#OOTD: How to Style Your New Favorite Vest for Fall

My friends, don’t sleep on the humble vest. A style move that was at once very on-trend (looking at you, Back to the Future), and then too preppy … is now back in a way that’s just right for the modern man (that’s you!). Maybe you never stopped wearing a stylish vest like the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest as pictured below. If so, today’s new #OOTD is going to be right up your alley. And if you hadn’t yet considered making a vest part of your fall men’s style essentials? I’d wager that the below suggestion is (hopefully) going to get your gears turning. We’re really easing into it, after all. The building blocks of this outfit are stellar, stylish pieces that any guy should be wearing for fall, from a slim chambray shirt to a rugged henley to classic men’s chinos. And the topper? A classic vest, of course. Go for a piece that’s less technical and less, well, puffy — something that fits slim and sharp is the way to go. Luckily, the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest fits the bill quite well.  With casual weekend style in mind, you’re going to like these picks … I hope. So, let’s get to the #OOTD — any questions or comments? Head over to The Style Guide Facebook page.

Taking a slimmed-down vest and pairing it with classic men’s style staples.

The Vest: Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest, $198 — Upgrading your vest starts with the material and fit. The warm, slim-fitting Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest features wool-blend fabric and a neutral, wearable color.
The Chambray Shirt: CIVIC The Jack Shirt in Sky Blue Chambray, $128 — A classic chambray shirt is no more fitting than in fall, and CIVIC (an offshoot of Taylor Stitch) makes the Jack Shirt with premium merino fabric and a tailored fit.

The Henley: Flint and Tinder Heavyweight Henley, $62 — What’s more classic for fall than layering a tough henley with a chambray shirt and  your new favorite vest? Not much, folks. Perfectly casual style, comin’ right up.

The Chinos: CIVIC The Frank Chino, $145 — The key to making the vest stylish and modern? Slim chinos from CIVIC — made with sustainability and mobility in mind, of course.

The Boots: Wolverine Evans Boot, $400 —  Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for a tough pair of Wolverine boots — the Evans Boot adds some rugged edge to this classic, straightforward ensemble. Oh, and don’t forget stylish patterned socks from Anonymousism.

The Belt: Levi’s Stinson Belt, $29 — Yet again, Levi’s delivers on a stylish belt to complement the slim chinos in this ensemble. Of course, the Stinson Belt also works with whatever classic Levi’s denim you already own, too.

The Watch: Huckberry x Lum-Tec GMT, $498 — Worried about mixing a black NATO strap watch with a brown belt & boots? Fear not, my friend. The durable Huckberry x Lum-Tec GMT fits right in with the rest of this rugged, casual outfit.

The Beanie: Levi’s Ribbed Beanie, $18 — Hey, it’s chilly out there. A classic beanie in an eye-catching color from a classic brand — good lookin’ out, Levi’s — will keep you warm and stylish.

Have you had the chance to re-think what you thought you knew about the classic men’s vest? Certainly, the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest features the type of upgraded fabric & fit that you need when you start shopping around for this necessary style upgrade. It also loses its preppy connotations when you streamline it with men’s fall style essentials, from a  classic chambray shirt to a rugged men’s henley from a beloved brand like Flint and Tinder. And the stylish vest gets even easier to wear in casual style situations when you rock it with slim tan chinos and your favorite pair of fall boots (the Wolverine Evans Boot, of course). Accessories from Levi’s — like a durable leather belt and a stylish beanie cap — are destined to become cold-weather favorites, too. Let’s not forget about a tough casual watch; in this instance, the Huckberry x Lum-Tec GMT mixes striking design with a rugged aesthetic. If that sounds like style you can appreciate, I’d make sure you pick up the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest before it’s too late. From there, you can wear this ensemble on upstate trips, day hikes, a bar crawl, to the farmer’s market, to grab a weekend coffee … you get the gist, right?

How would you style the Bridge & Burn Ritter Vest? Let me know if you plan to snag it for the season!

Thanks for reading,

-Beau

#OOTD: The Best Way to Wear a Flannel Shirt This Fall

Gather ’round, Style Guide readers — today’s #OOTD tackles a favorite topic when it comes to rugged men’s fall style: How to wear a flannel shirt this season. If flannel shirts call to mind the mid-aughts boom of American workwear, well, they should — they were a key piece of #menswear then, and the right flannel shirt is just as relevant now. Today’s shirt of choice, the Filson Vintage Flannel Shirt, channels just the vibe you want when wearing a flannel shirt. It’s got all the trappings of a classic piece, but it’s just a bit more modern. With a cool black-and-cream color, it’s less outdoors-y and instead, just …  a cool shirt. And the way you wear your new favorite flannel shirt is going to make all the difference, too. Pair it with rugged style essentials like a premium slim henley and textured Bedford cord pants, and you’re going to shake off all those “urban lumberjack” connotations. Fear not, though — we’re still finishing off this #OOTD with rugged leather boots.  I know this much: You can make this outfit work for you at a football tailgate, at a bonfire or on a brewery tour — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let me know your thoughts over on Twitter when you get the chance, if you so please.

Best men's flannel shirts

Think again about how you wear your flannel shirt — this Filson shirt bucks the trend and looks great.

The Flannel Shirt: Filson Vintage Flannel Work Shirt in Black and Cream, $145 — The centerpiece of many a stylish and rugged fall outfit, Filson gets the color and classic fabrication just right with its Vintage Flannel Work Shirt.

The Henley: Billy Reid Speckled Henley, $155.98 —  Yet another critical fall layer, this made-in-Italy Billy Reid henley is a premium upgrade over a standard thermal henley — perfect for layering with a Filson flannel.

The Pants: BANKS Roll Bedford Cord Jean, $75 — Rather than reaching for dark blue denim, reach for the slim, fall-ready BANKS Bedford Cord Jean — textured, unique and slim-fitting.

The Boots: Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots in Roughout, $299.98 (When On-Sale) — For fall, Wolverine has taken its 1000 Mile Boots and upgraded them in a rich, seasonally ready roughout leather. Perfect.
The Belt: Sturdy Brothers Everyday Belt in Chestnut, $80 — To stand up to your sturdy leather boots and a rugged flannel shirt, a tough leather belt from Sturdy Brothers is just what the doctor ordered.
The Watch: Pantor Sea Lion Watch, $424.98— This outfit is packed with fall-ready neutrals, so shake up your wrist game with the striking, durable Pantor Sea Lion Watch. It’s the ideal, rugged watch to wear to a football game or a bar crawl.
The Bag: Topo Designs Mountain Briefcase, $119.98 — Whether you head to a house party or out on a day trip, the sturdy, well-made Topo Designs Mountain Briefcase is more casual (and durable) than the briefcase moniker implies.
The Beard Balm: Upstate Stock Willowemoc Beard Balm, $22 Upstate Stock happens to be one of my favorite spots for menswear in Brooklyn — and they make a nice beard balm to tame your mane this season.
Are you sold yet on the versatile, rugged styling potential of the  Vintage Flannel Work Shirt from Filson? In a cool color scheme, it’ll work as a warm top layer over something as premium and understated as the Billy Reid Speckled Henley. And when you team up that combo with a crisp set of trousers like the BANKS Roll Bedford Cords, you’re set for casual fall excursions from the city to the country and back. Don’t step foot outside this fall without tough leather boots, either — I’d strongly urge you to invest in the stellar Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots — are you with me there? A durable, weather-ready watch like the Pantor Sea Lion Watch is going to fit right in with the tough nature of this outfit, and the Topo Designs Mountain Briefcase is standing at the ready if you need a new fall go-to to haul your everyday carry. So, I think we’re all set with today’s #OOTD. Thanks, as always, for reading!
-Beau

Style Pick of the Week: Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots

A classic in any season — especially fall.

Folks, let’s dive on into another Style Pick of the Week. More specifically, let’s talk rugged fall boots — as in the standout Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots. They’re investment-worthy and wish list-worthy, to say the least. Surely, if you’re a #menswear fan and have kept up with the industry, then you’ll recognize the durable, classic and resurgent style of the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot. They were a trendy favorite in the mid-2000s as workwear and made-in-America goods surged back into play, but here’s the catch — Wolverine has made these boots a modern-day classic. Yes, the handsome, rugged and timeless silhouette of the Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boot is just as relevant today. And what better season than fall to break out a pair of classic leather boots, after all? Wolverine has come up in the past on The Style Guide, specifically when talking the best boots for fall. Why not get ready for the season with the real deal, the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boot? Ehh? Yessir, Wolverine has nearly outdone themselves once again with this easily wearable, ridiculously well-crafted silhouette — and again, the time is just right to pick up the 1000 Mile Boots, my friends. And if I were you, I’d wear them to your next tailgate, on a bar crawl or to the office when paired up with a stylish fall blazer. They’re that good.

A tough silhouette that’s not too bulky — wearable with jeans or wool trousers in equal measure.

Like other Style Guide favorites — including the Original Chippewa Service Boots — this pair of 1000 Mile Boots is built to last right here in America. Wolverine uses uncompromising standards in crafting boots that can work with every single one of your fall menswear essentials, from rugged dark blue denim and a light blue denim shirt to faded black denim and a slim striped henley — and that’s only the beginning. The thing with the Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots  is that they’re only going to get better the more you wear them. Heck, the pattern of the boots itself is recreated from 1914, when the original 1000 Mile Boots  launched. And the leather?  It comes from Horween, perhaps the country’s foremost leather crafters. Throw in well-considered details like flat waxed laces and a leather outsole, and you’ve got a stunning pair of boots that can certainly last … beyond a thousand miles. See what I did there? At any rate, the craftsmanship and rugged appeal of the 1000 Mile Boots keeps going and going. OK, we’re done now. Thanks for reading!

Will the Wolverine Original 1000 Mile Boots be making their way into your footwear rotation this fall? How would you style the 1000 Mile Boots?

Online Shopping Picks: Stylish Men’s Chelsea Boots to Buy Right Now

Editor’s note: Get the scoop on all the #menswear you could ever need with all The Style Guide’s online shopping picks.

Chelsea boots via ASOS, with a bit of seasonal wear-and-tear. Learn how to style yours below, folks.

Chelsea boots via ASOS, with a bit of seasonal wear-and-tear. Learn how to style yours below, folks.

In case the headline wasn’t enough of an indicator, today we’re talking Chelsea boots on The Style Guide. Like other pieces that once seemed relatively trendy (remember when J. Crew  nearly single-handedly brought back the now-essential chambray shirt?), these guys have practically become a safe bet as far as a great footwear option for stylish guys. They’re not as hearty as a sturdy pair of winter boots, to be sure, but in the right style and color, they can definitely work in three seasons — and maybe four, if the snow holds out. The silhouette is generally sleek and sharp, and that seemingly goes for whether you pick ’em up in brown or black leather, or suede — all picks seen below. A bit of rocker edge never hurt anyone, either. And while at first it might take a while to get used to just slipping into a pair of boots — as it did for me — you might soon find they’re your go-to footwear option when you want to step away from leather sneakers, dress shoes or more military-inspired boots. Check out today’s Style Guide picks, and give us a look on Facebook for all the menswear content you can possibly ‘Like.’

#1. Thursday Boot Company Brown Duke Boot — $199

A reliable and (hopefully) hard-wearing pick from an upstart brand.

A reliable and (hopefully) hard-wearing pick from an upstart brand.

While it was an exceptionally close call between the Duke Boot and the Ellis Boot from Jack Erwin (option numero dos), a slightly lower price and more versatile brown leather swayed this writer (more readily wearable in winter, see?). Thursday Boots continues to be a solid option if you want to up your boot game for not a whole lot o’ dough, and they nearly always deliver. You get better quality than a pair of Chelsea boots from a fast retailer like H&M, yet you’re not ponying up an arm and a leg from a pricier brand. Added details like the studded rubber outsole should ensure a smooth grip no matter the season.

#2. Jack Erwin Ellis Chelsea Boot in Brown Suede — $220

Sleek and sturdy at the same time -- a nice combination.

Sleek and sturdy at the same time — a nice combination.

Perhaps it’s the thought of springtime being (hopefully) not too far off, but these beautiful Jack Erwin brown suede Chelsea boots end up near the top of this list for a few great reasons.  On the comfort end of the equation, these boots feature a rubber sole and full leather lining — both things you’ll be grateful for if you’re out and about a lot. And on the looks end of things, the suede appears rich and high-quality — take ’em for a spin with some white jeans when the time comes. Sure, they’ll require a little extra care and will probably be needed to shelved when heavy snow hits, but the rest of the time, they’re on the money.

#3. Wolverine 1883 Garrick Chelsea Boot — $175

Heritage-quality leather and rugged style details at an approachable price.

Heritage-quality leather and rugged style details at an approachable price.

As sold by East Dane, these boots are part of Wolverine’s 1883 line, which has more than a dozen individual styles on the brand’s Web site. The biggest thing to note here is that, somewhat incredulously, you’re getting the Wolverine brand name for under $200 — no small feat when you look at the brand’s 1000 Mile line (particularly the Camden Chelsea Boot). At any rate, the Garrick is a slightly more rustic-looking Chelsea boot, what with burnishing details on the toe and heel, plus that wrinkled leather. These will still do just fine with dark denim or navy chinos, and they’d even add a nice contrast to spring denim.

#4. ASOS Tan Suede Chelsea Boot — $68.43

Dark tan suede Chelsea boots that combine some unique color with a terrific price.

Dark tan suede Chelsea boots that combine some unique color with a terrific price.

Got an extra two quarters lying around? So these ASOS Chelsea boots are, it goes without saying, a downright steal for the price. And they’re another style that, like the Florsheim boots above, are a very worthy pickup if you’re looking to dip your toes into this trend. They’re cut a little lower on the heel for a slightly more continental look . Note that the suede isn’t the highest-quality, but it’s actually held up decently as part of a rotation and with less winter wear (the pair you see at the top of the page belong to yours truly — thanks Santa!).

#5. Florsheim Indie Gore Boot in Toffee — $99.90

More casual in nature thanks to the color and gore detailing.

More casual in nature thanks to the color and gore detailing.

Florsheim’s Indie Gore Boot has bit more going on visually than the typical Chelsea boot thanks to the side-gore detailing and the textured leather. Those aren’t all bad things, though. You’re getting a more casual pair of Chelsea boots — there is such a thing — for a great price. Feel free to beat these things up a bit; they’re the perfect pair to pick up if you’re just giving the silhouette a try. The Toffee color would sit nicely under some slim wool trousers now, and they’d work equally well under lightwash denim in the spring.

Putting together this list was quite tricky — it’s certainly no small feat to sort through Chelsea boot options when lauded retailers like Common Projects are throwing their (very minimal) hats in the ring. If you find yourself on an extreme budget but really want to go for the style, an option like H&M isn’t all bad for now, and more comfort-minded brands like Dr. Scholls are also producing Chelsea boots with a rugged edge. The biggest key to keep in mind is how you can make them work for you. If you find yourself wearing a lot of slim denim and mixing staples like tees with unconstructed blazers, the Chelsea boot is going to be a similarly slick style option. But if you need a more rugged pair of boots for crossing town, maybe save these guys for special occasions. Either way, it’s one footwear option I’d say you should give some thought to in the coming weeks — before everyone else beats you to the punch!

Stay stylish and happy shopping,

-Beau
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Online Shopping Picks: The Best Men’s Winter Boots

Editor’s note: Click this link to read the 2016 edition of this site’s best men’s winter boots.

So these past few weeks in NYC have delivered some of the coldest weather on record — not only in the city itself, but across much of the rest of Eastern U.S. and Midwest. That really puts things in perspective style-wise, because in cold weather like this, function is just as important as fashion, particularly in the footwear department when trekking through feet of snow (or even just walking through blustery, chilly winds). There are several options on the market that serve only functional purposes (like the famous Bean boot from L.L. Bean), but the best boots serve both stylish and utilitarian means — like the 5 picks below. Read on and leave your picks for your favorite pair at the bottom!

#1. Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots in Brown — $360

An all-American original with rugged details.

An all-American original with rugged details.

Wolverine’s 1000 Mile line of boots is an all-time classic — revered for their durability and toughness, the brand has slowly built up a fashion following across the past five or so years as workwear and Americana themes have come back into vogue in men’s fashion. While this pair is particularly pricey compared to options you might pick up on a budget, the price is well worth it —the 1000 Mile collection combines toughness and dependability with beautiful leather styling and lots of attention to detail (read more on a pair from the line here). In a rich brown color like the pair above, they’ll work at the office with more rugged outfits as well as marching through the cold to get there. Note that these boots are also on-sale through Nordstrom for a bit less than the above price.

#2. Thursday Boots Captain Boot in Brown — $199

A slimmed-down silhouette compared to the 1000 Mile boot, for far less cash.

A slimmed-down silhouette compared to the 1000 Mile boot, for far less cash.

The second pick on this list drops the price down significantly from the Wolverine boots above, without losing too much quality. In fact, for being a very new startup courtesy of Kickstarter, these boots provide just as much top-notch styling potential as any other boot from the heritage brands on this list — and they do it for a greatly reduced price.  They offer a slightly sleeker-looking silhouette, a more office-friendly captoe and that same rich brown leather that should pair well with all kinds of outfits throughout the winter. And even more importantly, the company’s garnered some positive reviews around their initial collections, meaning it’d be more than safe to take the plunge on this pair.

#3. Frank & Oak Rubber-Soled Italian-Leather Lace-up Boots in Black, $175

From Frank & Oak's new footwear line — the sharpest pair on the list yet.

From Frank & Oak’s new footwear line — the sharpest pair on the list yet.

The first pair of black boots on this list is also, quite curiously, on-sale through Frank & Oak with plenty of sizes left. On top of that, they’re by far the cheapest pair on the list to date, yet if F&O’s other new footwear offerings are any indication, this pair should deliver in both quality and looks. They’re by far the dressiest pair on the list, given that sharp black color (a slightly resurgent footwear trend), and the brushed black eyelets and waxed cotton laces only add to their sleek styling. These would work best in the same manner that Bond wore his black dress boots in Skyfall — with a sharp grey suit or tailored navy trousers or cords. They’d also work to channel your inner Justin Theroux with slim dark denim. Given the rate of turnover on Frank & Oak’s site, the question remains as to how long these boots will stay in-stock, especially on-sale.

#4. Red Wing Beckman Boot in Black Featherstone — $340

Red Wing boots combine heritage craftsmanship with rugged styling potential.

Red Wing boots combine heritage craftsmanship with rugged styling potential.

Yet another pair of black boots fills spot #4 on this list. Just like their Wolverine brethren, Red Wing has a long heritage of delivering sturdy boots made to last. This pair of Beckman boots knocks down the price compared to the 1000 Mile pair listed above, but that in no way detracts from the quality. These have that same reinforced sole and Goodyear welt construction that should make resoling possible down the line — practically like getting a new pair of boots for far less than full price. And in this case, the bottom sole is stitched to the midsole, meaning these boots can more than stand up to the abuses of winter weather. Notably, the leather on this pair is richer in color than your typical black leather — it has a luxurious, almost burgundy-like tint to it. Throw ’em on with dark denim, a henley and a shawl cardigan or pair them with slim burgundy cords and a crewneck sweater.

#5. Florsheim Gaffney Wingtip Boots — $150

A wingtip option that combines tan leather with a grippy-looking sole.

A wingtip option that combines tan leather with a grippy-looking sole.

The final pair on this list is the first and only set of wingtip boots on here —mainly because of the fact that while inherently stylish, incredibly nice wingtip boots (like the Allen Edmonds Dalton) don’t always do the best job of beating back the snow and slush. If you have a pair in your closet though, give them a try — after all, $400-plus boots don’t deserve to just sit around! The Florsheim Gaffney is a slightly more upscale replacement to JCP’s much-loved Stafford Camlin and Stafford Deacon wingtip boots, but in a louder “toffee” color. That makes them a little more eye-catching and slightly less versatile than the darker brown options on this list, as tan doesn’t necessarily sit as well under, say, khaki chinos or dark charcoal trousers. They would, however, pair just fine with dark denim and navy chinos, for example. And the sole on these boots looks to have a fair bit of grip as well, which is a definite positive for stepping outside in these chilly temperatures. The leather also looks to have some texture, a nice way of adding a bit of visual interest to fall and winter outfits.

Although many of these boots are up there in price, the benefits are well worth the extra dollars, as a great pair of boots can combat slush, snow and ice without needing a change for working hours — or dinner and drinks out later.

Got a favorite pair of winter boots? What other options would you add to this list? Leave it all below! 

Additional note: Look for a Reader Giveaway Opportunity coming up on the blog! I’ll be giving away a Linjer Leather Goods wallet! Details coming on Wednesday. Thanks for reading! 

 

‘Out of the Box’ Review: Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots

When temperatures plummet (as they continue to do in Michigan), there are few things more dependable or reliable than a great pair of boots — be it a brown wingtip pair, or a more substantial black leather pair. No company fits the bill better in recent years for making boots of exceptional quality than Wolverine. Once known for work boots found all across construction sites, the company’s 1000 Mile line is nothing but class. Substantial construction, high-quality leather and rich colors all bump these up a notch from a typical pair of boots.

Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in black. The perfect shade and style for fall and winter.

Wolverine 1000 Mile Austen boots in black. The perfect shade and style for fall and winter.

The best part? These are the rare shoe that are durable and rugged enough to actually wear in other places besides the city — but rest assured, they won’t look out of place hopping around town. Their versatility has transformed them into a favorite of urban lumberjacks and other well-dressed guys everywhere.

A recent order shipped into the Siblings With Style Michigan offices only validates Wolverine’s historic legacy of excellence. The 1000 Mile Austen boots in black leather (as picked up from JackThreads) are an absurdly beautiful pair of shoes out of the box, even to the non-shoe expert. The pair’s welted sole is stitched, not glued on (always a sign of a great pair of boots or dress shoes). The Horween leather feels tough, but should break in tremendously over time. The real kicker of this pair is the sole — not only is it stitched, but it’s also perhaps the sturdiest sole I’ve seen on a pair of shoes.

The construction (particularly the sole) is rugged and functional.

The construction (particularly the sole) is rugged and functional.

At first glance (and without any wear as of yet), these shoes look phenomenal. They’re sturdy and durable enough to last for long walks across campus, yet they’ll do just fine sitting under a pair of dark denim.  Through the rest of the fall and winter, I can see them being a great complement to cardigans and v-neck sweaters — and perhaps even a winter-weight blazer. Look for more to come as these boots get some serious wear. With construction and quality like these, it’s only a matter of time.