midweSTYLE: Springtime catch

March 22, 2011
It was 81º in Columbia, Mo. yesterday when I passed through on my way back to Chicago. Fitting for it being the first weekday of spring. Also fitting that when I drove by, the gentlemen who live at one of my old East Campus hangouts were out throwing the ball around after class.
When I look at this picture of Cam, I get this iconic, 1950s image of a dad playing catch with the ankle-biters after a tough day at work. An escape from the seriousness of adult life—or in this case, class in a stuffy lecture hall—and a way to return to carefree boyhood distractions. (Not that he has any idea what what the real world is like—he’s still living in a college dreamland. Which reminds me: Cam, you’re kicked off the site.)

Untuck that classic white oxford, roll up the sleeves, and pound the glove.
Spring’s here. And soon, summer. Time to open the windows, air out the house, and let the breeze rustle the curtains.
Vintage, U.S.-made oxford (free, from dad’s closet) by Gant, size 15-33; Broken-in chinos (retail, $65) by J. Crew, size 31; braided belt (thrifted, $3); laceless Top-Siders (retail, $70) by Sperry, size 10.

Photos by Seth Putnam.

BADASS MONDAY: Steve McQueen

March 21, 2011

They usually don’t call you “The King of Cool” without good reason. McQueen’s life reads a little bit like your favorite novel. Here are the Sparknotes for McQueen’s journey into stardom:

Father abandons mother and son when he’s six months old, mother is unable to raise son alone so she sends him to his grandparent’s farm (which, in this case, was in Slater, Missouri), son is in and out of trouble, moves back in with mom, goes back to farm, joins the circus (no, I’m not kidding), reunites with his mother in the big city (Los Angeles), joins a gang, commits petty crime, gets sent to a boys reform school in Chico, graduates and eventually joins the Marines, receives an honorable discharge 3 years later, uses the money from his G.I. Bill to study acting, begins to race motorcycles on the weekend to make ends meet while playing small roles in play productions, works his way into bigger parts, gets launched into limelight after acting alongside Frank Sinatra in Never So Few, earns and executes an exceptional performance in his first starring role in The Magnificent Seven, the legacy begins, and boom goes the dynamite.

Note: McQueen used to demand bulk goods (jeans, electric razors, etc.) from the studios he did work for. It was later discovered that he would donate these items to the boys at the reform school he attended as a kid.

FAVORITE: Filson Tote

March 18, 2011
In my undergraduate years, I often carried a North Face backpack like any public university student. It was practical: It held my Nalgene bottle, protected my laptop and hauled my books. It was “normal” to have one. However, when I was pretending to be important in my liberal arts classes, I often carried a briefcase, tote or leather bag.
 
 Once I graduated, I knew I wasn’t going to carry around my beloved North Face backpack to coffee shops and travel, let alone to job interviews and formal outings. I needed a new bag that spoke to my “not-so-professional-but-I-want-to-be-a-young-professional” stage of life.
 
Filson tote provided that transition. Practical, functional, and it looks sharp. I can carry it to coffee shop and pretend to look important. I can carry it to a less formal job interview to house my portfolio and laptop. Or even throw some clothes in it and jetset. It’s one of my favorites.
 
Small tote bag ($90 retail, $45 on eBay) by Filson; Salmon puff “lifejacket” vest (thrift store, $4); “The Henley” 14-ounce Karabo dry selvedge (Standard Style, $200) by Baldwin Denim;

Thrifty Thursday: Jack Spade & ties

March 17, 2011
It had been a while since I really scored at Cargo Largo. Cargo Largo, you say? Why yes, my friend. Cargo Largo. The artist formerly known as “RSO” in the lovely Independence, Missouri. Surely you’ve heard of this city before in the Midwest. Noteworthy mentions of Independence:
And Cargo Largo. In short, it’s the island of misfit toys that were damaged freight, marred, on clearance or something to the effect of “Well, I guess we can sell it here.” Enter the glass case in the designer/boutique selection. Overcrowded and scratched, the glass cases house many treasures and bargains. Jack Spade waxwear canvas dopp kit? Alright.
WHAT & WHY SO MUCH? What’s wrong with it? I mean, my last Dopp kit was a Ziploc bag. Regular: $145, sale $60. I’ll have this thing for the rest of my life. It’s sharp looking.
BUT WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY ZIPLOC BAG DOPP KIT? I know. How embarrassing. That was my travel Dopp kit. Until I got this bad boy. Organized, clean—and I’m not going to throw it away at the end of the weekend.
THE ICING: These ties. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

midweSTYLE: Gazebo

March 16, 2011
With the warm weather being ushered in each week, we’re ready for spring.

Then it snows. Then it’s sunny again the next day to melt the snow, followed by another snow.

Welcome to weather in the Midwest. The weather is what you will it to be. Throw a cuff in your khakis and a tie on your button down.

We proudly roll our chinos occasionally. Gotta keep up with the times. Wanna learn how? Check out the Gilt MANual.

Shawl-collar cardigan ($60) by J.Crew; deadstock tie (eBay, lot of seven for $14); khaki pants (Urban Outfitters, $60) by Paul Frank, chestnut Longwings (thrifted, $4), size 10; “The Paulie” Chambray three-quarter sleeve shirt (Standard Style, $90) by Baldwin Denim.

If you tumble, check out our tumblr: www.themidwestyle.tumblr.com

Photography by Jarred Donalson,
great day for a great shoot by a great photographer.

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