Tuesday Inspiration: Men's NYFW 2011

A lot of the time, we base pieces of our own style on some odd sources:
  • Jeff: home interiors & womenswear
  • Seth: story & foreign culture
  • Cam: the outdoors & historic events

We were checking out GQ's coverage of New York Fashion Week, and we noticed some diverging opinions between us. Seth was drawn to more textured items: tweed blazers, knit cardigans, wool slacks, leather gloves, camel hair overcoats—all pretty posh British and woodsy, maybe accented with a splash of color. I (Jeff), on the other hand, was all about the experimental shit: puffy coats, bright primary colors, leather belts cinched around trench coats, cuffs and high hems everywhere.

Here's one that stood out to both of us:

credit: gq.com // tommy ton
ABOUT: You might not have camel hair sport coat in your closet, but I happened to thrift one last year for 6 bones on a whim.
WHY: I've been exploring different ways to wear it and this is one avenue sans oxford cotton button down.

WHY THIS LOOK WORKS: It's a good balance of neutrals, texture and style. The neutral black denim and fun striped tee are broken up by the brown and copper belt, which creates a unique contrast. In the meantime, the worn wool cardigan tames the stripes topped off with a soft camel color. The camel-hair sport coat adds an element of softness while tying back the brown belt with the wooden buttons on the coat.
INSPIRATION: The camel hair blazer was a trend for womenswear this past fall, and I wanted in on the neutral action. That was part of my inspiration even while rocking it this past fall and winter.

Nudie Jeans "Thin Finn" dry, coated, black denim during winter sale for $75 from Standard Style; The Jones Store for Men camel hair blazer thrifted, $6; Grey cardigan thrifted, $2; J.CREW men's leather belt during winter sale, $3; American Apparel Striped Tee, $40.

photography by Jarred Donalson,
sorry you couldn't come to Oklahoma Joe's BBQ for lunch.

midweSTYLE: Taste the grainbow

It's still cold here in the Midwest, thus you still have some time to put more mileage of your Red Wings and break them in before they're reluctantly thrown into their seasonal retirement.

Gentlemen, today we're going to show how to look manly, outdoorsy, Midwestern or whatever you wanna call it and do it with some life.
Then, add a splash of color.
It never hurts, really.
Just not to your mixed drink or bank account balance.

The pop of the purple and green add a fun element if you don't want your whole look drowned out with colors of the grainbow.

It wouldn't be a Midwestyle post without a crotch thrust or slight hip swing. We're fresh out of college and miss the glory days of impromptu dance parties and the daily shenanigans of slumming around on East Campus. Please bear with us.

WHY THIS LOOK WORKS: This is an easy "Midwestern" look. You've got your khakis, your jacket and your boots. You've got everything to throw this look together. There isn't really anything "special" about this look.  Now,  just add some color. We aren't afraid of that, are we?
CHANGE IT UP: Add a button down with some color to show a little life in the home stretch of this winter season. Come on, you can do it.

thrifted J.CREW XS four-pocket jacket $6.99, J.CREW purple and green button down $12.99, rag & bone m2061555 for $40 in Chicago, Red Wing 8878 boot from Halls for $78, Fossil leather & canvas weekender from the good ol' Lake of the Ozarks Outlet Mall $60, Timex Camper Watch $18 on amazon

photography courtesy of college roommate and Kansas City denizen, Jarred Donalson.
thank you for answering my phone call even though you knew that I needed a favor.


Overheard: Ed Hardy

Overheard one bro at Nordstrom Rack in Chicago today:
"You gotta search through a lot of shit at this place. But every once in a while you can find a $100 Ed Hardy T-shirt for $50, and then you know you've got it."
This is why this blog exists.


FAVORITE: Duluth Pack, The Wanderer in Waxed Canvas

Last fall, upon deciding I needed a new backpack (I still get to wear backpacks after all because, well, I'm still in college), I went perusing the Internet to find a bag that was:

  • Made out of waxed canvas.
  • Made in the USA.

After primitively Googling these criteria, I landed on Duluth Pack's website. After reading about Duluth a bit, I was sold. The 128-year-old company's reputation was worthy of buying into: American-made, handcrafted gear. I was into it, and the Wanderer seemed to fit my taste and criteria the best, so I pulled the trigger. The bag was sold out, so I'd have to pine for it for another 2 weeks before it arrived.

The wait was well worth it. It's almost too spacious for my purposes, the main compartment (drawstring closure, with a top flap that buckles over it) holds my Mac, a slew of textbooks and journals, a thermos, and a sweatshirt with relative ease. The weight, almost surprisingly to me, didn't put much of a strain on my back, even with the unpadded straps. The side and front compartments were perfect for holding anything else I may need to carry (cords, external hardrive, water bottles, writing utensils, iPod, etc.).

Overall, the carrying capacity was far beyond expected, in a good way. My favorite aspect of the bag has been the waxed canvas; it eliminates all worry about taking it out in snow or rainfall and shows wear in subtle, but eye-catching ways. If you're looking to replace an aging North Face (not hating on NF, just saying) or your old high school Jansport (again, I love Jansport), and are looking for a company worth investing in for said replacement, I'd urge you to check out Duluth Pack. I promise, this bag is worth every penny.

Oh, did I mention it's guaranteed for life?


Jobbing it in Chi-city, part three

When it comes to an interview, you want your personality to shine, but not too much.Sexy, but not too sexy.
Show some skin, but not too much skin.
A little ankle, maybe some cleavage, but hey, this ain't no free show.
Dressy, but not too dressy.

What better way to show your personality and character but through an awful '70s-looking retro tie? Thrifted, of course.
Psh, you think I'll pay full price for a 100% silk tie when my student loans are sky high?

Natural leather belt from URBN $4.99, Baldwin 14oz Karabo "the Henley," American Apparel blue oxford button down, Billtornade sport coat, thrifted awful retro tie $1, thrifted diagonal stripe tie bar $1, Filson tote without zipper.

Thrifty Thursday: Brown/navy/forest striped necktie

Came across this tie in Westport, KC, for a couple of bucks. I dig the mix of brown/mustard & navy & green.

100% silk & no name brand. Skinny, too.


Jobbing it in Chi-city, part two

For my second day of interviews*, I didn't wear a tie or a dress shirt. It was cold, and I wanted to be warm yet still professional....looking....sort of. The day before, I picked up the perfect sweatshirt from Jack Spade and I really wanted to wear it on this dreary day. Why not be comfortable and stylish, so I pulled an "easy card" and threw a sport coat over it. Really, that's all it takes. Just put a freaking blazer or sport coat (that fits, mind you) over your top.

It was a drab day in the city with my concrete camouflage outfit.

I think what made this outfit work was the slim fitting sweatshirt under the sport coat. The shark socks were a nice little touch to let you know that in fact, I do have a soul and a sense of humor. Sharks are always funny, right?

Billtornade grey wool sport coat, Marc by Marc Jacobs slim fit trousers, Jack Spade "Burkee" sweatshirt sale $62.50 reg $120, Nordstrom 1901 blue suede bucks sale $44 reg $99, Merona for Target shark socks $2.50 (you can get these now at your local Target, along with spiders, skulls, shamrocks and flamingos.

*These weren't really interviews. These were more or less prearranged times to informally meet important people, smile and match my face to that resume as I handed it over. Brownie points awarded to make note on the color of my resume.


One sport coat, three looks.

Jeff's still here. We also got a little carried away with the camera. The lens brought out the worst best in us, and Jeff wanted to show how one sport coat can be used in a variety of different looks.

Jeff: You do not need many jackets or sport coats in your wardrobe. Perhaps a blue blazer and a grey sportcoat. Whatever is your style and the season. However for the winter, I got my hands on a grey sport coat and having been experimenting with different ways to wear it. 3 looks, 1 sport coat. The sport coat is a Billtornade one, shrunken size small. I'm 6'2 and about 150lbs, soaking wet.

WORK: Ok, not so professional. Gotta stay on the grind.
Baldwins "the Henley", Filson tote, 1901 blue bucks.

CASUAL: Why not throw a blazer over your sweatshirt.
Jack Spade slim fit crewneck, Marc by Marc Jacobs slim fit slacks.

PLAY: Striped tee and sport coat. Sure.
American Apparel tee, Gant by Michael Bastian F/W destroyed khakis, thrifted Bass shoes.

Why you need a good sportcoat?
WORK: Throw it on over a button down for an interview.
CASUAL: Throw it on over a sweatshirt so you make your look at little more put together but comfortable.
PLAY: Throw it on over a t-shirt and pray for the coming of spring to arrive with some stripes.

Go ahead and throw a sportcoat over your t-shirt and jeans, hell, even try it over a slim-fitting sweatshirt.


Jobbing it in Chi-city

Jeff—dude on the left—came to visit Chicago (but probably more importantly to interview for some jobs this week.)

Clad obnoxiously in a bright-yellow windbreaker, he was waiting outside the El station, and I joked that I was glad I got to him before the ruffians did.

Jeff loves playing dress-up, so I made some photos of his job-hunting attire before he went to meet some folks in the local menswear world. I was especially intrigued (read: envious) with his jeans from Baldwin Denim. They're damn comfortable, not to mention they're near and dear to our hearts for being home-grown in Kansas City, Mo. Really, they deserve their own post—which they'll get soon when we take a look at the finer elements of denim and the story a good pair of selvedge jeans tells about the wearer.

One of these days, I'll also take a look at the price points in men's style—and maybe get to the bottom of why in the hell Esquire, one of the best magazines ever, thinks you should pay a couple thousand bucks for a pea coat.

Jeff- You can thank me, your PR flak and life coach, later. I accept payment in booze, gold ingots, jewels, stories or Baldwin jeans.

Baldwin denim 6months, no wash "the Henley" dry stretch $198, Filson Canvas tote $40 - reg $80 (ebay), Nordstrom 1901 blue suede bucks $44 - reg $99, American Apparel White Oxford Button down $50, J.CREW leather belt $4.99 - reg $25, Timex Camper Watch $18 - reg $25 (amazon), Thrifted Van Heusen tie $1, Thrifted antique rifle tie bar $6, Billtornade Wool Small Blazer $210 - reg $680.

Thrifty Thursdays: Sergio Valente brown neck tie

All winter, I searched for a grey wool tie, but alas, a brown tie will have to do. And for $1 and being skinny? Okay, twist my arm.

I don't know who you are Sergio Valerie Valente, but your brown tie is beautiful. Go America.


eBay: Steven Alan Vintage Hiking Parka

In the vein of Jeff's post on Steven Alan's spring looks, and considering I love outerwear for all seasons, I jumped on eBay to start looking for spring jackets and parkas in preparation for the rainy days on my college campus. I happened upon the Steven Alan Vintage Hiking Parka.

credit: shopedropoff

There's a seller who's got a decent stock of these things and they're going for right around a hundred bucks (they retailed around $400). Granted, they are a season or two old, but a perfect jacket like this is timeless. If you've got the means, I highly suggest trying to pick one up.


happy valentines day

thrifted made in america pink plaid tie $1, rifle tie bar $5,
american apparel small white oxford $55, billtornade wool sportcoat $220 (reg: $680)
baldwin 14oz karabo "the henley" $198, skull-and-crossbone socks from target $2.50 and thrifted bass captoe shoes $5

Cheers, gentlemen.



My favorite looks from Steven Alan's Spring 2011 Lookbook. I'll just go ahead and assume that Cam would pick the same looks as his favorite, too. Steven Alan's shirting is always spot on with a tailored fit. I haven't tried his shorts, but I'm sure it's spot on as well.

Mid-thigh shorts, bucks and sharp button-downs. Throw in a fedora and a bow-tie? Yes, please. You're speaking my language, Mr. Alan. Short shorts and bright colors. 


Friday Find: Jack Spade Under $150 bags

I've had the number dialed into my phone before, seconds away from calling to order this bag:
jack spade bag in navy/green was $225, now $97.50
jack spade bag in red/purple was $195, now $136.50

Why you need a bag like this: You're not in college anymore. I've always liked tote bags and hated carrying a messenger bag/crossbody. I never liked TimBuk2 bags when it comes to the commuting supplies. I'm sure they are totally worth it, but not my style. My Filson Tote can be a little drab with the colors and I like a pop every once in awhile, plus these would look dope in spring & summer.
And if you're not ready for some color, then grab one of these:
jack spade bag in brown/black was $195, now $136.50
3 Jack Spade tote bags for under $150 bucks a pop? Deal.

Friday Find: Vanishing Elephant Wingtip Oxfords

Badass color. These would look sick with a pair of dark selvedge denim, white buttondown and a grey fitted blazer. Moneymaker shoes, right here. Thanks Blackbird for the sick find.
vanishing elephant "collins" in rust brown was $288, now $172.99 
Vanishing Elephant available at BlackBird.


FAVORITE: rifle tie bar

Hands down, er, guns down. This is one of my most prized tie bars/men's accessories.

rifle tie bar found $6 at timeless treasures antique mall

It's noticed every time I wear it. So dope.



We got featured over at "It's Worn." It's worn is a great curation of jeans, shoes and items that look good with some age to them. I love those Sperrys, man. I still rock them. Thanks, It's Worn.  Look out for some future submissions!

HAVE: red wing boots

It was literally my lucky day as I strolled into Halls (downstairs) looking to clean up on some stagnant fall & winter sales.  Low and behold, a pair of Red Wing 8878 Lifestyle Java boots were the last ones left in my size.
  Regular: $235, Sale: $78

I somehow had made it through this winter so far without a pair of great boots. I mean, I've got an old beat up pair that look dope from the many years that my dad wore them. However, I wanted a pair of my own, some that I could break in myself. These are a staple in your wardrobe, gentlemen. Go look right now because the winter sales are closing soon with the sizes being snatched up.

Thrifty Thursday: shovel & diagonal stripe tie clip

I like tie bars. A lot. These little numbers were added to my collection at $2 a pop. I found these next door to ReRuns Store in Westport Antique Mall.

shovel tie clip $2

diagonal tie clip $2
I think the diagonal tie clip will look dope along matching diagonal stripes or even a plaid.



I am a huge (HUGE) Avett Brothers fan. Their recent rise to popularity first struck a bitter chord to me (I've been a listener since 2005 - I was 14) and I became protective of their music and my own fanhood. I've grown out of that stage, however, and I'm glad to share them with the rest of the world, mostly because I think everyone should know how incredible their music is. Somewhere in there, though, I think everyone should have the chance to stare at Scott Avett. Aside from playing banjo in the Avett Brothers, Scott enjoys painting, making prints and posters for his own shows, and (not) grooming his beard. If I could have the pogonotrophy of any other human on the face of the Earth, it would be Scott. Also, born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, raised in Concord, North Carolina - Scott Avett is the definition of Americana. What is more American than a banjo? You're right, nothing.

United States of GOOD Beer // good.is

the united states of GOOD beer via GOOD
Representing the better half of the state of Missouri, Boulevard Brewing Company took the title. As a local Kansas City native, I'm glad to support our local brewery that consistently produces amazing craft beers. Although, I do love a summer Weach from O'Fallon and I've got some Coffee Stout from Schlafly in the fridge right now, I'm glad my hometown took the title. So far I've drank beer from Alaska Brewing Company, Nimbus, New Belgium, Dogfish Head, Landshark, Free State, Abita, Flying Dog Brewery, Bells, Big Sky Brewing Company, Granite City and Full Sail. I think that's about it... Dogfish Head and Bells are among my other favorites that I've had.

I'll go ahead and tack this map on my wall alongside my "To Drink:" list.


HAVE: camel hair sportcoat

I'm not tired of winter, just tired of wearing so many dark colors. So a little life was brought to my outfit today. 100% Camel Hair Sportcoat, son. 

"Jones Store" camel hair sport coat size 38L ($8) , American Apparel Small Oxford ($58),
Kenneth Stevens thrifted tie ($1)

Poor tie job, I know. Rocking this with some 14oz Karabo Baldwins and some blue suede bucks.

spring 2011 (pictured) fall 2010 brick bottom bucks (similar) $50

The camel hair breaks up the monochromatic look of blue shoes, blue jeans, blue shirt, and blue tie. No socks, of course. It's not THAT cold. Happy Sunday, gentlemen.
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