Style Pick of the Week: Blue Claw Co. Waxed Weekender

Blue Claw Co.

An all-around standout bag, from the waxed canvas exterior to the design exclusive to Bespoke Post.

Before you hit the road on your next trip, grab the Blue Claw Co. Waxed Weekender — you’re gonna need it, and I’ll tell you exactly why today on The Style Guide. For starters, you can make the argument that every guy needs a stylish weekender bag in his rotation. It’s an accessory that’s more than just a place to stash your stuff as you dress for summer travel. Think of it like an extension of your outfit — as I always say, the small details count, and your weekender bag is definitely among those details. The best men’s weekender bags get a few things right. Oftentimes, those things revolve around sturdy construction, expert detailing, handsome looks (all the better to pair with everything from a tee and jeans to a polo and blazer) and the ability to haul all of your favorite gear.Today, we’re all in luck — the Blue Claw Co. Waxed Weekender checks all of those boxes. It’s a worthy buy before your next trip — and thanks to Bespoke Post, it’s affordable as heck, and entirely unique Why should you snag the Waxed Weekender over other options, though? Keep on reading, fella.

Nautica

Notably, the Blue Claw Co. Waxed Weekender is exclusive to Bespoke Post — you really won’t find it anywhere else. It’s got the sort of rugged specifications and strong construction you’d expect from an American-made weekender bag. As it were, Blue Claw Co. designs all of its gear in Minneapolils and produces it with attention to detail — if this bag can stand up to Minnesota winters, it can certainly stand up to summer travel. It’s similar in size to the Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, so it should be a trusty trip standby — that goes for whether you pack it with American-made denim aplenty or your favorite suede chukka boots and one of the best men’s dopp kits.

Blue Claw Co. Waxed Weekender

Handsome bridle leather accents and durable hardware give this bag a solid look and feel.

And as we’ve said before, the small touches set the Blue Claw Co. Waxed Weekender apart. As you can see above, touches like a solid brass zipper and complementary brass hardware give it all the durability you need when hitting the road weekend after weekend.  It can readily fit in an airplane overhead bin, and with that durable waxed canvas exterior, you can chuck the Waxed Weekender in the back of your car for a summer upstate trip or a weekend at the beach. That brings us to perhaps the most important point. The Waxed Weekender is a bit of an investment at $295 in full. However, get this: When you sign up for Bespoke Post, you can snag the tough, durable and stylish  Blue Claw Co. Waxed Weekender  for $215 — not a bad deal, ehh? And keep in mind that signing up for Bespoke Post also gives you access to the brand’s monthly subscription box for just $45. But that’s another post entirely. At any rate, the  Blue Claw Co. Waxed Weekender is among the best men’s weekender bags to buy now — that much is true. Will you be hitting the road with the  Waxed Weekender  in tow? Let me know in the comments, and catch up with us over at The Style Guide Facebook page!

Thanks so much for reading,

-Beau

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The Friday Read: Rugged Fall Style, Oliver Cabell and Hard Graft Gym Bags

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

So if you’re joining us here today on The Style Guide, that must mean it’s Friday. And if it’s Friday, it’s time for another round of The Friday Read, where we tackle the best of the week in #menswear — with a dash of music and fine spirits joining us in today’s post. First things first — thanks to everyone who participated in this week’s Dickies X-Series Denim giveaway this week. We’ve had the pleasure of some crisp, brisk fall weather this week in NYC — if that happens to be the case for you as well, I’d urge you follow the behind-the-scenes action on Instagram and check out how to dress for fall. We’re talking indigo chore coats, slim garment-dyed pants and a tough Horween leather watch. Oh, and an essential crewneck sweater for your fall wardrobe — that’s a thing, too. It’s been fun to break out some tougher layering pieces for the chilly weather, and rest assured that we’ve got plenty more fall style-centric content in the weeks ahead. Namely, we’re diving into the archives with tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week — and then jumping right back to the present day with our very own Thanksgiving Style Suggestion. It’s tough to believe it’s that time of year already! But, not to worry — we’ll be offering up all manner of holiday style picks, from what to wear to your holiday party to what to buy for your significant other. In the meantime though, I’ve got a weekend of travel ahead — I’m heading on a quick trip upstate to the lovely town of Hudson for a bit of rest, relaxation and menswear-themed exploration. Follow along via Twitter, look for a full recap blog post coming on Monday, and check out everything you need to know from the week in men’s style news.

  • Who can pass up the chance to combine refined spirits and great menswear? Not that many folks, that’s who. The fine spirits purveyors at Glenfiddich launched a fall capsule collection — titled Wardrobe XXI — with none other than menswear luminary Josh Peskowitz. The lauded fashion vet, who recently opened up Magasin, a menswear lifestyle boutique, curated four men’s style capsule collections on behalf of Glenfiddich. The brands run the gamut from contemporary — Camoshita United Arrows to slightly edgy (FEIT). And each capsule, which is sold at select retailers like NYC’s Gentry and Miami’s Alchemist, pays homage to Glenfiddich’s 21 Year Old Reserva Rum Cask Finish. Now, great whiskey and great menswear? That’s something we can all get behind.
  • If you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving next week, you need to know how to travel in style. That just got easier with the introduction of the Arcata Travel Kit from premium accessories brand Oliver Cabell. We rounded up the best dopp kits for men on this blog earlier this year, but this dopp kit is a worthy addition. Thanks to the brand’s transparency — right down to the material and labor costs displayed on its Web site — you know you’re getting a premium, road-ready piece.
  • We’ve covered the best men’s weekender bags, but you might want to add another to your list. The Hard Graft Gym Bag Volume Two is a beautifully crafted, superbly done bag that merges tremendous functionality with stellar looks. Give it a read via yours truly at GearMoose!


Looking for something to read — or listen to — this weekend?

  • If it’s a relaxing weekend listen you seek, might I suggest the eloquently produced “On Hold” from everyone’s favorite ethereal music trio, The xx? Give it a listen over at Pitchfork. You won’t regret it!

That’s all we’ve got from my neck of the woods — stick around and check out your new favorite fall jacket, or a rugged fall layering essential, before you take off for the weekend.

Stay stylish,

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Dopp Kits to Buy Now

Editor’s note: Stock up on a full set of #menswear essentials at that link.

We talk often at The Style Guide about holistic style — putting together outfits using the small details and looking to make style upgrades whenever possible. That should carry right on through to things like your everyday carry, and even smaller touches like the no-show socks you should wear this summer. So if those details are important, the gear that you bring along with you when hitting the road is all the more essential (at least in this writer’s mind). And let’s hope you’ve got some more summer travel in the works, in the meantime. Now, prepping in style for that travel starts with the big stuff — think a durable weekender bag — and whether you’re hopping on a train or hopping a flight, you need something that’s just as stylish to carry around the grooming essentials you should be bringing with you. It’s taken a lot of practice for this #menswear writer to get accustomed to planning out all those details, but it certainly pays off — and that’s definitely the feeling you should get when you pick up one of the best dopp kits to buy now.  As for me, I’ll be packing up my own kit this weekend in fact — heading back to my home state of Michigan for a bachelor party should be quite the fun time. And as you’re planning out your next trip, take some time, check out the below picks and get those plane tickets booked.

#1. J. Crew Abingdon Travel Kit — $58

Simple, stylish and effective -- exactly what you want from a great dopp kit.

Simple, stylish and effective — exactly what you want from a great dopp kit.

There’s a reason the fine folks at J. Crew sit so high up on this site’s Approved Brands list — they make a heck of a lot of head-to-toe men’s style essentials, and they do a darn good job at it. The Abingdon Travel Kit is just one of those pieces, made from a fine waxed cotton canvas and featuring details like burnished leather trim and brass-finish hardware. It’s the type of piece that would handsomely complement a rugged waxed weekender bag, and it’ll fit right in if you find yourself a fan of the brand’s classic style pieces — seriously, it’s tough to find a dopp kit that blends seamlessly with what you wear everyday. If that’s what you need, pick up this dopp kit ASAP.

#2. Baxter of California Dopp Bag — $25

A navy color that goes with everything, plus durable fabric.

A navy color that goes with everything, plus durable fabric.

For as much as J. Crew has the head-to-toe style game handled, the team at Baxter of California has you all set with everything you might need on the men’s grooming front. The brand’s Dopp Bag is no-fuss, made out of navy blue canvas and featuring a distinctive logo on one side. It looks like it’s about the perfect size to hold several of the brand’s travel toiletries (or else, those little bottles you pick up from hotel rooms and the like. And the navy canvas should be durable and hold up well to getting tossed into a bag. For $25, that’s not a bad deal.

#3. Wood & Faulk Dopp Kit in North Coast Grey — $110

Details like bridle leather accents and a carrying handle contribute to this bag's utility.

Details like bridle leather accents and a carrying handle contribute to this bag’s utility.

Before you balk at that price, know that with the way Wood & Faulk produces their goods, you’re getting a substantial return on your investment. The brand’s wares have popped up here on The Style Guide a few times before (namely in this essential chambray shirt #OOTD), and you’re certainly getting a handsome dopp kit here as well. We’re talking heavy canvas, bridle leather accents and brass hardware, plus a handle that makes it easy to carry. The Grey color of the canvas should age quite well over time, and the nylon interior is easy to clean and ready to stand up to multiple trips. Definitely worth the price.

#4. Byrd x Richer Poorer Light Carry-on — $74

There's a heck of a lot of functionality -- and extra goods -- packed into one dopp kit.

There’s a heck of a lot of functionality — and extra goods — packed into one dopp kit.

The Byrd x Richer Poorer collab is one that’s so much more than a dopp kit — wait ’til you see what’s in this one, in fact. You get a reliable dopp kit from Topo Designs, who certainly knows how to make functional everyday carry gear, and you get a plethora of other menswear goodies, including two pairs of Richer Poorer socks and a comb, “soap on a rope” and a light pomade from the team at Byrd Hairdo Products. You get all this for $74, and you get to keep the dopp kit — a good thing, as you’ll want to use it over and over no matter where your summer travels take you.

#5. Shinola Small Zip Travel Kit — $250

A stylish leather dopp kit that ... comes close to breaking the bank.

A stylish leather dopp kit that … comes close to breaking the bank.

For as splurge-worthy as Shinola tends to be (and in spite of the trouble the brand has found themselves in with the FTC as of late), they’re still a favorite of this site for the approach they bring to manufacturing products in the U.S. The goods really are high-quality, despite what doubters of the brand’s marketing tactics might say, so this dopp kit coming in at north of $200 makes it an investment … but a very solid one. If you do have the chance to check out the brand’s Detroit flagship (as I did on a trip to Detroit earlier this year), stop by if you’re a fan of quality design, display and merchandising.

Hopefully, some of the above picks caught your eye (and perhaps the attention of your wallet, too). It’s certainly an upgrade and a change of thought to think of the case that carries your toothpaste as being part of your everyday style, but it’s thinking in that manner that can pay dividends across the board. Whether you reach for a rugged waxed canvas dopp kit or a more refined leather dopp kit is all a matter of taste — but any of the above should be able to work with (and fit in) everything from a stylish weekender bag to a suitcase fit for business travel. If you see any brands I missed, shoot me a tweet on Twitter or drop us a line at The Style Guide Facebook page.
Frank & Oak

 

Taking some time: An upstate Memorial Day getaway

Editor’s note: Click this link for a full  set of posts on how to travel in style this summer.

Taking some time away from NYC. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt and Slim Chinos in Light Stone by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

Taking some time away from NYC. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt and Slim Chinos in Light Stone by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

I’ve been fortunate so far this year to hit the road quite a bit, from a New Year’s weekend in Detroit to a stylish weekend visit to Washington, D.C. and a quick few days in the sunny state of Florida. Each trip has presented a pretty nice mix of work and play (some more play than work, admittedly), but it’s definitely helped me get more acquainted with packing and planning ahead in the midst of a busy work and writing schedule, and I’ve been able to document the trips as they’ve happened on Instagram. Given how hectic things have been during my 9-to-5 and beyond,  I felt the urge to get away for just a bit this past weekend. What better place to go than a relaxing, tranquil, chic spot just outside NYC? Specifically, the Time Nyack Hotel.  In fact, I was astonished as I researched the lovely village of Nyack; it’s a beautiful location, and even as I type this, the hotel’s scarcely been open a month! Such a modern hotel in a quaint town also presented the chance to break out style that’s fit for the city yet ready for a quick upstate trip. Do you follow? Yeah? Good.

A look at my packing essentials. Voyager Waxed Weekender and leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply. Slim Chinos in Light Stone and Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

A look at my packing essentials. Voyager Waxed Weekender and leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply. Slim Chinos in Light Stone and Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

As with my trip to Washington, D.C., my jaunt to Nyack proved to be another ideal chance to test out my new Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender.  The Martexin Original Waxed canvas is some of the sturdiest and toughest in the business, the Wickett & Craig leather straps are sturdy and breaking in nicely, and the bag’s always provided plenty of room for my menswear essentials (including a trusty Bridge & Burn Flat Wool Cap and Word Notebooks Adventure Log). On this particular trip, that also included extras like my trusty Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit — made from water-resistant polycoat in a sharp navy color and featuring a vegetable tanned leather pull, it accented the bag  and my Tanner Goods leather lanyard nicely while holding some Baxter of California grooming essentials. However, the small details were just one focus of my trip in terms of packing, planning and exploring.

A look at some of the stylish grooming essentials from C.O. Bigelow provided by the hotel, plus my Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit and Doc Elliott Pomade.

A look at some of the stylish grooming essentials from C.O. Bigelow provided by the hotel, plus my Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit and Doc Elliott Pomade.

For work style that would take me from the office to upstate on Friday (as it seems lots of New Yorkers do), I brought along that aforementioned Owen & Fred bag, and dressed to meet the demands of the cubicle and the train ride (hint: Both involve lots of sitting, just in different environments). In this case, that meant tossing on one of my favorite shirts (heck, perhaps my favorite?), the Jack in Indigo Star from the fine folks at Taylor Stitch. The shirt is crisp-yet-casual, able to be worn tucked in or untucked, and complete with high armholes and slim sleeves — that’s exactly how I want my shirts to fit, and I’d wager that’s how yours should fit for travel and the office. A sleek pair of Sebago Heritage Loafers completed my Friday travel ensemble, alongside a versatile striped webbed belt from J. Crew (it goes with denim and a tee as well as it does with slightly dressier outfits). And given the heat and those pesky rays, eye-catching sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere finished off my travel accessories for the day (and the weekend in general).

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I was also fortunate enough to get the chance to check out a pair of the brand’s exceptionally high-quality Slim Chinos in Stone, as I wrote about in this site’s Style Pick of the Week series earlier this spring. The fabric and construction are just as on-point as the last pair of Taylor Stitch Standard Issue Chinos I reviewed last summer, and the slim fit and versatile styling potential are to be applauded; I definitely felt as if I could rock them at work and at dinner later on Friday, and that’s exactly how it worked out!

A look at a few of my trip accessories, with a cool backdrop via The Time Nyack. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

A look at a few of my trip accessories, with a cool backdrop via The Time Nyack. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

On the footwear front, I also tried to pack light yet reliably — I’ve become a huge fan of the comfort and sleek style of my Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes, as I also rocked ’em during my family’s trip to NYC a few weeks ago. They were a nice change of pace alongside my classic, dressier Sebago leather loafers. The Caramel Nubuck color of the boat shoes, and the slimmer profile (compared to other boat shoes, that is) helped them fit right in with my more casual Bridge & Burn Stringer Dune Shorts and a lightweight, comfortable Richer Poorer pocket tee (as seen below). The tee is slim, modern and able to be worn a bit more ruggedly (with the sleeves a bit rolled up, for example). Plus the cotton-polyester-rayon blend is comfortable and breathed easily in the heat. The best part about the boat shoes is that they would’ve worked just as easily with my Friday office/travel outfit as on Saturday! Looking for crisp, comfortable, dependable shoes when traveling is a definite must, and particularly for the summer months, the Cooper is absolutely one shoe you should consider.

Saturday's outfit to beat the heat. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Saturday’s outfit to beat the heat. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Now if this trip were longer, I’d definitely consider adding some sharp spring sneakers and a nice pair of light wash denim, but the gear I packed in the interim definitely sufficed. Now, just because I packed light doesn’t mean I skimped on accessories. I love traveling with a great watch or two — as of late, I’ve been digging the rugged, dependable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, which Timex was courteous enough to provide for a review (thanks, folks!). The watch wears slightly larger at 42mm, and the case is thick and sturdy. It’s a beauty in terms of the vintage-inspired dial design, too. The same goes for the rugged Red Wing leather strap — is there a better material to forge a watch strap out of? Probably not. It’s already proven a work-week staple, and it’s sure to see plenty of use in the coming weeks and months. My Sunday Somewhere sunglasses have already taken me all around New York City, and they proved just as reliable and stylish for exploring the much quieter confines of Nyack. Lest we forget, when packing low-cut shoes, lightweight no-show socks are in order — luckily, Pair of Thieves provides breathable no-shows with built-in performance for breathability and comfort.

What time is it? Time for a Memorial Day trip to the Time Nyack Hotel. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

What time is it? Time for a Memorial Day trip to the Time Nyack Hotel. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

As to the hotel itself: the Time Nyack was lovely, an eclectic mix of clean, modern design thanks to the loft-style rooms, high ceilings and the building’s past life as a factory. I felt the #menswear accessories I brought along, including that Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, fit right in! The décor was chic, modern and refined – definitely as upscale as expected. And the on-site restaurant and bar, BV’s Grill, had a nice beer selection and some killer cocktails. Elsewhere in Nyack, this small town is bustling and felt much larger than the listed population of about 7,300. I had the chance to check out The Local Tap House of Nyack on Main Street, which even served some excellent beer from Brooklyn stalwarts Evil Twin and Other Half (a surefire sign of any good beer bar). And if you get to the area , be sure to stop by Brickhouse for a stellar burger (the BBQ Bacon Burger is a treat), and more great beer (including some craft exclusives from the likes of Maine Brewing).

Saturday's travel outfit in action outside Gypsy Donut. Heather Grey Pocket Tee by Richer Poorer. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Watebury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

Saturday’s travel outfit in action outside Gypsy Donut. Heather Grey Pocket Tee by Richer Poorer. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Watebury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

The town itself really was busy despite a lot of folks apparently heading away for the weekend – if you want a retreat that feels far away from the city and offers some unique, local spots, this is the place to go. In fact, zipping up and down Main Street will give you the chance to check out a ton of hotspots for dinner or cocktails. And if you’re a fan of delicious donuts and excellent coffee, like they’ve got on-hand at Gypsy Donut, you’ll have just as much fun at breakfast as you will when out on the town later. The Maple Bacon Donut is the stuff of dreams, I tell you.

It was a much-needed getaway, and it proved a lot of fun! If you need a respite from NYC or are looking for a small-town getaway with premium accommodations and a host of restaurants and bars to match, Nyack is the place to be. It’s a cute area with beautiful views of the Hudson River on the drive over, the Time Nyack is conveniently situated close to the town, and I’d wager you won’t run out of places to go or things to do on a weekend trip. Pack smartly, efficiently and stylishly, and you’ll be all set for plenty of adventures.

Where are you heading this summer? Let me know of any neat trips, and what you’re bringing along, over at The Style Guide Facebook page!

 

Frank & Oak

Florsheim