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DIY: Rope Bracelet

March 14, 2012

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.

March 13, 2012
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)

March 12, 2012
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.

True/False: Street Style (Part 1)

March 7, 2012
We’re not exactly a street style website. But there are some times, like on a visit to a small mid-Missouri town, that you just have to stop and take note. And there were plenty of things that made me stop and look time at Columbia’s True/False Film Festival. Most of these images aren’t your typical “Midwestyle,” or #menswear images, but I found them noteworthy none the less. 
In the next post, Seth will have your fix of blazers, cuffed denim and layers on layers on layers. Sit tight, menswearers.
Here’s a way to get noticed: Carry a thousand things in your hand, belt your blanket and stud your sweater.
Grandma varsity cardigan swag with houndstooth scarf. Rad.

Lace always get me. And those natural curls don’t hurt either.

Your grandparents probably have a blanket like this sitting on the couch at their original home. Well, Liz has got that blanket coat, fringe included.

 In this case, it’s her Pendleton-esque blanket coat I’m drawn to. Hey guy: Maybe think about undoing that bottom button!

 Missoni for Target for Menswear by Marc Jacobs for Rodarte by Opening Ceremony, right?

Well, it was bound to happen, folks. Being in mid-Missouri, you’re going to see camo worn in a non-ironic way. But next to a lady in fur? They must be friends.

Vintage Cambridge satchel from London.

I’ll never turn down an opportunity for floral.

midweSTYLE: Oh, Pioneer!

February 28, 2012
UPDATE (3/5/12): This comment from Some Assembly Required was on point:
“Thumbs up on hats, love them, wear them all the time. For cooler weather, I have wool flat caps in tweed patterns; a couple of Stormy Kromers (made in Michigan) for when it’s colder; a “crushable” fedora-style hat like the one above that I got at Orvis (also made in USA); a couple of Panamas for summer to protect my head from the sun; and yes, a couple of ball caps, which I’m most likely to wear while walking the dog. 

One thing though: NEVER WEAR A HAT INDOORS. When you go into a restaurant, your workplace, a movie theater, etc., you need to remove your hat. Not doing so makes you look like what my grandparents used to refer to as a “greenhorn” (a person with no class or manners). A lot of guys, especially younger ones, don’t seem to be aware of this, probably because no one ever told them (and because hats, while on the upswing, haven’t been as popular as they were in the past). 

So I mention this not to put anyone down, but because I want guys to look dignified and dashing, not clueless and ignorant.”

Well said, sir.

We’re on a need-to-know basis, and I need to know: What are your thoughts on hats?
I bought this hat over the summer and couldn’t figure out a way on how to wear it. Its particular style is unique—probably something a hipster lead singer in a folk band would wear. Guilty.
It’s a hybrid between a safari, panama, fedora and a trilby. You tell me, menswear geeks. The tag says Banana Republic Outdoor Safari Collection, so we’ll run with that and call it a safari hat. I snagged it for a dollar up in Andersonville one summer’s eve. Brown Elephant, y’all. They’ve got some great digs from time to time.

I decided to play with some different ways you could wear it. All seemed appropriate considering the brim was a bit wider and rather flexible. Perhaps it’s a homburg style, as this Art of Manliness article on hat etiquette suggests. Either way, I dig it and have worn it on occasion.  I paired it back to some other textures and styling to give it a folky, pioneer kind of vibe. I mean, you totally love Mumford & Sons. So shut up.

First, are hats actually on the rise? Do you wear one?

  • Ballcaps on the weekend?
  • Fedoras to brunch?
  • Chef hat in the kitchen?
  • Newsboy around the office, you writer, you.

Also, can we pause for a minute and vow to not give the guy a hard time if he’s wearing a fedora. Fedoras are good in my book. And no, you don’t have to mention Jason Mraz* and say I look like him because I’m wearing a fedora every time I’m wearing one, okay? Jerk.

On Jeff: two-button “Harris Tweed” blazer (from Barney’s) by A.P.C.; evergreen cross-weave wool pullover sweater (from Nordstrom) by A.P.C.; chambray shirt (from Saks) by rag & bone; slim-leg “Johnny” corduroy pant in Sante Fe courtesy of J Brand; blue suede bucks (from Nordstrom) by 1901; thrifted brown homburg hat (from Brown Elephant) by Banana Republic; “Weekender” watch (with colored band from J.Crew) by Timex; black eyeglasses by Gant Rugger.

Photography by Amy Creyer
Thanks for snapping some quick snaps on a lunch break, Amy!


*(Seth’s note: If you are wearing a fedora, you look like Jason Mraz.)

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