Plugged In: A Chicago Weekend at Lollapalooza 2017

Lollapalooza 2017

Taking in Lollapalooza with my MVMT Watches Aviators, plus my rock-ready Need Supply Co. denim jacket and slim Abercrombie and Fitch denim —¬†finished off with¬†classic Astorflex suede chukkas.

It was under special circumstances that I hopped on an unusual Thursday night plane ride out of NYC to head to Chicago — and no, I didn’t take a wrong turn after happy hour. I hit the road last weekend to head to Lollapalooza 2017 in the Windy City — a truly momentous weekend packed full of highlights, from great #menswear to an amazing Friday headlining set by The Killers (a band I’d seen back in June) and more excellent tunes than you could take in across just two days. It was my second festival in as many weekends after attending the Panorama music festival here in NYC — with Governors Ball 2017 also under my belt this summer, you night say I’ve got it down to a science when it comes to what to wear to a music festival. What exactly did I pack and who did I see? Join me on another men’s travel style post — it should come as no surprise it was an amazing weekend that seamlessly blended my two big passions! Put on your favorite Killers track, and let’s rock.

I packed up my Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender with trusty essentials, from my Astorflex suede chukka boots to my Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

The adventure itself really began on Thursday night, as I packed up my stylish weekender bag — namely, the Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender — with menswear essentials galore. To head from a full day at the office to the airport, I dressed in a mixture of comfort and style, starting with a¬†new pair of Abercrombie and Fitch denim from the brand’s recently revamped line. The mobility, tailored fit and pleasingly faded wash matched nicely with¬†one of my favorite Taylor Stitch shirts, the Sashiko Shirt — the cool detailing and texture makes it a four-season essential, and it’s yet another example of what Taylor Stitch does well. The combo was finished off with even more comfort in the form of my travel-ready Astorflex suede chukkas. There might not be a more versatile pair of three-season shoes than these classic suede chukkas, which can go from the office to the plane easily.

A stylish casual watch from Nautica and my reliable Huckberry Explorer’s Cap rounded out my travel style essentials. And the next time you hit the road, don’t forget to pack men’s grooming essentials — a few pieces from the Oars + Alps Athlete’s Grooming Kit (as seen on this site’s Style Pick of the Week series) helped me keep my skin in top form.¬†What’s more, I even managed to prep for the festival on the music front — I plugged¬†in my surprisingly stylish LSTN Sound Co. headphones from the essential Bespoke Post Vibes Box, and I was ready to go. The bottom line is this:¬†When dealing with a day at work and an evening of travel, dress for comfort, style and mobility (like I did!).

Lollapalooza 2017

Easygoing essentials for a day of music and a day in the sun — particularly a fan of my classic SeaVees Army Issue Sneakers, and they teamed nicely with my tough, versatile Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch.

My Thursday night arrival had me tired but wired (tired and wired?) going into an amazing, bright and sunny Friday full of live music. To take on Chicago’s heat, I kept things simple and stylish with a¬†slim short-sleeve shirt from Old Navy, plus my laidback and comfortable Bridge and Burn Stringer Dune Shorts — two warm-weather style essentials fit for any trip.¬† And just as with Panorma, I found my SeaVees sneakers to be effective, comfortable and broken-in enough to fill that crucial music festival style void. And that blend of style¬†comfort from my SeaVees sneakers proved quite effective for bouncing around Lollapalooza’s many, many stages. That meant staying on time was quite critical — as I’ve found on many a music-themed trip, my Timex x Todd Snyder Military Watch on a cotton NATO strap (similar¬†style here)¬†was a durable and stylish pick. I topped it all off with stylish men’s sunglasses — namely, a new favorite pair of sunglasses from Component out of Miami. And what exactly did the day have in store? Plenty — to say the least.

There aren’t many festivals where you’ve got the chance to see everyone from Brooklyn indie rockers Slothrust to classic modern indie pop duo Tegan and Sara to upstart British singer Bishop Briggs within a matter of hours, but Lollapalooza absolutely delivered in that regard — I¬† can’t say enough about the experience. A vibe-filled, sharp set from Phantogram paved the way for an exciting, anticipation-filled evening — a long-awaited show by The Killers tends to heighten the excitement of a music festival even moreso. Having just seen this remarkable band back in June, I thought I was ready — yet nothing can really compare to the power, energy and joy brought to the stage by Mr. Brandon Flowers and company. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s really nothing that can measure up to seeing songs you’ve known for half your life being played out in person. When delivered by one of my heroes, Brandon Flowers, it was all the more special. (Editor’s note: Mr. Flowers inspired my love for denim jackets and black moto jackets, surely).¬†

From classic cuts like “Mr.¬†Brightside,” “Read My Mind” and the roaring¬†“For Reasons Unknown” to all-new cuts “The Man” and¬†fan favorites like “When You Were Young,” this is a band that delivers on nearly everything that a fan could ask for. That included a soaring cover of fellow rockers Muse, plus a menacing (and yet wonderful) cover of the Joy Division classic “Shadowplay.” This is, simply put, an incredible band. I mean that sincerely, and it’s nothing short of an absolute joy to witness live. And as it were, I positively can’t wait for The Killers North American tour behind the band’s forthcoming new album, “Wonderful Wonderful” — what a¬†run that should be. It was worth the trip in and of itself, and that’s no joke. Incredibly, I wasn’t quite fully tired out from Friday night — and Saturday promised even more tunes and even more #menswear.

Crisp and effective, rock-n-roll style featuring slim Abercrombie and Fitch Langdon denim and my classic Astorflex suede chukkas.

Although Saturday dawned hot and sunny once again, I went with sharp and simple style — perhaps inspired in part by the style of Brandon Flowers, who frequently favors all-black get-ups. For me, that meant injecting some color and texture on the footwear front with my¬†Astorflex suede chukkas¬†and topping it off with another pair of slim Abercrombie and Fitch Langdon denim in a slightly faded black wash. Perfect for a festival — particularly when teamed with my Knickerbocker Mfg. Co. Pocke Tube Tee. For taking on the day and seeing the vibe-filled, standout rock of The xx later, an all-black uniform certainly felt right — my trusty Timex for J. Crew field watch helped add some texture and visual interest to the look, too. ¬†Once again, I just had to get ready for the day with the stylish and high-quality¬†LSTN Sound Co. headphones from my¬†Bespoke Post Vibes Box.

Saturday itself brought out a terrific mix of live acts, too. Canadian rockers Alvvays — a band that’s been on my list for more than two years now — brought a shimmery, sunny mix of indie rock to the Bud Light Stage in the afternoon. Later in the evening, personal favorites The Head and the Heart delivered just as rousing a performance as they did at Govenors Ball 2017 and on a winter road trip I took to Baltimore to see them play. ¬†And throughout the day, Lollapalooza delivered just as solid of a mix of artists as one might expect — from L.A. rockers Warpaint to the joyous dance grooves of pop duo Sylvan Esso and the unique rhythm and quirky vibes of British rockers alt-J (another favorite of mine). The experience and atmosphere was truly jam-packed and lively — it was as busy a two days as I’ve had at a music festival, particularly navigating multiple stages and trying to stay on time. Again, dressing for a music festival in style proved absolutely critical, and I hope my gear was up to the test. As it were, my all-black get-up fit right in during a powerful, transcendent Saturday night headlining set by British rockers The xx —¬† another personal favorite and another band that made the entire trip worth it.

 

Travel-ready gear for the flight back — my Need Supply Co. denim jacket and my new Bridge and Burn Basic Tee got the job done on my top half, while my Kit Culture stretch twill pants were suitably travel-ready.

All too soon, it was time to hit the road back to Chicago — my schedule precluded me from staying another day to take in the powerful rock and spectacular live show that is Arcade Fire, but I left Chicago with nothing but happy memories from an incredible weekend of amazing music. And with a stylish weekender bag¬†and men’s grooming essentials from Oars + Alps¬†in tow,¬†I made sure to dress for the road accordingly. I started out¬†once again with my versatile¬†Astorflex suede chukkas¬† — they’re as comfortable and sustainable a pair of classic chukka boots as you’ll find. They were a sharp complement to my¬†Kit Culture stretch twill pants, a tailored set of chinos that feels like an easy-to-wear pair of sweatpants. When topped off with my Need Supply Co. Denim Jacket in 96 — a retro-inspired, versatile denim jacket — I was more than ready to deal with blasting airport air conditioning. Between the light wash and the quality construction, the denim jacket¬†was a cool topper to a new Bridge and Burn Basic Tee¬†— think an ultra-soft blended T-shirt built with made-in-America craftsmanship.¬†The next time you hit the road, reach for breezy basics, a well-made denim jacket and go-anywhere pieces like suede chukkas.¬†

With all that travel in the books, I was glad to make it home last night — and it was all the better to get back to Brooklyn knowing I’d had such an amazing, fulfilling trip. Hopping on a flight to a music festival can feel like a long journey at times, but the trip was more than worth it — heck, seeing some of my heroes on the stage on Friday night made the trip in and of itself. I’m also lucky I was able to pack up just the right gear for the weekend — if I can continue to make the trip in years to come, I’ll be looking at a longer trek than just a subway ride … and I know it’ll certainly pay off.

Did you manage to make the trek to Lollapalooza? What did you bring along with you? 

Lastly — thanks for reading!

-Beau

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Center Stage: Dressing in Style for NYC’s Governors Ball 2017

Stylish, breezy music festival gear, featuring a short-sleeve henley from Abercrombie and Fitch, linen shorts from Todd Snyder and the essential SWIMS Breeze Leap Laser Loafer and my Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver.

If, per chance, you follow me on Instagram, you might be familiar with my love of live music. From road trips to see Local Natives and Lucius to The Head and the Heart, it’s a great passion of mine that’s taken me to some very cool cities. Yet, I didn’t have to go very far this past weekend to find my two favorite things (#menswear and live tunes)¬†at NYC’s Governors Ball 2017 music festival. I attended last year’s Governors Ball with tough leather boots, stylish Mott and Bow denim and hard-wearing outerwear — and to take on a temperate-yet-breezy weekend, I took much the same approach this time around, with a¬†big-time focus on stylish music festival gear.¬†Now, we just talked about how to dress for a music festival on the blog last week — and it’s a good thing I had some of those essentials with me for three days of terrific music, tasty bites and a cold beer or two.

Governors Ball

For day one of Governors Ball 2017, breezy style proved key. My Abercrombie and Fitch Short-sleeve Henley teamed nicely with both my Levi’s Trucker Jacket and my SWIMS Breeze Leap Laser Loafer. I added in¬†a rugged Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver and I was set for the day.

Comfort and mobility are crucial when dressing for a music festival — you want pieces that can move with you, take on the weather and look sharp. That’s why I¬†took on much of the weekend¬† with the essential, classic and yet slightly edgy Levi’s Trucker Jacket in a slim fit and light wash — it was an ideal, rock concert-ready combo teamed up with my Abercrombie and Fitch Short-sleeve Henley. Better yet, the pairing kept me cool as I broke out a colorful pair of printed linen shorts from Todd Snyder. They fit right in alongside my¬†easy-to-wear, exceedingly comfortable SWIMS Breeze Leap Laser Loafers — made with breathable mesh, these loafers¬†were springy, light and stylish.¬†For a sunny Friday that started with rollicking, energetic afternoon¬†sets from Judah & the Lion and Canadian rockers The Strumbellas¬†(plus Bleachers¬†as happy hour rolled around), it was a fitting combination.

Nautica

Having seen Bleachers twice now at festivals — including a 2014 trip to¬†Outside Lands — I’m a big fan of¬†Jack Antonoff’s brand of bright, summer-ready and ’80s-inspired rock. It stands out in a sea of endless pop, and Jack & co.¬†certainly deliver live — I didn’t want it to end, but I kept on time with my Timex Waterbury Chronograph Diver (see what I did there?). For sustenance throughout the day, I chowed on tasty BBQ from Manhattan’s Mighty Quinn’s and a Golden Ale from Brewery Ommegang, a New York craft favorite — both big highlights.

Does it get any better than delicious craft beer, great food and standout live music? Only if Lorde brings down the house with a fun, upbeat and jam-packed set to close out day one in advance of Chance the Rapper (another energetic crowd-pleaser who delivered on a much-hyped set). That’s the way it went down, and it was a joy to watch her break out new songs from her latest album, “Melodrama.” She’s an act that really shot into the stratosphere with her debut album at just 16, and early indications are that her second album is no sophomore slump. I left the festival grounds wondering if day two could possibly top it. With another mostly sunny day in the cards for Saturday, I¬†looked ahead¬†to stepping out in rugged-refined and versatile music festival style — just as you should look to do!

Nautica

A classic Old Navy slim-fit chambray shirt and mobile Ministry of Supply Shorts proved crucial for moving around in the heat; perfect when teamed with shades from Component Sunglasses.

As Saturday dawned, I was looking forward to a stylish, rain-free¬†day (ideally) and an excellent series of live shows (assuredly). As you dress for your next festival, know that it’s tough to misstep when wearing a slim chambray shirt¬†with its rugged texture and even more rugged appeal, it’s a¬†summer style¬†essential. With that in mind, I¬†threw on¬†the Old Navy slim-fit chambray shirt¬†in a classic yet eye-catching shade of red. For seeing bands that epitomize laidback cool, like personal favorite Local Natives, it felt like the right style move to make.¬† I also wanted sneakers that could look sharp and stand up to just about anything — my trusty Legend Sneakers from SeaVees were absolutely the right choice, especially when worn alongside the mobile, tailored and breathable Ministry of Supply Going Places Shorts. I accented the casual combo with my durable, trusty MVMT Watches Calypso Watch from the brand’s adventure-ready (and refined) Modern Sport collection.

Kicking back in the 21-plus area! A breezy Old Navy chambray shirt, my classic Levi’s Trucker Jacket and sharp Ministry of Supply shorts made day two great.

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For enjoying tasty craft brews and more great bites at Governors Ball — along with a jam-packed day of music featuring everyone from the searing rock of¬†Car Seat Headrest to joyful vibes of¬†The Head and the Heart — I knew I was dressed the right way. And¬†before I knew it, it was time for perhaps the best set of the day — a¬†positively perfect early evening¬†showing from Local Natives. If you haven’t yet checked out the the group’s excellent 2016 album, “Sunlit Youth,” … please do. Their set was jam-packed with crowd-pleasing numbers, including a cover of “Ultralight Beam” and an all-time favorite track, “Who Knows Who Cares,” to round out their performance. It set the stage for a really fun evening,¬†to say the least. The nightcap¬†included a triumphant return from French rockers Phoenix, riding a wave of energy behind soon-to-be-released new album¬†“Ti Amo.” Without giving away too much, the group sounds as tight and polished as ever, particularly given that they’re ramping up behind their first live shows since 2014. There’s really nothing like hearing songs you’ve listened to on repeat for years. Was it just as incredible as day one? Absolutely. Was I ready for more live music on day three? Undoubtedly.

Gov Ball 2017

Breezy style from JackThreads (RIP), mixed with modern¬†Clarks sneaker-boots¬†and slim Abercrombie and Fitch denim — just what was needed for day three at Governors Ball.

Sunday — sadly, the final day of one of the year’s best weekends — brought with it rain and breezy weather during the day. That meant casual and laidback style once again proved essential, starting with my rugged Nautica¬†sunglasses. Sunday also meant it was high time to break out a striped camp shirt from dearly departed Style Guide favorite JackThreads.¬† Although I was bummed that the brand recently closed its digital doors, I wasn’t bummed about checking out another excellent day of rock shows from up-and-comers like Chicago’s The Orwells or Scottish post-punk revival vets Franz Ferdinand¬†— not to mention the chill vibes of Mac DeMarco to round out the afternoon. The rest of the day’s¬†lineup proved eclectic and well worth watching, from the hard rock of Cage the Elephant to the stellar and sharp groove of Warpaint.
Timex

To take on showers, my Bridge and Burn Northfork Woodland Jacket and Abercrombie and Fitch stretch denim proved crucial — as did my Clarks Trigenics Flex shoes!

I opted for style that was just as eclectic, from my stylish JackThreads¬†camp shirt to slim Abercrombie and Fitch light wash denim and a key finishing touch — my Clarks Trigenic Flex shoes in a head-turning white leather colorway. Blending the weight and flexibility of¬†a sneaker with stitching & design details more commonly found on classic moccasins, they were a reliably mobile and stylish option for a final day of music.¬† To prep for¬†the rain,¬†my Bridge and Burn Northfork Woodland Jacket provided a durable top layer, and my sturdy Timex for J. Crew watch¬†didn’t let me down¬† — it’s withstood the test of plenty of live shows¬†(that goes for my February trip to New Haven to see Young the Giant, too). The next time you hit up an outdoor festival, make sure to pack sturdy outerwear and comfortable-yet-stylish sneakers,¬†plus a rugged field watch.
Greats
As I look back on this weekend, I’m glad above all else that excellent, fun and enjoyable festivals like Governors Ball are just a quick — well, relatively quick — subway ride away. I’ll never pass up the chance to see inspiring, energetic and enjoyable bands like Local Natives or The Head and the Heart, and the opportunity to see global superstars like Lorde and Chance the Rapper is an experience I won’t soon forget. Every year, Governors Ball becomes more and more enjoyable — and I have more and more fun putting together looks, taking in live music and enjoying all things NYC. I hope your music festival experiences this season are just as enjoyable — don’t forget, we’ve got plenty of tips on how to dress for a music festival this summer, and you can stay tuned for a new #OOTD post on the blog tomorrow.

Thanks for reading — rock on!

-Beau

Home of the Strange: New Haven and Young the Giant

Gear for the road, Yale exploration and a rock show. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

Gear for the road, Yale exploration and a rock show. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

First off, don’t let the headline catch you off guard — New Haven isn’t as weird as it might sound; in fact,¬†it was the perfect place to take in the latest stop on the¬†“Home of the Strange” tour by¬†indie rockers Young the Giant this past weekend!¬†On the same page now? Good deal. Yes indeed, this late February weekend presented the perfect opportunity to hit the road again and travel in style to see another live show — it’s a real passion of mine, as you might recall from a fall trip to see Local Natives and my summer trip to see indie folk rockers¬†Lucius, among others. And to be able to hit the road, bring along my favorite #menswear and see an awesome rock show is absolutely icing on the cake. The weather was a bit different than¬†a winter road trip to Michigan, but not quite full-on spring territory — so, earbuds in and volume turned up, I grabbed my Owen and Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender¬† — and the excellent, travel-ready Owen and Fred Flight Brief in Midnight — and set out for New Haven and College Street Music Hall (Editor’s note: For the next time you hit the road, here’s another bag that surely qualifies among the best travel gear for guys).

Gear for a Saturday on the road and a Saturday concert. Sweater by The Knit Project. Dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather Supply. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Gear for a Saturday on the road and a Saturday concert. Sweater by The Knit Project. Dark denim by Frank & Oak. Grounder Hi-Tops by Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers. Field watch by Timex for J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather Supply. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

As has been the case with past East Coast road trips, I knew I’d have to dress for multiple potential scenarios — starting with a nice, temperate Saturday train ride from NYC to New Haven. I chose a light, breathable and innovative Fitted Merino Turtleneck from Bay Area start-up Knit Project. Made from luxurious Italian Merino wool from a company that’s focused on quality materials and a great fit, it was a neat layering touch under the Frank & Oak Marfa Slim-Fit Denim Shirt — yes, that’s right …. a turtleneck under a denim shirt.¬† It’s a move that’s a bit unique (and perhaps academically inspired for exploring Yale’s campus?), but works in this case thanks to the casual washed denim shirt and a well-fitting pair of¬† classic Frank & Oak selvedge denim. Plus, when it got breezier later on in the day, the combo worked well with no outfit change necessary. Given that I spent time on my feet exploring New Haven and drinking copious amounts of coffee from stops like Jojo’s Coffee and Tea, I needed to be able to get around effectively and on-time — that’s where my vintage-inspired Timex for J. Crew watch came in handy, along with helpful everyday carry pieces like my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet. Of course, I had to reach for a pair of sneakers that’s as comfortable as can be — yet with the functionality of durable boots. In this instance, my Todd Snyder x P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Tops were comfortable and effective for going from train to town to show.

All smiles in advance of Young the Giant. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

All smiles in advance of Young the Giant. Merino Turtleneck by Knit Project. Denim shirt and dark denim by Frank & Oak. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Flight Brief by Owen & Fred. Glasses by Frameri.

Again, these were all pieces that worked just as well for getting around New Haven as they did for a heck of an epic show from Young the Giant. Luckily, I had plenty of time to kill before lining up outside College Street Music Hall. The campus of Yale really is something else — at times medieval and at times modern, it’s filled with great vistas and excellent architecture. It’s quaint, historic and very cool to explore — as is the Yale University Art Gallery (even if you’re not an art buff — I’m certainly not, but hey … menswear’s more my bag).

It’s always wise to take local recommendations into account when traveling — such has been the case as I’ve explored Washington, D.C. ¬†and braved the Grand Rapids winter. So one would be remiss not to stop into the delicious, quirky and renowned Louis’ Lunch for an original cheeseburger, ehh? They still know how to make ’em — considering they’re known for being the inventor of the hamburger, that’s quite the accomplishment. And I can confirm for a fact that there’s no better for fuel for a rock concert — or exploring a neat college town — than a premium stop like Cask Republic, a conveniently located spot near College Street Music Hall with multiple Northeast locations and an excellent selection of burgers and beers. Again, prime rock concert fuel, folks.

Beckett Simonon

And certainly if you’ve listened to Young the Giant or caught them on tour behind any of their three albums (including “Home of the Strange,”) you know what you’re going to get. That is, an energetic, powerful show with great showmanship from Sameer Gadhia, a heck of a lead singer with a great voice and the sort of synergy with his bandmates that comes from lots of time spent honing their craft. Hyperbole? Not when you’ve been at it since 2004, I’d say. They reliably packed their setlist with crowd-pleasers and a healthy dose of standout new material, all delivered with plenty of heart. Seriously, who hasn’t sung along to “My Body” or “Apartment” ….¬†or “I Got” (the list goes on)… while cruising in their car? Ahh, just me? OK, then. But I can tell you this — that band brings great energy, joy and feeling to the stage. What a treat to see that in action — crowd favorites like “Cough Syrup” kicked things off early, while newer hits like “Silvertongue”¬†helped close¬†out the encore. In between, Sameer and Co. lit up the stage with an amazing light show (check out a photo or two on Twitter) and also worked in sleeper hits like “Mr. Know-It-All” and ¬†“Titus Was Born” off¬†of “Home of the Strange.” In short,¬†it was a show I’d absolutely recommend seeing.

Mixing collegiate, comfortable style for a Sunday of exploration at Beinecke Plaza. Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sashiko Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Cashmere cap by Club Monaco. Glasses by Frameri.

Mixing collegiate, comfortable style for a Sunday of exploration at Beinecke Plaza. Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Sashiko Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Cashmere cap by Club Monaco. Glasses by Frameri.

Without a doubt, it was certainly¬†a treat to see them live. The group’s time on stage at world-famous venues like Radio City Music Hall absolutely shows, and you’d do well to catch them as they tour this summer with Cold War Kids! Tickets for that one will surely go fast– anxious as I might be about getting tickets for that tour, I wasn’t anxious about dressing for the cold in New Haven on Sunday (see what I did there?). Now, there wasn’t the excitement of a show ahead, but I still enjoyed a day around a bustling town, including some lovely time spent¬†exploring the campus of Yale¬†once again¬†— it’s a beautiful institution in all respects. I also can’t recommend the premium, upscale Heirloom for brunch enough¬†— get the Heritage Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich and thank me later. For hitting up spots like Blue State Coffee (again with the coffee), I grabbed unique-yet-functional layers, starting with my Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan . My finely textured, well-made Taylor Stitch Sashiko Shirt also complemented the cardigan nicely for temperatures in the 40s, what with its unique pattern and tailored fit.

Sunday layering, starting with a sharp Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Sunday layering, starting with a sharp Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan. Stretch twill pants by Kit Culture. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Military Watch by Timex + Todd Snyder. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

The top half of my rig was offset nicely by casual, comfortable and athletic-inspired Kit Culture stretch twill pants. With roots in Los Angeles, Kit Culture makes gear for the active guy, with fits built for those of us on the go. With 5 percent stretch, these pants were exceptionally comfortable for navigating the city, and yet also proved stylish and crisp alongside my reliable-as-ever CAT Footwear Sutter Boots. The combo definitely merged some high-low style alongside perhaps my new favorite watch, the vintage-inspired, handsome Timex + Todd Snyder Military Watch¬†— it’s¬†a timepiece that’s classic and eye-catching, and ever-so-slightly rugged. In short, the watch was the perfect everyday carry piece alongside my Brothers Leather Supply 810 Wallet¬†for exploring a bustling college town.

As is the case with many of my road trips, I feel they seem to go by too fast — and that’s definitely true¬†considering this one packed a ton into¬†a short amount of time! I’m always¬†left feeling very grateful — if a bit tired — for the chance to travel to great cities, see excellent music and yes, pack my favorite menswear. I’d say no trip is too short to put your best foot forward — and who can resist bringing along everyday carry pieces like a stylish casual watch or a great weekender bag, anyways? Oh, and about Young the Giant. There are moments during every live show that get me smiling and singing, and the Saturday night show was definitely filled with them. They have¬†no shortage¬†of tour dates through the rest of the year, so go see ’em — don’t forget to pack some stylish rock concert gear, ehh?

Until the next trip — thanks for reading and stay stylish,

-Beau

Fort Myers Festivities: Celebrating a Florida Christmas

Dressed for Christmas the Florida way. Printed shirt by Quiksilver. Chambray shorts by Canvas by Lands' End. Ripper Sneakers by Reef. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason. Glasses by Frameri.

Dressed for Christmas the Florida way. Printed shirt by Quiksilver. Chambray shorts by Canvas by Lands’ End. Ripper Sneakers by Reef. Nautical 3-Hand Watch by Jack Mason. Glasses by Frameri.

When the holiday season hits, I tend to think back to Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons spent in Michigan — who doesn’t love traditions of years gone by? With those memories in mind, it’s been a fun process the past three years to start new traditions in my parents’ adopted home of Fort Myers, and I always welcome the chance to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City for a warm and sunny Florida vacation. I traveled to Fort Myers last Christmas, and I get back every few months — including a recent visit for Thanksgiving — but it never gets old spending time in the sand and sun (especially when the alternative is dealing with a polar vortex in New York City).  Yes, the holiday season in Florida is always a treat, an adventure and a bit of a sight to behold — palm trees wrapped in Christmas lights looks a bit different. But it was great to be with family and friends, and I brought along as much stylish travel gear as I could pack.

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Gear fit for Florida and NYC. Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Kinzie Jeans by Mugsy Jeans. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Watch by Timex for J. Crew. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Wallet by Brothers Leather.

Surviving a frigid day in New York City and capping that off with a flight to breezy Florida is no joke, so I wore gear that could stand up to both challenges (the rest, I packed in my trusty, durable Owen & Fred weekender bag — but you knew that, right?). Of course, my packing list looked a lot different than my winter weekend in Baltimore, but I stuck with the ever-versatile Taylor Stitch Jack in Indigo Star Shirt,for starters. It’s as reliable and well-fitting of a casual shirt you can buy, and it provided a nice bit of contrast to my light wash Kinzie Jeans — they’re the perfect travel denim from Mugsy Jeans.
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For the day in NYC, I layered up with the heritage-inspired, ultra-comfortable Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, and accented the sporty sweatshirt with my comfortable and casual Brooks Academia Chariot Sneakers. They proved easy to slip on and off at the airport, and I’d wager they’ll work just as well for you the next time you travel. On the accessories front, I found my simple, effective (and unfortunately sold out!) Timex for J. Crew watch provided easygoing-yet-crisp travel style. And throughout my trip, I loved throwing on my vintage-inspired Huckberry Explorer’s Cap, a one-of-a-kind grey cotton flannel baseball cap with a navy felt “H” — for Huckberry, of course. So, that gear helped me make it to Florida in style — and it’s a good thing, as we had lots in store for Christmas weekend.

Looking out on a lovely day at Cayo Costa. Brando T-Shirt by Barking Irons. Swim Trunks by JackThreads. Gratton Sneakers by Fronteer. Expedition watch by Timex. Explorer's Cap by Huckberry. Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches.

Looking out on a lovely day at Cayo Costa. Brando T-Shirt by Barking Irons. Swim Trunks by JackThreads. Gratton Sneakers by Fronteer. Expedition watch by Timex. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. Runaway Aviators by MVMT Watches.

Getting some quality time out and about on the Florida water was in order for an early Friday boat excursion through the waterways of Fort Myers, from Cayo Costa State Park to Cabbage Key — both scenic islands with ample beach space. I stuck with a combination of gear both new and old, starting with my durable-as-heck FRONTEER Super Gratton high-top sneakers. I wore them on my last Florida trip and found they provided comfort and serious durability. A breathable, vintage-inspired Barking Irons Brando G.I. T-Shirt, courtesy of the New York-based design and apparel company, helped me stay cool on the water. Inspired by infantry T-shirts from the Vietnam era, the little details — like the scalloped hem and raised sleeves — make it a great pick-up. Of course, my JackThreads Swim Trunks were just as needed for the day, with their trim fit and neutral navy color. And my crisp, classic Timex Expedition field watch  on a tough black NATO strap held up more than fine, as did my MVMT Watches Runaway Aviators and my stylish — yet adventure-ready — Huckberry Explorer’s Cap.

With a day of exploration behind us and Christmas Eve ahead, it was time to look to the weekend. I did so with a mix of pieces both tropical-inspired — like my Quiksilver Sunset Tunnels Shirt — and my Canvas by Lands’ End shorts. Those pieces worked easily for a nice Christmas Eve dinner and some much-needed time in the sun. It felt slightly odd to not be bundled up on Christmas Eve as in past years, but some subtly stylish, comfortable black canvas Reef Ripper Sneakers helped me navigate the day in style, as did my Jack Mason Nautical 3-Hand Watch on a warm weather-friendly blue perlon strap. The watch, like the black canvas sneakers, proved just as stylish for exploring sunny Fort Myers as it did for grabbing a few brews and enjoy my family’s traditions — a classic Christmas Eve film and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas.” Doesn’t get much better, ehh?

An amazing Christmas featuring some great men's style essentials (of course. Vintage-style cotton sweater by Hillflint. Book by Esquire. Chocolate by Toblerone.

An amazing Christmas featuring some great men’s style essentials (of course. Vintage-style cotton sweater by Hillflint. Book by Esquire. Chocolate by Toblerone.

With a delicious Christmas Eve dinner complete, I went to bed with visions of my #menswear wish list dancing in my head (indulge me, will you?).  I hope you were able to come through with key shopping pick-ups of your own, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with what Santa left me under the tree this year. I was really lucky to get an amazing vintage Michigan State sweater from Hillflint — it’s a super-premium cotton knit piece that I’ll look forward to wearing on Saturday fall trips back to East Lansing and chilly weekends in NYC alike. I’m also looking forward to breaking out an amazingly high-quality Todd Snyder White Label dress shirt for New Year’s Eve, and I’ll be reminding myself of proper dress etiquette with Esquire’s “New Rules for Men,” a fun, informative and quick-hitting feature from the fantastic pages of the essential Hearst publication. I also snagged a great Ticketmaster gift card from Santa — so you can expect more live music and menswear in the coming year on the blog!  Needless to say, I’m definitely a fan of the Christmas season, and I’m very thankful for such a great day!

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Comfortable, crisp style essentials. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Alpha Stretch Khakis by Dockers. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Explorer’s Cap by Huckberry. 810 Wallet by Brothers Leather.

Given the need to put together a stylish New Year’s Eve outfit — not to mention those crucial menswear resolutions — I’m sure plenty of this gear will more than come in handy in the weeks ahead. Even moreso than those stellar gifts, it was a day that made me feel very lucky and grateful to spend it with my amazing family — that’s my true takeaway from this Florida trip (and of course, the added #menswear goodies will make it a bit hard to pack up for my flight home).  So with an overstuffed duffel bag packed for later this week, I reached for sharp essentials for another day today in Florida, starting with a classic Old Navy chambray shirt — casual but still crisp. And my Flint and Tinder Pocket T-Shirt proved a comfortable base layer. Because great style doesn’t stop with your top half, I reached for my slim-fitting, easily wearable Dockers Alpha Stretch Khakis and my  Brooks Academia Chariot Sneakers. When the occasion calls for simple style, I’d wager you’ll do just fine with similarly versatile, do-everything pieces like a classic chambray shirt and chinos.

So, what’s on the docket for the rest of the week? Definitely some rest, some reflection before 2017 and yes, plenty of planning for a stylish New Year’s Eve in New York City. You can stay tuned for business as usual tomorrow, starting with a winter style #OOTD, and continuing right on through to what to wear to ring in the new year via Wednesday’s style suggestion. Oh, and if you didn’t enter last week’s men’s lifestyle giveaway, do so before the 28th to win a Dick’s Sporting Goods gift card and get a jump on those fitness goals. At any rate, thanks so much for reading along — I hope you’ve had a stellar holiday season, and I hope you’re ready for lots more menswear on The Style Guide. Thanks, as always, for reading!

-Beau

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#OOTD: How to Dress for Fall Travel

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 will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here. Portions of this post use affiliate links, from which a small commission might be earned.

Can you believe we’re talking about fall travel — November travel, even —¬†today on the blog? The year, and this fall season in particular, has really flown by. So, maybe you’re looking ahead toward *cue audible gasp* what to wear for Thanksgiving, ¬†or perhaps you’re just looking ahead to what to wear when you travel next. For most of us, fall travel is a bit of a different animal than dressing for summer travel — while comfort and style are still top of mind, the temperatures are a bit colder (to say the least), and you need layers that move with you as you go. Let’s say you start in a chilly Northern city, but move through to a more temperate climate — the below bomber¬†jacket in this #OOTD can go in your durable weekender bag¬†as you travel. And the rest of the pieces are versatile, classic and easy to wear on the road. If that’s got you wondering what’s next, simply scroll down. If you’d like more menswear inspiration, check out The Style Guide on Facebook or check out yours truly on Twitter.

Mixing the classics - like a chambray shirt & denim -- with a comfortable bomber & travel accessories.

Mixing the classics – like a chambray shirt & denim — with a comfortable bomber & travel accessories.

The Jacket: Public Rec Crosstown Bomber Jacket, $128 — The makers of your favorite pair of everyday pants are back in a big way, namely with a heck of a wearable, comfortable and versatile bomber jacket. It’s the perfect travel layer to get you through a chilly morning and a warmer afternoon — at a very fair price, to boot.

The Shirt: Taylor Stitch Everyday Chambray Shirt in Charcoal Chambray, $118 — If you’re surprised that Taylor Stitch is the pick here, don’t be.¬† The Everyday Chambray is a slim, well-made four-season essential — so, perfect for fall travel.

The Denim: Flint & Tinder All-American Slim Tapered Jeans, $98 — Why go with dark blue denim here? Well, it’s another four-season essential, and this pair from Flint & Tinder is made in America with¬†a hint of stretch.

The Sneakers: Brooks Academia Chariot Sneakers, $79.99 — From summer weekends to fall travel, the Brooks Chariot Heritage series¬†gets it done — and the Academia is a¬†fall-centric update with a pattern inspired by professorial fabrics.

Huckberry

The Socks: Anonymous-ism Fair Isle Crew Socks, $25 (Available via East Dane) — The Anonymous-ism brand is a sleeper hit for fans of subtly designed, well-made socks, and the neat pattern here is another fall-centric bonus.

The Watch: Timex for J. Crew Watch, $128 — J. Crew’s third-party efforts are a consistent hit, and this simple, effective and subtly stylish watch is one of ’em — it’s low-key enough to wear on the plane, then to drinks after you land.

The Weekender Bag: Sword and Plough Blue Weekender Bag, $359 — Behind every company is a great story, and behind every guy is a great weekender bag — right? The Sword and Plough team repurposes military material for its products, and does a fine job with this stylish weekender bag.

The Finishing Touch: Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit, $40 (Available via East Dane) — Instead of hauling your toiletries around in a plastic bag, reach for a durable dopp kit — this one has served me well on trips from upstate New York to Washington, D.C.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

So that closes the curtain on another #OOTD — what did ya think? In this author’s opinion, a breathable, slim-fitting bomber jacket that merges athletic inspiration and a versatile color is a can’t-miss win. And when mixed with some of your favorite pieces — we’re talking American-made denim and a slim chambray shirt — it’s a surefire travel success. The grey sneakers add both texture and comfort to the outfit, while those red patterned socks offset the outfit’s darker shades with a slight touch of color. And, you can’t really go wrong with a straightforward, stylish casual watch¬†— that goes for your travel day, and that goes for a nice dinner afterwards. Wherever you’re headed this season and beyond, safe travels — and stay stylish!

-Beau

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#OOTD: How to Wear a Flannel Shirt for Fall

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 will take one great item and put together a versatile, stylish outfit around it. Look for past features here.

It’s been a few weeks since we had a proper #OOTD here on The Style Guide, so we’re getting back to business today. As fall weather rolls into your neck of the woods, perhaps you’ve been breaking out some of your favorite style essentials for the season. It’s a time much-loved around Style Guide HQ for that very reason — and your list of seasonal essentials should definitely include a flannel shirt. Now, cotton flannel fabric in a plaid pattern carries with it a bit of a negative stigma — it was¬†such a trendy staple for years that it might seem played out. But there are a few key ways you can break out a flannel shirt without looking as if you’re heading off to chop wood. The key starts, as always, with the fit of your shirt. Take that classic flannel fabric, slim it down (or size down) and pair it with a decidedly modern bomber jacket. Oh, that’s right — that’s what the below #OOTD is doing. Take a look below, follow your author on Instagram and follow The Style Guide on Facebook for your daily prescribed dose of #menswear.

Not too trendy, not too boring -- just right. A modern flannel shirt paired with other modern staples.

Not too trendy, not too boring — just right. A modern flannel shirt paired with other modern staples.

The Flannel Shirt: Eddie Bauer Favorite Flannel Shirt,¬†$49.99 — There are some brands you don’t mess with when it comes to flannel. Eddie Bauer’s been making these for years, and they’re comfortable, easily wearable and — here’s the key — slightly visually different in an engaging Baltic plaid pattern. Size down for a slightly trimmer fit, and wear it a ton.

The Bomber Jacket: Beckett Simonon Cole Bomber Jacket, $295 — The biggest key to making this look more modern than lumberjack? A beautiful calfskin suede bomber jacket in a trim fit. Treat this piece with care (I.e. Avoid the rain) and it should last through many seasons to come.

The Denim: Cheap Monday Sonic Denim (Available via East Dane), $90 — Learn more about a denim brand that could be a new favorite — we’re talking classic washes, nice fits and agreeable price points for the quality.

The Boots: Chippewa Original 6-Inch Service Boot in Cordovan, $269.98 — Does it get any better than ridiculously durable Chippewa boots, especially in Cordovan? Hardly. These boots¬†are the rugged complement to the slick bomber jacket — you’re wearing a flannel shirt, after all.

The Socks: American Trench Pima Cotton Houndstooth Socks, $18.98 — Textured socks in this particular color should play nicely off the deeper blue of the plaid flannel shirt — the American-made quality doesn’t hurt, either.

The Watch: Timex for J. Crew Andros Watch, $118 — J. Crew does many things quite well, and a few things very well — its collaborations with third-party partners rank high on that list.

The Belt: Rag & Bone Rugged Brass Belt. $150 (Available via East Dane) — Is $150 a lot for a belt? It certainly is. But Rag & Bone does essential basics without fuss — this durable belt falls within that category neatly.

The Everyday Carry: Taylor Stitch Raw Brass Keyhook, $32 — Goods from Taylor Stitch — from the brand’s Everyday Chambray Shirt to this keyhook — are as well-made as can be. Carry this thing everywhere, and never lose your keys again, yeah?

Again, the key with breaking out a flannel shirt revolves around picking a more unique color than the tried-and-true red-and-black combination, along with a slimmer fit. Of course, a sharp suede bomber jacket helps matters out, as do simple, clean accessories like a NATO strap watch and premium socks (yes, the socks do make a difference). Some of the picks are definitely pricey, but as we always say, they can serve as a nice reward, and a reminder of the quality you get when you pay a bit (or a lot) extra for everyday goods. Got any questions on this #OOTD? Or would you swap in a few different brands? Hit me up on Twitter.
Check back tomorrow for another fall-centric style suggestion — and until then…
Stay stylish,
-Beau

 

Online Shopping Picks: The 5 Best Men’s Watches to Buy Now

Editor’s note: To feast your eyes on all kinds of #menswear shopping picks, click over here.

Curious about what casual watch you need in your arsenal? Read on. The Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray is pictured here. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Sneakers by Reef. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake.

Curious about what casual watch you need in your arsenal? Read on. The Stuhrling Aquadiver Manta Ray is pictured here. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Sneakers by Reef. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake.

Look down at your right wrist. Now, look down at your left wrist. Do you have a great watch on? Yes? No? Can’t tell? I’m here to help you sort that out today. When it comes to style upgrades, there’s no messing about here at The Style Guide.¬†As a guy constantly on the hunt for a great watch, it’s an area that’s been a focus for me as of late — we even covered off on some more men’s watches on a budget last spring, so it’s high time to get after it again. And although it might not be the first thing you look to buy for yourself (whether you’ve owned a timepiece before or not), it can play a pretty crucial role in tying together an outfit. The right accessories just work that way.¬†And while a casual watch might seem a bit out of place, we’re looking today for watches that you’d wear to, say, a relaxed spring bar crawl or a casual Sunday brunch, not to a boardroom meeting.¬†Specifically, look for something Bond might wear in the Moroccan desert — you see where we’re headed with this?¬†The below picks definitely reflect that spirit of adventure without the high price tag¬†— casual in nature, ready for spring and summer (and beyond), and designed with a¬†slightly more rugged feel in mind. If you think I missed any pieces, give me a holler on Twitter! Talk to you soon!

#1. Timex Waterbury — $100

A unique offering from a brand that does casual watches very well.

A unique offering from a brand that does casual watches very well.

Note that the original Timex Weekender could very well fill this top spot, too — it was¬†a close call! But the brand so well-known for that style is doing something a little different with its Waterbury line. These watches blend rugged style, like that slightly aged leather strap, with a simple contrasting design on the dial and no real frills anywhere. It’s the perfect watch to grab when you want to mimic a leather dress watch without such a minimal look (like at that Sunday brunch).¬†The price is definitely tough to beat no matter where else you look — it’ll take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’, to quote the brand.

#2. Daniel Wellington Classic Glasgow 40mm Silver Watch, $195

A style Bond would be proud to wear -- the merger of a dress watch and a sport-inspired strap.

A style Bond would be proud to wear — the merger of a dress watch and a sport-inspired strap.

For those who prefer a slightly more crisp watch merged with the sporty nature of a NATO strap, here’s your winner. Daniel Wellington has taken the ultra-minimal design and thin case of a dress watch for its Classic Glasgow¬† and done it up in a sharp silver color. The striped white-and-blue NATO strap is practically begging to be worn alongside a slim pocket tee and a great pair of summer shorts — even if it looks a tad too dressy at first, a watch this well-designed can work with any outfit (just be sure to keep it out of the water — it’s not built to go quite that far).

#3. Timex for J. Crew Vintage Army Field Watch — $98

Based on a decades-old archival design, this watch is worth the higher price tag compared to other Timex watches.

Based on a decades-old archival design, this watch is worth the higher price tag compared to other Timex watches.

J. Crew continues to knock it out of the park when it comes to partnering with renowned third-party brands, and this particular watch has surely ended up on many a style wish list over the years because of that. The Timex for J. Crew timepiece in question is based on a style from the Timex archives that dates back to the 1940s — talk about timeless. The olive strap is neutral enough to match with almost anything, and the simple case markings and smaller case diameter make this one subtle, stylish watch — to say it’s perfect for a backyard barbeque would be an understatement.

#4. KOMONO Winston Heritage Chambray — $99.95

Chambray on a watch strap? Can't go wrong.

Chambray on a watch strap? Can’t go wrong.

While chambray as a shirting or trouser fabric is versatile enough to rock year-round, it’s not often seen on watch straps. In this instance though, the KOMONO Winston Heritage¬†would be a unique, eye-catching addition to your watch collection — it’s just different enough visually from a brown leather watch to make it worth your time (pun intended). The acid wash chambray strap is a neat finishing touch that would play nicely off inky selvedge denim and a navy crewneck, and it would also work alongside a slim short-sleeve henley and light wash jeans this spring. Casual in nature, ya dig?

#5. Stuhrling Original Aquadiver Manta Ray Watch — $48.40

Ultra-tough and ultra-dependable, this rubber-strap Stuhrling watch just works.

Ultra-tough and ultra-dependable, this rubber-strap Stuhrling watch just works.

By far the most casual and least expensive watch on this list, perhaps the Stuhrling Aquadiver¬†is what you had in mind when thinking “casual watch.” A rubber strap watch is certainly the most rugged and dependable among this group, and it even performs just as a stainless steel dive watch might — that is, you can rock it in the water, on land and everywhere in between. It’s a heck of a steal for under $50, and my personal timepiece is still going strong after more than two years of use (read the full review here).

With a dearth of casual watches on the market, cutting any list off at five is tough. But brands that do dress watches well (like Daniel Wellington) also have the market cornered with more casual timepieces. MVMT Watches delivers options that certainly drift a bit louder in terms of style (like this all-black, rugged watch), but they could be a wise pickup if you’re a fan of the brand. If you fancy yourself a watch collector with some cash to burn, you could feasibly snag the same watch worn by James Bond in Spectre. Oh, man. On the slightly cheaper side of things, Shinola is even manufacturing super-rugged, sport-inspired watches that might be worth a look. If building up your watch collection is a goal of yours, start with the basics — like a¬†brown leather dress watch — and then move into the more casual realm with picks that serve a twofold purpose. As for me? I think this list isn’t a bad place to start.

Until next time,

Stay stylish,

-Beau