Happy Labor Day! Enjoy your extended weekend, friends!
So grab your (Boulevard) beer.
Round up your horse.
your horse summer goodbye.
Don’t wear cargo pants.*
But if you feel like your daytime activities merit compartments beyond the typical five pocket chinos, go forth.
A brief and personal history on cargo pants:
Cargo pants were notable in my adolescence as candy-smuggling, soda-pop-holstering, hazardous-when-running pants that you wore because you didn’t want to carry a backpack. But let’s be honest, everybody knew you had something in your cargo pocket because it jutted out like mad. As kids, we thought our cargo pockets were like Harry’s invisibility cloak.
We all had our fun with our escapades to the local Barry Wood’s 24 Cinema on a Friday night. You know, you stopped by the nearest Dollar General to stock up on snacks and chocolates and little diabetic comas neatly packaged in “fun-size” labels to hoard in those once floppy compartments fastened on the side of your American Eagle camo shorts.
Zippered, camouflage, frayed, bleached-stained or destroyed. You loved your cargo shorts. They were practical for your Midwestern youth, throwing and stowing loot and plunder from the creek. Many games of capture the flag they had served you well. Even provided that extra place to hide paraphernalia from authorities (parents, duh). Modern technology advanced at such speed that some cargo pants evolved into a hybrid cargo pants/shorts. You knew that kid.
For me, that kid’s name was Jason, and his locker was two down from mine in sixth grade outside of Mrs. Merle’s room. He had a pair of these convertible pants I coveted at the mere age of 12. One day in September, he complained that it was too warm inside in the New Mark Middle School’s make-shift cafeteria, aka lobby of the school.
I thought to myself, “Jason, are you kidding me? They are pumping A.C. in here. I’m about to go to the nurse and ask to use the phone to call my mom to bring me up sweater because I’m so cold.”**
The only logical response to the heat in the obviously temperate “cafeteria” was to show off his new transforming pants with zippers. Behold, the convertible pants into shorts. The middle-school boy’s dream pant that you can wear all year long, enabling you to never shower again, which in turn allowed to you play Halo more. Duh.
Two days later, Jason got beat up and his pants were stolen.
Me, I bought my own pair for candy-hauling, Friday night impish purposes—ya-know, the only kind of purpose a devious middle school boy can rationalize.
I digress with my nostalgic days of cargo pants.
Don’t wear them… unless they are updated with a tailored cut. Examples as follows:
On Jeff: Slim “Trooper”cargo pant courtesy of J.Brand ; cognac “Lexington” wingtip by Florsheim; wool blazer by Billtornade (similiar); crisp white short sleeve button-down by rag & bone.
Levi’s also makes a rad light forest green cargo pant that is fairly tailored as well.
Styling suggestions with your updated cargo pants:
On Jeff: forest-green cargo pants by Levi’s; white “Authentics” courtesy of Vans; orange- and white-striped tee by J.Crew; light heather grey slub cardigan by J.Crew.
Photography by Seth Putnam and Anthony Barlich.
* Unless you’re doing outdoorsy shit that would necessitate multiple pockets for the use of hauling game and bullets. I actually have a pair of cargo pants that’s aren’t tailored. They are for hiking, backpacking or something like that. They are from REI and are worn every summer when camping. I like the “idea of the outdoors” more than I like the actual outdoors, thus why my closet is overflowing with Patagonia synchillas in every color.
Tacos. Almost from south of the border. Food moonlighting as Mexican, moonlighting Texican in Chicago? Sure, but better. It’s more “inspired by” than pretend. And damn, this inspired food is good. See, the thing about Big Star is that it doesn’t fail. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do: brings a piece of the Texas border to the Midwest.
Not the whole thing. Just a little bit.
On Seth: “Stars” button-up by Scotch & Soda, Babe Lincoln.
On Jeff: Linen blend long-sleeve T-shirt from T by Alexander Wang; rolled khaki shorts by J.Crew; desert boots by Clarks; tan circle-frame shades courtesy of Topman; leather croakies gifted by Plett.
How sandy of you.
Which reminds us: Even if we only speak the language instead of having the heritage, “Mexican” food is part of us. Yeah, the place might be crowded. Might be hipster-ish. Might be just a dollar or two more than we want to pay, but once that $3 whiskey and those tacos hit our lips, you’re not going to catch us complaining.
Nope. Just tossing our heads back, sliding our arms around friends, saying salúd and buen provecho in perfect American mimicry.
Tecate with lime, empty shot glasses,
However, if you’re in Columbia, Missouri, go to Taqueria El Rodeo.
Hands down, the best Mexican food in Columbia at a third of Big Star’s price and three times better service. Such amenities include: using your debit card and being called, unironically, “amigos.”
The only other better thing? Having neighbors who are actually from Mexico turn your backyard into a mirth-filled celebration of carne asada, beisbol and la risa. You may have to move to my neck of Logan Square for that one.
Don’t go, verano.
The sign in this photo summarizes many things:
While Seth was playing
This shoot embodies our formula for menswear, blogging and style:
A lot of laughing, some Blue Steel and/or Magnum, and a little spooning for dear life on the back of a two-wheeled murdercycle.
Cameron: Jeff and I were trying to play off the classically American motorcycle feel in this shoot. Unfortunately, we didn’t have, say, a Triumph Bonneville on hand. We did, however, have a moped (read: scooter). It tops out at a little over 35 mph… downhill. Masculinity? Stripped. Dignity? Somehow, still intact. Needless to say, Jeff and I underwent a bonding experience unlike any other.
You know what I love about mopeds? You can wear whatever you want because you already look a little out of place riding the damn thing. Riding a moped is a lot like going to Vegas; you can wear whatever you want and
Photography by the moped owner himself and roommate, Zach McSpadden.
On Jeff: Confetti white button down ($70 sale in NYC) by rag & bone; indigo striped “Mickey” shorts (sale $30) by Club Monaco; tan circular sunglasses courtesy of Topman; tassel loafers (thrifted, $4) by Allen Edmonds.
You can always tell who the freshmen are on Mizzou’s campus because everything they own is fresh, rigid and brand new.
Like, fresh-from-the-factory fresh, tag-recently-plucked fresh.
Fresh-faced ladies with their fresh backpacks and fresh dreams, majors, aspirations and hopes.
Oh, the ladies.
With their monogrammed monograms and pearls upon pearls and coral lips strolling through the Quad.
Toned and crisp, all tanned and sun-kissed from their summer trysts at “the Lake.”
Their sun signed noses with freckles from their hours spent crosswording, reading but mostly latte-ing.
Bright planners peep out from Longchamps & Speedys to say hello for all their appointments, events, dates.
If I were going back to school this fall, I’d stick to my “I-need-to-be-awake-but-put-together” with a button down and chinos. Something that says to my professor, “I enjoy your lectures and your intelligence—and I would like to meet with you after class…to not talk about class over beers at Shakespeare’s.”
One of my favorite parts about this unique short-sleeve button down is the middle seam that runs straight through the middle of the garment. Quirky? A little. It’s a nice touch in breaking up the shirt, making it subtle and casual.
One of the better-fitting pair of chinos I own is the “Davis” Chino by Club Monaco. Slim cut, medium rise, chino-style pockets. I sized down in these and am surprised at how well they hold their fit and feel. I’m definitely stocking up on them when the new fall colors come out. For me, it fits better than J.Crew’s Urban Slim Fit, and I used to swear by those.
Photography by Zachary William McSpadden