Ringing in the new year: 2017 Men’s Style Resolutions

Looking ahead to the new year in style. Suit by Alan David Custom. Shirt by Twillory. Tie and pocket square by Ties.com. Glasses by Frameri.

Looking ahead to another year in the concrete jungle — in style, of course. Suit by Alan David Custom. Shirt by Twillory. Tie and pocket square by Ties.com. Glasses by Frameri.

Here we sit, just two days into 2017 — are you ready to talk men’s style resolutions for this year, yet? I sure hope so, because it’s topic number one today on the blog.  Talking style resolutions definitely plays into a larger approach when it comes to ways to better yourself personally in the new year — be it picking up a new workout plan, saving more money or setting a resolution to get out and travel in style, there are lots of things to focus on in these early days of January. While I very likely can’t help you save money all that well — just look at my menswear wish list — we can work together to set some neat and achievable style resolutions. You dig? Good. So, I’d love to hear from y’all — what are your menswear resolutions this coming year? I set some rather lofty ones last year, including a goal to wear less blue and suit up more.

At the end of the year, I have to say … I flubbed those goals a tad.  Truth be told, I realized the color blue was an essential piece in my wardrobe, from layering up with a slim henley all the way through to wearing classic suiting with a denim shirt. So, I’m going to aim to work more color into more wardrobe, for one. And, partially thanks to my recent membership in the very cool Ties.com StyleGuruSociety, I’m going to aim to suit up more this coming year — once again, the bar is set high. And with my a lovely new, custom-made suit done beautifully by the team at Alan David Custom, it should be that much easier. Seriously, I can’t recommend the quality of their work enough — it’s classic, customized tailoring just as you prefer it. But, back to those resolutions. Whether your resolutions involve developing a classic menswear wardrobe filled with versatile staples or simply saving up to buy the coveted Bond Peacoat, I’m here to help. From this site’s ongoing #OOTD series to menswear style suggestions galore, we’ll keep the fun going all year long.

So, here are my 2017 style resolutions — What are yours?? Let’s here ’em in the comments or via The Style Guide Facebook page.

#1. Mix-and-match tailoring & patterns more.

A fine example of how to mix patterns in tailoring -- a pindot tie and two sizes of stripes.

A fine example of how to mix patterns in tailoring — a pindot tie and two sizes of stripes.

Pattern-mixing in the menswear world, particularly when it comes to refined tailoring. is a bit of a tricky art to master, but it’s a style skill that plenty of guys out there have honed. Exhibit A above comes to you as styled in the pages of Esquire — seriously, check out some standout shots of Michael Fassbender for a great example of how it’s done. It’s simple enough in practice — mixing, say, a large plaid poplin shirt with a smaller plaid wool tie, for example, or a striped tie with a patterned shirt. These are the sorts of combinations I’m aiming to try soon — follow along on Instagram to see how it works out.
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#2. Ditch those boots …. some of the time.

An argument to be made for ditching the boots? Perhaps. Cove Shirt by Life/After/Denim. Flat Black Selvedge by Todd Shelton. miUSA 585 Sneakers by Danner x New Balance. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

An argument to be made for ditching the boots? Perhaps. Cole Bomber Jacket by Beckett Simonon. Cove Shirt by Life/After/Denim. Flat Black Selvedge by Todd Shelton. miUSA 585 Sneakers by Danner x New Balance. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

If you follow along with The Style Guide on a regular basis — as you well should — you’ll see that your SG team (of one) frequently wears and posts about stylish leather boots. Be it a tough workboot like the Original Chippewa Service Boot or something a tad more refined like the Astorflex Chelsea Boot, there’s no question that a great pair can be a year-round workhorse if you style ’em the right way. However, as much as I love my suede chukka boots, and a plethora of other styles, I’m feeling the need to break out classic staples like white leather sneakers far more often — and maybe with combinations like a blazer and a slim blue chambray shirt, at that. Are you with me?

#3.  Switch those jeans for chinos … every so often.

Just counting down the days 'til I can start wearing jeans again -- I suppose?

Just counting down the days ’til I can start wearing jeans again — I suppose? Button Denim Jacket c/o Forever21Men. Bowie Fit Chinos by JACHS NY. Sweater by Dockers. Classic White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri.

My third and final major style resolution is something I took on last year — namely, wearing classic dark denim a bit less, and wearing versatile pieces like slim cotton chinos more. The slim cotton chino really is a four-season staple, and brands like Taylor Stitch know how to make them with the best brands around — so my affinity for the classic staple certainly provides a strong starting point. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly love the chinos I’ve got in my rotation, but I find myself reaching for inky blue denim more than, say, equally versatile olive chinos.  With that in mind, I’m looking to participate in the #NoJeansJanuary challenge from the fantastic team at Style Girlfriend — will you be joining me? And I’ll be making more of an effort to swap chinos into my #OOTD this winter, too.

Of course, the above items are but three resolutions I’ve got on my list — I’m also setting small workout goals, like knocking out sets of push-ups every day, and aiming to do other little things, like upgrade my apartment décor (if that’s a goal for you as well, check out what the folks at Friday & River have to say). What do you think of the above resolutions? Do they jive with any of yours? Let’s chat menswear on Twitter, and let’s kick off this year in style!

Good luck out there and stay stylish,

-Beau

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Fort Myers Festivities: Celebrating a Florida Christmas

Dressed for Christmas the Florida way. Printed shirt by Quiksilver. Chambray shorts by Canvas by Lands' End. Ripper Sneakers by Reef. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason. Glasses by Frameri.

Dressed for Christmas the Florida way. Printed shirt by Quiksilver. Chambray shorts by Canvas by Lands’ End. Ripper Sneakers by Reef. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason. Glasses by Frameri.

When the holiday season hits, I tend to think back to Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons spent in Michigan — who doesn’t love traditions of years gone by? With those memories in mind, it’s been a fun process the past three years to start new traditions in my parents’ adopted home of Fort Myers, and I always welcome the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City for a warm and sunny Florida vacation. I traveled to Fort Myers last Christmas, and I get back every few months — including a recent visit for Thanksgiving — but it never gets old spending time in the sand and sun (especially when the alternative is dealing with a polar vortex in New York City).  Yes, the holiday season in Florida is always a treat, an adventure and a bit of a sight to behold — palm trees wrapped in Christmas lights looks a bit different. But it was great to be with family and friends, and I brought along as much stylish travel gear as I could pack.

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Gear fit for Florida and NYC. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Kinzie Jeans by Mugsy Jeans. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Wallet by Brothers Leather.

Surviving a frigid day in New York City and capping that off with a flight to breezy Florida is no joke, so I wore gear that could stand up to both challenges (the rest, I packed in my trusty, durable Owen & Fred weekender bag — but you knew that, right?). Of course, my packing list looked a lot different than my winter weekend in Baltimore, but I stuck with the ever-versatile Taylor Stitch Jack in Indigo Star Shirt,for starters. It’s as reliable and well-fitting of a casual shirt you can buy, and it provided a nice bit of contrast to my light wash Kinzie Jeans — they’re the perfect travel denim from Mugsy Jeans.
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For the day in NYC, I layered up with the heritage-inspired, ultra-comfortable Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, and accented the sporty sweatshirt with my comfortable and casual Brooks Academia Chariot Sneakers. They proved easy to slip on and off at the airport, and I’d wager they’ll work just as well for you the next time you travel. On the accessories front, I found my simple, effective (and unfortunately sold out!) Timex for J. Crew watch provided easygoing-yet-crisp travel style. And throughout my trip, I loved throwing on my vintage-inspired Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, a one-of-a-kind grey cotton flannel baseball cap with a navy felt “H” — for Huckberry, of course. So, that gear helped me make it to Florida in style — and it’s a good thing, as we had lots in store for Christmas weekend.

Looking out on a lovely day at Cayo Costa. Brando T-Shirt by Barking Irons. Swim Trunks by JackThreads. Gratton Sneakers by Fronteer. Expedition watch by Timex. Explorer's Cap by Huckberry. Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches.

Looking out on a lovely day at Cayo Costa. Brando T-Shirt by Barking Irons. Swim Trunks by JackThreads. Gratton Sneakers by Fronteer. Expedition watch by Timex. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches.

Getting some quality time out and about on the Florida water was in order for an early Friday boat excursion through the waterways of Fort Myers, from Cayo Costa State Park to Cabbage Key — both scenic islands with ample beach space. I stuck with a combination of gear both new and old, starting with my durable-as-heck FRONTEER Super Gratton high-top sneakers. I wore them on my last Florida trip and found they provided comfort and serious durability. A breathable, vintage-inspired Barking Irons Brando G.I. T-Shirt, courtesy of the New York-based design and apparel company, helped me stay cool on the water. Inspired by infantry T-shirts from the Vietnam era, the little details — like the scalloped hem and raised sleeves — make it a great pick-up. Of course, my JackThreads Swim Trunks were just as needed for the day, with their trim fit and neutral navy color. And my crisp, classic Timex Expedition field watch  on a tough black NATO strap held up more than fine, as did my MVMT Watches Runaway Aviators and my stylish — yet adventure-ready — Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

With a day of exploration behind us and Christmas Eve ahead, it was time to look to the weekend. I did so with a mix of pieces both tropical-inspired — like my Quiksilver Sunset Tunnels Shirt — and my Canvas by Lands’ End shorts. Those pieces worked easily for a nice Christmas Eve dinner and some much-needed time in the sun. It felt slightly odd to not be bundled up on Christmas Eve as in past years, but some subtly stylish, comfortable black canvas Reef Ripper Sneakers helped me navigate the day in style, as did my Jack Mason Nautical 3-Hand Watch on a warm weather-friendly blue perlon strap. The watch, like the black canvas sneakers, proved just as stylish for exploring sunny Fort Myers as it did for grabbing a few brews and enjoy my family’s traditions — a classic Christmas Eve film and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” Doesn’t get much better, ehh?

An amazing Christmas featuring some great men's style essentials (of course. Vintage-style cotton sweater by Hillflint. Book by Esquire. Chocolate by Toblerone.

An amazing Christmas featuring some great men’s style essentials (of course. Vintage-style cotton sweater by Hillflint. Book by Esquire. Chocolate by Toblerone.

With a delicious Christmas Eve dinner complete, I went to bed with visions of my #menswear wish list dancing in my head (indulge me, will you?).  I hope you were able to come through with key shopping pick-ups of your own, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with what Santa left me under the tree this year. I was really lucky to get an amazing vintage Michigan State sweater from Hillflint — it’s a super-premium cotton knit piece that I’ll look forward to wearing on Saturday fall trips back to East Lansing and chilly weekends in NYC alike. I’m also looking forward to breaking out an amazingly high-quality Todd Snyder White Label dress shirt for New Year’s Eve, and I’ll be reminding myself of proper dress etiquette with Esquire’s “New Rules for Men,” a fun, informative and quick-hitting feature from the fantastic pages of the essential Hearst publication. I also snagged a great Ticketmaster gift card from Santa — so you can expect more live music and menswear in the coming year on the blog!  Needless to say, I’m definitely a fan of the Christmas season, and I’m very thankful for such a great day!

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Comfortable, crisp style essentials. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Alpha Stretch Khakis by Dockers. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather.

Given the need to put together a stylish New Year’s Eve outfit — not to mention those crucial menswear resolutions — I’m sure plenty of this gear will more than come in handy in the weeks ahead. Even moreso than those stellar gifts, it was a day that made me feel very lucky and grateful to spend it with my amazing family — that’s my true takeaway from this Florida trip (and of course, the added #menswear goodies will make it a bit hard to pack up for my flight home).  So with an overstuffed duffel bag packed for later this week, I reached for sharp essentials for another day today in Florida, starting with a classic Old Navy chambray shirt — casual but still crisp. And my Flint and Tinder Pocket T-Shirt proved a comfortable base layer. Because great style doesn’t stop with your top half, I reached for my slim-fitting, easily wearable Dockers Alpha Stretch Khakis and my  Brooks Academia Chariot Sneakers. When the occasion calls for simple style, I’d wager you’ll do just fine with similarly versatile, do-everything pieces like a classic chambray shirt and chinos.

So, what’s on the docket for the rest of the week? Definitely some rest, some reflection before 2017 and yes, plenty of planning for a stylish New Year’s Eve in New York City. You can stay tuned for business as usual tomorrow, starting with a winter style #OOTD, and continuing right on through to what to wear to ring in the new year via Wednesday’s style suggestion. Oh, and if you didn’t enter last week’s men’s lifestyle giveaway, do so before the 28th to win a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card and get a jump on those fitness goals. At any rate, thanks so much for reading along — I hope you’ve had a stellar holiday season, and I hope you’re ready for lots more menswear on The Style Guide. Thanks, as always, for reading!

-Beau

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Style Pick of the Week: form-function-form Horween Leather Timex Weekender

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 herePortions of this post use affiliate links, from which a small commission might be earned.

An eye-catching blue dial and a refined, rugged leather watch strap? That's a match made in heaven.

An eye-catching blue dial and a refined, rugged leather watch strap? That’s a match made in heaven.

If you’ve ever spent hours (days?) looking for a stylish, affordable casual watch, you know the struggle can be quite, as they say, real. That’s certainly the case for your Style Guide author, as I love building up my watch collection — but I had a bit of a tricky time starting out. That is, until I found out what the great folks at Timex we’re doing. Their approach to durable, crisp-yet-casual watches is second-to-none, and when you pair up a classic Timex Weekender with a Horween leather strap? Well, that’s a done deal. Yes, the form-function-form Horween Leather Timex Weekender checks all the boxes you might want to check in terms of a stylish casual watch — and if you’re familiar with the brand through great sites like Dappered, you likely knew that already. In the looks department, the blue-dial Timex Weekender — one of a handful of form-function-form watch options available via Huckberry — absolutely kills it. Know that the Timex Expedition and Weekender Fairfield iterations are stylish and durable, but it’s tough to top the classic Weeknder. There’s nothing too fancy about the classic Weekender case design, but its durability is on-point, and the hand-crafted Horween leather strap — the hallmark of the form-function-form line — is a sight to behold. From your everyday chambray shirt and a waxed trucker jacket to sturdy boots and a navy blazer, this watch combo can nearly do it all.

Subtly stylish and designed with durability in mind.

Subtly stylish and designed with durability in mind — this is the versatile watch you need now.

And really, what’s not to love about a watch like this one? The Horween leather strap, like other options from form-function-form, is handmade in the brand’s small Florida studio, and again, it might just be the perfect complement to the versatile Timex  Weekender dial. It’s a dedicated, nuanced approach to product design that mixes function and, well, form. And that extends to the brand’s other small leather goods, like lovely burnished leather wallets. Oh, and you’d do well to give brand founder Shawn a follow on Twitter, while we’re here.  Of course, it doesn’t get much better than knowing you’re getting a product that’s handmade with fine attention to detail — unless you consider the price. And in that case, things do indeed get better. Crucially, you can grab the form-function-form Horween Leather Timex Weekender for $88 via Huckberry, or for $98 via the brand’s site. And then, I’d say you should wear it all the time — especially with favorite staples like an indigo wool chore coat and slim, American-made chinos. Heck, it works for dressy situations with a winter blazer, too. Any way you look at it, it’s a stellar deal that’s simply not to be missed. And it’s a stellar watch that you’ll want to wear … heck, maybe all the time.

Get the form-function-form Horween Leather Timex Weekender now.

Online Shopping Picks: East Dane Event of the Season

Editor’s note: Click through for a full look at other seasonal menswear shopping picks. This post will be updated throughout the day with more picks from the East Dane Fall Sale. 

Here we are again on another lovely day at The Style Guide. Ready to go? More importantly, ready to shop? That’s why we’re here today. Although there’s a whole plethora of digitally shop-able menswear out there, it’s tricky sometimes to get it all in one place. Luckily, that’s where East Dane and the East Dane Event of the Season come into play. Yes indeed, using the code MAINEVENT16 can get you 25 percent off your entire order up to $500, and 30 percent off orders over $500, now through 2am EST (midnight PST) on Sunday, the 16th.  So, those are the nuts and bolts. But what about the clothes? The men’s fashion arm of Amazon takes a premium, nuanced and slick approach to menswear — you get everything from standout Owen & Fred accessories to an array of gear from Todd Snyder to a heck of a selection of durable fall boots, and you get it conveniently under one easily searchable digital roof. Now granted, the site does have some pieces that sway a little more high-fashion (not to mention a tad expensive), but rest assured — whatever menswear itch you might need to scratch, East Dane takes care of it. That made it a pretty difficult endeavor to narrow down their extensive selection to just a relative few picks. But that’s what we did today at The Style Guide — check out a plethora of gear guaranteed to impress for the fall and winter seasons, and beyond. Now, there’s a heck of a lot on the site, so we’re keeping it to the major categories. Shop the East Dane sale while you can, and stick around on Facebook or Twitter for more men’s style tips and advice — yeah?

Outerwear: Z Zegna Light Shell 4-Pocket Field Jacket (Available via East Dane) — $695

A lightweight, city-ready field jacket perfect for layering.

A lightweight, city-ready field jacket perfect for layering.

The Z Zegna Field Jacket is certainly pricey at its normal rate. But given that sale discount, you can snag it now for a much more agreeable price, particularly given the fact that it’s ideal for stylish seasonal transitions. It’s the kind of rare, easily wearable piece from a brand that veers into high-fashion territory. But this field jacket is a simple silhouette with functionality and prime layering potential — especially with fall essentials like a slim henley or a perfect fall cardigan.

Shirting: Z Zegna Slim Poplin Shirt — $245 (Available via East Dane)

Versatile, crisp and essential -- get this pricey poplin shirt for a better deal via this East Dane sale.

Versatile, crisp and essential — get this pricey poplin shirt for a better deal via this East Dane sale.

Is it worth it to spend more than $200 for a white poplin shirt? Ehh, depending on your financial situation, that’s … debatable. But when said white poplin shirt goes on sale? That’s much more agreeable. There’s nothing overly fancy about this shirt, but then again — simple style is sometimes the best. A crisp white (or navy, or black) poplin shirt can pair up with a slim crewneck sweater and leather sneakers on the weekend, it can team with a fall blazer on chilly work days, and it can work when worn untucked with garment-dyed chinos (like in this look). That’s a lot of versatility for one shirt, which justifies the price.

Footwear: Lacoste L. 12.12 Leather Sneakers — $170 (Available via East Dane)

Crisp, easily wearable sneakers at a decent price.

Crisp, easily wearable sneakers at a decent price.

Sizing for these sneakers is already a bit limited, so it’s advisable that you hop on them quickly. A crisp pair of leather sneakers can work wonders in terms of style and versatility even during the colder fall months — wear this navy pair with grey chinos and a tan herringbone wool blazer, and pair them up with a slim cardigan and dark blue denim on the weekends. The price is pretty agreeable for a premium sneaker offering, and it gets you closer to that $500 threshold for 30 percent off, as well. And if you find yourself gravitating more towards boots? Start with our picks for stylish chukka boots.

Accessories: Michael Kors Paxton Watch — $195 (Available via East Dane)

Reasonably priced, surprisingly durable and fit for fall style.

Reasonably priced, surprisingly durable and fit for fall style.

Featuring a black case-and-dial combo and a striking cognac leather strap, this watch is the sort of affordably priced addition to your collection that you didn’t know you needed. Granted, it’s not as affordable as a classic Timex (or even the Timex x Red Wing Waterbury collection), but with 100 meters of water resistance, a slightly unexpected black-and-cognac combination and an easily wearable, classic dial design, it could be worth adding it to your cart this time around.

Bottoms: Todd Snyder + Champion Sweatpants — $118 (Available via East Dane)

Premium sweatpants -- there certainly is such a thing thanks to Todd Snyder & Champion.

Premium sweatpants — there certainly is such a thing thanks to Todd Snyder & Champion.

There’s certainly a ton of Todd Snyder + Champion gear available at nice prices, but if you’ve yet to pick up any of the brand’s knitwear, you’re missing out. Is $100-plus a lot for sweatpants? It certainly is, but if you want to upgrade your casual wear, a pair of these sweatpants is the way to go. Featuring an indigo dye and made out of French terry, they’re both more comfortable and better-looking than whatever sweatpants might be in your drawer right now — ya dig? And again, they’ll help you get over that $500 mark to tip off more discounts. Not a bad thing, ehh?

So, there we go — sorting through a big sale such as the East Dan Event of the Season can be a big endeavor. But as the (hopefully) condensed post above goes to show, it all starts with narrowing down your focus and checking out key categories — and you’d be surprised what you’ll find when you dig a little deeper in bigger sale events. Are you shopping the East Dane Event of the Season? Let me know what you’re picking up in the comments below, or over on The Style Guide Facebook page.

Thanks, as always, for reading — see you for our weekly menswear recap on Friday!

-Beau

Standby, folks — more picks to come!