It’s refreshing to discover new brands in an authentic way – no press release, no showroom visit, no walking a trade show floor. Just you huffing it through JFK’s Terminal 5, that departure-killing mall stapled onto an airport, and stopping dead in your tracks with sudden, uncontrollable bag envy. The Tarpaulin Series from designer Hideo Wakamatsu, in red, will do just that.


Based in Tokyo, Hideo draws on Japanese and French design traditions to create carrying accessories that blend style, function and value.  This bag is reminiscent of  (more…)



The ongoing collaboration between American designer Todd Snyder and Timex has yet again produced an absolute head-turner of a watch: the Maritime Sport MS1. Designed in Milan by Snyder and Timex Design Director Giorgio Galli, the rugged good looks of this well-priced timepiece pairs up easily with a yellow rain coat for sailing choppy seas, or a tailored dark suit for navigating city streets. Available in black or silver, but don’t even give silver a second look. $158, available at Todd Snyder.



Here at Style Ledger we like our sneakers to be tricked out, just not too tricked out. That’s why we crush on the Adidas EQT – the legendary collection from the German powerhouse that first launched in 1990. It has all the bases covered: a sleek as hell silhouette that looks fast, the best color combinations in the game, and just the right amount of techy innovation – in case you decide to take a few laps around the track between classes. And while everyone else empties their saving accounts waiting for the latest Yeezy drop, you can buy the EQT with confidence whenever the mood strikes. Priced from $90 to $180. Our top picks: Green & Grey $90, Navy $120, Black & Red, $180, White $120.


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It’s not very often that you come across a digital watch that looks, dare we say, sophisticated. It’s either a novelty old-school Timex for hipsters, or a super-sporty bomb resistant mass of plastic. The “Duncan” from Jack Spade is neither. The oversized numerals, clean round face and simple black nylon strap keep it streamlined and chic, in a casual, modern way. And the price won’t hurt either, $106. Available at Jack Spade.


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Another winning collaboration over at J.Crew: the reissued Onitsuka Tiger Colorado 85. Perfect “classic gravel” color scheme, low profile running shoe silhouette, and off white sole with a bit of heft. Despite being just-released, a few sizes are already long gone, so act quick. $95, available at J.Crew


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When it comes to describing a watch, “dainty” is not a word you want to hear. Thin black alligator strap, Roman numerals, small rectangular face, you know the type: indoorsy with pencil in hand. Watches today tell more about your personal style then they do actual time, so it’s important to get it right. If you’re going for a rugged, outdoorsy look with a touch of industrial muscle, consider the powerful Runwell Chrono from Detroit-based Shinola. The over sized stainless steel case with PVD black plating and tanned leather strap give this timepiece a deep growl worthy of the Motor City. Well-priced at $825, available at Shinola.



If you’re unfamiliar with Zara, as many American men are, it’s time to take a closer look. The savvy retailer creates the type of clean, modern essentials devoid of logos that stand up against the much higher priced competition. Founded in Spain in 1974, the company is now valued at over $10.1 billion, making it #51 on Forbes list of “World’s Most Valuable Brands.” (Apple #1, Louis Vuitton #10.) Often mistaken as a brand focused on women, the menswear continually impresses, with outerwear, bags and small leather goods particular stand-outs. Add a comforting dose of sophistication to your spring wardrobe without breaking the bank. A few of our favorites:


Double-Breasted Trench Coat, $149:


Baltic Blue Leather Credit Card Holder, $30:


Sport Briefcase, (not leather, hence the friendly price) $89:





Absolutely love this shoe. The “Internationalist” – ideal for hopping on the EuroRail with nothing but a backpack and passport. What’s unique about them, besides the air tight “black/midnight fog/wolf gray” color scheme, is the slightly higher upper, making them well trained for the winter season, when navigating city streets involves hurdling an icy puddle or two. $80, available at Nike.


The Carter by Gant in Milky Tan. The color alone makes them worth the price of admission. Ideal for any scenario, from ski slope to beach. They have a throwback vintage look, like something Robert Redford would wear in “Downhill Racer,” a movie you should watch if you haven’t already. Featuring a handmade acetate frame, a cutout detail on the bridge, and metal accents on the temple. $126, available at GANT.





If you’re in the market for a new timepiece consider the Oris Big Crown ProPilot for 2015. Dating back to 1938 when the first ProPilot made it’s debut, the simple design, over sized printed Arabic numerals and textile strap give it a functional ruggedness. Pricing will fall around the 3-4K range, not bad for a watch that will stay in the family for generations.




Spotted at the new Miansai shop on Crosby Street in Soho, these wonderful little knives from Opinel. Born in the Savoie region of France in 1890, this essential little knife has been in the pockets of some of the greatest artists, adventurers, navigators and mountaineers including Pablo Picasso, Roger Frison Roche and Jean-Louis Etienne. Opinel No8 is their most popular and versatile, and is small enough to be used as a pocket knife. You can pick from a variety of colors, but summer red gets our nod. $18, available at Opinel.






The design team at J. Crew has a real knack for taking classic styles and reinventing them with just the right amount of love. The end product retains what made it cool in the first place, while quickly becoming the next hot thing. Take these canvas sneakers by legendary brand Vans: updated in new custom colors, washed for a vintage look then finished with hiking boot laces for a one-of-a-kind shoe. Not bad for $60. Available at J.Crew.





Hear from the man himself, Stan Smith, as he talks about the iconic shoe that bears his name. Forty years ago, in 1973, Adidas debuted a simple, classic tennis shoe that would go onto greatness. $75, available at Adidas.





If you’re looking for the perfect summer tie for an upcoming wedding, or for Father’s Day, check out the Fahlgren tie sale on Gilt Groupe. There are 15 total styles, all soft cotton, in colorful plaids and stripes. $49, available on Gilt until 12pm on Monday, June 9th.



Jack Spade only recently got into the watch game, but they arrived with guns blazing – red hot. Their collection of timepieces are both well designed and reasonably priced, an often hard to find combination in the elitist world of one-upmanship that is the watch industry. You can either go low and embrace the everyman approach, like Swatch, or shoot for the stars, with mighty Rolex. For a versatile, summer friendly option, go with the Conway. It comes in three colorways, but as red is our favorite color this season, try something new and bold. $298, available at Jack Spade.





Here are four fun items for the beach or lawn this summer, beer coozie not included. Adidas Country Jacket, $78, available at Adidas. The key is to balance out the sporty look with casual items and avoid pairing with hi-tech running shoes – unless you’re in training. Riviera blue mid-length swim trunks, $240, available at Orlebar Brown. Pricey, but notice the mid-length cut of these shorts. Styles that cover the the knee are too long. Island Slipper, $89, available at Island Slipper. Handmade in Hawaii since 1946, these incredibly comfortable flip flops are right up there at the top of a very crowded field. Artemare beach racquets, $190, available at Threads & Fins. This beautiful set is constructed in California using hardwoods, including American pine, walnut, teak, purple heart and African mahogany. The set comes with a ball used traditionally in racquet ball, making your game more challenging then traditional paddle beach racquets.


Par down and simplify with a basic tee and classic white accessories. Armani Exchange makes one of the best v-neck tee shirts out there, with the perfect fit: the sleeve length falls to middle of the bicep, the v doesn’t plunge too far, and it’s fitted on the sides. Get it in both light gray and white. $25 available at Armani Exchange. As the tee is cheap, you can spend more on your kicks – the “Achilles” by Common Projects is the best of the bunch. Streamlined and subtle, in a matte white leather, $410, available at Mr. Porter. And finally, an off-white, cream colored corded belt keeps the look relaxed and summer appropriate. $85, available at Gant.


Shinola is a great brand to know. Embracing Detroit’s industrial spirit, they proudly manufacture bicycles, leather goods and watches in America. Their one-of-a-kind watch factory is housed inside Detroit’s historic Argonaut building. My top item from their collection of leather goods is the iPad Mini journal cover in bright green featured above, stitched in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. You can pick one up for $125 on the Shinola website. And if you’d like to see their beautifully crafted goods first-hand, GQ is hosting a party at their shop in Detroit on Thursday, November 7th, from 6-8pm. Please stop by if you happen to be in the neighborhood.



The Sheldrake sunglasses by Oliver Peoples have that smart looking, thicker frame favored by intellectuals and artists, so it’s no wonder the company looked to icon Andy Warhol for inspiration. There are five colors to choose from, but for an Old Hollywood, movie star look, go with the fancy sounding “Cocobolo with Champagne Photochromic Vintage glass” featured above. The handcrafted acetate frame and mineral glass lenses justify the hefty price tag. $405, available at Oliver Peoples.





Tsovet is a California-based watch company that manufactures rugged, aviation inspired timepieces in Switzerland. With a reasonable price tag and a parred down, clean design, it’s geared solidly towards customers who look for function first, label and status 8th. $395, available online at menswear newcomer, East Dane.


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