The Friday Read: The Best Men’s Turtlenecks, Last-Minute Holiday Shopping and the Best Men’s Cardigans

Red Wing Heritage

The best leather boots to buy right now? Maybe? You decide.

OK, let’s lace up your rugged leather boots and get to work. More specifically, let’s lace up the Red Wing Heritage 6-Inch Classic Moc Boots — timeless, ready for anything & ideal to wear with expertly faded denim for a casual Christmas. Now, then. We’ve really got no time to  waste today, what with Christmas on the horizon, so let’s get down to it. Every second really is precious in terms of shopping for the best men’s style essentials (for yourself and others, of course!), so hopefully, you’re getting that shopping wrapped up in fine fashion. And hopefully, you’ve figured out what to wear for Christmas. If not, and if you’re looking for something a little bit different? This post has you covered when it comes to some of the best men’s gear for everyone on your list. Looking for a gift to buy for her — maybe the perfect gift, at that? I’d suggest you pick up the Bespoke Post Refresh Box. Simply looking for an upgrade of your own — one of the classic peacoat variety, that is to say? We’ve got you covered there, too. As for me, I’m very much looking forward to heading to sunny Florida to spend the holiday with my family. On the agenda? Beaches, brewery visits and some holiday wrapping & gift-giving, naturally. To keep up with all the fun, you can follow me on Instagram. And if you’ve still got tons of gift-buying to do? Again, we’re here to help. So, without further ado, let’s check out today’s Friday Read — be my guest.

  • Although this article has a different byline, I swear I updated this post on the best men’s turtlenecks for The Manual, featuring some of my favorite picks for the season. The turtleneck is a unique way to up your sweater game, what with its air of tailored cool and dashing style — try wearing yours under a flannel suit for that weekend holiday shindig.
  • It’s time to bring this one back to your attention — that is, Faherty Brand makes one heck of a rugged cardigan for winter. So, read about one of the best men’s cardigans your money can buy, then shop accordingly.
  • Looking for an unbeatable parka for winter? One that’s going to get the job done no matter what you throw at it? You’re looking for the amazing Flint and Tinder Waxed Ridge Parka — lucky for you, I wrote about this fine piece, one of the best men’s parkas, for GearMoose. Cheers!

Now, that’s going to close the books on this Friday Read, one of the last of 2018 — can’t believe it! Thanks for being along for the ride this year — I’ll leave you with essential reading, this post on the best men’s leather boots to buy now. Hopefully, they come in handy this holiday season. Good luck out there!

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The Friday Read: Kinross Cashmere, Fall Layering and Daylight Savings Time

Hello again and welcome to the weekend, Style Guide readers. It’s time to wrap up the week in style with The Friday Read, your look at all the essential #menswear news to know … plus, a few other fun pieces.  Are you keeping up with our near-continual coverage of men’s fall style essentials? It’s certainly the right time to be on the lookout for wardrobe upgrades, from the best leather boots for fall to the right way to wear a vest this season. Yes indeed, fall in New York City calls to mind rugged menswear, but it also reminds me of my home in Michigan — seeing the colors change here in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park calls to mind beautiful strolls through the campus of my alma mater, Michigan State University. It’s not quite the same here out East, but it’s close enough. What’s on your fall weekend agenda? After a busy few weeks of traveling,  I’m excited to have a second straight weekend in Brooklyn — I’m planning on exploring the neighborhood of Red Hook, what with cool spots like vintage menswear haven Wooden Sleepers. In the meantime, you can expect a new Style Pick of the Week tomorrow — have a great weekend, folks!

  • Let’s talk stylish menswear — and a heck of a stylish giveaway — from a few brands we know and love, including perennial Style Guide favorites Grayers and SeaVees! The two brands are running a  whopping $2,500 menswear giveaway through Sunday, November 12th. What’s on tap? Oh, man. The SeaVees x Grayers Tailgate Givewaway features full outfits from Grayers, two pairs of SeaVees sneakers and of course, other tailgating gear (like a Yeti cooler). What have you got to lose? Enter the giveaway here — and check out my own personal tips on how to dress for your next tailgate, while we’re talking sports and style.
  • We’ve talked recently about the best men’s cardigans to buy now — ’tis the season, indeed. Well, get your credit card handy and add to your shopping list as soon as you can, because Kinross Cashmere is making one stylish handsome, refined cardigan to add to your list. That is to say, the brand’s entire line of cashmere and cashmere-blend sweaters is perfect … but I love the Contrast Double Rib Button Front Cardigan the best. Shop away!

  • As always, Esquire.com is here with more interesting writing for your reading pleasure. The site is digging into why Daylight Savings Time is … actually not all that beneficial. Huh. An interesting read, certainly,
  • Want to switch up your black tie look? Considerably, that is to say? Here, it’s covered — the Jack Sharp by Snoop Dogg X Collection by Michael Strahan Jacket is fun, holiday-friendly, affordable and … well, vouched for by Snopp Dogg. Super smooth, nicely tailored and just a bit tongue-in-cheek. A fun little holiday party move, ehh? (If you’re searching for even more guidance on the #menswear to wear to a holiday party, head here).

With that … let’s wrap this thing up! Have a great weekend, and be sure to follow along on my Instagram for complete coverage of all my Brooklyn weekend adventures (nudge, nudge).

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: Layer Up for Fall and Winter with the Best Men’s Cardigans

OK, so let’s talk fall and winter layering essentials — like the best men’s cardigans, ya dig? It’s a style essential that we return to time and again here on The Style Guide, with roots in vintage style now turned modern and, well, cool. The right cardigan features a fit that’s slim but not too tight, making it easy to layer with everything from a slim striped henley to an American-made Oxford shirt. Beloved by everyone from Steve McQueen to Daniel Craig, a classic cardigan is something every man needs in his wardrobe. And if you’re wary of buying one for fear that it’s too much of an “old man” style staple, put those thoughts aside — plenty of your favorite brand’s are included on this list of the best men’s cardigans, I guarantee it. From a sport-inspired cardigan like the Life/After/Denim Varsity Cardigan — as seen in this site’s See Now, Buy Now series — to a more easygoing number like the pleasingly rugged, versatile Grayers Avalon Shawl Cardigan — you’re absolutely guaranteed to find a piece that you like. Rock it on its own with a lightweight scarf or throw on a flannel-lined waxed trucker — that’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. Happy shopping, and be sure to check out my Instagram for plenty of real-life style moves.

#1. Life/After/Denim Varsity Cardigan in Heather Grey — $138

Life/After/Denim

A striped sleeve adds a pleasingly sport touch to this classic cardigan.

Told you this stylish retro cardigan from Life/After/Denim would be on the list, didn’t I? It’s understated in its design, with neat, sporty stripe detailing, a modern fit and a versatile color. Pair the Varsity Cardigan with your favorite pair of dark blue denim and classic leather chukka boots for style that can really go anywhere or throw it on over one of the best men’s T-shirts when you feel like stepping out in accessible-yet-casual style. The Life/After/Denim Varsity Cardigan is a bit pricey, but worth it.

#2. Levi’s Cardigan in Tall Grass — $395

An unexpectedly stylish, well-made and investment-level cardigan.

Whoa now, nearly $400 for a cardigan? Well, folks … let me tell you why. Levi’s does far more than make classic men’s denim like the Levi’s 505C Jeans — they also make rugged, great-looking men’s apparel and accessories. The Levi’s Cardigan is among those, made with 100 percent shetland wool in a rich color that wouldn’t look out of place with navy corduroys and classic suede chukka boots. Again, the Levi’s Cardigan is an unexpected investment piece.

#3. Grayers Avalon Shawl Cardigan — $135

A cozy, comfortable-yet-versatile cardigan from Grayers.

Grayers simply doesn’t mess around when it comes to cool, casual menswear with a bit of a classic tilt. The Avalon Shawl Cardigan is one such piece that’s as easy to wear as your favorite hooded sweater — over a garment-washed pocket tee and faded blue denim, for instance. And if you feel like going slightly sharper with this classic cardigan? Slim tan chinos, stylish men’s dress shoes and a classic Oxford shirt ought to do the trick. Get you a cardigan that can do both — like the Grayers Avalon Shawl Cardigan.

#4. Life/After Denim Collegiate Cardigan in Blue Blood — $138

A simple, understated, throwback-inspired cardigan made for casual, crisp fall weekends.

Another uniquely stylish cardigan from Life/After/Denim? Why yes, yes indeed. The Collegiate Cardigan again harnesses that neat blend of throwback style and modern cool — the navy color would look excellent with everything from black denim to tan herringbone trousers.  And when it comes time to dress in casual weekend style? You can certainly throw the Life/After/Denim Collegiate Cardigan on with slim sweatpants and corduroy sneakers (among other men’s style essentials, of course).

#5.  Original Penguin Shawl Collar Donegal Cardigan — $125

A no-frills, no-fuss cardigan that’s perfect for everyday wear.

Original Penguin gets it right when it comes to a classic, crisp cardigan that certainly leans a bit dressier — yet no less versatile — compared to the rest of the picks on this list. The crisp Charcoal Heather color would look right at home with burgundy corduroys and classic suede boots, and it’s also going to pair up nicely with a striped henley and your favorite pair of broken-in blue denim. Can you dig it? I sure can.

We’re keeping it a bit shorter than usual today when it comes to this list of men’s style essentials — which of the above cardigans was your favorite. My money’s on the Life/After/Denim Varsity Cardigan for its combination of casual weekend wearability, sport-inspired style and serious warmth. And the Original Penguin Shawl Collar Cardigan is similarly warm and stylish — layer it with a classic henley and find out for yourself. Let’s not forget the seriously premium Levi’s Cardigan in a cool deep green color; it’s the perfect pairing when teamed with slim faded denim, rugged tan leather boots and a crisp white Oxford shirt. Before I forget, the Life/After/Denim Collegiate Cardigan shouldn’t be slept on, either — whether you wear it with slim sweatpants and classic fall sneakers or with brown herringbone trousers and your new favorite chambray shirt, the Collegiate Cardigan could become a weekly go-to. And if it’s casual, versatile and laidback style you want, pick up the Grayers Avalon Shawl Cardigan — again, it’s every bit as comfortable as your favorite hoodie. Alright, all set? Let’s get shopping!

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

#OOTD: The New Way to Wear a Cardigan 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.

OK, folks — back at it with another handy, helpful #OOTD entry today on The Style Guide.  As we deal with a strangely up-and-down winter — at least in my neck of the woods — perhaps you’re wondering about ways you can maximize your layering skills and versatility with staples you’ve already got. You know, like your favorite cold-weather cardigan or a trusty pair of classic dark blue denim.  That’s the starting point for our latest #OOTD — it’s taking crisp, casual pieces and shaking them up just a little bit (as you’ll see between the shirting and denim combination). It’s a good way to make your wardrobe work for you and last longer, without feeling like you’re in a style rut (wearing the same thing over and over … and over again). Plus, you’ll recognize a few picks — like the Grayers Montana Waxed and Quilted Parka — from past #menswear entries on this site. So with all that being said … check out the goods below and follow along for real-time men’s style looks via Instagram.

Shaking up the typical cardigan combo just enough to make it interesting this winter.

Shaking up the typical cardigan combo just enough to make it interesting this winter.

The Cardigan: J. Crew Merino Wool Cardigan Sweater, $89.50 — Perhaps this very cardigan is one you’ve already got in your closet? Tailored and made from great fabric, it’s refined enough to dress down — if that makes sense.

The Shirt: Abercrombie and Fitch Two-Pocket Chambray Shirt, $68 — Yes, you can definitely take that light chambray shirt and make it work for you in winter. Trust me.

The Parka: Grayers Montana Waxed and Quilted Parka, $140.98 — You can pick up a versatile, tough parka and use it as a prime outer layer all season long — the Montana Waxed and Quilted Parka is the one to buy.

The Denim: Nudie Jeans Grim Tim Jeans in Bay Blue, $136.98 — One of the prime ways we’re mixing up this outfit? Injecting some casual, faded denim in the mix — they stand out just enough from the chambray shirt, and they’re offset nicely by the grey cardigan.
Huckberry

The Boots: Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot, $149.98 — Reliable leather chukka boots are absolutely the way to go in nearly any style situation — especially a casual one. Luckily, the Emilio Chukka Boot does it all.

The Belt: J. Crew Classic Leather Dress Belt, $29.50 — If you’re already picking up a classic J. Crew cardigan, why not pick up a simple, effective leather belt to go with it?

The Socks: American Trench Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks, $17.98 — We all recognize these socks, right? Right. They’re solid, reliable, comfortable and a nice match for the hues of blue in this outfit.
The Watch: Seiko Dive Watch, $319.98 — Since we’re mixing high-low style in this outfit — the rugged chambray shirt + the faded Nudie Jeans denim in particular — a dive watch on a durable NATO strap is smart and sharp.
 Although there’s nothing too fancy or utterly eye-catching about this outfit, it’s grounded in classic staples mixed a bit unexpectedly. From the lighter shades of the chambray shirt to the light wash denim and the slightly dressier Emilio Chukka Boot, it takes advantage of twists on tried-and-true staples. It’s a combination that would work in the spring sans the Montana Waxed and Quilted Parka, and you’d always do well to pick up a handsome, rugged timepiece like the Seiko Dive Watch. With that being said, chime in via the comments below if you have alternate picks or styling suggestions — always looking forward to hearing from everyone, and many thanks for reading!
-Beau

Beckett Simonon

#OOTD: Rugged Winter Style

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.

Every once in a while, you just want to mix up your style — right? Maybe if you’re a guy who frequently suits up , you feel compelled to dress down off-duty. Even if you find yourself dressing in business casual style for the office — rather than a suit — it still pays to have a few go-to, off-the-clock looks on-hand. And when you throw in the dual challenges of navigating winter weather while looking sharp, it adds another piece to the puzzle. That’s what we’re tackling today — we’ll get a bit out of the box in terms of classic winter style and go just a tad more casual and a tad more rugged. The basic building blocks of a crisp winter ensemble are still there — starting with classic dark denim and tough leather boots — but the way in which the outfit builds from the ground up will hopefully get you thinking about ways to refresh your style this year. Intrigued yet? Check out the full #OOTD below, and join us on Instagram and Facebook for more #menswear content, 24/7.

Layering up a shawl cardigan for rugged winter style -- as the post title implies.

Layering up a shawl cardigan for rugged winter style — as the post title implies.

The Cardigan: Iron & Resin Fletcher Cardigan,$110.98 — Here at the dear old Style Guide, we sure do love a shawl-collar cardigan. And seeing as this one is available via Huckberry in a warm cotton-fleece blend, it’s worth the buy. You could always add a crisp, functional Outerknown parka if you need an extra layer.

The Henley: Bonobos Slub Jersey Henley in Off-White Microstripe, $55 — Shawl-collar cardigan? Check. Rugged henley? Check. It’s as classic and comfortable of a winter style combo as it gets.

The Scarf: S.N.S Herning Torso Scarf, $96.60 — Nearly a hundred bucks is a lot to drop on a scarf — but when it provides significant warmth and style to rival that of the revered Daniel Craig in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” it’s worth doing.

The Denim: Nudie Jeans Grim Tim Denim, $124.98 —  Whether you consider yourself a rock star or not, there’s something to be said for owning a slick, slim pair of black denim. The Grim Tim is that pair — and they’re a nice way to switch it up from dark indigo selvedge, too.

The Boots: G.H. Bass Buxton Boots, $425 — We talk a lot about investment-worthy purchases that convey great style and timeless appeal — the G.H. Bass Buxton Boots are one such purchase, and they add a bit of a unique contrast to the black denim.

The Socks: Wigwam Merino Lite Hiker Socks, $12.98 — Sometimes, you just need comfortable, functional socks that fight the chill — if that’s the case, pick up a couple pairs of these Merino Lite Hiker Socks.

The Watch: Standard Issue Instruments Pilot Mission Timer, $199.98 — Yet another standout piece of gear sold by Huckberry, the Pilot Mission Timer is tough, practical and rugged. Don’t worry about the black strap-brown boots color combo — it works in this casual ensemble.

The Hat: Columbiaknit Watch Cap, $17 — Just like the Merino Lite Hiker Socks, functionality and warmth is sometimes the name of the game. This cap is more than fairly priced, too.

The Gloves: Hestra Granvik Gloves, $180 — They might not be pictured in the above grid, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need reliable, tough winter gloves — Hestra is the place to go in this case.
Frank & Oak

Alright, let’s bundle up and get out there this winter. When you start with well-fitting basics — like a slub jersey henley — and add a tough-yet-comfortable Iron & Resin shawl-collar cardigan, you’ve got the foundation of a warm winter outfit.  In fact, it’s this very outfit that I frequently find myself wearing when it’s chilly. At any rate, slim black denim and rough-and-tumble leather boots are essentials in any season, especially cold weather, and the overlooked details — like warm winter socks and a nice winter hat — are just as critical to keep in mind before you step outside. And if it’s a new watch you need, something as functional and dependable as the  Pilot Mission Timer should get you where you’re going with plenty of time to spare. Any questions? Comments? Feedback? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay warm out there and thanks for reading,

-Beau

Style Suggestion: What to Wear on Christmas Day

So, it’s almost upon us — Christmas Day! Hopefully, you’ve found The Style Guide helpful this holiday season — if you’ve got another holiday party to dress for, or a last-second gift to buy for your wife, mom or grandma, best get that taken care of … ASAP. And know that between today and tomorrow, we’ll tackle two different Christmas style suggestions. Seriously, you shouldn’t neglect what to wear on Christmas Day, whether you’re traveling for the holiday season or hanging out at home. In fact, let’s consider this a style suggestion that works on Christmas Day itself or Christmas Eve with the family or friends. Because it’s an important — and likely chilly — day, we’re going with crisp, versatile picks from some Style Guide-approved brands.  It’s certainly coming up soon, so you best get going on what to wear — and again, what to gift. Lastly, I hope Santa brings you a few items on your menswear holiday wish list, ehh? I know I’ll be waiting expectantly — and enjoying the day with family, of course! Leave questions on this look for yours truly over on Twitter, and check out my own holiday style picks on Instagram. Cheers, dress well and enjoy the day!
NOV CAMPAIGN: Photo of multiple shoes on white background with logo (border)

The Sweater: Life/After/Denim Waterloo Cardigan — $148

An easygoing-yet-crisp cardigan ideal for layering in cold weather.

An easygoing-yet-crisp cardigan ideal for layering in cold weather.

Like other prep-inspired brands that offer modern takes on the classics, Life/After/Denim gets a lot right when it comes to essential pieces ready for any situation. The Waterloo Cardigan, while pricey, is a fine example of this approach — the shawl collar is a masculine, casual styling detail that makes it perfect for layering over everything from an essential chambray shirt to a classic Oxford. And if you’re worried about getting chilly? Don’t skimp on those stylish winter accessories or a slim topcoat — especially the topcoat.

The Shirt: Penfield Ridgley Shirt — $115

Unexpected, textured fabric and a classic cut make this shirt an easy Christmas style pick.

Unexpected, textured fabric and a classic cut make this shirt an easy Christmas style pick.

Made with flecked brushed cotton for comfort and easy layering, the Penfield Ridgley Shirt is the perfect go-between in terms of casual style. The Ridgley Shirt isn’t quite as crisp as a white Oxford, so it’s more appropriate for a casual Christmas spent hanging out with family. And if you do head out for a nice Christmas Eve dinner, it moves through to those situations with ease.

The comfort and warmth of sweatpants with the tapered cut of versatile corduroys.

The comfort and warmth of sweatpants with the tapered cut of versatile corduroys.

Because you’ll be spending time around the fire or in the living room, comfort is essential — and goes hand-in-hand (or leg-in-leg?) with this pair of crisp, stylish Corduroy Jeans. With the warmth of Uniqlo’s HeatTech built in,
these corduroys feature a tapered, clean cut and the type of versatility you’d get from a pair of dark blue denim — yet, they look a bit more polished and ready for the holiday season and beyond. What’s more, the outstanding price simply can’t be beat — can it?

The Belt: Tanner Goods Classic Belt in Hickory — $99.98

Your new favorite belt -- maybe, just maybe.

Your new favorite belt — maybe, just maybe.

So, although this is a rather casual Christmas style suggestion, we’re still going with a sharp, well-made and yes, pricey Tanner Goods belt . If there’s such a thing as a handsome belt, the Classic Belt is that piece. It’s a beautiful shade of Hickory leather that will only age better over time, and it’s made right here in America. Of course, the Classic Belt will become your everyday belt in no time.

The Watch: Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph in Grey — $158

A handsome watch that blends the rugged and the refined with ease.

A handsome watch that blends the rugged and the refined with ease.

Does it get any better than a handsomely designed, rugged leather watch from Timex & Todd Snyder? In short, the answer is no. The partnership between the lauded American designer and the classic U.S. watch brand only seems to get better and better with every season, from the much-coveted Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch to the latest iteration.  Made with tough, yet supple, Red Wing leather in an unexpected shade of grey, the contrasting black case and grey dial make a very sharp, versatile combination.

The Boots: Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot — $149.98

Comfortable, appropriately casual and ready for unwrapping plenty of presents.

Comfortable, appropriately casual and ready for unwrapping plenty of presents.

Don’t think for a second we forgot about those stylish leather boots you’re going to need this Christmas. Why chukka boots? Well, the higher cut, tougher construction and slip-free heel cap on this sharp pair of Nisolo chukka boots gives you the type of functionality you need for getting from car to house (and back) across the snowy driveway. Crucially, the Emilio Chukka Boot  is going to work well for both a laidback Christmas evening and perhaps a nightcap drink at a holiday party. You feel me on that? Good.

The Socks: CHUP Prairie Socks — $35
Well-made, super stylish socks -- much better than plain old white socks, ehh?

Well-made, super stylish socks — much better than plain old white socks, ehh?

We’re sticking with unique, visually interesting CHUP socks — sold by the fine folks at Huckberry  — in this case, because every pair of durable leather chukka boots deserves great socks. Inspired by unique Native American prints, the CHUP Prairie Socks still manage to feel holiday-ready because of the unique blend of red, green and blue. What’s another benefit of spending more than $30 on socks? Other than the major style points and top-level durability, these CHUP socks look great if you do slip off your shoes at your host’s house. And on that note…

 Gift for the Host: Pappy Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup — $40

A smart guest always brings a gift -- and it helps that this syrup is aged in whiskey barrels.

A smart guest always brings a gift — and it helps that this syrup is aged in whiskey barrels.

We’re closing out this Christmas style suggestion with a wise move that’s unrelated to menswear — bringing a gift for  the host. Whether you’re traveling in style to stay with your significant other’s parents or heading over to a friend’s house to celebrate the holiday, a delicious gift like the one here is a pretty unique way to say thank you.  Pappy Van Winkle’s barrel-aged maple syrup truly is one-of-a-kind.

Alright, all set for the big day (or days)? Last-minute Christmas gifts all bought? Of course they are (wink, wink). Getting dressed for Christmas doesn’t have to be a taxing, overdone affair — it’s simply a matter of picking out great-fitting, well-made essentials built for comfort and style. From warm corduroys with a hint of stretch to a sharp shawl-collar cardigan and casual cotton shirt, your ensemble should move with you and fit right in for the festivities ahead. Stylish Nisolo leather chukka boots get the job done in terms of functionality and fashion, as does a pair of well-made socks.  And, you very well might not want to take off that handsome Timex + Todd Snyder Chronograph the rest of this year. Round it out with a great gift for the host, and consider yourself set for a very stylish and merry Christmas.

Wherever you might be headed this holiday season, thanks for reading, travel safe and as always — stay stylish!

-Beau

Huckberry

Signs of Light: A December weekend in Baltimore

Layered up for a pit stop at Artifact Coffee. Wool-Blend Topcoat by Old Navy. Snow Bridge Cardigan by Eddie Bauer. Denim shirt by JackThreads. Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Lockridge Moc Toe Boots by Cole Haan. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

Layered up for a pit stop at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore. Wool-Blend Topcoat by Old Navy. Snow Bridge Cardigan by Eddie Bauer. Denim shirt by JackThreads. Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Lockridge Moc Toe Boots by Cole Haan. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

As I traveled down the East Coast this past Friday morning, I was able to look back on a heck of a lot of things besides the crisp winter scenery. It was outstanding to reflect on a great year of work, of time with family and friends, of travel and a great year of celebrating some of my passions — including live music and menswear, all rolled into one. And it was as good a time as any for this Style Guide author to catch a great show and bring along some of my favorite men’s style essentials, yet again. My travels this time around took me to the unique and ever-changing city of Baltimore to see joyous indie folk rockers The Head and The Heart — that’s a definite recipe for success. I’ve been really lucky to be able to travel in style (of course) so frequently to see great bands, from an upstate trip to see Lucius to a weekend trip to Providence to see (perhaps) my favorite band, West Coast indie rockers Local Natives. So it was fitting that on one of the last weekends of the year, I took to the trail again. What did I bring with me? Only the best gear I could pack into my Owen & Fred weekender bag — you knew that bag was sturdy as heck and travel-friendly, right?

Rugged layers for a chilly weekend. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Yosemite Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Donegal Trousers by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Waterbury Chrono by Timex _ Todd Snyder. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

Rugged layers for a chilly weekend. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Yosemite Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Donegal Trousers by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Waterbury Chrono by Timex _ Todd Snyder. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

As seems to be the case with the weather across much of the country, the weekend was an especially frigid one in Baltimore — and NYC. For my train ride down the coast and a day exploring Baltimore, I layered up accordingly as seen at the top of the page, starting with my trusty JackThreads denim shirt. Of course, a stylish shawl cardigan proved a crucial layering piece given the chill, and I prepared accordingly with the durable, thick-knit and unique Eddie Bauer Snow Bridge Cardigan. I topped those layers off with the slim, warm Old Navy Wool-Blend Topcoat, an unexpected offering from a brand that keeps improving its apparel and outerwear game. For a blend of flexibility, comfort and style — crucial when sitting on a train for a few hours, then moving about the city — my trusty Bonobos Travel Jeans in Allegheny Oak fit the bill perfectly, and played nicely in terms of color off my sturdy, tough-wearing Cole Haan Lockridge Moc Toe Boots. You might recognize those boots from this site’s piece on how to dress for the first snowfall, and they’ve got plenty of weather-ready bells and whistles — they’re waterproof and feature the brand’s Grand.OS technology, for starters. When paired up with my reliable-as-ever MVMT Watches Calypso Watch and tough accessories like my Grifter Company Ranger Gloves, I was more than set to battle the chill.

I also brought along my trusty Brothers Leather 810 Wallet .It’s a beautiful, handmade and essential wallet — and you can get 15% off that wallet, or any Brothers Leather item, using the code ‘BrotherBeau15’! Seriously, look into upgrading your everyday carry ASAP. Know that the next time you hit the road to a chilly locale, you should pack as many durable winter accessories as you can, too.

The everyday carry for a quick road trip. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Wallet by Brothers Leather (Get 15% off with the code 'BrotherBeau15'! Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Pen by Owen & Fred.

The everyday carry for a quick road trip. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Wallet by Brothers Leather (Get 15% off with the code ‘BrotherBeau15’! Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Pen by Owen & Fred.

Stop number one on my trip? Of course, a stellar coffee shop — that’d be Artifact Coffee, and I’d absolutely recommend a trip of your own if ever you get to Baltimore. It’s a rustic backdrop for a tasty egg-and-bacon English muffin and a rich cup of coffee, plus some quiet writing and reflection. Properly caffeinated following an early train ride, a stop at one of the city’s neat menswear shops was in order. 16Tons — not a far walk from Artifact — is packed to the gills with vintage menswear, including sturdy tweed blazers, stonewashed denim jackets and a fair selection of tough moto boots. With my fill of menswear shopping, it was time for a much-needed burger at the lauded Abbey Burger Bistro — add the Guinness cheddar to your burger and top it off with a local Union Red Foxy IPA. I walked off the burger with a stroll through the neat Inner Harbor and Federal Hill areas of Baltimore, filled with beautiful red brick historic homes.

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With a great lunch and a great day of exploration around Baltimore behind me, I was more than ready for a long-awaited show from The Head and The Heart — seeing as I missed the band’s NYC tour stop in October after years of listening, it was high time I got around to seeing them. Looking back on 2016, the group’s stellar third album, “Signs of Light,” was one of my favorites for its joyous, uplifting message, powerful harmonies, subtle pop influences and soaring guitars. It’s the kind of music we need a bit — or a lot — more of, and it resulted in a stunning live show that was a joy to watch.With a full day to look ahead to the show, I was beyond excited — and because I packed light and relied on style staples like the tough-yet-comfortable Cole Haan Lockridge Moc Toe Boots and the durable MVMT Watches Calypso Watch I was able to transition from day to night and fully enjoy the concert.

Checking out a new music venue in a new city is always a neat endeavor, and a packed Ram’s Head Live didn’t disappoint. The buzzing,  multi-level venue also drew a nice crowd for folk rock trio Joseph, themselves a group quickly on the rise and capable of producing some powerful songs in the vein of Lucius or HAIM — yes, they’re that good.  And they nicely complemented a beautiful performance from The Head and The Heart, who absolutely didn’t disappoint. I’d recommend you see them as soon as you can — the band’s beautiful vocals and soaring songs — soaring is the only way to describe it — were incredible. From the opener “All We Ever Knew” to a huge rendition of “Rivers and Roads” and stirring, fun versions of “Lost in My Mind” and “Shake,” it was among the better shows I’ve seen this year — and that’s saying something!
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With an amazing live show in the books, I looked ahead to an excellent Saturday of Baltimore, including an amazing brunch & Bloody Mary at Baltimore institution Miss Shirley’s. Of course, a delicious, rich Nutella latte from 3 Bean Coffee was also in order. With chilly temperatures in the forecast yet again, I went with sturdy layers to fight the cold.. Namely, my slim and refined JackThreads Donegal Trousers provided a bit of a high-low style complement to my heritage-inspired Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt. Given the blustery, frigid weather, I also threw on my much-loved Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt, as seen at the top of the post. It’s a soft, warm and essential layering piece. And on the watch front, it doesn’t get any better than my rugged and durable Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph, all of which helped me navigate Baltimore in warmth and good time — seriously!

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Unique, versatile layers for a blustery Brooklyn day. Wool-Blend Henley Sweater and Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Kinzie Jeans by Mugsy Jeans. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Red Wing Leather Chronograph by Timex + Todd Snyder. Socks by To Boot New York. Wallet by Brothers Leather (get 15 percent off Brothers Leather goods with the code ‘BrotherBeau15’!

Unfortunately, my trip was over much too soon, and it was time to head back to  NYC. The ceaseless cold weather showed no signs of relenting on Sunday, so I again reached for critical layers, starting with a brand-new, rugged-and-refined Abercrombie & Fitch Wool-Blend Henley Sweater. It’s a rich addition to any wardrobe, affordably priced and featuring a neat blend of sport and heritage-inspired style. For an afternoon spent exploring Williamsburg, I accented the sweater with a distinctive Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan — you can expect to see a lot more of this unique, comfortable layering piece soon. On the footwear front, I found myself reaching once again for my durable, tough CAT Footwear Sutter Boots — the brown burnishing is a handsome and classic design touch. And whether in cold weather or on a warm, sunny day, you really can’t go wrong with the ridiculously comfortable Kinzie Jeans from Mugsy Jeans, made with a ton of stretch for ease of movement. I complemented the ensemble with the Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph yet again — it’s a tough watch to pass up wearing!

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As I bundled up heading back through Brooklyn, it was great to be able to reflect on a stellar weekend. It featured some of my favorite things — live music, menswear, travel and a requisite helping of craft beer and great burgers! It doesn’t really get any better, especially packed into the span of a few days. And any time I get to spend at my favorite spots in Brooklyn is also time well-spent. It’s been a whirlwind month of December — and a whirlwind year — but I’m really thankful to get the chance to travel, see great shows and bring along stylish menswear in the process. If you’ve got your own holiday travel coming up, I hope it goes well — and if you’ve still got gifts to buy, check out our men’s holiday gift guide, along with the women’s holiday gift guide. Happy shopping!

Thanks as always for reading — stay stylish!

-Beau