North of the Border: Heading to Toronto to see The National 

Layered up with my Grayers Edgevale Moto Jacket & Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt to fight the Toronto chill.


If you read The Style Guide with any regularity, you’re perhaps familiar with my love of live music, here in New York City and elsewhere. Even in these past few months, I’ve had the chance to pack up my favorite #menswear and hit the road to Portland (to see synth-pop rockers Future Islands) and Nashville (to rock out with Cold War Kids and Young the Giant). One of my latest Style Guide road trips also took me north to Boston, then back down to NYC, to see my favorite band, indie rock heroes The National. So, what did this past weekend bring? Why, a trip north of the border to see none other than The National, of course! They’ve been putting together a masterful tour packed with new jams, cool covers and old favorites as part of the September release of “Sleep Well Beast,” one of the year’s best albums. All told, the time was quite ripe for me to head to a brand-new city for an excellent weekend filled with delicious food, great coffee, stellar music and … my favorite #menswear! Join me for the ride (if you haven’t caught news of the trip on my Instagram, that is). Let’s rock!

A trusty Grayers moto jacket and thermal shirt helped me hop north of the border for a great weekend of live music and exploration.

My early flight into Toronto absolutely necessitated a crucial stop for refreshments at Rooster Coffee House, a unique blend of the rustic and modern complete with reclaimed wood furnishings and eclectic lighting. To navigate through the airport, across the border and right into a busy day of exploration, I dressed accordingly in some of the best men’s gear I could pack (and wear). That meant throwing on a versatile, travel-friendly men’s jacket — the edgy, cool Grayers Edgeware Coated Corton Moto Jacket, complete with plenty of room for everyday carry essentials. I layered it over the Grayers Arrowcrest Thermal Stitch Crew, a cozy, comfortable piece that nicely accented my Flint and Tinder All-American Jeans (made from stretch selvage) and a pair of classic suede chukka boots from Astorflex. The combo was simply perfect for travel-ready style. To get from Rooster Coffee House across Toronto to the seriously cool Graffiti Alley – a renowned “living canvas” alley protected by the city government — I wore a stylish Timex watch (in this case, a durable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chronograph). The next time you need to navigate a new city and an international flight, I’d urge you to reach for a durable watch, a slick, travel-ready jacket and versatile denim

My day in Toronto wasn’t finished yet, though — not even close. I eventually made my way over to the renowned Kensington Market, a jam-packed 10-block neighborhood packed with market stalls and tasty food aplenty (enough to wow even the most discerning traveler). It was a busy, bustling area filled with diversity and the sort of authenticity it can be tough to find in bigger cities — with all that walking, I was glad my Astorflex chukka boots proved comfortable and stylish. I also managed to pop in the positively massive, music-filled Sonic Boom Records — it helped set the tone for a weekend packed with hit songs by my favorite band.
 As the day turned to night, I made my way to Union, renowned cocktail bar & eatery with a quaint-yet-rugged, comfortable vibe — perfect for happy hour in Toronto. That wasn’t my only stop of the evening. Being the massive Harry Potter fan that I am, it was practically a Toronto requirement that I visit The Lockhart, a Harry Potter-themed bar that’s nothing short of delightful. It features stylish, cool decor and plenty of touches that nod to the books, the perfect place to spend some time with a tasty, tequila-and-cinnamon “betterbeer” and the aptly named Shacklebolt, a tasty concoction made with rum and ginger beer. From the subtle, detailed decor to the themed bathrooms, it’s a must-visit for HP fans.
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It was high time to keep things rolling with dinner at Otto’s Bierhalle, a German-style beer hall that certainly caught my eye for its approach to delicious brews and entrees like the rich beef tenderloin. The next time you’re in Toronto, I’d suggest you hit up Otto’s, without a doubt. It was quite the long day, but I was glad I dressed in versatile style. In fact, several of my new favorite men’s style essentials came in handy, including my tough Grayers jacket and classic chukka boots.

My trusty Viberg boots have carried me through at least a few amazing shows by The National this year — other style essentials helped with my trip, too!


After quite the busy Friday getting around Toronto, starting Saturday off with a jolt of much-needed caffeine at Rooster Coffee House was once again critical — as was layering up with with a Kenneth Cole topcoat, a sleek piece of warm outerwear that more than stood up to the challenge of a crisp Toronto day. Oh, and as it was the day of another great concert by The National, my LSTN Sound Co. headphones from Bespoke Post were a crucial companion.  I paired up the jacket with the Taylor Stitch Indio Star Jack Shirt, a longtime favorite that provides reliable style and go-anywhere looks — you can wear the Indigo Star Jack Shirt tucked in or layered up on your next trip, too. I accented the combo with handy everyday carry essentials — including a handsome plaid Banana Republic scarf — and my Abercrombie & Fitch Langdon Slim Jeans, featuring a tailored-yet-mobile fit. That combo proved durable and versatile for more on-foot exploration, this time through Toronto’s ultra-cool Distillery District. For lunch and a tasty brew, Mill Street Brewery was among my stops during the day, featuring deliciously rich food like the Smoked Meat Poutine and brews like the 100th Meridian, an organic amber lager. It was tough to keep moving after all that great food, but I managed … somehow.

The day still held plenty of promise before an amazing show by The National — I had to squeeze in some menswear shopping undoubtedly! That meant making my way to the seriously cool Lost & Found, a clothing store-coffee shop hybrid that stocks Style Guide favorites like The Hill-side alongside excellent coffee and a cool vibe. With my fill of menswear for the day, I set out for one last pit stop at Amsterdam BrewHouse (I recommend the BoneShaker IPA or the 3-Speed Lager). Filled with great vibes, delicious craft beer and the promise of an extraordinary show by my favorite band on the horizon, the beautiful Sony Centre for the Performing Arts was my next stop. Once again, The National absolutely did not disappoint. I’ve been fortunate enough to see several shows by The National recently, from two intimate performances at Basilica Hudson (an old glue factory in upstate New York) to the historic Forest Hills Stadium in NYC — the Sony Centre held a different type of modern splendor, making for a very special evening.

 A timely seat upgrade put me just five rows from the stage, and I wouldn’t  have it any other way. The National powered through a slew of hits and fan favorites, including gems like “Slow Show,” “Graceless,” “Conversation 16” and “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” The venue felt surprisingly intimate, complete with great acoustics and an excellent view. It was, in short, an absolutely  banner night, made all the more unforgettable by the encore closer, an acoustic take on the amazing “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks.” Talk about a lifetime night! 

The right gear to take on a rugged, chilly day in Toronto — led by beard balm from Duke Cannon, a rugged Frank & Oak twill shirt and an essential Original Penguin cardigan.

Sunday gave me time to indulge a few more of my passions before hitting the road home. I layered up in suitably rugged winter style for an extremely chilly December day, starting with a Frank and Oak flecked overshirt and a cozy Original Penguin Shawl Collar Cardigan. On the footwear front, I had to reach for durable leather boots once again given the chilly weather. My Thursday Boots Grizzly Wheat President Boots proved a stylish, versatile pair for getting around Toronto, and they matched up quite nicely with my Original Penguin Stretch Five-Pocket Pants. The combo was more than ready for a delicious coffee at the quaint Red Rocket Coffee near my AirBNB — my classic Timex watch again proved helpful when it came time to head to stop number two … brunch. The hearty, rich spread at Rose and Sons called to mind a classic diner done right. If you go, get the All-Day Breakfast, featuring three eggs, schmaltz hash and sausage — it was amazing (and filling!).

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My day wasn’t done yet — I managed to pack in yet another craft beer-centric stop! Never one to pass up a great pour, I made it a point to hop over to the acclaimed Blood Brothers Brewing, a Toronto staple that brings a workman-like approach to craft beer. In short, I was right at home enjoying a rich and rustic  IPA or two. It was time to head back to NYC all too soon, though — the flight back proved so quick, I had the urge to turn right around and head back! Toronto was a lovely city, complete with eclectic, diverse food, cool and unexpected menswear and of course, plenty of standout music by The National. It was neat to experience the city as so many think of it — during a chilly winter. And the backdrop was made all the more enjoyable by the chance to pack my favorite travel style essentials while seeing my favorite band! It’s not the last time I’ll be seeing The National on this tour, either … but more on that later!

For now, stay tuned for tomorrow’s new #OOTD post and enjoy your holiday travels!

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

The Friday Read: Todd Snyder, The Meadows NYC and the Best Outdoor Shirts for Men

Wait a second … what do the above topics in that headline have to do with each other? Well, they’re the subject of today’s Friday Read on The Style Guide — at least, partially anyway. We’re capping off a great transitional week of weather here in NYC — did you catch this week’s #OOTD on how to wear a rugged overshirt for fall? It’s a great one, if I do say so myself.  Perhaps my Instagram can be of service if you want some real-time #menswear tips, too? And if you follow me on the ‘Gram or on Twitter, you saw my early fall weekend trip to Nashville  — but more on that in a second. How’s your fall style wish list coming along? Quite nicely, I’d hope? If you have yet to get started, I’d point you toward my rundown of rugged fall style gear, published late last month on the blog.  And if you want a pair of stylish leather boots to tide you over,  I’d assuredly point you toward this site’s See Now, Buy Now series. Shopping isn’t the only thing on tap for me this weekend, though.

You know that we’re really, truly closing out summer and starting fall when it’s time for The Meadows NYC, a popular (and growing!) music and arts festival in its second year at Citi Field in Queens. This year’s Sunday lineup — my day of choice — packs in a diverse crowd of personal favorites, from Foster to the People to DREAMERS to Canadian pop rockers Arkells to a must-see classic, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. So, that’s where Sunday will take me — but in the meantime, I’d urge you to check out tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week. Oh, and if we’re lucky, an all-new Sunday style post in our See Now, Buy Now series is coming down the pipeline, too.  That’s all I’ve got for now — see you out there!

  • Let’s kick this off with a great deal for you — sound like a plan? Perennial Style Guide favorites Frank and Oak, makers of elevated, premium basics and expertly crafted tailoring, are offering you 20 percent off first-time orders of $50 or more until September 30th with the code SEPT20. Yep, that’s right — 20 percent off. Who’s into that? It’s a nice deal considering that the code will knock a solid chunk of change off the brand’s stylish shirting and lightweight sweaters, both of which should absolutely be on your shopping list when it comes to early fall style essentials. Again, use the code SEPT20 to get 20 percent off first-time orders of $50 or more.  That’s a deal that bears repeating.
  • Mr. Todd Snyder makes the type of clothing that you can put on and forget about — it’s just that stylish and easy to wear. He mixes rugged menswear with easygoing pieces and excellent fabrication — and that’s certainly the case with the Todd Snyder Italian Boucle Shirt Jacket, my latest feature for GearMoose! Blending the best of cool, continental style, this piece would look right at home over a classic Oxford shirt or a grey chambray shirt — add your favorite pair of dark denim, and you’re all set!
  • As I said above, I spent the past weekend exploring the outstanding city of Nashville — among those highlights were stops through imogene + willie, a standout purveyor of finely crafted denim — and a couple trips to the very cool, industrially appointed Barista Parlor. You can catch my full trip recap and get some men’s travel style tips of your own within the very same post!
  • Last but not least today: What’s an “outdoor shirt” exactly? Well, it’s a rugged piece of outerwear that can work as a shirt, as a jacket … or both. And I wrote about the 20 best outdoor shirts for guys as we head into fall — once again, over at GearMoose. Read up now, and then learn how to wear a rugged overshirt this fall here at The Style Guide.

That’ll wrap up this week’s Friday Read — again, we’ll see you for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week, and Sunday’s See Now, Buy Now feature!

Cheers,

-Beau

Signs of Light: A December weekend in Baltimore

Layered up for a pit stop at Artifact Coffee. Wool-Blend Topcoat by Old Navy. Snow Bridge Cardigan by Eddie Bauer. Denim shirt by JackThreads. Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Lockridge Moc Toe Boots by Cole Haan. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

Layered up for a pit stop at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore. Wool-Blend Topcoat by Old Navy. Snow Bridge Cardigan by Eddie Bauer. Denim shirt by JackThreads. Travel Jeans by Bonobos. Lockridge Moc Toe Boots by Cole Haan. Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

As I traveled down the East Coast this past Friday morning, I was able to look back on a heck of a lot of things besides the crisp winter scenery. It was outstanding to reflect on a great year of work, of time with family and friends, of travel and a great year of celebrating some of my passions — including live music and menswear, all rolled into one. And it was as good a time as any for this Style Guide author to catch a great show and bring along some of my favorite men’s style essentials, yet again. My travels this time around took me to the unique and ever-changing city of Baltimore to see joyous indie folk rockers The Head and The Heart — that’s a definite recipe for success. I’ve been really lucky to be able to travel in style (of course) so frequently to see great bands, from an upstate trip to see Lucius to a weekend trip to Providence to see (perhaps) my favorite band, West Coast indie rockers Local Natives. So it was fitting that on one of the last weekends of the year, I took to the trail again. What did I bring with me? Only the best gear I could pack into my Owen & Fred weekender bag — you knew that bag was sturdy as heck and travel-friendly, right?

Rugged layers for a chilly weekend. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Yosemite Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Donegal Trousers by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Waterbury Chrono by Timex _ Todd Snyder. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

Rugged layers for a chilly weekend. Wool Shirt by Abercrombie & Fitch. Yosemite Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Donegal Trousers by JackThreads. Red Wing Leather Waterbury Chrono by Timex _ Todd Snyder. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Glasses by Frameri. Cashmere hat by Club Monaco.

As seems to be the case with the weather across much of the country, the weekend was an especially frigid one in Baltimore — and NYC. For my train ride down the coast and a day exploring Baltimore, I layered up accordingly as seen at the top of the page, starting with my trusty JackThreads denim shirt. Of course, a stylish shawl cardigan proved a crucial layering piece given the chill, and I prepared accordingly with the durable, thick-knit and unique Eddie Bauer Snow Bridge Cardigan. I topped those layers off with the slim, warm Old Navy Wool-Blend Topcoat, an unexpected offering from a brand that keeps improving its apparel and outerwear game. For a blend of flexibility, comfort and style — crucial when sitting on a train for a few hours, then moving about the city — my trusty Bonobos Travel Jeans in Allegheny Oak fit the bill perfectly, and played nicely in terms of color off my sturdy, tough-wearing Cole Haan Lockridge Moc Toe Boots. You might recognize those boots from this site’s piece on how to dress for the first snowfall, and they’ve got plenty of weather-ready bells and whistles — they’re waterproof and feature the brand’s Grand.OS technology, for starters. When paired up with my reliable-as-ever MVMT Watches Calypso Watch and tough accessories like my Grifter Company Ranger Gloves, I was more than set to battle the chill.

I also brought along my trusty Brothers Leather 810 Wallet .It’s a beautiful, handmade and essential wallet — and you can get 15% off that wallet, or any Brothers Leather item, using the code ‘BrotherBeau15’! Seriously, look into upgrading your everyday carry ASAP. Know that the next time you hit the road to a chilly locale, you should pack as many durable winter accessories as you can, too.

The everyday carry for a quick road trip. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Wallet by Brothers Leather (Get 15% off with the code 'BrotherBeau15'! Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Pen by Owen & Fred.

The everyday carry for a quick road trip. Ranger Gloves by Grifter Company. Wallet by Brothers Leather (Get 15% off with the code ‘BrotherBeau15’! Calypso Watch by MVMT Watches. Pen by Owen & Fred.

Stop number one on my trip? Of course, a stellar coffee shop — that’d be Artifact Coffee, and I’d absolutely recommend a trip of your own if ever you get to Baltimore. It’s a rustic backdrop for a tasty egg-and-bacon English muffin and a rich cup of coffee, plus some quiet writing and reflection. Properly caffeinated following an early train ride, a stop at one of the city’s neat menswear shops was in order. 16Tons — not a far walk from Artifact — is packed to the gills with vintage menswear, including sturdy tweed blazers, stonewashed denim jackets and a fair selection of tough moto boots. With my fill of menswear shopping, it was time for a much-needed burger at the lauded Abbey Burger Bistro — add the Guinness cheddar to your burger and top it off with a local Union Red Foxy IPA. I walked off the burger with a stroll through the neat Inner Harbor and Federal Hill areas of Baltimore, filled with beautiful red brick historic homes.

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With a great lunch and a great day of exploration around Baltimore behind me, I was more than ready for a long-awaited show from The Head and The Heart — seeing as I missed the band’s NYC tour stop in October after years of listening, it was high time I got around to seeing them. Looking back on 2016, the group’s stellar third album, “Signs of Light,” was one of my favorites for its joyous, uplifting message, powerful harmonies, subtle pop influences and soaring guitars. It’s the kind of music we need a bit — or a lot — more of, and it resulted in a stunning live show that was a joy to watch.With a full day to look ahead to the show, I was beyond excited — and because I packed light and relied on style staples like the tough-yet-comfortable Cole Haan Lockridge Moc Toe Boots and the durable MVMT Watches Calypso Watch I was able to transition from day to night and fully enjoy the concert.

Checking out a new music venue in a new city is always a neat endeavor, and a packed Ram’s Head Live didn’t disappoint. The buzzing,  multi-level venue also drew a nice crowd for folk rock trio Joseph, themselves a group quickly on the rise and capable of producing some powerful songs in the vein of Lucius or HAIM — yes, they’re that good.  And they nicely complemented a beautiful performance from The Head and The Heart, who absolutely didn’t disappoint. I’d recommend you see them as soon as you can — the band’s beautiful vocals and soaring songs — soaring is the only way to describe it — were incredible. From the opener “All We Ever Knew” to a huge rendition of “Rivers and Roads” and stirring, fun versions of “Lost in My Mind” and “Shake,” it was among the better shows I’ve seen this year — and that’s saying something!
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With an amazing live show in the books, I looked ahead to an excellent Saturday of Baltimore, including an amazing brunch & Bloody Mary at Baltimore institution Miss Shirley’s. Of course, a delicious, rich Nutella latte from 3 Bean Coffee was also in order. With chilly temperatures in the forecast yet again, I went with sturdy layers to fight the cold.. Namely, my slim and refined JackThreads Donegal Trousers provided a bit of a high-low style complement to my heritage-inspired Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Shirt. Given the blustery, frigid weather, I also threw on my much-loved Taylor Stitch Yosemite Shirt, as seen at the top of the post. It’s a soft, warm and essential layering piece. And on the watch front, it doesn’t get any better than my rugged and durable Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph, all of which helped me navigate Baltimore in warmth and good time — seriously!

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Unique, versatile layers for a blustery Brooklyn day. Wool-Blend Henley Sweater and Belted Shawl Cardigan by Abercrombie & Fitch. Kinzie Jeans by Mugsy Jeans. Sutter Boots by CAT Footwear. Red Wing Leather Chronograph by Timex + Todd Snyder. Socks by To Boot New York. Wallet by Brothers Leather (get 15 percent off Brothers Leather goods with the code ‘BrotherBeau15’!

Unfortunately, my trip was over much too soon, and it was time to head back to  NYC. The ceaseless cold weather showed no signs of relenting on Sunday, so I again reached for critical layers, starting with a brand-new, rugged-and-refined Abercrombie & Fitch Wool-Blend Henley Sweater. It’s a rich addition to any wardrobe, affordably priced and featuring a neat blend of sport and heritage-inspired style. For an afternoon spent exploring Williamsburg, I accented the sweater with a distinctive Abercrombie & Fitch Belted Shawl Cardigan — you can expect to see a lot more of this unique, comfortable layering piece soon. On the footwear front, I found myself reaching once again for my durable, tough CAT Footwear Sutter Boots — the brown burnishing is a handsome and classic design touch. And whether in cold weather or on a warm, sunny day, you really can’t go wrong with the ridiculously comfortable Kinzie Jeans from Mugsy Jeans, made with a ton of stretch for ease of movement. I complemented the ensemble with the Timex + Todd Snyder Red Wing Leather Chronograph yet again — it’s a tough watch to pass up wearing!

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As I bundled up heading back through Brooklyn, it was great to be able to reflect on a stellar weekend. It featured some of my favorite things — live music, menswear, travel and a requisite helping of craft beer and great burgers! It doesn’t really get any better, especially packed into the span of a few days. And any time I get to spend at my favorite spots in Brooklyn is also time well-spent. It’s been a whirlwind month of December — and a whirlwind year — but I’m really thankful to get the chance to travel, see great shows and bring along stylish menswear in the process. If you’ve got your own holiday travel coming up, I hope it goes well — and if you’ve still got gifts to buy, check out our men’s holiday gift guide, along with the women’s holiday gift guide. Happy shopping!

Thanks as always for reading — stay stylish!

-Beau

Go Green: An October weekend at Michigan State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until the next travel weekend — stay stylish,

-Beau

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Sunlit Youth: A fall weekend in Providence

Editor’s note: Click on through to check out more fall menswear posts.

Looking through the rain to Friday night's Local Natives show in Providence. 1936 Skyliner Jacket from the Eddie Bauer x Pendleton collab. Light Wash Denim Shirt by JACHS NY. 505C Denim by Levi's. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Glasses by Frameri.

Looking through the rain to Friday night’s Local Natives show in Providence. 1936 Skyliner Jacket from the Eddie Bauer x Pendleton collab. Light Wash Denim Shirt by JACHS NY. 505C Denim by Levi’s. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing Heritage collab. Glasses by Frameri.

There are certain trips — and certain moments within those trips — where time seems to slow down just a little bit. Living and working in New York City, it doesn’t happen all that often within the confines of Manhattan or Brooklyn (home of the revered Style Guide HQ, of course). But, when on those rare occasions when things do seem to slow down  a bit, it happens for me at a live show — there’s nothing like seeing songs you love unfold before your eyes. If you’re here for the menswear — but skim through the music portions of some posts — you definitely know the live music scene pops up pretty frequently on the blog. Luckily for me, a weekend trip to Providence brought with it some menswear and some great moments at a stunning show by one of my favorite bands, Silver Lake-based Local Natives. Sometimes, getting out of the city for a while — and seeing a heck of a live show — is all you need to feel rejuvenated. This weekend brought that for me, and then some. Oh, and what #menswear did I pack? Oh, just you wait — ehh? Ehh?

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The weekend jaunt north was made all the more enjoyable by a day off Friday, which gave me plenty of time to explore Providence in style. Providence has been widely touted as of late as one of the best “small cities” in America, and it was with that spirit of adventure in mind that I packed up. It all started (and will likely start on future trips) with my Sword & Plough Weekender Bag, a tough-yet-elegant piece made with heavy navy cotton canvas and American leather for a durable bag that was still easy to carry around town — all the while living up to the brand’s mission of repurposing military materials and supporting veterans in the production process. So, the Weekender Bag was definitely up to the task of my weekend adventures. Meanwhile, the pleasant-yet-breezy temps in Providence meant my JACHS NY Light Wash Denim Shirt was a comfortable Friday travel piece and still layered up nicely under the tough, heritage-inspired Eddie Bauer x Pendleton 1936 Skyliner, a two-in-one jacket that features a Pendleton wool pattern inspired by the national parks — in this case, the Badlands National Park. I did leave the jacket behind for the show at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel (great name, yeah?), but throughout the day, my retro-inspired Levi’s 505C Denim proved stylish and more than fitting in terms of rock concert style. I got around with the Johnston & Murphy Greer Wingtip Boot, which mixed in a durable rubber lug sole and an elegant shade of burnished brown leather. Once again, a great blend of comfort and style fit for exploring a seriously neat town — especially with my always-reliable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono.

Outside Bolt Coffee at the excellent Dean Hotel -- a neat Providence stop!

Outside Bolt Coffee at the excellent Dean Hotel — a neat Providence stop!

Where exactly did my Providence explorations take me? Well, first things first — a morning train ride definitely had me in need of a caffeine jolt (always a must when in a new city). That meant a stop at the tasty and eclectic White Electric Coffee , a neat spot dedicated to delicious organic coffee and filled with the shop’s  themed white-and-red lighting bolts throughout the space, plus vintage signage, exposed brick and delicious treats. From there, a stroll through the rain — more of a brisk walk — led me to a fantastic lunch at The Grange, purveyors of everything from delicious craft beer to standout poutine (my lunch of choice, made with seasoned fries and rich gravy). The great thing about staying near downtown Providence — as I did, AirBNB and all — means that you get the best of the best in a walkable city. Of course, a busy afternoon shooting photos and walking along the riverfront called for a coffee stop at Bolt Coffee Co., the in-house coffee shop at the well-designed, modern and sharp Dean Hotel — it was a tranquil, relaxing environment for getting a bit of work done. Oh, and it was an unexpectedly awesome spot for running into and meeting bassist Nik Ewing! That certainly doesn’t happen every day, but being able to tell someone in your favorite band how much you love their new album is pretty neat — to say the least. It was definitely a highlight of the city, if only to enjoy a quick coffee!

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.

A day that brought with it some great exploration of an awesome Northeast city led into an incredible evening — it always seems nights fly by so fast in the run-up to a concert. From seeing Lucius in Central Park  to rocking out to ,The National at Panorama, there’s not much that can top the shows I’ve had the great fortune to see even in this  past year — except one. It was a warm  September 2013 night in Royal Oak, Mich., the first time I saw Local Natives, and the band’s powerful live performance has still stuck with me. It was engaging, energetic and beyond fun.  It was that in mind that I lined up outside Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel for a buzzing Friday night show — again, what a name.  As I’ve written about before on The Style Guide, the band’s third album, “Sunlit Youth,”  is a stellar step forward for a quintet that’s always drawn on a variety of influences — this time around, they mix R&B touches on “Coins,” channel pop energy on “Past Lives” and call back to the darker tomes of their sophomore album, “Hummingbird,” with songs like “Mother Emanuel.” Of course, it all comes together in one fluid package that made for an amazing live show, as always.

From the blissful opener “Past Lives” through to stellar new takes on tracks like “Psycho Lovers” and the lilting “Dark Days,” they were a band in motion and on the rise. They brought incredible energy to a crowd that loved everything from their jaunty take on “Coins” to a true (personal) favorite, “Who Knows Who Cares.” Plus, more eclectic tracks like “Jellyfish” were part of a great live effort. Slightly deeper cuts like “Ceilings” also drew loud cheers from a near sellout at Lupo’s — and it’s not at every show you see a marriage proposal! Talk about a wild night. And, it nearly goes without saying that “Breakers,” the lead single off their sophomore album, also went over flawlessly. They really did bring incredible confidence and energy to the stage — this is a band that’s on the up-and-up, and sure to tour near you soon! Truly. It’s almost tough to sum up such an incredible show in only a few sentences, but t was absolutely worth the wait, worth the buzz and worth the build-up. It’s also worth another show — this coming Wednesday in NYC, in fact! Undeniably excited.

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Just reminiscing on the amazing Local Natives show. Long Haul Jacket and Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

The breathtaking performance was next-level, a sign of a band that’s come into their own. Oh, and as energetic as it was, it had me exhausted — yet still looking forward to some stylish jaunts around Providence. It was the ideal weather to trek around the city and hang out at The Shop, an amazing coffee shop with rustic-yet-modern vibes, excellent music and delicious coffee. With a bit of rain in the forecast, Saturday was prime weather to break out my durable, tough and hard-wearing Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket — which you’ve previously seen in the Style Pick of the Week series. It’s a beautiful piece that mixes a pleasantly lightweight and flexible 7oz. Martexin waxed canvas with classic countryside outerwear detailing in the corduroy collar and interior cuffs. It fit perfectly over another Taylor Stitch favorite, the Jack in Indigo Star. It’s the ideal shirt for a casual Saturday — slim-fitting, able to be worn untucked and featuring subtle style touches (like the star pattern, for starters). That duo up top fit right in alongside my Dickies X-Series Slim-Fit Tapered Leg Jean; if you’re thinking that Dickies couldn’t possibly make a slim-fit jean, think again. The workwear brand is stepping up its game in a big way, and these slim-fitting jeans feature a pleasing dark wash and comfortable fabric. They were ideal for exploring more of the city with my Johnston & Murphy Karnes Captoe Boot, another durable dress boot with a rubber lug sole and, in this case, a padded wool collar — all complemented again by my classic Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono.

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Yet more coffee shop vibes at The Shop in Providence. Long Haul Jacket & Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Denim by Dickies. Karnes Captoe Boots by Johnston & Murphy. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing Heritage. Glasses by Frameri.

Those pieces helped me get around the city in style, and it was the perfect day to explore Providence (even if it was Parents Weekend at Brown University). The trip drew to a close too quickly, and led into a train ride back to NYC and some birthday celebrations with my great friend (and Daily News Automotive Reporter) Kyle. As luck would have it, the same gear I wore through the day Saturday transitioned in a few choice brews at Lower East Side craft beer and cocktail institution Jimmy’s No. 43. To close out the weekend, yesterday brought with it more menswear — and more writing, to boot. As part of my work at The Manual, I swung through what should practically be a bucket-list stop for watch aficionados — the Worn & Wound Watch Fair, a global gathering of more than 30 independent watchmakers put on by the team behind the watch resource guide and online shop Worn & Wound. It featured a plethora of inspiring and dedicated watch makers, including Style Guide favorite Lum-Tec. I learned a thing or two about watches, and it was a fine display of what should become a destination for lovers of durable, stylish and well-made timepieces.

The right gear for getting around in comfort and style. Navy Peacoat by JACHS NY. Marled Long-Sleeve Henley by Flint and Tinder. Slim olive cargos courtesy of Forever21 Men. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Brown leather watch & sunglasses by MVMT Watches.

The right gear for getting around in comfort and style. Navy Peacoat by JACHS NY. Marled Long-Sleeve Henley by Flint and Tinder. Slim olive cargos courtesy of Forever21 Men. Academia Chariot Sneakers by Brooks Heritage. Brown leather watch & sunglasses by MVMT Watches.

Oh, and my gear for the occasion? Easily wearable pieces that should be looking to pick up for yourself this fall — including the Flint and Tinder Marled Long-Sleeve Henley, made from a mid-weight marled jersey fabric. It was perfectly complemented by the JACHS NY Navy Double-Breasted Peacoat (an ideal transitional piece) topped off with a pair of Slim-Fit Cargo Pants courtesy of Forever21 Men. Don’t think you can make cargos work for you? They might be tricky at the office, but a slim pair teamed up with neutral staples — like a navy peacoat — were suited to exploring Manhattan’s High Line Park just fine. Of course, my sneakers were key in that regard and the brand-new Brooks Academia Chariot  was the perfect finishing touch. It features a sporty canvas silhouette designed to resemble the tweedy textures reminiscent of professorial garb. The combo is perfect for fall, and certainly different than your average retro runner sneaker. They were lightweight, comfortable and fit in well with some of my favorite accessories, including The 40 in Rose Gold/Brown Leather from MVMT Watches, and a sharp pair of Runaway Aviators (also from MVMT Watches — surprise!).
Frank & Oak
While my #menswear picks helped me get around in comfort and style, it certainly was a full and exhausting weekend. There’s something to be said for the opportunity to travel, see a live show, explore a new city and make some great connections with menswear aficionados — all in one weekend. Heck, the standout Local Natives show alone might have made it, but the chance to bring along some great style gear and explore a cool city was icing on the cake. I know some spots worth visiting in Providence again, I got to bring along some of my favorite picks and I got to take in a live show — can’t every weekend be that great? Until the next time I hit the road, you can follow along for menswear tips and inspiration — as always — via Instagram and the ever-expanding Twitter universe.

We’ll see you in the front row — and thanks for reading!

-Beau

Buck Mason - Timeless Design. Made in America.