The Friday Read: Veterans Day, Sword and Plough and Glenfiddich Whisky

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.

Well. Hey, what a week, right? Onward and upward. On this Friday, it’s a good reason to reflect and bring us all togehter– Veterans Day should bring with it great appreciation for the men and women who’ve served, and continue to serve so bravely. And a bit of a focus on the lifestyle companies that help support those veterans never goes wrong, either. Is there anything better than buying stylish, quality menswear for a great cause? If you’ve got some plans to do that this weekend, I think you’ll like the content we have in store below. And if your weekend brings with it other plans, it still pays to keep in mind some crucial men’s style tips — like how to dress for fall travel, or how to buy your new favorite henley (all crucial, you see). And if it’s getting really chilly where you are? Layer up with a stylish flannel shirt or a slim cardigan. You can, of course, look for our weekly Style Pick tomorrow — and stay tuned, ‘cuz it’ll get you shopping via Huckberry quicker than you can move your mouse. For now, catch up on the week in menswear — and the weekend to come.

A duffle built with military-grade fabric and inspiration.

A duffle built with military-grade fabric and inspiration.

    • First up in our Veteran’s Day rundown? A company that keeps the sacrifices of our armed forces front and center in everything it does, from its use of repurposed military fabrics to its mission of supporting vets through all phases of production. Sword and Plough  is launching a new duffle bag inspired by co-founder Emily Nunez’s experience with her U.S. Army duffle. It’s built with that same durability in mind and available in either Camo or Olive — the Camo version is lined in surplus 500-denier nylon fabric, while the Olive version is lined in a surplus cotton/nylon twill (originally meant for older military uniforms, but unused).  Oh, and the leather accents even come from the brand’s Redwing, Minn., which itself is a major military supplier. Get it ASAP via Sword and Plough, and know that the brand’s weekender bags — one of which I took with me on a fall trip to Providence — are just as quality.

  • If you fancy yourself in the market for a smaller accessory that pays homage to military inspiration you can’t go wrong with a rugged, durable and stylish casual watch via AVI-8.  Makers of handsome timepieces, they’re offering 30 percent off the brand’s Flyboy Collection now through Monday, November 14th using the code ‘Flyboy‘  — of course, as to the watches themselves, you can’t go wrong with the Flyboy Tuck, inspired by Royal Air Force flying ace Robert Stanford Tuck. The Flyboy Mesh is also clean, crisp and stylish enough for both casual and more refined wear. What are you waiting for, yeah?
  • Now, it’s not quite Veteran’s Day-related, but your footwear closet might need a new addition. CLAE and Style Guide favorite JackThreads just teamed up on a stylish sneaker collaboration that’s in need of your time. The CLAE x JackThreads Bradley is a refined low-top black sneaker with a patent leather cap toe and heel — not your everyday set of kicks. And the CLAE x JackThreads Strayhorn Mid is a unique, affordable and super-stylish high-top chukka sneaker with a wool upper. Yes, you’ll want to wear this with a classic chambray shirt, your favorite cardigan and dark denim soon — very soon.

Want one last way to toast to the weekend?

  • Craft bee is a big passion of mine. Whisky? Not all the time. But whisky aged in craft beer barrels? Bingo. See, we’re not all menswear here at The Style Guide. If that’s the case for you as well, you’d be wise to keep your eyes open for the new Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask Finish, a single malt scotch whiskey finished in IPA craft beer barrels and released last month. It’s part of the Glennfiddich Expermental Series, and it’s certainly got the rich flavor and nuanced details to back it up. It’s now out in the public, too  — keep your eyes  open for it at luxury whiskey retail stores, along with premium bars and hotels across the U.S. Cheers!

That brings us to the end of this week’s Friday Read — again, stick around for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week, and stay stylish!

-Beau

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#OOTD: How to Dress for A Rock Concert

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 will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

Chances are, we’ve all got certain style scenarios throughout the week we have to tackle — be it dressing for a laidback office or a laidback summer weekend, there’s a multitude of conundrums (and opportunities!) to navigate in any given week. If you enjoy live music — as I very much do — you might also find yourself attending a show or two … or three. Heck, from the 2016 Panorama music festival to Governors Ball to an upstate trip to see Lucius, I love it all, and I get out and about to shows quite a bit. If you read this blog, you certainly know that; maybe you’ve even tackled a similar scenario, such as how to dress for a summer music festival. However, non-festival settings are a different animal entirely. We’re usually talking an indoor venue, a more compact crowd, and possibly time spent waiting in line outside. So, what are you going to wear? And namely, what’s a combination that might hold up alright at the office and then heading to the show itself? This is one of the essential questions in life (wink, wink) and it’s the one we’re going to answer below. As yours truly likes to drive home, looking for ways to improve — and maintain — your style comes down to always seizing the chance to do a little bit extra when it comes to getting dressed. That’s where style upgrades come into play, even off the clock. The below outfit certainly has a few of those. If you want to keep up with what I’m wearing at my next show (obviously), head to Instagram. To check out my thoughts on music & other musings, check out my non-menswear Twitter — it exists! — right here.

Ready for the front row -- a chambray shirt, slim black denim and Chelsea boots are about as concert-ready as it gets.

Ready for the front row — a chambray shirt, slim black denim and Chelsea boots are about as concert-ready as it gets.

The Jacket: Abercrombie & Fitch M-65 Military Jacket, $150 –The (somewhat) new and very improved Abercrombie & Fitch is keeping that roll going into the fall season with pieces like this timeless, sharp and versatile field jacket. It works just as well over a knit tie with a blue Oxford as it does with this outfit’s other pieces.

The Shirt: Buck Mason Short-Sleeve Chambray Shirt, $108 — If you’ve kept your eyes peeled, you’ve seen this Buck Mason short-sleeve chambray shirt as part of this site’s Style Pick of the Week series. It’s an essential done the right way, and the short sleeves will keep you cooler even underneath the jacket.

The Denim: Levi’s 505C Slim-Fit Jeans in DeeDee Wash, $98 — Is it clichĂ© to wear black jeans to a rock concert? Not when that pair of denim is inspired by an actual archival style worn by rockers like the Ramones. (Read more by yours truly at The Manual).

The Boots: Soul36 Fairmont Chelsea Boots in Taupe, $249 — Because no trip to a concert is complete with rock-ready footwear, suede Chelsea boots that can handle a bit of a beating are the exact way to go.

The Socks: Pair of Thieves Okapi Socks, $10  — When your outfit relies on lots of shades of blue (plus some black and tan), a vibrant shot of red is never a bad thing. The price on these Pair of Thieves socks simply can’t be beat.

The Belt: Tanner Goods Classic Belt in Hickory, $99.98 — An average belt just won’t do here — no, your belt should be one that works at the office and at a show, and a refined-yet-rugged Tanner Goods belt is neither too dressy or dressed-down.
Frank & Oak
The Watch: AVI-8 Hawker Hunter Watch, $270 — Seeing as we’re pushing for an outfit that’s equal parts rugged, tough and office-ready, this aviation-inspired timepiece — featuring a beefy 45mm case diameter and smart dial design — is ideal.

The Wallet: Andar Wallets Scout Wallet, $22 — Before we get into what makes this wallet so great, know that you can get 10 percent off your purchase with the code ‘STYLEGUIDE’ — now, why should do that? This wallet is slim enough to fit into the front pocket of that denim, functional enough to hold a small amount of cash and a few essential cards, and memorable enough in design that you won’t leave it behind at the bar.

As you can see in the #OOTD above, the small style details matter, from the cut of your shirt to the color of your socks — and they can be merged into one functional outfit that’s fit for something as unique as a rock concert. Those suede Chelsea boots that you might pair with a business-casual look will fit right in as you jockey for a front-row spot (or a spot at the bar). Pieces like a navy military jacket and a chambray shirt are multi-season essentials that work particularly well for transitioning from location to location — indoors or outdoors. The military jacket is rugged yet sharp when paired up with that crisp blue short-sleeve chambray shirt. And while black denim might feel a touch rebellious, a clean wash in a dark color is certainly as concert-ready  as durable pair of inky blue denim. Lastly, that durable watch and slim wallet are nice additions to your daily haul any day of the week. If you have suggestions or thoughts on what you’re wearing to your next show, write me a note on Twitter (my #menswear one, if you prefer).

Stay stylish and snap a concert video for me,

-Beau

Back in the Mitten: A wedding weekend in Michigan

Editor’s note: To recap my last trip (earlier this week!), click here.

A wedding weekend -- and a bit of bar crawl action -- to boot. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Italian-made denim by Mott & Bow. Sand Suede Chukkas by Blu Kicks. Watch by MVMT Watches. Backdrop by Lansing Brewing.

A wedding weekend — and a bit of bar crawl action — to boot. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Italian-made denim by Mott &; Bow. Sand Suede Chukkas by Blu Kicks. Watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Backdrop by Lansing Brewing.

If it seemed like the last week was fast, it felt like the weekend flew by even faster — boarding your fifth flight in six days (including those pesky connections) will do that to you. But Friday’s early, early morning flight brought me once again back to my home state of Michigan, and my hometown of Mason for my great friend Andy’s wedding weekend (and a tip o’ the cap to my pal Chris for hosting me this weekend). It felt strange yet fitting to be back in the Mitten so soon — I was just in Grand Rapids for the bachelor party at the end of July, after all.  But it was an honor to be in Andy’s wedding, and the trip back also presented the all-too-rare chance for me to spend just a bit of time in a town I really do love. Seeing as I was in Las Vegas for a work conference just a few days before, I also felt pretty confident I could dress, and pack, for the trip with style and attention to detail. Nothing like unpacking, then repacking almost immediately, to teach you about versatile style, ehh?

A casual, comfortable Friday travel outfit. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. T-shirt in Heather Grey and Colorblocked Socks by Richer Poorer. Slim Staple Denim by Mott & Bow. Tan Suede Chukkas by Blu Kicks. Hawker Hunter II Watch by AVI-8. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

A casual, comfortable Friday travel outfit. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. T-shirt in Heather Grey and Colorblocked Socks by Richer Poorer. Slim Staple Denim by Mott & Bow. Sand Chukkas by Blu Kicks. Hawker Hunter II Watch by AVI-8. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

As I was in the wedding — held at the picturesque English Inn  in the rolling Michigan countryside — my grey tuxedo was taken care of, other than my shoes; the crisp Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip  more than got the job taken care of there (more to come on the wedding shortly, but it was an amazingly beautiful and fun night!). So with formal wear out of the way, my focus was on packing some casual style essentials into my dependable Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, along with my sturdy Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag.  As I’ve talked about before on these (digital) pages, great luggage can keep your gear safe and stylish no matter where you go, and those two bags will set you right. To meet the challenge of traveling in comfortable-yet-crisp style, I grabbed one of my favorite tees, the Richer Poorer T-Shirt in Heather Grey, and topped off the look with a personal favorite, a vintage ballcap from Goorin Brothers. Now, we’ll be talking more about stylish pocket T-shirts on the blog on Wednesday *cough, cough* but know that this particular tee fits and breathes well while looking visually different than a plain crewneck. It offset my Mott & Bow Staple Denim in rather classic fashion — the dark wash and significant stretch in this pair of denim is ideal for travel. Comfortable footwear was also a must — for lightweight, casual style and a pop of color, I threw on the Blu Kicks Sand Chukkas, which I’ve been testing out with positive results these past few weeks. The unlined suede upper is ultra-comfortable, particularly with a pair of Richer Poorer cotton socks, and you can feel good about the fact that they’re handmade in Mexico from local materials for a great price.

And on the watch front, I picked a timepiece that’s as dependable and durable as any — I’m talking about the AVI-8 Hawker Hunter, a rugged, aviation-style watch with a case diameter that clocks in (pun intended) at a beefy 45mm. It still manages to come off understated thanks to the neutral beige leather strap, and it was the ideal travel companion as far as watches go — smart, functional and not fussy. The head-to-toe combo of comfort and style worked quite well for an afternoon spent in my hometown of Mason — as I said before, it’s not often I get to go back there, and it’s always a treat when I do. In this case, that meant a stop at Mason institution Bestsellers Cafe for a gourmet coffee. An early start to the day also meant that the afternoon was high time for some extra sustenance — cue up a stop at BAD Brewing Company, a stellar and relatively recent craft beer outpost that’s been drawing rave reviews for its homegrown brews and gourmet bites. Yes, I’d recommend a stop there if you ever pass through Mason — and it was the perfect way to cap off an afternoon stroll around the beautiful campus of my alma mater, Michigan State.

Inside Mason's own BAD Brewing, a definite highlight of the trip.

Inside Mason’s own BAD Brewing, a definite highlight of the trip.

That tasty spot of lunch was the perfect way to tide me over until a post-wedding rehearsal stop at another highly regarded craft beer spot, the Lansing Brewing Company. It’s made major waves in the local craft beer scene for reinvigorating the city’s hops culture, and its three signature brews — including the cleverly named Angry Mayor IPA — do a fine job of holding down the fort alongside a rotating seasonal selection. From the Best Coast Pale Ale to the Ain’t No Drama Imperial Red, it’s representative of the atmosphere and quality of Michigan’s best breweries — and Lansing Brewing is just getting started (if you couldn’t tell, I’m a big craft beer fan). For the rehearsal itself and that much-loved trip to the brewery, I switched out my Richer Poorer pocket tee for a reliable favorite, my JackThreads Denim Shirt — it’s the perfect casual summer outfit topper, and it’s selling fast. It was my own slight variation on how to dress for a warm-weather bar crawl, if you will.

Sharp Saturday style. Slub Nep Jersey Polo by Grayers. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers from the Reebok x JackThreads collab. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Scout Wallet by Andar Wallets. Leather bracelet by Bryer Leather.

Sharp Saturday style. Slub Nep Jersey Polo by Grayers. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers from the Reebok x JackThreads collab. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Scout Wallet by Andar Wallets. Leather bracelet by Bryer Leather.

That casual style was similarly needed on Saturday for a bit of pre-wedding time spent around downtown Mason once again. To meet the summertime heat of Michigan in style, I threw on my trusty Grayers Slub Jersey Polo and my tailored-yet-comfortable Bridge & Burn Stringer Dune Shorts (you can grab a similar pair here); I finished the #menswear ensemble off with two everyday carry touches — my MVMT Watches Brown Leather Watch and the Scout Wallet from Andar Wallets. The polo was breathable and soft,  and the blue & khaki colors played nicely off a really standout pair of sneakers — the Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon is a heck of a pair of kicks! They’re new as of this week, and they feature a premium blend of pigskin suede in a retro runner silhouette that’s sporty, classic and timeless. Oh, and did I mention they’re comfortable as heck? They were a nice pair of sneakers for a bit of pre-wedding fun (and if I were you, I’d check back on this blog later this week for a full Style Pick of the Week feature).
Huckberry
That casual ensemble played nicely into the wedding, where I put the Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip to good use with a slim grey tuxedo and classic navy tie. Enough about Saturday’s outfit, though — the wedding itself was extraordinary and the atmosphere was second-to-none. It was such a great time to be there for my friends Andy & Courtney (if you made it this far in the post, Hi guys!), and you couldn’t ask for a better venue than the refined English Inn. A beautiful ceremony and an awesome time with close high school friends thereafter were huge highlights and made for memories of a lifetime — the perfect time and reason to be back in Michigan. It’s tough to see everyone in one place at the same time, to be sure, so I’m certainly glad I made the trip back.

Crisp classics for Sunday travel. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Slim chinos by Old Navy. Duvall Wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Notebook by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

Crisp classics for Sunday travel. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Slim chinos by Old Navy. Duvall Wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Notebook by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

With that being said, a quick trip often calls for a quick turnaround, and such was the case after a long night of revelry at the English Inn. To head back to New York — and finish up the blog post — I reached for reliable travel style essentials. My Todd Shelton White Oxford was chief among those picks — there might not be as reliable or high-quality an Oxford on the market, what with customizable fit options, a substantial fabric and a tailored fit. I wore it casually with a pair of Old Navy Slim Khakis, plus the sharp, travel-ready Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip. Of course, my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was a necessary finishing touch. Like many recent travels, it was so worth it to be back — long journey, early flight and all. I know I’ll be back in the Mitten for at least one Michigan State football game this fall, but for now, I’m just grateful to have celebrated a great wedding weekend with lifelong friends. And it’s trips like this one that will take me out on the road again. Keep up with those travels here on the blog or at The Style Guide Facebook page, and I hope you pack up your bag with memories (and OK, some style) in mind the next time you travel.

‘Til the next post,

-Beau
Frank & Oak

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Capital Style: A spring weekend in Washington, D.C.

washington-dc-edited-photo

Just the right staples for a spring weekend in Washington, D.C. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Hayden Grey Jacket by Bridge & Burn. Dark blue denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Brooks Heritage.

 As I hinted at in this past Friday’s weekly reading roundup, I had the chance to travel just a few hours south via train to Washington, D.C. visit my great friend and former college roommate Ian Kullgren this weekend — and a lovely weekend it was. As it were, the last time we saw each other was back in East Lansing after graduation (home of our Michigan State Spartans). So, we had a lot to catch up on! Although the forecast threatened rain initially, the skies cleared up throughout the weekend and we were able to see a ton of Washington, D.C. I’d been to our nation’s capital back in November, but this time, the trip it was different – it was thankfully a lot warmer and sunnier, for one. And there was more to see given Ian’s location in the Woodley Park neighborhood of the city. So as the week wrapped up, I planned out what #menswear to pack and hit the road – planning ahead based on the weather and itinerary is something that’s gotten easier for me as time has gone on, (and hopefully, it’s the same for you!).

Easygoing gear for a weekend of adventures. Waxed Voyager Weekender by Owen & Fred. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Navy leather card case by Issara. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

Easygoing gear for a weekend of adventures. Waxed Voyager Weekender by Owen & Fred. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Navy leather card case by Issara. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

Having traveled to some pretty neat places across the past handful of months (including a stylish weekend in Florida and a trip to Detroit), I knew a great bag was definitely needed for this particular trip — we’re talking something that can hold up trip after trip (and you should look for a similarly durable piece). Owen & Fred’s new Voyager Waxed Weekender, as seen above, more than fit the bill. It’s sturdy as heck, made in the USA and finished off with tough 9 oz. leather straps from one of America’s oldest tanneries, Wickett and Craig. Seriously, this bag is a beast, and I could definitely go on — but the rest of the trip calls! (Look for a full feature on the piece in this site’s Style Pick of the Week series soon).

After a quick train ride down to D.C., we still had enough time on Friday to check out some D.C. haunts with our friend and fellow Michigan State Spartan Emily Wilkins. Our mini bar crawl of sorts took us to the always-great Capitol Lounge (an MSU haven) and the renowned Little Miss Whiskey’s, with enough rare beer on tap and in bottles to make your head spin. We grabbed a nightcap (hot dog, that is) at the renowned Ben’s Chili Bowl – that’s a great chili dog right there.

A casual, cool outfit for exploring Washington, D.C. Hayden Gray Jacket by Bridge & Burn. Indigo Denim Jack Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Pilot's watch by AVI-8. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

A casual, cool outfit for exploring Washington, D.C. Hayden Gray Jacket by Bridge & Burn. Indigo Denim Jack Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Pilot’s watch by AVI-8. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

Saturday proved a busy day that took us around D.C. on foot for long periods of time – in that respect, I was glad I packed comfortably and with versatility in mind (like the outfit you see at the top of the page!). For exploring everywhere from the National Mall to the bustling 14th and U Street areas, I grabbed some extremely comfortable (and sharp) navy, light blue and red suede sneakers from the Brooks Heritage line — the sport-inspired lifestyle line from Brooks Running. While the pair you see here is now unfortunately sold out, there are plenty of versatile options to be had — and something clean and simple like the GREATS Rosen Runner would also work just as well for travel adventures.

The lightweight, comfortable Hayden Gray Jacket from Bridge & Burn topped off what’s perhaps my new favorite shirt, the Jack in Indigo Star from the fine folks at Taylor Stitch — versatility is key when traveling for a quick weekend trip, and this shirt (just like a classic chambray shirt) definitely nailed it. And no matter where you go, some crisp and classic dark denim is always a solid bet — particularly if inclement weather is potentially in the picture. I grabbed a pair that’s a personal favorite, my Mott and Bow Skinny Mosco denim (the brand also stocks classic dark denim in other cuts, too). They’re simple, slim-fitting and particularly effective for a casual trip.

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We covered a lot of ground, from strolling through the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art to marveling at the National Archives and the Declaration of Independence – the first time I’d been back there since my 8th grade class field trip (no blog post covering that trip, sadly). We also made time to meet up with two old college friends (Go Green!), Gabby Saldivia and Colin Marshall, both talented folks who work at NPR – being around so many communications pros reminded me why I picked up that degree in the first place! If you fancy gobbling up some gourmet brews and delicious bites, Glen’s Garden Market is the place to do just that.  A post-dinner drink was definitely in order, this time at Smoke N’Barrel. Although we didn’t eat any of the restaurant’s famous barbeque, it looked mighty tempting.

Sunday's outfit grid for D.C adventures -- a Pima Crewneck Tee from Mack Weldon, Slim Light Mercer Denim from Mott & Bow and Brown Scout Chukka Boots from Thursday Boots. Customized Fairfield Watch by Timex.

Sunday’s outfit grid for D.C adventures — a Pima Crewneck Tee from Mack Weldon, Slim Light Mercer Denim from Mott & Bow and Brown Scout Chukka Boots from Thursday Boots. Customized Fairfield Watch by Timex.

For the rest of the trip, I brought along another trusty pair of denim from Mott & Bow, the all-new Light Mercer. Think of these as a step down from chinos and a …. step sideways from dark denim in terms of color and texture. That is, they can be dressed up like chinos or dressed down like denim — but you get a lot of comfort either way. For Sunday explorations, I also threw on a comfortable Mack Weldon Crewneck Tee. It’s admittedly simple and minimal, but the tee is comfortable and a great match for the color of the light denim. Crucially, the combo was also the perfect match for a terrific pair of Brown Scout Boots from the always on-point team at Thursday Boot Company.

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During my last trip to Washington, D.C., I also brought along a pair of chukkas from the brand, but I swapped out the Chocolate Suede Scout Boot for the brown leather boots you see here — and I was just as pleased with the results. They took me seamlessly around the city all throughout Friday night and on Sunday. The sturdy rubber sole of that chukka definitely helped for lots of on-foot trekking (and bar-crawling, if we’re honest with ourselves).I closed out Sunday with a quick stop in the D.C. outpost of Frank & Oak, one of my favorite men’s lifestyle brands — that was a real treat! And it was great to be able to grab a quick afternoon coffee at The Wydown, one of the city’s best coffee shops.

Sunday done right in D.C. Pima Crewneck Tee by @mackweldon. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Customized Fairfield Watch by Mott & Bow.

Sunday done right in D.C. Pima Crewneck Tee by Mack Weldon. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Customized Fairfield Watch by Timex.

Packing for any trip also requires some attention to the little things, the same sort of accessories you might wear at home — namely, a stylish casual watch or two. I was definitely pleased with the versatility and durability of my new AVI-8 Flyboy (similar to the model shown in the link), complete with a black leather strap that matched up just fine with my suede sneakers. And whenever I travel, my trusty MVMT Watches 40 Timepiece is also a frequent companion. Plus, my new Timex Weekender Fairfield (seen above) is sharp, stylish and a terrific value. A minimal leather watch can pair with everything from navy sneakers to brown chukkas, and it works with a blazer and khaki chinos if your travels call for something a bit more polished. So given the laidback nature of this trip, it worked more than fine for both travel and exploration.

I also prefer to bring along finishing touches that can make all the difference between traveling in comfort and, well… not traveling in comfort. In this instance, that means my dependable dopp kit from the Byrd x Richer Poorer collaboration, as well as a few everyday grooming essentials from the always-reliable Baxter of California. And additional pieces like a great pair of Mack Weldon boxer briefs and stylish-yet-understated American Trench socks weren’t overlooked in my bag — and they shouldn’t be in yours, either.

As trips like these tend to go, it felt a bit too brief (such is life when trying to coordinate around the schedules of a journalist and a PR guy!). But I really felt like I was able to experience much more of the city than in past trips, from a stop through the National Archives that gave me some great historical perspective, to a walk through the National Gallery of Art and time spent along the bustling, hip U Street area. It’s a city that’s more varied than meets the eye – it’s not all tour groups and national monuments (although seeing those monuments made me feel pretty patriotic). There’s a burgeoning menswear scene, the dining (and local craft beer selection) is on-point, and it’s quite easy to get around – that’s just a handful of the major pluses I experienced in a quick weekend. I’d say it’s absolutely worth a visit – and if you’ve been before or you live there, you already know that! I’ll be back again. Until then, look for more on The Style Guide tomorrow covering a stylish spring outfit suggestion.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

Florsheim

Style Pick of the Week: AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II Watch

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.

Packed with a ton of military style inspiration and featuring a unique strap-and-dial combo, to boot.

Packed with a ton of military style inspiration and featuring a unique strap-and-dial combo, to boot.

Let’s say you’ve got your spring outerwear covered, and maybe even some nice, made-in-America sneakers to go with that. What other accessories might you need in that instance? Well, for starters, a durable, tough casual watch never hurt an outfit in terms of finishing it off right. If you don’t yet have a stylish watch in your arsenal — or if you just want to mix things up a bit — it wouldn’t hurt to reach for a timepiece that draws on heavy military inspiration and packs a lot into one beastly package. In this case, we’re talking about the AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II, a rough-and-tumble watch inspired by Harrier Jump Jets (those planes designed to be used in advanced theatres of war conflict). If there’s a more rugged piece of style inspiration out there, I’ve yet to find it. Heck, there’s even a small missile marker next to the date window. And it’s the perfect option when it comes to changing up your casual watch rotation — for a really solid price, considering what you’re getting. Let’s say you’ve got a classic stainless steel dive watch, a brown leather dress watch, maybe even a black leather dress watch — but are looking for something more suited to, well, not wearing a suit. The Hawker Harrier II has a textured black dial, white numerals that pop nicely against said dial and a beige leather strap complete with contrast stitching — all the makings of a watch that can complement shorts and a simple graphic tee quite nicely. Again, the price is commendable, too.

The full offering -- including a neat detail next to the date window, and a beefy 45mm case diameter.

The full offering — including a neat detail next to the date window, and a beefy 45mm case diameter.

The Japanese quartz movement is reliable and without frills (although some watch enthusiasts prefer a more complicated timepiece), and the 45mm case diameter is just what the doctor ordered as far as a casual watch goes. That larger case diameter means it can take a beating and still look good doing it, namely. It’s not nearly as laidback as a sporty rubber-strap watch, but that means it should look more natural next to a slim spring polo and lightwash jeans. This particular watch is only water resistant to 50mm, so it’s probably best not to go swimming with it — but for the rest of your spring and summertime activities, it’s the way to go. The brand also has a host of other military-inspired watches, including the Flyboy (complete with a NATO strap). There’s just something about the combo of a black dial and a beige strap that’s pretty pleasing when compared to other potential dial-and-strap combinations. And given that the brand has already drawn so heavily off timeless military style inspiration, it’s worth betting that other stylish, unique combinations like the Hawker Harrier II are on their way in the future.

Would you pick up this AVI-8 watch? How would you style it?

Style Suggestion: What to Wear for Cinco de Mayo

Editor’s note: For all manner of style suggestions covering everything from brunch to the holidays, head here.

As I sit here to write this post, it’s pretty wild that it’s already time to think about Cinco de Mayo — where has the time gone? And how are your 2016 style resolutions holding up so far? I’m still struggling to wear less blue, namely — the below outfit doesn’t necessarily move away from that color, either! With that being said, it’s important to recognize that Cinco de Mayo really does have historical significance — and yet, it’s a time a lot of us use to spend with friends at say, a patio bar crawl or the like. And if you’ve been cooped up inside all winter, it seems people need any excuse to get outside (heck, who doesn’t love a great brew regardless — am I right, or am I right?). At any rate, we’re combining style that’s part casual, part rugged and a little refined to combat warm breezes during the day, and possibly cool temps at night. Like what you see, or have other suggestions in mind? Give The Style Guide a shout over here. Onto the outfit!

The Jacket: JackThreads Trucker Jacket — $79

Unique design details and a classic indigo color make this the ideal piece of spring outerwear.

Unique design details and a classic indigo color make this the ideal piece of spring outerwear.

Just as we kicked off our suggestion covering what to wear to Sunday brunch with a JackThreads, so we begin this style suggestion with a tough trucker jacket that’s a positively stunning value — and it should come in handy if it gets breezy, too. The silhouette is a bit different than your standard denim jacket (note the covered placket and the front ridges on either side of it). Lest you think a denim jacket can’t work for you, note that it can be worn plenty of ways. It’s also worth noting that JackThreads’ creative director, Tony Kretten, was the man behind the relaunch of the GAP 1969 denim line — so he knows a thing or two about great denim.

The Shirt: Saturdays Surf NYC Esquina Denim Shirt in Light Washed Indigo — $115

The spring and summer answer to winter's dark denim shirt.

The spring and summer answer to winter’s dark denim shirt.

We’re going full-on denim on denim on the top half — but it’s no Canadian tuxedo. Lest you’re wary of pairing two shades of blue, note that this Saturdays Surf NYC oxford has nice texture and a color that’s significantly lighter than the jacket. It’s a simple, minimal shirt that could quickly turn into a workhorse spring styling piece — it would work well with slim tan chinos or even dark  blue jeans throughout the summer (don’t rule out a pair of tailored shorts, either). From personal experience, Saturdays Surf NYC shirts fit slim and hold up very well through repeated wear — a good thing considering the price tag.

The Pants: JackThreads Slim Chino in Stone — $49

A pair of pants to go along with the JackThreads jacket -- slim, stylish and affordable.

A pair of pants to go along with the JackThreads jacket — slim, stylish and affordable.

In this case, the darker blue jacket and lighter blue shirt are just fit for the cool tones of these JackThreads stone chinos. The brand crafts these with a slim fit and nice fabric, plus the price is (as always with JackThreads) exceptionally solid. Some slim khaki chinos would also work with the rest of this ensemble, as might some natural denim — and if you were lucky enough to pre-order the incredible Taylor Stitch Slim Chino in Stone, that’s a worthy pair of pants to keep in mind when matching up multiple shades of blue (although it doesn’t look like they’ll ship in time for this particular holiday).

The Sneakers: SeaVees Legend Sneaker Standard in Bleach — $78

Just as stylish now as it was decades ago.

Just as stylish now as it was decades ago.

SeaVees was among the first brands to really pioneer the classic plimsoll sneaker, and the silhouette has stood up to the years — the Legend Sneaker Standard is no different. These kicks are crisp, casual and timeless — they’ll pop nicely with the light grey chinos and the darker blue jacket, and the great thing about these kicks is that they’ll probably look even better a bit beat up. Plus, they’re comfortable and lightweight — perfect for hanging out on a patio as the sun sets. If those aren’t your speed, check out other stylish spring sneakers here.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Braided Leather Belt — $18.50

A welcome and appropriate departure from a thin dress belt.

A welcome and appropriate departure from a thin dress belt.

Casual situations call for a change of pace from a slim, minimal dress belt — this is definitely one of those times. This J. Crew Factory braided leather belt works well in terms of adding some texture and visual interest to this outfit, and it works for spring (and summer, and fall … and winter). A striped webbing belt would also add a spring-friendly vibe to the look, yet the leather belt is going to be a bit more versatile across the seasons. If you happen to have the rugged vintage leather belt from this style suggestion, throw that on instead.

The Watch: AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II — $165

A sufficiently rugged watch ready for the rigors of a bar crawl.

A sufficiently rugged watch ready for the rigors of a bar crawl.

Are you familiar with AVI-8 Watches? The brand takes pride in producing authentic, tough and durable watches inspired by classic pilot timepieces. The story is an admirable one, and the product looks great — and backs it up with quality for a very solid price, too. The version of the Hawker Harrier II seen here is a bit less technically complicated than some of the other models from the same line (including this chronograph number), but it’s fitting for this particular occasion — it’s not too dressy, and it gives off a nice, rugged vibe. The combination of black and tan between the dial and the case is solid, and the 45mm diameter means it’s pretty beastly. If a smaller-sized watch might be more your thing, head to last week’s post on the best casual watches to buy now.

The Socks: American Trench Summer Footies — $13.50

An underrated finishing touch that could be crucial in keeping your white kicks pristine.

An underrated finishing touch that could be crucial in keeping your white kicks pristine.

Don’t underestimate the power of taking care of your feet this summer — and by extension, your shoes. A nice pair of no-show socks can help contain foot odor, make sneakers last longer and ultimately, prove much more comfortable for your feet. American Trench does standard fall and winter socks well, and they’ve even introduced some nice, spring-ready colors (in addition to the no-show socks you see here). Even if they’re only socks, the fact that they’re made in the USA at a family mill is another big bonus. They’ll definitely finish off this outfit the right way.

When approaching a situation like Cinco de Mayo, where you might be headed to a party to a bar and back, or multiple indoor or outdoor stops along the way, layering up appropriately is going to be key. The denim trucker jacket adds a rugged, bar-ready look to those modern, slim chinos — and classic white sneakers are a great piece of finishing footwear.   A tough, military-inspired watch serves a dual function — that of a neat conversation starter and a really solid watch. Plus, each of these pieces can work across the rest of the season in various outfits. That’s worth a toast in my book.

How are you dressing for Cinco de Mayo? Any pieces you would change or add?

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