The Friday Read: Local Natives, Banana Republic & Portland

The slim denim you need for the weekend ahead.

Are you geared up and ready for the weekend? Surely not yet, right? Or at least, not without a pair of slim light wash denim from Mott and Bow, correct? This brand makes comfortable, premium jeans that are as fit for a casual Friday (like today!) as they are for your weekend escapades — in fact, I might just be wearing mine soon as I hit the road. That’s right, I’ve got another very, very exciting trip upcoming! I’ll be heading back to Portland, Oregon (I was last there in September 2017 to see Future Islands play!) this weekend, and the occasion is just as special this time around. I absolutely love this city for its mix of old and new, with a refreshing contemporary-yet-authentic vibe (don’t believe those who compare it to “Portlandia” … all the time, at least). I’ll be heading to this great Northwest city to see one of my favorite bands, lauded California indie rockers Local Natives,play what should be a wonderful live show behind their excellent recent album “Violet Street” — it’s assuredly one of my favorites this year so far, and they always put on an astounding show! Of course, you can follow along with me on Instagram as I hit up spots like Hopworks Brewery, Blue Star Donuts and Courier Coffee (not necessarily in that order). What’s on tap for your weekend? Any suggestions for Portland must-do’s? Let me know on Twitter, and get your weekend started the right way … now!

  • The good folks at Banana Republic are keeping you cool this summer with a unique new partnership: The Banana Republic Core Collection, formed in partnership with star QB Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, features a prime mix of classic silhouettes (think chinos and travel-friendly blazers) merged with performance fabric — and per usual, I wrote about it for The Manual! Stay cool out there.
  • If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love — LOVE — a stylish pair of leather boots. Especially a stylish pair of Taylor Stitch leather boots, right? On that note, I covered the newly launched Taylor Stitch Moto Boots for GearMoose; talk about a winning pair of investment-level footwear, yeah? No kidding.

OK, my friends. That’s all from me today, but I’ll leave you with one last guide as to what to wear this spring — hit that link for more. And for now, I’ve got a flight to catch! Cheers.

The Friday Read: The Best Men’s White Jeans, V76 by Vaughn & Portland, Maine

Happy Friday, folks! We made it through another week, but I’m not done with my work just quite yet. Namely, we’re kicking off today’s post by telling you about the one product — just one — that can give your fresh spring haircut a lift (as seen above!). That would be the excellent V76 by Vaughn Texture Clay, an American-made men’s grooming essential that provides a medium hold and nice separation while moisturizing your hair. Say adios to your old winter ‘do — I’ve loved trying out the Texture Clay this week (as you might have seen on my Instagram), and I can’t recommend it enough. The Blue Cedar fragrance is mighty pleasing, and it’s also made without parabens. Simply perfect. Now, to other matters in menswear.


We’ll have another Style Pick of the Week coming tomorrow, so stay tuned. In the meantime, it’s pretty neat to be able to cross another city off my travel bucket list this fine spring weekend — for me, that’d be Portland, Maine, a City I’ve long wanted to explore for its reputed beer scene and small-town Northeast feel. I happen to be trekking there this weekend to enjoy the likes of great Northeast coffee & Allagash Brewing beer, to go along with a show (always a show!) by remarkable up-and-coming pop star Maggie Rogers! I’ve previously seen Maggie play two sold-out shows back in August 2017 at the wonderful Brooklyn Steel, and this Saturday night show at the State Theatre should be no less remarkable! I particularly love her debut album, “Heard It In A Past Life,” and am so excited for what should be a transcendent evening (truly!).

Have any suggestions as to what I should do in Portland? Hit me up on Twitter (find me via @BoKnowsClothes!). Make no mistake though, we’ll be busy on the blog all the meanwhile. To wit: we’ve got plenty of men’s style content for you to enjoy on this lovely weekend, from the best spring rain jacket to a full list of seasonal menswear essentials. Get your weekend going below — and maybe spin some tunes from Maggie Rogers while you’re at it! Cheers!

  • Do white jeans feel like a style risk? Well, that’s understandable — and that being said, spring and summer presents a prime opportunity to try out a pair (seriously!). So, without further ado, read about my favorite pairs of white jeans over at The Manual. Cheers!
  • It’s worth refreshing your style and your beer fridge in equal measure for spring. That being said, it’s awfully nice to crack open a beer that’s packed with flavor & hops, even as the weather warms up. On that note, there’s no better beer embodying this currently than the Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale — check out my rundown of this excellent beer for GearMoose.
  • If you know me, you know I love — and frequently recommend — a stylish pair of men’s sneakers for spring. And for my money’s worth, it doesn’t get any better or more unique than the ZDA Handball Trainers, which I wrote about recently for GearMoose. Wear ’em with light was jeans and a white skin tee. Read and enjoy, folks!

That’s all from me for now — again, check back for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week covering spring style essentials. Thanks for reading!

The Friday Read: A Taylor Stitch Giveaway, Portland Travel Tips and Stylish Sweatshirts

Is it just me, or has it been a long week? For your Style Guide author at least, it took a bit to recover from a fun trip out West to the lovely city of Portland! That’s  a long flight back to Brooklyn, but while in the City of Roses, I visited som excellent craft breweries, dined at a few great restaurants and took in a live show by the excellent synth pop band Future Islands! Again, you can read my trip recap and get some travel style tips of your own at that link. All very cool, exciting things to do on the road — and a nice way to cap off a month of travel, which also included a weekend trip to Nashville! Given all the hustle and bustle over these past few weeks, I’m definitely looking forward to a relaxing weekend exploring Brooklyn and of course, working on more #menswear content while listening to some excellent tunes and perhaps enjoying a refreshing cold brew. On that note, The Killers released a  new album, “Wonderful Wonderful,” last week — despite some mixed reviews, it’s on track to be the band’s first No.1 album in the U.S. How about that? Maybe give that a listen as you dive into the below men’s style news? And most importantly, enjoy the weekend and check out tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week. Cheers!

  • Let’s kick things off with news of an important giveaway — perhaps the most important giveaway you’ll enter all week! No, definitely the most important giveaway you’ll enter all week. GearMoose is giving you the chance to win a Taylor Stitch giveaway featuring pieces from the stellar Good Acre Collection. That includes a durable Chore Shirt or two, hard-wearing Chore Pants and plenty, plenty more — enter the Taylor Stitch giveaway at GearMoose and you’ll (hopefully) be rewarded! A heads-up — it runs for two weeks, so you’ve got plenty of time to again, enter this stellar Taylor Stitch giveaway.
  • What’s more quintessentially American than the crewneck sweatshirt? With athletic roots and a heritage that’s decidedly not high-fashion, this staple has stuck around for decades — and the stylish crewneck sweatshirt is being brought back in all kinds of forms by designers and brands new and old. You probably even know some (including the Todd Snyder x Champion Classic Pocket Sweatshirt, yes?). That’s why it was such a treat to write about the best men’s crewneck sweaters for The Manual — shop away and enjoy!
  • With roots in sporty and collegiate style — at least where I’m from in the Midwest — a stylish hooded sweatshirt can be tough to come by. But a hooded bomber jacket is an easy, grab-and-go piece that can actually look pretty smooth in more casual style situations — don’t take my word for it, though. Style Girlfriend tells you all about how to wear a hooded bomber the right way this season. It can indeed be done, friends!
  • Let’s end on another music-related note. Here in Brooklyn earlier this week, I had the pleasure of seeing the fantastic, fun and bright British pop duo Oh Wonder. They dropped their second album, “Ultralife,” earlier this summer, as it were — it’s filled with vibrant hooks, beautiful singing by Josephine Vander Gucht and some great live tracks. It’s an unexpected second album from a duo that never intended to make an album in the first place, and this Toronto Star profile captures the innovative, fun spirit that went into this album (and a heck of a show at Brooklyn Steel!).

We’re going to get the weekend started a little early today, my friends — we’ve got the Michigan State-Iowa football game coming up tomorrow, and I’d wager that we’ve got some men’s style and craft beer adventures around Brooklyn on the way, too. Follow along on Instagram for more, check back tomorrow for a new Style Pick of the Week and make sure you see us on Sunday for another See Now, Buy Now entry — #SundayFunday style.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

Keep Portland Weird! A West Coast Weekend Adventure

Hanging out at TwentySix Cafe in versatile, rugged gear for exploring Portland. My Bridge & Burn Northfork Woodland Jacket, the Taylor Stitch Sashiko Shirt, All-American Washed Jeans from Flint and Tinder and my Grizzly Wheat President Boots from Thursday Boots worked out tremendously!

Before we kick things off in today’s latest travel style feature on The Style Guide, know that we’re not about to dive into a “Portlandia” parody (as outstanding as that show happens to be). No sir, this past weekend gave me the chance to head West — although I’d spent a weekend exploring Los Angeles and even made a trip out to Las Vegas for work last year, I’d never been to the City of Roses. I’ve been hearing great things about its balance of excellent #menswear, standout craft beer, a great culinary scene and of course, stellar live music — in my book, that’s more than enough reason to get out and adventure.


And the my long weekend brought with it the added value of an amazing concert — always a bonus! Yes indeed, seeing excellent synth pop band Future Islands play the renowned Crystal Ballroom was a heck of a treat on Friday night. Although it was quite the long trek to get out there following a long work week in New York, I did my best to pack in style (as you might have seen via my Instagram page). Come along for the journey!

Slim, faded denim, a durable Saddleback duffel bag, trusty James Dean Eyewear sunglasses … all that you need for a weekend out West.

Traveling in style and comfort can be a bit of a challenge — particularly on a long flight. That’s why I reached for my durable, pleasingly faded All-American Washed Jeans from Flint and Tinder. Made from premium cotton denim and finished with just a hint of stretch, my All-American Washed Jeans were a fine pair of denim to go from the airport to go to the hip, quiet and cozy TwentySix Cafe near my Irvington accommodations. And my uniquely detailed Taylor Stitch Sashiko Shirt worked just as well on the plane as it did trekking around Portland, particularly when teamed with the richly crafted Grizzly Wheat President Boot from Thursday Boots. To stay on time through it all, I reached for a brand-new, slim and refined Timex watch — the versatile leather strap proved easily wearable all day long. To shield my eyes from the sun in style, a new pair of James Dean Eyewear JDS100 Sunglasses looked great and proved up to the task. The next time your trip calls for exploring a new city on foot, reach for mobile denim, comfortable-yet-tough boots, a sharp watch and stylish, go-anywhere shirting. 

All the right details for exploring Portland, including a new Timex watch and my rugged Thursday Boots Grizzly Wheat President Boots.

And exploration was certainly the name of the game on Friday leading up to that night’s Future Islands show. Thankfully, my durable, rugged and extremely well-crafted Saddleback Rounded Leather Duffel Bag held up to the challenge of lugging around my favorite travel style essentials as I hopped from grabbing a crucial cold brew to the excellent Bunk Bar Wonder, one of a series of PDX locations offering gourmet sandwiches, excellent craft cocktails and a very solid beer selection. A hint — get the Molě Tator Tots, packed with delicious flavor. It was a great afternoon lead-in to a stop at the richly appointed Tanner Goods Flagship Store and the accompanying craft cocktail/beer bar & patio, The Wayback. This American-made brand has long been a favorite of mine for handsome leather goods, durable outerwear, stylish home decor and terrific attention to detail — it was a treat to finally stop by! So with coffee, menswear and craft beer on lock, that led to the night’s highlight: Future Islands bringing down a packed Crystal Ballroom with a stellar show! It helped that I dressed in comfort and style; I can simply never resist the chance to wear rugged leather boots to a concert, either.

The Baltimore-based synth pop band’s rise to fame has been a long one — they’ve played more than 1,000 shows across the country since 2006, often booking them on their own. And if you’re not familiar, I’d say you’ll recognize them from their 2014 appearance on Letterman playing hit single “Seasons (Waiting on You).” Believe me, frontman Sam Herring is every bit as energetic, passionate and enjoyable in person — I knew that from seeing the band play Panorama 2017 here in NYC! And their return to Portland was an anticipated one, coming as it did off the release of one of this year’s better albums, the emotionally packed “The Far Field.

With an extensive discography spanning five albums and plenty of crowd favorites, a Future Islands show is full of highs and lows, joy and passion — it’s a sight to behold, from hits like 2017’s “Ran” and 2014’s “A Dream of You and Me” to fan favorites like “Seasons,” of course! And Crystal Ballroom, what with a historic interior and a tremendous craft beer selection — including choice selections brewed in Portland — is simply a quirky, cool, standout venue for a live show. Did it top my trip to Nashville to see Young the Giant and Cold War Kids? It’s tough to say – but Future Islands blew me away yet again. Even dealing with a bit of jet lag, it was still a heck of a way to cap off a big Portland day.

Durable Allen Edmonds boots, a finely crafted Abercrombie cotton shirt and a durable Timex x Red Wing watch — perfect Portland essentials.

So, with Friday night in the books, my Saturday kicked off in style — from the ground up, as it were. For getting around Portland with durability, rugged looks and sharp versatility in mind, my brand-new Allen Edmonds Caen Cap Toe Boots worked extremely well. Of course, I started my day right on time with my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Watch, but stellar boots were just as critical. Coming from a brand mainly known for stylish men’s dress shoes, these rugged cap toe boots are a welcome addition to the Allen Edmonds line — and what’s more, they worked nicely in tandem with the crisp, easily wearable Flint and Tinder 365 Pants. Cut like a five-pocket pant and made from a blend of cotton and lyrca, my 365 Pants helped me grab a quick coffee at essential Portland stop Blue Star Donuts before kicking off afternoon shopping at Style Guide favorites Bridge & Burn. On the shirting front, I reached for a nice fall go-between — a new Abercrombie & Fitch Herringbone Shirt, courtesy of the brand. I can’t recommend the rugged versatility of Abercrombie & Fitch enough, and this soft-washed cotton shirt was able to withstand a full day out and about in Portland.

I packed a lot into an already busy day, including a stop at the excellent Kiriko Made shop — renowned for indigo textiles, excellent shirting and stunning attention to detail on items as small as pocket squares, Kiriko should certainly be on your shopping list if you get out to Portland.  And just as with my trip to Nashville, I had to hit up a renowned craft beer spot or two. The afternoon started with the Deschutes Brewery Portland location — a craft beer lover’s dream.  Lauded for rich, innovative and hard-to-find beers (at least back in NYC), I can’t recommend the nearly legendary Black Butte Porter or the Inversion IPA enough. It was a nice lead-in to another busy evening — centered, of course, around a trip to bustling sports bar The Independent to catch my beloved Michigan State Spartans take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish! And for a postgame brew, I headed to 10Barrel Brewing, another Oregon favorite that’s always a treat to sip.

Men's travel style

Heading back home in comfortable Standard Deviation denim, a classic Bridge and Burn tee and my trusty Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

To kick off my last and final day in style — and with a jolt – I stopped by the Ace Hotel Portland, a hip boutique hotel that’s also a favorite spot in NYC for post-work drinks and small bites. Oh, and the coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters? It’s excellent, too. I also made my final day count in terms of #menswear, from my Astorflex Greenflex in Dark Khaki chukka boots to my slim, stylish and well-fitting Standard Deviation denim. Standard Deviation does it right when it comes to stylish denim — the brand’s Two-Part Solution allows you to try out two pairs for 15 days to nail down your perfect fit; when the time comes, you pay the discounted price of $78 per pair. Not bad, ehh? And certainly stylish for exploring Portland and heading to Ecliptic Brewing for a nice brew or two before a long flight back home.

I also dressed in laidback style with a new Bridge & Burn Basic Tee, a slim-fitting number made with a breezy cotton blend. The Heather Wine color  of the Basic Tee also played nicely off my Astorflex Greenflex in Dark Khaki chukka boots. Luckily, my essential Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch ensured I stayed on time throughout the day.  For navigating a new city, reach for classic suede chukka boots and perhaps some favorite tunes, as I did when I plugged into stylish headphones from the Bespoke Post Vibes Box. With a busy, enjoyable and exciting weekend behind me, it was time all too soon to head hone. I appreciated Portland for its quiet atmosphere, its mix of amazing coffee, great menswear and live music, and the attention to detail in everything from food to craft beer. Is Portland “weird,” per se? It’s different than New York and Brooklyn, and that’s a great thing!

If you’ve got questions on the best things to do in Portland, drop me a note on Twitter. Follow along on Instagram for more men’s travel style tips, and check back tomorrow for a new #OOTD post.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

The Friday Read: The Best Men’s Fall Boots, Portland and A Rugged Fall Jacket

Let’s turn the page on another week and hop right into the weekend here on The Style Guide. With another Friday Read comes another step closer toward fall. From football tailgates to breaking in new Chelsea boots all the way through to knocking back a rich IPA or an Oktoberfest beer at your local haunt, it’s a great time to prep for the season with perfectly rugged fall style. We’ve been talking a lot about those themes on the blog, from a new way to wear your denim jacket to the best men’s boots for fall, too.

If all of that #menswear doesn’t get you excited, I’m not sure what will! I know I’m excited to break out some new seasonal favorites — you can follow me on Instagram for more there. And in the meantime, you might want to tag along this coming weekend; I’ll be hitting the road in style once again, this time on a West Coast trip to lovely Portland! It’s coming on the heels of a big fall event at my day job, so the trip is perfectly timed for a little rest, relaxation, craft beer, fall menswear and of course, some live music. Who exactly is on the docket? Why, passionate, energetic and plain fun synth pop band Future Islands! Give their new album, “The Far Field,” a spin as you relax with your weekend coffee and a few prime pieces of men’s style news — which, as always, you can find below!

  • As we talked about earlier, it’s the perfect season for a great pair of stylish leather boots — right? Right. And my picks for The Manual covering the best leather boots for men might just take the cake. At least, that’s what I think! Read up now, folks.

  • Fancy getting out of the city on a hike? I know I could use a getaway every now and then — and if you’re more outdoors-minded than this city dweller, one of the best pairs of men’s hiking pants, as written about by yours truly, could very well be of interest. Get out there and get to it!

Alright, we’re keeping it short and sweet today — although if I had to make one last recommendation, it’d be to read this neat Esquire rundown of why you need a denim shirt in your fall men’s style rotation. Get it? Got it? Good.

Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend!

-Beau