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Alden for Unionmade | Milkshake Collection

January 12, 2016

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I dated this girl named Brandi in high school who would always want to go to McD’s and hit up chocolate milkshakes that she would then heavily spike with her Dad’s stolen Jim Beam. It sounds like rebellious fun and somewhat delicious but in actuality she would pour way too much Beam into the shake and pretty much pass the hell out while I’d drive around. After awhile it made me feel like I was simply a chauffeur for a narcoleptic high school cheerleader with severe alcohol problems. After we broke up I made it a rule to only take girls to Taco Bell.

Price and purchase info on the Alden Milkshake Collection at Unionmade.

David Bowie | Paragon

January 11, 2016

What have we learned from the late, great David Bowie? When opting for a jacket, shoot for suit or leather. Smiling is overrated; harness the power of the leer. The first order of business in all of life is being yourself.

New Balance | ML2016

January 10, 2016

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I never really thought I would thirst for a New Balance like I would the 998’s but these ML’s just might make me break it off with the 998’s or at the very least, opt for an open relationship. Polyamorous sneaker arrangements are dernier cri for 2016.

More info at Need Supply.

Warby Parker | Windsor Clip-on Collection

December 22, 2015

When I’m out and about, I despise the fact that I wear glasses. Sure, I’ll break out the contacts for exuberant activities, but they often leave my eyes looking high and feeling dry in a matter of minutes. But when I’m engaging a less than taxing task outdoors, I’m cursed to carry both prescription sunglasses along with my regular frames (and don’t get me started on the horrors of photochromic/transition lenses). So when W.P. introduced their newest line-up with the Windsor clip-on, I was sold.

I imagine clip-on style sunglasses have an odd origin story or at the very least, beginnings based in practicality and frugality. But peculiar as the idea might seem, something about the clip-on qualities yield a lively utilitarianism that paradoxically plays well together. And as good as these look, I’m honestly just glad I’ll be able to stop toting two pairs of glasses every time I leave the house.

More images and info at Warby Parker.

The Ubiquitous Holiday Gift Guide

December 17, 2015

Plenty of places pump out buyer guides for gear you can get for the holidays and while that’s fine and good, my own twist for this Ubiquitous Holiday Gift Guide is that it’s filled with items I’ve had a first hand experience with owning. So with that in mind, on with the show and a few of my favorite items I own that any man would enjoy unwrapping during the holidays (or anytime after). Click out on the titles for more details and purchase info.

Alden | Unlined Snuff Suede Chukka

Easily the shoe I wear the most day in, day out. The unlined chukka is one of the most comfortable “dress” shoes you can ever have the hope of wearing and the snuff suede only gets better with age. Outsiders might tell you that the one pair of Alden’s you should own is the Indy (which I own as love as well) but the initiated will gladly inform you that the Unlined Snuff Chukka is really where it’s at.

The Hill-Side | Scarf

Scarves can easily be overlooked but a great scarf can be worn repetitively year after year and adds a level of warmth both literally and figuratively to any attire. Without question, my favorite scarves are from the Hill-Side. I can’t remember the last scarf I wore that wasn’t a Hill-Side scarf. Call me loyal or narrow-minded if you will but I’ve yet to find any that do the job with such function and distinction.

Filson | Pullman Duffle Bag

I’ve been traveling with my Pullman for a good number of years now and can’t laud enough praises on its capacity and durability. For a reasonably sized carry-on, you can cram it quite full and the strap snaps on the inside make packing less of a chore, keeping everything in its place. Every time I travel, I thank myself that I own it.

General Knot | Tie

Wearing a tie to work most days, I’ve amassed quite the collection over the years. Few, if any, get the amount of complements as the one’s from General Knot. A tie is often one of the few pieces of clothing a man wears where he gets to show some panache without going full blown peacock. GK hits the perfect balance with offering unique vintage fabrics that stand out from the crowd yet never seem to scream, “look at me.”

Patagonia | Torrentshell Jacket

Look, for $129 American dollars, this jacket is a bargain. I can’t imagine a downpour in which I’d need more protection and the paper thin packability is uncanny for a jacket that holds back the elements with such ease. Affordable, functional and unadorned in the best possible way, this is as good as an adventure style rain jacket gets.

Gitman Vintage | Oxford

More days of the week than not I’m in an oxford shirt and more often than not that oxford shirt is made by Gitman Vintage. The proportions are trim without being tight and I’ve worn and washed most of them numerous times. Yet somehow they always seem no worse for the wear and ready to face another day at the office or out on the town.

Levi’s | Type III Trucker

There are plenty of denim jackets a man can proudly own. And while I own more than one style from more than one brand, the most wearable in any occasion is the Levi’s Type III Trucker. It’s simply a classic that every man should consider having ready and waiting in his closet.

Persol | Folding Sunglasses

What man doesn’t secretly (or not so secretly) want to emulate Steve McQueen in most facets of his life? Honestly, when I bought these Persol Folding Sunglasses a few years ago, I had Steve in the back of my mind. And while McQueen emulation has become somewhat passé with the passing of the Americana trend, and I never really take advantage of the folding feature all that often, they keep the sun out of my eyes and look pretty good doing it. I really can’t ask for too much more from a pair of sunglasses.

Rogue Territory | Officer Trousers

RT makes damn good denim, of which I own many pairs and would highly recommend, but they’re often under the radar on their chino line up. The khaki color Officer Trousers are certainly a staple in my weekly wardrobe. Rugged and refined, they pretty much work for any occasion outside of black tie event.

J.W. Hulme | Portfolio Briefcase

Like many, many other men, I carried a Filson Briefcase for years but wanted to step up into something in full leather. For that, I went with this Portfolio Briefcase from J.W. Hulme and I’ve been nothing but happy with my decision. The bag gives ample space for any office related needs (computer, documents, etc.) and the design offers a durable yet dignified option for vocational duties.

Common Projects | Achilles

While the minimally designed all leather sneaker has taken menswear by storm over the past few years, everyone knows who started it all. And the way I look at it, if you want to get a shoe that looks like the Common Projects Achilles, just buy the Common Projects Achilles. Owning a pair, I can see why they’re the standard.

Loake 1880 | Chelsea Boots

Chelsea boots have always been a personal favorite my mine, dating back to a cheap pair I owned way back in undergrad. Long ago I made a personal vow to never again wear cheap shoes after the experience of having the sole of a pair of Kenneth Cole’s literally come clean off while wearing. Speaking of well made shoes, I’ve owned these Loake 1880’s for a season and been impressed. They’re trim in the toe box (a personal preference of mine for Chelsea boots), Goodyear Welted and the suede coloration is beautiful and has held its nap well.

form•function•form | iPhone Wallet

No one likes to break their iPhone but plenty of us also do not like to put our iPhones in unattractive and overprotective plastic prisons that keep our phones safe but ruin any aesthetic quality they may have had in the first place. Thankfully, F3 laser cuts Horween leather into snug iPhone covers that not only look the part but keep our screens from shattering. I should know, I’ve dropped mine with this case plenty and my phone’s still fully intact.

Baldwin Denim | Henley

I’ve been buying and breaking in a new pair of raw denim every fall going on seven years and while I can’t say I’ve tried them all, I can say I’ve tried plenty. And while I’ve got many favorites, the Baldwin Henley certainly remain top tier after all these years. If you’re searching for your first pair or looking to add to the collection, the Henley is a great get.

Oak St. Bootmakers | Trail Oxford

OSB’s trail oxford has been the perfect go between shoe for me anytime I want to bridge the gap between dress shoe and sneaker. Comfortable, hardwearing and appropriate with any number of ensembles, mine have been pounding the pavement for many years and are still going strong.

Apolis | T-Shirt

It can be tough to diffierentiate between t-shirts that aren’t in the lux category but what I dig about these from Apolis is the cut finds that golden mean of slim but not tight and the band collar sets them apart from other tees in their price point. Pair all that with Apolis’ social ethic and you’ve got yourself one great t-shirt.

Narragansett Leathers | Belt

Certainly not a fashion forward brand on any level, Narragansett Leathers simply set out to make quality handmade leather goods in Damariscotta, Maine. No frills, just amazing belts made by a semi-retired septuagenarian husband and wife team. I’ve had their pelican hook belt for over 3 years and it’s easily my favorite belt that I own.

Converse | Jack Purcell

The Jack Purcell isn’t going to turn any heads, but that isn’t the reason you’d want it anyway. Every man needs a simple shoe that can get him back and forth from the grocery store, brunch or Home Depot and this Converse classic is my personal favorite. The simplicity and comfortability make it easy to wear anywhere and the thick rubbery toe box area keeps you from stubbing your toe.

MELINDAGLOSS | Leather Jacket

If you’re gonna splurge on an item, a leather jacket is a good one to splurge on. With quality leather, it should last you a lifetime as the leather jacket is truly timeless unless you opt for some odd interpretation. I went for the MELINDAGLOSS classic variation with some mildly updated features and couldn’t be happier. Most likely I’ll be saying the same thing 20 years from now.

3×1 | Denim

Certainly a man will have multiple pairs of jeans in his closet, most likely from multiple brands. On the more distressed side of denim, I dig 3×1. Few denim brands offer the multitude of washes and features like 3×1 and if you’re ever looking to cheat a little, their 98% cotton/2% polyurethane stretch denim looks identical to any denim to the naked eye and are some of the most comfortable jeans you’ll ever wear.

Taylor Stitch | Jack Shirt

I’ve always said, if a man was forced to wear only one brand for the rest of his days, Taylor Stitch should be one of the first in the pecking order. Their Jack Shirt is a mainstay in my wardrobe but to be honest, you can’t go wrong with anything TS makes.

Clarks | Wallabee

The Wallabee always takes me back to a simpler time of life as they are probably the only item I still have from my undergrad days. My old age aside, few affordable shoes can take a beating like a pair of Clarks and stand the test of time. Their newer renditions (like those in black) are still calling my name all these years later.

Rolex | Submariner

The Rolex Sub is indeed an investment but few watches have the history or hold their value quite like the Submariner. Personally, I own the 16610, as the newer ceramic bezeled version’s Maxi dial and larger lugs take things a slight step to far for my tastes (and skinny wrists), but to each his own. While some folks might have a hard time wrapping their minds and wallets around shelling out so much for a watch, personally I’ve never regretted it and enjoy putting it on every single morning.

The Hill-Side | J-1 Quilted Jacket

December 11, 2015

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I know you’re probably not going to a Star Wars Episode 7 premier dressed like one of the characters but if you were looking to emulate that Han Solo jacket kind of cool, you should cop this J-1 Jacket from the Hill-Side. Gotta love outerwear that is somehow vintage and futuristic at the same damn time that could get you mistaken for a Navy man from the 1960’s or a laser pistol toting bandito from a galaxy far, far away.

More info at Hickorees.

Alden for Need Supply | Laurel Plain Toe Boot

December 9, 2015

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If you’ve ever wanted black Alden boots, these might very well be the most exceptional pair I’ve ever seen created. All black cordovan plain toe with blacked out soles and full black eyelets with waxed black laces create the ideal merging of formal yet aggressive every man needs from a pair of black boots. Wear them with a suit during the work week and then wear them riding your motorcycle on the weekend. Both your boss and biker buddies will applaud.

Price and purchase info at Need Supply.

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