MIDWESTYLE: Young Folks

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.

Alex Mick - WOW! Nice information…it has helped me a lot
John Wilson

GIVEAWAY: Win A Custom Suit From Indochino

Hey, you. Yeah, you.
We’ve got some news. Indochino is coming to Chicago to throw its Traveling Tailor pop-up. And they want you there.
We’re betting you’ve heard the name by now. But if you haven’t, Indochino is an online company that makes custom suits based on your personal measurements. The result is a garment that fits like a glove. The process works pretty smoothly, but purists have scoffed about the fact that you don’t go in for measurements or fittings. We get that—if you measure incorrectly, alterations (or worse) can be a pain in the ass.
It turns out that Indochino gets this, too. So, they’re coming to town to take all the guesswork out of the equation. If you’ve held off because of unfamiliarity with how to measure, or just plain apprehension, this is your chance to get a closer look.
Here’s how this will work: The Indochino team is setting up shop in Union Station’s Great Hall from August 14 to 20. There, they’ll take your measurements and walk you through a suite of customizations from lapels to lining to monograms.
The Vital Info:
When: Tuesday, August 14 to Monday, August 20. (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
Where: The Great Hall at Chicago’s Union Station (210 S Canal St)
How: Walk-ins are welcome, but they’re also offering a free suit utility kit when you purchase a suit after an appointment.
So: Book an appointment here.
We’ve been fascinated by the world of online custom suits for a while now, and we’re just getting our feet wet. We tried a similar company ourselves, and we were blown away by the results. It certainly sold us on the gospel of custom clothing. Our friend Zach went the Indochino route for his wedding. And we gotta say: He looked like a million bucks.
But now, we’d like to hear what your experience is like—and you’ve got the chance to show us.
Here’s the perk for you: We’re hooking up one of you lucky dogs with a free suit from Indochino’s “Essentials” collection. That’s a $379 value. There are just a couple of rules.
  • You’ve obviously gotta be able to get yourself to Chicago sometime between August 14 and 20.
  • Tell us why you need this suit and how you’re going to put it to good use. Do this by tweeting your answer to us @themidwestyle with the hashtags #SuitUpCHI and #MWSgiveaway (so we can get a bird’s-eye  view of the entries.) It’s important that we can get a hold of you so we can set you up with an appointment.
  • One entry per person. We’ll pick a random winner and get you outfitted.
  • Contest ends on Sunday (August 12) at 11:59 p.m.
It also can’t hurt to do some liking on Facebook (MidwestyleIndochino) and some following on Twitter (@themidwestyle; @indochino). Good luck!

midweSTYLE: Whiteout

Few pieces in a man’s arsenal are more divisive than white denim. 
There are two sides of the fence—and few people are actually on the fence itself. Dudes either love white denim, or they hate it. I fall on the former side, obviously. That said, I’ve had conversations with guys who tend to stay away from the white for fear of a painful amount of upkeep. But, perhaps there’s a mental shift that needs to be had. Listen…
You guys remember when you got your new kicks at the beginning of the school year, right? As boys, we all feared that if those snow-white Converse All-Stars got a speck of playground dust on or around their perfectly pure uppers, that cute girl who sat at the desk next to you would not shoot you a second glance and all of third grade would be an ultimate failure. But, if you remember correctly, you ended up wearing those pristine kicks to a muddy kickball game a few weeks later and still managed to get playground-married to Elizabeth during recess. 
Point being: White stuff was never really meant to stay white.

I tend to treat white denim as a kind of blank canvas that’s supposed to be painted. The more specks they get, the better. In fact, I want them to be pretty disgusting when it’s all said and done. Am I going to try to remove stains? No. Am I even going to try to prevent them in the first place? Probably not. The dingier they get, the more character they’ve got. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going rub myself down with sod or intentionally dump a cup of coffee on them. But life happens.
Yes, if they start to smell bad, I’ll wash them, relax.
Yes, you can wear them after Labor Day. The guy who said you couldn’t was a Communist, and he didn’t even own anything white.

Also, Indys in the summertime is okay, too. Maybe I should be wearing Vans or Tretorns, but I can’t take these things off. 

On Cameron: “The Paulie” chambray shirt by Baldwin Denim; tri-blend tank top by American Apparel; double O-ring belt by Narragansett Leathers; “The Henley” in white by Baldwin Denim; Indy boots by Alden; “Preston” eyeglasses by Warby Parker; submariner watch by Military Watch Co.

Photography by Jarred Donalson

Sarah Glynn - Keep up the good work, we MN ladies are loving your blog!
Cameron, you are so classy. Marry me?

Tyne Swedish - I am so in love with this site and your style! Like seriously how sick is your taste! Anywoo I just wanted to say how I love the white denim philosophy here. I used to wear these one pair of white denim destroyed jeans all the time years ago then I lost a ton of weight and couldn’t fit them anymore which is so sad because I haven’t found a pair that I love as much yet!

Chao from a fellow midwestern

Poppie
http://thepoppie.com

parenting articles - the outfit looks really nice and comfy

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Cameron Wiley - I’d love to see a follow-up post once the denim is worn in and dirty. Cause, I fear if I went with the white denim, they’d just get dingy and gross, not in a good way.

openid - What a classic look! Chambray and white denim never fails.
stylitics.com
blog.stylitics.com

Raymond Metzger - The white denim and boots look great. Is that the 1″ width Narragansett belt?

http://www.thedapperdiamonddistrict.com

Padrino - Love this outfit!! demin is the new black for men this year

Chahana - This outfit is immaculate! & those boots are fantastic!

x
http://www.invalerie.blogspot.com

Chris - Awesome post, Cam! Reppin’ the Baldwins!
@thehydeparker

Zach Glotfelty - You buy those Indys new or secondhand?

xts77 - hahaha! What a riot! A man after my own heart!

I can’t seem to take my Indy boots off despite the fact that it’s 90 here in Boston. I just feel more comfortable in pants and shoes (read: boots!) than everyone else in shorts and flip flops. Not to mention less shlubby too.

I placed my order to Narragansett last week for that exact same belt, as well as a “regular” belt in medium brown with a nickel finish buckle. Good to know they’re going to look good with the gear I’ve got.

midweSTYLE: Desert Boots Resoled

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. 

Bryan Arri - Super glad you posted on this! I’ve walked by Dawson’s myself a handful of times. Mine are in need of new soles. I love the way yours turned out and I think I might just have to copy them…

Dan Lish - Tatooine Trekkers

Desmond Kinlaw - Dude thats awesome. Never imagined desert boots with that sole. I think I kinda like it. Just out of curiosity, how much would it have been to just get another crepe sole put on there?

Chinos & Cheesecake

Wolfgang - Rommel Stalkers

Jet Syquia - beautiful!

nadinebritt - Now they look like dinosaur teeth.
It is always a good day when you get your favourite shoes resoled. Enjoy!

Johnny - Sand Sharks

Jamie - I was equally sad when my knee high black leather boots had worn out heels. Took me over a year to realize it would cost $30 to get them reheeled over umm the $150 to buy a new pair of boots. Good call supporting local business!

Alex - desert tooths

xts77 - Nice looking boots! I’ve been wondering about a crepe resole as well. Really debating finding someone to put a Dainite sole on them, but that will be much stiffer than the original crepe and I’m not sure how I would like it.

Was this the case with your new ripple sole? Any difference in the feel when walking? Also, those boots have an awesome patina to them! Did you use any leather conditioner or wax on them?

tara polly - ooh, love this resole. how rad!

SUNDAY LINEUP: Dose Market

Just checking in quickly to say: Come hang out with us at Dose Market on Sunday. Seth will be working alongside Max Wastler (All Plaidout) at the booth he’s running for Buckshot Sonny’s limited edition “Kamp Kit.”
Here’s an exclusive first look at the patch design for Buckshot Sonny’s forthcoming dopp kit with Winter Session. It’s based on the model Max took to summer camp as a kid. Says Max: “At mine, they spelled it ‘Kamp.’ We nod to that with our Kamp Kit, debuting at Dose this Sunday, June 24th.”