Archive for May, 2011

new tune tuesday with mmj

buying new music on tuesdays is one of my favorite past times – especially when one of my favorites puts out a new disc.  this morning my morning jacket released their sixth album circuital.  i was one of the few that really enjoyed 2008’s spastic evil urges, but this go-round mmj ditch the experimental stuff and return to being a rock band.  jim james said the band got together and played their whole catalog before writing new material.  it shows on circuital.  circuital takes the best elements of their previous work and ties them together to create an instant classic.  it still moves is currently my favorite mmj album, but i have a feeling circuital will surpass it in time.  go get this album.

vans classic slip-ons new colors for fall

vans slip-ons are on my list of all time favorite kicks.  this fall they’re offering three new colors: steel blue, zinfandel, and light gray.  not a fan of the zinfandel.  it looks exactly how you would imagine.  i will be buying these blue steel, er, i mean steel blue ones above.  classic.

icons of men’s style

from the description on uncrate, this book takes a look at some of the “most stylish, distinctive men of recent memory,”  but rather than just showcasing old photos, it goes into the history of the items these icons wore.  there’s currently no release date on, but you can still pre-order.  i’m doing so after i hit publish.

the breakdown: dopp kits

summer is almost here and as we begin to prepare for our vacations, it’s important to point out one thing every man needs: a good dopp kit.  in my opinion, the best ones are made of nylon or canvas and have some sort of waterproof liner that will prevent spills from touching the rest of your suitcase.  remember that no matter how careful you are, something will inevitably spill in your dopp kit.  here are five of my favorites to get you through this summer and next:

l.l. bean


jack spade

j. crew

matt singer

ryan adams in wallabees

in the year 2000, ryan adams could do no wrong.  i had just discovered whiskeytown before he released heartbreaker in september of that year.  it was a game changer.  at the time, the radio waves were polluted with the britney spears types and boy bands of the world, and i found solace in anything alt-country.  i had always hated country music, but alt-country was…well, alt.  the sub-genre was full of artists and musicians that were influenced by country’s rebellious past, but they refused to play by nashville’s rules.  to me, ryan adams was the high priest of this pseudo-movement.  he was a punk rocker that stumbled upon country when he discovered punk was too hard to sing, and thank God he did.  he inspired a whole generation of twenty year olds to pick up the guitar and write from the heart.  he also influenced the way i wanted to dress at the time.  if you saw him in print or on stage, he was always in jeans, cowboy boots, a plaid shirt, and jean jacket – the dude looked cool.  i could never pull off the canadian tux but damn it if i didn’t want to try.  adams announced an indefinite hiatus from music in 2009 and has been hiding out (not really) in los angeles with wife mandy moore.  occasionally, i’ll see pictures of the two of them on some gossip websites.  i can’t remember which site i found the picture above, but i grabbed it immediately when i saw adams wearing wallabees.  i’ve been planning on doing a post on my history/obsession with wallabees, but seeing adams in his made mentioning them necessary.  i can’t believe it’s been 10 years and i still want to dress like ryan adams (minus the freddy frueger sweater).

buy yours here

sperry cloud cvo sneakers

i love canvas sneakers.  they’re cheap and look good with anything besides formal wear.  i’m a vans man first and foremost, but these sperry 75th anniversary cvo sneaks are the nuts.  i saw them on selectivism last week and bookmarked the hell out of that page.  the only problem with the link they attached to the post is that it’s for a store in the uk and they’re out of a bunch of sizes.  fear not for i have found some here.  if you want the red (above), they’re only $40 right now.  act fast because they may not be around for long.

new glove

it occurred to me last week that i no longer had a baseball glove.  i bet i could go to my parents house and find it somewhere, but i don’t want to.  my childhood glove is sacred.  my dad gave it to me.  it was the one he used growing up.  it was beat to hell and if you caught a line drive it would sting the palm of your hand because the leather was so worn down.  it didn’t matter to me.  he played with it so i was determined to play with it.  although i gave up playing baseball in high school, my love for the game has never been stronger.  there’s nothing better than spending the afternoon at the ballpark or watching a game on tv after work.  when my new glove arrived at the office today, i tore through the box in a matter of seconds and screamed when i saw it.  if you want to feel 13 years old again, then buy yourself a new baseball glove…and if i have a son one day, then this glove will be his – after it’s broken in of course.

off to the races

i wonder how many blog posts about horse races begin with that line.  tomorrow is the 70th annual nashville steeplechase.  if you’ve ever been to horse races before, you know that it’s a bit of a fashion show.   the men wear their easter best (lots of pastels), and the girls bust out their sundresses and big hats for the first time all year.  i plan on taking my camera – aka cell phone – with me tomorrow to take some pics for monday.

i had every intention of making a “kit” for what i was planning on wearing, but last night i was too tired to put anything together, so i’m stealing the one below from bearings nashville.  in all honesty, i don’t know if i could have done a better job than my friend and nashville bearings contributor paul of dreams of perfection fame.  he nails the essentials.  the weather is supposed to be rainy tomorrow, so if i had to add anything it would be bean boots.  there’s no reason to ruin a nice pair of shoes.

best trunks i ever purchased

i’m 3 weeks away from my first real vacation in a year.  i need it.  my boss looked at me the other day and said, “do you have any vacation coming up?  you could use it.”  i thought that conversation only happened on tv and the movies.  i guess not.  truth is she’s right.

my wife and i will be at the beach for a full week, so i’ll need to pack a couple of swimsuits.  i have 3:  two polo swimsuits i’ve have for 3 or 4 years now and a pair of j. crew 7″ board shorts (above) that i bought last year around this time.  i’ve always wanted some board shorts, but my just under 5’9” frame didn’t really look good in your typical 9” board shorts so i stayed away.  when i saw these at j. crew last year i tried them on not expecting them to fit right.  i was wrong.  they fit me perfectly.  they hit right above the knee and don’t hug my waist too tight.  they also seem to dry quicker than the polo suits.

i’ll definitely pack all 3 swimsuits when i go to the beach next month, but i’ll probably only wear the board shorts.  best trunks i ever purchased.

esquire style advice: avoid the black shirt

i hate stealing a whole article from esquire, but this is too good to pass up.  i couldn’t agree more.

One of the things we look for in our actors is a guiding light — the ability not just to dazzle onscreen but to blaze a path, stylishly or otherwise, when they’re walking the red carpet, or appearing on talk shows, or, you know, taking the kids to the grocery store. It’s what makes paparazzi photos tolerable for men: you can at least hope there’s something to learn there.

Guys like Johnny Depp, as we’ve known for years, and Chris Hemsworth, as we found in our pages a few months ago (and as America discovered this weekend), have that kind of appeal. But before you get too inspired by their wardrobe choices in public over the weekend (Depp at the fifth Pirates premiere, Hemsworth on Kimmel), a word to the wise: avoid the black shirt.

For whatever reason, the black shirt has become something of a staple for men in the limelight. Which is fine, except that it just gets lost in translation when attempted by civilians — somewhere in the waiter zone. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but let’s just say (once again) that the creations of Johnny Depp are best left in experienced hands.

So if you want an alternative option to white or blue this summer, consider the gray dress shirt. Not only does it look cool, but it’ll go with all your suits: charcoal, navy, and black — a black suit, that is.

i guess i can live with the gray dress shirt (if you must), but please don’t ever wear a black dress shirt.  save that look for the dude that works on the computers at your office.