Local Spotlight

Blue Works Vintage Clothing

I discovered Blue Works Vintage Clothing on styleforum recently and had an opportunity to visit the store in Surry Hills. Walking into the shop from the street is like setting foot in a museum of Americana and military history. Denim is everywhere you look and there are plenty of items in khaki and olive. The owner Steve was looking every part the spirit animal of Yuki Matsuda, the founder of Yuketen, with his ponytail, olive fatigue pants, heavy boots, and rhinestone belt. And it is no coincidence that plenty of Yuketen footwear can be found in the store. “Are those Yuketens?” were the first words out of Steve’s mouth as he point to my Maine Guide Ox mocs. He tells me he quit his day job and opened Blue Works 2 years ago (which is basically my dream). Asked what motivated this risky decision, he answers simply “Passion”.  Continue reading “Blue Works Vintage Clothing”

Footwear

Review: Paraboot Chambords in dark brown suede 

Maybe I’m getting old or I’ve always had old man sensibilities. I mean, I do wear alot of cardigans and tweeds. I have always had an affinity for split toes. I originally had my eye on a pair of suede Dovers on the 606 last from Edward Green. But I was torn between that makeup and the more common dark oak. In the end, the fantastic burnishing on the calf won and I’ll be saving for a pair of dark oak calf Dovers in the future.

In the meantime my search for a pair of dark brown derbies/apron toes took me in other directions. There’s surprisingly few options. Suede Norwegian split toes (NSTs) can be had from EG (as mentioned), Carmina, Alden, Tricker’s, Allen Edmonds, Crockett & Jones, and Paraboot.

Continue reading “Review: Paraboot Chambords in dark brown suede “

Cloth and Hide

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

In our modern dressed-down society where virtually every day is casual Friday, it can be easy to misjudge situations where you should dress up. As the old adage goes, it’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. And more importantly than that, it’s about respecting other people and dressing appropriately for the occasion.

Firstly let’s be honest here: if you are a man, you should own a suit. It doesn’t have to be a fancy Tom Ford number or tailored on Saville Row – just something that fits you and in a conservative colour like charcoal, navy or grey in boring worsted wool (don’t buy a black suit please; only funeral directors, cast members of Reservoir Dogs, and Mormons should wear black suits). Something you can whip out for that job interview/wedding/graduation/funeral. Continue reading “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”

Footwear

The Stretching Experiment

I had a bad run a couple of years ago where I bought a few loafers that were half a size too small (the perils of buying without trying!). My first lament was a pair of Alden tassel loafers in colour #8 shell cordovan (the Brooks Brothers version). I think the Aberdeen last is just too pointy for my fat, wide toes. The length is actually fine and I get a bit of heel slippage but halfway through my day, my fourth toe feels like it’s about to fall off. My second lament was a pair of Rancourt beefroll penny loafers in natural chromexcel. The strap was painfully tight initially but I even got through that and the leather actually moulded to my feet quite well. But I think the tightness around my big toe contributed to a bit of stretching and caused a bit of a squeak with every step if I walked too fast. So about 2 months ago I ordered a cheapo shoe stretcher off eBay.  Continue reading “The Stretching Experiment”

Cloth and Hide

My beloved Filson bag 3 years on

Filson bags were everywhere in 2014 (and still are to some extent). The mix of fantastic quality, heritage, rugged-outdoorsy but sophisticated image, and constant recommendations on just about every menstyle blog meant their popularity just exploded. Like virtually every other guy I lusted after an original briefcase but I already had a slim messenger bag and it was hopelessly impractical for me because I couldn’t fit my laptop AND my lunch into it. So I broadened my search and ended up looking at Filson’s 72-hour briefcase. It is bigger than the original briefcase and has big front zip pockets and pouches behind the zip pockets. Hardly anyone seems to stock the 72-hour version anymore but the 24 and 48 hour briefcases look similar.

Continue reading “My beloved Filson bag 3 years on”

Cloth and Hide · Footwear

Sock it to ’em

Socks are often overlooked as an accessory and lately I’ve been paying more attention to them. I guess it’s logical… if you have better shoes, you start to invest in better socks. Why get better socks? Well they last longer for one. And they look better to start off with, and for longer as the colours don’t run or fade. Here are 3 brands I have been enjoying lately – these are mostly chunkier styles as it is winter here and I am wearing heavier shoes and boots. Winter also allows me to be more creative and crazy with my patterns!

Continue reading “Sock it to ’em”

Footwear · Local Spotlight

A chance visit to Double Monk

I happened to be in the city for a work-related reason and couldn’t resist the chance to visit Double Monk in The Strand Arcade. These guys have been in Melbourne for ages but have recently opened a Sydney store about 18 months ago. Like all good menswear stores, it is tucked away so you have to go looking for it on the top floor right in the corner. It is not a very big store and there are floor-to-ceiling boxes full of shoes from names like Edward Green, Crockett & Jones, John Lobb and most recently, Alden of New England (which was what got me so excited).  Continue reading “A chance visit to Double Monk”

Cloth and Hide · Musings

The Magical Shrinking Act of Menswear

It’s been creeping in and you probably have noticed it. Menswear has definitely been shrinking over the last decade or so. First it was skinny jeans. That led to skinny chinos. It was bound to happen as the internet and #mensstyle blogs started teaching men to dress better, cleaner, and tighter. I think somewhere along the way fit, comfort, and silhouette have been thrown out the window. Maybe it’s just because I am in my thirties and my metabolism is slowing down and I want to be able to eat my lunch, a piece of cake, and still be comfortable. Or maybe I’m just sick of zipping up those ridiculous short flies at the urinal – how are you supposed to get anything done with a fly that short? Continue reading “The Magical Shrinking Act of Menswear”

Cloth and Hide

Frugal basics 

We aren’t all high rollers and we all can’t wear Turnbull & Asser every single day. I love my RRL cardigan but sometimes I need some cheaper basics as well. Also for a lot of guys starting out in menswear, it’s a learning process and you don’t necessarily want to invest huge amounts of money into an item of clothing only to discover that it ain’t really you. But just because you aren’t paying that much, doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice quality. Sure, the item won’t be BIFL, but you still want to get the most quality per dollar ratio. Here are a few brands I have come across that are decent for their price. Continue reading “Frugal basics “