Tuesday, August 24, 2010

University Stripe: First Days of School

Screen shot 2010-08-24 at 6.11.49 PM

LL Bean has restocked the online shop and is once again offering the University Stripe. It's not in trim fit, so size down. I don't mind billowy shirts, well, semi-billowy shirts (just as long as my nips are out for everyone to see, but you already knew that). If you're wearing a blazer and you tuck your shirt in, the billowy-ness is cut down. Because of the extra room, I'd say that regular fit shirts are more comfortable than fitted shirts and end up looking fine with a trim jacket and pants.

I had a LL Bean university stripe purchased for my first year of boarding school. It was red like the picture. I was pretty proud of it because it seemed to go with every tie I owned and I could occasionally get away with it on school tie/white shirt/green blazer school days. Sometime that fall, I was wearing my white oxford and I saw my Korean roommate, called David, wearing a red university stripe oxford. I knew he didn't own a red university stripe oxford. We didn't talk and certainly didn't get along. David played dating simulators, didn't wear deodorant, and screamed loudly when he lost Starcraft. There were weeks where I wouldn't hear him speak English. It's a shame really, as it seemed all the other Korean students got along with us Americans and would even speak English amongst themselves. Bad egg, I suppose. He was good friends with the other Koreans but they would make fun of him and tell us that his mother paid for his education by whoring herself out, which we found entertaining. I checked my drawers later that day and couldn't find my university stripe.

I asked David about it that night after cross-country practice. He acted like he couldn't understand English, even though he understood how to tell people to "fuck off". Frustrated, when I had a free period the next day, I went through his drawers. I couldn't find my shirt anywhere. I never saw my university stripe oxford again. He certainly didn't wear it. David dropped out at the end of the year and I never saw him again. Since I'm ordering a new one, here's to you David, I hope life is treating you well and I hope your mom isn't actually a whore.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fox River


Made outta' corn?


I guess my old socks just weren't eco-friendly enough.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Expanding Markets

Americana and a general interest investing in timeless pieces has been successfully marketed to the American male. Lines like LL Bean Signature and Lands End Canvas have been well recieved. Now it is has come time for this trend to expand to other markets. I believe Alex Carleton, who makes variations on the iconic bean boot for LL Bean Signature, has started the exploration of a very niche market with the release of this black leather bean boot.


Sexual deviants have paid women dressed in black leather to whip them for sometime now. Of course, since this has been popular amongst those looking for something else in their sexual lives, dominatrixes's gear has begun to wear out. Much like the American male, dominatrixes want to invest in a black leather piece that will last them for sometime. Now I don't have anyway to know this for sure, but it appears to me that this black boot was intended to market the Americana trend to dominatrixes. It's perfect for their line of work as it's rubber and waterproof (I don't have to tell you what they need waterproof boots for), has a bit of a heel which makes the woman more dominating than if she weren't, and it's black: the dominatrixes color of choice.


Of course, to me, I feel as though this is the beginning of the end of our beloved Americana trend. With others not in our 'bro' group buying the same things we do, we will feel we are losing our identity and may feel as though we our beginning to be associated with dominatrixes (assuming they pick up on LL Bean Signature's boot offering). Like any sane man, I sure as heck don't want to be associated with these sexual deviants.

Alex Carleton is walking a very fine line here. He must not alienate his current customers while expanding upon his profits. I sure don't want to fight over a pocket flap oxford with a dominatrix in a JCrew store (but it's marked down to $29.99!).


Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Coolest show on TV? Not Mad Men or Breaking Bad, This Old House hands down. Stuntin' chambray, chaimos, flannel, oxford, and denim, these guys know whats up.



In this episode, the dudes show you how to set up your digital receiver for your TV. I thought everyone stopped using basic cable 4 decades ago. Guess not.


Is that a purple mole cloth workshirt? I think it is.

These guys look better than HGTV hosts even when hungover from the weekend. How much product do they use in their hair? Looks like none. How much shit was given about how their tan looks on camera? Looks like none. How much furniture from IKEA do these guys have in their own homes? Looks like none.

This is the American man show. Tuck your shirt in and comb your hair for Christ's sake, ya' look like a slob.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back from the Tailor

Picked my pants from the tailor today, after quite a period without them. In general, they turned out okiedokie. Here's what they looked like before the tailor got ahold of them.

Photo on 2010-08-17 at 15.50

The gray chino turned out a tad short. No break, but with some shoes, like low sneakers, you can see the sock when I'm standing. Luckily, they're shoes that I normally wear without socks. Also, the opening is tapered down to 15" which I've decided is just a bit too faddy for me. I think I'll stick with 16" next time.

Photo on 2010-08-17 at 15.48

These khaki chinos are just about what I want. They're tapered from 17" down to 16". There's a bit of a break, but there's nothing wrong with that. They're khakis, so if I'm really bothered, I can always cuff them.

For $16 a pair, not too bad at all. Then considering what I paid for the pants, it's a steal.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bad Taste?: Same ol' same ol'

Another McNairy collab surfaced this year. Walk-Over wanted in on the game and got the buck revivalist to inject some life in the brand. Looking at the collection. It's the same old, same old. Boring right? Feel like you've seen it before? For a second or two this bothered me. It seemed boring. We've seen all this already, why can't anyone come out with something new. But isn' that what Americana is about? While the Walk-Over collection looks like any other McNairy collab, it's Americana, so it shouldn't look new. Americana is more about ho-hum than sham-wow.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Socks? Summer? Blaspheme.

No-show socks? Ridiculous. Boat shoes are worn without socks. This is what the hardcore topsidet would say (think cadet, but topsider wearing). Of course, not everyone can perscribe to this. Unfortunate, no? I've worn Sperry's and have never had a problem. When my pair from boarding school blew out, I snatched a brand new pair of Bass boat shoes off ebay for the price of a pack of those no-show socks.



They're very similar, but slightly different. My feet don't notice a difference because Sperry's never bothered my feet, but I understand that they give some people blisters. Now a lot of people get blisters on their heel from the way Sperry's are made. Sperry's don't have a solid heel, and it will have a tendency to grab the heel when you walk. Now my Bass boatshoes, they have a solid heel that I have found doesn't grab my heel when I walk. So, if you've had problems with your Topsiders, might I suggest finding a different boat shoe. It's in almost all cases more expensive then buying no show socks, but for those sockless enthusiasts, it's worth a shot. Unfortunately, I've looked all over the Bass website and cannot find what these were called back in the day. Bass doesn't seem to be offering them anymore. If I were in the market for a new pair of boat shoes, I would take my time to look around. I might find a subtle change in another brand's model that really makes the shoe.

Sidenote: GTBT is finally putting up original media? I don't see any pigs flying but...

BB and Corduory

Brooks Brother's is selling a corduroy suit for the fall. Maybe it's offered more as a novelty, as not many men haven't been investing in casual suits until recently (see Men's Warehouse), but it will certainly be welcome. Chino suits from JCrew and LL Bean were ragin' this summer, and it's safe to say that men will want to pay the money to get a well made casual suit, off the rack. It's offered in brown, but it's certainly not a bright brown as the umber almost looks black. Before you go off and cash your checks to pick this up, take note of LL Bean Signature offerings of corduroy separates for the less well endowed.


What to wear with a cord suit? Sneakers and a beret, duh.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reading List: Comic books

American Splendor : The Life and Times of Harvey Pekar - Pekar
Wall City - Alex Kim
Y: The Last Man vol. 6 - Vaughan
Werewolves of Montpellier - Jason
Moving Pictures - Immonen

Thank God for Amazon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Post O'alls 3/2?

How cool/debatably tasteless would this be with a 3/2 roll? The problem is that the top button is higher than most 3 button jackets which might throw things off. Not to mention what the roll would do to the collar. Well, here's to dreaming.

Sidenote: My tailor might have forgotten about me. I'm not sure.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

TH. Pooped on no longer.

Tommy Hilfiger isn't all god awful. I own two TH v-neck sweaters and the cotton holds up in the wash and is better quality than say, Chaps or Club Monaco. Like most Macy's lines, you gotta' pick and choose, 'cause it's not all golden. It's cheaper than RL and totally riding riding Ralphie's D. So if you're looking for bargains without having to scoure random sales. Hit up TH cause it's not half bad.

I found those short boardshorts everyone has been fiending for. Consider these a coup de grace for your checkbook. Better than paying $100 somewhere else (don't tell anyone, but you can find RL swimwear at Macy's on the cheap right now, but you better be pudgy).

Hey yo. Tab fronts like those stylish deals at Unis. Only these are actually a deal. You'll have to get them tailored if you want them slim, but who cares? They're actually available. Belt loops need moved over, but he's TH, it's not like anyone expects him to be perfect.

Cheap v-necks. Sweaters like this are under-rated. Just don't wear it with a cheap shirt. Everyone will notice.

TH just can't help himself. He's gotta brand everything he sells. Some more than others. This is bad taste here folks.

You better be kickin' it to wear a collar like so. But anyone kickin' it usually isn't wearing Macy's TH. Close but no cigar TH.

TH's website says that these are "ready for adventure". More like "ready for cheap beer and pizza grease stains".

Now that you've had your mini tour, I'd check it out for yourself. Judge TH. Judge him hard. Maybe he'll clean out his crap and sell more stuff that people want to buy. Right now, I'd say the crap pieces to decent pieces ration is about 1:1.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Here's the low down on getting your shirts tailored. They HAVE to be skin tight or you'll look like a chump. Actually, to be cool, you gotta' have your nipples showing.

via Sart

This guy's cool. You get really nice nipple definition through a well tailored shirt.

People who don't get their shirts tailored skin-tight look plain silly. For example, FEC sported this shirt that is just waaaaay too big on him. Everyone knows that your nips gotta' be showing. Some commentors reminded him that his shirt needs to see a tailor, and I TOTALLY agree with them.

via Unabashedly Prep

Valet says you don't have to tip your tailor but I follow the rule, "if you can see your nips, then tip."

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bad Taste?: New Balance

Old guys like New Balance and for good reason. They're comfy. Streetwear bros kinda' like New Balance sneaks, as long as a five-year old got to choose the color scheme (green, pink, and yellow? Sick nasty bro! MLIB). Steve Jobs likes New Balances, they're utilitarian and hate adobe, kinda' like Stevie. So why don't we? Well, the answer is, we kinda' already do. Many of us are just not aware of it. What does this guy wear? And you'll see Ryan Williams rockin' them on occasion. And so will the legend. Obviously, the 993 has a following, as well as the 999 and the 998, but it's more noticeable in the streetwear community . Maybe because it's comfort kicks butt. Sadly, many of us associated the NB 993 with cheap male footwear as NB surplus made it's way into Kohl's and the like. This made a lot of people associate the shoes with bad taste.

Styling-wise, I'm not going to be adding this shoe to my wardrobe just yet. I have pair of white Reeboks that aren't quite dead. They definitely channel the fogey look and look dope with cargos (ROTM anyone?) and look stupid with slim jeans. For the younger crowd, I might wait a decade or so to pick up a pair as you definitely need a unique character to wear these and be cool. If you surround them with nice clothes, they will take on the guise of being styling, and not look as cheap. NBs aren't bad taste, they take on the taste of the wearer. If the wearer has good taste, then they'll conform to the wearer.

Ew, streetwear-y. Maybe not the blue ones.