The Friday Read: Frank & Oak’s Latest Launch, Craft Beer Gift Ideas and The National

My friends and Style Guide readers — greetings from the North! Today’s post is coming to you live from the chilly city of Toronto, if you can believe it. That’s where I’m spending the weekend exploring, checking out excellent #menswear & craft beer, and most importantly … seeing another lifechanging live show by my very favorite band, The National! I recently traveled to Boston to see this stellar band as part of their tour for “Sleep Well Beast,” one of the year’s best albums (and a personal favorite). In addition to catching their October show in NYC, I also had the chance to see them play two stellar shows at the rustic, unique Basilica Hudson in July — it’s an old glue factory that the band turned into a “concert-in-the-round” setting for two fabulous nights. And the tour rolls on here this weekend at the Sony Centre!

Holiday 2017

I couldn’t be more excited to be here, and I’ve got lots planned. From visiting the famed Graffiti Alley and Kensington Market to checking out Otto’s Bierhalle and hitting up the famed Bellwoods Brewery, there’s plenty that I want to see. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to send me a note on Twitter! Of course, it goes without saying that’ll be imbibing at The Lockhart, a seriously cool cocktail bar that pays homage to my favorite book series, Harry Potter — how cool! And I’ll be doing it all from an AirBNB that doubles as a cool barbershop studio — I’d suggest you hop over to my Instagram to follow along with my IG Stories! In the meantime, we’ve got a full slate of holiday style tips on lock for you here, from what to wear to a holiday party to our annual holiday gift guide for men and of course, a handy holiday gift guide for women. I hope it’s helpful this season. So, shall we get to this week’s men’s style news? I think we should. Check back here on Monday for another travel style recap, and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week. Cheers!

Holiday 2017

  • Can’t get enough Frank and Oak? Neither can I. The brand has been a consistent favorite over the years for its monthly collection launches, which make shopping simple, easy and affordable. They’re also quite the socially aware brand, as evidenced by the release of its new And Collection, a unisex capsule that recognizes “the distinctions and differences between human beings while supporting Canada’s longstanding commitment to inclusion, equality and diversity on a global level.” Good stuff, yes? In addition to collaborating with Montreal-based organization Petites-Mains to directly support immigrant women’s integration into the job market, Frank and Oak also partnered with Equitas, recognized for supporting equality and human rights, by donating $5 to the foundation for each sale from the collection. The full collection includes an And-printed white t-shirt (available for under $30), as well as And-embroidered fleece sweaters in black and grey. Easy to wear for casual weekend style, yes?
  • Alright, we’re well into prime holiday shopping season. I know you’re working your way through your own holiday wish list, but just in case you’re buying for the beer lover in your life, I’d suggest you check out this great GearMoose guide on what to buy for the beer drinker. Bingo!
  • We talked about this last week, but it’s worth repeating for all you shoppers out there. Nisolo, makers of stellar styles like the Nisolo Andres Boots, has teamed up with four other stellar brands on both a men’s holiday gift bundle and a women’s holiday gift bundle. Now through December 24th, once again, you can spend $35 to  get $250 in the way of shopping credit at “bundle” brands. As I mentioned last week, that’d be five brands and five gift cards good for $50 at each brand, including the rugged purveyors at United By Blue, the tailoring masters at Ledbury and stylish men’s boots from Nisolo. Seriously, how can you not love the men’s gift bundle? Right? Right?? Through December 24th, the men’s holiday gift bundle and the women’s holiday gift bundle are up for grabs.

So, that brings us to the end of this week’s Friday Read. Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!

-Beau

Windy City Style: A Summer Weekend in Chicago

Checking out The Bean and Millenium Park on an outstanding summer day in the city. Wearing an American Giant tee and my Need Supply Co. denim jacket, with hair styling courtesy of AXE. Shot by Olivia Hayhoe on an iPhone 7 Plus.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wasn’t I just in Chicago? This month even? Yes indeed, Style Guide readers, my travels took me to Chicago for Lollapalooza 2017 just a few short weeks ago and yet … I’m back! Or at least, I was back this past weekend for a family weekend in the Windy City.  My last trip to the city involved a healthy dose of excellent music — including a terrific live show by The Killers — and I was just as excited to be back this time. Incredibly, I’ve even got a fall trip back to Chicago planned, whereby I’ll be sure to pack plenty of fall menswear essentials. Yet, these past few days were about reconnecting with family, exploring the city and catching up with friends right before the end of summer … all in style, of course!

The rest of my family made the trek to take in Chicago’s version of the famed American musical “Hamilton” … while I gave up my seat to my young nephew (Hi, Charlie!), leaving me more time to get out and about in Chicago. That entailed a post-dinner trek to famed indie venue Metro Chicago to see a great indie pop show by Ernest Greene (known by his stage moniker Washed Out).  I’ve gotten quite practiced at loading up my stylish weekender bag with gear to take on the season, from versatile outerwear to a slim chambray shirt and classic sneakers, and this weekend proved no different. Just remember: Going from city to city still calls for on-point travel style. So, let’s get to it.

Men's travel style

Breezy essentials for summer travel, starting with my Grayers Montreaux Windbreaker and carrying through to stylish Frank and Oak leather sneakers and my reliable Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

Heading straight to the airport in the morning on Friday called for versatile, easygoing style — just as with my last trip to Chicago. Starting with a solid base layer is always key (especially when dealing with airport A/C), so my Grayers Montreaux Windbreaker, a classically designed jacket you might recognize from my Style Pick of the Week series, was the way to go. With its light weight and easy-to-style design, the Montreaux Windbreaker teamed nicely with my equally laidback-yet-polished Mott and Bow denim shirt. Perhaps you recognize the new line of Mott and Bow denim shirts from this site’s Style Pick of the Week series, and I’d say any of the brand’s denim shirts would be a versatile bet the next time you need to throw on a crisp, casual top for travel.  The soft fabric and nicely tailored-but-mobile fit of this slim denim shirt made it an ideal airport layering move, while a new pair of Banana Republic Rapid Movement Chinos offered just the right blend of comfort and stretch.

The whole combo was topped off with my trusty-as-ever Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, a pleasingly vintage-inspired ballcap I love to throw on any time I need to keep the sun off my face.  On the footwear front, a pair of Idyllwild Pull-Up Leather Sneakers from favorite menswear retailer Frank and Oak helped me move around the city with sharp looks and wearbility in mind. And to stay on time, I threw on my trusty Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, a standout piece from the Timex Waterbury line that looks rugged and goes just about anywhere (particularly with a classic windbreaker and a stylish denim shirt). Want a winning formula for travel style? Pair mobile stretch chinos with leather sneakers and a comfortable shirt featuring textured fabric. 

It’s a good thing I was prepped with versatile menswear, because Friday packed in a heck of a lot of exploration and great times around the Windy City. Our accomodations at TheWit Chicago were outstanding — right in the the heart of downtown Chicago, this modern hotel provided a sleek backdrop and stellar views from its roof bar (the ideal spot to knock back a few Bell’s beers — good to be back in the Midwest!). And Friday night’s dinner, featuring family-style pizza, cheese plates and plenty of bread and olive oil, was nothing less than excellent. The next time you get to Chicago, I’d recommend you stop by Quartino!

Mixing earthy tones and casual, versatile staples like an American Giant pima tee and Banana Republic’s Rapid Movement Chinos alongside the CLAE Bradley Mid.

And with Friday in the books, Saturday dawned with the promise of an exciting full day getting to know Chicago more. Seeing as Lollapalooza was packed wall-to-wall with music and I hadn’t visited since college, that left plenty to do — including lots of time spent strolling through MilleniuM Park. As per usual, I prepped with the best men’s gear that I could possibly muster, including a mix of high-low, casual style led by a crisp charcoal pair of my Banana Republic Rapid Movement Chinos. Seriously, if there’s a pair of chinos that combines better range of movement or a more crisp look — the tab closure waist helps with that — I’ve yet to find ’em.  My charcoal chinos matched up nicely with a well-made, breathable Amerian Giant Premium Crew Tee in Drab Olive — a nice contrast of earthy tones that worked well to go from Millenium Park to cool spots like Raised, an urban rooftop spot outfitted with industrial fixtures, premium cocktails and local craft beer.

Saturday’s full ensemble for exploring Millenium Park, highlighted by my CLAE Bradley Mid Sneakers, plus my trusty Need Supply Co. denim jacket and the TImex x Todd Snyder Military Watch.

Like other American-made menswear that I favor, I think you’ll find a simple, stylish T-shirt works with anything on vacation.  The key to a versatile look came from my  Need Supply Co. Denim Jacket in 96, another piece that proved a favorite at Lollapalooza 2017   — it worked just as well this time around, especially as a shot of color to contrast my rich Cocoa Leather Bradley Mid Sneakers from CLAE. This style is comfortable and durable, and for this late August trip, that made them a prime footwear pick. That comfort definitely helped me get around in style — my MVMT Watches Runaway Aviators also helped shield my eyes from the hot Chicago sun, and we took the chance to keep the afternoon rolling. The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, completely refurbished and recently reopened, harkens back to the city’s glamour and refinement of years gone by. It comes complete with a rotating pop-up bar on the ground floor, plus a game room and  a neat rooftop bar with great lakefront views.

A stylish weekender bag, American Giant shorts and a breezy chambray shirt made for easy travel style.

But as always seems to be the case, the weekend drew to a close too quickly. I had just enough time for a delicious Sunday brunch at the uniquely ’70s-inspied HopCat Chicago lounge before departing the Windy City yet again — and I dressed in casual, breezy travel style to take on the day. For a bit of tailored style mixed with supreme comfort, my all-new American Giant Weekend Shorts — made from hefty rugby jersey cotton — were perfect for a flight back to NYC. And to mix in some high-low style, I threw on my trusty United By Blue Wenlock Chambray Shirt. What with breathable fabric and a neat pattern, the Wenlock Chambray Shirt added some contrast to my laidback CLAE Hayward Sneakers, at once retro and yet crisply modern. And on the accessories front, a handy travel kit and men’s grooming essentials from Baxter of California paired up perfectly together, while my rugged-yet-accessible Timex Waterbury Chrono Diver helped me stay on time in casual style. In all, the laidback, breezy style ensemble helped me make it back to NYC in good time and in good style.

I hope you spent your weekend in the same way I did — with great friends and family, enjoying great times. You can  be sure I’m already looking forward to my next trip — to Chicago or elsewhere. To keep up with my travels and my style tips, check out my Instagram. And tomorrow, you can join us for another #OOTD. Until then, stay stylish!

-Beau

The Show Goes On: Seeing Local Natives in Pittsburgh

All smiles for Local Natives — and enjoying a neat area of Pittsburgh! Trucker Jacket and 505C Denim by Levi’s. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Henley by Pistol Lake. Roma Messenger by Brothers Leather Supply. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Glasses by Frameri

There are certain items that pop up in your news feed and make you stop and take notice. Late this past year, a simple Tweet caught my eye and eventually spurred my latest Style Guide road trip. Yes, the announcement that one of my favorite bands, California indie rockers Local Natives, had extended their Sunlit Youth tour into 2017 was enough to shake up my day — and make me pull out my calendar. If you recall, I hit the road to Providence last fall to see them — it was such a stirring show, I knew I had to catch ’em again. So, that’s how I ended up on a Pittsburgh-bound Greyhound bus this past weekend with my favorite #menswear in tow and another excellent live show on my mind. From a December trek to Baltimore to this past weekend’s adventure — to name but a couple — I’m truly lucky to be able to take in great music and great cities in style. Now, my packing list was quite different than my recent spring break trip to Florida, but I had my winter packing routine down pat — and luckily, I hauled plenty of late winter travel essentials for a crisp weekend. That all of this gear fit nicely into my Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender and my Brothers Leather Supply Roma Messenger was just an added bonus (Pro tip: Here’s another stylish weekender bag for your travels).

Beckett Simonon

Rock-inspired gear with cold weather in mind. Trucker Jacket by Levi’s. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Lawrence Boots by Sutro Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Gloves by Grifter Company.

It was with Local Natives’ excellent third album, “Sunlit Youth,” spinning in my headphones that I hit the road — my last Style Guide trip took me to New Haven to see Young the Giant, and I knew I’d need similar cold-weather gear this time around. For a very early Saturday bus trip down to Pennsylvania, I layered up accordingly, starting with a classic Pistol Lake henley in a unique shade of Antique White. I topped it off with my reliable-as-ever Taylor Stitch Jack in Indigo Star Shirt and a seasonally appropriate Levi’s Trucker Jacket in a spring-friendly light wash. Because temperatures dipped into the high 30s in parts of the day, I still needed my  Johnston & Murphy Faux Shearling Aviator (last seen on this blog in a weekend trip to upstate New York).

Greats

On the footwear front, my pick for stomping around Pittsburgh and checking out Stage AE on Saturday night just had to be the cool and crisp Lawrence Boot from Sutro Footwear. The jodhpur style looked sleek beneath my Levi’s 505C denim and proved comfortable for a full day of wear. If you want to dress in rock-inspired style for your next concert, I’d recommend you look into Sutro Footwear men’s boots and other similarly edgy menswear moves. Oh, and if you want more travel style tips for men, peruse this site when you get the chance.

Sharp style essentials for a Pittsburgh Saturday. Trucker Jacket and 505C Denim by Levi’s. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Henley by Pistol Lake. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Roma Messenger by Brothers Leather Supply.

Of course, staying on time is critical for any road trip — particularly when it came to hitting up Nicholas Coffee & Tea and trekking through downtown Pittsburgh. In this instance, that meant I drafted my vintage-inspired Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch into duty once again. It’s versatile, it’s subtly stylish and it’s tough enough to stand up to a rock show — perfect for this trip. Fully caffeinated, the real exploration of Pittsburgh rolled on, from trekking across the iconic Roberto Clemente Bridge to checking out the incredibly well-designed, unique Mattress Factory Museum and making a pit stop for excellent craft brews at the rustic, home-y Allegheny City Brewing — it’s a bit of a hole-in-the-wall location with a food truck out front and delicious brews (like the Deutchstown Brown) being poured inside. The early evening also took me to renowned Pittsburgh craft beer bar Beerhead — all the while rocking my comfortable, durable Lawrence Boots from Sutro Footwear and prepping for a stellar show, of course.

Now, to be fair … I’d seen Local Natives three times on this tour previously, but to say that lowered my expectations at all … is quite far from the truth. In fact, it made me look forward to this show even more! When a band brings as much energy and passion to the stage as Local Natives does — from blissful opener “Past Lives” through to classic closing track “Who Knows Who Cares” —  it’s a treat the entire time. Seriously, I can’t recommend this band enough. There’s nothing like their show — from start to finish, majestic lights, great sound and a heck of a set list, The show included deep cut “Mt. Washington” (off of their excellent 2013 album “Hummingbird”) and another crowd-pleaser, “Ceilings” — that one’s a personal favorite. . They harkened back to their first Pittsburgh show with fan favorite “Airplanes,” and broke out a show-stopping rendition of “Breakers” to go along with a rousing version of “Fountain of Youth” — what a band!

They also wove in a soul-stirring version of “You and I” — not to mention a beautiful performance of “Colombia,” honoring vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kelcey Ayer’s mother. Of course, “Who Knows Who Cares” brought the house down, too — this is a band that really can do no wrong! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing your favorite songs are coming … and being blown away by them all the same.

Taking on a chilly day on the Pittsburgh waterfront. Anorak by Fisher + Baker. Cable-knit sweater and garment-dyed chinos by Dockers. Flannel shirt by Frank and Oak. Pahoa Chukkas by OluKai. Red Wing Leather Chronograph by Timex x Todd Snyder. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Glasses by Frameri.

As seems to be the case after a great live show, I was plenty tired — but there was no time to waste in terms of getting around Pittsburgh in style. To combat weather that was both chilly and  a bit rainy, my functional, well-made and supremely durable Fisher + Baker Anorak proved exceptionally tough. The simple black colorway was sleek and city-ready and the Ventile cotton waterproof shell more than stood up to the elements — the hood was a nice touch on a blustery day, too. It layered easily over both a nautical-inspired Dockers cable-knit sweater. I paired the combo with  classic-yet-slim Dockers garment-dyed chinos and a cozy red-and-blue plaid flannel shirt from the master menswear purveyors at Frank and Oak. The next time you need style that can take you from brunch to the park — as I did when checking out Point State Park — I’d recommend you team versatile staples with sturdy footwear. On this particular Sunday, my OluKai Pahoa Chukkas filled that part of the equation quite nicely, blending a bit of Hawaii cool with a sturdy chukka silhouette and burnished black leather. For rugged style that also fit the bill, I had to break out my Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph,With a busy day on tap in Pittsburgh, my menswear picks proved crucial.

It was time to head back to NYC too soon, though  — I did so with plenty of amazing memories from a brief-yet-incredible Pittsburgh trip spinning in my head. The chance to see one of my favorite bands really is something I can never pass up — even if it means hopping on a bus to get there. And the opportunity to explore a neat city with a burgeoning arts scene is always welcomed — as is the chance to try out a few local brews and check out a new music venue! But to reiterate — if you want to listen to music that makes you think, try out Local Natives. Oh, and see them live as soon as you can — just be sure to pack your favorite travel essentials for the journey. Join us tomorrow for a new #OOTD series entry, and in the meantime — stay stylish!

-Beau

Frank & Oak

New York State of Mind: A birthday weekend in Brooklyn

Editor’s note: Click here to check out my last personal style post.

saturday-option-2a-edited

Essential birthday weekend gear — and a birthday Bloody Mary, to boot! Maritime Submariner Jacket by Taylor Stitch. Indigo Plaid Oxford and Flannel-Lined Chinos by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Waterbury Chronograph by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Socks by Anonymous-ism. Glasses by Frameri.

It’s been some time since we stepped away from our  regularly scheduled programming to cover a bit of personal style from your Style Guide author, but this weekend seemed a fitting chance to get out with great new gear.  Namely, it was my birthday on Saturday (thanks for all the love, folks!), and a four-day weekend was in order! Unlike Michael Scott, I didn’t bring in donuts to the office for my own day.  However, I did get the chance to hit up my favorite spots in Brooklyn, spend time with great friends and test out some new #menswear from the likes of JackThreads, Abercrombie & Fitch and more (thanks for the gifts, family!).  And any time I get the chance to get out of the office and enjoy some time off, it’s always much welcomed. So if you didn’t follow along on Instagram … here’s what went down.

Essential Friday style. Munro Leather Biker Jacket by JackThreads. Scarf by S.N.S. Herning. 505C Denim by Levi's. Kimbo Chelsea Boots also by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri.

Essential Friday style. Munro Leather Biker Jacket by JackThreads. Scarf by S.N.S. Herning. 505C Denim by Levi’s. Kimbo Chelsea Boots also by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri.

Perhaps most importantly, it’s the height of menswear trade show season here in New York, so Friday proved a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of standout — yet busy — shows like Capsule and Liberty last week. After spending Thursday hustling around the shows, some quality Brooklyn time was in order. Of course, it’s always great to see what’s new and what’s next in the men’s style world. I definitely enjoyed catching up with Style Guide favorites like the Bridge & Burn team, along with my pals at Rivay, purveyors of stunningly rugged menswear. I’m particularly excited to working on a neat project with the classic prep-Americana clothiers at JACHS NY over the next few weeks, too.

A rock-inspired leather jacket, a classic henley, essential denim & Chelsea boots. Doesn't get more ready for Friday than that, ehh?

A rock-inspired leather jacket, a classic henley, essential denim & Chelsea boots. Doesn’t get more ready for Friday than that, ehh?

But all that action meant a relaxing Friday was pretty crucial. I was lucky enough to test out a unique piece of outerwear for the weekend, the JackThreads Munro Leather Biker, a sleek, classic and affordably priced take on the biker jacket silhouette. If you’ve been looking to switch up your style, I’d recommend you take a look at that jacket. I teamed it with some other rock-ready pieces, like my slim Levi’s 505C Denim — a new classic from a brand with tons of history. The denim proved a stylish and suitably rock-inspired move when matched up with my JackThreads Kimbo Chelsea Boots, too.  Plus, I teamed it with a personal favorite, the rugged Todd Snyder Classic Henley in Indigo, for a day spent around Williamsburg. I’ve written often about how I love the quiet atmosphere and beautifully handcrafted menswear at Upstate Stock, and they make an excellent Campfire Latte, too. In short, it’s a great place to post up, listen to some great music (The National, anyone?) and get some work done. The nearby Greenpoint Beer & Ale also proved the perfect place to grab a pre-birthday pint and some excellent “European comfort cuisine,” as they call it. Seriously, throw on your most rugged gear and belly up to the bar!

New birthday gifts from Abercrombie & Fitch, plus some old favorites from Timex and CAT Footwear. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

New birthday gifts from Abercrombie & Fitch, plus some old favorites from Timex and CAT Footwear. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

With some excellent Greenpoint brews in the books, it was time to kick off Saturday with some top-notch birthday gifts — and a crucial Bloody Mary — at another favorite Brooklyn spot, Fawkner. It’s a great neighborhood spot with a neat, rustic interior — like stepping into a Rudyard Kipling novel (think vintage posters, mounted animals and a neat blue color scheme, plus a plush study-like area in the back).  Of course, kicking the day off with a few gifts — and plenty of wishes from family and friends — was incredible, and made me feel very lucky! It’s not for nothing that those gifts included some stellar menswear. Namely  I was pumped to open an outstanding set of Abercrombie & Fitch Flannel-Lined Chinos and the very wearable, slim and stylish Abercrombie & Fitch Plaid Indigo Oxford Shirt — they both stylishly offset another personal favorite for perfect Saturday style, the Taylor Stitch Maritime Submariner Jacket (yet another birthday gift from the family!). I finished the look off with the durable, well-worn CAT Footwear Sutter Boots and my always-essential Timex x Red Wing Watebury Chronograph. The combination took me from brunch and around Brooklyn for a few brews with college friends at The Well, a cavernous, repurposed warehouse-turned-craft brew haven — what better place to celebrate a birthday in style??

Frank & Oak

Cheering on my Michigan State Spartans in style. Vintage-style sweater by Hillflint. Winter Denim by Abercrombie & Fitch. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Watch cap by Everlane. Karnes Captoe Boots by Johnston and Murphy.

Cheering on my Michigan State Spartans in style. Vintage-style sweater by Hillflint. Winter Denim by Abercrombie & Fitch. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Watch cap by Everlane. Karnes Captoe Boots by Johnston and Murphy.

With a remarkably fun birthday in the books, it was time to close out the weekend in relaxing — and athletic-inspired — style as I watched my Michigan State Spartans take on archrival Michigan in a much-anticipated home game. That meant reaching for a retro, warm and comfortable Hillflint Tailgate Sweater, a gift Santa left me under the tree this past Christmas in Florida. It’s the perfect way to upgrade your sports-centric style without spending too much. It layered nicely under my tough, weather-ready Flint and Tinder Flannel-Lined Waxed Trucker Jacket — seriously, pick up that outerwear if you haven’t already. The rugged combo was stylishly offset by my casual Abercrombie & Fitch denim, featuring brushed cotton for comfort and mobility. Plus, my reliable Johnston and Murphy Karnes Captoe Boots helped me navigate the chilly Brooklyn streets in style. Of course, there’s almost no better locale in Brooklyn — for the excellent beer and the value — at which to take in a game than Keg & Lantern (get the beer-and-wings combo and thank me later). It was the perfect way to end Sunday — topped off with yet another stop by Upstate Stock. I’m telling you, that’s a must-see spot if you love tranquility and menswear wrapped into a serene environment.

It’s weekends like this past one that make me really grateful for a multitude of things — my amazing family and friends chief among them. And the opportunity to live, work and blog in Brooklyn & Manhattan, while taxing at times, is fulfilling, fun and really enjoyable. This past year has brought a lot — professionally and personally — and I’m hopeful the next year will continue to do the same! That goes beyond just this blog, but I really appreciate you reading, thank you to so many for the birthday wishes, and I hope these style tips and musings are helpful! Join us tomorrow for the next entry in our #OOTD series, and follow along on Instagram for real-world style.

Stay stylish!

-Beau

The Friday Read: Frank and Oak, Stylish Men’s Home Goods and The xx

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 you’ve had to check your calendar to confirm that it really is Friday again, you’re not alone. Between attending some excellent menswear trade shows — including Capsule Show and Liberty Fashion & Lifestyle Fairs — holding down the day job and working on this here blog, it’s positively flown by. It’s always refreshing to get out “in the field,” meet new brands and make new connections — good things in store ahead, I assure you. With those shows in the books, I’m truly looking forward to the weekend because, well, it’s my birthday! OK, that’s out of the way. But with any luck, I’ll get a few great #menswear gifts to feature on The Style Guide (‘cuz men’s style never sleeps). In classic fashion, I certainly intend on kicking back with a few craft brews — oh, and brunch. Absolutely, brunch. I’m particularly excited to partner with Frank and Oak on some content on behalf of the brand this weekend, too. You’ll be able to look for a full personal style post in that regard on Monday, of course! In the meantime, sit back and tuck in– this week, we talked the best men’s home goods to buy now, and we also filled you in on potentially your new favorite leather weekender bag. A lot happened in the men’s style world, too — read on below, join me on Instagram  and see what’s cooking over on Twitter. Cheers!

  • Regardless of how you feel about President Trump, it’s clear that some of his economic and trade, err, policies could directly impact the fashion industry. Specifically, American-made menswear. Esquire takes a deep dive into the issue this week; for what’s it worth, we here at The Style Guide — by we, I mean myself — will continue to cover and support brands that do high-quality work, anywhere and everywhere, but especially in the U.S.A.
  • We’re switching off of #menswear for the time being and diving into an album that’s been in my headphones — and perhaps yours, too — since it came out earlier this month. Esquire (those guys again) put together a beautifully composed feature on The xx and the band’s beautifully composed new album, “I See You.” I’d urge a listen if you want to lift your mood and your day, folks.
  • If stylish, technical and functional outerwear is your thing, read up on my latest GearMoose feature covering the sleek Sentinel Field Jacket — and maybe complement that purchase with a pair of the best men’s gloves for winter?
  • Last but not least — if you, like myself, will be fumbling around this weekend for your wallet, grab the Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet and solve that problem handsomely (it’s a bit of a throwback post, but useful in its own right).

As always — thank you for reading, and join us tomorrow for what I think you’ll find is a very winter-centric Style Pick of the Week. Fist bumps all around, and you can keep my tab open (wink, wink).

-Beau

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#OOTD: How to Dress Down a Wool Blazer

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

With winter weather still in full force for a lot of us, there can be a tendency to get into a bit of a style rut. That is, there are only so many ways you can style a shawl-collar cardigan or a crewneck sweater  before you want to change things up a bit. The good news is that, for so many of us, high-low dressing (that is, mixing and matching casual and formal pieces) is easier to do than ever before, regardless of what you might find yourself doing day-to-day. The below outfit makes use of some staples you likely already have in your closet (like dark denim, for starters) and puts ’em together in a slightly unexpected way. As a matter of fact, you might recognize the blazer from last week’s #OOTD post. Get the lowdown here, and then get those goods in your shopping cart.

Putting it all together -- combining style essentials you might already have in your closet.

Putting it all together — combining style essentials you might already have in your closet.

The Blazer: Frank & Oak Fairmount Deconstructed Blazer in Light Brown, $145 –A slim, soft sportcoat with a tailored fit and minimal padding — ideal for casual wear.

The Henley: JackThreads Daily Henley in Indigo, $34 — A great price for a superb piece that’ll age well over time; the “dressed-down” part of this outfit.

The Denim: Mott & Bow Skinny Mosco Denim, $96 — A classic pair of denim with great color and a nice bit of stretch (full review here). Note that Slim and Straight options are also available.

The Shoes: Frank & Oak Modern Leather Brogues in Dark Tan, $175 — Italian leather and European construction takes this pair to another level, plus  the color stands out remarkably well against the denim. Click here for a full Frank & Oak review.

The Socks: Anonymous Ism Wave Socks, $25 — Definitely a pricey splurge, but worth it for the quality and nice color they provide.

The Watch: Timex Waterbury Watch, $80 — A new Style Guide favorite; very well-priced, clean and classic. The ideal blend of casual and classed-up style.

Oh, and seeing as it is winter and all, finish off your oufit with my picks for the best winter accessories.

So with the above outfit in mind, I’d say give it a try just as soon as you can — when you pick up style staples that fit well and can be mixed and matched with ease, you’ll give yourself plenty of #OOTD options.

Would you rock the above look? How do you dress down your blazer?

Online Shopping Picks: Best Men’s Winter Accessories to Buy Right Now

Editor’s note: To check out  more Online Shopping Picks posts, click this link.

Notepad? Check. Great sweater? Check. Gloves? Hat? Nope. Don't be like Mikael Blomkvist (AKA Daniel Craig).

Notepad? Check. Great sweater and scarf? Check. Gloves? Hat? Nope. Don’t be like Mikael Blomkvist (AKA Daniel Craig).

What’s your morning routine like? With me, I’m usually rushing around a bit, firing off some tweets and really looking forward to my first cup of coffee. Right before I rush out the door though, I nearly always forget one thing even in the cold weather — my gloves. Impossible, right? It sometimes seems that the little things are the easiest to forget — and that’s too true when it comes to the matter of cold-weather accessories. Mixing form and function is absolutely critical here — like other style upgrades that I’ve written about, the right pair of gloves or a great hat can still be overlooked unfortunately. There’s certainly a difference between what you should likely aspire to wear and what you might have in your closet. Something like skiing gloves or sturdy work gloves do just fine for those types of activities, for example, but what about less strenuous work? That’s where the picks below come in — we’ll cover some nice gloves, a solid hat and the right scarf to wear, and we’ll do it with enough time left to order ’em on your lunch break.

A Warm Winter Hat: American Trench Merino Watch Cap — $85 OR J. Crew Factory Classic Cuff Knit Hat — $17

Two choices, two equally versatile pieces. Key for fighting the chill.

Two choices, two equally versatile pieces. Key for fighting the chill.

For potentially the  most important piece of clothing you throw on in the winter (cold ears are NO fun), there are two really solid choices up to bat here. It all depends on what you’re willing to spend, or what you can indeed spend. American Trench crafts everything from its equally warm socks to this merino watch cap right in America, and the quality shows. The cap itself is quite warm and stylish, to boot. The J. Crew Factory Classic Cuff Knit Hat, on the other hand, offers style that’s just as versatile, but at a much lower price.

A Stylish Scarf: Frank & Oak Chunky Merino Wool-Blend Scarf — $52

Minimal and classic at the same time for versatile style.

Minimal and classic at the same time for versatile style.

Goods from Frank & Oak really hit it out of the park most months — the brand’s monthly Hunt Club crates always pack a punch, and while the January offering is a bit light on scarves, this Merino Wool-Blend Scarf strikes a minimal balance between being classic and modern. The light grey color should fare well with most stylish topcoats and peacoats, and the color is such that it’ll still stand out up against dark charcoal or navy suiting. If that price is too much, you could reach for a J. Crew Factory plaid scarf for an extra pop of color.

Comfortable Winter Gloves: John W. Nordstrom Leather Tech Gloves — $44.75

With touchscreen functionality and in a crisp color, it's tough to beat this pair from Nordstrom's in-house brand.

With touchscreen functionality and in a crisp color, it’s tough to beat this pair from Nordstrom’s in-house brand.

Normally almost $100, these leather Nordstrom tech gloves come from the brand’s in-house line and feature a few different touches. They have what the brand calls Precise Touch functionality, so no need to take off those gloves to send out a tweet. That should also make it easier to hold onto said phone or iPod. And you’ve got your pick of either black or brown leather. The brown pair is dark enough in color that you shouldn’t necessarily worry about it clashing with black dress boots or similar items. If mixed-media gloves are more your speed, Nordstrom also stocks these Topman Harris Tweed gloves.

An On-Trend Jacket: JackThreads The Topcoat — $229

Back for round two with this JackThreads topcoat.

Back for round two with this JackThreads topcoat.

This camel JackThreads topcoat claimed the second spot in Monday’s roundup of the best men’s winter topcoats, and if you had to go with only one jacket to pair with the rest of these accessories (and use almost daily), it’d be an excellent choice. As far as topcoats go, it’s cost-effective, for starters. The color is eyecatching and on-trend (if that’s something you want to try out), yet it’ll still pair with a range of bottoms, from navy wool trousers to burgundy corduroys. It’s not a super-technical piece, to be sure, so if that’s more your speed, you might want to drop some dough on an insulating (but equally on-trend) duffle coat or a hooded parka.

Thick Winter Socks: American Trench Fair Isle Socks in Merino & Cashmere — $25

More than you'd pay for an average pair of socks -- but warmer and more stylish, too.

More than you’d pay for an average pair of socks — but warmer and more stylish, too.

If you’re not hip to American Trench by now, wait ’til you try out their socks. In addition to the merino watch cap at the top of the page, its variety of warm, well-made socks are enough to make you want to wear only pairs from American Trench — truly. When you consider that the quality and construction is such that you can wear one pair with tough winter boots or stylish dress shoes in a heartbeat, it’s an investment that pays off. While several patterns on their site would work just fine, the Fair Isle pattern is just different enough visually — plus the range of colors gives you some options. Its Wool and Silk Boot Socks are just as lux and a bit more pricey.

Looking to upgrade your winter accessories should be, above all else, a bit of an enjoyable and fun search. Yes, you want to combine functionality, style and price, and you want to do it pretty quickly — but unlike other categories in men’s clothing, there are many avenues on which to turn. Want some tweed gloves? You got ’em. Looking for some eyecatching socks? Shop away. Fancy throwing on a luxurious topcoat? That choice is yours, too. But hopefully the above staple pieces are enough to get you thinking before you shop — and before it gets too cold.

What cold-weather accessories do you find yourself reaching for the most? What pieces on this list do you still need to pick up?

 

 

Style Pick of the Week: Frank & Oak Plaid Light Flannel Shirt

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.

Another modern shirting release from Frank & Oak for consideration in your wardrobe.

Another modern shirting release from Frank & Oak for consideration in your wardrobe.

Here on The Style Guide, I write a lot about excellent seasonal pickups, from trim fall and winter blazers to slim corduroys. There’s one brand that nails some of those seasonal pickups better than the rest, though. If you’ve kept up with the digital #menswear scene and the digital pages of this blog (good for you!), you’ll recognize Frank & Oak. The brand popped up in this week’s Holiday Party Style Suggestion, and they’ve also been featured in two Hunt Club Crate reviews. However, if you’re not familiar, they’re absolutely worth a look. The Canadian retailer has made its name delivering monthly collections featuring of-the-moment looks for not a lot of money (for the most part), and they’ve also upped their retail presence significantly recently with several Canadian locations and shops Stateside in Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. for now. You can get in on those collection releases via the brand’s Hunt Club, which offers free shipping and home try-ons, and that’s a great thing considering F&O offers some of the better -value shirting on the market. Luckily, the Plaid Flannel Shirt that you see here — part of this month’s Hunt Club collection — has hit the market just in time for chillier days ahead in December and beyond.

A slim buttondown collar keeps this shirt casual yet ready to pair with like-minded lapels.

A slim buttondown collar keeps this shirt casual yet ready to pair with like-minded lapels.

At just $48, it’s priced higher than something from the likes of J. Crew Factory but comes in lower than a blue J. Crew flannel shirt — yet one could argue the quality of Frank & Oak’s shirts is definitely on-par with the big-brother brand. This Frank & Oak shirt has just as many positives to it as a more expensive piece — combine a trim fit with a rather understated plaid pattern and a casual buttondown collar, and you’ve got a shirt that can pull double-duty under a herringbone blazer during the week and atop a henley and some navy cargo pants on the weekends. The slim collar is an oft-overlooked aspect of some shirts, too — in this case, that helps it pair just fine visually with a thin-lapel blazer (as most suiting leans that ways these days). And the color and styling potential is such that it’s a nice upgrade from a typical buttondown — injecting some pattern where you might normally go with a solid shirt is always a good call. Here’s hoping this finds its way into your stocking this holiday season — or into your closet before then.

What’s your shopping experience been like with Frank & Oak? What’s your take on this shirt and how would you style it?

Style Suggestion: Thanksgiving Day

All ready to pack up next week? Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali.

All ready to pack up next week? Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali.

Editor’s note: For past Style Suggestions covering Turkey Day, head here.

It’s hard to believe that as I type this post, we’re looking at the third — yes, third — Style Suggestion covering Thanksgiving Day on The Style Guide. Only three, you say? Well, it feels like more than that — it’s been a great journey, with a big move to NYC and some job changes interspersed among all that, and it’s one that I’m thankful for every day. That, of course, includes the cool brands I get to work with and much more importantly, the awesome, engaging people who read this site!

And none of it would be possible without the support and love of my family & friends (some of whom might be reading this post — Hi, guys!). So in the run-up to the holiday next week, that’s what’ll be on my mind. But as to what’s on your mind — hopefully that centers around being quite thankful, too. But, say perhaps your thoughts on are what to wear, or the travel gear you should pack to get to your holiday destination? That’s what we’re covering below — and we’re keeping things casual-crisp in this Style Suggestion. Take a read and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

The Sweater: Frank & Oak Horizontal Cable Sweater in Navy — $66

A horizontal knit and herringbone texture keep this sweater quite visually appealing.

Frank & Oak is a brand that continually gets a lot of things right, something that’s quite tricky to do when you balance putting out monthly collections  with adding to a growing brick-and-mortar presence. But they do it quite well, particularly when it comes to churning out staple fall & winter layering pieces. This reasonably priced cotton sweater nails that equation — it’s cut trim in a sharp, neutral color, yet the formality is toned down by cable knitting; that touch also gives it a good bit of visual interest. It’s less formal than a crisp merino V-neck, so if that’s the way your holiday situation is shaking out, you might want to reach for one of those instead. Conversely, adding in a nice knit tie could dress things up in a pinch if need be.

The Shirt: UNIQLO Slim-Fit Long-Sleeve Oxford — $19.90 (On-Sale)

Keep it simple and crisp with the classic white OCBD for Thanksgiving.

Keep it simple and crisp with the classic white OCBD for Thanksgiving.

UNIQLO continues to rightfully earn its status as a maker of basics that hold up pretty well for the price, and that extends to its shirts in this case. When these are on-sale — and even when they aren’t — they’re an excellent value. The slim fit white Oxford shown here does indeed fit nice and trim, and like most UNIQLO products, these should have some decent stretch built in (more on why that stretch important when we get to the pants). The white Oxford is a style basic that stands up to the challenge of Thanksgiving — it’s likely a day spent in someone else’s home around a special occasion, so it helps to look polished. Yet, it’s not overly dressy, and it seems Thanksgiving is a good holiday to try out going tieless. Yes, it’s a navy sweater-plus-white shirt combo up top, but the texture of the sweater ups the ante.

The Pants: JackThreads Slim Corduroy Pant — $59.50

A basic corduroy that nails the affordability-quality equation and provides nice, er, function for the holiday.

A basic corduroy that nails the affordability-quality equation and provides nice, er, function for the holiday.

This particular pair of pants might seem quite familiar if you’ve perused this blog as of late; they were the top pick in a feature on the best men’s corduroys for fall and winter, and they’re back this go-round. They combine a slim, modern fit, a versatile color and perhaps most importantly for this holiday, a hint of stretch built in (y’know, for all that physical activity you’ll be undertaking on Thanksgiving). However, any pair of corduroys from this list could feasibly work. At any rate, cords will add another dose of texture to the outfit while still appearing a bit more formal than dark denim would, yet they’re not as dressy as some grey trousers — that’ll work well with the fact that we (or just you?) are going tieless here.

The Shoes: Thursday Boots Chocolate Suede Scout Boot — $149

A Goodyear welt, a sharp brown suede color and a slim silhouette make these chukkas look pricier than they are -- a nice addition to the outfit.

A Goodyear welt, a sharp brown suede color and a slim silhouette make these chukkas look pricier than they are — a nice addition to the outfit.

When you take one look at this shoe, you might think it retails for almost twice what it does. The Scout line of chukka boots is a recent introduction from Thursday Boots, and the Chocolate Suede Scout Boot really does look like something else (note that they also come in a crisp Brown Leather option). Thursday Boots, while the target of some criticisms, has provided this author with good quality over time as far as my Roughout Captain Boots are concerned, so we’ll stick with the brand here. On a style points note, these definitely look like something James Bond might’ve worn back in Quantum of Solace. And they’re a worthy pick to finish off this outfit, too — the silhouette makes them less obtrusive than a work boot, and the suede tones down the formality appropriately. Yet, they’re still dressier than crisp sneakers (as great as those can be to wear). That’s what we’re going for here, ultimately.

The Belt: Land’s End Distressed Vintage Jean Belt — $39.00

Go for a bit of visual interest with your belt, as with the rest of your outfit, and you'll be pleased with the results.

Go for a bit of visual interest with your belt, as with the rest of your outfit, and you’ll be pleased with the results.

If at first you experience some sticker shock over the price of this belt, rest assured — it’ll be alright. Paying a bit more for an item you can get lots of wear out of — potentially even every day of the week — is a very solid investment. And if you find yourself dressing in a manner similar to this outfit a lot, a belt with some rugged distressing is one you can reach for over and over. The roughed-up, full-grain leather continues to add a dose of texture to this ensemble in a situation where one could easily reach for a sleeker, and more expensive, dress belt. Not to worry that it doesn’t match up with the dark brown suede — it’s perfectly acceptable to break that rule when you’ve got suede shoes.

The Watch: Timex Waterbury Chronograph — $100

Design details like the aged-looking leather strap and the rugged-refined dial pair nicely with the rest of this outfit.

Design details like the aged-looking leather strap and the rugged-refined dial pair nicely with the rest of this outfit.

Timex hits the nail right on the head with a watch that’s rugged and refined, decently dressy but still acceptably casual and more importantly, ideal for the holiday — all for $100. The Waterbury line was introduced earlier this year to play off the brand’s heritage (and perhaps challenge brands like Shinola?), and it stands to reason that they’ve grabbed some customers with a lower price point and pretty good looks, to boot. The brown dial and aged brown leather strap match up nicely with the overall smart-casual vibe of the outfit. Plus, the strap itself adds some nice texture to an outfit that’s already quite full of it, from the corduroy pants to the cable-knit sweater and the suede boots. Plus, it’ll keep the time well and stand up to a reasonable game of backyard football.

The Socks: American Trench Fall Triple Stripes Sock — $14.50

Complementary colors and a breathable blend of recycled cotton make these socks comfortable AND stylish.

Complementary colors and a breathable blend of recycled cotton make these socks comfortable AND stylish.

If you aren’t yet sold on American Trench, it’s a brand that you absolutely should consider checking out. They’ve popped up here in a Style Q&A , and that gives some great insight into who they are as a brand. In short for the uninitiated: they source premium fabrics and construct their socks (and other gear, like merino watch caps) in U.S. factories, so the price that you pay is more than worth it. And in this particular instance, the Triple Stripe Sock adds a nice complimentary color scheme to the overall outfit without detracting too much from each individual piece. Plus, these socks are comfortable and crafted from a breathable blend of cotton — all too crucial if you slip off the shoes and pad to the kitchen for that second (or third) serving at halftime.

So that’s what’s in the books as far as this Style Suggestion goes — remember above all else that no matter what you wear next week, it’s about celebrating the day with the people you love, and being thankful for what’s on your plate. That’s something that definitely transcends style.

With that said though — thanks, as always, for reading.

Stay stylish,

-Beau
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

Florsheim

Style Upgrade: Sharp Sneakers

Editor’s note: This is the third in an ongoing series covering quick and easy upgrades to dilemmas a guy might face once in a while. For more entries in the series, click here.

There's still a good amount of time for short sleeves -- and a great pair of sneakers. Short-sleeve shirt by H&M. Slim chinos by Frank & Oak. Navy suede sneakers by GREATS Brand.

There’s still a good amount of time for short sleeves — and a great pair of sneakers. Short-sleeve shirt by H&M. Slim chinos by Frank & Oak. Navy suede sneakers by GREATS Brand.

Before you double-check your calendar, we’re definitely diving into sneakers right now on The Style Guide — even as it gets closer to October and boot season. Lest you think that means it’s time to shelve your sneakers, it’s far from it — there are plenty of ways sneakers can be styled sharply (particularly if they’re crafted from nice leather or sturdy canvas — like the pairs you’ll read about below). It seems so many brands are making sneakers now, it’s tough to keep track — from venerable institutions like Rancourt & Co. to newer, digital-focused upstarts like Gustin (more on both of those brands in a bit). That’s precisely why sneakers are such a great style upgrade. When premium brands make sneakers fit for wearing with everything from chinos to dark denim, it’s worth taking notice. My friend Madhav of Wardrobe Domination covered great men’s sneakers in detail earlier this year, so if you’ve need some shopping suggestions, that post is also worth a look.

Switching out your sneakers doesn't have to mean reaching for something flashy -- a classic pair of white captoes (like the GREATS Wilson) can do the trick. Short-sleeve buttondown by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Switching out your sneakers doesn’t have to mean reaching for something flashy — a classic pair of white captoes (like the GREATS Wilson) can do the trick. Short-sleeve buttondown by Saturdays Surf NYC. Lightwash jeans by J. Crew. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Switching out some tired running sneakers is just one step on the path to better style, and it requires small changes, bit by bit. It doesn’t have to require a lot of money, though. And maybe you’re just looking for a different pair of kicks. That’s why it never hurts to reach for a fail-safe classic in a low-key color if you’re switching out your kicks — that fail-safe classic is, in this case, a revamped style. Yes, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star II  release was much-hyped earlier this summer, and with good reason — it’s a functional update to a style that looks right with all kinds of casual (and even business-casual outfits). Other newer brands are also taking on the captoe sneaker silhouette and competing admirably — GREATS and its Wilson sneaker certainly come to mind. And as the weather ramps up for most of us, a trusty leather high-top sneaker can provide nearly as much durability (in some climates) as a leather boot — take, for instance, the Royale High from GREATS as detailed in this site’s recent Fall Style Wish List post.

Two different takes on a sneaker, both sold by J. Crew.

Two different takes on a sneaker, both sold by J. Crew.

Among other high-top sneaker offerings, the Canvas SK8-Hi from Vans is a classic style that many seem to love — that side stripe sets things off just visually enough, too. With so many sneaker options out there, sometimes it’s nice just to have everything in one spot — take J. Crew, for example. The much-maligned retailer really does offer a ridiculous amount of sneaker options , from the decidedly sportier Nike Killshot (still a worthy upgrade from running shoes) to high-top suede sneakers with minimal details crafted in Africa (as seen above). The pair on the right would look particularly killer with some dark denim and a charcoal blazer. And that’s the beauty of a great pair of sneakers — they can be worn just as you would a fine pair of stylish dress shoes if you nail the fit and proportion of the rest of the outfit.

A look at a low-top sneaker that Gustin produced earlier this year. Many of the brand's current high-top options are funding quickly.

A look at a low-top sneaker that Gustin produced earlier this year. Many of the brand’s current high-top options are funding quickly.

If you still find yourself in the market for a more basic, beater-type pair (say, if you happen to live in a warmer-weather area), the SeaVees Army Issue Low should offer what you’re looking for. On that note, places like Urban Outfitters sell standard-yet-sharp styles like low-cut, gum-sole Vans for under $60. But, if you’re in need of a truly durable and higher-cut sneaker, Gustin is definitely worth a look — the brand is pre-funding opportunities for pairs of its Italian-made sneakers (like these stellar Blue Gum Sole High Top Sneakers), although the majority of those styles won’t ship until next year (bummer!). But if it’s a quicker purchasing turnaround you’re in the market for, keep an eye on Frank & Oak and the brand’s monthly collections — its most recent September offering included a full lineup of excellent-looking leather sneakers.
Ernest Alexander
Not to be outdone by classic brands, even luxury companies are getting in on the sneaker game — it’s safe to say the Tom Ford Orford Sneaker is just one of any number of options outside the typical Style Guide budget. Of course, no mention of sneakers in this day and age is complete without paying homage (or at least linking to?) the style that begat a thousand copycats — the Common Projects Achilles Low.  It’s expensive, it’s minimal and it’s one pair that really deserves exceptional care.

Upgrading or switching out your sneakers doesn’t have to be ludicrously expensive or painful though — the key is finding a style that fits your lifestyle, ideally one that can be dressed up or down (that’s where sharp leather sneakers from brands like GREATS or Frank & Oak come in). And sneakers can complement other style upgrades, too — there are few places where slim denim and a nice pair of sneakers can’t go.

What’s your go-to pair of sneakers? And how would you style an upgraded pair of nice kicks? Let me know!

Want more style musings throughout the day (who doesn’t??). Follow me on Twitter @BoKnowsClothes.

Florsheim