The Friday Read: Turks and Caicos, Filson and the Best Early Spring Style Essentials

Get geared up for spring with these stylish Chelsea boots from Astorflex and Huckberry.

First off, my friends: Thanks for joining us for another edition of The Friday Read. If you’ve just about had it with winter, well, you’re not alone — I have, too. That’s why I’d recommend investing in some of the best spring boots — the Astorflex Bitflex Chelsea Boots as seen above. They’re a favorite of the blog (as seen in this post). And the even better news is, this new pair of Chelsea boots just got an upgrade, all thanks to the tough nubuck upper. They’re sure to become (quite possibly) your new favorite pair of boots, to make a long story short.

So, to business! Today, we’ve got lots of ground to cover — it’s time for a weekend trip of a different nature for yours truly! Well, nearly time. Tomorrow morning, the Hayhoe family is taking our traditional March family trip (celebrating my dad’s 60th this time!) to a far more exotic destination than I’ve traveled of late: The sandy beaches and crystal-clear water of Turks and Caicos! It’s a far cry from Dublin, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to ditch my winter style essentials — seriously — and take in some rays. Want to see how I transition from the winter to the warmth of Turks and Caicos? It’ll be a tough task, but head to my Instagram for more. Oh, and the rest of your Friday Read is below!

  • For GearMoose, I wrote about an iconic jacket from an iconic brand that you need for spring — specifically, a rough-and-tumble Filson piece perfect for transitional style.
  • If you ask me, I think it’s worth revisiting this post on the best early spring style essentials, from transitional outerwear to the best flannel shirt to comfortable bedding. Chilly, breezy weather is going to be with us for a while, so that’s certainly one way to tackle it — that’s all there is to it.
  • Speaking of early spring style essentials, there’s one style of jacket I think you’re going to get a lot of usage out of for the coming season — the classic trucker jacket. On that note, I wrote about the best men’s trucker jackets for my friends at The Manual — give it a read!


That’s going to close up shop for me today — I’ve got some last-minute packing to do, and some sunshine to anticipate! If you still want one last item to read before you start the weekend, you’d do well to check out this piece on the best leather belt to buy now. Now meaning, well, right this instant. Let me know on Twitter if you pick it up. Thanks for reading!

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#OOTD: How to Layer Up for A Breezy Summer Night

Ready for today’s #OOTD? I hope you are — I sure am. Although we’re (sadly) getting down to the last few weeks of summer here, I assure you that today’s post is jammed with summer style essentials that still function well into the early fall.  Growing up in Michigan, I loved going to bonfires with family and friends, or spending nights on a river or lake enjoying a S’more and taking in the simpler things in life — it’s tough to find time to do that in NYC. Yet, if youre’ lucky enough to have another bonfire or backyard BBQ coming up, there’s a chance that once the sun sets, things will get a bit chilly. Not “polar vortex” cold, but breezier nonetheless. And when that time comes, you want #menswear that works with you — not against you. Men’s style staples that are crisp-yet-casual, easy to wear and easy to layer are going to be critical. You certainly want to dress for the occasion — think of it like dressing for a summer BBQ, where you’re there for a great time and ready for anything (don’t forget the beer). Keep these essentials around, and you’ll be glad you prepared accordingly — among my favorite picks from this #OOTD, I sure do love the Life/After/Denim Awash Hoodie, and I think you’ll find it’s a perfect casual menswear essential. What about the rest of these picks? Read on, shop away and catch up with me on Instagram to see how I’m spending these last few weeks of summer.

 

men's style essentials

Light, easygoing menswear staples for a breezy summer evening around a bonfire or at the beach.

The Hoodie: Life/After/Denim Awash Hoodie, $80 —  The breezy, casual Awash Hoodie features an absolutely perfect blend of laidback style and premium quality. It doesn’t look half-bad if your date needs to borrow it, either.

The Tee: Flint and Tinder Slub Tee in White, $38 — What’s more American and summer-friendly than a classic white T-shirt? Not a lot. Flint and Tinder makes its Slub Tee with just the right amount of comfort and rugged appeal.

The Denim: Nudie Jeans Grim Tim, $140.98 — While you could easily reach for a pair of classic summer shorts, the light wash of the Nudie Jeans Grim Tim plays nicely off the dark blue Life/After/Denim sweater. Ya dig?

The Belt: Sturdy Brothers Everyday Belt in Natural, $80 — That perfect, rugged yet wearable everyday belt (pun intended here) can be quite tough to find. This handsome Sturdy Brothers belt should certainly do the trick, yeah?

Timex

The Sneakers: SeaVees Maslon Desert Boot, $82.98 — What better classic sneakers to slip into than a pair of well-made, affordably priced and easygoing SeaVees sneakers?

The Socks: CHUP Labdien Socks, $16 — Cool, casual style calls for rolled light wash denim, classic white sneakers and stylish men’s socks with enough personality to speak for themselves after you’ve ditched your sneakers.

Florsheim

The Watch: Komrade Urban Diver Watch, $429 — There’s no better way to cap off an outfit filled with breezy, casual staples than by throwing on a tough-yet casual, rugged dive watch — right? Yes indeed — and Komrade surely makes an investment-worthy timepiece.

Save up to 25% each month by joining Style Plan at Frank + Oak! *Free Shipping & Returns. No code necessary. Monthly membership for men & women.

The Essential: Orange Vessel Co. Stoneware Growler, $68.99  — Craft beer delivered in a stylish, durable growler — definitely an essential for your next bonfire. This one from Orange Vessel Co. is pleasing, well-made and easy to transport.

When we talk layers and essential, casual men’s style, I’d say a piece like the Life/After/Denim Awash Hoodie makes perfect sense for a breezy summer night around a campfire or at a cabin on a lake.  It’s a reliable, easygoing piece to slip on over a well-made, classic white T-shirt  from Flint and Tinder  — you’ll get a lot of mileage out of that combo as long as you step into versatile, slim light wash jeans. And on the accessories front, don’t skimp when it comes time to put on a rugged dive watch or load up a durable growler full of your favorite beer. Sneaker-wise, I’d say that classic SeaVees sneakers are always in play — particularly for kicking back on a patio with good friends and family. What’s on your #menswear list when it comes time to dress for a shindig in late summer? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below — thanks for reading!

-Beau

Greats

#OOTD: How to Dress Casually This Winter

We’re a month into the new year, and the question for all of us #menswear fans has to be: Are you sticking to your men’s style resolutions? Finding ways to improve your wardrobe and upgrade your style? Hopefully, that’s the case through these first few weeks of 2017 — and it’s that same approach that should apply to even seemingly casual, daily style. We’ve talked tailored winter style, we’ve talked classic winter style and now, we’re talking about a style situation that can sometimes be a difficult balance — casual winter style. For those times you want to be relaxed and comfortable, yet put-together. Even if you’re only making a quick morning coffee run or an evening beer run before hosting friends, putting your best foot forward is, as we always talk about at The Style Guide, crucial. So, we’re taking staple pieces of your wardrobe and switching them up a bit — a classic black jacket, sharp denim and your favorite pair of leather boots, for starters.  Read and shop the below #OOTD,  leave questions in the comments section below, and follow along on Instagram for more daily winter style inspiration.  Good luck out there!

Taking basic pieces and amping them up with improved fits, great fabric and yes, great style

Taking basic pieces and amping them up with improved fits, great fabric and yes, great style.

The Jacket: Reigning Champ Trail Jacket, $198.98 — Lest you think that this Trail Jacket is basic, its performance and classic silhouette speak for itself (namely, the terry cotton and nylon combo is functional and easily wearable).

The Henley: Faherty Brand Waffle Henley Sweater, $154.98 — Part henley, part sweater and a substantial upgrade from your standard weekend T-shirt — warm, cozy, ultra-stylish and yes, pricey.

The Denim: Abercrombie & Fitch Slim-Straight Performance Winter Jeans, $35.20 — Is there such a thing as winter denim? There certainly is — and for a great price, you’re getting excellent comfort, a tremendous fit and comfortable fabric.

The Hat: Ebbets Field Flannels for J. Crew Detroit Cubs Ballcap, $49.50 — A ballcap in this instance? Absolutely — we’re going for casual style after all, and this hat is a unique, vintage-inspired conversation starter.


The Boots: CAT Footwear Sutter Boots, $210 —  While you could always swap in a pair of handsome leather sneakers, tough leather boots are the way to go in the snow — plus, they add a bit of sharpness to this casual look.

The Socks: Richer Poorer Stitcher Classic Boot Sock, $16 — Comfort, quality and a bit of sport-inspired style — that’s what you’re getting with these crisp boot socks.

The Belt: Abercrombie & Fitch Woven Leather Belt, $30.80 — Add some seasonally appropriate texture and casual style with this nicely priced, versatile leather belt. Wear it with slim chinos and a navy blazer to the office, too.
Beckett Simonon

The Watch: Timex Weekender Chrono Oversized, $84.95 — It’s tough to beat the reliability, durability and simple style of a Timex watch for the price. You could also go with the sharp Form-Function-Form Horween Leather Weekender here.

The Briefcase: Joshu + Vela Zip Briefcase, $265 — Be it lugging around your laptop or your everyday carry, you need a great bag. The Joshu + Vela Zip Briefcase is handsome, beautifully made and durable — just what you need.

That’s a wrap on this week’s #OOTD — although it’s sometimes easy to let your style slip up in casual situations, resist the temptation to do so with functional, comfortable pieces that fit, feel and look great. Starting with the technical-yet-sharp Reigning Champ Trail Jacket and continuing with reliable layering pieces like the Waffle Henley Sweater, you’ll be set in terms of warmth and versatility. Brushed cotton denim and tough leather boots hardly ever fail, and they’re a nice way to complement more casual accessories, like that vintage-inspired J. Crew ballcap and Timex watch.  And no matter the occasion, a reliable bag like the Joshu + Vela Zip Briefcase  is the perfect way to carry your gear from point A to point B. OK, got all that? You bet.

Thanks for reading and stay stylish,

-Beau

Heading Back Home: A winter weekend in Michigan

Dressed with brewery-hopping in mind. Indigo Plaid Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch., 505C Denim by Levi's. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Stocking cap by JackThreads. Glasses by Frameri.

Dressed with brewery-hopping in mind. Indigo Plaid Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch., 505C Denim by Levi’s. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Stocking cap by JackThreads. Glasses by Frameri.

It’s not every weekend that I get the chance to head back to my home state of Michigan — and that’s normally not the case during the busy fashion week season in New York City. But as luck would have it, the fashion calendar was on my side this time around, and that presented the perfect opportunity for another Style Guide road trip to the beautiful Mitten State. Coming off a whirlwind four days in New York City checking out the illustrious New York Fashion Week: Men’s, a trip back to Grand Rapids was just what the doctor ordered. It was a fun — if chilly — weekend filled with brewery tours, visits with friends and the birth of my brother’s two daughters (so, my two new nieces!). It was definitely a happy scheduling coincidence that worked out perfectly! Of course, I dressed to meet the cold, and as always, I was more than happy to bring along my favorite #menswear for the trip, too.

Travel essentials fit for hitting the road and fighting the cold. Chamois Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Explorer's Cap by Huckberry. Messenger bag and 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. miUSA 585 Sneakers by New Balance. Magazine by Gear Patrol.

Travel essentials fit for hitting the road and fighting the cold. Chamois Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Messenger bag and 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. miUSA 585 Sneakers by New Balance. Magazine by Gear Patrol.

If you’re a dedicated Style Guide reader, it should come as no surprise that I was more than able to pack up my Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender with all the rugged winter accessories needed for a weekend with temperatures in the teens.  My packing haul included handy pieces like my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet — fitting given the company’s Grand Rapids headquarters — plus the brand’s durable and effective Roma Messenger. Having recently tested out that gear during my birthday weekend in Brooklyn, each piece proved more than ready for a quick flight out of NYC. I packed up some trusty men’s grooming essentials in my Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit, too. And with travel style and effective cold-weather gear in mind, I layered a comfortable, slim-fitting Abercrombie and Fitch Chamois Shirt with the soft, breathable Flint and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley – it’s a durable and rugged combo. I finished off that ensemble off with a pair of reliable, warm Abercrombie and Fitch denim. For a mix of versatile style and surprisingly good traction on the icy streets, my  Danner x New Balance miUSA 585 Sneakers proved tough and effective, while my Huckberry Explorer’s Cap is a new travel favorite.

In all, the winter travel ensemble worked like a charm for my afternoon arrival in Beer City, U.S.A. I quickly followed my flight with a few tasty, rich beers with friend and fellow Michigan State alum Jesse O’Brien at the massive, recently opened Knickerbocker Brewpub and Distillery, the new Grand Rapids outpost of New Holland Brewery. Just a tip: The Polish Pepperoni Pizza isn’t a bad match with the bourbon barrel-aged Dragon’s Milk Stout. You can’t go wrong with The Poet, the brewery’s oatmeal stout, either. Given that I needed a bit more sustenance to go along with my craft beer, dinner with my close high school friends was in order at the famed DNKY, a Mexican taqueria known city-wide for its delicious, ample selection of tacos – you can’t go wrong with the Gringo Taco. Crucially, I didn’t even have to change out of my travel outfit – that’s what you call versatility. And the nearby ELK Brewing made for a good, quiet nightcap.

Of course, those Friday night stops were just the tip of the beer-hopping, city-exploring iceberg with my oldest friend, runner extraordinaire and craft beer aficionado Mr. Chris Spyke. For a day around Grand Rapids, I layered up with the warm, vintage-inspired Johnston and Murphy Faux Shearling Aviator – it’s not too dissimilar from wearing a cozy blanket, really. It worked nicely to layer over my new Abercrombie and Fitch Indigo Plaid Shirt, an unexpected offering from a brand that continues to up its menswear game. My reliable-as-ever Levi’s 505C Denim provided a bit of edge that fit right in with the city’s craft beer scene, and I found myself reaching again for my rugged CAT Footwear Sutter Boots. That was I able to finish the look off with some stylish winter accessories from JackThreads was crucial given the cold. The day took us first to Slate Clothing, a new contemporary menswear store breathing some life into the city’s retail sector. With a diverse range of brands – from the minimally inclined VINCE to the rugged Filson and easygoing, classic Life/After/Denim – the selection is worth your time if you’re in Grand Rapids. You can even pick up some essential home goods while you shop for your new favorite casual shirt, too.  Again – put it on your shopping list in Grand Rapids.

Frank & Oak

The same can definitely be said for the great leather goods makers at Brothers Leather Supply Co. Given my Michigan roots, I’m always so pleased to be able to support homegrown brands that make high-quality goods with plenty of versatility and handsome style in mind – Brothers Leather gets it right on multiple fronts. I’ve found that to be true with the gear I’ve tested out – and traveled with – so far, and it’s always a treat to stop in and catch up with the brand. A heads-up: Among the company’s other wares, canvas bags are coming soon. In the meantime, I’d highly recommend you grab a unique leather growler before this fall comes and you need to dress for your next tailgate. Now, all that menswear shopping left us pretty parched – so a stop at Brewery Vivant was in order (after we polished off a Bloody Mary at Grand Rapids Brewing Company first, of course). Stopping at Vivant is always a highlight of any trip to Grand Rapids, and I can’t pass up sipping on an essential, easily drinkable Farm Hand (brewed on-site). The frites and beer cheese are must-haves, as well. Oh, and the reverent vibe – it’s a former funeral home and chapel – adds to the religious aura of the company’s beer (I’d say).

Beckett Simonon

In short, it was a great first stop and got us ready to check out the neat interior of Creston Brewery, a converted furniture showroom with plenty of colorful artwork on its walls. That the brewery does a nice job with unique beers – including one made with Michigan blueberries – is pretty cool, and its empanadas are a great afternoon snack. Because no trip to GR can end with just two breweries, I was glad I bundled up for a quick stop at the industrially appointed Greyline Brewing, followed by some excellent pizza – and a killer double IPA – at Mitten Brewing (seriously …. Order that pizza, folks). And lest we forget the city’s ever-growing beer scene – it builds up seemingly by the day – a stop at the Grand Rapids outpost of Atwater Brewery was in order to end the night. They make a heck of a hot dog, and they can do a spiced IPA (the Car Bomb IPA) with the best of ‘em. Oh, and the most crucial part about the day – I didn’t need to change my rugged leather boots or switch out of my plaid flannel shirt the whole way through.

Tough essentials to fight the cold. Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket by Johnston & Murphy. Snowbridge Cardigan by Eddie Bauer. Buxton Boots by G.H. Bass. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Cap by Everlane. Messenger by Brothers Leather Supply.

Tough essentials to fight the cold. Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket by Johnston & Murphy. Snowbridge Cardigan by Eddie Bauer. Buxton Boots by G.H. Bass. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Cap by Everlane. Messenger by Brothers Leather Supply.

Sunday dawned chilly and cold once again, bringing with it the end of my weekend trip – and a quick stop to see my two new nieces (congrats to my brother Nick and his wife, Chelsea!). It was astounding how well the timing of my trip worked out – doesn’t happen every day, for sure. While my menswear was definitely not the most important part of Sunday, I still layered up with my Eddie Bauer Snow Bridge Cardigan, my trusty Johnston and Murphy Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket and yet another Flint and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley. Crucially, I accessorized with the durable MVMT Watches Calypso Watch. Plus, a pair of refined-yet-casual Abercrombie and Fitch Flannel-Lined Chinos perfectly complemented my G.H. Bass Buxton Boots. For two flights and some cold-yet-relaxing time beforehand in Grand Rapids, the combo proved warm, stylish and easy to layer for travel. Luckily, I kept busy on the road with the latest edition of Gear Patrol – as we discussed in my roundup of the best men’s home goods, that magazine is packed full of beautiful photography, great writing, excellent stories and the spirit of adventure to which we should all aspire. If you couldn’t tell, I’m quite the fan.

Although this weekend proved a whirlwind, it really was filled with the best things. Between incredible – yet too-brief – time with family and friends to the chance to shop great menswear and enjoy craft beer and outstanding cuisine in one of my favorite cities, it was a total treat! So, the next time you travel from chilly locale to chilly locale, pack your gear in a stylish weekender bag, bring your favorite pair of leather boots and layer up with rugged winter essentials like a henley and a shawl cardigan. Oh, and enjoy a beer or two for me. For now, I’m back in New York City and getting started on a busy week – but I’ll have fond memories of this trip back, and I’m plotting a return soon!

To my friends and family in the Mitten – see you soon!

To all you Style Guide readers ….

Stay stylish,

-Beau

The Friday Read: New York Fashion Week: Men’s, Pocket Watches and Travel Style

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.

Can you believe we’re already into February? With a busy week of menswear trade shows — and crucially, New York Fashion Week: Men’s — in the books, I’m more than ready for a relaxing weekend. That being said, it’s definitely been a treat over the past week or so to catch up with so many great friends in the menswear industry between hopping around to events and checking out runway shows from the likes of Style Guide favorite Todd Snyder. Seriously, there are some very good things in the works for Fall 2017, from beautiful outerwear to next-level tailoring. On top of the great clothes, it’s special to meet outstanding people and see where the industry is headed. From my very first New York Fashion Week: Men’s experience way back in July 2015 until now, it’s been amazing to witness firsthand a changing industry, all the while writing and learning about it along the way.

And with that being said, I’m more than excited to return home to Michigan for what should be an awesome, reflective few days spent with great friends and family — I try to get back as often as I can, and I’m particularly excited to explore Beer City U.S.A. this time around (that’d be Grand Rapids, folks). In fact, I’d say I’ll be dressed in essential winter travel style along the way. Now, if you’re looking to check a few items off your own travel bucket list, I’d say you should start with my summer trip to Grand Rapids,  and then look back to my rugged fall trip to Michigan while we’re here (talk about a throwback!). In the meantime, read a few choice #menswear pieces below, and follow along with my weekend travels on Instagram  and on Twitter.  Know that in the week ahead, we’ve got some exciting things planned —another great Style Pick tomorrow, for starters. Enjoy the weekend and TGIF!

  • Odds are, you don’t own a pocket watch — right? If you’re feeling nostalgic or yearning for a simper time, Luftbery Pocket Watches has you covered in terms of, well, a new pocket watch. It’s a recent launch on Kickstarter, and it just might be something to set you apart from those of us who consistently check our time on our phones.  Get a look at the brand’s site here.
  • Did you see last week’s Style Pick? If not, acquaint yourself as soon as possible with the Danner Mountain Light Boots — they steal some style inspiration from James Bond, and they’re tough, sleek and ready for anything this winter.
  • In addition to his, err, questionable policy-making (to say the least), Donald Trump’s menswear track record is quickly taking a dive — Esquire examines the fact that the man just does not know how to tie a tie (or do much else).
  • Last but certainly not least — it was a real treat this past week to sort through the essential, durable goods produced by Huckberry, especially considering chilly winter weather — yes, take a look at Huckberry’s best winter gear via one of my recent posts for The Manual.

And one more thing…

  • What’s not to love about the retro sportswear inspiration and near-perfect fabrications of the Todd Snyder x Champion collection? The latest release is this stellar Todd Snyder x Champion Baracuta Jacket, as I covered for GearMoose.

OK folks, that’s all we’ve got today — with that being said, I’m off to have some brews in Grand Rapids!

Until tomorrow’s Style Pick…

-Beau

Ringing in the new year: 2017 Men’s Style Resolutions

Looking ahead to the new year in style. Suit by Alan David Custom. Shirt by Twillory. Tie and pocket square by Ties.com. Glasses by Frameri.

Looking ahead to another year in the concrete jungle — in style, of course. Suit by Alan David Custom. Shirt by Twillory. Tie and pocket square by Ties.com. Glasses by Frameri.

Here we sit, just two days into 2017 — are you ready to talk men’s style resolutions for this year, yet? I sure hope so, because it’s topic number one today on the blog.  Talking style resolutions definitely plays into a larger approach when it comes to ways to better yourself personally in the new year — be it picking up a new workout plan, saving more money or setting a resolution to get out and travel in style, there are lots of things to focus on in these early days of January. While I very likely can’t help you save money all that well — just look at my menswear wish list — we can work together to set some neat and achievable style resolutions. You dig? Good. So, I’d love to hear from y’all — what are your menswear resolutions this coming year? I set some rather lofty ones last year, including a goal to wear less blue and suit up more.

At the end of the year, I have to say … I flubbed those goals a tad.  Truth be told, I realized the color blue was an essential piece in my wardrobe, from layering up with a slim henley all the way through to wearing classic suiting with a denim shirt. So, I’m going to aim to work more color into more wardrobe, for one. And, partially thanks to my recent membership in the very cool Ties.com StyleGuruSociety, I’m going to aim to suit up more this coming year — once again, the bar is set high. And with my a lovely new, custom-made suit done beautifully by the team at Alan David Custom, it should be that much easier. Seriously, I can’t recommend the quality of their work enough — it’s classic, customized tailoring just as you prefer it. But, back to those resolutions. Whether your resolutions involve developing a classic menswear wardrobe filled with versatile staples or simply saving up to buy the coveted Bond Peacoat, I’m here to help. From this site’s ongoing #OOTD series to menswear style suggestions galore, we’ll keep the fun going all year long.

So, here are my 2017 style resolutions — What are yours?? Let’s here ’em in the comments or via The Style Guide Facebook page.

#1. Mix-and-match tailoring & patterns more.

A fine example of how to mix patterns in tailoring -- a pindot tie and two sizes of stripes.

A fine example of how to mix patterns in tailoring — a pindot tie and two sizes of stripes.

Pattern-mixing in the menswear world, particularly when it comes to refined tailoring. is a bit of a tricky art to master, but it’s a style skill that plenty of guys out there have honed. Exhibit A above comes to you as styled in the pages of Esquire — seriously, check out some standout shots of Michael Fassbender for a great example of how it’s done. It’s simple enough in practice — mixing, say, a large plaid poplin shirt with a smaller plaid wool tie, for example, or a striped tie with a patterned shirt. These are the sorts of combinations I’m aiming to try soon — follow along on Instagram to see how it works out.
Join Frank & Oak Elevate - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank + Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!

#2. Ditch those boots …. some of the time.

An argument to be made for ditching the boots? Perhaps. Cove Shirt by Life/After/Denim. Flat Black Selvedge by Todd Shelton. miUSA 585 Sneakers by Danner x New Balance. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

An argument to be made for ditching the boots? Perhaps. Cole Bomber Jacket by Beckett Simonon. Cove Shirt by Life/After/Denim. Flat Black Selvedge by Todd Shelton. miUSA 585 Sneakers by Danner x New Balance. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

If you follow along with The Style Guide on a regular basis — as you well should — you’ll see that your SG team (of one) frequently wears and posts about stylish leather boots. Be it a tough workboot like the Original Chippewa Service Boot or something a tad more refined like the Astorflex Chelsea Boot, there’s no question that a great pair can be a year-round workhorse if you style ’em the right way. However, as much as I love my suede chukka boots, and a plethora of other styles, I’m feeling the need to break out classic staples like white leather sneakers far more often — and maybe with combinations like a blazer and a slim blue chambray shirt, at that. Are you with me?

#3.  Switch those jeans for chinos … every so often.

Just counting down the days 'til I can start wearing jeans again -- I suppose?

Just counting down the days ’til I can start wearing jeans again — I suppose? Button Denim Jacket c/o Forever21Men. Bowie Fit Chinos by JACHS NY. Sweater by Dockers. Classic White Oxford by Todd Shelton. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Glasses by Frameri.

My third and final major style resolution is something I took on last year — namely, wearing classic dark denim a bit less, and wearing versatile pieces like slim cotton chinos more. The slim cotton chino really is a four-season staple, and brands like Taylor Stitch know how to make them with the best brands around — so my affinity for the classic staple certainly provides a strong starting point. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly love the chinos I’ve got in my rotation, but I find myself reaching for inky blue denim more than, say, equally versatile olive chinos.  With that in mind, I’m looking to participate in the #NoJeansJanuary challenge from the fantastic team at Style Girlfriend — will you be joining me? And I’ll be making more of an effort to swap chinos into my #OOTD this winter, too.

Of course, the above items are but three resolutions I’ve got on my list — I’m also setting small workout goals, like knocking out sets of push-ups every day, and aiming to do other little things, like upgrade my apartment décor (if that’s a goal for you as well, check out what the folks at Friday & River have to say). What do you think of the above resolutions? Do they jive with any of yours? Let’s chat menswear on Twitter, and let’s kick off this year in style!

Good luck out there and stay stylish,

-Beau

Fort Myers Festivities: Celebrating a Florida Christmas

Dressed for Christmas the Florida way. Printed shirt by Quiksilver. Chambray shorts by Canvas by Lands' End. Ripper Sneakers by Reef. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason. Glasses by Frameri.

Dressed for Christmas the Florida way. Printed shirt by Quiksilver. Chambray shorts by Canvas by Lands’ End. Ripper Sneakers by Reef. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason. Glasses by Frameri.

When the holiday season hits, I tend to think back to Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons spent in Michigan — who doesn’t love traditions of years gone by? With those memories in mind, it’s been a fun process the past three years to start new traditions in my parents’ adopted home of Fort Myers, and I always welcome the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City for a warm and sunny Florida vacation. I traveled to Fort Myers last Christmas, and I get back every few months — including a recent visit for Thanksgiving — but it never gets old spending time in the sand and sun (especially when the alternative is dealing with a polar vortex in New York City).  Yes, the holiday season in Florida is always a treat, an adventure and a bit of a sight to behold — palm trees wrapped in Christmas lights looks a bit different. But it was great to be with family and friends, and I brought along as much stylish travel gear as I could pack.

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Gear fit for Florida and NYC. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Kinzie Jeans by Mugsy Jeans. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Wallet by Brothers Leather.

Surviving a frigid day in New York City and capping that off with a flight to breezy Florida is no joke, so I wore gear that could stand up to both challenges (the rest, I packed in my trusty, durable Owen & Fred weekender bag — but you knew that, right?). Of course, my packing list looked a lot different than my winter weekend in Baltimore, but I stuck with the ever-versatile Taylor Stitch Jack in Indigo Star Shirt,for starters. It’s as reliable and well-fitting of a casual shirt you can buy, and it provided a nice bit of contrast to my light wash Kinzie Jeans — they’re the perfect travel denim from Mugsy Jeans.
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For the day in NYC, I layered up with the heritage-inspired, ultra-comfortable Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, and accented the sporty sweatshirt with my comfortable and casual Brooks Academia Chariot Sneakers. They proved easy to slip on and off at the airport, and I’d wager they’ll work just as well for you the next time you travel. On the accessories front, I found my simple, effective (and unfortunately sold out!) Timex for J. Crew watch provided easygoing-yet-crisp travel style. And throughout my trip, I loved throwing on my vintage-inspired Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, a one-of-a-kind grey cotton flannel baseball cap with a navy felt “H” — for Huckberry, of course. So, that gear helped me make it to Florida in style — and it’s a good thing, as we had lots in store for Christmas weekend.

Looking out on a lovely day at Cayo Costa. Brando T-Shirt by Barking Irons. Swim Trunks by JackThreads. Gratton Sneakers by Fronteer. Expedition watch by Timex. Explorer's Cap by Huckberry. Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches.

Looking out on a lovely day at Cayo Costa. Brando T-Shirt by Barking Irons. Swim Trunks by JackThreads. Gratton Sneakers by Fronteer. Expedition watch by Timex. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches.

Getting some quality time out and about on the Florida water was in order for an early Friday boat excursion through the waterways of Fort Myers, from Cayo Costa State Park to Cabbage Key — both scenic islands with ample beach space. I stuck with a combination of gear both new and old, starting with my durable-as-heck FRONTEER Super Gratton high-top sneakers. I wore them on my last Florida trip and found they provided comfort and serious durability. A breathable, vintage-inspired Barking Irons Brando G.I. T-Shirt, courtesy of the New York-based design and apparel company, helped me stay cool on the water. Inspired by infantry T-shirts from the Vietnam era, the little details — like the scalloped hem and raised sleeves — make it a great pick-up. Of course, my JackThreads Swim Trunks were just as needed for the day, with their trim fit and neutral navy color. And my crisp, classic Timex Expedition field watch  on a tough black NATO strap held up more than fine, as did my MVMT Watches Runaway Aviators and my stylish — yet adventure-ready — Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

With a day of exploration behind us and Christmas Eve ahead, it was time to look to the weekend. I did so with a mix of pieces both tropical-inspired — like my Quiksilver Sunset Tunnels Shirt — and my Canvas by Lands’ End shorts. Those pieces worked easily for a nice Christmas Eve dinner and some much-needed time in the sun. It felt slightly odd to not be bundled up on Christmas Eve as in past years, but some subtly stylish, comfortable black canvas Reef Ripper Sneakers helped me navigate the day in style, as did my Jack Mason Nautical 3-Hand Watch on a warm weather-friendly blue perlon strap. The watch, like the black canvas sneakers, proved just as stylish for exploring sunny Fort Myers as it did for grabbing a few brews and enjoy my family’s traditions — a classic Christmas Eve film and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” Doesn’t get much better, ehh?

An amazing Christmas featuring some great men's style essentials (of course. Vintage-style cotton sweater by Hillflint. Book by Esquire. Chocolate by Toblerone.

An amazing Christmas featuring some great men’s style essentials (of course. Vintage-style cotton sweater by Hillflint. Book by Esquire. Chocolate by Toblerone.

With a delicious Christmas Eve dinner complete, I went to bed with visions of my #menswear wish list dancing in my head (indulge me, will you?).  I hope you were able to come through with key shopping pick-ups of your own, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with what Santa left me under the tree this year. I was really lucky to get an amazing vintage Michigan State sweater from Hillflint — it’s a super-premium cotton knit piece that I’ll look forward to wearing on Saturday fall trips back to East Lansing and chilly weekends in NYC alike. I’m also looking forward to breaking out an amazingly high-quality Todd Snyder White Label dress shirt for New Year’s Eve, and I’ll be reminding myself of proper dress etiquette with Esquire’s “New Rules for Men,” a fun, informative and quick-hitting feature from the fantastic pages of the essential Hearst publication. I also snagged a great Ticketmaster gift card from Santa — so you can expect more live music and menswear in the coming year on the blog!  Needless to say, I’m definitely a fan of the Christmas season, and I’m very thankful for such a great day!

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Comfortable, crisp style essentials. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Alpha Stretch Khakis by Dockers. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather.

Given the need to put together a stylish New Year’s Eve outfit — not to mention those crucial menswear resolutions — I’m sure plenty of this gear will more than come in handy in the weeks ahead. Even moreso than those stellar gifts, it was a day that made me feel very lucky and grateful to spend it with my amazing family — that’s my true takeaway from this Florida trip (and of course, the added #menswear goodies will make it a bit hard to pack up for my flight home).  So with an overstuffed duffel bag packed for later this week, I reached for sharp essentials for another day today in Florida, starting with a classic Old Navy chambray shirt — casual but still crisp. And my Flint and Tinder Pocket T-Shirt proved a comfortable base layer. Because great style doesn’t stop with your top half, I reached for my slim-fitting, easily wearable Dockers Alpha Stretch Khakis and my  Brooks Academia Chariot Sneakers. When the occasion calls for simple style, I’d wager you’ll do just fine with similarly versatile, do-everything pieces like a classic chambray shirt and chinos.

So, what’s on the docket for the rest of the week? Definitely some rest, some reflection before 2017 and yes, plenty of planning for a stylish New Year’s Eve in New York City. You can stay tuned for business as usual tomorrow, starting with a winter style #OOTD, and continuing right on through to what to wear to ring in the new year via Wednesday’s style suggestion. Oh, and if you didn’t enter last week’s men’s lifestyle giveaway, do so before the 28th to win a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card and get a jump on those fitness goals. At any rate, thanks so much for reading along — I hope you’ve had a stellar holiday season, and I hope you’re ready for lots more menswear on The Style Guide. Thanks, as always, for reading!

-Beau

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