms of how you present yourself heading into the coming year. Too philosophical? Maybe. However, if you’ve been working on your men’s style resolutions, the night before 2017 is a good time to kick things off a bit early. And besides, who doesn’t relish the chance to get dressed up a bit and perhaps channel your inner James Bond? No one, that’s who. So today’s style suggestion covers a crisp and rather formal situation — we’re not going full-on black tie, to be sure, but if you’re a guy who doesn’t suit up all that often, don’t worry; there’s something for everyone in this style suggestion. From a classic dress watch to a well-made suit jacket, consider your New Year’s Eve style all set. To weigh in on these picks, head to the friendly Style Guide Facebook page, and let’s connect on Twitter.
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The Topcoat and Scarf: JackThreads Tieman Topcoat — $149 AND J. Crew Cashmere Scarf — $98
Refined and relatively affordable accessories for a chilly yet dressy night.

Refined and relatively affordable accessories for a chilly yet dressy night.

You might recognize the above JackThreads topcoat from our holiday party style suggestion, and given the mixture of quality and affordability, it’s the right outerwear pick for a refined occasion like New Year’s Eve. The camel color and double-breasted cut are unique and on-trend yet still classic, and the topcoat will slip easily over the rest of your ensemble. The J. Crew cashmere scarf  is quite pricey for an accessory, but it’s a classic, versatile piece that you can use season after season — plus, it looks a little cleaner and sharper than a patterned scarf. Need black leather gloves to finish off the look? Might I suggest these black leather sheepskin Hestra gloves? Give ’em a try.

A versatile, tailored jacket that'll spiff up your New Year's Eve ensemble.

A versatile, tailored jacket that’ll spiff up your New Year’s Eve ensemble.

Yet again, we’re going with another pick from our holiday party style suggestion — a classic, rich wool jacket like the Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket  is sharp and versatile enough that you can certainly wear it multiple times in the same season, with or without the matching Telegraph Trousers. It’s a slim-fitting, well-made piece that’s appropriate for a dressy New Year’s Eve — it’s not a shawl collar tuxedo by any means, but when matched with a crisp white shirt and a textured tie (more in a second), it’ll outshine any ill-fitting black suits that might be in the crowd. And no one wants to be the guy in the poorly tailored suit, right?

The Shirt: J. Crew Factory Thompson Dress Shirt in White — $34.50

A crisp, clean white dress shirt for a great price.

A crisp, clean white dress shirt for a great price.

When you’re putting some money into your outerwear, accessories and jacket, you don’t have to necessarily overdo it on the shirting front. In this instance, that means you can snag a heck of a versatile white dress shirt at a heck of a bargain. J. Crew Factory offers up nearly the same quality as J. Crew, and they’ve become a favorite for style on a budget for that very reason. This is a workweek workhorse and a shirt that can more than pull its weight in a formal ensemble given the slim fit and crisp construction.

The Accessories: Ties.com Burgundy Brussels Plaid Tie — $20 AND Ties.com Blue Hunter Paisley Pocket Square — $10

Two accessories that mix seasonal textures and colors.

Two accessories that mix seasonal textures and colors.

As mentioned above, this isn’t a traditional black tie look. So, slightly unique accessories fit the bill nicely here while adding a touch of refinement and seasonal texture to the sharp Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket . The burgundy wool tie changes things up from a standard black or navy knit tie (although either would work well here). It’s slim, to match the width of those lapels, and it’ll complement the paisley blue pocket square thanks to the red-and-brown color combo. A more standard white pocket square would also work in this case, but the paisley pattern adds some nice visual interest.

A reliable alternative to plain charcoal trousers, made with a hint of stretch fabric.

A reliable alternative to plain charcoal trousers, made with a hint of stretch fabric.

Skeptical about spending more than $120 on a pair of pants? Bear with me. JACHS NY mixes a nice blend of heritage and modern sportswear with sharp tailoring, resulting in a pair of tailored herringbone pants that call to mind vintage style. These trousers mix cotton herringbone with a hint of stretch and a seriously sharp windowpane pattern — they’ll handsomely accent the smaller-scale plaid pattern on the tie. And the navy color will play nicely off the grey wool Telegraph Jacket — think of this as the smart-casual alternative to a full tuxedo. Oh, and those suspender buttons are handy if you own a pair –but those belt loops will come in handy … just stick around until the end of the style suggestion, ehh?

The Shoes: Johnston & Murphy Waverly Wingtip — $175

An ultra-crisp pair of classic dress shoes -- just what you need for New Year's Eve.

An ultra-crisp pair of classic dress shoes — just what you need for New Year’s Eve.

Now, we certainly love our rugged brown leather boots here at The Style Guide — but every man needs a pair of classic dress shoes that work for formal situations. In this instance, that’s the gap in your footwear wardrobe that the Waverly Wingtip fills. The razor-sharp combination of a wingtip and black leather speaks to tailored style, yet it’s not as formal as a pair of black patent leather shoes. You could always reach for a pair of classic black captoe shoes, but again, the wingtip’s heftier look plays well with the wool jacket and textured windowpane trousers.

The Watch: Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Watch — $199.98

A well-made, well-designed and timeless dress watch for under $200.

A well-made, well-designed and timeless dress watch for under $200.

If we’re going with classic men’s dress shoes in sharp black leather, you need an equally sharp black leather dress watch. So, what better timepiece to pick up than the well-made, crisp and timeless Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Watch? And the even better news? It’s a relative steal for under $200. Plus, it features a new-and-improved in-house movement and a sturdy stainless steel case that’s offset nicely by the formal black leather strap. In short, it’s a heck of a watch that’ll work in occasions both formal *cough, New Year’s Eve, cough* and casual (try it with a slim pocket tee and light wash denim in the spring — seriously).
j-crew-leather-dress-belt
Just as every man needs a pair of classic leather dress shoes and a classic dress watch, so too does every man need a slim black leather dress belt. Like the cashmere scarf pictured at the top of this post, the black leather dress belt in question is quite pricey compared to a budget option. Yet, this is a dress belt that’s going to see a ton of use if you happen to suit up a lot. And in this case, it’s refined and not ostentatious — just what you need in a dress belt.
USA-made socks that offset the rest of this formal ensemble quite nicely.

USA-made socks that offset the rest of this formal ensemble quite nicely.

The American Trench brand tends to be the go-to sock of choice around these parts, and if you’re not familiar with the brand, I’d encourage you to stock up just as soon as you can.  Because no detail is too small in matters of men’s style, American-made socks are a bit of a luxury upgrade to typical, thinner dress socks sold in a four-pack — right? The Random Plait Sock in Smoke brings some nice, winter-friendly texture to your bottom half, and the color plays nicely off both the navy herringbone trousers and the sharp black wingtips.

Frank & Oak

So, we’ve got you covered right down to your socks for New Year’s Eve. Stick with classic-yet-modern pieces — like a beautiful cashmere scarf and a double-breasted topcoat, and you’ll be set on the accessories front. Accent those touches with the ever-versatile Taylor Stitch Telegraph Jacket , and throw in complementary trousers and a seasonally appropriate wool tie, and consider your top half set. Keep in mind that slim navy trousers will offset the grey wool jacket nicely, and know that you can never go wrong with crisp black wingtips and an heirloom-quality watch like the Orient Bambino 2nd Generation Watch. Of course, socks from American Trench are a great way to complement any look. Is this similar to what you’ll be wearing for New Year’s Eve? Leave any feedback in the comments below — oh, and enjoy your own New  Year’s Eve! You can look for our regularly scheduled Friday Read later this week, too; in the meantime, stay stylish and bring on 2017!

#OOTD: How to Style a Crewneck Sweater This Winter

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

So, welcome back to the #OOTD series here on The Style Guide. The above headline might seem a bit familiar — after all,  a slim crewneck sweater is a personal favorite of this blog, and it’s as well-suited for casual, rugged fall style as it is for layering in the early stages of winter. And the particular sweater that’s being featured today is as close to a perfect reinterpretation of a classic style as we’ve got — especially from lauded American menswear designer Todd Snyder. But what differentiates the below #menswear look from other features here on the blog? We’re throwing in more weather-ready layers, for one. And we’re mixing high-low style staples like a slim topcoat with everyday wardrobe staples. If you find you don’t have any of the picks below, it’s as good a time as any to get shopping. Got additional picks to add to the below list? Hit me up on Twitter, or check out the Instagram feed for a look into what makes The Style Guide (AKA, me) tick.

A high-low way to wear a crewneck sweater this winter. Not bad, ehh?

A high-low way to wear a crewneck sweater this winter. Not bad, ehh?

The Sweatshirt: Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, $98 — The Todd Snyder x Champion line is packed full of stellar, heritage and sportswear-inspired pieces. This Pocket Sweatshirt is exhibit A in  that regard — it’s comfortable, easy to layer and potentially your new favorite sweatshirt.

The Shirt: Life/After/Denim Windom Oxford Shirt, $128 — More than $100 for a classic Oxford shirt? Well, when it’s made from premium yarn-dyed cotton in a slim cut, it’s worth the investment.

The Topcoat: JackThreads Tieman Topcoat, $149 — So, here’s where a bit of that high-low style comes into play. The “topcoat-over-a-crewneck” look is something perfected by the likes of David Beckham, so I’d say it’s Style Guide-approved.

The Denim: Buck Mason Black Slim Stretch Denim, $175 — From the makers of your favorite short-sleeve chambray shirt comes a fantastic pair of slim black denim — just as ready for a  rock concert as a casual weekend coffee date. What belt to wear? Well, brown and black can work casually (keep reading), so reach for a braided leather belt.

The Socks: American Trench Fair Isle Sock in Merino/Cashmere, $28.98 — So, some of the picks in this particular #OOTD are quite pricey — including these socks. But American Trench does things as well as anyone when it comes to stylish, durable accessories.

The Boots: Thorogood Dodgeville Boots in Cognac ,$375 — Need another pair of durable, rugged leather boots in your closet? This handsome, versatile and easy-to-wear unlined pair of Thorogood Dodgeville Boots are a nice way to amp up the slightly more casual crewneck sweater.

The Watch: MVMT Watches Calypso Watch, $145 — From the stellar new Modern Sport Collection by MVMT Watches, the Calypso is a particular highlight. It’s got the handsome look of a rugged Tudor watch at a fraction of the price. Since it’s a casual outfit, a black rubber strap can work alongside the cognac Thorogood boots.

The Hat: Columbiaknit Marled Watch Cap, $17.98 — Sometimes, you don’t need to go too fancy with your winter accessories. In this case, the Columbiaknit Marled Watch Cap is neutral, simple and quite functional in the cold.

And, well, that’s all she wrote. When it comes time to layer up on a casual-but-cold day at the office or around town, you nearly can’t beat a stylish crewneck sweater — especially one made from premium materials. And pieces like slim black denim and a classic navy Oxford create a bit of a unique one-two punch, particularly when accented by an affordable (yet great-looking!) camel topcoat. When you top it all off with rugged, eye-catching cognac leather boots, it’s a mixture of pleasing colors and textures that work well when put together (yes, even the black denim and brown boots). Of course, you can’t go wrong with a warm winter hat or well-made Fair Isle socks. In fact, this head-to-toe look might just become one you break out time and again — at least, I hope so.

Stay stylish, and stay tuned for a (relatively) last-minute holiday gift guide coming tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau