The Friday Read: New Dress Shoes for a New Year, The Best Cashmere Sweaters & Classic Blue Jeans

Bruno Magli men's shoes

Classic, refined leather loafers to consider wearing at home this season when you feel like stepping things up a notch.

My friends, congratulations on making it through the first full week of 2021! Are you starting to feel like you’ve shaken off that 2020 hangover, shaken off some rust and are moving full-speed ahead into a new year with today’s Friday Read? I’m getting there slowly but surely, step by step you might say, and it’s all possible with the right approach, right mindset and in some cases, the right menswear (take the Bruno Magli Positano Loafers as seen above). With so many of us working from home still, there are options aplenty when it comes to stylish footwear to wear at home, and if you feel like upping your game a little bit (think slim blue jeans and a tailored Oxford shirt on certain days), it’s hard to go wrong with some of the best men’s leather loafers to really complete your look. At least, that’s just my take.

We’ll also dive in today into a few other helpful menswear picks for a new year, so keep on scrolling. Of course, you can also expect another rendition of our Style Pick of the Week series tomorrow to outfit you properly from head-to-toe. As I always say, the details make the difference when it comes to the best new men’s shoes and more, so you might as well step into the new year the right way. Happy shopping, stay safe & stay stylish, folks. Oh, and to really keep things rolling the right way, give me a follow on Instagram or subscribe to my twice-weekly newsletter, The Style Guide In Brief. Cheers!

  • I mentioned above that you could make use of classic slim blue jeans to upgrade your work-from-home style beyond just sweatpants, and that’s why I’m recommending you pick up the nicely priced Mott and Bow Slim Crosby Jeans, a longtime favorite of mine that retail for just a shade above $100 ($108 at Mott and Bow, to be exact). With a free home try-on program and multiple cuts for the perfect fit, these are some of the best jeans for men you can step into right now, mark my words.
Best long-sleeve T-shirts for men

A classically rugged base layer and a stylish long-sleeve tee in its own right.

  • There are any number of ways you could go as we start a new year when it comes to rugged style that’s still laidback and versatile, but one of the coolest ways I’ve come across recently is shown above. And my friends, the Freemans Sporting Club Homespun Gym Tee could become one of your new favorite T-shirts for weekend wear and daily style. You can wear this stylish long-sleeve T-shirt all on its own thanks to the cotton waffle fabric, or else layered beneath a rugged flannel shirt or worn with a zip hoodie, all without missing a beat. Go forward and layer up in cozy style, folks.
  • Here’s a fun one to start the weekend — lace up your new favorite pair of boots with my GearMoose guide to the best moc toe boots, featuring plenty of brands you know and love. Every guy needs a great pair of boots, and my latest dispatch is a pretty solid place to start.
  • I told you that we’d talk about plenty of men’s style picks to help you roll into a new year the right way, and that’s where my guide to the best cashmere cardigans for men comes into play. Head over to The Manual to get my take on a classic, refined layer that’s going to take your Zoom call style to the next level (along with, of course, your Mott and Bow Slim Crosby Jeans and your Bruno Magli Positano Loafers).

mandarin woods 300x250

Thanks for joining us today as we set our sights on a new year, new style picks and much bigger and better things than 2020. Before I let you cruise into the weekend, I’ve got one last guide for you, and that’d be my take on how to dress in refined style this winter. From a suede bomber jacket to Todd Snyder corduroy pants, I think you’re going to like the looks of this #OOTD. Cheers to the weekend, folks!

The Friday Read: New Year’s Day, A Bonobos Sale & the Best Dress Shoes for Men

Bonobos Winter Sale

A truly excellent way to close out 2020 and head on into 2021 the right way.

My friends, I can’t believe we did it. We turned the page on 2020 and have now officially stepped into 2021. Welcome! And thanks for being here as we kick off a new year in style with my first post of 2021 and another edition of The Friday Read. Fittingly enough, my friends at Bonobos have had the right idea to close out 2020 with the Bonobos Winter Sale, aptly named the “Longest Year Ever” Sale, as you can see above. If you’re a longtime fan or a newfoud enthusiast of the NYC-based brand (makers of some of the best men’s pants and more), this sale is for you. Fittingly enough, you can get Bonobos pants and jeans for as low as $48, and a slew of some of the best men’s jackets for winter starting at just $78. What better way to leave 2020 behind and start a new year in style?

It’s certainly one of the sales I’ll be shopping digitally today, and I’ll also be carrying on my New Year’s Day tradition in slightly different fashion — I would typically head to a Brooklyn sports bar to enjoy a day of college football and cold beers, but instead, I’ll be posted up at home, enjoying games from afar. What does your New Year’s Day look like? Feel free to connect with me on Twitter to stay in touch about menswear, craft beer and more. For now, I’m looking forward to kicking off 2021 with some writing for The Manual and GearMoose this week, among other projects. To help you shake off that hangover and ease right on into it, check out the rest of The Friday Read below. Cheers!

WESN Henry Knife

A proper addition to your EDC to start the new year.

  • The new year really is an excellent time to take stock of all of your gear, including your everyday carry essentials. Stock up and step out with the proper picks, all thanks to Detroit-based WESN (the name stands for “West-East-South-North). The WESN Henry Knife, as shown above, is one of the most rugged and versatile pieces you can add to a well-curated EDC kit, in fact, and it helps that it’s affordably priced ($115 at WESN) given the quality and construction. Your everyday carry essentials just got even better, folks.
Mott and Bow Charles Twill Chinos

Mott and Bow are now making some of the best men’s chinos, folks.

  • Here’s another men’s style essential you need to power up your new year. We’ll talk more about some of the best men’s chinos on the blog in the coming weeks, but for now, just know that the Mott and Bow Everywhere Chinos are as solid as it gets. They’re a recent addition to the brand’s lineup of the best men’s jeans and more, and they could just become become your new favorite pair of pants (owing to the tailored fit and durable cotton twill fabric).

  • My friends, I’m going to keep this post rolling with one more featured essential for the new year: A pair of the best dress shoes for men, courtesy of Bruno Magli. The Italian footwear maker delivers some of the most refined, classic men’s dress shoes you’re apt to find, including the Bruno Magli Butler Cap Toe Oxfords. These are a major step up from what you might be wearing these days, and who doesn’t appreciate getting dressed up at home for a date night or to set the tone for the day? And hey, when you head back into the office eventually, you’ve just found your perfect pair of dress shoes.

Public Rec Go-To Tee

  • Let’s talk winter layering for a second, shall we? To get you out the door with comfort, style and warmth top of mind, I wrote all about the best cashmere cardigans for 2021 over at The Manual, and you’d do very well indeed to check out some of my favorite picks from brands you know and love (and possibly, some that you don’t know yet!).

Public Rec All Day Every Day Pant

Without further ado, that’s going to wrap up our first Friday Read of 2021. Who’s ready to set the tone for the new year in style? It’s my hope that picks like the best men’s chinos (from Mott and Bow, of course), and the Bruno Magli Butler Cap Toe Oxfords are all you need to get your mind focused on sharp-as-can-be style to kick off 2021. If you like what you see here, just know that we’ll be publishing content seven days a week on the blog — and naturally, tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week will help you step into your first weekend of 2021 the right way. Folks, as always, thanks for reading, stay stylish and stay safe!

See Now, Buy Now: These Stylish Leather Dress Shoes from HELM Are a New Must-Buy

Cool, classic dress shoes in handsome leather.

There are some things that shouldn’t be overlooked as we roll through summer — namely, you’re still going to need some of the best leather dress shoes on your feet, particularly as we all return (very slowly but surely) to dressier environments. That’s why it’s time for our second, easy-to-buy entry this week in our See Now, Buy Now series. Luckily for you and me, HELM Boots is here to amp your style after quarantine with some of the best men’s dress shoes: The HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes are one-of-a-kind, checking all the right boxes when it comes to dependable, dressy-yet-versatile style. As it were, HELM Boots already makes, well, your favorite rugged leather boots (see this post for more background), yet these stylish leather dress shoes carry that same DNA in a lower-profile offering.

As with any offering from HELM, it starts with quality construction for long-lasting style. In this case, that means Blake rapid-stitch construction (which stitches through the outsole, insole and exterior of the shoe) and handsome Castello leather in a cool Wheat colorway, to go along with a tough mini-lug rubber sole. That means these are some of the best dress shoes — for the guy who has a tough time putting away his leather boots (guilty as charged). Oh, and if you’re new to HELM Boots? Remember that you can get $50 off your first pair, plus free shipping, if you pick these up. 

SHOP: The HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes

A sharp, rugged-yet-dressy silhouette for summer wearing occasions.

When it really comes down to it, tough-yet-versatile leather dress shoes are tough to come by — so when you find a pair like these, you really should act  quickly. You can wear the HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes with casual classics — think dark indigo denim, rolled at the ankle, alongside your favorite Oxford shirt. You can also rock these durable dress shoes as they were intended to be worn: With sharp-as-can-be picks like tailored chinos (I love Todd Snyder chinos, FYI!) and a timeless polo. When you really want to step up your game, of course, the HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes can be worn alongside a tailored khaki cotton suit (again, Todd Snyder‘s your go-to for one of the best men’s suits, while we’re on the topic). And because that Wheat leather is rich but dependable, you can rest assured that these are dress shoes you can wear in the fall, too — just team them with your favorite denim shirt and a classic cardigan, plus that same pair of dark indigo denim. Now then: Dress shoes that can do it all? That’s what you’re getting here, folks. Happy shopping.

SHOP: The HELM Boots Nils Wheat Dress Shoes

 

 

See Now, Buy Now: These Florsheim Oxfords Are The Perfect Summer Shoes

Comfortable, stylish shoes to wear whenever you need them this summer.

It’s hard to believe we’re rolling into July right now, and that means you assuredly need to sort out your summer footwear rotation — start with some of the best shoes for summer from revered American footwear maker Florsheim. Although all of our routines are looking quite a bit different these days, there’s still something to be said for picking up some of the best dress shoes for summer, especially a casual and versatile pair like the Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords. They strike the right balance between casual and work day-friendly, particularly helpful if you want stylish men’s shoes that can easily switch from your home office (or regular office!) to the back patio with ease. What’s more, these classic Oxford shoes are a fresh and modern take on the style — it starts with the use of a lightweight canvas upper with leather accents, as opposed to a full leather design (nothing wrong with that, though!). Plus, they come in four cool, neutral colors. That makes ’em the perfect lightweight dress shoes for summer, folks.  Heck, they also retail for under $100 — so, yes, let’s call them some of the best dress shoes under $100, too. But that’s far from it, if we’re being honest (keep scrolling!).

Visit Todd Snyder New York

SHOP: The Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords

One of four must-have colors when it comes to these Florsheim Oxfords.

To be more specific, these Florsheim dress shoes are a new era in men’s footwear, a perfect update for your seasonal rotation thanks to the lightweight design. That’s especially the case when worn with easygoing summer style essentials like slim tan chinos and a navy slub polo or a classic slub tee. The use of Suedetec lining makes them easy to wear with no-show socks and rolled light wash denim, too. And let’s not count out the comfort factor, either — the Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords are designed with a cushioned EVA sole and feature a rubber heel. That makes them some of the best dress shoes for summer, a time when your daily routine might call for being on your feet for hours on end. When you want to switch out your sneakers or leather loafers, go for the Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords — it really is that easy.

SHOP: The Florsheim Highland Canvas Oxfords

Style Pick of the Week: Taylor Stitch Brogues in Espresso Leather

Absurdly stylish and well-crafted brogues, available right this very minute for pre-order.

It seems I say this nearly every day, or at least every week, but Taylor Stitch appears to have outdone themselves again. The brand always delivers on items that are somewhat unexpected, especially its spring-ready Telegraph Collection. Our pals in San Francisco blend a classic design touch with a bit of rugged edge, all wrapped up in a line of suiting and accessories that’s got plenty of timeless appeal. So it goes with the Taylor Stitch Brogues in Espresso Leather, a stunning dress shoe from a brand that cut its teeth making rugged menswear essentials like leather boots and chambray shirts. Yet, the Taylor Stitch Brogues in Espresso Leather carry on the brand’s focus on quality and style quite nicely. Another great part about the Taylor Stitch Brogues in Espresso Leather? They fit right in with other TS essentials, no questions asked. Made from beautiful Espresso full-grain leather — a nice departure from tan or light brown dress shoes — these handsome brogues cover all your bases in terms of an utterly classic dress shoe that you’ll have for years and years to come. It starts with handmade construction in Mexico, and it carries through to small touches like the sheepskin lining for a clean fit and plenty of comfort. Goodyear welt construction means you can keep these ridiculously stylish Taylor Stitch Brogues in Espresso Leather around for a heck of a long time, too. That durability is going to be crucial, because you can wear these stylish men’s dress shoes with nearly anything (aside from shorts, I’d say).

Rolled denim and chunky socks? No problem, these Taylor Stitch dress shoes were made for it.

Seriously, Taylor Stitch hit the nail on the head with this pair — it’s somewhat rare to find a pair of dress shoes that look just as great with cuffed dark blue denim (see above) as they do with one of the brand’s expertly crafted Telegraph Suits, but that’s what the Taylor Stitch Brogues in Espresso Leather achieve. They’re only going to get better with age, but the toughest part about the entire process isn’t breaking ’em in … it’s waiting for them to arrive. Yes indeed, these bad boys should ship out just in time for summer wedding season — I’d imagine they’ll look mighty fine with a navy linen suit and a knit tie at your first outdoor shindig when the thermostat climbs. For now, I’d wager you’ll want to devote plenty of thought as to how to style the Taylor Stitch Brogues in Espresso Leather; this is a classic pair of footwear that again drives home that Taylor Stitch ethos: They always outdo themselves.

Will the Taylor Stitch Brogues in Espresso Leather be putting a dent in your bank account? How would you style them?

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

Style Pick of the Week: Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainer

One brand that makes two ridiculously good-looking sneakers in a modern update of a vintage silhouette? Too good to be true, right? Not with Beckett Simonon.

Quick, look at your feet. Are you wearing stylish summer sneakers? Better yet, are you wearing anything from Beckett Simonon? If the answer to those two questions was “No,” you’re in luck today — and all you have to do is sit back, click a few buttons to cement a pre-order and consider yourself set. Yes indeed folks, we’re talking about the eye-catching, unique and well-made Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainer as part of our ongoing Style Pick of the Week series — and boy, is there a lot to talk about. Beckett Simonon crafts its footwear using exacting methods, and that’s why it pays to pre-order and then wait for the results. I was lucky enough to check out a pair of the brand’s beautiful leather chukkas during a fall weekend in New York last year, and I was mighty pleased.

The folks at Beckett Simonon know what they’re doing every step of the way. And in this case, you’re getting highly discounted deals on a range of product aside from the handsome, vintage-inspired Morgen Trainer, too. The brand offers up different collections every month, focused on everything from stylish Italian leather belts to functional and fashionable leather backpacks and a truly stunning array of simple yet handsome men’s dress shoes. What’s the upshot of all this? That is to say, you get either the full-grain, calfskin leather and water-resistant suede of the Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainer in Navy or the Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainer in White from the same brand that makes such intricately crafted dress shoes. In short, that means you’re getting one great-looking pair of sneakers at a heck of a price. Hey, maybe you’re getting more than one pair — that is, if you also pick up the Morgen Trainer in Black  in addition to the two stunning sneakers shown at the top of the page. Yes indeed, any of the three colorways should make any list of the best sneakers for men — without a doubt.
Nautica

Beckett Simonon

A super-sleek, modern take on the utilitarian Germany Army Trainer. Nicely done, Beckett Simonon.

Why go for sneakers that cost as much — at full retail — as your favorite pair of dress shoes? That, my friends, is simple. Trust me — with the sort of step-by-step care  and construction normally reserved for suit-ready shoes, the Morgen Trainer is classic, crisp and eye-catching. It’s not every day you can say that about a pair of sneakers, and that’s a great thing for discerning shoppers like you and me when it comes to the Morgen Trainers (in each of this sneaker’s three highly wearable colors). Inspired by the original design of the German Army Trainer, the silhouette of these shoes is rooted in functionality — and yet nowadays, kicks like the Morgen Trainers look just as great with slim light wash denim and a patterned short-sleeve shirt as they do with more utilitarian gear.  You also get the construction that comes with a well-made and distinctive contrasting rubber sole — not too often found on today’s more minimal sneakers. With all of those bonuses, it’s going to be mighty tough to resist picking up any colorway of the Beckett Simonon Morgen Trainer — and waiting for them to arrive at your doorstep is going to be that much harder.

Will you be picking up these handsome, versatile sneakers? Let me know in the comments!

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: Stylish Men’s Dress Shoes to Shop Now

As I clicked back through The Style Guide archives to prep for this post, I realized it had been far too long since we’d covered stylish men’s dress shoes on the blog. Like, nearly two years too long! A lot can happen in two years, folks. Of course, what can also happen in two years? Nothing at all. As in — if you buy an investment-worthy pair of men’s dress shoes from the below list,  you’ll be able to wear that pair frequently, day after day, with no need to trade ’em for a new pair. That’s the beauty of buying quality and paying a bit more, as you’ll see from the below list. We aimed for a mix of versatility and utility throughout the seasons — whether you’re suiting up for winter or dressed in classic spring style, the below picks should cover you for situations where you need to look sharp and feel comfortable. And with situations like spring and summer weddings come up, a dress shoe refresh could be in order. There’s certainly a lot of  technical minutiae when it comes to different types of men’s dress shoes . From the functional roots of wingtip brogues (the brogue detailing was meant to provide breathability in the rain) to the durable nature of a dress chukka boot, there’s a lot of ground to cover (pun intended). However, we’re going to focus on the basics: Shoes that look great with everything from a suit to chinos and a blazer, and perform just as well as you’d expect. If you’ve got additions to the list or thoughts, tweet at me incessantly on Twitter or leave a comment below. Happy shopping!

Frank & Oak

#1. Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Suede Boots — $445

The versatile and refined dress boot you didn’t know you needed.

Can suede Chelsea boots serve the same purpose as classic dress shoes? They certainly can, and I’m here to tell you why. Coming from the craftsmen at Allen Edmonds — who certainly know a thing or two about handsome footwear — the suede Chelsea boot becomes something more than an of-the-moment pair of footwear.  Built on the refined 943B last, this is a pair of dress boots as crisp as any on the market, made with high-quality brown suede, Goodyear welt construction and versatile looks (I wore mine with light wash denim and a navy blazer recently, for reference).

Greats

#2. Grant Stone Long Wing in British Tan Calf — $334.95

Huckberry

Striking dress shoes made to break in over time — beautifully done by Grant Stone.

We mentioned before that we’d dive into some investment-level dress shoe options, right? Well, here’s one for you — feast your eyes on the stunning, stylish and pricey Grant Stone Long Wing in British Tan Calf. These shoes definitely have a lot going for them — from the striking British Tan color to the eye-catching long wing detailing and a refined silhouette, it’s about as good as it gets. The Grant Stone Long Wing is made with a Goodyear welt and also designed to mold to your foot over time. The more you wear the Grant Stone Long Wing, the better they get.

#3. Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxfords —  $395

Allen Edmonds

It’s hard to beat classic brown leather cap toe Oxfords from Allen Edmonds.

For absolutely beautiful footwear that’s made with the utmost attention to care, look toward Allen Edmonds. The Park Avenue Cap Toe Oxford is, simply put, a heck of a dress shoe. Available in shades ranging from crisp black (suitable enough for the most formal occasions) to an intriguing navy leather, the classic shade of brown seen above is a safe bet to become your new go-to dress shoe. Minimal enough to wear with a suit and still able to work with dark blue denim and a V-neck sweater, they’re certainly worth the investment.

#4. Ankari Floruss Brogue Derby in Black — $182.98

Ankari Floruss

A classic black long wing that works for business casual and ultra-formal situations.

If you’re quick on the uptake, you might notice that we hadn’t featured any black leather dress shoes to this point — that’s changing with these fine brogue derbies from Ankari Floruss.  A recent addition to the men’s E-commerce game, Ankari Floruss is the work of noted menswear bloggers Moti Ankari and Marcel Floruss. Give them both a follow — these are some stylish fellas who know how to put together an outfit. And  they can do footwear, too — with the Brogue Derby, you’re getting style that’s sharp as a razor and ready to be worn with your favorite navy or charcoal suit.

Sutro Shoes Inc.

#5. Sebago Heritage Tassel Loafers — $115

Sebago

A prep staple that can be dressed up in the warmer months? Not too good to be true.

We’re continuing to buck the mold of traditional dress shoes here by recommending stylish leather loafers. Try wearing them just as you would brown leather wingtips — that is to say, with essential business casual favorites like slim khaki chinos and a navy blazer. In the spring and summer, they’re a way to keep your feet cool while still looking crisp and tailored. And coming from Sebago, you get a great price and excellent quality — I took the Heritage Tassel Loafers on an upstate Memorial Day trip last year and was mighty pleased. Shop away!
Honorable Mention: Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot in Noir — $169.98
Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot

A chukka boot that can be dressed up or down.

Thanks for sticking with us until the end — but we’re not done yet! Perhaps you prefer style that’s a bit more rugged — yet still able to be dressed up. Your Style Guide author is right there with you, hence the inclusion of the tough, well-made and uniquely stylish Nisolo Emilio Chukka Boot. Granted, the Emilio Chukka Boot is a classic open-lace chukka boot, which is naturally more casual in nature. However, the silhouette is sleek enough that you could easily wear it with stylish light wash denim or slim chinos and a classic blazer — not to mention a winter-friendly suit later on this year.
That’ll do it for this week’s Online Shopping Picks entry. With any luck, you’re well on your way to snapping up some new dress shoes. In addition to classic, timeless picks like a well-designed Oxford, it pays to consider more unique options like the Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Boot. Beautiful, classic dress shoes like the Grant Stone Long Wing are just as worthy of your time and hard-earned dollars, and you could do worse than buying a pair of sleek black dress shoes like the Ankari Floruss Brogue Derby.  Keep in mind that beautifully made dress shoes should give you plenty of wearability, too — with the right mindset, investment-worthy dress shoes can work with dark denim and a casual navy blazer just as easily as with a light grey suit. The first step is just buying the right ones.
Enjoy the quest for your perfect pair dress shoes,
-Beau

Beckett Simonon

 

Style Guide Summer: A Labor Day weekend out East

Editor’s note: Click here to follow along with more travel style posts.

Searching high and low for cool sights in Asbury Park. Denim Shirt by JACHS NY. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers by Reebox x JackThreads. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Nautica. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn.

Searching high and low for cool sights in Asbury Park. Denim Shirt by JACHS NY. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers by Reebox x JackThreads. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Nautica. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn.

It’s no surprise that given how much I’ve been on the road in the past month, the summer came to quite the quick end. But that didn’t stop me from squeezing in one last long weekend of fun before summer (technically) drew to a close. Just a few days after I returned from a summer vacation in Florida, I set my sights on having some fun over the long holiday weekend — as I did for a Memorial Day weekend road trip to kick off the summer. Perhaps you also hit the road, if only for a day or two. That was the case for me, as I took full advantage of a day off on Monday and used the rest of the weekend to hit up everything from my favorite #menswear shops in NYC to the stylish, up-and-coming locale of Asbury Park (all the way down in New Jersey) on a fine September Saturday. And lest we forget, it was a boisterous opening weekend in college football — and that brought with it the chance to cheer on my Michigan State Spartans in style (as you can see below). So, follow along as I recap a weekend that brought with it a little of everything. If you should happen to get bored, check out more menswear musings on Twitter.

A vintage-inspired tee and a tough team watch help add a touch of style to an athletics-inspired outfit.

A vintage-inspired Tailgate Clothing tee and a tough team watch  from Jack Mason help add a touch of style to an athletics-inspired outfit. Army Issue Sneakers by SeaVees. Slim Mercer Light Denim by Mott & Bow. Brass bottle opener by Owen & Fred.

The weekend started slightly earlier than normal thanks to my day job’s advantageous Summer Friday policy — gotta love a few extra hours off. That meant I had plenty of time to rest up for a night of cheering on my alma mater, Michigan State, as they kicked off what should be an excellent college football season with a solid (not stellar) win against Furman. I had some help from my friends at Tailgate Clothing and Jack Mason, who were kind enough to hook me up with team-appropriate gear for the occasion. Both available for great deals, I’d seriously recommend the excellent Michigan State Spartans T-shirt and the Blackout Silicone Strap Watch seen above if you happen to be a Spartan fan — and if not, either brand stocks a bevy of stylish college gear made with everyday good looks in mind. I complemented those new favorites with another style staple, my reliable-as-ever Mott & Bow Slim Mercer Light Denim; it’s a perfect change of pace from trusty dark denim. On the footwear front, the SeaVees Army Issue Sneaker (sold out in White but available in a similarly neutral Olive) was comfortable, effective and appropriate in terms of color (Go White, am I right?). Although I’ll have to add a few layers as the weather gets colder, I can tell my team watch and vintage-inspired tee will provide ample school spirit — and style — all throughout the season.

An outstanding Spartan victory on Friday night paved the way for an outstanding start to the long weekend. For me, that meant a Saturday morning train ride out to the bustling, up-and-coming locale of Asbury Park, an oceanfront New Jersey haven a little over an hour from New York City.  Known for a burgeoning arts scene and prime beach vistas mixed with modern touches — like the newly opened Asbury Hotel — the city has done a nice job mixing the eclectic and the modern. That goes for a classic-yet-refined boardwalk, plus establishments like Dark City Brewing Company and more established locales like one-of-a-kind bar Johnny Mac (spoiler alert — those were two of my stops on the trip). As the day called for casual style, I met the trip accordingly with pieces built for comfort, movement and good looks.

Mixing retro-inspired kicks with lightweight summer classics. Denim Shirt by JACHS NY. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers from the Reebok x JackThreads collab. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Scout Wallet by Andar Wallets. Sunglasses by Nautica.

Mixing retro-inspired kicks with lightweight summer classics. Denim Shirt by JACHS NY. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers from the Reebok x JackThreads collab. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Scout Wallet by Andar Wallets. Sunglasses by Nautica.

It was a prime chance to break out a new favorite piece from JACHS NY, a vintage-inspired light wash denim shirt that offered a bit of stylish contrast to my laidback Bridge & Burn Stringer Dune Shorts. Note that the JACHS denim shirt is sold-out, but you can grab a reliable back-up via JackThreads. To combat the chance of rain and some cloudy skies, I threw on a stylish hooded parka from the Masafumi Watanabe for Reef collaboration. I also always appreciate the chance to rock some standout sneakers on trips long and short — my Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers have proven tremendously comfortable and stylish, and they were the perfect Saturday style pick. Although the day started out cloudy, skies eventually opened up as I explored a quickly developing downtown area (not far from the boardwalk, as it were). From stop to stop, I found that the Scout Wallet from Andar Wallets combined a slim profile with functionality, crucial for traveling light. And my Nautica sunglasses brought bit of retro edge — the navy Wayfarer style seen at the very top of the page is cool, unique and casual — but not too laidback. If you read this blog, you know I love me a great watch, and I certainly didn’t pass up a chance to wear my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, either.

All the gear fit for grabbing a quick pint. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri. Bond Street Brownie by Dark City Brewing Company.

All the gear fit for grabbing a quick pint. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri. Bond Street Brownie by Dark City Brewing Company.

Those pieces definitely helped me get around Asbury Park in style, including stops at the aforementioned Dark City Brewing — you can’t go wrong with grabbing a tasty flight, but I’d certainly recommend the Bond Street Brownie, a rich, roasted brown ale. I followed up that stop with a lengthy stroll along the boardwalk and a quick pop-in to check out the stylish and sustainable Asbury Park outpost of United By Blue. The shop itself — and the brand — have definitely done a nice job mixing eco-friendly pieces with durable style .  If you find yourself in need of a quick bite or an iced coffee, you can’t go wrong with a quick trip to High Voltage Coffee, located conveniently down the boardwalk from United By Blue. Although the weather was just a tad cloudy for parts of the day, I still had a heck of a time exploring what’s quickly becoming a haven for arts and culture — refurbished boardwalk buildings adorned with large murals are just one example of those efforts. And for those who like a cold brew with a side of outdoor relaxation, the unique Wonder Bar not too far from the boardwalk offered up a nice chance to soak in some rays, while Johnny Mac featured everything from vintage instruments to old records plastered on its packed walls (in addition to a solid selection of craft beer).

Sunday Option 1 BK

No Sunday in Brooklyn is complete without a stop at Rucola. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Premium Garment-Dyed Khakis by Dockers. Duvall Wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Sunglasses by Nautica. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason Brand. Tote bag by JackThreads.

I’ll definitely be back to Asbury Park, but yesterday brought a return to NYC and a relaxing Sunday featuring a little bit of everything. I’m a big fan of my Sunday brunch, as any reader of this blog knows, so I always relish the chance to fight the Brunch Village crowds — especially when it means a stop at one of my favorite Brooklyn spots, Rucola. It’s surrounded by quiet, tree-lined streets and lovely brownstones.  On this particular Sunday, I went for sharp-yet-simple style (if you’ve got to head somewhere special right after brunch — say, to a matinee show — a similar combo might be the way to go). In this instance, that meant my Todd Shelton White Oxford was a crisp base for my ensemble, accented by a slim, stylish and comfortable pair of Dockers Premium Clean Garment-Dyed Khakis. Finding pieces that work in that transitional time between summer and fall is tough, but slim chinos in a rich, fall-ready color (like the Tobacco version seen here) are as good a pick as any. The chinos played nicely off the rich brown Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip, and the entire combo would work well with a few minor adjustments throughout the rest of fall (namely, beneath a shawl cardigan when it’s chilly). Two reliable finishing touches helped me complete a look fit for brunch and Sunday adventures — my Wayfarer-inspired Nautica sunglasses and another Jack Mason timepiece (the Nautical 3-Hand Watch). They provided the perfect mix of refined, laidback style — for Sunday brunch, that combination is the way to go.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
With a delicious brunch as fuel for the day, I had more than enough time to take care of some writing for GearMoose and hit up a few of my favorite menswear establishments in Brooklyn, including the terrific lifestyle outpost that is Modern Anthology.  They carry a well-curated assortment of home goods, crisp-and-rugged furniture and essential menswear, plus other odds and ends you didn’t know you needed — give the Web store a look, will you? It’s definitely a favorite haunt in the city, and it made my Sunday all the more enjoyable, as did a stop for a refreshing iced coffee at Absolute Coffee in Boerum Hill — I love me a pit stop for a jolt of caffeine, and I love a rich cold brew even more.

Mixing the old with the new for a casual Monday. Premium Wrinkle Twill Slim-Fit Shirt by Dockers. Grey Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos by JACHS. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason. Scout Wallet by Andar Wallets. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co.

Mixing the old with the new for a casual Monday. Premium Wrinkle Twill Slim-Fit Shirt by Dockers. Grey Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos by JACHS. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason. Scout Wallet by Andar Wallets. Sunglasses by Nautica. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co

Even after all that weekend activity, my time off is still going — and I certainly planned ahead to enjoy Labor Day in style, starting with my Dockers Premium Wrinkle Slim-Fit Twill Shirt (as featured in this site’s Labor Day style suggestion). In this humble writer’s opinion, that comfortable, casual style carried right on through to my JACHS NY Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chino in a four-season shade of grey, plus the terrific, durable and unique Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top sneakers.  That particular collaboration is certainly one worth admiring — and buying — for its blend of heritage and modern styling, plus all-around great looks. I complemented the look with the Nautical 3-Hand Watch from Jack Mason — the rich blue dial and Perlon strap create a one-of-a-kind pop of blue that’s still nicely versatile with neutral staples (like grey chinos and a navy shirt, for instance). As to my plans for the day? Well, I’m looking forward to another delicious coffee at Milk & Honey — because old habits die hard. A trip to Prospect Park is likely in order as well — and of course, I’ll be busy reflecting on an outstanding Labor Day weekend in and around New York City, and looking forward to a busy fall season. Need more daily style inspiration? Hit me up on Instagram, and peruse the Search bar here for more stylish menswear.

For now — stay stylish,

-Beau

P.S. Check back here tomorrow for our weekly #OOTD post, and be on the lookout for a Fall Style Wish List coming soon.

Style Pick of the Week: M.Gemi Strada Derby Shoes

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

A very continental, very stylish pair of footwear from a new men's line.

A very continental, very stylish pair of footwear from a new men’s line.

So, by a show of hands — how many of you here recognize the name M.Gemi? Possibly a few? That definitely makes sense — and it means we’re off to a good start. If it’s because your wife, mom, girlfriend or sister is a fan of their luxurious women’s shoes, it’s time for us fellas to start paying attention. Namely, the brand launched men’s shoes earlier this spring — and has done a darn good job of nailing the crisp, classic aesthetic beloved by #menswear fans everywhere. And, whether you have or haven’t come across the brand’s men’s shoes before, they just might have your summer footwear conundrum solved. Certainly, there’s a time and place for stylish leather loafers or classic white sneakers (heck, even denim sneakers work), but there’s a sort of versatility and continental style that’s unmatched when it comes to a classic pair of suede Derby shoes — like the M.Gemi Strada. So named for their casual, open lacing and constructed from Italian Santa Croce suede and a durable leather-and-rubber sole, they very well might be unlike any pair of shoes in your closet — and that’s ideal if you need a footwear refresh this spring. While you’ll have to get on the wait list for some pairs (and figure out your European shoe size), it’s worth the time. And take specific notice of the Sand Strada in the meantime — it’ll match seamlessly with everything from chambray trousers to light grey chinos.

A premium leather-and-rubber sole should stand up to everything from cobblestones to city sidewalks this spring and summer.

A premium leather-and-rubber sole should stand up to everything from cobblestones to city sidewalks this spring and summer.

They’re available in two other highly versatile colors — Navy and Gray — each of which would complement everything from rolled lightwash denim to white jeans. A suede derby shoe in and of itself is also a great shoe to toss on if you fancy trying a bit of a monochromatic look, too. As a footwear piece, they work well as a sneaker substitute with chinos and a blazer, or with a chambray shirt and slim black jeans. Even the Navy Strada packs enough visual contrast in the rich Italian suede to offset slim navy chinos or classic dark denim quite nicely. The same goes for the Sand Strada, seen here. Don’t be afraid to pair those with an indigo pocket tee and light khaki denim for a pretty pleasing visual effect. While it takes some getting used to at first, the art of nonchalantly wearing a great pair of footwear with style staples both casual and tailored has been perfected for years by the guys at Pitti Uomo (whether it fits your sense of style or not). So, given that these are a premium price but not out-of-this-world expensive, it might be time to look into rounding out your closet with your own pair of M.Gemi men’s shoes. These should be the first pair you reach for on Mondays, and they’d be a wise pick for travel, summer weddings and lots of stops in between. With the right suede shoe cleaning kit, you’ll have them for several seasons ahead.

Would you pick up this pair from M.Gemi? What are your thoughts on the brand? Let me know at The Style Guide Facebook page!
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

Guest Post: #Menswear at Malaysia’s P. Lal

Editor’s note: The world of style is remarkably vast, to put it mildly. It seems no matter where you go, great brands and great finds abound. Returning guest author Mark Lai spent some time globetrotting this summer [much like your humble author] and delivered this dispatch from Malaysia — yes, Malaysia — where shoe fiends who delve deep into the menswear world will feel right at home. Follow him on Instagram to keep up with his style adventures.

A brief peek at what was to come at P. Lal in Kuala Lumpur.

A brief peek at what was to come at P. Lal in Kuala Lumpur.

As far as quality shoe brands are concerned, Singapore is largely a barren wasteland. While establishments like Ed Et Al, Carmina and Septíème Largeur have opened in recent years, the majority of Singapore’s shoe landscape is still dominated by the likes of Hush Puppies and Ecco. There remains a dearth of choice for quality shoes at specific price ranges -for instance, Ed Et Al is the most budget-friendly option, with prices for their (excellent) ready-to-wear pieces starting around $350. [Editor’s note: Check out other budget-friendly dress shoe options here].

P. Lal in most of its shoe-envy glory.

P. Lal in most of its shoe-envy glory.

Fortunately, there remains a veritable perk of residing in Singapore: Kuala Lumpur, home to P.Lal, is a mere 5 hours’ drive away.  For those unfamiliar with it, P.Lal is a family-owned shoe store located on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur in the Petaling Jaya district, and has been in operation since 1929. The brands stocked, with their respective pricing points indicated in the brackets, include a range (detailed below) from entry-level to drool-worthy, with a focus on European heritage shoemakers.

A good look at the anatomy of a Goodyear-welted shoe by Loake.

A good look at the anatomy of a Goodyear-welted shoe by Loake.

  • Loake (Entry-level)
    • P. Lal claims to have the largest collection of Loake shoes in the world. Although I’m in no position to verify that, it may well be true since they stock most of the models from all of Loake’s ranges – Loake 1880s, Loake Shoemakers, Loake Evolution, design Loake and L1. (Editor’s note: You might recognize these guys Stateside, as they’re sold via East Dane).
  • Barker (Entry-level to mid-range)
    • I confess that I didn’t have a good look at the models from Barker while I was there, largely because I was in the market for a pair of Loakes, and because I saw a few cemented (referring to the method of attaching the soles of the shoes to their uppers) and corrected grain models, which I wasn’t quite fond of.
  • Cheaney (Mid-range)
    • In addition to their main collection of Cheaney’s, it’s also worth noting that P.Lal has factory seconds of Cheaney’s shoes, albeit in limited sizes and models. At prices similar to or lower than Loake 1880s, these seconds are an incredible deal, provided you can find one in your size.
  • Crockett & Jones (Mid-range) [Editor’s note: Another brand with a recognizable name — they supply boots to none other than James Bond].
    • It’s quite a pity that Crockett & Jones stopped supplying to P.Lal some years ago, ostensibly due to their overly-low prices that Crockett & Jones weren’t agreeable with. A few sizes remain.
  • Gaziano & Girling (High-end)
    • At prices starting from about $730 or so, shoes from Gaziano & Girling remain firmly in my personal “see but don’t touch” category for the time being. Fine, I might have touched them ever so briefly, but that limited touching was rudely interrupted by the drool leaking uncontrollably out of my mouth, induced by the elegance of those beautiful lasts, channeled soles and fiddleback waists.
More Loake shoes on display at this veritable shoe lover's dream.

More Loake shoes on display at this veritable shoe lover’s dream.

I found shopping at P.Lal to be a blissfully serene experience. Unlike most other shops, I was able to walk around the shop at my complete leisure, without the pressure of having a sticky sales associate pushing products onto me. (When engaged however, the sales associates were extremely attentive and knowledgeable, giving me advice on the lasts which would fit my wide-ish feet.) That lack of pressure resulted in me spending two-and-a-half hours asking a ton of questions, trying on multiple sizes in various models, walking around the shop in the shoes I was trying and gazing lovingly at the display shoes as if they were museum exhibits. Left in my trail were two exhausted sales associates, a companion who had mentally checked out long ago and many shoe boxes.

In addition to the wide array of shoes and the wonderful shopping experience, the favorably low value of the Malaysian Ringgit compared to U.S. dollars and P.Lal’s lowest fixed prices guarantee provide two more compelling reasons to drop in for a visit if you’re ever in town.

Lastly, note that orders can be placed via email at plal@plal.com or via telephone (pull out that long-distance calling card) at this number: +60 3 7955 5454 or +60 10 540 5454