THRIFTY THURSDAY: Retro Crewneck

September 29, 2011

Dismayed by the fact that we haven’t published anything particularly thrifty recently, Jeff did us a solid and shouldered the responsibility of finding something sweet. On short notice, he smartly chose to focus his efforts at Seek Vintage.
Though a bit pricier (and obviously a better caliber) than Goodwill, the D.A.V., Salvation Army, Village Discount Outlet, etc., Seek almost always yields something affordable and worthwhile. This visit was no exception. He came away with a wool-blend crew neck sweater that’s the perfect palette to catapult us into fall.
He came over, we shot some photos in the harsh light of a nearby parking garage. And that’s that, mattress man.
On Jeff: Wool-blend retro crewneck sweater ($20, Seek Vintage); indigo button-up courtesy of Topman; rust-colored trousers (sale $20, reg. $70) by Zara; desert boots (sale $50 at Nordstrom Rack) by Clark’s.

WHAT NOT TO BUY

September 27, 2011

Something just because it’s a good deal.

Photo:
Khakis (31×30) from Gap, $45
blue striped shirt (attic)
Green sweater from Target, $5

ETIQUETTE: On Tipping

September 27, 2011

There’s a gulf: those outside the service industry who want to pay too little, and those in the service industry who ??

Here’s our rule of thumb:

Tip in paper.
Round the dollar up, then base your percentage off of that.
9.37 becomes 10.00, then make the total $12.
7.37 becomes 8.00; then tip a couple bucks.
Being generous is better than being tighter than a bull’s ass in fly season.

Give them the benefit of the doubt: don’t assume they’re taking a route that’s going to try to eek more money out of you. They could in fact be, but they also know the city better. This is their job.

From Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/topic/chicago-tipping-cab-drivers (Jan. 2008)

Allow me to ground you all in a more personal perspective, rather than all the hypotheticals about cab drivers.

My husband is a cab driver.

He is a great cab driver, one who keeps a clean cab, calls patrons “sir” or “m’am”, helps with baggage, and even gives free rides to cancer patients and others he has a big heart for. He showers daily, is well spoken, and more than willing to put whatever you would like on the radio.

You know what? He is still stereotyped into being an ignorant immigrant, propositioned for sex, has to deal with people getting waaaay too frisky while still in the cab, has had a gun held to his head, has to suck up the higher cost of gas while rates remain the same, and has to deal with people being jerks. He gets the perk of everyone assuming he is one of the worst drivers on the road. You know why he might take a different route than the one you think is most direct? Because he has driven the streets for so long that he knows he can get you there faster on a different route where there is not as much traffic or not as many traffic signals. It is only in his best interest to get you there as fast as he can, because he has another fare to pick up. More fares is always better.

Talking in generalities doesn’t really help. What if we started talking about all the salespeople? Or contractors? Or personal trainers? Some are great, some are poor.

But if you experience great service, it is worth a great tip. Period. And a great tip is 25%. A good tip is 20%. An ok tip is 15%. If your ride is less than a $5 fare, tipping a between $1-$2 is appropriate. On all fares, you can round to the dollar higher, and then base your percentage on that.

And, if you have a great cabbie, ask for his cell number so you can use his business in the future. My partner has plenty of clients who have an ongoing working relationship because they set up fares in advance, for example a 4 am pick up to Ohare.

NEW INTEL: “Made Right Here”

September 26, 2011
We just caught wind of a sweet new venture, and we want you know about it. American extraordinaires Joe Gannon, Max Wastler and Matt Springer announced a new T.V. project today. Taking into account the other made-in-America shows over the years, this is one of the most original ideas we’ve seen in quite a while.


It’s called “Made Right Here,” and it’s dedicated to showcasing American-made products that have stayed strong by remaining here instead of going overseas. At its heart, it’s about story. The story of Billy Moore (Cause and Effect), the unconventional Tennessee belt maker who I wrote about last week. The story of Imogene + Willie, the denim makers who watched sadly as their parent company moved production to Mexico and the Dominican Republic. The story of Pointer Brand, the outerwear maker that sources its materials from Kentucky, Texas, North Carolina, and elsewhere in the U.S.—and has since 1913. The story of people.
And it follows Max and Joe as they take a turn at making these items themselves. Here’s Max:
“I say we made… Really, we tried and failed to make all these things. This is part of the story, too. These are craftspeople who’ve dedicated their lives to mastering a skill, a skill that is really tough to do.”

There it is: the essence of why American craft is important, why it costs a little more and why peoples’ livelihoods depend on you voting with your dollar. Give it a watch, and tell everyone you know.

We’re proud to call these talented guys our friends.

Friday Wrap-Up: Day’s Almost Over

September 23, 2011
You’re short on time. It’s noon. I mean, in half an hour, you’ll be going for a long lunch. Then after a leisurely trip to the bathroom, it’ll be 2 p.m. And we all know that that’s practically the end of productivity during the week—not to mention Friday.
So, yeah…the day’s pretty much over already.

Here’s how you should spend the rest of it:
From our archives:

From around the Internets:
  • We found out about Handlebar Magazine this week, and after being beyond amused by their about-us section, we were pleased to see some informed and honest writing on denim. Are you really “saving money” by buying raw or selvedge? Maybe not. But here’s why some guys drop the cash anyway. (via Handlebar Magazine)
  • Gilt says a quick rule of thrift is to measure shoes against your forearm. I was skeptical. (via Gilt MANual)
  • An intriguing analysis on presidential style, featuring the hilarious quotes of Max Wastler. (via the Wall Street Journal)
  • College boys, pay attention: It’s time to stop looking like slobs. (via the Art of Manliness)
  • Need hair advice from an actual barber? The women at Refinery 29 thought you might. (via Refinery 29)
And a story related to the Midwest but unrelated to style:
  • A.G. Sulzberger, the NYT‘s Kansas City Bureau chief, is a capable journalist and an all around good guy, especially over Budweisers in downtown KC. Here’s a look at a small Missouri town where gossip has been taken to the next level. (via the New York Times)
Finally, this is where we’ll be this weekend. There ain’t no party like a Pyongyang party, because a Pyongyang party IS ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY (via Kourtney Geers). Alright. Now, get outta here.

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