Windy City Style: A Summer Weekend in Chicago

Checking out The Bean and Millenium Park on an outstanding summer day in the city. Wearing an American Giant tee and my Need Supply Co. denim jacket, with hair styling courtesy of AXE. Shot by Olivia Hayhoe on an iPhone 7 Plus.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wasn’t I just in Chicago? This month even? Yes indeed, Style Guide readers, my travels took me to Chicago for Lollapalooza 2017 just a few short weeks ago and yet … I’m back! Or at least, I was back this past weekend for a family weekend in the Windy City.  My last trip to the city involved a healthy dose of excellent music — including a terrific live show by The Killers — and I was just as excited to be back this time. Incredibly, I’ve even got a fall trip back to Chicago planned, whereby I’ll be sure to pack plenty of fall menswear essentials. Yet, these past few days were about reconnecting with family, exploring the city and catching up with friends right before the end of summer … all in style, of course!

The rest of my family made the trek to take in Chicago’s version of the famed American musical “Hamilton” … while I gave up my seat to my young nephew (Hi, Charlie!), leaving me more time to get out and about in Chicago. That entailed a post-dinner trek to famed indie venue Metro Chicago to see a great indie pop show by Ernest Greene (known by his stage moniker Washed Out).  I’ve gotten quite practiced at loading up my stylish weekender bag with gear to take on the season, from versatile outerwear to a slim chambray shirt and classic sneakers, and this weekend proved no different. Just remember: Going from city to city still calls for on-point travel style. So, let’s get to it.

Men's travel style

Breezy essentials for summer travel, starting with my Grayers Montreaux Windbreaker and carrying through to stylish Frank and Oak leather sneakers and my reliable Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

Heading straight to the airport in the morning on Friday called for versatile, easygoing style — just as with my last trip to Chicago. Starting with a solid base layer is always key (especially when dealing with airport A/C), so my Grayers Montreaux Windbreaker, a classically designed jacket you might recognize from my Style Pick of the Week series, was the way to go. With its light weight and easy-to-style design, the Montreaux Windbreaker teamed nicely with my equally laidback-yet-polished Mott and Bow denim shirt. Perhaps you recognize the new line of Mott and Bow denim shirts from this site’s Style Pick of the Week series, and I’d say any of the brand’s denim shirts would be a versatile bet the next time you need to throw on a crisp, casual top for travel.  The soft fabric and nicely tailored-but-mobile fit of this slim denim shirt made it an ideal airport layering move, while a new pair of Banana Republic Rapid Movement Chinos offered just the right blend of comfort and stretch.

The whole combo was topped off with my trusty-as-ever Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, a pleasingly vintage-inspired ballcap I love to throw on any time I need to keep the sun off my face.  On the footwear front, a pair of Idyllwild Pull-Up Leather Sneakers from favorite menswear retailer Frank and Oak helped me move around the city with sharp looks and wearbility in mind. And to stay on time, I threw on my trusty Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, a standout piece from the Timex Waterbury line that looks rugged and goes just about anywhere (particularly with a classic windbreaker and a stylish denim shirt). Want a winning formula for travel style? Pair mobile stretch chinos with leather sneakers and a comfortable shirt featuring textured fabric. 

It’s a good thing I was prepped with versatile menswear, because Friday packed in a heck of a lot of exploration and great times around the Windy City. Our accomodations at TheWit Chicago were outstanding — right in the the heart of downtown Chicago, this modern hotel provided a sleek backdrop and stellar views from its roof bar (the ideal spot to knock back a few Bell’s beers — good to be back in the Midwest!). And Friday night’s dinner, featuring family-style pizza, cheese plates and plenty of bread and olive oil, was nothing less than excellent. The next time you get to Chicago, I’d recommend you stop by Quartino!

Mixing earthy tones and casual, versatile staples like an American Giant pima tee and Banana Republic’s Rapid Movement Chinos alongside the CLAE Bradley Mid.

And with Friday in the books, Saturday dawned with the promise of an exciting full day getting to know Chicago more. Seeing as Lollapalooza was packed wall-to-wall with music and I hadn’t visited since college, that left plenty to do — including lots of time spent strolling through MilleniuM Park. As per usual, I prepped with the best men’s gear that I could possibly muster, including a mix of high-low, casual style led by a crisp charcoal pair of my Banana Republic Rapid Movement Chinos. Seriously, if there’s a pair of chinos that combines better range of movement or a more crisp look — the tab closure waist helps with that — I’ve yet to find ’em.  My charcoal chinos matched up nicely with a well-made, breathable Amerian Giant Premium Crew Tee in Drab Olive — a nice contrast of earthy tones that worked well to go from Millenium Park to cool spots like Raised, an urban rooftop spot outfitted with industrial fixtures, premium cocktails and local craft beer.

Saturday’s full ensemble for exploring Millenium Park, highlighted by my CLAE Bradley Mid Sneakers, plus my trusty Need Supply Co. denim jacket and the TImex x Todd Snyder Military Watch.

Like other American-made menswear that I favor, I think you’ll find a simple, stylish T-shirt works with anything on vacation.  The key to a versatile look came from my  Need Supply Co. Denim Jacket in 96, another piece that proved a favorite at Lollapalooza 2017   — it worked just as well this time around, especially as a shot of color to contrast my rich Cocoa Leather Bradley Mid Sneakers from CLAE. This style is comfortable and durable, and for this late August trip, that made them a prime footwear pick. That comfort definitely helped me get around in style — my MVMT Watches Runaway Aviators also helped shield my eyes from the hot Chicago sun, and we took the chance to keep the afternoon rolling. The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, completely refurbished and recently reopened, harkens back to the city’s glamour and refinement of years gone by. It comes complete with a rotating pop-up bar on the ground floor, plus a game room and  a neat rooftop bar with great lakefront views.

A stylish weekender bag, American Giant shorts and a breezy chambray shirt made for easy travel style.

But as always seems to be the case, the weekend drew to a close too quickly. I had just enough time for a delicious Sunday brunch at the uniquely ’70s-inspied HopCat Chicago lounge before departing the Windy City yet again — and I dressed in casual, breezy travel style to take on the day. For a bit of tailored style mixed with supreme comfort, my all-new American Giant Weekend Shorts — made from hefty rugby jersey cotton — were perfect for a flight back to NYC. And to mix in some high-low style, I threw on my trusty United By Blue Wenlock Chambray Shirt. What with breathable fabric and a neat pattern, the Wenlock Chambray Shirt added some contrast to my laidback CLAE Hayward Sneakers, at once retro and yet crisply modern. And on the accessories front, a handy travel kit and men’s grooming essentials from Baxter of California paired up perfectly together, while my rugged-yet-accessible Timex Waterbury Chrono Diver helped me stay on time in casual style. In all, the laidback, breezy style ensemble helped me make it back to NYC in good time and in good style.

I hope you spent your weekend in the same way I did — with great friends and family, enjoying great times. You can  be sure I’m already looking forward to my next trip — to Chicago or elsewhere. To keep up with my travels and my style tips, check out my Instagram. And tomorrow, you can join us for another #OOTD. Until then, stay stylish!

-Beau

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

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

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

Governors Ball

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

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

Nautica

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

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

Nautica

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

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

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

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

Gov Ball 2017

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading — rock on!

-Beau

Style Guide on The Road: A Florida Spring Break

Casual style fit for beach adventures. Striped tee and swim trunks by JackThreads. Renshaw Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Nautica. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Bracelet by Miansai.

So, welcome back to another Style Guide travel post! It’s become a custom these past few years for me to make a spring trek down to Florida in mid-March, right around the Big Ten Tournament (featuring my beloved Michigan State Spartans) and right around my dad’s birthday (hey, Dad!). And so it was the case again this past weekend, as I got out of the hustle and bustle of New York City for some birthday celebrations with my dad and some much-needed Florida beach time. I had the chance to spend a week down south as I celebrated a Fort Myers Christmas in style back at the end of December, but this trip couldn’t have come at a better time, what with cold temperatures returning to Brooklyn this past weekend. My packing list was different than my recent winter trip to New Haven, but I focused on spring style essentials and my favorite #menswear picks for the road nonetheless. Join me, and bring that bottle opener — will ya?
Greats

Transitional gear for temperate NYC and sunny Florida. Trucker Jacket by Levi’s. Garment-dye oxford by Abercrombie & Fitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Greenflex Chukkas by Astorflex. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Sunglasses by MVMT Watches. Flight Brief by Owen and Fred.

It was a temperate early morning in NYC as I hit the road, so I had to dress with transitional travel style in mind. For me, that meant an Abercrombie & Fitch Garment Dye Oxford Shirt, layered up with my Levi’s Trucker Jacket. Of note, that oxford is a very affordably priced, great-fitting and seasonally appropriate shirt. Just as with my New Haven road trip, I stepped into my extremely comfortable, slim-fitting and travel-ready stretch twill pants from Kit Culturethe five percent stretch proved perfect for a plane ride. Equally perfect for travel style? A sharp pair of sustainably made Astorflex chukkas — the Greenflex in Dark Khaki provided a stylish contrast to my Timex for J. Crew watch,. And with its minimal case size and durable NATO strap, the latest Timex for J. Crew timepiece is an affordable casual watch you should buy as soon as you can.  To haul the rest of my gear, I relied on both the Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender and the  Owen and Fred Flight Brief in Midnight ; each proved stylish and durable, what with handsome leather accents and a canvas exterior.

With my travel gear in tow and nothing but sunny skies in the forecast, I landed in Florida looking forward to some serious fun in the sun — and that’s certainly what you get in Fort Myers. With a delicious lunch at Summerlin Jake’s in the books — waterfront view and all — it was high time for an afternoon spent at my parents’ pool (one of the more scarce things to find in New York City, truly).  Topped off with a delicious dinner and some choice brews at The Grill in Fort Myers, it was a much-needed day of relaxation that couldn’t have worked out any better.

Greats

No better place than Florida for a nautical-inspired tee and some crisp kicks. Striped tee by JackThreads. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge and Burn. Renshaw Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Nautica. Brass bottle opener by Owen and Fred.

With a fun Thursday in the books, a weekend of kicking back was really just getting started. That’s not to say it wasn’t busy — and that’s not to say I didn’t dress in style, either. Naturally, I had to grab warm-weather gear from perennial Style Guide favorites JackThreads, including a nautical-striped tee. Hot temps also meant it was time to ditch my classic blue denim (finally!) for a pair of Bridge and Burn shorts. For exploring Fort Myers, I also had to reach for stylish accessories (enter my Nautica Square Sunglasses) and comfortable, versatile footwear — that’d be the Brooks Heritage Renshaw  from the brand-new Brooks Heritage Grand Slam Collection. For grabbing donuts at the legendary Bennett’s Fresh Roast, the extra  comfort provided by those kicks was crucial — as was staying on time, thanks to my Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch. And wouldn’t you know it, keeping track of the clock helped us squeeze in some much-needed beach time before a great home-cooked meal (I’d highly suggest you ask me for my dad’s rib recipe). MSU’s Big Ten Tournament loss aside, it was a heck of a nice day to be in Fort Myers.

Taking on the heat — and bar-hopping — in style. Marco Polo by Life/After/Denim. Premium Washed Khakis by Dockers. Renshaw Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Calypso Watch and Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches. Bracelet by Miansai. Glasses by Frameri.

As the sun rose on Saturday, it hit me that I still had two full days left in Florida — that’s quite the treat, and it made it all the more enjoyable to get out and enjoy more sun on Saturday. As you’d expect, I tried to make it a point to bring along my best spring bar crawl gear . For stops at the seriously cool Bury Me Brewing (themed like a craft beer graveyard) and a quick pint (and tasty chicken wings!) at The Lodge, pieces like my Life/After/Denim Marco Polo proved well-crafted to beat the heat. I kept things equally casual on my bottom half, opting for a new pair of the Dockers Premium Washed Khaki in a mobile Slim Tapered fit. Featuring washed stretch twill and a Florida-friendly shade of light blue, I’d opt you reach for a similar pair when you want to look put-together, yet feel casual and relaxed.

Does it get any better than hanging out in the beautiful Florida sun? Marco Polo by Life/After/Denim. Renshaw Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Calypso Watch and Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches.

On the footwear front, the crisp Brooks Heritage Renshaw  was again my pick, not least for the way it added a bit of sharp style to the combo. And for getting around Fort Myers and heading to evening dinner at the terrific Courtney’s, my MVMT Watches Calypso Watch and MVMT Watches Runaway Aviators proved to be prime accessories picks. Given the cold weather that swept through NYC this past weekend, I was more than happy to have some ample outdoor time sipping on tasty craft beer and wearing my favorite new warm-weather menswear. Not bad, ehh?

Beckett Simonon

The right way to finish off a Florida trip. T-shirt by Todd Snyder x Champion. Ace Shorts by Mack Weldon. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Calypso Watch and Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry

Even with Saturday in the books, I still had nearly a full day in Florida prior to my evening flight back to chilly New York City. So, what else to do but grab comfortable, casual style essentials?  For yours truly, that tends to start with a well-fitting tee — is it any wonder that Todd Snyder x Champion T-shirts fit the bill perfectly? And what better way to soak in some sun than with the tailored-yet-casual Ace Short from Mack Weldon? Of course, I find that SeaVees sneakers are the perfect way to complement a casual outfit, especially the spring-ready Legend Sneaker Regatta. And to take on a great lunch at Big Blue Brewing, there were no better picks than my MVMT Watches Calypso Watch and MVMT Watches Runaway Aviators, along with my Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.  Unfortunately, the day drew to a close all too quickly — with slightly chillier temps in the forecast, it was time to trade in my Mack Weldon shorts for stretch twill pants and swap my sneakers for chukkas.

Greats

It’s always such a treat to head down to Florida and get some great time in the sun and sand — even if it’s only for a quick weekend. The chance to catch up with family and celebrate my dad’s big day was fantastic, too. From the beautiful beaches of Fort Myers to the great craft beer and food scene downtown (and throughout the city), this trip really had it all. Of course, we’re back to the grind today in NYC (follow along on Instagram to see how I’m fighting the chill). With that being said, I already can’t wait to get back to Fort Myers. In the meantime, you can check back here tomorrow for a new St. Patrick’s Day menswear ensemble, and you can join us on Wednesday for a look at what to wear for March Madness.

Until the next trip — thanks for tagging along!

-Beau

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Leather Watches To Buy Now

Whereas recent online shopping picks entries have covered everything from the best men’s home goods  to smaller accessories like the best gloves to buy for winter,  we’re going back to basics today. That is, we’re shifting gears to something that should likely be a part of your daily style ensemble — a great leather watch. We’ve taken a deep dive with rugged casual watches and stylish dive watches, but a simple, sharp leather watch can — and likely should — become an easy-to-wear, everyday go-to in your rotation. Even if you don’t consider yourself a watch aficionado, adding a crisp leather watch to a simple outfit — say, a classic chambray shirt and dark denim — can add visual interest, subtle style and a sense of purpose (notice how more folks use their phone to check the time than a watch?). At any rate, we’re focused on affordability, classic looks and wearability when it comes to today’s #menswear picks. Shop away, chime in on Facebook and follow yours truly on Instagram for a look at how I wear my favorite watches.

#1. Shinola Runwell Watch — $550

A clean, simple and versatile watch worthy of an investment.

A clean, simple and versatile watch worthy of an investment.

Let’s call this “the watch that started it all” — at least for this menswear writer. It’s tough to argue with Shinola’s crisp, classic and durable approach to watch construction — even if some oppose the brand’s marketing practices — but make no mistake, you’re buying quality when you buy a Shinola timepiece.  In fact, this very watch made a past men’s style holiday wish list on this site, and it’s still a coveted timepiece. Anyone out there have any experience with Shinola?

#2. Orient Bambino Second Generation Watch — $198.98

Orient Bambino

Super-sharp, classic and easy to wear with just about anything.

Whereas the Shinola Runwell leans more casual, the Orient Bambino Second Generation  is all dressy, refined and crisp style. With a textured leather strap, a just-right 40.5mm case diameter and minimal dial markings, it’s the watch you’ll want to wear with your best tailored suit this winter, and then slim stone chinos and stylish suede Chelsea boots come spring. In fact, the refined, sharp aesthetic means it’ll class up even a T-shirt and denim — give it a shot sometime in place of a more casual rubber strap watch.

#3. Seiko Dive Watch — $319.98

Seiko

A leather watch that can pull double duty at the office and on the weekend.

Leave it to Huckberry to offer up a versatile, tough dive watch with not one, but two strap options (suede leather from Lum-Tec and a rubber strap option). In an eye-catching red-and-blue color combo, the 40mm case diameter hits the sweet spot for those of us with larger or smaller wrists. The option to switch up the straps means this timepiece will work just as stylishly at the office with the leather option as it will with high-top sneakers and a classic crewneck sweater as you swap in the rubber strap. Two for the price of one, ya dig?

NOV CAMPAIGN: Photo of brown boots with logo (no border)

#4. MVMT Watches The 40 in Blue/Brown Leather — $120

A clean watch with an eye-catching dial-and-strap combination.

A clean watch with an eye-catching dial-and-strap combination.

The folks at MVMT Watches make essential, no-frills watches fit for situations both casual and dressy — and that makes ’em a Style Guide favorite. If you saw our January 2016 MVMT Watches product review, perhaps you’re already acquainted with the brand’s classic 40 Series. If not, consider this a great introduction. The  brown leather strap and blue dial are a study in handsome contrasts, and the relatively slim case means this is a great watch to offset everything from a tailored navy suit to a classic blue Oxford this winter — and well beyond.

#5. Linjer The Minimalist — $224.98

Clean, essential and unique. Everything you could want in a nice leather watch.

Clean, essential and unique. Everything you could want in a nice leather watch.

If you’ll recall, this site reviewed a sharp Linjer Leather Goods wallet all the way back in 2015 — the brand has certainly grown quite a lot since then, including its introduction last year of crisp, sleek watches.  In particular, the brand’s Minimalist Watch solidifies its place on this list, what with its super-sharp looks and a very clean dial. This is certainly a dress watch for any and all occasions, but again, the crisp design means you can wear it casually with dressed-down ensembles. And hey, you need a watch to offset your Linjer wallet, right?

Honorable Mention: Form-Function-Form Horween Leather Timex Fairfield — $98

Timex

A recent introduction from Timex meets a classic, tough leather strap.

If you’re looking to upgrade your watch collection on a budget, you’re going to want to check out this honorable mention. It’s comin’ at ya from our pals at Form-Function-Form and Timex — in particular, the Form-Function-Form team knows how to make a sturdy, handsome leather strap to reliably complement any watch. And when that watch happens to be a clean timepiece like the Fairfield, that’s all the better. It’s been refreshing to see Timex update its designs as of late, and the result is a surefire winner that looks great and pairs well with picks like a slim cardigan and dark denim.

That’s a wrap on today’s online shopping picks, folks. Which of the above watches are you thinking of adding to your collection? If you’re looking for sharp versatility, a pick like Linjer’s The Minimalist is tough to beat. On the more rugged end of the spectrum, Seiko packs plenty of functionality and eye-catching design into its timeless Seiko Dive Watch, while perennial Style Guide favorites MVMT Watches serve up go-anywhere style with the brand’s 40 Series. Hopefully, you’ve found these picks affordable and stylish — right? Shop on, stock up and see you out there.

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

Signs of Light: A December weekend in Baltimore

Layered up for a pit stop at Artifact Coffee. Wool-Blend Topcoat by Old Navy. Snow Bridge Cardigan by Eddie Bauer. Denim shirt by JackThreads. Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Lockridge Moc Toe Boots by Cole Haan. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

Layered up for a pit stop at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore. Wool-Blend Topcoat by Old Navy. Snow Bridge Cardigan by Eddie Bauer. Denim shirt by JackThreads. Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Lockridge Moc Toe Boots by Cole Haan. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

As I traveled down the East Coast this past Friday morning, I was able to look back on a heck of a lot of things besides the crisp winter scenery. It was outstanding to reflect on a great year of work, of time with family and friends, of travel and a great year of celebrating some of my passions — including live music and menswear, all rolled into one. And it was as good a time as any for this Style Guide author to catch a great show and bring along some of my favorite men’s style essentials, yet again. My travels this time around took me to the unique and ever-changing city of Baltimore to see joyous indie folk rockers The Head and The Heart — that’s a definite recipe for success. I’ve been really lucky to be able to travel in style (of course) so frequently to see great bands, from an upstate trip to see Lucius to a weekend trip to Providence to see (perhaps) my favorite band, West Coast indie rockers Local Natives. So it was fitting that on one of the last weekends of the year, I took to the trail again. What did I bring with me? Only the best gear I could pack into my Owen & Fred weekender bag — you knew that bag was sturdy as heck and travel-friendly, right?

Rugged layers for a chilly weekend. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Yosemite Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Donegal Trousers by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Waterbury Chrono by Timex _ Todd Snyder. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

Rugged layers for a chilly weekend. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Yosemite Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Donegal Trousers by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Waterbury Chrono by Timex _ Todd Snyder. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

As seems to be the case with the weather across much of the country, the weekend was an especially frigid one in Baltimore — and NYC. For my train ride down the coast and a day exploring Baltimore, I layered up accordingly as seen at the top of the page, starting with my trusty JackThreads denim shirt. Of course, a stylish shawl cardigan proved a crucial layering piece given the chill, and I prepared accordingly with the durable, thick-knit and unique Eddie Bauer Snow Bridge Cardigan. I topped those layers off with the slim, warm Old Navy Wool-Blend Topcoat, an unexpected offering from a brand that keeps improving its apparel and outerwear game. For a blend of flexibility, comfort and style — crucial when sitting on a train for a few hours, then moving about the city — my trusty Bonobos Travel Jeans in Allegheny Oak fit the bill perfectly, and played nicely in terms of color off my sturdy, tough-wearing Cole Haan Lockridge Moc Toe Boots. You might recognize those boots from this site’s piece on how to dress for the first snowfall, and they’ve got plenty of weather-ready bells and whistles — they’re waterproof and feature the brand’s Grand.OS technology, for starters. When paired up with my reliable-as-ever MVMT Watches Calypso Watch and tough accessories like my Grifter Company Ranger Gloves, I was more than set to battle the chill.

I also brought along my trusty Brothers Leather 810 Wallet .It’s a beautiful, handmade and essential wallet — and you can get 15% off that wallet, or any Brothers Leather item, using the code ‘BrotherBeau15’! Seriously, look into upgrading your everyday carry ASAP. Know that the next time you hit the road to a chilly locale, you should pack as many durable winter accessories as you can, too.

The everyday carry for a quick road trip. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Wallet by Brothers Leather (Get 15% off with the code 'BrotherBeau15'! Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Pen by Owen & Fred.

The everyday carry for a quick road trip. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Wallet by Brothers Leather (Get 15% off with the code ‘BrotherBeau15’! Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Pen by Owen & Fred.

Stop number one on my trip? Of course, a stellar coffee shop — that’d be Artifact Coffee, and I’d absolutely recommend a trip of your own if ever you get to Baltimore. It’s a rustic backdrop for a tasty egg-and-bacon English muffin and a rich cup of coffee, plus some quiet writing and reflection. Properly caffeinated following an early train ride, a stop at one of the city’s neat menswear shops was in order. 16Tons — not a far walk from Artifact — is packed to the gills with vintage menswear, including sturdy tweed blazers, stonewashed denim jackets and a fair selection of tough moto boots. With my fill of menswear shopping, it was time for a much-needed burger at the lauded Abbey Burger Bistro — add the Guinness cheddar to your burger and top it off with a local Union Red Foxy IPA. I walked off the burger with a stroll through the neat Inner Harbor and Federal Hill areas of Baltimore, filled with beautiful red brick historic homes.

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With a great lunch and a great day of exploration around Baltimore behind me, I was more than ready for a long-awaited show from The Head and The Heart — seeing as I missed the band’s NYC tour stop in October after years of listening, it was high time I got around to seeing them. Looking back on 2016, the group’s stellar third album, “Signs of Light,” was one of my favorites for its joyous, uplifting message, powerful harmonies, subtle pop influences and soaring guitars. It’s the kind of music we need a bit — or a lot — more of, and it resulted in a stunning live show that was a joy to watch.With a full day to look ahead to the show, I was beyond excited — and because I packed light and relied on style staples like the tough-yet-comfortable Cole Haan Lockridge Moc Toe Boots and the durable MVMT Watches Calypso Watch I was able to transition from day to night and fully enjoy the concert.

Checking out a new music venue in a new city is always a neat endeavor, and a packed Ram’s Head Live didn’t disappoint. The buzzing,  multi-level venue also drew a nice crowd for folk rock trio Joseph, themselves a group quickly on the rise and capable of producing some powerful songs in the vein of Lucius or HAIM — yes, they’re that good.  And they nicely complemented a beautiful performance from The Head and The Heart, who absolutely didn’t disappoint. I’d recommend you see them as soon as you can — the band’s beautiful vocals and soaring songs — soaring is the only way to describe it — were incredible. From the opener “All We Ever Knew” to a huge rendition of “Rivers and Roads” and stirring, fun versions of “Lost in My Mind” and “Shake,” it was among the better shows I’ve seen this year — and that’s saying something!
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With an amazing live show in the books, I looked ahead to an excellent Saturday of Baltimore, including an amazing brunch & Bloody Mary at Baltimore institution Miss Shirley’s. Of course, a delicious, rich Nutella latte from 3 Bean Coffee was also in order. With chilly temperatures in the forecast yet again, I went with sturdy layers to fight the cold.. Namely, my slim and refined JackThreads Donegal Trousers provided a bit of a high-low style complement to my heritage-inspired Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt. Given the blustery, frigid weather, I also threw on my much-loved Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt, as seen at the top of the post. It’s a soft, warm and essential layering piece. And on the watch front, it doesn’t get any better than my rugged and durable Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph, all of which helped me navigate Baltimore in warmth and good time — seriously!

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Unique, versatile layers for a blustery Brooklyn day. Wool-Blend Henley Sweater and Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Kinzie Jeans by Mugsy Jeans. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Red Wing Leather Chronograph by Timex + Todd Snyder. Socks by To Boot New York. Wallet by Brothers Leather (get 15 percent off Brothers Leather goods with the code ‘BrotherBeau15’!

Unfortunately, my trip was over much too soon, and it was time to head back to  NYC. The ceaseless cold weather showed no signs of relenting on Sunday, so I again reached for critical layers, starting with a brand-new, rugged-and-refined Abercrombie & Fitch Wool-Blend Henley Sweater. It’s a rich addition to any wardrobe, affordably priced and featuring a neat blend of sport and heritage-inspired style. For an afternoon spent exploring Williamsburg, I accented the sweater with a distinctive Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan — you can expect to see a lot more of this unique, comfortable layering piece soon. On the footwear front, I found myself reaching once again for my durable, tough CAT Footwear Sutter Boots — the brown burnishing is a handsome and classic design touch. And whether in cold weather or on a warm, sunny day, you really can’t go wrong with the ridiculously comfortable Kinzie Jeans from Mugsy Jeans, made with a ton of stretch for ease of movement. I complemented the ensemble with the Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph yet again — it’s a tough watch to pass up wearing!

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As I bundled up heading back through Brooklyn, it was great to be able to reflect on a stellar weekend. It featured some of my favorite things — live music, menswear, travel and a requisite helping of craft beer and great burgers! It doesn’t really get any better, especially packed into the span of a few days. And any time I get to spend at my favorite spots in Brooklyn is also time well-spent. It’s been a whirlwind month of December — and a whirlwind year — but I’m really thankful to get the chance to travel, see great shows and bring along stylish menswear in the process. If you’ve got your own holiday travel coming up, I hope it goes well — and if you’ve still got gifts to buy, check out our men’s holiday gift guide, along with the women’s holiday gift guide. Happy shopping!

Thanks as always for reading — stay stylish!

-Beau

The Friday Read: Holiday Shopping, Buck Mason and The Head and The Heart

Quick, check your calendars. We’re just about one week from Christmas! That’s pretty wild, all things considered. It means it’s more than time to wrap up — or get started — on your holiday shopping, and it means it’s time to plan out a holiday travel ensemble or two (right?). Click through our women’s holiday gift guide to take care of everyone from your mother to your grandma; don’t worry, we’ll remind you next week, too. And maybe pick up something from this site’s men’s style holiday gift guide — it’s gonna come in handy, trust me. I’ve got a decent jump on my own holiday shopping — and my holiday menswear wish list, for sure — but there’s definitely more work to be done. (just a bit… I guess). Before I take care of some of that shopping, I’m pretty excited to close out the week — I’m heading to the fine city of Baltimore tonight to see The Head and The Heart, the joyous indie folk rockers out of Seattle! Seeing great live shows this fall, from Bastille — as I wrote about in last Friday’s weekly recap — to Local Natives in Providence has been really special, and I’m definitely excited to hit the road again. It’s my first time in Baltimore and my first time seeing the band, makers of one of the most easily listenable, enjoyable albums of the year in “Signs of Light” — oh, and a slew of other fun, rambling and rambunctious tracks like “Shake” and “Lost in My Mind.” So it should certainly be a heck of a fun show, and a heck of a fun way to end the week. Any recommendations for neat things to do in Baltimore? Send me a tweet on Twitter and I’ll get right to it — promise!  As with my recent trip to upstate New York and my Thanksgiving visit to Florida, you can expect a full #menswear blog post on Monday — and you can check out exactly what I’m wearing via my Instagram in the meantime. If you haven’t, join us over at The Style Guide Facebook page — and for now, check out some of the best men’s style news o’ the week below.

  • First things first — it’s primetime layering season. And as our friends at Esquire so wisely demonstrate, you need a stylish overshirt in your closet; make it one from Style Guide favorites Buck Mason, and you’re plenty set for cold weather style.
  • Speaking of cold weather style — Esquire.com is coming back at ya with an overview of a seriously warm parka you also might want to pick up this week. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of his music per se, but Drake’s design project OVO certainly keeps things moving along nicely, particularly when it comes to the brand’s collaboration with Canada Goose. Yes, the OVO x Canada Goose collaboration offers up two pricey — but decidedly warm parkas and a set of  matching trucker caps for your purchasing pleasure at the Canada Goose Web site.
  • Still need some help sorting out your holiday shopping? Good thing the folks at Paul Fredrick are hooking you up with 20 percent off orders of $200 or more, plus free shipping on any order. Pick up a crisp white dress shirt — or a versatile denim shirt — for the style-minded guy in your life. Oh, and know that the deadline for standard shipping delivery in advance of Christmas is 11:59 p.m. EST today (Friday, folks). Happy shopping!
  • So, we’ve also got something that should be of interest to both fashion fans and fans of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” — in theaters today. Old Navy has made some classic graphic tees for the occasion, and they’ve got picks for both adults and kids. Show some of that Star Wars spirit this season, ehh?
  • One last thing before we hit the road for the weekend — the new MVMT Watches Modern Sport collection, if you haven’t seen, is packed with durable, handsome and functional timepieces like the Mariner Watch, as I covered for the fine folks at GearMoose. I’ll be bringing my own Calypso Watch from the Modern Sport collection with me to Baltimore this weekend, and I can’t recommend these eye-catching, sturdy and ultra-affordable watches enough.

Have menswear-related questions? Can’t figure out what to wear for the first snowfall? We’ve got you all set — happy shopping, happy reading and have a great weekend!

-Beau

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#OOTD: How to Style a Crewneck Sweater This Winter

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

So, welcome back to the #OOTD series here on The Style Guide. The above headline might seem a bit familiar — after all,  a slim crewneck sweater is a personal favorite of this blog, and it’s as well-suited for casual, rugged fall style as it is for layering in the early stages of winter. And the particular sweater that’s being featured today is as close to a perfect reinterpretation of a classic style as we’ve got — especially from lauded American menswear designer Todd Snyder. But what differentiates the below #menswear look from other features here on the blog? We’re throwing in more weather-ready layers, for one. And we’re mixing high-low style staples like a slim topcoat with everyday wardrobe staples. If you find you don’t have any of the picks below, it’s as good a time as any to get shopping. Got additional picks to add to the below list? Hit me up on Twitter, or check out the Instagram feed for a look into what makes The Style Guide (AKA, me) tick.

A high-low way to wear a crewneck sweater this winter. Not bad, ehh?

A high-low way to wear a crewneck sweater this winter. Not bad, ehh?

The Sweatshirt: Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, $98 — The Todd Snyder x Champion line is packed full of stellar, heritage and sportswear-inspired pieces. This Pocket Sweatshirt is exhibit A in  that regard — it’s comfortable, easy to layer and potentially your new favorite sweatshirt.

The Shirt: Life/After/Denim Windom Oxford Shirt, $128 — More than $100 for a classic Oxford shirt? Well, when it’s made from premium yarn-dyed cotton in a slim cut, it’s worth the investment.

The Topcoat: JackThreads Tieman Topcoat, $149 — So, here’s where a bit of that high-low style comes into play. The “topcoat-over-a-crewneck” look is something perfected by the likes of David Beckham, so I’d say it’s Style Guide-approved.

The Denim: Buck Mason Black Slim Stretch Denim, $175 — From the makers of your favorite short-sleeve chambray shirt comes a fantastic pair of slim black denim — just as ready for a  rock concert as a casual weekend coffee date. What belt to wear? Well, brown and black can work casually (keep reading), so reach for a braided leather belt.

The Socks: American Trench Fair Isle Sock in Merino/Cashmere, $28.98 — So, some of the picks in this particular #OOTD are quite pricey — including these socks. But American Trench does things as well as anyone when it comes to stylish, durable accessories.

The Boots: Thorogood Dodgeville Boots in Cognac ,$375 — Need another pair of durable, rugged leather boots in your closet? This handsome, versatile and easy-to-wear unlined pair of Thorogood Dodgeville Boots are a nice way to amp up the slightly more casual crewneck sweater.

The Watch: MVMT Watches Calypso Watch, $145 — From the stellar new Modern Sport Collection by MVMT Watches, the Calypso is a particular highlight. It’s got the handsome look of a rugged Tudor watch at a fraction of the price. Since it’s a casual outfit, a black rubber strap can work alongside the cognac Thorogood boots.

The Hat: Columbiaknit Marled Watch Cap, $17.98 — Sometimes, you don’t need to go too fancy with your winter accessories. In this case, the Columbiaknit Marled Watch Cap is neutral, simple and quite functional in the cold.

And, well, that’s all she wrote. When it comes time to layer up on a casual-but-cold day at the office or around town, you nearly can’t beat a stylish crewneck sweater — especially one made from premium materials. And pieces like slim black denim and a classic navy Oxford create a bit of a unique one-two punch, particularly when accented by an affordable (yet great-looking!) camel topcoat. When you top it all off with rugged, eye-catching cognac leather boots, it’s a mixture of pleasing colors and textures that work well when put together (yes, even the black denim and brown boots). Of course, you can’t go wrong with a warm winter hat or well-made Fair Isle socks. In fact, this head-to-toe look might just become one you break out time and again — at least, I hope so.

Stay stylish, and stay tuned for a (relatively) last-minute holiday gift guide coming tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau