Style Pick of the Week: Levi’s 505C Men’s Denim

Take a light wash denm jacket and team it up with sturdy leather boots and Levi’s 505C Denim for rock-ready style.

Perhaps it’s the amount of concerts I’m lucky enough to attend weekly in NYC, or perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve been listening non-stop to modern-yet-classic rock bands like Interpol and The Strokes, but I find myself reaching a lot for my Levi’s 505C Denim — fittingly enough, today’s featured #menswear pick on The Style Guide.  The even better part?  If you’ve been looking for a pair of denim you can wear to a rock concert for a while now, I think the 505C from Levi’s might just be the ticket, what with its roots in classic rock heritage (the original silhouette was once worn by the likes of the Ramones). Crucially, they simultaneously harness downtown cool and modern style.  And since it’s the weekend, let’s crack open a cold one, kick back and find out why Levi’s has struck gold with the 505C — shall we? Before we dive in, know that you can get free shipping from Levi’s on orders of $100 or more. Now, where were we?Ahh, right — the excellent style of the Levi’s 505C. I’ve certainly put my Levi’s 505C Jeans to the test since initially reviewing them last year for The Manual. From exploring Brooklyn to heading to Grand Rapids and rocking out at Lollapalooza 2017, I’ve been more than pleased with how these classic, rock-inspired jeans have held up. Heck, I’m even wearing them this weekend as I explore Brooklyn and see my favorite band, The National. What’s the real kicker, though? You can get all that quality and classic Levi’s style in spades for under $40 on sale — sizes of the Levi’s 505C Jeans are going fast though, so you best act now. And what exactly are you getting for your hard-earned cash?

classic Levi's jeans

Suitable for a brewery, a concert or somewhere in between — that’s the Levi’s 505C for you. Wear it with a plaid shirt and a wool beanie cap for fall-friendly style.

For one, you’re getting the long heritage, history and attention to detail that Levi’s  packs into everything from its classic men’s denim to its accessories. The 505C is no exception, featuring a blend of domestic and imported materials — including Mount Vernon cotton denim. These stylish, classic men’s jeans are also made with one percent stretch — critical for getting around town, getting to the office and getting to that concert later. I even brought them with me on a spring trip to Pittsburgh to see Local Natives, and loved the versatility, quality and excellent fit. That’s simply what you get with Levi’s denim.  And lest you think these jeans will only work at a concert or as you dress for a music festival, they’ve got plenty going for them when it comes to reliable styling potential. The Levi’s 505C, particularly in the medium-grey Marky fit as seen here, works with  a navy cotton blazer and a classic Oxford shirt, (plus stylish leather boots), for casual office style that retains a bit of rugged edge. And when the weekend rolls around and the doors open at your favorite concert venue? Team classic Levi’s denim with a slim striped henley and a moto jacket — plus your favorite pair of leather boots — for undeniably cool and rugged style. Who’s ready to rock?

Will this pair of Levi’s men’s jeans be making its way into your wardrobe? Also! What concerts do you have coming up in the near future!? Let me know on Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

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.

The Friday Read: Panorama 2016, The Levi’s 505C and Radio Kangol

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.  

It’s quite tough to believe it’s already Friday around these parts — it genuinely seems like New York Fashion Week: Men’s just wrapped, and it also feels as if I was just in Michigan to attend my good friend Matt’s wedding (in style, of course). However, quick weekend trips tend to call for a quick turnaround time, and a busy week thereafter. Did you get the chance to catch all the content we pumped out this week at The Style Guide?  To recap — that includes a new suggestion for styling twill pants, brought to you by Savane. Here’s a hint: Take the brand’s Premium Flex Twill Pant and match them up with other dependable style staples; seriously, it’s all there. Or perhaps you’re in the mood to do some shopping? We’ve got you covered there, too — grab one of the best men’s dive watches via this site’s latest Online Shopping Picks post.  And lastly, let’s look ahead to the weekend — I’m quite excited to check out the first-ever Panorama festival this Saturday in NYC. It’s a cultural mash-up of art, technology and music, and that means some interesting exhibits, delicious food and drink and a bevy of great tunes from stellar artists — namely, personal favorites like The National, Sufjan Stevens and Oh Wonder, capped off by a heck of a headliner in Kendrick Lamar. Of course, I’m very much looking forward to getting back to Randall’s Island, site of this year’s Governors Ball music festival, and bringing along some great #menswear for the ride. You can check out my Instagram for a full rundown of the day’s festivities in real time, and you can also follow along on Twitter. In the meantime, let’s plug in and look back on the week in #menswear.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

  • Speaking of that lauded hashtag, Fashion Beans covers eight men’s street style legends to know — like, right now. It’s a great list, packed with plenty of style inspiration for anyone interested in men’s style.
  • If you’ve got a couple grand to drop, take a look at the newest watch from Piaget, the super-sharp and crisp Piaget Polo S watch — it’s the pricier answer to the best men’s dive watches covered here.
  • If you need a new pair of jeans (and who doesn’t?), take a look at the very cool, very retro and yet very of-the-moment denim just launched by Levi’s — the Levi’s 505C is an update on an iconic, yet under-the-radar, style worn by rock stars and pop culture icons alike for decades. The good news for you is that the style comes in both a fresh light wash and a classic dark wash, among other options. And if I didn’t know any better, I’d tell you to keep your eyes peeled on Instagram this weekend for some music festival content surrounding these jeans (wink, wink).
  • And speaking of brands that sit at the unique intersection of music and heritage — lovers of viral tunes are now set with a plethora of constantly updated global indie music, new from Radio Kangol. It’s an effort launched this week by the global headwear & lifestyle brand Kangol, and it uses a well-curated, deep series of intelligent-minded music labels to stream tracks that run the gamut from hip-hop to reggae to dance. It’s all in line with the brand’s connections to the music industry and its place on the heads of style and hip-hop icons alike — give it a listen here.

Last but not least….

  • Herschel Supply is teaming up with creative platform BHW to launch a series of ApexKnit backpacks that make use of a densely woven, high-tensile yarn to provide a hint of stretch and performance in the brand’s classic backpack silhouette; these backpacks are sleek, city-ready and commuter-friendly.
  • Speaking of great backpacks — grab one (or five) stylish backpacks for summer travel via my latest post on The Manual — it won’t let you down, promise!

That’s all for now — stay tuned for more style content from Panorama over on Instagram, and have a (very) stylish weekend in the meantime,

-Beau

#OOTD: High-Low Style with Black Denim

Editor’s note: You’ve surely seen this hashtag lots of different places, including on Instagram. But how does that carry over to real life? The #OOTD series will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florsheim

Style Upgrade: Dark Denim

A quick and easy style upgrade that only involves knowing your pant size. Dark denim pictured from Mott & Bow. Olive leather slip-ons by GREATS Brand. Organic cotton pocket T-shirt  by United By Blue. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

A quick and easy style upgrade that only involves knowing your pant size. Dark denim pictured from Mott & Bow. Olive leather slip-ons by GREATS Brand. Organic cotton pocket T-shirt by United By Blue. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Editor’s note: If you read this blog regularly, you might recall this post was supposed to cover Taylor Stitch chinos. However, they’re sold out for right now. Oops! So we move onto the next topic on The Style Guide. This is the second in an ongoing series covering quick and easy upgrades to dilemmas a guy might face once in a while. For more entries in the series, click here.

When I first started writing about men’s style for this site about two years ago, one of the first topics I covered was the idea of Style Essentials — basics that can help any guy look good in nearly any situation. That’s a topic that’s still near and dear to my heart, and it’s certainly still relevant when plotting out ways to look one’s best. While I’m still learning a lot about the ever-evolving world of men’s style, I thought it about high time to revisit this topic — from a slightly wiser, slightly older perspective (perhaps?). And there might not be a better style upgrade to make than switching out your pants — maybe from something a bit baggier or faded to something cleaner, trimmer and darker. We’re talking, of course, about the indispensable pair of dark denim you should hopefully have in your closet, folks.

My friend Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent showing off one way to style dark denim.

My friend Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent showing off one way to style dark denim.

No matter what stage you might be at in  your style evolution, something as crisp as dark denim can act as a style catalyst or a rejuvenator from which to build all kinds of outfits. That goes for weekend wear — like with white sneakers and a slub T-shirt, and makes its way to office wear during the week — alongside a crisp blazer and a chambray shirt, for instance. My friend from Barron of Effortless Gent nails this concept perfectly. It’s one of the  only things you can do to change up your wardrobe that just involves knowing your pant size (and maybe what brand you might prefer to wear).

Every discussion about upgrading the denim in your closet should probably start with the originator of the classic blue jean — Levi’s. Although its styles have undergone some changes through the years, there are few style upgrades that can’t be met with a classic like the Levi’s 513 jean — the slim-straight fit flatters lots of body types, while the dark, crisp color looks better year-round than other overly distressed jeans. On a looser but still fitted front, the Levi’s 514 jean is available for under $40 — a heck of a price.

J. Crew's take on the classic blue jean features a tailored fit and crisp color.

J. Crew’s take on the classic blue jean features a tailored fit and crisp color.

Keep in mind that the brand also does tapered fits like the 511 jean, too. Modern-day #menswear mainstay J. Crew has plenty to say about denim upgrades too, and its 484 jean in a deep “Resin Crinkle Wash” fits the bill perfectly. And although it’s been a very hot seller, the 770 jean in that same wash would provide the roomier (yet still somewhat tailored) fit that athletic guys might prefer. Ponying up a pretty penny could also nab you a pair of The Blue Jean from Bonobos, featuring fits ranging from Bootcut (preferably avoided, however!) to Tailored (a trim fit similar to a Levi’s 511). The Slim Crosby Jean from Mott & Bow would also be a particularly agreeable purchase (check out more on the brand here), as would something in a slimmer fit — like the Mosco seen below (Editor’s note: Get 15% your first purchase with the brand using this link).

Dark denim with a hint of stretch, like the Mosco Skinny fit from Mott & Bow, also works well for  this style upgrade. Spring Plaid Shirt by Gustin. Brown leather watch by Stuhrling. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Dark denim with a hint of stretch, like the Mosco Skinny fit from Mott & Bow, also works well for this style upgrade. Spring Plaid Shirt by Gustin. Brown leather watch by Stuhrling. Glasses by Warby Parker.

And to expand the pool of options even further, even Old Navy is now peddling dark denim — this time, for under $30 on sale. While those might not last as long as a hefty pair from iconic denim purveyor Gustin, they’d certainly get the job done. But if you feel like going all out on this particular style upgrade and won’t have anything less than the best, brands like 3Sixteen have developed a cult-ish following for the quality of their denim (and the resulting jean fades).
Ernest Alexander
Whichever option you might decide to go with — whether it’s time for a denim restock or the first purchase — reaching for something with a clean navy color and a trimmer fit won’t lead you astray. Dark denim is the type of pant that works virtually anywhere — unless, of course, it’s presentation time in the boardroom or time to suit up for the red carpet. Other than that though — reach for a great pair or two and see how you style them.

Have you made this Style Upgrade yet? What’s your go-to pair of dark denim?
Ben Sherman US