Go Green: An October weekend at Michigan State

Editor’s note: To check out my last travel style post, click here.

From NYC to East Lansing in a matter of hours. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Slim denim by Dickies. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather chukkas by Beckett Simonon. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred.

From NYC to East Lansing in a matter of hours. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Slim denim by Dickies. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather chukkas by Beckett Simonon. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred.

First of all — Happy Halloween, Style Guide readers! I spent this past weekend not in New York, but on the road in my home state of Michigan. There’s no question that your author loves to travel. It’s been a big theme this year, from menswear trips to Las Vegas to a fall weekend in Providence. Of course, when the leaves start to turn and college football season kicks off, there’s hardly a place I’d rather be for a fall weekend than on the campus of my alma mater, Michigan State University. It’s a place that holds many special memories, without a doubt. It’s been a down year for my Michigan State Spartans, but this past weekend also brought forth a rivalry that runs deep in my blood — the Michigan-Michigan State college football showdown. From my days growing up 15 minutes down the road from East Lansing to my time at Michigan State’s student newspaper — and the resulting “friendly” football game versus Michigan’s own paper — it always got me excited about my school, and infinitely proud to be a Spartan. It was with that in mind that I hit the road early on Friday morning — and brought along #menswear that was fit for a chilly, casual Michigan weekend, of course.

friday-grid-edited

Just the right mix of casual pieces for a chilly travel day to Michigan. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Denim by Dickies. Leather chukka boots by Beckett Simonon. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Ranger Gloves by Grifter.

Just as with my fall weekend in Providence, I brought along classic, transitional pieces that could work for long travel days and active time in the Lansing area. Given temperatures in the 50s in both Michigan and NYC on Friday, I grabbed the Alpine Guide Sweater courtesy of the premium outdoor lifestyle and snow gear brand Alps & Meters. With a blend of lambswool and waxed cotton, the Guide Sweater was a neat, easily wearable piece that layered comfortably over my Old Navy chambray shirt for simple travel style. My Beckett Simonon chukka boots proved similarly versatile for catching a flight, then enjoying lunch and some very high-quality brews at East Lansing’s HopCat (along with the travel-ready Dickies X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Jean). Sometimes, you just need pieces that get you where you need to go while looking great, and that’s where the durable Grifter Ranger Gloves also came in handy — literally — throughout the weekend.  I also packed my ever-dependable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono for weekend wear– tough, durable pieces make for a stylish outfit whether you’re heading back to campus as an alumni or getting around in style as a student.

Collegiate gear from Tailgate Clothing and a team watch from Jack Mason, blended with the Forever21 Button Denim Jacket and Grounder Hi-Tops from Todd Snyder & P.F. Flyers.

Collegiate gear from Tailgate Clothing and a team watch from Jack Mason, blended with the Forever21 Button Denim Jacket and Grounder Hi-Tops from Todd Snyder & P.F. Flyers. Don’t forget that Owen & Fred bottle opener…

The trip back to East Lansing and a much-anticipated Saturday football game presented a challenge — it’s not been until recently that college team gear could be functional, spirited and stylish, so what’s a guy to do? Given the challenge of navigating a campus tailgate in style, I packed away my trusty Tailgate Clothing team tee and Jack Mason team watch, both fairly priced pieces that are a step up from standard college athletic gear  (unfortunately, both places also stock Michigan Wolverines apparel). You can definitely still break out regular team athletic gear if you’ve got it, but when you can snag a Tailgate Clothing tee for just over $30, I say go for that style upgrade. The Jack Mason watch, too, is durable, low-key and subtly stylish thanks to the black dial, sleek dark green logo and black rubber strap — all great things when you might be more focused on grilling or snagging a beer at your tailgate. The breezy Michigan weather meant I could layer up stylishly with the Button Denim Jacket courtesy of Forever21 Men, which proved to be a nice midweight layer and a sharp complement to my durable, comfortable Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top sneakers. The sneakers, with their hard-wearing black rubber sole and lined toe cap, were more than ready for time spent on foot reacquainting myself with the beautiful Michigan State campus and downtown East Lansing.

Regardless of the score — admittedly closer than expected — I was definitely still happy to come back given the chance to re-connect with great friends and explore a campus that really does hold a lot of memories for me. And with every trip back, I remember why I love classic East Lansing spots like the Peanut Barrel and Crunchys — if there’s a college-town combo better than a Long Island and a burger from the Peanut Barrel, or a brew at Crunchys, I’m listening.  So it nearly goes without saying that I was happy to visit some of those spots, if only briefly — and in spite of a Michigan State loss. Another chilly day on Sunday brought with it a final brunch at the new, refined Capital Vine in Lansing — swing through if you’re in need of a Bloody Mary and an excellent omelette.

Casual Sunday brunch gear, anyone? Slim-Fit Chambray Shirt by Forever21 Men. Pocket Sweatshirt by Todd Snyder x Champion. Royale Court Sneakers by GREATS Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

Casual Sunday brunch gear, anyone? Pocket-Front Denim Shirt by Forever21 Men. Pocket Sweatshirt by Todd Snyder x Champion. Royale Court Sneakers by GREATS Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

For comfortable, casual travel style, it’s tough to beat gear from the ever-reliable, ever-stylish Todd Snyder x Champion collaboration. In this instance, the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, made from soft French terry in a slim fit, was the perfect layering pick atop my Pocket-Front Denim Shirt courtesy of Forever21 Men. My Slim-Fit Cargo Pants, also from Forever21 Men, added a bit of utilitarian style and plenty of comfort, too. And the whole combo was offset by the durable GREATS Royale Court, definitely another seasonally appropriate pick-up. Crucially, the excellent Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt was the ideal fall sweatshirt, particularly when you look at subtle style details like the raglan sleeve stitching and front chest pocket. Yessir, Todd Snyder certainly knows what he’s doing. Again, if you’ve got a chilly fall weekend ahead and want to dress in style, simple-yet-essential pick-ups like the Pocket Sweatshirt from the great folks at Huckberry  are going to get the job done.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Stylish travel gear aside, I was certainly beyond happy to get back to Michigan in style for a fall weekend. It was a classic East Lansing weekend, from time spent roaming campus to time spent inside the hallowed Spartan Stadium — yes, even with the loss. The fall foliage and classic Michigan weather really made it all the more enjoyable — this menswear writer sure does love fall. And of course, the chance to see friends and family topped it all off — along with that Crunchy’s burger, of course. The next time you’ve got to hit the road for a casual fall weekend, I’d recommend you load up with everything from the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt to a tough, durable set of Beckett Simonon chukka boots. If you’ve got more questions on what to pack for your next trip to Michigan (or elsewhere), join us at The Style Guide Facebook page or on Twitter.

Until the next travel weekend — stay stylish,

-Beau

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Bring on October: An early fall weekend in New York

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next weekend of adventures — stay stylish,

-Beau

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