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: Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt

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.

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Didn’t think Abercrombie & Fitch could do shirts with serious, heritage-inspired style? Think again. Glasses by Frameri. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

First things first — Happy Saturday! What’s on your weekend agenda? Hopefully, some menswear shopping — and of course, a little reading at The Style Guide. Second of all — we’re back at it in the ongoing Style Pick of the Week feature, and fittingly enough, Abercrombie & Fitch is back in the fold. From seasonally appropriate outerwear — like this beautiful Leather Bomber Jacket — to a new-and-improved focus on quality basics like denim, the A&F brand seems to be coming back in a big way. That’s due in large part to the efforts of the brand to focus once again on quality heritage-inspired basics, driven by Sir Aaron Levine (Editor’s not: He’s not actually a knight). But his approach to redefining modern basics with quality materials helped propel Club Monaco ahead, and in short, pieces like the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt represent his new take on the brand very nicely. A wool shirt, you might ask? What’s wrong with a classic chambray shirt? Well, nothing. But there’s something refreshing about switching up your fall shirting rotation, particularly when it involves reaching for a soft, slim-fitting and easily wearable shirt in a unique wool-cotton blend fabric.  Those details make it a keeper — and the styling potential will have you reaching for it time and again.
Huckberry

What’s not to love about a shirt that evokes the rugged outdoors and classic camp shirts? It features a shirt-jacket design with thicker corozo buttons and a pleasing Heather Oatmeal color — it’s just different enough from your classic white Oxford. Although the shirt is thicker than most, the cotton blend makes it easy to wear this shirt on its own with slim light wash denim for a more casual fall look. Even with the slightly heavier weight, it would also pair up nicely atop a rugged fall henley and your favorite pair of leather boots. I’ve also been pleasantly surprised with its ability to slide nicely underneath a quilted field coat — it’s a foolproof fall layering method. Of course, you can’t go wrong layering it underneath a classic grey crewneck sweater, either. Lest we forget, the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt  is the type of piece that would also work very nicely underneath an indigo chore coat — although if you’ve been reading this blog regularly, you already know that (Wink, wink). Another bonus to buying this shirt now? It’s quite the steal — you get J. Crew-level quality and a price that’s competitive, but not otherworldly.  Yes indeed, there are many positives to picking up this shirt — from the versatile styling potential to the solid price, it’s a heck of a deal. So, what are you waiting for? Dash off to pick up the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt , ASAP.

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#OOTD: How to Wear A Cardigan This Fall

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

Here we are, back from a weekend trip to Providence and ready to dive into another #OOTD on everyone’s favorite menswear blog. If you haven’t caught on by now, layering up for breezy fall weather can be fun and enjoyable — whereas dressing for a blustery snowstorm is done more out of necessity, there’s nothing quite like throwing on a few extra layers just because you can. Particularly when one of those layers is a stylish cardigan, perfect for late October weather. Keep in mind that a shawl cardigan would work for fall weather as well, but we’ve added a bit more to the look below. If you pick up the right style — trim-fitting and textured– you can pair it with just about anything (including a durable chore coat). And that gives you plenty of leeway to rock other seasonal style staples (say that five times fast), like a classic poplin shirt, slim black denim and … of course … tough leather boots. We won’t give it all away up here though — scroll down to get the scoop on this #menswear look.  And for more daily style inspiration, hit up yours truly on Instagram.

Layering a cotton cardigan with pieces equal parts rugged and refined for the fall season.

Layering a cotton cardigan with pieces equal parts rugged and refined for the fall season.

The Cardigan: Dockers Premium Cotton Cardigan Sweater, $98 — Why go with a cotton cardigan in late October? Because it’s blended with cashmere, has some nice texture and can be easily layered over top of (see below for more, folks).

The Coat: Apolis Selvage Denim Chore Coat, $228 — This rough-and-tumble denim chore coat is an exclusive piece for Huckberry, and that means you & I are all the better for it. Made in California from Cone Mills denim, it’ll age beautifully the more you wear it. Shop away.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Shirt: Big Flower Stretch Poplin Shirt, $125 — Given the fact that we’re layering just a bit, you want a shirt that moves well, fits comfortably and looks great. Enter this classic stretch poplin shirt; pair it with charcoal chinos and this same cardigan sans chore coat if it gets a bit warm.

The Denim: Cheap Monday Sonic Jeans, $90 (Available via East Dane) — When you’ve got a variety of textures up top, it’s best to keep your denim simple. In this case, a no-frills pair of black denim gets the job done & contrasts with the blue selvage denim chore coat. Don’t forget a textured leather belt, yeah?

The Boots: Thursday Boots Brown Wingtip Boots, $220 — If you thought the folks at Thursday Boots were done making stellar, affordably priced boots — well, you were wrong. These stunners are perfect for fall. Worried about mixing brown and black? This casual outfit makes that less of a problem.

The Socks: CHUP Missouri Socks,$38 — “Nearly $40 for socks? Isn’t that a bit much, Beau?” Well … yes, yes it is. But rather than buying disposable, cheap socks by the dozen, you could snag the CHUP Missouri Sock from Huckberry and be set for the season.

The Watch: Lum-Tec Special Edition Combat B30 Bronze Watch, $899.98 — So, first things first — this Lum-Tec watch is a tad bit pricey, to say the least. But it’s a beautifully crafted, durable field watch that’s as suitable for the office as it is for your next fall adventure.

The Everyday Carry: Taylor Stitch Raw Brass Keyhook, $32 — Do you necessarily need a made-in-America, raw brass keyhook? Well, it’s not a matter of life or death. But it makes keeping track of your keys a whole lot more enjoyable.

And, well … there you have it, folks. Taking a premium cotton-cashmere cardigan from an unexpected source (that would be the chino purveyors at Dockers) and blending it with simple denim and a comfortable stretch poplin shirt can set you up for all kinds of versatile style situations this fall. From a casual Friday at the office to a day in class where you just want to look a bit more put together than the dude next to you, this outfit’s got it all. Hey, you’d be OK with cheap beer for a bit if it means you look great, right? Just me? Ahh, well. And the durable wingtip boots add quite a bit of polish to the whole ensemble, while the selvage denim chore coat serves as both a durable piece of outerwear and a fine addition to the rest of your seasonal wardrobe. Oh, and while that tough-as-nails Lum-Tec watch is just a  wee bit pricey, it’ll perform all the better given the extra investment. How would you wear your cardigan this fall? Still need one? Circle back around to our picks for the top cardigans for fall when you get the chance.

Until tomorrow’s post — stay stylish,

-Beau

Style Suggestion: What to Wear to the Pumpkin Patch

 Editor’s note: Head over here to see more men’s style suggestions for all sorts of situations.

Now, as I sit here in Brooklyn and write this #menswear style suggestion, there’s nary a pumpkin patch — or a rolling field — in sight. If that’s also the case for you, perhaps we can consider this simply another crisp fall weekend style suggestion. But if you do indeed consider trips to the pumpkin patch (Halloween’s coming!) or corn maze a fall ritual — as I did growing up in the Midwest — we’ve got just the set of picks for you. Granted, we’re looking at pieces that mix the premium with the rugged — these are true style upgrades, and they might be a bit much for the pumpkin patch. In that case, know that they’re still plenty wearable for a plethora of other fall activities. Oh, and if the weather is still balmy in your neck of the woods? Scroll through this warm-weather style suggestion.  Now, back to the matter at hand. Your fall explorations might seem more casual — and thus, just in need of the most comfortable clothing you can wear — but there are several opportunities to (all together now) upgrade your style. From your outerwear to your to your rugged boots, we’ve got a full rundown covered below — and then some. Follow along on Instagram daily to see how I’m attempting to transition to fall, and chime in with your own picks on Facebook.

The Outerwear: JACHS NY Navy Double-Breasted Peacoat — $185

A classic in the perfect weight and cut for fall.

A classic in the perfect weight and cut for fall.

Rather than throwing on a zip-up hoodie or a logo athletic sweatshirt, start with a navy double-breasted cotton peacoat. While it’s not quite as warm as a wool peacoat, it’s better suited to the transitional temperatures of fall — if it’s crisp, you’ve layered up with a sweater underneath that (more on that in a second…), and if it gets hot, you can carry it with you. This particular JACHS NY peacoat is stylish, trim-fitting and well-made, complete with shoulder epaulets for a bit of visual interest. You can’t ask for much more than that, truly.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt — $118

Stylish, slim-fitting and essential for fall.

Stylish, slim-fitting and essential for fall.

Other than the sweatshirt you’re about to read about below (patience!), there might not be a better pick for a reliable, classic and stylish shirt than this stellar Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt, available via the great team at Huckberry. It’s a four-season essential, to be sure, but it wears particularly great in the fall thanks to the slightly heightened blue color, textured fabric and modern fit (ideal for layering). Heck, you might want to wear this shirt … every day?

The Sweatshirt: Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt — $98 (Available via East Dane)

A classic sweatshirt, redefined for the modern man.

A classic sweatshirt, redefined for the modern man.

The sweatshirt that needs no introduction, ladies and gentlemen. The Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt basically redefined the traditional crewneck sweatshirt, slimming down the fit, adding raglan sleeves and upgrading it ever so slightly with a chest pocket — oh, and making it using the quality and durability of these particular materials. Yes, that’s why it retails for nearly $100, and that’s why it’s a neat style upgrade.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
The Denim: Flint & Tinder All-American Slim Tapered Jeans — $98

Your new favorite pair of fall denim, complete with a great price tag to match.

Your new favorite pair of fall denim, complete with a great price tag to match.

The All-American Slim Tapered Jean from Flint & Tinder keeps popping up on this site — check this fall weather style suggestion — and for a very good reason. It’s nay impossible to find a well-made pair of tough selvedge denim for under $100, and these jeans just might be the best of the bunch. They’re slim, they’re stylish and they’re a significant upgrade from casual sweatpants.

The Boots: Johnston & Murphy Karnes Alpine Boot — $198

Sleek, rugged and refined -- very Bond-esque, indeed.

Sleek, rugged and refined — very Bond-esque, indeed.

The heritage footwear makers at Johnston & Murphy don’t skimp on the quality or durability of their boots — particularly not a pair like the rugged, refined and stellar-looking Karnes Alpine Boot. The blend of beautiful mahogany calfskin and dark brown nubuck at the padded ankle collar is an eye-catching, yet durable combination. Make no mistake, this is a very sleek pair of hikers that actually wouldn’t look out of place at the office. Granted, they’re the sort of luxury-type boot Bond might have worn in Scotland — so if you don’t want to get them too muddy, best to go with a dependable pair of broken-in boots.

The Socks: Mr. Gray Slub Nep Colorblock Socks — $25 (Available via East Dane)

A bit of colorblocking and a lot of comfort, quality and style.

A bit of colorblocking and a lot of comfort, quality and style.

Every now and then, you just feel like upgrading certain essential pieces in your wardrobe — particularly your sock drawer. The Nep Colorblock Sock from Mr. Gray takes care of that upgrade in comfort and style — and you can wear ’em plenty of different places besides your next outdoor fall adventure. Don’t sleep on thick, durable American Trench Fair Isle socks, either.

The Watch: Lum-Tec Huckberry Combat B33 GMT — $498.98

Durable, rugged, refined and ready for action.

Durable, rugged, refined and ready for action.

Now, if your monthly budget or ability to pay your rent or mortgage might be compromised by buying this watch *raises hand*, keep your credit card in your wallet. If it’s a goal that’s within reach, or you simply enjoy admiring (and buying) beautiful watches, the Huckberry Combat B33 GMT might just be yours to keep. Make no mistake, this timepiece really is something else. It’s a custom-designed timepiece featuring a durable 43mm stainless steel case and a Swiss GMT quartz movement — in short, all the functionality and durability you need for a fall weekend and lugging around some pumpkins.

The Belt: Maximum Henry Slim Standard Belt — $100 (Available via East Dane)

Made by just one man, Maximum Henry's belts use excellent materials and craftsmanship.

Made by just one man, Maximum Henry’s belts use excellent materials and craftsmanship.

The hardworking team (of one!) behind Maximum Henry focuses on making simple, quality belts and leather goods the right way — in very small batches in America. That’s the way to go, and it’s why another Maximum Henry belt popped up in this recent #OOTD. It’s a style upgrade that you might not think about making until you realize this belt will simply last and last — right?

Again, if you’d rather not break out a full kit of menswear to head out this fall, there’s nothing wrong with that – and it’ll probably save you a few bucks in the long run. But if you do decide to go for it when it comes to rugged-refined fall style, the above suggestion contains plenty of pieces that’ll look just as great strolling around town thereafter — or strolling through the park, or grabbing Sunday brunch. Not bad, right? A beautiful, durable watch and an upgraded crewneck sweatshirt are the type of pieces that are enjoyable to wear — in addition to being much better-looking than average pieces. And rugged-yet-refined hikers are slightly unexpected — they’re a weekend staple, but could work in a pinch at the office, too. You can’t beat versatility like that for under $200. And the rest of the way, it certainly pays to support made-in-America artisans. If you have questions, suggestions or additions, let me know on Twitter — will ya??

Happy pumpkin-picking!

-Beau

Bring on October: An early fall weekend in New York

Editor’s note: Click here for another seasonal men’s style post. Thanks to Forever21 Men for providing specific products featured in this post. Thanks for supporting the brands that support The Style Guide!

Getting around town in style with the Karnes Alpine Hiker thanks to Johnston & Murphy. Head to the brand's new NYC menswear store at 200 5th Avenue if you get the chance! Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Blue Oxford by JackThreads. Silver knit tie by Banana Republic. Trusty 508 Jeans by Levi's. Glasses by Frameri.

Getting around town in style for a family weekend with the Karnes Alpine Hiker thanks to Johnston & Murphy. Head to the brand’s new NYC menswear store at 200 5th Avenue if you get the chance! Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Blue Oxford by JackThreads. Silver knit tie by Banana Republic. Trusty 508 Jeans by Levi’s. Glasses by Frameri.

There are several things I’ve been eagerly awaiting these past few weeks, from an amazing Lucius concert in New York City to a proper transition to fall style and notably, my family’s visit to the Big Apple this past weekend. My mom and sister joined me in exploring in NYC this past May (dressed in style, of course), and although I saw my family in Florida at the end of August, it was a much-needed and ultra-fun weekend in my adopted home this time around. And the highlights were certainly aplenty for a relatively quick four-day trip — starting with the neat event pictured at the top of the page (more in a minute). My parents and sister joined me in Brooklyn at my humble abode (the backdrop to my Instagram photos, as it were), and we really did pack a lot into their trip — we’re talking everything from Broadway shows to NYC exploration and of course, a crucial Sunday brunch. It was a lot to take in, so I brought my A-plus #menswear game — and then some.

My family arrived into town on Thursday, right as I was taking part in a very cool event — perhaps the neatest thing I’ve had the chance to do in my part-time gig as a style writer (oh, and pictured at the top of the page). Heritage menswear brand Johnston & Murphy just opened up a dedicated men’s shop in the Big Apple, offering up the brand’s excellent and affordable footwear, accessories and apparel in a refined, unique environment — it’s at 200 5th Avenue in NYC, when you happen to make it out here (if you’re already out East, get there — STAT!). With that in mind, they brought together a group of men’s style bloggers & writers — like yours truly — to participate in a neat menswear stunt — we’re talking jaunting around town accompanied by a bike-riding shoe-shiner, all the while decked out in stellar J&M boots. I tested out the Karnes Alpine Boot for the occasion — the beautiful quality and construction sets these apart, and they’re a steal for under $200. They’re super comfortable, to boot (pun intended!). With the event came the chance to pair up some favorite style essentials for moving to and from the office — including the lightweight, breathable Grayers Ivy Blazer, a well-worn and appropriately classic pair of Levi’s 508 Jeans and the simple, equally classic JackThreads Oxford Shirt, plus a Banana Republic knit tie (an oldie, but a goodie).  It was a great afternoon, and a very fun event in which to participate! Definitely stay tuned for more Johnston & Murphy-related content throughout the rest of the fall — the brand’s gear is just that well-made!

Of course, stopping at Johnston & Murphy and then heading back to the office made for a busy afternoon, as I caught up with my family to recap the day at Fraunces’ Tavern, a revered American tavern in operation since 1762 — yes, 1762! It’s a living, breathing part of American history — and it’s immortalized in the smash hit musical “Hamilton,” to boot.  A pro tip — they also feature the American outpost of the standout Porterhouse Brewing Company, and the restaurant’s New York strip is incredible. The historic ambience is incredible in and of itself, and the location will certainly make you feel patriotic!

The latest Style Pick? A pair of stunning American-made sneakers: The Danner x New Balance miUSA 585. Button Denim Jacket by Forever21. Heather Grey Henley and Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos by JACHS NY. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Glasses by Frameri.

The latest Style Pick? A pair of stunning American-made sneakers: The Danner x New Balance miUSA 585. Button Denim Jacket by Forever21. Heather Grey Henley and Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos by JACHS NY. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Glasses by Frameri.

Although it was a busy — and rather exhausting — Thursday, the weekend was in sight on Friday, which called for a mix of sporty and classic style to take on a day at the office and a night out in NYC. Knitwear from JACHS NY is a great bet for the changing seasons — the brand uses a nice blend of premium fabrics and neat, heritage-inspired touches. The slanted chest pocket on the Heather Grey Long-Sleeve Henley is but one example, and the fabric quality in that particular piece is definitely on-point. It was a comfortable mid-layer beneath my brand-new Forever21 Button Denim Jacket (thanks to the brand for supplying!). When teamed with my JACHS NY Forest Green Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos, the ensemble worked well for what the day had in store. In fact, I’d recommend you reach for similar transitional, long-lasting pieces for casual Friday, and in that regard, my sneaker choice more than fit the bill.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
In fact, they’re a pair I’d say you should look into — the Danner x New Balance miUSA 585 is a hot-off-the-press collaboration effort between two brands that share a love of American craftsmanship, heritage and style. The sneakers are nothing short of a brilliant master class in long-lasting construction, durability and of course, stellar looks. New Balance’s ROLLBAR technology offers cushioning and support, while the Horween leather and ballistic nylon on the upper are seriously tough. Plus, it’s a really versatile sneaker, with the comfort of a Danner hiking boot and the style of a set of New Balance kicks. I could go on, but know that they more than lived up to the task of getting to and from the office and around NYC in the evening after.

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The ideal outfit for getting around NYC and checking out two Broadway shows. Slim-Fit Striped Burgundy Shirt c/o Forever21 Men. Garment-dyed chinos by Dockers. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Brown leather Chelsea boots by JackThreads. Pen by Owen & Fred.

A busy Friday night led quickly into a great Saturday around New York City — just as with my family’s May trip, we took full advantage of the opportunity to take in not one, but TWO fantastic Broadway shows through the weekend. First up on the agenda — a once-in-a-lifetime trip to see the revered much-loved and all-around legendary “Hamilton” at the Richard Rodgers Theatre again; just as seeing it in May was an entirely unexpected and incredible treat (thank you, Dad!), getting the chance to see it once more was just as unexpected, just as breathtaking and just as incredible. It’s intense, it’s powerful, it’s dramatic and it makes you want to learn more about the history of our country! How cool. It’s truly a gem — every bit as good as advertised. And our second Broadway show was nearly just as momentous — the extraordinary “Cats,” a revered musical making its return to the stage in NYC after about 15 years away. Fun fact: In my first family trip to New York City back in 2000, my family and I also saw “Cats” — things really do come full circle! All that Broadway show-hopping — and a stop for a delicious dinner at the Glass House Tavern — called for sharp, easygoing style. The Slim-Fit Striped Cotton Shirt (courtesy of Forever21), helped me meet the occasion in style on my top half — particularly when matched up once again with my trusty Grayers Ivy Blazer. Slim Dockers garment-dyed chinos also teamed up nicely with the versatile, refined JackThreads Kimbo Chelsea Boot, which features quality leather, a sturdy rubber sole and the kind of styling potential you can’t get with just any pair of $110 boots.

sunday-brunch-update

An outfit ready to take on Sunday brunch. Button Denim Jacket by Forever21 Men. Cable Sweater by Dockers. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Grey chinos by JACHS NY. Grounder High-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri.

Both shows were an absolute joy to watch — I consider myself first and foremost a big-time menswear fan, but to be around a packed theater of fans who appreciate Broadway was pretty cool (to say the least). And again, seeing “Hamilton” for a second time — just extraordinary. The fantastic trip — and a delicious brunch to cap it off — came to an end all too quickly, but for my family’s last half-day in the city, I still did the best I could in all things #menswear. That meant grabbing a clean-cut essential, the Todd Shelton Classic White Oxford, and pairing it up with a premium Dockers sweater (the one pictured is sold-out, but the rest of the brand’s offeirngs are on-point). It was unfortuately rainy and chilly, so that weather made it ideal to break out yet another neat layering piece courtesy of Forever21, the Forever21 Buttoned Denim Jacket. I threw on a sharp-as-heck timepiece (that would be the Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch), and along with my  Grey Bowie Fit Stretch Cotton Chinos from JACHS NY, I was well and truly set for exploring Brooklyn. That meant, among other blogging pursuits, grabbing a critical brunch Bloody Mary at Building on Bond and generally enjoying the comfort and style of my Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top sneakers. Seriously, grab a pair of those sneakers and resist the urge to pair them with just about everything you own.

The weekend definitely came to an end too quickly, but with the chance to catch up with my family, take in two amazing, thrilling Broadway shows and explore some NYC landmarks both new and old, it was one of the highlights of this year. There are always new adventures to have in the city, and to be able to experience those with my family — and with some great gear — is very cool. For more personal style tips, head to Instagram, and follow along with #menswear on the daily via Twitter.

Until the next weekend of adventures — stay stylish,

-Beau

P.S. Check back here tomorrow for a weekend-centric #OOTD, and a terrific men’s style shopping suggestion on Wednesday.

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

#OOTD: Styling an Essential Chambray Shirt

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

The best part about spring style — other than the fact that it’s, well, finally warm out — is the way in which you can take pieces you’d wear the rest of the year and still combine them into a weather-friendly outfit (that is, not too hot and not too cold). In this instance, we’re talking casual-yet-crisp basics like the essential chambray shirt and an always-classic pair of slim khaki chinos, brought together in this instance by a pair of sharp-as-heck suede wingtips. Yes, this outfit has something for everyone — whether you’re on the hunt for a pair of stylish men’s dress shoes like the below, or simply searching for another way to wear gear you’ve already got, it’s about time you brought it all together. That’s what we’ll focus on below — for other #menswear-centric outfit inspirations, check out what we’ve got going on over at Pinterest or via The Style Guide on Facebook; I’m always up for more #OOTD suggestions, too. So, let’s roll up those (chambray) shirt sleeves and get to work!
Florsheim

A few items -- like a four-season chambray shirt and classic (yet slim) chinos -- are pulled together by crisp wingtips and a great jacket.

A few items — like a four-season chambray shirt and classic (yet slim) chinos — are pulled together by crisp wingtips and a great jacket.

The Shirt: JackThreads Chambray Shirt, $39 — As essential and easy of a pick to make as it gets, JackThreads really knows what’s up when it comes to well-done basics that are crazy-affordable. Start with your favorite chambray shirt, and go from there.

The Jacket: Grayers Exmouth Nylon Blazer, $135 — Part blazer, part jacket and very spring-ready, this piece doubles as a rain coat should you need to bike, walk or run to work through a downpour (or if, y’know, you just fancy picking up a hybrid piece of outerwear).

The Chinos: Buck Mason Sand Chinos, $135 — An investment-worthy pair of chinos from a brand that excels at crafting stellar pieces in the U.S.A., you should be able to wear these for years on end.

The Shoes: M.Gemi Forte Wingtips in Dune, $248 — An average pair of wingtips, these are not. Superbly crafted, rich in color and somehow still featuring a sporty white sole, say hello to your favorite pair of summer dress shoes.

The Socks: Pair of Thieves Catch-22 No-Show Socks, $10 — Reliable no-show socks that don’t stick out from underneath those rolled chinos are going to push this outfit into warm-weather territory.

The Watch: Invicta 8926 Pro Diver, $68.75 — This watch has long been a Style Guide favorite, and with plenty good reason: Standout looks, a tremendous price and great durability. It’s the right mix of rugged and casual here.

The Belt: J. Crew Braided Cotton Belt, $29.50 — Swap out a brown leather dress belt for something lighter in color and made with spring in mind.

The Bag: Wood & Faulk Field Bag, $150 — For an outfit that’s made with a commute in mind, grab a bag that’s commute-friendly — just big enough to handle your everyday carry should you need to hop on that bike (or on the train).

Oftentimes, putting together an outfit to meet changing weather or changing plans is just about recognizing that certain pieces can be customized for year-round wear when updated the right way — so, taking those chinos and showing off some ankle, or adapting your traditional navy blue blazer to one that can handle spring breezes. Throw in some sporty wingtips, and you’ve got a look that should be comfortable and eye-catching, in the best possible way. ‘Til next time!

-Beau

Where might you rock this outfit? Any pieces that you would add or subtract?

Frank & Oak