March 10, 2014
Spring Selections - 10 Items for the Warming Weather
Springtime is almost upon us, and although it certainly doesn’t excite the #menswear world like Autumn (does anything come close?), its arrival often brings welcome relief from the cold and anticipation for the summer ahead. And although the season for seersucker and sundresses is nigh, the key to spring is to not jump the gun; embrace the warm weather, but show some restraint. Summer’s not here yet.
For some folks, spring is a time for pastels and bright colors; there’s nothing wrong with that, but as you can see I prefer to keep things simple and muted. I try to move away from the deep, saturated colors of fall and trade those items in for a lighter, dustier-colored palette. Feel free to wear pink chinos and green bowties if that’s what you’re into - this is what you’ll find me wearing.
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Chinos. Now is a great time to begin moving away from denim as your go-to choice for casual pants. Chinos are available in every color imaginable; however, I prefer traditional hues in the tan, off-white, and grey spectrum. A slim-straight fit is popular these days, but find whatever suits you best. J. Crew and Uniqlo are great places for reasonably priced chinos, and any other respectable clothing store should have a good selection as well.
A rain coat. It’s the season for April showers - don’t get caught off guard. I do love a good trench coat, but it’s nice to have a more casual option on hand. This classic rain coat from GANT has kept me dry in lots of stormy situations.
Loafers. Whether tassel or penny, calf, shell, or suede, a loafer is a great addition to any shoe rotation once the weather warms up. The pair above is a model by Brooks Brothers and is a great example of the classic penny - whether you wear socks or not is up to you.
Lightweight blazer. An unlined and patch-pocketed blazer in a casual fabric like cotton will take you through the coming months and into Summer. These are perfect for wearing with a tie-less shirt and chinos while drinking a beverage on an outdoor patio…in my experience. The blazer above is from Boglioli, but many other Italian brands put out products similar to this.
Chambray Shirt. Chambray is a great mid-weight material for casual wear. It looks great with a button-down collar, and will be at-home with those chinos you’re wearing instead of denim. My chambray shirt is from Proper Cloth; options can also be found from J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, and more
Gingham. This pattern looks great on shirts, but it can be found on blazers, ties, and just about anything else this time of year. I prefer my gingham to be navy blue and on shirts, but you decide what’s best for your wardrobe. Pictured: a navy gingham shirt from J. Crew.
A casual belt. There are a lot of different casual belts out there - surcingle, woven, ribbon, and more. It’s hard to go wrong with a solid color or simple ribbon stripe, but I went full prep with this vintage nautical-themed D-ring.
A colorful pocket square. This is where I might add a bit of color to my spring kit. A square in a light, bouncy silk or cotton can get some good use right about now. The square above is from Put This On’s Gentleman’s Association.
NATO strap for your favorite watch. Like the casual belt, this is a way to add some playful color into your usual ensemble. NATO straps are inexpensive and can be added to virtually any watch. J. Crew, Central Watch, and Ebay are good sources of NATO straps. Need a watch to put on it? It’s hard to go wrong with a Timex Easy Reader.
Raw silk tie. I like raw silks all year round, but they look particularly good in the springtime; they add a bit of texture now that our tweeds and flannels have been put away for a while. This tie is made by Breuer for Khaki’s of Carmel, but you can also find raw silk from Drake’s and Conrad Wu.
For more Seasonal Selections, click here.

Spring Selections - 10 Items for the Warming Weather

Springtime is almost upon us, and although it certainly doesn’t excite the #menswear world like Autumn (does anything come close?), its arrival often brings welcome relief from the cold and anticipation for the summer ahead. And although the season for seersucker and sundresses is nigh, the key to spring is to not jump the gun; embrace the warm weather, but show some restraint. Summer’s not here yet.

For some folks, spring is a time for pastels and bright colors; there’s nothing wrong with that, but as you can see I prefer to keep things simple and muted. I try to move away from the deep, saturated colors of fall and trade those items in for a lighter, dustier-colored palette. Feel free to wear pink chinos and green bowties if that’s what you’re into - this is what you’ll find me wearing.

Read More

March 3, 2014
California Snow Day
The torrential rain we’ve been experiencing in San Francisco has translated into several feet of fresh snow up in the mountains, and I was lucky enough to already have a house booked in Tahoe this weekend. Although the temperatures were surprisingly warm, there was still plenty of fresh powder on the slopes.
Coat - Gant Rugger | Sweater - Polo Ralph Lauren (ebay) | Scarf - Moon Mills | Shirt - Proper Cloth | Denim - A.P.C. | Boots - vintage Vasque | Shades - Warby Parker

California Snow Day

The torrential rain we’ve been experiencing in San Francisco has translated into several feet of fresh snow up in the mountains, and I was lucky enough to already have a house booked in Tahoe this weekend. Although the temperatures were surprisingly warm, there was still plenty of fresh powder on the slopes.

Coat - Gant Rugger | Sweater - Polo Ralph Lauren (ebay) | Scarf - Moon Mills | Shirt - Proper Cloth | Denim - A.P.C. | Boots - vintage Vasque | Shades - Warby Parker

February 27, 2014
Product Review: J. Crew “Bowery” Classic Fit Dress Trousers
Many of the product reviews out in the blogosphere seem to center around expensive high-end products or new items from small companies. These can certainly be helpful, but there are still many people that want to find great products that are a bit more accessible (which is why sites like Dappered are so popular). For that reason, I’m going to try and balance my reviews with products that can be easily found anywhere but still provide a good value to me. 
In the past I have written about how much I like Howard Yount trousers; I stand by that review, but there are many people out there (including myself) that would prefer to not spend $100-$200 on dress pants. I splurged for some nice wool flannels since those are hard to find at lower prices, but for more traditional cotton and worsted wool pants there is a broader spectrum of prices available. 
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I had been keeping an eye on J. Crew’s Bowery trouser for a while, and when one of the inevitable 25% off full price item sales came along I grabbed a cotton pair in hickory. 
My first impressions were very good - of course, this is definitely a mass-produced garment and won’t have the attention to detail that you will see from smaller brands, but they are made well and feature solid materials and traditional details. The fabric is surprisingly nice; it is a mid-weight cotton that has some softness but isn’t heavily washed to create a “lived-in” feel like many chinos. These are dress pants, and the fabric reflects that. The fabric is also significantly better than Uniqlo’s celebrated Vintage Chino. The two pants are very different stylistically, but in terms of material and construction quality the Bowery trousers are much, much better. The trousers feature a cotton shirting liner on the pocket and waistband and have a metal clasp and zipper closure with an interior button as well. 

The pants do come with some extra fabric at the bottom to extend the length, but it’s worth noting that in my cotton ones there is already a very slight wear mark, meaning there might be a line if one were to lengthen them. If you are in between inseam lengths it’s probably better to size up and remove material than to do the reverse. 
As for the fit, these are very similar to my Howard Yount flannels (bought before the fit changed slightly). Mine are tagged 31x30 (my true size), and measure 8” across the leg opening. The rise is fairly “classic” and sits higher than most chinos on the market, which makes them good for tucking shirts into. There is a bit more room in the thigh than I’d prefer, but this is the case with almost all trousers I own because my ectomorph legs need a bit of work. Most guys will probably find the leg space reasonable.
I tried the Bowery Slim fit trousers, and although the thigh is a bit slimmer, they taper too much past the ankle for my tastes (and the rise is a bit lower as well). They may work for some, but are a bit trendier than what I look for in dress clothes.
All told, I think these are a great everyday business casual work pants for the guy who doesn’t need high wool counts or hand-stitching in their workhorse office clothes. With the frequent 20-30% off full-priced items, the cotton Bowery classics come to $56-$64 and the wool ones are $90-$102. Prices can dip even lower if the items themselves go on sale.

Product Review: J. Crew “Bowery” Classic Fit Dress Trousers

Many of the product reviews out in the blogosphere seem to center around expensive high-end products or new items from small companies. These can certainly be helpful, but there are still many people that want to find great products that are a bit more accessible (which is why sites like Dappered are so popular). For that reason, I’m going to try and balance my reviews with products that can be easily found anywhere but still provide a good value to me. 

In the past I have written about how much I like Howard Yount trousers; I stand by that review, but there are many people out there (including myself) that would prefer to not spend $100-$200 on dress pants. I splurged for some nice wool flannels since those are hard to find at lower prices, but for more traditional cotton and worsted wool pants there is a broader spectrum of prices available. 

Read More

February 24, 2014

Out & About - Harding & Wilson Bowties in Portland, OR

In the past I have mentioned that I grew up in a small town in Oregon’s Willamette Valley; this is an area of the country where understanding the finer points of style is not a priority for most men. Be that as it may, I would be lying through my teeth if I said that I was the only style-oriented young man to come out of the area in recent years. One of my well-dressed high school friends is Peter Lee, and a few years ago he turned his interests in clothing into a legitimate business - Harding & Wilson.

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February 21, 2014

From last weekend: a casual menswear meetup, made better with donuts, beers, guitars, and roof decks.

(cc: omgerald, jacobbockelmann, urbancomposition, edwinzee, looklikeme)

February 19, 2014

It’s Back, and On Sale: Allen Edmonds “Amok” Unlined Chukka

Some of you may remember the unfortunate tale of the Allen Edmonds Amok; the shoe was hit hard on release due to some construction issues that created a squeak when worn. Allen Edmonds fixed the issue, but the damage was done and the shoes proved hard to sell. Eventually, the shoes moved to the clearance section, which was bittersweet because it meant their price had hit rock bottom but they would not be made again.

Why do we care about the melodrama of the Amok? Well, the shoe is a very close replica of the celebrated Alden unlined chukka, but for a much lower price. Both feature unlined suede uppers, two eyelet construction, and an oil-soaked leather sole. The Alden version is built better and is made from better materials, but $486 is a steep price for a casual suede shoe. You can read more about unlined shoes here.

So, here’s the catch: sizes are limited (especially in the snuff), and it seems that for some sizes delivery will take 8 weeks since the shoes still need to be built (This seems odd, since the style is supposedly discontinued, but there you go). Snuff suede and tan suede are available for $117.60 at checkout (20% off clearance price), a fantastic price for a workhorse shoe. In my experience, this shoe fits true-to-size.

If your size is not available, consider the Mojave (olive, dark brown, and snuff suede). After the discount it comes in at $141.60. It is also an unlined chukka, but with a crepe sole and a slightly rounder last. 

February 18, 2014
What I Wore Yesterday - working on a new product review. More coming soon.
Blazer - Brando | Trousers - J. Crew | Shoes - Sid Mashburn (ebay)

What I Wore Yesterday - working on a new product review. More coming soon.

Blazer - Brando | Trousers - J. Crew | Shoes - Sid Mashburn (ebay)

February 18, 2014

Reader Questions

I have been getting a good amount of questions from my readers lately, and I decided to answer them in a large group as to not clutter up my blog. Here are the most pertinent questions, after filtering out the indecent, indecipherable, and inflammatory. 

If you have a burning question, you can get in touch via twitter, email, or the ask box.

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February 17, 2014
omgerald:

fromsqualortoballer

Yesterday I took advantage of the beautiful San Francisco weather and ran around the city with some good friends. Then Gerald took some photos that make me look cooler than I actually am, which is ideal for blog posts like this one.
Blazer - Boglioli | Tie - Breuer c/o Khaki’s of Carmel | Chinos - J. Crew | Shirt - Proper Cloth | Pocket Square - Put This On | Shoes - Brooks Brothers (ebay) | Guitar - Gretsch

omgerald:

fromsqualortoballer

Yesterday I took advantage of the beautiful San Francisco weather and ran around the city with some good friends. Then Gerald took some photos that make me look cooler than I actually am, which is ideal for blog posts like this one.

Blazer - Boglioli | Tie - Breuer c/o Khaki’s of Carmel | Chinos - J. Crew | Shirt - Proper Cloth | Pocket Square - Put This On | Shoes - Brooks Brothers (ebay) | Guitar - Gretsch

February 13, 2014
12 Menswear Tumblrs Worth Following

The #menswear scene on tumblr is an interesting one; there is a lot of wonderful original content out there, but also a ton of stock photography and runway shots that get passed around endlessly. There is nothing wrong with having a blog that highlights those things, but we all know the feeling that comes from seeing the same Ovadia & Sons lookbook photos dozens of times on your dashboard.

The tumblr gods have been smiling upon me recently, and after being a trending blog on tumblr’s mobile app and now a spotlight blog under the fashion tag, I wanted to point my new readers toward other blogs churning out the good stuff. These are small blogs run by normal guys that are actively putting out great content and have a sense of style that I appreciate (or envy, in most cases). Enjoy!

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