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Things Organized Neatly: The Bruiser

“You can’t do that.”
“Do what?”
“Wear black and navy.”

“Says who?”
“You just can’t.”

Gentlemen, who gave us this no-black-and-navy rule?
Hell, who said you can’t wear brown and black together? I’m sure they had every good intention of steering you away from being gawked at or accused of being color-blind (because hey, I know a few guys who are color blind.) But let’s step back and reassess of our views on mixing black and navy.

For us Midwestern boys, we were told not to wear black and navy together because…

  • It’s too dark.
  • It doesn’t match.
  • It doesn’t look “good.”


Disagree. You can do it, and you can do it well.

  • It’s too dark: Try breaking up the navy and black with some white, grey or another neutral—even olive or khaki. (Yes, those are considered neutrals.)
  • It doesn’t match: That’s the point. You don’t have to match your belt to your shoes to your watch strap color. Although you can, you don’t have to. You’ve heard the expression “matchy-matchy?” Yeah, let’s avoid that in this scenario and roll with the bruised-looking palette, that’s often how I look walking out the door. (A little black and blue, with a dash of purple or mustard.)
  • It doesn’t look “good.” Well, that’s in the eye of the beholder. And I’m beholding you and telling you it looks sharp. You were probably told that you can’t wear dress shoes without socks and that you can’t wear white after Labor Day. Bullshit.

Feeling ballsy? Add a touch of yellow or an obnoxious pattern.

Grey straight-leg chino by Nonnie Threads, small; black trim fit waxed stretch cotton “Brayden” jacket (Nordstrom) by Comune, small; black-and-white-striped tee by American Apparel, small; navy cotton button-down by J.Crew, extra-small; Weekly-Planner Notebook by Moleskine; thrifted black leather belt with brass detailing; white “Authentics,” courtesy of Vans.

Friday Wrap-up: Technical difficulties

Editor’s note: Well, we got jobbed (as I’m sure many did) by Blogger’s downtime this week. Our Thursday post was deleted but is now back up…hopefully your regularly scheduled programming will continue without any hiccups next week. Thanks for being patient. — Seth

To send you into the weekend, here’s some of the best stuff we’ve seen all week:
  • All of Max and Joe’s disgustingly aesthetic iPhoneography during their trip to Nashville. Follow them on Twitter at @AllPlaidOut and @JoeGannon.
  • @caryrandolph wrote three brilliant short stories to celebrate her mother last Sunday. They’re sweet, funny, poignant and full of character all at the same time.
  • Our once-hometown magazine Vox featured us last week. Check it out.
  • Mr. Porter published an insightful feature with J.Crew men’s designer Frank Mutyjens on Tuesday.
  • Speaking of Frank, he and Jenna Lyons (la presidente) stopped by Chicago that very same day for a fête at their store in the 900 Shops on Michigan Avenue. We hung out, had an interview, and will be posting said exclusive next week. Stay tuned!

midweSTYLE: Safety pins and butterscotch brogues

Yeezy likes safety pins, I like safety pins.
Yeezy is from Chicago, I live in Chicago now.
Yeezy wears Celine tops, I sell Celine tops.
We’re practically the same person.

Eat your heart out, Wooster.
I, too, can rock a safety pin tie clasp.

(Thrift #1.)

Oh hey, green grass on this beautiful day.

New butterscotch brogues, ya say?
(Thrift #2.)
Well, not new. But new to my feet. I picked these up at Nordstrom Rack for $60. Not too bad for a pair of leather Florsheims, too bad I’ve been breaking these in for the past couple days sans sock. After dual bleeding achilles and scratched ankle bones, I’m nearing the home stretch of these being supreme comfort.
Butterscotch brogues (Nordstrom Rack, sale $60, reg $100+) by Florsheim, size 11; wine colored silk tie by rag & bone; “Made in USA” leather belt with brass detailing (Country Club Plaza, sale $4.99) by J.Crew, size 32; “The Henley” Kurabo 14-ounce dry selvedge denim (Standard Style, $198) by Baldwin Denim.

SOLUTIONS: Warped Belts

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.
I’ve had this old belt since 2003 when I encountered the double-hole model for the first time and thought it was so cool that I wore it every day to keep my baggy, boot-cut jeans up while I worked on the farm. There’s a sharp bend in the leather because every time I’ve worn it in the past eight years, I’ve sent it through my belt loops on the left side. Creature of habit, I guess.
Maybe it’s because I never spent much time thinking about waist-cinching tips, but I had a facepalm moment the other day when a guy told me he’s got an eye-rollingly simple solution for belts that bow and warp: Alternate which side you send through your belt loops. If you usually go left to right, flip the belt over and thread it right to left every other wear.
A basic fix, to be sure. But sometimes you don’t think about the most minor problems. Although, perhaps this “problem” doesn’t need solving at all. Thoughts, gentlemen and ladies?

Things Organized Neatly: Winter to Spring

Spring? Oh yeah, it should be here by now.
But it’s not.
Welcome to Midwest weather.

How does one make it by, yearning for spring but still in the cold?
These are my digs that I’ve pleased to be incorporating into my wardrobe. It can be 40s in the morning but then hike up to 60s in the afternoon. So I’m prepared with a great mid-weight, unlined jacket and a mid-weight pant. Throwing in a madras tie beckons spring, so try that, too. And if you’re still cold when the sun sets, end your evening with a night cap.

Slim straight leg, front cargo pocket mushroom pants (retail, sale $20, reg. $68) by Levi’s, 30×34; short-sleeve button down (Standard Style, sale $50 reg. $140) by Apolis Activism, small; graphed “Balsam Fir” notebook (Renegade Handmade, three for $10) by Field Notes; brown leather belt with brass hardware (sale $4.99) by J.Crew, size 32; unlined brown canvas utility jacket (Michigan Avenue Levi’s, sale $32 [$44 - 30% sale] reg. $198) by Levi’s, small; plaid tie (thrifted, $1); bottle of Knob Creek (refrigerator) courtesy of my roommate’s wallet, size weekend.
Photo by Seth Putnam.