Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Messenger Bags to Buy Now

As we always say at The Style Guide, it pays to do your homework when it comes to style upgrades — especially if that homework involves sifting through our Online Shopping Picks series.  From stylish dress shoes to the best men’s grooming products, we’ve covered a lot of ground on the blog — yet, today’s entry will be the first-ever attempt at chronicling the best men’s messenger bags. Yes indeed, we’re in this together today. A messenger bag is a sort of secret style weapon for the guy who prefers casual style yet still wants to look sharp. Although brands are indeed making stylish leather backpacks — the Jack + Mulligan Welles Backpack comes to mind — there’s still something that’s a bit too youthful about a backpack. However, a luxurious briefcase, no matter how nice, also might not work — it could be too dressy or hard to lug around (only pesky handles to hold). So, where do you go? I give you … the humble messenger bag. Still a favorite of actual bike messengers here in New York City, there are some durable, handsome and casually stylish options out there — and we’ll show you just the ones to buy today.  Pack it up and bring your favorite messenger bag on a spring road trip or fill it with everyday carry essentials on the go. Join in on the fun, shop away and leave any comments for me below or on Twitter, where I tweet about as much #menswear as I can. Enjoy!

#1. Joshu + Vela Zip Briefcase — $234.98

Joshu + Vela

A durable, rugged and gear-friendly zip briefcase — a messenger bag, in my book.

OK, so is the Joshu + Vela Zip Briefcase a briefcase, or a messenger bag? Traditional convention might dictate that a messenger bag fold over the top but hey … we’re not too picky over here. Either way, the durable, handsome and rugged Zip Briefcase is definitely an upgrade over your current backpack situation. Thick canvas and a beautiful bridle leather strap are made to age well and stand up to adventures aplenty, and this particular bag can house a 15-inch MacBook — pretty versatile and durable, ehh?

Sutro Shoes Inc.

An easy-to-carry, easy-to-use leather messenger bag from a great Michigan company.

The makers of the 810 Wallet also do a heck of a nice messenger bag. A personal favorite of yours truly, the Roma Messenger has accompanied me on adventures around Brooklyn and a winter trip back to Michigan, handling each trip with grace and great looks. It’s a surprisingly lightweight, unlined leather messenger bag — designed in the state of Michigan itself, my bag has aged quite well and held up more than alright through a long commute and a frigid New York winter. If you value quality and crisp style, the Roma Messenger is your bag.

Florsheim

Peak Design

The most popular camera bag in the history of Kickstarter — and a heck of a worthy messenger bag purchase.

If you value functional design that considers every detail, consider making the Peak Design Everyday Messenger your next messenger bag purchase. It really does have so much going for it — from the lifetime warranty to the whopping $4.7 million it raised on its initial Kickstarter funding run, the Peak Design Everyday Messenger is unlike any bag you’ve ever bought — from the waterproof waxed shell and seatbelt-style straps to the removable dividers and space for a full-frame DSLR, it’s got the goods to carry, well, your goods. Again, you might want to look into the Peak Design Everyday Messenger.
Filson Original Briefcase

One of the more recognizable everyday bags on the market — and a heck of an option for you to buy right now.

Yet another briefcase that’s not quite your traditional briefcase by any means, the Filson Original Briefcase  is an instantly recognizable heritage classic known and used the world over. It’s a favorite of a lot of guys here in New York City (and elsewhere) for its water-repellent exterior, handy two-way zipper and a  plethora of interior and exterior pockets. The USA-made construction is legendary — you’ll have this briefcase for years to come, seriously.
Owen and Fred

Yet another terrific upgrade to your daily carry.

Are you sick of reading about bags that are not quite technically messenger bags? Well, fear not — we’re almost done here. Owen and Fred really lives up to the brand’s motto — “men’s goods made great” — and from its Voyager Waxed Weekender to smaller pieces like the brand’s essential brass bottle opener, you need to get Owen and Fred on your radar. The brand’s Flight Brief, made out of stylish midnight waxed canvas and finished with handsome leather accents, is a terrific bag for work or play.
Hopefully, you’ve now filled up your shopping cart with a new everyday bag — ehh? While a piece like the Joshu + Vela Zip Briefcase defies the traditional conventions of a messenger bag, it’s a handsome, durable and reliably stylish upgrade to your everyday carry. And the sleek silhouette and clean lines of the Owen and Fred Flight Brief also make it a worthy addition to this list. In terms of classic, rugged appeal, it’s very tough to top the Filson Original Briefcase  — and you’d do well to pick that one up, of course. For the more functionally minded guy, the Peak Design Everyday Messenger fits the bill more than nicely. Last but not least, the Michigan-designed Brothers Leather Supply Roma Messenger could be your new favorite everyday bag. With that being said — are you ready for your next commute or road trip? See you out there.
-Beau

Home of the Strange: New Haven and Young the Giant

Gear for the road, Yale exploration and a rock show. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

Gear for the road, Yale exploration and a rock show. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

First off, don’t let the headline catch you off guard — New Haven isn’t as weird as it might sound; in fact, it was the perfect place to take in the latest stop on the “Home of the Strange” tour by indie rockers Young the Giant this past weekend! On the same page now? Good deal. Yes indeed, this late February weekend presented the perfect opportunity to hit the road again and travel in style to see another live show — it’s a real passion of mine, as you might recall from a fall trip to see Local Natives and my summer trip to see indie folk rockers Lucius, among others. And to be able to hit the road, bring along my favorite #menswear and see an awesome rock show is absolutely icing on the cake. The weather was a bit different than a winter road trip to Michigan, but not quite full-on spring territory — so, earbuds in and volume turned up, I grabbed my Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender  — and the excellent, travel-ready Owen and Fred Flight Brief in Midnight — and set out for New Haven and College Street Music Hall (Editor’s note: For the next time you hit the road, here’s another bag that surely qualifies among the best travel gear for guys).

Gear for a Saturday on the road and a Saturday concert. Sweater by The Knit Project. Dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather Supply. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Gear for a Saturday on the road and a Saturday concert. Sweater by The Knit Project. Dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather Supply. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

As has been the case with past East Coast road trips, I knew I’d have to dress for multiple potential scenarios — starting with a nice, temperate Saturday train ride from NYC to New Haven. I chose a light, breathable and innovative Fitted Merino Turtleneck from Bay Area start-up Knit Project. Made from luxurious Italian Merino wool from a company that’s focused on quality materials and a great fit, it was a neat layering touch under the Frank & Oak Marfa Slim-Fit Denim Shirt — yes, that’s right …. a turtleneck under a denim shirt.  It’s a move that’s a bit unique (and perhaps academically inspired for exploring Yale’s campus?), but works in this case thanks to the casual washed denim shirt and a well-fitting pair of  classic Frank & Oak selvedge denim. Plus, when it got breezier later on in the day, the combo worked well with no outfit change necessary. Given that I spent time on my feet exploring New Haven and drinking copious amounts of coffee from stops like Jojo’s Coffee and Tea, I needed to be able to get around effectively and on-time — that’s where my vintage-inspired Timex for J. Crew watch came in handy, along with helpful everyday carry pieces like my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet. Of course, I had to reach for a pair of sneakers that’s as comfortable as can be — yet with the functionality of durable boots. In this instance, my Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Tops were comfortable and effective for going from train to town to show.

All smiles in advance of Young the Giant. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

All smiles in advance of Young the Giant. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

Again, these were all pieces that worked just as well for getting around New Haven as they did for a heck of an epic show from Young the Giant. Luckily, I had plenty of time to kill before lining up outside College Street Music Hall. The campus of Yale really is something else — at times medieval and at times modern, it’s filled with great vistas and excellent architecture. It’s quaint, historic and very cool to explore — as is the Yale University Art Gallery (even if you’re not an art buff — I’m certainly not, but hey … menswear’s more my bag).

It’s always wise to take local recommendations into account when traveling — such has been the case as I’ve explored Washington, D.C.  and braved the Grand Rapids winter. So one would be remiss not to stop into the delicious, quirky and renowned Louis’ Lunch for an original cheeseburger, ehh? They still know how to make ’em — considering they’re known for being the inventor of the hamburger, that’s quite the accomplishment. And I can confirm for a fact that there’s no better for fuel for a rock concert — or exploring a neat college town — than a premium stop like Cask Republic, a conveniently located spot near College Street Music Hall with multiple Northeast locations and an excellent selection of burgers and beers. Again, prime rock concert fuel, folks.

Beckett Simonon

And certainly if you’ve listened to Young the Giant or caught them on tour behind any of their three albums (including “Home of the Strange,”) you know what you’re going to get. That is, an energetic, powerful show with great showmanship from Sameer Gadhia, a heck of a lead singer with a great voice and the sort of synergy with his bandmates that comes from lots of time spent honing their craft. Hyperbole? Not when you’ve been at it since 2004, I’d say. They reliably packed their setlist with crowd-pleasers and a healthy dose of standout new material, all delivered with plenty of heart. Seriously, who hasn’t sung along to “My Body” or “Apartment” …. or “I Got” (the list goes on)… while cruising in their car? Ahh, just me? OK, then. But I can tell you this — that band brings great energy, joy and feeling to the stage. What a treat to see that in action — crowd favorites like “Cough Syrup” kicked things off early, while newer hits like “Silvertongue” helped close out the encore. In between, Sameer and Co. lit up the stage with an amazing light show (check out a photo or two on Twitter) and also worked in sleeper hits like “Mr. Know-It-All” and  “Titus Was Born” off of “Home of the Strange.” In short, it was a show I’d absolutely recommend seeing.

Mixing collegiate, comfortable style for a Sunday of exploration at Beinecke Plaza. Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sashiko Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Cashmere cap by Club Monaco. Glasses by Frameri.

Mixing collegiate, comfortable style for a Sunday of exploration at Beinecke Plaza. Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sashiko Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Cashmere cap by Club Monaco. Glasses by Frameri.

Without a doubt, it was certainly a treat to see them live. The group’s time on stage at world-famous venues like Radio City Music Hall absolutely shows, and you’d do well to catch them as they tour this summer with Cold War Kids! Tickets for that one will surely go fast– anxious as I might be about getting tickets for that tour, I wasn’t anxious about dressing for the cold in New Haven on Sunday (see what I did there?). Now, there wasn’t the excitement of a show ahead, but I still enjoyed a day around a bustling town, including some lovely time spent exploring the campus of Yale once again — it’s a beautiful institution in all respects. I also can’t recommend the premium, upscale Heirloom for brunch enough — get the Heritage Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich and thank me later. For hitting up spots like Blue State Coffee (again with the coffee), I grabbed unique-yet-functional layers, starting with my Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan . My finely textured, well-made Taylor Stitch Sashiko Shirt also complemented the cardigan nicely for temperatures in the 40s, what with its unique pattern and tailored fit.

Sunday layering, starting with a sharp Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Sunday layering, starting with a sharp Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

The top half of my rig was offset nicely by casual, comfortable and athletic-inspired Kit Culture stretch twill pants. With roots in Los Angeles, Kit Culture makes gear for the active guy, with fits built for those of us on the go. With 5 percent stretch, these pants were exceptionally comfortable for navigating the city, and yet also proved stylish and crisp alongside my reliable-as-ever CAT Footwear Sutter Boots. The combo definitely merged some high-low style alongside perhaps my new favorite watch, the vintage-inspired, handsome Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch — it’s a timepiece that’s classic and eye-catching, and ever-so-slightly rugged. In short, the watch was the perfect everyday carry piece alongside my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet for exploring a bustling college town.

As is the case with many of my road trips, I feel they seem to go by too fast — and that’s definitely true considering this one packed a ton into a short amount of time! I’m always left feeling very grateful — if a bit tired — for the chance to travel to great cities, see excellent music and yes, pack my favorite menswear. I’d say no trip is too short to put your best foot forward — and who can resist bringing along everyday carry pieces like a stylish casual watch or a great weekender bag, anyways? Oh, and about Young the Giant. There are moments during every live show that get me smiling and singing, and the Saturday night show was definitely filled with them. They have no shortage of tour dates through the rest of the year, so go see ’em — don’t forget to pack some stylish rock concert gear, ehh?

Until the next trip — thanks for reading and stay stylish,

-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.
Join Frank & Oak Elevate - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank + Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!

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.

Turkey time: Celebrating a Florida Thanksgiving

A sporty, stylish combination. Polo by QOR. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Gratton Sneakers by Fronteer. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Nautica.

A sporty, stylish combination for a sunny long weekend in Florida. Heather Merino Knit Polo by QOR. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Gratton Sneakers by Fronteer. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Nautica.

Whenever I hit the road, I always look forward to packing in style. And when I get the chance to head south to Florida, visit with family and chow down on amazing Thanksgiving food? That’s all the better. Spending the holidays in a warm-weather locale like Florida is a change of  pace from your Style Guide author’s past holidays growing up in Michigan, so the garb I packed with me has changed accordingly over the years. It’s a bit disconcerting sometimes to go from rugged fall style in NYC to spending time on the beach in Florida, but I always look forward to doing so. And just as with my August trip to Florida, I loaded up plenty of warm-weather gear fit for versatile style situations — including Thanksgiving dinner, brewery-hopping and lots of time spent in the sun.

Gear for the office, a flight and Florida style. Crosstown Bomber by Public Rec. Slim-Fit Tapered Leg 5-Pocket Pants by Dickies. Strayhorn Mid Sneakers by JackThreads. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Sunglasses by Nautica. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply Co.

Gear for the office, a flight and Florida style. Crosstown Bomber by Public Rec. Slim-Fit Tapered Leg 5-Pocket Pants by Dickies. Strayhorn Mid Sneakers by JackThreads. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Sunglasses by Nautica. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply Co.

As always with traveling from NYC to a warm climate like Florida, I sought to pack gear that would move seamlessly from a chilly NYC work day to breezy Florida in style. That meant selecting the ever-versatile, comfortable Public Rec Crosstown Bomber— it’s the sort of jacket that layered easily over my classic Old Navy chambray shirt. And my Dickies Slim-Fit Tapered Leg 5-Pocket Pants were more than ready for a day at the office and a flight back home, as were my new CLAE x JackThreads Strayhorn Mid Sneakers. The chukka-style hybrid silhouette and grey wool upper proved stylish for the work day and helped me breeze through security. And, I had to bring along my Timex x Red Wing Heritage Waterbury Chrono for a dash of rugged-refined style for the office and fall travel. On the footwear front, I had to break out my Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes from storage — the next time you’ve got to tackle warm weekend weather in style, you should look to pack a similar pair. Of course, I took along toiletries from the likes of Nivea for Men — the brand’s Creme works as a hand, body and face moisturizer, so it’s a do-it-all travel essential. And throughout my trip, my retro-inspired Nautica sunglasses and the slick, new MVMT Watches Runaway Aviators proved stylish accessory options for the Florida sun. Seriously, never underestimate the power of a stylish pair of men’s sunglasses.  So, with stylish travel gear in tow and a quick flight home in the books, it was onto a fun Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Huckberry
The day on Wednesday — as one would expect — dawned sunny and pretty hot. With that in mind, I reached for the stretchy, stylish and tailored OLIVERS Apparel Capital Short, as seen at the very top of the page. The versatile color paired up well with another sport-inspired, hybrid piece — a new Heather Merino Knit Polo from performance apparel purveyors QOR. Its tailored look is offset by the merino blend fabric, which wicks sweat and dries quickly. And the comfortable combo paired up well with a new set of kicks — the FRONTEER Super Gratton high-top sneakers, provided courteously by the FRONTEEER team. With their unique design and a silhouette inspired by functional outdoor boots, they’re a nice lifestyle hybrid sneaker. They worked for grabbing a delicious Maple Bacon Donut at the renowned Bennett’s Fresh Roast and hitting the beach. For hitting up Fort Myers Brewing Company later, the brand-new Calypso Watch from the recently launched MVMT Watches Modern Sport collection was a prime, affordable pick. It was also a nice chance to break out a stylish pair of retro-inspired sunglasses from Nautica, and the combination of sport-inspired and functional pieces held up well for Florida exploration — and a few outdoor brews!

florida-thursday-photo-edited

Hanging out in classic Florida fashion. Thomas Pacific Latitude Shirt by Bridge & Burn. Slim Chinos in Light Stone by Taylor Stitch. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

And with an enjoyable Wednesday in the books, it was onto an even more enjoyable Thanksgiving. Now, unlike dressing for a casual fall day, our Florida Thanksgiving celebrations required significantly fewer layers than an NYC November day. With that in mind, it made it easy to reach for the Thomas Pacific Latitude Print Shirt, also from Bridge & Burn. Although that shirt is sold out, you can’t go wrong reaching for any of a selection of similar stylish short-sleeved shirts the next time you find yourself in a warm locale for a holiday. The same goes for the ever-classic Taylor Stitch Slim Chinos in Light Stone — any chance you get to pick up durable, high-quality and classic Taylor Stitch menswear (especially the brand’s lauded chinos), I’d recommend you take it. I found the combo worked quite nicely once again with my Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes and the always-stylish  Timex x Red Wing Heritage Waterbury Chrono for eating second (and third) helpings of Thanksgiving dinner.  And the whole ensemble was polished-yet-casual enough for family Thanksgiving — no expandable waistband in sight on those Taylor Stitch chinos, although it would’ve helped.

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Brewery hopping in the Florida sun. Vesper Polo by Mack Weldon. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Glasses by Frameri.

Of course, Friday presented another absolutely beautiful Florida day, and a prime chance to break out some of my best warm-weather menswear again for a little in-person Black Friday shopping and strolling. (And, let’s be honest — a trip to the excellent Big Blue Brewing was in order). The lightweight, breathable and slim Vesper Polo from the fine folks at Mack Weldon was just what the doctor ordered — and it teamed nicely with my ever-essential Stringer Dune Shorts from Bridge & Burn. It was a bit strange to wear warm-weather gear after a chilly NYC fall, but I adjusted easily thanks to stylish pieces like the always-reliable Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes — they’re the rare type of boat shoe that’s refined, and exceedingly easy to wear for both beachside and city exploration. What’s more, my always-reliable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch had to make the trip, too — I think if you pre-order one for yourself, you’ll be mighty surprised at just how much you’ll be reaching for this casual-yet-versatile timepiece. I’d also recommend you reach for an upgraded, subtly designed ballcap if you need to protect your face from the sun — my Goorin Brothers vintage ballcap (unfortunately sold out now) is a perennial favorite. To snag a similar style for yourself, check out the Huckberry Explorer’s Cap. With that gear in tow, it made for a fun, easygoing day strolling around the neat artists’ village of Matlacha — and if ever you find yourself in the Fort Myers area, Point Ybel Brewing is worth a stop to cap off your day.

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In awe of the amazing creations at the American Sandsculpting Championship. Anything Shirt by Strongbody Apparel. Chambray shorts by Canvas by Lands’ End. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Nautica.

And no Florida trip would be complete without a little beach relaxation and a trip to the American Sandsculpting Championship on Fort Myers Beach — right? I made sure to bring along stylish beach gear for some fun in the sun. That gear included the comfortable, sweat-wicking Anything Shirt by Strongbody Apparel, plus a pair of tailored chambray shorts from Canvas by Lands’ End. Of course, my Cooper Boat Shoes helped me out quite nicely for navigating the sand and the city, as did my Nautica sunglasses. If you’ve got to pack relatively light, versatile accessories and footwear that work for multiple situations can undoubtedly help ease the burden of lugging around a heavy weekender bag.

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The durable Calypso Watch from MVMT Watches teamed nicely with my SeaVees Legend Sneakers.

I also switched up my outfit for an evening out and about in Fort Myers (including a requisite viewing of the new “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” an excellent Harry Potter film). That meant reaching for a tailored short-sleeve gingham shirt from Banana Republic, along with a pair of tailored Canvas by Lands’ End shorts. I also looked forward to breaking out my crisp white SeaVees Legend Sneakers, a go-anywhere set of kicks that works for both casual and business casual situations. My durable, stylish Calypso Watch from MVMT Watches was once again up to the task — I’ll be getting a ton of use out of that timepiece in the weeks and months to come.  And as to the movie? If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you should absolutely check out the incredibly awesome expansion of the HP universe… but back to menswear, ehh?

Just the right gear to hit the road back to NYC. Crosstown Bomber by Public Rec. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Strayhorn Mid Sneakers by CLAE x JackThreads. Utility Bifold by Tanner Goods. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

Just the right gear to hit the road back to NYC. Crosstown Bomber by Public Rec. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Strayhorn Mid Sneakers by CLAE x JackThreads. Utility Bifold by Tanner Goods. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

It seems that every time I head to Florida, it gets tougher to leave — especially after a great holiday with family and some beautiful warm weather. But with that being said, it was time to pack up to head back to NYC — to deal with the impending cold weather, I again grabbed my Public Rec Crosstown Bomber and the versatile, travel-friendly CLAE x JackThreads Strayhorn Mid Sneakers. I packed up my gear in my dependable Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, which has more than capably stood up to the demands of both summer and fall travel across the past few months. Of course, my travel watch pick was an easy one — my Timex x Red Wing Heritage Waterbury Chrono  hasn’t yet let me down! And when it comes time to add to your everyday carry, the Tanner Goods Utility Bifold is a wallet I’d certainly recommend.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

So, with that gear in my bag, I hopped a crowded flight back to NYC — and already, we’re back in action and looking ahead to the holiday season. I had an amazing, fun, relaxing and reflective time in Florida — being able to dress in style was just icing on the cake. But you really can’t put a price on time spent with family — can you? What’s more, I’m already looking forward to being back to Florida for Christmas next month. I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving in style, and I hope you’re ready for a busy holiday season at The Style Guide — tomorrow, you can look for a seasonally appropriate #OOTD entry, and Wednesday, we’ll tell you exactly how to dress for your next holiday party. Beyond that, you can expect the best menswear on tap with our Style Pick of the Week series, and more holiday men’s style ideas galore.

Thanks so much for reading — stay stylish!

-Beau

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.

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

Taking some time: An upstate Memorial Day getaway

Editor’s note: Click this link for a full  set of posts on how to travel in style this summer.

Taking some time away from NYC. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt and Slim Chinos in Light Stone by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

Taking some time away from NYC. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt and Slim Chinos in Light Stone by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

I’ve been fortunate so far this year to hit the road quite a bit, from a New Year’s weekend in Detroit to a stylish weekend visit to Washington, D.C. and a quick few days in the sunny state of Florida. Each trip has presented a pretty nice mix of work and play (some more play than work, admittedly), but it’s definitely helped me get more acquainted with packing and planning ahead in the midst of a busy work and writing schedule, and I’ve been able to document the trips as they’ve happened on Instagram. Given how hectic things have been during my 9-to-5 and beyond,  I felt the urge to get away for just a bit this past weekend. What better place to go than a relaxing, tranquil, chic spot just outside NYC? Specifically, the Time Nyack Hotel.  In fact, I was astonished as I researched the lovely village of Nyack; it’s a beautiful location, and even as I type this, the hotel’s scarcely been open a month! Such a modern hotel in a quaint town also presented the chance to break out style that’s fit for the city yet ready for a quick upstate trip. Do you follow? Yeah? Good.

A look at my packing essentials. Voyager Waxed Weekender and leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. 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.

A look at my packing essentials. Voyager Waxed Weekender and leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. 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.

As with my trip to Washington, D.C., my jaunt to Nyack proved to be another ideal chance to test out my new Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender.  The Martexin Original Waxed canvas is some of the sturdiest and toughest in the business, the Wickett & Craig leather straps are sturdy and breaking in nicely, and the bag’s always provided plenty of room for my menswear essentials (including a trusty Bridge & Burn Flat Wool Cap and Word Notebooks Adventure Log). On this particular trip, that also included extras like my trusty Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit — made from water-resistant polycoat in a sharp navy color and featuring a vegetable tanned leather pull, it accented the bag  and my Tanner Goods leather lanyard nicely while holding some Baxter of California grooming essentials. However, the small details were just one focus of my trip in terms of packing, planning and exploring.

A look at some of the stylish grooming essentials from C.O. Bigelow provided by the hotel, plus my Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit and Doc Elliott Pomade.

A look at some of the stylish grooming essentials from C.O. Bigelow provided by the hotel, plus my Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit and Doc Elliott Pomade.

For work style that would take me from the office to upstate on Friday (as it seems lots of New Yorkers do), I brought along that aforementioned Owen & Fred bag, and dressed to meet the demands of the cubicle and the train ride (hint: Both involve lots of sitting, just in different environments). In this case, that meant tossing on one of my favorite shirts (heck, perhaps my favorite?), the Jack in Indigo Star from the fine folks at Taylor Stitch. The shirt is crisp-yet-casual, able to be worn tucked in or untucked, and complete with high armholes and slim sleeves — that’s exactly how I want my shirts to fit, and I’d wager that’s how yours should fit for travel and the office. A sleek pair of Sebago Heritage Loafers completed my Friday travel ensemble, alongside a versatile striped webbed belt from J. Crew (it goes with denim and a tee as well as it does with slightly dressier outfits). And given the heat and those pesky rays, eye-catching sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere finished off my travel accessories for the day (and the weekend in general).

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I was also fortunate enough to get the chance to check out a pair of the brand’s exceptionally high-quality Slim Chinos in Stone, as I wrote about in this site’s Style Pick of the Week series earlier this spring. The fabric and construction are just as on-point as the last pair of Taylor Stitch Standard Issue Chinos I reviewed last summer, and the slim fit and versatile styling potential are to be applauded; I definitely felt as if I could rock them at work and at dinner later on Friday, and that’s exactly how it worked out!

A look at a few of my trip accessories, with a cool backdrop via The Time Nyack. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

A look at a few of my trip accessories, with a cool backdrop via The Time Nyack. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

On the footwear front, I also tried to pack light yet reliably — I’ve become a huge fan of the comfort and sleek style of my Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes, as I also rocked ’em during my family’s trip to NYC a few weeks ago. They were a nice change of pace alongside my classic, dressier Sebago leather loafers. The Caramel Nubuck color of the boat shoes, and the slimmer profile (compared to other boat shoes, that is) helped them fit right in with my more casual Bridge & Burn Stringer Dune Shorts and a lightweight, comfortable Richer Poorer pocket tee (as seen below). The tee is slim, modern and able to be worn a bit more ruggedly (with the sleeves a bit rolled up, for example). Plus the cotton-polyester-rayon blend is comfortable and breathed easily in the heat. The best part about the boat shoes is that they would’ve worked just as easily with my Friday office/travel outfit as on Saturday! Looking for crisp, comfortable, dependable shoes when traveling is a definite must, and particularly for the summer months, the Cooper is absolutely one shoe you should consider.

Saturday's outfit to beat the heat. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Saturday’s outfit to beat the heat. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Now if this trip were longer, I’d definitely consider adding some sharp spring sneakers and a nice pair of light wash denim, but the gear I packed in the interim definitely sufficed. Now, just because I packed light doesn’t mean I skimped on accessories. I love traveling with a great watch or two — as of late, I’ve been digging the rugged, dependable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, which Timex was courteous enough to provide for a review (thanks, folks!). The watch wears slightly larger at 42mm, and the case is thick and sturdy. It’s a beauty in terms of the vintage-inspired dial design, too. The same goes for the rugged Red Wing leather strap — is there a better material to forge a watch strap out of? Probably not. It’s already proven a work-week staple, and it’s sure to see plenty of use in the coming weeks and months. My Sunday Somewhere sunglasses have already taken me all around New York City, and they proved just as reliable and stylish for exploring the much quieter confines of Nyack. Lest we forget, when packing low-cut shoes, lightweight no-show socks are in order — luckily, Pair of Thieves provides breathable no-shows with built-in performance for breathability and comfort.

What time is it? Time for a Memorial Day trip to the Time Nyack Hotel. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

What time is it? Time for a Memorial Day trip to the Time Nyack Hotel. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

As to the hotel itself: the Time Nyack was lovely, an eclectic mix of clean, modern design thanks to the loft-style rooms, high ceilings and the building’s past life as a factory. I felt the #menswear accessories I brought along, including that Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, fit right in! The décor was chic, modern and refined – definitely as upscale as expected. And the on-site restaurant and bar, BV’s Grill, had a nice beer selection and some killer cocktails. Elsewhere in Nyack, this small town is bustling and felt much larger than the listed population of about 7,300. I had the chance to check out The Local Tap House of Nyack on Main Street, which even served some excellent beer from Brooklyn stalwarts Evil Twin and Other Half (a surefire sign of any good beer bar). And if you get to the area , be sure to stop by Brickhouse for a stellar burger (the BBQ Bacon Burger is a treat), and more great beer (including some craft exclusives from the likes of Maine Brewing).

Saturday's travel outfit in action outside Gypsy Donut. Heather Grey Pocket Tee by Richer Poorer. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Watebury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

Saturday’s travel outfit in action outside Gypsy Donut. Heather Grey Pocket Tee by Richer Poorer. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Watebury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

The town itself really was busy despite a lot of folks apparently heading away for the weekend – if you want a retreat that feels far away from the city and offers some unique, local spots, this is the place to go. In fact, zipping up and down Main Street will give you the chance to check out a ton of hotspots for dinner or cocktails. And if you’re a fan of delicious donuts and excellent coffee, like they’ve got on-hand at Gypsy Donut, you’ll have just as much fun at breakfast as you will when out on the town later. The Maple Bacon Donut is the stuff of dreams, I tell you.

It was a much-needed getaway, and it proved a lot of fun! If you need a respite from NYC or are looking for a small-town getaway with premium accommodations and a host of restaurants and bars to match, Nyack is the place to be. It’s a cute area with beautiful views of the Hudson River on the drive over, the Time Nyack is conveniently situated close to the town, and I’d wager you won’t run out of places to go or things to do on a weekend trip. Pack smartly, efficiently and stylishly, and you’ll be all set for plenty of adventures.

Where are you heading this summer? Let me know of any neat trips, and what you’re bringing along, over at The Style Guide Facebook page!

 

Frank & Oak

Florsheim

Style Guide Spring Break: A weekend in Florida

Editor’s note: For more tips on what to pack for warm weather, head here.

It was an excellent, relaxing Florida weekend -- exploring downtown Fort Myers was a highlight! Short-sleeve gingham shirt and khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

It was an excellent, relaxing Florida weekend — exploring downtown Fort Myers was a highlight! Short-sleeve gingham shirt and khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Any time I get the chance to step away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, I’ll gladly take it — even if only for a few days. Being able to go somewhere sunny and warm to visit my family, like Florida, makes traveling that much better. It’s certainly a welcome adjustment from having to bundle up for both NYC winters and trips back to Michigan, both of which I’ve grown accustomed to over the years — this is a change of pace that I’ll gladly take! This past weekend was a special one, as I headed back down to Fort Myers for my dad’s birthday. It’s a tradition that’s worked out the past few years, as it seems a lot goes on at once — we get the chance to root on our alma mater, Michigan State, in the Big Ten Tournament, we get the chance to celebrate my dad’s birthday and most importantly, we get the chance to catch up and relax in the lovely weather. It’s a win-win-win (in the words of Michael Scott!).

A trusty United By Blue duffle made it easy to pack up my everyday carry. Natural pocket tee by Richer Poorer. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Grey-and-white chukka sneakers by Dr. Martens. Brass money clip by Owen & Fred. Navy leather card case by Issara.

A trusty United By Blue duffle made it easy to pack up my everyday carry. Natural pocket tee by Richer Poorer. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Grey-and-white chukka sneakers by Dr. Martens. Brass money clip by Owen & Fred. Navy leather card case by Issara.

Prepping for the trip was luckily pretty straightforward — even compared to my last visit to Florida at Christmas, the weather had already jumped into the 80s as I hopped on a quick  flight from NYC to Fort Myers last Thursday. With some time in my fairly casual office beforehand, I knew I’d need to be ready to both hop on the plane and then step into some nice, sunny weather. So transitional style was key, and lightweight staples like my Richer Poorer pocket tee , slim tan Banana Republic chinos and my new Dr. Martens Baynes Chukka Sneakers did the trick. The sneakers in particular have the style of a high-top, the surprisingly lightweight construction of a low-cut sneaker, and the ability to be slipped on and off at the airport with ease — I’d definitely look for a pair like that for your next trip. My United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle worked perfectly to carry the rest of my gear, which included easygoing style staples like a Grayers slub polo and a well-fitting, comfortable Tommy John Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey,  ideal for relaxing by the pool.

Relaxing poolside with a few choice style essentials. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Relaxing poolside with a few choice style essentials. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Of course, as with any trip involving sand and sun, I was happy I packed some trusty everyday carry gear — including my reliable, stylish (and yes, pricey) Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses — thanks again, Santa! As the weather warms up and you look to hit the road, know that plenty of easy-to-shop brands — particularly the folks at Warby Parker — are crafting wearable, stylish sunglasses for far less (good news, for sure). I brought along my trusty MVMT Watches silver-and-brown leather watch, a sturdy Invicta stainless steel dive watch and a more casual Stuhrling Original rubber-strap watch to round out my watch game. An Owen & Fred brass money clip and Issara leather card case helped me keep my essentials in check. If you want to travel lighter, know that a trusty stainless steel dive watch can certainly suffice for everything from rugged wear on the beach to dressier dinners — but if you’re a fan of watches like me, it might be handy to bring along a few choices.

A must-see when hitting up Sanibel Island -- the delicious Bennett's Fresh Roast! Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling. Beach scene not included with purchase.

A must-see when hitting up Sanibel Island — the delicious Maple Bacon Donut from Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling. Beach scene not included with purchase.

So I had plenty of stylish gear for our activities, including a nice birthday celebration for my dad on Thursday night at Trader’s, home of some excellent seafood — I’d recommend it, and it was nice to break out some khaki shorts again for the evening, finally! As I arrived just in time for happy hour, that was a welcome change of pace from NYC, too. My dad and I were also able to celebrate his actual birthday on Friday with a few stops at some of our favorite spots on nearby Sanibel Island, including the legendary Bennett’s Fresh Roast — the Maple Bacon Donut is a must-have, and it was a nice snack on the beach. We were able to hop just down the road to nearby Captiva for a delicious lunch at The Green Flash; don’t skip the chance to try the Barbeque Bacon Shrimp — it’s truly the best of both worlds!

Exploring the beaches and walking trails of Fort Myers. Short-sleeve striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Navy sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Grey sneakers by Reef. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

Exploring the beaches and walking trails of Fort Myers. Short-sleeve striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Navy sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Grey sneakers by Reef. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

We were able to spend the rest of the day exploring some of Sanibel’s lovely beaches — for getting to and from the donut shop, lunch and the beach, I picked out a versatile short-sleeve JACHS NY chambray shirt, my ever-reliable Pistol Lake sweatshorts and some brand-new, comfortable sneakers from the surf experts at Reef. Later in the afternoon and in an awesome, truly chance meeting, we bumped into my former State News colleague and fellow MSU alum Sam Radecki and her family on Blind Pass Beach as we sipped some afternoon beverages (read: Heineken). The world’s a small place, huh? (Oh, and Go Green!). It was great to catch up, and it was also exciting to be able to kick off a weekend of great basketball among our fellow fans at Timber’s  on Friday night — it’s the place to go for sports and seafood on Sanibel.

Saturday gave my dad and  a respite from the sun (style tip: sunscreen helps), and explore more of historic downtown Fort Myers. Between antique shops, craft brewpubs and a lovely waterfront area, there’s a little something for everyone. It was particularly neat to check out the old, Fort Myers Civic Center — it seems like a prime spot waiting to be developed into a great location. And if you’re a fan of craft beer (like yours truly), The Lodge is a definite top spot to visit — from the pour-your-own beer taps to the excellent barbeque, it’s tons of fun. Picking out gear to wear for the day was a cinch thanks to the excellent weather — always nice! I threw on a slim short-sleeve Banana Republic gingham shirt (similar option here) and khaki shorts, two nice offerings from a brand that always does casual basics well. Staying out of the sun was made even easier with my favorite hat, a vintage-inspired Goorin Brothers ballcap. If you’re looking to upgrade your hat rotation, reaching for a throwback style is always a nice bet.

Casual gear to cap off the trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Heather grey pocket tee by Tommy John. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Casual gear to cap off the trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Heather grey pocket tee by Tommy John. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Saturday night gave me the opportunity to catch another great MSU win with my family at Point Ybel Brewing Company, and  I also had the chance to catch with my grandparents (who just moved down the street from my parents’ house, as it were).  And Sunday proved the perfect day to cap off the trip — after relaxing by the pool with some of the casual gear you see above, my dad and I swung by Bennett’s Fresh Roast again (it’s a must-visit!). In the spirit of moving quickly, we also made some time to stop by the World of Beer and meet another college pal (hey there, Matt Sheehan) to catch the start of the Big Ten Championship Game for our MSU Spartans. If ever you find yourself near a World of Beer location, stop in — the beer selection is extensive and the food was perfect for the occasion. Again, Go Green!

No matter how brief trips to this area of Florida can be, they always seem to get better — it’s relaxing, the weather is absurdly beautiful and it seems like there are more and more great friends and great times to be found everywhere. With so many Spartans around and with some new favorite spots in our rotation to visit, I’m definitely looking forward to coming back. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop me a line on Twitter! For now, it’s back to work in NYC. Look for more great content on The Style Guide later this week — we’ve got your St. Patrick’s Day style suggestion covered, along with stylish gear to wear for the NCAA Tournament. It’ll be fun!

Until tomorrow — stay stylish,

-Beau

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The Product Review: United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle

Editor’s note: Click here for a plethora of product reviews on the right kind of gear to pack in your bag. P.S. Do you like The Style Guide on Facebook?

Taking the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue around the country. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Taking the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue around the country. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

The more you travel, you more you realize that it just pays to have the right gear. That goes for simple, smaller things like your toiletries kit, all the way on up to the right pair of shoes  or sturdy outerwear. It goes without saying then, that the bag with which you transport all this gear is pretty essential. And like other considered areas of your outfit, a great weekender bag can add a solid, reliable touch to your travel ensemble — seriously. It’s an area that should be overlooked, so when you find one that gets the job done, you should hold onto it. I’ve been traveling quite a bit in recent months, from a Christmas trip to Florida to a work trip to Utah, and a nice bag has proven critical to get from point A to point B. With that being said, the United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle that you see here has been more than up to the task of handling all of my style essentials.

Ready to hit the road with the Mt. Drew Duffle. Natural chambray shirt by Todd Shelton. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boot Company. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Ready to hit the road with the Mt. Drew Duffle. Natural chambray shirt by Todd Shelton. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boot Company. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

United By Blue should be a familiar name if you read this blog regularly — they’ve popped up in our ongoing Style Q&A series, and they craft everything from the duffle pictured here to responsibly made shirts, henleys and swim trunks. And as with any purchase, you can feel great about picking it up — they remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product sold, and they bring along their employees as volunteers to do it. So it’s no ordinary company you’re buying from, and that’s a very good. Namely, it means the quality and craftsmanship of this bag can stand up to the commitment they’ve promised.  And it means that no matter which of the five available colorways you pick up, you’ll be getting the same quality (for the record, I ended up going with the Moss option).

Brass hardware pairs well with the dark brown genuine leather straps.

Brass hardware pairs well with the dark brown genuine leather straps. The waxed canvas should hold up quite well, too.

If you’re going to be lugging this around the country as I’ve been, durability is going to be crucial. Luckily, the 18oz. organic waxed canvas is a huge plus — the bag has so far stood up to being jammed in overhead compartments and carried around on the subway, and it hasn’t shown any signs of ripping or giving out (pretty critical with how much gear I’ve packed into it at times). Now, it’ll certainly see lots more use going forward, but initial signs are quite promising. Another big aspect of that durability component is the hardware, as you can see from the above photo. The brass hardware teams nicely in terms of aesthetic with the genuine dark brown leather, but it also feels quite sturdy when picked up, too.

That is, it doesn’t feel like the leather handles are going to give way on you, or like the shoulder strap (also padded with that dark brown genuine leather) is going to suddenly break off. These are all big bonuses, and signs you should check out right away when grabbing your own bag. The leather handles, while sturdy, aren’t too stiff to carry the bag with — while the leather isn’t buttery-smooth, with repeated use, they’ll stand up to carrying while looking quite nice. So overall, this bag definitely has solid durability going for it.

Enough space for two pairs of sneakers side-by-side (plus gear not shown).

Enough space for two pairs of sneakers side-by-side (plus gear not shown).

Space is also a key when packing up a bag for weekend or long-weekend getaways. This bag packs a surprising amount of room (pun intended). I’ve repeatedly been able to fit two pairs of shoes (one pair of suede chukka boots and one pair of sneakers, for example) inside, along with various other knits, sweaters and pants. Compared to my Navali Stoway Weekender Bag, it definitely feels roomier inside, which is somewhat surprising given that the Navali Weekender utilizes more interior pockets and compartments. Note that the official measurements on the United By Blue bag are 24” Wide x 15” Height x 11” Diameter, compared to that Stowaway Weekender, which measures 22″ Wide x 12″ Height x 8 1/2″ Diameter). So this is really more like a three-or-four night bag as opposed to just a weekender bag (that is, if

Fit to carry all kinds of seasonal accessories. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Buffalo Bobber Leather Gloves by Iron & Resin.

Fit to carry all kinds of seasonal accessories. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Buffalo Bobber Leather Gloves by Iron & Resin.

 

One drawback might be that if you like things ultra-organized inside your bag — that is, divided up by compartments or sections — this bag doesn’t quite have that. There is an interior zipper pocket however, but that’s it. But given the bag’s roominess, I’ve always found that my gear fits in comfortably without things getting too jumbled up. As with any accessory you’re going to be bringing with you lots of places, looks are absolutely key, too. I’ve found the rich Moss color of this weekender to be a neutral complement to all sorts of travel outfits (again, style’s in the details!). It strikes the right balance between being unique yet not too outlandish. Any of the five other color options currently available would do much the same thing — particularly the rich Nutmeg color or the handsome Chocolate color. The lighter shade of tan even calls to mind a Filson bag.

Which brings us to a key differentiator between an expensive weekender and this one — price (not too hard to figure out there, ehh?). For a bag of this quality and styling potential, the price is just right. That’s particularly true when you consider that the Navali Weekender runs about $30 more expensive. It’s critical that this bag provides more space, more color options and a thicker waxed canvas (not to be overlooked when searching for something long-lasting). Keep in mind that if you were looking for something more smaller and more like an overnight bag, J. Crew Factory is currently offering up its Carson Duffel Bag for just $68.50. And on the slightly more casual front, J. Crew’s Harwick Weekender Bag is going for $148 (but that piece features nylon versus waxed canvas). Were you to go for something on the pricier side of things — like a true Filson weekender — know that the price is going to hop up significantly.

So when it comes to combining craftsmanship, quality and price with the right kind of looks, it’s tough to go farther than this United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle. The Moss color in particular is rich and eyecatching, the hardware is solid and well-crafted, the leather straps and detailing will break in nicely over time, and the price is on-point for what you’re getting. Heck, you might yourself making more excuses to use this bag than you thought.

Do you own the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue? Or is it on your Wish List?