Is there not always going to be money in the world? Recession or not? It's probably safe to say that if you read this blog you are probably not living on the streets and have a bit of money in your bank, or at least have the ability to make some. So why are so many so afraid to spend theirs? I'm not just talking about on wind breakers or chinos, but to actually do something, or make something cool happen. I really do believe that you only live once, and now is probably the best time to do something. There is a pretty great opportunity to do some fun, interesting and cool things in the next couple years. And if you are young, creative and relatively bright (and dressed well), the only person stopping you is probably yourself. I know I have stopped myself at times and I feel like the time is coming to jump off the cliff and take a risk. I have been getting pretty stressed out about costs, start up problems and tons of stuff I need to learn, that I don't know about. But you can't wait forever for that perfect time to make big decisions. I feel that risks are what makes life interesting and fun to live. Whether it's wearing some overalls or starting a business that you really believe in and are passionate about. Of course there are smart choices and there are poor choices, but with a realistic perspective, positive outlook and an actually good idea, you can make something happen. There are lots of people who read this blog who already have taken a jump of a cliff, or maybe a few, but there are going to be more to take in the near future. And for a lot of us we haven't taken the first big one. I definitely have a lot of respect for those who have taken a well calculated jump, it is rare - but I can't imagine anything more exciting.
This spring the leading New York based boutique Odin, has teamed up with well respected English footwear maker, Grenson. The capsule collection so far has two models including a leather ankle boot and a canvas oxford. Both are extremely clean and classic looking and would work, or should work, with any man's wardrobe. I am particularly a fan of the canvas oxfords. I think they are a perfect spring through fall shoe. With nice detailing, a great natural leather sole, white stitching, nice color choice on the laces and of course a nice leather lining, these feel very well balanced. I think Odin has definitely been one of the leaders in bringing menswear to a place where it should be. From their stock list, to their great Den concept location, Odin continues to push retail in New York and this is another very nice addition. The ankle boot retails for $350 and the oxford comes in at $325, which are not incredibly bag prices at all. I would like to see the black canvas under some better lighting, but these are definitely being considered for purchase.
Finding chinos that fit well is not easy. I am fairly picky with how pants fit me and chinos are the hardest of all to find in the right proportion. The best I'd personally found were BDG (UO in-house line) but unsurprisingly, they aren't very high quality, and they didn't have khaki colored chinos when I was in last. I wanted something casual, not too skinny, and definitely not loose fitting, something along the lines of a New Standard is ideal. Wings+Horns seem to be slightly refining their direction for the spring as they are offering oxford shirts, traditionally styled military jackets, a Macintosh style coat, slim wool pants, and of course the chino pant. I think the spring collection from W+H is probably their most classic looking to date. The chinos come in olive green and a great khaki tone. They are a great all season weight and feature taped seams, fifth change pocket, 100% cotton and really nice detail buttons. The fit is really nice. Great for rolling up or letting sit on your footwear of choice. I have worn them already with both my Redwing 875's and red sole dirty buck and found they worked well with both. I could probably have fit my waist into a 30 for a very slim fit but I decided to go with the 32 for a slightly more relaxed look that would work better for me, and with some EG items. They have a really nice solid texture as well that feels it will last a couple years and break in really nicely. Plus it feels good supporting a brand that designs and manufacturers here in Vancouver, Canada. Available at Roden Gray for $228 Can.
I have never really been much of a fan of cargo pants at any point in my life. I did have cargo shorts back in the day, but never pants - at least that I wore. Even with Engineered Garments making a subtle cargo pant, I am extremely hesitant to like them at all. I think both the North American stigma as well as the pure look of them will probably prevent me from every wearing any. However. I have noticed a couple pairs of pants in the Japanese market that have a version with relocated pockets. While I would still be hesitant to jump into a pair, I have to say they look a lot more appealing on the model worn with an oxford and rolled up with some boots. I could however do without the white paint spot treatment, but I am definitely a lot less opposed to this look. I'm curious if many folks in the North American market are going to be accepting the style into their wardrobe.
On the heels of the first spring drops and an interesting debate about Visvim's brand image and financing, I came across my second favorite item I've seen for the coming season. The Nomad Paclite is one of the nicest lightweight coats for sale on planet Earth. I particularly love the color blocking added to this piece, even more than the button down shirts. While there is no denying somebody is making money off these $1300 jackets - it won't be from me. I would probably purchase one of these if I was in a position to, the quality and aesthetic are high on my rating system. As a couple readers pointed out recently, there is some high quality production coming from China, so no matter where Visvim's products are produced, I wouldn't expect any drop in what you're paying for. However, every individual places there own value on certain items and there is probably a lower percentage that would put over a G on one of these. My point is they look great, whether you think its worth the money or not.
A couple of Our Legacy's essential items for spring have dropped at the UK's Oi Polloi recently. While we are looking forward to seeing the most extensive showing through Tres Bien's new web-store at the end of the month, Oi Polloi gives us a small sample of whats to come. While the items are very basic, such as the 'great' crew-neck sweater and button down collar dress shirts, the subtle touches make them stand out from the rest. First off, it seems Jockum and Christopher have also been hunting for that perfect soft red color crew-neck and had about as much luck as me. Fortunately they were in a position to make their own, and it looks great with the slight contrast stitching, nice neck and good fit. They also used a slight variation on their staple oxford shirt. For the spring season I think it's a safe bet to say a lot of brands will be using the seersucker cotton in their shirting and Our Legacy are one of them. I find the Swedish brands shirts slim, long fit to be a nice treat so their version of seersucker is one of the more appealing to myself. It's a hard fit to find these days, or used to be.
I've been starting to want a pair of glasses more and more lately. I always thought they had a ton of potential to add to a look and while I do realize they are meant for people with less fortunate eyesight, that doesn't mean the rest of us can't still use the look. There are a handful of frames I've been interested in, none more than the Marcello frames by Robert Geller - which I heard are going to be released again this spring. Anyways, these Raybans also are pretty nice looking. I really like the thin frame and the shape of the bridge. I am quite liking the more rounded shape and I feel Rayban didn't take it too far with these. Either the black or tortoise look really nice and could be worn with pretty much anything.
Most of you are quite familiar with Monocle and it's Editor in Cheif, Tyler Brule. But he actually does a lot more than the magazine and it's subsidary actives like product design, pod-casts and conferences. He also owns a design/art direction/branding agency by the name of Winkreative. The studio has done work for a couple air lines, stationary brands, Tretorn footwear, BMW and several other pretty nice clients. Their work is extremely classic looking with a very Monocle feel. I find the design to be right up the alley of things I like to look at. I am more a fan of Monocle for their intricate design aspects, layouts and photography spreads than the majority of the content, and those characteristics often translate into the agency's work. Tyler Brule's business model is definitely something to look up to. He seems to have had a pretty inspiring vision of what he could do and actually make some money along the way, something that isn't easily accomplished. Some of my favorite work is the custom publishing for Porter, SWISS and the Centurion Compact.