Friday, August 31, 2012

KC's Fashion Night Out & Justin Bridges, Tucked Style

Next Thursday is KC’s Fashion Night Out. And I’ll be there. Got an official invite to an actual fashion event. Movin’ on up. You can read all the boring details here, but the important shit is this: Thursday 9/6 at the Plaza, 5-10 pm (although chances are I’ll get sloppy drunk and stay much longer than anyone wants). 

So there’s that. I’ve got $100 to spend and subsequently blog about. You know I’m all about free money (or anything free really), so I’ll be there chatting it up with bigwigs, nonchalantly name-dropping people I’ve heard of (but never met) who live in NYC. 

Speaking of people in NYC, I’ve been interning for Tucked Style, the brainchild of Justin Bridges. Dude was just mentioned by Rachel Seville as one of the most eligible bloggers of 2012, for you ladies out there tryna get sum. Check out his website, and especially his photography, which I’m a big fan of. I’ll drop some below. 

That's Justin.

All photos copyright of Justin Bridges, from Tucked.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Liebster Award, Everlane Backpack, & School Starting

First, my friend Bizi of The Bizi Bee has nominated me for a Liebster Award. I have no idea what it is, and a quick Google search didn’t turn up anything in the first three results, but the thing was the word “award” in it, so I’m definitely going to flaunt it somehow. Once you get out of college, you don’t get awards that much anymore, and it legitimizes my blog, marginally at least. I'll be putting it in the "About" section for sure.

You’re supposed to do a lot for it, but I’m lazy.  I will answer the questions Bizi asked me, because I think she just wanted to read what I’d have to say. (Probably not though)

1. If you came across a genie and could make three wishes, what would they be?
Obviously, my first wish would be to ask for more wishes. That’s like Genie 101 type shit. Then I’d have free reign on wishes. I’d probably start by asking for money. I’m not shallow (well, a little), but I need to pay bills. I’m only human.

2. Past, present, or future?
There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present. And that’s from Kung Fu Panda, so you know it’s true.

3. Dogs or cats?
Dogs definitely. Some people don’t like dogs, because they’re “too easy,” and cats have “personalities,” but I don’t want a pet with a personality. Especially one that’s moody and has claws. Dogs are always happy to see you. Always. Even if they’re not your dog. If you don’t like that, then I don’t know man. Sorry for your life.

4. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
On this question, people always tend to swing between being invisible or flying. Being invisible would be pretty cool, but honestly I’d only only use it for illegal things. Being able to fly would be rad too. Really I’ve always thought it’d be cool to time travel. I’m big into history, so it’d be interesting/intriguing/fucking dope to go back in time and witness events that changed the course of history. I could meet Jesus, or save Lincoln, or slip Plan B to Justin Beiber’s mom. You know, important shit.

5. What is something you regret?
I have a lot of regrets, mostly from college. I would prefer if people didn’t know them. 

6. What is something you are looking forward to?
My parents winning the lottery. I wish they’d hurry up with it though. 

7. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I'm really humble.

8. What is your guilty pleasure?
I have a lot of guilty pleasures, mostly from college. I would prefer if people didn’t know them.

9. Favorite food?
Apple sauce. Delicious taste. Wonderful, just wonderful texture. I do make spaghetti nearly every night for dinner, but not because it's my favorite. I just don't know how to make anything else.

10. Rain or shine?
Honestly? Rain. No shit, rain. It’s not because I’m a depressed person or anything like that. I just like rain, especially overcast days. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because I burn easily in the sun? 

11. Favorite day of the week?

So there’s that. I’m also supposed to nominate 11 other blogs with under 200 followers, but I’m not even sure how to check that shit. I read a few blogs per day. I think most of them have quite a few readers, but I have no empirical evidence to back that up. I’m no scientist.

Secondly, I bought the new Everlane backpack ($60 for the zipper model, $65 for the snap). Here’s some pics from Everlane. I'll include my own once one of my roommates allows me to use his iPhone to take pictures and email them to myself.

Do I like it? Yes. Stylish, and quality and construction seem good. The waxed canvas and leather feel good, and I'm hoping they hold up will in wet conditions. So far I’m satisfied with the purchase. I’ll be giving a review later that will be quite more in-depth. Forewarning to Everlane, because as a law student I carry a shitload to class everyday. I’m talking at least two books, the size of the Bible and Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows combined, back and forth to class everyday on a 30 minute trek. Rain, snow, or as annoying as it’s been lately, mid-90s heat. That’s a fucking disgusting amount of sweat, if you didn’t know. 

Lastly, I got a job at a bar. It's mostly Charlie work, but just FYI posts will probably not be as frequent. I'll still try to get something up at least once a week though.

Thanks for reading, as always,


Friday, August 24, 2012

What Not to Wear vol.10

Is this post infinitely redundant? Absolutely (so I'll keep it short). Does it still need to be said? Absolutely. 

Cargo shorts-Stop. No. Don’t.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How to spot counterfeit vintage Levi's

Nothing more than a link today. Sorry fellas, but I though it’d be helpful and a great addition to the “How-To..” section. Someday I might write a how-to on becoming a menswear blogger. It will probably just be Lawrence Schlossman’s email or something. 

How to spot counterfeit vintage Levi’s, by Paul T (that’s Mr. T to you)


Monday, August 20, 2012

Made-to-Measure Suits

There’s been some buzz around the web and in my own life about this recently, so I thought I’d quickly share. 

Made-to-measure (MTM) suits are becoming the seemingly new “it” thing in menswear. In the world of suiting, there’s off-the-rack (OTR) options you’d find at a department store; these are typically your lower end options. Despite their sometimes high price tags, they’re lower end for two broad reasons: One has to do with construction and materials. I’ll save that discussion for later, but suffice it to say most big companies use low-end products and quick process that sacrifice quality in order to cut costs. That’s just the way it is.

For our discussion though-TWO-the fit will never be perfect. OTR suits are designed to fit a generic body type, as determined by the company or scientists or whoever determines these things. The geniuses in R&D I guess. But they’ll never fit YOU because YOU are unique, at least in your body type. Your shoulders aren’t perfectly sloped, you may have a little paunch, or if you’re like me, you’ve got biceps like Terry Crews. This is why you should see a tailor. Always.

(That’s not to say OTR can’t be good either. There are companies that offer quality OTR products, and after visiting a tailor, this can be a great style option at a low price.)

The high end of the spectrum is your bespoke, your made to order. A tailor measures you from your brain to your balls to get the fit just right, in every place. You decide fabrics, buttons, and all the other details. As you can imagine, it’s expensive. Most #menswear enthusiasts say it’s totally worth it. I hope to find out someday.

In the middle is MTM, essentially a hybrid of the OTR and bespoke. The company starts out with a stock pattern, but tweak alterations can be made using your measurements, and you can have a say in the color/fabric, etc. 

Indochino's Essential Gray Suit- $379

From this review, this one (and another on the way from here), these suits are a good value. From figures I’ve seen, they’re a little more, if not just as pricey as some OTR options, but they seem well worth it. Indochino goes for under $500; The Proper  Suit at The Midwestyle was $650, and Suit Supply is apparently very reasonable, but with both I believe you have to visit their stores to get measured (Chicago and NYC, respectively).

I have NO experience with any of these products, but I’m extremely curious to give them all a try once my finances can allow it. Frankly, their prices seem really affordable when you consider the quality, fit, and options to customize. Right now I have two Ben Sherman suits I nabbed at the flash sale site Gilt for $250 each (for more info on this site, or a referral, please contact me). They’re good, not great, but I’m definitely satisfied with what I got considering what I paid. I only need two suits at this point in my life, considering I’m still in school and I only wear suits to job interviews and court appearances, but I know I’ll be needing more soon. MTM will be next.

More news as it develops,


Friday, August 17, 2012

Black Helmet Apparel

I’m not a fan of wallets in general. Mostly, I don’t trust banks, so I’m always heavy on cash and a money clip fits my lifestyle a little better. BUT, I’m not a style dictator, and I’ve been introduced to an actual wallet I can get behind.

Check out Black Helmet Apparel, or rather, check out their wallets. They come in a tri-fold or bi-fold option, and what’s really cool is that they’re made from decommissioned bunker gear. So the wallet I’m smelling right now as I type (don’t ask me why I’m smelling it, but it smells like leather if you were wondering) was actually used fighting fires. 

Made in the USA, the innards are composed of black leather, stitched together to create various pockets for your cards, IDs, and what-have-yous. There’s also the Black Helmet logo mean muggin’  you from the middle.  

Oops, sorry wrong picture.
There we go.

In the back, there’s divided storage for cash. For the most part, it’s your standard wallet, but what I really like, and what sets it apart, is the canvas exterior and safety stripe (is that what they’re called?) I mean, the thing looks and feels like it was used to fight fires. I had it in my pocket and I felt stronger, ballsier, like a fireman. Or at least I made jokes about hoses all night. 

And, because I can always get down behind charitable organizations, you can believe I was turned on by the fact that a portion of all Black Helmet sales are donated to The Fallen Firefighters Association, assisting the families of these departed heros. If you’re in the market for a wallet, check out the options at Black Helmet.

Good Fridays and hope you have a nice weekend,


All pictures from Black Helmet Apparel, which sent me one of their tri-fold options for free. Can you belie dat?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Case for Spending a Little More Sometimes

I ran across this article while reading through Put This On today, and I genuinely think it’s a worthwhile read. I’ve tried to articulate this point in previous posts, but I’d consider it a must-read for guys who can’t wrap their heads around the sometimes exorbitant prices that abound in menswear. I know I was once that way, but after experimenting with things at different prices, I am convinced that there is a noticeable difference in quality, construction, and fit for some higher priced goods.

More news as it develops,


Monday, August 13, 2012

Lands' End Desert Boot

Welcome back. Good weekend? Yeah me too. I mean duh, I just partied and made out with broads the whole time.

Okay so Friday I introduced you to Lands’ End Canvas (LEC, as I’m calling it). During their sale, besides this plaid poplin shirt, I also snagged a pair of suede desert boots. They were only $40, so again, what the hell, especially considering I could return them. 

This picture from LEC

I have mixed feelings about the desert boot. On the one hand, it’s no Clarks. I’m not big on the suede, because it’s not a great all-weather option. The crepe sole is sticky (I’ve never dealt with a crepe sole before), so it has the tendency to track some shit around. And my biggest complaint, and this is purely from an OCD/stylistically point of view, is that the toe is too big/boxy/chunky. It’s kind of snub-nosed, whereas I feel other desert points come to a rounded point, which I prefer.

Frankly though, those are all kind of nit-picky points. I mean, they’re all things to think about if you’re considering LEC’s desert boots, but on the other hand, I got exactly what I paid for. I knew they’d be suede. I could tell from the pictures that the toe was boxy. But the thangs were only $40, and at that price, I think they’re pretty damn good. I got what I paid for, but I’m comfortable with what I got for what I paid. If you’re considering desert boots, I’d probably recommend saving and grabbing a pair of Clarks. But if you’re pinching pennies to the max, and who isn’t these days, the LECs are a viable option at their price point. (By the way, went to Nordstrom Rack in KC this weekend. They had multiple pairs of Clarks' Beeswax Leather Desert Boots for around $70.)

As far as fit, I normally wear an 11.5 in Nike, which is like my go-to size barometer for shoes. I went with 11s here, because the reviews said they tend to run a bit big. The 11s fit fine, so going down half a size is probably a good idea.

Oh, and another thing. I wasn’t happy with the cotton shoelaces the boots came with (although I think these types of laces are common to most shoe companies, so it’s not unique to LEC). I ran down to a local shoe store, and for $7 I was able to get a pack of raw leather laces. I cut them to match the length of the provided shoe laces, then slipped them in to at least add a little upgrade. There’s always little shortcuts (tailoring, shoe repair, etc.) you can use to upgrade/extend the life of the clothes you already own. A small fix can be better than buying a whole new piece. 

More news as it develops,


Friday, August 10, 2012

Lands' End Canvas

I know that in the past I’ve talked about how you should splurge on some good, quality stuff when you can, and I still agree with that. But there is a time when you can’t. I recently got my tuition bill and DAMN SON I am broke. I like menswear, but I also like food, and a bed. 

Keeping in mind I’m a man of the people, and I can’t afford all the bougie shit, I’m keeping my ears to the ground for good buys. I think I may have gotten one here. Peep this shit:

Okay, so at the beginning of summer, Lands’ End Canvas was having a big sale. Like a great one, or at least good enough that the low prices suckered me in to two purchases for things I didn’t really need, but I was like, “What the hell?” I don’t advise this line of thinking, but lay off me I’m not perfect.

I was nervous for a few reasons, one being I’ve never worn/tried on anything from LEC, so I wasn’t sure about the sizing. This is always something to consider if it’s your first time buying online from a company. Secondly, although I had heard good things about LEC’s quality at its price point, I’ve never handled any of their stuff myself. So I was taking a risk, but that’s what I’m here for. Let me take the risks, and you can learn from my mistakes.

The first purchase was this plaid poplin shirt. It was on sale for $20, and for $20? I mean fuck me, I’ll take my chances. Plus, after doing some research on Lands’ End (which you should always do some online research before pulling the trigger on something you’ve never dealt with), I was more confident. LEC is a subsidiary of Sears, and apparently Sears is pretty open about allowing you to return stuff in store. I called my local Sears just to double check, and the person assured me I could return the purchase (even though it was on sale, and usually all sales are final. BUT, I conveniently left that part out). 

Also, I was able to find that LEC’s sizing is pretty similar to J.Crew, a company I’m familiar working with. I’m a medium at J.Crew, so I went with a medium at LEC and the fit is pretty much the same. Any difference is negligible, at least on me. 

The quality seems fairly good. On the one hand, I got it for $20 so I wasn’t expecting anything fantastic, but I’m definitely pleased. From my handling/wearing it, it seems just like any other poplin shirt I own, and it has held up fine after a few washings. 

So there you go fellas, a new casual company with goods on the cheap. Not sure if it’s an exact competitor on par with J.Crew, but it’s definitely a viable alternative to some of their stuff. Keep LEC in mind next time your on the hunt for some casual shirts or shorts, and Ill keep you posted on any of their good deals. 

My second purchase from LEC was a suede desert boot- more on this Monday.

Peace out playas,


Friday, August 3, 2012

Travel Hiatus

Just a disclosure to my loyal readers (whom I do appreciate thoroughly),
I will be traveling in Ireland this week, roughly until August 9. I will have limited (if any) Internet access, which means you can’t expect a new post until Monday, August 13. I apologize to any and all readers, I’m sure this is tearing your hearts out. I promise however, I will be back. I always come back.
Faithfully yours, 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thrift Stores & Vintage Tweed

So in this post, I talked about getting a tweed jacket while in Ireland, remember? As it turned out, tweed jackets were expensive. Like 300 euro expensive, which is a lot in American dollars (it’s the economy, stupid). 
As it turns out, I stumbled into a thrift store in downtown Dublin, where I found a Donegal tweed jacket for 24 euro, which is much more my price range. 

One of the employees of a menswear store in Dublin explained to me that this tag is sown into all Donegal handwoven tweeds. I'm not sure about the rate of counterfeiting, as I imagine there is some, but I looked for this tag while thrifting, so I'd at least have something to aim for.

Normally this is the point where I’d start explaining the ins and outs of thrift shopping, but I don’t know dick about thrift shopping. I’ve never done it, and I never really do. So I pulled some helpful articles from around the web if you’re at all interested in thrift shopping. I hear it can be a great place to find awesome pieces.

Put This On- how to thrift for menswear, parts one, two, and three

Put This On- eBay shopping

Put This On, season 2 episode 2 on thrifting, with Joshua Kissi and Travis Gumbs of Street Etiquette

A piece from The Style Blogger on his use of vintage pieces

Thrifty Gent's piece on thrifting, with links to parts 1 & 2

I should mention that not only can you find unique pieces at thrift or vintage stores, but often you’ll find quality pieces as well, because in years past, craftsmanship was the name of the game in menswear. Nowadays, companies use cheaper materials and production processes in order to lower their prices and increase their profit. This also means things fall apart faster, requiring you to buy them again, and again, and again. That shit cray. Read this article by yours truly if you don’t believe me.
Thanks for reading,