The Friday Read: Shinola, Spring Travel and The National

Hey there, folks — it’s time to wrap up the week once more and jump right into The Friday Read on this fine Brooklyn day. How was your week? Tough to believe that we’ve rolled past Mother’s Day and we’ve now got Father’s Day on our radar in terms of shopping (that is, in addition to the other #menswear shopping recommendations we’ve made on this site). Time’s positively been flying by, especially considering that I traveled to Indiana in style last weekend to catch up with old college friends, try out some craft brews at Goshen Brewing Company and take in the quiet tranquility of the Midwest — if you follow me on Instagram though, you know all about that trip. And back in NYC, we’ve been busy on the blogging and writing front — you’ll see a few handy spring travel tips and more men’s style news to know below.

Of course, I’m particularly excited about what’s to come in the days ahead. Specifically, I’m looking forward to exploring the lovely borough of Queens today in advance of what should be an incredible show from acclaimed British electro-pop band The xx. The band really defies any categorization though, and the group’s new third album — “I See You”— features some of the strongest musical work of 2017, hands down. Yes indeed, it should be a magical evening at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. What are your weekend plans? Standby for tomorrow’s new Style Pick of the Week, as it were — and feel free to join the conversation on Twitter if you’ve got a style query I can answer. Hopefully, I can help — let’s start with these items below, shall we?
Florsheim

  • Who doesn’t love a simple-yet-stylish spring and summer T-shirt? Better yet, how about one that supports a great cause? That’s exactly what Waves for Water is doing with its Artists for Water series, which applies the brand’s trademark focus to upgrading something we all know and love — The T-shirt. That means these T-shirts feature one-of-a-kind artwork from designers and artists alike, including Shawn Stussy (yes, the Shawn Stussy) and Nautas Kapas, the famed skateboarder, designer and now creative director at Birdwell Beach Britches. What does this mean for you, stylish reader? It means that now through July 3rd, you can keep your eyes peeled on the site for new weekly T-shirt launches.
  • OK, so how about upgrading your leather watch? If you happen to be in NYC, or visiting, you should absolutely check out the new Shinola Brooklyn store. They absolutely make some of the best men’s leather watches out there, and it was a treat to catch up with Shinola Creative Director Daniel Caudill for The Manual in advance of the opening, and I’d daresay you’ll be more than pleased with the brand’s handsome accessories and home goods.Greats
  • The summer is no time to let your outerwear game slip, especially on breezy nights — I’d suggest you pick up the Goldwin Packable Windbreaker, one of my recent entries for GearMoose, and let me know where you’re headed.
  • Now, let’s talk music. If you missed it last Saturday, you can — and should — watch the lovely ladies of California rock trio HAIM play two new songs on Saturday Night Live! Who else is excited for the group’s new album this July?  I sure am.


Last, but certainly not least ….

  • While we’re taking new music, it was with joy and surprise that I first listened to the new single by The National last week. If you haven’t heard the latest from the indie rock heroes, listen to “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” as soon as you can. Trust me.

OK, loyal Style Guide readers. That’s it — that’s all we’ve got! Unless, of course, you haven’t listened to that new single by The National. You should do that, ASAP.

Now, we’re ready for the weekend — stay stylish!

-Beau

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#OOTD: How to Wear Light Wash Jeans This Spring

So, you’ve picked up your new favorite pair of light wash denim — or at least, you’ve thought about it. Now, how do you wear those jeans? Well, there are a few moves that’ll help you take on spring in style — unlike pairing dark selvedge denim with sturdy leather boots and a thick shawl cardigan for winter, the focus today is on keeping things light, breezy and fun. That means we’re grabbing an essential spring polo and a classic cotton bomber jacket, all the while focused on dialing in the fit of your light wash denim. In the warm, breezy days of spring and summer, light wash denim just fits in with the weather and the atmosphere. Trust me on this: You’re going to want to wear light wash jeans as much as you can this summer — particularly when those jeans are made in a unique wash and feature a slim fit. That means that from spring road trips to summer music festivals, slim light wash jeans should be a go-to move — and it doesn’t get better than the Abercrombie light wash denim seen here. You know Abercrombie and Fitch for the brand’s stylish, durable winter gear, and that same attitude carries over to its spring line. If you have other questions on how to wear your light wash denim, or if you just want to get in touch, hit me up on Twitter or join me over on the ‘Gram for style inspiration on the daily.

Sutro Footwear

Mixing the sporty and the classic for essential spring style.

The Denim: Abercrombie and Fitch Super Skinny Jeans, $39 — If it’s slim, of-the-moment style that you seek, look no further than this vibrant pair of washed denim, made with a hint of stretch for comfort. For options that feature a more forgiving cut, look toward Straight or Slim options via Mott and Bow.

The Jacket: La Paz Ortigao Bomber in Almond, $275 — We first brought this jacket to your attention in our post on how to dress for a spring road trip — and well, it’s back again thanks to its unique color and lightweight construction.
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The Polo: Criquet Shirts Slim-Fit Player’s Shirt in Midnight Cowboy, $79 — For easily wearable style that looks sharp underneath a bomber jacket or on its own, it’s tough to top a classic navy polo like the Criquet Slim-Fit Player’s Shirt  — especially one made with organic cotton jersey fabric.

The Sneakers: House of Future Original Sneaker in White, $76.98 — Who doesn’t love a pair of classic leather sneakers? Especially the House of Future Original Sneaker — these are sharp and feature a crisp, slim profile for an agreeable price.

The Socks: Darn Tough No Show Ultra-Light Cushion Socks, $29.98 — No-show socks can be a surprisingly tricky item for which to shop — you want comfort and quality, and you get that with the Darn Tough No Show Ultra-Light Cushion Socks.

The Belt: La Matera Bariloche Belt, $145 — If you want to step up your #menswear accessories game in a big way, reach for a casual belt — say, the La Matera Bariloche Belt — that blends vintage fabric, a neat pattern and cool color.

The Watch: Jack Mason Aviator Chronograph, $275 — For handsome, smart and casual style that still looks extremely sharp and put-together, the Jack Mason Aviator Chronograph is the watch you need now.

The Sunglasses: Norton Point Charlie 014 Sunglasses, $145 — For seriously cool style, reach for retro-inspired sunglasses that add some sporty appeal to the La Paz Ortigao Bomber.

Florsheim

Feeling comfortable with how to wear light wash denim now? At least a little bit more comfortable? If you haven’t quite come around to the idea of light wash denim yet, the key here involves taking pieces that you’d already wear in warm weather — like the Criquet Slim-Fit Player’s Shirt — and mashing them up with sporty-yet-casual pieces (such as the La Paz Ortigao Bomber in Almond. Add in supremely classic and clean white leather sneakers like the House of Future Original Sneaker , and then accent that casual combo with the beautiful and just plain badass Jack Mason Aviator Chronograph. Oh, and don’t leave your shades at home — there’s no doubt that you won’t forget the Norton Point Charlie 014 Sunglasses, what with a retro-inspired design and cool looks. In short, all of these pieces work on their own — and they particularly work well together for all manner of spring style pursuits, from a ballgame to a weekend coffee date to a spring road trip. Especially that light wash denim. Ya feel me on that? Good.

Let’s go to it!

-Beau

 

#OOTD: The Best Way To Upgrade Your Casual Shirt This Spring

Here at The Style Guide, I always say it pays to focus on the little style upgrades we should all be making daily.  Whether that’s starting with the basics — like investing in a pair of classic dark denim — or going a step further (like dialing in the exact fit of your favorite chambray shirt), there are certainly quite a few #menswear details to consider on the daily. And perhaps one of the more overlooked pieces of a guy’s wardrobe could be casual shirting. It’s fair to say that if you’re dressing in tailored office style during the week, there’s not a lot of room to wear more laidback garb.  So, it’s certainly easy to overlook shirting that can be worn for off-duty occasions. From a spring bar crawl to Sunday brunch, that’s where the below tips are going to come in handy. Luckily for you, there’s one brand in particular that’s merging a reliable fit with classic styling potential and hey, a dash of helpful technology — the Tech Prep Chambray Shirt from GANT is geared to wick away moisture and manage temperature while looking great. Didn’t think a casual shirt could do that, did ya? See how to style it via the below #OOTD, and get more casual style inspiration via my Instagram. Happy spring!

Upgrading your casual shirt with a focus on performance and style.

The Shirt: GANT Tech Prep Chambray Shirt, $125 — As mentioned before, this shirt checks the boxes in terms of performance and style, what with a rich four-season color, a slim fit and moisture-wicking capability.

The Jacket: La Paz Ortigao Bomber in Almond, $275 — Another underrated spring style upgrade — a cotton bomber jacket featuring a modern fit and quality construction. The La Paz Ortigao Bomber is a surefire winner, folks.

The Chinos: Taylor Stitch Democratic Chino in Army, $98 — Because we’re all about showing you how to wear your new favorite chinos this spring, let’s add the Taylor Stitch Democratic Chino to your shopping list, ehh? High-quality fabric, an outstanding army green color and a fit that’s pleasingly modern, yet not restrictive.

Frank & Oak

The Chukka Boots: Astorflex Greenflex in Dark Khaki, $129.98 — Who can resist a pair of stylish chukka boots from our pals at Huckberry? If you don’t know Astorflex, get on it — the Greenflex in Dark Khaki is made sustainably with comfort in mind.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Washed Leather Belt, $24.50 — Simple, affordable and wearable with gear ranging from a slim pocket tee and olive cargos to stone chinos and a lightweight navy blazer, you can’t go wrong with this belt.

Beckett Simonon

The Watch: Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand Watch, $185 — Equal parts rugged and dressy, the Aviator 3-Hand Watch is the sort of watch you could wear 7 days a week, with everything from a marled henley to a classic blue Oxford and knit tie.
Sutro Shoes Inc.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Tyrell Socks, $12 — I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — small style details matter, and neutral-colored socks with a dash of pattern are one way to get it right.

The Everyday Necessity: Nisolo Lori Leather Tote, $134.98 — If you tend to think more of a messenger bag when compiling your everyday carry, consider a humble — yet handsomely appointed — Nisolo tote bag instead. Specifically, the Nisolo Lori Leather Tote. It’s more unique than a messenger and just as well-suited for casual spring style.

If at first glance the above outfit doesn’t blow you away with crazy-loud colors or styling touches, that’s … probably a good thing. After all, sometimes, the best #OOTD looks are ones that are crisp, done simply and tailored nicely. Such is the case with the breathable and stylish GANT Tech Prep Chambray Shirt, a great upgrade to your casual shirting game if ever there was one. Unique outerwear like the La Paz Ortigao Bomber could change your seasonal layering game altogether, particularly given its cool color and great fit. Olive chinos from the likes of Taylor Stitch are as surefire a bet as any, and classic suede chukka boots are yet another ideal spring style move. No matter the season, keep in mind that you can wear a tough Jack Mason watch with nearly any outfit — and rest assured that your gear is going to be safe and sound with the Nisolo Lori Leather Tote.

Got any questions or thoughts as to what you’d like to see covered in the #OOTD series? Shoot me an email and let’s talk menswear!

In the meantime — stay stylish,

-Beau

Greats

#OOTD: The Best Way to Dress on St. Patrick’s Day This Year

OK, folks — let’s belly up to the bar, grab a Guinness… wait a second. No no no,  wait … what is that you’re wearing? C’mon, man. No shamrock suits today. All joking aside, today’s #OOTD should  (hopefully) be quite helpful, as we’re tackling the best men’s style gear to wear on St. Patrick’s Day — and we’re doing it relatively affordably and quite stylishly (if I do say so myself). St. Patrick’s Day — St. Paddy’s Day, to all of us AP Style nitpickers — is a day that might’ve once meant skipping class for a few celebratory pints … if that’s still the case, let’s trade spots. Now though, you might find yourself at the office and then hopping around for a Black-and-Tan or two. As always, the key question is … what to wear? Specifically, how to dress in business casual style that’s still comfortable and situationally appropriate? Lucky for ya, ye Style Guide reader, you’ve got the luck of the Irish on your side and … ahh, who am I kidding. Let’s get to the #menswear, shall we? Follow along on Instagram and Twitter for all the style news & musings you can handle, and let me know how you feel about this #OOTD in the comments.
Beckett Simonon

A touch of green, a rugged cardigan and casual denim. All solid holiday picks.

A touch of green, a rugged cardigan and casual denim. All solid holiday picks.

The Shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch Garment-Dye Oxford Shirt, $39 — Here’s the focal point of your outfit, a nice way to show people you’re rocking some green — and an even better shirt to have with you for that spring bar crawl

The Cardigan: Iron & Resin Fletcher Cardigan, $110.98 — While you could also layer up with a piece like the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, the Fletcher Cardigan offers similar comfort and visual interest.

The Denim: Nudie Jeans Lean Dean, $200 — Between the one percent stretch, the tailored-yet-comfortable fit and the casual rinsed wash, the Lean Dean is a nice pair of easygoing denim for a day that demands it.

The Boots: JackThreads Mac Desert Chukka, $49.98 — I haven’t tested these shoes out myself, but I’d wager they’ll be just the right blend of casual and comfortable. And hey, you get nice quality for a standout price.
Frank & Oak

The Belt: Abercrombie & Fitch Woven Leather Belt, $44 — Between the casual suede chukkas and the laidback Nudie Jeans Lean Dean denim, a textured belt is just the way to go. 

The Watch: Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand Watch, $205 — While you could reach for a casual NATO strap watch like the Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, the Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand Watch is both durable and handsome.

The Everyday Carry: Scout Hook Keychain Bottle Opener, $60 — Part bottle opener, part keychain and just the handy accessory you need for a St. Paddy’s Day party. Hey, you won’t lose a bottle opener or your keys.

The Must-Have: Bellroy The Phone Wallet (iPhone 7), $89.95 — Even if you’re not blessed with an iPhone 7, accessories from Bellroy  should handsomely round out your St. Patrick’s Day. Plus, the Phone Wallet protects from all sorts of damage (spilled beer, anyone?).

It’s critical to keep in mind that you don’t want to go overboard on St. Patrick’s Day — that is, in matters of dress or matters of Guiness consumption. Working just a touch of green into your outfit is a solid way to nod to the day, yet a layering piece like the Iron & Resin Fletcher Cardigan helps offset it stylishly and casually. For the warmer spring months, it’s also a great move to have casual-yet-essential light wash denim like the Nudie Jeans Lean Dean in your rotation. Suede chukkas keep the outfit squarely in casual territory, and a durable watch like the Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand is a go-anywhere essential. Rounding out your everyday carry with functionality and toughness in mind is also critical — enter the Scout Hook Keychain Bottle Opener and the Bellroy Phone Wallet. Lastly — enjoy the day in style, pick up the menswear you need for the occasion, and raise a glass for me!

Cheers,

-Beau

#OOTD: How to Wear a Classic Oxford This Winter

Perhaps like your Style Guide author, you’re starting to get into the swing of things when it comes to revamping your style this year. New Year’s resolutions, particularly men’s style resolutions, can be tough to start and even tougher to keep — but if one of your resolutions involves working more classic pieces into your wardrobe, the first #OOTD of 2017 should help you do just that. It’s all about picking a classic piece — the Oxford shirt — and finding a winter weather-friendly way to wear it (if you’re in a warmer climate, you can certainly keep this look while ditching a few layers).  Now, we talked about how to wear an Oxford last winter, but this particular look refreshes things a bit. In this case, that involves taking some rugged pieces (like the Taylor Stitch Rover Jacket) and pairing them up with tried-and-true, essential layers (like a henley sweater that you might recognize from my winter trip to Baltimore). And although you might not see ’em in the below grid, remember to layer up with stylish winter accessories. OK, ready to get started with how to wear an Oxford this winter? Of course you are. Let’s connect on Twitter to talk more menswear, and I hope you enjoy this week’s #OOTD!

Starting with a classic Oxford and adding a tough jacket, warm layers and classic accessories.

Starting with a classic Oxford and adding a tough jacket, warm layers and classic accessories.

The Jacket: Taylor Stitch Rover Jacket, $298 — So, as mentioned earlier, here’s the starting layer — the tough, durable, handsome and versatile Rover Jacket from Taylor Stitch. Yes, it’s all of those things at once. Lined in moleskin, it features a tightly spun cotton canvas exterior for warmth and functionality on cold days.

The Sweater: Abercrombie & Fitch Wool-Blend Henley Sweater, $44 — Part henley, part sweater and all comfort and throwback style. It’s the perfect middle layer beneath a rugged jacket, and the three-button placket provides some visual interest against the Oxford shirt. Speaking of…

The Shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch Oxford Shirt, $28.80 — Consider this another “new classic” from the majorly revamped Abercrombie & Fitch brand. It’s modern, it’s versatile and it’s very affordable — plus, the “Mint” color is a  nice change of pace and really leans more blue than green.

The Chinos: J. Crew Factory Driggs Broken-in Chino, $29.50 — When it comes to affordable staples that get the job done, the Driggs Chino — in slim fit, no less — performs well in winter… and spring… and summer, come to think of it.
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The Boots: G.H. Bass Buxton Boots, $425 — While people tend to think of Bass for its classic leather loafers, the brand also makes one heck of a pair of USA-produced boots. These are handsome and remarkably tough, preppy yet rugged.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Washed Leather Belt, $19.50 — Just as with the Driggs Chinos above, J. Crew Factory gets it right when it comes to versatile, affordable accessories — particularly this casual washed leather belt.

The Socks: American Trench Fair Isle Sock in Merino & Cashmere, $28.98 — Is it worth it to spend nearly $30 on socks? When they’re made in America by the great purveyors at American Trench, then the answer is YES.

The Watch: Jack Mason Racing Chronograph, $305 — When you mix in so many heavy textures — like the henley sweater and the tough Taylor Stitch Rover Jacket — you can counter that with a rather sleek, fast and sporty watch like this Jack Mason timepiece.

When it comes to a timeless piece like the Oxford, the best thing you can do is shake things up — sometimes. Of course, the shirt will always have its place in classic business casual offerings — and this outfit could work in much the same way — but adding rugged outerwear piece like the Rover Jacket mixes things up.  Plus, if the new Abercrombie & Fitch keeps churning out stellar pieces, you’ll want to wear that wool-blend henley sweater as often as possible.  And complementing classic and rugged pieces with slim chinos and tough-as-heck G.H. Bass boots is a foolproof way to look great no matter the weather — yes, even when dressing for the polar vortex. If you have any suggestions for how to finish off this #OOTD , let me know in the comments below.

Stay warm, stay stylish and thanks for kicking off the new year in style!

-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

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Go Green: An October weekend at Michigan State

Editor’s note: To check out my last travel style post, click here.

From NYC to East Lansing in a matter of hours. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Slim denim by Dickies. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather chukkas by Beckett Simonon. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred.

From NYC to East Lansing in a matter of hours. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Slim denim by Dickies. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather chukkas by Beckett Simonon. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred.

First of all — Happy Halloween, Style Guide readers! I spent this past weekend not in New York, but on the road in my home state of Michigan. There’s no question that your author loves to travel. It’s been a big theme this year, from menswear trips to Las Vegas to a fall weekend in Providence. Of course, when the leaves start to turn and college football season kicks off, there’s hardly a place I’d rather be for a fall weekend than on the campus of my alma mater, Michigan State University. It’s a place that holds many special memories, without a doubt. It’s been a down year for my Michigan State Spartans, but this past weekend also brought forth a rivalry that runs deep in my blood — the Michigan-Michigan State college football showdown. From my days growing up 15 minutes down the road from East Lansing to my time at Michigan State’s student newspaper — and the resulting “friendly” football game versus Michigan’s own paper — it always got me excited about my school, and infinitely proud to be a Spartan. It was with that in mind that I hit the road early on Friday morning — and brought along #menswear that was fit for a chilly, casual Michigan weekend, of course.

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Just the right mix of casual pieces for a chilly travel day to Michigan. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Denim by Dickies. Leather chukka boots by Beckett Simonon. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Ranger Gloves by Grifter.

Just as with my fall weekend in Providence, I brought along classic, transitional pieces that could work for long travel days and active time in the Lansing area. Given temperatures in the 50s in both Michigan and NYC on Friday, I grabbed the Alpine Guide Sweater courtesy of the premium outdoor lifestyle and snow gear brand Alps & Meters. With a blend of lambswool and waxed cotton, the Guide Sweater was a neat, easily wearable piece that layered comfortably over my Old Navy chambray shirt for simple travel style. My Beckett Simonon chukka boots proved similarly versatile for catching a flight, then enjoying lunch and some very high-quality brews at East Lansing’s HopCat (along with the travel-ready Dickies X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Jean). Sometimes, you just need pieces that get you where you need to go while looking great, and that’s where the durable Grifter Ranger Gloves also came in handy — literally — throughout the weekend.  I also packed my ever-dependable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono for weekend wear– tough, durable pieces make for a stylish outfit whether you’re heading back to campus as an alumni or getting around in style as a student.

Collegiate gear from Tailgate Clothing and a team watch from Jack Mason, blended with the Forever21 Button Denim Jacket and Grounder Hi-Tops from Todd Snyder & P.F. Flyers.

Collegiate gear from Tailgate Clothing and a team watch from Jack Mason, blended with the Forever21 Button Denim Jacket and Grounder Hi-Tops from Todd Snyder & P.F. Flyers. Don’t forget that Owen & Fred bottle opener…

The trip back to East Lansing and a much-anticipated Saturday football game presented a challenge — it’s not been until recently that college team gear could be functional, spirited and stylish, so what’s a guy to do? Given the challenge of navigating a campus tailgate in style, I packed away my trusty Tailgate Clothing team tee and Jack Mason team watch, both fairly priced pieces that are a step up from standard college athletic gear  (unfortunately, both places also stock Michigan Wolverines apparel). You can definitely still break out regular team athletic gear if you’ve got it, but when you can snag a Tailgate Clothing tee for just over $30, I say go for that style upgrade. The Jack Mason watch, too, is durable, low-key and subtly stylish thanks to the black dial, sleek dark green logo and black rubber strap — all great things when you might be more focused on grilling or snagging a beer at your tailgate. The breezy Michigan weather meant I could layer up stylishly with the Button Denim Jacket courtesy of Forever21 Men, which proved to be a nice midweight layer and a sharp complement to my durable, comfortable Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top sneakers. The sneakers, with their hard-wearing black rubber sole and lined toe cap, were more than ready for time spent on foot reacquainting myself with the beautiful Michigan State campus and downtown East Lansing.

Regardless of the score — admittedly closer than expected — I was definitely still happy to come back given the chance to re-connect with great friends and explore a campus that really does hold a lot of memories for me. And with every trip back, I remember why I love classic East Lansing spots like the Peanut Barrel and Crunchys — if there’s a college-town combo better than a Long Island and a burger from the Peanut Barrel, or a brew at Crunchys, I’m listening.  So it nearly goes without saying that I was happy to visit some of those spots, if only briefly — and in spite of a Michigan State loss. Another chilly day on Sunday brought with it a final brunch at the new, refined Capital Vine in Lansing — swing through if you’re in need of a Bloody Mary and an excellent omelette.

Casual Sunday brunch gear, anyone? Slim-Fit Chambray Shirt by Forever21 Men. Pocket Sweatshirt by Todd Snyder x Champion. Royale Court Sneakers by GREATS Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

Casual Sunday brunch gear, anyone? Pocket-Front Denim Shirt by Forever21 Men. Pocket Sweatshirt by Todd Snyder x Champion. Royale Court Sneakers by GREATS Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

For comfortable, casual travel style, it’s tough to beat gear from the ever-reliable, ever-stylish Todd Snyder x Champion collaboration. In this instance, the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, made from soft French terry in a slim fit, was the perfect layering pick atop my Pocket-Front Denim Shirt courtesy of Forever21 Men. My Slim-Fit Cargo Pants, also from Forever21 Men, added a bit of utilitarian style and plenty of comfort, too. And the whole combo was offset by the durable GREATS Royale Court, definitely another seasonally appropriate pick-up. Crucially, the excellent Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt was the ideal fall sweatshirt, particularly when you look at subtle style details like the raglan sleeve stitching and front chest pocket. Yessir, Todd Snyder certainly knows what he’s doing. Again, if you’ve got a chilly fall weekend ahead and want to dress in style, simple-yet-essential pick-ups like the Pocket Sweatshirt from the great folks at Huckberry  are going to get the job done.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Stylish travel gear aside, I was certainly beyond happy to get back to Michigan in style for a fall weekend. It was a classic East Lansing weekend, from time spent roaming campus to time spent inside the hallowed Spartan Stadium — yes, even with the loss. The fall foliage and classic Michigan weather really made it all the more enjoyable — this menswear writer sure does love fall. And of course, the chance to see friends and family topped it all off — along with that Crunchy’s burger, of course. The next time you’ve got to hit the road for a casual fall weekend, I’d recommend you load up with everything from the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt to a tough, durable set of Beckett Simonon chukka boots. If you’ve got more questions on what to pack for your next trip to Michigan (or elsewhere), join us at The Style Guide Facebook page or on Twitter.

Until the next travel weekend — stay stylish,

-Beau

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