Style Suggestion: What to Wear For Labor Day Weekend

Editor’s note: Head this way for another Labor Day style suggestion.

It’s pretty wild to think that summer’s now in the rear view mirror — just about, that is. If you didn’t hit the road for Memorial Day weekend or the Fourth of July , perhaps now is the time for you to take that big summer trip. If it involves dressing to head to the beach, we’ve got you covered. And if it involves a multitude of activities — some travel, some play, some relaxation — hopefully, the below style suggestion has you covered. That goes for heading to your destination, kicking back during a barbeque and perhaps strolling around town. Of course, dressing for summer travel should be top of mind, too.  And in the event it’s unbearably hot where you’re headed, no need to fear — some #menswear-centric tips for dressing for the hot weather should set you right. Either way, it’s about meeting the occasion in style and keeping versatility, fit and function in mind. And if the pieces below can work for other style scenarios, that’s all the better. Let me know of your Labor Day plans — and get the discussion going — on Twitter or Facebook. Now as for me — I’ve got some weekend adventures to the up-and-coming coastal city of Asbury Park, N.J., coming up, and I’ll be taking my favorite style essentials with me. Keep up with everything on Instagram, while we’re at it. In the meantime, stay stylish!

The Shirt: Dockers Premium Wrinkle Slim-Fit Twill Shirt — $68

A unique texture and solid color make this shirt an easy pick-up.

A unique texture and solid color make this shirt an easy pick-up.

First of all — we’re going with a long-sleeved shirt here for a bit more versatility (yes, even in the heat). Let’s say you need to throw on a casual cotton tie at some point during the weekend — this twill shirt has you covered. Dockers might seem like a unique choice as far as shirting given how popular the brand’s Alpha Khakis have been as of late. But this shirt has a unique texture, a color combo befitting of the last gasp of summer (not too bright, not too dark), and a slim fit. That makes it an easy pick — supplement it in your bag with a slim pocket T-shirt and a light blue polo.

The Shorts: OLIVERS Capital Short — $68

Available in a darker Navy or the colorway seen here, these shorts are flexible, functional and fashionable.

Available in a darker Navy or the colorway seen here, these shorts are flexible, functional and fashionable.

These shorts might look familiar to some readers — they were the subject of a recent Style Pick of the Week feature, and we’re keeping them around for their versatility, comfort and excellent fit.  In a heightened blue-grey color, they add a nice bit of contrast to the Dockers shirt shown above. For being made from a nylon blend, they have a flattering, tailored fit and all the touches one would expect from a pair of slim chino shorts. That means the side draft and rear welt pockets rid the silhouette of excess fabric, and the above-the-knee fit is essential in terms of both style & ease of movement. Still not sold? They’re comfortable as heck for all-day travel, as I found out during a recent trip to Las Vegas. If they can handle that, they can handle anything. Oh, and don’t forget a comfortable belt built with quite a bit of stretch.

The Belt: Arcade Belt Co. Crawford Belt — $36

Easy to wear and easy to buy, thanks to an agreeable price.

Easy to wear and easy to buy, thanks to an agreeable price.

For situations where you’re moving around a lot, comfort is of the utmost importance. That’s absolutely the case with your belt — a leather belt, while appropriate here, could potentially be uncomfortable for running or lots of walking (or sitting, or standing). A belt that mimics that look and feel, yet does so while also incorporating a weather-resistant smartweave fabric, is the way to go. Yes, the Crawford Belt is your versatile answer to comfort and style — tough to find in a belt these days.

The Sneakers: Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon — $75

Part classic runner, part modern-day sneaker. Perfect for a weekend that calls for a bit of everything.

Part classic runner, part modern-day sneaker. Perfect for a weekend that calls for a bit of everything.

What’s one way to offset the somewhat standard combo of a button-down and shorts? A stellar pair of sneakers. When the team at JackThreads sets its mind to something, they usually do a pretty stellar job. That’s the case here with the Reebok x JackThreads Daily Classic Nylon, another recent Style Pick of the Week feature that makes a reappearance here. In simple terms, these sneakers combine retro cool with a sharp, clean aesthetic. They’d be just as easily wearable with a pair of slim sand chinos as they would with the casual combination seen above. Plus, the price is stellar for a  name-brand collab, and the Navy colorway is pretty neat, too.

A sporty perlon strap and a refined dial design bridge the gap between casual and dressy.

A sporty perlon strap and a refined dial design bridge the gap between casual and dressy.

Did you think we forgot about a stylish casual watch here at The Style Guide? Not a chance. There are a lot of subtle touches in this particular Jack Mason timepiece that make it quite the purchase, from the black perlon strap to the elegant-yet-versatile face to the fact that the 42mm case diameter should work for a variety of wrist sizes. The Super Luminova markings are helpful for reading the watch when it’s dark out (by a bonfire that’s dying down, perhaps?). Plus, the 100-meter water resistance is useful for casual time spent in the waves or by the pool.

The Sunglasses: Sunski Madronas Sunglasses — $55

A solid pick-up that can stand up to the rigors of the weekend.

A solid pick-up that can stand up to the rigors of the weekend.

Finding the right pair of stylish sunglasses at the right price is an ordeal, sometimes. You want a versatile, classic frame shape, plus durability and an agreeable price — where to go? The Sunski Madronas is your answer to all those categories. A functional frame shape and a look that’s crisp-yet-casual make this pair of shades a heck of a deal. And for under $60, they can get beat up a bit without too much worry. So if things turn competitive in that backyard football game, you’re all set.

The Weekender Bag: Huckberry Bradley Mountain Weekender Duffle — $179

A ruggedly handsome bag with the specs to back it up. Use this thing day after day, trip after trip.

A ruggedly handsome bag with the specs to back it up. Use this thing day after day, trip after trip.

So, you might’ve been reading this post and thinking to yourself: “Gee Beau, those picks are great and all, but… how the heck am I packing this stuff?” My friend, meet the Bradley Mountain Weekender Duffle. It’s a favorite of Huckberry readers — and a heck of a lot of other people — for its beastly specs and handsome looks. Your humble author is talking, of course, about the blend of Field Tan Martexin waxed canvas, solid copper rivets and organically processed oiled leather — not to mention, its made-in-America construction. All of those should definitely have you sold on the Bradley Mountain Duffle — if not, see me after class.

 All things considered, hopefully the above Labor Day style suggestion has you all covered for the weekend. It can be tough to pack a bag full of gear for every possible situation — space is limited even in the best weekender bags, after all. But packing smart — there’s a secret weapon we can all keep in mind. In this case, pieces like a textured shirt that toes the line between formal and casual is a solid bet, as are shorts that combine performance, comfort and style into one. Sharp, eye-catching sneakers are a solid complement to a dressier pair of footwear (say, slim leather loafers?). And accessories like a versatile watch and a tough weekender bag never fail you — that’s why they’re worth investing in when buying. If you think I missed any picks, let me know at The Style Guide’s Facebook page, or drop your own suggestion in the comments below.

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

The Friday Read: Fall Sneakers, Liberty Fairs and Exploring Chicago with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy

Editor’s note: Expect these posts once a week on Fridays — consider this a jumpstart on reading for your weekend downtime. Expect a mix of style and non-style content. For more entries, click here.  

If this week wasn’t one of the quickest-moving weeks of the year, it sure felt like it — you ever have those weeks? It was a thrilling and exciting one though, as I spent time in Las Vegas for Liberty Fairs, an extensive and enjoyable menswear trade show that puts the latest and greatest menswear (in this case, for spring 2017) on display. I was able to explore the city in style and catch up with some great brands — of note, keep an eye on Crosby Square and these excellent denim chukkas featuring a casual crepe sole — it was just one of many stellar styles on display from the brand. Additionally, the folks at Jack Mason — a new Style Guide favorite — are in the business of making versatile, sturdy watches inspired by everything from nautical to aviation timepieces of old. It’s fitting that it took a trip all the way to Vegas to find out about them. My time on the road isn’t done yet, as more travel is in the cards today. I’m heading back to Michigan for my great friend Andy’s wedding weekend as we speak! Look for a full #menswear post in that regard coming Monday.

Are you hitting the road yourself this weekend? If a trip to Chicago is in the cards, I’d highly recommend you check out the excellent, engaging Chicago Field Guide put together by the great folks at Huckberry in partnership with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. It’s a very neat and personal way to get a glimpse of Chicago as seen by Tweedy, and the product featured in the post is pretty cool, too — seriously, those Iron Rangers from Red Wing Heritage are a site to behold. Again, check it out here. And in the meantime, keep up with the week in menswear news and product launches below, and follow along with my daily outfits and menswear adventures on Instagram or Twitter.

  • Buying denim can be tricky sometimes, right? That is, it can be tough to find the right inseam length, and even then, you might have to roll or cuff ’em quite a bit to get the right fit. Not so with Scale Denim, a new made-in-the-USA denim brand that just launched on Kickstarter. They offer seven scaled, proportional inseams in relation to your waist size, and they do so when other premium denim brands might not have you taken care of.  Expect those to ship later this winter if you do back them.
  • We’ve got more Kickstarter news coming at you — if you  prefer a unique, premium Singapore-designed, Swiss-made watch, check out what the folks at Jubileon are doing with the Superellipse Watch. It features an eye-catching cushion-shaped design, a 39mm case diameter and the kind of refined look that can be tricky to find without dropping a grand. Yet, if you back it now, you get the Superellipse for just over $500 — quite the deal when you look at it.
  • Although it still feels like we’re dealing with an intense August heat wave, Esquire.com is already looking toward the best sneakers to buy for fall — know that this site will be pulling together a roundup of fall’s best high-top sneakers later on in September! Stay tuned.

Need something else to read?

  • If you’ve been looking to add a subtle bracelet or cuff — or a handsome watch — to your arsenal of accessories, look no further than Miansai’s fall menswear, as I covered for The Manual.

So, that’s all we’ve got on the menswear news front this week — check back tomorrow for our weekly Style Pick, and stay tuned for more menswear travel coverage on Monday!

Stay stylish,

-Beau

The Product Review: United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle

Editor’s note: Click here for a plethora of product reviews on the right kind of gear to pack in your bag. P.S. Do you like The Style Guide on Facebook?

Taking the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue around the country. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Taking the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue around the country. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

The more you travel, you more you realize that it just pays to have the right gear. That goes for simple, smaller things like your toiletries kit, all the way on up to the right pair of shoes  or sturdy outerwear. It goes without saying then, that the bag with which you transport all this gear is pretty essential. And like other considered areas of your outfit, a great weekender bag can add a solid, reliable touch to your travel ensemble — seriously. It’s an area that should be overlooked, so when you find one that gets the job done, you should hold onto it. I’ve been traveling quite a bit in recent months, from a Christmas trip to Florida to a work trip to Utah, and a nice bag has proven critical to get from point A to point B. With that being said, the United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle that you see here has been more than up to the task of handling all of my style essentials.

Ready to hit the road with the Mt. Drew Duffle. Natural chambray shirt by Todd Shelton. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boot Company. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

Ready to hit the road with the Mt. Drew Duffle. Natural chambray shirt by Todd Shelton. Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka Boots by Thursday Boot Company. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks.

United By Blue should be a familiar name if you read this blog regularly — they’ve popped up in our ongoing Style Q&A series, and they craft everything from the duffle pictured here to responsibly made shirts, henleys and swim trunks. And as with any purchase, you can feel great about picking it up — they remove one pound of trash from oceans and waterways for every product sold, and they bring along their employees as volunteers to do it. So it’s no ordinary company you’re buying from, and that’s a very good. Namely, it means the quality and craftsmanship of this bag can stand up to the commitment they’ve promised.  And it means that no matter which of the five available colorways you pick up, you’ll be getting the same quality (for the record, I ended up going with the Moss option).

Brass hardware pairs well with the dark brown genuine leather straps.

Brass hardware pairs well with the dark brown genuine leather straps. The waxed canvas should hold up quite well, too.

If you’re going to be lugging this around the country as I’ve been, durability is going to be crucial. Luckily, the 18oz. organic waxed canvas is a huge plus — the bag has so far stood up to being jammed in overhead compartments and carried around on the subway, and it hasn’t shown any signs of ripping or giving out (pretty critical with how much gear I’ve packed into it at times). Now, it’ll certainly see lots more use going forward, but initial signs are quite promising. Another big aspect of that durability component is the hardware, as you can see from the above photo. The brass hardware teams nicely in terms of aesthetic with the genuine dark brown leather, but it also feels quite sturdy when picked up, too.

That is, it doesn’t feel like the leather handles are going to give way on you, or like the shoulder strap (also padded with that dark brown genuine leather) is going to suddenly break off. These are all big bonuses, and signs you should check out right away when grabbing your own bag. The leather handles, while sturdy, aren’t too stiff to carry the bag with — while the leather isn’t buttery-smooth, with repeated use, they’ll stand up to carrying while looking quite nice. So overall, this bag definitely has solid durability going for it.

Enough space for two pairs of sneakers side-by-side (plus gear not shown).

Enough space for two pairs of sneakers side-by-side (plus gear not shown).

Space is also a key when packing up a bag for weekend or long-weekend getaways. This bag packs a surprising amount of room (pun intended). I’ve repeatedly been able to fit two pairs of shoes (one pair of suede chukka boots and one pair of sneakers, for example) inside, along with various other knits, sweaters and pants. Compared to my Navali Stoway Weekender Bag, it definitely feels roomier inside, which is somewhat surprising given that the Navali Weekender utilizes more interior pockets and compartments. Note that the official measurements on the United By Blue bag are 24” Wide x 15” Height x 11” Diameter, compared to that Stowaway Weekender, which measures 22″ Wide x 12″ Height x 8 1/2″ Diameter). So this is really more like a three-or-four night bag as opposed to just a weekender bag (that is, if

Fit to carry all kinds of seasonal accessories. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Buffalo Bobber Leather Gloves by Iron & Resin.

Fit to carry all kinds of seasonal accessories. Leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Buffalo Bobber Leather Gloves by Iron & Resin.

 

One drawback might be that if you like things ultra-organized inside your bag — that is, divided up by compartments or sections — this bag doesn’t quite have that. There is an interior zipper pocket however, but that’s it. But given the bag’s roominess, I’ve always found that my gear fits in comfortably without things getting too jumbled up. As with any accessory you’re going to be bringing with you lots of places, looks are absolutely key, too. I’ve found the rich Moss color of this weekender to be a neutral complement to all sorts of travel outfits (again, style’s in the details!). It strikes the right balance between being unique yet not too outlandish. Any of the five other color options currently available would do much the same thing — particularly the rich Nutmeg color or the handsome Chocolate color. The lighter shade of tan even calls to mind a Filson bag.

Which brings us to a key differentiator between an expensive weekender and this one — price (not too hard to figure out there, ehh?). For a bag of this quality and styling potential, the price is just right. That’s particularly true when you consider that the Navali Weekender runs about $30 more expensive. It’s critical that this bag provides more space, more color options and a thicker waxed canvas (not to be overlooked when searching for something long-lasting). Keep in mind that if you were looking for something more smaller and more like an overnight bag, J. Crew Factory is currently offering up its Carson Duffel Bag for just $68.50. And on the slightly more casual front, J. Crew’s Harwick Weekender Bag is going for $148 (but that piece features nylon versus waxed canvas). Were you to go for something on the pricier side of things — like a true Filson weekender — know that the price is going to hop up significantly.

So when it comes to combining craftsmanship, quality and price with the right kind of looks, it’s tough to go farther than this United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle. The Moss color in particular is rich and eyecatching, the hardware is solid and well-crafted, the leather straps and detailing will break in nicely over time, and the price is on-point for what you’re getting. Heck, you might yourself making more excuses to use this bag than you thought.

Do you own the Mt. Drew Duffle from United By Blue? Or is it on your Wish List?

Coast to coast: Capping off a weekend in Los Angeles

A casual outfit for a casual (yet busy!) L.A. weekend. Rust V-neck by Pistol Lake. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

A casual outfit for a casual (yet busy!) L.A. weekend (picture taken outside Angel City Brewing). Rust V-neck by Pistol Lake. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Navy sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

After a rather exhausting cross-country flight, the book is closed on my trip to Los Angeles. And what a trip it was. Cramming lots into a weekend can sometimes be difficult and overwhelming to do when traveling, but I can definitely say I have a newfound appreciation for the city  (even moreso than I did before), and there was zero stress in getting around; it was absolutely worth being just a bit tired today at the ole’ desk job, too. Luckily, I was able to navigate the city in style, and I found what I packed to be just enough, with a few exceptions.

A highlight of the trip was a Friday evening (or rather, a late Friday night) spent at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, an eclectic bar styled like what can only be described as a cool, albeit 70’s-themed, house party. It’s a must-visit bar with a neat outdoor patio area and (crucially, cheap brews. I made use of my Mott & Bow denim and a United By Blue pocket T-shirt (unfortunately not line now) that transitioned smoothly from travel (along with my Grayers Russel Baseball Jacket) into a night on the town. Having versatile layers that keep you comfortable is key when traveling and making quick changes on the go, and those items served me well. I also was pleased with how my Timberland Coulter Chukka Boots held up during the transition from travel to sightseeing (although I picked up this pair through my day job, I’d recommend everyone grab a reliable pair of trusty leather chukka boots for all kinds of style situations).

Spending some more time outside Angel City Brewing before sampling some terrific beers.

Spending some more time outside Angel City Brewing before sampling some terrific beers.

As we rallied from a less-than-optimal night of sleep to watch our beloved Michigan State Spartans beat Purdue, I again turned to my Mott & Bow denim – they’re an exceptionally comfortable pair of jeans built with a nice amount of stretch. I’ve found the Skinny fit to be the ideal silhouette for the sorts of outfits I like to wear, although the brand’s Slim and Straight options appear to be just as reliable. The comfortable fit and versatile, dark color of my pair definitely served me well on the rest of our adventures through Los Angeles — it was truly awesome to be able to visit Angel City Brewery in the city’s burgeoning Arts District on Saturday in particular! I took along my Randolph Engineering sunglasses along with my ever-present Warby Parker glasses. It was only fitting to be able to take in everything while outfitted in a comfortable, soft V-neck from Los Angeles’ own Pistol Lake.  Of course, the beer at Angel City was the real highlight.

A shot from inside the well-designed, enjoyable Angel City Brewery.

A shot from inside the well-designed, enjoyable Angel City Brewery.

They have a positively massive, multi-level warehouse space built out with pleasing industrial décor, an outdoor food stand and of course, excellent beer brewed on-site. Sampling flights of delicious beer and taking in the atmosphere on a beautiful day made it worth the trek across town. It’s part of an area of Los Angeles that seems to be coming up quickly — and it’s also close to the well-designed Apolis Common Gallery. Filled up with great beer and ready to tackle the rest of the day, our adventures took us through much of the rest of downtown L.A., including Grand Park, the Grand Central Market and portions of the city’s Historic District. Viewing some of the city’s surreal architecture was quite neat — the California Department of Transportation is a distinct highlight (even for a government administration building).

The perfect shirt for a night out, and the perfect bag for cross country travel. Polka dot short-sleeve Oxford by Saturdays NYC. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali.

The perfect shirt for a night out, and the perfect bag for cross country travel. Polka dot short-sleeve Oxford by Saturdays NYC. Stowaway Weekender Bag by Navali.

As a lot of walking was involved throughout the rest of the day and into the early part of the evening, my reliable navy suede Rosen sneakers from GREATS Brand proved the perfect sneaker both in terms of versatile style and comfort (just as I had hoped). For the larger part of the night however, I turned to my Coulter Chukka boots from Timberland, along with one of my all-time favorite shirts, a polka dot short-sleeve Oxford from Saturdays Surf NYC (as seen above). And the night was certainly an adventure — more great beer was on-tap at Sunset Beer, a Silver Lake bottle shop featuring a wide range of bottles available for purchase and consumption on-site; the draft selection included hard-to-find (in NYC) brews from heavyweights like Deschutes. Checking out nice cocktail bars like The Thirsty Crow in the trendy neighborhood was also a highlight.

The Devil's Mess egg scramble featuring some solid sides.

The Devil’s Mess egg scramble featuring some solid sides.

And a  much-needed Sunday brunch also brought us back to Silver Lake, and the delicious Millie’s Café. As you can see in the photo above, the meal was something else! Given the laidback nature of the day, I kept my outfit rather simple on Sunday, but opted (mistakenly) for shorts rather than denim — a bad move considering temperatures were breezy and in the low ’60’s! And on that note, I would definitely swap out another pair of shorts in my bag for another pair of denim or chinos. However, my Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo proved polished enough for all the day’s adventures, including lots more walking through Silver Lake. To go with the sportier style I tried out, my Goorin Brothers vintage ballcap (back in stock in November, I’m told!), was a solid accessory to pair with my clean, minimal Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol watch throughout Sunday, in addition to the rest of the trip.

Perusing the excellent Shinola flagship. Polo by Michael Bastian x Uniqlo. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Linen-blend shorts by Frank & Oak. Braided leather belt by Target Merona. Glasses by Warby Parker. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington.

Perusing the excellent Shinola flagship. Polo by Michael Bastian x Uniqlo. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Linen-blend shorts by Frank & Oak. Braided leather belt by Target Merona. Glasses by Warby Parker. Classic Bristol leather watch by Daniel Wellington.

In addition to brunch, our Silver Lake exploration also took us to the outstanding Shinola flagship store. The selection of watches was, as always, outstanding. And as one might expect from such a design-focused company, the layout was pleasing and the rest of the product, including fine leather goods, journal supplies and an amazing shearling bomber jacket done in collaboration with Golden Bear, was stellar. Although it wasn’t in the cards (or the budget, rather) this time, a Shinola timepiece is definitely on my wish list. Swinging through Hollywood finished up what proved to be a whirlwind trip (but closing it out with an excellent Thai coffee near my friend’s apartment was the way to go).

It was a trip that packed a ton into a short period of time, but it’s certainly one I would repeat. Navigating the city was an adventure, but not overly difficult, and covering so much ground and seeing so many different cultures and sights n such a short period of time was definitely the best way to experience the city. There are some standout, up-and-coming spots and some excellent menswear stores, too — all good things to look for when traveling if you’re like me! It may have been a quick trip this time, but I’ll definitely be back.

Ever been through Los Angeles? What’s your favorite spot in the city?

Cross-country: Heading West for a weekend in L.A.

Polka dots popping out. Taking my favorite Saturdays Surf NYC shirt and my trusty Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag. Luggage tag by Frank & Oak.

Polka dots popping out. Taking my favorite Saturdays Surf NYC shirt and my trusty Navali Stowaway Weekender Bag. Luggage tag by Owen & Fred.

Editor’s note: For more travel style dispatches, head here.

Out of the major American (and international) cities I’ve visited, I have perhaps the fondest memories of Los Angeles — and I only spent about twelve hours there. The last time I was in the L.A. area was, without question, one of the best weekends of my life — a trip West as part of a graduation gift to watch my beloved Michigan State Spartans take down Stanford in a legendary Rose Bowl game. I slept on a hotel room floor, edited stories from my phone as part of my work at The State News (MSU’s student newspaper) and basked in the glow of a historic school moment. Spending the next day driving around L.A. with my newspaper colleagues was particularly momentous after such a great win. But I quickly realized the city had more to offer — and when one of my best high school & college friends headed West earlier this year, I knew I had to make it back. So that’s where this weekend is set to take me — and as always, I resolved to travel in style despite the promise of pretty sweltering Los Angeles weather. (Let’s call this trip #StyleGuideLosAngeles, shall we?)

Three options for hot weather, pictured top to bottom -- lightweight JACHS NY grey chinos, flexible Mott & Bow dark denim and lightweight linen shorts from Frank & Oak.

Three options for hot weather, pictured top to bottom — lightweight JACHS NY grey chinos, flexible Mott & Bow dark denim and lightweight linen shorts from Frank & Oak.

I’m bringing along a good mix of product to combat the heat, starting with some linen shorts from Frank & Oak (as pictured above and detailed in this April post). I’m also bringing along a pair of Banana Republic khaki shorts and my Pistol Lake French Terry Sweatshorts, a seasonally-appropriate pickup from a brand that just happens to be based in L.A. They should pair nicely with one of my Pistol Lake V-neck tees. And that get-up should in turn go well with my ever-reliable GREATS Brand Rosen sneakers, a pair I’ve come to rely on in all sorts of situations. They’re exceptionally comfortable and work to dress down a blazer and T-shirt (a combination I’ll likely be wearing on the plane, as I’m heading to the airport after a half-day at work — #WheelsUp!). And should those sneakers need some time out of the rotation, I’m sure my GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers in White will definitely get the job done with multiple pant options.

Travel essentials for a cross-country trip. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Navy sneakers by GREATS Brand. Socks by American Trench. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Dopp kit by Baxter of California.

Travel essentials for a cross-country trip. Russel Baseball Jacket by Grayers. Navy sneakers by GREATS Brand. Socks by American Trench. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Dive watch by Invicta. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Dopp kit by Baxter of California.

On that front, I’m anticipating the weather to be quite hot — so my Mott & Bow dark denim should pair well with my Rust V-neck from Pistol Lake (check out that shirt here) and my navy GREATS sneakers. However, I’m ready to sub in my JACHS NY grey chinos, which are about the same weight as a Bonobos Washed Chino, should the situation call for it. I think the dark denim in particular will also team up nicely with two shirting options I’m bringing — my polka-dot Saturdays Surf NYC Esquina Oxford (from the Spring 2014 line), and my Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo, featuring a nice royal blue color and a thin striped collar The polo in particular (seen more closely here) has a nice bit of stretch and a breathable fabric, key in the heat. My Mott & Bow denim should also do well in that regard. In case the weather does turn cooler, I’m bringing my trusty Russel Baseball Jacket from Grayers (as seen above), which should provide a crisp, versatile outerwear option. On my head, I’ll be throwing on my Goorin Brothers vintage ballcap — a favorite from a brand that really does know how to make great hats. To round out my apparel, some standout socks from American Trench (as discussed in this week’s Style Q&A) will definitely prove breathable and comfortable. Of course, no trip would be complete with a great timepiece — I’m expecting my stainless steel Invicta Pro Diver 8926 and my Classic Bristol Leather Watch from Daniel Wellington to work interchangeably with footwear I’m bringing (particularly my well-worn brown leather Coulter Chukkas — courtesy of my day job repping Timberland).

Grooming gear fit for the road ahead. Featuring Beard Oil & Pure Pomade from Doc Elliott, Shampoo from Baxter of Californina and the Wahl Grooming Stainless Steel Trimmer.

Grooming gear fit for the road ahead. Featuring Beard Oil & Pure Pomade from Doc Elliott, Shampoo from Baxter of Californina and the Wahl Grooming Stainless Steel Trimmer.

To round out my luggage and grooming situation, I’m hauling everything in, as ever, my Navali Stowaway Weeekender Bag and my hard-wearing Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag, both of which have provided formidable and tough options for carrying luggage across the globe. And as toiletries are just as key when traveling as at home, I’m rounding up some essentials to bring with me (in travel sizes, of course). My haul will include the Travel Essentials Kit from grooming giant Baxter of California, as well as some Pure Pomade from Doc Elliott and my Wahl Grooming Stainless Steel Trimmer. I’ll be lugging it all in the Baxter Quilted Dopp Kit, which should make things easy to access throughout the trip. While I’m looking forward to sampling the finest food & drink *namely beer, can’t forget about the beer* that L.A. has to offer, I’m also hoping to meet with a brand I admire and whom I’ve interacted with a bit in the past — the fine folks at Apolis. After seeing a press preview of a neat industrial design project they’re working on, plus profiling  them for VOUCH Mag and GearHungry, it’s a definitely a cool opportunity.
Florsheim
As always, look for the regularly scheduled Friday Read post before I jet-set, along with a new Style Pick of the Week. Follow me during the trip via Instagram and Twitter, if that catches your fancy! And look for more from out West next week.

And do let me know — what’s on your must-see list in L.A.? Best restaurants or spots to check out? Drop me a line via Twitter or give me a shout in the comments!

Ben Sherman US