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

Style Pick of the Week: Nisolo Leon Weekender

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. Portions of this post use affiliate links, off of which a small commission might be earned on purchases.

Your new favorite weekender? Possibly. The only one you'll need to buy again? Likely.

Your new favorite weekender? Possibly. The only one you’ll need to buy again? Likely.

There comes a time in every guy’s life when he looks at his weekender bag and thinks “Y’know, there’s something missing.” Right? Right. Well, we’re here to solve the conundrum between style, functionality and durability this weekend with this Saturday’s Style Pick, the handsome, extremely well-made and essential Nisolo Leon Weekender.  You might recognize this bag from this site’s recent feature on how to dress for winter travel, but we’re taking a bit of a deeper dive today. Now, a weekender bag probably isn’t going to take care of all of your travel luggage needs — especially if you’re on the road for longer than, well, a weekend — but if you need a new bag for quick trips and the like, the Leon Weekender just might be exactly what the doctor ordered. As sold via everyone’s favorite third-party men’s lifestyle site — we’re talking ’bout Huckberry — a stylish weekender bag is every bit as important to pick up as tough winter boots or a stylish pair of winter gloves. And whether you’re gearing up in fall travel style or hitting the road in winter (or really, any other season), you’re gonna want to look good. Trust us on that one. And why is the Nisolo Leon Weekender the one to buy now? Well, it’s got great looks, durability and functionality — and that’s just for starters.
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Perhaps a few travel packing tips worth stealing. Photo courtesy of Huckberry.

Perhaps a few travel packing tips worth stealing. Photo courtesy of Huckberry.

Nisolo tends to fly under the radar a little bit as far as notoriety goes, but that’s not a bad thing — it just means you’re in on the ground floor. You might recognize them from a recent tailored style #OOTD — yessir, they make beautiful leather chukkas, too. And of course, the brand specializes in handsome, versatile goods with just enough rugged edge — that’s what makes the Leon Weekender so essential.  It’s handmade in Mexico — a country with a rather surprising amount of excellent leather producers and factories — out of vegetable-tanned leather that should develop a beautiful patina over time. The tan cotton canvas lining adds a dash of durability to protect your gear, while leather zipper pulls are a thoughtful design touch. It might just be the perfect weekender bag — it’s dressy enough to look right at home with a business casual travel outfit, yet it’s got enough character to work as an accessory in a more rugged winter style ensemble. Size-wise, it’s a bit smaller than the relatively roomy Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, so there should be no issues packing it up with travel style essentials. An added bonus? You can pick up something like the equally handsome Nisolo Durango Dopp Kit for a full set of reliable, durable travel gear from the same brand.  And although the price tag is a tad high, it’s the type of investment you won’t regret making — this is a bag you’ll absolutely have for years to come; just think of the stories and adventures you’ll have. On that note philosophical note, we’re wrapping up this week’s Style Pick. We’ll see you on Monday as we get back to the grind.

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

Get the Nisolo Leon Weekender now via Huckberry.

The Friday Read: Veterans Day, Sword and Plough and Glenfiddich Whisky

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.

Well. Hey, what a week, right? Onward and upward. On this Friday, it’s a good reason to reflect and bring us all togehter– Veterans Day should bring with it great appreciation for the men and women who’ve served, and continue to serve so bravely. And a bit of a focus on the lifestyle companies that help support those veterans never goes wrong, either. Is there anything better than buying stylish, quality menswear for a great cause? If you’ve got some plans to do that this weekend, I think you’ll like the content we have in store below. And if your weekend brings with it other plans, it still pays to keep in mind some crucial men’s style tips — like how to dress for fall travel, or how to buy your new favorite henley (all crucial, you see). And if it’s getting really chilly where you are? Layer up with a stylish flannel shirt or a slim cardigan. You can, of course, look for our weekly Style Pick tomorrow — and stay tuned, ‘cuz it’ll get you shopping via Huckberry quicker than you can move your mouse. For now, catch up on the week in menswear — and the weekend to come.

A duffle built with military-grade fabric and inspiration.

A duffle built with military-grade fabric and inspiration.

    • First up in our Veteran’s Day rundown? A company that keeps the sacrifices of our armed forces front and center in everything it does, from its use of repurposed military fabrics to its mission of supporting vets through all phases of production. Sword and Plough  is launching a new duffle bag inspired by co-founder Emily Nunez’s experience with her U.S. Army duffle. It’s built with that same durability in mind and available in either Camo or Olive — the Camo version is lined in surplus 500-denier nylon fabric, while the Olive version is lined in a surplus cotton/nylon twill (originally meant for older military uniforms, but unused).  Oh, and the leather accents even come from the brand’s Redwing, Minn., which itself is a major military supplier. Get it ASAP via Sword and Plough, and know that the brand’s weekender bags — one of which I took with me on a fall trip to Providence — are just as quality.

  • If you fancy yourself in the market for a smaller accessory that pays homage to military inspiration you can’t go wrong with a rugged, durable and stylish casual watch via AVI-8.  Makers of handsome timepieces, they’re offering 30 percent off the brand’s Flyboy Collection now through Monday, November 14th using the code ‘Flyboy‘  — of course, as to the watches themselves, you can’t go wrong with the Flyboy Tuck, inspired by Royal Air Force flying ace Robert Stanford Tuck. The Flyboy Mesh is also clean, crisp and stylish enough for both casual and more refined wear. What are you waiting for, yeah?
  • Now, it’s not quite Veteran’s Day-related, but your footwear closet might need a new addition. CLAE and Style Guide favorite JackThreads just teamed up on a stylish sneaker collaboration that’s in need of your time. The CLAE x JackThreads Bradley is a refined low-top black sneaker with a patent leather cap toe and heel — not your everyday set of kicks. And the CLAE x JackThreads Strayhorn Mid is a unique, affordable and super-stylish high-top chukka sneaker with a wool upper. Yes, you’ll want to wear this with a classic chambray shirt, your favorite cardigan and dark denim soon — very soon.

Want one last way to toast to the weekend?

  • Craft bee is a big passion of mine. Whisky? Not all the time. But whisky aged in craft beer barrels? Bingo. See, we’re not all menswear here at The Style Guide. If that’s the case for you as well, you’d be wise to keep your eyes open for the new Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask Finish, a single malt scotch whiskey finished in IPA craft beer barrels and released last month. It’s part of the Glennfiddich Expermental Series, and it’s certainly got the rich flavor and nuanced details to back it up. It’s now out in the public, too  — keep your eyes  open for it at luxury whiskey retail stores, along with premium bars and hotels across the U.S. Cheers!

That brings us to the end of this week’s Friday Read — again, stick around for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week, and stay stylish!

-Beau

Catching some rays: A summer vacation in Florida

Editor’s note: To recap my latest travel style adventures, click that link.

Just one snap of my time spent in sunny Florida. Pocket tee by Steven Alan. Tropical-print linen shorts by Todd Snyder. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Sunglasses by Nautica. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge and Burn. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Bracelet by Bryer Leather.

Just one snap of my time spent in sunny Florida. Pocket tee by Steven Alan. Tropical-print linen shorts by Todd Snyder. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Sunglasses by Nautica. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge and Burn. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Bracelet by Bryer Leather.

It might seem hard to believe, but today ends a whirlwind stretch of 12 out of 17 days on the road for me — yes, that’s right! That included a trip West to Liberty Fairs, plus a wedding weekend in Michigan, all fun in their own way, and all involving some stellar #menswear (if I do say so myself). Given that I’ve grown pretty accustomed to hitting the road as of late, it made my next trip all the more enjoyable; it’s not all that often that I get to head South to visit my family in Florida, but it’s always a special occasion. In this case, I was able to celebrate my mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!) and take in a truly epic AC/DC concert with my dad in nearby Fort Lauderdale — but more on that in a second. I was last in Fort Myers in March (a Style Guide spring break, if you will), and this go-round, I was able to bring along a different — yet hopefully just as stylish — set of men’s style essentials for a longer trip (Friday to Wednesday morning, as it were!).

A full bag for a few extra days in Florida. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Printed swim trunks by JACHS NY. Army Issue Sneakers by SeaVees. Black Henley by Stitchmill. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Facial Crème by Nivea For Men.

A full bag for a few extra days in Florida. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Printed swim trunks by JACHS NY. Army Issue Sneakers by SeaVees. Black Henley by Stitchmill. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Facial Crème by Nivea Men. Brass bottle opener by Owen & Fred.

That started, as always, from the ground up. I’ve realized the importance of making sure your small items are both durable and stylish — such is the case with my Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit, an easy-to-pack, easy-to-use dopp kit that sheds water (the wide array of colors doesn’t hurt, either). It fit nicely inside my reliable-as-ever Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, which actually ended up holding about six days worth of gear (see, that’s versatile dressing — wink, wink). I also packed up a durable Stitchmill Henley and other easily wearable pieces. On a side note — if you’re going to grab one henley, you might want to make it a slim-fitting, made-in-America purchase from Stitchmill. But onto the rest of the trip. As I headed right from the office in NYC to the plane, I took advantage of a very casual Friday and threw on my OLIVERS Capital Shorts and the lightweight, comfortable Stio Divide Polo, both of which provided nice freedom of movement and versatility for moving from work to a flight and dinner. Of course, my Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes were also durable and crisp for a half-day in the office and the resulting flight to Florida, which proved to be longer than expected thanks to some travel delays. The time spent in the air was more than recovered thanks to a few tasty brews at Twin Peaks, brewers of four in-house beers and some excellent pub fare, including the Billionaire Bacon Burger. Friday night done right!

Catching some much-needed Florida rays. Dash Tank by Fourlaps. Swim trunks by JackThreads. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Sunglasses by Nautica. Sneakers from the MW for Reef collab. 8926 Pro Diver by Invicta. Bracelet by Bryer Leather.

Catching some much-needed Florida rays. Dash Tank by Fourlaps. Swim trunks by JackThreads. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Sunglasses by Nautica. Sneakers from the MW for Reef collab. 8926 Pro Diver by Invicta. Bracelet by Bryer Leather.

With a busy work week and travel day in the books, it made Saturday all the more enjoyable — it was time for a relaxing beach day with fittingly casual apparel. That meant I threw on the Fourlaps Apparel Dash Tank, because everyone could use a little sun now and then.  I covered the brand in a piece on the best athleisure brands for men, and they’re worth checking out if you want performance-minded apparel that’s a little more bold — and a little less logo-heavy — than your average tank top. It was an easygoing complement to my JackThreads Swim Trunks, which were pretty sharp in a deep navy color. Beach-ready footwear is an essential, and a pair of casual grey sneakers from the Masafumi Watanabe x Reef collaboration were just the ticket, able to stand up to sand & the walk through the parking lot after. Perhaps the most versatile timepiece I brought with me was my Invicta 8926 Pro Diver — I’ve had that thing for about three years now (it even nabbed a spot in this site’s roundup of the best dive watches), and it fit right in underneath the sand & sun. Given the need to transition from situation to situation,  I’d suggest you also grab a versatile, casual-yet-refined dive watch for your next waterfront outing.

For a trip to one of my favorite stops in the Fort Myers area (the excellent Point Ybel Brewing), I also kept it casual. The great thing about those OLIVERS Capital Shorts is that, minus repeated gym sessions, they can hold up to darn near anything (including a repeat wear for an easygoing dinner). My situation up top was also breezy and casual, as it was the prime opportunity to feature a fun vintage printed shirt. A regular (read: Non-vintage) printed short-sleeve shirt is the ideal way to have a bit of fun in the warm weather, and my reliable-as-always Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes worked just fine for grabbing a few pints.  We topped off the night with a stellar dinner at legendary local spot Doc Ford’s — my parents would surely recommend the Yucatan Shrimp.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

As one does in Floriday, Sunday provided another lovely opportunity to relax and explore at the same time. That meant a Sunday Funday trip to Punta Gorda and some exploration around the Fishermen’s Village shopping area (complete with a requisite stop at nearby Fat Point Brewing — get the Big Boca Ale to go in a growler, if you get the chance!). We also grabbed a tasty waterfront meal   No trip to a beautiful waterfront locale would be complete without the chance to once again break out those Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes. which are a decidedly sleek upgrade to the typical boat shoe. They offset a new favorite pair of breezy tropical-print linen Todd Snyder shorts (an end-of-season sale pick-up) — they were sufficiently breezy, comfortable and yet stylish. Of course, accessories to fight the sun were also crucial — in this instance, that meant some Nautica sunglasses in a cool, retro-yet-modern (there is such a thing) Clubmaster-style shape. My trusty Tread for Men Traveler Sunscreen helped me fight the sun’s rays — seriously, don’t skip out on that — and although I reached for my Invicta 8926 Pro Diver for some pool time early in the day, my refined Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch — on a NATO strap, no less — was the perfect pick for more time in the Florida heat.

The Sydney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers. Breton Stripe Tee by Grayers. Colter Pants by Stio. Sunglasses by Nautica. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Bracelet by Bryer Leather.

The Sydney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers. Breton Stripe Tee by Grayers. Colter Pants by Stio. Sunglasses by Nautica. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Bracelet by Bryer Leather.

Unlike past trips to Florida, which required a quick turnaround, I had the chance to take a bit more time in and around the city of Fort Myers. That meant some pool time on Monday, and it also meant a chance to hit up downtown Fort Myers outpost The Lodge for a heck of a lunch and some stellar brews. The décor is rustic and alpine-themed, the barbeque is stellar and the selection of regional and national craft beers is on-point (the Cigar City Lager from Tampa is a crisp, easy-drinking upgrade to a Miller Lite, if that’s in your wheelhouse). To meet the occasion in style, I paired my Grayers Breton Stripe Tee (slim-fitting and comfortable) with the Stio Colter Pant, a slightly stretchy chino made from premium Turkish cotton. It moved well, and made it easy to stroll around town post-lunch — particularly when paired up with those trusty Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes and other style essentials, like my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch. When you talk about pieces that mix crisp, modern style with a retro vibe, that timepiece is one of them — as is my trusty Bridge & Burn Flat Wool Cap, which came in handy shield my face from the sun. Despite some rain showers, it was an excellent day capped off by some delicious fried chicken at Sanibel Island hotspot The Pecking Order and a beautiful sunset on the beach.

An outfit that's ready to rock. Authentic band tee and tickets by AC/DC. 505C Denim by Levi's. Chukkas by Timberland. Waterbury Chrono from the TImex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Double IPA by Two Roads Brewing.

An outfit that’s ready to rock. Authentic band tee and tickets by AC/DC. 505C Denim by Levi’s. Chukkas by Timberland. Waterbury Chrono from the TImex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Double IPA by Two Roads Brewing.

So a tremendous day on Monday led to one (big) thing on Tuesday — the concert to end all concerts, an absolutely epic AC/DC show. That explains the authentic  band tee (no knock-off designer band merch here!), my reliable Levi’s 505C Denim, (a rock-inspired jean perfect for the show), and some durable leather chukkas. But onto what truly was an explosive night! Say what you will about their music or their consistent (ahem, stubborn) approach to music, but AC/DC were one of the first bands I ever loved — and I love them to this day, personnel changes and all! The show was worth an entire blog post in and of itself, particularly when you snag prime second-row seats, as my dad and I did (I’m going to pause to try & recover some of my hearing now).

The legendary Angus Young ripping off some blistering riffs in Fort Lauderdale at the BB&T Center.

From the opening chords of “Rock Or Bust” to a blistering take on “Shoot to Thrill,” a ripping rendition of”Sin City” and the classic “High Voltage” — and every single song in between — Angus Young never stopped moving or peeling off insane riffs. And Axl Rose truly did sing his butt off, too — he’s no Brian Johnson, but he channels both Brian & Bon in one heck of a rock n’roll way (on-stage wardrobe choices aside). Even without Brian in the mix, the band is a sight to behold … they’re perhaps the last great “classic” rock band that tours consistently behind original music, and boy, do they put on a show. Chris Slade has proven an admirable fill-in behind the drum kit for Phil Rudd, and Stevie Young is his uncle Malcolm incarnate, holding down the engine room admirably on rhythm guitar.  I could certainly go on, but suffice to say — Bon Scott would be proud of “the boys.” Next up — the band’s stop at Madison Square Garden in just about two weeks. Needless to say, I’m ready.

Travel style essentials

An early flight after an AC/DC concert? No problem. Club V-neck Tee by Life/After/Denim. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Notebook by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

With all that being said, the trip still seemed to come to an end all too soon — that could’ve been the early wake-up call to get back to NYC on Wednesday, too. My Life/After/Denim Club V-neck Tee (it’s proven quite the quick seller) was the ideal casual way to catch an early-morning flight — luckily, it fits the bill at my laidback office, too. And my Levi’s 505C Denim worked again to travel back — the hint of stretch is key, and the durability made them an easy pick when matched with the simple, stylish Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch. It’s now time to power through the work day, and unpack my bag until I travel next. With Labor Day on the way though, I’ve got some stylish adventures planned — I’ll be exploring the buzzed-about town of Asbury Park (that’s New Jersey, folks), and bringing along some stylish essentials (of course). Keep up with all the #menswear action on Twitter or Instagram, and check back here Friday for a weekly menswear news recap.

In rock we trust — it’s rock or bust,

-Beau

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

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Back in the Mitten: A wedding weekend in Michigan

Editor’s note: To recap my last trip (earlier this week!), click here.

A wedding weekend -- and a bit of bar crawl action -- to boot. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Italian-made denim by Mott & Bow. Sand Suede Chukkas by Blu Kicks. Watch by MVMT Watches. Backdrop by Lansing Brewing.

A wedding weekend — and a bit of bar crawl action — to boot. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Italian-made denim by Mott &; Bow. Sand Suede Chukkas by Blu Kicks. Watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Backdrop by Lansing Brewing.

If it seemed like the last week was fast, it felt like the weekend flew by even faster — boarding your fifth flight in six days (including those pesky connections) will do that to you. But Friday’s early, early morning flight brought me once again back to my home state of Michigan, and my hometown of Mason for my great friend Andy’s wedding weekend (and a tip o’ the cap to my pal Chris for hosting me this weekend). It felt strange yet fitting to be back in the Mitten so soon — I was just in Grand Rapids for the bachelor party at the end of July, after all.  But it was an honor to be in Andy’s wedding, and the trip back also presented the all-too-rare chance for me to spend just a bit of time in a town I really do love. Seeing as I was in Las Vegas for a work conference just a few days before, I also felt pretty confident I could dress, and pack, for the trip with style and attention to detail. Nothing like unpacking, then repacking almost immediately, to teach you about versatile style, ehh?

A casual, comfortable Friday travel outfit. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. T-shirt in Heather Grey and Colorblocked Socks by Richer Poorer. Slim Staple Denim by Mott & Bow. Tan Suede Chukkas by Blu Kicks. Hawker Hunter II Watch by AVI-8. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

A casual, comfortable Friday travel outfit. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. T-shirt in Heather Grey and Colorblocked Socks by Richer Poorer. Slim Staple Denim by Mott & Bow. Sand Chukkas by Blu Kicks. Hawker Hunter II Watch by AVI-8. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

As I was in the wedding — held at the picturesque English Inn  in the rolling Michigan countryside — my grey tuxedo was taken care of, other than my shoes; the crisp Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip  more than got the job taken care of there (more to come on the wedding shortly, but it was an amazingly beautiful and fun night!). So with formal wear out of the way, my focus was on packing some casual style essentials into my dependable Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, along with my sturdy Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag.  As I’ve talked about before on these (digital) pages, great luggage can keep your gear safe and stylish no matter where you go, and those two bags will set you right. To meet the challenge of traveling in comfortable-yet-crisp style, I grabbed one of my favorite tees, the Richer Poorer T-Shirt in Heather Grey, and topped off the look with a personal favorite, a vintage ballcap from Goorin Brothers. Now, we’ll be talking more about stylish pocket T-shirts on the blog on Wednesday *cough, cough* but know that this particular tee fits and breathes well while looking visually different than a plain crewneck. It offset my Mott & Bow Staple Denim in rather classic fashion — the dark wash and significant stretch in this pair of denim is ideal for travel. Comfortable footwear was also a must — for lightweight, casual style and a pop of color, I threw on the Blu Kicks Sand Chukkas, which I’ve been testing out with positive results these past few weeks. The unlined suede upper is ultra-comfortable, particularly with a pair of Richer Poorer cotton socks, and you can feel good about the fact that they’re handmade in Mexico from local materials for a great price.

And on the watch front, I picked a timepiece that’s as dependable and durable as any — I’m talking about the AVI-8 Hawker Hunter, a rugged, aviation-style watch with a case diameter that clocks in (pun intended) at a beefy 45mm. It still manages to come off understated thanks to the neutral beige leather strap, and it was the ideal travel companion as far as watches go — smart, functional and not fussy. The head-to-toe combo of comfort and style worked quite well for an afternoon spent in my hometown of Mason — as I said before, it’s not often I get to go back there, and it’s always a treat when I do. In this case, that meant a stop at Mason institution Bestsellers Cafe for a gourmet coffee. An early start to the day also meant that the afternoon was high time for some extra sustenance — cue up a stop at BAD Brewing Company, a stellar and relatively recent craft beer outpost that’s been drawing rave reviews for its homegrown brews and gourmet bites. Yes, I’d recommend a stop there if you ever pass through Mason — and it was the perfect way to cap off an afternoon stroll around the beautiful campus of my alma mater, Michigan State.

Inside Mason's own BAD Brewing, a definite highlight of the trip.

Inside Mason’s own BAD Brewing, a definite highlight of the trip.

That tasty spot of lunch was the perfect way to tide me over until a post-wedding rehearsal stop at another highly regarded craft beer spot, the Lansing Brewing Company. It’s made major waves in the local craft beer scene for reinvigorating the city’s hops culture, and its three signature brews — including the cleverly named Angry Mayor IPA — do a fine job of holding down the fort alongside a rotating seasonal selection. From the Best Coast Pale Ale to the Ain’t No Drama Imperial Red, it’s representative of the atmosphere and quality of Michigan’s best breweries — and Lansing Brewing is just getting started (if you couldn’t tell, I’m a big craft beer fan). For the rehearsal itself and that much-loved trip to the brewery, I switched out my Richer Poorer pocket tee for a reliable favorite, my JackThreads Denim Shirt — it’s the perfect casual summer outfit topper, and it’s selling fast. It was my own slight variation on how to dress for a warm-weather bar crawl, if you will.

Sharp Saturday style. Slub Nep Jersey Polo by Grayers. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers from the Reebok x JackThreads collab. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Scout Wallet by Andar Wallets. Leather bracelet by Bryer Leather.

Sharp Saturday style. Slub Nep Jersey Polo by Grayers. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Daily Classic Nylon Sneakers from the Reebok x JackThreads collab. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Scout Wallet by Andar Wallets. Leather bracelet by Bryer Leather.

That casual style was similarly needed on Saturday for a bit of pre-wedding time spent around downtown Mason once again. To meet the summertime heat of Michigan in style, I threw on my trusty Grayers Slub Jersey Polo and my tailored-yet-comfortable Bridge & Burn Stringer Dune Shorts (you can grab a similar pair here); I finished the #menswear ensemble off with two everyday carry touches — my MVMT Watches Brown Leather Watch and the Scout Wallet from Andar Wallets. The polo was breathable and soft,  and the blue & khaki colors played nicely off a really standout pair of sneakers — the Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon is a heck of a pair of kicks! They’re new as of this week, and they feature a premium blend of pigskin suede in a retro runner silhouette that’s sporty, classic and timeless. Oh, and did I mention they’re comfortable as heck? They were a nice pair of sneakers for a bit of pre-wedding fun (and if I were you, I’d check back on this blog later this week for a full Style Pick of the Week feature).
Huckberry
That casual ensemble played nicely into the wedding, where I put the Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip to good use with a slim grey tuxedo and classic navy tie. Enough about Saturday’s outfit, though — the wedding itself was extraordinary and the atmosphere was second-to-none. It was such a great time to be there for my friends Andy & Courtney (if you made it this far in the post, Hi guys!), and you couldn’t ask for a better venue than the refined English Inn. A beautiful ceremony and an awesome time with close high school friends thereafter were huge highlights and made for memories of a lifetime — the perfect time and reason to be back in Michigan. It’s tough to see everyone in one place at the same time, to be sure, so I’m certainly glad I made the trip back.

Crisp classics for Sunday travel. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Slim chinos by Old Navy. Duvall Wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Notebook by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

Crisp classics for Sunday travel. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Slim chinos by Old Navy. Duvall Wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Notebook by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

With that being said, a quick trip often calls for a quick turnaround, and such was the case after a long night of revelry at the English Inn. To head back to New York — and finish up the blog post — I reached for reliable travel style essentials. My Todd Shelton White Oxford was chief among those picks — there might not be as reliable or high-quality an Oxford on the market, what with customizable fit options, a substantial fabric and a tailored fit. I wore it casually with a pair of Old Navy Slim Khakis, plus the sharp, travel-ready Johnston & Murphy Duvall Wingtip. Of course, my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was a necessary finishing touch. Like many recent travels, it was so worth it to be back — long journey, early flight and all. I know I’ll be back in the Mitten for at least one Michigan State football game this fall, but for now, I’m just grateful to have celebrated a great wedding weekend with lifelong friends. And it’s trips like this one that will take me out on the road again. Keep up with those travels here on the blog or at The Style Guide Facebook page, and I hope you pack up your bag with memories (and OK, some style) in mind the next time you travel.

‘Til the next post,

-Beau
Frank & Oak

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Rolling the dice: Heading West for Liberty Fairs Las Vegas

Editor’s note: To recap the last time I hit the road, click here.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

Out of all the things that excite me about New York City and the chance to work in the menswear industry, there are certain parts of the job that just can’t be beat. Although I certainly hope to do a lot more, I’m pretty thankful and lucky right now that I get the chance to travel for my day job, and blog about that travel, at the same time. Such was the case these past four days , as I headed west to Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas; it’s a twice-yearly men’s fashion trade show that makes stops in NYC and Las Vegas, showcasing what’s new and next in the industry. That means everyone from fashion magazine editors to publishers, bloggers and sales representatives are gathered under one massive roof to scope out seasonal trends, post relentlessly on Instagram and of course, do business — everything from socks to shoes to outerwear is on display by brand. It’s a busy, hectic time, which didn’t leave much opportunity to sight-see. Although I experienced a bit of the bustle during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, hitting the road to travel and check out Liberty Fairs in a city like Las Vegas was another animal entirely. As always, that’s why I hauled my favorite #menswear essentials with me.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

As I’ve been on the road a lot lately, my durable, rugged Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender has gotten a lot of work — and for good reason. If you don’t have a stylish weekender bag, and you’ve instead been relying on an old suitcase or a gym bag, making the switch is a mighty good investment. Unlike a recent trip to Michigan for a bachelor party, Las Vegas presented quite the different set of challenges — that would be the extreme heat, of course.  Standard, sweat-wicking materials just wouldn’t do, though. With style in mind, I was happy to test out a new T-shirt from Public Rec Apparel. Known for its All Day Every Day Pant, the brand recently launched a super-soft, super-comfortable and super-durable T-shirt. The tee is made with a remarkable sweat-wicking fabric blend in a  silhouette that still looks smart on its own or under a blazer — you can’t say that about your standard gym wear.  And that tee was complemented nicely another staple that merges athletic performance materials with a tailored silhouette. Yes, the OLIVERS Apparel Capital Short was just the right pair to wear from New York and right into the Vegas heat — the shorts feature a nylon-spandex blend & four-way stretch, yet fit and looks like a pair of slim chino shorts. Those two pieces kept me comfortable, which was crucial for a long travel day.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi's. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi’s. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

With my accommodations all set and a busy slate of trade show appointments locked in, it was time to hit the ground running on Monday. Throughout the course of a busy two days, it was excellent to be able to catch up with some great blogger friends like Leo of Levitate Style and Danielle of She’s A Gent. The duo was among a group participating in The Studios at Liberty Fairs, a partnership giving creatives the chance to create content — everything from photos to videos, portraits and social media posts — with brands and fellow influencers across three very busy days at the trade show. So given the need to look camera-ready, I tried to rise to the occasion while fighting the heat. A soft Steven Alan pocket tee was just the ticket in that regard — especially when paired with my Grayers Ivy Blazer, a casual linen-cotton jacket with unique patch-button pockets and a casual feel. If you’re looking for a way to dress down your summer blazer, you can’t go wrong with a garment-dyed tee. The combo helped me move in style around the trade show, as did a pair of sharp-yet-edgy Levi’s 505C Jeans, made with a hint of stretch and featuring a faded grey-black wash. They’re a slightly cooler take (figuratively and literally) on heavy dark denim and a blazer, particularly when moving around a lot. I finished off the combination with a pair of rugged Timberland leather chukka boots and my ever-dependable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, a frequent travel companion and just one of a few stunning watches from the Timex x Todd Snyder partnership.

With Day 1 in the books, it was a quick turnaround for another busy day at Sands Expo at The Venetian scoping out the bustling (and hustling) crowd of #menswear aficionados. Throughout the day, I checked out the wares on display from perennial Style Guide favorites like Red Wing Heritage and (potential) soon-to-be favorites like Hudson Shoes.  It was a great mix of brands, including everyone from accessories companies like Herschel Supply Co. to sock brands like Happy Socks. All the while, I again took on the day — and the heat — in style. I stuck with some of my favorite style essentials, like my JackThreads Denim Shirt (a very wearable shirt no matter the season). I complemented that with my Taylor Stitch Slim Stone Chinos — they’re unbeatable for the price and quality.  And when you’ve got versatile staples like those two pieces, stylish Steven Alan sunglasses and sturdy leather chukka boots are a nice finishing touch (the pair seen here is from Timberland — you can snag a similar style from Thursday Boots for a nice value).  On the accessories front, my ever-reliable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was the perfect timepiece for the occasion — it goes with just about everything thanks to the crisp retro dial and grey NATO strap. For being on time to various meetings and catching up with friends (all on the job), it helped keep me in line. That outfit combination worked well for the evening, too — it’s not every day you get the chance to attend a party thrown by the Hearst and Esquire teams (yes, that Esquire). Luckily, my smart-casual combination was able to take me from a day on the trade show floor to enjoying some delicious cocktails without missing a beat (that’s what we’re all about here at The Style Guide).

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Mott & Bow. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

Sadly, my time at Liberty Fairs came to an end all too quickly — today called for a flight back to NYC. For one last push through the heat of Vegas, I grabbed the aptly named Marco Polo from Life/After/Denim. It blends a modern fit with a garment-washed look and feel, plus an open collar (one featuring no buttons). The overall effect is breezy and casual, but it’s one that still looks put-together for a cross-country flight when teamed with the ever-stylish Slim Warren Denim from Mott & Bow. For only about $20 more than what the brand normally charges, you’re getting a well-fitting pair of Italian-made denim — they were the perfect complement to my lightweight Brooks Heritage Chariot Runners in color and silhouette. Throughout the day, kept track of my flight time with my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono and chronicled my adventures with my handy Word Notebooks Adventure Log — both of which you should bring along for a weekend getaway.

As great of a time as it was in Las Vegas, it was even better to reconnect with great friends and fellow bloggers — plus, some terrific brands you’ll (hopefully) see a lot more of here and on my Instagram in the coming months. Forging partnerships and featuring great brands and products is terrific, but meeting great people in a like-minded environment is even better.  Even though it’s been a heck of a busy week so far — and it’s only Wednesday (!) — my travels aren’t quite done yet. We’re looking at one day back in NYC before I hit the road on Friday to head back to my hometown of Mason, Michigan for my great friend Andy’s wedding. Seeing my friends for his bachelor weekend in Grand Rapids was an absolute blast just a few weeks ago, so this upcoming trip is bound to be just as incredible (even if it’ll be powered by lots and lots of coffee). If you’ve got menswear musings or questions on what to wear for your next Las Vegas trip, shoot me a tweet on Twitter or follow along on the daily via Instagram.

Look for the Friday Read and Style Pick later this week, and swing back through the blog on Monday for yet another Michigan trip recap — stay stylish!

-Beau
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Product Review: Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender

Editor’s note: Head here for a host of product reviews on menswear style essentials.

A navy twill interior and army green waxed canvas are complemented by leather handles from Wickett & Craig.

A navy twill interior and army green waxed canvas are complemented by leather handles from Wickett & Craig.

As luck would have it, it’s been quite some time since our last menswear product review here at The Style Guide. They were a fixture on this here #menswear blog for quite some time, and we’re back today with a review of the Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender. Past reviews have showcased a range of product, from an essential chambray shirt to a pair of classic chukka boots and beyond. Well, here’s another one — and just in time for summer travel season.  In fact, traveling in style could get a whole lot easier if you snag a durable, essential and stylish men’s weekender bag — perhaps one a heck of a lot like the option you see at the top of the page. Yes indeed, this bag has quickly become a big-time favorite at The Style Guide, and it’s accompanied me on a stylish trip to upstate New York, as well as a recent long weekend in Washington, D.C. (thanks to the brand sending it along for testing). Would I recommend picking one up the next time you hit the road? Absolutely. Why’s that? Read on.

Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender

As seen in this site’s roundup of the best men’s weekender bags. Photo courtesy of Owen & Fred.

Over time, the excellent men’s lifestyle and design brand Owen & Fred has won me over in a big, big way. They’ve been kind enough to participate in a few Reader Giveaways and provide this site with product for review, and I’ve been a fan of their approach to design even before that. They stock an essential selection of, well, essentials for the discerning guy — be it a sturdy brass bottle opener (a favorite on my Instagram) or larger pieces, like a durable canvas laundry bag (unfortunately sold out). The full product assortment is pretty extensive, yet all designed with refinement and style in mind, and that goes for everything from its shaving kits to intricate wall art. It’s with that approach — great design and quality first — that they’ve crafted the Voyager Waxed Weekender, and it certainly shows. In every situation, from those weekend trips to hopping around NYC, it’s performed very well, and I think that trend will certainly continue.

The Voyager Waxed Weekender in tow for a stylish weekend. 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.

The Voyager Waxed Weekender in tow for a stylish weekend. 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.

The specs are impressive and worth noting, for starters. The bag’s tough, rugged and versatile foundation starts with Martexin Original waxed canvas in an eye-catching shade of Army Green. It’s a different look and feel than the typical weekender bag, as that waxed canvas already has broken in beautifully during the production process. (If, on the other hand, you prefer a more luxurious bag, perhaps check out the last option in this site’s post on the best men’s weekender bags). But in this humble style writer’s opinion, that broken-in styling and feel really is a tremendous attribute in terms of looks. That also means the waxed canvas is more pliable than it is stiff, and that’s definitely a good thing if you tend to pack a lot of style essentials for the road, as I did as recently as a Memorial Day trip to upstate New York.
Frank & Oak
That’s yet another box that can be checked off when it comes to the Voyager Waxed Weekender — it’s roomy and comfortably fits two-three pairs of shoes, plus a weekend’s worth of #menswear gear. In the case of yours truly, that means versatile pieces like a slim chambray shirt, dark denim, brown leather chukka boots and indigo sneakers, for example. In comparison to my Navali Stowaway Weekender, it’s got enough room for about a day’s worth of clothes more (that is, an extra set of chinos or denim, plus a shirt and shoes). What all this boils down to are the bag’s dimensions — 22 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter.

A look at the waterproof qualities of the waxed canvas, plus the beautiful leather handles via Wickett & Craig.

A look at the waterproof qualities of the waxed canvas, plus the beautiful leather handles via Wickett & Craig. Photo courtesy of Owen & Fred.

Aside from its plentiful space (including two interior zipper pockets),  the bag is finished off with sturdy zippers and brass hardware that shows no signs of stress or giving way. The tightweave (removable) shoulder strap is fairly comfortable, although perhaps some leather reinforcement could be added (that could just be me being accustomed to my Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag, however). Speaking of leather — let’s talk about the detailing on this bag. The 9oz. harness leather straps that finish off the Voyager Waxed Weekender  on the handles and at the strap are coming at you via Wickett & Craig , one of the oldest tanneries in the country.
END. Clothing
That attention to detail shows, as these handles are soft and supple, yet sturdy enough to support a fully-packed bag. They’re also rich in color and contrast nicely with the waxed Army Green canvas (although this bag is also available in Charcoal). And down onto the navy cotton twill interior, this bag is something else. It’s a work of art — practically — that should carry everything you need for a stylish weekend away and beyond. It’s got a rugged-refined appeal that’s unique, eye-catching and classic, all at once. Whether you carry it alongside slim stone chinos and an indigo shirt, or stylish summer shorts and a pocket tee, it’s going to add plenty of practicality, function and classic style to all your summer adventures.

Get your own Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender now.

Florsheim

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Weekender Bags

Editor’s note: For even more online shopping picks covering everything from watches to spring and summer style, head here.

As spring rolls into summer, there’s a very good chance that a lot of us are going to be hitting the road for vacation quite a bit more than during the doldrums of winter. This is definitely the case for yours truly, as I just trekked down to Washington, D.C. for the weekend earlier this month, and have a few more trips in the works. While longer travels certainly require larger luggage, traveling for just a handful of days presents some style conundrums — both in matter of what to pack, and what to pack that gear in. A stylish weekender bag is going to be your best friend in these situations — most have just enough room to hold multiple pairs of shoes and multiple outfits, plus any other gear you might need. And a great-looking bag is the ideal compliment to a sharp travel outfit. Plus, making that upgrade from a standard gym bag or duffle is yet another step on the path that is constantly trying to improve your personal style. Heck, it’s just fun to have a bag that happens to look as good as what you’re wearing. Make packing and traveling easy with one of this site’s picks below for the best men’s weekender bags, and get to booking that flight. Let me know what you think on The Style Guide Facebook page, too!

#1. Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender — $275

A bag that's built for wear-and-tear, yet still manages to look mighty handsome.

A bag that’s built for wear-and-tear, yet still manages to look mighty handsome.

The first entry on this list is a real tried-and-true, trip-tested bag that’s made in America and built with a ton of quality. Yes, the Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender  is certainly a stunner, made from Martexin Original Waxed canvas (some of the best of the best) and finished off with durable leather straps from Wickett & Craig, one of the oldest tanneries in the country. It’s beastly, stylish and built to break in over time, complete with two interior zippered pockets for extra storage. After taking it with me on my trip to Washington, D.C., I can say you’ll be very pleased with it indeed.

#2. Everlane Dipped Weekender — $115

An affordable alternative to more expensive options, with just as much style.

An affordable alternative to more expensive options, with just as much style.

Whereas the above Owen & Fred bag packs a  heck of a punch in both quality and price, the Everlane Dipped Weekender is a more affordable answer to the question of what you should travel with this summer. It’s made from twill and features a neat, screen-printed look that contrasts nicely with the black leather straps. Everlane has a brand really does it all now from its Slim Pant to bags like these, which really put them on the map. While the price might seem at odds with the expected quality, it’s part of Everlane’s commitment to transparency, and that should work out nicely should you buy this bag.

#3. J. Crew Harwick Weekender Bag — $148

A more casual alternative from a brand that does a lot of things well.

A more casual alternative from a brand that does a lot of things well.

Just as Everlane has expanded its product categories over the years, J. Crew has continued to stick with making all sorts of stylish accessories for guys — like the Harwick Weekender Bag. It’s nylon, so it’s decidedly more casual in construction and looks than the Everlane or Owen & Fred options, but the Dark Navy color should stylish and versatile for laidback weekend trips. It packs in a shocking eight pockets — that’s more than tons of bags on the market, and it means all of your gear — from a classic white Oxford to your stylish dopp kit — stays separate (and clean).

#4. Wood & Faulk Grand Tourer Weekend Bag — $175

A stylish-looking offering from an under-the-radar brand.

A stylish-looking offering from an under-the-radar brand.

Have you heard of Wood & Faulk? They’re a new brand for this style writer, but given the stunning looks (and presumably, quality) of their Grand Tourer Weekend Bag, they’re worth watching. This piece is made from tough-looking waxed canvas and features leather accents from S.B. Foot Tanning Co. — the same tannery that produces leather for Red Wing Shoes. Talk about stunning quality packed into one piece. End pockets and an inner zip pocket offer additional space, and the brass hardware finishes off this bag nicely.

#5. Troubadour Fabric + Leather Weekender — $855

A pricey, minimal and super-premium weekender bag.

A pricey, minimal and super-premium weekender bag.

It wouldn’t truly be an Online Shopping Picks entry if we didn’t finish things off with a stylish and yes — incredibly expensive — weekender bag. The Fabric + Leather Weekender  features vegetable-tanned leather and a minimal, premium look thanks  to the black leather and nylon fabric accents (although the Navy, Khaki and Olive colorways look mighty nice, too). It’s an investment bag that certainly would look right at home alongside your best travel suit — if you’re the type who travels a lot for business but wants a bag that’s different than a standard rolling suitcase, this is the bag you need.
Frank & Oak
While each of the above bags are suited for different kinds of situations — particularly the Troubadour weekender — each is going to stylish and durably complement your travel ensemble and any stylish travel accessories you might be bringing with you. Maximizing a great price, tough quality and handsome looks is going to be critical, too — and hopefully, do-able with any of the above picks. If you’re still searching for that perfect bag, an option from the likes of Herschel Supply Co. might work well. But in the meantime, let me know on Twitter if I missed any picks or key brands!

Stay stylish and safe travels,

-Beau

Florsheim

Brand Profile: Jack + Mulligan

The Newton Weekender from Jack + Mulligan — made right and made in the USA.

The Newton Weekender from Jack + Mulligan — made right and made in the USA. Photo courtesy of Jack + Mulligan.

Editor’s note: The following profile features quotes and photos provided by the brand. No compensation was offered in exchange for this post. To check out other brand profiles, head here.

Spring and summer travel season is quickly approaching (or has already started for some of us), and if you’re hitting the road anytime soon, you undoubtedly need a stylish weekender bag (among other grooming accessories) to be travel-ready. That’s where Jack + Mulligan can absolutely help you out. You might recognize the name from an Esquire piece that ran last year, but they’re absolutely a brand worth getting to know more. The brand is selling at a number of stores in the U.S. and also through a few international accounts  — I actually came across them a few weekends ago at The Lodge in NYC.

Founder Colin Gray launched the company a few years ago after working across the fashion industry in retail & magazines (among other stops) and later making small runs of leather goods to give to his friends. Along the way, he struggled to find a bag polished enough for the office but durable and well-suited for weekened trips — leading to a small collection of bags made and distributed to friends and family, and eventually, the creation of Jack + Mulligan; the brand’s name comes from Gray’s first dog, an Irish Water Spaniel named Mulligan, and three Jack Russell Terriers Gray had thereafter. Now, the company employs what you might call a tightly knit team of two full-time employees and a handful of part-timers.  That hasn’t hampered their attention to detail, though.

One of the company's knapsacks in action. Photo courtesy Jack + Mulligan.

One of the company’s knapsacks in action. Photo courtesy of Jack + Mulligan.

“Early on, I chose to hone in on those small details that I obsess over,” he said via email. “The fabrication, zippers, pockets, stitching and overall quality (of the bags). From the start, I focused on the details.” Gray was also focusd on making pieces that would stand the test of time in both style and durability.

“I remember the first time I saw someone on the street using one of our bags in Manhattan,” he said. “That was a great feeling.”

A twill briefcase in midnight and a line of dopp kits are also part of the brand's offerings. Available at www.jackandmulligan.com

A twill briefcase in midnight and a line of dopp kits are also part of the brand’s offerings. Available at http://www.jackandmulligan.com

The brand now has a sizable amount of product (some of which you can see above), ranging from a navy knapsack with fine leather detailing to a run of twill and waxed canvas duffels (like this particularly nice olive duffel). The company is perhaps best well-known for its classic weekender bags, available in three colors and retailing for just under $300. For beach trips and the like, Jack + Mulligan’s tote bags would definitely be worth a look, as well. Perhaps their closest aesthetic competitor might be Herschel Supply Co. in terms of smaller bags, but J+M’s larger pieces are certainly on-par with brands like Navali and Everlane, construced from sturdy twills and featuring leather reinforced handles and zipper pulls.

The Kennedy Duffel in Olive. Grab and go to the gym or the beach.

The Kennedy Duffel in Olive. Grab and go to the gym or the beach. Photo courtesy of Jack + Mulligan.

The brand’s varied offerings really complement an overall lifestyle, Gray said, while also noting that higher-quality accessories are a reflection of a growing interest in men’s fashion overall.

“Guys are having more fun with getting dressed and interested in finding their personal style,” he said. “It’s cool that guys seem to care more about where and how a product is made. An increasing number of people I speak to are becoming educated about fabrics and construction, which is interesting.”

The eyecatching Thompson Tote. Photo courtesy Jack + Mulligan.

The eyecatching Thompson Tote. Photo courtesy of Jack + Mulligan.

That growing lifestyle interest is also reflected in the home goods the brand produces, like passport wallets and luggage tags.  Jack + Mulligan’s water-repellent twill dopp kits also bring a unique combination of rugged style and function. And the brand has plans for the future, too — tapping into a growing customer base and exploring collaborations are both ongoing pursuits for the company, Gray said.

Jack + Mulligan partnered with shaving & grooming gurus Harry’s last year, and future collabs with like-minded brands are in the works — as are new category offerings, Gray notes.

While there are difficulties inherent in running a startup — especially building a brand from the ground up — Gray always tries to enjoy what he does.

“The whole thing is very challenging,” he said. “The most fun for me is the product, being able to take an idea and see it come to fruition.”

Tell me: Have you bought anything from Jack + Mulligan? What’s your favorite product from the site?

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Weekender Bags

The Navali Stowaway Weekender bag in Carafe. What are you packing this spring and summer?

The Navali Stowaway Weekender bag in Carafe. What are you packing this spring and summer?

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine (and blog reader) asked me about recommendations for great weekender bags. It got me thinking – now that winter is finally thawing out, I’m sure lots of us have our eyes on spring or summer getaways. While hitting the road for a vacation  is always fun, a big part of the process is how you’re getting there & what you’re packing. And if you’re kitted out in a stylish get-up for the road, you need a bag that’s equally as sharp. Backpacks and sports duffle bags, although functional, don’t provide nearly enough room or the looks needed for longer travel. And while formal briefcases or suitcases work for business trips, the weekender bag is all about providing enough room for the essentials — and doing so in an easygoing fashion. Here are 5 great bags for the road ahead.

#1. Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag — $159.99

The Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag comes with a lifetime warranty, and should last a good long while.

The Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag comes with a lifetime warranty, and should last a good long while.

First seen on this blog back in August of last year, the Carafe color pictured here is now gone – but it’s been replaced with an equally stylish washed navy option or a spring-like “Sand” shade. The blue cotton canvas contrasts nicely with the brown leather fastenings, but it’s not all for show. Exterior pockets with strong buckle fastenings, tough zippers, a thick & comfortable shoulder strap and just enough for the essentials make this bag worth the price. Dimensions are 22″ width, 12″height, 8 1/2″ diameter.

#2. J. Crew Abingdon Weekender Bag — $198

Deep olive. Waxed cotton canvas. J. Crew's Abingdon bag.

Deep olive. Waxed cotton canvas. J. Crew’s Abingdon bag.

It’s tough to go anywhere on Siblings with Style without finding a J. Crew item in a shopping roundup — this is one company doing many things exceptionally. The Abingdon is slightly bigger than the Navali above in terms of height (17 1/2″), width (26″) and diameter (9 1/4″), so it can certainly carry more goods & take a bit of a beating. The waxed cotton canvas construction should age very nicely with increased usage too.

#3. Everlane Twill Weekender — $95 

Everlane's simple, clean take on the weekender.

Everlane’s simple, clean take on the weekender.

Everlane delivers a much more minimal, modernist (and cheaper) take on the weekender bag. The brand keeps things simple with a grey cotton twill exterior and black leather fastenings — no aged waxed cotton here, folks. Everlane’s bags really put the brand on the map and continue to be quite popular. Having used an Everlane twill weekender pretty extensively across the past summer in New York, these bags can definitely take quite a lot for the price.

#4. Filson Large Duffel Bag — $358

True heritage quality — and an heirloom-worthy price.

True heritage quality — and an heirloom-worthy price.

Filson has something the other brands on this list don’t — real, true heritage when it comes to make hardy outdoor gear. Only in recent years has the brand become known more among the fashion community, but it’s got years of experience outfitting hunters, fishers and outdoorsmen. Its bags are crafted from the same durable mindset. This duffle is a true beast of a bag, guaranteed for life and by far the most substantial weekender listed. The olive & tan versions are backordered, but navy and brown are in stock.

#5. Shinola Signature Duffle — $1,250

Exceptionally expensive. But also exceptionally well-made.

Exceptionally expensive. But also exceptionally well-made.

So this post isn’t really advocating you go out and drop more than A GRAND on a single bag. But, it’s always worth it to scout out what options are out there – and maybe keep a goal in mind for a future investment. This particular bag looks beautiful and features outstanding Horween leather and is individually stamped and numbered — those are the kind of details that bring the price up. The hardware is solid brass, and despite being leather, this bag should not only hold up but also age exceptionally well (it better for that price!). Available in black & brown, with a cognac number coming soon.

NOTE: Other bags that just missed the cut here include J. Crew Factory’s somewhat smaller but very affordable Carson duffle bag, Navali’s Waxed Stowaway Weekender in Olive and Frank & Oak’s Genuine Italian Leather Weekender. JackThreads is also stocking quite a few weekender bags for low prices at the moment.

What’s your favorite from this list? Any idea what you’ll be buying for your travels?

Ernest Alexander