midweSTYLE: Proportions at play

June 20, 2011
We’ve been mixing it up a bit. And loving it. You know; playing with proportions, colors and fabrics.
Give some of these stylings a shot:
  • Bright and LOUD. Try a subtle dark layer when your outfit is on the neutral or lighter side.
  • Bold prints. Tame it or tone it with a less busy fabric or wash.
  • Highs and lows. Roll your sleeve or throw cuff your chinos. A little detail never hurt.
  • Bring an extra layer. You’d be surprised how a jacket/cardigan can pull your appearance together, especially when you’re going from day to night.

On Cameron: Four-pocket “Trucker” denim jacket (eBay, $15) by Levi’s; charcoal cardigan (thrifted, $20) by American Apparel; madras short-sleeve shirt (thrifted, $2) by Royal Knight; slim-fit chinos (Urban Outfitters, $10) by Dockers; black plimsolls (thrifted, $4); leather snap bracelet ($20) by Corter for Japan.

Thrifty Thursday: Levi’s lately

June 16, 2011
Chicago is a land of wondrous things. Two of them happen to be the Levi’s Stores on Michigan Avenue and Wicker Park. Earlier this week in stores they were taking taking an additional 50 percent already reduced prices on sale items. They might as well have said, “Please come in and find these clothes a good home for a fraction of the cost.”
I’ve got my go-to people at each location that I work with each time I come in. Love the service and the prices. Also, it’s Levi’s. It just works.
Oh, you don’t live near a Levi’s store? That’s okay. Their customer service is great and will happily track down your items, even the sale items, because Lord knows that’s where and what I shop when I walk into Levi’s.
Oh, Timex Camper watch for a mere $18, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways that you look sharp and timeless everywhere I take you.
Straight-leg cargo pants that I’m not swimming in? Please. I’ve gotten more compliments on these lately than I have the bow ties I’ve been rocking. I saw these on a gentlemen who worked for the styling department of Oprah and asked him where he got these, thinking they were Shipley and Halmos or Engineered Garments. But they were Levi’s! He told me he didn’t remember the style number but got them from a store in California for like 20 bucks. Eager to find these, I went to the Levi’s store with a mission and that mission was completed.
On Jeff: Cotton hunting jacket ($30) by Levi’s; cotton front-pocket cargo pants ($20) by Levi’s; grey button down ($20) by J.Crew; “The Lexington” leather wingtips (Nordstrom Rack, $50) by Florsheim; “Camper” watch ($18) by Timex; leather belt with brass hardware ($5) by J.Crew.

Photos of Jeff by Jeff for Jeff by Seth.
Seth slipped the Levi’s hunting jacket and never looked back.
That’s Seth’s beloved Saddleback Leather briefcase—which, as he points out for the budget-minded among you, was result of a giveaway from the generous folks over at the Art of Manliness.
The jacket won him over, so we ordered it for him a couple of days later and he took it down to ol’ farm in southwest Missouri to bust out the over-under 20-gauge shotty and break in the reinforced shoulder patch.

Of Seth: Field photos by Jeff Kieslich. Farm photos by Oliver Drambour.

Under where?

June 16, 2011

Jeff: Too much support?
Seth: Yes, way too much support
Jeff: No such thing.

Getting handsy

June 13, 2011

Elaboration on how to write a good note, pick good stationery, etc. — based on the positive response from the Father’s Day post.

Gift Guide: Father’s Day

June 13, 2011
Dad, Pops, Old Man, Tough Guy, Herr Kommandant, or just Bill—whatever you call him, his day is coming up on Sunday. If you’re anything like the three of us, two weeks’ notice is too much, a reminder the Friday before is too little, but six days to go is just right. Don’t worry; we’re looking out for you.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide—just our three quick thoughts for this year.
I’ve been on a hand-written note kick lately. So much so that I’m working regular, old snail-mail letters into part of my weekly routine. There’s just something about them—the extra time, thought and care they take—that shows you mean it.
My parents aren’t too particular about what kind of material goods they get, and I’ve always found that my best Father’s (and Mother’s) Day gifts have simple expressions of genuine appreciation. So Pa will be getting a long overdue letter from me this year.
If, like me, you want to spread the gospel of the hand-written note, consider sending a box of stationery as a gentle nudge. My advice? Go for something simple, elegant and typographical. But beware: A man’s stationery is as personal as his penmanship, so this may be something you want to pick out together. If surprises are important to your gift-giving mojo, a pen would be the perfect lead-in to the stationery. Some of my favorites (all of which happened to be gifts):
“Jotter” stainless steel ballpoint pen ($5) by Parker.
“Medalist” [engraved, half of the pen/pencil set from the Classic Century collection] ($50) by Cross.
“Brass Bullet” Space Pen ($26) by Fisher.
What’s one thing many of our fathers like? That’s right: Beer. Now, how do they like their beer? Cold. Really, really cold. But let us suppose that our fathers want to enjoy a brew by a campfire in the wild, on a boat, or somewhere else that’s nowhere near a refrigerator. How is he to keep his precious liquids at a reasonably desirable temperature?

The answer: Coleman’s Heritage 150-Quart Cooler. This bad boy has been getting some good press recently (Selectism, 10engines), and for good reason. It’ll hold 200—count ‘em: 200!–cans of your favorite beer. As a nice bonus, those beers can then be topped with a paltry 55 pounds of ice. I would tell you to feel free to sub out the beer for your favorite flavor of Shasta or a nicely brewed organic iced tea, but then, what kind of advice is that?


Or, if your Pops is cigar man, a nice bundle of his favorite stogies would probably please him more than anything. And if he’s a seasoned smoker, try getting him something he’s never smoked. He’ll love you even more for finding his new cigar of choice.

When Seth asked me to pick out some gifts for Father’s Day, I read it as, “Okay, what do I want to give my future offspring, (Lord willing)?” A pair of shoes, a leather good and a Father’s Day card came to mind. More importantly, I chose gifts that I would make said future children think, “Oh man, my dad had these and loved them.”

First up: Shoes by Florsheim. Like these raisin and black Markhams ($112), these bone and chalk-pink saddle shoes ($221.25), or these black and cognac buffalo leather Jareths ($75). On a budget, baby. I love duo-tone anything. Best of both worlds.

Second: If your guy is an accessorizer, this wrap bracelet will look amazing as it ages—1/4 Triple Wrap Cuff (Need Supply, $48) by Billy Kirk. Or how about a wooden wrist watch (Canoe, $85)? If none of that is your jam, this distressed barn-wood hip flask (Etsy, $18.95) might be a good bet.

And at the very least: A card—the “Shirt” card (Rifle Paper Co., $4.50) or the “Hat” note set (Renegade Handmade, $15).

Recommended Reading: Max Wastler’s series on last year’s Father’s Day over at

Now get outta here and show some love.

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