Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wish List | Gap Well-worn Denim Jacket

I popped into a Gap store the other day and found this nice jacket on display. I've been thinking about denim trucker jackets and where to buy lately. I didn't think the Gap would have such a nice version.

The denim trucker jacket is a tricky thing. It's definitely difficult to pull off in my opinion, so I'm a little hesitant to even try. I'd likely use it more for a layering piece; it would be a bit more subtle that way. Either that or I'd go all out, cut the sleeves off and wear it with a gray hoodie underneath. A real 80's look if you ask me.

I didn't have enough time to try it on, so I'm unsure of the fit. But I'll definitely be monitoring the jacket, and hopefully snatch it up as soon as it hits the sale rack (which it is sure to do).

The Style Blogger recently had a nice post about the denim trucker jacket. Read it here and learn how to use it as a layering piece.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hey, Nice Socks

It's all about the details here. You can tell these socks were carefully chosen.

[Photo by The Sartorialist]

How To | Artful Dishevelment

The gentlemen of Modern Dignified have been exploring subtle sprezzatura techniques in the last few posts of their blog. Definitely worth a read.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wish List | Cream Cable Cardigan

I never thought to wear a cream-colored cardigan until I saw this one online. I always thought white (or cream) should be left to the ladies, fearing I would look too feminine like Danny Gokey in that white jacket on American Idol last season. Here it looks great combined with navy dress pants and a striped oxford shirt. I also like how they've pushed the sleeves up. And look at that watch! The key is to not pair it with similarly light items like a white dress shirt or khakis. You could also throw a sports jacket over this outfit to create a nice look.

I sure hope cardigans don't go out of style any time soon because I like them more and more. They're versatile. And taking off a v-neck sweater seems like such a chore compared to removing a cardigan, especially when you are out.

This cardigan was originally $595 but is now $299 (plus an extra 20% off according to the website).

Wish List | Timex Military Watch

I've known that J. Crew sells the Timex military watch for some time now. Since my encounter in Vermont, however, my desire to obtain one has only grown. Sadly, it sells for $150 and if you ask me that has "ridiculous mark up" written all over it. I'd buy it for $100... maybe.

Also worthy to note, J. Crew sells both solid and striped watch straps - one for $20 or two for $30. A great way to change things up. How easy it is to change straps, I don't know.

Confession: I was watching the Bachelor, or I got roped into it I should say (not really), a couple weeks ago. Homeboy is a pilot and was wearing a big, aviation-style watch. I probably noticed the watch because of the bright orange band. I say this a little ashamed and embarrassed, but at that moment I was inspired.

A bright strap could be a nice conversation piece or something to give you a little spontaneity or edge. And what do ya know, J. Crew sells 'em. Coincidence? I think not...

Lastly, I thought I'd include a photo of the original Yankee wristwatch used during WWI - it was the inspiration behind this military watch after all. Let's give credit where credit is deserved, people. A strong resemblance indeed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spotlight | Timex Watches

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to Manchester, Vermont with some friends and spend the weekend skiing and enjoying small town life. Little did I know that Manchester is the home of a dozen or so designer outlet stores.

My girlfriend and I decided to stop by the Burberry outlet and check out their outerwear selection. A nice elderly sales associate, maybe 70 years old, assisted me in my search for a trench coat. While he was sifting through the outerwear racks, I noticed he was wearing a great looking watch. Black leather band and black face; simple design and very classic. On my way out, after thanking him for his help, I inquired about this watch. He smirked and proceeded to tell me how he had owned many expensive things in his lifetime; in his heyday, he'd donned $4000 and $5000 watches. Pointing to the watch, he exclaimed this was bar none the best he had ever owned. It was a Timex watch. I couldn't believe it. "Where would you recommend I go to find this watch?" I asked. He suggested Sears. Ha!

After my encounter, I did some research to learn more about this disreputable brand. Below are my findings:

The history of Timex dates back to the 1850's in Naugatuck Valley, Connecticut where Waterbury Clock manufactured clocks affordable for working class Americans. The inexpensive yet reliable shelf and mantel clocks imitated expensive imported models. In 1880, sister company Waterbury Watch manufactured the first mechanical pocket watch. It's popularity quickly spread and the "Waterbury" would soon be found in Europe, Africa and Japan.

Waterbury Shelf Clock circa 1880

By the turn of the twentieth century, the company introduced the "Yankee" pocket watch, the first sold for just one dollar. Forty million would be sold over the next 20 years making the "Yankee" the world's largest seller. Everyone carried it, from Mark Twain to miners, farmers to factory workers.

During WWI, the US Army required WC to re-tool the Yankee into a convenient new wristwatch for soldiers. After the war, returning veterans continued to wear the handy timepiece. Civilians took them up in huge numbers as well. Over the next 30 years, the brand would grow in popularity through print advertisements, commercials, spokespersons and catchy slogans. The peak in popularity occurred in the 1970's (I think) when every other watch purchased in America was a Timex and the company dominated the low-priced market.

Timex Corp. created the first Mickey Mouse watch in 1933, introduced the Ironman Triathlon® in the 80s and in 1992 was the first to offer an electroluminescent watch face (i.e. the blue-green Indiglo® night light). I can proudly say I was the owner of all three during my childhood. [For the complete company timeline, click here]

Now, after more than 150 years of technological innovation, Timex is still ticking, offering a broad and diversified product line. Perusing the Timex website, I learned that their offerings include several product classes:
Below are a few watches that caught my eye.

Mens Classic Dress • $50

Mens Dress Casual • $50

Mens Style • $65

Mens Retrograde • $90

Mens Elegant • $100

T Series Chronograph • $150

TX 300 Series Perpetual Calendar • $450

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why Not? | Solid Jacket/Striped Slacks

How often do you see dark striped trousers paired with a dark solid jacket? I can't say I'm into the look but definitely intrigued.

[Photo from J. Lindeberg Fall 2010 collection found via Adentro Style]

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Patination of Brown

... is a beautiful thing.

Which brings me to the point of this post: leather shoes should be polished regularly. If you ask Will Boehlke of A Suitable Wardrobe it's because the gleam of the leather complements the silk of the necktie. If you ask me, it's because it just looks sharp and one appears more put together.

There aren't many men I know who polish their dress shoes (or maybe they just do a shoddy job). For those reading this who don't, let this be a wake up call. Give this age-old exercise a shot. After awhile it will become second nature like ironing your dress shirts. Don't do that either? Well then, you're just a mess.

Rest assured, you will be rewarded for your efforts. Polishing your brown shoes will result in a beautiful patina (think finish or glaze) over time. Shine 'em (or pay someone else to) on a regular basis and in time you'll be looking down at a richly patinated pair of brown dress shoes.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

More From the Reiss '08-09 Lookbook

I really enjoyed looking through the Reiss lookbook the other day, so I thought I'd share some more of it. Enjoy.


25% Off New Arrivals at Gap

This sale is online and in stores. Enter GAPNEW25 at checkout. Offer ends Sunday, Feb 21.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Inspiration | Trav

Oh boy, what a fantastic outfit put together here by Trav of Street Etiquette. I love the color combination. He scored this tweed blazer for $10 and then went to a tailor to have it taken in. Smart! So many great things to note here. Trousers from Topman. Yellow oxford from UNIQLO. The very popular Clarks suede desert boot. The belt. The mittens. The breast pocket on the blazer. I could go on and on. Nicely done, and all for a reasonable price!


Notes on Alterations

An informative Q&A by Mr. Dan Trepanier of The Style Blogger.

Part 1

Part 2

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Inspiration | The Shawl Collar

I'm gonna go way back to 2008 right now. The following photos are taken from the Reiss Fall Winter 2008-2009 Lookbook. I guess this means my Trend Spot post was a little late. Regardless, now more than ever shawl collared sweaters can be found everywhere and are still very fashionable. I'd predict you could wear the shawl collar for at least another year before it's officially dubbed 'totally played out'. Or maybe I'm just being ridiculous...

I'd prefer this look with a white shirt and dark tie underneath the sweater.

Cable knit sweaters are cool again.

[Found via Yupsterism]

Quote of the Day

"If you put your suit jacket on the back of a chair and lean back on it, your suit jacket will look as if you put it on the back of a chair and leaned back on it."


The same can be said for jackets and overcoats. I despise having my suit jacket/coat on the back of my chair. It can completely ruin the shape of the collar. That reminds me... my office needs a coat rack!

[Found via The Style Blogger]

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Plug for

If you would have checked on Tuesday at 1:30p, you would have seen this:

The Holden Southside Jacket in Pebble. Originally $269, Brociety was selling it for less than a hundo. Not a bad looking puffy at not a bad price.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Trend Spot | The Shawl Collar

Shawl collar cardigans and sweaters are everywhere now. But you probably already knew this. Take a look at some of my favorites that won't break the bank. (Click on the photos to link to an online store).

Lands' End Button-front Shawl Collar Linen Cotton Cardigan • $55.60

J.Crew Rustic Shawl Collar Cardigan • $88

Martin + Osa Riviera Shawl Cardigan • $69.50

Standard Double Breasted Cardigan sold at Urban Outfitters • $54

BDG Professor Shawl Collar Cardigan sold at Urban Outfitters • $48

BDG Toggle Shawl Collar Sweater • now $29!

Club Monaco Fletcher Wool Sweater • ?

Gap Four-Pocket Cardigan • $69.50

The Olympics?!!

Yes, the 2010 USA Olympic team's uniform for the Closing Ceremony includes a red and blue shawl collar cardigan by Ralph Lauren.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wish List | L.L. Bean Duck Boot

As mentioned in a previous post, I purchased a nice pair of Timberland Earthkeeper boots last winter - a decision I don't regret one bit. Whether it's accurate or not, I consider them my "snow boots" among other things. While they have been a great addition to my shoe collection, I now have my attention set on buying a nice pair of rain boots. The urgency of this purchase is even greater now that I've discovered my leather Timberlands are not 100% waterproof. Perhaps this was a foolish assumption. Regardless, I refuse to let the season's moisture in and compromise the warmth of dry socks.

I came across a photo of the L.L. Bean Duck Boot (pictured) in a recent issue of GQ and was quite impressed. My infatuation with the boots was a bit surprising to me as I always thought they looked ridiculous and uncool growing up. Lately, however, I've seen them around the city worn in a variety of stylish ways. If you're like me, and you can't bring yourself to get the knee-high Wellies, consider the duck boot.

This is what Jim Moore of GQ had to say about the new L.L. Bean Duck Boot:

"Alex Carleton, the ruggedly hip designer of Rogues Gallery, signed on recently to serve as the company's first creative collaborator in its ninety-nine-year history. The label challenged him to retain the brand's soul while jump-starting it for a new generation. Look no further than his shrewd reinvention of the original 1912 duck boot ($129). He replaced the leather upper with worn-in waxed cotton, making it the kind of boot you can just as easily wear on the streets of Manhattan as the coast of New England."

Deals | Filene's Basement President's Day Weekend Sale

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Essential | The Down (Puffy) Coat

When it gets cold outside, and when I say cold I mean like 8°F cold, you are going to need more than a wool overcoat and scarf to keep you warm. You need something that adequately retains your body heat while also protecting you from the elements. Enter the down coat. The down, or fine bird feathers, found in these coats provide an excellent thermal barrier by effectively trapping pockets of air. Consider the puffy a winter essential when the temperature drops. Personally, I never leave the house without one when it dips below 20­°F.

As an avid snowboarder, I have a couple down jackets in my collection of snow outerwear. In fact, if you are looking for a down jacket, I would venture to say a snowboard shop is a great place to look - high quality, waterproof material, fashionable cuts and patterns, and sturdy construction intended for use up in the mountains and in the snow for extended periods. Many brands offer styles with an urban influence that are intended to look good on the mountain as well as in town.

In terms of brands, Holden, L1 and Foursquare do an excellent job of balancing style and function. Allow me to highlight a few jackets in this arena, ideal for the slopes or the city. (Click on the photos to link to an online retailer)

Holden Puffy Woods Jacket in Black • $160-199
(Note: This jacket's insulation is not down but 180g high-loft polyester)

Holden Maplethorpe Down Jacket in Black Lotus • $199-263

L1 Mendenhall Down Jacket in Black Stripe • $299-340

Foursquare PJ Jacket in Black Rip Plaid • $225
(Note: This jacket's insulation is not down but 100g theremore)

Foursquare Ruff Jacket • $299-320

Bonfire Hoodoo Jacket in Mocha Herringbone • $113-140

Lastly, I'd be doing a disservice to you if I didn't include the link to my favorite site for my online snowboard gear shopping:

The site's tagline is "only chumps pay full price" and I couldn't agree more. Brociety offers one 'insane deal' at a time. As soon as one deal sells out, another pops up on the site. Most of the items are sold at 40%-60% off the retail price. Until recently, I praised the site for it's lifetime satisfaction guarantee. However, now it is a 30 day unconditional guarantee which still isn't bad.