Author Archives: Seth Putnam

MATERIALISM 2012 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Seth’s Picks

Materialism jokes aside, happy Christmas. Over the next few days, we’ll each be plugging five things any guy would be happy to have. (But really that we want to see under our own trees.) Can’t vouch for the other guys, but I tried to keep mine on a spectrum that doesn’t get too expensive.

1. These brogue boots (on sale for $276.50) by Grenson, because I’ve had my eye on ‘em for a while and it’s high time I did something about it before the obsession passes me by completely. (Edit: Literally overnight, I discovered that the boots are on hold from Mr. Porter—so rather than pick something else, let’s use it as a lesson. Strike fast.)

2. This bar roll-up ($135) from Cocktail Kingdom, because the skinny tools of the traveling bartender just get jumbled together without the proper carrying case. Waxed cotton, rugged leather, and designed with Jim Meehan, the mad genius behind New York’s worst-kept-secret speakeasy.

3. This wallet ($50) by Chester Mox, because they use Horween leather which is guaranteed to pique my interest, since the leather factor is just down the street from my house in Chicago. And obviously I’m very into broguing…to the point of going overboard.

4. This chunky knit cap ($20) by The Woodlands—even though yes it’s blue and I have too much blue stuff in my closet already for God’s sake will I stop buying blue—but something about it begs to me to yank it down over my ears and take a Christmas-morning walk to the back 40 acres while I’m home in Missouri.

5. This British-stripe bow tie ($15) by the Tie Bar, because I don’t own one and I’m embarrassed.

But enough about what I want. What have you guys got your greedy little eyes on this year? Let us know in the comments.

WINNA: Scrawl On That Stationery

And the lucky dogs who’ll be scribbling their chicken-scratch on Christine Cover’s tremendous stationery are:

  • From Twitter: @ChrisFidz. Get at us, brother!
  • From Facebook: Daniel Garber, check yo’ messages.
  • From the comments: Dillon, we hope your cousin enjoys the card. Whiskey and sea turtles are really the only things worth talking about anyway. Email us your address, and we’ll have it sent out post haste!
For those of you who didn’t win, check out Christine’s Etsy store. Easy gift idea, y’know? Don’t say we never did nothin’ for ya!
Until next time, friends.

FAVORITE: Dog Days Of…Fall?

Right when I’m settling into a happy routine of sweaters, wool socks and layering, the temperature spikes up to the mid-80s. I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s just like you to do this, Midwest—every damn year. Ah, well. When summer is as fleeting as it is in the northern half of this region, you’ve gotta cherish every last day even if it comes in the middle of autumn.
And when you find a piano on an abandoned freight railroad track, what do you? You were going to say “take some senior pictures,” right? Right. (You’re all invited to my high school graduation in two years.) Thankfully, the talented Rob Culpepper was on hand and in the mood to shoot some medium format film on the Bloomingdale Trail, Chicago’s undeveloped and still super-secret future answer to New York’s High Line.

A note on the trousers: Dockers? Yeah, you read that right. Your dad’s favorite brand has updated some of its offerings with more tapered silhouettes that look like like khakis but wear like jeans. They’re called Alpha Khakis, and I’ve been wearing the hell out of ‘em. Along with a second green pair, they’ve become fast favorites. 
It’s still fall, right? I got hooked on yerba mate in Argentina and have it with me most days when it gets late in the year.

On Seth: Indian cotton button-down (sale $30, reg. $75) by J.Crew; “Alpha Khakis” in British khaki (sale $59, reg. $68) by Dockers; natural veg leather belt by Cause and Effect; thrifted loafers by Giorgio Brutini; “Weekender” watch ($25) by Timex with Horween leather strap ($95) by Buckshot Sonny’s.
Oh, and if you’re a Mizzou Tiger, you’re headed into a special weekend. Cam and I will see you at Homecoming, suckers.
Photos by Rob Culpepper.

NORTHERNGRADE: Chicago Edition

Ladies and gentlemen, NorthernGRADE is coming to Chicago. This edition of the legendary pop-up market will be produced by our friends over at Well Spent and Pierrepont Hicks, so if you’re in town you’ve really got no excuse for missing out on the festivities.
Having been to Minneapolis, the place where it all started, we saw firsthand what all the fuss is about and we can tell you that NorthernGRADE is one of the gems of the Midwest. You can expect beer, camaraderie, and damn fine American-made goods. But don’t believe what you’re reading here: take our word for it. 
When: Saturday, Oct. 27 (10am – 6pm)
Where: Open Secret Studios (401 N Racine Ave)
Who: Made-in-the-USA vendors!
  1. Penelope’s (Sponsor) – Chicago, IL
  2. Haberdash (Sponsor) – Chicago, IL
  3. Red Wing - Red Wing, MN
  4. Tellason - San Francisco, CA
  5. Winter Session  - Chicago, IL
  6. Pierrepont Hicks - Minneapolis, MN
  7. Oak St. Bootmakers - Chicago, IL
  8. Independence - Chicago, IL
  9. Portland General Store – Portland, ME
  10. Field Notes - Chicago, IL
  11. Archival Clothing – Eugene, OR
  12. MidNorth Mercantile - Minneapolis, MN
  13. Stormy Kromer – Ironwood, MI
  14. Sir & Madame - Chicago, IL
  15. Locally Grown - Des Moines, IA
  16. Corter Leather – Boston, MA
  17. Inland Clothing – Chicago, IL
  18. Heritage Bicycles - Chicago, IL
  19. Drift Eyewear - Chicago, IL

GIVEAWAY: And The Winner Is…

Alright, you filthy animals! The time has come.
We want to thank you guys for your interest. We’ve loved reading the stories of your old, faithful, ratty backpacks. The new opportunities, the ending chapters. The big-boy jobs and the style transformations. We feel like we know each of you a little better, and that’s a wonderful thing in our book. 
Our winner is Josh Krasovec, the Kansas City police officer who plans to use the Bleecker Utility Tote to schlep around gear for his newborn daughter, and then pass along this beauty of a bag to her when she comes of age. Brilliant. (And we’re already picturing you motoring down the road on your motorcycle with this thing, Josh. Badass.)
To be honest, all your stories were excellent. We especially loved Jerry Stoffl’s hilarious empathy for the duped New Yorkers. Brad Rice’s philosophizing on the process of reinventing his style. And of course, ThreadWise’s courageous husband, who’s soaring above Iraq and Afghanistan and protecting our freedom. A humble thanks to both of you.
BUT: Before you walk away with heads hung low, know that we’ve got several more giveaways just ahead in the coming weeks—everything from winterwear to illustrated stationery. Don’t miss ‘em!
And, of course, a huge thanks goes the team at Coach for their generosity and damn fine bags.