Friday, February 26, 2010

Home Ec: You're Gonna Need Stitches

-The left pocket of all my jeans gets worn out. I walk with my left hand in my pocket usually, because my right is constantly busy fiddling with my iPhone (and before I had the phone, my iPod.) The left pocket on my favorite pair of Levi's is completely destroyed, so when the pocket of my Naked & Famous started to come unstitched, I decided to stop the destruction in its tracks with a bit of heavy-gauge thread.
-There are two reasons for this pretty insubstantial post. Firstly, I'm using this denim related item to tell people to check out Denim Debate. My column isn't live yet, but it should be this weekend. If you've not yet heard about the debate, go check it out, it's an inventive site that should become a great resource for style-minded folk.
-Secondly, I'm posting to say that the wireless network I've been stealing at my apartment has disappeared, and while I figure out what to do about that, insubstantial posts like this may be numerous. Bear with me, and be well.
DSC_0590 more

Monday, February 22, 2010

School Supplies: Spring Hill-Side

-The dopeness of The Hill-Side is nothing new to most of you. The label has been pushing the use of chambray beyond work shirts for awhile now. But when I first saw the brand's line of (then) scarves and ties (now expanded to pocket squares and bandanas) the one thought I had was "they need to add some color." I was perusing Blackbird's new stock and found this season's offerings from The Hill-Side. I'm very seriously considering grabbing this hickory-stripe number before it's gone. Most of my scarves are of the heavier winter variety. A light scarf can be a dangerous undertaking; it's easy to end up looking like an LA hipster. But if you employ a bit of Italian sensibility, I think it's a look that can be pulled off sincerely. I was a bit unsure about the 'natural' chambray, but the green stripe in the self-edge sets it off. The 'kyoto violet' dyeing is a bit deep for me to rock in the spring, but I would definitely consider it for early fall.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dress Code: The Early Spring Plaid

-Don't try to lecture me about quality suits. I know. Don't try to lecture me about proper footwear. I know. Grabbed this suit for $110 at H&M (don't lecture me about fast-food fashion, I know.) and thought it would be a fun piece to work into my spring wardrobe (after I find some workable black shoes.) Also, don't lecture me about vest-over-suit being a 'thing' that really shouldn't be tried. I know. Just working in a little early-spring PNW element. Grey is the ultimate complimentary color, really any solid shirt would work with this suit. I used the purple gingham, but probably wouldn't really take a patterned shirt/suit combo out in the street.
-As always, thanks to Grace for taking all my photos. more

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dress Code: My Take Ivy Take

-You've probably seen a few posts lately about bloggers' favorite looks from the iconic Take Ivy book (if you don't know what I'm talking about, check out this post on Start With Typewriters for a quick refresher.) Even though everyone is doing it, I decided to compile my favorite images from the book (though, I excluded many great images by only including style-related photos.) I usually differ a bit from most bloggers in my opinions on specific looks.
-As a child of semi-rural poverty, I've got a natural hatred of old money. But as a sartorialist, an appreciation for the importance of ivy style on American fashion is unavoidable. The thing that strikes me as brilliant, and that I think is probably absent on these campuses today, is the effortlessness. They didn't have to try to be stylish, or try to embody an ivy look, it was just part of their attitude.
-I also really dig that they, as I've often preached to the anti-umbrella Pacific Northwest, employ umbrellas as a means to wear what they want despite rain. They don't have to conceal their style beneath ugly raincoats. We need a return to this field of thought. Furthermore, I need to get some dope loafers. -Click the image for a huge version. That's all. more

School Supplies: DGK Tees

-I've been riding a DGK deck for about a year now and I love it. The pop has lasted throughout pretty regular sessions. Like most of us, I haven't rocked skate brand graphic tees since high school1, but I'm endorsing this series of prints. You can't last long in the 'business' of blogging if you let haters get to you, so I'm all about embracing the Dirty Ghetto Kids' mantra.
-If you've got enough ego to put your personal style out there for the anonymous masses to criticize, you're probably not going to let the haters affect your pride anyway (which leads to the question, why do they persist?) But until everybody has reached internet enlightenment, I take comfort in the fact that I get a lot more positive feedback than negative, and let Fabolous speak for me: "I adress the haters and under-estimators, and ride up on em like they escalators."
-Here's to hoping #Ulysses reads this post.
1- I actually own and occasionally wear a DGK shirt, but it's a shirt referencing Mike Tyson's Punch Out, and I'm a sucker for Nintendo nostalgia. Sue me.  more

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dress Code: The Early Spring Militant Pacifist

-I cut the collar off this safari shirt because it was awkwardly large. I've done that with two other shirts too. I like the end result. Try this tactic out if you've got an awkward collar. I probably wouldn't ever wear my dog tags like this, but they're aiding the military theme established by the safari/bow tie. more

Sunday, February 14, 2010

School Supplies: Sorel vs. L.L. Bean

-It looks like Sorel is trying to come up with an answer to the highly anticipated L.L. Bean Signature duck canvas bean boots. I dig Sorel, their Caribou boots are the real deal when it comes to rugged-ass cold-weather boots (check out Grace rocking her pair here.) But at the exact same price point and with very similar materials, this one looks like an attempt to keep up rather than to innovate. more

Design Major: Band of Outsiders NY F/W 2010

-I'm not going to do much commenting on NYFW, mostly because I haven't really seen anything I've liked, and because there are a lot of bloggers there who will be returning with more thorough first-hand accounts.
-But I'm a bit mystified by a lot of my colleagues' dislike of the Band of Outsiders collection. People are saying it's the same old Band style. I disagree. It was consistent with past Band aesthetics, yeah, that's a good thing. But the outerwear here is stellar, and unlike anything we've seen from BoO in the past. That yellow vest is great. It's playing off the workwear vest trend of the past year, but the color gives it a west coast flavor and kills the pretension associated with workwear/Americana niche sartorialists. Those sweats are great too. The tailoring was on point as per usual, and the shoes (as always) were great. Those deep green trousers are killer. The parkas, working a bit of tech into the collection, were a fresh addition to the BoO line.
-I'm not going to spend too much time arguing, but Band continually makes great clothes that can be dressed up or down. Everyday staples, impeccably made and re-imagined.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dress Code: Too Soon for Seersucker?

-I put these two looks together because they're based on the same madras + loose tie idea. For me, the short-sleeve button up is a dangerous item. It's easy to end up looking like Michael Bolton in Office Space If you're going to do it, go with something with enough flair that you won't be mistaken for an IT nerd (if you are an IT nerd, you'll just look better than the other nerds.) This is actually the only short-sleeve BD I own. I like that it has a button-down collar and I really love the button on the chest pocket.
-In the second look I just replaced the shawl-neck with a grey crewneck and my very under-used seersucker blazer. And if it wasn't clear enough, I'm definitely on the rolled jean sockless spring bandwagon. more

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dress Code: Winter/Spring Whites

-White jeans can be hard to pull off. When I do it, I make sure to make my other colors pretty muted.
-Check out Grace's take on the white/chambray look here. more

School Supplies: Seeing Red

-In middle school I wore an inordinate amount of red. I kept buying red and white skate shoes, and I had an unhealthy obsession with matching everything to my shoes. As I've matured, I think I've subconsciously avoided wearing red so as to not relive that dark sartorial period. But lately I've been really gravitating toward some bright red items. Whether it's used to add a pop of color on a cold winter day, or to usher in the beginning of spring, a singular piece of striking red will do you good.
-1 Inverallan for Inventory Items, I've regretted not buying this hat ever since it sold out. I've spent a lot of time looking for a suitable red beanie, but the shape and chunky knit of this one keeps me hoping they'll re-up.
-2 Wool Blend shirt from Aubin & Wills.
-3 Russel Athletic crewneck sweatshirt for a bit of childhood nostalgia (size down accordingly.)
-4 D.S. Dundee cardigan
-I would probably wear my red Polo socks with any of these pieces for a bit of added flair, but otherwise I would never put more than one bright red (or any other bright color) item in one look. I'm still looking for the optimum usage of my red Polo jeans though... more

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dress Code: The Early Spring Weekender

-I almost wrote about my yellow Burberry sweater for my COE Favorites Series contribution. In short, the sweater was a reckless purchase that worked out in the long run. It's probably my most under-utilized garment.
-As far as this look goes, I just got the chinos and have been trying to figure out what to wear with them (besides my go-to flannel.) The cashmere sweater classes up the chambray/chino ensemble a bit, and I included the windbreaker and umbrella to allude to the certain prevalence of rain as spring approaches. more

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dress Code: Grey and Pink Early Spring

-This spring, I'm rocking suspenders. I'll be sure to keep a smug grin on my face to let any potential haters know I'm serious about my steeze.
-I felt a little naked not wearing my belt, but I think the suspenders will actually do a better job at keeping my pants up. I've got thicker-band red pair I'm looking to pull out in addition to this pair. more

Budget Cuts: Support the Future of Class Act Video

-Nobody likes asking for money. But I've got a pretty sweet idea for the next episode in the Class Act video series, but I'm thinking that I'll need about $300 to pull it off effectively. So if you enjoyed our last video, and you'd like see what else we've got in store, donate using the badge on the right side of the page. Thanks for your support! more

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dress Code: The Early Spring Field Guide

-I'm the first to admit that spring isn't my strongest season. I've always been more inspired stylistically by the layering possibilities of fall and winter.  But right now the magazines and blogs are all buzzing at the arrival of spring collections. I've got no money for any big time spring acquisitions. So I've put together a couple early-spring (meaning NW early-spring, aka still cold) looks with the hopes of discovering some new takes on a few of the items already in my closet. This was mainly just for me to not feel bad about not getting anything new for spring, but hopefully it can inspire some of you to think about how you can effectively ride the seasonal transition. I'll be posting the rest of what I came up with in the coming days.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

School Supplies: The Sperry Upgrade

-First off, check out these new drops from Sperry (above.) They've added some height to the chukka and deemed it the 'chukka mid'. I think it looks good. I also like the grey (what do they call that, crushed leather?) Icy. Okay, that's out of the way.
-My go-to Top-Siders, which I've worn probably 86% of the time since I bought them in 2006, have finally worn a whole in the bottom. Now I can't wear them unless the ground is completely devoid of moisture. So today I began looking for a replacement pair, which was a little harder than I expected. I can't seem to find the exact, dark brown (non-glossy) leather that mine originally were. Perusing the site I found a couple almost suitable alternatives (clockwise from top-left below). The 75th anniversary model has great color and a simple silhouette and I was almost set on them. But then I realized how big the heel is. Look at that thing! It's like twice as high as a regular Top-Sider heel. I don't get down like that. I also like the darker soled Top-Siders better than their white-soled brothers. Next is this buffalo-plaid infused model which was, predictably, on sale. This one is kitschy and trend-biting, which is why I like it, but not enough to buy it. The grey with the dope redbrick sole is icy, but I need a Top-Sider that's toned down enough for near daily use. I also like my go-to shoe to match my go-to belt, so I'm sticking with brown. I think this last one, the authentic original boat shoe in sahara, may be the most suitable replacement to my old favorites. The color is a bit lighter, but I think I can dig that.

-However, the disconcerting thing about this search wasn't that I couldn't find an exact match, it was how much the price of Top-Siders has inflated since they've grown in popularity. My first pair was $40 at Nordstrom, and my second pair (these icy white ones, also 2006) were $60 (which seemed a little nuts at the time.) For awhile I encouraged people to check out boating stores for better, less hipster-raided deals on Top-Siders. I can't seem to find any good looking models for less than $60 anymore, which is kind of a shame for a great everyman shoe.
-Check out these odd Sperry white bucks, these are icy too. I might snag them for spring, depending on how much money I make next quarter. more

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

School Supplies: Rice Krispie Treats Cereal

-If you're only interested in posts about clothes and style, check back tomorrow, or um, in a couple days probably. This one is not for you.
-Let's start this journey sometime in the mid 90s, probably around 1996. Kids across America are overjoyed at the introduction of an amazing new cereal, Rice Krispie Treats. The cereal goes on to become the best-tasting cereal in the history of taste. Fast forward to, I dunno, 2000 maybe? The cereal disappears without explanation. Kids everywhere cry themselves to sleep (little do they know in the coming years another best-tasting-product in the world, Sprite Remix (original flavor) will pull the same disappearing act.)
-Fast forward to like 2005 probably. My dad is working in Michigan and spots the cereal in a grocery store. He sends me four boxes in the mail and I start to believe there is some sort of conspiracy trying to keep me from enjoying life on the West Coast.
-Fast forward to 2007, I'm telling the lamentable story of the cereal to a friend, that friend does some research and finds that the cereal can be ordered on You can even get it to come to your house every month like a subscription. I ordered two 4-box packages, but my lack of income could not sustain perpetual acquisition of the cereal. Fast forward to 2009. My cravings peak again and I order four boxes from Amazon. The fuckers take like 4 months to send them to me. Meanwhile I'm telling everybody about how cool I am for ordering cereal on Amazon, and someone informs me that they still have the cereal on the West Coat at fucking Wal-Mart! Fast forward to three days ago, see: me at Wal-Mart buying four boxes of the cereal. Fast forward to 20 minutes ago, see: me cracking open the third box of the cereal and deciding to post about it.
-See also: Frosted Mini Chex, Sprite Remix.  more