Taking some time: An upstate Memorial Day getaway

Editor’s note: Click this link for a full  set of posts on how to travel in style this summer.

Taking some time away from NYC. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt and Slim Chinos in Light Stone by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

Taking some time away from NYC. The Jack in Indigo Star Shirt and Slim Chinos in Light Stone by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Striped webbed belt by J. Crew.

I’ve been fortunate so far this year to hit the road quite a bit, from a New Year’s weekend in Detroit to a stylish weekend visit to Washington, D.C. and a quick few days in the sunny state of Florida. Each trip has presented a pretty nice mix of work and play (some more play than work, admittedly), but it’s definitely helped me get more acquainted with packing and planning ahead in the midst of a busy work and writing schedule, and I’ve been able to document the trips as they’ve happened on Instagram. Given how hectic things have been during my 9-to-5 and beyond,  I felt the urge to get away for just a bit this past weekend. What better place to go than a relaxing, tranquil, chic spot just outside NYC? Specifically, the Time Nyack Hotel.  In fact, I was astonished as I researched the lovely village of Nyack; it’s a beautiful location, and even as I type this, the hotel’s scarcely been open a month! Such a modern hotel in a quaint town also presented the chance to break out style that’s fit for the city yet ready for a quick upstate trip. Do you follow? Yeah? Good.

A look at my packing essentials. Voyager Waxed Weekender and leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply. Slim Chinos in Light Stone and Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

A look at my packing essentials. Voyager Waxed Weekender and leather luggage tag by Owen & Fred. Chapter Travel Kit by Herschel Supply. Slim Chinos in Light Stone and Jack in Indigo Star Shirt by Taylor Stitch. Heritage Tassel Loafers by Sebago. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Waterbury Chrono by Timex x Red Wing. Adventure Log by Word Notebooks. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

As with my trip to Washington, D.C., my jaunt to Nyack proved to be another ideal chance to test out my new Owen & Fred Voyager Waxed Weekender.  The Martexin Original Waxed canvas is some of the sturdiest and toughest in the business, the Wickett & Craig leather straps are sturdy and breaking in nicely, and the bag’s always provided plenty of room for my menswear essentials (including a trusty Bridge & Burn Flat Wool Cap and Word Notebooks Adventure Log). On this particular trip, that also included extras like my trusty Herschel Supply Co. Chapter Travel Kit — made from water-resistant polycoat in a sharp navy color and featuring a vegetable tanned leather pull, it accented the bag  and my Tanner Goods leather lanyard nicely while holding some Baxter of California grooming essentials. However, the small details were just one focus of my trip in terms of packing, planning and exploring.

A look at some of the stylish grooming essentials from C.O. Bigelow provided by the hotel, plus my Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit and Doc Elliott Pomade.

A look at some of the stylish grooming essentials from C.O. Bigelow provided by the hotel, plus my Herschel Supply Chapter Travel Kit and Doc Elliott Pomade.

For work style that would take me from the office to upstate on Friday (as it seems lots of New Yorkers do), I brought along that aforementioned Owen & Fred bag, and dressed to meet the demands of the cubicle and the train ride (hint: Both involve lots of sitting, just in different environments). In this case, that meant tossing on one of my favorite shirts (heck, perhaps my favorite?), the Jack in Indigo Star from the fine folks at Taylor Stitch. The shirt is crisp-yet-casual, able to be worn tucked in or untucked, and complete with high armholes and slim sleeves — that’s exactly how I want my shirts to fit, and I’d wager that’s how yours should fit for travel and the office. A sleek pair of Sebago Heritage Loafers completed my Friday travel ensemble, alongside a versatile striped webbed belt from J. Crew (it goes with denim and a tee as well as it does with slightly dressier outfits). And given the heat and those pesky rays, eye-catching sunglasses from Sunday Somewhere finished off my travel accessories for the day (and the weekend in general).

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I was also fortunate enough to get the chance to check out a pair of the brand’s exceptionally high-quality Slim Chinos in Stone, as I wrote about in this site’s Style Pick of the Week series earlier this spring. The fabric and construction are just as on-point as the last pair of Taylor Stitch Standard Issue Chinos I reviewed last summer, and the slim fit and versatile styling potential are to be applauded; I definitely felt as if I could rock them at work and at dinner later on Friday, and that’s exactly how it worked out!

A look at a few of my trip accessories, with a cool backdrop via The Time Nyack. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

A look at a few of my trip accessories, with a cool backdrop via The Time Nyack. Leather lanyard by Tanner Goods. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

On the footwear front, I also tried to pack light yet reliably — I’ve become a huge fan of the comfort and sleek style of my Jack Erwin Cooper Boat Shoes, as I also rocked ’em during my family’s trip to NYC a few weeks ago. They were a nice change of pace alongside my classic, dressier Sebago leather loafers. The Caramel Nubuck color of the boat shoes, and the slimmer profile (compared to other boat shoes, that is) helped them fit right in with my more casual Bridge & Burn Stringer Dune Shorts and a lightweight, comfortable Richer Poorer pocket tee (as seen below). The tee is slim, modern and able to be worn a bit more ruggedly (with the sleeves a bit rolled up, for example). Plus the cotton-polyester-rayon blend is comfortable and breathed easily in the heat. The best part about the boat shoes is that they would’ve worked just as easily with my Friday office/travel outfit as on Saturday! Looking for crisp, comfortable, dependable shoes when traveling is a definite must, and particularly for the summer months, the Cooper is absolutely one shoe you should consider.

Saturday's outfit to beat the heat. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Saturday’s outfit to beat the heat. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes in Caramel Nubuck by Jack Erwin. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

Now if this trip were longer, I’d definitely consider adding some sharp spring sneakers and a nice pair of light wash denim, but the gear I packed in the interim definitely sufficed. Now, just because I packed light doesn’t mean I skimped on accessories. I love traveling with a great watch or two — as of late, I’ve been digging the rugged, dependable Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, which Timex was courteous enough to provide for a review (thanks, folks!). The watch wears slightly larger at 42mm, and the case is thick and sturdy. It’s a beauty in terms of the vintage-inspired dial design, too. The same goes for the rugged Red Wing leather strap — is there a better material to forge a watch strap out of? Probably not. It’s already proven a work-week staple, and it’s sure to see plenty of use in the coming weeks and months. My Sunday Somewhere sunglasses have already taken me all around New York City, and they proved just as reliable and stylish for exploring the much quieter confines of Nyack. Lest we forget, when packing low-cut shoes, lightweight no-show socks are in order — luckily, Pair of Thieves provides breathable no-shows with built-in performance for breathability and comfort.

What time is it? Time for a Memorial Day trip to the Time Nyack Hotel. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

What time is it? Time for a Memorial Day trip to the Time Nyack Hotel. Waterbury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab.

As to the hotel itself: the Time Nyack was lovely, an eclectic mix of clean, modern design thanks to the loft-style rooms, high ceilings and the building’s past life as a factory. I felt the #menswear accessories I brought along, including that Timex x Red Wing Waterbury Chrono, fit right in! The décor was chic, modern and refined – definitely as upscale as expected. And the on-site restaurant and bar, BV’s Grill, had a nice beer selection and some killer cocktails. Elsewhere in Nyack, this small town is bustling and felt much larger than the listed population of about 7,300. I had the chance to check out The Local Tap House of Nyack on Main Street, which even served some excellent beer from Brooklyn stalwarts Evil Twin and Other Half (a surefire sign of any good beer bar). And if you get to the area , be sure to stop by Brickhouse for a stellar burger (the BBQ Bacon Burger is a treat), and more great beer (including some craft exclusives from the likes of Maine Brewing).

Saturday's travel outfit in action outside Gypsy Donut. Heather Grey Pocket Tee by Richer Poorer. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Watebury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

Saturday’s travel outfit in action outside Gypsy Donut. Heather Grey Pocket Tee by Richer Poorer. Stringer Dune Shorts and Flat Wool Cap by Bridge & Burn. Cooper Boat Shoes by Jack Erwin. Watebury Chrono from the Timex x Red Wing collab. Maximus Sunglasses by Sunday Somewhere.

The town itself really was busy despite a lot of folks apparently heading away for the weekend – if you want a retreat that feels far away from the city and offers some unique, local spots, this is the place to go. In fact, zipping up and down Main Street will give you the chance to check out a ton of hotspots for dinner or cocktails. And if you’re a fan of delicious donuts and excellent coffee, like they’ve got on-hand at Gypsy Donut, you’ll have just as much fun at breakfast as you will when out on the town later. The Maple Bacon Donut is the stuff of dreams, I tell you.

It was a much-needed getaway, and it proved a lot of fun! If you need a respite from NYC or are looking for a small-town getaway with premium accommodations and a host of restaurants and bars to match, Nyack is the place to be. It’s a cute area with beautiful views of the Hudson River on the drive over, the Time Nyack is conveniently situated close to the town, and I’d wager you won’t run out of places to go or things to do on a weekend trip. Pack smartly, efficiently and stylishly, and you’ll be all set for plenty of adventures.

Where are you heading this summer? Let me know of any neat trips, and what you’re bringing along, over at The Style Guide Facebook page!

 

Frank & Oak

Florsheim

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Sand & sun, Part 2: Celebrating Christmas in Florida

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until then – stay stylish!

-Beau

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

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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

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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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The Friday Read: Michigan State, Fall Colors and The Hill-side

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.

As it’s finally Friday, I almost have all of my voice back following the aftermath of that insane, thrilling and incredible Michigan State-Michigan football game last weekend. If you missed the ending, well, you’re in for a treat there. And the football hysteria is actually set to continue for me this weekend, because as luck would have it, I’m hitting the road back to East Lansing for a weekend spent with friends on the best campus in the country (in my humble opinion). I’m also getting the chance to go back to my hometown of Mason, a lovely place where time really slows down — that’ll be a welcome change of pace from New York City. And it’s always great to get back to your roots. But for matters in the present, we’ll catch you up with some of the best #menswear news of the week. On that note, thanks to all who participated in this week’s Goorin Brothers giveaway! Stay tuned for more giveaways in the coming weeks, and next week, look for a great product review of a nice fall timepiece, and a Q&A with the insightful and talented Megan Collins of Style Girlfriend. For now, enjoy your weekend — and thanks for reading!

Need more men’s style coverage to read?

  • You might recognize the subject of my latest VOUCH Mag piece from this blog — JACHS NY produces modern takes on American classics, and the brand’s backstory is just as neat.

Florsheim

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 1

The view from a small boat to Santorini, Greece.

If you’re just joining us (or just catching up to TSG), this dispatch comes to you from the high seas! Specifically, somewhere between Greece and Italy for a family cruise. The biggest takeaway so far: what a trip it’s been. I knew going in (and packing) for the trip that it was bound to be incredible — but until you’ve experienced the beauty of this part of the world, there’s really nothing like it. It’s been an unmatched experience, but thankfully, my wardrobe has withstood the test to this point. 

Exploring the port town of Civitavecchia, Italy pre-cruise with some comfortable Mott & Bow white denim. Brown leather chukkas by Timberland.

 
I’ve had the chance to try out a few different outfit combos and to date, I’ve found my Mott & Bow white denim to be both comfortable and versatile, perhaps the best pair of pants I brought along. They’ve proven a crisp option for travel when paired with brown leather chukkas, and that’s equally true of my unconstructed J. Crew blazer (get the scoop on other great blazer options here). My GAP chambray shirt, in breezier situations, and my Banana Republic khaki shorts (in hotter temps) have also fared well, as have the range of summer T-shirt options I  brought along –namely my Pistol Lake henley is a well-fitting yet breathable option, as is a lightweight H&M v-neck. And the Combatant Gentleman chinos I packed — soon to be featured as this week’s Style Pick — are casual yet tailored enough for dinner wear.

 

Shore style in Santorini. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Bros. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Charcoal pocket tee by American Apparel. French Terry Sweatshorts by Pistol Lake. Sneakers by Athletic Propulsion Labs. Black rubber strap watch by Stuhrling. Slim Mailbag by Satchel and Page.

 
For a particularly strenuous shore excursion in Santorini,  I turned to my  Pistol Lake sweatshorts and sweet Athletic Propulsion Labs running shoes — hiking the mountains of Greece absolutely calls for it, yet thankfully, they’re futuristic and unique enough that they feel less like a running shoe and more like a new-age sneaker you’d see on a fashion runway. My Satchel and Page Slim Mailbag has also proven more than up to the test of tagging along for the journey, and it’s pretty neat to be carrying a bag that’ll only get better with age (full review of that in the coming weeks).

 

Kicking back in casual style. Vintage ballcap by Goorin Bros. Blue V-neck by H&M. Shorts by Frank & Oak. Glasses by Warby Parker. Stainless steel dive watch by Invicta. Sunglasses by Randolph Engineering. Beer by Heineken.

 
And in the rest of my downtime, I’ve found myself reaching for lightweight linen blends, like my Frank & Oak shorts or a Stock Mfg. Co shirt, plus crisp-casual accessories (like a versatile wool-blend Goorin Bros. hat or my trusty G.H. Bass brown leather loafers). My Orlebar Brown swim trunks (more on those here) are faring quite nicely, too. On the footwear front, my trusty GREATS Brand Wilson sneakers and Leather Wooster Slip-ons have also pulled some double-duty on shore trips and casual wear to date, and I’m excited to continue pairing them with the selection of chinos and denim I brought.

   

Hoping to strike it rich in my Combatant Gentleman double-breasted suit jacket, custom Black Lapel suit pants, G.H. Bass loafers and Combatant Gentleman shirt. Watch by Daniel Wellington. Italian beer by Peroni.

  
 For formal wear, I’ve mixed and matched my Combatant Gentleman Steel Blue Glenplaid Double-Breasted Suit Jacket with some custom grey suit pants, brown loafers and a crisp White Endurance Shirt from Combat Gent, and my Combat Gent chinos as seen above (with some Andre Coton loafers) are also working well. On the accessories front, my Daniel Wellington Classic Bristol watch is holding up quite nicely — the pared-down, minimalist design is a big benefit when packing and traveling.

Luckily, the weather’s proved sunny and warm, so I haven’t tripped up on not bringing outerwear — yet, that is. The rest of our trip calls for a bicycle tour and some town and shore exploration in Mykonos today, followed by stops in Athens and Katakolon! At any rate, check back here on Friday for the weekly Friday Read post, and swing back through on Saturday (if you feel like it) for the Style Pick of the Week. More coming from Greece next week on The Style Guide, too!

Stay stylish,

-Beau
Ernest Alexander

Ben Sherman US