Out & About: Tanner Goods Flagship Store - 1308 W. Burnside, Portland, OR
During my most recent trip to my home state I went in to Portland to visit some menswear companies that are distinctly “Pacific Northwest” - the area has a unique aesthetic, and Tanner Goods captures that as well as anyone else. While I was at the store I was able to chat with Colton Tong, manager of the Portland flagship, and learn a bit more about the brand.
San Francisco is heading into several days of wet weather right now, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Not only will the rain help ease the severe drought we’re experiencing (although it’s just a drop in the bucket - sorry, couldn’t resist), but it also gives me an opportunity to put my new Howard Yount umbrella to use. I’ll have a full review up once I get some good use out of it, but so far I’m enjoying the umbrella immensely.
Back in December I attended an event at John Allan’s JA Razor Club, a men’s grooming salon that began in New York City 25 years ago and has recently expanded to San Francisco. While I was there, Kevin Conroy, head of marketing on the West Coast, invited me to schedule an appointment for their “Full Service,” free of charge. I was in dire need of a haircut, so I was happy to accept.
Now, it’s worth mentioning that although I do believe in the importance of good grooming and work hard to keep my face and body presentable, I am not intimately familiar with the salon experience (and I think the same could be said for many guys). My barber is a pro, but there is no shampoo, no exfoliation, no hot towels. These are things I generally do for myself. So by signing up for the Full Service at the JA Razor club I knew I was going into uncharted territory.
It seems that J. Crew is planning on lowering their prices in the coming Spring/Summer season after disappointing profits last year.
Although there are still some good deals to be had on occasion, J. Crew’s prices have certainly gone up in past years, distancing itself from other mall brands. I’m curious to see how dramatic the change is.
Also, if you’re reading, J. Crew: I’m sure your suit sales would go up if you added an inch to those skinny lapels, eh?
EDIT: Aliotsy at thisfits pointed me towards this article, which suggests that the above information is not true. Sounds like there’s a bit of confusion about this issue.
One of the newest additions to San Francisco’s Union Square district is Ghurka, an American bag company making top-tier products for men and women. For those unfamiliar, the Ghurka company has an interesting past and has undergone an almost phoenix-like rebirth in recent years. Their new store in San Francisco is now their largest, and is full to the brim with beautiful leather and canvas goods.
In a few hours I’m heading down the street to a private event at the new Ghurka store in San Francisco. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing their products up close, as well as hanging out with the SF menswear gang. Here’s what I’m thinking about wearing…we’ll see if I change my mind. That scarf in particular might be a bit too hopeful since the local temperature is currently hovering around 60 degrees. Oh, San Francisco.
The Menswear Mindset: Tips for Building a Basic Wardrobe
One of the most common types of questions that menswear bloggers seem to get is the “I’m new to this” question: “I’m just learning how to dress well and I’d like you opinion on what to buy / if this jacket is a good deal / what color I should be wearing / etc.” These questions are usually difficult to answer well, and often bear the signs of someone heading in the wrong direction. I’m sure that the new year has inspired many guys out there to start putting more effort into their dress, so I put this list together as a guide for them (although I think they’re good reminders for all of us). This isn’t a list of what products to buy or what constitutes an “essential” wardrobe; rather, it’s an article that will hopefully get you in the right mindset for working on upgrading your closet.
Also, please don’t take this as some sort of sermon that I am bestowing on everyone due to my vast #menswear knowledge; every single thing below is something I learned from mistakes I’ve made. If I can help you avoid just one then it’s worth writing about.
About a year ago, Derek at Die, Workwear! posted an article about the Swann Club, an annual meeting of hardcore shoe aficionados in Paris. Since then, the idea of shoe polishing as a social occasion has stuck with me, and so I eventually decided to try it myself. I invited a couple of my blogger friends over and we shared our tools, tricks, and libations, and ended up getting some pretty great shines on our favorite shoes. Edwin, Jacob, and I all have different tools and different methods when it comes to taking care of our shoe investments, so it was surprisingly enlightening to learn about different procedures and sample a wide variety of products. We may have been drinking bourbon and scotch instead of polishing with Dom Perignon and using old t-shirts instead of Venetian linens, but nonetheless I think we achieved everything we set out to accomplish, and had a great time doing it.
Over the holidays I was able to catch up with my good friends at Harding & Wilson, a small company making awesome bowties from local fabrics in Portland, Oregon. I had a great time catching up, seeing the workshop, and watching them put together one of their classic ties. More coming soon.