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Archive for July, 2009

naked and famous denim

On a weekend excursion you gotta pack a pair of jeans. Enter Naked and Famous. These jeans are cut just right so that they’re not too tight and not too loose. They’re perfectly flexible, which is what this list is all about. You can wear them with a crisp dress shirt and dress shoes or you can throw them on with a plain white t-shirt and flip flops. They’ll wear in perfectly and get super comfortable. Just wear them on the road during your drive to the Hamptons, Adirondacks, Nantucket or wherever you may be headed and leave room in your bag for the other 8 items on the list. You can get these for a very modest $120 at Tobi.

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Monocle x Beams

Monocle x Beams


Watches can cause a sartorial conundrum. Should you invest thousands of dollars in a Rolex or Omega? Or should you try to find something cheap that won’t have long-term value? That’s a question for a whole different post or series of posts. We just want to throw some solid watches at you that wont kill your bank account. First, the fun ones. If you’re looking for something a little more colorful then you’re in luck when it comes to affordable wristwear. There are a bounty of fun watches, but our favorites are made by Timex and Nixon. They’re not too chunky, which allows them to blend in with a wardrobe much more effectively. The Timex Indigo is a great choice for it’s boxy shape that gives off that tongue-in-cheek nerdy vibe. Snag the 5 different colors at Opening Ceremony for $50. The Nixon Time Teller P has been shown on the blog plenty of times and will cater to your needs with its 9 differen’t colors. Pick it up here for $55.
jcrew
If you’re looking for a watch that’s a little more wearable day-in day-out, then there isn’t really a better choice than J. Crew’s Timex Military Watch. It’ll go with just about any outfit you could put together, which is pretty good for only $150. The best thing about it may just be the fact that it’s totally customizable. You can buy the watch and then head over to J. Press and check out their 17 different watch bands which will all give the piece a unique feel. Get the watch here, and the watchbands here.
monocle
Finally, the most handsome of budget watches. Available in Olive and Brown, Monocle x Beams Watch is a stunner for only about $157. It’s a perfect choice for the fall as the subtle tones will fit right in with the Autumn feel. We like the size as it has some heft to it, but definitely isn’t too chunky. You’ll have to pick this one up quick, though, because there are only 200 available in each color. You can pick up your piece here.

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Ina Men's

Ina Men's


We’ve told you before that Ina Resale takes 70% off their goods a couple times a year and that day has come. Be quick though, because the sale will only be going on through August 2nd. Let’s just lay this out for you. If a Dolce and Gabbana Blue Blazer goes for around $900 and it costs around $200 at Ina, that’s about a 78% savings your picking up. But during this sale, that same $900 blazer will be going for around $60, which, if you’ve done the math, is close to a 94% savings. Now, if you haven’t gotten the idea of how absurd this is by now, you probably never will, so we’re willing to give up on you. Expect Thom Browne Three-Piece Suits for around $750, which is absurd. So get yourself down to Ina before everyone else takes all of the good clothes. This sale is going on at all Ina locations, boys and girls. Check out our store profile of Ina here for more info.

INA Men’s: 19 Prince St. (212) 334-2210
INA NoHo: 15 Bleecker St. (212) 228-8511

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3830_2161_018
As the season turns colder and windier, the trench is going to be an absolute necessity. Obviously, it’s tough to beat the history and the luxury of Burberry’s trench, but we’re really into Martin & Osa’s piece. It’s got simple lines with a limited amount of extra straps dangling, and most importantly, a really clean, contemporary cut. It’s extremely trim compared to its peers and it’s slightly shorter than most — somewhat of a 3/4 trench. And at only $190, it really is hard to beat. In Navy or Khaki.

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billy reid weekend bag
Well that was an easy choice. After all, this is the list of essentials for the weekend away, so how are you going to get away without packing your stuff? The answer is that you might as well pack your stuff in style, and do it with something actually called the Weekender Bag. This handmade leather duffle bag is carry-on size and we dig the brass cleats and zippers (advertised as antique, too), as well as the worn in look of the leather so you don’t look like some snoot carrying a murse (man purse, if you didn’t already know). Also, the stitching across the belts is brilliant and subtle: it contrasts perfectly with that dark brown to complete the real rustic vibe of the piece. Oh, you might have to trade in your airfare for the bag. It’s $695 at Billy Reid.

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john-lobb-everdon-82108-1
We got a request from a buddy of ours on how to polish shoes, but we thought we’d use the opportunity to go into detail about all sides of shoe care. To put it simply, your shoes cannot survive without good care. Here are some rules.

1. Before you put them on…

Well, actually, we’ll start with when you’re getting them on. Use a shoe horn. Not just because it enables an easy slide into the shoe, but also because it protects the counter (a hard, bowl shaped piece of material placed in the back of the shoe for sturdiness and shape maintenance).

And before you go outside, just make sure that you’ve sprayed them with weatherproofing or protective spray within the past few months (re-spray every four months) before you go out if they are leather or suede.

2. Storage
shoetree-0307-240x312
Always store your kicks with shoetrees inside. Use cedar shoetrees because they absorb moisture. And believe it or not, you have over 100,000 sweat glands in your feet and you can produce up to 4 oz. of sweat — and a fair amount of that goes into your shoes. Sweat will cause wrinkles in the leather, make it smell bad, and cause other physical deformations that you don’t want. Also, cedar shoetrees smell good. The smell will also deter moths from your closet. (In general, your only other option for material is plastic and plastic shoetrees are garbage.) So bottom line: use the shoe tree.

Use split toe shoetrees for softer leather

Use split toe shoetrees for softer leather

Use solid shoetrees for more rigid leather

Use solid shoetrees for more rigid leather

What type of shoetree, you ask? Good question. Remember there are two types — the split toe shoetree and the solid shoetree. Use a split toe for softer shoes. Use a solid shoe tree on more rigid shoes.

Store in room temperature areas. Really hot areas will dry your shoes out. Really cold areas can’t be good either.

Use shoe bags when traveling! These bags ensure that the polish doesn’t smear on your clothes, and they just protect the shoes. Plus, often times, they’re cool looking.

3. Polishing and cleaning

Kiwi Shoe Polish is one of the most commonly used wax polishes. Get it for under $5 in shoe stores.

Kiwi Shoe Polish is one of the most commonly used wax polishes. Get it for under $5 in shoe stores.

Remember you can use a paste polish, wax polish, or liquid polish. These are three different things. Paste polish, also called cream polish, is a leather moisturizer. It essentially makes your leather supple and not oppressively rigid. It also increases breathability. Wax polish does a better job shining but because it is a sealant, it often inhibits any moisture getting to the shoe and causes them to overdry. As for liquid polish: it sucks. It shines your shoes up but totally destroys leather.

Equally cheap as its wax competitors, Yong Ma is a great paste polish.

Equally cheap as its wax competitors, Yong Ma is a great paste polish.

Remember, just because you polish doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean the shoes. Get a leather cleaner to treat the leather and a general shoe cleaner to get rid of unsightly stains and buildup from polish. If you don’t get rid of the polish buildup, your shoes won’t breathe and the leather will break down without proper ventilation for all the moisture it’s exposed to.

All you have to do to clean your leather is get a damp cloth, lather it up, wipe the shoe, and air dry. Use saddle soap or even just Ivory soap. Make sure that there’s no acid in the soap.

Seriously. You really only need one soap. Ivory will do the trick.

Seriously. You really only need one soap. Ivory will do the trick.

Don’t bother using shoe conditioner to maintain leather shoes if you’re using a cream polish. The point of conditioner, like cream polish, is to moisturize, so only use it in conjunction with a wax polish, which tends to dry leather out over time.

As for unsightly scuffs that you just can’t get rid of: just try a little witch hazel. The alcohol often does the trick but if that doesn’t work consult a shoe shop.

4. How to do a shine
(1) Remove any laces on the shoes, but keep the shoetrees in there.
(2) Clean shoes down with a cloth to get rid of dirt, etc. If you haven’t used soap on them before, now’s a good time, especially if they’re really dirty.
(3) Make sure your polishing cloth is really tightly stretched and that no stray cloth will touch your shoes.
(4) Use a cream polish.
(5) Apply the polish gently in a circular motion from heel to toe on one side, around to the other side of the toe, and then back to the heel on that side.
(6) Make sure you use no more than the minimum layer of polish or they won’t dry fast and you’ll get polish buildup quickly.
(7) Allow to dry, but assuming you’re using cream, it can’t stay on too long or it will stick. If you use wax, give it a lot of time so the leather soaks it up.

A horsehair shoe polishing brush

A horsehair shoe polishing brush

(8) Once dry, buff the shoe with a horsehair polishing brush, like this one for just $10. Make small circular motions again.
(9) Now do a final buff with a clean rag.

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rue-la-la1
We all love discount sites like Gilt Groupe and RueLaLa, but how can these sites keep churning out these sales? The answer is an innovative business model backed by fortunes of venture capital. Check out the Wall Street Journal article, Designer Bargains, for the Invited, and learn about these companies, how the businesses work, and where this market is headed.

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