Friday, September 28, 2012

Gap x GQ Collection

As I sit in class right now, currently ignoring what my professor is babbling on about, I figured now would be as good a time as any to do a write-up on the Gap x GQ collection that drooped yesterday. Don’t worry about my class, it’s about business, and I’ve seen “The Wire,” so I know how to hustle. (Secret - money over bitches, every time.)

If you haven’t seen/heard, GQ’s group of Best New Menswear Designers in America have teamed up with the Gap in a collaboration, taking the designers’ inspirations and making them available (in quantity and price) to the masses. The Style Girlfriend had a post today about how these sorts of collabs are nice because they allow for that high-fashion inspiration, but at normal people prices. I totally agree. Personally, I wasn’t a big fan of the Gap because I found their sizing to not be quite right for me. Medium was a tad too small, large was a tad too big. But that’s no knock on the Gap, because it’s a pretty reliable place for menswear basics (as far as retail chains are concerned, which are pretty much my only local source of clothing). 

This collaboration though aims to inject a little life into the Gap’s styling. I have yet to deal with anything up close and personal yet, and I hope to this weekend, but I recommend checking it out. There’s some good stuff at good prices, and shit if the fit is there, why wouldn’t you snatch it up? Below are my picks from each designer’s collection:

BLK DNM's slim fit jeans - $98
Ian Velardi's city blazer - $138

Mark McNairy's chambray shirt - $68

Ovadia & Sons shawl cardigan - $85

Saturdays NYC's waxed field jacket - $128

Saturdays NYC's oxford shirt - $60
Yeah, Saturdays NYC got two picks. I'm currently on the hunt for a pale blue OCBD, and I think this might take the cake.

Todd Snyder's patch crewneck - $58

Of course, there's other stuff there that might suit your fancy.



Bored to Death

Did anyone ever watch “Bored to Death?” I always find myself re-watching the series in the fall. I don’t know if it’s some sort of nostalgia intertwined with the show’s original airing or what it is exactly, but I like it. It’s got a sort of melancholy to it that pairs nicely with autumn. Leaves exploding in colors, the temperature dropping enough to experiment with pieces and layers, pumpkin beers, Halloween, cider. Soon it will be cold, lifeless winter, but the change is in such a good way. It’s a beautiful sadness.

Plus, “Bored to Death” is a bit stimulating from a menswear perspective. GQ once rated Jonathan Ames, the show’s main character, as one of the worst dressed characters on TV. That’s certainly a fair judgment, because there’s a lot of questionable pattern mixing, but it’s interesting to look at. Sometimes you learn just as much from what people do wrong as you learn from what people do right. 


If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a look. There were only three seasons before HBO cancelled it to make way for shows like “Girls” (which I actually do watch, despite it being pretty much like Sex & the City, but set in Brooklyn with poor 20-year-olds. Don’t judge me, it can be funny). I can understand why HBO cancelled it though, because in rewatchings I’ve come to notice how ridiculous it was. It’s definitely a love-it-or-hate-it kind of show, but to me, it’s enjoyable enough.

Thanks for reading, 


Monday, September 24, 2012

Everlane Backpack Review & Style on the Hill

I’m feeling hungover and prophetic (probably because the hangover is silencing all my non-egotistical brain cells), so I thought I’d write today. If you can call this writing.

Some things: First, a review of Everlane’s backpack. Ok, so awhile ago I bought one of Everlane’s backpacks. I was impressed with the look/styling of them when they first came out, but I just wasn’t ready. They sold like hotcakes (which is a dumb as fuck saying, because nobody sells hotcakes, which are actually pancakes), so I missed out on the first round. Then I think they had a second round, which I actually went as far as to “add to my cart” (which is like 3rd base in the shopping realm). But again, they sold out really, really fast, so I missed my chance. (If they didn’t have a second release of the backpacks, then this story applies to the first round and I just can’t remember right. Point being, I missed out). 

Finally, they were back again in August. I, like a true nerd, woke up early just so I could get one. In retrospect, waking up early to shop online is probably the lamest thing I’ve ever done and I want to kick myself in the nuts for doing it. BUT, I got this sweet backpack out of the whole deal.

The site says Khaki Green, but it's definitely more of a slate gray.

These are pictures from Everlane. I’m using them, as opposed to my own, because I neither own a camera nor an iPhone. In fact, the camera on my cell phone barely works, and it takes pictures with quality worse than the JFK assassination video. Seriously, it’s shit. But I’m poor. 

On first receiving the backpack, I was very happy. I like the styling, the stitching, the fabrics, and especially the leather components (drawstring, zipper closure things, etc.). It’s been well suited to my lifestyle trekking to and from campus, and from that end, it’s held up well. Law school requires a lot of books, big books, and schlepping them around all day hasn’t seemed to take a toll on this backpack. Time will tell on that I guess, but so far it’s held up. I was even walking home the other night when it started raining, and not only did my stuff inside stay dry (nod to the nylon interior lining), the outside seemed unaffected as well (nod to the waxed canvas exterior). So hats off to Everlane. Good backpack, good quality, good price. So far I’m very impressed with this brand, and personally I’ll keep hitting them up. If you haven’t checked them out, I recommend doing so

In other news, a fellow student at KU has started a blog called “Style on the Hill.” Its mission “aims to reflect the student body’s style and attitude at the University of Kansas through street style shots on campus.” I love when my alma mater can rep hard, but I also love when the fashionable people of the Midwest can shine. We have to flex people. This isn’t NY, where I imagine street style photos abound, and even the Italian butcher on the corner wears Luciano Barbera or some ridiculous shit. I don’t even know a butcher. THAT’S HOW BACKWARDS THE MIDWEST IS. 

Photos from Style on the Hill

This guy has so much swag, I want to kill myself for not having that much swag.

Button the top button though, not the bottom one. C'mon son.


P.S. - Everlane doesn’t pay me to write this stuff or anything. This is how I actually feel. Belie dat. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Taking Care of Rugged Boots for Fall

Back in one of my very first (and admittedly shitty) posts, I included a picture of a pair of “vintage” W.C. Russell Moccasin boots. I say vintage in quotations because I found these at my grandparents house (they were given to me, I didn’t steal them), but they were my grandfather’s, and I have no idea how old they are. I’m guessing they’re old as shit. After getting some compliments on them, I decided to keep them, and actively work towards restoring them. 

When I first got them, the leather was dry and cracked. I’ve been using a cheap leather conditioner I got at a local store (I won’t say which brand), and it’s done a decent job at restoring some of the natural oils and color of these boots. If you don’t know anything about leather care, it’s not hard to Google some quick informational posts (here’s two, #1, #2, though biased in favor of the brand). Suffice it to say, leather is the skin of a formal animal. When that animal was alive, producing oils and vitamins and poop and what-not, that skin protected the animal from the elements. People buy and wear leather for that same protection in garments, but now that the animal is dead, we need to continuously work to re-apply those some oils and nutrients so the leather remains supple and in good condition. 

On Sept. 3, Derek at Put This On had a post on how to take care of rugged boots. This is all still a learning process for me, and I just ordered a can/jar/whatever-the-fuck of Obenauf’s Heavy Duty Leather Preservative (they call it LP, but that’s easily confused with “limited partnership”). In a week or so, it should be here, and I should have a post up on how the stuff worked. Derek’s post did a pretty good job of explaining the process, and the pictures he links to show remarkable improvement. 

This is one of those products (leather protector, not necessarily Obenauf’s) that you can definitely justify buying because you will use it, and it will extend the life and beauty of the things you own. Regardless of whether you’re blowing fat stacks on #menswear accessories, or you’re scrimping like me for the essentials, it’s important to take good care of your stuff. It will extend the life of your property, ultimately saving you money. And a penny saved is a penny earned in my book, although I typically throw pennies away because they're worthless anymore.

See you next week,


Friday, September 14, 2012

Random Menswear Pictures - That's that shit I do like

In stereotypical fashion, I’m “reblogging” a lot of pictures from around the web that I’m particularly fond of. There’s no real point, so fuck you and lay off me. I just like them, I think they serve as good visual inspiration. Plus I've been sitting on them awhile, and they were taking up room on my hard drive. I will probably release something like this every once in awhile so I can keep a catalogue of looks/inspirations. 




This is just over the top. Source



At H&M for only $50





Spot on.   Source
I don't meet enough girls with tattoos. Source

PS - None of these pictures are my own. I have included the sources to all, but if you see yours and want it taken down, shoot me an email.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

KC Fashion Night Out In Review

KC’s Fashion Night Out. Fairly legit, if I say so myself. There was food, drinks, great deals at stores, live music, hot babes….what more can you ask for? 

The Plaza gave me $100 to spend at any store, and spend I did. I visited a lot of good places. Halls, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Standard, and others, plus a few bars along the way (you know how we ball) (link to ti song what you know). The selections were great, as were the new fall lineups. Frankly I was impressed with a lot of stuff, and I wanted to buy much of it. But with $100 handed to me, I felt compelled to splurge on something different. I couldn’t justify spending the money to blog about sport shirts or knit ties. I mean, what would I say later? This shirt is just like every other shirt I own, but in a different pattern. Or, this is a knit tie. I will wear it with a dress shirt, probably on a formal occasion. That shit boring dude.

I was in the market for a new raincoat option, because my waxed canvas one got destroyed this summer. So splurge I did. I figured $100 towards a new statement piece like a raincoat would go a long way towards getting a good one. Little did I know I’d get damn near the whole thing.

After the first few stores, I wasn’t particularly impressed. Like I said, there was great stuff, and if I had the money I would have been prompted to buy a lot more. But I wanted something shit-your-pants-cool to blog about, and I’m poor. 

Banana Republic was up next, and the few options I saw when first walking in had me enthusiastic. Nothing I loved, but it was a good sign. Working my way towards the back of the store, I found this lightweight peacoat

It’s 70% nylon and 30% cotton, so I’m expecting it’ll be good come the rainier months this fall. And while it’s light enough to wear as a wind breaker before it gets too terribly cold, it’s still dressy enough (in my opinion) that it makes a statement by itself. The peacoat styling lets you throw it on over a sweater/OCBD combo, or a v-neck t-shirt with jeans. I’m pumped to give it more of a go as the weather cools down. 

Plus, the jacket retails at $150, but at BR on the Plaza, they had a deal where I could donate to an AIDS charity and receive 25% off. After donating (which I am always into charitable causes, especially AIDS research as this hits close to home for me), I had spent a total of $131, which got reduced to $31 thanks to the generosity of Ms. Kara Lowe of the Country Club Plaza. $31 for a new coat? I’ll take it. 

So that’s that. KC Fashion Night Out. I’m glad (and a little proud dammit) that KC can say it’s on the same footing, FNO-wise, as cities like NY and London. It was cool to be able to tweet to other bloggers about FNOs in their respective cities (because that’s how I get my rocks off these days, sadly). For once, I felt like a true #menswear blogger. 

(The invite to write about Fashion Night Out inflated my ego like a blowup sex doll in a frat house).

More news as it develops, and keep a look out next week for a new style blog at the University of Kansas (my alma matter), that I’m excited to spread the word about,


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Simple Importance of a Tailor

Before I was interested in menswear, I considered a trip to the tailor a process reserved only for the most formal of wear. I’m talking suits, tuxedos, etc. Sport shirts, chinos, and jeans, all inexpensive in comparison, seemed unworthy of tailoring. I mean really, who tailors jeans? Add to that the fact that many technological advancements have so greatly reduced prices in various industries, it can sometimes be cheaper to just throw something out and buy brand new. As such, a billowing shirt or ill-fitting pair of pants would often be relegated to the donation bin, and I’d be off to the store in search of something better. This was before I was paying my own bills, mind you.

If this is at all similar to your line of thinking, I’d HIGHLY recommend rethinking your strategy. In the past year I’ve had several casual pieces tailored, from sweaters to shirts to jeans (yes, jeans), and I have yet to be dissatisfied with the results. Recently I took in a pair of chinos that I’d always found to be too long, with leg openings just a touch too wide for my taste. I’ve got thunder thighs, and while I prefer my jeans straight-legged and not skinny, the necessity of sizing up to accommodate my torso leaves leg openings disproportionately big (again, this is all just my personal preference on how I prefer my pants to lay). Long story short, the tailoring process cost around $35. Essentially I paid $35 for a new pair of pants, instead of having to go shopping for a new, similar pair at retail price. Never mind the fact that the pants are now flattering in their fit, which means they look better on me, so I'll actually wear them.

If you’ve got any pieces in your closet like this, try taking them to a tailor. There are generally a few tricks up any good tailor’s sleeve, and while someone with a background in textiles might be able to best explain what can and can’t be done, I’ve never had a problem approaching my tailor and asking for an opinion. Sometimes not much can be done, or the alterations would in fact be more expensive than buying a new garment. C’est la vie. 

Thanks for reading. KC’s Fashion Night Out is this Thursday night, and I’ll be there. Drinks are on me.