On the road again: Kicking off 2016 in Detroit

Editor’s note: For more details on part 1 of this trip, click here.

Spending time in Midtown near Shinola & Willy's Detroit. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Plaid flannel shirt by Todd Snyder. Skinny Fulton Chinos by Banana Republic. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Patterned socks by Richer Poorer. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta

Spending time in Midtown near Shinola & Willys Detroit. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Hemingway Elbow Patch Shirt by Todd Snyder. Skinny Fulton Chinos by Banana Republic. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Patterned socks by Richer Poorer. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta

When I first got word that a big group of friends was heading to Detroit to ring in the new year (and watch our alma mater Michigan State play in the College Football Playoff), I knew I had to make the trip — even after being on the road in Florida just a few days before. While I was definitely disappointed in Michigan State’s loss in the College Football Playoff, I wasn’t disappointed at all with the rest of my time in Detroit. The city has been the subject of tons of national headlines for its economic woes, and certain parts of the city are definitely still feeling that blight (I’ll leave it to the experts to talk more about that). Even still, there are plenty of cultural and economic bright spots that, at least outwardly, are helping put the city back on the map — and yes, as with any trip, there’s plenty of great menswear to go along with that.

Equal parts rock music and menswear -- the John Varvatos shop in downtown Detroit

Equal parts rock music and menswear — the John Varvatos shop in downtown Detroit

For a quick flight to Detroit and a brief afternoon of exploration before kicking off the New Year’s Eve festivities, I layered up with my Todd Shelton chambray shirt, my trusty Pistol Lake henley and some skinny Fulton chinos from Banana Republic (also seen in the photo at the top of the page). The outfit was versatile and comfortable, and it made for some quick walking to the nearby John Varvatos shop, a large installment that pays homage to both the designer’s Detroit roots and the brand’s deep love for the rock music industry. The clothing and the shop itself definitely have a substantial rock n’roll vibe, which suits some but  can be a bit much for my taste. However, the shop is impressively merchandised and also has a great selection of audio and music equipment for sale.
Join the Hunt Club - Enjoy FREE Shipping, Cashback + more at Frank & Oak! Try it now for 90 days, risk free!
A walk by some other notable downtown sites (including The Fillmore, Comerica Park and Ford Field), ate up the rest of the afternoon before game time (definitely a different change of pace on New Year’s Eve!). With a few quick changes (namely, throwing on my JackThreads Fisherman Cardigan and swapping out the henley), I was ready for the rest of the night. Detroit’s Greektown district was buzzing with activity and a fitting place to catch the game — that is, until things turned south for our beloved Spartans. Try as we might, that did put a bit of a damper on the new year, but the Firebird Tavern was still a fun spot to check out, and worthy of a trip if you find yourself in Greektown.

Cozy, versatile and stylish. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Nomad French Terry Sweatpants by Bonobos. Striped socks by American Trench. Black chukka sneakers by Reef.

Cozy, versatile and stylish. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Nomad French Terry Sweatpants by Bonobos. Striped socks by American Trench. Black chukka sneakers by Reef.

A hearty brunch to kick off the new year was in order, and the Hudson Café definitely delivered in that regard — the rest of the large crowd gathered there thought so, too. Staying cozy and comfortable was also in order to start the new year, and my JackThreads Collegiate Bomber — plus some striped American Trench socks and my Bonobos French Terry Sweatpants— proved more than up to the task. My Reef Outhaul Lux Chukka Sneakers were also minimal, comfortable and stylish — exactly the type of sneaker you should reach for if you decide pair them with tapered sweatpants on a cold day off. New Year’s Day football was definitely a treat (although not as fun as an MSU win would’ve been!), and our dinner plans led us to the Cornerstone Barrel House, a tap house equal parts rugged-and-refined that offers some delicious local beer and tasty bites.

A delicious coffee from Shinola's in-store cafe is crucial. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

A delicious coffee from Shinola’s in-store cafe is crucial. Collegiate Bomber by JackThreads. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

A great dinner and a relaxing night was crucial, as I got out the door to see the rest of Detroit’s #menswear scene on Saturday. That included a stop by the revered Shinola store — coming from someone who loves the brand’s NYC store, it was a real treat to be able to see what the brand can do with more real estate, and in its hometown. Shinola really is continuing to cement its legacy in the Detroit area — the installation of the brand’s own watch dial production facility in its flagship store is nearly complete, and it’s got that Detroit work ethic down pat. It’s great news in the meantime that Shinola offers up other great goods, like American-made journals and an entire assortment of bicycles. Plus, the on-site coffee shop is a key pit stop before exploring other nearby haunts, like Willys Detroit — a sister shop of Shinola that’s packed to the brim with rugged menswear from Filson, Steven Alan and Apolis, plus women’s apparel & accessories. It’s also worth a visit, if only to enjoy the impressive retail experience rather than purchase something.

The impressive, and brand-new, physical outpost of Third Man Records is definitely worth a trip.

The impressive, and brand-new, physical outpost of Third Man Records is definitely worth a trip.

No stop along that stretch is complete without stopping into the brand-new physical outpost of Third Man Records, another offshoot of the record company founded by Detroit rocker Jack White — if you’re a fan of rock music, or just the art of vinyl and music-making in general, it’s a must-visit. We also took the time to swing by Atwater Brewery on Saturday night, an expansive waterfront location serving up delicious staples like its famous Vanilla Java Porter and the equally tasty Pheasant Hog, a rich brown ale. It’s great to be able to see businesses continue to dedicate time and resources to bringing back Detroit, through both retail and music experiences, plus delicious food and drink — all are necessary for travelers and locals alike!

Dependable travel gear to fight the cold and stay stylish. Buffalo Bobber Gloves by Iron & Resin. Mt. Drew Duffle by United By Blue.

Dependable travel gear to fight the cold and stay stylish. Buffalo Bobber Gloves by Iron & Resin. Mt. Drew Duffle by United By Blue. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

A busy end to a busy weekend was capped off on Sunday with a stop by Will Leather Goods, another business with deep, decades-old Detroit roots that’s a new addition to the city’s Midtown neighborhood. The entire store is nearly a work of art, packed with everything from excellent leather messenger bags to vintage finds like barber’s chairs and a massive teepee (yes, a teepee). To explore that part of town, I reached for my sturdy Mott & Bow Norfolk raw denim — it’s one pair of jeans that’s breaking in quite nicely, and the heavier weight made them more than ideal for the chilly weather Detroit threw at us. A striped henley from J. Crew and my ever-reliable Todd Shelton chambray shirt, plus my dependable Invicta Pro Diver, helped me tackle both my final hours in Detroit and travel back to NYC on Monday morning (those flight delays always seem to catch up with me!).

It was tough to say goodbye to great friends and an unexpectedly awesome city filled with some terrific shopping and a steady cultural scene. Were I to visit again (and I’ll be back!), I’d love to check out the Detroit Institute of Art, and some other similar spots. Although some parts of Detroit still leave something to be desired (to say the least), there’s no question that the right businesses and people are around to continue to drive the city forward — and those same businesses would definitely make it worth a trip for you… although might I suggest a stop when it’s warm?

Until I hit the road again — stay stylish!

-Beau
Ben Sherman US

Advertisements

Sand & sun, Part 2: Celebrating Christmas in Florida

Editor’s note: Click this link for more posts on how to travel in style.

Exploring J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge near my parents' home in Fort Myers, Fla.

Exploring the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge near my parents’ home in Fort Myers, Fla.

In the midst of planning ahead for 2016 on both the work and blogging fronts, I was really grateful and glad to be able to get to Florida for a bright and sunny Christmas. It was a rather hectic travel day on Wednesday between wrapping up some work for my day job representing Timberland, and travel delays out of New York City didn’t help the situation  — the chaos at the airport was pretty unimaginable! But that gave way to warm evenings and long, sunny  (but all-too-brief!) days in Fort Myers with great family and friends — for that, I’m definitely thankful. And making the style transition from the in-between weather in NYC to the record-high temperatures in Florida proved more than doable with the gear I brought along for the trip.

Sturdy waxed canvas made this bag a great travel companion. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred

Sturdy waxed canvas made this bag a great travel companion. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred

To get from Point A to Point B, I brought along my trusty Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag and my new but still-reliable United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle — I would definitely recommend picking up a trusty weekender bag crafted from a durable waxed canvas, particularly if you only find yourself on the road for a weekend or a few days at a time. It proved more than accommodating for the gear I brought with me, and the extra gifts I brought back! And it’s a good thing I packed relatively light, as temperatures throughout the Fort Myers area were in the 80s throughout the duration of the trip! That made it extra-refreshing to check out a sure-to-be-favorite spot — the nearby Point Ybel Brewing, a relatively recent addition to the burgeoning craft beer scene in southwest Florida. Myself and my family sampled some great brews, including the delicious Captiva Cream Ale seen below — if you can get your hands on it, I’d recommend you bring home some fresh-canned beer from the brewery itself. For that excursion and much of the rest of the trip, I found a comfortable tee (in this case, a rugged-yet-stylish Pistol Lake short-sleeve henley) and some tailored shorts worked just fine.

Sipping on a great brew at the nice Point Ybel Brewing Company in Fort Myers. Olive short-sleeve henley by Pistol Lake. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Sipping on a great brew at Point Ybel Brewing Company in Fort Myers. Olive short-sleeve henley by Pistol Lake. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Glasses by Warby Parker.

The laidback outfit also worked well to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens — and MAN, what a movie. We capped off Christmas Eve with some more family traditions, including watching “Love Actually“, playing a few games and enjoying a delicious meal before awaiting Santa… And my sister and I were certainly very lucky and blessed this year — Santa definitely fulfilled some of my #menswear wish list! I’m extremely excited and grateful for the incredible gifts I received, including the stellar Hemingway Elbow Patch Shirt from Todd Snyder and an amazing pair of Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses (as worn by James Bond — WOW.). Those will definitely be accompanying me on future trips!

A look at some of the gifts Santa left for me. Brooklyn Field Guide by Wildsam. Beard Balm by Brooklyn Grooming. Beard & Face Brick by Clifford Originals. Notebook by Public Supply. Beer tasting book by 33 Books Co. Chocolate by (who else?) Toblerone.

A look at some of the gifts Santa left for me. Brooklyn Field Guide by Wildsam. Beard Balm by Brooklyn Grooming. Beard & Face Brick by Cliff Original. Notebook by Public Supply. Beer tasting book by 33 Books Co. Chocolate by (who else?) Toblerone.

It was an amazing Christmas Day, and I’ll now have even more new style gear to add to my wardrobe, including an eco-friendly watch from Sprout and a pair of lovely Americano Dress Cords from Bonobos. But perhaps the best part of the day was relaxing with my family and enjoying a traditional turkey dinner – it’s a good thing I went with casual style, as I was plenty stuffed with Christmas cookies. There’s perhaps no better way in my mind to cap off a great holiday than by spending it with the ones you love, so that made things even better.

Dressed casually for a hot Florida day. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Olive sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Dressed casually for a hot Florida day. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Olive sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Glasses by Warby Parker.

But there was no time to rest with a shortened visit – and we had to work off all that food! We made the most of the day after Christmas by heading to the famous J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge for a bit of exploring – – I tackled that part of the trip with a pair of comfortable (but not sloppy) Pistol Lake sweatshorts and my reliable GREATS Brand Rosen Runners. Both picks proved more than adequate for lots of walking – as you may know, I’m a huge fan of GREATS, so I’d recommend you toss a pair in your bag on your next excursion.

Exploring the beaches near Fort Myers. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford (thanks Santa!).

Exploring the beaches near Fort Myers. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Organic cotton pocket tee by United By Blue. Eco-friendly watch by Sprout. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford (thanks Santa!).

As to the refuge itself — it’s an incredibly tranquil setting that’s really second-to-none in terms of natural beauty in southwest Florida – if you’re a fan of bird-viewing or fishing, definitely consider exploring the refuge. We also stopped by a local beach for a bit of exploration, which I was more than able to tackle in my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks and an organic cotton United By Blue pocket tee (similar style here), plus the aforementioned Tom Ford sunglasses. When you hit the road yourself, consider picking up a pair of sunglasses that’ll look sharp with outfits both dressy and casual – some slim Randolph Engineering aviators would be a great start.

Before enjoying some brews at The Lodge, we saw some of the sights around Fort Myers. Vintage 'drinks' shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Before enjoying some brews at The Lodge, we saw some of the sights around Fort Myers. Vintage ‘drinks’ shirt. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy Rosen Runners by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

We finished up our day in Fort Myers by heading to The Lodge, a cavernous downtown bar replete with rustic wood furnishing, delicious barbeque and (my personal favorite), the ability to pour your own beers from their long list of taps (the Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter from Fort Myers Brewing is worth a few sips!). We were joined by some old family friends in town for a visit (Hi, O’Brien family!)  — it was a wonderful evening filled with lots of laughter and reminiscing, plus new memories made.

Catching the last of the Florida rays. Ringer Pocket Tee by Tommy John. Khaki shorts by Banana Republic. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. White Wilson sneakers by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Catching the last of the Florida rays. Ringer Pocket Tee by Tommy John. Khaki shorts by Banana Republic. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. White Wilson sneakers by GREATS Brand. Snowdon Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

But as with all great trips, the journey home has to start sometime. We had the chance to pick up some locally-famous donuts from Bennett’s Fresh Roast on Sunday morning– once again, this place is a must-visit if ever you find yourself in the Fort Myers area. We finished off that leg of the trip by taking in the last of the nearby ocean views. With walking in the itinerary, I grabbed a comfortable Tommy John Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey, which fits slim and is crafted from remarkably soft fabric. I topped off the look with a vintage ballcap from Goorin Brothers – although the option you see here is sold-out, a stylish, minimal cap never goes wrong when traveling, nor do versatile captoe sneakers.

Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!
With all that activity (and new #menswear gear) in the bag, it was time to hit the road – for travel, I threw on my trusty Mott & Bow denim and some sturdy Thursday Boots suede chukkas. I’d certainly recommend you reach for comfortable, stylish pieces the next time you hop on a flight. Aside from some travel delays on the way down, the trip was about as amazing of a holiday as I could have hoped for, and I can’t wait to visit southwest Florida again. The natural beauty is second-to-none, the local attractions are unique, and the sunshine isn’t a bad way to spend Christmas – or any other time of year! I’ll be looking forward to my next trip, and I hope you’re able to travel & see loved ones as we head into 2016. For now, look for a New Year’s Eve Style Suggestion hitting right here tomorrow.

Until then – stay stylish!

-Beau

East Coast style: A weekend away in Washington, D.C.

Editor’s note: For more travel style features, punch your ticket here.

Hitting the road again. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Hitting the road again. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

This past weekend, I found myself on the road yet again, hopping on a quick train from NYC to another bustling East Coast metropolis, Washington, D.C. to reconnect with some high school friends. And along the way, I realized there might not be a better way to travel the coast than by train — the scenery was beautiful, especially seeing fall colors change as the sun set. And the weekend in D.C. was a fun, if fast-paced, trip that also gave me the long-awaited chance to break out some of my favorite fall style items. It was also neat to be able to explore more of a city I had previously only known for its monuments — I can safely say the nightlife scene is excellent, and stretches of the city (particularly the Georgetown area) offer superb #menswear shopping.

Exploring DC and walking along the Potomac River. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Broothers. Glasses by Warby Parker.

Exploring DC and walking along the Potomac River. Burgundy henley by Pistol Lake. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Leather gloves by Iron & Resin. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukkas by Thursday Boots. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Broothers. Glasses by Warby Parker.

To travel down to D.C. on Friday evening, I kept things simple and casual, pairing my trusty Mott & Bow denim  with perhaps my new favorite pair of shoes, my Chocolate Suede Scout Boots from Thursday Boots (as seen in this Thanksgiving Style Suggestion last week). The boots are the perfect epitome of high-low footwear — they appropriately dressed up the navy crewneck sweater and Russel Baseball Jacket (via Grayers) I wore to travel, and their sleek shape, comfortable fit and high-quality suede made for a nice finishing touch to a new burgundy henley I received from the great folks at Pistol Lake. That piece in particular is a perfect fall color, and it’s crafted from soft-yet-sturdy jersey cotton for some nice comfort (although it is a bit more expensive than a typical henley). As you travel, I would definitely recommend investing in some similarly stylish travel gear, namely layers that you can take off and add with ease (like the crewneck sweater and baseball jacket), and solid shoes able to be worn from dinner to the bar and back around town.

Hitting the road in style again. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Hitting the road in style again. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Accessories that are a step up from the norm (i.e. a vintage ballcap versus an athletic logo ballcap) can definitely complement travel style, too — the Goorin Brothers cap pictured above is one of my favorites for that reason. And for the cold weather, I would recommend ponying up a bit more for a nice pair of go-anywhere leather gloves, as I did with my Buffalo Bobber Gloves from Iron & Resin. They were comfortable to throw on and should definitely break in beautifully over time — the leather is just that nice! Some well-crafted socks in a toned-down yet stylish Fair Isle pattern (as seen later in this post) from American Trench capped things off and paired well with my suede boots. And it was crucial to have comfortable accessories to get around town.

After my quick train ride, our Friday night took us to Kelly’s Irish Times, a revered D.C. bar that took home prestigious honors as Esquire Magazine’s top bar in the District last year. The beer was tasty (as always), and I would recommend you grab the tater tots if you get the chance to stop by. A Metro ride — an easier experience compared to getting around NYC on the subway system — took us back to my friend’s brother’s apartment and an early night in preparation for a marathon day of watching football (GO GREEN!)and exploring D.C.

Stopping for a second near the Capitol Building. Quilted shirt-jacket by Addict. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

Stopping for a second near the Capitol Building. Quilted shirt-jacket by Addict. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling.

To get around the city, I threw on another new favorite pair of shoes, my Reef Outhaul Lux sneakers.I’m normally not a fan of much black footwear, particularly sneakers, but I’ve found myself drawn more and more to black sneakers and boots as of late (perhaps NYC is rubbing off on me?). These sneakers in particular were comfortable and easy-wearing for lots of walking; there’s a substantial amount of traction on the sole, and the full-grain black leather upper gives them a nice, premium touch. Comfortable sneakers are definitely another must on any trip (read up on some the sneakers you should own now, while we’re at it). Good footwear was definitely crucial as we explored the area near the Capitol and posted up at the Capitol Lounge, a Michigan State-centric bar that proved the perfect atmosphere for another thrilling finish and Spartan victory (again, GO GREEN!)

Ben Sherman US

I was more than able to fight a bit of a chilly evening thanks to some nice brews at the Capitol Lounge (again, worth a stop in D.C. if only for the French fries) and of course, a quilted shirt-jacket via UK sportswear company Addict. I wrote on Saturday about the great layering potential a nice shirt-jacket or workshirt can provide, and this padded option worked as a jacket pretty seamlessly. Although I hadn’t heard of the brand before, I’m definitely happy with this piece, and it’s another lightweight yet insulating layer that can work effectively as you travel from, say, the airport to an afternoon exploring the city. A great pair of jeans is also an absolute must-have, and it doesn’t get much better than Mott & Bow, who’s nailed the fit of their denim for a pretty nice price — they were a terrific pick for lots of walking and also different style situations.

Refined chukka boots helped with high-low style throughout the trip. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim denim by Mott and Bow. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Fair Isle socks by American Trench. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Refined chukka boots helped with high-low style throughout the trip. Chocolate Suede Scout Boots by Thursday Boots. Slim denim by Mott and Bow. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Fair Isle socks by American Trench. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Dark denim is a fail-safe style option, and this pair also proved appropriate for some celebratory festivities at the massive Penn Social, an arcade-bar hybrid with fun games and a nice atmosphere. From there, we stopped through a classic college-type bar, Sign of the Whale, before calling it a night — celebrating Spartan wins can be exhausting! Luckily, we were still able to make it into D.C. for a relaxing afternoon walking along the Potomac River and admiring the lovely view from atop the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. All that activity was made more enjoyable despite the cold thanks to the layers I wore, namely that comfortable Pistol Lake henley and my Grayers baseball jacket. Again, the comfort and traction provided by my chukka boots was also key, as I covered a lot of ground exploring the Georgetown neighborhood and its standout menswear scene, from Billy Reid to COACH and Jack Wills.

Inside the much-hyped Billy Reid store in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

Inside the much-hyped Billy Reid store in the Georgetown neighborhood of DC.

If you do get the chance to go to that area of town, I’d definitely recommend you make a point to stop through Billy Reid — the shop is very well-curated, the product is beautiful and the staff is friendly and attentive (can you tell I’m a fan of the brand?). With that being said, all that activity made for a fun but tiring afternoon — and that capped off what was a quick yet extremely fun-filled weekend! It was neat to see more of the character of Washington, D.C. — particularly some of the quirky touches (bunches of Richard Nixon memorabilia at the Capitol Lounge, for one), that the city has to offer. While it’s different in pacing and the overall atmosphere from New York City, it’s a prime city to visit in the fall, and I’m certain there are more hidden gems I didn’t find yet! I’ll definitely be back. Until we hit the road again, thanks for reading.

Stay stylish,

-Beau
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!