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midweSTYLE: Double down

October 16, 2012
Let’s dish out another take on wearing a double-breasted jacket today, yeah? Cam brought his game with a Barena find last week, and I’m continuing with an Aspesi gem.
This is my first double-breasted jacket, let alone my first year-round + Italian designer jacket. I added in plaid shirt, thrifty slim carpenter pants, leopard-print hat and Nike Safari sneakers. So many red flags, styles clashing and seasons colliding in one outfit. But I was comfortable and in a hurry to meet up with Yewon Kim to snap some photos. Be warned when you meet up with Yewon: She’s in a league of her own.

Ladies, take note of Yewon’s outfits. Guys, take note of Yewon’s outfits. Everyone, follow the Yewon.

Story time on the wine-stained trousers: These Levi’s slim carpenter pants are favorites because of the lore behind them. A halloween-plus-birthday party was thrown at my house in Logan Square last year.  I remember neither my costume nor the song, but I swatted a wine glass out of the hands of some white girl with bangs (or rather her flailing arms swatted me.) The wine glass splattered and shattered on my computer and all over my pants. The white girl with bangs didn’t skip a beat and kept on dancing. The computer spluttered out, however, and a part of me died that night. The following day, I took it to the Apple Store, where they took a look and said, “Well, we tried to turn it on, but it smelled like wine and beer. It’s toast, bro.” 
Let’s review: My computer smells not just like “alcohol,”  but specifically, “wine and beer.” Noted, Genius Bar guy. My computer smelled like booze, I GET IT.

A day later, I emptied my bank account to get a new laptop. ‘Cuz Internet. A week later, I finally washed my wine-splattered carpenter pants. But the stains remain…and somewhere I think I still have that wine-logged laptop, too. 

 Photography by Yewon Kim

On Jeff: Double-breasted cotton blazer by Aspesi from Mr. Porter; checkered button-down by A.P.C.; carpenter pants by Levi’s; Air Safari sneakers by Nike from St. Alfreds in Chicago; five-panel cap by Reed Space + Publish from St. Alfreds in Chicago; frames by Warby Parker.

TREND: Camo Jacket

September 24, 2012
Hop on the train of mixing prints, patterns, textures, colors and leathers. It’ll probably stop soon, so let’s make this trip quick, yeah?
If you’ve been to any vintage, thrift or resale shops lately, you can tell that camo and military jacket sare making their rounds. This was my favorite summer wear to toss over a tank or light tee. It also enabled me to haul keys, cards, cellphones, wallets, swag and the like around without cramping my shorty shorts.
Now with fall upon us, it’s still a great layering piece. Think about subbing this guy in for a cardigan, or pile a down vest on over it. Comb through a thrift store to find one on the cheap, or dole out a few extra bucks at a curated resale shop to save you some time. 
  • Pro Tip: If it’s short or boxy or baggy, just roll the sleeves to make a hybrid, kimono-like sleeve of sorts and pretend you’re chill about it because you’re confident. That’s what I do with most of my clothes. ‘Cuz lanky arms.

On Jeff: Unstructured camo jacket ($3, thrift store) by Ranger; embroidered” University” chinos by Rugby; thrifted duo-tone “Nashua” loafers by Allen Edmonds; long-sleeve tee from Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen; railroad spike cuff by Giles & Brother; thrifted Navajo silver bracelet; “Weekender” watch by Timex; “Preston” glasses in Gimlet Tortoise by Warby Parker.

Photos by Rob Culpepper.

FAVORITES: Sweet Autumn

September 18, 2012
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.
Cam’s picks:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
Seth’s picks:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Blazer: I need some Fair Isle in my life this year. Like this badass blazer from Lands’ End Canvas.
  5. Beer bike: I like bikes. I like beer. I like carrying beer on bikes without crashing and burning like last year.
Jeff’s picks:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. 

MIDWESTYLE: Young Folks

August 30, 2012
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.
 
Photography by Rob Culpepper.

midweSTYLE: Desert Boots Resoled

July 3, 2012
barnside2
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 Denimstriped 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. 


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