Monthly Archives

February 2012

midweSTYLE: Oh, Pioneer!

February 28, 2012
UPDATE (3/5/12): This comment from Some Assembly Required was on point:
“Thumbs up on hats, love them, wear them all the time. For cooler weather, I have wool flat caps in tweed patterns; a couple of Stormy Kromers (made in Michigan) for when it’s colder; a “crushable” fedora-style hat like the one above that I got at Orvis (also made in USA); a couple of Panamas for summer to protect my head from the sun; and yes, a couple of ball caps, which I’m most likely to wear while walking the dog. 

One thing though: NEVER WEAR A HAT INDOORS. When you go into a restaurant, your workplace, a movie theater, etc., you need to remove your hat. Not doing so makes you look like what my grandparents used to refer to as a “greenhorn” (a person with no class or manners). A lot of guys, especially younger ones, don’t seem to be aware of this, probably because no one ever told them (and because hats, while on the upswing, haven’t been as popular as they were in the past). 

So I mention this not to put anyone down, but because I want guys to look dignified and dashing, not clueless and ignorant.”

Well said, sir.

We’re on a need-to-know basis, and I need to know: What are your thoughts on hats?
I bought this hat over the summer and couldn’t figure out a way on how to wear it. Its particular style is unique—probably something a hipster lead singer in a folk band would wear. Guilty.
It’s a hybrid between a safari, panama, fedora and a trilby. You tell me, menswear geeks. The tag says Banana Republic Outdoor Safari Collection, so we’ll run with that and call it a safari hat. I snagged it for a dollar up in Andersonville one summer’s eve. Brown Elephant, y’all. They’ve got some great digs from time to time.

I decided to play with some different ways you could wear it. All seemed appropriate considering the brim was a bit wider and rather flexible. Perhaps it’s a homburg style, as this Art of Manliness article on hat etiquette suggests. Either way, I dig it and have worn it on occasion.  I paired it back to some other textures and styling to give it a folky, pioneer kind of vibe. I mean, you totally love Mumford & Sons. So shut up.

First, are hats actually on the rise? Do you wear one?

  • Ballcaps on the weekend?
  • Fedoras to brunch?
  • Chef hat in the kitchen?
  • Newsboy around the office, you writer, you.

Also, can we pause for a minute and vow to not give the guy a hard time if he’s wearing a fedora. Fedoras are good in my book. And no, you don’t have to mention Jason Mraz* and say I look like him because I’m wearing a fedora every time I’m wearing one, okay? Jerk.

On Jeff: two-button “Harris Tweed” blazer (from Barney’s) by A.P.C.; evergreen cross-weave wool pullover sweater (from Nordstrom) by A.P.C.; chambray shirt (from Saks) by rag & bone; slim-leg “Johnny” corduroy pant in Sante Fe courtesy of J Brand; blue suede bucks (from Nordstrom) by 1901; thrifted brown homburg hat (from Brown Elephant) by Banana Republic; “Weekender” watch (with colored band from J.Crew) by Timex; black eyeglasses by Gant Rugger.

Photography by Amy Creyer
Thanks for snapping some quick snaps on a lunch break, Amy!


*(Seth’s note: If you are wearing a fedora, you look like Jason Mraz.)

Woodland: Barbour & burrs

February 27, 2012
I love outwear pieces. They are some of my favorite to own, collect and swap. It’s what you’re throwing on over your cardigan, bundling up in when winter hits and anxiously waiting to wrap around your shoulders before you dash into the freshly fallen snow. It’s also what most people see in when you bump into one another on the street all decked out to not freeze your ass off. So it doesn’t hurt to own a few different options:
  • If it’s below 20, I’m wearing my down puffy coat and everything that traps heat.
  • If it’s around the 30s, I’m wearing my Barbour Bedale + Patagonia down sweater combo. 
  • It it’s around 40s, I’m wearing my Barbour Liddesdale + blazer. 
  • If it’s around 50s, I’m wearing a tank top.
It’s a wise choice to invest in a nice coat (or two) (or five). I’ve thrifted a handful that I’m pretty stoked about. But you also have to remain open to throwing down the dough for a couple of lifelong pieces. It’s outwear. You wear it a lot. That’s okay. And it’s better than freezing in a thin piece of cotton veiled as a jacket. I’m looking at you, Nathan.


When I was interviewing Jobs in Chicago in March 2011, I thought: “I don’t need a coat.” Seth watched, cackling, as I got off the El and made a fast break for the Patagonia* store to buy a red down sweater jacket. This has been such a staple in layering, traveling and everyday use. It’s windproof, lightweight, packable, and it regulates your body temp so you’re not boiling. When I trekked to Europe a few weeks ago, I knew I was taking this get-up: Patagonia down sweater and my Barbour. Both can be folded up into a tote and stowed upon entering a building, and when used together, they’re an unstoppable combination for winter. 

I also dig these new trousers I picked up from Barney’s this winter by Gant Rugger. Great slim fit, medium rise and trouser pockets. I’m a sucker for those. Also, they are hella long for these lanky legs of mine.

On Jeff: Waxed “Bedale” coat with copper wire hood attachment by Barbour; red down sweater by Patagonia; thrifted red plaid shirt; slim fit grey trousers by Gant Rugger; trusty brown suede “8878” boots by Red Wing; black framed eyeglasses by Gant Rugger; burgundy beanie from Target; natural leather belt from Urban Outfitters.

Photography by Grant Heinlein
*One of my favorite outdoor performance gear brands is Patagonia. As a certified one-time YoungLifer, I’m an expert in outdoor performance gear and have a collection that would make you think I’m outdoorsy. However, dear readers, it’s merely a facade. I like the idea of camping, pooping in the woods and not showering than the actual act of camping, but I’ve got a sufficient amount of equipment that would permit an impromptu weekend getaway. Plus, it’s not like I need to go camping to avoid  maintaining general hygiene practices.

PERKS: Your Night At Nellcôte

February 23, 2012
UPDATES, Y’ALL:

Here are the winners, you lucky dogs:
Really wish we had more to go around…but keep at it. The giveaways are a-plenty around here.

Readers, oh readers.
We’ve got some intel for you, but we have to be quick about it. Here’s the downlow: There’s a major new restaurant opening Chicago. It’s called Nellcôte, and it’s based on the French villa of the same name that the Rolling Stones leased for a summer in 1971. They recorded “Exile on Main St.” in the basement. 
The idea behind this restaurant has got some heft: On a nightly basis they intend to recreate the infamous house party the Stones threw for “a veritable checklist of rock ‘n’ royalty including artists, style icons, deviants, socialites and creative misfits.”
If you haven’t heard about this operation already, you will soon. 

The thing is, it’s not open yet. We can get you in. Word has it, Jared Van Camp and the boys are throwing a special preview on Tuesday. Here’s what we know:
Evening of Exile
Special Nellcôte Preview
833 W. Randloph St.
Chicago, IL 60607
Fare: Trays from the executive menu. Cocktails. Wine.
Date: Tuesday, February 28
Time: 6 – 8 p.m.
All you have to do is scuba dive up the Chicago River, find a way through the underwater tunnels, unzip your wet suit, brush off the tux you had on the whole time, and enjoy the party. Alright, alright it’s way simpler than that. 
We’ve got a total of eight (8) tickets, and we’d love it if you’d come party with us.

 You can get ‘em by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. Then do one of the following:

The lucky ones will be chosen at random. This is open to everyone. But please, only throw your hat in the ring if you will be in Chicago on Feb. 28. That’s Tuesday.

Hop to it! And for heavens’ sake, dress nice.
Photos courtesy of Potluck Creative.

Friday Wrap-Up: Gary Cooper and Missouri’s True/False Film Festival

February 17, 2012
Photo by Anthony Barlich.

Here’s some general miscellany and packaged goods we thought you should know about:


On Gary Cooper:

  • “Believe me, he was the best looking son of a bitch that ever lived.” If there’s one thing we love, it’s the impossible style of movies stars from the middle of the 20th century. And if those words (Bill Blass’s, by the way) doesn’t describe Gary Cooper, we don’t know what does. To see the rest of the quote, check out Cary Randolph Fuller’s feature on Cooper, which appeared on the cover of Ralph Lauren Magazine’s spring issue.

On lying:

  • If you don’t know about the True/False Film Festival, you should. I’m almost not sure how to even describe it, but it’s the best documentary film festival in the world, and it’s here in the Midwest. If you think sitting in a dark room with hundreds of other people for 72+ hours doesn’t sound like fun, you’re wrong. The entire town comes alive, and there are secret parties and mind-blowing new ways of looking at the world. Missouri? Who would have thought? We’ll have full coverage in a few weeks.
  • It’s happening March 1–4 in Columbia, Mo. Unless you act, like, now, you may already be out of time.

On sale:

On hard-ons:
  • Our thrifting find of the week: topical Chicago Cubs humor. Wrigleyville? Sounds about right.

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