Whenever I make a purchase, I think about whether the item is an addition to my wardrobe as a basic (button downs, denim, tees and other layering pieces) or if it’s going to be a specialty piece.
What do I mean by that?
You can buy button down shirts, trousers and denim year round, generally in the same fit, fabric or wash. You can walk into a men’s store at any time and find those pieces. Great, those are your basics in your wardrobe. But each season a brand releases a new jacket or a familiar one but in a different wash or fabric.
Those are your speciality pieces. They are typically higher in price and are trend-driven or not something you’d find everyday. A jacket would be one of those pieces.
Let’s talk jackets. You can never have enough jackets. But seriously.
Most great outfits have three pieces to them. A top, a bottom and a jacket.
Why buy more jackets or blazers? Do my shirt and pants not do the job?
If you look at a majority of our shoots and daily outfits, you’ll likely find a third piece. And that third piece is typically a jacket. A jacket pulls an outfit together with the top or bottom. It cleans it up and finishes it off. Throw a blazer in the back of your car or carry a cardigan in your bag.
And that third piece is usually more expensive because it’s special and thats where the dollars start to add up. However, those dollars were not on this piece.
Nope. About four-Chipotle-burritos’ worth of dolla-dolla-bills-y’all were spent on this jacket.
“The Braydon” Jacket by Comune
It’s a nice, structured-but-soft, slim-fitting jacket with high-cut arm holes, which is tough to find when it comes to getting a jacket off the rack. I sized down and got a small, but the medium fit well also. Quite a deal for a great alternative to a blazer and a different take on a denim jacket, thus making it “special.”
STYLING TIP: Throw this jacket on with a pair of dark wash denim, tailored pair of khakis or do the monochromatic look. My style is generally pretty preppy, but this was too sharp and filed under “specialty” pieces that will instantly pull my look together.
It’s available at:
File this one under: a monochromatic look, too.
On Jeff: Coated black denim jacket (sale $32, Nordstrom) by COMUNE; handmade yellow striped bow tie ($20) by Annaruna; grey pin-stripe straight leg pant ($175) by Nonnie Threads; refurbished white leather topsiders ($30, Nordstorm Rack) by Sperry; cotton grey button-down by J.Crew.
Let’s talk color. But not color blocking or adding a “pop of color” as the kids like to call it; rather, monochromatic colors.
What is a monochromatic look?
An outfit built around one particular color story.
- Navy, dark grey, slate and midnight.
- Khaki, tan, ecru and nude.
- Black, heather grey, charcoal and steel.
For some, it’s fairly effortless to throw on one shade of a color since that what is what is in your entire closet. (Cough, Seth, cough.) All one color. For others, it will be a little more difficult knowing their colorful tendencies of wearing a ton.
But we say: Why not give it a go? Especially with a little on a print or pattern in the same color story.
I rarely have a very good reason to wear a tie. Honestly, events that necessitate ties in my life are few and far between. I mean, outside of the occasional wedding
formal, opportunities to appropriately don neckwear are fairly infrequent. That means that when I wear them, it’s typically for no reason at all. I’m not going to the office, I’m just going to class. If Mizzou
were a little more Ivy, that may be normal. But in a place where T-shirts and sweatpants reign supreme, I figure most people just assume I’m a professor.
Now, switching gears, the comment we tend to get most when it comes to buying from thrift stores or vintage resale shops goes something like this: “I just don’t have the patience to sift through all the inevitable crap to find what I’m actually looking for.” While thrifting often leaves you frustrated and empty handed, I think I’ve come to realize why I genuinely enjoy it to the degree that I do. The prices are obviously the biggest draw, yes, but there are secondary elements to the thrift store experience that make it something that is, while tedious at times, still very worth while. For me, I love that it harkens back to a time when United States manufacturing was still king, before outsourcing apparel construction became the new black. There’s something strangely satisfying about putting on a piece of clothing whose tag reads, “Made in the U.S.A.
” You guys know what I’m talking about, right?
Sorry for going YouTube crazy. Also, we’re a handful of followers short of four digits on Twitter
. Lets do this, team.
On Cameron: Blue oxford (thrifted, $2) made in the U.S.A. by Arrow Brigade, 15.5 neck; striped tie (gift from a lovely woman) by Kincora Irish Tweeds; brass tie bar (thrifted, $2); woven belt (thrifted, $4); chinos (UO, sale $10) by Dockers, size 31; desert boots (Christmas gift ’09) by Clarks, size 10; “Preston” eyeglasses (online, $95) by Warby Parker; rope bracelet (homemade).
It’s boots like these that will forever have me preaching the eBay gospel, ladies and gentlemen. Is it too early for boots? Perhaps
. But when I saw these bad boys on eBay while doing some pre-fall bargain hunting, I had to pull the proverbial trigger (get it?). After all, for the price of about four Chipotle burritos (and I’m talking steak burritos here, or barbacoa, depending on my mood) plus shipping, how could I go wrong? You’re right, I couldn’t. Now, I’m sure all of you calculus teachers out there have done the mental math, but for those that haven’t, the purchase came out to a little over $30, shipped. That’s, like, ¥2400 for all ya’ll in Japan!
Not bad for some vintage cap toe Cable and Co. work boots, handcrafted in Italy. They’re used, weathered, and scuffed, which only adds to their appeal. Those contrasting brown suede panels on the uppers are pretty out of the ordinary. Plus, those who are weary of workwear are shifting toward the Italian influence, right? BUT WAIT! You forgot about – *dun dun dun!* – Italian workwear.
On Cameron: thrifted s/s madras shirt (Wild Man Vintage, $7) by Royal Knight, size medium; grey chinos (J. Crew, $65) by J. Crew, size 31; “Preston” eyeglasses (online, $95) by Warby Parker; cap toe work boots (eBay, $30 shipped) by Cable and Company, size 10
Some of you are probably thinking, “Who is this guy again?” After all, it must feel like you haven’t seen me in a month of Sundays. Where have I been, you ask? Long story short, I spent about four weeks in the smokey hills of North Carolina, making new lifelong friends and perusing the city of Asheville in a 12 passenger van. It was an incredible joy, but I’m also pumped to be back in Kansas City, at the Midwestyle office. And no, that doesn’t actually exist. Or does it?
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
The newest additions to my closet are a few Gitman Vintage shirts that I scored at a freshly opened Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th at Legends Outlets in Kansas City, Kansas
. With the combination of some opening-event special discounts and a few other tricks, I ended up scoring two for about a hundred dollars. Considering they both retail for around $165 per, it felt like Christmas. Or my birthday. Or like I was stealing something.
My favorite part about wearing or using something over and over again is to see how well it ages. My Vans, Baldwin Denim, and Duluth Pack are all developing their own characteristics that make putting them on or throwing it over my shoulder a different experience week to week, month to month. I love products that have the quality and longevity to take on a distinct life of their own (note: those are also the products I’m also willing to shell out more cash for). Sorry mom, I know I should be saving, or something like that (note #2: my mom reads the Midwestyle religiously. You da best, mom!).
In other, unrelated news, I lost my Timex and Corter for Japan bracelet somewhere in the state of North Carolina. That said, I find myself in between watches and without any leather on my wrist, the feeling of which, I must say, I had grown quite fond of. The search has begun for replacements. Like this. And this. More suggestions are welcome.