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.

Friday Wrap-up: June 10th

June 10, 2011

Earlier this week, Cam and I did a photoshoot with Scout Photo (@scoutphoto) in Kansas City. Here’s a snippet of what’s to come in the coming weeks of some of our fresh summer looks.

Gerard (@gerard_brown), husband of Concrete Catwalk, and Cam strollin’ down Brookside Boulevard in Kansas City. Photography by Nick Welch of Scout Photo.

Also, we have 776 followers on Twitter. Let’s go ahead and bump that up to 800, shall we?

Moving on to our FRIDAY WRAP-UP:

We love our friends. They’re doing great things. We particularly love our friends in the Midwest who are in the middle of some exciting stuff we’d like to mention:

What about gentlemen in the Midwest, you say? Let’s check in with our good friends at Baldwin Denim…
Back to some more previews of next week.
Everyone loves a crotch shot, right?
Well, how about three.
But really.
What’s the purpose of a crotch shot in menswear style blogging?
The purpose of a crotch shot is to show the intersection of the various patterns, textures, prints and styles colliding at a central point.
FACT: That central point is usually the crotch.

Have a crotchtastic weekend, y’all. We are.

Photography by Nick Welch of Scout Photo.

Thrifty Thursday: Rackin’ it

June 9, 2011
Editor’s Public Service Announcement: Just in case you didn’t see Twitter or Facebook earlier this week, we did (finally) pick winners for the bow-tie challenge. Thanks for the reminders, questions and general cleverness about our tardiness. It would appear the interns really dropped the ball on this one. (We gave them one job—one job…). In any event, the lucky two were:
  • Drew Jones Art
  • mah5160

Congrats to the winners, and to the rest of you: Be sure and enter next time. We think the interns have learned their lesson. If pulling outhouse duty doesn’t teach them, I don’t know what will.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming:
There are a few places you’re sure to find things cheap. Wal-Mart. McDonald’s. On the apparel side of things, you’ll get anything you find in a dumpster for free, garage sales almost always guarantee low prices, and thrift stores are nice for weakening the blow to your finances. But then there are times you’re itching for something new, something that hasn’t been washed and loved on by somebody else, something with price tags still attached—but price tags with small numbers on them. Enter Nordstrom Rack.
You see, there is no Nordstrom Rack in Kansas City (yet), so I had not encountered one until our recent wedding field trip to St. Louis. I’m not much of a planner, and I’m even less of a packer, so when time came to put together a bag to take to the Lou, I threw some underwear and toiletries in my Wanderer and grabbed some hanging shirts out of my closet in an effort to use as little energy as possible. And then I set off, without too many wedding appropriate items in tow. “I’ll buy some in St. Louis,” I thought. As you may have guessed, I’m also a procrastinator, so at about seven in the evening on the eve of the wedding day, I set out to find some shoes and some neckwear. Nordstrom Rack would have a moderately priced selection of both, I was told.
Granted, Nordstrom stocks a lot of things that I consider unwearable, for whatever reason. But, at the same time, the Rack had a nice array of Clarks, Top-Siders, and Florsheims, all at about half off. The tie collection was just as appealing and twice as cheap. I walked away with a pair of black suede Clarks desert boots for $50 and a $15 Rooster polka dot bow tie. Two items that will get a lot of wear. Two items that I avoided paying full price for. I think this is called winning.

Bow tie (Nordstrom Rack, $15) by Rooster; cotton oxford (thrifted, $3) by Arrow, medium; slim cotton chinos (Urban Outfitters, sale $10) by Dockers, size 31; leather belt (stolen from my father—thanks, dad); suede desert boots (Nordstrom Rack, $50) by Clarks, size 10.

Photography by Jarred Donalson.

midweSTYLE: St. Louis (Part One)

June 8, 2011
You know that feeling of joy when you are reunited with best friends who always greet with you a warm, bear-like slap on the back followed by a quick rub to diffuse the gentle sting? That’s how I feel when the Midwestyle reunites.

We got together in St. Louis for our good man Patrick’s wedding. If you’re from Missouri or have Missouri friends, you know Kansas City hates St. Louis. And that St. Louis hates Kansas City right back. Or maybe it’s just our friends have this thing with their hometown pride.
Either way, Patrick, a Kansas City boy, met Emmy, a St. Louis girl, and forged peace between the Montagues and Capulets of KC-STL—at least for the time being. Naturally, we brought our favorite Kansas City goods with us to this wretched great city!
Actually, we just found all of these belongings in our car. Let’s be honest: You need to take some hometown swag with you wherever you go. We chose Boulevard Pale Ale, KC Baldwin hat and a throwback “Wizards” jersey.

But really “St. Louis” people, do you actually live in St. Louis? Nope, you live in Chesterfield, West County or Kirkwood. We, on the other hand, actually have mailing addresses that say “Kansas City” not “Lee’s Summit” or “Overland Park.” Represent.

The Three Madras Amigos showing our St. Louis denizens how we feel. Everyone loves a meaningless, mildly offensive middle-school gesture.

Noteworthy details: My no-break chinos and “Lexington” wingtips by Florsheim.

Noteworthy detail: Seth’s thrifted woven and stitched loafers by Giorgio Brutini.
Noteworthy detail: The “KC” welt and felt hat by Baldwin Denim.
On Cameron: pink, fuchsia and orange madras shirt (thrifted at Wild Man Vintage, $7) by Royal Knight, medium; grey slim-fit trouser shorts (Urban Outfitters, $40) by BDG, size 31; “KC” baseball cap (Standard Style, $42) by Baldwin Denim, size large; well-loved and worn “Authentics” (online, $40) by Vans, size 10; throwaway aviators from Urban Outfitters ($10).

On Jeff: Grey slim-fit “Davis” chino (retail, $50) by Club Monaco, size 28×32; brown leather belt with brass detailing (sale, $4.99) by J.Crew, size 30; blue-and-green large-check madras shirt (sale, $29.99) by J.Crew; “Lexington” wingtips without laces (Nordstrom Rack, $50) by Florsheim, size 11; knock-off “Clubmaster” sunglasses (Seek Vintage, $12).

On Seth: Blue and violet plaid button-down (swiped from Cam); “Corporal” chinos courtesy of J Brand, size 30; woven and stitched tassel loafers (thrifted, $6) by Giorgio Brutini.
Photography by Jarred Donalson.

Get Widget