Style Q+A: Tread for Men Grooming

Editor’s note: To read more pieces in the Style Q&A series, click that link.

All the grooming supplies you need, and then some -- learn more about Tread for Men, and upgrade your grooming game in the process.

All the grooming supplies you need, and then some — learn more about Tread for Men, and upgrade your grooming game in the process.

Up until a few years ago, I didn’t necessarily pay attention to my grooming routine all that much. I’d used skin care products like Proactiv as a teenager, but taking care of my face and skin wasn’t necessarily top of mind as I went through college — perhaps you’ve found yourself in the same boat. When it comes to men’s grooming, the adage might be that you don’t know what you’ve been missing until you find it. That is, in testing out grooming products along the way, you learn what works, what doesn’t and what can significantly upgrade your skincare routine. Such has been the case with yours truly and Tread for Men. I first learned about the brand earlier this summer — you might recognize them from a recent reader giveaway — and after testing out the brand’s wares for a few months, they’re certainly a brand worth knowing. Men’s grooming is an area that’s easy to overlook — after all, it’s easier to get ready and dash off without a few extra steps in the morning or evening, right?

Well, if you want to properly care for your skin and look (and feel!) better in the process, those steps are worth taking =– trust me. The team at Tread for Men epitomizes this — and they live it, too. From the brand’s Basics Kit — which includes an excellent facial wash, a moisturizer, organic soap and sunscreen — to Tread’s handy beard oils, they’ve got a full grooming routine covered — and it requires but a small investment of your time and money. It plays into the idea that upgrading the small details — like your wallet or the fit of your T-shirt — makes a big difference. And who better to talk to than the guys behind Tread? Truly, the brand is doing things the right way — co-founders Eric Verdeyen and Bob Huguelet were great to catch up with, and I’ll let them take it away for now. Enjoy!

The Style Guide: Tell me about the start of Tread and the “A-ha” moment that led to the formation of the brand?

Eric Verdeyen: We had been kicking around business ideas in 2015, but we didn’t quite know what we wanted to dive into. Around the same time our wives (independently) started telling us to take care of our skin — pointing at the new wrinkles, dry skin, dark circles, etc.

Bob Huguelet: My wife was always ambushing me with her products, the bathroom was a warzone (haha). Eric and I got to talking about it — neither of us knew much about skin care or thought it would make much of a difference. But we saw that all the women we know are into it, and we saw the upward trend of grooming among guys as well. We started to do some research, and turns out taking care of your face and skin is not only important to your look but incredibly beneficial to the long-term health of your skin.

EV: Basically, life takes a toll on the skin — stress, weather, bacteria, showering, and especially the sun. You can see it easily in older folks or guys who work outside and don’t pay attention to the effects of the elements. The more we looked into it, the more the science behind it made sense. You need to keep your skin clean and moisturized so it can function well. But we didn’t want to use our wives’ products, and other brands were trying to sell us on too many options or weren’t of great quality, manufactured overseas or wherever. So we saw an opportunity to create a high-quality, reasonably priced, and environmentally friendly product line that is easy to understand and use for guys like us.

TSG: Guys have grown a lot more interested in all things style and lifestyle as of late — how does Tread play into that as a brand?

BH: We take the approach that taking care of your face isn’t just about looking groomed and healthy, but more importantly about long-term, whole body health. Guys are starting to understand that. The overall package — grooming, style, heath, exercise — all play parts in making a good impression, whether it’s at work, going out with friends, or just for your significant other. It’s catching on. We play into the trend by developing quality products and designing them for men. The goal is to help guys get comfortable with a new routine that we know will help them in the long run.

EV: We see it as  an extension of the new grooming wave — We all know that guys are thinking about their faces more with great brands like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s, and expect manly products that look and feel great. We are taking it to the next level beyond shaving. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you’ve got your clothing style locked in but your face is dried out, discolored, and blemished.

A kit packed with everything you need in terms of men's grooming -- and then some. Find out more about Tread for Men in the latest Style Q+A.

A kit packed with everything you need in terms of men’s grooming — and then some. Find out more about Tread for Men in the latest Style Q+A.

TSG: What are some grooming areas you see guys tend to skip or make “mistakes” in, or areas in which guys should take better care of themselves?

EV:  Believe it or not, a lot of guys don’t wash their face at all.  Or they just use bar soap in the shower.

Guys don’t usually think about how your face accumulates dirt and bacteria throughout the day, and while showering helps, every time you rinse, you’re also washing away the natural oils.

A quality cleanser will help with the daily wash while keeping the skin hydrated like natural oils do. And if you’ve ever experienced razor bumps, acne, blemishes – those can often be solved by proper cleansing (and changing razors and towels) Many of the big brands for men that you find in retailers have a significant amount of salts and inorganic chemicals that dry out the skin. You may be clean, but you’re drying out skin and making yourself more susceptible to signs of aging.

BH: Also, a huge mistake is not wearing an SPF every day. The sun is the #1 cause for damaged skin and long-term signs of aging. And you’re getting hit as soon as you walk out the door. Even if you are in the office all day or, drive to work, your body is exposed to UV rays. Most cases of skin cancer actually start on the left arm, neck, and face — the side that gets hit while driving. So, yeah — wear sunscreen every day!

TSG: Are there any beginner tips you have for the guy just getting into a grooming routine?

EV: Don’t worry about spending a ton of money to get into a full routine right away. Start small, and work your way up. Consistently using a cleanser or moisturizer is the perfect way to get a feel for what you like and get in the habit of paying attention to your face. And you’ll feel and see a clear difference before and after.

BH: We designed a great starter set called “The Basics” which is exactly that — the essentials including cleanser and moisturizer, as well as our organic bar soap and sunscreen. You can always add other products to your routine, or swap in different brands to see what you like best. Once you find a product you like, stick with it!

If you're still on the hunt for beard care supplies, rest assured that Tread for Men stocks beard oil, too. Photo courtesy of the brand.

If you’re still on the hunt for beard care supplies, rest assured that Tread for Men stocks beard oil, too. Photo courtesy of the brand.

TSG: On a style-related note — what’s one essential style item every guy should have in his closet, and what’s one grooming item every guy should have in his medicine cabinet?

BH: A blazer for sure, especially in Chicago in the late summer and fall. Layering up will give you the optional extra protection all day. My go-to is a blue and gray Bonobos wool blazer. Great to dress up jeans or chinos and never gets wrinkled, so you can wear it all day.

EV: A shoe horn (haha) but seriously, a few nice pairs of quality shoes when going to work or going out can make or break a look. Too often I see guys smashing their feet into the back of their shoes, and it can really damage the integrity and make great shoes look old and worn.

And  I always make sure I have moisturizer on hand. Properly hydrating the skin is always going to help in the short and long run. It will help with dry, flaky skin and damage from the sun and, it will keep the firmness in the skin and fight against wrinkles.

BH: I actually keep my eye cream on my desk, it reminds me to use it everyday. But it too is a great product that contributes to your look and style. Unless your style is “High Plains Drifter” a la Clint Eastwood, you’re going to want to minimize the wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes.

TSG: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

EV: We understand that skincare can be confusing and intimidating for guy — it was the same for us. There is a lot of marketing and BS in the skincare game, and it’s hard to know where to begin. We’ve put a lot of work dispelling the myths and educating men on the “what, why, and when” for each of our products.

BH: For sure — all of our products and kits come with easy-to-use instructions, so if you don’t know where to start, we’ll set you up for success with a beginning package. Whether you go with Tread or another line, we definitely recommend putting something on your face sooner rather than later!

To get daily grooming inspiration and tips, keep up with the brand on Facebook or Instagram — and shop the brand’s products just as soon as you can.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Reader Giveaway Opportunity: #Menswear Essentials

Editor’s note: The below giveaway is made possible through a partnership with Nakturnal and features prizes from East Dane. Read on to win!

East Dane stocks head-to-toe menswear essentials -- if you're lucky, this guy could be you. Photo courtesy of East Dane.

East Dane stocks head-to-toe menswear essentials — if you’re lucky, this guy could be you. Photo courtesy of East Dane.

Although The Style Guide just ran a reader giveaway earlier this month with the great team at Tread for Men, we’re running another one today, and it’s focused on #menswear essentials — not bad, right? After all, you can never have enough stylish pieces with which to put together outfits. We’re talking menswear essentials that you can, and should, pick up and wear on the daily — things like a slim chambray shirt, dark denim, or suede chukkas. But where to find such essentials? Well, there are certain E-commerce sites that offer up all those pieces at once, with an eye for style that’s continental and classic. East Dane is one such site — if you’ve read this blog, you know that your humble author is definitely a fan. And if you can see that photo above — all East Dane pieces — you best believe they know what they’re talking about.

That’s why I’m so pleased today to partner up with Nakturnal and offer up two (yes, TWO!) $100 gift cards to East Dane and the site’s well-curated assortment of men’s lifestyle goods. The site’s slate of brands runs the gamut from venerable institutions like Filson and Converse to up-and-comers like Public School  — truly, they’ve got something for everyone. Particularly if you’re looking for something like a great pair of men’s jeans, they’ve got you. And if you want to get 50% off men’s goods right now — everything from chukkas to shirts to blazers — well, they’ve also got you. Now, note that if you’re based outside the U.S., shipping is free for orders of $100 or more, but you’re on the hook for any potential customs tariffs — we’re all about saving you money here at The Style Guide, see?

But back to the menswear at East Dane: It’s a terrific mix of classic, straightforward-yet-continental pieces, and in all, you could feasibly spend hours zipping around the site — as I’ve done in the past. If you want to dive right in and earn that gift card mentioned above, follow the giveaway details below; best of luck to those entering, and join the menswear conversation at The Style Guide Facebook page in the meantime. And the great thing is, you’ve got a whole week to enter! Good luck!

To win one of two $100 East Dane gift cards, comment below or share a link in the comments detailing your favorite item on the East Dane site.

Editor’s note: This contest ends at 12 a.m. on Wednesday, August 23rd.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Friday Read: Lollapalooza, Summer Travel and the Best-Dressed Men of the Week

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.  

As we kick off another Friday, I’m once again looking back on this week and heading to my home state of Michigan, as I was earlier this month for a summer wedding — that’s a lot of quality time (much-needed) back in the Mitten. And it caps off a busy week, particularly when I look back at the stellar time I had rocking out — and rocking some great menswear at NYC’s Panorama festival. On that note, is anyone heading to Lollapalooza this weekend? Or already there? Jealous! Either way, I hope you’ve been getting all your summer tunes and travel in  — and dressing to travel in style, too.  The summer’s definitely flying by, but it seems as good a time as any to look back. It’s taken me upstate to see Lucius, it’s taken me on a stylish Memorial Day trip,  and it’s taken me around New York City for some excellent product launches and blogger events in between — all while striking that tricky balance between versatile style and ease of movement, not an easy task in the heat of NYC. That busy schedule also leaves a lot of menswear news to catch up on — and I’ve picked out a few favorite pieces from this week below. After you’re done reading, follow along with my adventures back in Michigan via Instagram or Twitter, and check back here tomorrow for our Style Pick of the Week — rest assured, a full trip recap is coming along Monday.

  • Who dressed well this week? What lessons should you take from ’em? Those are precisely the questions Esquire answered as part of its summer-friendly Best-Dressed Men of the Week feature.
  • Lest you think that fashion is only for us average Joes, Starbucks is setting new dress code regulations for employees — that includes neutral colors, denim that’s not overly dressed and a recommendation toward small, subtle patterns in shirts …. those sound like some decent #menswear missives to follow, right?
  • Here’s one for all you spirits fans out there — I had the pleasure of attending a delicious celebration of this past Sunday courtesy of the fine folks at Patron, who dubbed it International Tequila Day. Since it is Friday and all, if you fancy stirring up some delicious drinks for yourself, check out some delicious tequila recipes from my buddy Sam over at The Manual.
  • And on the menswear front, you can never have enough stylish, durable socks — right? The team at American Trench knows this very well (and if you read The Style Guide, so do you!). It’s fitting that the brand just launched the latest addition to its line of well-made socks — the Mil-Spec Sport Sock is made with anti-microbial silver filament yarn in the heel, toe and sole. In layman’s terms, that means these socks kill bacteria and help keep your feet dry while feeling super-comfortable (and looking super-stylish). Look for more on those socks this fall on The Style Guide (wink, wink).

Want one more story to read? Here are two.

  • Yours truly appreciates a lot more than just fine menswear and craft beer — I also love me a great steak or burger, so I pulled together your top summer grilling essentials over at The Manual.
  • Just as I dig a great craft beer or some awesome live tunes, I also dig a well-made chambray shirt (and often combine all three at the same time). My latest GearMoose post covers the best chambray shirts for men — and you should buy one, or several, ASAP.

The Friday Read: New York Fashion Week: Men’s Edition

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.  

While there have been plenty of busy weeks as of late, this week was among the busiest … perhaps ever? It was the second summer iteration (and third iteration overall) of New York Fashion Week: Men’s, the most recent addition to a fashion calendar that sends top menswear editors, retail buyers, designers, models,  bloggers and photographers on a globetrotting marathon that stretches from London to Milan, Florence, Paris and NYC. Pretty wild, right? While runway shows and high fashion can often get pretty intimidating and overwhelming, there are still reasons to pay attention — particularly as a #menswear fan (that’s why we’re here, right?). For one, the trends that are seen on the runway — for example, the influence of sportswear on the men’s style market — trickle down all the way to brands like Old Navy (take those bomber jackets seen everywhere).

For another, they draw quite the crowd and build buzz & support for the industry. And thankfully and luckily, I had the chance as part of my freelance style writing with The Manual and this here blog to do some pretty neat things, to say the least.  For one, I was able to attend three excellent trade shows (think row upon row of brands displaying their upcoming and current wares in merchandised spaces for buyers and press). From Capsule Show to Liberty  to the more internationally focused MAN Show — featuring The Hill-Side, among others —  I caught with some of my favorite brands. Among them were brands you frequently see here — that would be folks from places like American Trench, Tanner Goods and Owen & Fred. Perhaps most importantly, I was humbled and honored to interview Mr. Todd Snyder for a piece covering his stellar new collaboration with Timex; he’s my menswear hero and a true gentleman — a fine example of the great people that work in the menswear industry overall. With all that being said, it was a busy and exhausting week, yet one that was very fulfilling and enjoyable! And it’s not done yet. I’m looking forward to heading back to Michigan for my good friend Matt Sheehan’s wedding — as a former State News colleague and a proud Spartan, it should be a tremendous occasion! And we’ll have a full men’s style weekend recap  coming along on Monday. For now, check out a few choice men’s style stories from this week!

  • As I mentioned above, you’d be wise to check out — and drool over, and pre-order — the excellent Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch as I covered for The Manual;  it’s effortlessly wearable and versatile!
  • Even though the rest of the menswear world looked toward Spring/Summer 2017 this week, Saturdays Surf NYC offered us all a sneak peek at what they’ve got coming for this fall — and boy, does the collection look stellar.
  • And in the spirit of all things New York Fashion Week:  Men’s, GQ takes you into the super-exclusive, super-premium Amazon Fashion Prime Lounge, where some of the hottest names in fashion and entertainment kicked back (I think my invite was lost in the mail).

Looking for one last thing to read?

That’s all we’ve got on tap this week here at The Style Guide — for more from my weekend in Michigan and to see the gear I’m rocking, follow along on Instagram and Twitter!

Buy 2 and get an EXTRA 25% off sale items with code CHEAT25 at Frankandoak.com! (Valid 7/14-7/15)

#OOTD: How to Style Linen Pants This Summer

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

With the weather heating up by the day here, we’re really digging into the doldrums of summer (not that summer isn’t great, it’s just … hot). How to fight the heat? Look no further than how to style linen pants this summer. It’s a style move that gets overlooked from time to time, what with plenty of warm-weather #OOTD options out there, be they stylish shorts or slim light wash denim. Yet, dressier looks are still in order for most us throughout the week. Although lightweight summer suiting options are far more common and wearable now than in years past, there’s an even cooler — and just as sharp — option that you can throw on. If the intro wasn’t a dead giveaway, the below #OOTD is all about styling an essential pair of linen trousers for your work day (or a slightly dressed up weekend outing.  We’re ditching the jacket, rolling up those sleeves and getting to work. To see warm-weather style in action, head to my Instagram. And jump on over to Twitter if you have thoughts on this #OOTD, ehh? Stay cool!

Easygoing, simple and yet still dressy & stylish.

Easygoing, simple and yet still dressy & stylish.

The Linen Pants: Bridge & Burn Roark Linen Dune Pants, $128 — Although more than $100 is a tad pricey, the extra cost comes from solid construction and a classic fit that’s not overly tailored or loose. Plus, the Khaki color works with plenty of #menswear ensembles.

The Shirt: Twillory White Oxford, $99 — A classic white Oxford balances the easygoing linen pants quite nicely; the quality and customizable fit of this shirt justifies the price, too.

The Tie: Ties.com Phoenix Skinny Tie, $20 — Brands like The Tie Bar continue to get plenty of hype (and rightfully so), but the quality, selection and looks of ties like these — in a lightweight cotton, to boot — are just as on-point.

The Watch: Armogan Spirit of St. Louis Chronograph, $225 — So you want a distinctive, stylish and slightly retro-leaning watch? Look no further than this crisp, refined chronograph sold via Huckberry.

The Shoes: Jack Erwin Archie Penny Loafer, $195 — A slim pair of cognac leather loafers adds just the right, summer-friendly touch to this ensemble — read here for more on the Jack Erwin Archie Penny Loafer in the meantime.

The Belt: Anderson’s Stretch Woven Leather Belt, $195 — Ponying up nearly $200 for a belt? When it’s made with heritage-level attention to detail and features some nice texture appropriate to summer, it’s the way to go.

The Socks: Pair of Thieves Catch-22 No-show Socks, $10 No-show socks for summer are something you absolutely have to have, and that’s particularly true when rocking leather loafers; this pair will keep your feet feeling great while helping your shoes last longer.

The Daily Must-have: This Is Ground Leatherback Writer 3, $100 — For all those loose odds and ends that pop up during the day, you need a piece that’s reliable and ready to go; in fact, it’s got room for everything from your iPhone to a notebook and wallet.

When you reach for pieces that are well-made, classic and versatile, you can meet virtually any situation. That goes for hot summer days where you just have to wear a tie, and it’s particularly true even when you rock a slim denim shirt and suede Oxfords (as in this ensemble). The right pieces — like a tailored linen pant — can work well as the start of an outfit, and you can build around them with other pieces that are great to have (like a classic Oxford, leather loafers and a crisp dress watch). You could replicate a similar combo with classic khaki chinos, but linen pants are the way to go when it gets unbearably hot out. And that’s about all there is to it. Have ideas for what you might like to see as part of the #OOTD series? Leave it in the comments below!

The Friday Read: Italian Denim, Affordable Glasses and New York Fashion Week: Men’s

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.  

Just as it seemed like summer was getting started (what with Memorial Day weekend and all), it now feels like it’s rushing past! Were you on the road for the Fourth of July this past weekend? I took it easy and stayed in NYC, which gave me the chance to visit some excellent menswear shops and check out the truly wild Coney Island hot-dog eating contest — click through this link to check out a rundown of Fourth of July weekend festivities. It was great to be able to take an extra day off and catch up with great friends in the sunny NYC weather, though. A short weekend brings us to the brink of perhaps the busiest week of the summer — the start of New York Fashion Week: Men’s, and a look at what’s on tap for Spring 2017 (truly!) from America’s top #menswear designers.
Florsheim
It was a treat to attend various events and shows last year, and I’m looking forward to it just as much this year — that goes for attending trade shows like Capsule and Liberty, which showcase plenty of emerging designers and some Style Guide favorites like Owen & Fred and The Hill-Side. Although high fashion runway shows can get confusing at times, trends seen there can be relatable and useful when showcased by a great designer like Todd Snyder, who always seems to churn out classic style staples with a rugged-refined edge.  Given that focus, I’m very much looking forward to seeing what’s in store, and you can follow along with all the action on Twitter or Instagram. It all starts Sunday, so until then, I’ll be looking to get some rest and relaxation. Enjoy the weekend, and the Friday Read!

  • Looking for a glasses upgrade? Worry not. Esquire.com takes you through five affordable glasses brands to know now — like, right now.
  • Just in case you were in need of a new pair of denim (and really, who isn’t these days?), I’d strongly advise you check out my latest feature on The Manual, covering new Italian-made denim from Mott & Bow — oh, and check back here tomorrow for more on that front.
  • Style Note of the Week: Here at the good ol’ Style Guide, we love a stylish watch. If that fits the bill for you as well, check out a recently launched Kickstarter from Jacopo Dondi, a brand who’s giving traditional watches a run for their money — why’s that? The brand is launching a sharp-looking watch with a 24-hour dial, meant to guide you through your day in a stylish, functional manner. Give it a look if you’re in the market for a new watch (and note that it’s about 50 percent funded already.

In need of more men’s style content?

    • It’s been a busy week of writing for yours truly at The Manual — and if your busy week included a hunt for a new T-shirt, look no further than a piece I wrote covering stylish summer T-shirts from Buck Mason.
    • Lastly, I rounded up even more excellent summer T-shirts for GearMoose — all of them are worth a look if you want a tee fit for layering or wearing on its own.

G-Star RAW

The Friday Read: Fourth of July 2016 Edition

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.  

We’ve reached another great summer long weekend — the Fourth of July! It’s about being thankful for our freedoms above all else, but it’s also a welcome vacation and a chance to get together with family and friends — hopefully in style. So, in true Style Guide fashion, today’s Friday Read is all about the holiday. It was a busy week in preparation for some much-needed time off — I even covered the best gear to wear for the holiday over at The Manual. Perhaps you had a busy week and are also looking forward to hitting the road, or at least enjoying some much-needed downtime. To mark a special occasion like the Fourth of July, it can be nice to kick back with a special cocktail — even if you’re a big craft beer fan, like myself. It’s a treat to enjoy a beverage that’s well-made and nuanced, like a lot of the finer things in life (especially #menswear). So it’s with that in mind that we’re giving you a holiday-centric drink option from the team at Johnnie-O — they sure do know how to make ’em, and if you caught my Masters 2016 cocktail post, you know that quite well. Check out the recipe below, plus a wearing suggestion from the brand, and read on for a few more Fourth of July weekend style tips.

The brand's 9OH2O Swim Shorts are a classic pairing alongside a tasty beverage.

The brand’s 9OH2O Swim Shorts are a classic pairing alongside a tasty beverage.

 The Red Hot American Summer Drink

The Ingredients:

  •  1.5 shots of rum — the folks at Johnnie-O prefer Ballast Point Three Sheets California Small Batch White Rum
  •  1 sliced lime
  • 1/4 ginger beer
  • Cayenne pepper
  •  1 sliced jalapeño
The Process:
  • Place 2 lime wedges in a sturdy glass, using a muddler to crush the lime.
  • Fill the glass almost to the top with ice.
  • Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with ginger beer.
  • Sprinkle cayenne to taste, and garnish with jalapeño.
  • Enjoy!

While it requires some ingredient-wrangling, the process of making and enjoying a great drink can be a lot like the pursuit of finding style essentials: Worth the wait. Right? Right. Now, if you’re looking for more menswear to complement your weekend, grab a pair of swim trunks from Johnnie-O, like the 90H20 Surf Shorts pictured above. But wait, there’s more! On the apparel front, the folks at lifestyle brand Kinfolk teamed up with La Paz on a 9-item capsule of light, airy and breezy continental style staples that could work this weekend and the rest of summer, including this excellent printed shirt and other pieces, among them some easygoing linen trousers (they’re a bit out of the ordinary, but if you find yourself hanging out near the water or on the coast this weekend, they could definitely work). Oh, and because we all love a few cold beverages while lounging in the warm weather, snag an item or two from the Herschel Supply x Coca-Cola collab — yes, you read that right. They’ve got an assortment of everyday carry essentials, from a tote to a backpack, all with insulated liners built in to keep drinks cool (and the fact that they’re made from recycled PET materials is another positive).

As to the rest of your Fourth of July style essentials, grabbing one of the best weekender bags out there is definitely in order, and some slim swim trunks or classic men’s sunglasses can’t go wrong, either. And if you need more warm-weather essentials or tips on how to style them, head over to my Instagram. Look out for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week, and a look at great dive watches coming on Monday.  Whatever you might do this weekend, enjoy the holiday, the time off and celebrating our great freedoms in style.

Enjoy the weekend, and stay stylish!

-Beau
Frank & Oak

Style Pick of the Week: Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt

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

An extremely versatile, extremely wearable and extremely well-made chambray shirt from Taylor Stitch.

An extremely versatile, extremely wearable and extremely well-made chambray shirt from Taylor Stitch.

What’s one shirt you find yourself reaching for (or at least wanting to reach for) every day? If you’re like me, it very well could be an essential chambray shirt, like the Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt — known as the California — pictured above. Rain or shine, cold weather or warm weather, I find myself drawn to a few chambray shirts in particular (because you assuredly need more than one). In fact, I’ve written about a few different chambray shirts here on The Style Guide, from the Todd Shelton Chambray Shirt to a classic GAP Chambray Shirt.  There’s a very good reason for that, and it likely ties into the fact that a chambray shirt is such an easily wearable piece – whether you’re just getting started out in the style realm, or whether you consider yourself a seasoned pro looking to expand on his wardrobe.  A chambray shirt is the more visually interesting answer to the classic blue Oxford, in that chambray as a fabric has great texture and often incorporates workwear design details — the crisp white color of the piece you see here is an added bonus. We’re talking small touches like front button patch pockets or a tab collar (like the famous J. Crew chambray shirt we all know and love). Lucky for us #menswear fans, the Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt is more refined than its mass-market brethren, and has just the type of details you should look for in a great chambray shirt, plus a few extra.

Unbreakable Japanese urea buttons and a stellar fabric make this shirt a workhorse.

Unbreakable Japanese urea buttons and a stellar fabric make this shirt a workhorse.

It’s made in America using the care and attention to detail for which the brand is known – and that’s something that’s made your trusty #menswear author a big, big fan. From the brand’s stunning Moto Jacket to its Long Haul Jacket and especially its famous Standard Issue Chinos, Taylor Stitch gets it right, from head to toe. Particularly if you want to take a step up in terms of price, but don’t want to completely deplete your bank account, they’re a brand to watch – and shop on repeat. They’ve also done a great job introducing more technical fabrics and designs as part of their recent collaboration with Mission Workshop, but this good ol’ chambray shirt is the piece to buy today. It features a 7 oz. Japanese chambray and genuine unbreakable Japanese urea buttons, for starters. Plus, the lack of pleats make it super-clean and easily wearable with dark raw denim, slim tan chinos or heck, stylish chino shorts. The double needle construction is something you won’t find on hardly any other shirts (if at all), and the soft California collar looks great unbuttoned, but could easily smarten up when buttoned with a navy knit tie. So if you’re lucky enough to get this shirt in your closet, there’s a very good chance you’ll soon start reaching for it every day – rain or shine, cold weather or warm weather.
Frank & Oak
Do you own any shirts from Taylor Stitch? How would you style this classic chambray shirt?

Florsheim

Lights up: Attending Governors Ball in style

Editor’s note: Start here for more festival style posts.

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Taking in the sights and sounds of Governors Ball 2016 with the Abe Canvas Boot by CAT Footwear. Natural Trucker Jacket by JackThreads. Striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Glasses by Warby Parker. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

Outside of writing about men’s style for a number of Web sites and working my day job in fashion PR, there’s maybe nothing I love more than checking out live music and hanging out with lifetime friends– anywhere, anytime. So when this year’s Governors Ball lineup dropped, I knew from the get-go I had to be there — we’re talking tons of bucket-list bands, great food and great times with very special friends. Now, I’ve traveled as far as San Francisco for the Outside Lands music festival, but Governors Ball holds a special place in my heart. It’s not all that far via subway and ferry from my Brooklyn apartment, and it brings the best of the best in so many genres to NYC’s backyard. It was a treat to attend last year to check out everyone from Tame Impala to Lana Del Rey, and that made it essential that I convince my great college friends Lauren Gibbons and Summer Ballentine to trek across the country for this year’s festival. It was a considerably easier trek for us to meet up with another lifetime friend and former State News journo, Kyle Campbell, who’s based in NYC. Even though day three was cancelled due to the threat of severe weather, I’d consider it a mission accomplished! And as with lots of my recent weekend excursions, it was essential to meet the affair in style. The next time you head to a summer music festival, I recommend you do the same — that’s even more important if you’re dealing with up-and-down weather. Keep in mind that it’s about the music, but dress for the occasion nonetheless — that’s why we’re here, ehh?

To kick off day one of the festival, I grabbed some trusty, rugged style essentials to combat the threat of thunderstorms.  The great team at CAT Footwear was kind enough to provide me with not one, but two rugged pairs of boots to stomp around the festival grounds with. The Abe Canvas Boot  is rugged, durable, festival-appropriate and yet still quite comfortable. The canvas side inserts and twill lining added an extra dimension of tough style, as did the rich Bossa Nova (dark brown) color. And my reliable Mott & Bow Skinny Mosco was a very solid pair of denim to rock alongside those, made with a hint of stretch and featuring that classic dark blue denim color. The boots did just as well at the festival as they’ll do at your next summer bar crawl, and they helped out tremendously given the threat of rain. Up top, I went lightweight and casual with an essential JACHS NY Striped Chambray Short-Sleeve Shirt. And since fighting inclement weather comes down to outerwear, and my friends at JackThreads were kind enough to hook me up with the JackThreads Trucker Jacket, a seriously cool update to a retro style, especially in the Seeded Natural color. It’s a downright bargain at just under $80, too.

Frank & Oak

Luckily, the rain held off, and we jammed to the essential NYC rock of The Strokes Friday night — they packed their set list with a long run of classics and some new material, and scorched their way through epic renditions of “Someday,” “Last Nite,” “Reptilia” and “You Only Live Once.” It was a once-in-a-lifetime performance! I couldn’t have been happier to be there. There also was plenty of action before that, with jams from Of Monsters & Men, Father John Misty, an epic set from Bloc Party  and the endlessly fun Matt & Kim during the day. Remember Bloc Party? I sure as heck do. And Matt & Kim are definitely workhorses in the music festival season, and they put on a heck of a fun show — if you get the chance to see ’em, please do! Friday certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to the tunes on stage, even if the beer prices were a tad high for my taste.

Taking in Governor's Ball, day two. Slim-fit Henley by Old Navy. Denim jacket by American Apparel. Indigo Linen-Blend Shorts by JACHS NY. Luca Sneakers by SWIMS Official.

Taking in Governors Ball, day two. Slim-fit Henley by Old Navy. Denim jacket by American Apparel. Indigo Linen-Blend Shorts by JACHS NY. Luca Sneakers by SWIMS Official. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

On the other hand, Saturday presented a positively gorgeous first half of the day — the second half, not so much. However, the day still provided a wall-to-wall schedule jam-packed with even more must-see shows. From a personal standpoint, that meant kicking off the afternoon with the upbeat, fun vibes of MisterWives, followed by a really stellar late afternoon show from Michigan natives Lord Huron, who seem to be everywhere with their own take on folk rock — and some excellent tailored gear as part of their on-stage apparel. They sound great, and dress sharply to match. Of course, those afternoon shows coupled with the NYC heat meant two things — a few critical refreshments and some critical warm-weather gear. I kept it simple and paired my JACHS NY Indigo Linen Blend Montauk Shorts with a slim-fitting Old Navy short-sleeve henley (a new favorite piece for hot temps) and my trusty American Apparel denim jacket.  The shorts were comfortable and lightweight yet still had a nicely tailored fit, and the color played nicely off the SWIMS Luca Sneaker, an incredibly comfortable pair of footwear that’s also breathable and machine-washable (crucial for navigating the muddy fields).

The whole combo was topped off by my Maximus Sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere. All good things must come to an end, and that meant the great music continued even as the sunny weather ran out. The lovely ladies of HAIM shredded their way through two new songs and an insane live set despite insane rain; they’ve got a tight rhythm, great vocals and a distinct sound that’s second to none. We proceeded to dance our way through a rainy set by the incomparable Miike Snow, and things thankfully cleared up seemingly just in time for once-in-a-lifetime show from a band I’ve waited about 12 years to see, The Killers. Words simply aren’t enough. You talk about the power of music to transcend and connect people, and that’s about as close as it gets. It could not have been more epic. Hopefully, it’s not another 12 years before I get to see them again!

Trying to stay upbeat despite missing day three of Governors Ball due to weather. The Alaric Boot from CAT Footwear was critical in the rain. Field jacket by Timberland. Pima Crewneck by Mack Weldon. Light Ludlow Denim by Mott and Bow. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge and Burn. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

Trying to stay upbeat despite missing day three of Governors Ball due to weather. The Alaric Boot from CAT Footwear was critical in the rain. Field jacket by Timberland. Pima Crewneck by Mack Weldon. Light Ludlow Denim by Mott and Bow. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge and Burn. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

Now, the real kicker came on Sunday — as we headed to the festival, we found out day three was cancelled due to weather concerns! Talk about a major bummer. That did give us more time to explore NYC, including a delicious brunch at Brooklyn’s Aita, some time in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and a trek across the Brooklyn Bridge. For those activities, the Slim Ludlow Denim in Light/Medium Blue via Mott & Bow worked quite well, as did the Alaric Boot from CAT Footwear. It’s a dependable, rugged hiker with colorful laces, a sturdy, jagged sole and a microfiber lining for comfort and function. They’ll definitely do quite well if you find yourself traveling to any other festivals this summer, and they did very well walking all around NYC. I’d also recommend a comfortable Mack Weldon Pima Crewneck and my reliable Bridge and Burn Flat Wool Cap to top off any travel gear.

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The adventures didn’t stop after brunch — far from it, in fact! Irish indie rockers Two Door Cinema Club took us completely by surprise when they announced a secret show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, a personal favorite venue in NYC, to make up for the Governors Ball cancellation. That left us battling about 3,000 other eager fans to see them — in a venue with a capacity of about 550, the numbers don’t quite work! In spite of that, we had a nice evening checking out some of Williamsburg’s finer establishments, and were in bed well before the announcement of the surprise Kanye West show at Webster Hall. Now, I’m still bummed I missed Cold War Kids and CHVRCHES, on Sunday (along with Death Cab for Cutie), but I feel very sure I’ll see them again soon.

The music (and #menswear) were small parts of the weekend, though — it was truly so great to catch up with outstanding lifetime friends, and I’m really fortunate I was able to rock some great gear from a few terrific brands at the festival, too. More importantly, I thoroughly enjoyed taking in some amazing, awe-inspiring music. I might be a little tired today, but there’s perhaps nothing more fulfilling as a music fan than seeing a band you love deliver on a great show at an outstanding festival. When you get the chance to sing along to songs you’ve known half your life, it’s all the better. Add in lifetime friends and the equation’s complete. Governors Ball is totally worth it, bad weather and all. I can’t say enough about the weekend, but for now, I know I’ll be back next year!

See you in the front row and stay stylish,

-Beau

P.S. For more menswear, check back here tomorrow for a summer-friendly #OOTD.

Florsheim

The Friday Read: JackThreads TryOuts Program and New Gear from Michael Strahan

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.  

Online shopping made considerably easier. Photo courtesy of JackThreads.

Online shopping made considerably easier. Photo courtesy of JackThreads.

This week’s Friday Read takes a bit of a departure from the usual, but bear with me as we kick off Memorial Day weekend. If you click on any given post on this site, from the #OOTD series  to Online Shopping Picks and the weekly Style Pick series, there’s a darn good chance you’re going to come across some gear from the fine folks at JackThreads. Since launching its own menswear vertical last fall, the brand has garnered a ton of attention from this #menswear writer for a unique and hard-to-find mix of affordably priced essentials for every season (some of which I’ve had the good fortune to test out). Truly, the quality is no joke.

They’ve got a stellar tobacco topcoat just waiting for you when it gets cold out, they’ve got slim denim shirts and indigo polos for right now (and later), they’ve got a plethora of stylish (and new) swimwear — you name it, it’s in the brand’s digital store. But how to access all this style awesome-ness (spell-check, anyone?) without knowing if the gear fits or looks good on you? Easy. The brand’s new TryOuts program, which launched on Wednesday, is here to help. Here’s the skinny: Pick out your gear, pay nothing for shipping, and try it out. Only pay for what you keep, and then send the rest back — for free. It’s not a bad deal at all, it’s easy to sign up and use,  and it plays off findings from the brand, who says more than 50 percent of the time, millennial guys leave items in their carts because of purchaser uncertainty (I know I’ve been there). So, this system aims to solve all that. If testing is any indication, the response has been largely positive — and it’s tough to ignore it when it’s such a great deal. Might I recommend you start with the JackThreads Field Jacket, among other picks? Sign up for the TryOuts program here, and stick with The Style Guide below for more of this week’s menswear news and notes. What are you up to for Memorial Day weekend in the meantime? Head to my Instagram to follow along as I travel upstate, and catch The Style Guide on Facebook for more!

  • On the style collab front, Michael Strahan  (the ex-NFL star turned talk show host) just launched the MSX by Michael Strahan line, a collection of polos, shorts, jackets henleys and affordably priced tees that merge functional fabrics with smart fits and eye-catching colors (plus, nary a pesky athletic logo in site).
  • Levi’s also teamed up once again with the Harvey Milk Foundation for its first-ever global Pride collection (and third overall) celebrating the legacy of activist and politician Harvey Milk. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Harvey Milk Foundation, and  the offering includes pieces like a classic trucker jacket emblazoned with some nice design details.
  • And if you’re already thinking ahead to the coming fall season (it’ll be here before you know it, rest assured that Canada Goose will be upping its physical retail presence pretty markedly — to the tune of opening flagship stores in Tokyo and NYC later this year. Each store clocks in at more than 4,000 square feet, and “will be an invitation to explore the company’s rich heritage and unique culture through the curated exhibition of vintage designs.” Pretty neat, ehh?
  • On other men’s lifestyle matters, GQ.com sat down for a quick, snappy and very neat interview with respected actor/musician/playwright Jeff Daniels — it’s substantive, fun and motivating.

Need just a bit more reading material before you hit the road?

  • I had a tremendous time last weekend with my family in and around NYC — here’s a post recapping all of the great men’s style gear I rocked during that mini-vacation!
  • If you’re gearing up for a summer wedding, do so in style with wedding season picks from Combatant Gentleman — part of my latest post over at The Manual.

Look for our regular Style Pick of the Week tomorrow, and stay tuned for trip coverage from my upstate vacation on Monday.

Enjoy the weekend!

-Beau
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