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Thrifty Thursday: Recycled pants

You guys remember when I was talking about making pants into a nontraditional pair of cargo shorts? Well, here they are. How? My girlfriend was kind enough to take on the project. Here’s what it takes:
  • An old pair of chinos (I conveniently chose these pants in particular so that I’d have an excuse to buy a new pair of khaki chinos, but that’s neither here nor there.)
  • A few buttons and some thread
  • A sewing machine
  • Someone who knows how to use that sewing machine
Originally, I said you should probably reimburse whoever constructs these things for you with some cash. Luckily, my girlfriend was willing to help me out. Why? Dinners, movies, gifts and unconditional love, of course. Honestly, what other reasons does she need? (And really, how many more sentences can I begin with an adverb?)
Seriously though, more power to you if you’re skilled enough to pull off this feat of apparel construction yourself. If you’re not, find a friend who is. Hopefully you’ve got one somewhere. And pay them well: Food, beers, yardwork… or money if you’re not feeling creative.
The shorts turned out extremely well. The most obvious changes are the front pockets, which are great. The thicker belt loops are a little less noticeable, but they’re probably my favorite change. Also, the roll at the bottom was intentional when these were first made, but ultimately they squeeze my soccer thighs a litte too much. A hem is scheduled for the near future. Overall, these are definitely shaping up to be my go-to/knock-around shorts for the summer months—and all for the price of four buttons and a spool of thread. Not bad.
And oh yeah: THESE RULE.
Spectator LX in “Incense” (courtesy of Vans) by Vans Vault, size 10; khaki chinos converted into shorts with pockets (originally from Urban Outfitters, $50) by Paul Frank, size 30; vintage plaid button-down (thrifted, $3) by L.L. Bean, medium; braided leather belt (thrifted, $4); Corter for Japan bracelet (Corter Online Shop, $25 shipped) by Corter Leather.
Photos by Jarred Donalson. And many thanks to the lady.

A look ahead: Nonnie Threads

Today, we’re off adventuring and spending our allotted Midwestyle time with Nonnie Threads. Hence, no big post this morning. Nonnie’s a local Chicago designer who makes her products right here in the good old U.S. of A., so we’re excited to get an in-depth look at her operation.
We’ll be dropping by Nonnie’s studio this afternoon to explore her collection, snap some photos and interview her about her philosophy on men’s style. Stay tuned for the full package in a few days.
Transmission will resume shortly.

In bloom

Spring sprung officially about a month ago. That, apparently, has meant nothing to the weather. But we’re tired of waiting. Let’s celebrate. We want to see more flowers in lapels. Make it happen.

PHOTOZ.

midweSTYLE: Gold and wine

Let’s be honest and admit that at times it is difficult to mix color, patterns and print. Sometimes it takes work to see what goes with what and how to change up that wardrobe of yours. Other times, things just work together nicely. Here are some questions and a few of my personal suggestions of tackling these issues. For example:
Can you mix black with brown? Yeah, why not? Just balance it out with other neutrals. Charcoal blazer + charcoal pants + brown shoes + brown belt + white shirt + neutral tie = you’re in the clear.

Can you wear two different patterns with one another? Hey, give it a go. If it looks too busy, then try something more subtle. [See photograph below with navy + wine checkered shirt (busy) with the wine + brown zig zag tie (subtle) to mesh things well.] If you’re wearing a busy shirt with an obnoxious color or crazy print, you can tame it with a blazer or cardigan along with a neutral tie.

Can you wear two shades of black? Well, as long as the contrast isn’t too noticeable. I mean, the suspenders match the socks and shoes, but the pants are a shade light since it’s a charcoal tone. Just maybe not a third major shade of black.

There aren’t hard and fast rules about mixing colors, prints and patterns. Just some helpful tips and suggestion on what some, many or very few think.
It’s your call on how you mix and match ultimately, that’s the beauty about style. It’s yours.


I’m not much of a fan of silver, but baby, gimme dat gold watch.

$2.50 for a pair of Target socks that will match my skull-and-crossbones bow-tie that I’ll acquire someday. And come on, for $2.50, guys. Easy.

Wine colored tie (gift) by rag & bone; wine and navy checked shirt (Halls, sale $30, reg. $99) by Scotch & Soda, small; black skinny suspenders with gold hardware (thrifted, $2.99); welt pocket pant in charcoal (Country Club Plaza, $60) by American Apparel, size 31; skull-and-crossbone socks (Target, $2.50) by Merona; thrifted soft black leather dress shoes ($5.99), size 11.
Photos by Seth Putnam.