Music City Menswear: Exploring Nashville in Style

Taking in a relaxing Nashville Saturday at Barista Parlor. Wearing my new Original Penguin Bedford Cord 5-Pocket Pants and a special pair of 125th Anniversary Wingtip Boots from Florsheim!

There are certain places that I’ve put on my growing personal travel bucket list in recent years — places that constantly pull me away from New York as much as I love it. And if you read The Style Guide regularly, you know that I love to get out and about in style, from exploring Brooklyn to hopping on a flight to Chicago and Lollapalooza 2017 recently. When the chance came up to take a weekend trip to Nashville, a city that’s as hyped as any for any its blend of live music, culinary delights and a cool atmosphere, I jumped on it. My parents have loved Nashville for years, so it’s ¬†definitely been on my radar — but as I started planning out my fall travel style earlier this year, I knew I wanted to pack in as much as possible when it came to seeing the Music City. That meant this weekend was filled with #menswear, craft beer and of course, live music — namely, a high-energy, passion-packed show from Young the Giant, supported by Cold War Kids and Joywave! Of course, if you follow me on Instagram you’re familiar with my trip — and if not, come along for the ride.

The right mix of sharp, versatile travel gear for getting from NYC to Nashville.

Getting to Nashville is no easy feat — as it were, I had to catch a¬†very¬†early flight out of NYC, but that left me with nearly a full day in the Music City. How did I dress to go from the plane to my airBNB and beyond? Funny you should ask. I did my best at dressing to travel in style, while also keeping in mind the fact that I had to dress for a rock concert later — a tricky balance. For versatile layering and crisp style, ¬†I threw on a classic navy Oxford from Mott and Bow, a recent introduction to the brand’s line. The classic Oxford shirt meshed well with my new Abercrombie and Fitch denim, built with stretch for comfort and finished in a slightly faded shade of black. On the footwear front, my¬†Florsheim Forward Lo Sneakers in a handsome shade of brown leather offset the combo nicely — I’ve found these sneakers work quite well for concerts and travel alike, as I also wore them trekking to see The Killers in New Jersey earlier this year. Of course, I had to take along other handy everyday carry essentials, including the always-essential Bespoke Post Vibes Box, featuring my LSTN Sound Co. Fillmore Headphones.

And for a full day of exploring Nashville — including a post-flight stop at the famed (and aptly named) Mas Tacos Por Favor — these sneakers proved similarly stylish. With striking yet subtly stylish design and durable construction, my Electric California Carroway Leather Watch¬†worked for day-to-night style. Of course, I prepped for the show by plugging into my reliable Bespoke Post Vibes Box, featuring the eye-catching LSTN Sound Co. Fillmore Headphones. So, that was the gear I brought with me — and it helped me navigate Nashville stylishly and effectively. For what it’s worth, if you’ve got your own Nashville trip coming up, I can’t recommend the crisply designed, jam-packed Nashville Field Guide from Wildsam, full of interesting tidbits and useful information on hidden gems throughout the city.

Hanging out at the well-appointed imogene + willie on a lovely Nashville Friday. My Florsheim Forward Lo Lace-up Sneakers and Abercrombie & Fitch denim were perfect for getting around!

Nashville really is a city packed with something for everyone — it’s revered for its vibrant music scene, and it’s also full of craftsmen and women who put serious care into everything from excellent food to craft beer; my Wildsam Field Guide helped me figure that out in a hurry. With rugged dark denim, workwear-inspired basics and plenty of attention to detail throughout, imogene + willie is a terrific Nashville example of simple goods made very well — and the handsomely appointed storefront is a joy to explore in its own right. ¬†And equally important — it’s close by to 12 South Taproom, a down-home bar with a great selection of tasty, refreshing beer. Speaking of craft beer: Hops and Crafts also stood out for its mix of industrial style and premium craft brews, plus gourmet bites. In short, it was a worthwhile pre-show stop!

Even with a full day exploring Nashville in the rearview mirror, I still had an amazing Friday night ahead. With its prime riverfront location and excellent sight lines, Ascend Amphitheater proved a stellar venue for a night of live music — it’s certainly not as revered as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, but it was still a treat to see three excellent bands throughout the night. Cold War Kids have long been a favorite, and I had the chance to see them debut their rollicking new album, “Love Is Mystical,” earlier this year in Brooklyn. It was absolutely a treat to see them play a longer show — recent classics like the joyous “Miracle Mile” mesh nicely with fresh hits like the album’s title track and of course, throwback cuts off 2006’s still-excellent “Robbers and Cowards.” They’re a band that’s worth seeing just for that album alone, and they certainly made their mark opening for Young the Giant (alongside Rochester, New York-based five-piece Joywave).

I had seen Young the Giant in New Haven earlier this year, and the band’s packed setlist proved alluring enough to see them again. Recent jams like “Silvertongue” and “Amerika” brought an energetic crowd to their feet just as easily as huge indie radio hits like “Cough Syrup” and “Apartment” — powerful tracks like ¬†“Something to Believe In,” off last year’s “Home of the Strange” also helped set the tone early. This is a band with swagger, confidence and cool, eclectic style — in large part thanks to lead singer Sameer Gadhia’s voice and sharp fashion sense. Young the Giant has been on the road for a while in support of this albun, so they also sounded tight and crisp — a great band to watch in a big live setting, complete with a cold beer or two. That’s perhaps the best way to start a trip — at least, I think so. And the best part? My weekend trip gave me the chance to explore even more of the city Again, if you want to cover a ton of ground quickly and effectively, I’d urge you to pick up the Wildsam Nashville Field Guide.

The best gear for getting around Nashville in style — don’t you agree? The Wildsam Field Guide helped me see the city in style, too!

I always relish the chance to dress in casual weekend style — that’s where my Grayers Montreaux Windbreaker continues to come in handy. ¬†From taking in live music at NYC’s Panorama 2017 to traveling to Chicago last month, this jacket can do it all — so it proved a crisp, classic layer atop my DSTLD Midnight Blue Denim Shirt, done up in a deep midnight blue and crafted from breathable cotton. Fall calls for a transition to more earthen, faded colors in terms of trousers, too. A new pair of tailored Original Penguin Bedford Cord 5-Pocket Pants¬†offered go-anywhere style that helped me bounce from a crucial weekend kickstarter — coffee at the fantastic, industrially appointed CREMA — to a stop at¬†rocker Jack White’s revered Third Man Records outpost. Of course, I kept on time through each stop with an old favorite, the durable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono¬†— truly, the Timex Waterbury collection is perfect if you want a rugged watch fit for travel and exploration.¬†If your next trip calls for lots of time spent on your feet, reach for versatile trousers in a fall-ready shade, then finish off your look with a pair of comfortable-yet-rugged boots, like Florsheim’s ¬†125th Anniversary Wingtip Boots as seen above.¬†


My Saturday wasn’t done yet, though. Now that we’re into fall, I absolutely had to see my beloved Michigan State Spartans kick off another football Saturday — even away from my home base of Brooklyn, Nashville features quite a few loyal Spartan fans.¬†Bar Louie in the Gulch¬†offers everything you could want when it comes to taking in a game, from a fun crowd to delicious craft beer to monstrously good burgers like the Spiked Bulleit Bourbon Burger. Spartan fan or not, it’s tough to pass up a finely crafted beer and a good burger, right? That’s also where Pinewood Social¬†came into play later on in the night. The cavernous location is a handsomely appointed cocktail bar/gourmet restaurant/work space/game center complete with a bowling alley and an outdoor pool — ideal for taking in the sights and sounds of Nashville after an MSU game. What more could you want on a Saturday night on the road? Not too much, folks.

Rugged picks for a Nashville Sunday, including new slim light wash denim from DSTLD, a rugged leather belt from Saddleback Leather and a handy dopp kit for travel, also from Saddleback Leather.

Sunday brought my Nashville trip to a close, but not before plenty of exploration in and around the city itself. Before leaving town, I absolutely knew I had to stop at a classic spot in the city — that’d be Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish. ¬†I turned my attention toward menswear next; that meant a stop at a favorite outpost, Billy Reid. With shops from Chicago to Charleston, Mr. Reid’s handsome, premium menswear embodies cool, versatile and breezy Southern style with a modern look and feel. As it were, that’s what I tried to do when it came to my Sunday travel style. Even casual outfits should start with classic footwear — my all-new CLAE Gregory Mid Sneakers featured a neat monochromatic color scheme and plenty of all-day comfort. They were an easygoing complement to my DSTLD Slim Light Wash Jeans¬†even though we’re getting into fall, there’s still plenty of time to break out your favorite slim light wash jeans, preferably alongside stylish sneakers and rugged accessories — my Saddleback Leather 4-Stitch Leather Belt was a key piece throughout the weekend and should break in quite nicely. Other essentials were in the mix, too — a stylish chambray shirt from JackThreads layered easily over a rugged short-sleeve henley from Abercrombie & Fitch. It was, unfortunately, time to head to the airport all too soon — I’m glad I dressed in comfort, though!¬†When you’ve got a long flight ahead of you but still want to look great, reach for a classic pair of high-top leather sneakers — like the CLAE Gregory Mid seen above.¬†

If you’re heading to Nashville soon, well, I just can’t recommend the city enough. It’s packed with hidden gems, neat breweries, cool menswear, a terrific music scene and of course, something for every culinary taste. From live music to menswear to a dash of college football, this past weekend had it all — I’m thankful my¬†Wildsam Nashville Field Guide¬†helped me go off the beaten path a bit, too. It was a great trip to kick off what should be a great fall season — and as always, you can follow along with my travels here on the blog or on Instagram. ¬†Let me know — are you hitting the road soon? Where are you headed?

Until the next trip — thanks for reading!

-Beau

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#OOTD: Versatile Suiting with AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole

Editor’s note: Thank you to¬†Men’s Wearhouse¬†and the Men’s Health MVP Network for sponsoring today’s post. Thanks for reading!

On the go with a comfortable, slim-fitting and flexible suit jacket. Denim shirt C/O Forever21 Men. Plaid wool tie and patterned pocket square by Ties.com. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

On the go with a comfortable, slim-fitting and flexible suit from the AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole line. Denim shirt C/O Forever21 Men. Plaid wool tie and patterned pocket square by Ties.com. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

If you follow along with The Style Guide on Instagram or Twitter — or peruse many of this site’s rugged fall style posts, you know that it’s not too often that I suit up. But when I do throw on a shirt, tie and a slim-cut suit, there’s no question that I want that suit to fit, look and feel great. That’s what’s so refreshing about the AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole collection, and that’s why it was a treat to partner with them on this post via the Men’s Health MVP Network. Lest you think we’re throwing out all of those rugged, casual menswear tips and starting from scratch, fear not — there’s plenty more where that came from. But I know that I’ll certainly be more inclined to suit up thanks to the comfort, technology and attention to detail in the new AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole line (sold exclusively at Men’s Wearhouse).

The line features the brand’s AWEAR-TECH¬†technology, part of a larger line featuring the brand’s patented 37.5 technology. It’s a run of tailored clothing — from dress shirts ($89) to full suits, as seen here¬†($649) — made to remove moisture when it’s hot, and retain warmth when it’s cold. In fact, technology in the suit is made to remove sweat before it even forms. Sound too good to be true? Well, stay with me. It’s performance sports fabric with a¬†tailored touch, perfect for today’s fast-moving menswear world. Yes, the AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole line is definitely made with performance in mind, and that’s what makes it such a great fit for my lifestyle. Between my day job and dashing around town to events in NYC, I value comfort, performance and sharp looks. The AWEARNESS collection nails that balance nicely, as I found out while exploring some of my favorite haunts in Brooklyn, particularly the delicious Fawnker for an essential weekend Bloody Mary. The suit is lightweight, moves easily and is very comfortable — all huge bonuses.

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Just the right combination for a Sunday Bloody Mary at Fawnker in Brooklyn. Denim shirt C/O Forever21 Men. Plaid wool tie and patterned pocket square by Ties.com. Colorblocked socks by Richer Poorer. Leather chukka boots by Beckett Simonon. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

The AWEAR-Tech Suit in particular is the type of easy-to-wear, versatile suit that pairs crisply¬†with a denim shirt and a wool tie for essential fall style —¬†I’d recommend you add a dash¬†of timeless appeal with classic leather chukka boots and a rugged leather watch. Of course, there’s more¬†than style and performance woven into the collection.¬†One percent of all¬†everyday gross sales¬†will go¬†toward Hire Heroes USA and Help USA, both organizations that benefit military veterans with a variety of services and help them transition back into the workforce. It’s an admirable cause that blends great style with community engagement — and who doesn’t love that?¬† You can pick up items from the AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole line exclusively at Men’s Wearhouse — and I’d suggest you do so before your first holiday party or a big business trip, as there’s no other suiting that can keep you cool under pressure … and support¬†a great cause in the process.

Shop the AWEARNESS Kenneth Cole line now. Thanks again for reading!

Heading north: A weekend in Upstate New York

Editor’s note: To check out more northeast travel style, click here.

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The right gear for a rugged fall day. Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket by Johnston & Murphy. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie and Fitch. Slim-Fit Tapered Leg X-Series Denim by Dickies. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. North Fork Leather Fedora by Goorin Brothers. Glasses by Frameri.

If you’ve been following along with us at The Style Guide in this grand fall #menswear adventure, you know that I love to travel. It seems that theme has come up quite a bit, but there’s something about certain times of year —¬†especially fall —¬†that I associate with great vistas and great travel. Be it heading northeast to Providence to see an all-time favorite band (that would be Local Natives) to stopping through my home state of Michigan last month, this season has been a terrific time to hit the road with my favorite menswear gear in tow.¬† And in the case of this past weekend, that took me to the lovely upstate town of Hudson — it came highly recommended to me via my good friend & fellow blogger Alex Luckey, and seeing as I’m never one to pass up a chance to get out of the city and relax, I had to do it. How does one travel in style from NYC to a quiet town of about 7,000? I set out to do just that.

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More fall exploration around the rustic outskirts of Hudson. Faux Shearling Aviator Jacket by Johnston & Murphy. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie and Fitch. Slim-Fit Tapered Leg X-Series Denim by Dickies. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Tweed Ripley Cap by Kangol. Glasses by Frameri.

Now, I had traveled upstate on¬†a Memorial Day trip earlier this summer, but Hudson presented its own set of challenges. It was a chilly Friday morning in New York City, and chillier upstate.¬† I knew my Johnston & Murphy Faux Shearling Aviator would more than stand up to a crisp fall breeze — and¬†it did so¬†while providing great value.¬†The fit is relatively slim, but I had more than enough room to comfortably layer my rugged Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt and a trusty long-sleeve henley underneath. The multi-layered combo was perfect for the lovely autumn weather and the quaint, cultured small town of Hudson. For a denim option fit for both NYC and upstate, I grabbed my Dickies X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg 5-Pocket Pant¬†— it’s a comfortable, well-fitting and affordable pair of ringpsun cotton pants with a hint of stretch. I topped the look off with the seasonally appropriate Kangol Tweed Ripley Cap and a pair of seriously tough CAT Footwear Sutter Boots — talk about mixing function and fashion. Of course, I also couldn’t resist the urge to break out a sharp,¬†vintage-inspired North Fork Leather Fedora¬†from Goorin Brothers¬†— it’s a beautiful hat that I picked it up at the brand’s terrific West Village shop at a neat event hosted with Courvoisier Cognac. Now, a wide-brimmed leather fedora might not be for everyone, but it might very well move into my rotation soon. In short, the combination was perfect for a day exploring Hudson.¬†The next time you find yourself moving quickly from one spot to the other, an easy-to-wear leather jacket, layers to combat the cold¬†and tough leather boots are key.

Now, what exactly is there to do in a small upstate town? Actually, a heck of a lot. Hudson has quickly developed a reputation as a burgeoning enclave for outstanding arts and culture — the small town plays host to¬†well over a dozen¬†art galleries that display a mix of modern, contemporary pieces and local works. On top of that, there’s a vibrant music and film¬†scene, starting with the reclaimed¬†industrial Basilica Hudson complex,¬†as seen above¬†—¬†the space¬†hosts both experimental music performances and weekly film screenings. Plus, there’s a treasure trove of vintage, vintage-inspired and reclaimed clothing —¬†particularly at Artists and Revolutionaries,¬†seen at the top of this post. ¬†And as the city’s cultural scene has grown,¬†a really excellent¬†gourmet food scene has sprung up — that was evident on my first stop of the trip. A quick caffeine jolt was crucial at Rev Coffee, known for its well-curated approach to roasting and pastries.¬†The town’s proximity to the gorgeous Hudson River waterfront is also prime — the scenery and fresh air was much needed coming from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

Make no mistake, once you amble away from the water, there are still plenty of places to explore. Part lodge, part bar, part shop and full of rustic, rugged vibes. W.M. Farmer & Sons was nearly worth the trip in and of itself. This stunning outpost serves¬†up home goods, lifestyle wares and a heck of a meal¬†— along with an accompanying hotel.¬†Even in Brooklyn, there’s really nothing like it — and that’s mighty refreshing. With a coffee bar that’s open daily and a strong selection of craft beer¬†and cocktails — including a tasty bourbon-and-cider concoction known as the Bear Trap — you could certainly kill a few hours hanging out in this beautiful space.¬†Yes, with my aviator¬†jacket, tweed cap and rugged Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, I felt like I fit right in with the location’s old-time charm. Oh, and I’d highly recommend the the Cast Iron Bar Burger if you’re feeling hungry.¬†A delicious gourmet meal definitely called for a nightcap at the neat, eclectic and pleasingly minimal OR Gallery and Tavern, an Iceland-inspired, converted auto garage that serves as a bar, gallery and accessories¬†shop. Their refreshing selection of¬†craft beer¬†was topped only by the night’s festivities — a neat, intimate performance from Nico Turner of long-running, eclectic rock outfit¬†Cat Power. Again, the ambiance was entirely unique for an upstate trip — and my daytime gear took me right on through to a chilly night in style.

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Enjoying a coffee in the crisp fall air outside the OR Gallery and Tavern. Waxed Cotton Field Jacket by Johnston & Murphy. Striker Sweater by Johnnie-O. White Oxford by Todd Snyder. Kinzie Denim by Mugsy Jeans. Plaid scarf by Ties.com Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri. Cognac Suede Wingtips by Thursday Boots.

Even with an active Friday in the books, Saturday called for more exploration yet. Even for a smaller town, Hudson is filled with neat sights around every corner — and when you start the day off with¬†a stop at MOTO Coffee/Machine, you’re sure to fuel up the right way (trust me …. I love my coffee).¬† And luckily, my gear was more than up to the fall weather. I took on a chilly morning with my Johnston & Murphy Waxed Cotton Field Jacket, a heritage-inspired piece with plenty of durability. It layered easily over a slim, soft and comfortable Striker Sweater from¬†the fine prep clothiers at Johnnie-O — don’t sleep on the quality of the brand’s knitwear, as it’s undoubtedly worth the investment. My Ties.com Syracuse Fringed Scarf helped me fight the afternoon breeze, too. And the mix of sporty and heritage gear was offset nicely by a versatile Todd Shelton White Oxford. I finished off the look with a pair of Kinzie Jeans¬†from Mugsy Jeans — they’re cut with room to move, ¬†perfect for exploring a hip town in style. They offered a casual contrast alongside my tough, durable Cognac Suede Wingtips from the fine folks at Thursday Boots¬†— they’re a brand-new offering for the company, and they’re worth the purchase.¬†The combination was nicely offset again by my reliable, handsome Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono.

Beckett Simonon

As the day presented with it plenty of exploration, I was more than happy to have trusty gear with me for the ride. From a rich coffee to gallery strolling and menswear shopping at the immensely well-curated Mutiny NY, I¬†was more than happy to have the chance to visit such a neat,¬†diverse and¬†thoughtful town on a beautiful fall Saturday. Mutiny NY¬†in particular represented some of the best menswear shopping on the Hudson — we’re talking brands from¬†The Hill-Side to Universal Works.¬†Topping the day off with an excellent mackerel dish at the rustic-yet-refined Fish & Game proved a neat¬†capper¬†to an overnight trip that felt longer, yet moved too quick —¬†isn’t that always the way it goes?

Of course, there’s also nothing quite like heading¬†right back¬†into the city and¬†zipping downtown to a¬†buzzed-about concert, right? Mysterious, ethereal Brooklyn-based¬†trio Wet¬†¬†— past openers for personal favorite¬†CHVRCHES — put on¬†what one can only describe as a vibey, groovy show to rival¬†Beach House. That they filled up the¬†sometimes-cavernous Grand Ballroom at Webster Hall is to be applauded — and it was certainly worth the quick turnaround from train station to concert! Crucially, my tough waxed field jacket and durable suede wingtip boots more than fit in with the eclectic style found at a rock conert. Talk about a heck of an end to a great day, and a great trip!

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A casual-yet-premium Johnnie-O wool overshirt, sport-inspired CLAE x JackThreads sneakers and tapered FOURLAPS sweatpants — the perfect set of Sunday pieces, finished off with a Club Monaco cashmere hat and the Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono.

As with any whirlwind trip, Sunday brought with it the need for some much-needed relaxation time. Luckily, I found my Sunday gear to be on-point all the way through. The team at FOURLAPS makes athletic basics that merge comfort with simple style, and its Rush Joggers are a prime example — perfect for a casual day around Brooklyn, in fact. I paired those up with more easygoing style, starting with the Johnnie-O Pines Shacket, a well-made, soft wool shirt-jacket made from an incredibly soft fabric blend. It matched easily with my Flint and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley, the perfect seasonal layering piece. To complement a look that was equal parts sporty and stylish, I stuck with my CLAE x JackThreads Strayhorn Mid Sneakers — the grey wool provided a touch of fall-ready textured, and the neat chukka silhouette offered some nice contrast to my tapered sweats. Now, am I saying you should step out for Sunday brunch in sweatpants? Not necessarily. But when the occasion calls for some relaxation and delicious coffee at the likes of Willamsburg shop Homecoming, it’s probably OK.

As with plenty of recent weekend travels, this past weekend brought with it some of my favorite things — a bit of fall travel to an amazing upstate town, a ton of stylish menswear, some delicious gourmet food and¬†a requisite helping of live music. To top it all off with a relaxing Sunday and some Williamsburg exploration was really great — with so many opportunities nearby and just down the road, I’m very thankful to live in New York City. Let’s not forget everyone who reads this blog — thank you! I hope you enjoy¬†reading it as much as I¬†enjoy writing it.¬†I think that’s as fitting a way as possible heading into Thanksgiving. Curious as to what you should wear? Stick around later this week for a Thanksgiving style suggestion.

Oh, and in the meantime? Stay stylish!

-Beau

Huckberry

Go Green: An October weekend at Michigan State

Editor’s note: To check out my last travel style post, click here.

From NYC to East Lansing in a matter of hours. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Slim denim by Dickies. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather chukkas by Beckett Simonon. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred.

From NYC to East Lansing in a matter of hours. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. Chambray shirt by Old Navy. Slim denim by Dickies. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather chukkas by Beckett Simonon. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred.

First of all — Happy Halloween, Style Guide readers! I spent this past weekend not in New York, but on the road¬†in my home state of Michigan.¬†There’s no question that your author loves to travel. It’s been a big theme this year, from¬†menswear trips to Las Vegas¬†to a fall weekend in Providence. Of course, when the leaves start to turn and college football season kicks off, there’s hardly a place I’d rather be for a fall weekend than on the campus of my alma mater, Michigan State University. It’s a place that holds many special memories, without a doubt. It’s been a down year for my Michigan State Spartans, but this past weekend also brought forth a rivalry that runs deep in my blood — the Michigan-Michigan State college football showdown. From my days growing up 15 minutes down the road from East Lansing to my time at Michigan State’s student newspaper — and the resulting “friendly” football game versus Michigan’s own paper — it always got me excited about my school, and infinitely proud to be a Spartan. It was with that in mind that I hit the road early on Friday morning¬†— and brought along #menswear that was fit for a chilly, casual Michigan weekend, of course.

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Just the right mix of casual pieces for a chilly travel day to Michigan. Alpine Guide Sweater by Alps & Meters. X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Denim by Dickies. Leather chukka boots by Beckett Simonon. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Ranger Gloves by Grifter.

Just as with my fall weekend in Providence, I brought along classic, transitional pieces that could work for long travel days and active time in the Lansing area. Given temperatures in the 50s in both Michigan and NYC on Friday, I grabbed the Alpine Guide Sweater courtesy of the premium¬†outdoor lifestyle and snow gear brand Alps & Meters. With a blend of lambswool and waxed cotton, the Guide Sweater¬†was a neat, easily wearable piece that layered comfortably over my Old Navy chambray shirt for simple travel style. My Beckett Simonon chukka boots proved similarly versatile for catching a flight,¬†then enjoying lunch and some very high-quality brews at East Lansing’s HopCat (along with the travel-ready Dickies X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg¬†Jean). Sometimes, you just need pieces that get you where you need to go while looking great, and that’s where the durable Grifter Ranger Gloves also came in handy — literally — throughout the weekend.¬† I also¬†packed¬†my ever-dependable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono for weekend wear– tough, durable pieces make for a stylish outfit whether you’re heading back to campus as an alumni or getting around in style as a student.

Collegiate gear from Tailgate Clothing and a team watch from Jack Mason, blended with the Forever21 Button Denim Jacket and Grounder Hi-Tops from Todd Snyder & P.F. Flyers.

Collegiate gear from Tailgate Clothing and a team watch from Jack Mason, blended with the Forever21 Button Denim Jacket and Grounder Hi-Tops from Todd Snyder & P.F. Flyers. Don’t forget that Owen & Fred bottle opener…

The trip back to East Lansing and a¬†much-anticipated Saturday football game¬†presented a challenge — it’s not been until recently that college team gear could be functional, spirited and stylish, so what’s a guy to do? Given the challenge of¬†navigating a campus tailgate¬†in style,¬†I packed away my trusty Tailgate Clothing team tee and Jack Mason team watch, both fairly priced pieces that are a step up from standard college athletic gear¬† (unfortunately,¬†both places¬†also stock Michigan Wolverines apparel). You can definitely still break out regular team athletic¬†gear if you’ve got it, but when you can snag a Tailgate Clothing tee for just over $30, I say go for that style upgrade. The Jack Mason¬†watch, too, is durable, low-key and subtly stylish thanks to the black dial, sleek dark green logo and black rubber strap — all great things when you might be more focused on grilling or snagging a beer at your tailgate. The breezy Michigan weather meant I could layer up stylishly with the Button Denim Jacket courtesy of Forever21 Men, which proved to be a nice midweight layer and a sharp complement to my durable, comfortable Todd Snyder + P.F. Flyers Grounder Hi-Top sneakers. The sneakers, with their hard-wearing black rubber sole and lined toe cap, were more than ready for time spent on foot reacquainting myself with the beautiful Michigan State campus and downtown East Lansing.

Regardless of the score — admittedly closer than expected —¬†I was definitely still happy to come back given the chance to re-connect with great friends and explore a campus that really does hold a¬†lot of memories for me. And with every trip back, I remember why I love classic East Lansing spots like the Peanut Barrel¬†and Crunchys — if there’s a college-town combo better than a Long Island and a burger from the Peanut Barrel, or a brew at Crunchys, I’m listening.¬† So it nearly goes without saying that I was happy to visit some of those spots, if only briefly — and in spite of a Michigan State loss. Another chilly day on Sunday brought with it a final brunch at the new, refined Capital Vine in Lansing — swing through if you’re in need of a Bloody Mary and an excellent omelette.

Casual Sunday brunch gear, anyone? Slim-Fit Chambray Shirt by Forever21 Men. Pocket Sweatshirt by Todd Snyder x Champion. Royale Court Sneakers by GREATS Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage.

Casual Sunday brunch gear, anyone? Pocket-Front Denim Shirt by Forever21 Men. Pocket Sweatshirt by Todd Snyder x Champion. Royale Court Sneakers by GREATS Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

For comfortable, casual travel style, it’s tough to beat gear from the ever-reliable, ever-stylish Todd Snyder x¬†Champion collaboration. In this instance, the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt, made from soft French terry in a slim fit, was the perfect layering pick atop my Pocket-Front Denim Shirt courtesy of Forever21 Men. My Slim-Fit Cargo Pants, also from Forever21 Men, added a bit of utilitarian style and plenty of comfort, too.¬†And the whole combo was offset by the durable GREATS Royale Court, definitely another seasonally appropriate pick-up. Crucially, the excellent Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt¬†was the ideal fall sweatshirt, particularly when you look at subtle style details like the raglan sleeve stitching and front chest pocket. Yessir, Todd Snyder certainly knows what he’s doing. Again, if you’ve got a chilly fall weekend ahead and want to dress in style, simple-yet-essential pick-ups like the Pocket Sweatshirt from the great folks at Huckberry¬†¬†are going to get the job done.
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Stylish travel gear aside, I was certainly beyond happy to get back to Michigan in style for a fall weekend. It was a classic East Lansing weekend, from time spent roaming campus to time spent inside the hallowed Spartan Stadium — yes, even with the loss. The fall foliage and classic Michigan weather really made it all the more enjoyable — this menswear writer sure does love fall. And of course, the chance to see friends and family topped it all off — along with that Crunchy’s burger, of course. The next time you’ve got to hit the road for a casual fall weekend, I’d recommend you load up with everything from the Todd Snyder x Champion Pocket Sweatshirt¬†to a tough, durable set of Beckett Simonon chukka boots. If you’ve got more questions on what to pack for your next trip to Michigan (or elsewhere), join us at The Style Guide Facebook page or on Twitter.

Until the next travel weekend — stay stylish,

-Beau

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Style Pick of the Week: Danner x New Balance miUSA 585 Sneakers

Editor’s note: Expect these posts weekly detailing one standout item coveted by yours truly. Sometimes, these fit within budgetary restrictions and other times, they’re expensive splurges worth saving for. For more Wish List items from Beau, head here, and to see other Style Picks, head here.

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Contemplating the weekend in NYC’s Bryant Park — during a Friday lunch break. miUSA 585 Sneakers from the Danner x New Balance collab. Cole Bomber Jacket by Beckett Simonon. Cove Shirt by Life/After/Denim. Slim black selvedge by Todd Shelton. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Colorblocked socks by Richer Poorer. Glasses by Frameri.

Perhaps it’s been the slightly breezy, fall-esque weather in Brooklyn, but durable, premium footwear is certainly something that’s been on the mind of your Style Guide¬†publisher, editor and writer as¬†of late. Although we just covered the excellent SeaVees Huckberry Chukka in last week’s Style Pick of the Week post, we’re back at it here with a pair of footwear that’s every bit as perfect for fall style — and quite a bit pricier, if we’re being honest.¬† Yes indeed, the Danner x New Balance miUSA 585 is quite the sneaker, blending the ingenuity and technology of New Balance with the quality and craftsmanship of Danner. Oh, and it’s made in America at New Balance’s Maine factory. Sounds too good to be true, ehh? Not so fast, my friend. Having tested out these sneakers, I can tell you that they’re the real deal — and then some.¬†The Danner x New Balance miUSA¬†585 takes advantage of the best of the best that these two Portland-based companies have to offer (that would be New Balance’s roots in Maine, and Danner’s home base in Oregon). It’s part of the American Pioneer Project, and¬†that partnership also features the Danner x New Balance Light, an outdoor boot that merges hybrid style and performance. The 585 is a bit of a different look from your classic boot or sneaker, though. The 585¬†takes New Balance’s traditional¬†outdoor trail silhouette, and merges it with the sort of durable touches found on Danner boots, like rich Horween leather. Boot laces give these sneakers a¬†sporty-yet-versatile look, and ballistic nylon found on the upper also gives it a ton of durability, as does¬†So is it a sneaker? A boot? How do you wear it? All crucial questions given the price tag ($359.99 ain’t exactly cheap, fellas).

The answer to the first of those two questions would be that, yes — it’s a sneaker. But it can wear like a boot. The higher heel prevents you from rolling your ankle, critical whether you’re dashing to the subway or the plane — or stepping out of your favorite pub (right? Right??). It’s fit for casual Friday pairings aplenty, as you can see above — try it with a beautiful Beckett Simonon suede bomber jacket, a patterned shirt (the one at the top is from Life/After/Denim), and slim black Todd Shelton selvedge. Now, you’ll have to wait for that bomber jacket, but the good news is that you can pick up these sneakers, and wear them, right away. The rich Horween leather gives the Danner x New Balance miUSA 585 a dressier feel than most¬†kicks¬†— given the price tag, you’re going to want to get as much wear out of them as you can. Just be sure to keep them nice and cleaned up (soap and water¬†on¬†a¬†cloth is a¬†quick way to keep the heel and sole scuff-free).¬†The Horween leather¬†should develop a¬†nice patina over time, too. And lest¬†we forget, the¬†combination between sporty and casual style means you can team them up with a lightweight navy blazer and¬†dark blue¬†denim¬†at the office, and they’re absolutely perfect to wear with a slim cardigan and a¬†classic Taylor Stitch chambray shirt¬†for a sharp weekend coffee run. The difficult thing is going to be resisting the urge to wear them into winter — these are sneakers that should be stored for a¬† bit, then broken back out in the spring. In the meantime, the Danner x New Balance miUSA 585 will look plenty handsome on your shelf.

While you mull that sneaker purchase, follow along with The Style Guide on Facebook.

Rolling the dice: Heading West for Liberty Fairs Las Vegas

Editor’s note: To recap the last time I hit the road, click here.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

A hot and sunny business trip to Las Vegas. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Pocket square by J. Crew. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Chukkas by Timberland. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder.

Out of all the things that excite me about New York City and the chance to work in the menswear industry, there are certain parts of the job that just can’t be beat. Although I certainly hope to do a lot more, I’m pretty thankful and lucky right now that I get the chance to travel for my day job, and blog about that travel, at the same time. Such was the case these past four days , as I headed west to Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas; it’s a twice-yearly men’s fashion trade show that makes stops in NYC and Las Vegas, showcasing what’s new and next in the industry. That means everyone from fashion magazine editors to publishers, bloggers and sales representatives are gathered under one massive roof to scope out seasonal trends, post relentlessly on Instagram and of course, do business — everything from socks to shoes to outerwear is on display by brand. It’s a busy, hectic time, which didn’t leave much opportunity to sight-see. Although I experienced a bit of the bustle during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, hitting the road to travel and check out Liberty Fairs in a city like Las Vegas was another animal entirely. As always, that’s why I hauled my favorite #menswear essentials with me.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

Travel essentials fit for Vegas. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. T-shirt by Public Rec Apparel. Capital Shorts by OLIVERS Apparel. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical. Belt by J. Crew. Lanyard by Tanner Goods.

As I’ve been on the road a lot lately, my durable, rugged Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender has gotten a lot of work — and for good reason. If you don’t have a stylish weekender bag, and you’ve instead been relying on an old suitcase or a gym bag, making the switch is a mighty good investment. Unlike a recent trip to Michigan for a bachelor party, Las Vegas presented quite the different set of challenges — that would be the extreme heat, of course.  Standard, sweat-wicking materials just wouldn’t do, though. With style in mind, I was happy to test out a new T-shirt from Public Rec Apparel. Known for its All Day Every Day Pant, the brand recently launched a super-soft, super-comfortable and super-durable T-shirt. The tee is made with a remarkable sweat-wicking fabric blend in a  silhouette that still looks smart on its own or under a blazer — you can’t say that about your standard gym wear.  And that tee was complemented nicely another staple that merges athletic performance materials with a tailored silhouette. Yes, the OLIVERS Apparel Capital Short was just the right pair to wear from New York and right into the Vegas heat — the shorts feature a nylon-spandex blend & four-way stretch, yet fit and looks like a pair of slim chino shorts. Those two pieces kept me comfortable, which was crucial for a long travel day.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi's. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

A Monday of meetings and menswear. Pocket Tee by Steven Alan. 505C Jeans by Levi’s. Ivy Blazer by Grayers. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Chukkas by Timberland. Striped socks via the latest SprezzaBox. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

With my accommodations all set and a busy slate of trade show appointments locked in, it was time to hit the ground running on Monday. Throughout the course of a busy two days, it was excellent to be able to catch up with some great blogger friends like Leo of Levitate Style and Danielle of She’s A Gent. The duo was among a group participating in The Studios at Liberty Fairs, a partnership giving creatives the chance to create content — everything from photos to videos, portraits and social media posts — with brands and fellow influencers across three very busy days at the trade show. So given the need to look camera-ready, I tried to rise to the occasion while fighting the heat. A soft Steven Alan pocket tee was just the ticket in that regard — especially when paired with my Grayers Ivy Blazer, a casual linen-cotton jacket with unique patch-button pockets and a casual feel. If you’re looking for a way to dress down your summer blazer, you can’t go wrong with a garment-dyed tee. The combo helped me move in style around the trade show, as did a pair of sharp-yet-edgy Levi’s 505C Jeans, made with a hint of stretch and featuring a faded grey-black wash. They’re a slightly cooler take (figuratively and literally) on heavy dark denim and a blazer, particularly when moving around a lot. I finished off the combination with a pair of rugged Timberland leather chukka boots and my ever-dependable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch, a frequent travel companion and just one of a few stunning watches from the Timex x Todd Snyder partnership.

With Day 1 in the books, it was a quick turnaround for another busy day at Sands Expo at The Venetian scoping out the bustling (and hustling) crowd of #menswear aficionados. Throughout the day, I checked out the wares on display from perennial Style Guide favorites like Red Wing Heritage and (potential) soon-to-be favorites like Hudson Shoes.  It was a great mix of brands, including everyone from accessories companies like Herschel Supply Co. to sock brands like Happy Socks. All the while, I again took on the day — and the heat — in style. I stuck with some of my favorite style essentials, like my JackThreads Denim Shirt (a very wearable shirt no matter the season). I complemented that with my Taylor Stitch Slim Stone Chinos — they’re unbeatable for the price and quality.  And when you’ve got versatile staples like those two pieces, stylish Steven Alan sunglasses and sturdy leather chukka boots are a nice finishing touch (the pair seen here is from Timberland — you can snag a similar style from Thursday Boots for a nice value).  On the accessories front, my ever-reliable Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch was the perfect timepiece for the occasion — it goes with just about everything thanks to the crisp retro dial and grey NATO strap. For being on time to various meetings and catching up with friends (all on the job), it helped keep me in line. That outfit combination worked well for the evening, too — it’s not every day you get the chance to attend a party thrown by the Hearst and Esquire teams (yes, that Esquire). Luckily, my smart-casual combination was able to take me from a day on the trade show floor to enjoying some delicious cocktails without missing a beat (that’s what we’re all about here at The Style Guide).

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Mott & Bow. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Slim Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

A comfortable, casual and crisp travel outfit. Polo by Life/After/Denim. Warren Denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Steno Book by Field Notes Brand. Mailbag by Satchel & Page.

Sadly, my time at Liberty Fairs came to an end all too quickly — today called for a flight back to NYC. For one last push through the heat of Vegas, I grabbed the aptly named Marco Polo from Life/After/Denim. It blends a modern fit with a garment-washed look and feel, plus an open collar (one featuring no buttons). The overall effect is breezy and casual, but it’s one that still looks put-together for a cross-country flight when teamed with the ever-stylish Slim Warren Denim from Mott & Bow. For only about $20 more than what the brand normally charges, you’re getting a well-fitting pair of Italian-made denim — they were the perfect complement to my lightweight Brooks Heritage Chariot Runners in color and silhouette. Throughout the day, kept track of my flight time with my Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono and chronicled my adventures with my handy Word Notebooks Adventure Log — both of which you should bring along for a weekend getaway.

As great of a time as it was in Las Vegas, it was even better to reconnect with great friends and fellow bloggers — plus, some terrific brands you’ll (hopefully) see a lot more of here and on my Instagram in the coming months. Forging partnerships and featuring great brands and products is terrific, but meeting great people in a like-minded environment is even better.  Even though it’s been a heck of a busy week so far — and it’s only Wednesday (!) — my travels aren’t quite done yet. We’re looking at one day back in NYC before I hit the road on Friday to head back to my hometown of Mason, Michigan for my great friend Andy’s wedding. Seeing my friends for his bachelor weekend in Grand Rapids was an absolute blast just a few weeks ago, so this upcoming trip is bound to be just as incredible (even if it’ll be powered by lots and lots of coffee). If you’ve got menswear musings or questions on what to wear for your next Las Vegas trip, shoot me a tweet on Twitter or follow along on the daily via Instagram.

Look for the Friday Read and Style Pick later this week, and swing back through the blog on Monday for yet another Michigan trip recap — stay stylish!

-Beau
Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

Pure Michigan: A weekend back in the Mitten

Editor’s note: Click here for more posts related to traveling in style.

Exploring Grand Rapids in style on a summer Friday. Plaid Poplin Shirt by JACHS NY. Slim Ludlow Denim by Mott & Bow. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Exploring Grand Rapids in style on a summer Friday night. Plaid Poplin Shirt by JACHS NY. Slim Ludlow Denim by Mott & Bow. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Although it seems like I was just in Michigan for a summer wedding yesterday, it’s actually been … well, only about two weeks. And yet, this past Friday, I found myself boarding another plane, this time to head to one of my favorite places in the state (that would be Grand Rapids) for my friend Andy’s bachelor weekend (and congrats on the upcoming nuptials, fella!). Now, the last time I was in Grand Rapids, it was for¬† a November road trip — so the temperature, weather and list of activities was just a bit different. Time flies by in New York City, so it’s always great to slow down, get back home and reconnect with … Pure Michigan (got that one out of the way). Of course, as with my other summer¬†trips — including a stop upstate for a concert and a Memorial Day weekend in New York — I loaded up my bag with all the menswear I could possibly carry; in this case, that’s quite a lot.

Packed up to hit the road. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Voyager Waxed Weekender by Owen & Fred. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Packed up to hit the road. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Voyager Waxed Weekender & leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Millbrook Sunglasses by Steven Alan Optical.

Any great trip — to Michigan or elsewhere — starts with a great bag, one with plenty of room to carry your essentials and more. While I alternate between my trusty Navali Stowaway Weekender and my durable Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender, I chose my O&F bag for this trip. It’s made from premium Martexin waxed canvas and finished off with leather accents from fellow made-in-America purveyors Wickett & Craig. It has interior zipper compartments to hold all your gear, and in my case, that included my always-dependable Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit, which I stocked with handy travel grooming essentials from brands like Tread for Men (their Traveler Sunscreen is a must in the summer) and Baxter of California — the Under Eye Complex is an underrated and handy piece to have when traveling. Elsewhere on the accessories front, I knew a hot Michigan weekend was in order. That meant my Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses were just the ticket — seriously, we’ve got more than cold winters back home. I always appreciate the chance to rock a¬†subtle, stylish hat¬†when the sun beats down, and the Flat Wool Cap from Bridge & Burn is a nice upgrade to the typical athletic logo ballcap — it’s slightly refined and yet still casual.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

All of that gear helped me pack & transition in style from an early flight out of NYC to a sunny evening¬†in downtown Grand Rapids. As I always appreciate the chance to look sharp and travel in style, I grabbed the lightweight, casual and comfortable Green and Navy Plaid Poplin Shirt from JACHS NY. A well-fitting, casual basic like that works well when worn untucked (as you can see¬†in the top photo)¬†or when tucked in with a lightweight blazer. In this instance, it paired up well with the Slim Ludlow Denim from Mott & Bow. These jeans are built with a hint of stretch, ideal for a long day of travel.The light blue color also played well off my Hudson Belt from Arcade Belt Co.¬†, ith its navy color and stretchy smartweave fabric.¬†That was also the case with the very lightweight, very comfortable UGG Freamon Sneaker ¬†¬†—¬†they looked great and worked perfectly for getting from the airport and around Grand Rapids. Yes, you read that right. UGG does men’s footwear, and they do it well — more on that later. And my tough, rugged and refined Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono¬†also provided on-point travel style.¬†As far as getting around Grand Rapids, it was an opportune time to catch up with my great friend¬†Andy and his future fianc√©e Courtney for a delicious dinner at Derby Station in East Grand Rapids (hint: Get the Adult Grilled Cheese and finish it off with a Farmhand from Brewery Vivant — it’s a light, crisp and flavorful French farmhouse ale that’s perfect for hot summer nights). With Friday off and running, we also had just enough time to stop into The Meanwhile, an eclectic spot that feels like it would fit well in Brooklyn — with gin-and-tonics¬†available for $4, the prices would stand out back in New York City.

Taking on Saturday in sporty, casual style. Vesper Polo and Ace Short by Mack Weldon. Hayden Gray Linen Jacket & Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Taking on Saturday in sporty, casual style. Vesper Polo and Ace Short by Mack Weldon. Hayden Gray Linen Jacket & Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Freamon Sneakers by UGG. Mod Watch from the Timex x Todd Snyder collab. Glasses by Warby Parker.

A fun Friday night led into yet another busy day on Saturday¬†around Grand Rapids — and away from the city — with plenty in the works. To take on the day, I reached for a crucial style move in the heat: We’re talking here about the new, very breathable, lightweight Mack Weldon Vesper Polo. With a name inspired by the original martini sipped by James Bond, it was perfect in a figurative and literal sense for the¬† hot weather — seriously, the micro-mesh fabric and crisp Total Eclipse Blue color¬†proved comfortable¬†and sharp. The same thing goes for the Mack Weldon Ace Short¬†— it’s another piece from the brand’s line of essential basics that fits & performs well, thanks to the French terry fabric¬†and multiple discreet-but-useful zipper pockets. And that comfort¬†proved essential for¬†walking the city and grabbing a¬†morning pick-me-up at the renowned Madcap Coffee, one of the top coffee shops in the country and a great place to catch up with my old MSU friend Pat Evans (he’s a heck of a writer and a beer aficionado to boot — grab his book on the history of Grand Rapids beer while you’re at it). We also had just enough time¬†to swing by one of the city’s best new lifestyle shops, Brothers Leather Supply. They make ridiculously well-crafted bags and leather accessories, and they do it right in Grand Rapids — check out the photo below for a sneak peek, and look for more content on them¬†on the blog¬† soon!¬†Pat and I also took the time to hit up one of my favorite Grand Rapids stops,¬†the renowned HopCat (purveyors of amazing beer and great burgers across the Midwest)¬†before I reconnected with Andy and¬†the crew for a¬†vigorous round of foot golf¬†in the Michigan countryside — it’s a heck of¬†a workout if you’re used to sitting at a desk all day! Of course, all that activity meant that accessories¬†like my Steven Alan Optical Millbrook Sunglasses and the Bridge & Burn Flat Wool Cap also proved quite useful.

One of Grand Rapids' finer menswear establishments, Brothers Leather Supply.

One of Grand Rapids’ finer menswear establishments, Brothers Leather Supply.

And it goes without saying that my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch (currently on backorder¬†but still a must-buy) was the perfect, sporty watch to meet the dual focuses of outdoor activity and indoor beer-tasting — it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.¬† Truly, there aren’t that many watches that can look great and perform well when traveling, bar-hopping or hitting up the Panorama music festival, but that watch is one of them. Of course, the occasion called for comfortable footwear, too. That’s where the UGG Freamon Sneaker came back into play. Featuring the brand’s traction-focused Treadlite technology and a sharp white sole, the¬† Seal¬†(or light grey) option sent courtesy of the brand (thanks, guys!) provided a dash of unexpected style alongside the blues in my outfit. In fact, you can look for much more from them¬†this fall on the blog. .¬†And to finish off the look, I reached for some comfortable, breathable striped no-show socks from Sock Genius¬†— when you’ve got¬†lightweight summer sneakers along for the ride, grab stylish no-show socks to keep your feet (and your sneakers) in shape.

A busy Saturday out and about led us to a night of sampling brews and bites around Grand Rapids — that included a stop through the renowned and quickly growing Founders Brewing Company, one of my favorite spots in the city. We also carved out time to check out the first-ever distillery in the city, Long Road Distillers — they make a mean gin-and-tonic and a refreshing array of craft cocktails. For those activities, I switched up my footwear and reached for the tough, sturdy and stylish Natural Diplomat Boot from Thursday Boots, and I grabbed my rugged Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collaboration — it’s the ideal mix of casual and smart, and it worked just as well throughout the weekend. If you have to travel with only one watch, that just might be the one to grab. The entire combination worked well for a fun night out celebrating our great friend Andy — and it’s got me even more excited to be back in Michigan in less than three weeks for the wedding! If you’ve still got a summer wedding on your calendar, here’s what you should wear.

Sunday's outfit grid for a day of travel. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

Sunday’s outfit grid for a day of travel. Denim Shirt by JackThreads. Slim Stone Chinos by Taylor Stitch. Natural Diplomat Boots by Thursday Boots. Hudson Belt by Arcade Belt Co. Mod Watch by Timex x Todd Snyder. Notebook by Word Notebooks.

With a very busy Saturday night in the books, it was time to load up on coffee and hit the road for a relatively easy flight back to New York City (a welcome change from some past travel struggles getting back to Michigan). I still dressed in durable travel gear for the trip — my Thursday Boots Natural Diplomat Boot in particular was the perfect pair of boots to wear to get back to Manhattan; they’re rugged-yet-refined, and went well with my Taylor Stitch Slim Chinos in Light Stone.¬† And my Timex x Todd Snyder Mod Watch¬†was again up to the challenge of traveling in style — each piece was offset nicely by what just might be my new favorite casual shirt, the JackThreads Denim Shirt. It fits slim, the light wash cotton denim is soft and moves well, and the styling potential is on-point (look for it in an upcoming #OOTD post, in fact). And with all that gear ready to go, it was time to hit the road back.

Yet again, it feels like this past weekend in Michigan was too brief. It was great to explore one of my favorite cities in Michigan, and I’m just as excited to return again. And of course, you really can’t¬†quantify the¬†value of spending¬†time with lifelong friends.¬†On the plus side, there’s another¬†chance for me to get back to Michigan¬†— I’ll be back in just three weeks (again!) for Andy’s wedding near my lovely hometown of Mason. That trip will be just as fun, and with just as many chances for … (wait for it)… Pure Michigan relaxation (yes, I went there again). If you’ve got questions on how to travel in style or just want to chat menswear, check out my Twitter account or hit the ‘Follow’ button over on Instagram.

Until the next flight boards,

-Beau