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Thrifty Thursday: Steven Alan Parka

Granted, this is a small stretch on the word thrifty. This jacket, as it were, cost me $70. Keep in mind, however, that it retailed at $400. So, getting a $400 Steven Alan hiking parka at 83% off, we register that as thrifty. More accurately, we call it being a boss. A bargain boss. We gave you folks a quick heads up on these a few months back when eDrop-Off listed a few of these bad boys on eBay. Turns out, I couldn’t quite turn down the price myself.
A lot of you are probably thinking, “Wow, that’s an awfully bright orange.” Or maybe it’s closer to, “Man, I really hate that color.” Either way, if you’re thinking one of those two, I’ve accomplished my goal. If fitting in was my jam, I’d go buy a jet-black North Face like everybody else in the Western Hemisphere. An orange piece of outerwear, on the other hand, makes you react. Orange evokes emotion. And I like emotions, because I’m an emotional guy… okay, that backfired.

“The 77″ dry 14-ounce Kurabo fabric (Standard Style, $200) by Baldwin Denim, size 31; madras button-down (eBay, sale $15; reg. $65) by J. Crew, medium; hiking parka (eBay, sale $70; reg. $400) by Steven Alan, small.

midweSTYLE: Tee time

Because I had to make some tough sartorial decisions for the advancement of my manhood, I decided to leave all of my pashminas and scarves back in Kansas City. So like any older brother would do, I bestowed those gifts on my younger sister, because let’s be honest: Most of these scarves had some kind floral pattern or brocade print on them that could have easily passed as something you would get from XXI, not the antique stores, swap meets and coastal vendors like where I had originally acquired them.
I thought, I’m moving to a big city. I’m not a dirty, liberal-arts undergrad who spends his days engaged in philosophical debate, chain-smoking Parliaments outside of Kaldis or killing pitchers of Fat Tire at Shakespeares anymore! No more scarves! No more chain-smoking! And certainly no more deep V-necks!
So I didโ€”I left my beloved scarf collection back home for my sisters to adorn themselves.
But then I forgot how much I dig a scarf around my neck. Hetero-normative masculine sartorial presuppositions aside, I like scarves. And you know what, that’s okay.
What are you thoughts on the scarves? Rather, scarves with ties?

I snagged this feather suede LANVIN Paris blazer at Seek Vintage on Chicago, just west of downtown. I was surprised and relieved to finally find a “vintage” store that actually had vintage apparel that was well-curated. Unlike other locations that heaping mounds of shit under the notion of the place being a “vintage” retailer, Seek Vintage curates housewares, apparel, accessories and a cornucopia of goods from all over the world. The staff is friendly, and the store is thoughtfully merchandised. I’ve visited a handful of times already and still have yet to walk away empty handed. I like this place.

Camel-colored suede blazer (Seek Vintage, $15) by LANVIN Paris, size 38; green-striped, button-down oxford (eBay, $18) by Gitman Bros., medium; “The Henley” 11.5-ounce dry selvage (Standard Style, $198) by Baldwin Denim, size 28; brown leather “Wallabees” (Cargo Largo, sale $40; reg. $120) by Clarks, size 11; plaid tie (thrifted, $1); golf club tie bar (thrifted, $3); coral wool scarf courtesy of rag & bone; red replacement shoelaces (J.Crew, $2); ex-roommate’s dad’s friend’s brown leather briefcase (gift!).
Photos by Seth Putnam.

SALE: Patagonia at Urban Outfitters

When I first moved to Chicago, Seth was kind enough to let me crash in his igloo apartment until I found a place of my own. We had many a great times watching Arrested Development, shivering and chattering our teeth into slumber, getting Niko‘d, meeting Peter Gallagher, starting fires in the corner to keep warm, shenanigans in Wicker Park, getting drinks at Violet Hour, ’90s hip-hop dance parties at the Whistler, losing a finger to frostbite, and day drinking.
It was so chill great to live with Seth for two weeksโ€”and I wanted to share with you what enabled me to survive enjoy my stay. This is what I wore to survive in the refrigerator apartment, and it’s on sale for a steal of a price.
Patagonia Down Sweater sale $119, reg $200
And this is what I wish I had whenever I was just wearing a t-shirt in Seth’s ice chest apartment:
Patagonia Down Vest sale $99, reg $150

Plus, obnoxious colors/detailing are always grade-A in my book.

Brit Style: Royal Edition

I’m going rogue here and breaking from our usual policy of original photos. I’ve paid little attention in the run-up to that wedding that’s happening today, so I suppose my curiosity is somewhat justified. Don’t worry; I’ll keep it brief and relevant. And if you don’t like the lyrics, you can press fast forward.
A confession: I love pretty much everything about Britain. Magnify that 10 times today. It’s the anglophilia. Can’t shake it. First of all, Kate Middleton. In that dress, outshining even Grace Kelly. File under: “How I want my bride to look.” I had permanent tingles the whole time she was walking down the aisle. Guess I’d better start making a list of eligible royal British ladies.
Enter David Beckham for the men’s style tie-in. Apparently everyone else on the Internet stole my idea, because when I Googled “royal wedding style,” Beckham was all over the search results.

That tie, that collar, those tails. And how spiffy is that Order of the British Empire medalโ€”which unfortunately wouldn’t be appropriate to wear if you hadn’t earned it. I realize this look is rather far from “Midwest,” but I’d love to work it into my next formal outfit anyway. Well, maybe not the top hat. Looks good in his hand, not in mine.
Soccer, style, England, true affection. Everything I love.

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 monthsโ€”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.
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