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!

Style Suggestion: Upgrade Your Corduroys in Style for Fall

If the thought of corduroy trousers makes you think of your stuffy college professor or hideously dated, baggy pairs of pants, think again. In fact, today’s Style Suggestion here on the blog is going to tell you all about how to upgrade your corduroys in a big, big way this season. Perhaps you’ve already got a pair of slim corduroy pants in your closet, which is all well and good. And if you don’t, allow me to point you toward your new favorite pair of corduroys — seriously. The key, as with most #menswear challenges we dive into at The Style Guide, revolves around reaching for a pair with a more modern cut and a sharp color. Think a pair that’s more like black jeans than old-school corduroys. That way, you can wear them to the office and to happy hour afterward without missing a beat (or feeling out of place). Whic is to say, the Citizens of Humanity Bowery Standard Jeans are the way to go, what with a tailored fit and a dark shale color. We’ll show you how to wear ’em below. Don’t let the name fool you — these feature the cut of denim and the traditional texture of a stylish pair of corduroy pants. And y’know what’s even better? They match up handsomely with all kinds of men’s fall style essentials, from a slim cotton sweater to rugged suede boots.  Have questions? Get in touch with me on Twitter. Happy fall!

The Corduroys: Citizens of Humanity Bowery Standard Jeans in Shale — $198

Citizens of Humanity

Cut like a jean and packed with the serious style of a great pair of corduroys.

Are the Citizens of Humanity Bowery Standard Jeans pricey? For sure. Are they a somewhat rare pair of corduroys that look like a jean and harness just a bit of edgy style? They are. That makes the Bowery Standard Jeans a great pick-up if you want a stylish pair of corduroys. Again, don’t let the name fool you — the Bowery Standard will work as smoothly with a herringbone blazer as they will with a rugged henley and a selvedge denim jacket.

The Sweater:  BANKS River Knit Sweater in Desert Mist — $70


A fall-ready sweater with neat layering potential from BANKS.

Your top layer here is really what’s going to set this outfit apart. A stylish striped cotton sweater such as the BANKS River Knit Sweater has plenty going for it, from the fall-ready color and rich red stripes to the classic crewneck silhouette. At least to your Style Guide author, that means you can layer it under a navy blazer at the office or throw it on underneath a tough, classic denim jacket. As luck would have it, we’ve got an option for you coming up.

The Shirt:  Line of Trade Oxford in Light Blue — $70

An easy-to-style option for any situation — especially with slim corduroys this fall.

With a pair of slim corduroys and a classic crewneck sweater, your shirting options are plentiful. You could reach for a slim chambray shirt for more rugged appeal, or throw on the Line of Trade Oxford Shirt for style that’s just a bit more office-ready. And if you follow this site, you know that we previously recommended Line of Trade in our guide on how to wear an Oxford shirt  — so the styling options for this classic Oxford are certainly abundant this season.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket in ’68 Cone Mills Selvage — $188

Taylor Stitch

The perfect fall jacket — rugged, easy to layer and ready to break in with slim corduroys.

Promised you we’d get to a rugged denim jacket in this style suggestion, right? Again, outerwear makes a big difference when styling corduoy pants. A tough denim jacket from the master menswear purveyors at Taylor Stitch adds a touch of rugged appeal to this ensemble — it’s suitable to wear to the office on a casual Friday, or to head out to grab brews at your favorite bar. And the thing with the Long Haul Jacket is that it only gets better the more it’s worn.

The Boots: Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots in Roughout Suede — $299.98

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots

A knockout pair of boots from Wolverine.

Folks, these might just be your new go-to fall boots. Whether you wear these rugged fall boots with your Citizens of Humanity corduroys as mentioned above or wear ’em with anything else in your closet, the Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots are going to stand out quite stylishly. Particularly with this outfit, the 1000 Mile Boots add fall-ready texture and a nice contrast to the dark corduroy pants; they’ll work at the office on a laidback fall day, and they’re surely ready for your next tailgate.

The Watch: Farer Kingsley Watch — $357.50

Best men's casual watches

A sleek watch that offsets the rugged nature of this ensemble.

Ahh, yes — just what the doctor ordered. A refined, versatile and supremely stylish leather watch from Farer.  Your watch is yet another area that can make or break an outfit — given the rugged denim jacket and tough Wolverine suede boots, this outfit definitely leans more casual. And yet, the handsome Farer Kingsley Watch adds a touch of minimal, sleek style. The 39.5mm case diameter also means the Farer Kingsley Watch  leans dressier  while standing out quietly– all the better if you’re looking to wear this ensemble to the office.

The Socks: Necessary Anywhere Four Sock in Navy — $18
Stylish men's socks

A distinctive pattern and a sharp color will help these socks pop nicely underneath your corduroys.

In the way of style upgrades, stylish socks surely need to be on your mind — right? And that’s certainly the case when stepping out in slim corduroys this fall. These Necessary Anywhere socks are just that: Necessary anywhere. Get it!? At any rate, the neat pattern is subtly stylish, while the blue color plays nicely off the darker color of the corduroys and the blue indigo Taylor Stitch denim jacket. Ya feel me on that?
The Belt: Line of Trade Veg-Tanned Leather Belt — $40 (When Signing Up for Bespoke Post)

The perfect leather belt to stand up to tough suede boots and textured corduroys.

So, your belt. We leave no stone unturned here when it comes to essential men’s accessories, got that? Right on. A well-made, simply designed and stylish leather belt is a necessary finishing touch when stepping out in any season — and this rugged Line of Trade leather belt stands up to the visual heft and texture of those Citizens of Humanity corduroys and your tough Wolverine 1000 Mile boots.
The Bag: Whipping Post Large Leather Messenger Bag — $310
Whipping Post

The last messenger bag you’ll need to buy? Very likely. Very likely indeed.

Whether you wear your Citizens of Humanity corduroys to the office or for a day hopping from bar to bar, you’re going to need a way to haul your everyday carry. And the Whipping Post Large Leather Messenger Bag delivers the goods — and then some. This ridiculously well-made, handsome and durable leather bag has more than enough space for office essentials, and it’s certainly got plenty of space for off-duty essentials.

As we covered above, the Citizens of Humanity corduroys are a neat way to upgrade your trousers this fall. These slim corduroys are closer to rock-inspired slim black denim than stuffy corduroys of years past, and that’s great news if you’re looking to team them with rugged outerwear like a Taylor Stitch denim jacket or durable fall boots (you certainly can’t go wrong with the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots, right?).  And the Citizens of Humanity corduroys  give you plenty of layering options on your top half, from a versatile chambray shirt to a classic Oxford shirt and a stylish striped cotton sweater (preferably from BANKS).  And if you want to offset all of those timeless pieces with a bit of a sleek edge, the remarkable Farer Kingsley Watch is the timepiece to throw on. Lastly, don’t forget patterned socks and a surprisingly stylish leather belt  — both picks are going to work well this fall no matter how many times you wear corduroys.

So, I think that about covers it — any questions or comments? Let me know on The Style Guide Facebook page!

Thanks for reading,



Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Fall and Winter Corduroys

Editor’s note: For more great online shopping suggestions, swing through here.

Certain textures and fabrics just fit right in with the crisp climes of fall, just as certain fabrics fall right in line with the lightweight looks lots of us go for in the spring and summer. When even a great pair of denim can get slightly too monotonous, there are some excellent alternatives to grab out of your closet. And like we (or rather, just I) talk a lot about on The Style Guide, versatility is still going to be top of mind with that ultimate fall-centric pair of pants, an excellent pair of corduroys. They’ve gotten a much-needed 21st-century update from brands big and small in recent years, and even pairs cut with a straight fit are more tailored than the ones you may have worn as a young kid. That’s great news for wearing cords throughout fall and through winter – so basically, across the next four or five months. And in the shades that some brands are making them in, a pair of cords can definitely wear more like chinos or denim.  Again, great news for all you shoppers out there just looking into some cords. With that being said, please do read on for the best picks outta the best pair of pants you can buy this fall.

#1. JackThreads Slim Corduroy Pant — $59.50

A great new release from the brand's first menswear offering.

A great new release from the brand’s first menswear offering.

Yes, that’s not a typo above there. The E-commerce site that stocks a plethora of other brands recently released its first menswear collection, and its chock-full of well-done basics. That includes a line of knitwear, some denim and one stunning camel topcoat – and lest one forget about the cords, those hit a nice price-value ratio, too. The two colors offered are somewhat basic, but as mentioned above, the khaki color can wear quite a lot like chinos in terms of color combos – so bring on shades of navy and perhaps a nice chambray shirt. The hint of stretch built in is an added bonus. And it’ll be equally exciting to get a look at what the brand does in the future as far as its own product line — here’s to hoping those cords stick around.

#2. Bonobos French Corders — $128

A cool shade of grey ideal for fall and winter, plus that famous Bonobos fit.

A cool shade of grey ideal for fall and winter, plus that famous Bonobos fit.

This pair of cords might look familiar to those of you who frequently shop Bonobos – the brand’s corduroys have seemingly grown as much in popularity as its much-loved Washed Chinos or its Travel Jeans, and with three fit options and a multitude of colorways, you’d be hard-pressed to find something you wouldn’t like – or love – from the brand. Keep in  mind that they also craft a dressier corduroy as well, but the classic French Corders are a little less cleaned-up and thus more versatile. The sleek shade of grey could help these wear a bit more like grey denim than your standard pair of cords. Note that the Tailored fit can definitely get a bit slim (like a Levi’s 511) but the rest of the cuts across the board keep that same Bonobos sizing and quality fabric – a good thing considering the bucks you might shell out to grab these.

#3. JACHS NY Navy Bowie Fit Stretch Corduroy Pant — $89

A slim-straight cut adds to the versatility of this neutral color.

A slim-straight cut adds to the versatility of this neutral color.

JACHS is one of those rare menswear brands who operates a small namesake shop and yet also has the guns of its own clothing brand name to back it up, much like heavyweights such as Saturdays Surf NYC. The JACHS name — and the cords in particular — have caught the eye of some stylish menswear bloggers, and they offer contemporary updates to classic style. That’s where this pair of corduroys in the brand’s Bowie fit comes in.  Like the Bonobos brethren above, you’ll pay a bit of price for these — but the neutral colorway offers a good amount of variety for pairing with fall staples like a nice henley. Note that if the cords fit anything like the brand’s chinos (as featured in a recent L.A. trip post), the fit is more of a tapered straight cut through the knee and ankle.

#4. Grayers Caldwell 5-Pocket in Olive — $88

While not a true corduroy, the washed fabric and nice olive color make for a great pair of Bedford cords.

While not a true corduroy, the washed fabric and nice olive color make for a great pair of Bedford cords.

OK, so these aren’t technically a true corduroy pant at all — the Bedford cord fabric doesn’t have those distinctive wales that make corduroy …. well, corduroy. But these still make the list because that washed fabric, nice texture and great fall color would make them ideal for pairing with a merino wool cardigan or another classic transitional layer. Grayers hits things right down the fairway, much like JACHS NY, when it comes to pumping out prep staples at decent prices. But, the key when picking out a piece from a preppier brand is to stick with a darker color – reliable options like this olive will likely fit in better than, say, an eyepopping shade of orange. Like many of Grayers’ pieces, these pants fall in that nice in-between spectrum — they’ll pair with a navy blazer and leather chukka boots, but they’ll also look right at home with a great shawl cardigan or even a sportier crewneck sweater.

#5. J. Crew Vintage Cord in 484 Fit — $75 ($70 On-Sale)

Excellent fall color plus an excellent tailored fit.

Excellent fall color plus an excellent tailored fit.

J. Crew always seems to excel at the types of menswear staples you’d want in your closet, and this pair of cords is no exception. The deep “Belgian chocolate” color is practically begging to be worn with some black Chelsea boots and a great fall sweater for your next weekend brunch, although the other color options are equally nice. The handsanded detailing and sulphur dying process should give them a real lived-in feel, a welcome change of pace from the sturdy denim to which you might be accustomed. J. Crew’s 484 fit definitely leans quite slim but if that’s up your alley, then go for it. Based on some in-store observations, the quality is definitely consistent with what most of us expect from J. Crew. Note that the brand also offers a slim-straight fit (the 1040) and an even more accommodating 770 fit.

While many brands are getting fall-centric trousers right, it was still tough to narrow down the list. Classic brands like Save Khaki , and contemporary outlets like Saturdays Surf NYC are offering their own takes on five-pocket pants that can compete with cords for your closet space. The bottom line is this: whichever brand or pair you pick up this fall, there’s no question that a great set of cords can complete many looks, from a henley and leather sneakers to a wool blazer and a chambray shirt.

Let me know — which pick on this list has caught your eye? What’s your go-to corduroy brand?

Ben Sherman US