Thursday, September 30, 2010

Coming to a blog near you......

Pictures of me in stylish clothes, but not stylish situations at recent birthday parties. I have two to share...will post tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Raccoon coats and penants.

My how things have changed, and I am not convinced for the better. I was looking at a french blog the other day and the author posted a few pages from what appears to be a 1962 Esquire magazine. The picture definately said more than the tiny exert at the bottom, but basically its a picture of a couple of clothing racks which is said to be the "basic college wardrobe", from 1962 that is. They address how the jackets are to look that year (this is assuming that everyone wears a jacket) and how many shirts you should have and what color. Shoes, hats, ties, etc are all shown in the picture. I thought to myself how many college men these days even own a single suit or jacket. It sounds pesimistic, but I doubt the average college student would even know how to buy one. I am almost tempted to go to a college campus and see if I can find one single person dressed well, and by well I mean something other than jeans or shorts, t-shirts, flip flops, aka crap. I mean, what's wrong with showing others respect by dressing before you head out fo the door? Why is comfort in clothing to the point of almsot visual laziness the main goal of the day? My new promise; never to buy anything that would be described as a "graphic tee", anything that is "relax fit", and never to wear a pair of flip flops in any place that is not a beach or a poolside. Now I know that those of you who know me, know that this is a pretty easy promise for me, but let's just say I want to get it down on paper. I need to find someway of challenging todays men of dressing a little better each day, until this kind of ad is run in Esquire again.


So, I said I would update and I really haven't. So, here's the latest. Cabana set is almost finished, took a bit longer than expected but might get one wear in before stowing it away for next year. Looks awesome. The Hilfiger project is coming along. Removed pocket with no problems other than testing my patience, and also put in button hole on back of collar and sewed in button. So far so good. Going to pin it tonight and see about taking the sides. If there was anything else that you were waiting on, update wise, please let me know. I know you are all on the edge of your seats.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Experiment

Not too long ago I went to a "sale" at Steinmart. Normally I never find anything there, but you never know when a sale might produce some socks or undershirts or something that you can use for the price. It was as I suspected, loads of stuff I would normally never buy or wear no matter how much the discount was. Having said that, I did buy a Tommy Hilfiger button down shirt. I know, what was I thinking?! Well, to tell the truth, it didn't have any logo's blazoned on it, it had a great collar, and the checked material used was fantastic. Throw in the fact that it was only $9 on sale, then I couldn't really pass it up. As some of you may or may not know, Rachel and I recently purchased a sewing machine. My goal is to take this $9 shirt and turn it into something I would wear. Here's what I plan to do; put a button at the back of the collar, remove the front pocket (it has a hole), and slim down the body of the shirt. I think this is a good way to learn or practice basic skills and if it fails miserably, well, then I am only out a $9 Hilfiger shirt. No tears. Here's a before pic showing the huge body of this shirt and how shabby it looks. Hopefully the next update with show a better shirt. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Six of one, half a dozen beers of the other.

So, here's the scenario. I am watching an auction on eBay AND I have to go to the bar around the same time it ends. I was hoping to be done and home by the end, make my bid, and win. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. So, I have to wonder, which vice is more important? Normally I would say clothes, obviously, but sometimes the liquor gets my vision clouded. I was supposed to drop off some wrapping paper to a friend who was working tonight, then have ONE drink ( I know, stop laughing) and then head home and catch the auction. But, in my defense, friends showed up. I am kinda upset, but I have to really take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If I layed it all out on paper, you would judge, and that's my job on this site. Let's just say that I had a few tasty cocktails tonight, and that might be for the best. Otherwise, I would have added a fifth pair of bowling shoes. Don't judge.

P.S. I know a few of you tried to catch me tonight with jeans....try again suckers! I have been true to my promise.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm into leather.

More than you wanted to know, but not what you think. After some delays and problems, I got my leather tobacco pouch today. Kinda excited. I got a leather roll up tobacco pouch off eBay and the guy originally set me the wrong one, so I contacted him and after a few emails he sent the correct one (without the tool or humidifier disk I might add). I had been taking the tobacco with me in the same little plastic bag they give to you at the store, it worked, but lacked a certain sophistication I thought. I wanted something to carry it all together and have it not look like a tackle box of paraphernalia. The purchase seems to work well for this. The inside is lined with a rubber like plastic and should keep everything fairly fresh once I add the humidifier disk; so here's a shot of it open next to a pipe and tamper, then there's a picture of it rolled up next to a pipe to show size. I think once I get my fancy pants lighter that I have yet to pick out, then I should be complete in the pipe world. For a while at least. My extra favorite part of it? Well, that would have to be the fact that it's made of leather, and it was made in India. Guess those cows aren't so sacred after all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The daily deal

Once again, the sirens beckoned. Went with Rachel to look for shoes and other goodies for her and while I was waiting by the dressing rooms I had a look around in the men's section of Nordstroms Rack. I looked at the pocket squares with no real intention of buying, but they had these 100% silk squares for $5!! They were Nordstroms own and were pretty fantastic. I mean, if you are going to buy something made in China, you could do a lot worse than silk, I mean, they invented the stuff. I grabbed a handful, but after walking around with them I settled on two. I got a burgundy one to match with a tie I got previously and a pink one for the light grey suit I plan on getting (someday). So, if you like pocket squares, definitely give these a look, you can't go wrong for the price.

Friday, September 17, 2010

60% of the time, it works everytime

Cologne, it's the male equivalency of perfume, just with a manlier name. I was never a huge fan of cologne, instead I would opt for a lime scented deodorant. Yeah, that right, lime. Unfortunately, they discontinued the product and I was faced with a conundrum as I didn't want to go the regular Brut or CK1 road with all the other Christmas gift set crowd. I was wasting time at a local banana republic one day while shopping and I came across SLATE, one of their brands....and I have to say, it's pretty good. In fact, I was surprised how good all their products were. And here's the key to a good perfume or cologne; obviously it has to smell nice, but also the better the quality, the less linger time it has after you leave. You want the scent to be in tune with your presence. If you are gone, the aroma is gone. If you leave and the smell is still there, then its a cheap scent and you are wearing too much. I usually only were it out during the evening, and even then, very lightly. So guys, don't be afraid or think it's feminine to want to smell nice. Trust me, the women in your life will appreciate it. In fact, get them involved and have them go with you when trying new ones, you'd be surprised on the impact that will have. Also, think of it as a seasonal thing, opting for different scents for different times of the year. And before you ask, yes, Sex Panther is actually available.

Grown Up Garanimals

Recently I wrote about getting some new ties and throwing out old ones (by the way, anyone need a bag of old skinny ties?). As I was going through my old ones and deciding who made the cut and who didn't, I ran across a brand of ties that I remember buying a lot, Wembley. They were usually all silk and had some nice colors or patterns to them. But the one feature I recall the most, was that one the back of the ties, they usually had they're little tag with their name and then a small tag below it, telling you what color suit to wear it with, "wear with brown or olive suit" or "wear with blue or black suit". This always cracked me up. I mean, was this such a hard thing to do? I know these ties were made a while back, but seriously? I included a sample advert from them and you can even see the fabled "color guide" being advertised. All I could think of was Garanimals. If you aren't familiar with this, Garanimals is a brand of children's clothing that started back in the early seventies and the concept was that children could dress themselves by matching tags on clothing items with animals. So, a pair of shorts might have a giraffe label inside, so you could wear it with any other Garanimals shirt that had a giraffe as well. There were hippos, bears, zebra's etc etc. Basically this was what Wembley was doing, ...dressing children. On the other hand, I have seen men wear some god awful suit and tie combo's that make me think that either Wembley needs to make a come back or Garanimals needs a new adult line.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This world isn't black and white....

So why should your socks? It seems that most men have two sock colors, black dress or white sports. Is that it? Really? The space between your shoe and trouser hem is virtually untapped marketing space. It has tremendous possibilities! I wore the black knit that I recently bought out to cards the other night and this particular knit has accents of blue, yellow, and white within the shirt. I opted to pair it with some grey mohair trousers I had and black shoes. This was looking a little too somber and I felt it needed to be brightened up, so I reached for the old faithful, the socks. Think of socks as pocket squares for when you are not wearing a jacket. I had a pair of yellow socks with a grey window pane pattern that matched the trousers and the yellow from the knit perfectly. Every step showed a glimpse of these beauties. As I sat, just enough sock showed to catch your eye and complete the outfit. Once again, the picture does not do it justice. Now, I am not saying to run out and buy a bunch of kooky colored rainbow socks ala Doug Henning or Gallagher. You have to put some thought into it and match it with a tone represented elsewhere in your garb, otherwise you'll end up looking like...well, Doug Henning or Gallagher. But there are so many colors to choose from and with a little looking, you'll find them. I picked a few pairs from my own closet to show what's readily available. The pink and yellow are Pantherellas (expensive, but awesome), the bright blue I got at a pimp store (it's great living on the east side), the red were some dead stock vintage, and honestly I forget what brand the striped ones were. The good thing about socks is that they are relatively inexpensive and so you have room to experiment.  So take a chance, and give it a go. (obligatory "sock 'it to them" remark was removed for matters of good taste)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Me Chinese, me play Joker.

Childish? Unoriginal? Maybe slightly racist? Probably, but I could not resist that title for this one. Either way, I think I have gone completely off the deep end on my latest possible addition. Don't ask me how, when, or why, but I was playing on eBay, as you do, and I ran across this jacket as part of a Joker costume from China. Here's the deal, you send them your measurements, they make this and send to you, pretty simple. I know it's part of a costume and not meant for actually everyday use. I know its modeled off a comic book super villain. And yes, I know its probably such a bad idea, but I just can't stop thinking of it. I think it looks awesome and I would probably wear it out. I dig the color, the lapels, the size of the pocket flaps, etc etc....the lining looks a bit cheap, but that can always be replaced. I don't know. Am I completely crazy for considering this?? Oh, and I wouldn't wear the gloves.....that's a bit too strangler/rapist for me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I was torn, but not torn enough.

Sunday, as usual, I went to my parents to visit and do a little work around the house (it was flooding during this past rainstorm, so I removed their bedroom flooring). Anyways, on the way there I have to past Nordstroms Rack, and I can say first hand that I know what Ulysses felt like when he first heard the Sirens. So, my boat crashed into their parking lot and I went in to have a look around. A lot of nope, nope, and maybes. Just when I was about to leave, I saw some sweaters against the far wall and thumbed through those, nothing still, then I looked down and saw some Ben Sherman short sleeve knits almost hidden away. They looked great and I decided to try them on. I was happy with the fit, but damned it Mr Sherman didn't put his logo's all over the thing. There's the new logo he has, the shield, on the front, and then the traditional script logo on the sleeve. Why can't designers just leave these off??? But, at least they were embroidered in the same color s the back ground material and it wasn't THAT noticeable. I crunched and bought two, a black and a blue one. The pictures don't do them justice. They're 100% cotton that is thin and almost feels like sea island cotton (yes, that fine). If you ever get a chance, try some sea island cotton, makes Egyptian feel like horse hair stuffing. So, they also have an almost woven waffle pattern on the front and the contrasting colors. They don't look as good on the form as in person on yours truly as I am not as barrel chested as my stand in. I liked them so much, that I didn't let the logo's bother me. Plus I figure this is another item I can cross off my list until I write more in....which reminds me, venetian loafers....well great, gotta go update now.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


As you may or may not know, bamboo has been used for fabric for several years now and it's absolutely awesome. I like bamboo for several reasons; it's a fantastically renewable source, it wears like cashmere, and it's great for hot weather. Another schadenfreude reason is that it shuts those "legalize it" people up a little. Makes hemp clothing feel like a burlap bag, so stick that in your hacky sack and kick it. I have been buying small items like shirts and socks made of bamboo sporadically for a while, but I think it's time to invest more heavily. This all came to me as I reached for a pair of socks today, they fit great on my tiny dainty feet, they breathe easy, and they retain their color well. You can get them at pretty much any large department store or even online. I have seen a few sports coats made of the material and its very elegant material (or can be). I'm going out today, and I will specifically be looking for bamboo. To tell the truth, I have yet to see any real drawbacks to it, unless it attracts panda's as wool attracts moths, then we are going to have a problem. I'll kill a panda.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A picture is worth a thousand words

Don't worry, I am not going to write a thousand words. While writing the post on "jerks", I watched my favorite college movie again and always loved this scene. In fact, I think a lot of this one scene is going on my new "to get" list and I might even mimic the entire ensemble. A proper blazer with brass buttons, blue oxford Brooks Brothers shirt (just look at that roll!), grey slacks (I'll omit the cuffs), brogues, a perfect trifold pocket square, and a nice stein for midday lawn drinking, hell, I might even get the ascot. Top it all off with a short and tight haircut, and that's a look to be reckoned with. Is it bad that I look forward to fall in the same manner that a child looks forward to Christmas?

Monday, September 6, 2010


My father was a pipe smoker and I picked up the habit as well. Recently he gave it up due to various reasons, but his decision has been my good fortune. After my last visit to my parents house, I was given a large wooded box full of pipe, pipe tools, tobacco, various lighters, and other paraphernalia. I took stock of my new windfall and found out that I had scored big time;
  • 3 Peterson of Ireland pipes
  • A Soren, Knute, and a Stanwell all from Denmark
  • A Savinelli, Armellini, and a H.I.S. from Italy
  • A good ol' Dr. Graybow
  • A wellington from the US
The center middle one is one that I had been smoking for a few years now, and it's one that my father hand made and of course my favorite. There were some more but I felt this was more than enough to show off. As soon as the workshop is back to operation it's going to be a week of cleaning and polishing these babies. The only thing I need now is a proper tobacco pouch (on it's way via post I might add) and a good lighter. I have been eyeing the IM Corona pipemaster form quite some time now, so it's been a done deal as far as I am concerned, just waiting for the right deal to turn up. Until then, it's off to enjoy a nice smoke and enjoy the rest of my evening. Ta ta old bean.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Carlo the Jackel

It's no secret, I am a huge fan of vintage (or vintage range) of Italian knits shirt. One of my all time favorite makers is an Italian brand by the name of Roberto Carlo. I'm not going to lie, the quickest way to my heart is not only through my stomach, but also the Mr. Carlos' fine knits. Leonardo Strassi, Gabicci, and even Ban Lon are nice, but Roberto rarely lets me down. One of the first I purchased was this long sleeve black number with white saddle stitching, two small waist pockets, and fully buttoning front. Pairs great with a pair of mohair slacks and is a nice dressy casual look. ( I actually have a twin of this shirt in a light blue as well). You can compare it to the Lock Stock genre, but truth be told, Mods and sticksmen have been wearing them for years. The sizing can be a bear as they are made for Italians, and not big barbarian westerners (this one is actually an XL). I am always on the search for more, so if you see any, drop me a line, a possible finders fee could be involved. The down side is that I am not aware if the company is still around. If you know otherwise, please let me know. Definitely a fall garment around here, but that's just around the corner, isn't it?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday night live

Apparently a friend and mine missed out on a larger card game last night, so off to tonight usual game, wish me luck! Opting for a maroon and white striped, beagle collar button via from DNA Groove, some light grey mohair trousers I had made up a while back, and thinking of pairing it with a pair of either the cord bowling shoes of black leather chisel toes. Either way, I'll also be wearing a black leather belt with full silver buckle. Trying to keep true to my "no jeans after six" rule. Now, to iron the shirt and practice no blinking wildly when I have those pocket aces.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another one bites the dust

As mentioned in previous posts, I keep a "list" of clothes that I need, want, am looking for, etc etc. One of them was a pair of proper grayish silver sharkskin trousers. Who else but DNA Groove helped solved that problem. I have been ordering from DNA off and on for years now as they have a superb selection of shirts, trousers, suits, shoes, and everything else you can imagine for a mans wardrobe. When I saw that they had a pair offered, I snatched them up. One of the great things about DNA is the fact that he only makes small runs of clothes, so you need to get while the gettin's good, or they will not be offered again. Low rise hipsters with a slight kick out at the hem, frog mouth pockets and flap back pocket all with hand stitching. Well, after getting them back from the tailors for hemming, I officially crossed that off the list. One small step towards an awesome wardrobe, one giant step to maybe working this list down to one page some day.