Style Q+A: Friday & River

A neat array of home goods from Friday & River on display, including excellent candle and planter options for your home. Photo courtesy of Friday & River.

A neat array of home goods from Friday & River on display, including excellent candle and planter options for your home. Photo courtesy of Friday & River.

Editor’s note: Stick around to catch up on the last entry in our Style Q+A series.

Here at your favorite neighborhood menswear blog — The Style Guide, c’mon guys — there’s inspiration to be found everywhere in terms of men’s style. And as we’ve often talked about when it comes to style upgrades, there are a lot of different things, some small and some large, that go into developing and refining great personal style. From how you buy and wear your favorite chambray shirt to the type of classic leather boots you put on every day, style is certainly an ongoing process — and that includes the things that surround you in your daily home life. Whether we’re talking a refined-yet-rugged candle or a neat planter, there are chances to put a bit more thought into nearly every aspect of your routine and the design of the spaces in which you live and work. Not to get all philosophical but… it makes a difference! And the small team at Friday & River approaches its work with all those small details and the process of excellent design in mind — that’s great news for you and me both. And when you learn more about the San Diego-based husband-and-wife brand, you realize that yes, even the unexpected items — like your leather wallet or your everyday belt — can make a big difference in the way you live your life. In discovering the brand and trying out its “Yuzu and the Sea” candle and a lovely white, leather-wrapped planter over the past few weeks, I found that I appreciate having subtly stylish goods around my Brooklyn apartment (small as it might be). And hopefully, you’ll give the brand a try for yourself — shop around at Friday & River, and learn more about what makes co-founder Joe Freitag tick. Without much further ado, check out the latest Style Q+A .

TSG: Tell about the start of the brand and your initial idea for it?

F&R: Friday & River is very much a collaboration between my wife Yumi and I. We have both worked in design or branding for brands like Levis, Burton, Luxottica, to name a few, and discovered the world of high-quality handcrafted leather goods while we were living and working in Tokyo. Inspired by the dedication to craftsmanship, minimalism and attention to detail, we learned the craft of leatherwork and started designing and making our own items as gifts for friends and family. Eventually we began selling our goods under the name Friday &River, which is derived from our last names – Freitag meaning “Friday” in German, and Kawamura meaning “Big River Village” in Japanese.

A lineup of items from the brand's very sharp "All-Black" Collection. Photo courtesy of Friday & River.

A lineup of items from the brand’s very sharp “All-Black” Collection. Photo courtesy of Friday & River.

TSG: You feature a wide range of product categories on your site — why is it important for a guy to take an interest in home design and other areas outside of just menswear?

F&R: I think most guys who pay attention to what they wear also consider their living space as an extension of their personality. Increasingly, when people spend their hard-earned money on something they are seeking items with purpose, or add a sense of joy and warmth to their lives. That way of thinking is one of the cornerstones of Friday & River and why we strive to make meaningful items for different aspects of a person’s life.

TSG: If you had to pick out one item from the Friday & River site for a guy to buy, what might it be?

F&R: I think there’s something very personal about a man’s wallet. It’s the one item that he’ll often carry with him every day for years, reminding him of where he’s been and where he’s headed. A well-made leather wallet can be handed down for generations.

TSG: On the style front, what’s an essential every guy should have in his closet?

F&R: Now that cooler weather has settled in, there’s something very satisfying about putting on your favorite watch cap. (Editor’s note: Head here for a few stylish winter accessories picks from 2016).

TSG: You post studio playlists on your blog — how does music inspire your design work, and what have you been spinning lately?

F&R: Music is a constant in the Friday & River workshop. It is the soundtrack to our work-whether it be design, production or day-to-day tasks, so we like to share that soundtrack on our site once in a while. We have a pretty eclectic taste in music, but you’ll typically hear a lot of classic soul and funk because it keeps the energy flowing, especially when we’re in production.

Want more from Friday & River on the daily? Follow along with the brand on Instagram and Twitter.

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Style Q+A: Tread for Men Grooming

Editor’s note: To read more pieces in the Style Q&A series, click that link.

All the grooming supplies you need, and then some -- learn more about Tread for Men, and upgrade your grooming game in the process.

All the grooming supplies you need, and then some — learn more about Tread for Men, and upgrade your grooming game in the process.

Up until a few years ago, I didn’t necessarily pay attention to my grooming routine all that much. I’d used skin care products like Proactiv as a teenager, but taking care of my face and skin wasn’t necessarily top of mind as I went through college — perhaps you’ve found yourself in the same boat. When it comes to men’s grooming, the adage might be that you don’t know what you’ve been missing until you find it. That is, in testing out grooming products along the way, you learn what works, what doesn’t and what can significantly upgrade your skincare routine. Such has been the case with yours truly and Tread for Men. I first learned about the brand earlier this summer — you might recognize them from a recent reader giveaway — and after testing out the brand’s wares for a few months, they’re certainly a brand worth knowing. Men’s grooming is an area that’s easy to overlook — after all, it’s easier to get ready and dash off without a few extra steps in the morning or evening, right?

Well, if you want to properly care for your skin and look (and feel!) better in the process, those steps are worth taking =– trust me. The team at Tread for Men epitomizes this — and they live it, too. From the brand’s Basics Kit — which includes an excellent facial wash, a moisturizer, organic soap and sunscreen — to Tread’s handy beard oils, they’ve got a full grooming routine covered — and it requires but a small investment of your time and money. It plays into the idea that upgrading the small details — like your wallet or the fit of your T-shirt — makes a big difference. And who better to talk to than the guys behind Tread? Truly, the brand is doing things the right way — co-founders Eric Verdeyen and Bob Huguelet were great to catch up with, and I’ll let them take it away for now. Enjoy!

The Style Guide: Tell me about the start of Tread and the “A-ha” moment that led to the formation of the brand?

Eric Verdeyen: We had been kicking around business ideas in 2015, but we didn’t quite know what we wanted to dive into. Around the same time our wives (independently) started telling us to take care of our skin — pointing at the new wrinkles, dry skin, dark circles, etc.

Bob Huguelet: My wife was always ambushing me with her products, the bathroom was a warzone (haha). Eric and I got to talking about it — neither of us knew much about skin care or thought it would make much of a difference. But we saw that all the women we know are into it, and we saw the upward trend of grooming among guys as well. We started to do some research, and turns out taking care of your face and skin is not only important to your look but incredibly beneficial to the long-term health of your skin.

EV: Basically, life takes a toll on the skin — stress, weather, bacteria, showering, and especially the sun. You can see it easily in older folks or guys who work outside and don’t pay attention to the effects of the elements. The more we looked into it, the more the science behind it made sense. You need to keep your skin clean and moisturized so it can function well. But we didn’t want to use our wives’ products, and other brands were trying to sell us on too many options or weren’t of great quality, manufactured overseas or wherever. So we saw an opportunity to create a high-quality, reasonably priced, and environmentally friendly product line that is easy to understand and use for guys like us.

TSG: Guys have grown a lot more interested in all things style and lifestyle as of late — how does Tread play into that as a brand?

BH: We take the approach that taking care of your face isn’t just about looking groomed and healthy, but more importantly about long-term, whole body health. Guys are starting to understand that. The overall package — grooming, style, heath, exercise — all play parts in making a good impression, whether it’s at work, going out with friends, or just for your significant other. It’s catching on. We play into the trend by developing quality products and designing them for men. The goal is to help guys get comfortable with a new routine that we know will help them in the long run.

EV: We see it as  an extension of the new grooming wave — We all know that guys are thinking about their faces more with great brands like Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s, and expect manly products that look and feel great. We are taking it to the next level beyond shaving. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you’ve got your clothing style locked in but your face is dried out, discolored, and blemished.

A kit packed with everything you need in terms of men's grooming -- and then some. Find out more about Tread for Men in the latest Style Q+A.

A kit packed with everything you need in terms of men’s grooming — and then some. Find out more about Tread for Men in the latest Style Q+A.

TSG: What are some grooming areas you see guys tend to skip or make “mistakes” in, or areas in which guys should take better care of themselves?

EV:  Believe it or not, a lot of guys don’t wash their face at all.  Or they just use bar soap in the shower.

Guys don’t usually think about how your face accumulates dirt and bacteria throughout the day, and while showering helps, every time you rinse, you’re also washing away the natural oils.

A quality cleanser will help with the daily wash while keeping the skin hydrated like natural oils do. And if you’ve ever experienced razor bumps, acne, blemishes – those can often be solved by proper cleansing (and changing razors and towels) Many of the big brands for men that you find in retailers have a significant amount of salts and inorganic chemicals that dry out the skin. You may be clean, but you’re drying out skin and making yourself more susceptible to signs of aging.

BH: Also, a huge mistake is not wearing an SPF every day. The sun is the #1 cause for damaged skin and long-term signs of aging. And you’re getting hit as soon as you walk out the door. Even if you are in the office all day or, drive to work, your body is exposed to UV rays. Most cases of skin cancer actually start on the left arm, neck, and face — the side that gets hit while driving. So, yeah — wear sunscreen every day!

TSG: Are there any beginner tips you have for the guy just getting into a grooming routine?

EV: Don’t worry about spending a ton of money to get into a full routine right away. Start small, and work your way up. Consistently using a cleanser or moisturizer is the perfect way to get a feel for what you like and get in the habit of paying attention to your face. And you’ll feel and see a clear difference before and after.

BH: We designed a great starter set called “The Basics” which is exactly that — the essentials including cleanser and moisturizer, as well as our organic bar soap and sunscreen. You can always add other products to your routine, or swap in different brands to see what you like best. Once you find a product you like, stick with it!

If you're still on the hunt for beard care supplies, rest assured that Tread for Men stocks beard oil, too. Photo courtesy of the brand.

If you’re still on the hunt for beard care supplies, rest assured that Tread for Men stocks beard oil, too. Photo courtesy of the brand.

TSG: On a style-related note — what’s one essential style item every guy should have in his closet, and what’s one grooming item every guy should have in his medicine cabinet?

BH: A blazer for sure, especially in Chicago in the late summer and fall. Layering up will give you the optional extra protection all day. My go-to is a blue and gray Bonobos wool blazer. Great to dress up jeans or chinos and never gets wrinkled, so you can wear it all day.

EV: A shoe horn (haha) but seriously, a few nice pairs of quality shoes when going to work or going out can make or break a look. Too often I see guys smashing their feet into the back of their shoes, and it can really damage the integrity and make great shoes look old and worn.

And  I always make sure I have moisturizer on hand. Properly hydrating the skin is always going to help in the short and long run. It will help with dry, flaky skin and damage from the sun and, it will keep the firmness in the skin and fight against wrinkles.

BH: I actually keep my eye cream on my desk, it reminds me to use it everyday. But it too is a great product that contributes to your look and style. Unless your style is “High Plains Drifter” a la Clint Eastwood, you’re going to want to minimize the wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes.

TSG: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

EV: We understand that skincare can be confusing and intimidating for guy — it was the same for us. There is a lot of marketing and BS in the skincare game, and it’s hard to know where to begin. We’ve put a lot of work dispelling the myths and educating men on the “what, why, and when” for each of our products.

BH: For sure — all of our products and kits come with easy-to-use instructions, so if you don’t know where to start, we’ll set you up for success with a beginning package. Whether you go with Tread or another line, we definitely recommend putting something on your face sooner rather than later!

To get daily grooming inspiration and tips, keep up with the brand on Facebook or Instagram — and shop the brand’s products just as soon as you can.

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Style Q+A: Leland Grossman

Editor’s note: To catch up on other Style Q+A entries, click here.

Catching up with Leland Grossman, the designer and founder of L.11 and the subject of this Style Q+A entry.

Catching up with Leland Grossman, the designer and founder of L.11 and the subject of this Style Q+A entry.

As I’ve written about in past Style Q&+A entries, the #menswear world seems to get smaller and smaller — in great ways — seemingly by the week. It’s through the online men’s style community that I’ve made some great connections and friendships, and the scope of that continues to grow. Take our latest entry in the Style Q+A series — it’s  quite the story. Through some great mutual friends who happen to play in a kickass rock band (seriously, check out Mainland when you get the chance), I met Leland Grossman, a wickedly talented designer and one of the team behind Liberty Fairs, the traveling contemporary menswear trade show. It’s always refreshing to connect with someone who’s got a unique take on the #menswear industry, particularly when it introduces you to new concepts and design aesthetics — Leland’s own collection, L.11 (or Leland.11), consists of just two items (and a neat logo pin), but both the collection’s tailored hoodie and tailored sweatpant are well-made, refined and stylish in a  way that one might not feel about regular sweats. It stands to reason that if you appreciate a great pair of boots or a rugged pair of denim, you’d also appreciate a high-quality pair of sweatpants — right? Such is the inspiration behind the collection, among other focuses.

It’s a neat approach, and shows that even if your personal tastes might be different, you can always learn more and expand your horizons — that goes for all fronts, from quality fabrication to a new design ethos. The good news is, Leland’s already at work on his second collection. And yes, you can pick up a terrific hooded sweatshirt while you wait — let the style upgrades continue! Enjoy the below Q&A, and let me know who else you’d like to see under the spotlight (kidding) over on The Style Guide Facebook page!

A look at just a few of the details inherent in Leland's well-built and well-edited collection.

A look at just a few of the details inherent in Leland’s well-built and well-edited collection.

TSG: Talk about how you first got interested in the world of style and fashion?
LG: It was around the 6th grade (11 years old). I was getting pretty into breakdancing and was dancing with mostly people I looked up to at least 5 or 6 years older than I was. The hip-hop (dance) community is pretty connected with music, fashion, etc. I think this exposure paired with being in such a melting pot of style really opened my eyes to what was out there. From that point on I started to explore eBay and cool websites and really the internet took it from there.

TSG: In terms of your own line, where do you draw that inspiration from?
LG: My personal line, L.11, was conceived from a very consumer-based stand point in the market. Being passionate about the best brands in the industry for so long, I had built a strong foundation for what I felt was missing. (I’m) not re-inventing the wheel, just doing things differently with the utmost care and attention paid at every step of the way. The L.11 brand is inspired by vintage sports themes, but more importantly, the collection represents the finest details and fabrications at a price point that makes sense, whether or not you love fashion.
TSG: How do you see that evolving in terms of new products or a direction/focus in the coming seasons?
LG: Collection 01 consists of two items, a pullover hoody and tailored sweatpant, done in two beautiful Japanese fabrics. The natural progression is for Collection 02 to expand into additional comfort basics. My take on a full-zip hoodie and a crewneck will be part of the first drop. Also, I’m researching fabrics for a “constructed” T-shirt and long-sleeve thermal done through the L.11 branding ethos. A sweat-short could be on the horizon as well!
Another look at the L.11 line, and what just might be the nicest hoodie you'll ever own.

Another look at the L.11 line, and what just might be the nicest hoodie you’ll ever own.

TSG: Who’s a great role model for you in the style community, or in general?
LG: My greatest role model and person the brand is dedicated to is my father, Richard Grossman. Eleven was a very special number between us and when he passed away when I was 16, I vowed to harness his spirt and make him proud no matter what I ended up doing. L.11 is about (that), but it’s also intended to connect to everyone’s story. … It’s not about who’s got it worse, but about how we deal in the face of the adversity. That to me is what true style is -not wearing what’s cool or trendy but wearing what makes you happy and confident.

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TSG: What’s a major menswear trend you see picking up steam that people might not know about?
LG: As technology has become more advanced, we’ve seen a push from non-traditional fashion companies into this wearable tech sector. In his last show, Junya Watanabe fitted his pieces with solar panels that could charge your iPhone. I don’t think jackets are going to have rocket boosters any time soon, but I’m fascinated by the intersection of technology and fashion. Specifically, there is a style I describe as “Futuristic Explorer,” which is sort of a fusion of Japanese Heritage, technical outdoors brands and pop colors. It’s “athleisure” to the next level. Specific early examples of this would be Nike’s ACG collaboration with Erolson Hugh of ACRONYM or Japanese brand N. Hoolywood’s capsule with Mountain Hardware. My favorite brands right now are in this category, such as White Mountaineering, Stone Island, Ten C and Arc’teryx Veilance.
TSG: What’s one essential item (or outfit) that every guy should have in his wardrobe?

LG: This is a tough question, as most guys have very polarized value systems when it comes to their “things”. That is to say, some feel $100 is too much for sneakers, but can understand $500 for a nice watch. I think the key is finding things that make you happy. A purchase shouldn’t be stressful but rather add value to your every day. For me, that means investing in essential items I feel will give me that happiness and are worth the price. My Shinola watch and Garret Leight sunglasses are great examples of investment pieces that I use every day.

TSG: Similar to that, what’s one item you can’t live without?
LG: My gold “R.A.G” necklace. My mom makes jewelry and when I told her I was contemplating getting my Dad’s initials tattooed, she offered up an alternative. The solid 18K chain and pendant make it easily my most prized possession, and I can’t go anywhere without it around my neck.

To follow along with the rest of the L.11 story and the new collection, check out the brand on Instagram.


Style Q+A: Moore & Giles

Editor’s note: To catch up on other Style Q+A entries, click here.

Built for the road ahead -- it was great to catch up with team at Moore & Giles (makers of the Benedict Weekend Bag) seen here.

Built for the road ahead — it was great to catch up with team at Moore & Giles (makers of the Benedict Weekend Bag) seen here. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Whenever I get the chance to stop by various #menswear events happening around NYC or around the country, I’m always intrigued and curious to see who I might meet, or what brands I might discover. At this past December’s Pop-Up Flea in New York City (a cornucopia of great lifestyle and men’s goods brands all in one spot), it was hard not to discover the stunning leather goods on display at Moore & Giles. I got to chatting with the brand’s Director of Marketing, Daryl Calfee, about some of the stellar product the brand had brought (seriously, it was museum-worthy). He just happens to be good friends with my pals over at Brothers & Craft, so we naturally hit it off talking all things men’s style. I also got to know the brand a bit more, and it’s a worthwhile one to know. In addition to a massive collection of fine leathers,  they also produce their own line of jaw-dropping bags, renowned for their heritage quality and style (in fact, I covered the Benedict Weekend Bag for GearMoose). Throw in a well-curated, stellar assortment of home goods, and you’ve got enough gear to make your head spin (the 33 Chair in particular is Wish List-worthy).

Given the brand’s affinity for quality and nuanced design, it was great to be able to send over a few questions to Thomas Brennan, the brand’s Director of Design for Bags & Accessories. After you get a look into the Moore & Giles process, you very well might want a bag for yourself. Enjoy this one, folks!

(Editor’s note: In the meantime, got a brand or style personality you’d like to see answer some zingers?Let me know via Facebook or Twitter).

The Style Guide: Take me through the background of Moore & Giles and how you approach your work?

Moore and Giles:  The brand was founded in 1933 as a materials supplier to local shoe manufacturers. Donald Graeme Moore traveled around the area sourcing and selling everything from shoelaces and eyelets to nails and leather. Eventually his offerings narrowed to strictly leather   and his regional hunt gradually expanded into the global quest it is today to uncover hidden gems at tanneries in all corners of the world. The company develops, sources and sells millions of square feet of leather a year across a variety of industries including furniture manufacturers, private aviation companies, and high-end homes and hotels.
The bag division developed in 2007 when our president and vice president decided to take advantage of their access to such magnificent material and made a few travel and work bags to bring with them on their travels. The line has grown organically from that point into the extensive, well curated line of bags and accessories that exists today.
Our products are unapologetically traditional. Artisans have been tanning hides for millennia and hand-sewing the resulting leather into useful objects for just as long. Both the material history and the history of our own company add welcome layers of authority, grandeur, and natural beauty to our bags; my job is to simply accentuate the existing beauty of the material with understated designs that will age as well as the leather.
Just one of the exceptionally high-quality bags produced by the brand. Photo courtesy of Moore & Giles.

Just one of the exceptionally high-quality bags produced by the brand. Photo courtesy of Moore & Giles.

TSG:Where do you find your biggest sources of inspiration?
M&G: The leather itself is the primary inspiration. We are fortunate to have close relationships with a 150-year old tannery in Italy, which means that our “product development” begins with prototyping leather colors and experimenting with different finishes, various combinations of waxes and oils, milling times, and ironing treatments. These design decisions affect the finished product long before I ever sit down to sketch a specific silhouette. When I do sit down to design a bag, I tend towards clean exteriors, traditional shapes, discrete details——decisions that keep the natural beauty of the leather front and center.
 Reading books, talking with creative peers, and sifting through vintage stores all provide great creative fodder but for the ultimate design inspiration, nothing beats close observation of day-to-day routines. Take going on a business trip, for instance. As I’m packing, I want to make the job easier, tidier, more secure and I want my shoes kept separate from my shirts; when I’m going through airport security I need a convenient, safe spot to tuck my wallet and cell phone; when I’m putting my bag in the overhead bin I want easy access to my notebook or a magazine but don’t want to rifle through the body of the bag; if I’m meeting with a new manufacturer I want to have my business cards close at hand. I aspire to be more organized than I am and more put together than I often feel. Our bags help me on both fronts.

TSG: What, in your mind, can a great leather accessory do for a guy who might not have given it much thought before?

 M&G: In a lot of ways, having a great leather accessory is like be the owner of the easiest pet ever: It will never cease to amaze you how happy you get when you see it; you’re going to feel more fond of it the longer you have it; strangers will stop you and ask you about it. Added bonus: you don’t have to feed it and it arrives at your door already housebroken.
TSG: Are there new product categories that you want to expand into in the coming seasons?
M&G: What’s proving more interesting than expanding out across new categories is finding new ways to give the existing line more depth and texture. The sheer volume of colors and finishes of leather we have at our fingertips is dizzying. The collection of artisans who tan, stamp, hand-stain, carve, and etch, to whom we have access is incredibly deep. Eight years in, we’ve only scratched the surface of what the bags and accessories can look like. As an example: we introduced a bespoke program during the holiday season last year that has given our customers a chance to participate in the creative process by selecting from a more expansive palette of hides to use on a custom travel or work bag. Seeing the colors that customers gravitated towards——reds and purples and golden tans and cool grays——and the types of leathers they’ve responded to———leathers that are exceptionally rare, have more history, or age in unique ways——informed several recent releases (like our Modern Saddle collection featuring vegetable tanned leather) and inspired a roster of upcoming releases.
TSG: What’s one thing every guy should have in his closet in terms of style?
M&G: Wherever you sit along the style continuum between a tailored suit and leather lace-ups and raw denim and sneakers, our classic Benedict Weekend Bag is a worthy compliment. It’s simple, beautiful, and functional. Unlike some other sartorial decisions, I guarantee you’ll still be proud of yourself for owning one ten years from now.
To keep up with all things Moore & Giles, follow the brand on Instagram or via Twitter.

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Style Q+A: Jamal Jackson, StyleSocietyGuy

Editor’s note: To catch up on other Style Q+A entries, start here.

Jamal Jackson, of StyleSocietyGuy, is a recognizable face with a terrific sense of personal style.

Jamal Jackson, of StyleSocietyGuy, is a recognizable face with a terrific sense of personal style.

The great and exciting thing about living in a place like New York City — or really, finding a community filled with like-minded people anywhere — is how many different people you get the chance to cross paths with, through either personal or professional interaction, or both. I’ve been really lucky to learn a lot from so many great people since getting interested in the menswear world (most of whom have been profiled in Style Q+A pieces!), and that list grows by the day. Through attending events as part of the GQ Insider community, and through some work we’ve done together as part of my day job with Timberland Boots, I’ve had the chance to become close friends with Jamal Jackson, also known as StyleSocietyGuy. As we’re in the midst of New York Fashion Week: Men’s here, you might recognize him from his extremely well-curated Instagram or his Web site , where he offers up a bevy of menswear styling suggestions, new brands to watch and lifestyle content focused on things like home design and music. And of course, there’s the small business of Jamal topping Mr. Wooster (and other well-dressed dudes) on’s rundown of the best-dressed guys at New York Fashion Week: Men’s this past summer. Moreso than that, Jamal is a great guy, a heck of a friend and one of the best in the business at partnering with established and up-and-coming brands and telling cool stories.

And as with every day in the digital style universe, it’s great to be able to look at what someone else is wearing, or how they’ve styled a certain item, and draw inspiration from that — even if their personal style is a bit different than yours.  So with that in mind, I caught up with Jamal to find out about running his site and how he charts — literally — his very busy days. Enjoy!

The Style Guide: How did your personal interest in style and fashion get started?

Style Society Guy: My dad has always been into grooming and style. Mostly, he had grooming and excellent hygiene, so my interest in menswear grew from there. I’d say I really started getting into it in middle school .

 Your Web site and Instagram presence is impressive and seems to grow by the day – what’s that development been like? (Editor’s note: Find Jamal on Instagram here).

SSG: I noticed that I have spurts in my stats …but I’m noticing that it’s mostly organic — just how I wanted it to be. The downside of it is that I don’t know exactly who referred a visitor to my site until someone tells “Oh, (my friend) told me to check out your site.” I wish I could measure those stats more but it makes me want to strategize how I produce my content everyday.

TSG: On that note, what’s a typical day like for you? 

SSG: This might sound kind of crazy, but I work from one Excel sheet. I have several columns in that one sheet — every day of the week and what I should be doing hour by hour. It sounds kind of stressful but it really disciplines me. Although I don’t follow every single task at every hour, it’s a good guideline to … keep me on track.

Right now, I’m working at a work space called Projective in Freemans Restaurant in New York’s Lower East Side. I don’t have a specific office spot except for home at the time, but I’m good at documenting as I travel.

The day consists of meetings, video calls, press previews (whether it’s a market week or not), webinars, nightly events, and usually dinner with potential clients or digital friends.

Jamal also frequently works with top-flight brands during trade shows and manages his own growing social media platforms.

Jamal also frequently works with top-flight brands during trade shows and manages his own growing social media platforms.

TSG: On that note, what’s something that people might not know about running a Web site and digital presence like yours?

I think this is a common answer, but I’m going to say the amount of work it takes to produce one post. From the outside, it seems like what it takes to create a blog post is  to take the photos and write about what you’re wearing. However, it is far more than that. You need to plan to not wear other competitors in one post … speak on details of the clothing, amplify the brand’s voice and speak to the focal point of the product and the brand. Another aspect is how long it takes to shoot photos, gather your photographer and edit 350-450 photos 3 times a week.

Jamal as seen on the street during the first-ever New York Fashion Week: Men's this past summer.

Jamal as seen on the street during the first-ever New York Fashion Week: Men’s this past summer ( ranked him #2 in its weekly rundown!).

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen over the past few years as far as the menswear community goes?

I’m seeing a lot of guys being comfortable with showing their personal style and grooming regimens. Its actually ‘a thing’ now. I love that menswear influencers can bring readers to share what they’re are wearing and interaction going, brands are also happy with this as readers give very honest feedback on products ..bascically for free. This is a good time for brands to actually listen up and pay attention to what audiences have to say.

TSG: What’s one item (or perhaps one outfit) every guy should have in his wardrobe?

SSG: A denim or chambray shirt, I swear it works with EVERYTHING.

TSG: What’s one style resolution that you have for 2016 looking toward the rest of the year?

SSG: As of now I don’t have one set in stone. But. I plan to actually start wearing more of what’s buried in my closet, the items that still have tags on them. I tend to wear my favorites because…they’re my favorites.

To see what Jamal’s up to on a daily basis, head to the StyleSocietyGuy Instagram or check out his Web site.

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Style Q+A: Theo and Harris Vintage Watches

A Rolex Datejust is just one of the many terrific vintage options on rotation from Theo & Harris. Photo courtesy of the brand.

A Rolex Datejust is just one of the many terrific vintage options on rotation from Theo & Harris. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Editor’s note: For more Style Q&A entries featuring everyone from Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend to Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent, click here.
If you read this blog, you know I have a passion for watches.  While I have a list of “holy grail” watches I hope to own one day (a Shinola Runwell and an Omega Seamaster among them), I also appreciate simple, uncluttered, solid everyday watches. That means timepieces like an Invicta Pro Diver , which I’m wearing as I write this post, and a great leather dress watch from Daniel Wellington. But there’s a certain breed of watches that up until earlier this year, I wasn’t too familiar with — vintage timepieces.

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My friend Christian Zeron, co-founder of start-up vintage watch collector Theo and Harris, first brought his fresh-out-of-the-gates company to my attention earlier this year. I covered them for VOUCH Mag this past summer, and here’s where it gets interesting — Theo & Harris sources, authenticates and sells all manner of vintage mechanical wristwatches, offering a plethora of coveted and rare timepieces along the way (seriously, prepare to be amazed by the company’s archive). That they’ve built such an archive since launching in February of this year is quite impressive, to say the least. Specifically, we’re looking at 200 watches (and counting) sold to 10 different countries in about 9 months, and their current collection is only growing. And if you want to experience even more watch envy, check out the Theo and Harris Instagram. Vintage watches are, of course, expensive by nature. And if you’re fortunate enough to own a vintage watch as a family heirloom, that’s a special story that only you have. However, there is an argument for investing in a beautiful vintage watch. So while you mull on that (and perhaps peruse the Theo and Harris site), I do hope you peel your eyes away long enough to read what Christian had to say on his interest in vintage watches and most importantly, why you (yes, you) should own a vintage watch. Again, I’ll only stick around to ask the questions.
The Style Guide: Tell me about how you got into vintage watch collecting?
Theo & Harris: Initially, my interest in watches was purely aesthetic. I was, and still am, very into watches that have a unique look and style; but as the interest became an addiction I began studying history, mechanics and technical design- being an enthusiast is a full time job on its own. I never owned many watches for myself though. Actually, the only watch I consider mine is the first one I ever bought — a Rolex Datejust reference 1601 with a brilliant blue dial.
TSG: During your time scouting out vintage timepieces, what have you noticed that separates these watches from their modern-day counterparts?
T&H: Value. There are some makers out there … that turn out some tremendously well-valued watches comparable to their equally priced counterparts. However, as a whole, modern watches are built in factories, by machine and without heart and then become, for some reason, painfully expensive. In vintage, I work everyday with watches under $800 that were designed by industry legends, assembled by hand and made to last.
Vintage watches go well with all sorts of outfits if you pick the right timepiece, according to the brand.

Vintage watches go well with all sorts of outfits if you pick the right timepiece, according to the brand.

TSG: How can a vintage watch set one apart stylistically?
T&H: The whole point of developing a style is to most accurately depict yourself through colors, textures, patterns (and) fits. With a modern watch shop selling only 5 brands, maybe  50 watches total, it’s impossible for everyone to actually be choosing what they want.
If 1,000 people are wearing the same 50 watches, they’re settling. Imagine if the whole world had to pick from 50 T-shirts to wear.
In vintage, you’re dealing with hundreds of brands and over 100 years of production. I can guarantee that there is, somewhere out there, the perfect watch for everyone. Luckily, finding them is my job.
TSG: What’s one vintage watch brand those looking to get into the vintage watch game should look for, if any?
T&H: Omega. Don’t get me wrong, there are dozens of other makers that I couldn’t live without but Omega is, at least to me, king. Foremost, they were all built with great attention to detail and obvious care. The movements are absolutely beautiful to look at and rather easy to service when needed. As far as design, Omega has drawn up some of the most classic watches ever to hit the wrist. Lastly, their product line is so incredibly vast that it caters to suits, soccer fields, boardrooms and the moon.

A vintage watch can work in many of the same situations as a regular timepiece -- just don't be afraid to rock. Photo courtesy of Theo & Harris.

A vintage watch can work in many of the same situations as a regular timepiece — just don’t be afraid to rock. Photo courtesy of Theo & Harris.

TSG: What are the qualities or characteristics that set apart a really “good” vintage watch, or at least one that’s still in good shape?
T&H: First, I work with, and wear, vintage watches all day of every day and my taste, although acknowledges, doesn’t prefer “good” from “fair” condition across the board. If I’m looking for a military watch from the Vietnam War, I want one that looks like it’s been beaten to hell. Every detail of wear, every nick or scuff is a piece of an inconceivably long story of this time traveler’s life. However, on all watches, the important elements to look out for are an unpolished or lightly polished case, a clean and properly functioning movement and an original dial. Those characteristics are always important, regardless of the style or period of the watch you’re looking at.
TSG: What are some ways to make sure you’re getting a fairly priced, authentic timepiece?
T&H: Remember, with watches comes more than 100 years of history, design, mechanics and an evil industry profiting off of the replication of all of it. Sure, anyone can try their hand at this tricky slope but to really be able to discern for yourself, there’s a whole lot of studying ahead. If that’s you’re thing, then you’ll never stop reading and loving every second of it. The reality, however, is that not everyone wants to be a full-time expert in everything they enjoy. For those people, they’ll have to find someone they can trust. A shop that’ll do all of the sourcing and sifting for them, a shop that will take all of the risk.
TSG: What’s one thing you’ve learned since getting into the watch business that people might  not expect?
T&H: In the past seven months I’ve learned, more than anything else, how to listen ever so carefully to my audience. For example, since we’ve started, we’ve redesigned our website from head to toe three separate times and we don’t go a week without minor alterations. That’s not to say I didn’t love each iteration of our virtual home base but I’ve learned how to read customer feedback, whether thats an email or a huge analytic, and tailor our services accordingly. With our website design, it not only has to be pleasing to view but also interactive to the point that it dynamically presents each of our products to our viewers just as well as I could in person over a drink. Getting into this, I really thought it would be 100% about our watches but with time, I’ve come to realize that, besides our excellent collection, there needs to be an equal experience.
What are your thoughts on vintage watches? Have you ever considered owning one, or do you own one already? What’s the story behind it?
As always folks — thanks for reading and stay stylish,

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Style Q+A: Megan Collins, Style Girlfriend

Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend dishes out on-point style advice to guys on the daily -- worth the read. Photo courtesy of the site.

Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend dishes out on-point style advice to guys on the daily — worth the read. Photo courtesy of the site.

Editor’s note: Head this way to see more Style Q&A entries.

As I’ve spent more and more time reading about the menswear world, there have been certain sites that have shaped the way I view style, fashion and getting dressed daily along the way. My friend Barron’s site, Effortless Gent, is one such outfit (pun intended). Dappered and what Joe has done over there also comes to mind. And of course, no discourse on the digital menswear and lifestyle community would be complete without mentioning Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend. The site is well-designed, easy to navigate, fun to read and packed full of useful menswear tips and tricks (and much, much more), from how to wear a turtleneck to a full rundown of some of the best gear for fall. Anything lifestyle-related you might need to know, rest assured that’s Megan and the team are on it. Her Fall Style Guide in its entirety is also great, and the site’s Twitter churns out excellent content, too. Toss in handy and informative lifestyle articles and even relationship advice and you’ve got a winning combination.

That it’s all told from a female point of view, yet geared toward guys, is especially helpful (particularly that relationship bit, ehh?). I’ve had the chance to meet Megan on a few occasions here in NYC and have always appreciated her insight and new way of looking at a holistic lifestyle for guys — starting with clothing but branching into much, much more. The adage that the details  make the difference is definitely clear via her site. So without further ado, I’m very excited to present the latest entry in this series — I promise, I’ll just ask the questions.

TSG: For those who aren’t familiar with your site, tell us how you got it started and where that inspiration came from?

MC: I always say, I wish I could tell you I did this sweeping competitive analysis of the menswear landscape and found a female voice was missing from menswear, but actually I just fell into it. I had left a career in advertising to write and was taking on any project I could. At the same time, a friend was starting a custom suiting business and asked me to write a weekly column for his site. I said yes, because I was saying yes to everything, “But I don’t know anything about guys’ style…is that okay?” I asked.

“Sure, just write about what girls like to see guys wearing,” he said.

 It ended up kicking off this amazing journey that’s culminated in a really satisfying career for me, connecting with guys who may have GQ at home on their coffee table, but they’re shopping at the mall and need help bridging that divide between aspirational and accessible. 

I believe Style Girlfriend has gained such a following because, 1) I shop like a guy – I want it to be easy, I want it to be quick, so our advice is all about tips, tricks, and shortcuts to great style and 2) I’m honestly not that interested in fashion.

Style matters to me, because having great style is like having the best wing man ever – its only concern is making you look good. Fashion, though, is fleeting, based on trends, and honestly, can seem kind of silly sometimes. I’m much more interested in helping guys on their personal style evolution than I am in talking about the latest sneaker drop or runway show.

What started as a nationally syndicated newspaper column has developed into a widely read site. Photo courtesy of Style Girlfriend.

What started as a nationally syndicated newspaper column has developed into a widely read site. Photo courtesy of Style Girlfriend.

TSG: Running a style with as large a following as yours seems like a lot of work – what’s a typical day like at SG HQ?

MC: I wake up early – 5:15 or 5:30 a.m. – and take some time to read, write, and get centered for the day. Then I work out. If I don’t break a sweat every day, I go completely insane. I signed up for Classpass earlier this year, and it totally rocked my world. I get bored easily, so I can do spin on a Monday, bootcamp on Tuesday, Pure Barre on Wednesday, and on and on. It’s great. 

By 9:30am, I’m in the office in the Flatiron District. My editor gets in at 10, we talk through what’s going on for the day – -what’s on her plate, what’s on mine. Then I usually pop in some earbuds and churn through whatever’s on my to-do list. Relationships are so important, so at some point during the day I might meet up with someone from a brand, an agency, or someone running a site like mine. Most nights there’s some event to hit, then I come home and crash pretty early, so I can get up and do it all again tomorrow.

TSG: What have been some of the challenges involved with getting Style Girlfriend up and running that people might not know about?

MC: Style Girlfriend winds up getting lumped in with a lot of men’s personal style blogs, but it’s really not, so sometimes brands don’t know the best way to work with us. It’s not as simple as, “I wear your brand and tag you on Instagram.” It’s not a personal style blog; I’m not on there with pictures of what I wore today, and yesterday, and the day before that. Don’t get me wrong; those blogs are great, and I get a ton of inspiration from what others out there are doing and their amazing style, but we really see ourselves as a media company, or a digital magazine. We’re talking about menswear the way an Esquire or Details would – in articles and editorials and videos. So we’re a bit of an anomaly in the digital menswear space in that way.

It just means it can be a bit more leg work to help brainstorm those partnerships so that we can create really amazing branded content for our readers. So we’re different – but that’s also what makes us special, so I’m glad for the distinction.

TSG: What’s one style essential (or an essential outfit) that every guy should own?

MC: Every man needs a suit that fits him just right. Whether it’s grey or navy is a personal preference, so long as it’s tailored and doesn’t jut out at the shoulders or pool at the ankles. I tell guys to make friends with their tailor. You can take clothes you buy off the rack and make them look made-to-measure for a pretty small amount of money.

Style Girlfriend is much more than your average style blog -- its lifestyle section is packed with more great content, too. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Style Girlfriend is much more than your average style blog — its lifestyle section is packed with more great content, too. Photo courtesy of the brand.

TSG: What’s one style mistake you see too many guys make?

MC: Wearing clothes that don’t fit them properly. I tell guys to make friends with their tailor. Everything you own (nearly all of it, anyway) would look 10x as good with just a few inexpensive alterations. An inch at the ankles, a nip in at the waist – there’s so many small things you can do to make your clothes look like they were made just for you.

TSG: What’s been the most rewarding part of helping guys improve their style?

MC: Hearing about the positive impact that dressing better has had in every area of their lives.

I really believe that when you look good, you feel good, and that confidence ends up spreading to every area of your life. And this is borne out in the emails I get from readers telling me crazy inspiring stories about how reading Style Girlfriend helped them bounce back from a divorce or being laid off. How they decided to go after a raise or a promotion, or ask out that girl they’d been in love with forever. 

 Taking control of your personal style is truly the first step to totally changing your life for a lot of these guys. I have definitely been brought to tears more than once hearing from readers about their transformations.

TSG: You’re based in NYC — for those new to the city or visiting, what are some of your must-visit spots — a restaurant, bar, gallery or the like?

MC: I just moved from the Lower East Side to the Lower Lower East Side (yes, it’s a thing), and I love it. So many good restaurants and bars – a few of my favorites: Mission Chinese, Bacaro, Dimes, Clandestino, 169 Bar and Kiki’s.

TSG: Lastly, as it’s the fall season – what’s one trend that guys should jump on to look their best in the coming months?

 MC: Take advantage of the layering season – I love a nice textured sportcoat over a patterned button-up with a tie that contrasts while complementing. Top it all off with a mac coat or field jacket and you are ready to take over the world.

Head over to Style Girlfriend for more great menswear content, and check out the site on Twitter.

Ben Sherman US

Style Q+A: American Trench

Editor’s note: To check out other Style Q&A pieces, head here. 

Just a snapshot of some of the eyecatching styles produced by American Trench. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Just a snapshot of some of the eyecatching styles produced by American Trench. Photo courtesy of the brand.

You can’t help but admire brands that delve into a product niche and ideology, and really live out that commitment. Jacob Hurwitz and David Neill have done that and then some as they’ve built American Trench, a brand with whom you may be familiar if you’ve read any of my work on VOUCH Mag — or if you’ve seen their socks in GQ. The duo developed the brand with the simple idea that manufacturing high-quality goods can be done right here in America, and they’ve stuck to it with the help of a Kickstarter launch in late 2012. I had the great fortune to check out a set of excellent American Trench socks for a review on GearHungry (and you can expect to see more of them around these parts, too). The socks are eyecatching, comfortable and quite well-made — everything you could want on your feet. And in corresponding with Jacob, he and David have a tremendous focus on doing right by the people they work with — something to be applauded and recognized. The brand makes a pretty killer trench coat, to boot. I caught up with Jacob for a few questions recently, and the interview is (I think) absolutely worth a read if you’re into supporting brands who take care of their own — and make a pretty nice product, to say the least!

The Style Guide: Tell me more about the inception of American Trench and the ‘A-ha!’ moment that spurred it on?
American Trench: I took a trip to London with my wife in the summer of 2009 and bought a trench coat there, because when in London, one must buy a rain coat, even in the summer.  After getting home and reading day after day about continuing layoffs and job losses, my friend David and I were talking about US manufacturing.  We wanted to make something. The idea came up…who makes trench coats in the USA?  The answer – no one.  So we set out to do it.  We had no experience in apparel, so it took 2.5 years, but we make something special.
TSG: American manufacturing is at the core of your business — expand a bit on your philosophy behind that commitment to domestic manufacturing, and are there other brands you admire doing similar things?
AT: American manufacturing is why started the company, plain and simple.  All of our products are either knit or cut and sewn in the USA.  We try to use domestic source materials when possible and appropriate, but each item has been manufactured at a factory in the United States.  Our philosophy can be summed up pretty succinctly: make the best you can make and do the best you can for the people around you. When we read about Brunello Cucinelli’s desire to make all of his products in Italy, which is well documented, it doesn’t sound nationalist. He makes it very clear that this is how he can best help the people around him.  The best part about buying USA made?  It’s totally in alignment with the core principles of our country – freedom and liberty.   Buying USA made is not mandatory nor does it require belonging to a specific race, class, group, or political party.  In the land of liberty, the greatest freedom we all have, what we choose to buy, can actually can create change!  So there it is — vote with your wallet.
The brand's relatively understated styles add a nice touch of color to any outfit. Photo courtesy of American Trench.

The brand’s relatively understated styles add a nice touch of color to any outfit. Photo courtesy of American Trench.

TSG: American Trench has a pretty particular product focus between knitwear, socks and your outerwear — how did that come about?

AT: We decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to bring our trench coat to market and realized that we wanted to have a way for people to support us on Kickstarter even if they didn’t have $700+ to drop on a rain coat.  So we decided to offer USA=made socks, because who can’t afford a pair of good socks?  After Kickstarter, we started to get wholesale interest in the sock side of the business.  People were looking for made-in-the-USA (product) and accessories, and we had both.  We also found some awesome sock mills — one in Reading, PA and another in North Carolina.  Interest in the rain coat never died down, so we become dual-focused on accessories and outerwear.

TSG: What was the biggest challenge (or series of challenges) you encountered in your journey to source fabric, materials and production partners for your trench coat?
AT: There have been challenges at each step, although that’s true for any business.  Making the trench was a beast, we choose to make a super complicated product to start, with 70-plus pattern pieces.  It took two tries to find the right factory, and not without a lot of screw-ups and fixes.  Pattern making is not easy, nor is production.  It’s a complicated business. Knitwear is not walk in the park either, samples and production sometimes don’t end up being the same.


TSG: What’s one style mistake you see too many guys make?  
AT: Scale and proportion.  If you going to wear slim jeans or trousers, the rest of the outfit should be slim.  Then all items will be in proportion.  You can’t wear your favorite decade old blazer with your new trim pants and vice-versa, the scale of each garment is totally out of sync.  Likewise, sometimes a little looser look can be really refreshing, but make sure the rest of your outfit matches the same scale.
The other thing I would say is that less is more.  Don’t cram too many colors, patterns, and styles into one outfit.  For example —  if you wear your double-monk shoes, keep the suit solid and the socks toned down; double-monk shoes are a big statement.  Instagram style is its own universe, and should be taken treated as half-fantasy, half-reality.  Less is more!
If you have square-toe dress shoes in your closet from ten years ago, thank them for their service and put them in the trash.
TSG: What’s one style-related item every guy should own?
AT: Tough one.  But regardless of the item, quality over quantity.  I think a good pair of versatile shoes is a must.  I’m talking about something that can be dressed up or down, with a suit or denim.  Great shoes make a good suit look great and turn your socks into a star.  The Longwing 975 and PTB 990 styles by Alden are classic.  They ain’t cheap, but you can wear them with anything.  I really love the Rancourt cap toe as well.
That’s all from Jacob this go-round. If you’d like to support the brand more, check out their Web site or catch them on Twitter.

Style Q + A: Barron Cuadro, Effortless Gent

Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent talks style tips, the development of his site and more. He also nails this classic blazer-and-denim combo.

Barron Cuadro of Effortless Gent talks style tips, the development of his site and more. He also nails this classic blazer-and-denim combo.

Editor’s note: To check out other Style Q&A pieces, head here. As I’m abroad this week, stay tuned for a Wednesday trip post!

Across the past few years, I’d say my personal style has developed a lot. More specifically, starting in about my sophomore year of college, I began to pay a lot more attention to what I wore, how I got dressed and how it helped me shape my life in terms of organization and focus. What was an outside interest at first turned into hours of reading about style and finding my own sense of style therein. One of the biggest sources in that development was (correction: is) Effortless Gent, an outstanding menswear and lifestyle site focused on helping guys improve their style (and everything that goes with it). What started as me merely perusing (poring over) the site’s pages in my free time led to a writing opportunity that continues to this day — my “Five Ways to Wear One” series — and a friendship with Barron that I’m definitely grateful for, as I think I can safely say that I might not have found my passion, and my career, without his guidance. But enough of the dramatic stuff — I caught up with Barron to talk all things Effortless Gent, the development of his personal style and his transition from San Francisco to NYC, and if you know Barron, I think you’ll like what you read.

Take me through the process of starting Effortless Gent, and how that dovetailed off your own style journey?

 Effortless Gent: Throughout high school and college, my guy friends would ask me style-related questions. After 8ish years of hearing the same questions over and over, I realized there are probably other guys out there with the same questions but no one to ask. My professional background is in web design / development, so I decided to put together a site and answer these questions for a much larger potential audience than just my friends.

What’s been the most rewarding part of helping guys improve their style?

EG: I love the emails I receive from guys who have quietly put into practice all the things we teach on the site. They realize how big a difference it has made in their lives and they’re just writing to thank me. That never gets old; it just proves that a little attention to detail and a bit of guidance can go a long way.

Even with more low-key, casual ensembles, Barron keeps it crisp and classic.

Even with more low-key, casual ensembles, Barron keeps it crisp and classic.

TSG: You advocate for a Lean Wardrobe and the idea of a personal uniform — tell me a little bit more about those concepts.

EG: The Lean Wardrobe philosophy has become the cornerstone of the site, and it guides everything we teach. The idea of a personal uniform is similar and fits into that philosophy.

We define the Lean Wardrobe (LW) as the minimum number of clothes a man needs to create the most well-rounded, flexible wardrobe that suits his daily life.  Rather than a concrete list of items, LW is a philosophy or a set of principles that guide you when buying. The LW is also super flexible, because not every guy has the same situation, income, or surroundings.
TSG: What’s one initial mistake you see most guys make when it comes to trying to improve their style?

EG: I guess not having a proper plan, or a direction they want to go. That usually leads to premature buying and then eventually being unhappy with those purchases, requiring him to purchase something else. That cycle usually repeats until he finds something that’s truly him. And it can happen with every article of clothing, from shirts, to socks, and everything in between. That trial-and-error process can be time consuming and expensive, but if you follow the LW guidelines, you can generally avoid 95% of that headache.

TSG: If you had to pick one outfit to wear every day, what would it be?

EG: It would have to be a pair of medium-dark denim, white OCBD, unlined, unstructured sport coat in navy, and tan leather loafers. I wear something similar most of the time (unless it’s unbearably hot or cold, and when it is, I adjust by removing or adding layers). 

TSG: Playing off that question, what’s one essential item every guy should own?

 EG: I always say a navy sport coat. It instantly dresses up whatever you have on.

The devil's all in the details when it comes to a great outfit.

The devil’s all in the details when it comes to a great outfit, according to Mr. Cuadro — and I agree!

TSG: You’re new to NYC from San Fran — what’s that transition been like and how has it changed your style? 

EG: SF is much more casual with their style, which personally doesn’t suit me very well. In NYC, people dress up more. It’s not crazy to be in suits and ties, or creative smart casual rigs… It’s just the nature of the city and the people who are here.  Since I enjoy dressing well, NYC has allowed me to be more myself, if that makes sense. In Build A Lean Wardrobe, one of the things we teach is to plan a wardrobe around your surroundings. Not just your physical surroundings, but the way in which people around you dress… Not that you have to dress exactly like everyone around you, but it’s a great way to gauge what’s considered “normal” and “appropriate”, and you can adjust course from there.  Anyway, NYC hasn’t really changed my style much, other than the fact that it allows me to be more… me.

 TSG: Given that the site’s home base has changed, do you think content on the site will continue to evolve in that direction as well? What’s next for EG? 

 EG: I think it will, and only for the better. I’m constantly inspired by the variation in styles I see here, plus the firsthand experience I’m getting by dressing for distinctly different seasons. In SF, we had one season almost all year round, so you don’t always get the opportunity to experiment. As far as what’s next, we’ll be focusing more on our eGuides and courses, especially our upcoming launch for Build A Lean Wardrobe, and hopefully continue to put out articles that help guide and inspire our readers to amp up their style game, no matter where they are.

Head to the Effortless Gent Instagram here for a daily glimpse into the happenings behind EG (and some great outfit shots from Barron), and check out the site here for tons of excellent style content.

Ben Sherman US