Capital Style: A spring weekend in Washington, D.C.

washington-dc-edited-photo

Just the right staples for a spring weekend in Washington, D.C. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Hayden Grey Jacket by Bridge & Burn. Dark blue denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Runner Sneakers by Brooks Heritage.

 As I hinted at in this past Friday’s weekly reading roundup, I had the chance to travel just a few hours south via train to Washington, D.C. visit my great friend and former college roommate Ian Kullgren this weekend — and a lovely weekend it was. As it were, the last time we saw each other was back in East Lansing after graduation (home of our Michigan State Spartans). So, we had a lot to catch up on! Although the forecast threatened rain initially, the skies cleared up throughout the weekend and we were able to see a ton of Washington, D.C. I’d been to our nation’s capital back in November, but this time, the trip it was different – it was thankfully a lot warmer and sunnier, for one. And there was more to see given Ian’s location in the Woodley Park neighborhood of the city. So as the week wrapped up, I planned out what #menswear to pack and hit the road – planning ahead based on the weather and itinerary is something that’s gotten easier for me as time has gone on, (and hopefully, it’s the same for you!).

Easygoing gear for a weekend of adventures. Waxed Voyager Weekender by Owen & Fred. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Navy leather card case by Issara. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

Easygoing gear for a weekend of adventures. Waxed Voyager Weekender by Owen & Fred. Legend Sneakers by SeaVees. Stringer Dune Shorts by Bridge & Burn. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Navy leather card case by Issara. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches.

Having traveled to some pretty neat places across the past handful of months (including a stylish weekend in Florida and a trip to Detroit), I knew a great bag was definitely needed for this particular trip — we’re talking something that can hold up trip after trip (and you should look for a similarly durable piece). Owen & Fred’s new Voyager Waxed Weekender, as seen above, more than fit the bill. It’s sturdy as heck, made in the USA and finished off with tough 9 oz. leather straps from one of America’s oldest tanneries, Wickett and Craig. Seriously, this bag is a beast, and I could definitely go on — but the rest of the trip calls! (Look for a full feature on the piece in this site’s Style Pick of the Week series soon).

After a quick train ride down to D.C., we still had enough time on Friday to check out some D.C. haunts with our friend and fellow Michigan State Spartan Emily Wilkins. Our mini bar crawl of sorts took us to the always-great Capitol Lounge (an MSU haven) and the renowned Little Miss Whiskey’s, with enough rare beer on tap and in bottles to make your head spin. We grabbed a nightcap (hot dog, that is) at the renowned Ben’s Chili Bowl – that’s a great chili dog right there.

A casual, cool outfit for exploring Washington, D.C. Hayden Gray Jacket by Bridge & Burn. Indigo Denim Jack Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Pilot's watch by AVI-8. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

A casual, cool outfit for exploring Washington, D.C. Hayden Gray Jacket by Bridge & Burn. Indigo Denim Jack Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Dark denim by Mott & Bow. Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Pilot’s watch by AVI-8. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers.

Saturday proved a busy day that took us around D.C. on foot for long periods of time – in that respect, I was glad I packed comfortably and with versatility in mind (like the outfit you see at the top of the page!). For exploring everywhere from the National Mall to the bustling 14th and U Street areas, I grabbed some extremely comfortable (and sharp) navy, light blue and red suede sneakers from the Brooks Heritage line — the sport-inspired lifestyle line from Brooks Running. While the pair you see here is now unfortunately sold out, there are plenty of versatile options to be had — and something clean and simple like the GREATS Rosen Runner would also work just as well for travel adventures.

The lightweight, comfortable Hayden Gray Jacket from Bridge & Burn topped off what’s perhaps my new favorite shirt, the Jack in Indigo Star from the fine folks at Taylor Stitch — versatility is key when traveling for a quick weekend trip, and this shirt (just like a classic chambray shirt) definitely nailed it. And no matter where you go, some crisp and classic dark denim is always a solid bet — particularly if inclement weather is potentially in the picture. I grabbed a pair that’s a personal favorite, my Mott and Bow Skinny Mosco denim (the brand also stocks classic dark denim in other cuts, too). They’re simple, slim-fitting and particularly effective for a casual trip.

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We covered a lot of ground, from strolling through the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art to marveling at the National Archives and the Declaration of Independence – the first time I’d been back there since my 8th grade class field trip (no blog post covering that trip, sadly). We also made time to meet up with two old college friends (Go Green!), Gabby Saldivia and Colin Marshall, both talented folks who work at NPR – being around so many communications pros reminded me why I picked up that degree in the first place! If you fancy gobbling up some gourmet brews and delicious bites, Glen’s Garden Market is the place to do just that.  A post-dinner drink was definitely in order, this time at Smoke N’Barrel. Although we didn’t eat any of the restaurant’s famous barbeque, it looked mighty tempting.

Sunday's outfit grid for D.C adventures -- a Pima Crewneck Tee from Mack Weldon, Slim Light Mercer Denim from Mott & Bow and Brown Scout Chukka Boots from Thursday Boots. Customized Fairfield Watch by Timex.

Sunday’s outfit grid for D.C adventures — a Pima Crewneck Tee from Mack Weldon, Slim Light Mercer Denim from Mott & Bow and Brown Scout Chukka Boots from Thursday Boots. Customized Fairfield Watch by Timex.

For the rest of the trip, I brought along another trusty pair of denim from Mott & Bow, the all-new Light Mercer. Think of these as a step down from chinos and a …. step sideways from dark denim in terms of color and texture. That is, they can be dressed up like chinos or dressed down like denim — but you get a lot of comfort either way. For Sunday explorations, I also threw on a comfortable Mack Weldon Crewneck Tee. It’s admittedly simple and minimal, but the tee is comfortable and a great match for the color of the light denim. Crucially, the combo was also the perfect match for a terrific pair of Brown Scout Boots from the always on-point team at Thursday Boot Company.

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During my last trip to Washington, D.C., I also brought along a pair of chukkas from the brand, but I swapped out the Chocolate Suede Scout Boot for the brown leather boots you see here — and I was just as pleased with the results. They took me seamlessly around the city all throughout Friday night and on Sunday. The sturdy rubber sole of that chukka definitely helped for lots of on-foot trekking (and bar-crawling, if we’re honest with ourselves).I closed out Sunday with a quick stop in the D.C. outpost of Frank & Oak, one of my favorite men’s lifestyle brands — that was a real treat! And it was great to be able to grab a quick afternoon coffee at The Wydown, one of the city’s best coffee shops.

Sunday done right in D.C. Pima Crewneck Tee by @mackweldon. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Customized Fairfield Watch by Mott & Bow.

Sunday done right in D.C. Pima Crewneck Tee by Mack Weldon. Slim Light Mercer Denim by Mott & Bow. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Customized Fairfield Watch by Timex.

Packing for any trip also requires some attention to the little things, the same sort of accessories you might wear at home — namely, a stylish casual watch or two. I was definitely pleased with the versatility and durability of my new AVI-8 Flyboy (similar to the model shown in the link), complete with a black leather strap that matched up just fine with my suede sneakers. And whenever I travel, my trusty MVMT Watches 40 Timepiece is also a frequent companion. Plus, my new Timex Weekender Fairfield (seen above) is sharp, stylish and a terrific value. A minimal leather watch can pair with everything from navy sneakers to brown chukkas, and it works with a blazer and khaki chinos if your travels call for something a bit more polished. So given the laidback nature of this trip, it worked more than fine for both travel and exploration.

I also prefer to bring along finishing touches that can make all the difference between traveling in comfort and, well… not traveling in comfort. In this instance, that means my dependable dopp kit from the Byrd x Richer Poorer collaboration, as well as a few everyday grooming essentials from the always-reliable Baxter of California. And additional pieces like a great pair of Mack Weldon boxer briefs and stylish-yet-understated American Trench socks weren’t overlooked in my bag — and they shouldn’t be in yours, either.

As trips like these tend to go, it felt a bit too brief (such is life when trying to coordinate around the schedules of a journalist and a PR guy!). But I really felt like I was able to experience much more of the city than in past trips, from a stop through the National Archives that gave me some great historical perspective, to a walk through the National Gallery of Art and time spent along the bustling, hip U Street area. It’s a city that’s more varied than meets the eye – it’s not all tour groups and national monuments (although seeing those monuments made me feel pretty patriotic). There’s a burgeoning menswear scene, the dining (and local craft beer selection) is on-point, and it’s quite easy to get around – that’s just a handful of the major pluses I experienced in a quick weekend. I’d say it’s absolutely worth a visit – and if you’ve been before or you live there, you already know that! I’ll be back again. Until then, look for more on The Style Guide tomorrow covering a stylish spring outfit suggestion.

Thanks for reading!

-Beau

Florsheim

Style Guide Spring Break: A weekend in Florida

Editor’s note: For more tips on what to pack for warm weather, head here.

It was an excellent, relaxing Florida weekend -- exploring downtown Fort Myers was a highlight! Short-sleeve gingham shirt and khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

It was an excellent, relaxing Florida weekend — exploring downtown Fort Myers was a highlight! Short-sleeve gingham shirt and khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Any time I get the chance to step away from the hustle and bustle of New York City, I’ll gladly take it — even if only for a few days. Being able to go somewhere sunny and warm to visit my family, like Florida, makes traveling that much better. It’s certainly a welcome adjustment from having to bundle up for both NYC winters and trips back to Michigan, both of which I’ve grown accustomed to over the years — this is a change of pace that I’ll gladly take! This past weekend was a special one, as I headed back down to Fort Myers for my dad’s birthday. It’s a tradition that’s worked out the past few years, as it seems a lot goes on at once — we get the chance to root on our alma mater, Michigan State, in the Big Ten Tournament, we get the chance to celebrate my dad’s birthday and most importantly, we get the chance to catch up and relax in the lovely weather. It’s a win-win-win (in the words of Michael Scott!).

A trusty United By Blue duffle made it easy to pack up my everyday carry. Natural pocket tee by Richer Poorer. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Grey-and-white chukka sneakers by Dr. Martens. Brass money clip by Owen & Fred. Navy leather card case by Issara.

A trusty United By Blue duffle made it easy to pack up my everyday carry. Natural pocket tee by Richer Poorer. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Grey-and-white chukka sneakers by Dr. Martens. Brass money clip by Owen & Fred. Navy leather card case by Issara.

Prepping for the trip was luckily pretty straightforward — even compared to my last visit to Florida at Christmas, the weather had already jumped into the 80s as I hopped on a quick  flight from NYC to Fort Myers last Thursday. With some time in my fairly casual office beforehand, I knew I’d need to be ready to both hop on the plane and then step into some nice, sunny weather. So transitional style was key, and lightweight staples like my Richer Poorer pocket tee , slim tan Banana Republic chinos and my new Dr. Martens Baynes Chukka Sneakers did the trick. The sneakers in particular have the style of a high-top, the surprisingly lightweight construction of a low-cut sneaker, and the ability to be slipped on and off at the airport with ease — I’d definitely look for a pair like that for your next trip. My United By Blue Mt. Drew Duffle worked perfectly to carry the rest of my gear, which included easygoing style staples like a Grayers slub polo and a well-fitting, comfortable Tommy John Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey,  ideal for relaxing by the pool.

Relaxing poolside with a few choice style essentials. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Relaxing poolside with a few choice style essentials. Brown leather watch by MVMT Watches. Sunglasses by Tom Ford.

Of course, as with any trip involving sand and sun, I was happy I packed some trusty everyday carry gear — including my reliable, stylish (and yes, pricey) Tom Ford Snowdon sunglasses — thanks again, Santa! As the weather warms up and you look to hit the road, know that plenty of easy-to-shop brands — particularly the folks at Warby Parker — are crafting wearable, stylish sunglasses for far less (good news, for sure). I brought along my trusty MVMT Watches silver-and-brown leather watch, a sturdy Invicta stainless steel dive watch and a more casual Stuhrling Original rubber-strap watch to round out my watch game. An Owen & Fred brass money clip and Issara leather card case helped me keep my essentials in check. If you want to travel lighter, know that a trusty stainless steel dive watch can certainly suffice for everything from rugged wear on the beach to dressier dinners — but if you’re a fan of watches like me, it might be handy to bring along a few choices.

A must-see when hitting up Sanibel Island -- the delicious Bennett's Fresh Roast! Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling. Beach scene not included with purchase.

A must-see when hitting up Sanibel Island — the delicious Maple Bacon Donut from Bennett’s Fresh Roast. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling. Beach scene not included with purchase.

So I had plenty of stylish gear for our activities, including a nice birthday celebration for my dad on Thursday night at Trader’s, home of some excellent seafood — I’d recommend it, and it was nice to break out some khaki shorts again for the evening, finally! As I arrived just in time for happy hour, that was a welcome change of pace from NYC, too. My dad and I were also able to celebrate his actual birthday on Friday with a few stops at some of our favorite spots on nearby Sanibel Island, including the legendary Bennett’s Fresh Roast — the Maple Bacon Donut is a must-have, and it was a nice snack on the beach. We were able to hop just down the road to nearby Captiva for a delicious lunch at The Green Flash; don’t skip the chance to try the Barbeque Bacon Shrimp — it’s truly the best of both worlds!

Exploring the beaches and walking trails of Fort Myers. Short-sleeve striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Navy sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Grey sneakers by Reef. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

Exploring the beaches and walking trails of Fort Myers. Short-sleeve striped chambray shirt by JACHS NY. Navy sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Grey sneakers by Reef. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Rubber-strap watch by Stuhrling Original.

We were able to spend the rest of the day exploring some of Sanibel’s lovely beaches — for getting to and from the donut shop, lunch and the beach, I picked out a versatile short-sleeve JACHS NY chambray shirt, my ever-reliable Pistol Lake sweatshorts and some brand-new, comfortable sneakers from the surf experts at Reef. Later in the afternoon and in an awesome, truly chance meeting, we bumped into my former State News colleague and fellow MSU alum Sam Radecki and her family on Blind Pass Beach as we sipped some afternoon beverages (read: Heineken). The world’s a small place, huh? (Oh, and Go Green!). It was great to catch up, and it was also exciting to be able to kick off a weekend of great basketball among our fellow fans at Timber’s  on Friday night — it’s the place to go for sports and seafood on Sanibel.

Saturday gave my dad and  a respite from the sun (style tip: sunscreen helps), and explore more of historic downtown Fort Myers. Between antique shops, craft brewpubs and a lovely waterfront area, there’s a little something for everyone. It was particularly neat to check out the old, Fort Myers Civic Center — it seems like a prime spot waiting to be developed into a great location. And if you’re a fan of craft beer (like yours truly), The Lodge is a definite top spot to visit — from the pour-your-own beer taps to the excellent barbeque, it’s tons of fun. Picking out gear to wear for the day was a cinch thanks to the excellent weather — always nice! I threw on a slim short-sleeve Banana Republic gingham shirt (similar option here) and khaki shorts, two nice offerings from a brand that always does casual basics well. Staying out of the sun was made even easier with my favorite hat, a vintage-inspired Goorin Brothers ballcap. If you’re looking to upgrade your hat rotation, reaching for a throwback style is always a nice bet.

Casual gear to cap off the trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Heather grey pocket tee by Tommy John. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Casual gear to cap off the trip. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Heather grey pocket tee by Tommy John. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Sunglasses by Tom Ford. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

Saturday night gave me the opportunity to catch another great MSU win with my family at Point Ybel Brewing Company, and  I also had the chance to catch with my grandparents (who just moved down the street from my parents’ house, as it were).  And Sunday proved the perfect day to cap off the trip — after relaxing by the pool with some of the casual gear you see above, my dad and I swung by Bennett’s Fresh Roast again (it’s a must-visit!). In the spirit of moving quickly, we also made some time to stop by the World of Beer and meet another college pal (hey there, Matt Sheehan) to catch the start of the Big Ten Championship Game for our MSU Spartans. If ever you find yourself near a World of Beer location, stop in — the beer selection is extensive and the food was perfect for the occasion. Again, Go Green!

No matter how brief trips to this area of Florida can be, they always seem to get better — it’s relaxing, the weather is absurdly beautiful and it seems like there are more and more great friends and great times to be found everywhere. With so many Spartans around and with some new favorite spots in our rotation to visit, I’m definitely looking forward to coming back. If you’re in the neighborhood, drop me a line on Twitter! For now, it’s back to work in NYC. Look for more great content on The Style Guide later this week — we’ve got your St. Patrick’s Day style suggestion covered, along with stylish gear to wear for the NCAA Tournament. It’ll be fun!

Until tomorrow — stay stylish,

-Beau

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Sand & sun: Packing for a Florida Christmas

Editor’s note: For more travel style posts, fly this way.

Travel gear for the road ahead. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Print magazine by Gear Patrol

Travel gear for the road ahead. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Brothers. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Print magazine by Gear Patrol

Going from a place where the past weekend called for a sweater to a locale where temps are in the 80s is a style conundrum that I haven’t faced too often, especially at Christmas. But such is the situation I find myself in as I prepare to head to Florida today for what should be a lovely and relaxing Christmas weekend. Don’t get me wrong — I love the sun and sand. But I’m an especially big fan of fall and winter style — layering, a great fall or winter jacket, a nice henley — it’s all fair game once the temperature drops. So since my parents moved full-time to Florida about two-and-a-half years ago, it’s been different than the chilly Michigan winters of Christmas’ past — a welcome change of pace, but still different. I know I’m definitely lucky to escape to some warm weather, and I always welcome the chance to change things up style-wise. So with that in mind, I’ve set to work crafting a carry-on that’ll help me fly in style and beat the heat.

A new piece of luggage from the responsible hands of United By Blue.

A durable carry-on for this trip from the responsible hands of United By Blue.

I’m taking along a new piece of luggage, a sturdy and functional United By Blue duffle bag made from solid waxed canvas. The Moss color is just different enough from my Navali Stowaway Weekender, so it’s a nice addition to my everyday travel carry. And as I’ll also be on the road in the coming weeks, it’ll certainly get a lot of use (look for a full review in February). At $188, the price is well within range for a durable weekender. The centerpieces of my bag will be some summer style essentials I’d put away for the time being. As far as casual style goes, it’s hard to beat a trim polo in a nice material, like my trusty Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo from this year’s line, plus a soft Grayers slub nep jersey polo and my ever-reliable Esquina oxford from Saturdays Surf NYC. To me, having pieces that can work with shorts or chinos alike while keeping you cool is a pretty big key when traveling to warm locales — I tried to follow the same packing method when heading to Italy earlier this summer, in fact.

Simple, easygoing tees from Pistol Lake and United By Blue, plus my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks.

Simple, easygoing tees from Pistol Lake and United By Blue, plus my Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Trunks.

That means it’ll also be time for me to break out some solid T-shirts — I love a great henley, especially a rugged short-sleeve henley from the likes of Pistol Lake, a Style Guide favorite. The brand’s V-neck tee (as seen in another warm-weather trip to Los Angeles) will also be in my bag, as will my trusty Orlebar Brown Setter Swim Shorts. And it wouldn’t be a comfortable, casual Christmas if I didn’t get to test out a new pocket tee from Tommy John, a basics maker that’s gained steam as of late in the online community for its well-crafted knitwear So the Ringer Pocket Tee in Heather Grey should definitely be a laidback yet not-sloppy option for the warm weather. I’m going to complement those shirt and polo offerings with an always-versatile chambray shirt or two. And I’ll be breaking out some crisp khaki shorts from Banana Republic. That being said, I do love a great pair of Mott & Bow dark denim, so I’ll likely be bringing that pair along for travel wear. I’ve found that among other pant options, my olive Bonobos chinos have fared well in everything from oppressive heat to blistering cold, so they’ll make their way into my bag, too.
Ben Sherman US
Outerwear will definitely be on the lighter side for this trip, and will hopefully stay in my bag once I take off from NYC!But a baseball jacket lined in chambray like the Russel Jacket from Grayers is likely going to be my best bet for travel; removable, easygoing layers like that can also lend some polish to your travel look, and a baseball or bomber jacket can even be worn over a collared shirt like a blue Oxford-cloth buttondown. If I could, I would also bring along a trusty denim jacket, as it can be styled with slim tan chinos or lightwash denim with ease — sadly, there won’t be room this time around! Rounding off warm-weather style isn’t complete without some solid sneakers and another pair of versatile shoes, though.

The shoes I'm bringing with me. From front to back: Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka by Thursday Boot Company. White Wilson sneakers and navy Rosen runners from GREATS Brand.

The shoes I’m bringing with me. From front to back: Chocolate Suede Scout Chukka by Thursday Boot Company. White Wilson sneakers and navy Rosen runners from GREATS Brand.

After putting them away for the fall, I’m looking forward to busting out my white GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers, and I’ll also be bringing along my navy Rosen runners from the brand. Heck, I might even pack my Leather Wooster slip-ons (shocker, also from GREATS) if my luggage allows. When you travel, I’d look to pack similarly versatile and comfortable shoes — a pair of brown suede chukkas from Thursday Boot Company, fit for both formal and dressed-down style, will be on my feet as I hit the road. It’s equally to your advantage that these days, a nice leather sneaker or chukka can work in nearly any situation — even with a blazer and chinos if needed (make sure those kicks are clean and free of logos — look here for more ways to style classic sneakers).

The trusty toiletries kit I'll be taking with me -- including a sharp pomade, a slick styling comb, "soap-on-a-rope" and some Richer Poorer socks.

The trusty toiletries kit I’ll be taking with me — including a sharp pomade, a slick styling comb, “soap-on-a-rope” and some Richer Poorer socks.

As my bag will be pretty full, I’ll be keeping it simple on the watch front — I like to rely on one-to-two watches on trips like these, usually a great leather watch like the Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol and my always-solid Invicta 8926 Pro Diver. Either can be worn with everything from a tee and shorts to a polo and chinos — and that’s exactly what I plan to do. Great style can even extend to your toiletries and other stylish travel accessories. With that sentiment in mind, I’m definitely excited to make use of a sweet BYRD x Richer Poorer Dopp Kit — the California haircare brand teamed up with one of my favorite sock makers on a sturdy nylon tote filled with a nice pomade, a flexible comb and the cleverly-named “Soap on a Rope.” No trip would be complete without a few last finishing touches, including some crisp Woodbuds headphones, a nice Issara leather laptop sleeve and a brass money clip via my friends at Owen & Fred.

Of course, although I always look forward to hitting the road in style, I’m particularly looking forward this time around to getting some rest and relaxation with my family. The sunshine certainly won’t hurt, either! Have a great Christmas, and if you fancy, swing through this way on Friday for a Christmas edition of the Friday Read and a Saturday Style Pick.

Stay stylish!

-Beau
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The Friday Read: Black Friday Deals, Jimmy Fallon and Quoddy

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. 

Incredulous as it might seem, Thanksgiving has passed and we’re fully into that shopping frenzy that seems to kick off (or continue) with Black Friday and Cyber Monday (a heads-up that some choice deals today are listed below the usual Friday Read). But before we launch into that madness, how was your Thanksgiving? I had a relaxing and lovely day with family in West Virginia — the train ride to get here was quite a long one, so it’s a good thing I had some stylish travel gear with me. Where is this weekend taking you? Wherever that might be, I hope it’s time well-spent with the ones you love. I’m thankful this time of year in particular for the chance to have a job that I love and pursue my passions through this blog — thanks so, so much for reading! Before you grab a turkey sandwich, check out our Friday Read as planned and get ready to do some shopping. Look for a Cyber Monday rundown after the weekend, and the regular ol’ Style Pick hitting tomorrow.

  • Esquire put together a very well-done profile in this month’s print issue on late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon and how he’s handled the business of being, well, Jimmy Fallon every night in front of millions.
  • In time for the holidays, Quoddy and Sperry Topsider team up on a “Made in Maine” collection that should prove fit for some Northeast exploration. The black-soled moc camp boot looks especially promising.
  • Have some downtime this weekend?  A few weeks back, Paste put together a list of the top 100 movies streaming on Netflix this month.

And now without further ado, a selection of some Black Friday deals & steals from a few choice brands…

  • Frank & Oak — The noted Canadian menswear retailer is offering up to 65% Off, no code required, with new deals to follow for Cyber Monday.
  • GREATS — The terrific Brooklyn sneaker retailer (read reviews here and here) is offering 20% off sitewide and launching the second edition of its sneaker collab with NFL running back Marshawn Lynch.
  • Owen & Fred — Get $10 off your order of $30 or more at the popular menswear & home goods outlet with the code MURPHY (and read more on what to buy from the brand here).
  • Florsheim — On the dressier side of things, get 20% off sitewide with the code LNKTG15 through the end of the day.
  • Mott & Bow — Get 10% off orders over $96 w/ the code SMALL, get 20% off orders over $200 w/ the code MEDIUM and last but not least, 30% off orders over $300 with the code LARGE [and all you newbies can get 15% off your first order aside from those deals].
  • JACHS NY — Get 50% off on Black Friday with the code THANKSGIVING, plus free domestic shipping on orders over $100 (read up on a nice cardigan from the brand at this link).
  • J. Crew Factory — A Style Guide favorite, the brand is taking 50% off everything through November 29, with free shipping on orders of $50 or more with the code SHIPGIFTS (Editor’s note: Look for more picks from J. Crew Factory and Frank & Oak on Monday).
  • Grayers — Another Style Guide favorite, get 25% off sitewide through Cyber Monday with the code CYBERSALE
  • Combatant Gentleman — Everyone’s favorite affordable tailoring brand is in the midst of running 8 days of deals — check out the site for more, and catch up on a Combat Gent blazer review before you buy (if you please, that is).
  • Baxter of California — The grooming experts are giving customers 25% off with the code HOLIDAY25, now through November 30 (before you buy, read more on the brand here).
  • KOMONO — The noted watch & sunglasses retailer is taking 20% off & throwing in free shipping now through November 30 (read up on a great watch from the brand here).
  • Richer Poorer — One of the best sock retailers in the business, the brand is giving folks 40% off sitewide now through Cyber Monday (get the lowdown on some essential no-show socks before you buy).

Keep in mind that this is but a fraction of deals out there, with more to come on Monday. Enjoy the weekend and thanks for reading!

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
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Fighting the chill: A November weekend in Michigan

Editor’s note: For more travel-centric blog posts, click here.

The sun sets on a crisp fall Saturday in Grand Rapids.

The sun sets on a crisp fall Saturday in Grand Rapids. View courtesy of my friend Chris’s apartment.

As I explored the lovely city of Grand Rapids this past weekend, I was struck by how lucky I am to have lived and grown up in such a beautiful state, and to have such great friends. The opportunity to travel back is, of course, not lost on me either.While it was tricky to balance working from Brooklyn and hopping on a flight back to Michigan after a whirlwind week of Timberland-centric press work, I did indeed manage to make it in one piece! And it was truly a great time in Grand Rapids, the home of famed festival ArtPrize and also some decent brews (to say the least). This was all in spite of the fact that I was greeted, in characteristic Michigan fashion, by a bit of brisk weather. Luckily though, I had proper style gear on-hand to brave the elements.

Stumbling upon cool murals was a highlight in a city known for its burgeoning art scene. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Down jacket by JACHS NY. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Leather chukkas by Timberland.

Stumbling upon cool murals was a highlight in a city known for its burgeoning art scene. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Grey jacket by JACHS NY. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Leather chukkas by Timberland. Dive watch by Invicta

To get home, my Satchel & Page Slim Mailbag and Navali Weekender were  more than durable, yet that wasn’t my primary concern! Packing gear to beat the cold while also in transit was the bigger ordeal– how to pack light yet layer up and stay comfortable? Answer: A terrific pair of Mott and Bow denim with stretch built in,  plus some solid outerwear. It’s pieces like these that can make your travels a heck of a lot easier in terms of comfort (UNIQLO also offers somed nice stretch denim at a different price point). To complete my travel get-up, I went with a striped J. Crew henley — always a rugged style suggestion for fall — underneath a quilted yet surprisingly lightweight down coat from JACHS NY. The jacket was comfortable to get around the airport and not too hot — it would be a good travel pickup as you look to bundle up and hit the road this holiday season.

Just a look at some of the cold-weather gear I packed, including my Reef x H.D. Lee workshirt, Iron & Resin gloves, American Trench merino watch cap and black Reef chukka sneakers.

Just a look at some of the cold-weather gear I packed, including my Reef x H.D. Lee workshirt, Iron & Resin gloves, American Trench merino watch cap and black Reef chukka sneakers.

Complementing my travel outfit were my trusty Timberland Coulter Chukka Boots — I’d also recommend you pick up a nice pair of leather chukkas for fall. To say they go with everything – even a T-shirt and jeans – is an understatement. To keep things simple packing-wise, I opted just to bring one watch — my ever-reliable Invicta 8926 Pro Diver (still ticking!). However, I loaded up on a few pairs of comfortable and stylish American Trench socks, plus my nice watch cap from the brand. The cap was a huge help, and though I had hoped it would be temperate enough to forgo them, my Iron & Resin gloves also proved invaluable in the cold.

Exploring Beer City U.S.A was a highlight. Workshirt by Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Navy henley by United By Blue. Merno watch cap by American Trench. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Jesse O'Brien.

Exploring Beer City U.S.A was a highlight. Workshirt by Reef x H.D. Lee. Slim Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Navy henley by United By Blue. Merno watch cap by American Trench. Black chukka sneakers by Reef. Glasses by Warby Parker. Photo credit: Jesse O’Brien.

To get around Grand Rapids, I layered up in a nice, insulating ribbed cotton henley via the fine folks at United By Blue (you might remember that piece as this past week’s Style Pick, in fact). I layered that underneath a brushed flannel workshirt from the new Reef x H.D. Lee Shelter Supply Collection Holiday capsule. You might recognize H.D. Lee as Lee Jeans, and the brand teamed up with noted surfwear retailer Reef on a seven-piece offering that you won’t want to miss if you love American heritage style (and who doesn’t??). Look for more on the workshirt this coming week on the blog, as it was a durable-yet-cozy layering piece that’ll quickly become a winter essential.

A superb burger paired with a nice stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

A superb burger paired with a nice stainless steel dive watch by Invicta.

And as far as tough style goes, that was definitely in play from location to location. I had the chance to check out the legendary Stella’s, a Grand Rapids icon that serves more whiskey than you can shake a fist at – and oh yeah, their burgers also took home a pretty prestigious prize from GQ in recent years. A stop there for a late dinner Friday night was followed by trips through the tasty Mitten Brewing Company and a stop at Long Road, a great distillery that serves up excellent crafted cocktails (a tip: try The Machine, a coffee-and-vodka combination). To round out the night, we hit up The Winchester, another great bar with an easygoing vibe and plenty of Michigan beer on tap.

After all that, um, activity Friday night, we needed a bit of a pick-me-up on Saturday morning, so clad in my trusty Reef workshirt, we headed to Grand Rapids Brewing Company for an incomparable Bloody Mary bar (can’t beat $4), and a little Saturday college football action featuring our beloved Michigan State Spartans.

Ben Sherman US

I paired the workshirt with my Bonobos Travel Jeans in a fall-appropriate shade of light brown. and the combination worked seamlessly with some new black chukka sneakers, also via Reef. Having the option to take off and add layers while navigating around the city (and namely, from brewery to bar and back) was quite crucial. As to travel style — if you haven’t explored the potential of tossing on a workshirt in place of a jacket, either via Reef or another lower-priced option (like this number from UK clothier ADDICT), I’d advise you do so! Workshirts can be layered over chambray shirts, or worn on their own atop a henley, and the results scream rugged style. When you consider that it can be worn as a jacket or as a true shirt on its own, it’s worth paying a bit more than for your average flannel.

A reverential approach to beer (the brewery is housed in an old funeral home) keeps things classic at Brewery Vivant.

A reverential approach to beer (the brewery is housed in an old funeral home) keeps things classic at Brewery Vivant.

For yet another night out on the town in Grand Rapids on Saturday,  I met up with my best friend Chris, the unfortunate guy who accidentally sat next to me on the bus heading to my first day of kindergarten. So it was awesome to catch up (look for Chris running absurdly fast at your next marathon). The option as to what to do or where to go was pretty easy – being in Beer City U.S.A. makes things rather easy in that regard, so it was excellent to stop into the revered Brewery Vivant. If you want outstanding beer in a beyond-cool environment, I’d recommend you hit up that spot. (Of note: the Farmhand Farmhouse Ale is excellent.).

Stops through a series of Grand Rapids bars followed on Saturday night, including The Meanwhile, an eclectic bar that wouldn’t be out of place in Brooklyn. We also managed to make it for a nice beer at the relaxed Harmony Brewing Company to round out a nice night filled with great times and great friends.

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts features a relaxing loft space filled with Herman Miler pieces. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Striped socks by American Trench.

The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts features a relaxing loft space filled with Herman Miller pieces. It’s the ideal spot to stop and recharge as you explore the city. Slim denim by Mott & Bow. Leather chukka boots by Timberland. Striped socks by American Trench.

Of course, Grand Rapids is about more than beer though – it’s got a bustling arts and culture scene, and if you’re familiar with the massive, citywide art fair and installation that is ArtPrize, you definitely know it’s worth the trip. And the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts fits right in with the city’s cultural scene. My friend Chris and I had the chance to explore it on Sunday, and the tranquil setting, crisp design and engaging artwork definitely made an impact on me.  The city, of course, also has a nice mix of up-and-established large-scale entertainment entities (like the VanAndel Arena), and it’s on the come-up as they say: construction is booming, new apartment complexes are popping up left-and-right and the city is hanging onto its reputation as being family-friendly. Other outposts like Madcap Coffee, a world-class downtown spot, helped make an afternoon spent exploring the city all the more enjoyable.

Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Delicious, creamy Oatmeal Stout by Founders Brewing.

Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Delicious, creamy Oatmeal Stout by Founders Brewing.

To cap off a whirlwind weekend, we made a stop at yet another revered beer institution, Founders Brewing. The space now features heated outdoor seating, and a relaxed vibe plus some excellent beer was a tremendous way to cap off the trip. The beautiful weather and eclectic mix of new and tried-and-true spots made for an awesome weekend reconnecting with some great friends and exploring a bit more of a city I hadn’t seen in a while. When you travel there, I’d of course recommend bringing some cold-weather travel gear – but more than that, I’d recommend you simply enjoy your time in a city that’s a fine example of the Midwest.

What do you think of these cold-weather style picks? More importantly, have you been to Grand Rapids before, or are you traveling there soon?

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Reader Giveaway Opportunity: Iron & Resin

Read on to find out how these stellar Iron & Resin gloves could be yours. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Read on to find out how these stellar Iron & Resin gloves could be yours. Photo courtesy of the brand.

Editor’s note: This giveaway is now closed, but thanks so much to everyone who participated! And congrats to @UberOwen, the winner via Instagram of a great pair of Buffalo Bobber Gloves.

There are certain products you see on store shelves that you’re left thinking about when you walk away. I had the great fortune of attending a fall boot collection launch event at the Wolverine Company Store in NYC back in August, and while there, I stumbled across a stunning pair of gloves sitting on a shelf. How no one snapped them up, I’ll never know. Of course, they fit right in next to the rugged boots on display. And even just picking them up, I could instantly tell the leather was extremely high-quality, and the production value moreso. That night, in short, kickstarted my interest in Iron & Resin. This is one US-focused company that’s doing right by keeping its production and product assortment extremely close to home.  I’ve had the chance to write about them for VOUCH Mag and Effortless Gent, and I’ve been mightily impressed after diving into their Web site and learning more about the brand.

They stock an assortment of stellar third-party lifestyle, apparel and home goods, including accessories from the likes of Owen & Fred, alongside ridiculously sturdy-looking jackets and other gear made by the brand itself. It’s all fit for the open road — literally. It’s that commitment to great journeys, places & people — and to great USA-made goods — that’s helped the brand carve out such a niche. You can find everything from indigo shirts to surfing gear to those famously durable, made-in-America gloves on the brand’s newly revamped Web site.

And with winter on the way for many of us, it’s those incredible gloves that’ll likely come in handy (literally) out there  They’ve got superior abrasion resistance and a rolled cuff for ease of movement, so they’ll certainly stand up to whatever winter brings your way. Heck, you might never need another pair of gloves — they’re made for motorcycle riding, so they’ll stand up to your commute just fine. So without further delay, read on to find out how you can win the excellent Buffalo Bobber Gloves from Iron & Resin.

Best of luck to those entering!

  • Head to my Instagram and be sure to follow myself and Iron & Resin — they have an absolutely beautiful feed, and plenty of followers to prove it!
  • Like either Wednesday or Thursday’s Iron & Resin-themed photo, and in the comments, tell me how you plan to get out and explore in your new gloves this fall & winter! Use #IronAndResin, as well.
  • Be on the lookout for a winner announcement through an IG message on Thursday night!

Best of luck to everyone entering and as always,

Stay stylish,

-Beau

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

Style abroad: Travels through Greece and Italy, Part 2

A portion of the stunning Acropolis site in Athens.

In lieu of the regularly scheduled Friday Read, I wanted to take the opportunity to share another dispatch from abroad – the trip has simply been too excellent not to do so! Wednesday and Thursday’s stops on the Royal Caribbean Rhapsody of the Seas took us to world-famous Mykonos and the equally famous Athens. (Catch up on part 1 of the trip here, and on what I’m packing here). 

The payoff after a bike ride to the beach in Mykonos. Setter Swim Trunks by Orlebar Brown. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering.

 

For a bike ride through the hills of Mykonos to a stunning beach (and then a ride back to an organic winery), I went with functional gear – namely, my Pistol Lake sweatshorts and Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers, both of which worked perfectly for a rather strenuous bike ride (having barely survived, I can only assume the beer and cigars the night before didn’t help, either!). The vibrant blue waters and lovely sand beach made for a great atmosphere, especially as we enjoyed homemade lemonade prepared by our tour guide.

Of course, the picturesque vista was a prime opportunity to break out some James Bond-inspired (or rather, authentic) swim trunks from Orlebar Brown, along with my Invicta dive watch. My parents gave the family GoPro cameras to chronicle the trip as well, so the waterproof option was handy to have!
 

Exploring the Acropolis in a casual get-up. Polo by Michael Bastian x Uniqlo. Khaki shorts by Banana Republic. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Leather watch by Daniel Wellington. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering.

 
During dinner, I kept things laidback with some Taylor Stitch chinos and my ever-reliable GREATS Brand sneakers – a combination perfect for strolling from cruise bar to cruise bar. And the heat of Athens on Thursday made it essential to keep rocking my GREATS sneakers plus a tailored Michael Bastian x Uniqlo polo as we explored the Acropolis, as seen above. My trusty Daniel Wellington watch was also a crisp complement to the outfit, and it’s gone well with T-shirts and tailored wear alike.

 

The cruise has presented the opportunity to kick back a lot, too. Slim chinos by Taylor Stitch. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Beer by Corona.

 
Down the hill from the legendary site, the line-up of cafes and small shops is nice and not too overwhelming – the fresh lunch choices, including authentic fare like lamb kebabs – are delicious, too. Our final port stop on Friday takes us to the small seaside village of Katakolon, where a private guide is set to take us to yet another legendary tour stop, Olympia – site of the ancient Olympic games.

The enchanting Rhapsody then sails back to the port town of Civitavecchia, Italy across the weekend – but between now and then, keep a weather eye out for the weekly Style Pick. In the meantime, follow along via my Instagram and Twitter accounts using #StyleGuideAbroad.

Stay stylish,

-Beau

Style abroad: Packing for a cruise on the open seas

Hopping on a plane for a 10-day jaunt (read: cruise) to Italy and Greece later this week. Watch by Daniel Wellington. 'This Bag Is Not Yours' luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Weekender by Navali.

Hopping on a plane for a 10-day jaunt (read: cruise) to Italy and Greece later this week. Watch by Daniel Wellington. ‘This Bag Is Not Yours’ luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Weekender by Navali.

There are certain types of trips it seems you only get to take once in a lifetime, honestly. This coming weekend, I’ve got the great opportunity to embark on one such trip, as luck would have it. The Hayhoe family (Mom, Dad, sister, brother and sister-in-law) is heading overseas for a cruise through the Mediterranean — starting in the glorious city of Rome and swinging through Greece (Santorini, Mykonos, Athens and Katakolon, to be specific). It’s sure to be scenic and extraordinary, despite the economic tensions gripping Greece. But I face a decidedly more trivial challenge — what the heck am I going to wear? And how am I going to get it all there?

While I’m absolutely a Lean Wardrobe advocate, a slightly longer trip and variety of situations has me raiding my (somewhat extensive) closet to come up with outfit solutions. Formal cruise dinners, casual excursions, time spent by the pool and on the water and of course, some extensive travel. Yes, this trip has it all. So I’m hoping what I throw in my Navali Stowaway Weekender (a companion on other trips) sticks. To carry the rest of my gear, I’ll be toting along a durable

On the left: Olive Bonobos Washed Chinos, Sky Blue Combat Gent chinos, grey Billy Reid selvedge denim, white Mott & Bow denim (just part of the lineup). On the right, top to bottom: Pistol Lake henley, J. Crew Factory printed shirt, Steven Alan pocket tee, H&M V-neck, American Apparel & Everlane pocket tees.

On the left, from the bottom: Olive Bonobos Washed Chinos, Sky Blue Combat Gent chinos, grey Billy Reid selvedge denim, white Mott & Bow denim. On the right, top to bottom: Pistol Lake henley, J. Crew Factory printed shirt, Steven Alan pocket tee, H&M V-neck, American Apparel & Everlane pocket tees.

For the everyday wear, I’m bringing along a selection of T-shirts both more plain (like my heather burgundy Steven Alan pocket tee, an American Apparel tee and a new Ace Rivington crewneck, not pictured) and ones with a bit more visual cues (like my Pistol Lake henley and a J. Crew sailboat tee — unfortunately sold out). For time spent by the pool and heading ashore, any option should work within reason. And when I travel, I’ll be throwing on my favorite Everlane pocket tee under my older (circa 2013) J. Crew blazer for easygoing travel style. I’m packing a vintage ballcap for a bit of extra protection from the sun, too — courtesy of the excellent folks at Goorin Bros.

From left to right: Pistol Lake sweatshorts, Athletic Propulsion Labs basketball shorts, Frank & Oak linen shorts and Orlebar Brown swim trunks.

From left to right: Pistol Lake sweatshorts, Athletic Propulsion Labs basketball shorts, Frank & Oak linen shorts and Orlebar Brown swim trunks.

Those tees should be a  nice complement to the selection of casual shorts you see above– my Pistol Lake sweatshorts, pictured at left, are proving to be a personal favorite, comfortable yet functional and relatively tailored for a pair of sweatshorts. I’m also tossing some technically advanced Athletic Propulsion Labs basketball shorts in my bag for work-outs and hiking through the mountains of Greece. My Frank and Oak linen blend shorts should be ever-reliable in the heat, too (read more about them and the brand here), and I’m also packing my Banana Republic khaki shorts (similar to these). On the swimwear front, I’m looking forward to taking my Orlebar Brown Setter trunks out for a dip (as featured here – haven’t been working out as much as Bond though).

Pictured on the left: A rundown of versatile shirting for the trip, including a Bonobos Oxford, GAP chambray, short-sleeve Saturdays NYC buttondown and a vintage thrift store shirt perfect for sipping some brews.

Pictured on the left: A rundown of versatile shirting for the trip, including a Bonobos Oxford, GAP chambray, short-sleeve Saturdays NYC buttondown and a vintage thrift store shirt perfect for sipping some brews.

Which brings me to my steadfast decision to bring perhaps more pairs of pants to a Mediterranean cruise than you might expect — what can I say? I prefer pants. For the flight there, I’ll undoubtedly be wearing my new pair of Mott & Bow white denim — they’re exceedingly comfortable thanks to a hint of stretch and will hopefully allow me to blend in stylishly once I land in Italy (I’ll also be bringing along some olive Washed Chinos from Bonobos for comfortable travel). And because one can never bring enough jeans on a trip, my grey selvedge Billy Reid denim should do the job nicely for more dressed-down dinners and travel days, while some sky blue Combat Gent chinos in a versatile slim-straight cut should do the trick for both casual and more crisp wear. For pairing with those jeans, I’ve got both a brown leather J. Crew dress belt  and more casual striped and braided options. The number of pairs of pants I’m packing means I’m actually dialing in my shirts (somewhat) – a white Combat Gent Oxford, a blue Bonobos Oxford, my trusty GAP chambray shirt and my breathable and airy Stock Mfg. Co linen shirt should work well within a rotation. I plan to complement those with a patterned Saturdays NYC short-sleeve shirt and a vintage thrift store ‘Drinks’ shirt (check it out in more detail here).

But for those occasions that call for a significantly upped style game, I’ll be pulling out the big guns. As this is a Mediterranean cruise and all, I enlisted my friends at Combat Gent to set me up with perhaps the most fashion-forward number in their arsenal, the Steel Blue Glenplaid Double-Breasted suit as you can see above. I’m looking forward to breaking up the blazer with some custom grey suit pants and a crisp white Endurance Shirt via Combat Gent as well — and the rest of the time, my J. Crew blazer should certainly be able to pull double duty when worn with accessories like a red floral pocket square (similar to this one).

The footwear rundown for a continental trip. Jute loafers by Andre Coton. Brown leather loafers by G.H. Bass. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Black athletic sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Leather chukka boots by Timberland.

The footwear rundown for a continental trip. Jute loafers by Andre Coton. Brown leather loafers by G.H. Bass. White sneakers by GREATS Brand. Black athletic sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Leather chukka boots by Timberland.

And given the variety of outfit pairings I’m hoping to line up, my shoe ensemble is stretched a little bit more than usual. For travel, my Timberland Coulter Chukka boots (courtesy of my day job, in full disclosure) will likely get the job done while the rest of my footwear is packed — neatly — away. I’m also bringing along my versatile G.H. Bass leather loafers (read more on them here) as well as my trusty GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers. I’m planning to pair the loafers with everything from chinos and T-shirts to jeans and short-sleeve shirts. And on the athletic and shore exploration front, I’m quite excited to try out my Athletic Propulsion Labs sneakers (a GearHungry post on those sneakers will be up soon!). But the footwear that might best fit in with the continental style one sees throughout Greece and Italy is coming on the trip courtesy of start-up loafer brand Andre Coton. These jute fabric loafers are without a doubt the most unique footwear style I’ve tried, but I’m hopeful (confident?) they’ll go well with my more formal outfit pairings.

More everyday carry accessories to round out the suitcase. Travel Kit by Baxter of California. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Steno Book by Field Notes. Tan leather keychain by Apolis.

More everyday carry accessories to round out the suitcase. Travel Kit by Baxter of California. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Steno Book by Field Notes. Tan leather keychain by Apolis.

Rounding out what looks to be a very full set of bags is a great Travel Kit courtesy of Baxter of California (read more on the brand here; I’m told the Travel Kit restock is imminent, so keep your eyes peeled). And while I’m not packing many socks, a few pairs of Richer Poorer no-show socks and a pair or two of patterned socks (for matching with shades of blue) should fit right in. A few everyday carry accessories, like a handy pair of American-made sunglasses, my black rubber Stuhrling Aquadiver watch, my stainless steel Invicta dive watch and my new Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol watch will also be with me as options for daily rotation. Luckily other than my blazer for travel, I’m leaving outerwear behind — which will hopefully prove to be the right choice. To protect my laptop, I’m stowing my computer in my new Issara leather laptop sleeve (available now on the brand’s site), while a reliable Field Notes Brand steno book should more than help me keep track of my travels.

Ernest Alexander

That marks just about everything I’m bringing with me — whether it’ll prove foolish or a wise choice to forgo (somewhat) the Lean Wardrobe philosophy, time will tell. Just because I’m jetting off doesn’t mean the site will be forgotten, however — look out for another guest post via Madhav of Wardrobe Domination, as well as a Style Q&A with my buddy Barron from the excellent menswear site Effortless Gent. Of course, we’ll still close out the week here with the Friday Read and a good ol’ Style Pick — stay tuned, stay stylish!

Are you taking any big trips to close out the summer? What are your go-to travel essentials?
Ben Sherman US