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midweSTYLE: Put a bird on it

Go ahead and get your comments out of the way with “Put a bird on it!
Bring it on.
When I walked into the London store, I saw one of the sales associates wearing this shirt and asked if they had my size is stock.  Bummed that they didn’t have my size to try, the guy took the shirt off his back and let me give it a go.
Talk about customer service, people.

The shirt has an interesting story behind it as well:
The Jackdaw print was created by Edwyn Collins, best known for his hit ‘A Girl Like You.’ A former member of the band Orange Juice, Collins suffered from a double brain hemorrhage in 2005. As part of his rehabilitation, Collins created these individual illustrations. Having heard his story, Liberty immortalized his illustrations for SS12.
It’s rad when brands develop product with a story behind it.

 On Jeff: “Jackdaw” shirt by Barbour, available at Need Supply; green cotton military blazer from Urban Outfitters; scarf from Italy; dirty grey beanie from Target; slim dark navy “Thunder” wash in “Max” fit by Acne, available at Opening Ceremony; beloved Plainsman’s tan “Zachary” boots by Walkover Shoes; skinny railroad spike cuff by Giles & Brother; “Weekender” watch by Timex.

Photography by Yewon Kim

Backpacks, y’all

Here’s an all-points bulletin. You don’t have to be among the freshly admitted undergrad masses roaming college campuses with North Face backpacks. (Can I get a witness on them Jansport ‘packs, too?) It may also be time to retire the ratty patches and band pins from your more angst-filled youth.
We sent help. If a tote or a messenger bag isn’t your jam and you like to be hands free, throw one of these backpacks over your shoulders for your daily commute. 
But before you scroll, can we talk about one-shoulder backpacks? 
They just don’t make sense. It’s like wearing a jacket with one sleeve.
I already have a minor case of scoliosis; do I really need to further that curvature? Hell no.
I digress.
Here are our picks for this spring. They’re across a variety of price points, and they’re organized in no particular hierarchy. I should add the disclaimer that some of these should be filed under “pure fantasy” (cc: the Billykirk rucksack at the smooth total of $440)—at least until we all get jobs managing hedge funds.

Top row:

  • Convertible backpack ($240) by Beams Plus x Kelty, available at Mr. Porter
  • “Kanken” 15-inch laptop bag ($110) by Fjall Raven, available at Need Svpply
  • “Little America” 20-oz backpack ($140) by Herschel Supply Co., available at Need Svpply
  • Rucksack ($440) by Opening Ceremony x Billykirk, available at Opening Ceremony
Bottom row:
  • “Pathfinder Wanderer” ($175) by Duluth Pack , available at Duluth Pack
  • Digital camo backpack ($60) by Herschel Supply Co., available at Urban Outfitters
  • “Scoutmaster” laptop pack ($175) by Duluth Pack, available at Duluth Pack
  • Canvas rucksack ($260) by Filson, available at Park & Bond

I’ve toyed with each of these and haven’t made my decision on what I’m gonna sling over my shoulders once warmer weather makes afternoon sessions at the beach regular occurrences. I’m sporting this rucksack right now and it’s on its last leg.

So, interwebz: What kind of bag do you carry?

DIY: Rope Bracelet

With the rising popularity of men’s bracelets—love ‘em or hate ‘em—there have been a slew of brands who are doing their part to push polished men’s accessories. Miansai, for example, has put out some really great stuff for dudes.

If you’re like me, though, you don’t exactly have a bunch of extra skrilla lying around to spend on bracelets. The next option is to take the do-it-yourself route. In this case, that route is easily traveled. Here’s what you need:
  • Cord rope – you’ll inevitably have to buy more than you want. Grab some buddies, make friendship bracelets or something?
  • Scissors
  • Lighter
This process is incredibly simple, and if you’ve ever been to summer camp and know what’s up, you can go ahead and tune out. For those of you haven’t, start by cutting the rope to fit your wrist – allow yourself an extra centimeter or so, it’ll get removed in the process. Do note, the rest of this procedure is easiest with the help of a partner, but feel free to try it on your own. After I’ve cut my rope to size, I like to slide a small piece of hardware on the rope to cover the knot that will soon close the bracelet, but it’s not essential.
Next, burn the ends of the two ends of the rope with the lighter. The artificial fibers will catch flame and melt (this is where you lose that extra centimeter you accounted for).
After they’ve burned for a few seconds, blow them out and carefully place the rope around your wrist. Using wet fingers (the ends will still be hot), put the two burnt ends together. The waxy nylon will meld together with pressure.
If the ‘knot’ isn’t ideal, alternate burning and molding it with wet fingers until it’s to your liking.
At this point, I slide the bolt or spacer over the knot. Make sure that the opening in the hardware isn’t too big, just big enough where you’ll have to use some pressure to get the burnt knot inside. From there it will catch and be difficult to slide.
Voila! A brand new rope bracelet. Really, not all that difficult. Granted, it can’t be taken off, but the fact that you have to wear it all the time means it will show its wear and tatter with time, not unlike your selvedge or Authentics.
Get creative with this stuff, people!
On Cameron: navy gingham winter-weight button down courtesy of Wharf; Submariner watch (eBayed new for $145) by Military Watch Company; handmade rope bracelets

Photos by Elizabeth Calvert.

midweSTYLE: Camo, cuffed.

Spring is, well, nearly here. 
Time to ditch your socks, throw a cuff in your pants and get ready for the flood.
And those ankles? They’ll always look pasty white unless you let ‘em breathe.
The super helpful folks over at Levi’s were kind enough to track down these pants for me. I called my local Wicker Park store, and they handed over the style number so I could call a random West Coast store to see if they had these camo-lined trousers in my size. Low and behold, they did and shipped ‘em my way. 

Spring also calls for some light layering. I snagged this lightweight Barbour Liddesdale jacket while I was in London on vacation. A little haggling and £40 later, I was glad to take this jacket off the vintage seller’s hands in Brick Lane.


On Jeff: Blue Liddesdale jacket by Barbour; purple pullover by J.Crew; blue button-down shirt by Gant Rugger; camo-lined cuffed trousers (sold out) by Levi’s; Italian penny loafers thrifted in Andersonville, Chicago; blue “KC” hat by Baldwin Denim.

Photography by Carolina Rodriguez

True/False: Street Style (Part 2)

Last week, Jeff brought us a few prime snapshots of some of the more eye-catching ensembles in Columbia, Mo. Here now are a few more noteworthy blips on the radar…just to provide a little inspiration should you find yourself at a thrift store—or even for those spring sales when winter and fall wear is steeply discounted. 
Because, you know, one of the tricks to building an affordable wardrobe is to think ahead. Knock ya-self out.
Wool pea coat with naval overtones. If it conjures seafaring imagery, sign me up.

This is what an old favorite looks like. Buy one of these waxed Barbour Bedale jackets when, and you could be buried in it when you’re old.

Here’s David Wilson, one of the founders of True/False. He’s a guy with immense personal style. And his clothes ain’t bad, either. Dressing it down (and doing work) in this shot.
Blanket-lined chore coat from Sears. With the tucked scarf. Rural class.

The definition of affordable sharpness. Most of this came from the thrift store, but simple attention to fit makes all the difference in the world. Can’t get over the texture and weave on that blazer. (On Tyler Koch).
Layering done right. And that Levi’s jean jacket is prime for spring. Nailed it, David Hall.

The Steven Alan Parka: How about that burst of color? (On Cam.)

More layering and investment pieces from Buckshot Sonny’s. Let me tell you: Put on that green chamois flannel shirt and the herringbone chore coat, and you’ll never want to take ‘em off.
Boots for years. (Red Wing on Oliver Drambour.)

Paparazzi effect: These guys directed Low & Clear, which was sponsored by Filson. It’s a move about fly fishing. Check it out.

Unstructured J.Crew messenger steeze. (On Brandon Butcher).
Photos by Jeff Kieslich.