The Friday Read: Jack Black Grooming, Sustainable Sneakers & The American Trench Sale

GREATS Royale Eco Canvas

The most sustainable sneakers for your weekend and the season ahead? It sure seems like it.

Let’s step right on into the weekend with some of the most sustainable sneakers on the market, shall we? The pair you see above are perfectly ready for one of the last true weekends of summer: We’re talking, of course, about the GREATS Royale Eco Canvas, a recent addition to the Brooklyn-based sneaker brand‘s line of classic, subtly minimal sneakers for guys.  I’ve been a big fan of GREATS for years, and to power your weekend, I’d surely recommend you snap up some of, well, the best sneakers for men (and they also make women’s sneakers, naturally). Recycled cotton canvas uppers and a custom lining highlighting the brand’s commitment to sustainability set these stylish sneakers apart, too. Seriously, how about that to start your weekend?

Everlane.com Low Cost. High Quality. Classic wardrobe essentials for less!

My own weekend is off to a pretty swimming start, if I do say so myself — literally, in fact. Since early last week, I’ve been with my parents and sister in quiet, laidback Fort Myers, Florida. Quiet and laidback given the ongoing pandemic, and also quiet and laidback given the remote beaches we’ve been able to safely visit. We’ve also managed to pick up to-go craft beer from Point Ybel Brewing, a personal favorite of any trip. All along the way, I’ve managed to get some quality time with family while working on the blog (there’s a new Style Pick  of the Week coming up tomorrow!), plus my ongoing writing work at Maxim.com and GearMoose.

Freemans Sporting Club

To start your weekend right, I’ve assembled the below men’s style deals and picks. What’s more, I know exactly how to soundtrack your weekendthe just-released, propulsive, emotional, joyous “Imploding The Mirage” by Las Vegas rock legends The Killers. How’s that for a weekend kick-off, ehh?? I’ll have it on rotation for days to come. Back to a bit of menswear, though — check it all out below.

Everlane Sweatpants

The coolest new sweatpants to wear from summer into fall.

  • For these casual days at home and beyond, I’m going to point you toward a brand I’ve long admired: San Francisco-based Everlane, a subject on the blog here dating back to 2015. Here in the present, they’ve just launched the excellent-looking, affordably priced Everlane French Terry Sweatpants, part of the made-to-be-mixed-and-matched Everlane Uniform Collection. Think daily style staples that look great and are made with radical transparency in mind. The best men’s sweatpants to wear at home? You decide. 
20th Anniversary

20 years of the best men’s grooming gear from Jack Black, done up in a limited-edition capsule collection.

American Trench Summer Sale

Plenty of stylish menswear and gear here for the taking here from American Trench.

Paige Men

OK, so we’re almost wrapped up here today. But again, before I let you loose on the weekend, I’ve got one last suggested bit of shopping and reading. If it’s a rugged base layer or a stylish T-shirt to wear all on its own that you seek, you’re going to want to check out my post on the best pocket T-shirt for men (from NYC’s Freemans Sporting Club, of course). Enjoy, gear up, get out there — and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter, The Style Guide In Brief (a new edition drops tomorrow!). Alright, it’s time for me to get some more coffee. Cheers to the weekend!

 

Style Pick of the Week: GREATS Royale Knit Sneakers

Sleek, stylish and highly affordable sneakers shown here.

Despite being cooped up inside more than usual these past few weeks, perhaps your mind has inevitably started drifting toward what you’d  be doing if you weren’t self-isolating or working from home through this ongoing pandemic. It’s a scary situation, to  be sure, and it might seem frivolous to talk about the best men’s sneakers, but I assure you … there might not actually be a better time to kick back, relax and read all about the new sneakers you need now. That’s assuredly the case whether you’re spending time in your backyard, taking a solitary stroll or looking to step into something other than slippers as you dress to work from home. So, here we are: The GREATS Royale Knit Sneakers could quite possibly be the perfect casual sneakers for spring, and I’m going to tell you exactly why in just a matter of moments. *Moments pass* OK folks, we’re back. If you read the blog regularly(dating back to its early days, certainly!), you know that Brooklyn-based GREATS has done things a little differently since launching back in the early 2010s. That little something different? Premium materials, effortlessly cool silhouettes (like the GREATS Royale Knit!) and quality construction that won’t break the bank — far from it, in fact.
Shop Mott & Bow Today!

SHOP: The GREATS Royale Knit

GREATS does things the right way — even the little things.

But in all seriousness, what sets the GREATS Royale Knit apart from the pack, truly? Is it the sleek and easy-to-wear silhouette — one that you can almost certainly pair with slim light wash denim or your favorite chinos in equal measure? Is it the use of a lightweight knit upper — one crafted from recycled ocean and single-use plastics? Or is it the fact that these stylish sneakers provide so much bang for your buck? Perhaps it’s a combination of all three of those key qualities, and then a little bit extra GREATS magic thrown in. As we mentioned, this is one pair of affordable spring sneakers — just $118 at GREATS, in fact. Incredibly, they’re machine-washable and able to air-dry — that means you can wear them absolutely all day long without worrying about what you’re getting into; it’ll all wash off at the end of the day. When’s the last time you had a pair of stylish spring sneakers that could do that? We’d wager it’s been quite some time. So, there’s no more time to waste right now — you need to upgrade your sneaker rotation immediately, and you need to do it with the GREATS Royale Knit. Let me know what think of these on Twitter.

SHOP: The GREATS Royale Knit

 

Elevated Basics. Grounded Price.

 

Online Shopping Picks: Upgrade Your Footwear with the Best Leather Sneakers to Buy Now

There are sneakers and then there are sneakers. The kind of stylish men’s sneakers that make you pause, perhaps do a double-take and then pull out your credit card. That’s what we’re talking about today on The Style Guide. We’re taking it up a notch from past Online Shopping Picks entries and getting a little bit more specific, too. Now, we talked earlier this year about the best men’s sneakers to buy for spring and summer, and today builds off that focus in a whole new way.

Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers

This pair right here … well, the Rambler Hi from Todd Snyder and P.F. Flyers could become a favorite. Read on to learn more.

Yes indeed, the right pair of leather sneakers offers something a little extra when compared to a pair of standard canvas sneakers, which are decidedly more casual. Equal parts durable and rugged, stylish leather sneakers can team with everything from light wash denim and a pocket tee during the last few weeks of summer to your favorite henley and a classic cardigan come fall. What’s more, I think you’ll find that the below picks hit the sweet spot in terms of style that can transition from August into September, October and heck … November. That’s particularly the case if we’re talking stylish leather high-top sneakers. So, shop on for your new favorite pair of leather sneakers, and feel free to follow me on Twitter for #menswear musings aplenty.

#1. Rancourt Carson Low in Natural Chromexcel — $300

Rancourt 7 Co.

A beautiful pair of leather sneakers that’ll only get better with age.

Let’s get this straight right off the bat — the kind of leather sneakers you’re looking for definitely bring a little something extra to the table. That something extra, that “Wow” factor … the handsome, stylish and investment-level Carson Low from Rancourt & Co. certainly has that extra something. Featuring made-in-Maine craftsmanship and beautiful Horween leather, the Carson Low is an absurdly beautiful pair of sneakers, practically begging to be worn right now with a slim white polo shirt and then worn later on this fall with a Todd Snyder crewneck sweater.

#2. GREATS The Royale in Blanco — $169

Before we get too carried away with brown Horween leather sneakers, let’s get back to the basics — and by the basics, I mean perhaps the most affordable pair of premium white leather sneakers on the market.  GREATS continues to make waves in the men’s sneaker market for mixing excellent quality with simple silhouettes — and the Royale in Blanco is certainly a silhouette that’s lifted the brand to new heights. Buy these classic leather sneakers now to wear with slim tan chinos and a navy polo, keep ’em handy to wear with a denim jacket and a rugged henley when you feel an early fall breeze.


#3.  GREATS Royale Vintage in Nero — $179

Let’s go with another pair of stylish GREATS sneakers, this time with some subtle updates to the brand’s tried-and-true Royale silhouette. The Royale Vintage updates that same silhouette with detailing like a back heel tab crafted from nubuck — and the cream Margom sole is a nice deparature from the Royale in Blanco, too. In short, the Royale Vintage is just different enough to justify the slightly higher price tag — and that means you should give it a shot alongside dark denim and a grey Oxford the next time you need to dress to work remotely.


#4. Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi Sneaker in Saddle Leather OR White Leather — $160 ($110 When Signing Up for Bespoke Post)

Ahh, yes. The lauded Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi — a past entry in our Style Pick of the Week series, and just as worthy of inclusion in today’s list of prime #menswear picks. The essential Rambler Hi might be the perfect leather high-top sneaker. It blends a durable, classic construction with two quality options — either the Saddle Leather Rambler or the White Leather Rambler are solid picks. Plus, you get the sort of style that really can carry over seamlessly into the fall; wear these on a weekend coffee date or a stroll through your favorite park.

#5.  GREATS Royale in Perforated Sand — $179

One more pair of essential GREATS sneakers for your shopping list, ehh? It’s a treat to see how GREATS takes a silhouette like the Royale and continues to update it. In this case, the Royale in Perforated Sand blends a transitional color with perforated leather detailing — a touch that means these are fit to wear into October and November as the leaves start to fall. Pair them up with your favorite pair of dark blue denim and a classic chambray shirt — oh, and sidle up to the bar and get us another round, will ya?

#6.  Nisolo Diego Low — $129

A handsomely crafted pair of sneakers made with top-notch attention to detail.

For those of us who like a sneaker that’s got the quality and craftsmanship of a pair of essential leather boots, there’s the Nisolo Diego Low. Made with the same attention to detail as the brand’s handsome leather loafers and Oxfords, the Diego Low has a rugged-yet-sporty vibe that’s tough to come by these days — the Vibram sole and vegetable-tanned leather on the Diego Low are but two quality components of these kicks. They’re perfect for teaming with a rugged field jacket and slim black denim this fall — trust me on that.

Honorable Mention: JAK Royal in Taupe — $102.98

JAK sneakers

A clean and simple set of kicks for wearing with versatile high-low style combos.

You didn’t think we’d leave out a pair of sneakers that run just over $100, did you? The JAK Royal in Taupe is a recent addition to the Huckberry offering of stylish men’s sneakers. What’s more, it’s an absolutely great set of kicks for a great price. Handcrafted in Portugal, the  JAK Royal in Taupe blends comfortable Vibram construction with flat wax cotton laces — these are certainly sneakers to wear with a blazer or an upgraded T-shirt this summer and into fall.

Well, we’re really just scratching the surface when it comes to stylish leather sneakers that you can wear now and into the fall. Consider this list a good starting point — the right pair of leathr sneakers should blend quality, craftmanship and serious style. I personally think the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Rambler Hi is a heck of a pair of sneakers to wear now with rolled denim, and wear later with a thick cardigan.

If you’re more of a low-top sneakers guy, then the JAK Royal in Taupe could be the right pick for you — or maybe even the Carson Low from Rancourt & Co., a pair that’s as handsome and rugged as anything you’ll find on the market. We’d be remiss not to mention the work being done by GREATS , too. Notably, the Royale in Perforated Sand and the uniquely detailed Royale Vintage are winners in my book for their blend of crisp details and versatile style. What’s your favorite pair from this list? Drop a note in the comments — oh, and get back to shopping!

Thanks so much for reading,

-Beau

The Friday Read: Black Friday 2016 Shopping Edition

Ahh, so it’s here again — Black Friday. If you still haven’t recovered from a healthy dose of turkey and football, we’re here to help you at The Style Guide. It’s a bountiful time for shopping — namely, right here from your laptop. And as great as the weekend is, it’s also important to take some time to kick back, enjoy the holiday with loved ones. But make no mistake, there are deals to be had wherever you look. With plenty of retailers opening their doors and starting online sales well in advance of Black Friday, some of the below deals have been going on for a while. But fear not, you’ve got plenty of time to catch up on all of your #menswear shopping needs. Yes, make no mistake, there are some excellent sales out there — with a slew of promotions from Huckberry, Shinola, JackThreads and plenty more favorites, it’s the ideal time to knock a few items off your style wish list. Without further ado — bring on the Black Friday deals!

Huckberry: The lauded online retailer is offering tons of deals through Sunday, namely featuring the following brands:

Sword & Plough: The men’s and women’s accessories company — as featured in this stylish fall travel ensemble — is running a Thanksgiving week sale giving you 20 percent off all the way through Tuesday! They support veterans every step of the production process, so the brand is certainly worth a look.

Mott & Bow: Everyone’s favorite denim brand has a nice Black Friday deal going on today. Use the code ‘BLACKFRIDAY’ to get 10 percent off orders of $150 or more, 20 percent off $250 or more, or 30 percent off $350 or more of Mott & Bow gear.

Johnston & Murphy: The heritage footwear maker is offering select shoes and boots for up to 30 percent off.

JackThreads: Another Style Guide favorite has been running a Price Drop & Lock Guarantee  for the past few weeks, meaning low prices. well, drop and stay there; oh, and they’re giving everyone 25-30 percent off site-wide for Black Friday! And on Cyber Monday, they’re offering 30 percent off site-wide, all day.

FOURLAPS: The neat athletic brand upstart is providing some nice deals on stylish workout gear — you can snag the Dash Tank, Bolt Short and Smash Tee $30 through Monday, November 28th. And once Cyber Monday hits,  you can shop the Silver Charge Tee for $20

CHASE54: The performance and style-focused golf brand is serving up a nice deal through Cyber Monday —take 30 percent off any two-piece bundle and 40 percent off any three-piece bundle.

Batch Men’s: Batch is serving up a rare sale deal — makers of rugged-refined staples like the Tactician Utility Shirt, they’re offering 40 percent off a wide selection of shirts; get the deal using the code ‘THANKS’!

johnnie-O: The preppy, sport-inspired clothiers are offering a nice Black Friday deal — use the code ‘Tweener’ to buy one button-down, get another button-down free.

 

GREATS: In addition to launching two new sneakers (the third iteration of its Beast Mode collab with retired NFL star Marshawn Lynch, plus a special “Black Friday” edition of its low-cut Royale sneaker), the Style Guide favorite and is giving y’all 20 percent off and free shipping sitewide for Black Friday. That goes along with a series of tiered deals on Cyber Monday: namely, you’re looking at 20 percent off and free shipping sitewide from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m., then 25 percent off and free shipping from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., capped off by 25 percent off and free shipping on all shoes under $100 from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. Hop to it!

Old Navy: The noted casual retailer — who seems to churn out better and better men’s apparel by the season — is offering 50 percent off through Black Friday. That’s a heck of a deal, y’all.

Shinola: The brand is launching its Special Edition All Black Collection, an assortment of signature all-black Shinola products, debuting today.  It includes the brand-new Shinola Runwell Wall Clock and Shinola Power Supply Cords made in partnership with General Electric, plus an all-black Shinola Runwell Turntable, a 47mm Runwell watch with a PVD black sandblasted case and black dial, a one-of-a-kind black tandem bicycle and the Shinola + Benchmade Titanium 765 Pocket Knife. That’s a heck of a lot of gear! Read more about Shinola on Effortless Gent.

Sunday Somewhere: The eclectic sunglasses brand with an international following is giving you stylish guys up to 50% off storewide through Monday, excluding regular eyeglasses & accessories. No discount code needed!

Links of London: Need a special gift for that special someone? Refined British jewelry makers Links of London are offering 25 percent off for Black Friday, both in stores and online, until the 27th, with that same deal running online only through Cyber Monday. And if you spend $495, you’ll receive the brand’s Limited Edition Timeless Diamond Bracelet, a promo that runs in-store from the 28th, and online from the 29th, until December 11th.

Baxter of CaliforniaThese fine purveyors of high-quality men’s grooming products are offering 25 percent off the entire site now through November 28th.

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes: Until the 27th, you can get  20 percent off sitewide, plus free shipping, with the promo code DRS20FS. Then, on Cyber Monday, you can take 25 percent off sitewide, with free shipping also included, using the code DRSCYBER.

Reef: The surfwear and basics brand is serving up free 2-Day Shipping on all orders until the 28th using the code REE2DAY.

Richer Poorer: The standout basics brand is offering 40 percent off sitewide for Black Friday.

Steven Alan Optical: Until November 29th (that’s next Tuesday), you can receive 25 percent off all Steven Alan Optical eyeglasses and sunglasses with code BFWKNDSALE16.

Well, folks — that’s just a selection of some of the best #menswear deals out there on the market. From places where you can knock out all your shopping at once — like Huckberry — to e-tailers like JackThreads and Shinola who serve up stylish outerwear and accessories, this weekend is one of the best of the year (if not the best). And if you’re a fan of shopping and scoring deals? You’d do well to hop to some shopping. Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving weekend — and we’ll be back tomorrow as scheduled with our Style Pick of the Week.

Stay stylish, my friends!

-Beau
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Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s High-Top Sneakers for Fall

Editor’s note: Click this link for more essential menswear shopping picks.
Seasonal style transitions can be awfully fun, right? There’s something exciting (at least for your Style Guide author) about stowing away certain #menswear pieces — like lightweight summer shorts or a short-sleeve chambray shirt — for more durable, rugged and hard-wearing items. However, there are still four-season pieces that you can make work in chiller temps — like the ever-crucial, ever-stylish, ever-so-retro high-top sneaker. Just like with a tough pair of chukka boots, the higher cut of a … high-top sneaker (get it?) lends itself to a look and feel that fits right in with fall. The right pair of high-top sneakers can be worn just as you would wear fall boots — so, think selvedge denim and henleys galore (plus, a classic crewneck sweater wouldn’t go amiss). It can be fun to keep high-tops in your footwear rotation before switching over to hard-wearing winter boots, too. And if you live in a warmer climate? High-top sneakers are still something you should have you in your rotation. Are you with me on that? I sure hope so, because what follows is — dare I say it — a rundown of the best high-top sneakers for fall. Chime in with more suggestions on Facebook, and get high-top sneaker styling tips from time to time on Instagram.
A much-needed way to ease the transition from summer to fall -- a great-looking chukka sneaker.

A much-needed way to ease the transition from summer to fall — a great-looking chukka sneaker.

If you needed another reminder that fall is perhaps the best time for menswear fans, look no further than these sneakers. A comfortable gum rubber outsole blends seamlessly with durable duck canvas and a classic SeaVees chukka silhouette for an immensely wearable fall sneaker. It’s the ideal blend of business-casual and well, regular casual in a sneaker — pair ’em with a fall blazer and a merino long-sleeve tee for high-low office style, or rock them with a tough chore coat for weekend explorations. Plus, the price ain’t half-bad either.
A very durable, stylish take on the high-top from an excellent collaboration.

A very durable, stylish take on the high-top from an excellent collaboration.

Who better to take on the classic high-top sneaker than a designer who constantly supplies great takes on heritage menswear? The latest iteration in the Todd Snyder and P.F. Flyers collaboration is a heck of a sneaker to buy now, wear now and keep in your rotation as long as you can. Featuring P.F. Flyers’ trademark approach to comfort and a durable 14oz. military-spec canvas upper, they’re easily wearable with everything from grey chinos and a twill shirt to dark blue denim — add a blazer or denim jacket as you please.
A touch of sports-inspired style mixed with premium materials -- you can't beat that combo for the price.

A touch of sports-inspired style mixed with premium materials — you can’t beat that combo for the price.

Brooklyn’s own GREATS has long been a Style Guide favorite for their premium approach to footwear that’s equally inspired by sports and tailored style. The GREATS Royale Court blends a bit of both, with full-grain leather in a stylish Graphite color atop a Margom rubber outsole. The result is a durable sneaker in a surprisingly sleek silhouette –they’re fit for wearing with a classic blue Oxford and dark denim, or an elbow-patch cardigan and slim tan chinos through the chillier months. And you might not get a better price for the quality, either.
 
#4. SeaVees Maslon Desert Boots — $108 (Available via East Dane)
A unique color for fall, with plenty of wearability in other seasons, too.

A unique color for fall, with plenty of wearability in other seasons, too.

Just as with the SeaVees Huckberry Chukka, this brand is one that can do more than just classic warm-weather kicks like the SeaVees Legend Sneaker. In this instance, the Maslon Desert Boot merges the brand’s laidback California cool with classic fall styling potential thanks to the higher chukka cut. The rich Army Green suede plays nicely off the contrasting leather heel cap, resulting in a sneaker that could team with everything from slim dark denim to navy chinos.  When cared for properly, you’re also looking at sneakers that could be worn through spring and summer with breezy linen chinos. Again, if price is a factor, these sneakers are also a great steal in that regard.

#5. Tretorn Leather Nylite Hi 2 Sneakers — $100 (Available via East Dane)

Super-crisp black sneakers for all sorts of style situations.

Super-crisp black sneakers for all sorts of style situations.

Tretorn is another brand that might turn some heads when it comes to fall sneakers — after all, they’re perhaps most well-known for classic styles like the Tretorn Nylite Canvas. However, the Tretorn Nylite Hi 2 is every bit as ready for fall as any of the other picks on this list, with a  sleek black color and an even sleeker silhouette to boot. A terrycloth sock liner should add to the extreme comfort of these sneakers, which you could seamlessly team up with black denim and a chambray shirt to wear to your next rock concert — or to the office with garment-dyed chinos and a slim crewneck sweater.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

In the way of high-top sneakers, as long as you emphasize affordability, durability and style, you should be well-set for the season ahead. When paired up with similar cold-weather style staples — particularly items from your Fall Style Wish List — sneakers are every bit as versatile as your favorite pair of fall boots. And given that plenty of designers are emphasizing tough materials like canvas in their uppers, plus thick rubber outsoles, the right pair of high-top sneakers should last you through this season and into next spring … and summer … and fall. Whether you reach for a pair from a more established designer like Mr. Snyder, or a classic warm-weather brand like SeaVees, you should be set for any #menswear situation you can think of. Got questions or additions to this list? Drop a note in the comments, or catch up with yours truly via Twitter.
Until we meet again — stay stylish,
-Beau

The Friday Read: Athleisure, Common Projects Chelsea Boots and the 2016 Olympics

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 so much going on at the (small but well-appointed) Style Guide HQ, it’s becoming tough to keep track of the days. If it’s Friday, that must mean it’s almost time to hit the road again — this Sunday, I’m heading west to Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas, before a day back in New York … and then more travel to my home state of Michigan. But first, Liberty Fairs — it’s a twice-yearly contemporary men’s trade show, and it stopped in the Big Apple about a month ago during New York Fashion Week: Men’s.  It’s another chance for retail buyers, fashion editors and writers and industry pros to get a look at what top menswear brands are slinging for the Spring 2017 season. There’s certainly a lot of hustle and bustle associated with trade shows, but ultimately, they’re about exploring new brands, analyzing key industry trends, and forging strong relationships in the menswear industry — that much I know is true, as I’ve met some great people at large, sometimes overwhelming conferences (take my buddy Jamal of StyleSocietyGuy, for instance).

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

With that in mind, building those relationships is my primary objective, as I’m jetting out there on behalf of Timberland to meet with media and rep the brand as part of my day job. Of course, you can expect a full #menswear blog post coming at the completion of my trip (click through here for more travel style in the meantime).  While my mind’s been fully focused on prepping for the upcoming trip, the Olympics have also captured my attention — maybe yours, too? If you’ve got an Olympics viewing party on the docket this weekend, here’s what you should wear. Or perhaps you just want to check out more of those hilarious Michael Phelps face memes? Go for it. Before you go too far down that rabbit hole, stick around here and check out the week in all things men’s style — everything from stylish boxer briefs to athleisure is up for discussion. To keep up with my travels in real-time, head to Instagram or Twitter — and click through the pieces below to start your weekend in style.

  • Now more than ever, Esquire says you should grab yourself a stylish pair of Chelsea boots — and I tend to agree! In fact, The Style Guide took a look earlier this spring at the best men’s Chelsea boots to buy now.
  • While we’re talking about  Esquire, the publication also reviewed the best boxer briefs for men — if you know me, you know I love me some Mack Weldon boxer briefs, although those didn’t make the aforementioned list.
  • We talk a lot (I mean, a LOT) about style upgrades on this blog, and sandals are one area that’s often overlooked. If that’s a part of your wardrobe you want to look a little better, the footwear purveyors at GREATS have you covered (as always). The brand’s new Amalfi Slide is a luxurious, Italian-made leather slide available in crisp white (Blanco) or black (Nero), including two versions stamped with “BKNY,” a nod to the brand’s #BornInBrooklyn roots. As crazy as it might seem to advocate for leather sandals, designs like these popped up on the runways at Todd Snyder’s New York Fashion Week: Men’s show in July 2016. Crucially, the leather quality and subtle looks mean these might not look that bad at a particularly relaxed barbeque — I’ll let y’all be the judge of that.

Looking for more style content? Look no further.

  • What’s one shirt — not chambray — that you can wear across all four seasons? The essential Oxford shirt. So, here are the 10 best Oxford shirts for men, as rounded up by yours truly at GearMoose this week.
  • Lastly, the balance between looking good at the gym and looking sloppy can be pretty small — and if you want gear that’s versatile outside of slinging weights, it’s even trickier. That’s where athleisure comes into play; the style (or trend) mixes traditional tailored silhouettes with technical fabrics, and I wrote about 5 athleisure lines to know for The Manual.

Follow along with this weekend’s explorations on Instagram, and check back Saturday for another Style Pick of the Week entry.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

#OOTD: How to Wear A Chambray 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 will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

When the heat waves start to roll in, it can be a tricky time to try and dress well. There’s that ever-difficult balance between keeping your cool and looking cool that requires you mix things up a bit. In the case of today’s post, that means we’re talking how to wear a chambray blazer. It’s the lightweight alternative to the classic navy blazer, what with a rougher, more visually interesting texture and (usually) less internal construction. That means it looks more natural when paired with other casual menswear pieces, such as a simple T-shirt and twill pants. It’s a get-up that nods toward a trend (that would be the menswear world getting more and more casual by the day), yet you still look crisp and put-together. As you’ll see with the below #OOTD, it’s a look you could even pull off as you dress for summer travel.  So with that being said, get to reading below. For more #menswear inspiration, check out yours truly on Instagram, or swing on through Facebook for a daily briefing.
Ben Sherman

An effortless mix of casual and cool --  a chambray blazer plus a simple striped tee.

An effortless mix of casual and cool — a chambray blazer plus a simple striped tee.

 

The Blazer: JackThreads Chambray Blazer, $79: A chambray blazer for just $79? Believe it. Slim, stylish and well-made, from a brand that just gets things done.

The T-shirt: Bourbon and Blue Surfcomber Heathered Red Stripe Tee, $55: If you’re going to rock a tee under a blazer, it’s best to pick up one that’s comfortable, well-made and trim-fitting; warm weather stripes don’t hurt, either.

The Pants: Old Navy Ultimate Slim-Fit Khakis, $29: While the color of the chinos in that particular picture is lighter than the pair on Old Navy’s site, the principle remains the same — slim khakis fall in line with that trim blazer and tee, and can be easily rolled to show off those sneakers.

The Sneakers: GREATS Pronto in Cadet, $199: GREATS does, well, a great job at producing versatile, comfortable sneakers that are easy to wear with high-low style combos  like a blazer and tee (Italian manufacturing just does that).

The Socks: J. Crew Anchor No-show Socks, $10: Stylish no-show socks are an absolute summer must, and these add another subtle, nautical touch to the outfit while keeping your feet cool.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Double-striped Webbing Belt, $14.50: As much as it’s popped up in a few recent #OOTD posts (including this post on how to wear a short-sleeve shirt), it’s a highly versatile casual belt that adds some nice color to this ensemble.

The Watch: Timex Weekender Fairfield, $75: Timex watches are as solid as they get, and this particular timepiece is suitably refined enough to heighten that blazer-and-tee combo just a bit.

The Accessory: Cambridge Satchel Oxblood iPhone Case, $32: So not everyone still has an iPhone (just me?), but regardless of what phone you’ve got, it’d be a neat touch to finish off your everyday with a rich leather phone case.

Does that check all the boxes of dressing sharply in warm weather? Well, mostly. If you feel a tee is too casual, you could always swap in an essential chambray shirt or a classic blue Oxford. But the best part about pairing a tee with a chambray blazer is the combination of effortless style and comfort it gives you. It’s an on-the-go style move that meets the warm weather while looking cool and sharp. Plus, it works well when paired with a classic set of navy sneakers — a more comfortable answer to brown leather wingtips, for starters. And crisp accessories, like a lux leather phone case and a dependable watch, are going to be by your side (and on your wrist) for plenty of outfits in the future. Even starting gradually (swapping out denim for twill pants and upgrading to a lighter chambray blazer) can be a step in the right direction. Still unsure? Give it a try –it might become a go-to style combo.

Are you sold on the idea of pairing a blazer with a striped tee? What about sneakers? Let me know in the comments!

Frank & Oak

 

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

 

Online Shopping Picks: The 5 Best Spring Sneakers to Buy Now

Editor’s note: For a plethora of pertinent seasonal style picks, head this way.

Sharp white sneakers -- like the GREATS Brand Wilson -- make spring style all the easier. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Short-sleeve gingham shirt and shorts by Banana Republic. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Sharp white sneakers — like the GREATS Brand Wilson — make spring style all the easier (even with a sunburn). Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Short-sleeve gingham shirt and shorts by Banana Republic. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

We’ve been talking a lot here on The Style Guide about how to transition your style seamlessly between the seasons. That includes the essentials, like a stylish spring jacket or a lightweight spring sweater, and it goes on all the way down to footwear. Be it an especially sharp pair of Jack Erwin loafers (as in a recent Style Pick feature), or something more spring-friendly, don’t leave out that part of the equation. Now, we covered off on great men’s sneakers last spring, but there’s no time like the present to deliver an update on a pair of footwear that’ll be in heavy rotation for the next four or five months  (if we’re lucky). With that being said, let’s dive right into the below #menswear picks — if you see any brands missing, let me know on Facebook!

#1. The Hill-Side Pale Indigo Washed Denim Low-Top Sneakers, $175

The same fabric that goes into your favorite denim makes up these stunning sneakers.

The same fabric that goes into your favorite denim makes up these stunning sneakers.

The Hill-Side has earned its stripes since launching in 2009, what with a dedication to exceptional fabrics, neat takes on classic silhouettes and a stellar GAP Capsule collection as part of the GQ Best New Menswear Designer in America collection. It’s no surprise, then, that these pale indigo washed denim sneakers look extraordinary, crafted from 100 percent Japanese cotton in a heritage sneaker factory and assembled by hand. These are casual enough to rock with dark denim and a slim T-shirt, but they’d add a heck of a lot of cool to a slim khaki blazer and grey chinos.

#2. GREATS Royale Court in Graphite — $199

Back again, and ready for spring.

Back again, and ready for spring.

These sneakers first appeared on this blog way back in October, but lest we forget that spring can be a time of transition, they’re back. The excellent thing about picking up these sneakers now is that they add some visual interest — and a heck of a lot of sturdy high-top construction — to laidback, casual outfits (like lightwash jeans and a rugged short-sleeve henley, for example). Plus, you can safely rock them into fall and winter. Oh, and if you fancy yourself heading to a lot of summer music festivals and want a sturdy sneaker that’s still right for the occasion, the Royale Court would be an outstanding pick.


#3. SeaVees Army Issue Sneaker — $98

An sneaker with military roots, and the specs to prove it.

An sneaker with military roots, and the specs to prove it.

SeaVees is a brand that knows what it does well and sticks to it. In this case, that’s channeling a combination of West Coast vibes and classic East Coast styling — and the resulting SeaVees staple, the Army Issue Sneaker, is a nice result. Crisp white sneakers like these can be styled all kinds of ways, from rocking them with a lightweight sweater and chinos (as in this post) to pairing them with dark denim and an unconstructed navy blazer. For under $100, the full-grain leather, suede toe cap and cotton canvas lining can’t really be beat.

#4. Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Nubuck Rambler Low — $199

Just one of several ideal spring sneakers, built with quality and style in mind.

Just one of several ideal spring sneakers, built with quality and style in mind.

When this year’s version of the Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers collaboration launched in February, it was a welcome addition to one writer’s Style Wish List. And now that spring is creeping its way forward (for some of us), there’s no better time to hop on board with ’em. Todd Snyder’s taken the same classic, heritage-inspired styling principles that have made his own line a hit, and pumped them into a solid take on a versatile sneaker that would look excellent with slim lightwash jeans and a stylish spring polo.

#5. Rancourt & Co. Court Classic Low Sneakers — $260

A low-top in navy leather that changes the pace from regular white sneakers, with a ton of quality built in.

A low-top in navy leather that changes the pace from regular white sneakers, with a ton of quality built in.

By far the most expensive sneaker on this list (for good reason), Rancourt turned its attention last year to sneakers with the same attention to detail as its renowned boots. And that’s a very good thing for all of us #menswear fans. The Court Classic Low features a stunning full-grain navy leather upper that’s a nice change of pace from solid black or white sneakers, and it’s made in the USA — 100 percent! The Vibram sole should be exceedingly comfortable, meaning you can rock ’em with a slim chambray suit for high-low style, or a laidback tee and summer shorts.

It was quite tough to put together this list — after all, even brands that made the cut (like The Hill-Side or GREATS) deliver all sorts of exceptional sneakers for a variety of price points. If you’re looking for a super-simple style that certainly won’t break the bank, the GREATS Wilson is the way to go. Premium retailers like J. Crew also offer a heck of a lot of sneakers picks (as detailed in this site’s Sneaker Style Upgrade piece). And of course, it’s worth checking out Converse for its classic Jack Purcell Sneaker alone. With that being said, the awesome thing about today’s menswear world is that a great pair of sneakers can take you a ton of different places — spring, summer, and beyond. Not a bad deal to me!

What’s your take on the above picks? Are there certain brands you’d add? Let me know!

#OOTD: How to Style Casual Spring Basics

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.

Sometimes, you reach a point in your quest to build great style where it’s refreshing to turn back to the basics. After all, style doesn’t always have to be complicated or overly formal, as we’ve talked about in past #OOTD posts here on The Style Guide. Taking well-crafted, well-fitting and versatile pieces is a skill that’s underrated in a #menswear world where $10,000 suits are floated out in the digital style space on the regular. Now while there’s a time and a place for that, today’s #OOTD goes back to basics in a bit of an unexpected way — namely, lots of upgraded products with a premium feel. That approach will pay off no matter the season — and just keep in mind that great style is an evolving process. Know your fundamentals, know ’em well and don’t be afraid to stick to ’em. Shop on, and thanks for reading!

Pieces that you know and love, with some premium upgrades thrown in the mix.

Pieces that you know and love, with some premium upgrades thrown in the mix.

The Oxford: Taylor Stitch The Jack in White Everyday Oxford, $98: The backbone of many an outfit, including this one. Crafted exceptionally well in America, you’d be wise to grab this number while it’s still in stock. (A heads-up that you can also snag it at Spring now, and shipping is free).

The Sweater: JACHS NY Heather French Terry Crewneck, $79: So you’ve got your white Oxford, but what if it gets a bit cold out there? This crewneck sweater combines soft French terry fabric with a rich indigo wash. High-low style at its best.

The Jeans: Raleigh Denim Workshop Jones Original Selvage Raw Denim, $285: So, nearly $300 is a heck of a lot for a pair of denim (it’s still no $10,000 suit, though!). But this could be the first and last pair of selvedge denim you buy.
The Belt: Tanner Goods Classic Belt, $100: Again, this is quite the price for a belt. But it’s a classic piece that’ll age well over time, and look great with casual or formal outfits.
The Sneakers: GREATS Royale Chukka in Oxblood, $169: While oxblood as a color definitely leans more toward colder weather, the suede keeps things texturally in line with spring, and the chukka cut is versatile and stylish.
The Socks: American Trench Rugby Stripe Boot Socks, $18: In keeping with the theme of super-luxe upgrades to style staples, American Trench crafts these solid boot socks in an eye-catching color combo using Italian-spun wool and silk.
The Watch: Daniel Wellington Dapper Reading Watch, $299: Rocking such a crisp, sharp watch with a laidback outfit? Certainly. The black leather combo between the belt and the watch is unexpected (in a good way). Give it a try sometime.
If some of the above prices gave you sticker shock, know that reaching for less, but reaching for better pieces, certainly pays off down the line — and it can add a premium feel to more laidback outfits, too! It’s always refreshing to realize the difference between a great pair of denim, say, and an average pair, for example. So the above #OOTD aims to nail that delicate balance in style.  Do you agree? Disagree? Any picks you’d substitute in instead? Let me know via The Style Guide Facebook page!



#OOTD: High-Low Style with Black Denim

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.

So after you;ve nailed how to dress up dark blue denim, there comes a tendency to want to look elsewhere as far as styling goes. Sure, you can reliably rock slim blue denim five days of the week and into the weekend, but it’s also fun to take a stab at something a little more unique, something with some edge to it. That’s where slim black denim comes in. They can be styled much the same way as dark blue denim, yet the color and slim silhouette gives them a rocker edge (ideally, not in a Harry Styles-esque way, however). So taking pieces you already have in your wardrobe and changing them up to fit the season and weather is the best way to go about finding your inner rocker (or at least attempting to). Look for something that’s tailored but not too tight (like the pair you see below). Lastly, hit me up on Twitter if you have other suggestions for the #OOTD series — I’ll be listening!

Taking black denim and making it the centerpiece of a high-low style combo.

Taking black denim and making it the centerpiece of a high-low style combo.

The Denim: Levi’s 513 Slim-Straight Jeans in Nightshine, $69.50 — A classic pair from a classic brand in a reliable fit. The price could go even lower when on-sale.

The Henley: J. Crew Slim Broken-in Henley in Heather Chrome, $39.50 — Another tried-and-true classic from a brand that does the basics very well.

The Blazer: Frank & Oak Fairmont Deconstructed Blazer in Light Brown, $145 — A ridiculously soft, slim blazer with casual and formal style potential — use it to dress up this look in a unique way (don’t forget the pocket square — something classic oughta work well here).

The Scarf: J. Crew Factory Plaid Scarf, $15.99 In case it gets cold and you don’t feel like throwing on a slim topcoat, add a warm scarf to finish things off (don’t forget a merino watch cap, either).

The Sneakers: GREATS Brand Rosen in Oxblood, $49 — Just $49 for a comfortable, minimal sneaker in a rich color (click here to read a full GREATS Rosen review).

The Socks: The Tie Bar Navy Ombre Stripe Socks, $8 — Who knew The Tie Bar did socks? No word yet on the quality of these things, but the price can’t be beat, and the grey stripes play off the grey Henley.

The Belt: Perry Ellis Webbed Leather Trim Belt, $39 — Pricier than normal for a casual belt, but it’s a nice change of pace texturally from a fancier dress leather belt.

The Watch: Brathwait Slim Steel Wristwatch, $185 — A relatively recent addition to the E-commerce watch business; minimal looks and a pretty solid price. Does anyone have any experience with these guys?

So the above is but one way to style up black denim — it takes pieces you probably already have, like a slim henley, a wool blazer and reliable sneakers, and mashes them up for the winter time. If snow starts to pile up, swap out those sneakers for some tough winter boots and you’re all set. How would you style your black denim? Let me know in the comments below!

Florsheim