Women’s Style Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Editor’s note: For more gift ideas, check out last year’s women’s style holiday gift guide.

So, you’ve looked at the ole calendar and realized it’s December, ehh? In a bit of a gift-giving panic (and if not, maybe soon)? Well, fear not — The Style Guide is here to set you up with excellent holiday gift-giving advice for all the stylish ladies in your life. Hopefully, they strike the right chord — if you don’t see any suggestions to fit your gifting needs, shoot me an email and we’ll help you out. Whether you’re buying for your wife, girlfriend, mom, sister or grandma — or likely that whole group, and more — there are plenty of picks below to get those gears turning. In fact, the list is expanded and divided into a few helpful categories. Last year’s Women’s Style Holiday Gift Guide might also help you out in a pinch — but that’s just this writer’s opinion. The biggest key is thoughtful gift-giving — while you might love a framed NFL jersey, your wife might not appreciate said gift (I kid, I kid). It’s never an easy process — so read on, shop away and leave any questions in the comments below.

Home Goods: Luvhaus Ceramics One-Of-A-Kind Turqouise Tumblers (Set of 2) — $64.98

Luvhaus Ceramics

Unique tumblers that add a little spark to your kitchen.

Let’s get this kicked off with a helpful nudge — if you find yourself shopping Huckberry quite a bit, you can kill two birds with one stone. The site’s excellent Huckberry Gift Guide is packed with gifts for everyone from your father-in-law to your son, and the site’s Huckberry Women’s Collection is a veritable treasure trove of outstanding finds both big and small. That includes the very cool set of Luvhaus turquoise tumblers seen here — talk about a neat addition to your kitchen, and the perfect set of tumblers for occasions throughout the year.

Jewelry: Sword and Plough Brass Bar Necklace — $69

Made from a 50-caliber shell casing, this unique piece of jewelry is truly one of a kind.

Made from a 50-caliber shell casing, this unique piece of jewelry is truly one of a kind.

The folks at Sword & Plough get a lot right when it comes to their production and design of stylish men’s and women’s accessories, starting with their support of veterans through every step of design and production. In particular, the Brass Bar Necklace is unique, subtly stylish and a perfect, understated finishing touch. This neat necklace is made from a 50-caliber shell casing, and it’s done in partnership with Bang Bang Ballistic. Co-founder Shanna Rodenberg is a disabled veteran who first experimented with making jewelry out of spent ammo after eight years serving in Afghanistan — you won’t find another piece of jewelry with that pedigree and history this season.

Footwear: Nisolo Oliver Oxford in Brandy — $134.98

Nisolo Oliver Oxford

A chic, refined and well-made pair of shoes that everyone can appreciate.

Now, you certainly don’t have to be a “fashionista” to appreciate a chic, well-made and versatile pair of shoes — right? Nisolo handcrafts its beautiful men’s and women’s shoes in Pereu, and the Oliver Oxford is the brand’s interpretation of a classic men’s Oxford. The sheep leather insole provides comfort atop a stacked leather heel, and the slip-free rubber heel cap provides an added dash of functionality. They’re a more unique take on women’s footwear, but hopefully appreciated by those who love great design.

 Headwear/Accessories: Goorin Brothers January Breeze Felt Hat — $60

Goorin Brothers women's hats

A classic, chic hat for the woman who favors unique, neat style.

We’re keeping things rolling for the fashionable woman (or women) in your life here today. When it comes to versatile, well-made hats, Goorin Brothers is tough to top. On top of classic wool flatcaps and leather fedoras for men — as seen in my recent upstate travel post — the brand also makes a slew of stylish women’s hats, both more unique and more traditional in nature. If the lady in your life needs a new hat to go along with her leather Oxfords, the January Breeze could be the one to gift. Its shape is classic and easily wearable in breezy winter temperatures, and it makes a neat addition to a travel wardrobe — at least in the eyes of this author.

Accessories: Tanner Goods Vanguard Saddle Bag in Hickory — $249.98

A beautiful bag made from premium materials, from the same brand who makes your favorite belt.

A beautiful bag made from premium materials, from the same brand who makes your favorite belt.

If you follow along with this blog regularly, you know that we love ourselves some Tanner Goods gear. The brand’s belts and wallets are investment-worthy, and now, the brand is carefully crafting some amazing women’s accessories as well. Take the incredible Tanner Goods Vanguard Saddle Bag in Hickory. It’s a lovely bag, able to work all through the day and night in a beautiful Hickory color and all-leather construction. The Vanguard Saddle Bag is also made in America — as the brand does with its men’s lifestyle products — features what the brand calls “graceful lines” for a premium look and feel. If you tend to agree, surely the woman in your life will appreciate it.

Accessories, Part 2: Scarf Shop Giant Cotton Scarf — $49.98

Scarf Shop Cotton Scarf

A refined, wearable and stylish cotton scarf for the holiday season.

So, us guys value stylish, functional winter accessories — and it stands to reason that the ladies in your life do, as well. This cotton scarf certainly isn’t built for taking on a snowstorm, but it’s a neat, textured cotton piece that you might call an “indoor scarf” — ideal for layering with a sweater or cardigan in front of the fire or at a New Year’s Eve party. And if you’ve got someone in mind who likes that type of thing, I’d suggest you pick up the Scarf Shop Giant Cotton Scarf.

Home and Bath Goods: Herbivore Spa Day Beauty Set — $79.98

Herbivore Spa Day Set

A refreshing, responsibly made and affordable spa set for her.

Who knew that Huckberry offered spa products? Certainly not this guy. But if your wife or girlfriend wants a nice way to relax — at an affordable price point for you — then the Spa Day Beauty Set is just what you need to purchase this holiday season. It features calming bath salts, an exfoliating rose body polish and jasmine body oil for a complete package made with premium ingredients and care. The Spa Day Beauty Set  is also all-natural and non-toxic — it’s a winning situation all around.

Frank & Oak
Now, I suppose that’s that. Hopefully, the above picks represent a broad spectrum of gift-giving selections for all the fine women in your life. If you’ve got a gift you want to run by a trusted fellow style fan, I’m the man to see. From the fashionista to someone who loves to entertain, stylish, premium gifts like leather Oxfords or a set of unique tumbler glasses fit the bill perfectly. Of course, the above gifts are just a smattering of the gifts you could buy — and supplementing a style-minded gift with something more personal (a new book or tickets to a favorite play, perhaps?) are always great to keep in mind. With that being said, let me know how your holiday shopping is going — and keep an eye out for our Friday Read and Style Pick of the Week entries later this week.

Happy shopping, and stay stylish!

-Beau

Style Guide Spring Break: A weekend in Florida

Editor’s note: For more tips on what to pack for warm weather, head here.

It was an excellent, relaxing Florida weekend -- exploring downtown Fort Myers was a highlight! Short-sleeve gingham shirt and khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

It was an excellent, relaxing Florida weekend — exploring downtown Fort Myers was a highlight! Short-sleeve gingham shirt and khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Any time I get the chance to step away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, I’ll gladly take it — even if only for a few days. Being able to go somewhere sunny and warm to visit my family, like Florida, makes traveling that much better. It’s certainly a welcome adjustment from having to bundle up for both NYC winters and trips back to Michigan, both of which I’ve grown accustomed to over the years — this is a change of pace that I’ll gladly take! This past weekend was a special one, as I headed back down to Fort Myers for my dad’s birthday. It’s a tradition that’s worked out the past few years, as it seems a lot goes on at once — we get the chance to root on our alma mater, Michigan State, in the Big Ten Tournament, we get the chance to celebrate my dad’s birthday and most importantly, we get the chance to catch up and relax in the lovely weather. It’s a win-win-win (in the words of Michael Scott!).

A trusty United By Blue duffle made it easy to pack up my everyday carry. Natural pocket tee by Richer Poorer. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Grey-and-white chukka sneakers by Dr. Martens. Brass money clip by Owen & Fred. Navy leather card case by Issara.

A trusty United By Blue duffle made it easy to pack up my everyday carry. Natural pocket tee by Richer Poorer. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Grey-and-white chukka sneakers by Dr. Martens. Brass money clip by Owen & Fred. Navy leather card case by Issara.

Prepping for the trip was luckily pretty straightforward — even compared to my last visit to Florida at Christmas, the weather had already jumped into the 80s as I hopped on a quick  flight from NYC to Fort Myers last Thursday. With some time in my fairly casual office beforehand, I knew I’d need to be ready to both hop on the plane and then step into some nice, sunny weather. So transitional style was key, and lightweight staples like my Richer Poorer pocket tee , slim tan Banana Republic chinos and my new Dr. Martens Baynes Chukka Sneakers did the trick. The sneakers in particular have the style of a high-top, the surprisingly lightweight construction of a low-cut sneaker, and the ability to be slipped on and off at the airport with ease — I’d definitely look for a pair like that for your next trip. My United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle worked perfectly to carry the rest of my gear, which included easygoing style staples like a Grayers slub polo and a well-fitting, comfortable Tommy John Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey,  ideal for relaxing by the pool.

Relaxing poolside with a few choice style essentials. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Relaxing poolside with a few choice style essentials. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Of course, as with any trip involving sand and sun, I was happy I packed some trusty everyday carry gear — including my reliable, stylish (and yes, pricey) Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses — thanks again, Santa! As the weather warms up and you look to hit the road, know that plenty of easy-to-shop brands — particularly the folks at Warby Parker — are crafting wearable, stylish sunglasses for far less (good news, for sure). I brought along my trusty MVMT Watches silver-and-brown leather watch, a sturdy Invicta stainless steel dive watch and a more casual Stuhrling Original rubber-strap watch to round out my watch game. An Owen & Fred brass money clip and Issara leather card case helped me keep my essentials in check. If you want to travel lighter, know that a trusty stainless steel dive watch can certainly suffice for everything from rugged wear on the beach to dressier dinners — but if you’re a fan of watches like me, it might be handy to bring along a few choices.

A must-see when hitting up Sanibel Island -- the delicious Bennett's Fresh Roast! Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling. Beach scene not included with purchase.

A must-see when hitting up Sanibel Island — the delicious Maple Bacon Donut from Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling. Beach scene not included with purchase.

So I had plenty of stylish gear for our activities, including a nice birthday celebration for my dad on Thursday night at Trader’s, home of some excellent seafood — I’d recommend it, and it was nice to break out some khaki shorts again for the evening, finally! As I arrived just in time for happy hour, that was a welcome change of pace from NYC, too. My dad and I were also able to celebrate his actual birthday on Friday with a few stops at some of our favorite spots on nearby Sanibel Island, including the legendary Bennett’s Fresh Roast — the Maple Bacon Donut is a must-have, and it was a nice snack on the beach. We were able to hop just down the road to nearby Captiva for a delicious lunch at The Green Flash; don’t skip the chance to try the Barbeque Bacon Shrimp — it’s truly the best of both worlds!

Exploring the beaches and walking trails of Fort Myers. Short-sleeve striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Navy sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Grey sneakers by Reef. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

Exploring the beaches and walking trails of Fort Myers. Short-sleeve striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Navy sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Grey sneakers by Reef. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

We were able to spend the rest of the day exploring some of Sanibel’s lovely beaches — for getting to and from the donut shop, lunch and the beach, I picked out a versatile short-sleeve JACHS NY chambray shirt, my ever-reliable Pistol Lake sweatshorts and some brand-new, comfortable sneakers from the surf experts at Reef. Later in the afternoon and in an awesome, truly chance meeting, we bumped into my former State News colleague and fellow MSU alum Sam Radecki and her family on Blind Pass Beach as we sipped some afternoon beverages (read: Heineken). The world’s a small place, huh? (Oh, and Go Green!). It was great to catch up, and it was also exciting to be able to kick off a weekend of great basketball among our fellow fans at Timber’s  on Friday night — it’s the place to go for sports and seafood on Sanibel.

Saturday gave my dad and  a respite from the sun (style tip: sunscreen helps), and explore more of historic downtown Fort Myers. Between antique shops, craft brewpubs and a lovely waterfront area, there’s a little something for everyone. It was particularly neat to check out the old, Fort Myers Civic Center — it seems like a prime spot waiting to be developed into a great location. And if you’re a fan of craft beer (like yours truly), The Lodge is a definite top spot to visit — from the pour-your-own beer taps to the excellent barbeque, it’s tons of fun. Picking out gear to wear for the day was a cinch thanks to the excellent weather — always nice! I threw on a slim short-sleeve Banana Republic gingham shirt (similar option here) and khaki shorts, two nice offerings from a brand that always does casual basics well. Staying out of the sun was made even easier with my favorite hat, a vintage-inspired Goorin Brothers ballcap. If you’re looking to upgrade your hat rotation, reaching for a throwback style is always a nice bet.

Casual gear to cap off the trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Heather grey pocket tee by Tommy John. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Casual gear to cap off the trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Heather grey pocket tee by Tommy John. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Saturday night gave me the opportunity to catch another great MSU win with my family at Point Ybel Brewing Company, and  I also had the chance to catch with my grandparents (who just moved down the street from my parents’ house, as it were).  And Sunday proved the perfect day to cap off the trip — after relaxing by the pool with some of the casual gear you see above, my dad and I swung by Bennett’s Fresh Roast again (it’s a must-visit!). In the spirit of moving quickly, we also made some time to stop by the World of Beer and meet another college pal (hey there, Matt Sheehan) to catch the start of the Big Ten Championship Game for our MSU Spartans. If ever you find yourself near a World of Beer location, stop in — the beer selection is extensive and the food was perfect for the occasion. Again, Go Green!

No matter how brief trips to this area of Florida can be, they always seem to get better — it’s relaxing, the weather is absurdly beautiful and it seems like there are more and more great friends and great times to be found everywhere. With so many Spartans around and with some new favorite spots in our rotation to visit, I’m definitely looking forward to coming back. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop me a line on Twitter! For now, it’s back to work in NYC. Look for more great content on The Style Guide later this week — we’ve got your St. Patrick’s Day style suggestion covered, along with stylish gear to wear for the NCAA Tournament. It’ll be fun!

Until tomorrow — stay stylish,

-Beau

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Style Pick of the Week: Goorin Brothers Wool Flatcap

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

A flatcap -- best worn when the weather's cold. Elbow-patch cardigan by JACHS NY. Chambray shirt by GAP. Wool flatcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Glasses by Warby Parker.

A flatcap — best worn when the weather’s cold. Elbow-patch cardigan by JACHS NY. Chambray shirt by GAP. Wool flatcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Glasses by Warby Parker.

If you’re joining us today on The Style Guide, then you understand the value of a well-composed ensemble — and even moreso of a great accessory. Whether it’s a sharp leather dress watch or a nice pair of American-made socks, those little touches can go a long way in making an outfit. And that’s certainly the case with a nice hat. As we’ve talked about before on this blog, hats can definitely be divisive. Make the wrong pick and you might look a little more junior than you’d want. But make the right pick — and here you have it. So even though some aren’t partial to hats, its value as a finishing touch is still pretty solid. And that’s the case with this week’s Style Pick, from our friends at Goorin Brothers. The cold weather that whipped its way across the East coast did a pretty good number on all of us — and much of the rest of the country — so it’s high time to fix your hat conundrum and go for something that packs in seasonally appropriate texture and a dash of vintage style. That, my fellow #menswear fans, is where the Sammy Flat Cap comes into play.

A look at the inside of this wool flatcap --- made in America with a black suede underbill.

A look at the inside of this wool flatcap — made in America with a black suede underbill.

Goorin Brothers certainly knows what it’s doing in terms of crafting nice hats to suit every occasion, from standard knit hats to a dapper selection of top hats and bowlers for the adventurous among us. But there’s something a bit more level-headed, workman-like and versatile about a nice flatcap, especially one constructed from high-quality Woolrich wool, like this one. Heck, the newsboy cap style is one that’s long been associated with rough-and-tumble workers — and the lead singer of everyone’s favorite rock band — so you know it can stand up to new style combos you throw at it. The charcoal color of this flatcap is spot-on for wearing with a navy peacoat or even a charcoal topcoat (like this number here), and it even works when worn a bit more dressed-down — say, with a navy crewneck and tan corduroys. So it’s a piece that can at once finish off an outfit for some outdoor exploring, or add a bit of visual interest if you decide to rock it on a coffee date or, more likely, out drinking down by the docks (I kid, I kid).  Note that if you fancy trying one on in-person, Goorin Brothers has shops spread across the country, where they can easily fit you to your liking. And should you not find the one you want in your size, they’ve got a plethora of flatcap options. Plus, here’s the real kicker — they’re one of the few brands making hats like this in America, and this number right here is going for under $100. I’m not saying you should pick one up right now …. but I am saying your commute will be a whole lot more enjoyable wearing one.

Would you pick up a wool flatcap? Or are you in the no-hats camp?

East Coast style: A weekend away in Washington, D.C.

Editor’s note: For more travel style features, punch your ticket here.

Hitting the road again. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Hitting the road again. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

This past weekend, I found myself on the road yet again, hopping on a quick train from NYC to another bustling East Coast metropolis, Washington, D.C. to reconnect with some high school friends. And along the way, I realized there might not be a better way to travel the coast than by train — the scenery was beautiful, especially seeing fall colors change as the sun set. And the weekend in D.C. was a fun, if fast-paced, trip that also gave me the long-awaited chance to break out some of my favorite fall style items. It was also neat to be able to explore more of a city I had previously only known for its monuments — I can safely say the nightlife scene is excellent, and stretches of the city (particularly the Georgetown area) offer superb #menswear shopping.

Exploring DC and walking along the Potomac River. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Broothers. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Exploring DC and walking along the Potomac River. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Broothers. Glasses by Warby Parker.

To travel down to D.C. on Friday evening, I kept things simple and casual, pairing my trusty Mott & Bow denim  with perhaps my new favorite pair of shoes, my Chocolate Suede Scout Boots from Thursday Boots (as seen in this Thanksgiving Style Suggestion last week). The boots are the perfect epitome of high-low footwear — they appropriately dressed up the navy crewneck sweater and Russel Baseball Jacket (via Grayers) I wore to travel, and their sleek shape, comfortable fit and high-quality suede made for a nice finishing touch to a new burgundy henley I received from the great folks at Pistol Lake. That piece in particular is a perfect fall color, and it’s crafted from soft-yet-sturdy jersey cotton for some nice comfort (although it is a bit more expensive than a typical henley). As you travel, I would definitely recommend investing in some similarly stylish travel gear, namely layers that you can take off and add with ease (like the crewneck sweater and baseball jacket), and solid shoes able to be worn from dinner to the bar and back around town.

Hitting the road in style again. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Hitting the road in style again. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Accessories that are a step up from the norm (i.e. a vintage ballcap versus an athletic logo ballcap) can definitely complement travel style, too — the Goorin Brothers cap pictured above is one of my favorites for that reason. And for the cold weather, I would recommend ponying up a bit more for a nice pair of go-anywhere leather gloves, as I did with my Buffalo Bobber Gloves from Iron & Resin. They were comfortable to throw on and should definitely break in beautifully over time — the leather is just that nice! Some well-crafted socks in a toned-down yet stylish Fair Isle pattern (as seen later in this post) from American Trench capped things off and paired well with my suede boots. And it was crucial to have comfortable accessories to get around town.

After my quick train ride, our Friday night took us to Kelly’s Irish Times, a revered D.C. bar that took home prestigious honors as Esquire Magazine’s top bar in the District last year. The beer was tasty (as always), and I would recommend you grab the tater tots if you get the chance to stop by. A Metro ride — an easier experience compared to getting around NYC on the subway system — took us back to my friend’s brother’s apartment and an early night in preparation for a marathon day of watching football (GO GREEN!)and exploring D.C.

Stopping for a second near the Capitol Building. Quilted shirt-jacket by Addict. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

Stopping for a second near the Capitol Building. Quilted shirt-jacket by Addict. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

To get around the city, I threw on another new favorite pair of shoes, my Reef Outhaul Lux sneakers.I’m normally not a fan of much black footwear, particularly sneakers, but I’ve found myself drawn more and more to black sneakers and boots as of late (perhaps NYC is rubbing off on me?). These sneakers in particular were comfortable and easy-wearing for lots of walking; there’s a substantial amount of traction on the sole, and the full-grain black leather upper gives them a nice, premium touch. Comfortable sneakers are definitely another must on any trip (read up on some the sneakers you should own now, while we’re at it). Good footwear was definitely crucial as we explored the area near the Capitol and posted up at the Capitol Lounge, a Michigan State-centric bar that proved the perfect atmosphere for another thrilling finish and Spartan victory (again, GO GREEN!)

Ben Sherman US

I was more than able to fight a bit of a chilly evening thanks to some nice brews at the Capitol Lounge (again, worth a stop in D.C. if only for the French fries) and of course, a quilted shirt-jacket via UK sportswear company Addict. I wrote on Saturday about the great layering potential a nice shirt-jacket or workshirt can provide, and this padded option worked as a jacket pretty seamlessly. Although I hadn’t heard of the brand before, I’m definitely happy with this piece, and it’s another lightweight yet insulating layer that can work effectively as you travel from, say, the airport to an afternoon exploring the city. A great pair of jeans is also an absolute must-have, and it doesn’t get much better than Mott & Bow, who’s nailed the fit of their denim for a pretty nice price — they were a terrific pick for lots of walking and also different style situations.

Refined chukka boots helped with high-low style throughout the trip. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim denim by Mott and Bow. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Fair Isle socks by American Trench. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Refined chukka boots helped with high-low style throughout the trip. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim denim by Mott and Bow. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Fair Isle socks by American Trench. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Dark denim is a fail-safe style option, and this pair also proved appropriate for some celebratory festivities at the massive Penn Social, an arcade-bar hybrid with fun games and a nice atmosphere. From there, we stopped through a classic college-type bar, Sign of the Whale, before calling it a night — celebrating Spartan wins can be exhausting! Luckily, we were still able to make it into D.C. for a relaxing afternoon walking along the Potomac River and admiring the lovely view from atop the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. All that activity was made more enjoyable despite the cold thanks to the layers I wore, namely that comfortable Pistol Lake henley and my Grayers baseball jacket. Again, the comfort and traction provided by my chukka boots was also key, as I covered a lot of ground exploring the Georgetown neighborhood and its standout menswear scene, from Billy Reid to COACH and Jack Wills.

Inside the much-hyped Billy Reid store in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

Inside the much-hyped Billy Reid store in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

If you do get the chance to go to that area of town, I’d definitely recommend you make a point to stop through Billy Reid — the shop is very well-curated, the product is beautiful and the staff is friendly and attentive (can you tell I’m a fan of the brand?). With that being said, all that activity made for a fun but tiring afternoon — and that capped off what was a quick yet extremely fun-filled weekend! It was neat to see more of the character of Washington, D.C. — particularly some of the quirky touches (bunches of Richard Nixon memorabilia at the Capitol Lounge, for one), that the city has to offer. While it’s different in pacing and the overall atmosphere from New York City, it’s a prime city to visit in the fall, and I’m certain there are more hidden gems I didn’t find yet! I’ll definitely be back. Until we hit the road again, thanks for reading.

Stay stylish,

-Beau
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Reader Giveaway Opportunity: Goorin Brothers

Rocking an unexpected style from a heritage hat brand. Read on to win a gift from Goorin Brothers! Unconstructed blazer by J. Crew. Heathered burgundy pocket tee by Steven Alan. Slim khaki chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukka boots by Timberland. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Rocking an unexpected style from a heritage hat brand. Read on to win a gift from Goorin Brothers! Unconstructed blazer by J. Crew. Heathered burgundy pocket tee by Steven Alan. Slim khaki chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukka boots by Timberland. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Editor’s note: Thanks to all who participated! And congrats to the giveaway winner, Ali N.! Stay stylish, folks.

There are some brands that do one thing so well, you can’t help but stop and take notice. Goorin Brothers, heritage hatmakers for more than a century, absolutely fit the bill. After seeing some of the brand’s shops around Brooklyn and Manhattan across the past six months or so — four shops in total — my interest was piqued. I connected with the brand’s lovely PR team and have since been fortunate enough to learn lots more about Goorin — and it’s no exaggeration to say it’s been all good things (read a full brand profile here). A nice hat is a style accessory that not all will be interested in, granted, but if you do decide to go that route, there’s no better place to look than Goorin. It’s a company that’s rooted in quality and family principles, and they make just about every hat style you can imagine, from felt fedoras to flatcaps and perhaps my personal favorite as seen above, a line of vintage ballcaps. But, it’s perhaps the more classic fedora or flatcap styles that pair best with all kinds of outfit combinations in the fall — from a rugged henley and bomber jacket to some sharp tailored wear. That’s the best mark of a great hat, as with any style item — versatility! And Goorin sure does craft them well, as they’re fit for any adventures you might find yourself on this season. I’m personally looking forward to breaking mine out as it gets colder in NYC, although they make several varieties fit for warmer weather. I just need to get my hands on one of the brand’s felt fedoras and I’ll be all set — I’d advise you do the same!

While I could go on about the brand, there’s a bigger upside to this post (assuming you’ve made it this far) — the chance to pick one up for yourself!

So, here are the goods — 1 lucky winner will receive one $150 gift card good for purchase at any Goorin Brothers shop (36 of ’em nationwide) or the brand’s Web site  — that should cover most hats on the site!

More crucially, that winner could be you! Here’s how to enter (and hopefully win):

  • Head to Instagram and be sure to follow both my Instagram account and the Goorin Brothers account
  • Like Wednesday’s Goorin Brothers-themed photo, and in the comments, tag a friend who you think could use a Goorin Brothers gift card — and by extension, a hat! Be sure to use the hashtag #StyleAdventures, too (and lastly, be sure to do so before 9 p.m. THURSDAY — we’ve extended it by one day!).
  • As per usual, the winner will be notified via Instagram Wednesday evening following the conclusion of the contest.

So those are the nuts and bolts of this giveaway — good luck!

Stay stylish,

-Beau

 

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:

Greats

Brand Profile: Goorin Brothers

More than 100 years and still going strong -- excellent heritage hatmaker Goorin Brothers.

More than 100 years and still going strong — excellent heritage hatmaker Goorin Brothers.

Editor’s note: For more brand profiles covering the world of men’s grooming, accessories and apparel, click here.

Like lots of things in the men’s style world, hats can actually be pretty divisive. I mean, it’s just a hat, right? Wrong. Ballcaps strike some as too casual or college-esque, while traditional hat styles – like bowlers or wide-brimmed fedoras – also draw ire. So some folks simply won’t get on board. It seems on the one hand though that throwing on a statement hat is something lots of menswear bloggers have turned to in the past few years as part of the burgeoning street style trend. That’s had a slow trickle-down effect into the rest of the population, to the benefit of heritage brands who’ve produced traditional styles for decades. Heck, just look at any postgame sports press conference and you’re likely to find a hat or two – whether well-done or not.

More than a century's worth of experience in the biz -- Alfred and Ted Goorin took over the business from father Cassel, hence the name you see today. Photo courtesy of Goorin Brothers.

More than a century’s worth of experience in the biz — Alfred and Ted Goorin took over the business from father Cassel, hence the name you see today. Photo courtesy of Goorin Brothers.

For those looking to get into the hat game without too much pretention or fanfare, Goorin Brothers is an excellent option. They’ve harnessed their collective years of experience into producing of-the-moment hats that still nod to traditional styles and construction methods, much like their significantly younger and more casual contemporaries at Ebbets Field Flannels, among others. And they’ve done so in a way that’s rooted in quality and attention to detail. When you do one thing so well, that’s likely to draw attention – in a good way.  The business has been passed down through the family for more than a century, something that it seems happens less and less these days (to put it mildly). The styles and shapes have expanded across the years, but that same attention to quality remains — with a modern update. The brand is bringing back the idea of the neighborhood hat shop, too — they’ve got 36 shops across the country and counting (including four in NYC alone).

An crisp-casual way to wear a vintage ball cap. Unconstructed blazer by J. Crew. Heathered burgundy pocket tee by Steven Alan. Slim khaki chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukka boots by Timberland. Glasses by Warby Parker.

An crisp-casual way to wear a vintage ball cap. Unconstructed blazer by J. Crew. Heathered burgundy pocket tee by Steven Alan. Slim khaki chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukka boots by Timberland. Glasses by Warby Parker. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington.

The brand’s expertise extends across nearly every style imaginable, from ball caps and flatcaps to those aforementioned bowlers and tophats. I had the chance to work with the brand to test-drive one of its vintage ballcaps — the No. 42 ball cap seen here — during a trip to Michigan in late July, followed by a jetsetting trek to Greece thereafter. If you’re going to give a ball cap another try, this is the sort of hat you should reach for. Unlike sports or performance logo-heavy ball caps, which look too sporty to wear with even crisp-casual apparel (like slim khaki shorts and a polo), a Goorin Brothers cap fits right in just fine. (Of course, if you’re an avid golfer or sports nut going to a game, might still be best to reach for one of those). But this vintage-style cap in particular is one you can test-drive with sporty-casual outfits or with a short-sleeve shirt and chinos.

A standout hat style with vintage details makes for a crisp complement to all kinds of outfits.

The No. 42 ball cap from Goorin Brothers. –a standout hat style with vintage details makes for a crisp complement to all kinds of outfits.

The lack of notable branding or logo placement on Goorin’s hats in general is a huge plus – the brand’s ball caps in particular have an old-school appeal that’s difficult to find in your average sporting goods store. That makes them look cool and complementary, rather than detracting from a polished look (i.e. the blazer-T-shirt-chinos ensemble seen in these photos). For those seeking a more standout cap, Goorin’s other retro hats, inspired by old military-branded hats, offer an alternative. Those might look more fitting at a fun barbeque or tailgate this fall.

A crisp hat like the one seen here from the brand is easily wearable in sportier situations, too. Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Pocket tee by American Apparel. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. Sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering.

A crisp hat like the one seen here from the brand is easily wearable in sportier situations, too. Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Pocket tee by American Apparel. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. Sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Partial photobomb by a fellow tourist in Greece.

And particularly when it gets chilly, an eyecatching hat in a cold-weather fabric certainly has its appeal, as does a warm-weather Panama hat. On that note, Dan from Articles of Style nails these sorts of looks. Now, a cold-weather hat does lack that crucial ear coverage in a snowstorm, to be sure. But, the combination of an old-school hat plus some tailored wear does look pretty darn sharp. Decades past certainly nailed that style, but it’s one that’s largely fallen out of favor or has been done mostly “wrong” in recent years (sorry, Johnny Depp). Now though, it’s poised to make a nice resurgence thanks to the lack of ostentation or “look-at-me” flair from Goorin Brothers – these are hats that are well-made and mesh with a variety of looks.

The lack of ostentatious details makes it easy to pair a vintage ball cap with classic Aviator shades -- like these ones from Randolph Engineering.

The lack of ostentatious details makes it easy to pair a vintage ball cap with classic Aviator shades — like these ones from Randolph Engineering.

Goorin’s pricing meets the needs of those looking to dip their toes into the world of hats, as well. Ball caps come in at under $40, namely. The brand’s “dressier” or more traditional hats do range in from price from about $70 to $200 though — making this the sort of splurge purchase that you’d have to wear a lot to justify. However, I’ve found my ballcap to be comfortable, breathable and wearable in the heat from Michigan to NYC to Greece – and it should work just as well in the fall and winter months.
Florsheim
Ultimately, a hat of any sort is going to be the type of accessory that might break an outfit – but it can also make an outfit if worn in the right setting, at the right time and with the right accessories. Again, this is all subjective though – so if the hat fits (and you like it)… wear it!

Are you on-board the ballcap bandwagon? Do you own or have you considered any of the aforementioned hat styles?
Greats