The Friday Read: 2016’s Best Watches, Last-Minute Gifts and Holiday Travel Style

Check your watch, check your calendar, check this blog — we’re just two (TWO) days away from Christmas! It’s been a hectic week between my winter trip to Baltimore and some travel to sunny Florida, but I hope you’re en route to your holiday destination — and traveling in style, of course.  If you’ve slacked (big-time) on your gift buying, check out our women’s holiday gift guide and the requisite men’s holiday gift guide one final, last time. And right after we turn from Christmas, New Year’s Eve is upon us — to that end, we’ll cover what to wear on New Year’s Eve in the next few days. And we’ll be going through men’s style resolutions for 2017, too. If your resolutions include upgrading your workout gear, you’d do well to enter this site’s latest menswear giveaway. But back to business. It’s been great to reflect on a stellar year in NYC over the last few days; that includes the chance to build on my career in fashion PR, write this blog and pursue my passion through other great menswear sites like The Manual and GearMoose. We’re not done with the style content on this blog for 2016 yet — far from it. For now, I’ll leave you today with the best in men’s style — I hope you take care of your last-minute shopping, and more importantly, I hope you’ll join us for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week.  Now, get to it!

  • Whenever you talk about a  stylish, durable watch, it’s advisable to turn to the folks at GQ. Yes, they do make some questionable styling choices and hop on and off quite a few trends, but hey, GQ.com rounded up 2016’s best watches — and the list includes some stone-cold stunners, like the rugged Tudor Black Bay Bronze.
  • Let’s stay on the topic of GQ, shall we? The publication’s digital arm rounded up 16 holiday travel style favorites. Some of these picks are mighty premium — take the $840 AMI overcoat, for starters — but the premise is admirable. 16 items, a full set of outfits and some solid suggestions (denim-on-denim among them).
  • And on the topic of last-second shopping, if you’ve got someone on your list who values a touch of irreverent style and a bit of high-fashion — like an embroidered Levi’s denim jacket  — use the code ‘MERRY30’ to get 30!percent off almost everything online and in-store at Brooklyn’s own Kinfolk. Note that the deal excludes footwear, collaboration apparel & N. Hoollywood gear, but hey, there are plenty of picks from which to shop.

One last item to read …

  • Did you catch the launch of the slick new Taylor Stitch Minimalist Collection? It includes a bifold wallet and a slim cardholder, among other goods. They’re reasonably priced for investment-worthy leather pieces and feature the classic design that’s made Taylor Stitch so coveted among lovers of great menswear. Get the scoop via my latest GearMoose post.

Did that help you fill the time between holiday shopping sessions? Once more, check out the women’s style gift guide and shop our men’s style gift guide as quickly as you can.

Finally: Have a great day, and a great weekend!

-Beau
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Style Pick of the Week: Buck Mason Sand Chinos

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.

The perfect pair of four-season chinos -- just maybe?

The perfect pair of four-season chinos — just maybe?

 

Even though summer is well and truly here (being past Memorial Day and all), it seems like there’s still an adjustment period in terms of what works and what doesn’t in terms of all-season wear. On a personal level, that means it still feels weird to ditch even light wash denim in favor of shorts, for example. That’s why it’s a positive (and useful) thing to be able to incorporate simple seasonal style essentials into your #OOTD no matter the weather. And in this instance, a great pair of cotton chinos definitely qualifies as a four-season #menswear staple. So if you recognize the chinos at the top of this page, you’re in good company. Buck Mason has popped up from time to time on The Style Guide before (including the brand’s classic blue Oxford),  and they’re back again today for very good reason. Finding investment pieces that work in multiple outfits is a tough thing if you don’t know where to look (or even if you do), and the brand’s Sand Chinos are just the ticket to solving those issues — and although they come in shades ranging from Olive to Iron, the Sand color is the way to go this week. Crafted from a 10oz. cotton twill in a color that’s a versatile take on khaki, they feature a tailored fit, a mid rise and the sort of look that works with everything from a slub pocket tee to a slim polo and classic navy sneakers. Really, that’s just the start.

Easily wearable with classic sneakers and a white shirt.

Easily wearable with classic sneakers and a white shirt.

They’re American-made, so that’s another thing going for ’em. And although the price is higher than, say, the Taylor Stitch Standard Issue Chino, it’s just as worth it.  Particularly in the summer, they’ll work just as well as your favorite pair of classic dark denim. Pair these with a slim white henley and brown leather sneakers for crisp weekend style, or toss these on with a cheeky graphic tee and chukka boots for a night out. And during the work week, they’re an especially solid style move — with a slim chambray shirt and brown suede wingtips, they’ll set you apart from other folks at the office — in a good way.  And even for an outdoor wedding, they’ll do the trick. Sharp leather loafers and a white chambray shirt are the ideal complements for such a style scenario, and they’ll do you well in cold weather with a  shawl cardigan and thermal henley. So that’s 12-month style for one price up front — not a bad deal, right? Let me know what you think over on Twitter, and thanks for reading!

Have you tried out Buck Mason chinos? How would you style this pair?

 

 

 

Style Pick of the Week: Mack Weldon Merino Long-Sleeve Tee

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 plain ol' long-sleeve tee? Certainly not. A premium style upgrade? Definitely.

A plain ol’ long-sleeve tee? Certainly not. A premium style upgrade? Definitely.

There are definitely categories in the men’s style world that have been overlooked for years. That’s certainly true for things like underwear (yes, we’re going there), socks and crucially, base layers like long-sleeve tees. Athletic brands have generally dominated that market and focused more on functionality, but some companies have really honed in on a particular category and owned it — good news for you, my friend. So if you haven’t met ’em yet, say hello to Mack Weldon — and what just might be your new favorite T-shirt. The brand excels (and is primarily known for) its well-crafted and comfortable line of underwear, but it also puts out undershirts, T-shirts, sweatpants and even socks. So they’ve got a lot going on. But its Merino knits take the cake in terms of combining comfort and style. Crucially, I’ve had the chance courtesy of the brand to check one out over this past week, in fact. And while this Merino T-shirt might look like an ordinary long-sleeve tee, it’s anything but. So that’s a GREAT thing for the $78 price tag (bear with me!).

Just another one of four color options made with comfort, a tailored fit and style.

Just another one of four color options made with comfort, a tailored fit and style.

It’s built with antimicrobial technology, soft Merino wool and a Tencel blend that aids in that softness even more. The slim fit and raglan sleeves are modern design features that might seem small at first, but actually pay off in a big way. Raglan stitching (that’s the curved stitching at the chest) makes your chest and shoulders look broader, and the slim fit has a two-part function. Say you feel like going extra casual and rocking this tee with a blazer (something you can and should do) — the slim fit absolutely helps with that style maneuver, while the soft fabric and color options still make it different than a normal tee. And if you decide to wear it on its own with tapered sweats or even dark denim on the weekends? The modern fit is going to help you out immensely. My personal favorite of the bunch (four solid and versatile color options) is the Bluestone color — it echoes lighter shades for spring, yet it’s not so loud that it couldn’t be worn alongside darker colorways of blue, rust or even burgundy cords in the fall and winter. Unfortunately, the small size is sold out in that color at the moment; thankfully, there are other options!  At $78, it’s a premium investment for sure. However, you might not want to go back to your plain T-shirts after trying one of these on.

Do you own any Mack Weldon gear? How would you rock this long-sleeve tee?
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Style Pick of the Week: Taylor Stitch Long Haul Waxed Canvas 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.

The Long Haul Field Jacket -- another stunning crowdfunded piece up for grabs from Taylor Stitch.

The Long Haul Field Jacket — another stunning crowdfunded piece up for grabs from Taylor Stitch.

There are some items that you see online and immediately think — or in this case, exclaim aloud — “WHOA.” The item that did that for me this week is the crazy-sweet jacket you see at the top of the page — and that’s almost not even a good enough adjective to describe it. Yes indeed, the Long Haul Jacket in Field Tan Waxed Canvas is the latest in a growing line of exceptionally stylish and durable-looking product releases from the made-in-America purveyors at California-based Taylor Stitch. If you’re not familiar with the brand, take a moment to acquaint yourself. They stock both a regular rotation of everday Essentials  — things like chambray shirts, Oxfords and their famous Standard Issue Chinos — in addition to the crowdfunding they use to produce products (like the jacket you see here) in small batches. That model is clearly working, as the Long Haul Jacket is a runaway hit to the tune of being more than 350% funded as of press time. They’ve become a Style Guide regular (check out a past Style Pick feature here), and that’s due in large part to the strength and style potential of their product, which is timeless and well-crafted. The Long Haul Jacket would certainly seem to stand up to that test at first glance — and that first glance is a stunner (or is it just me?).

The jacket comes complete with the brand's signature map lining interior, not to mention a host of other durable design features.

The jacket comes complete with the brand’s signature map lining interior, not to mention a host of other durable design features.

This rather beastly-looking jacket is crafted from 7 oz. Martexin waxed canvas designed to repel water, and comes complete with tonal Brisbane Moss corduroy-lined cuffs and collar for an extra bit of vintage style inspiration. The flap chest pockets and front-welt hand-warmer pockets (along with the silhouette in general) call to mind a classic denim jacket — except a denim jacket won’t pack nearly the punch that this thing will. The copper rivets and buttons look sturdy, an underrated point of emphasis that can make a big difference — don’t want any buttons falling off, eh? So the design features appear at first glance to be exceptionally solid. And of course, the styling potential for this jacket is nearly through the roof. The weight and water-repellent functionality should make it a terrific spring jacket — that’s perfect, given that it should ship in late March after pre-funding and production. And the color and sturdy waxed canvas mean you can wear it into fall with solid layers, too. It’s the perfect jacket to toss on over a grey henley and black denim, and you can mix up your office style by pairing it with a chambray shirt and a navy knit tie. And about that price — for a jacket that you can wear that much, the pre-funding mark of $148 is a downright steal. Get on it, and get excited for spring.

How would you style this field jacket? Do you have any experience with Taylor Stitch?

Style Pick of the Week: Frye Prison Boot

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 rich color and Goodyear welt construction create a super-tough (and prison-ready) overall package from Frye.

A rich color and Goodyear welt construction create a super-tough (and prison-ready) overall package from Frye. Photo courtesy of Frye.

As the calendar moves into January and winter (finally) gets started in earnest, I find myself turning time and again to style staples that I can wear over and over again — things like great sweaters, a nice jacket and solid winter accessories. Sometimes when it gets cold or the weather turns on you, you just need something sturdy to carry you from point A to point B. Of course, form and function should go hand-in-hand — and it’s definitely achievable when you browse through the stunning E-commerce pages of a site like Huckberry. Their selection of gear is really second-to-none if you appreciate quality, craftsmanship and timeless style (believe me, I’ve spent hours looking). And one piece in particular really caught my eye  this week– those boots you see at the top of the page: the Frye Prison Boot. The name sounds intimidating, to be sure, but the styling potential and quality are actually quite relatable — even if they are the same style of boots made for … wait for it … the Arkansas prison system.

Leather laces and a stone-tumbled finish also add unique character to these boots.

Leather laces and a stone-tumbled finish also add unique character to these boots.

The Frye Prison Boot comes in a rich Cognac colorway, and the boots themselves are, quite incredulously, tumbled with stones for a beat-up, broken-in look. Crucial details like a Goodyear welt construction ensure supremely sturdy quality, and the thick leather laces are also a nice touch. Make no mistake, these are not a pair of boots to be trifled with. The price certainly reflects that — it outstrips nearly every entry on this site’s recent list of best men’s winter boots. On that note, there are definitely brands (like Thursday Boots) who can offer cheaper winter boots and in more sizes (these guys only run up to size 12 via Huckberry). Even with that hefty price tag, the Frye Prison Boot is the type of boot you can take out and use again and again with a ton of outfits — season after season. Think slim corduroys plus a navy crewneck and a chambray shirt (as in this week’s #OOTD entry), for starters. And as long as you reach for something like a chambray dress shirt, they could even add character to something as refined as a slim charcoal suit. The point is this: the color is rich and versatile, the quality is self-evident, and the design touches (like the prison number stamped on the heel) add a little something extra — enough to the point where you just might wish you had a pair the next time you step out in the snow.

Tell me — would you consider buying these boots? How would you style them?