Plug Me In: Adventures and Live Music in Brooklyn

Just hanging around in Brooklyn waiting for the Chairlift show. Denim Jacket by Forever21. Graham Shirt by Mott and Bow. Super Skinny Skinny Jeans in Light Wash by Abercrombie & Fitch. Service Boots by Viberg. Military Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Flight Brief by Owen and Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

It was with great excitement that I sat down to write this post — after all, this past weekend combined some of my favorite things (certainly, the chance to make AC/DC references in headlines is among them). But on another note, if you follow along with yours truly at The Style Guide, you might have an inkling as to a few of my favorite things. In short order: Live music, #menswear and Brooklyn explorations. Luckily for me, all three were on the docket this weekend. And as you might have read in past travel feature posts, there’s nothing I love more than dressing for a rock concert, hitting up a choice brunch spot, and enjoying an excellent show. It was a momentous weekend for all those reasons –namely,  it was my first chance to check out the newly opened Brooklyn Steel, now the largest music venue in the borough. Of course, I hit up a few great coffee shops — and unlike my recent road trip to Pittsburgh, I didn’t even have to lug around a rugged weekender bag! Join for me the ride and see how I took on the weekend in style.

Mixing high-low style with the Life/After/Denim Patchwork Shirt, the standout Standard Issue Utility Chino from Apolis and the handsome Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Boots. Leatherback Writer by This Is Ground. Pen by Cross Pens. Watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

The weekend really kicked off properly on Friday, what with the chance to break out a bit of festive spring style for time on the clock at my day job in fashion PR. The real highlight though?  It has to be Life/After/Denim Patchwork Shirt, an entirely unique piece that’s fit for the office and fit for a Friday evening. Seeing as I spent mine both taking care of business at work and shooting a few photos with Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend (new project coming soon!), this piece worked out perfectly for both pursuits. And it proved a breezy complement to my durable, classic and versatile Apolis Standard Issue Utility Chinos — the neutral color and clean fit played perfectly off what are quickly becoming my new favorite boots: the Allen Edmonds Liverpool Chelsea Boot, which merge a sharp silhouette with beautiful brown suede.

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Useful everyday carry pieces like my This Is Ground Leatherback Writer and a crisp, classic MVMT Watches brown leather watch proved essential, too. More importantly: If you seek a subtly stylish pen made for daily use, the Peerless TrackR Ballpoint Pen is seemingly immune to being misplaced thanks to a built-in locator app. It writes quite nicely and looks great, too. So, those were the essentials I used to take on a last day of work — but what about the rest of the weekend, ehh?

For Chairlift’s final NYC, I had to break out my Abercrombie & Fitch Super Skinny Denim tough Viberg Service Boots and grooming gear from Oars + Alps. 1951 Traveller Bag by Graf Lantz.

Saturday brought with it the promise of a brooding-yet-bright, eclectic and plain fun synthpop show from Brooklyn duo Chairlift the group’s last-ever NYC show — plus the chance to get out and explore Brooklyn with my favorite men’s style gear in tow.  The breezy and temperate spring day proved the ideal chance to break out my new favorite spring shirt: The soft, slim and well-made Mott and Bow Graham Shirt, with a light blue shade that’s a great change of pace from more traditional chambray shirts — truly, a nice way to offset my Forever21 Denim Jacket. The shirt was one part of a monochromatic look alongside a slim pair of Abercrombie & Fitch Super Skinny Denim — the light wash calls to mind the ’90s quite nicely, and fit right in at Saturday’s show. Equally perfect for the occasion? My durable, tough and essential Viberg Service Boots — an incredibly well-made, distinguished pair of boots that I’ve already begun breaking in around Brooklyn. They’re quite simply the nicest pair of boots I’ve ever owned. And coming from a guy who loves tough leather boots  … that’s saying something.


For a day that took me around Williamsburg, I loaded up my new, sustainably made and very effective Graf Lantz 1951 Carrier Bag. Made with biodegradable 100 percent merino wool felt in a rich shade of green, this is one bag that carries enough clout and style to be used every day. I supplemented my everyday haul with the essential Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch and the This Is Ground Leatherback Writer  — both well-priced favorites critical for any writer. And crucially, I had to prep for the day ahead with new grooming gear from Oars + Alps. The Active Armor Deodorant is a winner — it’s effective and made with a crisp scent. While my gear helped me navigate the borough, there are a few other key ingredients that helped considerably. Namely, a caffeine pit stop at my favorite coffee and menswear shop in Brooklyn, Upstate Stock, plus a delicious pastrami sandwich at coffee shop The West and a trip for craft brews at Beer Street in advance of Saturday evening’s Brooklyn Steel show.

Sutro Footwear

And as to the show itself: A winner all-around, to say the least. As you might have expected from my winter trip to New Haven and my December trip to see The Head and the Heart in Baltimore, it’s very tough to top the excitement and buzz around checking out a new venue. In just its second full week of action, Brooklyn Steel — housed in a former steel fabrication shop and jammed with a crowd of 1,800  — didn’t disappoint. Critically, neither did Chairlift.  They’re perhaps most well-known for their hit song “Bruises,” of Apple commercial fame, but there’s more to it. The duo of Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly embody making it in the Brooklyn music scene — by way of Colorado — and then sticking around long enough to build a strong local and global following.

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It’s a testament to the group’s unique sound that even in just three albums, they’ve amassed a deep catalogue. That catalogue includes the band’s 2016 release, “Moth,” which is their strongest yet — both brooding and light thanks to Polachek’s stellar voice, which helped make the evening a great one. It was a a special show, and a long day on my feet, but my Viberg Service Boots are breaking in nicely, and the show was absolutely worth it. Rest assured, Caroline Polachek’s work as a solo artist post-Chairlift will have a big-time fan in this live music enthusiast, and we should all be grateful for the music they’ve left us with.

Blending the sporty and the classic. Wenlock Chambray Shirt by United By Blue. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Sneakers by Gola. Leatherback Writer by This Is Ground. Red Wing Leather Waterbury Chronograph by Timex x Todd Snyder.

Sunday brought with it some much-needed relaxation to cap off a busy week — and a busy Saturday. But what would Sunday be without a little great style, ehh? And so, I broke out my slim, essential United By Blue Wenlock Chambray Shirt, featuring a pattern of neat mini-plus signs and a crisp blue color. The Wenlock Chambray Shirt complemented my Taylor Stitch Slim Chino in Light Stone, made in Portugal and featuring the tailored fit one would expect from a brand that prides itself on quality. And Sunday also provided a prime chance to slip into my Gola Classic Comet Plimsoll Trainers, a clean pair of retro-inspired trainers from a classic British brand. The entire ensemble was an effective high-low mix when matched up with everyday carry essentials like my  Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph. That timepiece is a hard-wearing watch made for just about anything (including more Williamsburg exploration of choice spots like menswear emporium The Hill-Side). And seemingly  as always, my Owen and Fred Flight Brief proved effective at hauling around all the essentials needed for a day of blogging.

The right gear for a Sunday in Brooklyn. Wenlock Chambray Shirt by United By Blue. Slim Chinos in Light Stone by Taylor Stitch. Denim jacket by American Apparel. Plimsoll Comet Trainers by Gola. Red Wing Leather Chronograph by Timex x Todd Snyder. Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches. Flight Brief by Owen and Fred.

And the next time you find yourself in Williamsburg, I’d say you’ve got another key stop to make. For one, who can resist an incredible donut …. or fried chicken … or both?? That’s where Pies ‘n’ Thighs comes in. The breakfast and lunch menus are packed with incredibly delicious, indulgent entrees (who wants an Insane Burger, ehh?) and you absolutely can’t pass up their donuts. Like, at all.

Beckett Simonon

Indeed, this past weekend really did provide just about everything I could ask for — even though it was a weekend spent at “home” in Brooklyn, home really is a great place to be. I can never pass up a chance to explore the borough, sip on some craft brews and wear my favorite menswear — all while checking out a great show and a venue that’s now very high on my list. It was a special first show at Brooklyn Steel, and I’ll absolutely be back. The fact that I was able to do all of this just by hopping on the subway across a matter of days really is quite unique and one-of-a-kind. So, as long as those subway trips culminate in great adventures, excellent live music and new opportunities, I’ll keep swiping my MetroCard.

Until next weekend — and until the next show!

-Beau

Greats                                                             

The Friday Read: Glenn O’Brien, The Best V-Neck T-Shirts and Scottish Style

It’s under slightly different circumstances that we start today’s Friday Read. No mention of menswear news this week would be complete without discussing the unfortunate, sad and too-early passing last Friday of style luminary and New York City icon Glenn O’Brien. Known for everything from his long-running Style Guy column to his legendary social circle (his friends included Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry and Jean-Michael Basquiat, among others) and his time as an art and fashion critic, he really did inspire a generation of men to dress — and be — better. And his prominent role in the New York City and global fashion scenes is likely in some small part the reason this blog exists —  I vividly remember poring over his Style Guy column during late-night shifts as a journalism intern in a quite newsroom. There wasn’t quite anyone like him — even his time as an editor-at-large at Maxim these past few years proved consequential. I never did get the chance to meet him, but to see such an outpouring of amazing memories from across the entire fashion industry is quite neat — and fitting — indeed. So, with that, we’ll transition into our regularly scheduled programming with a great Esquire.com piece remembering Glenn O’Brien. Have a great weekend and be sure to catch tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week.

Beckett Simonon

  • So, spring weather is finally kicking up a notch — that’s why it’s imperative you buy one of the best V-neck T-shirts for men, as I covered for GearMoose. Ya dig? And if you need tips on how it should fit, check out my guide to casual T-shirts.
  • Speaking of casual spring style, every guy needs a stylish denim jacket this season — that’s why I’m a big fan of the classic Levi’s Trucker Jacket. Shop away, folks!
  • It might seem odd to be pivoting back to discuss rugged winter style, but the folks at Triple F.A.T. Goose are about more than just outfitting you for the weather — I caught up with the brand to discuss how to store your winter coat for The Manual.

OK, I’ll leave you to it — I hope you get the chance to kick back, relax and maybe read a few Style Guy columns. Thank you for reading, as always!

-Beau

Sutro Footwear

Greats

Style Pick of the Week: Levi’s Trucker Jacket

Pairing the Levi’s Trucker Jacket in Spire with seasonal essentials. Short-sleeve Henley by Abercrombie & Fitch. 505C Denim by Levi’s. Expedition Watch by Timex. Buxton Boots by G.H. Bass. Glasses by Frameri.

Welcome to Saturday, folks! We’ll tell you all about the classic Levi’s Trucker Jacket today — kick back, relax and enjoy. After all, there’s no question that it’s among the best denim jackets for guys (at least in my humble opinion). Yes indeed, as the weather continues to warm up — with the occasional burst of breezy rain — I’d say there’s no more essential piece of stylish spring outerwear  you need more in your life than a rugged denim jacket. Why’s that? Well, bear with me here. We talked a few weeks ago about the need for hard-wearing transitional outerwear for spring — be it an edgy leather jacket or a on-trend bomber jacket — and the denim jacket just might be the new style you need to try. Especially when you pick one up from a well-respected brand like Levi’s, you’re getting a relatively affordable price, great fit and terrific quality. And with its use of lightweight cotton denim, the Trucker Jacket at once comfortable and yet substantial enough to keep you warm on a breezy spring night or on a spring road trip. As seen here, it works on a cloudy day with an Abercrombie & Fitch henley, slim Levi’s denim and tough G.H. Bass leather boots — that’s just for starters. And the great thing about a classic silhouette is the plethora of options you get from a brand like Levi’s.

Not into a faded denim jacket? Pick up an inky blue trucker jacket and break it in yourself. Want to channel a bit of a rock n’roll edge? A light wash denim jacket (like the “Spire” wash seen here) could be the way to go. And like other classic spring style essentials – a short-sleeve chambray shirt, a marled henley or leather loafers   — it can be mixed and matched almost effortlessly (yes, even with jeans).

Beckett Simonon

Yet another way to wear a denim jacket for spring. Trucker Jacket by Levi’s. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Henley by Pistol Lake. Roma Messenger by Brothers Leather Supply. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Glasses by Frameri

The trick when it comes to dipping your toes into the denim jacket pool? Focusing first on fit – you should be looking for a trim fit through the shoulders and arms, with a fit that hits right above or at your belt line. It’s a different silhouette for those of us who might be more used to wearing something like a slim field jacket through the spring months, but that’s all the more reason to pick up – and wear – a stylish denim jacket this season. And when it comes to pairing it with other types of denim, focus on differentiating those washes – for example, a light wash denim jacket works with everything from slim black denim to dark denim. Huckberry

A word to the wise: Only fellas like the legendary Julian Casablancas can reliably pull off wearing two shades of light wash denim. But, hey … maybe someday. Someday … (see what I did there?). At any rate, a denim jacket in either a light or dark wash also works with seasonal essentials like slim stone chinos and suede Chelsea boots, and can even serve as a reliable blazer replacement. Oh, and another handy tip – in the right fit, you can layer up your denim jacket under a piece like an olive green field jacket for style that’s designed to beat the weather and look great. So, if you don’t yet have a denim jacket … hopefully, this is a helpful starting point. If you need inspiration on how to wear a denim jacket, follow yours truly on Instagram and check out The Style Guide in the coming weeks for a new #OOTD entry. Cheers!

-Beau

2017 Spring Style Wish List

If it feels weird to be talking about spring — and this site’s Spring Style Wish List particularly — you’re not alone.  It seems not too long ago we were talking about the best men’s winter boots and stylish winter accessories — now, it’s not quite time to shelve those pieces yet, but let’s at least look to the season ahead. What do you say? Spring style can be quite an enjoyable time in the #menswear world — you still get to incorporate classic pieces, like a slim chambray shirt and classic leather chukka boots, and yet you get to do so with layered looks and tough spring outerwear. It’s not quite close (at all) to beach weather — and that means you don’t have to dress for summer heat  quite yet.  And of course, that pesky snow is melting away slowly but surely — break out that spring gear, folks! So, it’s a great time all around. I’d say you’ll certainly recognize some of the brands — and perhaps the pieces themselves — in the below wish list. What’s on your wish list? Weigh in via The Style Guide Facebook page, and follow along via Instagram to see how I style some of these picks. Cheers and happy shopping!

Beckett Simonon

#1. Abercrombie & Fitch Bonded Mac Jacket — $99

Your new favorite spring jacket -- perfect for rainy, breezy days & plenty of time in between.

Your new favorite spring jacket — perfect for rainy, breezy days & plenty of time in between.

 

Yes indeed, we’re starting things off with an excellent, classic and sharp jacket from the newly revamped Abercrombie & Fitch. The brand excels at creating modern updates to timeless, tried-and-true styles — we have former Club Monaco designer Aaron Levine to thank for that. And this cotton mac jacket is the perfect spring color and style; it’s fit for slipping on over a navy blazer or teaming with something as simple as a merino henley & light wash denim.  A&F certainly has plenty Wish List-worthy pieces — stick with us for more…

#2. Abercrombie & Fitch Garment-Dyed Oxford — $39

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Just when you thought A&F couldn’t get any better — they did. Right? Right.

Lest you thought we were done with picks from Abercrombie & Fitch, think again. Like the Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt — an ideal winter layering piece — this simple-yet-stylish Garment-Dyed Oxford could be your new favorite spring shirt.  There’s nothing too fancy about it; it’s just a crisp silhouette with vintage-inspired detailing via the washed fabric, plus neat design touches in the way of the button chest pocket. Team this with sharp leather sneakers and stone chinos for easygoing seasonal style.

#3. Taylor Stitch Merino Henley — $98

Taylor Stitch

Potentially your new favorite spring layer, courtesy of Taylor Stitch.

If you didn’t know already, we here at The Style Guide are HUGE fans of Taylor Stitch. But who isn’t, right? The brand makes essential pieces for every season, and something as simple and yet well-made as the Taylor Stitch Merino Henley is a pretty easy choice when it comes to spring layering thanks to its breathable, comfortable fabric and great fit. Wear it on its own or wear it under a waxed trucker jacket for tough, effective style when it’s breezy out. Heck, wear this crisp Merino Henley under the  Abercrombie & Fitch Bonded Mac Jacket  as you dash out for a weekend coffee in the rain.

#4. Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand Watch — $174.98

Jack Mason

A handsome, substantial watch made for plenty of spring style situations.

Texas-based Jack Mason does an outstanding job when it comes to translating rugged, masculine and stylish inspiration into unique timepieces. Take the strong, sturdy Aviator 3-Hand Watch Featuring a handsome brown leather strap and a unique gold case-black dial combo, it’s the ideal casual spring watch. With a substantial — but not overly large — 42mm case and handy features like Super Luminova markings and an aviation-inspired dial design, it’ll definitely be one of the more unique timepieces in your watch collection.

#5. Life/After/Denim Classic 5-Pocket Pant in White — $148

Don’t be afraid of 5-pocket pants, especially in white — style them with a chambray shirt and suede chukkas.

Seeing as they make such high-quality, coveted goods, it should come as no shock that Life/After/Denim menswear sells out in a hurry. The Classic 5-Pocket Pant in White is one such popular offering, and it’s easy to see why. White 5-pocket pants are a great way to break out of a dark denim rut in the warmer months, and the 5-pocket cut here should be tailored, trim and easily wearable with everything from an indigo pocket tee and suede Chelsea boots to stylish leather dress shoes — trust me.

Honorable Mention: Brooks Heritage Renshaw Sneakers — $89.99

A new classic, based on … well …. an old classic.

It’s always mighty tough to narrow down any Style Wish List to five picks, and these retro-inspired, unique Brooks Heritage sneakers just missed the cut. They still get the nod here for an honorable mention though, as these kicks are a new offering from a brand that’s perfecting the right balance between vintage style inspiration and modern wearability. I’ve worn Brooks Heritage sneakers on a summer trip to Las Vegas and a winter trip to Florida, and I’m excited to break out this pair in the warmer months ahead.
Frank & Oak

Alright, folks — who’s primed for spring style? Ideally, the above Wish List picks will get you thinking and planning all sorts of #OOTD looks in the weeks and months ahead. Updated takes on modern classics — like the Abercrombie & Fitch Bonded Mac Jacket and the Garment-Dyed Oxford  are fresh, quick ways to upgrade your style, and you shouldn’t forget about the layering potential and functionality of an excellent base layer like the Taylor Stitch Merino Henley. Lest we forget about your accessories game, don’t sleep on the toughness, affordability and handsome style of the Jack Mason Aviator 3-Hand Watch or the easygoing spring vibes of a crisp pair of tailored 5-pocket pants from Life/After/Denim. OK, all set with those notes? Shopping cart full? Good deal!

Good lookin’ out and stay stylish,

-Beau