The Friday Read: Kicking off 2020, A New Buck Mason Jacket & the Best Corduroy Pants

Nothing but the very best leather jacket to wear to start 2020.

Ahh, yes — another Friday, another new edition of The Friday Read, and crucially, another opportunity to keep 2020 rolling in style. First things first: We’ve talked previously about Buck Mason on the blog, and how this venerable brand produces some of the best men’s jackets and other must-haves, and that’s no different when it comes to the investment-worthy leather jacket you see at the top of the page. It’s one of the best leather jackets you can buy, and it’s an ideal way to kick off the first weekend of 2020. How was your (hopefully) shortened week? I spent mine with two days of work at my day job working on social media and influencer programming, and then, I closed out 2019 in the very best way possible — seeing legendary NYC rock band The Strokes play at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn!

Talk about an action-packed, hit-filled night with nothing but all-time classics on loop. It was an incredible way to close out the year and the decade — I’m seriously looking forward to 2020, as I’ve got some big plans for the blog, including ongoing freelance writing pursuits and of course, my ever-growing Instagram (I kid, I kid!). Hopefully, you’ll find some of the best men’s style tips to jumpstart your 2020 — as always, the focus will be on affordability, quality construction, classic design, and yes, a bit of fun and maybe a splurge or two along the way (start with my series The List to kick things off with the best new men’s gear, will ya?). And for the rest of you: If you’ve resolved to kick off your new year in style — and really, who among us hasn’t? — then you’re going to like today’s take on The Friday Read. For now though, I’ve got some coffee to enjoy and some beer to imbibe later this weekend (chiefly, at at the new Brooklyn location of Hudson Valley-based Svendale Brewing). OK, that’s all from me for now. Let’s get to it!

  • Finding the right gear to amp up your style during winter can be a bit of a challenge — but if you start with the classics, like some of the best corduroy pants for men as covered by yours truly at The Manual — I think you’re going to like the end result.¬† You can also read more right here on the blog when it comes to the best men’s corduroy pants, too.
  • Starting off a new year is about more than just upgrading what you’re wearing — it’s also about amplifying your men’s grooming essentials, and as you’ve read on the blog, you know that Duke Cannon can help you do that. Specifically, I’m talking about the Duke Cannon Proper Cologne, one of the best men’s colognes you’re apt to find.
  • Let’s keep talking new men’s gear, shall we? With improving your everyday carry top of mind to start 2020 (both in matters of style and functionality), I wrote about a trio of EDC essentials to get you where you’re going without missing a beat — head to GearMoose to check out the full post.

Alright, that’s going to bring an end to the first edition of The Friday Read to start this year. Before you go, though¬† — I think you’d do well to check out my simple, easy, effective guide to wearing your new favorite winter sweater. Hint: It’s a classic cashmere sweater from Mott and Bow, and it’s teamed with sharp wingtip boots and plenty more men’s style essentials. I’ll leave you to it, then — happy shopping, and happy 2020!

The Friday Read: The Best New Leather Jacket, Taylor Stitch Ranch Boots & The Pinstripe Bowl

This classic leather jacket is going to add a ton to your menswear rotation.

Let’s jump into things right off the bat, shall we? The headline mentions above that we’ll talk about the best leather jacket for the season, and in fact, it’s the incredible Buck Mason Bruiser Leather Bomber Jacket as shown above. Especially with New Year’s Eve on the horizon — and particularly if you enjoy going to a rock concert or two — you need one of the best leather jackets you can buy. It’s an apt layer with your favorite henley this winter (trust me). So, we’ve closed out Christmas and are looking toward the end of 2020 — how wild is that?? I hope you’re gearing up for a relaxing weekend with family and friends, or a more adventurous time on the road — either way, today’s Friday Read is going to get you sorted out in short order. I also hope you got something on your Christmas wish list — I know I certainly did, and I loved spending a relaxing week in Florida with family, celebrating in the fun and the sun (as seen on my Instagram).

Shop Western Rise Now
This weekend though, I’m back in New York and excited despite the cold — in addition to a laidback weekend in Brooklyn, I’m venturing into Manhattan today for a very unique reason. Notably, my alma mater, my beloved Michigan State Spartans, are playing in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium to close out this season! It’s going to be a bitterly cold affar (as any college football game at Yankee Stadium should be), but I’m still beyond excited to see my Spartans right here in NYC. Before the game, I’d say a pint or two will be in order at this weekend’s MSU hub, Stan’s Sports Bar. The rest of the weekend, I’ll be getting out and about in Prospect Park (likely wearing some of my favorite boots and a tough waxed trucker jacket) — how about you? Let me know on Twitter, and let’s keep things rolling along in fine form with the rest of today’s Friday Read — cheers!

  • The good folks at Taylor Stitch always impress me in terms of their commitment to uncompromising quality and style — that’s the case with the brand’s latest take on the remarkable Taylor Stitch Ranch Boots, an extraordinary pair of rugged Chelsea boots that are worth the money. Read more for yourself via my latest at GearMoose.
  • If you’re on the hunt for the unexpected when it comes to the best winter style essentials, have I got a brand for you. Notably, the California-based, surf-inspired and darn-near-legendary team at Birdwell Beach Britches recently debuted a standout winter collection, featuring offerings that range from an expertly washed crewneck sweatshirt to a classic corduroy overshirt. I took a deep dive into the brand for The Manual — prepare to layer up in style!
  • Let’s go back one more time to GearMoose and one of the best winter jackets, as covered by yours truly (naturally). The Barbour Icons Beaufort Jacket is tough, rugged and utterly dependable, even in the worst weather — get the full scoop here.

Alright, my friends — that’ll wrap up today’s take on the best men’s style news and recommendations. However, I do indeed have one more recommendation before you go — this American-made winter jacket from Flint and Tinder is remarkably rugged, well-designed and ready to layer with anything you can dream up (including, preferably, a Birdwell Beach Britches crewneck sweater). Read all about it, try it out, then let me know in the comments how it works out. Thanks for reading!

Style Suggestion: What to Wear to Your Next Bar Crawl

It’s time to rethink what you thought you knew about how to wear a leather jacket. More specifically, it’s time to get acquainted — or re-acquainted — with the stunning, stylish Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket. We’ve talked about the Moto Jacket¬†as recently as this past spring, and it’s back again. Plus, it’s the perfect rugged-yet-edgy jacket to wear to your next bar crawl. Available for pre-funding via Taylor Stitch for a limited time only, it might just be the best leather jacket on the market today, what with an excellent fit, quality construction and old-school styling details. And all of those come together in one stylish package, resulting in a leather jacket that you can — and should — wear on a winter bar crawl (or really, whenever you feel like it). The keys here are much the same as with other men’s style essentials. We’re taking pieces that can quickly turn sloppy, and turning everything into an edgy, crisp and cool #menswear ensemble that’s going to outshine your drinking buddies (but only a bit!). It’s all about keeping it casual and versatile, and the¬†Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket¬†is the best place to start in that regard. Sound like a plan? Good stuff.

The Leather Jacket:¬†Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket in Black Steerhide — $875

It doesn’t get better than this stylish, essential leather jacket from Taylor Stitch.

Ahh yes, the holy grail — the classic leather jacket we’ve been talking about. Truly, the Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket, especially in an edgy black steerhide leather, is a thing of beauty. Certainly, it’s gotta be one of the best leather jackets for men, yes? Featuring durable hardware and understated-yet-stylish details like zig-zag collar stitching, this is the perfect jacket to throw on to head to your local watering hole. It looks great, it’s understated (but striking), and it’s easy to layer at the same. The Moto Jacket is, again, a home run.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch Oxnard Shirt in Sun-Bleached Chambray — $98 (On-Sale)

A classic, rugged chambray shirt that’ll carry you through Saturday night.

Rather than resorting to an old college tee, layer up with a uniquely stylish chambray shirt — yet another menswear essential that Taylor Stitch does very well. The Oxnard Shirt in particular has a lot going for it, from the use of Japanese selvage chambray to the pleasantly lived-in wash. Think of it as a significant style upgrade that’ll provide warmth from the chill, while adding a bit of casual contrast to the edgy¬†Moto Jacket.

The Henley:¬†Flint and Tinder Heavyweight Henley in Natural — $62

A durable, tough henley for a tough ensemble.

What’s better, or cooler, to wear to a bar crawl than a classic, rugged men’s henley? There’s really not much that’s going to look better when layered up with a stylish chambray shirt than a classic henley — especially the Flint and Tinder number seen here. And because we’re going for durability, warmth and serious style, the Flint and Tinder Heavyweight Henley in Natural is going to be the way to go. It’s a nice value for the price, too. Edgy, classic and cool.

The Denim: Taylor Stitch Slim Jean in Cone Mills Standard — $98

A classic pair of blue denim for a classic night out — right?

Slim, well-made and classic blue denim is a men’s style staple that guys have been wearing to the bar — and heck, everywhere — for years upon years. So, when it comes time to dress for your next bar crawl, there’s no need to reinvent the well. The Taylor Stitch Slim Jeans are perhaps some of the best men’s denim out there, made with quality Cone Mills denim and featuring the type of design that only gets better with time.

The Boots:¬†Hudson Shoes Aldford Suede Boots in Olive — $220

Sleek, edgy boots to complete this look.

A fall or winter bar crawl calls for footwear that’s more rugged and durable than your favorite pair of summer sneakers. That’s where the Hudson Shoes Aldford Suede Boots come into play. They’re a seriously stylish, well-made pair of durable men’s boots, and they feature a bit of sleek style. The Aldford Suede Boots are absolutely more hard-wearing than canvas sneakers, making ’em perfect for a cold-weather bar crawl. And you’re not dropping a grand on the Aldford Boots — they’ll probably look even better with a few battle scars.

The Watch:¬†Techne Merlin Watch — $168

A simple, understated and stylish watch.

¬†When you’re wearing style staples like a badass leather jacket and a¬†stylish chambray shirt, your watch doesn’t need to be an insanely ostentatious, eye-catching timepiece. In fact, the perfect casual men’s watch to buy (and wear) for your next bar crawl might be a crisp, classic and tough watch like the Techne Merlin Watch. The grey NATO strap on the Merlin Watch is durable and neutral, and the price allows you to beat this watch up without fear of it dying on you. Ya dig?

The Belt: Sturdy Brothers Everyday Belt in Black — $80¬†

Don’t forget your everyday belt from Sturdy Brothers.

We always talk about the importance of stylish everyday accessories, right? And the Everyday Belt is, well, one of those stylish everyday accessories. Well-crafted, durable and built to age the more you wear it, the Sturdy Brothers Everyday Belt is a surprisingly rugged piece that’s just better than the belt you might be wearing now.¬† And you needn’t worry about it breaking or giving way during your hours-long bar crawl — that’s all you can ask for.

The Socks:¬†Anonymousism Boucle Mix Socks in Olive — $18

Comfortable socks that also happen to be stylish? For sure.

Hours spent on your feet at fall and winter bar crawls call for stylish men’s socks that can take a beating while keeping your feet comfortable. That’s absolutely where Anonymousim helps you out — the brand’s Boucle Mix Socks combine an understated, seasonally appropriate color with quality fabric and a great fit. For $18, they’re an investment that’ll pay off time and again, bar after bar.

The Everyday Carry Essential:¬†Taylor Stitch Keyhook in Raw Brass — $32

The best way to ensure you hang on to your keys — no driving, though!

Seeing as you’ll be out and about for quite a few hours, you best prepare accordingly when it comes to everyday carry essentials, right? And for keeping your keys handy, something that’s TRULY critical when knocking back your favorite beer, the durable Taylor Stitch Keyhook is the piece you’ll be glad you bought. One thing though — don’t drink and drive. Heck, don’t drink and bike. Either way, the Taylor Stitch Keyhook is going to help you hang onto your house keys (and avoid that late-night locksmith call).

The Slim Wallet:¬†Red Wing Heritage Card Holder Wallet — $74.99

A well-crafted card holder to keep your, well, cards handy during a bar crawl.

For hours out on the town, you need a durable, slim and understated wallet that slides easily in and out of your jacket or jeans pocket with no hassle — right? The Red Wing Heritage Card Holder features authentic Red Wing shoe leather, a slim profile and the space to carry your essential cards (20 on each side, to be exact). That’s a ton of bang for your buck. And considering that a slim leather wallet is just as much of an everyday carry essential as a durable keyhook, I’d recommend you pick this one up before you start knocking ’em back.

The Beanie:¬†Upstate Stock Melange Rag Wool Beanie — $32

Last but not least, don’t step out without properly protecting yourself from the chill. And no, a “beer jacket” won’t cut it this time. No sir, the understated — yet ultra-warm — Upstate Stock Melange Rag Wool Beanie is the one accessory you certainly need this fall and winter. Made in New York with a wool-nylon blend for functionality and comfort, the Melange Rag Wool Beanie is a warm way to top off this rugged style ensemble. Cheers!

OK, well that’s all we’ve got today in terms of this style suggestion. The¬†Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket is a remarkably durable and well-crafted jacket that’s going to stand out in the best way possible in a sea of fellas at the bar.¬† When teamed up with a¬†stylish chambray shirt and other cold-weather style essentials — the¬†Flint and Tinder Heavyweight Henley in Natural among them — your top half is set when it comes to edgy (and warm!) style. And accessories like the¬†Hudson Shoes Aldford Suede Boots and the¬†Techne Merlin Watch are going to add durability and understated, classic style that’s fit for a night out. When you accessorize with pieces like the¬†Upstate Stock Melange Rag Wool Beanie and heck, even socks like the¬†Boucle Mix Socks, you’re going to stay warm and toasty no matter how many bars you hit. Oh, and before you hit the bars, stow your cards in the durable¬†Red Wing Heritage Card Holder and keep your keys safe with the Taylor Stitch Keyhook. The only thing that’s left to do now? Plot your bar crawl, save up some extra coins, and prepare to head out. Put one on my tab, right? Right.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

What to Wear Today: A Fall-Ready Leather Jacket

Editor’s note: For other What To Wear Today features, head here.

A sold-out style via Taylor Stitch that gets a lot of the details right when it comes to the perfect leather jacket.

A sold-out style via Taylor Stitch that gets a lot of the details right when it comes to the perfect leather jacket.

While we talked fairly recently on The Style Guide about how to transition your style into fall, there’s one key move that can really help you up your fall style game. In addition to looking for items that incorporate more texture into an outfit — like a thicker watch strap or some roughout leather boots — there’s one piece that adds instant style cred to any ensemble. I touched on the importance of a great fall jacket pretty recently, and when you reach for leather outerwear, it’s a gamechanger. There’s a whole host of styles within that leather jacket family that you can reach for, from shearling coats to more classic racer styles, but one thing’s for sure — a leather jacket is no ordinary piece of outerwear. If you do fancy a substantially deeper dive, head on over to my buddy Barron’s Web site Effortless Gent for a fantastic primer on what sets certain leather jackets apart from the rest; know that for now, it’s a piece that’s dressier than a denim jacket, cooler than a blazer and just as ready for tailored gear as casual wear.

A modern update to a classic style via J. Crew. That's exactly how your leather jacket should fit.

A modern update to a classic style via J. Crew. That’s exactly how your leather jacket should fit.

While some might associate leather jackets with poorly fitting versions of old, a great leather jacket nowadays is cut slim and trim, like your aforementioned favorite blazer. While the style shown at the top from Taylor Stitch has unfortunately been pre-funded and isn’t up for sale, it does a nice job of capturing what you want in your leather jacket. It doesn’t feature too many bells and whistles, unlike some styles. While black leather jackets favored by rock stars and the like can actually be pretty cool, it might not be the best pick to reach for if you want to wear a leather jacket in place of a blazer. No, the best leather jackets are slim, trim and clean-cut. The Wallace & Barnes MA-1 Jacket from J. Crew gets it right. It’s prohibitively expensive, to be sure, but it’s a classic silhouette that can be dressed up with some grey wool trousers or dressed down with dark denim and a henley. If you’re looking to closely replicate that style for far less, grab this number from H&M — but be warned, it’s probably not the highest quality. ASOS also stocks a plethora of leather jacket options, but some look pretty questionable as far as quality goes.

Ben Sherman US

Shearling is also having a moment right now when it comes to leather jackets — it’s another classic tough-guy style that’s gotten a modern update thanks to a slimmer silhouette (and a higher price tag). J. Crew again nails this style with this sherpa-collar number from Wallace & Barnes, yet the price of that one piece alone is enough to make most of us turn and run. And therein lies the difficulty if you decide to go the shearling route — there simply aren’t many cheap shearling options out there. It seems that wool-blend jackets with shearling accents represent a more affordable option (particularly this Golden Bear piece for Club Monaco), but that’s not really why we’re here, is it?

While not technically a leather jacket, this wool bomber from Frank & Oak gets the details right.

While not technically a leather jacket, this wool bomber from Frank & Oak gets the details right.

So be prepared to pay more if you throw on additional, pricier accents like shearling. Suede presents another take on the classic leather jacket — but like the J. Crew bomber as featured in my latest Effortless Gent piece, there aren’t exactly all that many cheap suede bomber options out there, either  (take, for example, this $1,800 Club Monaco jacket). And you know when James Bond steps out in a suede bomber, it’s a costly trend worth watching. Yet, the biggest key when searching for (and styling) a leather jacket still revolves around looking for a sustainable investment. For example, Frank & Oak, whose monthly Hunt Club crates are always a hit, produces what looks like to be a nice leather bomber  for about half of what J. Crew charges, although sizes are going very quickly. Some of its wool-and-leather varsity bombers (pictured above) made in partnership with Golden Bear also look to be a very solid bet.

And while a varsity bomber might not be the ideal leather jacket style, it can still be dressed up or down in the same way as a pricier leather piece. Contrasting pieces that add in cold-weather texture, like a knit tie or waffle henley, are going to stand up to the style just fine. The same goes for suede bombers, too.

Stick in the same color family when wearing an edgier moto jacket and you'll be just like Beckham. Well, maybe not just like him...

Stick in the same color family when wearing an edgier moto jacket and you’ll be just like Beckham. Well, maybe not just like him…

And if by some chance you do get your hands on a more classic leather jacket, any number of styling combinations are at your disposal. Try out a crisp moto jacket with  solid tee, a la Mr. Beckham, and consider yourself set for a night out on the town. Conversely, you can pair a classic Harrington-style leather jacket with a white Oxford and navy knit tie — that Club Monaco option is pricey, without a doubt, but you get the idea. Rocking a slightly edgier jacket in place of say, a more traditional fall coat is a style move that can really represent a big forward step — picking up a versatile piece of outerwear and being able to pair it with everything from casual to sharp combos is the mark of a good investment. If you shop right, you might end up looking like Mr. Beckham up there.

Do you own a leather jacket? How do you feel about this fall style move?