The Friday Read: The Best Men’s Leather Jackets, Stylish Men’s Gifts & Your New Favorite Shirt

A rugged winter shirt fit for all your winter weekend adventures.

Looking toward the weekend? Looking toward shopping some new winter style essentials? I know that’s a YES from me on both accounts. In fact, perhaps the rugged Topo Designs Wool Shirt is on your holiday wish list as seen above? It’s one of the best shirts for winter, apt for layering atop a rugged thermal shirt or heck, a cool concert tee. In fact, speaking of concert tees, I’m looking forward to perhaps picking up a new addition to my collection tonight — I’m heading out to Brooklyn Steel to see indie rockers San Fermin play my favorite venue in the city, with an opening-band assist from equally excellent Brooklyn indie rockers Wild Pink (the makers of one of my favorite albums last year!). When you add in the fact that newly opened brewery 18th Ward Brewing sits mere steps across the street from my favorite venue, well, I’d say that’s a recipe for a great start to the weekend, yes? Yes indeed! The rest of the weekend, I’ll be enjoying Prospect Park and a tasty Old Fashioned or two around the borough. I’ll also be sipping on some rich, delicious Driftaway Coffee — you might recall the brand from my Black Friday sales post, and if you want sustainable and ethical coffee delivered right to your door, there’s hardly a better brand to shop. Of course, it’s also prime holiday gifting season — with that in mind, I give you the best way to start your weekend: Another edition of The Friday Read. Enjoy, and cheers to December!

  • Speaking of gift-giving right off the bat, I coverd 15 stylish gift ideas for men over at GearMoose, ensuring that you’ve got plenty of options — from outerwear to accessories — for the style-minded fella in your life (or yourself!).
  • Let’s stick with GearMoose for a second, shall we? On that note, I wrote all about the best leather jackets for men, from brands like Filson and Taylor Stitch — if you haven’t experienced that first snowfall yet, then there’s hardly a more reliable layer than a tough leather jacket for pairing with your favorite henley and slim blue denim.
  • Lastly, have we talked about a unique way to switch up your men’s shirting rotation? Well, I’m sure we have lately … but we haven’t talked about how an elbow patch shirt can upgrade your winter style — these shirts are fit to be worn on their own or atop a classic white T-shirt or a rugged henley in equal measure.

That’s going to wrap up today’s winter-centric, gift-centric start to the weekend — but wait, there’s more! If you’re still on the hunt for the best gifts for men to take care of the style-minded gentlemen on your list, you might want to check out my roundup of the best winter gear. Parkas, leather boots, tough shirting — it’s all taken care of when it comes to the top new winter style essentials, trust me. OK, that’s all for this weekend!

See Now, Buy Now: Invest in the Best with the Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket

A stunning, extraordinary jacket from a brand that always delivers.

If you’re on the hunt for a stylish leather jacket, you might as well just really go for it — right? Such is the case with the Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket, an extraordinary piece of outerwear from the Style Guide favorites at Taylor Stitch. It’s gotta be among the best men’s leather jackets, that much I’m sure of. The Moto Jacket has been done by the brand before — as far back as 2015 — but the new Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket, specifically in Tobacco Weatherproof Suede, is a thing of beauty. And in my estimation, that’s exactly why we’re coming at you with a special Monday edition of our See Now, Buy Now series. Here’s the catch — the Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket is only available for pre-order at the moment, so there’s some waiting involved. But when it finally hits your doorstep? My oh my, I think you’ll be mighty pleased with the latest rendition of the Moto Jacket. Part of the brand’s Moto Collection, the Moto Jacket is pre-funding for a limited time only, and it’s not hard to see why it’s such a fan favorite.

The brand worked with the master outerwear purveyors at Golden Bear to turn a decades-old silhouette into a seriously stylish modern iteration. Put it simply: The Moto Jacket is absolutely drool-worthy (and actually quite the steal at the pre-funding price of $875). Made from Italian suede finished with a DWR treatment, it’s the rare suede jacket that’s waterproof. That’s a positive, because the Moto Jacket should become a go-to for all of your favorite menswear essentials, from a slim Taylor Stitch henley to a chambray shirt to a classic Oxford and a wool tie. In short, the Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket is going to make each and every ensemble you throw on even better (short of dressing for a black tie gala, that is). And the details, from the zig-zag stitched reinforced collar to the cotton flannel-lined pockets to the antique brass zipper, are as good as you’re going to find. So, let’s salute Taylor Stitch for the Moto Jacket … and then let’s get that pre-order taken care of, right?

Happ Monday, my friends — happy shopping!

-Beau

#OOTD: Ready for Fall with US Authentic

Editor’s note: Thank you kindly to US Authentic for sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest and completely my own.

The Baron -- a classic reimagined for modern times, and paired up here with an Old Navy henley, the Slim Mercer Denim from Mott & Bow, patterned Richer Poorer socks and Beckett Simonon chukka boots.

The Baron — a classic reimagined for modern times, and paired up here with an Old Navy henley, the Slim Mercer Denim from Mott & Bow, patterned Richer Poorer socks and Beckett Simonon chukka boots.

What’s one surefire to upgrade your style while sticking to tried-and-true classics? Add a killer piece of outerwear — particularly as we roll into fall. Essential, investment-worthy pieces are talked about a lot here at The Style Guide. Be it sturdy selvedge denim, stylish boots or a rugged Henley, each piece lends itself to timeless style. That sense of timelessness is also true with a beautiful, built-to-last leather jacket. So when US.Authentic reached out to help me prep for fall, I was more than ready to take on the change in seasons in style — as you might have seen in last week’s Style Pick of the Week post, also featuring the Baron, a fantastic A-1 bomber.  A rugged leather jacket can be a rather daunting purchase for which to shop — particularly if you don’t know where to start. It can be even more intimidating to style on the daily — however, a classic, handsome piece like the Baron helps you tackle that problem swiftly. Fashioned for modern times with authentic specs made to match those of World War II (when flight jackets really were built for the field), it’s a piece that’s easily wearable in 2016. Perhaps the best way to style it leans both rugged and classic. Make no mistake, The Baron is the type of jacket to wear whenever you can — yes, even over a navy knit tie and a white Oxford shirt. However, the Baron is at its best when matched with pieces like the ones seen in the photo at the top.

The Baron pictured alongside other stellar outerwear from US Authentic

The Baron — just as with other leather jackets — works particularly well for casual wear. In this case, a slim short-sleeve henley plays nicely off the rich leather of the Baron. And although slim selvedge denim would be a reliable styling choice, a pair of natural denim  offers a solid change of pace from the everyday. And as with the crisp wingtip boots featured in last week’s post, unconstructed brown leather chukkas (from Beckett Simonon) mix high-low style easily. While your first instinct might be to reach for sturdy lug-sole boots, chukkas offer a sleek contrast to the henley and the vintage vibes of the Baron. Of course, this is but one #OOTD in which a finely crafted leather jacket works. With any number of US Authentic jackets — particularly the Baron — you’re getting fine attention to detail, excellent styling potential and sturdy construction (trust me, this jacket is a beast — perfect for layering throughout the fall). Best of all, you can complement it with sharp, timeless accessories like aviator sunglasses and a beautiful brown leather watch. It’s worth stating again — a timeless jacket like this one will never go out of style. Shop this jacket now via US Authentic, and check out more #menswear looks on Instagram.

Get the Baron now, and check out US Authentic on Instagram for more.

 

Style Pick of the Week: US Authentic Baron Leather Jacket

Editor’s note: Thank you to US Authentic for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own. To see other Style Picks, head here.

Set for the season with my U.S. Authentic Baron Jacket. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim selvedge denim by Raleigh Denim Workshop. Greer Wingtip Boots by Johnston & Murphy. Sunglasses and timepiece by MVMT Watches.

Set for the season with my U.S. Authentic Baron Jacket. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim selvedge denim by Raleigh Denim Workshop. Greer Wingtip Boots by Johnston & Murphy. Sunglasses and timepiece by MVMT Watches.

When the calendar turns — ever so slowly — from the heat of summer to the crisp breeze of fall, I start to get excited. If you’ve been reading The Style Guide, you know that fall is an essential time for fans of rugged menswear — it’s the perfect time to break out those trusty leather boots, slip into some sturdy selvedge denim and relish the chance to tie it all together with great outerwear — like a classic leather jacket. That’s certainly the case with today’s Style Pick of the Week, and it’s fitting that I’ve teamed up with US Authentic to showcase how I get ready for fall. Not familiar with the brand? Start learning — these jackets are perfect for the months to come. The season is a time of transitions that calls for classic style and added layers to fight the cold, plus a dash of durable appeal. In that regard, US Authentic leather jackets incorporate everything you could want and then some. They’re packed with heritage inspiration, high-quality materials and a rugged-refined feel. That’s absolutely true of the Baron, an A-1 jacket that manages to capture vintage vibes and modern style all at once. The brand takes a similar approach with other silhouettes, including an A-2 flight jacket and a bomber jacket, but the Baron was my pick — and for good reason.

The Baron is built to authentic specs, just like the old days — that means vintage goatskin leather, a 100 percent cotton lining and sturdy 100 percent wool rib knitting at the collar, cuffs and waistband. The jacket’s materials are true to the World War II era, and you can definitely feel it — the Baron is sturdy, durable and yet slim-fitting and timeless. The rich brown leather color and dark brown wool cuffs fit right in with the deeper tones of fall. too. This is certainly a jacket you’re going to get a lot of use out of in the season ahead (and well beyond). I’d suggest styling it much as I did — with a rough-and-tumble denim shirt, sturdy selvedge and your favorite pair of wingtip boots — and then heading out to explore a park or grab a coffee. Of course, a classic jacket like the Baron can be complemented nicely with flight-inspired accessories like stylish Aviator sunglasses. The rest of the time, I’d suggest you stick with similarly retro-inspired style — pair the Baron with a durable long-sleeve henley, sharp chukka boots and slim denim (and if I were you, I’d look out for a very similar #OOTD next week). Seriously, the timeless style of the Baron  really can’t be topped — you’re getting a piece of outerwear modeled on a classic silhouette, with the specs to back it up. Heck, you could wear this jacket every day for months on end. That’s investment-worthy style at its finest. Are you ready for fall yet? I sure am.

Pick up the Baron here, and follow US Authentic on Instagram.

What to Wear Today: A Fall-Ready Leather Jacket

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ben Sherman US

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Style Pick of the Week: Taylor Stitch Moto Jacket

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.

Details like a hidden snap-down lend some edge to a piece that's already filled with downtown cool.

A vintage piece that combines rugged cool and heritage quality.

We’re just into September, which means that it’s time for this blogger to … switch from writing about polos to leather jackets? Well, when the offering is as stellar as the latest release from Taylor Stitch, it’s definitely time to cue up a few paragraphs. Taylor Stitch, makers of excellent slim chinos as reviewed on this blog, has really hit it out of the park with its latest endeavor, the Moto Jacket (part of the broader Moto Collection).The pre-sale campaign for the Moto Jacket started just about a week ago, and consumers have responded — this bad boy is a whooping 770% funded. It really does have all the pedigree (and styling potential) that you could want from a great leather jacket — and you’d certainly expect that given the $875 price tag. It’s made in partnership with renowned sportswear purveyors Golden Bear and based off a 40-year-old jacket produced by the same brand. Yet, the two have taken the principles that made the original so great, including a vintage racer silhouette, and brought the entire item into the 21st century.

A contemporary fit and quilted lining keep this jacket sleek and functional.

A contemporary fit and quilted lining keep this jacket sleek and functional.

The thick 3.5oz. steerhide leather looks as if it should break in beautifully over time, and a diamond quilted lining should also keep you insulated from fall’s chill. The jacket looks to fit slim and contemporary, a definite positive that ensures it’ll pair up well with both tailored cords and rugged denim. Leather jackets are one of only a host of outerwear options for the colder months, to be sure, but it’s fall’s answer to the spring denim jacket — able to replace your blazer, if need be. The trickiest thing about it (other than having to fork over that much cash) will definitely be the waiting — it’s set to start shipping around November 23. So, there’s need to buy anything for Black Friday, right? On the plus side, its current price is $300 lower than the regular price. And at the end of the day, it’s truly a jacket that should last at least as long as the one off which it was modeled — and likely beyond that. Pair it with a henley and some dark denim, and consider yourself set for many seasons to come.

What’s your reaction to this moto jacket? Would you wear it  (or spend the cash) and how would you style it?
Florsheim
Greats