Style Q+A: Bridge and Burn

First of all, welcome back to another entry in our ongoing Style Q+A series.  From purveyors of rugged goods like NYC’s Rivay  to the masterminds at Tread for Men Grooming, I hope you’ve enjoyed following along.  And as always seems to be the case, we’re giving you what I think is another great entry worth your time today (and as an aside, it contains perhaps my favorite quote from our Style Q+A series — see if you can spot it). If you peruse the pages of this site — from pieces like how to wear a bomber jacket  to the best men’s denim shirts to buy now, you’ll surely recognize the brand featured here. Yes, today we’re talking about Bridge & Burn, a brand with a heck of a backstory and roots that extend all the way out to Oregon more than a decade ago. With a computer science background and experience starting and running two different brands — each of which  have lent unique qualities to the stylish, functional and timeless aesthetic of Bridge & Burn — founder Erik Prowell is just the guy you want to see if you need to upgrade your outerwear or pick up a heck of a versatile shirt (or learn about the Pacific Northwest, for that matter). From simple-yet-soft graphic tees to refined chinos  and hard-wearing jackets, you’ve got yourself a winning look any time you throw on the brand’s gear. In fact, Bridge & Burn’s recent collaboration with Kiriko is equally stunning, featuring a mix of chinos, overshirts and engineer stripe shirts done up with beautiful patterns and incredible fabrics — in short, amplifying a lot of the great work you see from Bridge and Burn on a daily basis. With all that being said, they’re a brand worth knowing if you value quality construction, well-executed details and timeless wearability. It’s been a treat to learn more about Bridge & Burn and experience their high-quality goods while meeting the team behind the brand across these past few months. With that being said, I hope you’ll enjoy learning more, too. Take it away, Erik!

The original Bridge & Burn graphic.

The original Bridge & Burn graphic.

The Style Guide: Tell me about the start of the Bridge & Burn brand?
 
Erik Prowell: To be honest, I really didn’t know what I was doing when I started Bridge & Burn. I studied Computer Science in college and worked as a software developer for a few years. My friend and I started making graphic tees for fun and it snowballed into a pretty decent business where we were selling to over 200 stores nationally including Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters. Through that business, I started going to trade shows and was exposed to the wide world of apparel. At the shows, I’d see all these pieces that had great silhouettes but always seemed over-designed. When I started my goal was to make clean, classic pieces that I wanted to wear.
The name Bridge & Burn was inspired by the first t-shirt I ever designed.
It was a burning match under a bridge — because sometimes you have to burn the bridge to past expectations in order to follow your passions into an unknown future.  
A look at the Bridge & Burn x Kiriko collaboration -- read on for more.

A look at the Bridge & Burn x Kiriko collaboration — read on for more.

TSG: The Northwest seems to have played a big role in the brand’s evolution and design — tell me a bit more about that approach?
EP: The Pacific Northwest is known for its quality of life. It’s not about excess. It’s not about the next big thing. It’s about knowing what is good and how to enjoy all that is good to the fullest. I grew up in Oregon, and I chose to start Bridge & Burn in Portland because I love this city. It’s small, it has character, and is full of inspiring, creative people. Our location can be challenging, as most of the apparel world is centered in New York and Los Angeles. It’s more difficult to make connections and I am forced to travel quite a bit. That said, our origin naturally differentiates the brand and gives us unique character. Our designs come from a different point of view and the landscape inspires every aspect of our designs from the colors we choose to each garment’s simple functionality.
TSG: What’s one essential every guy should have in his wardrobe? 
EP: Every guy should have good socks and a great jacket (Editor’s note: Check out American Trench socks in particular, and read our piece on how to wear a bomber jacket for a Bridge and Burn take on the style).
Frank & Oak
TSG: As interest in men’s style specifically has increased, has that benefited the brand?
EP: Definitely. Our approachable designs and moderate price point makes it easy for guys to ease in to the world of fashion. And for those who are already there, we offer new fits and fabrics each season to keep them on trend with new ways to express their own personal sense of style.
TSG: Any exciting upcoming new product launches readers should know about? 
EP: We just launched our most ambitious apparel collaboration ever, with fellow Portland retailer, Kiriko. Bridge & Burn x Kiriko is a limited capsule collection for men & women. The aesthetic was inspired by classic American workwear fused with Japanese minimalism and heritage textiles. The designs are classic Bridge & Burn with a modern japanese twist. For more on the collaboration and the incredible Japanese fabrics we sourced with Kiriko, check out our blog post.
So, there you have it — beautiful fabrication, classic designs and a timeless approach to style. Follow Bridge & Burn on Twitter and Instagram for more — and get shopping!

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