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midweSTYLE: Mocha blazer on the rocks

April 19, 2011
Correction (2:55 p.m.): In the initial version of this post, we forgot to credit our very gracious photographer, Bethany Jones. Thanks so much for helping us, Bethany—when you come to Chi this summer, the vino and/or Guinness is on us.

While my blogging brethren reside in the wonderfully windy city of Chicago, I enjoy the pleasure of calling Columbia, Mo., my temporary home as I pitter-patter my way through four years of the dream-world experience that is modern day higher education. Columbia is a lovely place for a million different reasons, but one thing that’s not high on that list is natural scenery. But after being cramped up in your favorite local coffee shop (see: Kaldi’s), studying your ass off for the huge exam in that class you never actually attended because you swore to yourself you’d just read the book and get notes from that guy who you did that group project with earlier in the semester, you’re gonna need some fresh air, and lots of it. Enter Capen Park/Mulch Site. It has mulch for taking and rocks for climbing—what more could you ask for? You’re right, nothing.
Winter’s still got her foot in the door here in Missouri, which means I still have an excuse to wear blazers without people on campus thinking I transferred in from the SEC. This thrifted beauty fits well almost everywhere but the arms, which could use a nice visit to the tailor. I’m working on that.
Also, I tend to opt for boots when wearing jackets. Why? I don’t really know. Maybe it’s because my high school mascot was a lumberjack. Maybe it’s because I misplaced my favorite longwings. Or maybe it’s because when I’m not blowing out my pocket fades or doing squats to make my honeycombs explode, I’m usually out climbing rock faces in blazers and tie bars. I know you sensed the sarcasm.
“The 77″ dry 14-ounce Kurabo fabric, two and a half months (Standard Style, $200) by Baldwin Denim, size 31; mocha blazer (thrifted, $20), size 38; blue and pink polka dot tie (my old man’s closet, free); old leather belt (my old man’s closet, free); dark tortoise “Preston” eyeglasses (online, $95) by Warby Parker; coral oxford (retail, $50) by American Apparel, medium; thrifted work boots (borrowed from our dear friend Travis Craig, $9), military watch (eBay, $18) by Rothco.

Photos by Bethany Jones.

RENT MONEY: Spring Digs

April 18, 2011
A note on the the “rent money” category: This is what we’d likely spend our cash on if we didn’t have to pay to keep roofs over our heads. Or if we had a family fortune to squander. Or if we had one of those McDonald’s play pits that, instead of party balls, was filled with dollar bills. File these items under “want.” But stick around—you’ll find a workable solution at the end of this clothing lust. (Twist!)
Spring is tapping on the door right now. Pretty soon she’ll be knocking, and eventually she’ll be kicking it in. In preparation, I’ve accumulated some of my favorite items for this upcoming spring, most of which are way out of my price range. For right now, we’ll call them sartorially aesthetic pieces of inspiration.
Gitman Vintage Linen and Chambray Shirt - £119 (~ $193.65) via endclothing.co.uk
Woolrich Woolen Mills Chambray Shorts – $169 – via shopwharf.com
Yuketen – $300+ – via Context Clothing
Penfield – $150 – via penfieldusa.com
Jean Paul Gaultier – $75 – via openingceremony.us – I mean,
it’s gonna rain, and you’re gonna need an umbrella, right?
See what I mean about out of my price range? Let’s do some quick math. Those five items? Pushing $900. Last I checked, I didn’t have that kind of wampum to drop on one set of clothes. But here’s how I hacked the system:
You don’t have to toss 9 Benjamins out the window to get this look. Take the shorts, for instance. Front cargo pockets are gaining popularity, and for good reason—they’re functional (cargo is such an ugly word though). Anywho, if you’ve got an old pair of pants that goes without wear these days, find a friend who knows how to sew (and preferably enjoys doing so). Have him or her cut and hem your pants into shorts, using the extra fabric to make front button pockets on the thighs, like the WWM shorts above – this obviously requires a few buttons. This allows you to control the length of your inseam and where the shorts will hit on your leg. Then, pass them 10 to 20 bucks for their hard work, and you’ve got a pair of dope shorts for spring.
Just an idea, but repurposing old stuff you’ve fallen out of love with will save you cash and give you something new at the same time. We currently have a pair under construction – photos to follow upon their completion.

FAVORITE: Leader 725TR

April 15, 2011
Editor’s note: Here at the Midwestyle, we’re fans of practical transportation and staying fit. Bikes accomplish both. This is a post by Cameron N.—student, model(?), thinker, no-longer-part-of-this-blog, and apparently, hipster. Cam, over to you:

The perks of living on East Campus are many. I’m just a five minute jaunt from class. I can be in the heart of downtown in 10 or 15 by foot. That convenience sounds great, I know, but most mornings, I wake up for my nine o’clock classes at about 8:44, throw on a pot of coffee, practice the bare minimum levels of personal hygiene, put said coffee in my thermos, and finally jam out the door at about 8:56. And unless I’m trying to do that painfully awkward walk-run-skip thing I usually do when I’m in a hurry, I hop on my bike. Living in a small-ish town like Columbia allows my bike to be my main mode of transportation.
And I like that.
Because I like my bike.
Yeah, I’m aware it is a fixed gear.
Shut up.



Specs: Leader 725TR frame – 58, Leader Trickstar steel fork, Cane Creek ZS headset, Nitto bullhorn handlebars, Kalin seatpost, Pake PBS saddle, Origin8 Pro Track crankset, Shimano bottom bracket, All-City pedals/toe clips, Velocity B43 wheelset laced to Origin8 hubs, freedom Thickslick tires.



Heather henley (Christmas gift from the lady) by J. Crew, small; “The 77″ dry, 14-ounce Kurabo fabric (Standard Style, $200) by Baldwin Denim, size 31; brown leather belt (stolen from dad’s closet); Mid Skool 77 LX courtesy of Vans Vault, size 9.5.

Photos by Zach McSpadden. Thanks for helping, guy.

Thrifty Thursday: Tortoise Sunglasses

April 14, 2011

Let’s talk about gafas del sol. For those who don’t speak Spanish, that’s español for “gafas of the sol.” Or sunglasses. Whichever you prefer.
I’ve never been much of a sunglasses guy. Never paid much attention. But Chicago Summer ‘011 is shaping up to be a hot one, and I’d better be ready for all the days I’m going to spend lazing around on the beach, running into the water, saving lives, playing sand volleyball in my dog tags with Slider and Iceman, beach soccer, and maybe doing a little bit of work outside if there’s time.
I’ve been in the market for some ’60s throwback sunglasses, like these RayBan Clubmasters. So, I was pumped when I found these tortoise keyhole sunglasses at Seek Vintage yesterday. Though not the exact look I was seeking (see what I did there, eh, eh?), they were 10 bucks. Hard to beat. I mean, sure, I’d love to have these Persol retro sunnies, but I’d rather save $300. (File under: #sacrifices and #rentmoney.)
What we care about is achieving a classic look regardless of name/brand. And when we can do that for 3 percent of the price, well, our work here is done.
Check your local thrift store, or pick some old knock-off Wayfarers up for $6. Sure, they’re cheap. But $160 sunglasses break just the same when you step on them.

Tortoise keyhole sunglasses (thrifted, $10).

midweSTYLE: Working Man

April 12, 2011
Jeff’s closing in on the end of his first full week at his new big-boy Chicago job. (Remember when he was here looking for a job a few weeks ago? Well, he got one. And now he’s crashing on my couch until his super cool new place is ready in the Logan Square slums. It’s a difficult life we lead…watching the “Chicago Code” [which is hands down the best television show ever made], socializing every night, heists, shenanigans, and stepping over broken glass to get Niko’d every weekend.)
Not Jeff would ever be unstylish, but part of the new job is dressing well, so he’s been trying out some new looks. I’ll kick it over to him.
Jeff: Don’t be afraid to mix patterns and prints, as long as it’s in the same color story. I mixed this obnoxious printed stars shirts that I picked up at Halls during their winter sale and a dandy flower bowtie from Etsy.

I threw on a vest to break up the dark colors and add some contrast.

Grey sportcoat (Halls, sale $220 [reg. $680]) by Billtornade, small; vintage star print shirt (Halls, sale $33 [reg. $99]) by Scotch & Soda, small; grey vest (thrifted, $5); dark wash “Rhigby” (retail, $50) by Seven for All Mankind x Jonathan Adler, 31×34; vintage paisley bow tie (Etsy, $5).

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