Saturday, October 30, 2010

Meet the New Balance for J.Crew Collection

Some people really like New Balance.  Some people, such as myself, do not.  Here is a video for those of you in the former of the two previous statements.


Friday, October 29, 2010

A Look Inside Sid Mashburn

Questionable post title aside, join Chad Temples as he takes us on a quick tour of one of the best men's stores in the country.  In related news, the Apolis guys stopped by Sid's as well and took some incredible shots for their travel journal.

Sid Mashburn, Take 1 from Chad Temples on Vimeo.


Attn: Mark McNairy for PRO-Keds Now Available

While you're digging around UO's site looking for all that new J. Press gear you love to hate (it's still there, I promise) make sure to check out Mark McNairy's collaboration with PRO-Keds that was first announced back in January.  UO stocked up on the better colorways that feature vibrant suede and natural gum soles - Mark's take on red brick sole for sneakers.  The sneakers come in at $100, but that's not incredibly ridiculous, especially considering these sneakers are most likely never going to get made again.  I know for a fact some of you style guys used to be sneakerheads so I am sure at least a few of you appreciate what is going on here.  These PRO-Keds retain all the great parts of an exclusive sneaker drop, while maintaining the classic aesthetic that should be a necessity when buying sneakers in the first place.


[Editor's Note: Beat the system before it's too late.]

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Attn: Lands End Canvas New Arrivals

With each new release Lands End Canvas ages like a fine wine.  No, seriously.  When they dropped their first collection way back when in terms of blog years things were pretty basic.  Good basics, mind you, but overall it was pretty vanilla.  Perfect stuff for the kind of guy looking to take a step in the right direction and "fix up, look sharp".  As it stands today, LEC has apparently grown along with their customer.  The LEC guy is probably ready for some more "complicated" stuff and LEC is ready to give it to him.  40 new pieces have hit their webstore today and a good portion of them are very impressive.  The knits shine the brightest as well as some affordable tailored goods and outerwear.  Interestingly enough, they have even put their own spin on a few items found in Lands End's mainline.  Look familiar?


J. Press For Urban Outfitters

When a source at Urban Outfitters told me they had a crazy collaboration in the works I never thought for a second it would involve one of the oldest and most revered clothiers in American menswear.  All that stuff we were debating was just the tip of the iceberg, folks.  Stocking up on McNairy saddles is one thing, but a J. Press co-sign in the form of an exclusive diffusion line is a whole new ballgame.  And this isn't just some one off, this is a serious collection of good looking basics - like, really good looking.  UO is calling the collection "a full line of new heritage menswear created exclusively for UO by Ivy League clothier J. Press."  The good ol' h-word isn't going away any time soon.  We're only at the pre-order stage just yet so there is no telling how well this stuff is made or how it compares to J. Press' mainline.  The one thing we do know is that everything here appears to be updated in terms of fit.  Pants have a 8" leg opening and the jackets are definitely of the shorter variety.  I'm looking forward to seeing all this stuff in person and will probably pick up a few pieces thanks to the mall-esque pricing.  I'm curious to see just how long this little partnership is going to last.  They say opposites attract and this is one hell of an odd couple.


[Editor's Note: Plan on pre-prdering? Use promo code "DAWNOFTHEDEAL" for $25 off.]

Thursday Loophole

The great thing about Lands End, which we can all agree upon regardless of whether or not you own any of their gear, is the fact that they are always having sales seemingly for no reason other than to save you some much needed cash.  Lands End Canvas has a huge sale going on now and the best thing about all of it, in my humble opinion, are the deals you can snag on some Allen Edmonds "strongwings".  Normally the MacNeil goes for $325, but they are currently discounted to $260 at LEC's website.  On top of this there is an extra 20% off promotion going on right now complete with free shipping.  Grand total: $208.  Savings of over 100 bones?  Not too shabby if you ask me.  I'm not sure how many of us absolutely need a new pair of wingtips, but you never know.  As you may have expected the brown ones are almost all sold out, but black is fully stocked (sizes 8-13).  Black wingtip don't seem to get a lot of love, which is a shame.  Not many shoes look better with a business formal getup.  If you wear a suit to work it would behoove you to look into this.  Happy Thursday.


[Editor's Note: See comments for steps on how to pull this off.  I guess you gotta head to the phones...]

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Option #2

So those D.S. Dundee fairisle socks sold out quick, eh?  In the immortal words of Mr. Carter himself, "On to the next one."  Brooks Brothers has their own $20-ish fairisle socks and a nice little 25% off if you get three pairs or more as well.  Being the salesmen of Trad that they are, these socks are a tad less bold that the D.S. Dundee joints.  They are monochromatic and in the same vein as Thom Browne's own Black Fleece version for BB.  This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how your ankles get down.  Keeping things monochromatic actually helps balance out the Christmas-y shtick inherent in anything fairisle.  Nobody wants to look at full on rainbow snowflakes when you take a seat in a meeting.  Keep in mind these Vermont knit socks are a merino wool, nylon and spandex blend so comfort is a huge factor in pulling the trigger on a few pairs.  Fairisle socks from The Brethren - a solid option #2.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Close Up And Private's Continued Evolution

Close Up and Private is art.  I don't think anyone is going to dispute that.  In fact, it might be the only art some of use style types are interested in.  I've talked about Sergei Sviatchenko's project a few times in the past, but with each changing season I am compelled to mention it again - if not for the mere fact that introducing it to as many people as possible is the least I can do.  Spreading inspiration is what the blogosphere is all about anyway, right?  F/W 2010 continues CUAP's use of mixed media (photographs, paintings) and features the addition of video.  Or is this collage?  Anyhow, it's all killer and the best primer I've found on how to dress PITA in the modern world.  If you're a CUAP virgin and/or a sucker for details please take some time to browse and take in arguably the best style experiment on the web.

CLOSE UP AND PRIVATE IN MOTION from Noriko Okaku on Vimeo.


D.S. Dundee Fairisle Socks

D.S. Dundee's F/W 2010 collection has just started to trickle out online and the standouts thus far have to be the fairisle socks.  Fairisle socks are great thanks to their perfect marriage of form and function.  Nothing is going to keep your feet warmer than wool socks when you're shoveling snow in your Bean boots and nothing's going to look cooler than the fairisle pattern peaking out of whatever shoes you've got lined up for F/W.  The $20 price is just the icing on the cake at this point.  Anyone who has been following this blog already knows how much I love D.S. Dundee.  It's a brand committed to quality and authenticity who also just so happens to be run by a great group of folks.  Pick up all three for yourself and some more pairs to stuff the stockings of loved ones - everybody wins and everybody looks good.


Watch Your Back

Lord knows how many of you guys read the copy here, let alone the comments, so you very well may have missed this new vest from Lands End.  Previous only available in a children's model, Lands End has seen fit to offer a version so that us adults can, as per usual, look way better than our kin.  LE rules are in effect on this one - size down for a slimmer fit and scour the internet for any promo codes you can find.  I may be a day late on this one, but it never hurts to go for broke.  Black watch isn't going away anytime soon and a statement piece like this one is a great way to work your way into the conversation.  For those of you going the whole Milano route, pairing this up with a gray flannel suit (under or over, pick your poison) and some brown boots would be straight perfection.  Whether you've already got a stable full of LE puffer's or are in the process of working over some clown selling his Cucinelli on eBay, this joint should hold you over.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Overpriced Scarf Round Up

Two scarves, as awesome as they are overpriced, are now available after a seasonal hiatus.  First up is Drakes' incomparable black watch wool silk reversible number.  Featured on Mister Mort a while back, this has to be the coolest scarf on the market.  For your money you not only get the ultimate tartan, but to make matters that much more stylish, there is a silk navy and white pin dot pattern on the opposite side.  Part scarf and part ascot, is this really worth $212?  Drakes enthusiasts will tell you you're getting two $106 scarves (not that outlandish of a pricepoint) and how the quality is unmatched by anyone.  I'll leave any reasoning up to you.  Up next we have a scarf some of you might recognize from its cameo on a hit teen drama featuring sex, drugs and good looking people.  J. Press' silk patchwork scarf is a one of a kind item being sold at a one of a kind price.  This is probably as bold as a scarf gets before your less stylish friends start making fun of you.  Actually, your friends will probably make fun of your for wearing a scarf in the first place.  I'll spare you the talk of putting your funds into investment pieces.  We're all adults here, for the most part, and can manage our own money.  At the very least you now have a postscript for that letter you're writing to Santa.


By Popular Demand

Hamilton 1883's cult like following has asked for pocket squares and, like any good brand should, Hamilton has given the people what they want.  The pocket squares are based on the lovely fabric they use for their shirting and will run you $35.  For 10 dollars extra you can even get you own made to order ones.  Not bad, especially considering how good Hamilton's swatch game is.  These new accessories are hitting the webstore shortly, but if you just can't wait to snatch a camo pocket square and get one step closer to Wooster you can call the Houston store to place an order - 713.264.8800.  One last tip of advice: no matching.


Rogues Gallery F/W 2010

Rogues Gallery is in a curious spot.  Designer/founder Alex Carleton currently has his hands full with L.L. Bean Signature and I've heard rumblings about RG cutting back due to this very fact.  F/W 2010's first offerings have hit the web and I can't say for sure who is responsible.  It could be Alex himself, the last of Aaron Levine's gear from when he was handling menswear or someone else entirely.  The selection is small, 10 pieces in all not including tees, but I can't imagine this is it.  Regardless of any slowed down production, a company with this level popularity and amount of stockists would be foolish not to have some more gear lined up to be released over the next few months.  The pants are the highlight for me personally, with snapfronts popping up at yet another Americana inspired brand.  This style pant, along with front pocket cargos in general, really seems to be all over the goddamn place these days - interestingly enough, two of these options come from Carleton lead brands.  Luckily, they kick ass and it's always good as a consumer to have a ton of options to choose from.  Whether you hate blaze orange or love it, at least Rogues is giving you something to talk about.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Hickey: A Quick Retrospective

For a brand that virtually no longer exists I sure do talk about Hickey a lot.  After reading Angelo's (one of today's foremost Hickey historians) post today I did get a little nostalgic, I'll admit.  If people are still writing blogs in 20 years or so, which is up for serious debate, I would not be surprised at all to see quite a few The Trad-esque style posts referencing Hickey as one of the great brands of our time that unfortunately feel by the wayside.  There is a great tradition of men's clothing brands that rose almost as fast as they crashed and Hickey is no exception.  I'll spare you any excessive praise, but if you really want to read about one of my favorite brands ever you can hit the tag at the bottom of the post.  The purpose of all this, however, was to draw your attention to a great video circa early 2009.  Below you can watch Hickey's extremely talented Design Director, Aaron Levine (now with Jack Spade), talk about the concept behind the brand at one of its Pitti Uomo showings.  Looking back, would Hickey do things differently?  I, obviously, can't answer that for them, but I truly hope they wouldn't change the clothes all that much.  This stuff was, and still is, perfect.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Cutaway Collar Sport Shirt

For a while there I was in full on all button down collar everything mode when it came to my sport shirts.  From a consumer standpoint they are ubiquitous and don't take even the slightest bit of thought to pull off.  After paying close attention to my more stylish friends it soon became clear that my narrow sport shirt worldview was just that - narrow.  Whether knotted up or tie-less, the cutaway collar sport shirt started looking damn good.  As with most sartorial elements I was particularly drawn to to the dichotomy of it all.  The juxtaposition of two things as simple as a casual shirt and its "dressed up" collar drew me in.  A large part of this freshly ignited flame has to do with the collar itself.  A sport shirt, or any shirt for that matter, with a terrible collar is always going to look like shit regardless.  In this particular case it's all about finding a middle ground.  If the collar is too intense it will look awkward without a tie, thus limiting the versatility of a shirt meant to be worn on a regular basis.  On the other hand, if the collar is too flimsy or weak you pigeon hole the shirt as one that can't be worn in an office environment or when you want to break out your favorite neckwear.  The best designers in menswear, like Michael Bastian, place an emphasis on cutaway collars, but most guys don't have the coin necessary to pick up one of these shirts whenever they see fit.  That's why I really dig Wharf's "The Four" - it's accessible, high end style  The pattern is on point for this time of year, the fit is slim, it's made in the USA and, most importantly, the collar is exactly the kind you should be hunting for.  A shirt like this is pretty unstoppable no matter what occasion you're dressing for.  And that, my friends, is what's known as value.


Today's Headlines

Allen Edmonds Gets That Paper, Son

The good folks over at Allen Edmonds just got hooked up courtesy of the great state of Wisconsin to the tune of a $1.5 million Community Development Block Grant Economic Development loan.

Sid Mashburn's Face Time in Paste

"The Best of What's Next: Fashion Designer" talks about his plans for the future. Spoiler alert - he wants to bring the shop to new cities.

Marc McNairy 

Tres Bien has a little fun at their good friend's expense.

Bastin Tweets

The extremely talented and always hilarious Gant Rugger Head Designer hits Twitter.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brunello Cucinelli F/W 2010

Who in their right mind would deem a 190 page lookbook/catalog appropriate?  Why, the self proclaimed "Italian Ralph Lauren" of course.  AKA the "King of Cashmere".  Brunello Cucinelli's F/W 2010 collection is most definitely what we've come to expect from him at this point - "so much dough I can swear I won't change" comes to mind.  But I can't blame the guy.  He knows exactly what his sweet spot is and he always hits it out of the park.  It's quintessential Brunello from head to toe - perfection in the form of fabric, texture and cut with tailored goods that would make 99% of the designers in this industry jealous.  BC's catalog mannequin shots always crack me the hell up for some reason, but, at the end of the day, are a masters class in layering - you gotta always credit where credit is due.  After enjoying clothes I cannot even remotely afford this much I think I'm gonna call it a day.