The Friday Read: Jack Black Grooming Sets, New Wolverine Boots & A New Shinola Watch

Jack Black men's grooming

Filling you in on the best men’s groming picks from Jack Black right now.

Folks, if you can believe it, we’re back once more with another edition of the Friday Read, and on top of that, it’s the final edition of … October. Wow. Color me shocked, right?? It’s been a momentous and busy few weeks here at The Style Guide’s Brooklyn HQ, if you will — a couple weeks back, I filled you in on how you can get a discount on your new favorite weekender bag from Boarding Pass NYC (use the code BEAUKNOWS to get $10 off any purchase over $70!), and this week, I’m similarly looping you in onto some great fall deals. Let’s talk about the best men’s grooming essentials for a second, shall we? The other week, I had the chance to chat with the team at Jack Black about the Dallas-based grooming brand’s 20th anniversary, to go along with plenty of the best men’s grooming sets. I mentioned Jack Black in a previous edition of the Friday Read, but how about a refresher (literally)? From beard oil to the much-loved Most Wanted Gift Set, the brand is an outstanding resource for the best men’s grooming picks, not to mention the best men’s gift sets and stocking stuffers aplenty. Yes, stocking stuffers. It’s never too early to plan ahead, folks!

On that note, I’ve been busy elsewhere this month writing about the best Christmas jumpers for The Manual, to go along with writing about rugged Taylor Stitch boots at GearMoose. Yes indeed, my friends, if you want to plan ahead for this season and the next, I’d say I’ve got you covered (I’m biased, though!). Aside from menswear writing, I’m looking forward to getting some R&R this weekend and watching — strange as it might sound — some college football, as my beloved Michigan State Spartans take on hated rival Michigan on the road in Ann Arbor. It’s the sort of game that makes me miss Michigan in the fall, but I’ll make the best of it all the same with a cold Oktoberfest beer at a sidewalk bar. Follow along with my writing and my off-duty pursuits via my Instagram, and let’s dive into the rest of the Friday Read below.

Stylish packaging and great coffee? Sign me up.

  • To power my freelance menswear writing, I’m often imbibing quite a bit of coffee. And lately, I’ve been digging what Equator Coffees is churning out (thanks to my buddy Micah for allowing me to test the brand!). Here’s the scoop: Sustainable, high-quality coffee delivered in cool, bright red packaging — always a plus! — and made with a focus on giving back (check out the B’Cause Blend Voting Project, for starters). They also offer subscriptions and gift sets, always a bonus if you or someone you love is BIG into great coffee on the daily. The next time you want great coffee for a great cause, get yourself some excellent beans from Equator Coffees.
  • The headline of this post mentions a new Shinola watch, and that’s exactly what I had the chance to cover recently for Maxim. The Shinola Ice Monster is a burly, rugged and yet stylish watch that draws design inspiration from Michigan’s frigid winters, which I can’t help but remember (sometimes fondly, sometimes not so fondly). It’s here in time for fall and winter, so act accordingly.

As far as today’s Friday Read goes, well, we’re just about wrapped up around these parts. I’ll leave you with one final buying recommendation for fall, and that’s to pick up the season’s most versatile shirt from Western Rise. Head to my blog post here to check out the the Western Rise AirLight Shirt, a shirt that’ll fit right in both on a weekend drive or a weekend park stroll without missing a beat. Make it yours, then reap the rewards. And while you’re at it, amp up your grooming game with the best men’s grooming sets and perhaps a new pair of Wolverine men’s boots to round out your style favorites.

Most importantly: Thanks for reading & stay safe!


See Now, Buy Now: Invest In Your Next Timepiece with the Shinola Canfield Watch

Shinola Canfield

A smooth, simple timepiece that’s here just in time for a new season.

See that watch at the top of this page? The Shinola Canfield Watch? What a sight to behold, right? I’m with you there. An investment-level, sleek, sharp and stylish timepiece assembled in America by the good folks at Shinola is more than worthy of another See Now, Buy Now series entry here at The Style Guide, I’d wager. While the brand has taken some flack in recent years for its use of Swiss parts and U.S. assembly — versus building every single part from scratch in the States — that doesn’t mean Shinola can’t make a heck of a timepiece still. I’m no watch expert, but I do know what I like to wear with everything from faded slim denim and a classic T-shirt to a rugged denim jacket: A a watch like this one. In terms of clean, crisp design, the Canfield Watch stands apart when compared to other stylish leather watches. The Shinola Canfield Watch isn’t as expensive as other timepieces from fellow American brands like Hamilton, yet the Canfield Watch is still a worthy addition to your watch collection. From the 43mm face — due in part to a first-of-its-kind top-loaded case construction — to the handsome brown leather strap and striking black dial, the Shinola Canfield Watch is a beauty in every sense of the word.

And the great thing about a watch this sharp and simple is that it’ll team with fall and winter staples that you already know and love, from a stretch denim trucker jacket to a rugged henley. Crucially, it’ll also keep on going in terms of durability and style well into spring and summer. Yes indeed, the Shinola Canfield Watch is a unique offering that provides visual interest, reliable design and construction, and that next-level investment so many of us search for when making #menswear purchases. What’s your take on the Shinola Canfield Watch? Will you be adding it to your watch collection?

Thanks for reading — happy shopping!

The Friday Read: Shinola, Pitti Uomo and New Music by The Killers

This week, I’ve found myself looking back — and looking forward — quite a bit.  I’ve been looking back on an incredible mini-trip to Philadelphia and New Jersey to see The Killers about two weeks ago now, and I’ve also been looking back on a great family wedding weekend in Charleston. Both trips brought amazing memories, a dash of excellent #menswear and hearty helpings of craft beer (and in the case of my Jersey trip, stunning live tunes!).

I’m also looking forward to a few other momentous events coming up, including a holiday weekend in NYC surrounding the Fourth of July, plus an exciting month of live music (including a mid-July show by one of my all-time favorite bands, The Naked and Famous!). In the meantime, you can be sure we’ll be talking plenty of men’s style news on the site, from American-made denim to the best shorts to buy for summer and the best new men’s gear to buy now— and plenty more! If that’s of interest, I’d say you should definitely stick around. Before we get to that though, we’ve got a laidback weekend in the Big Apple coming up, and a full rundown of the week in #menswear to kick it off — per usual, as it were! Follow me on Instagram to keep up with the latest, and have a drink on me tonight.

Beckett Simonon

Two distinctly different shoe options available for pre-order from an excellent retailer.

  • Let’s talk summer wedding style as mentioned above — what’s your dress shoe situation like? If you’ve got some time to plan ahead, the fine folks of Beckett Simonon can surely sort you out, and quite handsomely. The company’s well-done pre-ordering process — one that updates you every step of the way via E-mail, from production to shipping — is definitely quite neat. Of course, you might know Beckett Simonon from a Style Pick of the Week entry on the terrific Cole Bomber Jacket on this site, but the brand is so much more.  Perhaps you’re familiar with the insanely cool-looking Morgen Trainer as seen above? And from the handsome Dean Oxford in Brown Leather to a sharp and useful collection of three Italian leather belts, the company’s fine craft is evident throughout the entire process. Again, if you’ve got some time to plan ahead, pre-order one (or several?) pairs of the brand’s stylish men’s dress shoes and be prepared to take that late summer wedding by storm.
  • In retail news, one of my favorite purveyors of stylish leather watches, Shinola, just opened what should be an incredible, well-appointed retail space in chic SoHo here in NYC. Swing by if you’re in the Big Apple — you can find this shop in addition to the new Shinola Brooklyn shop and the brand’s handsome flagship in Tribeca. Happy shopping! be
  • We’re at it again — the three-ring circus that is the traveling band of menswear shows (kidding, kidding) is starting up again, this time at the world’s largest menswear fair, Pitti Uomo. As always, it’s brought out its fair share of well-dressed guys and … overly dressed guys. See the best-dressed guys at Pitt Uomo here.
  • Among other menswear developments, I’m particularly excited about a new series launched recently on the blog — it’s called The List, and it’s a rundown of great gear and essentially, the best menswear to buy now. Our first List included a plethora of great picks, from stylish Chelsea boots to a handsome leather watch and summer drinking essentials from my good pals at Bespoke Post. I’m very much looking forward to continuing the series, and I hope you’re looking forward to reading it.
  • Let’s start to wrap things up with some music — agreed? The Killers — a stunning, soul-stirring and ridiculously excellent live band  — released their new single, “The Man” late last week. It was fitting coming off of my weekend trip to New Jersey to see them play! Have you heard it yet? It’s a groovy, heavy, funky track that might fit in more readily with Mr. Brandon Flowers’ solo work … and yet, it’s got me as excited as ever to hear their new album, “Wonderful, Wonderful.”
  • Now, I’m moreso a proponent of stylish summer sneakers, but that didn’t stop me from writing about the best sandals for men over at one of my favorite style sites, GearMoose — they’re definitely a summer style essential if you’re on the beach or the boardwalk. Shop on!
    In short order, that’s going to wrap up today’s Friday Read — are you ready for the weekend yet? I’m ready to kick back, relax and enjoy a nice, cold beer (or an iced coffee). Catch me tomorrow for our regularly scheduled Style Pick of the Week, and we’ll see you around!

The Friday Read: Shinola, Spring Travel and The National

Hey there, folks — it’s time to wrap up the week once more and jump right into The Friday Read on this fine Brooklyn day. How was your week? Tough to believe that we’ve rolled past Mother’s Day and we’ve now got Father’s Day on our radar in terms of shopping (that is, in addition to the other #menswear shopping recommendations we’ve made on this site). Time’s positively been flying by, especially considering that I traveled to Indiana in style last weekend to catch up with old college friends, try out some craft brews at Goshen Brewing Company and take in the quiet tranquility of the Midwest — if you follow me on Instagram though, you know all about that trip. And back in NYC, we’ve been busy on the blogging and writing front — you’ll see a few handy spring travel tips and more men’s style news to know below.

Of course, I’m particularly excited about what’s to come in the days ahead. Specifically, I’m looking forward to exploring the lovely borough of Queens today in advance of what should be an incredible show from acclaimed British electro-pop band The xx. The band really defies any categorization though, and the group’s new third album — “I See You”— features some of the strongest musical work of 2017, hands down. Yes indeed, it should be a magical evening at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens. What are your weekend plans? Standby for tomorrow’s new Style Pick of the Week, as it were — and feel free to join the conversation on Twitter if you’ve got a style query I can answer. Hopefully, I can help — let’s start with these items below, shall we?

  • Who doesn’t love a simple-yet-stylish spring and summer T-shirt? Better yet, how about one that supports a great cause? That’s exactly what Waves for Water is doing with its Artists for Water series, which applies the brand’s trademark focus to upgrading something we all know and love — The T-shirt. That means these T-shirts feature one-of-a-kind artwork from designers and artists alike, including Shawn Stussy (yes, the Shawn Stussy) and Nautas Kapas, the famed skateboarder, designer and now creative director at Birdwell Beach Britches. What does this mean for you, stylish reader? It means that now through July 3rd, you can keep your eyes peeled on the site for new weekly T-shirt launches.
  • OK, so how about upgrading your leather watch? If you happen to be in NYC, or visiting, you should absolutely check out the new Shinola Brooklyn store. They absolutely make some of the best men’s leather watches out there, and it was a treat to catch up with Shinola Creative Director Daniel Caudill for The Manual in advance of the opening, and I’d daresay you’ll be more than pleased with the brand’s handsome accessories and home goods.Greats
  • The summer is no time to let your outerwear game slip, especially on breezy nights — I’d suggest you pick up the Goldwin Packable Windbreaker, one of my recent entries for GearMoose, and let me know where you’re headed.
  • Now, let’s talk music. If you missed it last Saturday, you can — and should — watch the lovely ladies of California rock trio HAIM play two new songs on Saturday Night Live! Who else is excited for the group’s new album this July?  I sure am.

Last, but certainly not least ….

  • While we’re taking new music, it was with joy and surprise that I first listened to the new single by The National last week. If you haven’t heard the latest from the indie rock heroes, listen to “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness” as soon as you can. Trust me.

OK, loyal Style Guide readers. That’s it — that’s all we’ve got! Unless, of course, you haven’t listened to that new single by The National. You should do that, ASAP.

Now, we’re ready for the weekend — stay stylish!


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

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

#1. Shinola Runwell Watch — $550

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

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

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

#2. Orient Bambino Second Generation Watch — $198.98

Orient Bambino

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

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

#3. Seiko Dive Watch — $319.98


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#5. Linjer The Minimalist — $224.98

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Thanks for reading,


The Friday Read: Black Friday 2016 Shopping Edition

Ahh, so it’s here again — Black Friday. If you still haven’t recovered from a healthy dose of turkey and football, we’re here to help you at The Style Guide. It’s a bountiful time for shopping — namely, right here from your laptop. And as great as the weekend is, it’s also important to take some time to kick back, enjoy the holiday with loved ones. But make no mistake, there are deals to be had wherever you look. With plenty of retailers opening their doors and starting online sales well in advance of Black Friday, some of the below deals have been going on for a while. But fear not, you’ve got plenty of time to catch up on all of your #menswear shopping needs. Yes, make no mistake, there are some excellent sales out there — with a slew of promotions from Huckberry, Shinola, JackThreads and plenty more favorites, it’s the ideal time to knock a few items off your style wish list. Without further ado — bring on the Black Friday deals!

Huckberry: The lauded online retailer is offering tons of deals through Sunday, namely featuring the following brands:

Sword & Plough: The men’s and women’s accessories company — as featured in this stylish fall travel ensemble — is running a Thanksgiving week sale giving you 20 percent off all the way through Tuesday! They support veterans every step of the production process, so the brand is certainly worth a look.

Mott & Bow: Everyone’s favorite denim brand has a nice Black Friday deal going on today. Use the code ‘BLACKFRIDAY’ to get 10 percent off orders of $150 or more, 20 percent off $250 or more, or 30 percent off $350 or more of Mott & Bow gear.

Johnston & Murphy: The heritage footwear maker is offering select shoes and boots for up to 30 percent off.

JackThreads: Another Style Guide favorite has been running a Price Drop & Lock Guarantee  for the past few weeks, meaning low prices. well, drop and stay there; oh, and they’re giving everyone 25-30 percent off site-wide for Black Friday! And on Cyber Monday, they’re offering 30 percent off site-wide, all day.

FOURLAPS: The neat athletic brand upstart is providing some nice deals on stylish workout gear — you can snag the Dash Tank, Bolt Short and Smash Tee $30 through Monday, November 28th. And once Cyber Monday hits,  you can shop the Silver Charge Tee for $20

CHASE54: The performance and style-focused golf brand is serving up a nice deal through Cyber Monday —take 30 percent off any two-piece bundle and 40 percent off any three-piece bundle.

Batch Men’s: Batch is serving up a rare sale deal — makers of rugged-refined staples like the Tactician Utility Shirt, they’re offering 40 percent off a wide selection of shirts; get the deal using the code ‘THANKS’!

johnnie-O: The preppy, sport-inspired clothiers are offering a nice Black Friday deal — use the code ‘Tweener’ to buy one button-down, get another button-down free.


GREATS: In addition to launching two new sneakers (the third iteration of its Beast Mode collab with retired NFL star Marshawn Lynch, plus a special “Black Friday” edition of its low-cut Royale sneaker), the Style Guide favorite and is giving y’all 20 percent off and free shipping sitewide for Black Friday. That goes along with a series of tiered deals on Cyber Monday: namely, you’re looking at 20 percent off and free shipping sitewide from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m., then 25 percent off and free shipping from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., capped off by 25 percent off and free shipping on all shoes under $100 from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday. Hop to it!

Old Navy: The noted casual retailer — who seems to churn out better and better men’s apparel by the season — is offering 50 percent off through Black Friday. That’s a heck of a deal, y’all.

Shinola: The brand is launching its Special Edition All Black Collection, an assortment of signature all-black Shinola products, debuting today.  It includes the brand-new Shinola Runwell Wall Clock and Shinola Power Supply Cords made in partnership with General Electric, plus an all-black Shinola Runwell Turntable, a 47mm Runwell watch with a PVD black sandblasted case and black dial, a one-of-a-kind black tandem bicycle and the Shinola + Benchmade Titanium 765 Pocket Knife. That’s a heck of a lot of gear! Read more about Shinola on Effortless Gent.

Sunday Somewhere: The eclectic sunglasses brand with an international following is giving you stylish guys up to 50% off storewide through Monday, excluding regular eyeglasses & accessories. No discount code needed!

Links of London: Need a special gift for that special someone? Refined British jewelry makers Links of London are offering 25 percent off for Black Friday, both in stores and online, until the 27th, with that same deal running online only through Cyber Monday. And if you spend $495, you’ll receive the brand’s Limited Edition Timeless Diamond Bracelet, a promo that runs in-store from the 28th, and online from the 29th, until December 11th.

Baxter of CaliforniaThese fine purveyors of high-quality men’s grooming products are offering 25 percent off the entire site now through November 28th.

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes: Until the 27th, you can get  20 percent off sitewide, plus free shipping, with the promo code DRS20FS. Then, on Cyber Monday, you can take 25 percent off sitewide, with free shipping also included, using the code DRSCYBER.

Reef: The surfwear and basics brand is serving up free 2-Day Shipping on all orders until the 28th using the code REE2DAY.

Richer Poorer: The standout basics brand is offering 40 percent off sitewide for Black Friday.

Steven Alan Optical: Until November 29th (that’s next Tuesday), you can receive 25 percent off all Steven Alan Optical eyeglasses and sunglasses with code BFWKNDSALE16.

Well, folks — that’s just a selection of some of the best #menswear deals out there on the market. From places where you can knock out all your shopping at once — like Huckberry — to e-tailers like JackThreads and Shinola who serve up stylish outerwear and accessories, this weekend is one of the best of the year (if not the best). And if you’re a fan of shopping and scoring deals? You’d do well to hop to some shopping. Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving weekend — and we’ll be back tomorrow as scheduled with our Style Pick of the Week.

Stay stylish, my friends!

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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

Summer style: Attending a Michigan wedding

Editor’s note: Click here for more tips  how to dress for a summer wedding.

Dressed in style for a summer wedding. Blue shirt by Twillory. Cotton tie by Thompson Navy suit by J. Crew Factory. Glasses by Warby Parker. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

Dressed in style for a summer wedding. Blue shirt by Twillory. Cotton tie and navy tipped pocket square by Thompson Navy suit by J. Crew Factory. Glasses by Warby Parker. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

It’s a topic that’s come up before here on The Style Guide — that would be, dressing for a summer wedding — but this past weekend presented the perfect opportunity for yours truly to put some of those ideas into practice.  Following a whirlwind, busy New York Fashion Week: Men’s (an exhausting but super-fun week), I hit the road back to Michigan to attend the wedding of my great friend Matt Sheehan, a former State News colleague and another proud & sports-obsessed Spartan (watching games was either very fun — or not so fun, depending on how MSU fared). In fact, Matt & I took in a particularly momentous MSU football game last fall, and caught up during my spring trip to Florida. That being said, it was still great to make the trip back. It was a truly lovely wedding, and so great to reconnect with amazing friends back home in the process. With fashion week done, it was also awesome to get away from the bustle of NYC for a  bit, and even better to do so during a beautiful Michigan summer — as always, even with a humble weekender bag in tow, I tried my best to pack the best #menswear gear I could round up.

A full bag ready to hit the road. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Beachcomber Chambray Shirt by Bourbon & Blue. Staple Denim made in Italy by Mott & Bow. Brown Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boots. Striped socks by American Trench. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Brown leather belt by J. Crew. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply Co. Moisturizer by Tread for Men. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

A full bag ready to hit the road. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Beachcomber Chambray Shirt by Bourbon & Blue. Staple Denim made in Italy by Mott & Bow. Brown Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boots. Striped socks by American Trench. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Brown leather belt by J. Crew. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply Co. Moisturizer by Tread for Men. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

That started with some essential everyday carry accessories that have quickly become personal travel favorites — such as my tough, sturdy Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender Bag. It’s accompanied me on nearly every trip I’ve taken as of late, and with dependable Wickett & Craig leather handles, quality hardware and a surprising amount of room, it’s taken the toils of the road quite well. I packed some key everyday carry accessories, including my Word Notebooks Adventure Log and Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit; just as small details finish off an outfit, so too can they upgrade even the things you don’t quite think about when traveling. For the flight to Michigan, I pulled some double-duty, wearing a Bourbon & Blue short-sleeve chambray shirt and pairing it up with my J. Crew Factory Thompson suit jacket and some tailored Savane twill pants (look for more on those pants in a special Tuesday post).  For outfits throughout the weekend, my Thursday Boots Brown Scout Chukka Boots helped me travel in style — always a must! I finished off the look with one of two watches I brought along for the weekend — my personal favorite, the rugged and durable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chronograph.  If you can only fit in one or two watches as part of your packing list, it’s tough to go wrong with a really well-built watch that works for more casual or slightly more dressed-up ensembles. With any travel, stylish sunglasses are a must — for both tailored wear and my casual ensembles, I’ve found myself consistently reaching for the pricey but sharp Maximus sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere.

While I was excited to hit the road, I ran into some unfortunate travel delays leaving New York that left me stuck at the airport all day — so unfortunately, I missed out on a classic Michigan backyard barbeque. Luckily, I still made it back in time for a nice Saturday and the wedding itself! It goes without saying that I had an incredible time, and was very glad to have made the trip back (CONGRATS, MATT AND SAM!). Of course, I was glad I brought along a trusty suit, as well. Packing the appropriate gear to get you through a warm-weather wedding is a bit tricky. While it might seem at first too hot to rock anything but a lightweight linen suit, if you have to grab one suit for all four seasons, worsted wool in a neutral color like navy is a very solid option. It’s a more breathable and classic fabric, and in a slim, tailored (and affordable) cut like the J. Crew Factory Thompson Suit, it’ll work well with a crisp dress shirt, and with or without a tie even if you don’t have a wedding to attend. In fact, my shirt was a favorite of the outfit in terms of fit and construction — it’s on-sale now, so I’d definitely recommend you pick up the nicely tailored Twillory Non-Iron Blue Twill Shirt which paired up well with the navy suit. The accompanying J. Crew Factory suit pants went along just fine with the jacket, as they feature a nicely tailored fit that isn’t quite as slim as the J. Crew Ludlow, so that works nicely for most body types — having the belt loops removed, as I did, makes for a super-clean and crisp look, too.

This past weekend's wedding outfit laid out and ready to go. Navy Thompson suit by J. Crew Factory. Blue shirt by Twillory. Cotton tie and tipped pocket square by Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Wallet from the latest SprezzaBox.

This past weekend’s wedding outfit laid out and ready to go. Navy Thompson suit by J. Crew Factory. Blue shirt by Twillory. Cotton tie and tipped pocket square by Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Wallet from the latest SprezzaBox.

And stylish accessories are a must to finish off any suit. In this instance, a cotton tie in a unique, summer-friendly color and a navy tipped pocket square courtesy of the team at paired well with one of my favorite suits (Editor’s note: I own approximately one all-season, every-occasion suit — and it’s this one). Seriously, as a competitor and an alternative to The Tie Bar, the selection and pricing at is quite on-point (and y’all know that if it wasn’t, they wouldn’t have made the cut — right?). For the warm weather, I slid into a refined pair of Sebago Heritage Tassel Loafers, featuring an oily waxed leather (as the site implies) that’s shown age and wear marks beautifully after only a few weeks of wear (check out another way to style them here). Of course, if you don’t have room in your bag for another pair of shoes (and I barely did), I’d recommend reaching for perhaps the above brown chukka boots to pull double-duty. And although my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono worked suitably well for casual situations, I was too tempted not to reach for one of my favorite everyday watches, the MVMT 40 in Blue/Brown Leather — it’s a watch that’s really a great value for the quality and wearability (although one of my New Year’s style resolutions was to wear less blue, I can’t seem to stop wearing it). Pieces that can work with everything from a tee and shorts to a suit are the best sort of travel style essentials to pack when space is limited.

Sunday's outfit grid for a day of travel back from Michigan. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Slim grey selvedge denim by Billy Reid. White Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

Sunday’s outfit grid for a day of travel back from Michigan. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Slim grey selvedge denim by Billy Reid. White Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

With an incredible wedding and an incredible evening in metro Detroit in the books, it was time to catch a flight back to Michigan that felt a bit earlier than I’d have preferred after a full week of fashion shows and travel. Reaching for grab-and-go pieces that work in a pinch is still a must even if you’re jet-lagged, so my Taylor Stitch Jack in Indigo Star Shirt (very low in stock at the moment, unfortunately) worked out very well — I’d recommend you bring along a solid blue chambray shirt for similarly versatile style.  Although it was hot, a pair of Billy Reid grey selvedge denim did just fine when paired with one of my favorite pairs of sneakers, the SeaVees Legend Sneaker — when in doubt, classic white sneakers are just the way to go. As was the case the rest of the weekend, my stylish Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono worked sufficiently as I hauled my gear to the airport (and it helped me catch my flight on time!).

While it’s always nice to be able to bring along my favorite style essentials when I travel, it’s even better to know that at the end of the road on trips home, there are great friends and great times waiting — truly, it’s something for which I’m very thankful, and it’s got me eagerly awaiting my next trip to Michigan. No matter what’s in my bag, I know I’ll always look forward to going back.

If you have questions on what to pack for your own travels, tweet at me or catch up via The Style Guide’s Facebook page.

‘Til the next trip,


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#OOTD: How to Dress for a Spring Weekend

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

When the weather finally starts to warm up, bit by bit, it raises some interesting style questions — like “Where did I put those shorts?” or “Where are my sneakers?” (right?). We’re here today to answer some of those questions for you — whether it’s a spring bar crawl or just a casual weekend outing, keeping those crucial style principles of proper fit and functionality in mind is crucial. As this #menswear writer has mentioned before, casual doesn’t have to mean sloppy. That’s what the below #OOTD covers — be it a trip to a farmer’s market, a stroll in the park or a nice outdoor meal, it’ll be just as great to get outside in some warm weather as it will to look great doing it. If you have suggestions for additional #OOTD entries, let me know on Facebook! Stay stylish.

A lightweight jacket and a sharp popover take this outfit to another level -- read on for more details!

A lightweight jacket and a sharp popover take this outfit to another level — read on for more details!

The Jacket: Grayers Reston Quilted Jacket, $165: Because it might still be a bit breezy (or chilly, or rainy), this jacket is going to keep you dry, warm and stylish this spring. Previously featured on this site’s Spring Style Wish List.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch The Summer Popover in Navy Aloha, $98:  A popover is a welcome swerve from a stylish polo or even a well-crafted pocket tee; this one is visually interesting thanks to the rich pattern and color — waiting for it might be the hardest part (you can snag a similar one from J. Crew in the meantime).

The Shorts: Johnnie-O Catalina Shorts in Navy, $79: While there can be a tendency to reach for khaki shorts (never a bad thing), navy shorts are going to offer a nice monochromatic look alongside the jacket, and bring out the blue in that popover. Plus the 9″ inseam is a good length for most of us.

The Sneakers: SeaVees Legend Sneaker Standard, $78: A stylish pair of white sneakers is, as SeaVees might say, a standard (and essential) spring style pick. This silhouette is classic, crisp and affordably priced.

The Socks: J. Crew Factory No-Show Socks, $7: These socks have popped up in a few recent outfits here on this blog — get used to rocking no-show socks this spring and summer, folks.

The Belt: J. Crew Factory Striped Belt, $14.50: With so much blue going on in this outfit, it only makes sense to reach for a belt that provides a nice bit of contrast thanks to that olive color.

The Watch: Shinola Rambler 44mm GMT, $750: Is this watch pricey? Heck yes. Is it the sort of extraordinary timepiece that we should all aspire to own? Well, yes. That as well.  (For more on Shinola, check out my latest Effortless Gent feature!).

While it might still be a bit too breezy for shorts in some cases, the above outfit is definitely one to keep in mind as the weather heats up. Slim navy shorts are a bit of a change of pace from a standard pair of khaki shorts, and a crisp popover adds a great bit of visual interest, too. A hybrid jacket is going to get the job done when the sun goes down and things get chilly, and pieces like sharp white sneakers and an outstanding watch will never go out of style. After all, that’s the goal with these #OOTD pieces. Have any suggestions for gear you’d sub in? Let me know!