midweSTYLE: West Bottoms

Every now and again, I’ll do a round of thrifting in my home neighborhood in Kansas City. If I’ve recently gotten a paycheck, I get a little chance-y and pick up pieces that I know I’ll probably never wear. Some of them are ill-fitting, others are just ridiculous, and more than not, they end up in my closet unworn. If you thrift with any regularity, you’ve been there. You know that feeling. You don’t need it, and you don’t really even want it that badly, but you grab it just in case. After all, it only costs ¢50 or a few bucks. If worse comes to worst, it would make for a good Halloween costume at some point in the future. 
Anyway, that was the story behind this blazer, initially. I didn’t have a go-to blue blazer at the time, so I bought it, even though it didn’t really fit. The shoulders framed me well enough and the chest wasn’t bad, but it had a huge waist measurement. The gentleman that owned it before definitely had a belly. Seriously, Santa Claus status. Regardless, I bought it for a staggering $4.50. A navy blue, American-made, hopsack blazer for under $5? Sure.
After a few lonely months in the closet, I finally took it to get tailored. Tailoring thrifted clothing sounds and feels a little unnatural. Taking something that you bought dirt cheap and investing another $25 to $75 seems wrong at first. But, if the piece is of high enough quality, the investment is well worth the fit and wearability that comes with tailored clothing. I’ve gotten a jacket or two fitted, some legs of old trousers tapered, waists taken in. It can turn a forgotten thrift store purchase into one of your wardrobe favorites. In this case, the arms ride up a bit, making them appear a little shorter, but hey, it’s perfect everywhere else.

Clarks, beat to death.

On Cameron: hopsack blazer, thrifted ($4.50), tailored for $45; patchwork button-down (eBay) by Gitman Vintage; cream sweatshirt (sale, $80 at the Baldwin Men’s Shop) by Todd Snyder; the Henley in California wash, (sale at the Baldwin Men’s Shop $116, reg. $232), by Baldwin Denim; beeswax desert boots (gift) by Clarks; WWII-era Russian watch (Etsy, $30) by Vostok; leather wrap (gift) by Tanner Goods; recycled cotton socks (Christmas gift purchased from Hickoree’s), by Solmate Socks.
Photography by the one and only Grant Heinlein, check him out!

Sarah Ann - My boyfriend needs to invest in some new shoes, like yesterday! That being said, I’ve got a handle on casual boots, but if I see him pull his old Puma or Adidas (and not “old” in a good way) out of the closet one more time, I might freak out. Suggestions for some classic, athletic styled shoes?

Funmilayo - i love the look :)

Seth J. Putnam - Meant to respond earlier…sorry to revive this thread after so many days. Just wanted to say we appreciate your comments, Kyle. You didn’t come off as a dick. We actually welcome the debate, and we want to make sure this is a place where people feel free to describe how they’d make different choices. So: thanks.

David D Hall - I wouldn’t wear the jacket as it fits. But that doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t style themselves in a way they prefer. I’m a little burnt out on barking traditionalism in the comment section of blogs. It’s a style blog about three young dudes, not just a regurgitation of traditional menswear rules (they didn’t say you had to wear jackets like this). I wouldn’t read it if I didn’t see anything new or different, and I doubt anyone else would either. Plenty of resources out there for rules. And besides, the point of the post remains the same regardless of whether you like this particular outcome. He took a thrifted piece to a tailor and ended up with an end product he enjoys more than before.

Kyle - Did not mean to come off as a dick. I am definitely one for Thome Browne proportions being that I am a short guy. However, I think the beauty of tailored clothing lies in the proportions. I’m fine with a short jacket that doesn’t cover your ass, but I think it should at least get half way there. I believe Christopher Bastin does the look great: http://rosecallahan.blogspot.com/2010/04/christopher-bastin-of-gant-rugger.html

When it sits too high it elongates your legs and shortens your torso making you look a little uneven. Just my opinion though. Anyway, I enjoy your site keep doing what you do.

RandaLea - Why, thank you, son.

ALEX - Not to troll–to enlighten–but the suit coat doesn’t fit you; it doesn’t go over your ass, the sleeves are too short and the button point too high. If that is a medium, go for a large. The cut and material look quite nice, though (for cotton–I presume). If it fit you, it’d be a nice, casual jacket.

Cameron - @Kyle

I suppose that that may be true, if I were a strict traditionalist. Unfortunately, I’m not, so I disagree. Although, my mother does have dashing style. The compliment is well appreciated.

Seth J. Putnam - @Kyle


Can definitely see your point…in fact someone called out Jeff for his Harris Tweed being too short. However, I’m not sure I see it as a hard-and-fast rule. For short guys like me, a blazer that hits higher than my fingertips is beneficial because it at least gives me the (illusion) of looking taller. Obviously Cam and Jeff don’t have this problem, so it’s sort of up to their personal style.

Kyle - Sorry but that jacket is way too short. Kind of looks like you went thrifting in your mother’s closet.

Jessy Diamond - I would love to be able to thrift, but since my size is not even common in regular stores, chances to find one while thrifting are really low.

Chris - Awesome post, per usual! I’m getting married in the West Bottoms at The Hobbs building in October. We are doing a very industrial style wedding. If you guys want some good shots… yeah… anyways… I love your site… it’s been a daily check on my list!


Claire - Love it. Perfect fit now. : )

Jennifer Fabulous - I’m not gonna lie, in the decade I’ve lived in KC I can count on my hand how many men with impeccable style (and thrifting skills) I’ve seen. This city needs more of you (or, at least I need to know where to find them, haha). :P

The blazer, the shoes, the watch. Brilliant. Love this whole look.

dani - Looks fantastic! The hidden magic in tailoring does wonders! :)

<3 The Daily Dani

Unknown - So, where in chicago is a good tailor to make diamond in the rough into gems like that jacket. Looking to get pants tapered.

Liz - Speaking of Santa Claus belly…

Landon - awesome awesome watch. also, great location for the photos, love that minted rust in the background

KyleB - Very nice. What’s the name of the shop where you picked up the blazer? Any others in KC you’d recommend?


Details Magazine: Look for Less

For our second guest post for Details Magazine, we decided to look back on a few great films of 2011. It’s the look for less: the idea of taking something that styling crews shelled out hundreds for and recreating it for pennies on the dollar. This isn’t necessarily dress-up; it’s just a little inspiration.

A common thread amongst the films was one man. Ryan Gosling. Enter the Gos.
Okay, he couldn’t make it for the shoot. So, I rolled out of bed and stepped in.

With the deadline approaching, we phoned our main man, Anthony Barlich, to make shit happen.
And he did. See for yourself:

Drive: Badass leather jacket, driving gloves and a ratty, old henley. You’ve got those, now make it happen.

(Special thanks to Wicker Park for being a dirty dive.)

On Jeff: Dark wash slim-straight, mid-rise “Max” jean (sale) by Acne; grey henley from Seth‘s closet; thrifted grey moto-style jacket with padding ($40) from Rad Vintage; silver-framed aviators from Mallory‘s purse; off-white “James” wingtip (end-of-season sale $100) by Frye; last-minute fingerless leather driving gloves ($10) from Urban Outfitters; vintage sterling silver “Southwest” inspired cuff ($10); skinny railroad spike cuff ($50) from Giles & Brothers.

Crazy, Stupid Love: Sharp suits, coy attitude, mixed drinks, beautiful women and The Bedford.
(Special thanks to The Bedford Chicago for letting us shoot in your amazing space.)

On Jeff: two-button, notch-collar midnight smart suit (on sale $300) by A.P.C.; slim-fit, mini-check button-down shirting (sale $50) by Scotch & Soda; thrifted woven leather belt ($2); laceless brown “Lexington” wingtips (Nordstrom Rack, $50) by Florsheim.

Ides of March: Politics, schmolitics. Dirty scandals, clean looks. Keep it secret, keep it safe. I also don’t own a grey suit, so you gotta make do with what you have.

(Special thanks to Chicago for being beautiful at sunset)

On Jeff: Grey trench courtesy of Banana Republic’s Mad Men Collection; thrifted wool scarf ($10) by Pendleton; shrunken charcoal sportcoat (sale at Halls for $260) by Bill Tornade; high-waisted charcoal trousers ($60) by American Apparel; short-sleeved white button shirt (end of the season sale $40) by rag & bone; gifted silk tie by rag & bone; thrifted patent leather penny loafers ($5) by Allen Edmonds; tortoise shell sunglasses from Mallory‘s trunk. 

Once again, Major eProps to Anthony for the photography for this project with Details. Also, a big bear hug to Mallory for being the lighting queen. She can hold a light longer than one of those schmucks on Survivor standing on a totem pole for a piece of chocolate.

Seriously, y’all. Anthony makes it happen.

Funmilayo - I love the photos and the clothes :)

Terryl - amazing. all of it. i’m dying over the biker look.

Bianca - where have you guys been all my life! YOU BLOG IS AMAZE!!!

Jin - Love all the looks! Show them we got guys with style here in the midwest!


Matt Graham - Definitely would have gone with Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl and Remember the Titans.

Blake - Great stuff guys! Nothing beats taking inspiration from the Gos. Congrats on Details!

Caleb - Love that you guys are contributing to Details now. Keep repping the Midwest.

Seth J. Putnam - @Nat: Muchisimas gracias por tu comentario. Que barbaro que estás leyendo en Uruguay!

Mme Dos Rombos - Ahh, que bellos!

Street Style: Tuesday in Wicker Park

A quick little street style update courtesy of Amy Creyer of Chicago Street Style
There isn’t anything particularly exciting about my outfit, especially for my general thrust for anything obnoxious or questionable. However, take a closer look at the jacket.

A recent find at Barney’s, the Harris Tweed A.P.C. (although Context carries this) blazer has quickly became my favorite fall/winter wardrobe piece. The different colors woven in this badboy are beautiful. It’s easy to pair with denim for a casual look. Or I pair it with another color trouser or button down that is woven throughout the jacket, like the rich burnt orange/brown, purple and blue. A definite investment piece, sure. Worth it though.
On Jeff: Grey Harris Tweed blazer by A.P.C.; grey crewneck sweatshirt by Jack Spade, thrifted purple madras shirt by GANT; blue cotton scraggly scarf by rag & bone; thrifted two-tone knapsack; beloved dark wash 11.5 oz slim “Henley” with stretch no wash for 2 years by Baldwin Denim; chocolate suede boots by Red Wing; black framed glasses by Gant Rugger.

Thanks again, Amy. You’re a sweet and talented friend who’s also got some wacky style. 

Also, Can we pause and talk about this bookshelf print top? I want that in a button down.

DT - Being a fan of most of what APC does, I really want to like the blazer, but honestly, it falls flat. Ignoring the incredibly high button stance, the jacket is way too short even in this casual context. You’re in the region of 6′ tall, yes? A jacket this short completely ruins your proportions. I’m not even a staunch traditionalist (they would burn you at the stake) and I can see this.

Danielle - I love you style.. You guys are an inspiration because you thrift and I love menswear!! Please drop by my thrifty blog when you have time too. It’s nice to meet another thrifter out there!


The Good Guys: Grant Heinlein

Meet Grant.
A born-and-bred Midwest boy ripening out on the East Coast, Grant is the guy to keep your eyes on in the coming years. Rather than getting snared in the talons of the Kansas Jayhawks, he opted out and fled the state for art school.

He’s mad talented—far more than we ever were in undergrad—and earned his spot at RISD. It’s no surprise that he’s at one of the top schools for design studying graphic design and photography.

When I asked Grant about his style, he reflected on stories of high school habits we can relate to. You know: the standard slouchy basketball shorts, Jordans and hooded sweatshirts. Like us, he was that guy.

“Between my freshman year uniform of basketball shorts and hoodies and the over-saturated preppy, country club wannabes, I had to break out and develop my own sense of style.”

But he didn’t quite feel the jam of having reptiles, wild game or flying critters plastered over his heart…

“My whole thing is simplicity. I think that also stems from my artwork, but it’s definitely what I would describe my style as if I had to choose a word. It’s this relatively small mix of simple items that are going to last, like my denim, boots, Barbour, etc. I definitely don’t wear many bright colors. I’m a neutral guy, keeping it simple with browns, greys, and mostly navy blue.”

Someday, Grant would love to be an art director. His passion and creativity for seeing the bigger picture of how each art form is used and displayed stimulates him like nothing else. If the opportunity arises one of these summers, he’d love to intern for Kinfolk or Inventory. He recently accomplished quite a feat that many photographers attempt but never complete: the 365-day photography blog.

The whole point is to get better, push yourself and your creativity. Once I got into it, I got addicted to it. The feeling of capturing a photo a day that portray emotions on what I was feeling that day, or hell, even a cool thing to look back on, was enough to keep me going. I was tested in my patience to take the time to do it each day and try new concepts that I developed.”

I don’t even have the dedication to shower once a day for a year. Let alone dream a concept, put it in action and publish the results every single day as a tool to grow, learn and push myself.

You can find Grant and view his stunning flickr account over at flickr.com/grantheins, on the Tumblrs at formelle.tumblr.com and on the Twitterwebz at @grantheinlein.

On Grant: quilted navy vest by J.Crew; wool crew neck pullover by Gant Rugger; button-down by J.Crew; navy wool trousers by Pendleton; Iron Ranger boots by Red Wing.

Photos by Jarred Donalson.

EmmettMoore - Which watch is that?

ajm490 - Who makes the bracelet?

Raquel - Awesome outfit! And I love Grant’s tumblr.

DETAILS Magazine: A Guide for Dreary Winter

Winter is depressing enough.
Don’t be like those babes over there all dressed in black and gloomy. 
The great folks over at Details Magazine asked us to do a series of “Daily Details” posts this month. We gladly tightened our belts, wiped our eggnog-mustaches away, and accepted the invitation.
Seth kicked things off on a how to stand out in a sea of black North Face parkas and Moncler puffy coats with “How to dress for freezing-cold days.” Keep an eye out for the next three.

On Jeff: “K.C.” wool fitted baseball hat by Baldwin Denim; grey wool scarf by Pendleton; red puffer jacket by Patagonia; obnoxious plaid button-down by Gant Rugger; white denim by A.P.C.; neon-laced desert boots by Clark’s. Above: “Bedale” waxed jacket by Barbour.

On Seth: thrifted black pea coat by Sterlingwear of Boston; striped shoulder-button sweater by ASOS; chambray trousers by Levi’s; shearling-lined boots by L.L. Bean; yellow knit cap; plaid scarf; and his grandfather’s custom-tailored chamois and leather driving gloves.