THIS THURSDAY: Midwestyle + Apple

January 15, 2013

If you’re in Chicago in the next three days, you should come hang out at the Apple store in Lincoln Park this Thursday (Jan. 17). I’ll be there at 7 p.m. sharp talking about why the Midwest rules, and how technology has blown open the gates to the creative world in a way that gives anyone with an Internet connection the ability to plug their stuff on a (mostly) level playing field. It’s going to be fun as hell, so come by.

And in case you missed it, here’s a sweet winter-style roundup we did on WGN last week!

One more time:

Apple Store – Lincoln Park
801 West North Avenue (map)
Chicago, IL 60642
7 p.m., Thursday (Jan. 17)

See you there!

ROUNDUP: Winter Style for WGN

January 9, 2013

If TVs still had dials, I’d tell you to set yours to WGN this morning around 11. I’ll be on screen presenting a few picks for a winter-style mashup. I’m intrigued by these selections, because they represent a wide range of styles from classic Midwest to trim European. All of these pieces can stand on their own, of course, but I especially like how several of them would work well together in one cohesive outfit. Across of variety of price points, too.

Let’s get moving, from top to bottom.

1.Classic Cap ($40) by Stormy Kromer: This thing exudes upper Midwest style. Made in America, this is Michigan head warmth at its best. Like your dad on a hunting trip.

2. 10,000 Lakes Scarf ($62) by Pierrepont Hicks: A different sort of neckwear from the acclaimed tie brand, there’s something quintessentially Minnesotan about this scarf. As if there weren’t enough praise to be heaped on Mac and Katherine McMillan, we love the cosmopolitan influences blooming from these Midwestern roots. It doesn’t hurt that it’s a damn handsome scarf to boot.

3. Kromer Jack ($179) by Stormy Kromer: What’s going on here? Is it a jacket, a shirt, or neither? In their own words, this jacket was made for “those days when a walk to the woodshed doesn’t require an overcoat, yet calls for more than an undershirt.” Made with fine wool, it’s nice to see a classic brand getting experimental.

4. Holiday tie ($75) by Fresh and Proper: Sure, this isn’t outdoor-oriented like the rest of these items, but you need something ready to go when all that outerwear comes off. And chivalry, after all, ain’t dead.

5. Ragg Wool gloves with deerskin palms ($30) by Buckshot Sonny’s: Once your fingers slide into the polymide lining of these gloves, you’ll know you’re in heaven. Best part is, the leather will patina with character.

6. Donegal tweed trousers ($80) by Topman: Remember when I said we were working with style on a spectrum? While the rest of these picks are pretty Midwestern and classic in nature, these trousers up the ante slightly by promoting a slimmer European cut–all while maintaing a staid respectability thanks to its conventional fabric.

7. 10″ shearling-lined boots (reg. $179, sale $161) by L.L. Bean: Some of my all-time favorite winter boots, these are sure to last for a few decades at least. That’s what we call investment. Plus, does it get more classic than this, slogging around soggy ground in duck boots?

8. U.S. Cavalry Blanket ($120) by Amana Woolen Mills: Who says Pendleton is the only name in American wool? Meet Amana, the Iowa-based textile geniuses who’ve been spinning out fine wool products for the past 150+ years. Trust me; once you run your fingers over this blanket, you’ll at once be electrified by this country’s deep heritage and the warming properties of pure wool.

How about you? What’s on your must-have list for the winter months.


December 20, 2012


1. The Great Coat: I’ve never seen a coat this color, let alone in my size. It’s gone now and will be on the list of things I regret not buying. Just like that Goyard wallet in Paris, that Folk raincoat in London and that pair of Rachel Comey loafers I saw a kid wearing in Kansas. Coat by rag & bone.

2. Wool hat: I got to handle this beaut at the Pop Up Flea at the Wittmore booth. I fell in love and walked away. Commitment issues, man. Hat by Ian Velardi.

3.  Grey sweater: It’s the first thing I reach for when I’m packing my weekend bag. It’s the one thing I forget to dry clean, too. Sweater by S.N.S. Herning.

4. Scarf shnarf: The thing I like about scarves and accessories is that, done right, they can be the oomph that ties an outfit together. Striped woven scarf by Etro.

5. Light-to-medium-wash denim: I’ve been wearing a light-medium wash because I’m not ready to cave to winter’s dark shades and cool temps. 484 straight-leg denim by J.Crew.

6. Wallabees: One of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own. I’ve recently converted a few others to wearing them, and these are guys who wouldn’t normally grab a pair. Not bros either—just normal dudes with normal jobs looking to not wear sneakers. Wallabee boots by Clarks.

7. Zipper wallet: Consider the zipper wallet like a pair of briefs, sometimes you just need a little more support. Wallet by Comme des Garçons.


December 12, 2012

These murdered-out Roshe Run Trails ($85) by Nike. I only really want these because I run a ton of trails, guys. Actually, it’s because they’re affordable steez for when I don’t feel like lacing up some heavy-ass, 8-inch Red Wings this winter. Sometimes leather just isn’t what I want, ya feel?

This Swiss chronograph ($220) by MWC. The best watches are Swiss watches. And chronographs always look awesome (read: confusing). Don’t ever say something like, “If they wanted a watch to have a ton of functions why didn’t they just make it digital?” Hodinkee will put a hit on you, dog.

These fingerless gloves ($25) by Palmer Trading Co. Hey, that crop of people who’s always jawin’ at those of us who like fingerless gloves, complaining about how they don’t keep your hands warm – shut up. We didn’t ask you (but seriously, thanks for looking out for us—I don’t need to catch a cold during finals week, you’re right, mom).

This fisherman’s sweater ($109) by Orvis. Aside from being the title of one hilarious movie and one really, really awful movie, black sheep are on their hustle just growing out their hair for wool production out in the British Isles, straight grinding away for the greater good. Throw the black sheep some love this Christmas and support their work, ’tis the season.

This bottle of Templeton Rye ($37). Because something’s got to keep you warm this winter.


December 11, 2012

Materialism jokes aside, happy Christmas. Over the next few days, we’ll each be plugging five things any guy would be happy to have. (But really that we want to see under our own trees.) Can’t vouch for the other guys, but I tried to keep mine on a spectrum that doesn’t get too expensive.

1. These brogue boots (on sale for $276.50) by Grenson, because I’ve had my eye on ‘em for a while and it’s high time I did something about it before the obsession passes me by completely. (Edit: Literally overnight, I discovered that the boots are on hold from Mr. Porter—so rather than pick something else, let’s use it as a lesson. Strike fast.)

2. This bar roll-up ($135) from Cocktail Kingdom, because the skinny tools of the traveling bartender just get jumbled together without the proper carrying case. Waxed cotton, rugged leather, and designed with Jim Meehan, the mad genius behind New York’s worst-kept-secret speakeasy.

3. This wallet ($50) by Chester Mox, because they use Horween leather which is guaranteed to pique my interest, since the leather factor is just down the street from my house in Chicago. And obviously I’m very into broguing…to the point of going overboard.

4. This chunky knit cap ($20) by The Woodlands—even though yes it’s blue and I have too much blue stuff in my closet already for God’s sake will I stop buying blue—but something about it begs to me to yank it down over my ears and take a Christmas-morning walk to the back 40 acres while I’m home in Missouri.

5. This British-stripe bow tie ($15) by the Tie Bar, because I don’t own one and I’m embarrassed.

But enough about what I want. What have you guys got your greedy little eyes on this year? Let us know in the comments.

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