Style Pick of the Week: Jack + Mulligan Ali Duffel

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

Ali Duffel 2

If you’ve been paying any attention to your television or the Internet across the past week, you’ll know the Rio Olympics are well underway. They’ve given us a bunch of gold medals for the U.S., and a seriously large amount of Michael Phelps face memes (that’s the last you’ll read of it, sorry). Even yours truly at The Style Guide published a post on what to wear to watch the Olympics. Well, there’s still plenty more where that came from — and the best part about this week’s Style Pick? You can use it all year-round. Yes indeed, the Jack + Mulligan Ali Duffel is your answer to quite a few different questions. Namely, where can I find a gym bag that actually looks good? Maybe one that’s not too bulky, either? Truly, the stylish gym bag is an underrated style upgrade you should definitely consider making, and the fact that this option’s got patriotic roots only helps during this time of year (the $115 price tag isn’t too bad, either). The bag is named for the great boxer and Olympic gold medalist himself (that would be Muhammad Ali, folks), and it’s part of Jack + Mulligan’s “Pursuit of Greatness” capsule collection. The Ali Duffel is available in four colorways, but allow me to put forth a little Saturday menswear argument — the Ivory/Sport Blue combination is the only one you need if you find yourself Stateside. Why’s that? Keep on reading.

Available in three additional colorways, the Ivy/Sport Blue might be your best bet. Photo courtesy of Jack + Mulligan.

Available in three additional colorways, the Ivy/Sport Blue might be your best bet. Photo courtesy of Jack + Mulligan.

The water-repellent canvas body is stylishly offset by what’s truly a sporty blue colorblock on the bottom panel, plus fittingly American red-striped handles made from sturdy cotton.  Right down to the blue water-resistant nylon lining, the whole combination is old-school yet crisp. It’s the kind of bag that might stylishly complement something like a rugged-refined Todd Snyder graphic T-shirt as part of a casual off-duty look. And when you do take it to hit the gym, it’s going to stand out subtly and stylishly — no garish athletic logos or overly padded shoulder strap here. The entire combination is surprisingly sharp, and the patriotic look and feel of the moment means there’s no better time to buy it. If you’re heading to an Olympics viewing party, it’s a neat way to lug a few everyday carry essentials (plus a few brews) around — and it can serve the same function the rest o’ the year, as well. If you’re feeling particularly patriotic, you could even grab a Jack + Mulligan U.S.A. Baseball Cap to really complete the look. Finish it off with the comfortable, athletic-inspired Ace Short from Mack Weldon and you’ve got an entire ensemble that’s patriotic, fresh and ready for some relaxation (and rabid cheering, of course).

Will you be buying the Jack + Mulligan Ali Duffel?

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Friday Read: Athleisure, Common Projects Chelsea Boots and the 2016 Olympics

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.  

With so much going on at the (small but well-appointed) Style Guide HQ, it’s becoming tough to keep track of the days. If it’s Friday, that must mean it’s almost time to hit the road again — this Sunday, I’m heading west to Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas, before a day back in New York … and then more travel to my home state of Michigan. But first, Liberty Fairs — it’s a twice-yearly contemporary men’s trade show, and it stopped in the Big Apple about a month ago during New York Fashion Week: Men’s.  It’s another chance for retail buyers, fashion editors and writers and industry pros to get a look at what top menswear brands are slinging for the Spring 2017 season. There’s certainly a lot of hustle and bustle associated with trade shows, but ultimately, they’re about exploring new brands, analyzing key industry trends, and forging strong relationships in the menswear industry — that much I know is true, as I’ve met some great people at large, sometimes overwhelming conferences (take my buddy Jamal of StyleSocietyGuy, for instance).

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

With that in mind, building those relationships is my primary objective, as I’m jetting out there on behalf of Timberland to meet with media and rep the brand as part of my day job. Of course, you can expect a full #menswear blog post coming at the completion of my trip (click through here for more travel style in the meantime).  While my mind’s been fully focused on prepping for the upcoming trip, the Olympics have also captured my attention — maybe yours, too? If you’ve got an Olympics viewing party on the docket this weekend, here’s what you should wear. Or perhaps you just want to check out more of those hilarious Michael Phelps face memes? Go for it. Before you go too far down that rabbit hole, stick around here and check out the week in all things men’s style — everything from stylish boxer briefs to athleisure is up for discussion. To keep up with my travels in real-time, head to Instagram or Twitter — and click through the pieces below to start your weekend in style.

  • Now more than ever, Esquire says you should grab yourself a stylish pair of Chelsea boots — and I tend to agree! In fact, The Style Guide took a look earlier this spring at the best men’s Chelsea boots to buy now.
  • While we’re talking about  Esquire, the publication also reviewed the best boxer briefs for men — if you know me, you know I love me some Mack Weldon boxer briefs, although those didn’t make the aforementioned list.
  • We talk a lot (I mean, a LOT) about style upgrades on this blog, and sandals are one area that’s often overlooked. If that’s a part of your wardrobe you want to look a little better, the footwear purveyors at GREATS have you covered (as always). The brand’s new Amalfi Slide is a luxurious, Italian-made leather slide available in crisp white (Blanco) or black (Nero), including two versions stamped with “BKNY,” a nod to the brand’s #BornInBrooklyn roots. As crazy as it might seem to advocate for leather sandals, designs like these popped up on the runways at Todd Snyder’s New York Fashion Week: Men’s show in July 2016. Crucially, the leather quality and subtle looks mean these might not look that bad at a particularly relaxed barbeque — I’ll let y’all be the judge of that.

Looking for more style content? Look no further.

  • What’s one shirt — not chambray — that you can wear across all four seasons? The essential Oxford shirt. So, here are the 10 best Oxford shirts for men, as rounded up by yours truly at GearMoose this week.
  • Lastly, the balance between looking good at the gym and looking sloppy can be pretty small — and if you want gear that’s versatile outside of slinging weights, it’s even trickier. That’s where athleisure comes into play; the style (or trend) mixes traditional tailored silhouettes with technical fabrics, and I wrote about 5 athleisure lines to know for The Manual.

Follow along with this weekend’s explorations on Instagram, and check back Saturday for another Style Pick of the Week entry.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

#OOTD: How to Dress for the 2016 Olympics

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

OK, so the title of this post isn’t 100 percent accurate — if you’re really competing in the Olympics, you’re probably not wearing the below ensemble. If you’re watching them, however — here we are. They only come up once every four years, so it’s likely that dressing to watch the 2016 Olympics might not have crossed your mind until now. But, like heading out to a warm-weather bar crawl or grabbing Sunday brunch, it’s a scenario that’s an opportunity to look your best when others might not be all that focused on doing so. It’s also a time that can be patriotic and pretty fun — who doesn’t love the Olympics, right? So that’s what this #OOTD is tackling — assuming you’re in a warm-weather area and possibly getting out and trying to recreate some athletic feats of your own in a game of backyard volleyball. With that in mind, this outfit is part sporty, part stylish and filled with a few atypical style upgrades. Those include an upgraded graphic tee and some crisp, classic sneakers — but you can see the full look below. For more daily style inspiration, check out yours truly on Instagram and follow along with my #menswear Twitter.

An ensemble that's sport-inspired yet not packed with athletic gear, finished off with classic footwear and shades.

An ensemble that’s sport-inspired yet not packed with athletic gear, finished off with classic footwear and shades.

The T-Shirt: Todd Snyder Miami Capsule T-shirt, $68 — While you can definitely go with a classic, Olympics-inspired graphic tee, this tee is premium, slim-fitting and still sporty while remaining wearable for other occasions.

The Shorts: Mack Weldon Ace Short, $65 — A pair of shorts that works for both sporty backyard activities and lounging around in style can be tough to find; however, this pair has a more tailored look than one would expect, and still performs well.

The Sneakers: SeaVees Hermosa Plimsoll Standard, $78 — Highly affordable, highly wearable and able to stylishly offset the brighter blue shorts. An American classic.

The Socks: Sock Genius Villa Park Stripe No-show Sock, $10 — If you caught the recent Style Pick of the Week feature on Sock Genius, you know that these no-show socks are durable, breathable and comfortable — that makes ’em  a winner.

The Watch: Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray Watch, $ — You need a durable casual watch in your arsenal for a variety of reasons (particularly if you’re playing some Olympic-inspired backyard games), and the Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray is a personal favorite that’s held up very well over time.

The Briefs: Flint & Tinder Heritage Boxer Briefs, $28 — Although they’re not pictured above, you can’t forget made-in-America boxer briefs that feature a custom woven waistband and comfortable fabric.

The Hat: Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, $39.98 —  Swapping out your athletic logo ballcap for a more subtle, refined hat is a solid style upgrade that makes a difference — this is the perfect cap to wear for the occasion (note the blue-and-white color) and it can even dress down a classic polo and chino shorts.

The Sunglasses: Randolph Engineering Crew Chief Sunglasses in Gunmetal, $158.98 — To root on America, there’s no better pick than sunglasses that are, well, made right in America. These are durable, premium and wearable with your best suit, too.

The Must-Have: Owen & Fred NFL Leather Coasters, $29.98 — Whether you’re enjoying a cold brew or a plain lemonade, some stylish leather coasters are a nice accessory to have, particularly if you’re hosting.

While you can always go full-on patriotic and rock an official USA jersey (soccer jerseys seem to be a popular and relatively refined pick), working with the pieces in this #OOTD provides you with versatility the rest of the summer and beyond. A subtle graphic tee is a more premium pick than a plan tee, and French terry shorts that fit trim and eschew an athletic logo are a great pick, too. Plus, an upgrade ballcap is a solid style move, and a durable rubber-strap watch should have you set for more outdoor activities beyond the Olympics. Have other #OOTD suggestions or style questions? Head over to The Style Guide Facebook page for more #menswear.

How are you planning on dressing for the Olympics? Leave it all in the comments below!
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The Friday Read: Raf Simons, Red Wing Heritage and Usain Bolt

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.  

This past week was all about reflection and appreciation for me — appreciation for a great weekend spent in Michigan, appreciation for the chance to head back to my home state again in just two weeks for my good friend Andy’s wedding, and appreciation for what’s so far been a great summer in NYC. I’ve had the chance to take in some excellent concerts by my favorite bands, I’ve had the chance to travel, and I’ve also had the chance to explore the Big Apple with amazing friends — seriously, put an NYC trip on your bucket list. With all that being said, it’s still tough to believe we’re already into August. But, that means one of the best times of the year for us #menswear fans isn’t too far off — we’re talking, of course, about fall, and all the great style transitions it brings with it. Looking too far ahead? Perhaps. For now, I’m looking forward to a relaxing, warm weekend in the city before I get ready to travel across the country in the next half of the month (a family visit to Florida and a work trip to Las Vegas are in order). If you’ve got your own summer travel still left on the horizon this weekend, accessorize with a stylish dopp kit or a functional weekender bag. And in the meantime, kick back and enjoy the Friday Read. To keep up with daily style inspiration from the blog, head over to Instagram.

  • Even if you’re not into fashion (that is, fashion with a capital “F,”) shockwaves went through the industry this week when it was announced that Raf Simons is the new creative director at Calvin Klein. The former creative director at Dior, this is his first foray into American fashion; ultimately, it could signal a new direction for the iconic American brand — and it likely means they’ll be back in a big way at next year’s New York Fashion Week: Men’s, among other fashion week happenings.
  • For those who like their athletic performance mixed in with some eye-catching style, check out FOURLAPS — named for the number of laps it takes to run a full mile, the folks at Valet recommend you look at this new athletic brand that’s mixing up the market.
  • Red Wing Heritage is back with a mighty interesting release, partner — the brand just launched its Pecos Collection, featuring two silhouettes inspired by the boots worn by Western ranchers all the way back in the 1930s. It’s a style that’s probably not for everyone, but if you’ve grown weary of your trusty suede chukka boots or even leather chukkas, you might consider grabbing a pair.
  • Long Read of the Week: It’s been a while since this entry made an appearance in the Friday Read, but its return is a fascinating one. The New Yorker looks into (with varying responses) how fast Usain Bolt would run the mile — yes, read on and ponder away.

What else is on your reading list? Make it one of these pieces, will ya?

  • There’s no better time than August to slip your feet into some stylish boat shoes before Labor Day — check out my list of the 10 best boat shoes for men over at GearMoose.
  • For rock-ready style that’s just as modern today as it was in 1970s, turn to the new Levi’s 505C — I had a blast covering the brand’s latest launch for The Manual, and know that these jeans (as seen on my Instagram) really are way comfortable.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.