The Friday Read: Todd Snyder, The Meadows NYC and the Best Outdoor Shirts for Men

Wait a second … what do the above topics in that headline have to do with each other? Well, they’re the subject of today’s Friday Read on The Style Guide — at least, partially anyway. We’re capping off a great transitional week of weather here in NYC — did you catch this week’s #OOTD on how to wear a rugged overshirt for fall? It’s a great one, if I do say so myself.  Perhaps my Instagram can be of service if you want some real-time #menswear tips, too? And if you follow me on the ‘Gram or on Twitter, you saw my early fall weekend trip to Nashville  — but more on that in a second. How’s your fall style wish list coming along? Quite nicely, I’d hope? If you have yet to get started, I’d point you toward my rundown of rugged fall style gear, published late last month on the blog.  And if you want a pair of stylish leather boots to tide you over,  I’d assuredly point you toward this site’s See Now, Buy Now series. Shopping isn’t the only thing on tap for me this weekend, though.

You know that we’re really, truly closing out summer and starting fall when it’s time for The Meadows NYC, a popular (and growing!) music and arts festival in its second year at Citi Field in Queens. This year’s Sunday lineup — my day of choice — packs in a diverse crowd of personal favorites, from Foster to the People to DREAMERS to Canadian pop rockers Arkells to a must-see classic, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. So, that’s where Sunday will take me — but in the meantime, I’d urge you to check out tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week. Oh, and if we’re lucky, an all-new Sunday style post in our See Now, Buy Now series is coming down the pipeline, too.  That’s all I’ve got for now — see you out there!

  • Let’s kick this off with a great deal for you — sound like a plan? Perennial Style Guide favorites Frank and Oak, makers of elevated, premium basics and expertly crafted tailoring, are offering you 20 percent off first-time orders of $50 or more until September 30th with the code SEPT20. Yep, that’s right — 20 percent off. Who’s into that? It’s a nice deal considering that the code will knock a solid chunk of change off the brand’s stylish shirting and lightweight sweaters, both of which should absolutely be on your shopping list when it comes to early fall style essentials. Again, use the code SEPT20 to get 20 percent off first-time orders of $50 or more.  That’s a deal that bears repeating.
  • Mr. Todd Snyder makes the type of clothing that you can put on and forget about — it’s just that stylish and easy to wear. He mixes rugged menswear with easygoing pieces and excellent fabrication — and that’s certainly the case with the Todd Snyder Italian Boucle Shirt Jacket, my latest feature for GearMoose! Blending the best of cool, continental style, this piece would look right at home over a classic Oxford shirt or a grey chambray shirt — add your favorite pair of dark denim, and you’re all set!
  • As I said above, I spent the past weekend exploring the outstanding city of Nashville — among those highlights were stops through imogene + willie, a standout purveyor of finely crafted denim — and a couple trips to the very cool, industrially appointed Barista Parlor. You can catch my full trip recap and get some men’s travel style tips of your own within the very same post!
  • Last but not least today: What’s an “outdoor shirt” exactly? Well, it’s a rugged piece of outerwear that can work as a shirt, as a jacket … or both. And I wrote about the 20 best outdoor shirts for guys as we head into fall — once again, over at GearMoose. Read up now, and then learn how to wear a rugged overshirt this fall here at The Style Guide.

That’ll wrap up this week’s Friday Read — again, we’ll see you for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week, and Sunday’s See Now, Buy Now feature!

Cheers,

-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).

Greats

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

Home of the Strange: New Haven and Young the Giant

Gear for the road, Yale exploration and a rock show. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

Gear for the road, Yale exploration and a rock show. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

First off, don’t let the headline catch you off guard — New Haven isn’t as weird as it might sound; in fact, it was the perfect place to take in the latest stop on the “Home of the Strange” tour by indie rockers Young the Giant this past weekend! On the same page now? Good deal. Yes indeed, this late February weekend presented the perfect opportunity to hit the road again and travel in style to see another live show — it’s a real passion of mine, as you might recall from a fall trip to see Local Natives and my summer trip to see indie folk rockers Lucius, among others. And to be able to hit the road, bring along my favorite #menswear and see an awesome rock show is absolutely icing on the cake. The weather was a bit different than a winter road trip to Michigan, but not quite full-on spring territory — so, earbuds in and volume turned up, I grabbed my Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender  — and the excellent, travel-ready Owen and Fred Flight Brief in Midnight — and set out for New Haven and College Street Music Hall (Editor’s note: For the next time you hit the road, here’s another bag that surely qualifies among the best travel gear for guys).

Gear for a Saturday on the road and a Saturday concert. Sweater by The Knit Project. Dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather Supply. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Gear for a Saturday on the road and a Saturday concert. Sweater by The Knit Project. Dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather Supply. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

As has been the case with past East Coast road trips, I knew I’d have to dress for multiple potential scenarios — starting with a nice, temperate Saturday train ride from NYC to New Haven. I chose a light, breathable and innovative Fitted Merino Turtleneck from Bay Area start-up Knit Project. Made from luxurious Italian Merino wool from a company that’s focused on quality materials and a great fit, it was a neat layering touch under the Frank & Oak Marfa Slim-Fit Denim Shirt — yes, that’s right …. a turtleneck under a denim shirt.  It’s a move that’s a bit unique (and perhaps academically inspired for exploring Yale’s campus?), but works in this case thanks to the casual washed denim shirt and a well-fitting pair of  classic Frank & Oak selvedge denim. Plus, when it got breezier later on in the day, the combo worked well with no outfit change necessary. Given that I spent time on my feet exploring New Haven and drinking copious amounts of coffee from stops like Jojo’s Coffee and Tea, I needed to be able to get around effectively and on-time — that’s where my vintage-inspired Timex for J. Crew watch came in handy, along with helpful everyday carry pieces like my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet. Of course, I had to reach for a pair of sneakers that’s as comfortable as can be — yet with the functionality of durable boots. In this instance, my Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Tops were comfortable and effective for going from train to town to show.

All smiles in advance of Young the Giant. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

All smiles in advance of Young the Giant. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

Again, these were all pieces that worked just as well for getting around New Haven as they did for a heck of an epic show from Young the Giant. Luckily, I had plenty of time to kill before lining up outside College Street Music Hall. The campus of Yale really is something else — at times medieval and at times modern, it’s filled with great vistas and excellent architecture. It’s quaint, historic and very cool to explore — as is the Yale University Art Gallery (even if you’re not an art buff — I’m certainly not, but hey … menswear’s more my bag).

It’s always wise to take local recommendations into account when traveling — such has been the case as I’ve explored Washington, D.C.  and braved the Grand Rapids winter. So one would be remiss not to stop into the delicious, quirky and renowned Louis’ Lunch for an original cheeseburger, ehh? They still know how to make ’em — considering they’re known for being the inventor of the hamburger, that’s quite the accomplishment. And I can confirm for a fact that there’s no better for fuel for a rock concert — or exploring a neat college town — than a premium stop like Cask Republic, a conveniently located spot near College Street Music Hall with multiple Northeast locations and an excellent selection of burgers and beers. Again, prime rock concert fuel, folks.

Beckett Simonon

And certainly if you’ve listened to Young the Giant or caught them on tour behind any of their three albums (including “Home of the Strange,”) you know what you’re going to get. That is, an energetic, powerful show with great showmanship from Sameer Gadhia, a heck of a lead singer with a great voice and the sort of synergy with his bandmates that comes from lots of time spent honing their craft. Hyperbole? Not when you’ve been at it since 2004, I’d say. They reliably packed their setlist with crowd-pleasers and a healthy dose of standout new material, all delivered with plenty of heart. Seriously, who hasn’t sung along to “My Body” or “Apartment” …. or “I Got” (the list goes on)… while cruising in their car? Ahh, just me? OK, then. But I can tell you this — that band brings great energy, joy and feeling to the stage. What a treat to see that in action — crowd favorites like “Cough Syrup” kicked things off early, while newer hits like “Silvertongue” helped close out the encore. In between, Sameer and Co. lit up the stage with an amazing light show (check out a photo or two on Twitter) and also worked in sleeper hits like “Mr. Know-It-All” and  “Titus Was Born” off of “Home of the Strange.” In short, it was a show I’d absolutely recommend seeing.

Mixing collegiate, comfortable style for a Sunday of exploration at Beinecke Plaza. Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sashiko Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Cashmere cap by Club Monaco. Glasses by Frameri.

Mixing collegiate, comfortable style for a Sunday of exploration at Beinecke Plaza. Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sashiko Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Cashmere cap by Club Monaco. Glasses by Frameri.

Without a doubt, it was certainly a treat to see them live. The group’s time on stage at world-famous venues like Radio City Music Hall absolutely shows, and you’d do well to catch them as they tour this summer with Cold War Kids! Tickets for that one will surely go fast– anxious as I might be about getting tickets for that tour, I wasn’t anxious about dressing for the cold in New Haven on Sunday (see what I did there?). Now, there wasn’t the excitement of a show ahead, but I still enjoyed a day around a bustling town, including some lovely time spent exploring the campus of Yale once again — it’s a beautiful institution in all respects. I also can’t recommend the premium, upscale Heirloom for brunch enough — get the Heritage Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich and thank me later. For hitting up spots like Blue State Coffee (again with the coffee), I grabbed unique-yet-functional layers, starting with my Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan . My finely textured, well-made Taylor Stitch Sashiko Shirt also complemented the cardigan nicely for temperatures in the 40s, what with its unique pattern and tailored fit.

Sunday layering, starting with a sharp Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Sunday layering, starting with a sharp Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

The top half of my rig was offset nicely by casual, comfortable and athletic-inspired Kit Culture stretch twill pants. With roots in Los Angeles, Kit Culture makes gear for the active guy, with fits built for those of us on the go. With 5 percent stretch, these pants were exceptionally comfortable for navigating the city, and yet also proved stylish and crisp alongside my reliable-as-ever CAT Footwear Sutter Boots. The combo definitely merged some high-low style alongside perhaps my new favorite watch, the vintage-inspired, handsome Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch — it’s a timepiece that’s classic and eye-catching, and ever-so-slightly rugged. In short, the watch was the perfect everyday carry piece alongside my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet for exploring a bustling college town.

As is the case with many of my road trips, I feel they seem to go by too fast — and that’s definitely true considering this one packed a ton into a short amount of time! I’m always left feeling very grateful — if a bit tired — for the chance to travel to great cities, see excellent music and yes, pack my favorite menswear. I’d say no trip is too short to put your best foot forward — and who can resist bringing along everyday carry pieces like a stylish casual watch or a great weekender bag, anyways? Oh, and about Young the Giant. There are moments during every live show that get me smiling and singing, and the Saturday night show was definitely filled with them. They have no shortage of tour dates through the rest of the year, so go see ’em — don’t forget to pack some stylish rock concert gear, ehh?

Until the next trip — thanks for reading and stay stylish,

-Beau

Go Green: An October weekend at Michigan State

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

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

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

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

friday-grid-edited

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next travel weekend — stay stylish,

-Beau

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Rolling the dice: Heading West for Liberty Fairs Las Vegas

Editor’s note: To recap the last time I hit the road, click here.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

Out of all the things that excite me about New York City and the chance to work in the menswear industry, there are certain parts of the job that just can’t be beat. Although I certainly hope to do a lot more, I’m pretty thankful and lucky right now that I get the chance to travel for my day job, and blog about that travel, at the same time. Such was the case these past four days , as I headed west to Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas; it’s a twice-yearly men’s fashion trade show that makes stops in NYC and Las Vegas, showcasing what’s new and next in the industry. That means everyone from fashion magazine editors to publishers, bloggers and sales representatives are gathered under one massive roof to scope out seasonal trends, post relentlessly on Instagram and of course, do business — everything from socks to shoes to outerwear is on display by brand. It’s a busy, hectic time, which didn’t leave much opportunity to sight-see. Although I experienced a bit of the bustle during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, hitting the road to travel and check out Liberty Fairs in a city like Las Vegas was another animal entirely. As always, that’s why I hauled my favorite #menswear essentials with me.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

As I’ve been on the road a lot lately, my durable, rugged Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender has gotten a lot of work — and for good reason. If you don’t have a stylish weekender bag, and you’ve instead been relying on an old suitcase or a gym bag, making the switch is a mighty good investment. Unlike a recent trip to Michigan for a bachelor party, Las Vegas presented quite the different set of challenges — that would be the extreme heat, of course.  Standard, sweat-wicking materials just wouldn’t do, though. With style in mind, I was happy to test out a new T-shirt from Public Rec Apparel. Known for its All Day Every Day Pant, the brand recently launched a super-soft, super-comfortable and super-durable T-shirt. The tee is made with a remarkable sweat-wicking fabric blend in a  silhouette that still looks smart on its own or under a blazer — you can’t say that about your standard gym wear.  And that tee was complemented nicely another staple that merges athletic performance materials with a tailored silhouette. Yes, the OLIVERS Apparel Capital Short was just the right pair to wear from New York and right into the Vegas heat — the shorts feature a nylon-spandex blend & four-way stretch, yet fit and looks like a pair of slim chino shorts. Those two pieces kept me comfortable, which was crucial for a long travel day.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi's. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi’s. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

With my accommodations all set and a busy slate of trade show appointments locked in, it was time to hit the ground running on Monday. Throughout the course of a busy two days, it was excellent to be able to catch up with some great blogger friends like Leo of Levitate Style and Danielle of She’s A Gent. The duo was among a group participating in The Studios at Liberty Fairs, a partnership giving creatives the chance to create content — everything from photos to videos, portraits and social media posts — with brands and fellow influencers across three very busy days at the trade show. So given the need to look camera-ready, I tried to rise to the occasion while fighting the heat. A soft Steven Alan pocket tee was just the ticket in that regard — especially when paired with my Grayers Ivy Blazer, a casual linen-cotton jacket with unique patch-button pockets and a casual feel. If you’re looking for a way to dress down your summer blazer, you can’t go wrong with a garment-dyed tee. The combo helped me move in style around the trade show, as did a pair of sharp-yet-edgy Levi’s 505C Jeans, made with a hint of stretch and featuring a faded grey-black wash. They’re a slightly cooler take (figuratively and literally) on heavy dark denim and a blazer, particularly when moving around a lot. I finished off the combination with a pair of rugged Timberland leather chukka boots and my ever-dependable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, a frequent travel companion and just one of a few stunning watches from the Timex x Todd Snyder partnership.

With Day 1 in the books, it was a quick turnaround for another busy day at Sands Expo at The Venetian scoping out the bustling (and hustling) crowd of #menswear aficionados. Throughout the day, I checked out the wares on display from perennial Style Guide favorites like Red Wing Heritage and (potential) soon-to-be favorites like Hudson Shoes.  It was a great mix of brands, including everyone from accessories companies like Herschel Supply Co. to sock brands like Happy Socks. All the while, I again took on the day — and the heat — in style. I stuck with some of my favorite style essentials, like my JackThreads Denim Shirt (a very wearable shirt no matter the season). I complemented that with my Taylor Stitch Slim Stone Chinos — they’re unbeatable for the price and quality.  And when you’ve got versatile staples like those two pieces, stylish Steven Alan sunglasses and sturdy leather chukka boots are a nice finishing touch (the pair seen here is from Timberland — you can snag a similar style from Thursday Boots for a nice value).  On the accessories front, my ever-reliable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was the perfect timepiece for the occasion — it goes with just about everything thanks to the crisp retro dial and grey NATO strap. For being on time to various meetings and catching up with friends (all on the job), it helped keep me in line. That outfit combination worked well for the evening, too — it’s not every day you get the chance to attend a party thrown by the Hearst and Esquire teams (yes, that Esquire). Luckily, my smart-casual combination was able to take me from a day on the trade show floor to enjoying some delicious cocktails without missing a beat (that’s what we’re all about here at The Style Guide).

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Mott & Bow. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

Sadly, my time at Liberty Fairs came to an end all too quickly — today called for a flight back to NYC. For one last push through the heat of Vegas, I grabbed the aptly named Marco Polo from Life/After/Denim. It blends a modern fit with a garment-washed look and feel, plus an open collar (one featuring no buttons). The overall effect is breezy and casual, but it’s one that still looks put-together for a cross-country flight when teamed with the ever-stylish Slim Warren Denim from Mott & Bow. For only about $20 more than what the brand normally charges, you’re getting a well-fitting pair of Italian-made denim — they were the perfect complement to my lightweight Brooks Heritage Chariot Runners in color and silhouette. Throughout the day, kept track of my flight time with my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono and chronicled my adventures with my handy Word Notebooks Adventure Log — both of which you should bring along for a weekend getaway.

As great of a time as it was in Las Vegas, it was even better to reconnect with great friends and fellow bloggers — plus, some terrific brands you’ll (hopefully) see a lot more of here and on my Instagram in the coming months. Forging partnerships and featuring great brands and products is terrific, but meeting great people in a like-minded environment is even better.  Even though it’s been a heck of a busy week so far — and it’s only Wednesday (!) — my travels aren’t quite done yet. We’re looking at one day back in NYC before I hit the road on Friday to head back to my hometown of Mason, Michigan for my great friend Andy’s wedding. Seeing my friends for his bachelor weekend in Grand Rapids was an absolute blast just a few weeks ago, so this upcoming trip is bound to be just as incredible (even if it’ll be powered by lots and lots of coffee). If you’ve got menswear musings or questions on what to wear for your next Las Vegas trip, shoot me a tweet on Twitter or follow along on the daily via Instagram.

Look for the Friday Read and Style Pick later this week, and swing back through the blog on Monday for yet another Michigan trip recap — stay stylish!

-Beau
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Pure Michigan: A weekend back in the Mitten

Editor’s note: Click here for more posts related to traveling in style.

Exploring Grand Rapids in style on a summer Friday. Plaid Poplin Shirt by JACHS NY. Slim Ludlow Denim by Mott & Bow. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Exploring Grand Rapids in style on a summer Friday night. Plaid Poplin Shirt by JACHS NY. Slim Ludlow Denim by Mott & Bow. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Although it seems like I was just in Michigan for a summer wedding yesterday, it’s actually been … well, only about two weeks. And yet, this past Friday, I found myself boarding another plane, this time to head to one of my favorite places in the state (that would be Grand Rapids) for my friend Andy’s bachelor weekend (and congrats on the upcoming nuptials, fella!). Now, the last time I was in Grand Rapids, it was for  a November road trip — so the temperature, weather and list of activities was just a bit different. Time flies by in New York City, so it’s always great to slow down, get back home and reconnect with … Pure Michigan (got that one out of the way). Of course, as with my other summer trips — including a stop upstate for a concert and a Memorial Day weekend in New York — I loaded up my bag with all the menswear I could possibly carry; in this case, that’s quite a lot.

Packed up to hit the road. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Packed up to hit the road. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Voyager Waxed Weekender & leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Millbrook Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical.

Any great trip — to Michigan or elsewhere — starts with a great bag, one with plenty of room to carry your essentials and more. While I alternate between my trusty Navali Stowaway Weekender and my durable Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, I chose my O&F bag for this trip. It’s made from premium Martexin waxed canvas and finished off with leather accents from fellow made-in-America purveyors Wickett & Craig. It has interior zipper compartments to hold all your gear, and in my case, that included my always-dependable Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit, which I stocked with handy travel grooming essentials from brands like Tread for Men (their Traveler Sunscreen is a must in the summer) and Baxter of California — the Under Eye Complex is an underrated and handy piece to have when traveling. Elsewhere on the accessories front, I knew a hot Michigan weekend was in order. That meant my Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses were just the ticket — seriously, we’ve got more than cold winters back home. I always appreciate the chance to rock a subtle, stylish hat when the sun beats down, and the Flat Wool Cap from Bridge & Burn is a nice upgrade to the typical athletic logo ballcap — it’s slightly refined and yet still casual.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

All of that gear helped me pack & transition in style from an early flight out of NYC to a sunny evening in downtown Grand Rapids. As I always appreciate the chance to look sharp and travel in style, I grabbed the lightweight, casual and comfortable Green and Navy Plaid Poplin Shirt from JACHS NY. A well-fitting, casual basic like that works well when worn untucked (as you can see in the top photo) or when tucked in with a lightweight blazer. In this instance, it paired up well with the Slim Ludlow Denim from Mott & Bow. These jeans are built with a hint of stretch, ideal for a long day of travel.The light blue color also played well off my Hudson Belt from Arcade Belt Co. , ith its navy color and stretchy smartweave fabric. That was also the case with the very lightweight, very comfortable UGG Freamon Sneaker   — they looked great and worked perfectly for getting from the airport and around Grand Rapids. Yes, you read that right. UGG does men’s footwear, and they do it well — more on that later. And my tough, rugged and refined Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono also provided on-point travel style. As far as getting around Grand Rapids, it was an opportune time to catch up with my great friend Andy and his future fiancée Courtney for a delicious dinner at Derby Station in East Grand Rapids (hint: Get the Adult Grilled Cheese and finish it off with a Farmhand from Brewery Vivant — it’s a light, crisp and flavorful French farmhouse ale that’s perfect for hot summer nights). With Friday off and running, we also had just enough time to stop into The Meanwhile, an eclectic spot that feels like it would fit well in Brooklyn — with gin-and-tonics available for $4, the prices would stand out back in New York City.

Taking on Saturday in sporty, casual style. Vesper Polo and Ace Short by Mack Weldon. Hayden Gray Linen Jacket & Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Taking on Saturday in sporty, casual style. Vesper Polo and Ace Short by Mack Weldon. Hayden Gray Linen Jacket & Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

A fun Friday night led into yet another busy day on Saturday around Grand Rapids — and away from the city — with plenty in the works. To take on the day, I reached for a crucial style move in the heat: We’re talking here about the new, very breathable, lightweight Mack Weldon Vesper Polo. With a name inspired by the original martini sipped by James Bond, it was perfect in a figurative and literal sense for the  hot weather — seriously, the micro-mesh fabric and crisp Total Eclipse Blue color proved comfortable and sharp. The same thing goes for the Mack Weldon Ace Short — it’s another piece from the brand’s line of essential basics that fits & performs well, thanks to the French terry fabric and multiple discreet-but-useful zipper pockets. And that comfort proved essential for walking the city and grabbing a morning pick-me-up at the renowned Madcap Coffee, one of the top coffee shops in the country and a great place to catch up with my old MSU friend Pat Evans (he’s a heck of a writer and a beer aficionado to boot — grab his book on the history of Grand Rapids beer while you’re at it). We also had just enough time to swing by one of the city’s best new lifestyle shops, Brothers Leather Supply. They make ridiculously well-crafted bags and leather accessories, and they do it right in Grand Rapids — check out the photo below for a sneak peek, and look for more content on them on the blog  soon! Pat and I also took the time to hit up one of my favorite Grand Rapids stops, the renowned HopCat (purveyors of amazing beer and great burgers across the Midwest) before I reconnected with Andy and the crew for a vigorous round of foot golf in the Michigan countryside — it’s a heck of a workout if you’re used to sitting at a desk all day! Of course, all that activity meant that accessories like my Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses and the Bridge & Burn Flat Wool Cap also proved quite useful.

One of Grand Rapids' finer menswear establishments, Brothers Leather Supply.

One of Grand Rapids’ finer menswear establishments, Brothers Leather Supply.

And it goes without saying that my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch (currently on backorder but still a must-buy) was the perfect, sporty watch to meet the dual focuses of outdoor activity and indoor beer-tasting — it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.  Truly, there aren’t that many watches that can look great and perform well when traveling, bar-hopping or hitting up the Panorama music festival, but that watch is one of them. Of course, the occasion called for comfortable footwear, too. That’s where the UGG Freamon Sneaker came back into play. Featuring the brand’s traction-focused Treadlite technology and a sharp white sole, the  Seal (or light grey) option sent courtesy of the brand (thanks, guys!) provided a dash of unexpected style alongside the blues in my outfit. In fact, you can look for much more from them this fall on the blog. . And to finish off the look, I reached for some comfortable, breathable striped no-show socks from Sock Genius — when you’ve got lightweight summer sneakers along for the ride, grab stylish no-show socks to keep your feet (and your sneakers) in shape.

A busy Saturday out and about led us to a night of sampling brews and bites around Grand Rapids — that included a stop through the renowned and quickly growing Founders Brewing Company, one of my favorite spots in the city. We also carved out time to check out the first-ever distillery in the city, Long Road Distillers — they make a mean gin-and-tonic and a refreshing array of craft cocktails. For those activities, I switched up my footwear and reached for the tough, sturdy and stylish Natural Diplomat Boot from Thursday Boots, and I grabbed my rugged Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collaboration — it’s the ideal mix of casual and smart, and it worked just as well throughout the weekend. If you have to travel with only one watch, that just might be the one to grab. The entire combination worked well for a fun night out celebrating our great friend Andy — and it’s got me even more excited to be back in Michigan in less than three weeks for the wedding! If you’ve still got a summer wedding on your calendar, here’s what you should wear.

Sunday's outfit grid for a day of travel. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

Sunday’s outfit grid for a day of travel. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

With a very busy Saturday night in the books, it was time to load up on coffee and hit the road for a relatively easy flight back to New York City (a welcome change from some past travel struggles getting back to Michigan). I still dressed in durable travel gear for the trip — my Thursday Boots Natural Diplomat Boot in particular was the perfect pair of boots to wear to get back to Manhattan; they’re rugged-yet-refined, and went well with my Taylor Stitch Slim Chinos in Light Stone.  And my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was again up to the challenge of traveling in style — each piece was offset nicely by what just might be my new favorite casual shirt, the JackThreads Denim Shirt. It fits slim, the light wash cotton denim is soft and moves well, and the styling potential is on-point (look for it in an upcoming #OOTD post, in fact). And with all that gear ready to go, it was time to hit the road back.

Yet again, it feels like this past weekend in Michigan was too brief. It was great to explore one of my favorite cities in Michigan, and I’m just as excited to return again. And of course, you really can’t quantify the value of spending time with lifelong friends. On the plus side, there’s another chance for me to get back to Michigan — I’ll be back in just three weeks (again!) for Andy’s wedding near my lovely hometown of Mason. That trip will be just as fun, and with just as many chances for … (wait for it)… Pure Michigan relaxation (yes, I went there again). If you’ve got questions on how to travel in style or just want to chat menswear, check out my Twitter account or hit the ‘Follow’ button over on Instagram.

Until the next flight boards,

-Beau