Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Denim Shirts to Buy Now

Editor’s note: Get more menswear shopping picks for the season at that link.

There are some staples that never really, truly go out of style. From a rugged chambray shirt to a classic blue Oxford, these are the sort of pieces that a well-dressed guy should feasibly have in his wardrobe. And although there are a few other items you should readily have in your closet, it’s tough to dispute the timeless, rugged style of a denim shirt — yes, that’s right. Like the chambray shirt, the denim shirt is a hearty take on men’s shirting, originally worn by rough-and-tumble cowboys, ranchers and guys who needed a shirt that could take a beating. Well, modern iterations are a bit different — cut slimmer and trimmer, with more style-forward washes and detailing, for one. Yet, it’s the type of shirt that can make any guy look good — if you know which one to buy, that is. Its rugged appeal and durability makes it timeless and … you guessed it … essential. Today, we talk five great denim shirts to buy RIGHT NOW. Get more menswear at The Style Guide Facebook page and via Twitter, folks.

#1. Levi’s Barstow Western Shirt — $69.50

Made the same way as it was decades ago -- and updated with a modern fit and neat style details.

Made the same way as it was decades ago — and updated with a modern fit and neat style details.

If there’s a brand that makes a better denim shirt — or has more longevity doing it — they’ve got a tough act to follow in Levi’s. The brand still abides by the rugged ethos and construction that made its denim the pants of choice for gold miners out West, and the Barstow Western Shirt carries on that same tradition through to the 21st century. Wear this one with the Levi’s 505C to your next concert, and hang onto it the next you want a shirt to wear to the bar with friends.

#2. Scotch and Soda Denim Shirt (Available via East Dane) — $125

A minimal take on the denim shirt -- just as essential for the season.

A minimal take on the denim shirt — just as essential for the season.

While a denim shirt with a bit of a faded wash  is a reliably safe bet, you can never go wrong with a deep, dark blue denim shirt. Scotch and Soda makes pieces that are eclectic and unique in their construction and design, but this denim shirt is a winner — as with the Levi’s option above, it’s the type of shirt to wear to a rock concert, perhaps with a rugged waxed trucker jacket. And for $125, you should give it a go with a grey wool knit tie and burgundy corduroys this coming winter, too.

#3. Buck Mason Bleached Indigo Pearl Snap Shirt — $145

Made in America with classic style details -- doesn't get any better!

Made in America with classic style details — doesn’t get any better!

$145 for a shirt? Oh, yes. And here’s why — the team at Buck Mason knows a thing or two about making premium menswear in America, and this bleached indigo shirt is a fine example. Made from an 8oz. chambray fabric, it features custom-built pearl snaps and a fit that should team nicely with your favorite rugged henley this fall  and winter. The color and construction mean it also works for  layering under a suede bomber jacket on breezy days.

#4.  J. Crew Slim Midweight Denim Shirt — $88

It's tough to go wrong with J. Crew -- this denim shirt is a surefire winner.

It’s tough to go wrong with J. Crew — this denim shirt is a surefire winner.

J. Crew was (and is?) quite possibly the reason behind the surge in popularity of the classic chambray shirt over this past half-decade in menswear, and it’s no surprise that they make a heck of a denim shirt, too. This piece is slim and features a dark wash that should look just right this fall and winter with grey denim — and just as great come springtime with slim stone chinos and classic navy sneakers.

#5. Bridge and Burn Flint Overshirt — $182

A deep indigo dye and sturdy construction make this a fall and winter layering favorite.

A deep indigo dye and sturdy construction make this a fall and winter layering favorite.

So, is this overshirt your typical denim shirt? Not quite. It’s thicker, lined with cotton flannel and done up in a deep indigo wash, for one. And it doesn’t feature the  typical pearl snaps seen on most denim shirts. However,  it gets the nod here because of its versatility, durability and quality construction. The great team at Bridge & Burn puts their own touches on classic staples  (including fall’s  must-have bomber), and the Flint Overshirt is yet another example of those efforts. It’s easy to layer over a slim pocket tee, and it’ll pair up quite nicely with a stylish henley and your favorite pair of selvedge denim.
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No matter how you wear it — atop a tee, under a slim cardigan or on its own with the sleeves rolled up — a tough denim shirt is your answer to rugged fall and winter style. In the right cut and with a bit of visual interest, a denim shirt can act as another casual shirting option — think of it as an alternative to your favorite chambray shirt. And it’ll work in the fall and winter, plus the spring — when worn with other seasonal style essentials, of course. Did I miss any picks? Shoot me a note on Twitter, or drop us a line in the comments below.

Happy shopping!

-Beau

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Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Pocket Tees

Just but one example of how to wear a stylish pocket tee. The Tee Shirt in Heather Grey by Richer Poorer. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Watebury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

Just but one example of how to wear a stylish pocket tee. The Tee Shirt in Heather Grey by Richer Poorer. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Watebury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

The small details that can make or break an outfit are a big focus at the ol’ Style Guide. Everything from the break of your pants to the cut of your slim polo to the quality of the buttons on your favorite classic Oxford should be up for consideration. And it’s with that in mind that we’re talking about (all together now) the style upgrade (Ding, ding!) that comes with one of the best men’s pocket T-shirts seen below. What’s the big deal about a pocket T-shirt? And why should you grab one (or two, or three) the next time you want to hit ‘Refresh’ in your closet? For one, it’s got more visual interest and styling potential than a basic tee – the chest pocket and the fact that texture is a big part of a great pocket T-shirt speak to that. And two: It can be worn on its own, it can be slipped on underneath a chambray shirt in the spring, or layered up under your favorite crewneck sweater in the fall or winter. For one T-shirt, that’s a lot of versatility. So ready your mouse, pull up a chair and read away. To see how to style a pocket T-shirt, check out yours truly on Instagram or Twitter, too.

#1. Richer Poorer The Tee Shirt in Heather Grey — $54 (Two-pack)

A soft, slim-fitting and easily wearable pocket tee.

A soft, slim-fitting and easily wearable pocket tee.

For a company that started out making socks, Richer Poorer has done an admirable job expanding its line of basics step-by-step. As of late last year, that includes a selection of easily wearable, slim-fitting and practically essential pocket tees in a range of versatile colors that runs the gamut from a crisp Black to a pleasing off-white Natural shade. The Heather Grey color shown here — and as I wore on a Memorial Day trip upstate — might just be the best of the bunch, with soft fabric and enough visual interest to be worn under an unstructured blazer in the summer  (not to mention a shawl-collar cardigan in the fall and winter).

#2. Mack Weldon Pima Crew Neck in Indigo Heather — $34

Well-fitting basics are what Mack Weldon does, and this Indigo Heather tee is no exception.

Well-fitting basics are what Mack Weldon does, and this Indigo Heather tee is no exception.

For a company that makes basics that are sometimes thought of as simple, Mack Weldon sure does things the right way. Everything from the brand’s 18-Hour Jersey Trunks to its boxers are made with quality, comfort and style in mind. Those are underrated qualities when it comes to stylish basics, but the brand’s got it on lock. Mack Weldon is a Style Guide favorite for that very reason, and this pocket tee – in a great shade of heightened indigo – is just the ticket for wearing with your favorite khaki blazer in warm weather, or a washed crewneck sweater when the weather gets breezy. The price ain’t half-bad, either.

#3. Buck Mason Steel Slub Pocket Tee — $32

Visual touches like a rounded hem and a trusty pocket set this T-shirt apart.

Visual touches like a rounded hem and a trusty pocket set this T-shirt apart.

If you’re not hip to what Buck Mason’s doing yet, I’d suggest you acquaint yourself with our latest Style Guide Q&A, first. All good? Great – let’s get down to business. The brand makes a mean pocket tee, crafted with rugged-refined fabric and pleasing design details like a rounded hem. The Steel color shown here is just different enough from a typical light grey, and that difference adds a bit of an edge – in this case, it’s the type pocket tee to wear with off-white chinos and tan suede chukkas for a slightly monochromatic look. And, the quality of this T-shirt is such that it can be worn under a lightweight navy blazer or a chunkier cable crewneck sweater.

In a neutral color like black or navy, you've got all sorts of styling options.

In a neutral color like navy, you’ve got all sorts of styling options.

When is a basic T-shirt more than a basic T-shirt? When it’s made with soft, slubby fabric right in America, that’s when. Add in the fact that this particular Steven Alan T-shirt plays well with other refined, minimal staples from the brand, and you’ve got a pocket T-shirt worth the investment. In this instance, you should look to pair the navy color with everything from the brand’s slim black denim for a night out, to a pair of crisp light grey trousers alongside an olive blazer (see how we’re really working that neutral color angle?). Of course, you can easily wear it sans jacket with your favorite pair of chino shorts the rest of the summer.

#5. Abercrombie & Fitch Striped Pocket Tee — $20

Still thinking of the old Abercrombie & Fitch? Think again, my friends.

Still thinking of the old Abercrombie & Fitch? Think again, my friends.

Since when did Abercrombie & Fitch become so stylish? Well, the short answer is that the brand’s always had rugged heritage and solid knitwear, yet the overall line required a bit of 
 freshening up, if you will. Design head Aaron Levine – of Club Monaco fame – has so far upgraded the brand’s look and feel admirably, and that means pieces like this striped pocket T-shirt work well alongside new classics, such as this stellar field coat. The fit of this T-shirt is slim, the stripes add that crucial visual interest, and there’s not a logo in sight. Buy a couple of these for your T-shirt drawer — or save the extra cash for whatever the brand dreams up next.

Still think a pocket tee is something to put aside in your search for a stylish wardrobe? If you’ve got your basic #menswear essentials covered, think again. Particularly if you like stocking up on new items every now and again, it’s a style you can and should reach for consistently in months both warm and cold. Whether grab a slim Todd Snyder pocket T-shirt or one of the picks above, there’s no doubt that even the smallest of details – like the rounded hem on that Buck Mason pocket tee – can elevate the humble pocket tee from just another T-shirt to something that can be a focal point of your outfit. Tuck it in a bit, roll up the sleeves, toss it on under a denim jacket or go clean-cut with a breezy linen blazer – there’s not really a way these stylish pocket T-shirts can’t be worn.

Got questions on these tees? Think I missed one? Chime in on Twitter to get this #menswear feud going (wink, wink).

Circle back on Friday for our weekly menswear recap – we’ll see you then,

-Beau

Florsheim

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Dopp Kits to Buy Now

Editor’s note: Stock up on a full set of #menswear essentials at that link.

We talk often at The Style Guide about holistic style — putting together outfits using the small details and looking to make style upgrades whenever possible. That should carry right on through to things like your everyday carry, and even smaller touches like the no-show socks you should wear this summer. So if those details are important, the gear that you bring along with you when hitting the road is all the more essential (at least in this writer’s mind). And let’s hope you’ve got some more summer travel in the works, in the meantime. Now, prepping in style for that travel starts with the big stuff — think a durable weekender bag — and whether you’re hopping on a train or hopping a flight, you need something that’s just as stylish to carry around the grooming essentials you should be bringing with you. It’s taken a lot of practice for this #menswear writer to get accustomed to planning out all those details, but it certainly pays off — and that’s definitely the feeling you should get when you pick up one of the best dopp kits to buy now.  As for me, I’ll be packing up my own kit this weekend in fact — heading back to my home state of Michigan for a bachelor party should be quite the fun time. And as you’re planning out your next trip, take some time, check out the below picks and get those plane tickets booked.

#1. J. Crew Abingdon Travel Kit — $58

Simple, stylish and effective -- exactly what you want from a great dopp kit.

Simple, stylish and effective — exactly what you want from a great dopp kit.

There’s a reason the fine folks at J. Crew sit so high up on this site’s Approved Brands list — they make a heck of a lot of head-to-toe men’s style essentials, and they do a darn good job at it. The Abingdon Travel Kit is just one of those pieces, made from a fine waxed cotton canvas and featuring details like burnished leather trim and brass-finish hardware. It’s the type of piece that would handsomely complement a rugged waxed weekender bag, and it’ll fit right in if you find yourself a fan of the brand’s classic style pieces — seriously, it’s tough to find a dopp kit that blends seamlessly with what you wear everyday. If that’s what you need, pick up this dopp kit ASAP.

#2. Baxter of California Dopp Bag — $25

A navy color that goes with everything, plus durable fabric.

A navy color that goes with everything, plus durable fabric.

For as much as J. Crew has the head-to-toe style game handled, the team at Baxter of California has you all set with everything you might need on the men’s grooming front. The brand’s Dopp Bag is no-fuss, made out of navy blue canvas and featuring a distinctive logo on one side. It looks like it’s about the perfect size to hold several of the brand’s travel toiletries (or else, those little bottles you pick up from hotel rooms and the like. And the navy canvas should be durable and hold up well to getting tossed into a bag. For $25, that’s not a bad deal.

#3. Wood & Faulk Dopp Kit in North Coast Grey — $110

Details like bridle leather accents and a carrying handle contribute to this bag's utility.

Details like bridle leather accents and a carrying handle contribute to this bag’s utility.

Before you balk at that price, know that with the way Wood & Faulk produces their goods, you’re getting a substantial return on your investment. The brand’s wares have popped up here on The Style Guide a few times before (namely in this essential chambray shirt #OOTD), and you’re certainly getting a handsome dopp kit here as well. We’re talking heavy canvas, bridle leather accents and brass hardware, plus a handle that makes it easy to carry. The Grey color of the canvas should age quite well over time, and the nylon interior is easy to clean and ready to stand up to multiple trips. Definitely worth the price.

#4. Byrd x Richer Poorer Light Carry-on — $74

There's a heck of a lot of functionality -- and extra goods -- packed into one dopp kit.

There’s a heck of a lot of functionality — and extra goods — packed into one dopp kit.

The Byrd x Richer Poorer collab is one that’s so much more than a dopp kit — wait ’til you see what’s in this one, in fact. You get a reliable dopp kit from Topo Designs, who certainly knows how to make functional everyday carry gear, and you get a plethora of other menswear goodies, including two pairs of Richer Poorer socks and a comb, “soap on a rope” and a light pomade from the team at Byrd Hairdo Products. You get all this for $74, and you get to keep the dopp kit — a good thing, as you’ll want to use it over and over no matter where your summer travels take you.

#5. Shinola Small Zip Travel Kit — $250

A stylish leather dopp kit that ... comes close to breaking the bank.

A stylish leather dopp kit that … comes close to breaking the bank.

For as splurge-worthy as Shinola tends to be (and in spite of the trouble the brand has found themselves in with the FTC as of late), they’re still a favorite of this site for the approach they bring to manufacturing products in the U.S. The goods really are high-quality, despite what doubters of the brand’s marketing tactics might say, so this dopp kit coming in at north of $200 makes it an investment … but a very solid one. If you do have the chance to check out the brand’s Detroit flagship (as I did on a trip to Detroit earlier this year), stop by if you’re a fan of quality design, display and merchandising.

Hopefully, some of the above picks caught your eye (and perhaps the attention of your wallet, too). It’s certainly an upgrade and a change of thought to think of the case that carries your toothpaste as being part of your everyday style, but it’s thinking in that manner that can pay dividends across the board. Whether you reach for a rugged waxed canvas dopp kit or a more refined leather dopp kit is all a matter of taste — but any of the above should be able to work with (and fit in) everything from a stylish weekender bag to a suitcase fit for business travel. If you see any brands I missed, shoot me a tweet on Twitter or drop us a line at The Style Guide Facebook page.
Frank & Oak

 

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Dive Watches

Editor’s note: To grab all sorts of goodies, head here for more #menswear shopping picks.

What's on your wrist, 007? We're talking stylish dive watches that won't break the bank today on The Style Guide.

What’s on your wrist, 007? We’re talking stylish dive watches that won’t break the bank (unlike the OMEGA Planet Ocean pictured here) today on The Style Guide.

We’re back today with another edition of The Style Guide, and we’re “diving” in (literally) to a crucial area for spring and summer (and heck, year-round) style — the best men’s dive watches to buy now. Why is it so critical and helpful to own a great stainless steel dive watch, particularly during the warmer months? As we’ve talked about time and again here, versatility in the #menswear world is paramount, especially when shopping on a  budget. Now, make no mistake — it pays to have an arsenal of versatile watches, including a stylish casual watch (think less rugged, more laidback). However, a tough dive watch — a style favored notably by James Bond — can be the accessory equivalent of a reliable pair of slim tan chinos. That is, you can wear it with nearly any outfit, from a classic pocket tee and dark denim to a tailored suit for a summer wedding (that’s especially true if it leans dressier in  nature), to a pair of chino shorts and white sneakers. And although there are rugged rubber-strap watches out there made specifically for diving, a stainless steel timepiece is the more versatile of the two options — lucky for all of us, there are plenty of options to be had that’ll work during summer when you head to the beach, and thereafter when you head to the bar. Functionality is key, but we won’t get into the specifics of debating watch movements (at least today). So settle in, pop open a new browser window (multi-tasking), and read on to find out more about the best men’s dive watches to buy now. (P.S. Check out my Instagram page for more tips on how to style a stainless steel dive watch).

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

#1. Invicta 8926 Pro Diver — $69.26

A Style Guide favorite and an excellent value for its style and quality.

A Style Guide favorite and an excellent value for its style and quality.

Watch  number one here has long been a Style Guide favorite — check out this 2013 review of the Invicta Pro Diver, for starters.  And while it doesn’t have the flash, name recognition or acclaim of the watch it’s patterned after (that would be the legendary Rolex Submariner), the Invicta 8926 Pro Diver is just as noteworthy for its combination of durability and style. That gets you major points over at Style Guide HQ, as my personal watch is still going strong. Now, it’s not fit for full-on deep-sea diving per se, but it’s water-resistant to 660 feet — that’s pretty far down. Plus the 40mm case diameter is a very nice size for most of us, and the styling potential is on-point.

#2. Orient Mako II Dive Watch — $325

Solid, reliable, durable and coming to you at a nice price -- the Orient Mako II.

Solid, reliable, durable and coming to you at a nice price — the Orient Mako II.

Whereas the Invicta Pro Diver is an affordable diver, the Orient Mako II jumps into another price range while still remaining in reach if you save up.  It’s from the brand’s most popular collection of watches, and for good reason — it’s no frills yet comes equipped with a handy and functional diving bezel, plus a 41.5mm case diameter that’s not too large on an average-sized wrist. The 40-hour power reserve is quite handy, and it again comes with a 660-foot water resistance built in. It’s right in the sweet spot in terms of both casual and refined style, so pair it up with a slim polo and sneakers with ease.

G-Star RAW

#3. Seiko 5 SNZH55  Stainless Steel Watch — $133.16

A beefier 43mm case diameter combined with dressier markings make this a versatile dive watch.

A beefier 43mm case diameter combined with dressier markings make this a versatile dive watch.

Seiko, like the aforementioned brands on this list, continues to provide on-point styling potential and quality at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Its Seiko 5 SNZH55 Stainless Steel Watch is but another timepiece that gets it right on multiple fronts, including a unique case design that eschews numerals in favor of dressier markings. Yet, you still get the functionality of a dive watch — the 43mm case diameter and 100-meter water resistance help see to that. It’s a nice mix of sporty and casual, so you can definitely rock it with a slim blue chambray shirt and grey chinos to the office, and wear it out on the weekends to a patio bar crawl. This particular model tends to sell out quickly, so get on it while it’s there.

#4. Stuhrling Aquadiver 664 — $71.69

A classic dive watch at a very affordable price.

A classic dive watch at a very affordable price.

Have you noticed that Amazon is a great place to find affordable dive watches?  If not, I’d definitely recommend you take a look at it (if you hadn’t guessed that from the above recommendations). Stuhrling is an underrated brand that’s also a Style Guide favorite, including the Stuhrling Classic Ascot Agent Watch on the dressier side.  The Stuhrling Aquadiver 664  features a smaller, more refined 39mm case diameter, so it leans a little crisper in both look and feel (if ever you were looking for a cost-effective dive watch to wear with a suit, this is it). It’s also made with diving in mind — the water resistance is 660 feet — so use it as you please on the water or on land.

#5. Shinola Runwell Stainless Steel Chrono — $900

Sporty, well-built and worth the investment.

Sporty, well-built and worth the investment.

Now, just because Shinola found itself in hot water recently with the FTC doesn’t mean that its watches should be sworn off entirely. The Shinola Runwell Stainless Steel Chrono in particular is a super-premium, super-durable and super-stylish take on the dive watch, with plenty of sporty style built right in. The 47mm case diameter is positively monstrous, so it might not be a good fit for everyone. However, it’s a bit different than the classic dive watch, with thinner links, a dressier look and feel and a water-resistant rating of less than 100 meters. So, wear it reliably and across a variety of occasions, but take care of it. Does that defeat the purpose of a dive watch? If you’re looking for versatile style out of an investment-worthy piece, certainly not.

It’s always tough to narrow down any product category in these Online Shopping Picks to just five options — if you want to go up in price, might I suggest a rugged watch built for the field from Filson, among other options. If you get stuck in your shopping search, the folks at Dappered always offer great picks for stylish men’s watches. And if you’re really in a spending mood, why not spring for a classic timepiece like the Rolex Submariner? Ahh, yes — that price. At any rate, sticking with one of the affordable picks above should have you set in matters of style and saving. That’s a win-win at any time of day, right?

Head on over to Twitter or catch up with The Style Guide on Facebook to continue the great dive watch debate.

 

Frank & Oak

Online Shopping Picks: Top Men’s Summer Grooming Essentials

Editor’s note: Click this link for a full set of online #menswear shopping suggestions.

If you’re lucky, by this point in the season, you’ve got lots of your summer style essentials taken care of. There are some other style details that should be left out though, and it goes without saying that summer grooming essentials should also be on your shopping list. After all, what’s the benefit of rocking a stylish pair of shorts or some crisp white sneakers if you don’t have the proper grooming products to complement ’em? It’s all about the little steps that really create a holistic lifestyle, and that goes particularly for how you’re taking care of your skin in the sun. It’s something I can certainly get better at, and in that vein, you can expect more grooming-centric content in the coming weeks here (we’re in this together, folks). And today, we’re talking sun care, skin care and a bit of everything else. To get a jump on on the brands pictured below, head here to learn more about Baxter of California — and for the rest of the grooming essentials you need, carry on.

The Sun Protection: Manda Organic Sun Paste — $28.98

A refreshing look and feel, different from your average sunscreen.

A refreshing look and feel, different from your average sunscreen.

While great grooming is essential any time of year (particularly in the winter), there’s a defining attribute that makes summer skincare so essential, and it’s right up there at high noon. Grabbing a bottle of basic sunscreen is definitely one way to go (and other grooming brands also stock sun protection products), it can be nice to grab something that’s out of the ordinary in both packaging and its approach. This organic sun paste is more expensive, but again, it’s a nice, worthwhile change of pace from the ordinary.
Frank & Oak

The Daily Routine: Tread For Men Facial Cleanser — $25

A premium facial cleanser that packs a serious punch.

A premium facial cleanser that packs a serious punch.

Before you get ahead of yourself and skip onto other parts of your grooming routine, make sure your face is taken care of first. This no-frills facial cleanser incorporates Vitamins A and E, oats, olive and jojoba oils (among other ingredients) to hydrate, repair and firm your skin. It also flushes dirt and removes dead skin cells in the process — having tried it out recently courtesy of the brand, I’ve been very pleased with the results so far. It really has left my skin feeling refreshed and energized, and that’s all too rare before I’ve had my first morning coffee. Plus, the label is well-designed, the directions are easy to read and the glass bottle the product comes in feels a bit more premium than other skincare products.
The Skin Protection: Ursa Major Perfect Zen Body Lotion — $26

Never used a body lotion before? Try this one on for size.

Never used a body lotion before? Try this one on for size.

If you do happen to get too much sun, getting that recovery process going is critical (and ASAP, too!). Ursa Major makes very effective, if pricey, grooming gear that’s a bit more unique — it seems not many brands are doing body lotion for guys (and if you know of any great recommendations, jump in over on Twitter). Either way, this body lotion is going to soothe and soften your skin, and it works throughout summer and into the drier climes of fall and winter.

The Must-Have: Baxter of California Deodorant — $19

Another upgrade from a typical deodorant.

Another upgrade from a typical deodorant.

It goes without saying that deodorant is quite necessary in the summer, yes? One that’s made with a more premium approach than a standard drugstore pick-up can be a welcome style upgrade that pays dividends (better performance and better scent among them). The citrus scent and the solid gel won’t stain or discolor your clothes, so that’s another positive. And if you show off that time in the gym  in a tank top, it always helps to have deodorant on (another no-brainer, right?).
Florsheim
The Hair Care: Byrd Matte Pomade — $22

An easy way to look good -- a bit of matte pomade and some light styling can go a long way.

An easy way to look good — a bit of matte pomade and some light styling can go a long way.

In addition to finding the right ‘do for your hair — maybe a bit more of a classic hairstyle  or one that’s closer-cropped — it can be a bit of a struggle to figure out what exactly to do with it. Well, that’s where a touch of pomade works out nicely. Keep it matte, so you avoid the shiny, spikey haircuts so common in the early 00s (yes, I modeled my hair after boy bands, too).  In this case, less product is better — and if your hair is already cut shorter to begin with, that’s all the better. Like the other grooming products on this list, it’s an investment in terms of price — but worth it if you use it the right way.

The Finishing Touch: Everyman Jack Signature Face Lotion — $6

A small container that holds an essential key to grooming success.

A small container that holds an essential key to grooming success.

The adage that seems to hold true in most matters of #menswear holds equally true in matters of men’s grooming — namely, a little goes a long way. Just a bit of face lotion (only $6 worth!) can help soothe dry skin and razor burn at the same time. Plus, this face lotion offers a much-needed chance to keep your face looking hydrated and healthy even outside of summer — consider it the last step in your daily grooming routine.

Stocking up on the right grooming products for summer — or any other season — revolves around meeting your daily needs head-on, whether you spend a ton of time in the sun or spend a ton of time indoors, keeping your skin hydrated and healthy is quite important. And if you find yourself unsure of where to start in terms of products, reaching for upgraded basics — like a better deodorant or pomade — is often the way to go. That holds true for figuring out the rest of the menswear world as well, but it can be a big help if you only need a few key grooming products to get started. Have any thoughts on brands that should’ve made the cut, or any grooming must-haves for summer? Join the conversation at The Style Guide’s Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Thanks, as always, for reading

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

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Swimsuits to Buy Now

Editor’s note: For even more seasonal online shopping picks, head this way.

Here to help you pick out your ideal pair of summer swimwear. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Here to help you pick out your ideal pair of summer swimwear. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

From time to time, nailing the right seasonal style can feel a bit overwhelming. After all, searching for and building off style upgrades isn’t easy. That extends to the little details (as your humble writer so often mentions), and that includes even times when you might feel a bit off-duty. In the case of hot summer weather, that means your swimsuit. Like a slim T-shirt or a nice pair of shorts, it’s a place that you shouldn’t slack off. Luckily, swimwear has come under the spotlight a lot in recent years, thanks to stylish guys like James Bond himself rocking designer swim trunks (007 body not included). However, my fellow #menswear fan, you don’t have to go that fancy — or that expensive — to get yourself set with essential beach gear. There are swim trunks that strike the right vibe between casual and classy, and a lot of them look more like tailored shorts than in years past. For days when you might hop on a boat and then hop off for a round (or two, or three) at the dockside bar, that’s critical. Pick up a top men’s swimsuit below, and chime in over at The Style Guide’s Facebook page if you’ve got other picks I missed. Surf’s up!

#1. JackThreads The Swim Trunk — $39

A solid offering from a consistently great brand, at a great price.

A solid offering from a consistently great brand, at a great price.

If quality, affordability and style are what you seek, JackThreads has you covered. From its innovative new TryOuts program to the fact that it stocks a plethora of style essentials — from a spring field coat to the stylish swim trunks seen here, they consistently get a lot of things right. These are cut slimmer than normal and should hit about mid-thigh for most of us fellas, which provides a nice, tailored look. The Dress Blues color is versatile enough that these look more like shorts than anything else — see the intro paragraph for how versatile that makes ’em.

#2. Bonobos Surfside Board Short in Blue Chambray — $88

A longer inseam for us taller guys, plus a sharp blue chambray color.

A longer inseam for us taller guys, plus a sharp blue chambray color.

Our second pick here is quite the bump up in price, but definitely worth the investment. In fact, investing in a pair of swim trunks cut in a tailored fit is about the best thing you can do if you want to push yourself to upgrade the rest of your outfit. That is to say, good-bye ratty tank top, hello crisp white polo (as seen in this style suggestion). The nice thing about these trunks is that they’re cut with a 9-inch inseam; while that might be too long for some of us, that’ll hit the spot for others. Bonobos also stocks a wide range of other swimwear options, from board shorts to trunks in a range of lengths, so there’s something for everyone.

#3. Sunspel Swim Short in Navy — $210

Recreated based off the swim shorts worn by Sean Connery as James Bond, and as sharp as you would expect.

Recreated based off the swim shorts worn by Sean Connery as James Bond, and as sharp as you would expect.

Ahh, yes. Here we are — a premium swim short that gives you a crisp, tailored look, yet doesn’t break the bank (compared to the Orlebar Brown trunks sported by Daniel Craig’s Bond). It’s fitting, then, that Sunspel was commissioned in 2011 to do up their own recreation of Sean Connery’s swim trunks as James Bond. The result is a sharp, lean and tailored pair of swim shorts with a nifty front button pocket and a super-clean waist (not a drawstring in sight — not that drawstrings are bad). The cost of these Sunspel Swim Shorts will set you back as much as the Bonobos pair above, so why not dive in?

#4. Grayers Batik Print Swim Trunk — $88

Vintage print inspiration makes these fun and functional.

Vintage print inspiration makes these fun and functional.

Man, $88 sure is a popular price when it comes to swim trunks, right? For those of us who prefer a little more color and pattern in our trunks (yet won’t compromise on fit), here comes the Grayers Batik Print Swim Trunk, playing off a cool, vintage-inspired print that wouldn’t look out of place alongside a vintage ballcap. The 7-inch inseam is a solid length that again lends them a tailored look. Everything from a slim navy polo to a short-sleeve Oxford is going to look just right when matched with these swim trunks — nautical gear should be a bit fun, after all. Just don’t forget stylish sunglasses to top it all off.

#5. Zachary Prell St. Giorgio Swim Trunk — $138 

Designer style meets swimwear with these Zachary Prell swim trunks.

Designer style meets swimwear with these Zachary Prell swim trunks.

If you prefer a more premium, minimal take on swimwear, the Zachary Prell St. Giorgio Swim Trunk is the pair for you. Italian fabric means these trunks cost more, but look all the better for it. They’ll again hit above the knee, giving you a bit more coverage if you’re taller. The teal blue color is totally spring and summer-appropriate, and makes them a bit more eye-catching and continental than other swim trunks out there. With a just-right length and versatile color (rock ’em with a white polo to start), they’ll be a reliable workhorse for plenty of trips to the beach.

While it can seem daunting at first to carry over great style principles from on land to in the water, it can definitely be done if you know where to start and you know what you’re looking for. Keep in mind classic, reliable brands like J. Crew for solid swimwear, and make sure you know your fit; not too long, not too short (ideally). If you follow the adage that great style is an investment, take your time picking out the right pair, and then wear them again and again with versatile style staples. Let me know what you pick out over on Twitter or catch my summer beach game over on Instagram.

Thanks for reading, and stay stylish!

-Beau

 

Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Weekender Bags

Editor’s note: For even more online shopping picks covering everything from watches to spring and summer style, head here.

As spring rolls into summer, there’s a very good chance that a lot of us are going to be hitting the road for vacation quite a bit more than during the doldrums of winter. This is definitely the case for yours truly, as I just trekked down to Washington, D.C. for the weekend earlier this month, and have a few more trips in the works. While longer travels certainly require larger luggage, traveling for just a handful of days presents some style conundrums — both in matter of what to pack, and what to pack that gear in. A stylish weekender bag is going to be your best friend in these situations — most have just enough room to hold multiple pairs of shoes and multiple outfits, plus any other gear you might need. And a great-looking bag is the ideal compliment to a sharp travel outfit. Plus, making that upgrade from a standard gym bag or duffle is yet another step on the path that is constantly trying to improve your personal style. Heck, it’s just fun to have a bag that happens to look as good as what you’re wearing. Make packing and traveling easy with one of this site’s picks below for the best men’s weekender bags, and get to booking that flight. Let me know what you think on The Style Guide Facebook page, too!

#1. Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender — $275

A bag that's built for wear-and-tear, yet still manages to look mighty handsome.

A bag that’s built for wear-and-tear, yet still manages to look mighty handsome.

The first entry on this list is a real tried-and-true, trip-tested bag that’s made in America and built with a ton of quality. Yes, the Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender  is certainly a stunner, made from Martexin Original Waxed canvas (some of the best of the best) and finished off with durable leather straps from Wickett & Craig, one of the oldest tanneries in the country. It’s beastly, stylish and built to break in over time, complete with two interior zippered pockets for extra storage. After taking it with me on my trip to Washington, D.C., I can say you’ll be very pleased with it indeed.

#2. Everlane Dipped Weekender — $115

An affordable alternative to more expensive options, with just as much style.

An affordable alternative to more expensive options, with just as much style.

Whereas the above Owen & Fred bag packs a  heck of a punch in both quality and price, the Everlane Dipped Weekender is a more affordable answer to the question of what you should travel with this summer. It’s made from twill and features a neat, screen-printed look that contrasts nicely with the black leather straps. Everlane has a brand really does it all now from its Slim Pant to bags like these, which really put them on the map. While the price might seem at odds with the expected quality, it’s part of Everlane’s commitment to transparency, and that should work out nicely should you buy this bag.

#3. J. Crew Harwick Weekender Bag — $148

A more casual alternative from a brand that does a lot of things well.

A more casual alternative from a brand that does a lot of things well.

Just as Everlane has expanded its product categories over the years, J. Crew has continued to stick with making all sorts of stylish accessories for guys — like the Harwick Weekender Bag. It’s nylon, so it’s decidedly more casual in construction and looks than the Everlane or Owen & Fred options, but the Dark Navy color should stylish and versatile for laidback weekend trips. It packs in a shocking eight pockets — that’s more than tons of bags on the market, and it means all of your gear — from a classic white Oxford to your stylish dopp kit — stays separate (and clean).

#4. Wood & Faulk Grand Tourer Weekend Bag — $175

A stylish-looking offering from an under-the-radar brand.

A stylish-looking offering from an under-the-radar brand.

Have you heard of Wood & Faulk? They’re a new brand for this style writer, but given the stunning looks (and presumably, quality) of their Grand Tourer Weekend Bag, they’re worth watching. This piece is made from tough-looking waxed canvas and features leather accents from S.B. Foot Tanning Co. — the same tannery that produces leather for Red Wing Shoes. Talk about stunning quality packed into one piece. End pockets and an inner zip pocket offer additional space, and the brass hardware finishes off this bag nicely.

#5. Troubadour Fabric + Leather Weekender — $855

A pricey, minimal and super-premium weekender bag.

A pricey, minimal and super-premium weekender bag.

It wouldn’t truly be an Online Shopping Picks entry if we didn’t finish things off with a stylish and yes — incredibly expensive — weekender bag. The Fabric + Leather Weekender  features vegetable-tanned leather and a minimal, premium look thanks  to the black leather and nylon fabric accents (although the Navy, Khaki and Olive colorways look mighty nice, too). It’s an investment bag that certainly would look right at home alongside your best travel suit — if you’re the type who travels a lot for business but wants a bag that’s different than a standard rolling suitcase, this is the bag you need.
Frank & Oak
While each of the above bags are suited for different kinds of situations — particularly the Troubadour weekender — each is going to stylish and durably complement your travel ensemble and any stylish travel accessories you might be bringing with you. Maximizing a great price, tough quality and handsome looks is going to be critical, too — and hopefully, do-able with any of the above picks. If you’re still searching for that perfect bag, an option from the likes of Herschel Supply Co. might work well. But in the meantime, let me know on Twitter if I missed any picks or key brands!

Stay stylish and safe travels,

-Beau

Florsheim