The Friday Read: Blundstone’s 150th Anniversary, A Levi’s Livestream & Oliver Peoples Sunglasses

My dear friends, here’s the deal: We’ve reached yet another Friday, and yet, perhaps to you  …  the days are starting to blend together as we all do our part and stay home to save lives during this trying time. One thing that can help shake things up? Changing what you wear from day to day, like stepping into some of the Olivers Apparel Passage Pants as seen above — even if you’re just hanging in your backyard, you can’t go wrong with the best men’s pants for spring. As for me, I’m doing the best I can here in Brooklyn, continuing to enjoy my favorite coffee and vinyl records on the weekends, catching up with a bit of TV and the occasional movie (the “High Fidelity” series remake is a hit), and of course, keeping busy working on the blog and freelance writing pursuits. You’ll get the scoop on some of those freelance writing pursuits below, in addition to a fun Levi’s livestream to keep you busy and engaged with your favorite artists during these trying times. On that note, there are also ways you can give back from home — one that I’ve recently come across is The Mask Fund, started by a few excellent content creators (including the ever-stylish Anthony Urbano). The Mask Fund provides tangible donations to front-line first responders and workers, so it’s certainly worth checking out. Of course, if you’re still able to work from home, I hope you’re doing so in style (or at least continuing to keep the best new men’s gear in mind as you shop digitally). On that note, let’s dive into a few reads worthy of your time this weekend. Thanks for stopping by the  blog, be sure to join us for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week, and stay safe in the meantime.

  • Folks, if you follow me on Instagram or read this blog, you’re perhaps well-aware that I love a rugged pair of Blundstone leather boots. That being said, if you’re not acquainted with the brand, it’s high time you got up to speed — and on that note, I was proud and excited to be able to cover Blundstone’s 150th anniversary for The Manual earlier this season. Read up on the brand, then step out there in your new favorite boots.
  • ‘Tis the right time to buy some of the best men’s sunglasses, is it not? The arrival of sunny weather means you’d better have your rotation in order, so why not have a little fun when shopping for some new spring shades? That is to say, why not check out the simply stunning, retro-inspired Oliver Peoples x Gregory Peck Sunglasses, as covered by your favorite menswear writer (me!) over at GearMoose? The lauded sunglasses brand worked with the famed actor’s estate to create sunglasses that pay homage to his role in “To Kill A Mockingbird” … so you know they’re stylish and sharp as can be.
  • Alright, my friends. If you’re anything like me, you know and love and appreciate the fact that Levi’s makes some of the best men’s jeans (and maybe the best jean jacket?) on the market. That approach to cool, classic style aligns perfectly with some seriously cool music, as it were. In fact, Levi’s are my jeans to wear to a concert, but since we’re all staying safe at home, the brand is bringing some music to you with its 5:01® Live series (at 5:01 p.m. PST/8:01 p.m. EST — a play off its iconic 501 Jeans), supporting musicians and charities during livestream concerts. Tonight’s guest (for those of us on the East Coast?) — the terrific & energetic Sylvan Esso, with So Cal indie rockers Local Natives — one of my favorite bands! — set to appear on the 21st. Head here to read more, and rock on. 
  • Last but not least, staying safe and in good health is top of mind, is it not? So why not do so in a sustainable way? Pick up some newly launched, moisturizing hand sanitizer from by humankind at the brand’s Web site, and crucially, know that $1 of each hand sanitizer sold goes to The Robin Hood Relief Fund — providing emergency support to those in the NYC area. Hats off to that!

So, before we head on into the weekend (a modified one, to be sure), I’ll direct you toward one more spring style essential you should consider adding to your wardrobe. For yard work at home, socially distanced hikes, a quick jaunt to pick up some to-go beer, throw on some of the best men’s leather boots … for spring. Yes, for spring. If you click through, you’ll read all about what makes a pair of Truman Boot Co. boots so essential. Alright, my friends. That’s all for today. Enjoy yourself and stay safe out there.

The Friday Read: Local Natives, Banana Republic & Portland

The slim denim you need for the weekend ahead.

Are you geared up and ready for the weekend? Surely not yet, right? Or at least, not without a pair of slim light wash denim from Mott and Bow, correct? This brand makes comfortable, premium jeans that are as fit for a casual Friday (like today!) as they are for your weekend escapades — in fact, I might just be wearing mine soon as I hit the road. That’s right, I’ve got another very, very exciting trip upcoming! I’ll be heading back to Portland, Oregon (I was last there in September 2017 to see Future Islands play!) this weekend, and the occasion is just as special this time around. I absolutely love this city for its mix of old and new, with a refreshing contemporary-yet-authentic vibe (don’t believe those who compare it to “Portlandia” … all the time, at least). I’ll be heading to this great Northwest city to see one of my favorite bands, lauded California indie rockers Local Natives,play what should be a wonderful live show behind their excellent recent album “Violet Street” — it’s assuredly one of my favorites this year so far, and they always put on an astounding show! Of course, you can follow along with me on Instagram as I hit up spots like Hopworks Brewery, Blue Star Donuts and Courier Coffee (not necessarily in that order). What’s on tap for your weekend? Any suggestions for Portland must-do’s? Let me know on Twitter, and get your weekend started the right way … now!

  • The good folks at Banana Republic are keeping you cool this summer with a unique new partnership: The Banana Republic Core Collection, formed in partnership with star QB Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, features a prime mix of classic silhouettes (think chinos and travel-friendly blazers) merged with performance fabric — and per usual, I wrote about it for The Manual! Stay cool out there.
  • If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love — LOVE — a stylish pair of leather boots. Especially a stylish pair of Taylor Stitch leather boots, right? On that note, I covered the newly launched Taylor Stitch Moto Boots for GearMoose; talk about a winning pair of investment-level footwear, yeah? No kidding.

OK, my friends. That’s all from me today, but I’ll leave you with one last guide as to what to wear this spring — hit that link for more. And for now, I’ve got a flight to catch! Cheers.

Center Stage: Dressing in Style for NYC’s Governors Ball 2017

Stylish, breezy music festival gear, featuring a short-sleeve henley from Abercrombie and Fitch, linen shorts from Todd Snyder and the essential SWIMS Breeze Leap Laser Loafer and my Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver.

If, per chance, you follow me on Instagram, you might be familiar with my love of live music. From road trips to see Local Natives and Lucius to The Head and the Heart, it’s a great passion of mine that’s taken me to some very cool cities. Yet, I didn’t have to go very far this past weekend to find my two favorite things (#menswear and live tunes) at NYC’s Governors Ball 2017 music festival. I attended last year’s Governors Ball with tough leather boots, stylish Mott and Bow denim and hard-wearing outerwear — and to take on a temperate-yet-breezy weekend, I took much the same approach this time around, with a big-time focus on stylish music festival gear. Now, we just talked about how to dress for a music festival on the blog last week — and it’s a good thing I had some of those essentials with me for three days of terrific music, tasty bites and a cold beer or two.

Governors Ball

For day one of Governors Ball 2017, breezy style proved key. My Abercrombie and Fitch Short-sleeve Henley teamed nicely with both my Levi’s Trucker Jacket and my SWIMS Breeze Leap Laser Loafer. I added in a rugged Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver and I was set for the day.

Comfort and mobility are crucial when dressing for a music festival — you want pieces that can move with you, take on the weather and look sharp. That’s why I took on much of the weekend  with the essential, classic and yet slightly edgy Levi’s Trucker Jacket in a slim fit and light wash — it was an ideal, rock concert-ready combo teamed up with my Abercrombie and Fitch Short-sleeve Henley. Better yet, the pairing kept me cool as I broke out a colorful pair of printed linen shorts from Todd Snyder. They fit right in alongside my easy-to-wear, exceedingly comfortable SWIMS Breeze Leap Laser Loafers — made with breathable mesh, these loafers were springy, light and stylish. For a sunny Friday that started with rollicking, energetic afternoon sets from Judah & the Lion and Canadian rockers The Strumbellas (plus Bleachers as happy hour rolled around), it was a fitting combination.

Nautica

Having seen Bleachers twice now at festivals — including a 2014 trip to Outside Lands — I’m a big fan of Jack Antonoff’s brand of bright, summer-ready and ’80s-inspired rock. It stands out in a sea of endless pop, and Jack & co. certainly deliver live — I didn’t want it to end, but I kept on time with my Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver (see what I did there?). For sustenance throughout the day, I chowed on tasty BBQ from Manhattan’s Mighty Quinn’s and a Golden Ale from Brewery Ommegang, a New York craft favorite — both big highlights.

Does it get any better than delicious craft beer, great food and standout live music? Only if Lorde brings down the house with a fun, upbeat and jam-packed set to close out day one in advance of Chance the Rapper (another energetic crowd-pleaser who delivered on a much-hyped set). That’s the way it went down, and it was a joy to watch her break out new songs from her latest album, “Melodrama.” She’s an act that really shot into the stratosphere with her debut album at just 16, and early indications are that her second album is no sophomore slump. I left the festival grounds wondering if day two could possibly top it. With another mostly sunny day in the cards for Saturday, I looked ahead to stepping out in rugged-refined and versatile music festival style — just as you should look to do!

Nautica

A classic Old Navy slim-fit chambray shirt and mobile Ministry of Supply Shorts proved crucial for moving around in the heat; perfect when teamed with shades from Component Sunglasses.

As Saturday dawned, I was looking forward to a stylish, rain-free day (ideally) and an excellent series of live shows (assuredly). As you dress for your next festival, know that it’s tough to misstep when wearing a slim chambray shirt with its rugged texture and even more rugged appeal, it’s a summer style essential. With that in mind, I threw on the Old Navy slim-fit chambray shirt in a classic yet eye-catching shade of red. For seeing bands that epitomize laidback cool, like personal favorite Local Natives, it felt like the right style move to make.  I also wanted sneakers that could look sharp and stand up to just about anything — my trusty Legend Sneakers from SeaVees were absolutely the right choice, especially when worn alongside the mobile, tailored and breathable Ministry of Supply Going Places Shorts. I accented the casual combo with my durable, trusty MVMT Watches Calypso Watch from the brand’s adventure-ready (and refined) Modern Sport collection.

Kicking back in the 21-plus area! A breezy Old Navy chambray shirt, my classic Levi’s Trucker Jacket and sharp Ministry of Supply shorts made day two great.

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For enjoying tasty craft brews and more great bites at Governors Ball — along with a jam-packed day of music featuring everyone from the searing rock of Car Seat Headrest to joyful vibes of The Head and the Heart — I knew I was dressed the right way. And before I knew it, it was time for perhaps the best set of the day — a positively perfect early evening showing from Local Natives. If you haven’t yet checked out the the group’s excellent 2016 album, “Sunlit Youth,” … please do. Their set was jam-packed with crowd-pleasing numbers, including a cover of “Ultralight Beam” and an all-time favorite track, “Who Knows Who Cares,” to round out their performance. It set the stage for a really fun evening, to say the least. The nightcap included a triumphant return from French rockers Phoenix, riding a wave of energy behind soon-to-be-released new album “Ti Amo.” Without giving away too much, the group sounds as tight and polished as ever, particularly given that they’re ramping up behind their first live shows since 2014. There’s really nothing like hearing songs you’ve listened to on repeat for years. Was it just as incredible as day one? Absolutely. Was I ready for more live music on day three? Undoubtedly.

Gov Ball 2017

Breezy style from JackThreads (RIP), mixed with modern Clarks sneaker-boots and slim Abercrombie and Fitch denim — just what was needed for day three at Governors Ball.

Sunday — sadly, the final day of one of the year’s best weekends — brought with it rain and breezy weather during the day. That meant casual and laidback style once again proved essential, starting with my rugged Nautica sunglasses. Sunday also meant it was high time to break out a striped camp shirt from dearly departed Style Guide favorite JackThreads.  Although I was bummed that the brand recently closed its digital doors, I wasn’t bummed about checking out another excellent day of rock shows from up-and-comers like Chicago’s The Orwells or Scottish post-punk revival vets Franz Ferdinand — not to mention the chill vibes of Mac DeMarco to round out the afternoon. The rest of the day’s lineup proved eclectic and well worth watching, from the hard rock of Cage the Elephant to the stellar and sharp groove of Warpaint.
Timex

To take on showers, my Bridge and Burn Northfork Woodland Jacket and Abercrombie and Fitch stretch denim proved crucial — as did my Clarks Trigenics Flex shoes!

I opted for style that was just as eclectic, from my stylish JackThreads camp shirt to slim Abercrombie and Fitch light wash denim and a key finishing touch — my Clarks Trigenic Flex shoes in a head-turning white leather colorway. Blending the weight and flexibility of a sneaker with stitching & design details more commonly found on classic moccasins, they were a reliably mobile and stylish option for a final day of music.  To prep for the rain, my Bridge and Burn Northfork Woodland Jacket provided a durable top layer, and my sturdy Timex for J. Crew watch didn’t let me down  — it’s withstood the test of plenty of live shows (that goes for my February trip to New Haven to see Young the Giant, too). The next time you hit up an outdoor festival, make sure to pack sturdy outerwear and comfortable-yet-stylish sneakers, plus a rugged field watch.
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As I look back on this weekend, I’m glad above all else that excellent, fun and enjoyable festivals like Governors Ball are just a quick — well, relatively quick — subway ride away. I’ll never pass up the chance to see inspiring, energetic and enjoyable bands like Local Natives or The Head and the Heart, and the opportunity to see global superstars like Lorde and Chance the Rapper is an experience I won’t soon forget. Every year, Governors Ball becomes more and more enjoyable — and I have more and more fun putting together looks, taking in live music and enjoying all things NYC. I hope your music festival experiences this season are just as enjoyable — don’t forget, we’ve got plenty of tips on how to dress for a music festival this summer, and you can stay tuned for a new #OOTD post on the blog tomorrow.

Thanks for reading — rock on!

-Beau

The Friday Read: The Best Men’s Backpacks, Governors Ball and Stylish Summer Sunglasses

Governors Ball

There’s no question I’m listening away on my JBL headphones today — and getting VERY pumped to see bands like The Orwells this weekend at Governors Ball 2017!

We’re comin’ at ya live from New York for today’s edition of The Friday Read here at The Style Guide — and if it’s June 2nd, that must mean one thing: It’s time for Governors Ball 2o17 here in the Big Apple! The three-day music festival is always a favorite of mine, and it’s the third year in a row I’m attending at least one day — including last year’s trip to Governors Ball . It brings in the best across indie rock, rap, electronic music — you name it, it’s got a home in NYC. It’s also bringing back acts that I’ve seen on the road near and far, from Local Natives to The Head and the Heart and Chicago rockers The Orwells.


I’m looking forward to new tunes from the likes of Phoenix, Lorde, Warpaint and plenty more, plus a fine helping of gourmet eats and tasty craft brews. It’ll be an excellent way to cap off a busy week — and it follows on the heels of a stylish Memorial Day weekend I spent with family and friends in Fort Myers. So, we’re truly experiencing some fun in the sun to kick off summer.  If you’d  like to keep up with all the men’s style and music action, follow me on Instagram and look for a full music festival style recap on Monday here on the blog. Until then — we’ll be talking about the best men’s backpacks and stylish summer sunglasses  via the below featured articles. With that being said: Turn it up, grab your beverage of choice and join me on another journey filled with excellent tunes and even better times.

  • Speaking of summer excursions and summer adventures: If it’s a new backpack you need, I’d say I’ve got you set — I covered the 35 best men’s backpacks for GearMoose! Read up and shop away.

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Style Guide Recommends: JBL E55BT Headphones

Just a few of my favorite music essentials. I’d recommend you grab a pair of JBL E55BT Headphones and crank up The Orwells! Bottle opener by Owen and Fred. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear.

In terms of ongoing Style Guide series, the Style Guide Recommends is one that’s making just its second appearance today — so if you’re along for the ride, welcome! And if you caught entry number one in the series — why it’s worth it to buy a custom suit — you’re perhaps acquainted with what we’re going for here. In short, there’s only so much time in the day for menswear style suggestions or planning your next #OOTD. As much as I love a well-tailored suit or a stylish leather watch, there are other lifestyle matters that are worth your time, too.  For your Style Guide author, music falls quite neatly underneath that lifestyle umbrella — perhaps it’s the same for you. It’s about more than just dressing for a rock concert, though. Be it Governors Ball, Panorama or a weeknight Brooklyn concert by Chicago rockers The Orwells, it’s all fair game. Truly — as my buddy Joe at Dappered notes — music is but one area that can enrich your life with a little listening.
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I’ve certainly found that to be the case, especially living in New York City and getting the chance to see my favorite bands seemingly almost weekly. I’ve also been lucky enough to take my pursuit of beautiful, soulful and just plain fun music to the road as of late — everything from a Pittsburgh trip to see Local Natives to a February excursion to see Young the Giant. Now, what does all this travel and music have to with #menswear? As I always mention, there are certain style upgrades that, once you’ve made, cause you to think differently. And when it comes to your listening experience — be it a quiet podcast or the rollicking rock of Cold War Kids — you should be looking for a style upgrade, too. Which brings me to the ultimate Style Guide recommendation, something that’s going to kick your audio gear up a notch – the JBL E55BT Wireless Headphones,  recently released  and worthy of your time. Yes, that’s right. Headphones, folks.

Mark your calendars for the next concert, folks. Leatherback Writer by This Is Ground. Calendar by The Art of Manliness.

If you’ve ever fumbled around in your pocket for headphones at your desk or as you hustle around the city, you’ll know it can be a struggle and a hassle — a small struggle, but still. The JBL E55BT Wireless Headphones do more than solve tangled cords, though. The listening experience is as crisp, rich and clear as anything you’ll find on the market — particularly for under $150. The Harman headband and variety of color options are welcome design touches, and the over-ear functionality fits comfortably and solidly  — no danger of earbuds falling out here, folks. On one hand, seeing your favorite band can feel like stepping into a Spotify playlist — and listening to the JBL E55BT Wireless Headphones just might be the next best thing, at least for this music fan.

Beckett Simonon

It’s tough to top the nuance and substance of a band like The National — and certainly, the JBL E55BT Headphones provide just as great of a listening experience! Greenflex Chukkas by Astorflex. Shirt by The National

The listening experience is seriously one-of-a-kind — leave it to a new pair of headphones to make an excellent band like The National sound even better. Ultimately, it’s always refreshing to find pleasing additions to your lifestyle — adding a well-made pen or a beautiful notebook to your daily carry can evoke similar small but welcome touches. Such is the case with these headphones — they can turn any marathon blog writing session into a much more enjoyable one, and they make the crowded, hectic NYC commute more bearable. I’d wager they’ll add similar tranquility to your desk or home office — and the nice thing about the  JBL E55BT Wireless Headphones? They’re clean and simple — no chords to speak of, just a comfortable wearing experience, handy Bluetooth connectivity and  great audio quality. I can’t buy you tickets to your next rock show, but I can absolutely guarantee you’ll know all the words to your favorite songs if you buy these headphones. And another thing — your classic spring style ensemble looks even better without earbuds.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you find your listening experience similarly enriched.

Rock on!

-Beau

Sutro Shoes Inc.

The Friday Read: The Men’s Health Box, Local Natives and Sofar Sounds

As I look back on this week, I’m struck by how quickly it went by — and by how I tired I am! It shouldn’t come as a shock, though — last weekend took me on the road to Pittsburgh to see Local Natives, a  stellar show and a great trip to boot. As I’ve said before, it’s always a treat to be able to travel, to see great live shows and to bring along my favorite #menswear. I’m not sure when I’ll be back on the road again — this past month already took me to New Haven to see Young the Giant — but I hope it’s soon. And until then, you can follow along on Instagram and Twitter. Of course, I won’t be going long without checking out some neat live music — I’m excited to attend my first Sofar Sounds show tomorrow! The company holds intimate, acoustic performances across NYC (and the globe), always held at a secret location and available only to a select set of approved registrants. Needless to say, I’m quite excited! However, we’ve got some menswear news to get to in the meantime, from transitional spring footwear to essential lifestyle gear. Given that we’re now past the first day of spring, I hope you’ve taken care of everything on your spring style wish list. You’ve done that, right? If not, let’s at least get a jumpstart on the weekend while we can — read on and stay stylish!

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All of the essentials you didn’t know you needed — and a few fun add-ons, too.

  • Without further ado — are you looking to kickstart your lifestyle from A-to-Z? That is, from style upgrades to better nutrition and better workouts? There really is one place you can get all of this — and it’s the Men’s Health Box. Curated by the expert lifestyle purveyors at — you guessed it — Men’s Health, each box offers up everything from workout gear to menswear accessories to tech products and snacks geared toward your workout routine and an improved life in general. I can’t recommend it highly enough, and that’s why you should definitely sign up. Seriously, you get four boxes a year for $89.99, and the value of these boxes is more than $150 — so, a great deal. Oh, and you can get 20% off your first Men’s Health Box by using the offer code MHBOXMVP20. As you can see from the shot above, they really are packed with excellent, everyday essentials for making you a better man. Go to it!

Beckett Simonon

  • We’re going to be getting to this site’s picks for the best light wash denim for spring in the coming weeks, but know that in the meantime,   the fellas at Esquire.com told us this week how your jeans should fit right now.
  • While we’re talking spring style upgrades, step up your footwear game with new kicks from M.Gemi — the premium Italian brand just launched the Netto Due, an absurdly beautiful set of hand-painted leather sneakers that are sharp enough to wear with a suit and versatile enough to pair with slim chinos and a casual pocket tee.  You would really do well to invest in a pair.
  • Let’s wrap this thing up early — shall we? The weekend awaits, after all. And if you need to upgrade your grooming game, take note — the Owen and Fred “You Dirty Dog” Grooming Kit should be your next buy — with everything from shaving cream to face wash, it’s three essential products designed to help you look and feel your best. Did I mention I covered it for GearMoose? Yes, indeed.

OK, onto the weekend — check back for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week, and have an outstanding weekend in the meantime!

-Beau

The Show Goes On: Seeing Local Natives in Pittsburgh

All smiles for Local Natives — and enjoying a neat area of Pittsburgh! Trucker Jacket and 505C Denim by Levi’s. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Henley by Pistol Lake. Roma Messenger by Brothers Leather Supply. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Glasses by Frameri

There are certain items that pop up in your news feed and make you stop and take notice. Late this past year, a simple Tweet caught my eye and eventually spurred my latest Style Guide road trip. Yes, the announcement that one of my favorite bands, California indie rockers Local Natives, had extended their Sunlit Youth tour into 2017 was enough to shake up my day — and make me pull out my calendar. If you recall, I hit the road to Providence last fall to see them — it was such a stirring show, I knew I had to catch ’em again. So, that’s how I ended up on a Pittsburgh-bound Greyhound bus this past weekend with my favorite #menswear in tow and another excellent live show on my mind. From a December trek to Baltimore to this past weekend’s adventure — to name but a couple — I’m truly lucky to be able to take in great music and great cities in style. Now, my packing list was quite different than my recent spring break trip to Florida, but I had my winter packing routine down pat — and luckily, I hauled plenty of late winter travel essentials for a crisp weekend. That all of this gear fit nicely into my Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender and my Brothers Leather Supply Roma Messenger was just an added bonus (Pro tip: Here’s another stylish weekender bag for your travels).

Beckett Simonon

Rock-inspired gear with cold weather in mind. Trucker Jacket by Levi’s. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Lawrence Boots by Sutro Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Gloves by Grifter Company.

It was with Local Natives’ excellent third album, “Sunlit Youth,” spinning in my headphones that I hit the road — my last Style Guide trip took me to New Haven to see Young the Giant, and I knew I’d need similar cold-weather gear this time around. For a very early Saturday bus trip down to Pennsylvania, I layered up accordingly, starting with a classic Pistol Lake henley in a unique shade of Antique White. I topped it off with my reliable-as-ever Taylor Stitch Jack in Indigo Star Shirt and a seasonally appropriate Levi’s Trucker Jacket in a spring-friendly light wash. Because temperatures dipped into the high 30s in parts of the day, I still needed my  Johnston & Murphy Faux Shearling Aviator (last seen on this blog in a weekend trip to upstate New York).

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On the footwear front, my pick for stomping around Pittsburgh and checking out Stage AE on Saturday night just had to be the cool and crisp Lawrence Boot from Sutro Footwear. The jodhpur style looked sleek beneath my Levi’s 505C denim and proved comfortable for a full day of wear. If you want to dress in rock-inspired style for your next concert, I’d recommend you look into Sutro Footwear men’s boots and other similarly edgy menswear moves. Oh, and if you want more travel style tips for men, peruse this site when you get the chance.

Sharp style essentials for a Pittsburgh Saturday. Trucker Jacket and 505C Denim by Levi’s. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Henley by Pistol Lake. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Roma Messenger by Brothers Leather Supply.

Of course, staying on time is critical for any road trip — particularly when it came to hitting up Nicholas Coffee & Tea and trekking through downtown Pittsburgh. In this instance, that meant I drafted my vintage-inspired Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch into duty once again. It’s versatile, it’s subtly stylish and it’s tough enough to stand up to a rock show — perfect for this trip. Fully caffeinated, the real exploration of Pittsburgh rolled on, from trekking across the iconic Roberto Clemente Bridge to checking out the incredibly well-designed, unique Mattress Factory Museum and making a pit stop for excellent craft brews at the rustic, home-y Allegheny City Brewing — it’s a bit of a hole-in-the-wall location with a food truck out front and delicious brews (like the Deutchstown Brown) being poured inside. The early evening also took me to renowned Pittsburgh craft beer bar Beerhead — all the while rocking my comfortable, durable Lawrence Boots from Sutro Footwear and prepping for a stellar show, of course.

Now, to be fair … I’d seen Local Natives three times on this tour previously, but to say that lowered my expectations at all … is quite far from the truth. In fact, it made me look forward to this show even more! When a band brings as much energy and passion to the stage as Local Natives does — from blissful opener “Past Lives” through to classic closing track “Who Knows Who Cares” —  it’s a treat the entire time. Seriously, I can’t recommend this band enough. There’s nothing like their show — from start to finish, majestic lights, great sound and a heck of a set list, The show included deep cut “Mt. Washington” (off of their excellent 2013 album “Hummingbird”) and another crowd-pleaser, “Ceilings” — that one’s a personal favorite. . They harkened back to their first Pittsburgh show with fan favorite “Airplanes,” and broke out a show-stopping rendition of “Breakers” to go along with a rousing version of “Fountain of Youth” — what a band!

They also wove in a soul-stirring version of “You and I” — not to mention a beautiful performance of “Colombia,” honoring vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kelcey Ayer’s mother. Of course, “Who Knows Who Cares” brought the house down, too — this is a band that really can do no wrong! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of knowing your favorite songs are coming … and being blown away by them all the same.

Taking on a chilly day on the Pittsburgh waterfront. Anorak by Fisher + Baker. Cable-knit sweater and garment-dyed chinos by Dockers. Flannel shirt by Frank and Oak. Pahoa Chukkas by OluKai. Red Wing Leather Chronograph by Timex x Todd Snyder. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Glasses by Frameri.

As seems to be the case after a great live show, I was plenty tired — but there was no time to waste in terms of getting around Pittsburgh in style. To combat weather that was both chilly and  a bit rainy, my functional, well-made and supremely durable Fisher + Baker Anorak proved exceptionally tough. The simple black colorway was sleek and city-ready and the Ventile cotton waterproof shell more than stood up to the elements — the hood was a nice touch on a blustery day, too. It layered easily over both a nautical-inspired Dockers cable-knit sweater. I paired the combo with  classic-yet-slim Dockers garment-dyed chinos and a cozy red-and-blue plaid flannel shirt from the master menswear purveyors at Frank and Oak. The next time you need style that can take you from brunch to the park — as I did when checking out Point State Park — I’d recommend you team versatile staples with sturdy footwear. On this particular Sunday, my OluKai Pahoa Chukkas filled that part of the equation quite nicely, blending a bit of Hawaii cool with a sturdy chukka silhouette and burnished black leather. For rugged style that also fit the bill, I had to break out my Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph,With a busy day on tap in Pittsburgh, my menswear picks proved crucial.

It was time to head back to NYC too soon, though  — I did so with plenty of amazing memories from a brief-yet-incredible Pittsburgh trip spinning in my head. The chance to see one of my favorite bands really is something I can never pass up — even if it means hopping on a bus to get there. And the opportunity to explore a neat city with a burgeoning arts scene is always welcomed — as is the chance to try out a few local brews and check out a new music venue! But to reiterate — if you want to listen to music that makes you think, try out Local Natives. Oh, and see them live as soon as you can — just be sure to pack your favorite travel essentials for the journey. Join us tomorrow for a new #OOTD series entry, and in the meantime — stay stylish!

-Beau

Frank & Oak

The Friday Read: Coachella, Governors Ball and New Year’s Resolutions

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.

So, we’re in full-on 2017 mode — full speed ahead — at The Style Guide this week. Already, it’s tough to believe about a week has flown by. How’s your week? Feeling any different than 2016? For all of us, I sure hope so. If you’re a fan of menswear — and music — we’ll cover a few key topics in that regard to start the year today. I enjoyed a busy yet productive first four days back from work, and that was bolstered by some neat news off the clock — the announcement of the lineup for perhaps my favorite weekend of the year, NYC’s Governors Ball. I truly enjoyed checking out the festival in style last year, and I’m pretty pumped to check it out again.  It’ll be pretty tough to top amazing shows from The Killers and The Strokes among others, but I can’t wait to check it out. From the U.S. return of Phoenix to a much-anticipated showing by Lorde and performances by amazing bands like The Head and the Heart (whom I saw last month in Baltimore) to Local Natives (whom I saw in Providence last fall), it promises to be quite special. Of course, Franz Ferdinand, Warpaint, Saint Motel and Phantogram should all be major treats — along with headlining slots from Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino. Seriously — this is exciting. And if you won’t be able to make it to Governors Ball, it’s tough to understate how excellent this year’s Coachella lineup is, from The xx and Lorde to Radiohead, Beyoncé (and a packed undercard of names featuring bands like Joseph, Oh Wonder, Bastille, Arkells and again, Local Natives. OK, I’m pumped about festival season. And I’m ready to take on the weekend in style — who else is with me? Follow along with all the behind-the-scenes #menswear action on Instagram. Stay stylish!

  • Forbes released its  2017 ’30-Under-30′ list earlier this year, and what’s pretty fascinating aside from the list itself is the depth of menswear on said list — including five menswear brands to know from said list, as featured on GQ.com.
  • One thing we didn’t quite mention above as we kick off the new year … those pesky 2017 menswear resolutions. I rounded up a few of mine on the blog earlier this week, and would love to hear yours — what have we got upcoming? Let me know in the comments, folks.
  • If a watch upgrade is on your mind to start 2017, then there’s one place to go — and it could be Worn & Wound. I attended the brand’s watch fair (featuring a stellar showing of excellent, detail-oriented watch brands), and the company itself stocks a pretty impressive array of watch accessories for the style-minded guy (which would happen to be you). So, you best read up on my latest feature for The Manual — it’s a good one (wink, wink).
  • Last but not least, we’re in the thick of winter weather — grab yourself a pair of the best men’s boots for winter via this site’s roundup earlier this week. You’ll be all set — trust me.

OK, that’s a wrap — get out there and enjoy the new year in style!

Beckett Simonon

Sunlit Youth: A fall weekend in Providence

Editor’s note: Click on through to check out more fall menswear posts.

Looking through the rain to Friday night's Local Natives show in Providence. 1936 Skyliner Jacket from the Eddie Bauer x Pendleton collab. Light Wash Denim Shirt by JACHS NY. 505C Denim by Levi's. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Glasses by Frameri.

Looking through the rain to Friday night’s Local Natives show in Providence. 1936 Skyliner Jacket from the Eddie Bauer x Pendleton collab. Light Wash Denim Shirt by JACHS NY. 505C Denim by Levi’s. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Glasses by Frameri.

There are certain trips — and certain moments within those trips — where time seems to slow down just a little bit. Living and working in New York City, it doesn’t happen all that often within the confines of Manhattan or Brooklyn (home of the revered Style Guide HQ, of course). But, when on those rare occasions when things do seem to slow down  a bit, it happens for me at a live show — there’s nothing like seeing songs you love unfold before your eyes. If you’re here for the menswear — but skim through the music portions of some posts — you definitely know the live music scene pops up pretty frequently on the blog. Luckily for me, a weekend trip to Providence brought with it some menswear and some great moments at a stunning show by one of my favorite bands, Silver Lake-based Local Natives. Sometimes, getting out of the city for a while — and seeing a heck of a live show — is all you need to feel rejuvenated. This weekend brought that for me, and then some. Oh, and what #menswear did I pack? Oh, just you wait — ehh? Ehh?

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The weekend jaunt north was made all the more enjoyable by a day off Friday, which gave me plenty of time to explore Providence in style. Providence has been widely touted as of late as one of the best “small cities” in America, and it was with that spirit of adventure in mind that I packed up. It all started (and will likely start on future trips) with my Sword & Plough Weekender Bag, a tough-yet-elegant piece made with heavy navy cotton canvas and American leather for a durable bag that was still easy to carry around town — all the while living up to the brand’s mission of repurposing military materials and supporting veterans in the production process. So, the Weekender Bag was definitely up to the task of my weekend adventures. Meanwhile, the pleasant-yet-breezy temps in Providence meant my JACHS NY Light Wash Denim Shirt was a comfortable Friday travel piece and still layered up nicely under the tough, heritage-inspired Eddie Bauer x Pendleton 1936 Skyliner, a two-in-one jacket that features a Pendleton wool pattern inspired by the national parks — in this case, the Badlands National Park. I did leave the jacket behind for the show at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel (great name, yeah?), but throughout the day, my retro-inspired Levi’s 505C Denim proved stylish and more than fitting in terms of rock concert style. I got around with the Johnston & Murphy Greer Wingtip Boot, which mixed in a durable rubber lug sole and an elegant shade of burnished brown leather. Once again, a great blend of comfort and style fit for exploring a seriously neat town — especially with my always-reliable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono.

Outside Bolt Coffee at the excellent Dean Hotel -- a neat Providence stop!

Outside Bolt Coffee at the excellent Dean Hotel — a neat Providence stop!

Where exactly did my Providence explorations take me? Well, first things first — a morning train ride definitely had me in need of a caffeine jolt (always a must when in a new city). That meant a stop at the tasty and eclectic White Electric Coffee , a neat spot dedicated to delicious organic coffee and filled with the shop’s  themed white-and-red lighting bolts throughout the space, plus vintage signage, exposed brick and delicious treats. From there, a stroll through the rain — more of a brisk walk — led me to a fantastic lunch at The Grange, purveyors of everything from delicious craft beer to standout poutine (my lunch of choice, made with seasoned fries and rich gravy). The great thing about staying near downtown Providence — as I did, AirBNB and all — means that you get the best of the best in a walkable city. Of course, a busy afternoon shooting photos and walking along the riverfront called for a coffee stop at Bolt Coffee Co., the in-house coffee shop at the well-designed, modern and sharp Dean Hotel — it was a tranquil, relaxing environment for getting a bit of work done. Oh, and it was an unexpectedly awesome spot for running into and meeting bassist Nik Ewing! That certainly doesn’t happen every day, but being able to tell someone in your favorite band how much you love their new album is pretty neat — to say the least. It was definitely a highlight of the city, if only to enjoy a quick coffee!

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

A day that brought with it some great exploration of an awesome Northeast city led into an incredible evening — it always seems nights fly by so fast in the run-up to a concert. From seeing Lucius in Central Park  to rocking out to ,The National at Panorama, there’s not much that can top the shows I’ve had the great fortune to see even in this  past year — except one. It was a warm  September 2013 night in Royal Oak, Mich., the first time I saw Local Natives, and the band’s powerful live performance has still stuck with me. It was engaging, energetic and beyond fun.  It was that in mind that I lined up outside Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel for a buzzing Friday night show — again, what a name.  As I’ve written about before on The Style Guide, the band’s third album, “Sunlit Youth,”  is a stellar step forward for a quintet that’s always drawn on a variety of influences — this time around, they mix R&B touches on “Coins,” channel pop energy on “Past Lives” and call back to the darker tomes of their sophomore album, “Hummingbird,” with songs like “Mother Emanuel.” Of course, it all comes together in one fluid package that made for an amazing live show, as always.

From the blissful opener “Past Lives” through to stellar new takes on tracks like “Psycho Lovers” and the lilting “Dark Days,” they were a band in motion and on the rise. They brought incredible energy to a crowd that loved everything from their jaunty take on “Coins” to a true (personal) favorite, “Who Knows Who Cares.” Plus, more eclectic tracks like “Jellyfish” were part of a great live effort. Slightly deeper cuts like “Ceilings” also drew loud cheers from a near sellout at Lupo’s — and it’s not at every show you see a marriage proposal! Talk about a wild night. And, it nearly goes without saying that “Breakers,” the lead single off their sophomore album, also went over flawlessly. They really did bring incredible confidence and energy to the stage — this is a band that’s on the up-and-up, and sure to tour near you soon! Truly. It’s almost tough to sum up such an incredible show in only a few sentences, but t was absolutely worth the wait, worth the buzz and worth the build-up. It’s also worth another show — this coming Wednesday in NYC, in fact! Undeniably excited.

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Just reminiscing on the amazing Local Natives show. Long Haul Jacket and Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

The breathtaking performance was next-level, a sign of a band that’s come into their own. Oh, and as energetic as it was, it had me exhausted — yet still looking forward to some stylish jaunts around Providence. It was the ideal weather to trek around the city and hang out at The Shop, an amazing coffee shop with rustic-yet-modern vibes, excellent music and delicious coffee. With a bit of rain in the forecast, Saturday was prime weather to break out my durable, tough and hard-wearing Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket — which you’ve previously seen in the Style Pick of the Week series. It’s a beautiful piece that mixes a pleasantly lightweight and flexible 7oz. Martexin waxed canvas with classic countryside outerwear detailing in the corduroy collar and interior cuffs. It fit perfectly over another Taylor Stitch favorite, the Jack in Indigo Star. It’s the ideal shirt for a casual Saturday — slim-fitting, able to be worn untucked and featuring subtle style touches (like the star pattern, for starters). That duo up top fit right in alongside my Dickies X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Jean; if you’re thinking that Dickies couldn’t possibly make a slim-fit jean, think again. The workwear brand is stepping up its game in a big way, and these slim-fitting jeans feature a pleasing dark wash and comfortable fabric. They were ideal for exploring more of the city with my Johnston & Murphy Karnes Captoe Boot, another durable dress boot with a rubber lug sole and, in this case, a padded wool collar — all complemented again by my classic Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono.

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Yet more coffee shop vibes at The Shop in Providence. Long Haul Jacket & Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Denim by Dickies. Karnes Captoe Boots by Johnston & Murphy. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

Those pieces helped me get around the city in style, and it was the perfect day to explore Providence (even if it was Parents Weekend at Brown University). The trip drew to a close too quickly, and led into a train ride back to NYC and some birthday celebrations with my great friend (and Daily News Automotive Reporter) Kyle. As luck would have it, the same gear I wore through the day Saturday transitioned in a few choice brews at Lower East Side craft beer and cocktail institution Jimmy’s No. 43. To close out the weekend, yesterday brought with it more menswear — and more writing, to boot. As part of my work at The Manual, I swung through what should practically be a bucket-list stop for watch aficionados — the Worn & Wound Watch Fair, a global gathering of more than 30 independent watchmakers put on by the team behind the watch resource guide and online shop Worn & Wound. It featured a plethora of inspiring and dedicated watch makers, including Style Guide favorite Lum-Tec. I learned a thing or two about watches, and it was a fine display of what should become a destination for lovers of durable, stylish and well-made timepieces.

The right gear for getting around in comfort and style. Navy Peacoat by JACHS NY. Marled Long-Sleeve Henley by Flint and Tinder. Slim olive cargos courtesy of Forever21 Men. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Brown leather watch & sunglasses by MVMT Watches.

The right gear for getting around in comfort and style. Navy Peacoat by JACHS NY. Marled Long-Sleeve Henley by Flint and Tinder. Slim olive cargos courtesy of Forever21 Men. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Brown leather watch & sunglasses by MVMT Watches.

Oh, and my gear for the occasion? Easily wearable pieces that should be looking to pick up for yourself this fall — including the Flint and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley, made from a mid-weight marled jersey fabric. It was perfectly complemented by the JACHS NY Navy Double-Breasted Peacoat (an ideal transitional piece) topped off with a pair of Slim-Fit Cargo Pants courtesy of Forever21 Men. Don’t think you can make cargos work for you? They might be tricky at the office, but a slim pair teamed up with neutral staples — like a navy peacoat — were suited to exploring Manhattan’s High Line Park just fine. Of course, my sneakers were key in that regard and the brand-new Brooks Academia Chariot  was the perfect finishing touch. It features a sporty canvas silhouette designed to resemble the tweedy textures reminiscent of professorial garb. The combo is perfect for fall, and certainly different than your average retro runner sneaker. They were lightweight, comfortable and fit in well with some of my favorite accessories, including The 40 in Rose Gold/Brown Leather from MVMT Watches, and a sharp pair of Runaway Aviators (also from MVMT Watches — surprise!).
Frank & Oak
While my #menswear picks helped me get around in comfort and style, it certainly was a full and exhausting weekend. There’s something to be said for the opportunity to travel, see a live show, explore a new city and make some great connections with menswear aficionados — all in one weekend. Heck, the standout Local Natives show alone might have made it, but the chance to bring along some great style gear and explore a cool city was icing on the cake. I know some spots worth visiting in Providence again, I got to bring along some of my favorite picks and I got to take in a live show — can’t every weekend be that great? Until the next time I hit the road, you can follow along for menswear tips and inspiration — as always — via Instagram and the ever-expanding Twitter universe.

We’ll see you in the front row — and thanks for reading!

-Beau

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Friday Read: Local Natives, Dockers and Worn & Wound

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 not every week that it feels like the fun and enjoyment of the weekend keeps on rolling right through the rest of the week — except for perhaps these past few days. As I covered in last week’s Friday Read, I had the great fortune to see CHVRCHES, one of my favorite bands, here in NYC after a three-year wait! The show was so stellar, I snagged a last-second ticket to Sunday’s show, too. Yes, it’s nights like Saturday night — and Sunday night — that make me very grateful to live in NYC. The live effort by CHVRCHES — at both the hallowed Radio City Music Hall and the massive Terminal 5 the next night — was incredible. Great lights, killer sound and tons of energy from one heck of a kickass lead singer, Lauren Mayberry. Martin Doherty and Iain Cook do their fair part to bring great sound and standout energy, too. I’d say they’re another must-see when they come back with their 3rd album! And the fun continued in the early part of this week, as I checked out the very neat Engineered for Motion x Dockers collaboration with a delicious dinner at the Metrograph Commissary, an elegant restaurant and movie house that was the perfect setting for a collaboration that blends the fashionable (stretch utility pants in olive) with the functional (a black fishtail parka, perfect for bike commuters). As I write this however, I’m also prepping for another big run of days — and not just in the menswear realm. I’m heading north to Providence to see yet another live show — yes, I’m a bit obsessed. It’s been more than three years since I last saw Local Natives (in college in Michigan, no less), and as I’ve written before on this here blog, the band’s third album, “Sunlit Youth,” is one of my favorite albums of the year to date — if not my favorite. The band’s music is soulful, engaging, meaningful and well-written — it seems as if every album proves that even more. And if my memory serves me correctly, they put on a heck of a live show! With that being said, if you know of any must-see spots in Providence, chime in on The Style Guide Facebook page. Of course, you can follow along in real-time with my #menswear escapades on Instagram, Instagram Stories — yes, that’s a thing now — and my Twitter.  And lest you think we’re done here, we’ll have a full recap of the trip coming up on Monday. It’ll be a fun one!

  • So, a Style Guide favorite — that would be the fine sock and underwear purveyors at Pair of Thieves — just launched a neat collaboration with Opening Ceremony. There are two sock styles and a plethora of colors to choose from in the PERFECT line, including the more luxe Everyday Sock and the thicker, more athletically inclined Sport Sock. And the kicker? Socks in the Pair of Thieves x Opening Ceremony collaboration  retail for $15 a pair and would be perfect to pair with, say, the durable and tough SeaVees Huckberry Chukka for all your fall adventures. Right? Right.
  • Do you fancy yourself a watch aficionado? Are you in NYC the rest of this weekend? If so, you’d do very well to stop by the Wind-Up Watch Fair, put on by three partners from the online resource site/watch shop/watch lover’s dream that is Worn & Wound. The watch fair brings together more than 30 independent watch makers from across the globe, with enough watches galore to fill up the stylish and always-cool Chelsea Market in NYC. I know I’ll be stopping by — will you?
  • Now, it’s not quite felt fully like fall yet in NYC — temps that feel more like summer have a lot to do with that — but I’d still say it’s worth it to study up on how to wear a flannel shirt for fall; it was this week’s #OOTD, and a mighty stylish one at that.

For now, I’ve got a concert to prep for — and the rest of Providence to explore! We’ll see you on the other side — and maybe in the front.

Stay stylish,

-Beau