Summer came to a close and you’re wishing you would have made that last trip to the lake. Alas, the time was cut short and the end of the season crept up on your sooner than you hoped.
Fall is here. Well, for some of us. Some of you are heading back to campus and swapping around your schedule so you can have Tuesday and Thursday off. For others, that’s just a fond memory in the rearview mirror. Get ready, man.
You’ve already started to remember your favorite sweaters and beloved boots from the last year. Some, you forgot about; others you purchased at the end of the season for a killer deal, and you’re antsy to break them in. While only one of us is actually taking a semester this season, we’re all still excited about the back to school season. Here’s a quick recap of what’s new:
- Seth is taking inventory of his gin stash and vowing not to repeat the mistake he made last year: not buying summer clothes on sale at the end of the season. Priorities, bro.
- Cam is conspiring to eBay snipe some luxe Ralph Lauren sweaters, rationing his beer and pizza stash on an espresso-slinger’s budget, and juggling his senior year plans because, “What the hell am I supposed to do now that I’m graduating this year?” Good luck, man.
- I’m kicking myself right now for not selling more clothing, because my new closet is the size of a bookshelf in my new apartment…in a new city. Yeah, I hopped in a big, ugly Penske truck a month ago and trekked to the East Coast. Betrayal, indeed. More to come on that.
We rounded up a few things we either own that are new favorites or things that are sitting in our shopping. Take a peek and give us your thoughts.
- Corter Bottlehook in copper: If you’re like me you’ve been using a carabiner to carry your keys around ever since you can remember. Or ever since you’ve had keys. Whichever, the point is that it’s officially the future. Step up your game with this little guy from Corter. Rustic, functional, and even more rustic. Plus, the most awkward thing on all of our key rings is a bottle opener, right? So why not just make the bottle opener the main apparatus. Do you follow? Be better than the carabiner.
- Baldwin Camo Ryan Trousers: How do you blend in and stand out at the same time? Camouflage. The fit and details on these are perfect: a trim, straight leg, a perfectly scaled print, made in the States. Plus nobody will be able to see the degree of pastiness your legs progressed to this summer because you had an inside job and couldn’t sit at the pool all day every day like you have the past, oh, 20 summers of you life.
- Filson Zip Tote: Get this tote, grab some Otter Wax, and set this thing up for all-weather badassery. It has a zipper so rain, snow, and your girlfriends hands can’t get inside (to steal your money). Plus all the street style photographers will get that great bag handle/leather gloves/watch/wrist accessories shot that they all kill for. We all love those.
- Black Thorogood 6″ Moc-Toe Boot: Real talk, this is the best bang for your buck in the boot department. Thorogoods are made in the USA, have a perfect silhouette and don’t break the bank ($130–160 depending on your website of choice). These come in a few other color ways, but I’m most attracted to black.
- Trident barspoon: I’m smitten with this combination. Use one end for stirring, the other for spearing olives and cherries out of the jar for your boozy concoctions.
- Hoof-pick belt: The hoof-pick belt we’ve been going crazy for? (Cam’s got one, and we featured Blake’s last year.) Well here it is for $37.95 from an actual equine-outfitter store. Better than its more-than-reasonable price? Made in the U.S., baby.
- Shorts: End of summer. In other words, the best time to get deals on cut-offs for next year’s dog days. Like these linen boys for $40 at J.Crew.
- Blazer: I need some Fair Isle in my life this year. Like this badass blazer from Lands’ End Canvas.
- Beer bike: I like bikes. I like beer. I like carrying beer on bikes without crashing and burning like last year.
- Stubbs & Wootten Earl Crest embroidered slippers: I’m not tired of thrifting loafers and slippers in every shade of brown, black and burgundy with various tassels, weaves and fringe details from dead men in Kansas City. But I am tired of not finding brightly colored, velvet smoking slippers. Probably because if you had a pair, you were probably buried in them. Made in Italy, obnoxious and I’ll just say it’s my family crest on the top if you ask.
- Alexander McQueen skull print silk scarf: I’m typically touch and go with scarves. Ain’t so with this bad boy. It’s gorgeous, McQueen and was given to me as a gift from a former coworker. I throw it on with a T-shirt, jean jacket, well-worn denim and sneakers. The color is a little off, yet it goes with blue denim rather nicely.
- Moncler camouflage hooded down vest: I want to tell you not to even ask about this, beceause I thought I’d be wearing this nearly everyday this fall with a jean jacket or a blazer. Yet, it’s sitting in my closet wit the tags still on it. I’m debating whether or not I’m keeping this. It’s about as much as my rent, yet I paid a fraction of the cost because I snagged at the right time during a sale. Judgement is welcome. Please forward it to my spam address.
This summer, an itinerant photographer from Birmingham, AL, found himself in Chicago. His name was Rob Culpepper
, and like good photographers do, he started documenting whatever struck his curiosity in the cityscape. His talent and and thoughtful eye were immediately apparent, and we quickly folded him into our ragtag band of Logan Square rabble-rousers. It goes without saying that we were sad to see him head South at summer’s end like a migrating bird. But before he left, he set up a series of meaningful portrait sessions with those of us who stayed behind.
For now, we’ll let these pictures speak for themselves. But Seth will chime in with more on Rob and his story next week.
One of my finds over in Europe this past year was this “Little People
” shirt by Folk
at their Brick Lane store in London. You know the drill: When you travel and love the city, the people and the beat of the drum, you want to bring back something that reminds you of your time in that place. (Cue collective “awww.”) I really dig Folk
‘s aesthetic in that they make simple clothing with playfully quirky details, like two little tribal people holding hands in random placement.
On Jeff: ”Little People” overshirt by Folk; short-sleeve chambray button-down chambray by Apolis; cargo trousers by Levi’s; watch by Timex; chunky wingtips by Walk-Over Shoes.
So, after a little over two years, I wore a hole straight through the crepe sole of my Clarks desert boots. After a round of violent weeping and gnashing of teeth, I was prepared to hold a burial service, or another memorial of similar gravitas. These felt like the boots I became a man in, or something.
While the term “essential” is egregiously overused, desert boots are one of a handful of items that actually deserve the title. They go with damn near everything, and I found myself wearing them almost every day for a year or so—a default for my feet. Thus, when they were finally unwearable, I was just short of devastated.
Then came the decision. Do I pitch them? Buy a new pair? Do I spring for a resole? WHAT DO I DO NOW?
What it really came down to was whether I should re-support Clarks, who was probably going to just fine if I didn’t, or whether I should put money toward a local cobbler to hook me up with a new sole.
In that light, the answer made itself abundantly clear.
Tucked away in the shadows of the Francis Quadrangle’s infamous columns, on 8th Street in Columbia, Missouri, sits a little shop called Dawson’s Shoe Repair. I had walked by countless times, never giving the unassuming brick storefront a second thought—that is, until I wore a hole in the sole of one of my most beloved possessions.
Inside, I was greeted by a friendly man named Bob who took my Clarks, offered me a slew of resoling options, and promised to do his best with the monster ripple soles I had chosen. Bob, who has worked at Dawson’s since he completed his service in the Air Force in 1971, made quick work of my order and after a few days, I had fallen back in love with my old, worn-out desert boots. When it was all said and done, the price tag came to $75 to have my well-loved boots resurrected with a patina and sole that I don’t think you’ll find anywhere else. Compare that to the $100 I might have spent on a pair of new boots, and I’d say I came out with the better end of the deal.
The only task left is to find a fitting nickname. Suggestions welcome.
On Cameron: “The Henley” in California wash by Baldwin Denim; green waffle henley by Old Navy; striped shirt by Steven Alan; submariner watch by Military Watch Co.; whiskey tortoise “Preston” eyeglasses by Warby Parker; desert boots by Clarks, resole by Bob Wood at Dawson’s Shoe Repair.
I was never one to gravitate toward hoodies growing up, mainly because they were never long, trim or interesting enough.
I liked the idea of having a track jacket but never could commit to it because my ideas of track jackets were attached to the ones everyone wore in high school with logos plastered on them. I’ve been down that road before and had vowed to not retrace my steps.
However, A.P.C., the notorious cult label of simple Parisian basics, caught my eye this past winter.
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- The Age of Millenials.
Word of advice: Don’t let your mother pick out your suit and get off the teat, pal.
- Ladies, a few of our friends from around town weigh in on what Chicago guys think about what you’re wearing. (Refinery 29)
- Another for the ladies: We dished our favorite spring style tips for you to forward on to the dude, brother, man, roommate in your life. (Refinery 29)
Don’t forget them deals:
Huckberry and The Art of Manliness
have teamed up this week to bring you a sale that includes Criquet organic polos (take 25%), Leatherhead sports equipment (take 20%), Field Notes (take 20%) and military watches (take 10%). Ends June 7.