Music City Menswear: Exploring Nashville in Style

Taking in a relaxing Nashville Saturday at Barista Parlor. Wearing my new Original Penguin Bedford Cord 5-Pocket Pants and a special pair of 125th Anniversary Wingtip Boots from Florsheim!

There are certain places that I’ve put on my growing personal travel bucket list in recent years — places that constantly pull me away from New York as much as I love it. And if you read The Style Guide regularly, you know that I love to get out and about in style, from exploring Brooklyn to hopping on a flight to Chicago and Lollapalooza 2017 recently. When the chance came up to take a weekend trip to Nashville, a city that’s as hyped as any for any its blend of live music, culinary delights and a cool atmosphere, I jumped on it. My parents have loved Nashville for years, so it’s  definitely been on my radar — but as I started planning out my fall travel style earlier this year, I knew I wanted to pack in as much as possible when it came to seeing the Music City. That meant this weekend was filled with #menswear, craft beer and of course, live music — namely, a high-energy, passion-packed show from Young the Giant, supported by Cold War Kids and Joywave! Of course, if you follow me on Instagram you’re familiar with my trip — and if not, come along for the ride.

The right mix of sharp, versatile travel gear for getting from NYC to Nashville.

Getting to Nashville is no easy feat — as it were, I had to catch a very early flight out of NYC, but that left me with nearly a full day in the Music City. How did I dress to go from the plane to my airBNB and beyond? Funny you should ask. I did my best at dressing to travel in style, while also keeping in mind the fact that I had to dress for a rock concert later — a tricky balance. For versatile layering and crisp style,  I threw on a classic navy Oxford from Mott and Bow, a recent introduction to the brand’s line. The classic Oxford shirt meshed well with my new Abercrombie and Fitch denim, built with stretch for comfort and finished in a slightly faded shade of black. On the footwear front, my Florsheim Forward Lo Sneakers in a handsome shade of brown leather offset the combo nicely — I’ve found these sneakers work quite well for concerts and travel alike, as I also wore them trekking to see The Killers in New Jersey earlier this year. Of course, I had to take along other handy everyday carry essentials, including the always-essential Bespoke Post Vibes Box, featuring my LSTN Sound Co. Fillmore Headphones.

And for a full day of exploring Nashville — including a post-flight stop at the famed (and aptly named) Mas Tacos Por Favor — these sneakers proved similarly stylish. With striking yet subtly stylish design and durable construction, my Electric California Carroway Leather Watch worked for day-to-night style. Of course, I prepped for the show by plugging into my reliable Bespoke Post Vibes Box, featuring the eye-catching LSTN Sound Co. Fillmore Headphones. So, that was the gear I brought with me — and it helped me navigate Nashville stylishly and effectively. For what it’s worth, if you’ve got your own Nashville trip coming up, I can’t recommend the crisply designed, jam-packed Nashville Field Guide from Wildsam, full of interesting tidbits and useful information on hidden gems throughout the city.

Hanging out at the well-appointed imogene + willie on a lovely Nashville Friday. My Florsheim Forward Lo Lace-up Sneakers and Abercrombie & Fitch denim were perfect for getting around!

Nashville really is a city packed with something for everyone — it’s revered for its vibrant music scene, and it’s also full of craftsmen and women who put serious care into everything from excellent food to craft beer; my Wildsam Field Guide helped me figure that out in a hurry. With rugged dark denim, workwear-inspired basics and plenty of attention to detail throughout, imogene + willie is a terrific Nashville example of simple goods made very well — and the handsomely appointed storefront is a joy to explore in its own right.  And equally important — it’s close by to 12 South Taproom, a down-home bar with a great selection of tasty, refreshing beer. Speaking of craft beer: Hops and Crafts also stood out for its mix of industrial style and premium craft brews, plus gourmet bites. In short, it was a worthwhile pre-show stop!

Even with a full day exploring Nashville in the rearview mirror, I still had an amazing Friday night ahead. With its prime riverfront location and excellent sight lines, Ascend Amphitheater proved a stellar venue for a night of live music — it’s certainly not as revered as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, but it was still a treat to see three excellent bands throughout the night. Cold War Kids have long been a favorite, and I had the chance to see them debut their rollicking new album, “Love Is Mystical,” earlier this year in Brooklyn. It was absolutely a treat to see them play a longer show — recent classics like the joyous “Miracle Mile” mesh nicely with fresh hits like the album’s title track and of course, throwback cuts off 2006’s still-excellent “Robbers and Cowards.” They’re a band that’s worth seeing just for that album alone, and they certainly made their mark opening for Young the Giant (alongside Rochester, New York-based five-piece Joywave).

I had seen Young the Giant in New Haven earlier this year, and the band’s packed setlist proved alluring enough to see them again. Recent jams like “Silvertongue” and “Amerika” brought an energetic crowd to their feet just as easily as huge indie radio hits like “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” — powerful tracks like  “Something to Believe In,” off last year’s “Home of the Strange” also helped set the tone early. This is a band with swagger, confidence and cool, eclectic style — in large part thanks to lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s voice and sharp fashion sense. Young the Giant has been on the road for a while in support of this albun, so they also sounded tight and crisp — a great band to watch in a big live setting, complete with a cold beer or two. That’s perhaps the best way to start a trip — at least, I think so. And the best part? My weekend trip gave me the chance to explore even more of the city Again, if you want to cover a ton of ground quickly and effectively, I’d urge you to pick up the Wildsam Nashville Field Guide.

The best gear for getting around Nashville in style — don’t you agree? The Wildsam Field Guide helped me see the city in style, too!

I always relish the chance to dress in casual weekend style — that’s where my Grayers Montreaux Windbreaker continues to come in handy.  From taking in live music at NYC’s Panorama 2017 to traveling to Chicago last month, this jacket can do it all — so it proved a crisp, classic layer atop my DSTLD Midnight Blue Denim Shirt, done up in a deep midnight blue and crafted from breathable cotton. Fall calls for a transition to more earthen, faded colors in terms of trousers, too. A new pair of tailored Original Penguin Bedford Cord 5-Pocket Pants offered go-anywhere style that helped me bounce from a crucial weekend kickstarter — coffee at the fantastic, industrially appointed CREMA — to a stop at rocker Jack White’s revered Third Man Records outpost. Of course, I kept on time through each stop with an old favorite, the durable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono — truly, the Timex Waterbury collection is perfect if you want a rugged watch fit for travel and exploration. If your next trip calls for lots of time spent on your feet, reach for versatile trousers in a fall-ready shade, then finish off your look with a pair of comfortable-yet-rugged boots, like Florsheim’s  125th Anniversary Wingtip Boots as seen above. 


My Saturday wasn’t done yet, though. Now that we’re into fall, I absolutely had to see my beloved Michigan State Spartans kick off another football Saturday — even away from my home base of Brooklyn, Nashville features quite a few loyal Spartan fans. Bar Louie in the Gulch offers everything you could want when it comes to taking in a game, from a fun crowd to delicious craft beer to monstrously good burgers like the Spiked Bulleit Bourbon Burger. Spartan fan or not, it’s tough to pass up a finely crafted beer and a good burger, right? That’s also where Pinewood Social came into play later on in the night. The cavernous location is a handsomely appointed cocktail bar/gourmet restaurant/work space/game center complete with a bowling alley and an outdoor pool — ideal for taking in the sights and sounds of Nashville after an MSU game. What more could you want on a Saturday night on the road? Not too much, folks.

Rugged picks for a Nashville Sunday, including new slim light wash denim from DSTLD, a rugged leather belt from Saddleback Leather and a handy dopp kit for travel, also from Saddleback Leather.

Sunday brought my Nashville trip to a close, but not before plenty of exploration in and around the city itself. Before leaving town, I absolutely knew I had to stop at a classic spot in the city — that’d be Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish.  I turned my attention toward menswear next; that meant a stop at a favorite outpost, Billy Reid. With shops from Chicago to Charleston, Mr. Reid’s handsome, premium menswear embodies cool, versatile and breezy Southern style with a modern look and feel. As it were, that’s what I tried to do when it came to my Sunday travel style. Even casual outfits should start with classic footwear — my all-new CLAE Gregory Mid Sneakers featured a neat monochromatic color scheme and plenty of all-day comfort. They were an easygoing complement to my DSTLD Slim Light Wash Jeans even though we’re getting into fall, there’s still plenty of time to break out your favorite slim light wash jeans, preferably alongside stylish sneakers and rugged accessories — my Saddleback Leather 4-Stitch Leather Belt was a key piece throughout the weekend and should break in quite nicely. Other essentials were in the mix, too — a stylish chambray shirt from JackThreads layered easily over a rugged short-sleeve henley from Abercrombie & Fitch. It was, unfortunately, time to head to the airport all too soon — I’m glad I dressed in comfort, though! When you’ve got a long flight ahead of you but still want to look great, reach for a classic pair of high-top leather sneakers — like the CLAE Gregory Mid seen above. 

If you’re heading to Nashville soon, well, I just can’t recommend the city enough. It’s packed with hidden gems, neat breweries, cool menswear, a terrific music scene and of course, something for every culinary taste. From live music to menswear to a dash of college football, this past weekend had it all — I’m thankful my Wildsam Nashville Field Guide helped me go off the beaten path a bit, too. It was a great trip to kick off what should be a great fall season — and as always, you can follow along with my travels here on the blog or on Instagram.  Let me know — are you hitting the road soon? Where are you headed?

Until the next trip — thanks for reading!

-Beau

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Heading north: A weekend in Upstate New York

Editor’s note: To check out more northeast travel style, click here.

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The right gear for a rugged fall day. Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket by Johnston & Murphy. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie and Fitch. Slim-Fit Tapered Leg X-Series Denim by Dickies. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. North Fork Leather Fedora by Goorin Brothers. Glasses by Frameri.

If you’ve been following along with us at The Style Guide in this grand fall #menswear adventure, you know that I love to travel. It seems that theme has come up quite a bit, but there’s something about certain times of year — especially fall — that I associate with great vistas and great travel. Be it heading northeast to Providence to see an all-time favorite band (that would be Local Natives) to stopping through my home state of Michigan last month, this season has been a terrific time to hit the road with my favorite menswear gear in tow.  And in the case of this past weekend, that took me to the lovely upstate town of Hudson — it came highly recommended to me via my good friend & fellow blogger Alex Luckey, and seeing as I’m never one to pass up a chance to get out of the city and relax, I had to do it. How does one travel in style from NYC to a quiet town of about 7,000? I set out to do just that.

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More fall exploration around the rustic outskirts of Hudson. Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket by Johnston & Murphy. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie and Fitch. Slim-Fit Tapered Leg X-Series Denim by Dickies. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Tweed Ripley Cap by Kangol. Glasses by Frameri.

Now, I had traveled upstate on a Memorial Day trip earlier this summer, but Hudson presented its own set of challenges. It was a chilly Friday morning in New York City, and chillier upstate.  I knew my Johnston & Murphy Faux Shearling Aviator would more than stand up to a crisp fall breeze — and it did so while providing great value. The fit is relatively slim, but I had more than enough room to comfortably layer my rugged Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt and a trusty long-sleeve henley underneath. The multi-layered combo was perfect for the lovely autumn weather and the quaint, cultured small town of Hudson. For a denim option fit for both NYC and upstate, I grabbed my Dickies X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg 5-Pocket Pant — it’s a comfortable, well-fitting and affordable pair of ringpsun cotton pants with a hint of stretch. I topped the look off with the seasonally appropriate Kangol Tweed Ripley Cap and a pair of seriously tough CAT Footwear Sutter Boots — talk about mixing function and fashion. Of course, I also couldn’t resist the urge to break out a sharp, vintage-inspired North Fork Leather Fedora from Goorin Brothers — it’s a beautiful hat that I picked it up at the brand’s terrific West Village shop at a neat event hosted with Courvoisier Cognac. Now, a wide-brimmed leather fedora might not be for everyone, but it might very well move into my rotation soon. In short, the combination was perfect for a day exploring Hudson. The next time you find yourself moving quickly from one spot to the other, an easy-to-wear leather jacket, layers to combat the cold and tough leather boots are key.

Now, what exactly is there to do in a small upstate town? Actually, a heck of a lot. Hudson has quickly developed a reputation as a burgeoning enclave for outstanding arts and culture — the small town plays host to well over a dozen art galleries that display a mix of modern, contemporary pieces and local works. On top of that, there’s a vibrant music and film scene, starting with the reclaimed industrial Basilica Hudson complex, as seen above — the space hosts both experimental music performances and weekly film screenings. Plus, there’s a treasure trove of vintage, vintage-inspired and reclaimed clothing — particularly at Artists and Revolutionaries, seen at the top of this post.  And as the city’s cultural scene has grown, a really excellent gourmet food scene has sprung up — that was evident on my first stop of the trip. A quick caffeine jolt was crucial at Rev Coffee, known for its well-curated approach to roasting and pastries. The town’s proximity to the gorgeous Hudson River waterfront is also prime — the scenery and fresh air was much needed coming from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Make no mistake, once you amble away from the water, there are still plenty of places to explore. Part lodge, part bar, part shop and full of rustic, rugged vibes. W.M. Farmer & Sons was nearly worth the trip in and of itself. This stunning outpost serves up home goods, lifestyle wares and a heck of a meal — along with an accompanying hotel. Even in Brooklyn, there’s really nothing like it — and that’s mighty refreshing. With a coffee bar that’s open daily and a strong selection of craft beer and cocktails — including a tasty bourbon-and-cider concoction known as the Bear Trap — you could certainly kill a few hours hanging out in this beautiful space. Yes, with my aviator jacket, tweed cap and rugged Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, I felt like I fit right in with the location’s old-time charm. Oh, and I’d highly recommend the the Cast Iron Bar Burger if you’re feeling hungry. A delicious gourmet meal definitely called for a nightcap at the neat, eclectic and pleasingly minimal OR Gallery and Tavern, an Iceland-inspired, converted auto garage that serves as a bar, gallery and accessories shop. Their refreshing selection of craft beer was topped only by the night’s festivities — a neat, intimate performance from Nico Turner of long-running, eclectic rock outfit Cat Power. Again, the ambiance was entirely unique for an upstate trip — and my daytime gear took me right on through to a chilly night in style.

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Enjoying a coffee in the crisp fall air outside the OR Gallery and Tavern. Waxed Cotton Field Jacket by Johnston & Murphy. Striker Sweater by Johnnie-O. White Oxford by Todd Snyder. Kinzie Denim by Mugsy Jeans. Plaid scarf by Ties.com Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri. Cognac Suede Wingtips by Thursday Boots.

Even with an active Friday in the books, Saturday called for more exploration yet. Even for a smaller town, Hudson is filled with neat sights around every corner — and when you start the day off with a stop at MOTO Coffee/Machine, you’re sure to fuel up the right way (trust me …. I love my coffee).  And luckily, my gear was more than up to the fall weather. I took on a chilly morning with my Johnston & Murphy Waxed Cotton Field Jacket, a heritage-inspired piece with plenty of durability. It layered easily over a slim, soft and comfortable Striker Sweater from the fine prep clothiers at Johnnie-O — don’t sleep on the quality of the brand’s knitwear, as it’s undoubtedly worth the investment. My Ties.com Syracuse Fringed Scarf helped me fight the afternoon breeze, too. And the mix of sporty and heritage gear was offset nicely by a versatile Todd Shelton White Oxford. I finished off the look with a pair of Kinzie Jeans from Mugsy Jeans — they’re cut with room to move,  perfect for exploring a hip town in style. They offered a casual contrast alongside my tough, durable Cognac Suede Wingtips from the fine folks at Thursday Boots — they’re a brand-new offering for the company, and they’re worth the purchase. The combination was nicely offset again by my reliable, handsome Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono.

Beckett Simonon

As the day presented with it plenty of exploration, I was more than happy to have trusty gear with me for the ride. From a rich coffee to gallery strolling and menswear shopping at the immensely well-curated Mutiny NY, I was more than happy to have the chance to visit such a neat, diverse and thoughtful town on a beautiful fall Saturday. Mutiny NY in particular represented some of the best menswear shopping on the Hudson — we’re talking brands from The Hill-Side to Universal Works. Topping the day off with an excellent mackerel dish at the rustic-yet-refined Fish & Game proved a neat capper to an overnight trip that felt longer, yet moved too quick — isn’t that always the way it goes?

Of course, there’s also nothing quite like heading right back into the city and zipping downtown to a buzzed-about concert, right? Mysterious, ethereal Brooklyn-based trio Wet  — past openers for personal favorite CHVRCHES — put on what one can only describe as a vibey, groovy show to rival Beach House. That they filled up the sometimes-cavernous Grand Ballroom at Webster Hall is to be applauded — and it was certainly worth the quick turnaround from train station to concert! Crucially, my tough waxed field jacket and durable suede wingtip boots more than fit in with the eclectic style found at a rock conert. Talk about a heck of an end to a great day, and a great trip!

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A casual-yet-premium Johnnie-O wool overshirt, sport-inspired CLAE x JackThreads sneakers and tapered FOURLAPS sweatpants — the perfect set of Sunday pieces, finished off with a Club Monaco cashmere hat and the Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono.

As with any whirlwind trip, Sunday brought with it the need for some much-needed relaxation time. Luckily, I found my Sunday gear to be on-point all the way through. The team at FOURLAPS makes athletic basics that merge comfort with simple style, and its Rush Joggers are a prime example — perfect for a casual day around Brooklyn, in fact. I paired those up with more easygoing style, starting with the Johnnie-O Pines Shacket, a well-made, soft wool shirt-jacket made from an incredibly soft fabric blend. It matched easily with my Flint and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley, the perfect seasonal layering piece. To complement a look that was equal parts sporty and stylish, I stuck with my CLAE x JackThreads Strayhorn Mid Sneakers — the grey wool provided a touch of fall-ready textured, and the neat chukka silhouette offered some nice contrast to my tapered sweats. Now, am I saying you should step out for Sunday brunch in sweatpants? Not necessarily. But when the occasion calls for some relaxation and delicious coffee at the likes of Willamsburg shop Homecoming, it’s probably OK.

As with plenty of recent weekend travels, this past weekend brought with it some of my favorite things — a bit of fall travel to an amazing upstate town, a ton of stylish menswear, some delicious gourmet food and a requisite helping of live music. To top it all off with a relaxing Sunday and some Williamsburg exploration was really great — with so many opportunities nearby and just down the road, I’m very thankful to live in New York City. Let’s not forget everyone who reads this blog — thank you! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I think that’s as fitting a way as possible heading into Thanksgiving. Curious as to what you should wear? Stick around later this week for a Thanksgiving style suggestion.

Oh, and in the meantime? Stay stylish!

-Beau

Huckberry