Sunday, February 28, 2010

Gitman Vintage At Blackbird


[Pictured: Gitman Vintage anchor print short sleeve button down available at Blackbird.]

The short sleeve button down is a sensitive subject for many a sartorialist - if things go wrong you're just another Office Space extra minus the Jeniffer Aniston arm candy.  When I last talked about short sleeve button downs I mentioned how Gitman Vintage was absolutely shutting it down and the new stock over at Blackbird is backing up my claim.  I absolutely love the anchor print shirt for it's laid back homage to multiple styles (Nautical, Ivy, etc.).  A great way to work the short sleeve button down is to rock it with an understated swagger of sorts and getting one that fits great and has some personality to it can help ease this process.  I guess you could say my rule of thumb is: keep it light, keep it tight.  Also, be sure to keep 'em rumpled, untucked, roll the sleeves and ditch the pocket protector and you should be well on your way.  Blackbird also has a few understated joints and with the US officially winning the Winter Olympics medal count this made too much sense...


What I Wore This Weekend II

I had to work on Saturday (ouch) so this is what you would have caught me in today, checking out Shutter Island and watching the heartbreaking gold medal men's hockey game.

Top: Calvin Klein white t-shirt, Woolrich Woolen Mills parka
Bottom: Tellason jeans, Vans Authentics


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Weekend Read: Brooks Brothers "Makers and Merchants"


A buddy of mine just sent me a link to the digital copy of the Brooks Brothers "Makers and Merchants" 2009 catalog (though it really is much more of a magazine/editorial than your average catalog) which I had not yet been privy to.  This impressive piece of literature is chock full of features dealing with everything from their suits and ties to "The Brooks Brothers Naval Uniform".  Check out some screen shots below, but make sure to actually give it a read if you have time this weekend as the pics don't do it justice.  At 50 pages this badboy is a legit sartorial tome of American suiting.


Rugby Spring 2010: Vintage Athletics and The 1924 Olympics Games


[Pictured: 1924 USA Men's Olympic Rugby Team, gold medalists.]

Rugby's Spring 2010 collection can be divided into three themes: "Spring Prep", "Nautical Voyage" and "Vintage Athletics".  With the talk this week about the Winter Olympics and Chariots of Fire (takes place at the 1924 Olympic Games) I figured it would be neat to explore the inspiration behind Rugby's "Vintage Athletics".

Recently I was made aware (see: comments of COF post) that the 1924 Olympic games in Paris, France were actually the last time the sport of  rugby union was played as an Olympic event.  Three teams entered the competition: The United States, France and Romania.  The US were defending champions coming off a gold medal victory over The French at the 1920 games held in Antwerp, Belgium.  After both France and the US absolutely crushed Romania they played for the gold medal on May 17th.  The United State prevailed in the rematch, winning by the score of 17-3, becoming the last team to ever win a gold medal in the sport.  To this day The United States remains the Olympic champions.

Rugby's new collection draws heavily on this history (seems quite obvious now with the all the dots connected) and from the 1924 Olympic games in general.  As I mentioned when discussing Chariots of Fire, the uniforms of the era were incredibly stylish and after rewatching the movie I actually appreciate them more than the prep/university wear also heavily featured.  Nods and references to the USA's historic rugby squad and various other countries (most notably England) are all over the spring collection.  As someone who is completely enamored with the creative process of design, knowing where the inspiration came from gives me a much greater appreciation for everything Rugby is doing.  I'm not usually down with their excessive patches and branding, but in this case I love that it's coming from someplace both real and revered.


[Editor's Note: Special thanks to Antonio for pointing most of this out. There is no way in hell I would have realized it all on my own as I'm not even remotely that smart.]

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lusting After: Alden Bucks For Steven Alan


[Pictured: Alden white plain bucks for Steven Alan available for $353.00.]

These Alden bucks, specially commissioned by Steven Alan, have been around for a little while so they may not be new to you.  They are currently back in stock for S/S 2010 and are some of the best looking shoes currently on the market.  Granted they come with the standard Alden sized pricetag, but if you are looking for a shoe built to last (top of the line welt, leather, etc.) that's often the downsize.  What's eye-catching about these is what also sets them apart from the droves of bucks on the market.  First off, they feature calfskin as oppose to suede and ditch the standard red brick soul for a clean, crisp white one (not sure of this exactly, Vibram? Anybody?).  When it's all said and done the bucks almost resemble a white canvas sneaker that was sent to finishing school to clean its act up.  Another interesting aspect is the almost wedge like sole, which looks very "Japanese".  I normally am oppose to laceups that lack a solid, defined heel, but everything works well here.  Overall you're getting a unique looking version of a time honored classic made by the greatest shoemakers in the United States with the vision of one of menswear's greatest minds.  Now that I think of it, $353 seems like a bargain.


From The Inbox: Harris Tweed On The Cheap

Mr. AKC, who is currently busy with actual sartorial business, sent a pretty sweet link my way this morning.  Apparently for the insanely low price of around 30 bones (includes shipping yo) you can grab some handsome looking Harris Tweed ties.  This is pretty amazing when you consider that J. Crew sells their own ties for like 80 bucks or whatever.  With all the snow that is still getting dumped on the east coast (the right coast, right?) heavy weight fabric ties are still very much in play.  I've been on such a S/S bender over here that I may just need to check myself before I wreck myself.  Cheers to Antonio for shooting these my way and subsequently bringing me back to reality.  As he put it, "Who needs Olch when you've got the original?" Not I and especially not my wallet.



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Take Coastal

The ACC (both the original and expansion schools), including my own Alma Mater, had it going on back in the day. Who said only those Ivy dorks kept it slick?

[All pictures courtesy of the Life Magazine Archives.]


You Lost Me At Inkwell...

Reader @mccnallyconsults recommended in the last post's comments section that I check out British brand Inkwell & Ivy.  I really have no idea what is going on with this brand as the website is kinda all over the place - apparently they also do freelance consignment and provide wardrobes to television shows?  What I do know (besides the fact that their website was obviously designed by a 12 year old girl) is that they are selling some pretty killer cricket jumpers in a bunch of colors.  After talking about Chariots of Fire and "Take Ivy" these past few days I find myself drawn to these a little bit more with every passing moment.  At around $90 bucks these are for sure cheaper than anything Ralph or Brooks is hawking your way.  These are going to look smashing the next time I'm not studying abroad at Cambridge.



The Ivy Crewneck


[Pictured: Scan from 2nd Magazine via Ivy Style.]

Ivy Style just put up a piece that highlights 2nd's (a Japanese style magazine) feature on how to pull off certain looks from such iconic works as "Take Ivy".  The magazine does a wonderful job at breaking down a bunch of shots and offering various pieces to help you replicate the highlighted outfits.  The Brown University sweatshirt featured above retails for about $150, which isn't too bad until you factor in the ridiculousness it would probably take to procure such an obscure item (especially if you live in the US and especially if you didn't go to Brown).  I highly recommend checking out the Ivy Style piece for some classic inspiration and if you're really jonesin' to buy a crewneck from a college you didn't actually attend there are a few easier ways out there.


[Editor's Note: There is also some pretty neat new "vintage" stuff available.]