Online Shopping Picks: The Top Shorts to Buy for Summer

Stylish shorts — simple enough, right? Wrong. The top shorts to buy for summer are a far cry from the athletic shorts many of us grew accustomed to through high school … and college … and hey, after college. Coming from a guy who loves  a pair of slim light wash denim (even in the summer), it’s still crucial to not let your casual style slip up — and well-fitting, well-made shorts in seasonally friendly fabrics are one way to stay in shipshape. After all, you can wear a pair of stylish men’s shorts with nearly any of your other favorite summer style essentials — from a classic Oxford to a patterned short-sleeve shirt. That goes for lightweight layering pieces, too — a tailored pair of shorts, cut to hit above the knee, can serve as a complement to a light wash trucker jacket, a rugged short-sleeve henley and essential summer sneakers. And if you’ve read my work over at Effortless Gent, you know that it can sometimes be tricky to find the perfect pair of shorts — that goes for both fit and style potential. Know that the below picks cover off on both key ares quite nicely. Heck, even a few of the picks you’ll see below — like the Myles Apparel Everyday Short   — can work on an outdoor hike or at a laidback BBQ.  To see how I’m wearing shorts this summer, join me on Instagram; if you think I left out any brands, let me know in the comments. Cheers!

Oxfords under $50 CAD_125x125

#1. Finisterre Coverack Shorts — $72.98

Finisterre

The Coverack Shorts are a bit pricey — but all the more stylish and essential for it.

While it’s tough to list out just one pair of shorts in this top spot, it’s something we gotta do. And for my money, the quality, value and classic style of these Finisterre Coverack Shorts is pretty tough to top. From the easy-to-wear shade of khaki on the Coverack Shorts to laidback design touches like a garment-dyed finishing process, they should go with just about anything. Try ’em out with a light blue polo and sharp white sneakers (plus a tough dive watch) for go- anywhere weekend style.

#2. Myles Apparel Everyday Short — $58

A nicely tailored, mobile pair of shorts fit for the gym or a backyard BBQ.

We told you that our picks for stylish shorts would work at more casual summer functions as well as athletic pursuits — right? Right. The Myles Apparel Everyday Short    comes in a host of colors and features a tailored-yet-mobile fit more commonly found on athletic shorts. Yet, it eschews the gaudy logos you often see on athletic shorts — consider this gym gear for the grown man (or tall teenager). You can easily throw these on for a casual stroll through the park or your morning run — of course. And with all those color options, you might want more than one pair.

#3. Topo Designs Mountain Shorts — $69.98

Topo Designs

For the guy who values function and form, the Topo Designs Mountain Shorts are the pair to buy.

When it comes to shorts — or menswear in general — are you  more of a technically inclined guy? Just as likely to focus on the durability and fabric quality as the fit? In that case, the Topo Designs Mountain Shorts were made for you — to say the least. From the ripstop cotton construction to the top-stitched front pockets — that means more room for your everyday carry — to the selection of stylish colors (including an olive option), you need the Topo Designs Mountain Shorts in your life for your next hike or camping trip.

#4. Abercrombie and Fitch Flat Front Shorts — $28.80

Abercrombie and Fitch

Stretch chino shorts in a neat spring color — perfect for the season ahead.

It’s nearly a menswear fact — at least to your Style Guide editor — that you can’t go wrong with a pair of stretch cotton chino shorts in a 7-inch inseam. Why so specific? Well, the inseam length works for most guys — and the neat color and fabric? Those are perfect summer style moves. Try out these shorts with a slim-fit white polo and stylish, retro-inspired sunglasses — try it out on a first or second date for maximum effect, fellas.

 

 

 

#5. Iron and Resin Logan Shorts — $74.98 OR Pistol Lake French Terry Sweatshorts — $65

Iron and Resin Logan Shorts

Two options, both featuring a drawstring waistband and a modern fit.

Want the feel of your favorite, broken-in, easy-to-wear pair of shorts? Better yet, want that in a silhouette that’s much more polished than you might expect? That’s what you’re getting with the Iron and Resin Logan Shorts, a distinctly summer-friendly offering from a brand known for its rugged motorcycle gear. And the Pistol Lake French Terry Sweatshorts  are an old Style Guide favorite — remember this 2015 Style Pick of the Week feature? Of course you do. Wear those to the gym or to a beach bonfire — it’s as easy as that.

Honorable Mention: Cory Vines Path Shorts  — $37.98

Slick, stylish and effective gym shorts for under $40? Sign me up.

For the guy who appreciates reliable, affordable and hard-wearing performance shorts, look no further than the Cory Vines Path Shorts. These shorts blend lightweight mesh with neutral colorways, an excellent price and a fit that hits above the knee — another reliable option for gym shorts or heck, errand-running, beach-strolling, park-walking shorts. And hey, for under $40? That puts the Cory Vines Path Shorts just about on my list of the top shorts to buy for summer.

Florsheim

Is your shopping cart filled up with stylish shorts for summer? Maybe more than one pair? Across the board, it’s perhaps easier than ever to get reliable shorts in a modern cut made from excellent fabric — take picks like the more tailored  Finisterre Coverack Shorts or the more casual Iron and Resin Logan Shorts. And when one considers the seamless blend of athletic functionality and style that something like the  Myles Apparel Everyday Short    brings to the table, it’s not as tricky as it once was to upgrade your game across the board. Throw in classic picks from the likes of Abercrombie and Fitch and Pistol Lake — plus the quietly good Cory Vines Path Shorts — and you’re set for any shorts-wearing situation you can dream up. If you’d like to offer up your thoughts on this list, join me on Twitter.

For now — happy shopping and stay stylish!

-Beau

Advertisements

Style Upgrade: The Slim Crewneck Sweater

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in an ongoing series covering quick and easy upgrades to dilemmas a guy might face once in a while. For more entries in the series, click here.

A close-up look at an upgrade worth making -- the slim crewneck. For more on this Pistol Lake piee, read on.

A close-up look at an upgrade worth making — the slim crewneck. For more on this Pistol Lake piee, read on.

Andddd…. we’re back! With the Style Upgrade series, that is. It’s been some time since an entry in this series ran (see past entries here), but the time is just right to talk at length about sweaters — something I’ve often said to myself daily this winter. While you can use a merino V-neck sweater as part of a high-low outfit combination — like this #OOTD entry — and you can wear the heck out of nice cashmere cardigan, certain styles are definitely trending in the marketplace and on the torsos of well-dressed guys everywhere. The crewneck sweater (or sweatshirt, in its more casual form) certainly isn’t what it once was — and that goes for its more casual iterations and its dressier counterparts. So with a return to form in mind, it’s time to refresh your wardrobe — or perhaps just pick up another sweater.

A piece from a designer perhaps most known for revitalizing crewnecks -- Todd Snyder.

A stellar piece from a designer perhaps most known for revitalizing crewnecks — Todd Snyder.

Most menswear fans probably recognize the crewneck sweatshirt from its sportier beginnings, and the ways in which designers have taken the same idea and slimmed it down. Like the Reigning Champ Crewneck Sweater that was featured as this site’s Style Pick of the Week, there’s a lot that’s been done to a silhouette more commonly associated with Rocky films for years. And as this site has talked about previously, that’s due to a few forward-thinking designers who’ve made the style at once refined and still sport-inspired. If you’re looking to start your search for a crewneck sweatshirt at the top of the (reasonably priced) pyramid, Todd Snyder has exactly what you’re looking for. The designer’s crewneck sweatshirts, while simple at first glance, exemplify the idea of using high-quality fabrics to retool an older style, what with vintage-inspired stitching and added details like that chest pocket. Todd Snyder’s collaboration with Champion  is the stuff of legend (at least for this menswear writer). The pieces are well-crafted, heritage-inspired and timeless — plus, you can wear the heck out of ’em with everything from a chambray shirt and denim to tailored sweats.

Two crewneck choices from JackThreads -- one a dressy cashmere, the other a quilted indigo piece.

Two crewneck choices from JackThreads — one a dressy cashmere, the other a quilted indigo piece.

So that’s certainly one place to start. But some brands are taking this style essential and doing just as great of a job at slimming down the fit and changing up the fabrics. Take JackThreads, for example. The brand’s new menswear vertical is doing everything from a quilted indigo crewneck sweatshirt to its aptly named Daily Sweatshirt, all for excellent prices. And something like the Daily Sweatshirt, which strikes both a sporty yet business-casual vibe, can be paired with pieces you already have in your closet (look to stylist and menswear blogger Preston Konrad for some styling tips in this regard). Lest one forget, JackThreads has also amped up its fabric game — the brand’s cashmere crewneck sweaters are the budget alternative to more expensive alternatives. So that gives you two ways to go in terms of rocking a crewneck. However, the more standout style move might be picking up a casual crewneck and giving it a business-casual spin.

Contrast stitching adds yet another solid detail to this Pistol Lake piece.

Contrast stitching adds yet another solid detail to this Pistol Lake piece.

And as with other style staples that come up time and again on this blog — take henleys, for example — brands that are inspired by sportswear itself have turned their attention to this vintage piece. Style Guide favorites Pistol Lake, out of California, are producing a contrast-stitching crewneck sweatshirt in a versatile navy that’s been a hot seller this winter (the Heather Grey option is seen at the top of the page). Fellow made-in-America brands like Taylor Stitch and Buck Mason are also producing solid crewneck sweatshirts that can stand up to a campfire or a casual day at the office (considering that both can be equally treacherous). Reliable menswear stalwarts like J. Crew are also offering up an even more roughed-up take on the crewneck sweatshirt, turning to garment-dying for a lived-in look. They’re also offering a super-refined cashmere crewneck on the opposite end of the style spectrum.

So there are certainly plenty of options out there to go more casual with your crewneck, or a bit more dressy. On the lux end of things, Shinola has expanded its product offering into crewneck sweaters, drawing on perhaps the most vintage inspiration of all — Muhammad Ali’s signature style — for its “Cassius Clay” Sweatshirt. If you find yourself with quite a bit of cash to spend, know that Mr. Porter stocks crewneck sweaters from the likes of Brunello Cucinnelli — and that’s all the proof you need that the silhouette is mainstream! With such a variety of price points, it can be a bit daunting to pick out just one — even if it is just a crewneck sweater. It’s a style that shouldn’t be overlooked, though. The styling potential is on-point (be it over a blue Oxford or a simple tee), and designers have updated the fits and colors in new and unexpected ways. Toss in solid options for every price point, and you’ve got a style upgrade worth making.

Have you upgraded your crewneck sweater (or sweatshirt) yet? What’s your favorite of the options listed here?
Join the Hunt Club - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank & Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!

On the road again: Kicking off 2016 in Detroit

Editor’s note: For more details on part 1 of this trip, click here.

Spending time in Midtown near Shinola & Willy's Detroit. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Plaid flannel shirt by Todd Snyder. Skinny Fulton Chinos by Banana Republic. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Patterned socks by Richer Poorer. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta

Spending time in Midtown near Shinola & Willys Detroit. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Hemingway Elbow Patch Shirt by Todd Snyder. Skinny Fulton Chinos by Banana Republic. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Patterned socks by Richer Poorer. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta

When I first got word that a big group of friends was heading to Detroit to ring in the new year (and watch our alma mater Michigan State play in the College Football Playoff), I knew I had to make the trip — even after being on the road in Florida just a few days before. While I was definitely disappointed in Michigan State’s loss in the College Football Playoff, I wasn’t disappointed at all with the rest of my time in Detroit. The city has been the subject of tons of national headlines for its economic woes, and certain parts of the city are definitely still feeling that blight (I’ll leave it to the experts to talk more about that). Even still, there are plenty of cultural and economic bright spots that, at least outwardly, are helping put the city back on the map — and yes, as with any trip, there’s plenty of great menswear to go along with that.

Equal parts rock music and menswear -- the John Varvatos shop in downtown Detroit

Equal parts rock music and menswear — the John Varvatos shop in downtown Detroit

For a quick flight to Detroit and a brief afternoon of exploration before kicking off the New Year’s Eve festivities, I layered up with my Todd Shelton chambray shirt, my trusty Pistol Lake henley and some skinny Fulton chinos from Banana Republic (also seen in the photo at the top of the page). The outfit was versatile and comfortable, and it made for some quick walking to the nearby John Varvatos shop, a large installment that pays homage to both the designer’s Detroit roots and the brand’s deep love for the rock music industry. The clothing and the shop itself definitely have a substantial rock n’roll vibe, which suits some but  can be a bit much for my taste. However, the shop is impressively merchandised and also has a great selection of audio and music equipment for sale.
Join the Hunt Club - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank & Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!
A walk by some other notable downtown sites (including The Fillmore, Comerica Park and Ford Field), ate up the rest of the afternoon before game time (definitely a different change of pace on New Year’s Eve!). With a few quick changes (namely, throwing on my JackThreads Fisherman Cardigan and swapping out the henley), I was ready for the rest of the night. Detroit’s Greektown district was buzzing with activity and a fitting place to catch the game — that is, until things turned south for our beloved Spartans. Try as we might, that did put a bit of a damper on the new year, but the Firebird Tavern was still a fun spot to check out, and worthy of a trip if you find yourself in Greektown.

Cozy, versatile and stylish. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Nomad French Terry Sweatpants by Bonobos. Striped socks by American Trench. Black chukka sneakers by Reef.

Cozy, versatile and stylish. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Nomad French Terry Sweatpants by Bonobos. Striped socks by American Trench. Black chukka sneakers by Reef.

A hearty brunch to kick off the new year was in order, and the Hudson Café definitely delivered in that regard — the rest of the large crowd gathered there thought so, too. Staying cozy and comfortable was also in order to start the new year, and my JackThreads Collegiate Bomber — plus some striped American Trench socks and my Bonobos French Terry Sweatpants— proved more than up to the task. My Reef Outhaul Lux Chukka Sneakers were also minimal, comfortable and stylish — exactly the type of sneaker you should reach for if you decide pair them with tapered sweatpants on a cold day off. New Year’s Day football was definitely a treat (although not as fun as an MSU win would’ve been!), and our dinner plans led us to the Cornerstone Barrel House, a tap house equal parts rugged-and-refined that offers some delicious local beer and tasty bites.

A delicious coffee from Shinola's in-store cafe is crucial. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

A delicious coffee from Shinola’s in-store cafe is crucial. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

A great dinner and a relaxing night was crucial, as I got out the door to see the rest of Detroit’s #menswear scene on Saturday. That included a stop by the revered Shinola store — coming from someone who loves the brand’s NYC store, it was a real treat to be able to see what the brand can do with more real estate, and in its hometown. Shinola really is continuing to cement its legacy in the Detroit area — the installation of the brand’s own watch dial production facility in its flagship store is nearly complete, and it’s got that Detroit work ethic down pat. It’s great news in the meantime that Shinola offers up other great goods, like American-made journals and an entire assortment of bicycles. Plus, the on-site coffee shop is a key pit stop before exploring other nearby haunts, like Willys Detroit — a sister shop of Shinola that’s packed to the brim with rugged menswear from Filson, Steven Alan and Apolis, plus women’s apparel & accessories. It’s also worth a visit, if only to enjoy the impressive retail experience rather than purchase something.

The impressive, and brand-new, physical outpost of Third Man Records is definitely worth a trip.

The impressive, and brand-new, physical outpost of Third Man Records is definitely worth a trip.

No stop along that stretch is complete without stopping into the brand-new physical outpost of Third Man Records, another offshoot of the record company founded by Detroit rocker Jack White — if you’re a fan of rock music, or just the art of vinyl and music-making in general, it’s a must-visit. We also took the time to swing by Atwater Brewery on Saturday night, an expansive waterfront location serving up delicious staples like its famous Vanilla Java Porter and the equally tasty Pheasant Hog, a rich brown ale. It’s great to be able to see businesses continue to dedicate time and resources to bringing back Detroit, through both retail and music experiences, plus delicious food and drink — all are necessary for travelers and locals alike!

Dependable travel gear to fight the cold and stay stylish. Buffalo Bobber Gloves by Iron & Resin. Mt. Drew Duffle by United By Blue.

Dependable travel gear to fight the cold and stay stylish. Buffalo Bobber Gloves by Iron & Resin. Mt. Drew Duffle by United By Blue. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

A busy end to a busy weekend was capped off on Sunday with a stop by Will Leather Goods, another business with deep, decades-old Detroit roots that’s a new addition to the city’s Midtown neighborhood. The entire store is nearly a work of art, packed with everything from excellent leather messenger bags to vintage finds like barber’s chairs and a massive teepee (yes, a teepee). To explore that part of town, I reached for my sturdy Mott & Bow Norfolk raw denim — it’s one pair of jeans that’s breaking in quite nicely, and the heavier weight made them more than ideal for the chilly weather Detroit threw at us. A striped henley from J. Crew and my ever-reliable Todd Shelton chambray shirt, plus my dependable Invicta Pro Diver, helped me tackle both my final hours in Detroit and travel back to NYC on Monday morning (those flight delays always seem to catch up with me!).

It was tough to say goodbye to great friends and an unexpectedly awesome city filled with some terrific shopping and a steady cultural scene. Were I to visit again (and I’ll be back!), I’d love to check out the Detroit Institute of Art, and some other similar spots. Although some parts of Detroit still leave something to be desired (to say the least), there’s no question that the right businesses and people are around to continue to drive the city forward — and those same businesses would definitely make it worth a trip for you… although might I suggest a stop when it’s warm?

Until I hit the road again — stay stylish!

-Beau
Ben Sherman US

Sand & sun, Part 2: Celebrating Christmas in Florida

Editor’s note: Click this link for more posts on how to travel in style.

Exploring J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge near my parents' home in Fort Myers, Fla.

Exploring the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge near my parents’ home in Fort Myers, Fla.

In the midst of planning ahead for 2016 on both the work and blogging fronts, I was really grateful and glad to be able to get to Florida for a bright and sunny Christmas. It was a rather hectic travel day on Wednesday between wrapping up some work for my day job representing Timberland, and travel delays out of New York City didn’t help the situation  — the chaos at the airport was pretty unimaginable! But that gave way to warm evenings and long, sunny  (but all-too-brief!) days in Fort Myers with great family and friends — for that, I’m definitely thankful. And making the style transition from the in-between weather in NYC to the record-high temperatures in Florida proved more than doable with the gear I brought along for the trip.

Sturdy waxed canvas made this bag a great travel companion. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred

Sturdy waxed canvas made this bag a great travel companion. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred

To get from Point A to Point B, I brought along my trusty Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag and my new but still-reliable United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle — I would definitely recommend picking up a trusty weekender bag crafted from a durable waxed canvas, particularly if you only find yourself on the road for a weekend or a few days at a time. It proved more than accommodating for the gear I brought with me, and the extra gifts I brought back! And it’s a good thing I packed relatively light, as temperatures throughout the Fort Myers area were in the 80s throughout the duration of the trip! That made it extra-refreshing to check out a sure-to-be-favorite spot — the nearby Point Ybel Brewing, a relatively recent addition to the burgeoning craft beer scene in southwest Florida. Myself and my family sampled some great brews, including the delicious Captiva Cream Ale seen below — if you can get your hands on it, I’d recommend you bring home some fresh-canned beer from the brewery itself. For that excursion and much of the rest of the trip, I found a comfortable tee (in this case, a rugged-yet-stylish Pistol Lake short-sleeve henley) and some tailored shorts worked just fine.

Sipping on a great brew at the nice Point Ybel Brewing Company in Fort Myers. Olive short-sleeve henley by Pistol Lake. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Sipping on a great brew at Point Ybel Brewing Company in Fort Myers. Olive short-sleeve henley by Pistol Lake. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Glasses by Warby Parker.

The laidback outfit also worked well to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens — and MAN, what a movie. We capped off Christmas Eve with some more family traditions, including watching “Love Actually“, playing a few games and enjoying a delicious meal before awaiting Santa… And my sister and I were certainly very lucky and blessed this year — Santa definitely fulfilled some of my #menswear wish list! I’m extremely excited and grateful for the incredible gifts I received, including the stellar Hemingway Elbow Patch Shirt from Todd Snyder and an amazing pair of Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses (as worn by James Bond — WOW.). Those will definitely be accompanying me on future trips!

A look at some of the gifts Santa left for me. Brooklyn Field Guide by Wildsam. Beard Balm by Brooklyn Grooming. Beard & Face Brick by Clifford Originals. Notebook by Public Supply. Beer tasting book by 33 Books Co. Chocolate by (who else?) Toblerone.

A look at some of the gifts Santa left for me. Brooklyn Field Guide by Wildsam. Beard Balm by Brooklyn Grooming. Beard & Face Brick by Cliff Original. Notebook by Public Supply. Beer tasting book by 33 Books Co. Chocolate by (who else?) Toblerone.

It was an amazing Christmas Day, and I’ll now have even more new style gear to add to my wardrobe, including an eco-friendly watch from Sprout and a pair of lovely Americano Dress Cords from Bonobos. But perhaps the best part of the day was relaxing with my family and enjoying a traditional turkey dinner – it’s a good thing I went with casual style, as I was plenty stuffed with Christmas cookies. There’s perhaps no better way in my mind to cap off a great holiday than by spending it with the ones you love, so that made things even better.

Dressed casually for a hot Florida day. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Olive sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Dressed casually for a hot Florida day. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Olive sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Glasses by Warby Parker.

But there was no time to rest with a shortened visit – and we had to work off all that food! We made the most of the day after Christmas by heading to the famous J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge for a bit of exploring – – I tackled that part of the trip with a pair of comfortable (but not sloppy) Pistol Lake sweatshorts and my reliable GREATS Brand Rosen Runners. Both picks proved more than adequate for lots of walking – as you may know, I’m a huge fan of GREATS, so I’d recommend you toss a pair in your bag on your next excursion.

Exploring the beaches near Fort Myers. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford (thanks Santa!).

Exploring the beaches near Fort Myers. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford (thanks Santa!).

As to the refuge itself — it’s an incredibly tranquil setting that’s really second-to-none in terms of natural beauty in southwest Florida – if you’re a fan of bird-viewing or fishing, definitely consider exploring the refuge. We also stopped by a local beach for a bit of exploration, which I was more than able to tackle in my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks and an organic cotton United By Blue pocket tee (similar style here), plus the aforementioned Tom Ford sunglasses. When you hit the road yourself, consider picking up a pair of sunglasses that’ll look sharp with outfits both dressy and casual – some slim Randolph Engineering aviators would be a great start.

Before enjoying some brews at The Lodge, we saw some of the sights around Fort Myers. Vintage 'drinks' shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Before enjoying some brews at The Lodge, we saw some of the sights around Fort Myers. Vintage ‘drinks’ shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

We finished up our day in Fort Myers by heading to The Lodge, a cavernous downtown bar replete with rustic wood furnishing, delicious barbeque and (my personal favorite), the ability to pour your own beers from their long list of taps (the Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter from Fort Myers Brewing is worth a few sips!). We were joined by some old family friends in town for a visit (Hi, O’Brien family!)  — it was a wonderful evening filled with lots of laughter and reminiscing, plus new memories made.

Catching the last of the Florida rays. Ringer Pocket Tee by Tommy John. Khaki shorts by Banana Republic. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. White Wilson sneakers by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Catching the last of the Florida rays. Ringer Pocket Tee by Tommy John. Khaki shorts by Banana Republic. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. White Wilson sneakers by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

But as with all great trips, the journey home has to start sometime. We had the chance to pick up some locally-famous donuts from Bennett’s Fresh Roast on Sunday morning– once again, this place is a must-visit if ever you find yourself in the Fort Myers area. We finished off that leg of the trip by taking in the last of the nearby ocean views. With walking in the itinerary, I grabbed a comfortable Tommy John Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey, which fits slim and is crafted from remarkably soft fabric. I topped off the look with a vintage ballcap from Goorin Brothers – although the option you see here is sold-out, a stylish, minimal cap never goes wrong when traveling, nor do versatile captoe sneakers.

Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!
With all that activity (and new #menswear gear) in the bag, it was time to hit the road – for travel, I threw on my trusty Mott & Bow denim and some sturdy Thursday Boots suede chukkas. I’d certainly recommend you reach for comfortable, stylish pieces the next time you hop on a flight. Aside from some travel delays on the way down, the trip was about as amazing of a holiday as I could have hoped for, and I can’t wait to visit southwest Florida again. The natural beauty is second-to-none, the local attractions are unique, and the sunshine isn’t a bad way to spend Christmas – or any other time of year! I’ll be looking forward to my next trip, and I hope you’re able to travel & see loved ones as we head into 2016. For now, look for a New Year’s Eve Style Suggestion hitting right here tomorrow.

Until then – stay stylish!

-Beau

Sand & sun: Packing for a Florida Christmas

Editor’s note: For more travel style posts, fly this way.

Travel gear for the road ahead. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Print magazine by Gear Patrol

Travel gear for the road ahead. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Print magazine by Gear Patrol

Going from a place where the past weekend called for a sweater to a locale where temps are in the 80s is a style conundrum that I haven’t faced too often, especially at Christmas. But such is the situation I find myself in as I prepare to head to Florida today for what should be a lovely and relaxing Christmas weekend. Don’t get me wrong — I love the sun and sand. But I’m an especially big fan of fall and winter style — layering, a great fall or winter jacket, a nice henley — it’s all fair game once the temperature drops. So since my parents moved full-time to Florida about two-and-a-half years ago, it’s been different than the chilly Michigan winters of Christmas’ past — a welcome change of pace, but still different. I know I’m definitely lucky to escape to some warm weather, and I always welcome the chance to change things up style-wise. So with that in mind, I’ve set to work crafting a carry-on that’ll help me fly in style and beat the heat.

A new piece of luggage from the responsible hands of United By Blue.

A durable carry-on for this trip from the responsible hands of United By Blue.

I’m taking along a new piece of luggage, a sturdy and functional United By Blue duffle bag made from solid waxed canvas. The Moss color is just different enough from my Navali Stowaway Weekender, so it’s a nice addition to my everyday travel carry. And as I’ll also be on the road in the coming weeks, it’ll certainly get a lot of use (look for a full review in February). At $188, the price is well within range for a durable weekender. The centerpieces of my bag will be some summer style essentials I’d put away for the time being. As far as casual style goes, it’s hard to beat a trim polo in a nice material, like my trusty Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo from this year’s line, plus a soft Grayers slub nep jersey polo and my ever-reliable Esquina oxford from Saturdays Surf NYC. To me, having pieces that can work with shorts or chinos alike while keeping you cool is a pretty big key when traveling to warm locales — I tried to follow the same packing method when heading to Italy earlier this summer, in fact.

Simple, easygoing tees from Pistol Lake and United By Blue, plus my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks.

Simple, easygoing tees from Pistol Lake and United By Blue, plus my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks.

That means it’ll also be time for me to break out some solid T-shirts — I love a great henley, especially a rugged short-sleeve henley from the likes of Pistol Lake, a Style Guide favorite. The brand’s V-neck tee (as seen in another warm-weather trip to Los Angeles) will also be in my bag, as will my trusty Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Shorts. And it wouldn’t be a comfortable, casual Christmas if I didn’t get to test out a new pocket tee from Tommy John, a basics maker that’s gained steam as of late in the online community for its well-crafted knitwear So the Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey should definitely be a laidback yet not-sloppy option for the warm weather. I’m going to complement those shirt and polo offerings with an always-versatile chambray shirt or two. And I’ll be breaking out some crisp khaki shorts from Banana Republic. That being said, I do love a great pair of Mott & Bow dark denim, so I’ll likely be bringing that pair along for travel wear. I’ve found that among other pant options, my olive Bonobos chinos have fared well in everything from oppressive heat to blistering cold, so they’ll make their way into my bag, too.
Ben Sherman US
Outerwear will definitely be on the lighter side for this trip, and will hopefully stay in my bag once I take off from NYC!But a baseball jacket lined in chambray like the Russel Jacket from Grayers is likely going to be my best bet for travel; removable, easygoing layers like that can also lend some polish to your travel look, and a baseball or bomber jacket can even be worn over a collared shirt like a blue Oxford-cloth buttondown. If I could, I would also bring along a trusty denim jacket, as it can be styled with slim tan chinos or lightwash denim with ease — sadly, there won’t be room this time around! Rounding off warm-weather style isn’t complete without some solid sneakers and another pair of versatile shoes, though.

The shoes I'm bringing with me. From front to back: Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka by Thursday Boot Company. White Wilson sneakers and navy Rosen runners from GREATS Brand.

The shoes I’m bringing with me. From front to back: Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka by Thursday Boot Company. White Wilson sneakers and navy Rosen runners from GREATS Brand.

After putting them away for the fall, I’m looking forward to busting out my white GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers, and I’ll also be bringing along my navy Rosen runners from the brand. Heck, I might even pack my Leather Wooster slip-ons (shocker, also from GREATS) if my luggage allows. When you travel, I’d look to pack similarly versatile and comfortable shoes — a pair of brown suede chukkas from Thursday Boot Company, fit for both formal and dressed-down style, will be on my feet as I hit the road. It’s equally to your advantage that these days, a nice leather sneaker or chukka can work in nearly any situation — even with a blazer and chinos if needed (make sure those kicks are clean and free of logos — look here for more ways to style classic sneakers).

The trusty toiletries kit I'll be taking with me -- including a sharp pomade, a slick styling comb, "soap-on-a-rope" and some Richer Poorer socks.

The trusty toiletries kit I’ll be taking with me — including a sharp pomade, a slick styling comb, “soap-on-a-rope” and some Richer Poorer socks.

As my bag will be pretty full, I’ll be keeping it simple on the watch front — I like to rely on one-to-two watches on trips like these, usually a great leather watch like the Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol and my always-solid Invicta 8926 Pro Diver. Either can be worn with everything from a tee and shorts to a polo and chinos — and that’s exactly what I plan to do. Great style can even extend to your toiletries and other stylish travel accessories. With that sentiment in mind, I’m definitely excited to make use of a sweet BYRD x Richer Poorer Dopp Kit — the California haircare brand teamed up with one of my favorite sock makers on a sturdy nylon tote filled with a nice pomade, a flexible comb and the cleverly-named “Soap on a Rope.” No trip would be complete without a few last finishing touches, including some crisp Woodbuds headphones, a nice Issara leather laptop sleeve and a brass money clip via my friends at Owen & Fred.

Of course, although I always look forward to hitting the road in style, I’m particularly looking forward this time around to getting some rest and relaxation with my family. The sunshine certainly won’t hurt, either! Have a great Christmas, and if you fancy, swing through this way on Friday for a Christmas edition of the Friday Read and a Saturday Style Pick.

Stay stylish!

-Beau
Join the Hunt Club - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank & Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!

East Coast style: A weekend away in Washington, D.C.

Editor’s note: For more travel style features, punch your ticket here.

Hitting the road again. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Hitting the road again. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

This past weekend, I found myself on the road yet again, hopping on a quick train from NYC to another bustling East Coast metropolis, Washington, D.C. to reconnect with some high school friends. And along the way, I realized there might not be a better way to travel the coast than by train — the scenery was beautiful, especially seeing fall colors change as the sun set. And the weekend in D.C. was a fun, if fast-paced, trip that also gave me the long-awaited chance to break out some of my favorite fall style items. It was also neat to be able to explore more of a city I had previously only known for its monuments — I can safely say the nightlife scene is excellent, and stretches of the city (particularly the Georgetown area) offer superb #menswear shopping.

Exploring DC and walking along the Potomac River. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Broothers. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Exploring DC and walking along the Potomac River. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Broothers. Glasses by Warby Parker.

To travel down to D.C. on Friday evening, I kept things simple and casual, pairing my trusty Mott & Bow denim  with perhaps my new favorite pair of shoes, my Chocolate Suede Scout Boots from Thursday Boots (as seen in this Thanksgiving Style Suggestion last week). The boots are the perfect epitome of high-low footwear — they appropriately dressed up the navy crewneck sweater and Russel Baseball Jacket (via Grayers) I wore to travel, and their sleek shape, comfortable fit and high-quality suede made for a nice finishing touch to a new burgundy henley I received from the great folks at Pistol Lake. That piece in particular is a perfect fall color, and it’s crafted from soft-yet-sturdy jersey cotton for some nice comfort (although it is a bit more expensive than a typical henley). As you travel, I would definitely recommend investing in some similarly stylish travel gear, namely layers that you can take off and add with ease (like the crewneck sweater and baseball jacket), and solid shoes able to be worn from dinner to the bar and back around town.

Hitting the road in style again. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Hitting the road in style again. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Accessories that are a step up from the norm (i.e. a vintage ballcap versus an athletic logo ballcap) can definitely complement travel style, too — the Goorin Brothers cap pictured above is one of my favorites for that reason. And for the cold weather, I would recommend ponying up a bit more for a nice pair of go-anywhere leather gloves, as I did with my Buffalo Bobber Gloves from Iron & Resin. They were comfortable to throw on and should definitely break in beautifully over time — the leather is just that nice! Some well-crafted socks in a toned-down yet stylish Fair Isle pattern (as seen later in this post) from American Trench capped things off and paired well with my suede boots. And it was crucial to have comfortable accessories to get around town.

After my quick train ride, our Friday night took us to Kelly’s Irish Times, a revered D.C. bar that took home prestigious honors as Esquire Magazine’s top bar in the District last year. The beer was tasty (as always), and I would recommend you grab the tater tots if you get the chance to stop by. A Metro ride — an easier experience compared to getting around NYC on the subway system — took us back to my friend’s brother’s apartment and an early night in preparation for a marathon day of watching football (GO GREEN!)and exploring D.C.

Stopping for a second near the Capitol Building. Quilted shirt-jacket by Addict. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

Stopping for a second near the Capitol Building. Quilted shirt-jacket by Addict. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

To get around the city, I threw on another new favorite pair of shoes, my Reef Outhaul Lux sneakers.I’m normally not a fan of much black footwear, particularly sneakers, but I’ve found myself drawn more and more to black sneakers and boots as of late (perhaps NYC is rubbing off on me?). These sneakers in particular were comfortable and easy-wearing for lots of walking; there’s a substantial amount of traction on the sole, and the full-grain black leather upper gives them a nice, premium touch. Comfortable sneakers are definitely another must on any trip (read up on some the sneakers you should own now, while we’re at it). Good footwear was definitely crucial as we explored the area near the Capitol and posted up at the Capitol Lounge, a Michigan State-centric bar that proved the perfect atmosphere for another thrilling finish and Spartan victory (again, GO GREEN!)

Ben Sherman US

I was more than able to fight a bit of a chilly evening thanks to some nice brews at the Capitol Lounge (again, worth a stop in D.C. if only for the French fries) and of course, a quilted shirt-jacket via UK sportswear company Addict. I wrote on Saturday about the great layering potential a nice shirt-jacket or workshirt can provide, and this padded option worked as a jacket pretty seamlessly. Although I hadn’t heard of the brand before, I’m definitely happy with this piece, and it’s another lightweight yet insulating layer that can work effectively as you travel from, say, the airport to an afternoon exploring the city. A great pair of jeans is also an absolute must-have, and it doesn’t get much better than Mott & Bow, who’s nailed the fit of their denim for a pretty nice price — they were a terrific pick for lots of walking and also different style situations.

Refined chukka boots helped with high-low style throughout the trip. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim denim by Mott and Bow. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Fair Isle socks by American Trench. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Refined chukka boots helped with high-low style throughout the trip. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim denim by Mott and Bow. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Fair Isle socks by American Trench. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Dark denim is a fail-safe style option, and this pair also proved appropriate for some celebratory festivities at the massive Penn Social, an arcade-bar hybrid with fun games and a nice atmosphere. From there, we stopped through a classic college-type bar, Sign of the Whale, before calling it a night — celebrating Spartan wins can be exhausting! Luckily, we were still able to make it into D.C. for a relaxing afternoon walking along the Potomac River and admiring the lovely view from atop the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. All that activity was made more enjoyable despite the cold thanks to the layers I wore, namely that comfortable Pistol Lake henley and my Grayers baseball jacket. Again, the comfort and traction provided by my chukka boots was also key, as I covered a lot of ground exploring the Georgetown neighborhood and its standout menswear scene, from Billy Reid to COACH and Jack Wills.

Inside the much-hyped Billy Reid store in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

Inside the much-hyped Billy Reid store in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

If you do get the chance to go to that area of town, I’d definitely recommend you make a point to stop through Billy Reid — the shop is very well-curated, the product is beautiful and the staff is friendly and attentive (can you tell I’m a fan of the brand?). With that being said, all that activity made for a fun but tiring afternoon — and that capped off what was a quick yet extremely fun-filled weekend! It was neat to see more of the character of Washington, D.C. — particularly some of the quirky touches (bunches of Richard Nixon memorabilia at the Capitol Lounge, for one), that the city has to offer. While it’s different in pacing and the overall atmosphere from New York City, it’s a prime city to visit in the fall, and I’m certain there are more hidden gems I didn’t find yet! I’ll definitely be back. Until we hit the road again, thanks for reading.

Stay stylish,

-Beau
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

Cross-country: Heading West for a weekend in L.A.

Polka dots popping out. Taking my favorite Saturdays Surf NYC shirt and my trusty Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag. Luggage tag by Frank & Oak.

Polka dots popping out. Taking my favorite Saturdays Surf NYC shirt and my trusty Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag. Luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Editor’s note: For more travel style dispatches, head here.

Out of the major American (and international) cities I’ve visited, I have perhaps the fondest memories of Los Angeles — and I only spent about twelve hours there. The last time I was in the L.A. area was, without question, one of the best weekends of my life — a trip West as part of a graduation gift to watch my beloved Michigan State Spartans take down Stanford in a legendary Rose Bowl game. I slept on a hotel room floor, edited stories from my phone as part of my work at The State News (MSU’s student newspaper) and basked in the glow of a historic school moment. Spending the next day driving around L.A. with my newspaper colleagues was particularly momentous after such a great win. But I quickly realized the city had more to offer — and when one of my best high school & college friends headed West earlier this year, I knew I had to make it back. So that’s where this weekend is set to take me — and as always, I resolved to travel in style despite the promise of pretty sweltering Los Angeles weather. (Let’s call this trip #StyleGuideLosAngeles, shall we?)

Three options for hot weather, pictured top to bottom -- lightweight JACHS NY grey chinos, flexible Mott & Bow dark denim and lightweight linen shorts from Frank & Oak.

Three options for hot weather, pictured top to bottom — lightweight JACHS NY grey chinos, flexible Mott & Bow dark denim and lightweight linen shorts from Frank & Oak.

I’m bringing along a good mix of product to combat the heat, starting with some linen shorts from Frank & Oak (as pictured above and detailed in this April post). I’m also bringing along a pair of Banana Republic khaki shorts and my Pistol Lake French Terry Sweatshorts, a seasonally-appropriate pickup from a brand that just happens to be based in L.A. They should pair nicely with one of my Pistol Lake V-neck tees. And that get-up should in turn go well with my ever-reliable GREATS Brand Rosen sneakers, a pair I’ve come to rely on in all sorts of situations. They’re exceptionally comfortable and work to dress down a blazer and T-shirt (a combination I’ll likely be wearing on the plane, as I’m heading to the airport after a half-day at work — #WheelsUp!). And should those sneakers need some time out of the rotation, I’m sure my GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers in White will definitely get the job done with multiple pant options.

Travel essentials for a cross-country trip. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Navy sneakers by GREATS Brand. Socks by American Trench. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Dopp kit by Baxter of California.

Travel essentials for a cross-country trip. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Navy sneakers by GREATS Brand. Socks by American Trench. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Dopp kit by Baxter of California.

On that front, I’m anticipating the weather to be quite hot — so my Mott & Bow dark denim should pair well with my Rust V-neck from Pistol Lake (check out that shirt here) and my navy GREATS sneakers. However, I’m ready to sub in my JACHS NY grey chinos, which are about the same weight as a Bonobos Washed Chino, should the situation call for it. I think the dark denim in particular will also team up nicely with two shirting options I’m bringing — my polka-dot Saturdays Surf NYC Esquina Oxford (from the Spring 2014 line), and my Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo, featuring a nice royal blue color and a thin striped collar The polo in particular (seen more closely here) has a nice bit of stretch and a breathable fabric, key in the heat. My Mott & Bow denim should also do well in that regard. In case the weather does turn cooler, I’m bringing my trusty Russel Baseball Jacket from Grayers (as seen above), which should provide a crisp, versatile outerwear option. On my head, I’ll be throwing on my Goorin Brothers vintage ballcap — a favorite from a brand that really does know how to make great hats. To round out my apparel, some standout socks from American Trench (as discussed in this week’s Style Q&A) will definitely prove breathable and comfortable. Of course, no trip would be complete with a great timepiece — I’m expecting my stainless steel Invicta Pro Diver 8926 and my Classic Bristol Leather Watch from Daniel Wellington to work interchangeably with footwear I’m bringing (particularly my well-worn brown leather Coulter Chukkas — courtesy of my day job repping Timberland).

Grooming gear fit for the road ahead. Featuring Beard Oil & Pure Pomade from Doc Elliott, Shampoo from Baxter of Californina and the Wahl Grooming Stainless Steel Trimmer.

Grooming gear fit for the road ahead. Featuring Beard Oil & Pure Pomade from Doc Elliott, Shampoo from Baxter of Californina and the Wahl Grooming Stainless Steel Trimmer.

To round out my luggage and grooming situation, I’m hauling everything in, as ever, my Navali Stowaway Weeekender Bag and my hard-wearing Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag, both of which have provided formidable and tough options for carrying luggage across the globe. And as toiletries are just as key when traveling as at home, I’m rounding up some essentials to bring with me (in travel sizes, of course). My haul will include the Travel Essentials Kit from grooming giant Baxter of California, as well as some Pure Pomade from Doc Elliott and my Wahl Grooming Stainless Steel Trimmer. I’ll be lugging it all in the Baxter Quilted Dopp Kit, which should make things easy to access throughout the trip. While I’m looking forward to sampling the finest food & drink *namely beer, can’t forget about the beer* that L.A. has to offer, I’m also hoping to meet with a brand I admire and whom I’ve interacted with a bit in the past — the fine folks at Apolis. After seeing a press preview of a neat industrial design project they’re working on, plus profiling  them for VOUCH Mag and GearHungry, it’s a definitely a cool opportunity.
Florsheim
As always, look for the regularly scheduled Friday Read post before I jet-set, along with a new Style Pick of the Week. Follow me during the trip via Instagram and Twitter, if that catches your fancy! And look for more from out West next week.

And do let me know — what’s on your must-see list in L.A.? Best restaurants or spots to check out? Drop me a line via Twitter or give me a shout in the comments!

Ben Sherman US