The Friday Read: Vampire Weekend, Brooklyn Coffee & Jack Mason’s New Solar Watch

The classic, functional sunglasses you need for summer.

Who else is looking toward the weekend in fine fashion today? Well, you can start it out by shielding your eyes from the sun with some of the best men’s sunglasses on the market, the Sunski Topekas Sunglasses. Available for only $68 at Huckberry, they’re sure to be a stone-cold classic. If it were me, I’d pick up a pair for all kinds of weekend adventures. And what exactly is on my weekend agenda? Well, for starters, I’m en route back this morning from upstate New York and the lovely town of Kingston … where I was lucky enough to see Vampire Weekend play songs off of today’s just-released album, “Father of the Bride,” last night! Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime as far as seeing an iconic indie band put on a stellar show. Kingston was also lovely — it was truly a treat to hit up spots like Keegan Ales for tasty beers pre-show! If you get the chance this weekend, I’d certainly recommend you spin that new VW album, and if ever you get to Kingston, well, you know your first stop.

Now that I’m back in Brooklyn, I’m also looking forward to the unique, innovative 37d03d Festival taking place in the borough this weekend! What’s on tap? A terrific Saturday night of genre-bending music as part of a performance collaborative led by Mr. Aaron Dessner (of The National!) and Justin Vernon (of Bon Iver legend). The resulting performance by the Dessner-Vernon outfit Big Red Machine should be nothing short of epic. In the meantime, I also plan to hit up some of the best coffee in Red Hook, including The Black Flamingo. What’s on tap for your weekend? Follow along with mine on Instagram, and be sure to check in with me on Twitter for more fun.

Shop contemporary and independent label men's and women's fashion at Need Supply Co. Click Here!

    • Let’s kick things off with a little solar-powered bang here, in the form of the Jack Mason Solar Field Watch (as covered by yours truly at GearMoose) Perhaps you recognize Jack Mason from this blog, and I can assure you, the brand makes tough, dependable, handsome everyday watches — it’s even cooler that this one just so happens to be highly technically savvy.
    • The thermostat keeps climbing, and it’s only bound to get hotter — that’s where a pair of stylish swim trunks comes into play. On that note, good news for all of us: I wrote about the best men’s swim trunks for my friends at The Manual. Surf’s up!
  • Shop contemporary and independent label men's and women's fashion at Need Supply Co. Click Here!
    • Early last week, we took a deep dive into all the best new menswear you need to wear to your next happy hour — and seeing as we’re on the verge of another weekend, I figured it would be worth another share. Read all about how to get dressed for happy hour right here.

That’s going to close out today’s Friday Read, folks. Still want something else to read? Check out my piece on the best men’s denim shirt for spring. Have a great weekend, folks!

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Style Pick of the Week: Jack Mason Field Chronograph Watch

A striking timepeice with tough construction and standout looks.

Do you ever see a timepiece that you feel like you need on your wrist … immediately? Maybe one that seems like the perfect casual watch, a true fall style essential even? My friends, meet the Jack Mason Field Chronograph Watch, a bona fide timepiece that exemplifies rugged-yet-refined style. If you read The Style Guide regularly, you might recognize Jack Mason — let’s welcome them back into the fold today. I’m quite the fan of watches of all types — namely, of the more laidback variety — and if you follow me on Instagram, you might be acquainted with my collection. When it comes to taking stock of your style, it’s wise to leave no stone unturned, and such is the case when it comes to a stylish casual watch. Which leads us to *pulls aside curtain* …. the Field Chronograph Watch on display today.  The Texas-based brand draws on inspirations ranging from military timepieces to watches with the spirit (and design) of aviation built right in, and the resulting stylish watches are a sight to behold. Again, I give you the Field Chronograph. First of all, there’s the standout design and rich combination of cool olive and black colorways. The pairing is ideal for wearing with your favorite fall jacket or a tough denim trucker jacket (plus some classic grey denim). And the simple look of the Field Chronograph Watch also makes it more than wearable with cleaned-up business casual essentials for cold weather (think a cotton navy blazer, a rugged grey crewneck sweater and a white Oxford). Yet, the Jack Mason Field Chronograph Watch also has the superb construction & durability you need in a dependable everyday watch.

Jack Mason

Subtle branding + excellent quality makes for one heck of a nice watch.

The Field Chronograph Watch features an agreeable 42mm case diameter — large enough to stand up to outdoor excursions, refined enough so as not to seem too large on most wrists. Now, as I’ve said in the past, I’m not a watch snob by any means … so the Japanese quartz movement does just fine in my book. Topped off with mineral crystal, this watch is a durable, affordable timepiece for fall and winter weather — the rugged NATO strap in a crisp olive color helps see to that.  It’ll more than stand up to tough weather and long days. And the Jack Mason Field Chronograph Watch really does look to be built for the field. That is to say, you might want to leave it at home when going hunting or fishing, but you can definitely give it a try on a short hike through your local park. It might look best when paired up with a vintage-inspired cardigan and a classic chambray shirt, though. Where can that #menswear ensemble take you? Just about anywhere you please this fall, from a dressed-up evening on the town to a more casual day at the office when teamed with stylish leather sneakers. Yessir, the Jack Mason Field Chronograph Watch is the timepiece you didn’t know you needed — until now.  Add it to any list of the best casual watches for men … including your own. And that’s the last word!

Is the Field Chronograph Watch the next timepiece to make its way into your collection? Let me know on Twitter.

Thanks for reading, as always!

-Beau

Style Pick of the Week: Jack Mason Aviator Watch

 

Jack Mason

A no-nonsense timepiece designed with aviation elements and versatile casual style.

Who doesn’t love adding to an ever-growing watch collection? For your Style Guide author, a watch is an essential accessory available in seemingly endless options — but when you find the right watch, you know it unequivocally. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I certainly can’t pass up a stylish watch. And if you need a new one of your own … well, that’s the journey we’re embarking on today. In fact, your search for a stylish new watch might start and end with the Jack Mason Aviator Watch — it’s potentially the perfect casual watch, a blend of handsome and crisp style at an affordable price point. It’ll work right now — the depths of summer — and the rest of the year. Rest assured, the watch we’re discussing today belongs on any list of the best men’s gear to buy now — and it’s certainly not too good to be true.  Jack Mason draws on classic, masculine influences to design its crisply appointed timepieces — good news if that’s what you’re into stylistically. Blending elements and detailing drawn from pilot and field watches, the results are definitely very, very covetable — take the Jack Mason Nautical Three-Hand Watch, a personal favorite of this author. And that same rugged-yet-wearable ethos shines through with the affordably priced, accessible Jack Mason Aviator Watch. It’s striking in nearly every way, from the surprisingly wearable black dial-brown leather strap combo to the clean design and the durable (yet not overwhelming) 42mm case diameter. In short, it’s the watch to buy now — and wear now.

Jack Mason

A durable-yet-wearable 42mm case diameter and handsome brown leather strap finish off the Jack Mason Aviator Watch quite nicely.

Among many other positives, the Aviator Watch is available to you for the low price of $150 when you sign up for Bespoke Post— gotta love those deals, ehh? And the value in terms of style points? It’ll far surpass the price tag. Like any versatile, stylish watch, it can team up with casual style combos — think a grey pocket tee, slim blue denim and leather high-top sneakers — or dressier ensembles (say, a cotton suit at your next casual summer wedding). It’ll seriously look great all year, a testament to its simple-yet-effective design rooted in field-ready functionality. If that sounds like it’s in your wheelhouse, then step right on up and pick up the Jack Mason Aviator Watch. Wary of buying from a relatively upstart brand? Know that the folks at Jack Mason have put in the work to back up their products (and it helps that they design watches in the hard-to-handle Texas heat). In testing out Jack Mason watches, I can vouch for their quality and durability — to go along with versatile and easily wearable style, that is. If the Aviator Watch isn’t quite your speed, Jack Mason also makes a host of other crisp, eye-catching watches, all geared toward go-anywhere looks. From racing-inspired chronographs to simple field watches, there’s a watch for every taste. And yet… there’s something about the no-frills style potential of the Aviator Watch. Do you agree? And will you be buying any timepieces from Jack Mason this summer? Let me know in the comments. For now — let’s take on the weekend in style!

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

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

NOV CAMPAIGN: Photo of multiple shoes on white background with logo (border)

 

#OOTD: The Best Way to Wear a Field Jacket This Fall

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.

First of all, is this the absolute best way to wear a field jacket? Ehh, debatable. But we can sure as heck try. Last week on everyone’s favorite menswear blog — uhh, that would be this one — we talked about how to wear a bomber jacket for fall. It’s a classic style that’s undergone a high-fashion resurgence — rest assured, it’s still easily adaptable for us regular fellas. In a similar fashion, we’re talking today about how to wear a field jacket. It’s another style with roots in real-life military action that’s seen a resurgence. All kinds of designers have been looking to the past for rugged inspiration, functionality and all-around good looks — and that’s not a bad thing at all. You really can’t go wrong with a tough field jacket  — the silhouette is classic and hard-wearing. In today’s menswear world, it’s also a suitable blazer replacement, as it’s lightweight enough to wear indoors. That versatility is nearly unmatched in the outerwear realm. And the field jacket you’ll see below certainly incorporates quite a bit of functionality — plus, a silhouette that’s just a tad more modern than field jackets of days gone by. The pieces that complement it are similarly modern … yet also heritage-inspired. Trust me, this will all make sense when you see the #OOTD below. For a daily look at more unbelievable #menswear (wink, wink), head on through to Instagram or Twitter.

A modern take on the field jacket, finished off with classic, rugged style essentials like wingtip boots and a Western shirt.

A modern take on the field jacket, finished off with classic, rugged style essentials like wingtip boots and a Western shirt.

The Field Jacket: Banana Republic Military Field Jacket, $129.99 — While you could stick with a rugged cotton-canvas field jacket, this cotton-nylon blend should move better and look a bit more modern thanks to the absence of front flap pockets at the hips. It’s a field jacket built more for the city and less for the … well, field.

The Shirt: Buck Mason Tan Cowboy Pearl Snap Shirt, $145 — Lest you worry that we lost all rugged appeal by ditching a more traditional field jacket silhouette, rest assured that this Cowboy Pearl Snap Shirt packs masculine style in spades. It’s the type of shirt your grandpa would’ve been proud to wear –and that’s a very good thing.

The Denim: Baldwin Denim The Henley Slim Selvedge Jeans, $220 (Get more Baldwin denim via East Dane) — What better way to complement a tough Western shirt and a navy field jacket than with essential selvedge denim? It’s a tough combo to top, but we’ll try our best with the rest of this ensemble.

The Boots: Johnston & Murphy Greer Wingtip Boot, $198 — It’s very nearly boot season, and if you haven’t developed a fall wish list yet, get these boots on there. I’ve tested out this particular pair of Johnston & Murphy boots over the past few weeks, and they’re worth every penny — rugged, refined and comfortable as can be.

The Socks: American Trench Superfine Merino Herringbone Socks, $27.98 — Need a reason to splurge on socks? American Trench has you covered — read more on the brand here, while you’re at it.

The Watch: Jack Mason JM-F103-001 Field Automatic Watch, $515 — That price is bound to make your eyes pop a little bit — however, know that you’re getting in on the ground floor (relatively speaking) of a watch company that’s producing essential, rugged styles with a strong American design influence.

The Belt: Maximum Henry Slim Standard Belt, $100 (Get more Maximum Henry belts via East Dane) — Does $100 seem like a lot for a belt? Sure does. But know that you’re supporting a one-man operation — on my menswear honor, I’ve met Henry(of Maximum Henry fame, of course) and seen the work he does; it’s a sight to behold!
The Everyday Carry: Bull & Stash The Stash Notebook (5.5″x 9″), $55 — Bull & Stash popped up in our recent #OOTD on how to wear a bomber jacket, and they’re back here because everyone can use a durable notebook built to last a lifetime.
Huckberry
When you step back and look at this #OOTD, what at first might have seemed a bit too rugged is tempered by the fact that it’s made of well-fitting, timeless gear. From the sturdy-as-heck Western shirt to the selvedge denim, we’re looking at pieces that have masculine, classic edge — a combination that’s toned down by the technical fabric and modern cut of the navy field jacket. In terms of what’s on your feet, it’s tough not to love a durable pair of leather boots and comfortable, American-made socks. And while the watch featured in this outfit is pricey, it’s the kind of timepiece that you could certainly dress up with a slim fall blazer — once you hang up your field jacket, that is. Do you have suggestions on how to improve or change this outfit at all? Leave a comment on The Style Guide Facebook page (it needs some love).
In the meantime — up your field jacket game and stay stylish,
-Beau

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Style Pick of the Week: Jack Mason Nautical 3-Hand Watch

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

Just one way to wear a stylish, dependable Jack Mason watch. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Garment-dyed chinos by Dockers. Duvall Wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Sunglasses by Nautica. Tote bag by JackThreads.

Just one way to wear a stylish, dependable Jack Mason watch. White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Garment-dyed chinos by Dockers. Duvall Wingtips by Johnston & Murphy. Sunglasses by Nautica. Tote bag by JackThreads.

If you’ve got a weekly style rotation down, there’s a good chance you might still be missing an item or two — particularly on your wrist. Those small finishing details can sometimes be the hardest to pin down, but once you do — there’s no going back. Now, your author absolutely loves a sharp, stylish timepiece, but sometimes, it can be tough to find a watch that does both. Particularly if you’re working on building out a watch collection, it can be hard work to find one that mixes a touch of refinement with casual style. Well, my fellow #menswear fans — those days are over, thanks to the excellent folks at Jack Mason. The Texas-based brand takes a nuanced approach to crafting stylish watches — the brand’s Texas roots add a touch of Americana to every product — and I’m very glad indeed I stumbled upon them at Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas earlier this summer. I’ve had the chance to check out the brand’s handiwork over the past few weeks — including during a very recent Labor Day weekend road trip — and that brings us here today. Specifically, we’re talking today about the Nautical 3-Hand Watch, a stunner of a timepiece that merges texture (the perlon strap), functionality (a given) and sharp style. Now, the timepiece seen at the top of the page is a sharp play on the style in a heightened blue, but the slightly more casual black version as sold by the fine folks at Huckberry would definitely be a stylish pick-up., too. Why’s that? Well, as we talked before, it nicely blends the look of a dress watch with the casual ease of your new favorite weekend watch — the woven perlon strap and the sporty dial just play well off one another, and that makes it a great option to pair with laidback-yet-sharp style staples, like a crisp white Oxford and rich garment-dyed chinos (as seen at the top of the page; in fact, head to my Instagram to get more watch-centric styling tips — will ya?).

Although an electric blue version is pictured at the top of the page, this black dial, black strap combo looks just as sharp.

Although an electric blue version is pictured at the top of the page, this black dial, black strap combo looks just as sharp.

It’s not often that you find watches that manage to look distinctive yet subtle, yet the Nautical 3-Hand Watch is that very timepiece. The 42mm case diameter is just about the right size for most of us fellas, and that makes it a bit more substantial and easier to wear than a slimmer dress watch. And for under $200, you’re essentially getting multiple watches — the easily interchangeable woven strap could be swapped out very quickly for another NATO strap or perhaps a rich Horween leather strap. That kind of versatility is important when watch shopping, and it should make it easier to wear with everything from a sharp business-casual look to a laidback outfit put together with bar-hopping in mind (seriously, you’ve gotta tell time on a bar crawl somehow).  And lest you think the woven strap and nautical dial  of the Nautical 3-Hand Watch make it a timepiece that only works in spring and summer, think again. The perlon strap adds just enough texture to make this timepiece a fall (and potentially) winter workhorse. Again, that versatility and functionality simply can’t be beat. If that’s a goal of yours when watch shopping — as it should be — your search might be over (for now, that is).

Head to Huckberry to pick up the Nautical 3-Hand Watch now.

Huckberry

Style Suggestion: How to Dress for Football Season

Editor’s note: Click here to check out past #menswear style suggestions.

Sometimes, you can feel it in the air before you actually see it — maybe you bolt out of bed on a Saturday morning thinking it’s game day (just me?), or get your old (or current) school fight song stuck in your head one day. It’s nearly back … football season, folks. The fall and the start of football season has always been one of my favorite times of year — growing up about fifteen minutes from the campus of Michigan State University turned me into a football fanatic at a very young age. That dedication only continued through college; heck, you could hear the roar of the crowd at Spartan Stadium from my college house. So as the calendar rolls toward fall once again, I’m focused on getting back to see my beloved Spartans — and I’m focused a little bit more on upping my #menswear game for the occasion than when I was in school. Now, that goes for you pro football fans, too — but sadly, the Detroit Lions were never anything to write home about. As we always talk about at ye olde Style Guide, there are plenty of ways to get dressed with style upgrades in mind, and that goes for situations that might seem more casual or mundane. Just as with watching the Olympics or heading to a bar crawl, dressing for a football game is definitely there. From your garb up top to your everyday carry, you might be surprised at how many brands are approaching sports-related activities with neat stylistic touches in mind. Of course, the below post is written from a Midwesterner’s perspective — wearing blazers to games doesn’t quite fly (but all the more power to you if that’s how you do it!). If you think I missed anything in the below #menswear rundown, hit me up on Twitter or shoot me an email. In the meantime — Go Green!

The Base Layer: Flint & Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley — $62

Easy to layer, easy to wear on its own and ready for football season or the work week.

Easy to layer, easy to wear on its own and ready for football season or the work week.

First things first — it’s probably not all that cold for any of us at the moment, so this layer might stay in the closet for a while. But should you splurge a little on this Flint & Tinder Henley, know that you’re getting a brand-new offering from a brand that’s refined the art of making excellent basics in America. Oh, and another plus: It’ll keep you just as warm as a long-sleeve athletic base layer, yet you get bonus style point and no logos in sight. Lastly, you can wear this piece on its own under a wool blazer during the work week this fall, and no one will be any the wiser when you re-wear it on Saturday.

The T-Shirt: Tailgate Clothing Team Tee — From $19.99

Cheer on your alma mater in style -- trust me, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone in the student section (or that alumni tailgate) with a tee like this.

Cheer on your alma mater in style — trust me, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the student section (or that alumni tailgate) with a tee like this.

Fancy yourself a college football fan (like yours truly), but tired of wearing standard team fare? Add a dash of vintage style to gameday with a tee that might feel a bit familiar. How’s that? If you recognize the mix of classic heritage and American sportswear in the tee you see above (and the brand’s other styles), you’re onto something — Tailgate Clothing was co-founded by none other than lauded menswear designer Todd Snyder. And with a positively huge range of collegiate T-shirts, plus a handful of jerseys and hoodies, I’d bet you can find your team — no sweat. *Insert obligatory ‘Go Green’ chant here*

The Denim: Mott & Bow Norfolk Raw Denim — $79.98

Sharp, simple and easily wearable on a football Saturday.

Sharp, simple and easily wearable on a football Saturday.

Looking for yet another way to differentiate yourself from the pack? Whereas some other folks might reach for baggy, distressed denim — maybe featuring a bootcut — a pair of crisp, clean and simple dark denim is the way to go here. Mott & Bow’s Norfolk Raw Denim was launched late last year as the brand’s first foray into raw denim, and this writer’s pair has broken in very nicely. Contrary to what you might think, this denim isn’t overly heavy, and doesn’t wear too stiff right out of the box. That means they’d be a solid pick to wear now, and keep on wearing if (or when) it gets cold out. Like the above henley, they can also function during your 9-to-5. Not bad at all, yeah?

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.
The Boots: SWIMS Barry Chukka in Taupe/Biscuit — $230

Wear these to tailgate, wear these to class, wear these to the office -- there's no wrong way to wear 'em!

Wear these to tailgate, wear these to class, wear these to the office — there’s no wrong way to wear ’em!

If that price catches you by surprise initially, not to worry — the Barry Chukka is nearly a four-season pair of footwear that packs in waterproof protection with a versatile  silhouette. As far as chukka boots go, they’ve got the potential to be worn in the heat of September (thanks to the lightweight crepe sole) and deep into tailgating season this November. Then, you can break them back out in the spring. Think of these stylish chukka boots as a decided upgrade over athletic sneakers — they’re sleeker, cleaner, more versatile and ready for just about anything (including post-victory bar-hopping).

The Socks: American Trench Mil-Spec Sport Socks with Silver — $11.50

A no-brainer if you want versatile socks that are wearable week after week.

A no-brainer if you want versatile socks that are wearable week after week.

Socks aren’t that big of a deal, right? Wrong. If you want a pair that’s high-quality enough to be worn for long periods of time on your feet week after week, you want these socks. And if you’re on the hunt for a pair that’s both affordable and long-lasting? You want these socks. The navy color is simple and straightforward — no zany colors or patterns here, so the socks won’t distract from your T-shirt. Plus, they’re definitely made with more care than a pair of garish team socks, and I’d bet those results will show up on the scoreboard, too (wink, wink).

The Watch: Jack Mason Brand Team Watch — From $95

It's tough to find a watch that merges both your favorite sports team and everyday style potential -- here's one that does.

It’s tough to find a watch that merges both your favorite sports team and everyday style potential — here’s one that does.

Now, if wearing both a team watch and a team T-shirt feels a bit like overkill, you could always reach for a rugged dive watch. But know that the way Jack Mason makes its collegiate watches, these aren’t flimsy or unrefined by any means. Essentially, styles like the Blackout Silicone Strap Watch you see here are just tough watches made for the everyday and spruced up with the logo of your favorite school. When you look at that way, it’s tough not to buy into this unique, well, style upgrade. Even the Striped NATO Strap Watch isn’t too gaudy — heck, the variety of striped NATO straps offered with Jack Mason’s other collegiate watches would work well with other casual timepieces in your rotation.
Frank & Oak
The Belt: J. Crew Suede Belt — $55

The right texture and color to work in other fall style scenarios beyond your tailgate.

The right texture and color to work in other fall style scenarios beyond your tailgate.

If we’re being honest, most folks probably aren’t giving a second thought to what they were to the game besides an athletic jersey, so putting some thought into a good-quality, versatile belt might not mean much at a tailgate. But if you’re on a mission to out-dress that pesky Michigan fan (as we all should be), then a good belt is just the type of thing to spend a little time on. Crucially, this J. Crew suede belt falls in the same color family as the SWIMS chukka boots seen above, and it’s the perfect color and texture to wear with other fall business-casual outfits the rest of the week. It doesn’t exactly match up in terms of color with the watch, but as we’re mixing a rubber watch and a leather belt, matching isn’t of the utmost importance. Now, catching the snap — that’s much more important.

The Hat: Huckberry Explorer’s Cap in Black — $39.98

Another underrated style upgrade -- the grown man's ballcap.

Another underrated style upgrade — the grown man’s ballcap.

Again, a  ballcap is one of those things most of us throw on and don’t think about. And there are certainly ways to support your team and nod toward the ol’ ballgame without throwing on a coach’s headset. A simple, monochrome ballcap with vintage-inspired roots (it’s made by the folks at Ebbets Field Flannels) is a step in the right direction if you can’t part with your old college ballcap. Believe me, this writer loves a good hat as much as the next guy. This one is also the kind of cap you can throw on to run a few errands on a weekend morning — you know, things like picking up a six-pack (or three) before your tailgate.

The Must-Have: Brothers Leather Supply Co. C.W. Growler Bag — $75

The ideal way to haul around your favorite brew.

The ideal way to haul around your favorite brew.

OK, so perhaps a growler bag isn’t a must-have (particularly if you’re not the type to imbibe). But if you enjoy a great craft brew — perhaps from a fine brewery near the Grand Rapids shop of Brothers Leather — then this growler is something you oughta pick up. It’s made from full-grain finished Vachetta tanned leather, which is enough to boggle your fellow tailgate-goer before you even pour them a beer. The 36-inch strap is a functional touch for lugging this thing around — the only thing missing is some stellar craft beer.

Even though it might seem a bit tedious to put that extra bit of effort into your appearance on a weekend day, it definitely pays off. It’s something I still struggle with from time to time, but finding the right pieces can make the experience a heck of a lot better. The search for that perfectly worn vintage tee hopefully is a bit easier now after checking out Tailgate Clothing, and stylish everyday carry pieces like an upgrade team watch and a vintage ballcap are subtle, sporty-yet-stylish ways to prep for the occasion. Crucially, waterproof nubuck chukka boots and slim, dark denim are great building blocks for any outfit. And if you pack well (I.e. Enough beer for your tailgate), you should be set for game day and beyond. To see how this writer takes on the MSU football season in style, head to Instagram. Meanwhile, we’ll see you in the stands!

What’s your take on the above outfit? Would you add or subtract any pieces? Thinking about making any purchases?