BADASS MONDAY: Marlon Brando

Alright, if you follow Badass Monday, you’re going to start to think that I have a thing for actors, particularly those that I am a generation or two removed from. And it’s true, I absolutely love them (and most of their films – said in my most high brow, pretentious voice). Brando came to mind for a couple of reasons. He stars in A Streetcar Named Desire, which I have been forced to watch for a class. (Remember, I’m in college.) And with the True/False Film Festival just behind us here in Columbia, I got to thinking about past films I’d seen at the festival, including one called Smash His Camera. It includes a scene where a young Brando punches a paparazzi photographer in the face.
Anyway, Brando’s of Midwestern blood himself, having been born in Nebraska and raised in both his birth state and Illinois. Instead of rambling in sentence form, lets just do this in bullets (pretend like you popped opened a Snapple):
  • Brando was kicked out of high school for riding his motorcycle through the halls.
  • He was the named the fourth Greatest Male Star of All Time by the American Film Institute.
  • Brando was one of Time’s 100 Most Important People of the Century.
  • He quit production of a movie to devote his time fully to the civil rights movement.
  • Oh yeah, he was Vito Corleone. No big deal.
image sources: [x]

The Thriftaholic (Leilani) - Have you heard about the classic film society’s screenings at the Portage Theatre? They show films every Wednesday night at 7:30 for only $5. I go every week!

[This is in Chicago, I think at least one of you is located in the windy city, not sure if you are though]

Evelyn - That is awesome! I had not realized that the guy in A street car named Desire and Vito Corleone were the same actor ;)

FAVORITE: Saddleback briefcase

To send you into the weekend: I came across this bag through one of the many generous giveaways over at the Art of Manliness. They were raffling this incredible briefcase from Saddleback Leather, so I entered on a lark and won. Since then, it’s become a prized belonging, although I wish I’d stuck with the large size they sent instead of exchanging it for something smaller. I was thinking I would use it as a briefcase, when it actually works better for me as a weekend bag.

If I’d had this thing during the Buenos Aires job, maybe it would have provided me something to sling over my shoulder for a getaway out the cabana window. Instead, I was fumbling for the essential possessions when the door burst open.
Won’t be making that mistake again.

Seth J. Putnam - GH—

That would be “Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation and Other Processes” by Goldberg, Sander, Rogers and Cole.

GH - Enquiring minds want to know: What legal textbook is it sitting atop?

Evelyn - That briefcase is gorgeous!

What I’m Wearing Today: Pop o’ orange.

Will of Momentum of Failure started a small revolution in the menswear blogosphere called, The 100 Days of Ties Project.
image source:
In short: Throw on a tie, son.
And to keep the ball rollin’, Will invites dudes alike to submit photos of their presentation for the day.
Check it:
We’re redoing the bathroom upstairs, so, “No, that’s not shit on the wall.”
I’m loving this coral/orange/poppy color this spring.
Also, an instant upgrade for the Clark Wallabeesto welcome in this spring weather with the new laces from J.CREW.
Three-year-old Wallabees (Cargo Largo, $40) by Clark; “The Henley” 14-ounce dry selvedge (Standard Style, $198) by Baldwin Denim, size 28; Leather bomber jacket (thrifted, $6) , size 40; Gant shirt (thrifted, $3), medium; woven leather belt (thrifted, $2); grey-linen blend tie (thrifted, $1.50); THE BEST EFFING PEN IN THE WORLD, Pilot G2 Ultra Fine .38 nib.

john doe - Clark Wallabees for $40.00???? WOW! I’ve never seen them less than $100.00

Jeff - Emily – the great thing about that button down is the pattern. love it, but! it’s ill-fitting. throw a jacket over it and the problem is solved. :)

Mal – .38 or death.

Leilani – Hey! It’s the journalist/OCD in me to always be prepared to take a note. A tie and a bomber jacket, I kind of dig it.

Jami – imjustsayin’

Jami Nato - dude, you are funny. i wouldn’t have thought that was poop on the wall…way too high.

The Thriftaholic (Leilani) - I think it’s great that you have a pen clipped into your bomber jacket, kind of nerdy meets badass. I’ve also liked it when gentlemen mix in a tie with a more casual outfit, good outfit combo yet again.

mallory wiegers - oh, I forgot to add you are sorely mistaken about your pen choice. Pilot Precise V5 forever

mallory wiegers - Jeff, I love that you’re taking mirror pix. also, i have the same belt in a camel color. I stole it from papa Wiegers—the man is the epitome of style.

Emily Allison - Jeff, I love how sharp looking your button-down is. I’d totally be lying though if I didn’t admit that the braided belt is my favorite part of this outfit.

Thrifty Thursday: “Hunter” Wellington Rainboots, belt, backpack & blue jacket

I’ve wanted a pair of rain boots for while and this past fall, it finally clicked: Wellingtons.
I know Wellies are an England dig (Seth’s edit: Yeah, and what exactly is wrong with that?!), but I was tired of slopping around in a pair that I picked up from the thrift store that were too big, too clunky and didn’t mesh well with my slim-cut jeans. Nordstrom and Halls weren’t picking up Wellies this past fall/winter season because “it’s not for the target market in the Midwest.” Lame. File under: Reasons why I dislike the Midwest.
eBay anyone? $30 bucks sound okay? Sounds good. SOUNDS GREAT.
I pulled the trigger on a pair for 30 bones and have been a happy camper ever since. The backpack was a great find in high school (yes, five years ago) for $3.
The belt I picked up at Urban Outfitters this past winter for $4.99. It’s also 100 percent real leather. Urban. Come on, you’re killing me. Just when I threw you on my shit list for “this place is trashed, literally” and “I can’t find anything that fits me…” you go and surprise me with a real leather belt that matches my Baldwins. Thanks, guy.
Matching natural leather belt with the natural leather from the Baldwins, huh?
You know I love that pop of color/flannel.
I know Cam got that badass Steven Alan Parka, and well, I’d like to think he got the itch from me. Flannel lined, kinda cool. Picked it up for $5 and it surprisingly fits very well for being made in Taiwan and from a brand I’ve never heard of called “Repage.”
Wellington rainboots (eBay, $30) by Hunter, size 10UK; grey Burkee slim-fit sweatshirt (retail, $62) by Jack Spade, extra-small; “The Henley” 14-ounce dry selvedge (Standard Style Boutique, $198) by Baldwin Denim, size 28; backpack (thrifted, $5); natural leather belt (retail, $4.99) by Urban Outfitters; blue parka with flannel lining (thrifted, $5) by Repage, size “perfect for me.”

Marta - i’ve been kind of disappointed by my hunters. granted, they are delightful looking. one year in the insole started peeling up painfully. customer service was not interested in my whining and gave me nothing. ugh.

Jeff - Christina – They really are a great boot, rain boot in particular. The slender cut of them provides a nice clean line for my slim denim. At times, I wish I could just buy the digs right off the spot but I actually just didn’t have the opportunity to purchase them myself at Nordstrom because, like I said, they weren’t in my region. :(

Christina - I just want to say how much I love my Hunter Wellingtons. I am glad you were able to find an affordable pair on Ebay. I bought mine while in Chicago for work at the Nordstrom at the shops on Michigan. They were a hefty price tag for me, but every time I look at them I am blinded by love. Yours look great! And now I wish I would have waited to find a pair on Ebay. But you can’t stop true love, can you? Now I feel like I should write a post on mine. Haha

Jeff - David – Thanks man. They go well tucked in with a pair of slim denim or khakis even, I’ve rocked both before. The sizing is tricky when ordering them from eBay, unless you can try on a pair of Nordstrom or Bloomingdales.

Jeff - jami- you keep nato looking fresh, count the rain boot loss as just another way of saying, “hey babe. i got my own swagger.” i saw someone else with shoe clips on their flats the other day & thought of you!

Seth J. Putnam - Paul – To each his own. We like hearing as many opinions as possible.

I’m not sure I’d wear Wellingtons in the city either…but that could be because I grew up on a farm, and mine were always covered in goat crap from mucking out dairy stalls. If Jeff wants to bring his to the Putnam house sometime, he’ll be perfectly (and stylishly, I must say) equipped.

Paul Short - Here is where I am going to have to make a departure from my full trust of the men of Midwestyle.The rainboots are trashy. Rainboots for men, what Uggs are for women. Ugh.

Jami Nato - i bought nato a pair of rain boots, but he made me take them back. i tried, mkay.

businesstravelforecast - I just wanted to say that your fits are not only fantastic but are a real breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale mens style blogosphere. This whole blog is great. Keep up the great work!

The Thriftaholic (Leilani) - I’d be on the fence about Hunters for a while (as they’re expensive and EVERYONE seems to have them here) but if I could get them for $30 like you did it would be a ‘go’ especially with all the wet weather we’ve been having.

Lots of great bargain finds in your outfit, I feel the same way about UO though they do carry some decent shoes.

David - Oh man, hunters are legit. I’ve been looking for a pair for a while. They look killer with those jeans and that parka.

Jeff - Glen – Jarred has been more than a help in responding to my erratic calls in the middle of the day not knowing that I’m going to be dragging him through fields, underpasses and Westport. Tell Lizzy I said whats up and to ship me a Barbour jacket, size 36L.

glenmcmurry - That would be “men’s” and “women’s”… sorry Seth

glenmcmurry - Did Jarred take those pictures? Well done.

Nice find on the belt.

I have only been in Urban once and my only thought was “which side is the mens and which side is the womens?” I think it must be me because people seem to love it.
Also, from the Queen: “You’re Welcome.”

Gay Talese on embellishing suits off the rack

For most of us, it doesn’t make much financial sense to have our clothes hand-made by a tailor. It’s one of the regrettable facts of modern life.
Enter Gay Talese, one of the most skilled journalists of our time. (A lot of people think that his story about Frank Sinatra for Esquire was the best profile ever written.) Talese’s dad was a tailor, so he’s used to having custom-made clothes since…forever. Now, he gets his clothes made in Paris by the son of the guy that taught his father. (Gahhh—if only. Who does Talese think he is?)
Of course, Talese is hardly Midwestern, but Katie Roiphe’s interview with him in the Paris Review touches briefly on his style philosophy. The article is about lot of things—most of which are far more important than style—but here’s something to get you thinking:

“He is so beautifully dressed that strangers will talk to him in the street, that waiters and hostesses in restaurants will want to do things for him, like find a special place to put his hat. Talese’s father was a tailor, his mother ran a successful dress shop, and he says his first idea of how to be special was through clothing.”

Then there’s his post on Gilt MANual about how to throw some elbow patches and cuff-work on an old jacket to spice things up.
He says:
“I think every well-dressed man should have something to wear when he does not particularly feel like being well-dressed, but still refuses to blend in with the ranks of men who clearly care little about what they look like.

That said, this is really a knockaround jacket. It’s afternoon material; I don’t wear it at night. (I sometimes dress two or three times in a day.) If I’m going to the dentist, I might wear this, because I’ll keep the jacket on while I’m down in the chair. Now, if I’m going to have lunch with someone, I wouldn’t wear this. I’d wear a suit.”
I mean, c’mon!! Not only is guy decking out in bespoke clothes, he has a sport coat that he doesn’t think is nice enough to wear to lunch. AND he’s updating them every 30, 40 years to make sure nobody else is wearing what he is. What a guy.

Our advice to you? Get yourself to the thrift store, pick up a wool jacket that fits you like a glove, then take it to the tailor and embellish the hell out of that thing.

To read more of Talese’s philosophy on tailoring, check out Gilt MANual by clicking on the photo: