The Friday Read: Maggie Rogers, Rugged Henleys and How Your Blazer Should Fit

Join us as we kick off a Style Guide weekend in Brooklyn, following a busy week (as per usual) in, well, Brooklyn. And Manhattan. At any rate, the summer continues to roll along as we draw ever closer to *deep breath* … early fall. Maybe we’re jumping the gun a bit, but I can say for sure that content prep for plenty of rugged fall #menswear is well underway in these parts. In the meantime though, it was a heck of a week for live music in NYC on this front, as I took in not one but two standout shows by the phenomenally talented American singer Maggie Rogers at my favorite venue in the city, Brooklyn Steel.

Maggie’s been racking up global festival appearances this summer, including a trip to Outside Lands last weekend, in addition to building some serious buzz behind her excellent EP, the gorgeous “Now That the Light is Fading.” If you haven’t yet given her a listen,, I’d stop what you’re doing and plug in. I was fortunate enough to see her play earlier this spring at the intimate Music Hall of Williamsburg, so to see her play two sold-out nights to nearly 2,000 people was an absolute treat. To say that I’m excited for her full-length debut would be an understatement! At any rate, we’ve also kept busy when it comes to bringing you all the best men’s gear you need now — and we’ve got plenty more where that came from. What are your weekend plans? As for me, I’ll be taking in a relaxing Brooklyn weekend and prepping some more #menswear content for Instagram and beyond. Enjoy the weekend, cheers and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week!

  • We’re gearing up slowly but surely for early fall here at The Style Guide — yes, believe it — but before summer’s out, I’d urge you to check out this #OOTD on how to style a rugged henley for the rest of summer. That is, if you haven’t yet checked it out already. Besides, who can pass up a rugged henley — ehh?
  • Want to know how a blazer should fit? It’s one of those essential items every guy needs in his closet — with that in mind, I covered how your blazer should fit in my latest post for Effortless Gent. It’s the little details that matter, and starting with the proper fit is but one way to get those details right.

  • If you’re not yet acquainted with the revamp of Abercrombie and Fitch — an evolution much-loved by your Style Guide author — I’d say you should get up to speed soon. Specifically, the Abercrombie and Fitch denim line is filled with affordable, easy-to-wear and easy-to-buy styles — I wrote about the collection recently for The Manual, and what’s more, I wore some Abercrombie and Fitch denim to Lollapalooza 2017 recently.  Needless to say, I seriously enjoyed the mix of flexible style and comfort the line provides.
  • Lastly and before we go … we mentioned a rugged short-sleeve henley to wear now. But what if you’ve already filled that quota in your wardrobe and want something a little more fall-ready? The Taylor Stitch Mercerized Merino Henley is a favorite of mine as of late, and I think it could be a favorite of yours this season. Get to it!

That’ll end this week’s edition of The Friday Read. Have a great weekend!


New year, new style: 2016 Men’s Style Resolutions

Just thinking on my 2016 style resolutions. Navy turtleneck by Uniqlo. Custom Glenplaid suit trousers by Combatant Gentleman. Charcoacl socks by American Trench. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boot Company. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Just thinking on my 2016 style resolutions. Navy turtleneck by Uniqlo. Custom Glenplaid suit trousers by Combatant Gentleman. Charcoacl socks by American Trench. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boot Company. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Does it really seem like it’s January 5th already? Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like the first few days of the year flew by as fast as the last few days of 2015! I spent the weekend in Detroit checking out some great menswear spots, eating some tasty food and exploring the city — maybe that’s why time has gone so fast? (Of note if you get to Detroit — the Shinola shop is a must-visit!). At any rate, it’s high time to keep buckling down, or getting started on, those New Year’s resolutions — particularly from a style perspective. I’m curious to know — what are your style resolutions?

For some of us, maybe it entails slimming down your wardrobe — that is, focusing on only the style essentials you need to craft great outfits. My friend Barron at Effortless Gent has  a great place to start — called The Lean Wardrobe, it’ll teach you everything you need to know about the in’s and out’s of using versatile, stylish pieces to your advantage. We’re talking taking a few items and mixing and matching them a ton of ways. If, on a similar note, you’re looking to add more mileage to your current wardrobe — but doing so with some fresh takes on old classics — I’d recommend you take a peek at an ongoing series written by yours truly for Effortless Gent: Five Ways to Wear One, showing you how to make the most of style staples like dark denim, a sturdy leather bomber or burgundy cords. It’s actually proven a fun exercise in writing and styling for me, as I’ve had to push myself to think of new outfit combinations, styles and products (the rest is a secret though, I swear).
And as I look toward 2016 myself, I’m looking back on 2015 and setting out a few goals for myself (in addition to continuing to discover and share new brands and products for The Style Guide, that is). To perhaps get you thinking — or keep you on the right track — here are a few of my style resolutions outlined below.

One of my goals in 2016 -- dress up a bit more! Blue Double Windowpane Shirt, Floral & Dot Brown Tie and custom Glenplaid Suit all by Combatant Gentleman. Pocket square by Banana Republic.

One of my goals in 2016 — dress up a bit more! Blue Double Windowpane Shirt, Floral & Dot Brown Tie and custom Glenplaid Suit all by Combatant Gentleman. Pocket square by Banana Republic.

#1. Suit up more — Yes, that’s right. Yours truly, dedicated menswear blogger, hasn’t worn a ton ties as of late. Perhaps it comes from seeing folks  like Matthew Graber  on Instagram put together consistently stunning outfit grids and photos featuring more ties, blazers and stellar shirts than you can shake a tie clip at, but it’s gotten me thinking of ways to maximize my rather large collection of ties — and some rugged style staples I wear quite a bit, like a great chambray shirt.

#2. Mix and match — This partly plays off number one (and probably looks a lot like the image you see at the top of the page), but I don’t often go full suit-and-tie — and that also means I don’t make nearly as much use out of what suit separates I do own outside of formal occasions. I have a classic navy worsted wool J. Crew Factory suit (similar to this one), plus a custom Glenplaid suit from Combatant Gentleman (seen at the photo at the top), but I’d love to experiment more with pairing the suit trousers with an odd blazer or turtleneck and dress boots — or even some sharp leather sneakers — if the occasion calls for it.

Plenty of blue to go around. Chambray shirt by Todd Shelton. Charcoal blazer by Uniqlo. Navy suede 1000 Mile boots by Wolverine. Norfolk Raw Denim by Mott & Bow. Red knit tie by 15ties. Leather belt & floral pocket square by J. Crew. Striped socks by American Trench.

Plenty of blue to go around. Chambray shirt by Todd Shelton. Charcoal blazer by Uniqlo. Navy suede 1000 Mile boots by Wolverine. Norfolk Raw Denim by Mott & Bow. Red knit tie by 15ties. Leather belt & floral pocket square by J. Crew. Striped socks by American Trench.

#3. Wear … less blue — I’m a huge fan of the color blue, from dark denim to navy suede boots to chambray shirts — often in the same outfit, as you can see above. To me, it’s remarkably versatile and wearable in nearly any sort of situation — there’s a reason why Bond defaults to classics like navy suits, and there’s a reason why a slim pair of dark denim can go just about anywhere these days. As nice as it is to be able to wear something so consistently, I’d like to simply branch out into other colors in shirting and trousers particular — be it a red chambray shirt, or getting more use out of my burgundy cords (sans blue OCBD). It could prove tricky, but I’ll give it a shot!

Those are just a few — as I continue to find style inspiration lots of different places, I hope you’ll do the same, and keep me updated along the way! Drop me a line on Twitter or shoot me an email via the Contact page above — and perhaps leave a comment if you feel so inclined. Best of luck as we go forward in 2016! Let’s all keep it stylish.

The Friday Read: SPECTRE, Todd Snyder and Sneaker Collabs

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

If your plans last night didn’t involve seeing the latest James Bond movie (as mine did), I would highly recommend you get yourself to a theater right this very second. Yes, not even this post should keep you from checking it out. Opinions on the film have actually been mixed from major outlets, but your friendly style expert and massive James Bond fan recommends you go see it, as much for the excellent menswear as for the film itself. It’s also been a busy and exciting week in other areas, too — I had the chance to see the great indie band Mainland on Monday night (recent openers for Atlas Genius), and they’re also a group I’d recommend checking out just as soon as you can. And that little intro brings us, as always, quite comfortably to this week’s edition of the Friday Read. After you, Mr. Bond…

  • Over at GQ, one writer and fan reflects on the moment his opinion of the series changed completely — and what brought him back (hint: It was the terrific last Bond installment, Skyfall).
  • In one of the  biggest American menswear business moves in recent memory, American Eagle announced this week that it acquired famed designer Todd Snyder’s offshoot, collegiate-centric company Tailgate Clothing; while Snyder’s brand will continue to operate separately, he’ll join AE as an executive VP — that’s a change of pace from 007 news, ehh?
  • My pal Barron at Effortless Gent covers off on how to choose the right watch for your outfit, a big key when getting dressed every day.
  • Style Notes of the Week: While this small space is normally reserved for a great long read, today we’re calling your attention to new great new collaboration drops — Brooklyn-based sneaker brand GREATS (a favorite of yours truly) is teaming with NYC menswear designers Orley on a three new chukka sneakers. And speaking of sneakers, the folks behind heritage-focused Tanner Goods and P.F. Flyers just released a stunning update to the classic Center Hi silhouette.

Got an extra minute or two?

    • Upgrade your fall outerwear game with a slim-fit, warm and stylish quilted down coat from the terrific folks at JACHS NY — read more on it via my latest post for GearHungry.


Ben Sherman US

The Friday Read: Streetwear, Gant Diamond G and Dress Watches

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

The big news out of Style Guide HQ this week isn’t, in fact, related to New York City at all. If you missed it earlier this week — I’m heading out to L.A. to catch up with a great high school & college friend, and I’m quite excited to be escaping the purported wrath of Hurricane Joaquin Phoen … err, Hurricane Joaquin … in the process. And the weather is starting to turn toward fall, too — great news if you’re the kind of guy who love thicker fall blazers and rugged henleys *raises hand*. It should still be nice to soak up some sun out West before really diving into fall shopping and style — and in that regard, look for some transitional style pieces and an exciting giveaway opportunity from my friends at Goorin Brothers in the next few weeks here on the blog! Before you fasten your seatbelt on your weekend adventures, get a load of the below snapshot of the #menswear world from this past week.

  • HighSnobiety delivers a cheeky take on the streetwear terminology you need to know now — or you may already know it, if you’re into the #SneakerGame.
  • Freakonomics examines how the belt — yes, the ever-ubiquitous belt — beat out suspenders as the preferred method to hold up your pants.
  • Gant’s creative director and CEO share their vision for the future of the American sportswear brand and its third iteration, Gant Diamond G — a move that aims to build the brand’s base back up in America while adding a European edge.
  • Style Read of the Week: There was, quite simply, too much going on in the world of style to not share this post from my friend Barron at Effortless Gent, who explains why you should definitely, definitely pick up a minimal dress watch.

Not done reading about menswear yet?

  • Feast your eyes on my latest VOUCH Mag feature, covering the ridiculously high-quality, made-in-America offerings of Iron & Resin (Editor’s note: I can neither confirm nor deny that those buffalo-hide leather gloves will be part of a November giveaway. Not saying anything).

Yet again, I’d like to thank everything for taking time out of their day to read this site and peruse these posts. Wishing everyone a great (and reliably good-looking) weekend!

Stay stylish,



The Friday Read: Labor Day, Brooklyn Tailors and Fall Florals

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.

With Labor Day weekend upon us, the question is: How will you be spending your final days of summer? And what will you be wearing? For more on what gear to grab, head here. A nice Grayers polo or a great pair of sweatshorts wouldn’t go amiss, I’m sure. On a personal front, it’s set to be a busy weekend for me — I’m heading out to Coney Island Brewing this afternoon to catch up with co-founder Chris Adams for a piece on my friend Pat Evans’ blog Grand Conversations before catching the season opener of my beloved Michigan State Spartans! Always an exciting way to start fall. And then I’m heading back to my favorite state — that would be Michigan — for a family wedding on Saturday (likely including a stop in East Lansing). So it’s set to be a busy one for sure — do you know what you’re style essentials you’re packing in that bag of yours yet? If not, best hop to it. Meanwhile, peruse some weekend reading picks below — wherever you head this week, stay safe and stylish!

    • Gear Patrol caught up recently with Brooklyn Tailors, who received high praise from the likes of GQ as part of that publication’s 2014 Best New Menswear Designers in America class.
    • Common Projects, of the legendary and minimal white sneakers you might covet but likely can’t afford, is making an excellent pair of dress shoes — yes, dress shoes — fit for the fall.
    • If you haven’t swung by Style Girlfriend in a while, or if you haven’t checked out the site at all, it’s worth a look — editor Megan Collins and her team show you how to rock those floral prints into fall.
    • Style Read of the Week: As you may or may not be aware, I’m a big watch fan — with affordability and versatility in mind, of course. We move away from the typical Long Read and instead direct your attention to five watches every guy should own, as picked by my buddy Barron at Effortless Gent.

Ernest Alexander
That’s about the best of the world of writing + style this week — for more, head here:


Style Q + A: Barron Cuadro, Effortless Gent

Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent talks style tips, the development of his site and more. He also nails this classic blazer-and-denim combo.

Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent talks style tips, the development of his site and more. He also nails this classic blazer-and-denim combo.

Editor’s note: To check out other Style Q&A pieces, head here. As I’m abroad this week, stay tuned for a Wednesday trip post!

Across the past few years, I’d say my personal style has developed a lot. More specifically, starting in about my sophomore year of college, I began to pay a lot more attention to what I wore, how I got dressed and how it helped me shape my life in terms of organization and focus. What was an outside interest at first turned into hours of reading about style and finding my own sense of style therein. One of the biggest sources in that development was (correction: is) Effortless Gent, an outstanding menswear and lifestyle site focused on helping guys improve their style (and everything that goes with it). What started as me merely perusing (poring over) the site’s pages in my free time led to a writing opportunity that continues to this day — my “Five Ways to Wear One” series — and a friendship with Barron that I’m definitely grateful for, as I think I can safely say that I might not have found my passion, and my career, without his guidance. But enough of the dramatic stuff — I caught up with Barron to talk all things Effortless Gent, the development of his personal style and his transition from San Francisco to NYC, and if you know Barron, I think you’ll like what you read.

Take me through the process of starting Effortless Gent, and how that dovetailed off your own style journey?

 Effortless Gent: Throughout high school and college, my guy friends would ask me style-related questions. After 8ish years of hearing the same questions over and over, I realized there are probably other guys out there with the same questions but no one to ask. My professional background is in web design / development, so I decided to put together a site and answer these questions for a much larger potential audience than just my friends.

What’s been the most rewarding part of helping guys improve their style?

EG: I love the emails I receive from guys who have quietly put into practice all the things we teach on the site. They realize how big a difference it has made in their lives and they’re just writing to thank me. That never gets old; it just proves that a little attention to detail and a bit of guidance can go a long way.

Even with more low-key, casual ensembles, Barron keeps it crisp and classic.

Even with more low-key, casual ensembles, Barron keeps it crisp and classic.

TSG: You advocate for a Lean Wardrobe and the idea of a personal uniform — tell me a little bit more about those concepts.

EG: The Lean Wardrobe philosophy has become the cornerstone of the site, and it guides everything we teach. The idea of a personal uniform is similar and fits into that philosophy.

We define the Lean Wardrobe (LW) as the minimum number of clothes a man needs to create the most well-rounded, flexible wardrobe that suits his daily life.  Rather than a concrete list of items, LW is a philosophy or a set of principles that guide you when buying. The LW is also super flexible, because not every guy has the same situation, income, or surroundings.
TSG: What’s one initial mistake you see most guys make when it comes to trying to improve their style?

EG: I guess not having a proper plan, or a direction they want to go. That usually leads to premature buying and then eventually being unhappy with those purchases, requiring him to purchase something else. That cycle usually repeats until he finds something that’s truly him. And it can happen with every article of clothing, from shirts, to socks, and everything in between. That trial-and-error process can be time consuming and expensive, but if you follow the LW guidelines, you can generally avoid 95% of that headache.

TSG: If you had to pick one outfit to wear every day, what would it be?

EG: It would have to be a pair of medium-dark denim, white OCBD, unlined, unstructured sport coat in navy, and tan leather loafers. I wear something similar most of the time (unless it’s unbearably hot or cold, and when it is, I adjust by removing or adding layers). 

TSG: Playing off that question, what’s one essential item every guy should own?

 EG: I always say a navy sport coat. It instantly dresses up whatever you have on.

The devil's all in the details when it comes to a great outfit.

The devil’s all in the details when it comes to a great outfit, according to Mr. Cuadro — and I agree!

TSG: You’re new to NYC from San Fran — what’s that transition been like and how has it changed your style? 

EG: SF is much more casual with their style, which personally doesn’t suit me very well. In NYC, people dress up more. It’s not crazy to be in suits and ties, or creative smart casual rigs… It’s just the nature of the city and the people who are here.  Since I enjoy dressing well, NYC has allowed me to be more myself, if that makes sense. In Build A Lean Wardrobe, one of the things we teach is to plan a wardrobe around your surroundings. Not just your physical surroundings, but the way in which people around you dress… Not that you have to dress exactly like everyone around you, but it’s a great way to gauge what’s considered “normal” and “appropriate”, and you can adjust course from there.  Anyway, NYC hasn’t really changed my style much, other than the fact that it allows me to be more… me.

 TSG: Given that the site’s home base has changed, do you think content on the site will continue to evolve in that direction as well? What’s next for EG? 

 EG: I think it will, and only for the better. I’m constantly inspired by the variation in styles I see here, plus the firsthand experience I’m getting by dressing for distinctly different seasons. In SF, we had one season almost all year round, so you don’t always get the opportunity to experiment. As far as what’s next, we’ll be focusing more on our eGuides and courses, especially our upcoming launch for Build A Lean Wardrobe, and hopefully continue to put out articles that help guide and inspire our readers to amp up their style game, no matter where they are.

Head to the Effortless Gent Instagram here for a daily glimpse into the happenings behind EG (and some great outfit shots from Barron), and check out the site here for tons of excellent style content.

Ben Sherman US

The Friday Read: Google Fashion Trends, Sweatpants vs. Denim and Craft Beer

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and …. non-style (?) content. For more entries, click here.

So we’re back at it again with another Friday Read. It’s slowly inching closer to May (already!?) and with that comes some fun seasonal events, like the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo, for starters (if you need a great mint julep recipe for this weekend’s Derby, start here). Doing any traveling or hitting the town this weekend? Take advantage of your downtime in between and start the weekend off right with the latest and greatest pulled together by yours truly from across the Web.

  • ThinkWithGoogle, a division of Google Data, put its number-crunchers to the test and delivered a seasonal 2015 spring fashion trend report — the first in the company’s recent foray into the world of fashion. Some of the content is focused on women’s fashion, but there’s also some sections tailored (as it were) to men’s style and the rise of jogger pants specifically.
  • The excellent digital style crew over at Esquire offers up a piece on the pros-and-cons of sweatpants versus jeans — and makes the argument that a well-fitting pair of sweats could indeed replace your favorite dark denim.
  • GQ reports that Maxwell Osborne and Dao-yi Chao of high-fashion oriented, minimalist design darlings Public School are taking the reigns as creative directors at DKNY — a rather fitting move, as black-and-white has been a favorite brand color pairing for decades.
  • Long Read of the Week: This piece technically ran last week, but if you enjoy a great brew (or even if you’re just into a bit of an economics study as you sip on something else this weekend), Thrillist explores the growing potential for a craft beer pricing war.

Still need something else to read?

  • Another entry in my Buyer’s Guide series for VOUCH Mag ran this past week, tacklling the ever-versatile four-season chino.
  • My  buddy Barron over at Effortless Gent breaks down the qualities and design details of a well-made, timeless suit.

The Product Review: Brickell Men’s Products

Reviewing an up-and-coming skincare brand.

Reviewing an up-and-coming skincare brand.

While lots of us put care into our appearance and overall style, there are parts that seem to get overlooked (speaking from personal experience here) — namely, skin care! You’ve simply got to have the best men’s grooming essentials on deck these days. It’s part of the full package in terms of taking care of yourself physically and mentally, and it’s probably even more important than the clothes you wear — after all, it’s an indicator of overall health, and that’s why you need the best men’s grooming picks for day-to-night skincare. A terrific post from our friends over at Effortless Gent really got me thinking about this concept — Josh from Brickell Men’s Products preaches the importance of developing a daily skincare routine (and using high-quality products, like those from Brickell, to do it). Given the EG-approved recommendation, that was enough for me to take the plunge myself.

I picked up the Purifying Charcoal Face Wash and added in a sample of the brand’s Daily Essential Face Moisturizer for Men, both using a discount code related to Effortless Gent (the brand is currently knocking 15% off your first purchase if you sign up via email). They rolled into my mailbox about a week ago, giving me ample time to test them out — and the results are in! Now the brand has gotten quite a bit of press across the past few months, so those testimonials would be an excellent source to check out, too.

For other grooming brands I love, be sure to check out Oars + Alps — use the code BEAU15 to get 15 percent off at checkout. Go ahead and check out the excellent men’s grooming gear at Huron, too. 


Charcoal face wash that capitalizes on a recent skincare trend (with good presentation, to boot).


The first thing that jumps out is the packaging, seen at the top of the page. The cardboard box is crisp and sturdy, stamped with a masculine logo, much like other guys’ skincare brands out there — not that that’s a bad thing, by any means. The full-size face wash bottle is a nice, deep emerald green color – a small detail to be sure, but that makes it pleasing to look at. Other products on the site feature either that same green shade or a deep red bottle color.

As for starting to use the product itself, there weren’t any visible directions on the bottle (not that many are needed for face wash, anyhow) — but that was rectified with a tips email that came the day after the package was received, outlining best practices for using the charcoal face wash. For the record, using a dime-sized amount of product with warm water works best to wash your face, followed by cold water to clean off.

Charcoal face wash on the left, with a moisturizer sample on the right.

Charcoal face wash on the left, with a moisturizer sample on the right.

Pairing the face wash with the moisturizer immediately thereafter (and following that process twice a day) has yielded some pretty pleasing results. I’ve noticed that despite the cold winter weather, my face doesn’t feel dry – using both products helps a great deal with beating winter skin irritation. Neither product drys out the skin either, something that can be an issue with other skincare products. While I’m no expert in skincare by any means, those are definitely positives to using these products. I’d expect that that same quality extends elsewhere, too.

In the future, I’m definitely inclined to purchase a larger version of the moisturizer, and I’d definitely add other products — like the shampoo or the body wash. Note that they also produce, among other products, a full line of shaving items (minus the razor and blades), and travel sizes for each.

Pricing is comparable to other skincare brands for like-minded products (in this case, the moisturizer is slightly pricier than the Jack Black option because Brickell offers a larger bottle). Knocking off 15% on your first order is definitely preferable at the moment, but extremely frequent refills shouldn’t be needed — so this option hopefully won’t stretch too many budgets. They’re definitely a solid bet among several other competitors — going with a surefire option like this could be a great way to complete an overall lifestyle routine. 

What are your skincare steps? What products would you recommend? Any experience with Brickell Men’s Products? And what are your thoughts on the best grooming brands for men right now? Leave your thoughts below!