August 21, 2014
New England Summer Nights. 
Featuring the “Security Guard” uniform - navy blazer, grey trousers, and brown suede shoes. A summery repp stripe tie doesn’t hurt either.
Topsfield, MA
Blazer - Beckett & Robb x Loro Piana | Tie - Breuer c/o Khaki’s of Carmel | Trousers - Khaki’s of Carmel | Shirt - Proper Cloth | Pocket Square - Kent Wang | Shoes - Sid Mashburn

New England Summer Nights.

Featuring the “Security Guard” uniform - navy blazer, grey trousers, and brown suede shoes. A summery repp stripe tie doesn’t hurt either.

Topsfield, MA

Blazer - Beckett & Robb x Loro Piana | Tie - Breuer c/o Khaki’s of Carmel | Trousers - Khaki’s of Carmel | Shirt - Proper Cloth | Pocket Square - Kent Wang | Shoes - Sid Mashburn

August 19, 2014
SuitSupply San Francisco: Coming Soon…?
At this point, most of you are probably familiar with Suitsupply, the Dutch menswear darling that has been crushing the $400-$700 suit market (you can see my reviews here and here). In the last few years, the company has made serious progress in their plans for world domination; however, their presence in California has been surprisingly nonexistent. A San Francisco store was supposed to open in January of this year, but the opening was continually pushed back before going completely quiet. In the meantime, stores have popped up in Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, and even Scottsdale, Arizona - what gives?
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I know I’m not the only person frustrated by the significant delays in the Suitsupply SF opening, but I am confident that the delays are caused by the city and not by the company. San Francisco is known for making opening a store unnecessarily difficult; this has recently been seen in delays in the opening of the new-ish Gant store in Hayes Valley and the Cucinelli store that was supposed to open this Spring.
Fortunately, I was able to track down some insider information regarding SuitSupply’s newest store. As I understand it, the San Francisco branch is currently slated to open in November of this year. I was told that the initial location fell through, causing delays, but my understanding is that their new spot will be at 166 Maiden Lane, where the YSL store used to be located (right next to Gucci). San Francisco natives will know Maiden Lane as the lovely little pedestrian street near the city’s shopping district where 95% of the city’s style blogger WIWT shots are taken. It’s a great location, and if what I heard is true then the guys in corporate clearly did their homework.
Anyway, those are the rumors…but you didn’t hear it from me.
(photo via)

SuitSupply San Francisco: Coming Soon…?

At this point, most of you are probably familiar with Suitsupply, the Dutch menswear darling that has been crushing the $400-$700 suit market (you can see my reviews here and here). In the last few years, the company has made serious progress in their plans for world domination; however, their presence in California has been surprisingly nonexistent. A San Francisco store was supposed to open in January of this year, but the opening was continually pushed back before going completely quiet. In the meantime, stores have popped up in Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver, and even Scottsdale, Arizona - what gives?

Read More

August 18, 2014
One of the most challenging aspects of packing for me is dealing with tailored clothing - it takes up a lot of space, doesn’t respond that well to folding, and, as much as I love wearing it, can be a hassle during a trip. For that reason, I’m trying something new for this trip and only bringing a navy blazer. I will be attending events with a variety of formality - dinner with my girlfriend’s family, drinks with friends in NYC, an outdoor wedding - so I’m hoping that I can rely on this one piece to carry me through all of them. We’ll see if I can practice what I preach.
If you want to see more updates on the trip, follow along on instagram and twitter. 
Navy Blazer
Lots of casual collared shirts and a breton
Chinos
Swim trunks
Two summery ties
White linen pocket square
Loafers
Suede captoes
Sneakers
A good belt
Not pictured: A field jacket I wore on the plane and some grey trousers I threw in at the last minute.
See the rest of my packing posts here.

One of the most challenging aspects of packing for me is dealing with tailored clothing - it takes up a lot of space, doesn’t respond that well to folding, and, as much as I love wearing it, can be a hassle during a trip. For that reason, I’m trying something new for this trip and only bringing a navy blazer. I will be attending events with a variety of formality - dinner with my girlfriend’s family, drinks with friends in NYC, an outdoor wedding - so I’m hoping that I can rely on this one piece to carry me through all of them. We’ll see if I can practice what I preach.

If you want to see more updates on the trip, follow along on instagram and twitter

Not pictured: A field jacket I wore on the plane and some grey trousers I threw in at the last minute.

See the rest of my packing posts here.

August 4, 2014

Denim Bruin 2014

San Francisco has always been a hub for denim and workwear, and once every year that history is celebrated in a series of events called Denimbruin. I attended a Denimbruin party at the Levi’s HQ last year and had such a great time that I made sure to get involved this year as well. It is certainly a strong deviation from the blazer-and-tie events I gravitate towards, but the people at these events are extremely passionate about their style and also know how to throw a great party.

This time I attended the Saturday evening event hosted by AB Fits, one of the best stores in San Francisco. Howard Gee - the man that founded AB Fits decades ago - has been a pioneer in the denim scene and has brought many exceptional brands into his store over the years. Many brands were present at this event, including Blue Blanket Jeans, Good Wear Leather, UBi - IND denim, and more. Big thanks to AB Fits and all the others involved for putting together a great event!

July 28, 2014
A Better Blue Blazer
If you read about classic men’s clothing as often as I do, you’ve probably heard the navy blazer described as “the best piece a man can own,” “the most versatile item in a man’s closet,” “worth investing in,” and with other overly simplistic catchphrases. Although I think that the traditional navy blazer configuration (with its with brass crest buttons and old-money-yacht-club connotations) can feel a bit dated today, I feel that a slightly updated jacket can be a fantastic garment to have in the rotation. It is indeed a versatile tool to have on hand, and since I love to focus on honing my wardrobe down to the bare essentials I decided to go custom and design the perfect navy blazer for my wardrobe.
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For this project, I collaborated with my friends at Beckett & Robb to come up with a blazer that would be well suited for my lifestyle and for the mild California weather. The first big decision I had to make was selecting a fabric; I knew that I wanted something in pure wool with a bit of texture, preferably in that “a bit lighter than navy” shade of blue that is so universally appealing.
In my mind, a navy blazer’s fabric can take two forms - either a Fall/Winter style, made with something like flannel, or a warm-weather style that utilizes a lighter fabric like hopsack (other fabrics like serge and barathea are sometimes used, but they are less common). For this commission I was envisioning the latter, so I spent some time looking for fabrics that met these criteria and were within my budget. I was very impressed to discover that Beckett & Robb has a special relationship with Loro Piana that allows them to buy certain fabrics in bulk at a reduced price; because of this, they have a truly fantastic light navy hopsack available from the mill for only $865 (no small sum, to be sure, but a great price considering that we’re talking about a completely custom blazer made in Europe out of world-class fabric). With that decision behind me, the first step was complete. 

Most of the following design decisions were relatively easy, as they were either dictated by the fabric choice or by the semi-formal nature of the garment. I wanted something that was rooted in tradition, but not too stuffy, something well-suited to the mild Californian weather, and also moderate in its level of formality. I chose a 3-roll-2 button stance, natural shoulders, patch hip pockets, and moderately wide notch lapels, all of which seemed to reflect the classic blazer configuration. I also opted for smoked mother-of-pearl buttons, which are a great option for warm-weather tailored clothing and are known to look exceptional on summery navy fabric. This jacket is also half-canvassed and half-lined, which gives it some structure while still utilizing the breathable nature of the fabric. 

In terms of fit, I made several changes from my first commission -  I widened the shoulders and chest, changed the shape and placement of the sleeve, added to the lapel, and lowered the button stance. All of the changes were very small - less then half an inch - but together I think they make a big difference. I’ll post pictures of the blazer in use once I have an opportunity to take some. All told, the process was quite fun and I’m very pleased with the final result. I have no doubt that this blazer will get worn hard for years to come. 
While I am on the subject - I wanted to briefly mention that I have teamed up with Beckett & Robb’s San Francisco store as a by-appointment consultant. I have enjoyed watching the brand grow here in San Francisco over the past year, and since business has been so busy for them I jumped at the opportunity to help out. It has been quite a bit of fun seeing another side of the clothing industry, and I feel like I’ve already learned much more about more something I thought I understood very well. I am not receiving any free products for any of this; I’m just treated like a regular employee.
if you live in the Bay Area and are interested in commissioning a blazer like this (or any other type of suit, trouser, or sportcoat), feel free to send me an email. I don’t expect that I will be discussing this partnership frequently here (as I like to keep my editorials fairly neutral), but I wanted to briefly disclose my affiliation and mention my availability to help readers try the company out for themselves. 

A Better Blue Blazer

If you read about classic men’s clothing as often as I do, you’ve probably heard the navy blazer described as “the best piece a man can own,” “the most versatile item in a man’s closet,” “worth investing in,” and with other overly simplistic catchphrases. Although I think that the traditional navy blazer configuration (with its with brass crest buttons and old-money-yacht-club connotations) can feel a bit dated today, I feel that a slightly updated jacket can be a fantastic garment to have in the rotation. It is indeed a versatile tool to have on hand, and since I love to focus on honing my wardrobe down to the bare essentials I decided to go custom and design the perfect navy blazer for my wardrobe.

Read More

July 22, 2014

It’s On Sale: 25% Off Sale Items at East Dane

I haven’t been paying much attention to this new-ish online men’s store, but perhaps it’s time for me to start. I saw that they are holding a 25% sale off discounted items with the code 25EXTRA and that creates some pretty great deals on some high-end clothing and accessories. My picks:

Incotex Chinolino trousers  and slim chinos starting at $124: A great price for one of the most celebrated trouser makers around. I’m very tempted by these.

Ernest Alexander leather overnight bag and waxed canvas rucksack: I love Ernest Alexander products (and currently own a few), and they are never discounted this deeply. Stock is low, but there’s a lot of potential here.

Inis Meain linen crewneck sweater, $148: There are some other options from this esteemed sweater company, but this is my favorite. 

Some Drake’s Accessories: The more subtle stuff is selling out very fast, but there’s still a decent selection to choose from. 

There are definitely other worthwhile items in the sale, but sizes are becoming scarce for many of them. Take a look and see what’s left in your size!

July 21, 2014
Men’s Clothing, Accessories, and Services in San Francisco and Beyond

Most of the questions my fellow bloggers and I seem to receive are inquiries for local information - the best stores, best tailors, and so on. These are reasonable questions, to be sure, but it can be difficult to answer them all. For that reason, I’ve compiled this super cool interactive map that should help everyone out, whether you’re just in town for the afternoon or you’re a seasoned local looking for a new place to get a haircut.

I will do my best to keep this map updated and accurate, but understand that stores open, close, and move all the time. And although I’ve tried to be as thorough as possible, I have undoubtedly missed places worth mentioning. For that reason, I encourage everyone to add their suggestions, additions, and corrections in the comments below. 

Anyway, here it is (if you’re reading this on tumblr, you’ll have to click the little gray box to see the map; if you’re on tumblr mobile, you’re probably out of luck). There’s a lot of information crammed in this map, so hit the “full screen” icon on the top right to be taken to the original size. 

The map is divided into three layers - clothing and accessories, barbers, and alteration tailors. I included websites, addresses and a brief description of the establishment in each pin. There’s a lot of information to digest, so I’ve copied it all below as well. 

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July 14, 2014
The Summer Staples, Revisited
Last year I posted a photo outlining my core pieces for the Spring and Summer months. As I anticipated, I did wear all those items extensively last year, and continue to do so now. However, my lifestyle has changed a bit in the past year and I find myself having less opportunities to wear sportcoats and ties; for that reason, I thought I would update with a version more congruent with what I’m wearing now. So here are my summer 2014 all-stars, piece by piece:
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Popover: Proper Cloth. I was very excited when my favorite custom shirtmaker released a popover style a few months ago. Although many have been searching the interwebz for popovers utilizing Italian-inspired cutaway collars, I went for a more traditional approach and paired a lightweight chambray fabric with an ample button-down collar (inspired in no small part by voxsart's collection). As many other menswear blogger types have noted, popovers are a great item to have on hand during the warmer months - they toe the line between dressed up and laid back, and that’s exactly what I need. 
Field Jacket: Gap. Yeah, that’s right. Gap. I mentioned this jacket in my M-65 roundup, and after consulting my own positive remarks, decided to buy it. It ended up being under $50 shipped and has already proven to be a great purchase. San Francisco summers are notoriously chilly, so I am often forced to bring a light jacket with me during my summer outings. This one is exactly what I need - lightweight, durable, well-fitting, and in a color that goes with everything. I have another M-65 in the classic army green, but find myself reaching for this one more often (sorry, Gant). Oh, and it’s currently on sale for $52.50 with the code EXTRA…not bad. 
Shades: Warby Parker “Sinclair”. These shades are now over two years old, which might be a world record for sunglasses. They’re with me almost every day and have held up remarkably well. I like the idea of having multiple pairs of glasses to choose between, but find myself grabbing these so often that I haven’t bothered picking up a different pair. 
White chinos: J. Crew Urban Slim Fit. This cut isn’t perfect for my build - a bit too big in the thigh and a smidge too tapered at the ankle - but they’re reasonably well-made and easy to grab on sale. I bought a few brand new pairs on ebay a couple years ago for next to nothing and they still get worn all the time. I like wearing light-colored chinos in the summer months, and these white ones help me remember that it’s probably really lovely out in Oakland and Palo Alto, even though it’s cold and foggy in SF. 
Lighweight suede chukkas: J. Crew. I’m a little tight on funds right now, so although I have been lusting over Alden’s unlined suede shoes for a while, I jumped at the opportunity to try these chukkas for the sweet price of $60. They’re certainly not as nice, but for a cool 1/9th of the price I ain’t mad at all. As a matter of fact, I’m downright impressed. The color of the suede is exactly what I wanted, the construction is pretty solid, and the toe shape is great. And although they’re currently only available in blue suede, they’re on final sale for a screaming $42 - read more here. 
I had no intention of writing an article about how you can still dress well without spending too much money, but I suppose that’s exactly what happened. All of these items were relatively affordable (all purchased for under $100), and they have each earned a top spot in my summer rotation. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating high-end clothing and investing in it - I certainly do. That said, it’s important to keep some perspective; when you start to have the opinion that nothing inexpensive can be good, you’ve gone in too deep. It may be more difficult to dress well on a tight budget, but it’s far from impossible. 

The Summer Staples, Revisited

Last year I posted a photo outlining my core pieces for the Spring and Summer months. As I anticipated, I did wear all those items extensively last year, and continue to do so now. However, my lifestyle has changed a bit in the past year and I find myself having less opportunities to wear sportcoats and ties; for that reason, I thought I would update with a version more congruent with what I’m wearing now. So here are my summer 2014 all-stars, piece by piece:

Read More

July 10, 2014
It’s On Sale: Swim Trunks at J. Crew
Still looking for a pair of swim trunks this summer? J. Crew is currently offering 50% off sale items with the code TODAYONLY, which brings a large selection of swim trunks down to as low as $15. My favorites are the 6” navy tonal seersucker ones pictured above, currently at $35 with the code (also available in a 9” length, if that’s more your thing). You can browse all the swimwear stock on sale here. Note that some of those models don’t have a mesh lining, so keep an eye out if that’s something you want. 
There are other items included in the sale, of course, but these are what stood out to me. Although I like the idea of high-end swimwear, there’s no way I’m going to pay more than $50 for a pair of trunks. I currently use a pair of J. Crew’s trunks from last year and they have been great for the price. 

It’s On Sale: Swim Trunks at J. Crew

Still looking for a pair of swim trunks this summer? J. Crew is currently offering 50% off sale items with the code TODAYONLY, which brings a large selection of swim trunks down to as low as $15. My favorites are the 6” navy tonal seersucker ones pictured above, currently at $35 with the code (also available in a 9” length, if that’s more your thing). You can browse all the swimwear stock on sale here. Note that some of those models don’t have a mesh lining, so keep an eye out if that’s something you want. 

There are other items included in the sale, of course, but these are what stood out to me. Although I like the idea of high-end swimwear, there’s no way I’m going to pay more than $50 for a pair of trunks. I currently use a pair of J. Crew’s trunks from last year and they have been great for the price. 

July 7, 2014
Mastering a Necessary Evil - How to Iron a Shirt
I’ve seen many men talk about how relaxing, cathartic, and otherwise enjoyable it is to polish shoes. It’s one of those tasks that is perfectly fit for a slow Sunday afternoon, and it reigns supreme as the most popular clothing maintenance routine. 
Ironing, on the other hand, doesn’t get any love from anyone and usually holds the bottom spot in most to-do lists. Some prefer to outsource the work to a local cleaner, and some just ignore the problem altogether (this is me, usually). Neither of these options is preferable, of course. Dry cleaning shirts is unnecessarily tough on the fabric, and professional washing and folding can get expensive quickly. There may be times when wearing an unironed shirt can work, but not when you need to look sharp.
As with most things, successful ironing comes down to the tools you use and the procedure you follow. I won’t claim to be an expert in this field, but over the years I have found a few ways to improve my end result.
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My best ironing trick comes from the fact that I hate ironing boards. The big ones take up tons of precious space, the small ones are useless, and they all jam, squeak or frustrate me in one way or another. For that reason, I put a clean cloth over a table or countertop for my ironing surface. Of course, for this to work you must make sure that the surface and and cloth are clean, and that heat and moisture will not damage either (which, in turn, could also damage your clothing). I don’t want any angry emails from people that put an iron mark on their grandmother’s antique oak table, ok?  Here, I’m using an old fitted bed sheet over an inexpensive IKEA table that I bought secondhand. I have also used stone countertops successfully. The advantage here is that I have much more space to iron in (a huge plus), and I don’t have to fight a rusty appliance in and out of the closet. All told, this change made a big difference in the amount of time it took me to iron a shirt and the quality of the end result. 
When it comes to irons, there is a big range in quality and cost; I have never used a high-end one, but I’m sure that they are easier to use. That said, I don’t think they are strictly necessary. To me, the basic requirements of a decent iron are heat, even bursts of steam, and a water spray function. If you don’t know where to look for an iron, this Black & Decker model on Amazon is a good starting point (and is the one I would probably buy if I were in the market). Many say to use purified water; this is probably optimal, but I’ve never used it and been ok thus far. It’s also worth noting that shirts are easier to iron when they’re still damp from the washer, but this is not strictly necessary.
Ok, time to iron. Here’s what I do:
1. Start with the shirt sides. Don’t be afraid to use the steam burst button liberally to get heavy wrinkles out. Iron up to the seam running along the sides of the shirt.

2. Move on to the sleeves. Lay them out flat and make sure to push out any wrinkles or folds, since you will be ironing both sides of the sleeve with one motion. If you have the time, flip the sleeve over and iron on the reverse side. Make sure that the gusset and cuff buttons are undone, and don’t forget about ironing the cuffs too. 


3. Iron the inside of the collar. Use lots of steam. 

4. Lay the shirt out, facing up, and iron out the inside of the back panel. Take time to make sure that you’re getting all the edges and shoulders.


5. Button a center button or two and make sure the sides look ok. Touch up any areas that you may have missed earlier.


6. Fold it up or get it on a hanger. Or just put the dang thing on, because let’s be honest - you were doing this whole thing shirtless and you’re already fifteen minutes late for work. 

Mastering a Necessary Evil - How to Iron a Shirt

I’ve seen many men talk about how relaxing, cathartic, and otherwise enjoyable it is to polish shoes. It’s one of those tasks that is perfectly fit for a slow Sunday afternoon, and it reigns supreme as the most popular clothing maintenance routine. 

Ironing, on the other hand, doesn’t get any love from anyone and usually holds the bottom spot in most to-do lists. Some prefer to outsource the work to a local cleaner, and some just ignore the problem altogether (this is me, usually). Neither of these options is preferable, of course. Dry cleaning shirts is unnecessarily tough on the fabric, and professional washing and folding can get expensive quickly. There may be times when wearing an unironed shirt can work, but not when you need to look sharp.

As with most things, successful ironing comes down to the tools you use and the procedure you follow. I won’t claim to be an expert in this field, but over the years I have found a few ways to improve my end result.

Read More