City lights: A weekend in the Big Apple

Editor’s note: For more posts covering style adventures big and small, click here.

Ready for some Sunday brunch and brownstone envy. Denim jacket by American Apparel. Printed graphic tee and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge and Burn. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Sunglasses by Spine Optics. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

Ready for some Sunday brunch and brownstone envy. Denim jacket by American Apparel. Printed graphic tee and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge and Burn. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Sunglasses by Spine Optics. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

Just in the past few weeks alone, it’s really hit me that I’ve been fortunate enough to live in NYC for two years (well, two years and one weekend officially). It’s been an ongoing, ever-expanding adventure, from some classic NYC real estate struggles (email me for more on that) to some exciting job transitions and the opportunity to write, blog and work with some fantastic brands and fantastic people. In the midst of all this activity, I always relish the chance to see (and occasionally host) my family and friends when they visit — it’s turned out to be quite the destination! And while it’s not the same as traveling for work or play, that still means I plan ahead and try to dress well to meet the demands of the weekend. These past few days were another such chance, as I hosted my mom and sister in my Brooklyn apartment (my wood floor is the backdrop of my Instagram photos, wink, wink). We had an action-packed weekend, and although I do call this place my home now, I’m always excited to see new places in the city, and try new things — one can’t possibly do it all even living here!

An outfit fit for the cubicle and a Broadway viewing. Slim-Fit Travel Jacket by Combatant Gentleman. Slim grey chinos by Bonobos. Slim chambray shirt by Old Navy. Archie Penny Loafers by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Customized Weekender Fairfield by Timex.

An outfit fit for the cubicle and a Broadway viewing. Slim-Fit Travel Jacket by Combatant Gentleman. Pin dot pocket square by The Grunion Run via SprezzaBox. Slim grey chinos by Bonobos. Slim chambray shirt by Old Navy. Archie Penny Loafers by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Customized Weekender Fairfield by Timex.

After their Thursday arrival, we had time for a lovely lunch in Bryant Park on one of the best spring days we’ve had yet. As it was a work day for me at Coyne PR (followed by a Broadway viewing of the musical “She Loves Me,”) I stuck with versatile, classic style fit for the office and a more refined night — that is, an Old Navy dark chambray shirt paired with slim grey Bonobos chinos and one of my favorite jackets, the crisp Slim-Fit Travel Jacket from Combatant Gentleman. I finished off that pairing with some accessories fit for 9-to-5 and beyond — that would be a pin dot pocket square from the folks at Grunion Run via SprezzaBox and sharp Jack Erwin leather loafers (the Archie, to be specific). Both fit right in for my work day, and also looked presentable at a Broadway show — if you’ve got dinner plans after work or something similar, essential tailored accessories like that are very helpful. And a new pair of the Maximus Sunglasses courtesy of the Australian eyewear brand Sunday Somewhere looked stylish and … eye-catching (had to do it).
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The show (starring an extremely talented ensemble cast, including Zachary Levi, formerly of NBC’s “Chuck”) was a fun way to cap off a busy work day, even for a non-Broadway buff like myself. Friday meant another casually-dressed work day for yours truly, and a day of exploration around Manhattan for my mom and sister — but Friday  night was a real treat. After a stop at the Brazen Fox for a few brews and a tasty burger (never a bad call), we headed deep into Brooklyn to one of my favorite stops, Threes Brewing. The craft beer hotspot was hosting the release of the acclaimed Day of the Dead Grateful Dead tribute album, curated by Aaron & Bryce Dessner, Brooklyn rock heroes currently of The National. So it was a night featuring tracks from my mom’s favorite band, and an appearance from a few members of one of my favorite bands. Not a bad way to cap off the work week! (Oh, and Scott Devendorf of The National said “we’re working on new stuff for you,” so… make of that what you will).

A crisp, classic outfit for two Broadway shows. Baker Mountain Field Jacket by Timberland. Blue Oxford by JackThreads. Slim Bowie Chinos by JACHS NY. Customized Weekender Fairfield by Timex. Printed socks by Pair of Thieves. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Suede Strada Derby Shoes by M.Gemi.

A crisp, classic outfit for two Broadway shows. Baker Mountain Field Jacket by Timberland. Blue Oxford by JackThreads. Slim Bowie Chinos by JACHS NY. Customized Weekender Fairfield by Timex. Printed socks by Pair of Thieves. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Suede Strada Derby Shoes by M.Gemi.

That led us right into an exciting start to the day on Saturday, as we stopped by a true Brooklyn classic, the always-excellent Milk & Honey CafĂ©. I’d definitely recommend the shop’s new Maple Bacon Cronut — it’s delicious, and it’s a stellar way to start your day, even if it is a little far into Brooklyn. We had to zip into Manhattan to then prep for the first of not one, but two incredible Broadway shows — including the much-acclaimed and much-lauded “Hamilton,” an astonishing work of musical theater, and the most interesting account of the life of Alexander Hamilton that you’ll ever see. It was just … jaw-dropping (thanks, Dad!). We nearly topped that with an evening viewing of “Les Miserables,” another all-time musical classic that’s just as much of a sight to behold — and going off Broadway later this year, to boot. Needless to say, it was an emotional, enthralling and exciting day.

While I was focused on getting to (and making it through) those emotional shows, I still tried to meet the demands of travel across Brooklyn & Manhattan in style. I paired a classic blue JackThreads Oxford with the smart, well-tailored Bowie Chinos from JACHS NY, complemented by the crisp, versatile M.Gemi Strada Derby, plus some navy-and-orange Pair of Thieves printed socks and the always-classic Timex Weekender Fairfield. I topped off my outfit to fight the rain with the Baker Mountain Field Jacket via Timberland (I’d absolutely recommend you grab a stylish spring rain jacket if some breezes or showers are in the mix). And to finish things off, I once again grabbed the Maximus Sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere — part of my latest Spring Style Essentials at GearMoose, as it were.

The "outfit grid" version of the ensemble seen at the top of the page. Printed graphic tee and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge and Burn. Light Ludlow Denim by Mott & Bow. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Sunglasses by Spine Optics. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

The “outfit grid” version of the ensemble seen at the top of the page. Printed graphic tee and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge and Burn. Slim Mercer Light Denim by Mott & Bow. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Sunglasses by Spine Optics. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

After a busy, bustling day in the city, we were pretty exhausted — and that made a hearty Sunday brunch to close out the weekend all the more enjoyable. While our first choice (Rucola in Brooklyn Heights) was filled up with a pretty feisty Brunch Village crowd, we swung back just a few blocks to a new favorite spot (as of yesterday), Building on Bond, a slightly rustic, vintage-feeling spot with a quaint vibe and some tremendous iced coffee and corned beef hash. If ever you get to Brooklyn (it’s just one stop in!), stop through.
Florsheim
For a casual final day of my mom and sister’s trip, I grabbed some comfortable yet still put-together weekend pieces, including two great new items from my friends at Bridge & Burn — the brand’s comfortable, slim-fitting and witty “Win Always” graphic tee, plus a neat Flat Wool Cap (complete with a handy stitched “B” on the front). I accented those pieces with the versatile Slim Mercer Light Denim from Mott & Bow. And they looked just right alongside the exceedingly comfortable Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes, shoes that are crafted for the city rather than the dock thanks to that elongated loafer last (pick up a pair for just $125 — seriously, do it). Two critical accessories complemented my look — the stunning Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. plus the durable Spine Optics Aviator Sunglasses. Whether the occasion calls for casual Sunday brunch pieces or finishing touches fit for the workday, I think either would suit you well.

Just as was the case with my weekend in Washington, D.C., the trip definitely went far too quickly, but it was action-packed and tons of fun. I’m certainly hopeful I can get down to Florida to see the rest of my family again soon — but in the meantime, if their visits to NYC include more viewings of “Hamilton,” my family’s welcome all the time! Let me know if you’ve had any stylish weekend adventures over on The Style Guide Facebook page, and look for an #OOTD post coming tomorrow, plus travel style coverage of a trip upstate coming along next Monday.

Until next time — thanks for reading, and stay stylish!

-Beau
Florsheim

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Style Suggestion: What to Wear on New Year’s Eve

Editor’s note: For more Style Suggestions covering situations formal to casual, head here.

"How much do you know about fear?" Bond: "All there is." Now THAT is style worth emulating for New Year's Eve.

“How much do you know about fear?” Bond: “All there is.” Now THAT is style worth emulating for New Year’s Eve.

While most of us can only hope to be as sharply dressed as Mr. Bond up there (and headed somewhere as debonair as a floating casino), it can still pay off to dress to impress on New Year’s Eve — even if you aren’t swilling martinis or fighting henchmen. The outfit below plays off the tailored-but-tieless look that’s still popping up lots of different places, so it’s more dressed-down than Bond but definitely geared toward the formal end of the spectrum even without the tie. But if your night shakes out more casually (or formally, for that matter), know that the same basic pieces — tailored trousers, a crisp shirt and slick boots — can work just about anywhere. With that in mind, let’s get set to close out the year in style and look forward to a sharp 2016.
Florsheim

The Suit: Combatant Gentleman Deep Blue Slim Fit Suit — $220 OR Combatant Gentleman Blue Slim Fit Suit — $160

One brand, two options for sharp style -- and two great prices.

One brand, two options for sharp style — and two great prices.

Each of the above two options strikes a slightly different tone — the heightened color of the Deep Blue Slim Fit Suit is a vibe that’s all movie star-red carpet, a la Ryan Gosling.  Think of it as a positive style swerve if you have the basics covered. But if you’re not willing to spring for a suit in that shade or feel like saving some money (more for champagne, amirite??), a navy blue suit never fails — whether you go with the reliable Combatant Gentleman option here or with one you already own. If the jacket is too formal, the trousers could even be worn on their own with a great leather jacket or a sharp overcoat and V-neck sweater.

The Shirt: Standard Shirt White Dress Shirt — $59

Your pick of collar choices for classic style.

Your pick of collar choices for classic style.

The Standard Shirt has been profiled on this blog before and also featured prominently in a Holiday Party Style Suggestion, and for good reason. It’s lightweight, breathable and quite crisp for the price. Plus, a white shirt is a great style play in this case because it can either ground that electric blue suit impressively, or keep more in line with the classic style of a crisp navy suit — particularly sans tie. And the Standard Shirt features a tailored cut that would look more than fine when worn without a traditional suit jacket, if needed. On the other hand, a slim knit tie in a simple color — black, a la everyone’s favorite secret agent — would more than up the formality of the look.

The Pocket Square: J. Crew Factory Linen Pocket Square — $12

Nothing fancy -- but nothing too trendy -- about a timeless white pocket square.

Nothing fancy — but nothing too trendy — about a timeless white pocket square.

When you go with crisp style essentials like a classic white shirt and a blue suit, sometimes there’s no need to go wild with a pocket square. J. Crew Factory’s linen pocket square gets the job done more than suitably for the price. Beyond New Year’s Eve as well, a white pocket square (even in linen) is going to add a nice finishing touch to many a tailored ensemble — so grab one now before it’s too late!

The Boots: Thursday Boot Company Black Duke Chelsea Boot — $199

Channeling some 60s style with a tailored suit and Chelsea boots.

Channeling some 60s style with a tailored suit and Chelsea boots.

While Bond himself mainly favors crisp black captoes or dress boots as of late, we’ll forgo the laces with these Chelsea boots in keeping with the slick and sharp vibe of the outfit. Thursday Boot Company makes solid suede chukkas and dependable captoe boots, so it follows that the Duke Chelsea Boot  should be pretty comfortable for the price — plus, the studded rubber outsole should add nice traction on slick streets. Note that if needed in a pinch, H&M also offers a very budget-friendly Chelsea boot option.

The Belt: Will Leather Goods Marlow Belt — $75

Trim and refined -- just like the tailored ensemble.

Trim and refined — just like the tailored ensemble.

While it might seem ludicrous at first to pay more for a belt than for a shirt, it’s a pickup that can pay big, big dividends. The Marlow Belt is a refined dress belt that keeps things super sleek thanks to the dark buckle and slim width, plus the dark black suede. For those who say black and blue can’t be worn together … well, we all know who’s bucked that theory time and again. It’s a combo that’s going to look  super crisp in this instance, especially as it grounds the heightened blue suit or fits in nicely with a navy suit. You could also go with a cheaper black leather dress belt from EXPRESS if needed.

The Watch: Daniel Wellington 40mm Classic Sheffield in Rose Gold — $229

The rose gold case and markings set this watch off nicely.

The rose gold case and markings set this watch off nicely.

The importance of timeless accessories — like a great belt or solid shoes — is no more important than when you’re going with an outfit that’s more minimal. The top-to-bottom look is pretty sleek in this case sans tie and traditional lace-up dress shoes, so a refined watch from Daniel Wellington will look right at home. While  the typical play might be to reach for a watch with a silver case here, the rose gold case color should pop nicely against the blue suit and black belt + shoes — or even dark denim and a simple cashmere sweater.

The Socks: American Trench Dress Rib Socks in Cloud Grey – $14.50

These simple grey dress socks are back again.

These simple grey dress socks are back again.

Last but not least, the ever-important finishing touch. Recognize these dress socks from American Trench? They’ve appeared in this blog as part of a Holiday Party Style Suggestion (among others), and that underscores their wearability and quality. Heck, you might not think about them too much once they’re on, but the dialed-in grey color and sleek  look (no crazy patterns) makes a difference when taken in context with the rest of this outfit. That’s more than worth their price upfront.

As we’ve talked about before, maybe things won’t get overly fancy for you on New Year’s Eve. However, it pays to be prepared and to get some style inspiration heading into a big night, and the new year. And if wanting to look sharper in everyday situations is a style goal for yourself, as it is for yours truly, there’s no better time to start than the present. Because, simply put, we can’t all live twice.
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Reader Giveaway Opportunity: Combatant Gentleman

Sharp tailored wear -- namely, a new shirt and tie -- could be yours to keep this season from Combatant Gentleman. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Sharp tailored wear — namely, a new shirt and tie — could be yours to keep this season from Combatant Gentleman. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Editor’s note: Thanks to everyone who participated! And congrats to the winner, Becca R.! Stay stylish!

It’s been a bit of time since our last Reader Giveaway here at the well-adorned Style Guide HQ, but the holiday season is as good a time as any to give away some great #menswear. With holiday parties upcoming or ongoing and even more opportunities to dress up around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you might be looking to upgrade your style in a hurry — and on a budget. That’s where Combatant Gentleman can help — as they did for the stylish fella above. In fact, I also rocked a great suit, shirt and tie combo from the brand this past weekend. They’re one of this site’s Approved Brands, and they’ve got plenty of clout to back it up. While some might prefer  more expensive options offered up by brands like J. Crew, Combatant Gentleman nails the affordable suiting game. Whether it’s a Slim-Fit Travel Jacket (as I reviewed earlier this year) or a sharp double-breasted suit (as seen in a trip I took to Italy), the brand definitely delivers — they’re even making overcoats and pea coats, too. Of course, its chinos are worth a look; also worth a mention is its new made-to-measure suiting service — that’s how I was able to get the lovely custom Blue Glenplaid Suit Trousers I wore this weekend. But rest assured, even if you can’t pick up a made-to-measure suit right away, the brand has plenty of great garb to outfit you for the holiday season — after all, few brands can offer $16 ties, $12 pocket squares and versatile shirts starting at $30 (I’m a big fan of this Floral and Dot Brown Tie in particular).
Florsheim
Critically though, that shirt and tie is what’s going to set  you apart from the pack at those holiday parties (and yes, if that shirt’s well-tailored, the tie is slim and the occasion doesn’t call for a suit jacket, you can assuredly wear a shirt and tie sans jacket). That’s why one lucky winner is getting their pick of Combatant Gentleman shirt and tie in time for the holidays — and with the classic options the brand offers, they’ll definitely work during the regular 9-to-5 grind, too.

Here’s how to win — best of luck and thanks, as always, for reading!

  • Head to my Instagram and follow both myself and the ever-sharp Combatant Gentleman feed.
  • Like either Monday’s Combat Gent-themed photo, and let me know how a shirt-and-tie combo from the brand would help you elevate your holiday look (oh, and use #DressSmarter if you would!).
  • Look for a winner to be picked, announced here and notified via IG on Monday night!

Enjoy the season and stay stylish!

-Beau

Style Suggestion: The Holiday Party

How do you take your martini, Mr. Bond? (Just don't hit 'em too hard at your holiday party).

How do you take your martini, Mr. Bond? (Just don’t hit ’em too hard at your holiday party).

With the arrival of December comes an occasion some of us definitely look forward to, and others tend to dread – the holiday party.  Depending on where you work or where you’re invited, it might be lots of fun… or decidedly not-so-fun. The same goes for holiday parties with family and friends – although hopefully those are enjoyable. And regardless of the situation, it behooves you (yes, I just used that word) to clean up appropriately. Plus, dressing up smartly can be quite fun – especially when you change up just a few things from your co-workers or friends (like fit and color/texture combos) and end up looking like a  million bucks (or at least deserving of that bonus). What follows is a suggestion that can go either CEO-level dressy for a fancy holiday party, or a bit toned-down for slamming some nog at a friend’s house (people do that, right?).  Stand by for further style suggestions later this month covering both a laidback Christmas and a more dressed-up Yuletide celebration. Enjoy, and happy holidays!
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The Overcoat: Combatant Gentleman Navy Wool Overcoat — $120

A versatile navy color, a slim fit and a great price make for a terrific top layer.

A versatile navy color, a slim fit and a great price make for a terrific top layer.

Before we get into what to wear for the rest of your night, let’s assume it’ll be cold before you get into that party — and let’s assume you’re in need of an outerwear revamp. There’s no denying the style power and versatility of a great topcoat, and this navy wool overcoat from Combatant Gentleman fits the bill perfectly. Its price is more than solid, and for a new introduction to the brand, it would seem that the quality should be on-point from past experience. The fit looks to be trim yet workable over a suit, and the soft Italian wool should also be workable for that pricepoint. The navy color is going to work with all kinds of outfits outside of this particular occasion, as well.

The Suit Or Sweater: Combatant Gentleman Charcoal Birdseye Slim Fit Suit — $200 OR Frank & Oak Merino Cardigan in Bitter Chocolate — $70 And J. Crew Factory Thompson Slim Voyager Suit Pants — $84

Two options, one dressy and one more casual -- but both affordable.

Two options, one dressy and one more casual — but both affordable.

So Combatant Gentleman is the pick for our suiting option as well, but not just for kicks. The brand has made its mark in the affordable tailoring realm, offering up solid picks for more-than-agreeable prices. Its blazers, while not 100% perfect, are also an extremely great value for the price. So picking up one of its charcoal suits can knock out two birds with one stone – if you’re in need of a first-time suit on a budget, or if you want to refresh your suiting game for not a lot of dough. This birdseye suit is a nice visual departure from a flat charcoal color, too. If the occasion doesn’t call for a suit, you can swap in a crisp, slim Frank & Oak cardigan (much sleeker than a thicker shawl number). That can then be paired with some navy wool trousers and accomplish the same goal. Of course, dark denim can be swapped in with your cardigan for an even more toned-down look.

The Shirt: Standard Shirt White Dress Shirt — $59

Take your pick of two collar styles, both for a tremendous price from Standard Shirt.

Take your pick of two collar styles, both for a tremendous price from Standard Shirt.

While it’s worth looking at a site like EXPRESS for its shirt deals, there’s not a shirt that offers a price-quality ratio quite like Standard Shirt; that makes sense given that two styles of white dress shirts are all the company does. And they combine that quality with smaller touches (like a wider, suit-ready collar) in an inexpensive package. I threw on the brand’s spread collar shirt for a rather sweltering Michigan wedding and was also pleasantly surprised with its breathability. The crisp white shirt is definitely going to be a great anchor for either the suit or cardigan any way you look at it.

The Tie: The Tie Bar Midnight Navy Grenafaux Tie — $19

A tie with some visual interest to complement the birdseye weave of the suit.

A tie with some visual interest at a low price.

If you need to ditch the tie in favor of just that slim cardigan or tailored charcoal suit over a crisp shirt, that’s the way to go. But if you do still need that tie, The Tie Bar, as always, has you covered. While a navy knit tie could also be a good, versatile buy in this case, a grenafaux tie brings that same amount of texture and visual interest while looking a bit more suit-ready. And in this case, the texture of the tie will bring a bit more punch than a standard silk number, allowing it to stand up to the birdseye suit nicely.

The Pocket Square: General Knot & Co. 1940s Crimson Duck Pocket Square — $38 OR The Tie Bar Light Champagne Herringbone Pocket Square — $10

Take your pick of either vintage fabric and a higher price, or an old standby in a nice fabric.

Take your pick of either vintage fabric and a higher price, or an old standby in a nice fabric.

So we have two pocket square options here – one that’s flashy and conversation-worthy, made from vintage fabric, and one that’s still conversation-worthy, but mainly for the punch of pattern and color it brings. When your suit and tie both have some texture, throwing in another dash in a contrasting color still works, mainly because of that color difference. Either would add a bit something extra to your suit that a solid white pocket square might not (although that works with this outfit, too). While the price for the General Knot square is a bit of a splurge, keep in mind that if you go cardigan-only, you save that cash.

The Shoes:  Johnston & Murphy McGavock Wingtip Boot — $250

A dressy wingtip boot with seasonal fabric design touches to stand up to the chilly weather.

A dressy wingtip boot with seasonal fabric design touches to stand up to the chilly weather.

Johnston & Murphy can sometimes be a bit overlooked what with a company like Jack Erwin competing right in its wheelhouse, but the brand delivers on seasonal numbers, like these mixed-media boots. They’re the perfect middle ground for stomping through some snow or rain to get into that party, yet they still look crisp, slim and appropriate for tailored wear. There’s a touch of brown in there on the sole, but that won’t look too out of place next to the charcoal suit. If funding is tight, JC Penney’s classic Stafford Wingtip is going for a right steal now. Either way, black shoes can look especially sleek this time of year (and if SPECTRE is any indication, black shoes are going to be the way to go for the months ahead).

The  Belt: EXPRESS 2-in-1 Reversible Buckle Leather Belt in Black — $39.90

Two for the price of one, with a crisp look to boot.

Two for the price of one, with a crisp look to boot.

EXPRESS’ quality might sometimes be suspect, but when you need a belt (or in this case, two belts) at a decent price in a pinch, a reversible option never hurts. They do all kinds of belts, but this is a sharp, sleek pickup that’ll go well with those crisp black shoes and the dialed-in black watch (more on that below). You can always go beltless if you find that’s more sleek, however.

The Watch: KOMONO Winston Regal in Black — $99.95

Super-crisp style for under $100.

Super-crisp style for under $100.

KOMONO’s at it again – this brand flies under the radar occasionally, but its dressier watches are just as solid a value as its more casual, seasonally focused timepieces (like the Winston Herringbone timepiece I reviewed earlier this fall). The Winston Regal in Black is super-sharp, and the thin case and no-nonsense dial fall right in line with the sharp pieces in the rest of this ensemble, from the black boots to the crisp white shirt and black belt. And at under $100, it’s an excellent steal on a budget.

The Socks: American Trench Dress Rib Sock in Cloud Grey — $14.50

High-quality socks that'll be worth more than the price tag.

High-quality socks that’ll be worth more than the price tag.

Whereas we’ve dialed it back with the suit and watch, these socks tip the scales more in terms of price. American Trench is a Style Guide favorite (check out more on its socks here), and there really isn’t a brand doing made-in-America socks as well as they do. So in this instance, it makes sense to splurge on some high-quality dress socks that can stand up to repeated wear with a workhorse charcoal suit; while socks with a pop of color are an option too, you might be pleasantly surprised at how sharp a sock looks when matched with a trouser (especially in a clean charcoal-on-charcoal combo).

While it can be a bit off-putting to see so many dark colors in an outfit, from the suit to the pocket square to the shoes, belt and watch,  it can be refreshing to go sleek, simple and yet still put-together. Plus, other cold-weather occasions leave plenty of time for working in colors, and each of the above pieces can be mixed and matched into those outfits as well. So go sharp this holiday season and see where it takes you. Once again, enjoy and let me know your holiday outfit picks below.

What do you think of the above ensemble? Will you be going dressy or casual this year at your holiday party?

Ben Sherman US

Style abroad: Travels through Greece and Italy, Part 3

The lovely waters on the beach in Mykonos -- just one of the many excellent sights we saw on our trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

The lovely waters on the beach in Mykonos — just one of the many excellent sights we saw on our trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

The good news is that I made it back to the States in one piece! The bad news is that my family cruise to Greece is now done. It really was an absolutely amazing time though, from hours spent eating and drinking on the beach in Mykonos and Katakolon to days exploring the Acropolis in Athens and the legendary Olympia. Our trip also swung through the lovely and iconic island of Santorini – with its whitewashed houses, narrow cobblestone streets and old-world charm, it was a huge highlight of the trip. And luckily, I found the clothing I packed to be more than adequate, too! [You can check out a packing roundup, plus entries from Part 1 and Part 2 of the trip, here].

Getting out and about in casual style. Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page. French  Terry Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs.

Getting out and about in casual style. Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page. French Terry Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Guest appearance by a fellow tourist on the right.

I knew going in that the trip would present lots of options for what to wear – from casual days at the beach (and the cruise bar) to formal dinner nights and a bike ride that actually proved to be quite strenuous. Days spent at the pool also called for a versatile swimsuit, like my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks as seen above.

For active-casual wear, I found myself consistently reaching for my Pistol Lake French Terry Sweatshorts and my Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers. The futuristic slant of the sneakers made them feel like less of a running shoe and more of a cool-casual sneaker option, while the sweatshorts (as seen here in a Style Pick of the Week entry) were comfortable and breathable. For those situations where I had to turn to dressier yet cool clothing, my Banana Republic khaki shorts and Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo were more than adequate, while a pair of linen-blend shorts from Frank & Oak also worked quite well.

Relaxing in casual style leaving Katakolon. Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Printed T-shirt by J. Crew. Leather Wooster Slip-ons by GREATS Brand. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Chatting with my dad (on the far right) and relaxing in casual style leaving Katakolon. Swim trunks by Orlebar Brown. Printed T-shirt by J. Crew. Leather Wooster Slip-ons by GREATS Brand. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Beer by Newcastle.

I found my footwear options to be adequate as well – I wore a pair of Timberland Coulter Chukka boots (courtesy of my day job) for travel, which proved comfortable and effective. The two pairs of loafers I brought along, one by Andre Coton and one pair by G.H. Bass, also saw use during casual and formal dinner situations alike, particularly with my Combatant Gentleman Sky Blue Chinos. My trusty GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers also proved durable and comfortable for exploring Athens and the Acropolis, and worked for dinner later in the day, too!

A look at some of the accessories I brought along for the trip. Vintage wool baseball cap by Goorin Bros. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering.

A look at some of the accessories I brought along for the trip, pictured specifically in Olympia.. Vintage wool baseball cap by Goorin Bros. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering.

If anything however, I brought along one too many long-sleeve shirts – while I wore my GAP chambray shirt, I didn’t get the chance to wear my Gustin Spring Plaid Shirt, as I often found myself reaching for more laidback short-sleeve options to pair with white denim or my Taylor Stitch chinos. On the accessories front, my black rubber strap Stuhrling watch was a sporty choice to pair with my sweatshorts and sneakers for strenuous shore excursions, and my Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol leather watch worked well with lots of dinner outfit combinations in particular. My stainless steel Invicta dive watch, a personal favorite, was a solid option with which to hit the beach, and I frequently reached for my Goorin Brothers vintage wool baseball cap (currently sold out online) – it was comfortable and breathable, crucial in the heat of Greece.

For those exploration-filled shore excursions, I took along my Satchel and Page Slim Mailbag – it’s proving to be very durable, sturdy and well-made (plus, who doesn’t love the smell of new leather??).

A formal look for the final night of the cruise. White Poplin Endurance Shirt and Steel Blue Glen Plaid Double-Breasted Suit by Combatant Gentleman. Glasses by Warby Parker. Watch by Daniel Wellington.

A formal look for the final night of the cruise. White Poplin Endurance Shirt and Steel Blue Glen Plaid Double-Breasted Suit by Combatant Gentleman. Glasses by Warby Parker. Watch by Daniel Wellington.

And my Randolph Engineering Concorde Flash Lens sunglasses worked excellent to combat the sun’s rays too. On the toiletries front, my Baxter of California Travel Kit was convenient, easy to pack and of course, very useful! For formal wear, my Combat Gent White Poplin Shirt and Steel Blue Glen Plaid Double-Breasted Suit were sharp, well-fitting and also able to be mixed and matched among the jacket and a separate pair of custom grey suit pants from Black Lapel.

Definitely one of the highlights of the trip -- checking out the amphitheater at the Acropolis in Athens.

Definitely one of the highlights of the trip — checking out the amphitheater at the Acropolis in Athens.

While the process of getting overseas was lengthy (to be expected!) and the time change was a somewhat difficult adjustment at first, I found the whole adventure to be beautiful, serene and highly enjoyable – Royal Caribbean and its staff are friendly, helpful and very gracious, too! It’s certainly a cruise I would take again, and I found several areas I would love to visit again, too.

I’m definitely grateful for the opportunity and the time spent with family as well – and of course, having the chance to work with a few excellent brands on trip gear was pretty neat, too! We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled content here on Wednesday (a product review of the aforementioned Taylor Stitch chinos), but if you’d like to check out more trip photos and content, check out #StyleGuideAbroad via my Twitter and Instagram accounts. Until next time, Greece!

Style Pick of the Week: Combatant Gentleman Chinos

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

 

A peached Italian cotton makes for a comfortable fit and nice quality for the price.

 

Although the calendar reads that we’re into the second week of August here, it’s not time to even think about reaching for all that heavy fall gear yet — particularly since I’m currently cruising the Mediterranean. Regardless of where you might be, it’s an even better time to continue getting wear out of four-season staples — things like classic Oxford buttondowns and four-season chinos. I resolved to do just that this past week during my trip to Greece. My friends at Combatant Gentleman were kind enough to supply me a pair of chinos for the voyage — how fitting (pun … maybe intended?) that they just happen to be made out of premium Italian cotton. In a slim-straight cut that’s neither too restricting nor too loose, these chinos have proven crisp, versatile and comfortable — all at an absurdly low price point. Given that, it’s high time you grabbed a pair of these for yourself. I’d even go so far as to say they’re one of the better values on the market in terms of chinos (although Everlane’s recent foray into the pant game does give them some competition).

Breaking out the chinos with a pair of Andre Coton tassel loafers and a vintage ‘drinks’ shirt. Watch by Daniel Wellington.

  
At just $40, the peached cotton feels much thicker and more durable than a comparable (in style) pair of cheaper chinos from H&M feels upon first inspection. And that’s definitely a good thing. The peached cotton doesn’t wrinkle too easily, and the hook-and-tab closure at the front waist lends these the feel of a dressier pant (similar to something from Bonobos). They’re able to be cuffed or rolled with ease, too (as you can see in this Instagram shot). The one downside, perhaps, is the lack of longer inseam lengths — just 30, 32 and 34-inch inseams are offered as of post time (waist sizes do run up to 40, however). Throughout my recent cruise, I’ve found myself turning to these time and again — I’ve worn them with a vintage short-sleeve shirt as you can see here, but they’ve also worked with a casual T-shirt for a more easygoing look. We haven’t yet hit the crisper temperatures of fall, but even this color would continue to work  well in the States, especially up against sweaters in heather red, grey and navy. At the price they’re going for now though, they might not be around that long.

Ben Sherman US

Do you own a pair of Combatant Gentleman chinos? How do you (or would you) style these for the summer or fall?

Florsheim

 

Style abroad: Travels through Greece and Italy, Part 1

The view from a small boat to Santorini, Greece.

If you’re just joining us (or just catching up to TSG), this dispatch comes to you from the high seas! Specifically, somewhere between Greece and Italy for a family cruise. The biggest takeaway so far: what a trip it’s been. I knew going in (and packing) for the trip that it was bound to be incredible — but until you’ve experienced the beauty of this part of the world, there’s really nothing like it. It’s been an unmatched experience, but thankfully, my wardrobe has withstood the test to this point. 

Exploring the port town of Civitavecchia, Italy pre-cruise with some comfortable Mott & Bow white denim. Brown leather chukkas by Timberland.

 
I’ve had the chance to try out a few different outfit combos and to date, I’ve found my Mott & Bow white denim to be both comfortable and versatile, perhaps the best pair of pants I brought along. They’ve proven a crisp option for travel when paired with brown leather chukkas, and that’s equally true of my unconstructed J. Crew blazer (get the scoop on other great blazer options here). My GAP chambray shirt, in breezier situations, and my Banana Republic khaki shorts (in hotter temps) have also fared well, as have the range of summer T-shirt options I  brought along –namely my Pistol Lake henley is a well-fitting yet breathable option, as is a lightweight H&M v-neck. And the Combatant Gentleman chinos I packed — soon to be featured as this week’s Style Pick — are casual yet tailored enough for dinner wear.

 

Shore style in Santorini. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Bros. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Charcoal pocket tee by American Apparel. French Terry Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling. Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page.

 
For a particularly strenuous shore excursion in Santorini,  I turned to my  Pistol Lake sweatshorts and sweet Athletic Propulsion Labs running shoes — hiking the mountains of Greece absolutely calls for it, yet thankfully, they’re futuristic and unique enough that they feel less like a running shoe and more like a new-age sneaker you’d see on a fashion runway. My Satchel and Page Slim Mailbag has also proven more than up to the test of tagging along for the journey, and it’s pretty neat to be carrying a bag that’ll only get better with age (full review of that in the coming weeks).

 

Kicking back in casual style. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Bros. Blue V-neck by H&M. Shorts by Frank & Oak. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Beer by Heineken.

 
And in the rest of my downtime, I’ve found myself reaching for lightweight linen blends, like my Frank & Oak shorts or a Stock Mfg. Co shirt, plus crisp-casual accessories (like a versatile wool-blend Goorin Bros. hat or my trusty G.H. Bass brown leather loafers). My Orlebar Brown swim trunks (more on those here) are faring quite nicely, too. On the footwear front, my trusty GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers and Leather Wooster Slip-ons have also pulled some double-duty on shore trips and casual wear to date, and I’m excited to continue pairing them with the selection of chinos and denim I brought.

   

Hoping to strike it rich in my Combatant Gentleman double-breasted suit jacket, custom Black Lapel suit pants, G.H. Bass loafers and Combatant Gentleman shirt. Watch by Daniel Wellington. Italian beer by Peroni.

  
 For formal wear, I’ve mixed and matched my Combatant Gentleman Steel Blue Glenplaid Double-Breasted Suit Jacket with some custom grey suit pants, brown loafers and a crisp White Endurance Shirt from Combat Gent, and my Combat Gent chinos as seen above (with some Andre Coton loafers) are also working well. On the accessories front, my Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol watch is holding up quite nicely — the pared-down, minimalist design is a big benefit when packing and traveling.

Luckily, the weather’s proved sunny and warm, so I haven’t tripped up on not bringing outerwear — yet, that is. The rest of our trip calls for a bicycle tour and some town and shore exploration in Mykonos today, followed by stops in Athens and Katakolon! At any rate, check back here on Friday for the weekly Friday Read post, and swing back through on Saturday (if you feel like it) for the Style Pick of the Week. More coming from Greece next week on The Style Guide, too!

Stay stylish,

-Beau
Ernest Alexander

Ben Sherman US