Home of the Strange: New Haven and Young the Giant

Gear for the road, Yale exploration and a rock show. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

Gear for the road, Yale exploration and a rock show. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

First off, don’t let the headline catch you off guard — New Haven isn’t as weird as it might sound; in fact,¬†it was the perfect place to take in the latest stop on the¬†“Home of the Strange” tour by¬†indie rockers Young the Giant this past weekend!¬†On the same page now? Good deal. Yes indeed, this late February weekend presented the perfect opportunity to hit the road again and travel in style to see another live show — it’s a real passion of mine, as you might recall from a fall trip to see Local Natives and my summer trip to see indie folk rockers¬†Lucius, among others. And to be able to hit the road, bring along my favorite #menswear and see an awesome rock show is absolutely icing on the cake. The weather was a bit different than¬†a winter road trip to Michigan, but not quite full-on spring territory — so, earbuds in and volume turned up, I grabbed my Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender¬† — and the excellent, travel-ready Owen and Fred Flight Brief in Midnight — and set out for New Haven and College Street Music Hall (Editor’s note: For the next time you hit the road, here’s another bag that surely qualifies among the best travel gear for guys).

Gear for a Saturday on the road and a Saturday concert. Sweater by The Knit Project. Dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather Supply. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Gear for a Saturday on the road and a Saturday concert. Sweater by The Knit Project. Dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather Supply. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

As has been the case with past East Coast road trips, I knew I’d have to dress for multiple potential scenarios — starting with a nice, temperate Saturday train ride from NYC to New Haven. I chose a light, breathable and innovative Fitted Merino Turtleneck from Bay Area start-up Knit Project. Made from luxurious Italian Merino wool from a company that’s focused on quality materials and a great fit, it was a neat layering touch under the Frank & Oak Marfa Slim-Fit Denim Shirt — yes, that’s right …. a turtleneck under a denim shirt.¬† It’s a move that’s a bit unique (and perhaps academically inspired for exploring Yale’s campus?), but works in this case thanks to the casual washed denim shirt and a well-fitting pair of¬† classic Frank & Oak selvedge denim. Plus, when it got breezier later on in the day, the combo worked well with no outfit change necessary. Given that I spent time on my feet exploring New Haven and drinking copious amounts of coffee from stops like Jojo’s Coffee and Tea, I needed to be able to get around effectively and on-time — that’s where my vintage-inspired Timex for J. Crew watch came in handy, along with helpful everyday carry pieces like my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet. Of course, I had to reach for a pair of sneakers that’s as comfortable as can be — yet with the functionality of durable boots. In this instance, my Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Tops were comfortable and effective for going from train to town to show.

All smiles in advance of Young the Giant. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

All smiles in advance of Young the Giant. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

Again, these were all pieces that worked just as well for getting around New Haven as they did for a heck of an epic show from Young the Giant. Luckily, I had plenty of time to kill before lining up outside College Street Music Hall. The campus of Yale really is something else — at times medieval and at times modern, it’s filled with great vistas and excellent architecture. It’s quaint, historic and very cool to explore — as is the Yale University Art Gallery (even if you’re not an art buff — I’m certainly not, but hey … menswear’s more my bag).

It’s always wise to take local recommendations into account when traveling — such has been the case as I’ve explored Washington, D.C. ¬†and braved the Grand Rapids winter. So one would be remiss not to stop into the delicious, quirky and renowned Louis’ Lunch for an original cheeseburger, ehh? They still know how to make ’em — considering they’re known for being the inventor of the hamburger, that’s quite the accomplishment. And I can confirm for a fact that there’s no better for fuel for a rock concert — or exploring a neat college town — than a premium stop like Cask Republic, a conveniently located spot near College Street Music Hall with multiple Northeast locations and an excellent selection of burgers and beers. Again, prime rock concert fuel, folks.

Beckett Simonon

And certainly if you’ve listened to Young the Giant or caught them on tour behind any of their three albums (including “Home of the Strange,”) you know what you’re going to get. That is, an energetic, powerful show with great showmanship from Sameer Gadhia, a heck of a lead singer with a great voice and the sort of synergy with his bandmates that comes from lots of time spent honing their craft. Hyperbole? Not when you’ve been at it since 2004, I’d say. They reliably packed their setlist with crowd-pleasers and a healthy dose of standout new material, all delivered with plenty of heart. Seriously, who hasn’t sung along to “My Body” or “Apartment” ….¬†or “I Got” (the list goes on)… while cruising in their car? Ahh, just me? OK, then. But I can tell you this — that band brings great energy, joy and feeling to the stage. What a treat to see that in action — crowd favorites like “Cough Syrup” kicked things off early, while newer hits like “Silvertongue”¬†helped close¬†out the encore. In between, Sameer and Co. lit up the stage with an amazing light show (check out a photo or two on Twitter) and also worked in sleeper hits like “Mr. Know-It-All” and ¬†“Titus Was Born” off¬†of “Home of the Strange.” In short,¬†it was a show I’d absolutely recommend seeing.

Mixing collegiate, comfortable style for a Sunday of exploration at Beinecke Plaza. Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sashiko Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Cashmere cap by Club Monaco. Glasses by Frameri.

Mixing collegiate, comfortable style for a Sunday of exploration at Beinecke Plaza. Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sashiko Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Cashmere cap by Club Monaco. Glasses by Frameri.

Without a doubt, it was certainly¬†a treat to see them live. The group’s time on stage at world-famous venues like Radio City Music Hall absolutely shows, and you’d do well to catch them as they tour this summer with Cold War Kids! Tickets for that one will surely go fast– anxious as I might be about getting tickets for that tour, I wasn’t anxious about dressing for the cold in New Haven on Sunday (see what I did there?). Now, there wasn’t the excitement of a show ahead, but I still enjoyed a day around a bustling town, including some lovely time spent¬†exploring the campus of Yale¬†once again¬†— it’s a beautiful institution in all respects. I also can’t recommend the premium, upscale Heirloom for brunch enough¬†— get the Heritage Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich and thank me later. For hitting up spots like Blue State Coffee (again with the coffee), I grabbed unique-yet-functional layers, starting with my Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan . My finely textured, well-made Taylor Stitch Sashiko Shirt also complemented the cardigan nicely for temperatures in the 40s, what with its unique pattern and tailored fit.

Sunday layering, starting with a sharp Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Sunday layering, starting with a sharp Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

The top half of my rig was offset nicely by casual, comfortable and athletic-inspired Kit Culture stretch twill pants. With roots in Los Angeles, Kit Culture makes gear for the active guy, with fits built for those of us on the go. With 5 percent stretch, these pants were exceptionally comfortable for navigating the city, and yet also proved stylish and crisp alongside my reliable-as-ever CAT Footwear Sutter Boots. The combo definitely merged some high-low style alongside perhaps my new favorite watch, the vintage-inspired, handsome Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch¬†— it’s¬†a timepiece that’s classic and eye-catching, and ever-so-slightly rugged. In short, the watch was the perfect everyday carry piece alongside my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet¬†for exploring a bustling college town.

As is the case with many of my road trips, I feel they seem to go by too fast — and that’s definitely true¬†considering this one packed a ton into¬†a short amount of time! I’m always¬†left feeling very grateful — if a bit tired — for the chance to travel to great cities, see excellent music and yes, pack my favorite menswear. I’d say no trip is too short to put your best foot forward — and who can resist bringing along everyday carry pieces like a stylish casual watch or a great weekender bag, anyways? Oh, and about Young the Giant. There are moments during every live show that get me smiling and singing, and the Saturday night show was definitely filled with them. They have¬†no shortage¬†of tour dates through the rest of the year, so go see ’em — don’t forget to pack some stylish rock concert gear, ehh?

Until the next trip — thanks for reading and stay stylish,

-Beau

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Rolling the dice: Heading West for Liberty Fairs Las Vegas

Editor’s note: To recap the last time I hit the road, click here.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

Out of all the things that excite me about New York City and the chance to work in the menswear industry, there are certain parts of the job that just can’t be beat. Although I certainly hope to do a lot more, I’m pretty thankful and lucky right now that I get the chance to travel for my day job, and blog about that travel, at the same time. Such was the case these past four days , as I headed west to Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas; it’s a twice-yearly men’s fashion trade show that makes stops in NYC and Las Vegas, showcasing what’s new and next in the industry. That means everyone from fashion magazine editors to publishers, bloggers and sales representatives are gathered under one massive roof to scope out seasonal trends, post relentlessly on Instagram and of course, do business — everything from socks to shoes to outerwear is on display by brand. It’s a busy, hectic time, which didn’t leave much opportunity to sight-see. Although I experienced a bit of the bustle during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, hitting the road to travel and check out Liberty Fairs in a city like Las Vegas was another animal entirely. As always, that’s why I hauled my favorite #menswear essentials with me.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

As I’ve been on the road a lot lately, my durable, rugged Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender has gotten a lot of work — and for good reason. If you don’t have a stylish weekender bag, and you’ve instead been relying on an old suitcase or a gym bag, making the switch is a mighty good investment. Unlike a recent trip to Michigan for a bachelor party, Las Vegas presented quite the different set of challenges — that would be the extreme heat, of course.  Standard, sweat-wicking materials just wouldn’t do, though. With style in mind, I was happy to test out a new T-shirt from Public Rec Apparel. Known for its All Day Every Day Pant, the brand recently launched a super-soft, super-comfortable and super-durable T-shirt. The tee is made with a remarkable sweat-wicking fabric blend in a  silhouette that still looks smart on its own or under a blazer — you can’t say that about your standard gym wear.  And that tee was complemented nicely another staple that merges athletic performance materials with a tailored silhouette. Yes, the OLIVERS Apparel Capital Short was just the right pair to wear from New York and right into the Vegas heat — the shorts feature a nylon-spandex blend & four-way stretch, yet fit and looks like a pair of slim chino shorts. Those two pieces kept me comfortable, which was crucial for a long travel day.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi's. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi’s. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

With my accommodations all set and a busy slate of trade show appointments locked in, it was time to hit the ground running on Monday. Throughout the course of a busy two days, it was excellent to be able to catch up with some great blogger friends like Leo of Levitate Style and Danielle of She’s A Gent. The duo was among a group participating in The Studios at Liberty Fairs, a partnership giving creatives the chance to create content — everything from photos to videos, portraits and social media posts — with brands and fellow influencers across three very busy days at the trade show. So given the need to look camera-ready, I tried to rise to the occasion while fighting the heat. A soft Steven Alan pocket tee was just the ticket in that regard — especially when paired with my Grayers Ivy Blazer, a casual linen-cotton jacket with unique patch-button pockets and a casual feel. If you’re looking for a way to dress down your summer blazer, you can’t go wrong with a garment-dyed tee. The combo helped me move in style around the trade show, as did a pair of sharp-yet-edgy Levi’s 505C Jeans, made with a hint of stretch and featuring a faded grey-black wash. They’re a slightly cooler take (figuratively and literally) on heavy dark denim and a blazer, particularly when moving around a lot. I finished off the combination with a pair of rugged Timberland leather chukka boots and my ever-dependable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, a frequent travel companion and just one of a few stunning watches from the Timex x Todd Snyder partnership.

With Day 1 in the books, it was a quick turnaround for another busy day at Sands Expo at The Venetian scoping out the bustling (and hustling) crowd of #menswear aficionados. Throughout the day, I checked out the wares on display from perennial Style Guide favorites like Red Wing Heritage and (potential) soon-to-be favorites like Hudson Shoes.  It was a great mix of brands, including everyone from accessories companies like Herschel Supply Co. to sock brands like Happy Socks. All the while, I again took on the day — and the heat — in style. I stuck with some of my favorite style essentials, like my JackThreads Denim Shirt (a very wearable shirt no matter the season). I complemented that with my Taylor Stitch Slim Stone Chinos — they’re unbeatable for the price and quality.  And when you’ve got versatile staples like those two pieces, stylish Steven Alan sunglasses and sturdy leather chukka boots are a nice finishing touch (the pair seen here is from Timberland — you can snag a similar style from Thursday Boots for a nice value).  On the accessories front, my ever-reliable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was the perfect timepiece for the occasion — it goes with just about everything thanks to the crisp retro dial and grey NATO strap. For being on time to various meetings and catching up with friends (all on the job), it helped keep me in line. That outfit combination worked well for the evening, too — it’s not every day you get the chance to attend a party thrown by the Hearst and Esquire teams (yes, that Esquire). Luckily, my smart-casual combination was able to take me from a day on the trade show floor to enjoying some delicious cocktails without missing a beat (that’s what we’re all about here at The Style Guide).

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Mott & Bow. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

Sadly, my time at Liberty Fairs came to an end all too quickly — today called for a flight back to NYC. For one last push through the heat of Vegas, I grabbed the aptly named Marco Polo from Life/After/Denim. It blends a modern fit with a garment-washed look and feel, plus an open collar (one featuring no buttons). The overall effect is breezy and casual, but it’s one that still looks put-together for a cross-country flight when teamed with the ever-stylish Slim Warren Denim from Mott & Bow. For only about $20 more than what the brand normally charges, you’re getting a well-fitting pair of Italian-made denim — they were the perfect complement to my lightweight Brooks Heritage Chariot Runners in color and silhouette. Throughout the day, kept track of my flight time with my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono and chronicled my adventures with my handy Word Notebooks Adventure Log — both of which you should bring along for a weekend getaway.

As great of a time as it was in Las Vegas, it was even better to reconnect with great friends and fellow bloggers — plus, some terrific brands you’ll (hopefully) see a lot more of here and on my Instagram in the coming months. Forging partnerships and featuring great brands and products is terrific, but meeting great people in a like-minded environment is even better.  Even though it’s been a heck of a busy week so far — and it’s only Wednesday (!) — my travels aren’t quite done yet. We’re looking at one day back in NYC before I hit the road on Friday to head back to my hometown of Mason, Michigan for my great friend Andy’s wedding. Seeing my friends for his bachelor weekend in Grand Rapids was an absolute blast just a few weeks ago, so this upcoming trip is bound to be just as incredible (even if it’ll be powered by lots and lots of coffee). If you’ve got menswear musings or questions on what to wear for your next Las Vegas trip, shoot me a tweet on Twitter or follow along on the daily via Instagram.

Look for the Friday Read and Style Pick later this week, and swing back through the blog on Monday for yet another Michigan trip recap — stay stylish!

-Beau
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.