I’m gonna take a break from the clothes and shoes for a sec to talk about something I’ve noticed since becoming a dad.
I’m a new-ish dad -my son is now a toddler and I sometimes take him somewhere by myself, whether it’s the shopping centre, or a market, or the doctors, or the park. And the comments or reactions I get from strangers are always overwhelmingly positive, and I feel, disproportionate to the job I’m doing. As in: I’m just looking after my son, MY son. I mean, I’m kinda the reason he is in this world so I SHOULD be looking after him. I’ve been told that I’m an angel, that I’m such a great dad, or I get huge beaming smiles from just about everyone I pass (though that last one could just be because my son is goddamn adorable). And I’ve spoken to other new dads who say they have experienced the same thing. Continue reading “#1 Dad”
I love my blazers and sportcoats. But I will admit that in 2017 it can be hard to wear a blazer or sportcoat without people asking you if you are going to an interview or “why are you so dressed up?”. In our current dressed-down society, anything beyond the boring button-up shirt plus chinos will get a second look from other people. I mean, you can just say to hell with it and wear what you want and I do wear blazers and sportcoats regularly to work, but there are other options as well that are not quite as formal but also not as boring as just a shirt and pants. I personally don’t like to wear certain kinds of outerwear indoors – long jackets/coats and anything puffy are usually out for me. These are usually just too long/unwieldy/hot indoors and belong on the coat rack. They are called outerwear for a reason.
These are my usual go-to if I need something other than a jacket. It’s more interesting in a heavier knit or with a bit of pattern like a cable knit. Merinos are usually too light and can be a bit boring – I like it chunky. I also like shawl collars for their shape – the collar rolls a bit like the lapels of a blazer and just looks better than a regular cardigan. I buy these a little oversized so they are a bit slouchy and relaxed looking. Plus if the weather gets cooler I can wear a thicker shirt, overshirt, or jumper/sweater underneath the cardigan. And pockets, I like pockets ’cause you need somewhere to put your hands/phone/pens/sandwich. A nice alternative to the shawl cardigan is the shirt collar cardigan – I’ve been digging some of the models from Inverallan. Chunky numbers also can come in cotton/linen/blends if wool is too hot (my building’s heating is ridiculously cranked up in winter…no wonder we have global warming). I’ve got a nice indigo cotton/wool blend cardi from RRL and it is great for our temps in Sydney.
But summer is just around the corner, why the hell am I talking about knitwear?? Yeah sorry. When the mercury goes up, chore jackets and work jackets are a nice light option. French chore jackets were all the rage a few years ago thanks to the love of all things workwear and heritage but they are still a good option now. If it’s made out of a lighter weave in 100% cotton or cotton/linen blend or 100% linen they will be nice and breathable in warmer weather (they also come in wool, corduroy, and moleskin for the cool months). Continue reading “The Not-a-Blazer Jacket for Work”
It is with great sadness I receive the news today that Cone Mill’s White Oak plant in North Carolina is closing its doors at the end of this year. These guys have been making denim for Levi’s for over 100 years and is the last mill in America to make selvedge denim. Their parent company was bought out about a year ago and obviously dwindling profits has meant that White Oak is becoming another casualty of profit margins and changing times.
But this isn’t just another unprofitable business going down. This is the end of an era, much like the ceasing of car manufacturing in Australia. Much like how Commodores and Falcons are intrinsically Australian, denim is intrinsically American. And to no longer be able to buy quality denim woven in America is a sad day indeed.
Continue reading “Another one bites the dust”
I guess I’m a bit of a sucker for punishment or I don’t learn from my mistakes, etc. As a pimply teenager I had a pair of off-white converse allstars like just about everyone else and the toe box was completely wrong for my foot shape. My pinky toe would constantly rub against the side of the shoe so I either had a blister or no skin on it left by the end of the day. Fast forward to a couple of years ago when white sneakers were all the rage and I was too cheap to fork out for a pair of common projects, so of course I go out and get me a pair of leather Jacket Purcells. The leather was shit and of course they were hell for my pinky toes!
Fast forward some more to more recent times and Nigel Cabourn’s army style sneakers kept coming up on Instagram. Something about the utilitarian aesthetics, chunky soles and old school colours appealed to me. But you know, I had enough sneakers I don’t even wear so I filed it away in the back of my mind somewhere. But they kept coming up! I saw a cool pair of “all-weather boots” on the Drake’s website and the “made in Japan” description and I couldn’t help doing some research. Continue reading “Review: Nigel Cabourn high top army trainers”
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”
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 “
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”
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”
There are a lot of simplified truths and rehash of information in #mensstyle. I am guilty of doing the same thing in the interest of oversimplifying topics for mass consumption. I came across these two posts by North Star Leather today which really go in depth about Full Grain Leather and Genuine Leather and how such labels cannot be used to make assumptions about the quality. Excellent reading!
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”