The Friday Read: The Best Winter Sweaters, Holiday Travel Style and Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

Folks, can you believe we’re just three days away from Christmas? Just one weekend? I hope you’re wrapping up your work for the week, or the year, and getting ready to hit the road for some holiday fun. Be sure to check out my men’s holiday gift guide for any very last-minute gift-giving needs, and rest assured that our women’s holiday gift guide has you covered with picks for plenty of the women in your life. As for me, I’m doing my best to wrap up my work — #menswear-related and otherwise — as I hit the road today to lovely, sunny Florida for a few days with my family! I celebrated Christmas in Florida last year, and I can’t wait for this year’s festivities — it’s a welcome change of pace from the NYC cold. We’ll have our traditional Christmas Eve  movie and dinner, and I’m certainly looking forward to catching some rays and kicking back with a Corona. If you’re so inclined, you can check out my adventures on Instagram — and you can of course expect a full travel style post here on the site come next week. Oh, and lastly … be sure to dress in casual-yet-comfortable holiday travel style yourself this year, yeah? Before we log off totally, know that we’ll have an exceptional Style Pick of the Week incoming tomorrow. For now, treat yourself to The Friday Read — enjoy the weekend, happy holidays and Merry Christmas!
Holiday 2017

  • It’s high time we started bundling up against the cold winter weather, and on that note, my latest roundup for The Manual focuses on the best sweaters to buy this season. Can’t go wrong there, can you?
  • Looking for a cool stocking stuffer that’s a neat gift for the woman who loves the outdoors (or just appreciates a cool hat)? The Six-Panel Structured Canvas Indigo Hat from Raleigh Denim is part of the brand’s new line of unisex accessories, featuring neat craftsmanship and quality. Is it on your shopping list?
  • In search of a quick grooming upgrade before the holidays? Might I point you toward EVENPRIME? This simple, minimal men’s grooming line takes a uniquely Korean approach to skincare, focused on quality ingredients, clean packaging and helpful, easy-to-use products. The brand’s Core Set is pared down to two, well, core essentials, a cleanser and a moisturizer that I think you’re going to like. I’ve been trying out the brand and enjoying it immensely for the refreshing hydration of the Moisturizer in particular — I think you’ll feel the same way!

Once again, I hope you enjoy the holidays with family and friends! Thanks for reading!


Holiday 2017

Women’s Style Holiday Gift Guide 2017: What to Buy for Her This Christmas

Quick, get your credit card and your shopping list ready — it’s time to for this year’s Women’s Style Holiday Gift Guide, my friends! We’re going past style into lifestyle goods, too — fear not. If you find shopping for any of the women in your life to be a bit of a challenge, we’ve got you covered. That goes for whether you’re buying for your mom, your significant other, your sister, your sister-in-law … anyone on your list. I definitely hope these picks are as useful (and fun!) as our ongoing series covering the best men’s gear — after all, it’s useful (and recommended) to get out of your comfort zone every once in a while when it comes to shopping. Keep in mind that the best gifts truly do come from the heart — seriously! Again, whoever happens to be on your list … this gift guide is the way to go. Want to see different brands included or want to weigh in on what you’re buying this year? Hit me up on Twitter. Happy holidays!

For Your Wife or Girlfriend: Christina Nicole Ayaria Earrings — $72

Simply refined earrings that are perfect for everyday wear or more special occasions.

Perhaps these stylish, unique Christina Nicole Ayaria Earrings are but one part of a larger gift to your significant other, which is fantastic! To this writer’s (somewhat) trained eye, they’re an elegant, lovely accessory that can be worn through the holiday season and the rest of the year with just about anything.

For the Broadway/Music Fan: Tickets to Your Wife, Girlfriend or Mom’s Favorite Musical — TBD

Dropping more than four figures on “Hamilton” might not be advisable … but go for it if you want to! Image courtesy of Hamilton.

OK, am I suggesting you open up a second mortage to buy those tickets to “Hamilton,” the famed rap musical about founding father Alexander Hamilton? Ehh, not quite. But splurging on tickets to an amazing musical (or a music act) that your mom, girlfriend or sister loves can be a very cool, very enjoyable gift — heck, it could even come with a trip  built right in! How about it?
For the Book Lover: “Sing, Unburied Sing” by Jesmyn Ward — From $11.27

An award-winning novel that anyone can appreciate.

Know someone who loves to read and devours the latest and greatest off shelves? If they haven’t read this number yet, I’d suggest it. Even if someone like your mother-in-law isn’t a devout reader, it’s tough to find someone who doesn’t appreciate a well-crafted novel — this acclaimed tome took home this year’s National Book Award for Fiction.

For the Style Lover: Red Wing Heritage Clara Boot — $359.99

Stylishly made, well-crafted leather boots from the brand that also makes your own favorite boots.

Did you know that Red Wing Heritage made women’s boots? Extremely stylish women ‘s boots at that? It’s a relatively recent addition to the brand’s lineup, and the Red Wing Heritage Clara Boot features every bit as much craftsmanship and outstanding quality as your own pair of rugged leather boots. These offer a bit of chic refinement, so the receipient can rock ’em on date night or on a winter stroll around town. The catch? You need a shoe size first … get to it!
For Your Wife or Girlfriend (Continued): Ethics Supply Co. Firefall Bath Salts — $32 AND Cultiver Marais Robe — $110

Two gifts for … well, not for the price of one. But a great combination nonetheless.

Two great gifts bundled into one idea here.  That is to say,  you’ll have to wrap it yourself. The Ethics Supply Co. Firefall Bath Salts are a refreshing and relaxing way to unwind, while you can’t beat a high-quality bathrobe like the Cultiver Marais Robe. See, isn’t this easy? I kid, I kid.
For the Jewelry Lover: J. Alexander Silver and Turquoise Jewelry Box — $72

A cool, classic way to store her jewelry from J. Alexander.

For the woman who’s got quite a lot — I mean, A LOT — of jewelry, this elegant J. Alexander Silver and Turquoise Jewelry Box is an excellent gift, perhaps in tandem with the Christina Nicole Ayaria Earrings we discussed earlier. It’s striking and well-designed, yet not too over-the-top, exactly what’s needed in a nice Christmas gift.
 For the Style Lover (Part 2): The Horse The Classic Time Teller Watch — $164.98

A sleek, simple watch that goes with anything — perfect for the woman who loves style.

Whether you’re buying for your mom, your sister or your mother-in-law, a crisp and refined timepiece is an excellent gift (one that keeps on giving, you might say). The Classic Time Teller Watch is elegant, refined and easily wearable during the holidays and well after — a terrific value for the money.
For the Coffee LoverFellow Stagg x Pour-Over Set — $69 AND Canyon Coffee Medium Roast — $17

Two great gifts that work very, VERY well alongside one another. Who doesn’t love a great cup of coffee?

Here’s another gift that works quite well as a set — the well-made Fellow Stagg x Pour-Over Set, paired up with an exceptionally tasty Canyon Coffee Medium Roast, is a great one to open on Christmas Day and enjoy right then and there. At least, that’s what I’d do. You can also give each gift individually — it’s all up to you. Who’s got my next cup of coffee?
For Your Sister or Sister-in-Law: Nisolo Clutch Wallet — $128

A sustainably crafted clutch that’ll come in very handy all year long.

If you’re a bit stumped on what to get your sister or sister-in-law — fear not, we’ve all been there — then a simple clutch (a sustainably made one, at that), is a safe bet on the gift-giving front. Nisolo makes its Clutch Wallet from quality materials built to last, so it’ll be durable and stylish long after the holidays.

For the Sneakerhead: Gola Classics Women’s Bullet Metallic Trainer  — $95

A cool pair of sneakers for the woman who appreciates cool style.

Know a woman who’s seriously into sneakers — or who simply loves a sporty, chic pair of footwear? The Gola Classics Bullet Metallic Trainer is an excellent pair to buy, filled with British sporting heritage and sleek, modern style. A unique gift under the tree that someone might not have thought of — that’s what we’re going for here.
Holiday 2017

So, was this list a good start? I sure do hope so. Taking care of gift giving can be a bit of a difficult proposition, especially when buying for multiple people (and keeping track of your own holiday wish list, of course). Let me know on The Style Guide Facebook page what you’re buying this year, and stay tuned for more holiday gift guides for everyone from your father to your brother!

Thanks for reading,


The Friday Read: 2016’s Best Watches, Last-Minute Gifts and Holiday Travel Style

Check your watch, check your calendar, check this blog — we’re just two (TWO) days away from Christmas! It’s been a hectic week between my winter trip to Baltimore and some travel to sunny Florida, but I hope you’re en route to your holiday destination — and traveling in style, of course.  If you’ve slacked (big-time) on your gift buying, check out our women’s holiday gift guide and the requisite men’s holiday gift guide one final, last time. And right after we turn from Christmas, New Year’s Eve is upon us — to that end, we’ll cover what to wear on New Year’s Eve in the next few days. And we’ll be going through men’s style resolutions for 2017, too. If your resolutions include upgrading your workout gear, you’d do well to enter this site’s latest menswear giveaway. But back to business. It’s been great to reflect on a stellar year in NYC over the last few days; that includes the chance to build on my career in fashion PR, write this blog and pursue my passion through other great menswear sites like The Manual and GearMoose. We’re not done with the style content on this blog for 2016 yet — far from it. For now, I’ll leave you today with the best in men’s style — I hope you take care of your last-minute shopping, and more importantly, I hope you’ll join us for tomorrow’s Style Pick of the Week.  Now, get to it!

  • Whenever you talk about a  stylish, durable watch, it’s advisable to turn to the folks at GQ. Yes, they do make some questionable styling choices and hop on and off quite a few trends, but hey, rounded up 2016’s best watches — and the list includes some stone-cold stunners, like the rugged Tudor Black Bay Bronze.
  • Let’s stay on the topic of GQ, shall we? The publication’s digital arm rounded up 16 holiday travel style favorites. Some of these picks are mighty premium — take the $840 AMI overcoat, for starters — but the premise is admirable. 16 items, a full set of outfits and some solid suggestions (denim-on-denim among them).
  • And on the topic of last-second shopping, if you’ve got someone on your list who values a touch of irreverent style and a bit of high-fashion — like an embroidered Levi’s denim jacket  — use the code ‘MERRY30’ to get 30!percent off almost everything online and in-store at Brooklyn’s own Kinfolk. Note that the deal excludes footwear, collaboration apparel & N. Hoollywood gear, but hey, there are plenty of picks from which to shop.

One last item to read …

  • Did you catch the launch of the slick new Taylor Stitch Minimalist Collection? It includes a bifold wallet and a slim cardholder, among other goods. They’re reasonably priced for investment-worthy leather pieces and feature the classic design that’s made Taylor Stitch so coveted among lovers of great menswear. Get the scoop via my latest GearMoose post.

Did that help you fill the time between holiday shopping sessions? Once more, check out the women’s style gift guide and shop our men’s style gift guide as quickly as you can.

Finally: Have a great day, and a great weekend!

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The Friday Read: Holiday Shopping, Buck Mason and The Head and The Heart

Quick, check your calendars. We’re just about one week from Christmas! That’s pretty wild, all things considered. It means it’s more than time to wrap up — or get started — on your holiday shopping, and it means it’s time to plan out a holiday travel ensemble or two (right?). Click through our women’s holiday gift guide to take care of everyone from your mother to your grandma; don’t worry, we’ll remind you next week, too. And maybe pick up something from this site’s men’s style holiday gift guide — it’s gonna come in handy, trust me. I’ve got a decent jump on my own holiday shopping — and my holiday menswear wish list, for sure — but there’s definitely more work to be done. (just a bit… I guess). Before I take care of some of that shopping, I’m pretty excited to close out the week — I’m heading to the fine city of Baltimore tonight to see The Head and The Heart, the joyous indie folk rockers out of Seattle! Seeing great live shows this fall, from Bastille — as I wrote about in last Friday’s weekly recap — to Local Natives in Providence has been really special, and I’m definitely excited to hit the road again. It’s my first time in Baltimore and my first time seeing the band, makers of one of the most easily listenable, enjoyable albums of the year in “Signs of Light” — oh, and a slew of other fun, rambling and rambunctious tracks like “Shake” and “Lost in My Mind.” So it should certainly be a heck of a fun show, and a heck of a fun way to end the week. Any recommendations for neat things to do in Baltimore? Send me a tweet on Twitter and I’ll get right to it — promise!  As with my recent trip to upstate New York and my Thanksgiving visit to Florida, you can expect a full #menswear blog post on Monday — and you can check out exactly what I’m wearing via my Instagram in the meantime. If you haven’t, join us over at The Style Guide Facebook page — and for now, check out some of the best men’s style news o’ the week below.

  • First things first — it’s primetime layering season. And as our friends at Esquire so wisely demonstrate, you need a stylish overshirt in your closet; make it one from Style Guide favorites Buck Mason, and you’re plenty set for cold weather style.
  • Speaking of cold weather style — is coming back at ya with an overview of a seriously warm parka you also might want to pick up this week. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of his music per se, but Drake’s design project OVO certainly keeps things moving along nicely, particularly when it comes to the brand’s collaboration with Canada Goose. Yes, the OVO x Canada Goose collaboration offers up two pricey — but decidedly warm parkas and a set of  matching trucker caps for your purchasing pleasure at the Canada Goose Web site.
  • Still need some help sorting out your holiday shopping? Good thing the folks at Paul Fredrick are hooking you up with 20 percent off orders of $200 or more, plus free shipping on any order. Pick up a crisp white dress shirt — or a versatile denim shirt — for the style-minded guy in your life. Oh, and know that the deadline for standard shipping delivery in advance of Christmas is 11:59 p.m. EST today (Friday, folks). Happy shopping!
  • So, we’ve also got something that should be of interest to both fashion fans and fans of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” — in theaters today. Old Navy has made some classic graphic tees for the occasion, and they’ve got picks for both adults and kids. Show some of that Star Wars spirit this season, ehh?
  • One last thing before we hit the road for the weekend — the new MVMT Watches Modern Sport collection, if you haven’t seen, is packed with durable, handsome and functional timepieces like the Mariner Watch, as I covered for the fine folks at GearMoose. I’ll be bringing my own Calypso Watch from the Modern Sport collection with me to Baltimore this weekend, and I can’t recommend these eye-catching, sturdy and ultra-affordable watches enough.

Have menswear-related questions? Can’t figure out what to wear for the first snowfall? We’ve got you all set — happy shopping, happy reading and have a great weekend!




Women’s Style Holiday Gift Guide — For Guys!

Editor’s note: For other potential gift suggestions for the lovely ladies in your life, click here.

It's the most wonderful time of the year -- once you get your shopping done, that is.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — once you get your shopping done, that is.

With the holiday season upon us, you might have it all set in your mind exactly what you’d like (and on that note, I’ll be sharing my Christmas Wish List on Wednesday). But shopping for a woman in your life, be it your mother, sister grandmother, girlfriend or wife, can be a bit tricky. And time is running short this Christmas season — although hopefully you’ve been paying attention for possible gift suggestions. Regardless, to save you a bunch of time and stress, I went ahead and put together a handy little gift guide — one that hopefully doesn’t need to be used out of desperation (you won’t make that mistake again, right? Right). What follows below are one man’s suggestions for gifts this Christmas, each with a rather affordable tilt to them; each can also be altered or changed accordingly (for example, might not want to give a piece of jewelry from Tiffany & Co. to that girl you met a few weeks ago, yeah?). So read on, fill up your cart and then shop for all the #menswear you’ve had your eye on.

For Your Girlfriend or Wife: Duet Snap Clutch: $98 OR Madewell Adjustable Knotshine Bangle, $17.50 AND An Experience [A Special Dinner or Trip]

Two choices, one chic and pricey, the other more cost-effective yet just as fashionable.

Two choices, one chic and pricey, the other more cost-effective yet just as fashionable.

So you can take your pick of two gift options here — a rather pricey (for us younger guys) black leather clutch that’s simple, fashionable and usable with anything. or a much more cost-effective yet no less chic Madewell bracelet. Add on something that’ll create a lasting memory, whether that’s a nice dinner out, a special day trip or perhaps a neat class that fits both your interests, be it cooking or wine tasting.
Shop the latest in Men's styles Under $50 + get FREE Shipping on orders over $100 at Frank & Oak!

For Your Mother: Le Pavilion Dot 3-Piece Kitchen Set — $35

Simple dots to upgrade some basic kitchen items.

Simple dots to upgrade some basic kitchen items.

If you grew up in a household like mine, you might have had a lovely mom (Hi, Mom!) who really enjoyed putting together delicious meals and desserts galore (Editor’s note: Very much looking forward to all those Christmas cookies). If that’s the case for you as well, this neat set of Kate Spade kitchen products  (a dish towel, oven mitt and pot holder) might fit the bill accordingly. Think of it as a mini-style upgrade for your mom — the small touches count in the kitchen too, so fun items like this can make cooking even more fun. Conversely, a premium candle is always a nice way to brighten a home (maybe augment this one with a personalized card).

For Your Sister: A Great New Book + “Travel the World” Calendar — About $26

A book and a desk calendar that complement each other quite nicely!

A book and a desk calendar that complement each other quite nicely!

So let’s say your sister is quite into reading in her spare time – – you’ve won half the battle right there! While it could also be great to consider a book that fits her particular interests, there’s a good in-between option if you’re stuck: A Field Guide To Getting Lost  is, by all accounts, introspective, fascinating and well-written. And who doesn’t like a book that checks those boxes? It’s a nice deal that’ll provide good value beyond just one read, too (see, this is just like menswear!). A cool desk calendar with some nice color is a simple way to brighten up a space, and it complements the wanderlust theme of the book — a one-two punch!

For Your Grandmother: Kate Spade Raise A Glass Tidbit Plate — $30

Patterned plates make cocktail hour more enjoyable for everyone (not that it's not fun already).

Patterned plates make cocktail hour more enjoyable for everyone (not that it’s not fun already).

As we talk about style upgrades in the menswear world, the same idea can apply to little things like cocktail plates. This set of Kate Spade plates  in particular plays off that motif quite nicely; the patterns are pleasing and just a bit fun, too. This is another gift that you could complement with a nice handwritten card or perhaps, a photo of yourself. If your grandmother is more into something like understated jewelry, this silver cuff could be the perfect gift. Conversely, playing to her interests with a book by a well-loved author could also be just the thing to do.

The key when giving gifts is to play to the interests and hobbies  of the recipient — and the biggest thing that goes into that is putting thought and attention into what you give! I hope your holiday season is fun-filled, and that your shopping goes smoothly — let me know your thoughts on this gift guide below, and thanks very much for reading.


Women’s Style Holiday Gift Guide — For Guys!

Santa's on his way.... wait — SANTA?? I KNOW HIM!

Santa’s on his way…. wait — SANTA?? I KNOW HIM!

Even though the calendar’s drawing closer and closer to Christmas, there’s still plenty of time for the savvy shopper (that would be you, my stylish male friend!) to snag some great gifts for the women in your life — be it your girlfriend or wife, mom, sister or another relative. And if you read the Men’s Style section of this site, chances are you enjoy shopping for yourself — and others, too! Shopping for a great woman in your life doesn’t have to be intimidating or expensive though — a lot of it comes down to your knowledge of that person (thus, these are only humble suggestions). Even better, it can be done online at the click of the button, allowing you to narrow your selections and find that perfect gift. Read on for some (hopefully) great picks below!

For Your Girlfriend or Wife: Kate Spade Tied Up Pave Studs — $48

A pair of earrings that offers lots of styling potential — all at a nice price.

A pair of earrings that offers lots of styling potential — all at a nice price.

Kate Spade has built its reputation as a chic, stylish and nicely priced brand that lots seem to like — and depending on what sort of earring collection your partner has, this pair would hopefully be a worthy addition to their lineup. If your partner doesn’t have her ears pierced or doesn’t wear earrings that often, a simple bangle bracelet could be a good alternative. The price is just right on these earrings (not too high or low) and the styling offers the opportunity to wear them with dressier pieces or a casual outfit — just like a great men’s style item! Now, not all are into jewelry or similar items — in that case, something fun for the two of you, like a class that interests both of you or a fun weekend trip, could be much better.

For Your Mom: Trinket Box Candle ($22) and a Handwritten Card

For a colorful, festive addition to the home, this candle lights the way (pun intended).

For a colorful, festive addition to the home, this candle lights the way (pun intended).

Anthropologie is another excellent source for gifts that won’t break the bank and also offer chic style. The store has a more bohemian vibe than Kate Spade, but that offers all the more opportunity to find unique gifts. While a candle isn’t by nature the flashiest gift, these have a neat, colorful design that should go with most types of decor while standing out in the right way. A few of them would work nicely as a set, too. And when you pair a gift like that with a colorful, handwritten card on some nice cardstock paper, your mom should be more than happy. If you feel that’s not enough, add a nice framed photo of yourself (see below).

For Your Sister: Urban Outfitters Lounge Colorblock Eternity Scarf — $34 

Two trends combined into one warm, stylish piece.

Two trends combined into one warm, stylish piece.

If your sister is into style or simply likes to look good (and stay warm), a thick scarf that combines two trends — the eternity loop and colorblocking — knocks both out of the park. Also available in black and lavender, each combo offers lots of possibilities for pairing with like colors. This is also another gift that won’t break the bank in terms of price, making it a worthy buy that should last for seasons to come.

For Your Grandma: Anthropologie Pressed Glass Photo Frame (with a photo of yourself!) — $18 — $22

Giving the gift of a cherished memory.

Giving the gift of a cherished memory.

Now with these particular photo frames, two of the options aren’t available until righttt before Christmas (December 23, to be exact) — so if you have the opportunity to snag one of the options in store, that would be much more ideal than rushing a delivery last-minute. A photo of yourself is a surprisingly thoughtful gift that most of your older relatives would presumably love to have around — it allows them to see you every day, after all! And if the photo features you and said relative, even better!

If you have other people on your list who are more specific or more difficult to buy for, this excellent list from Dappered offers plenty of terrific additional suggestions. Check it out for more ideas!

What are you buying for your significant other and the great women in your life? Any places to check out or specific gifts worth buying? Let us know!