ACL Endorses | A Continuous Lean.

Get Yourself a Guayabera

Jul 23rd, 2014 | Categories: ACL Endorses, Jake Gallagher, Shirts, Style | by Jake Gallagher

JohnWayneGaryCooper

Ankle espadrilles, madras short shorts, and more compartments than a Boeing 747, oh yes there is quite a lot going on with Gary Cooper’s outfit in the photo above, but for now let’s all shift our attention over to John Wayne’s more approachable attire.

While that cowboy hat probably deserves a post all its own, Wayne’s Guayabera shirt is the real winner of this shot. When this photo was snapped back in Acapulco during the forties, Guayabera’s were ubiquitous throughout Mexico, but it’s tough to discern where exactly they come from. The most popular origin story is that sometime in the late 18th or early 19th centuries a farmer’s wife sewed four pleated pockets onto the front of his shirt so that he could easily store guavas (hence the name) while out in the fields. Whether that’s true or not, no one really knows, but the Guayabera’s merits are without question.





An Ode to Beat Up White Bucks.

Jun 30th, 2014 | Categories: ACL Endorses, Jake Gallagher, Shoes, Shoes of Summer | by Jake Gallagher

WhiteBucks

White bucks are the blank canvas of menswear. Each year, as the temperature rises, they reemerge like red soled birds flying south for the season, primed in a flat white coat that will be marked up, dinged out, and just plain dirty come Fall. There’s something unnatural about a pristine white buck – it’s too clean, too pristine, not worn in enough. On the other hand a beat-up buck proves that you’ve been living, and living well. Each pockmark and spot on a pair of bucks is earned and from that first time you nick up a fresh pair of bucks, you’ll be recording a seasons worth of wear and tear. As designer, and legendary buck wearer (seriously he’s been wearing them for over forty years straight) JP Williams puts it “they take on your personality.” So, here’s to a season of worth of grass stains and spilled cocktails, because a beat up buck is just a better buck.





ACL Endorses | Gallivant

Oct 2nd, 2012 | Categories: ACL Endorses | by Michael Williams

In terms of men’s product-based destinations online, there’s no denying Uncrate.com’s is one of the leaders, if not the leader in the space. The fact of the matter is, Uncrate is a beast; prolific and wielding an ocean of traffic. I think of it as Slashdot meets Amazon.com. The site has tapped into an audience in a remarkable way, because (generally), the majority of men aren’t interested in buying stuff the way they are into sports. While I have always respected Uncrate for its attention to detail and for the site’s simplicity, we didn’t start out as best friends. Our first exchange over twitter back in 2009 pretty much set the tone for each of us to hate each other (if I could find the tweets I would link them), but eventually I think we both had too much for respect to remain rivals. In the years since, we spoken frequently and the Twitter beef has been squashed.

Yesterday, the guys at Uncrate gave me a first look at their great new site called Gallivant. The format looks familiar — simple and to the point — but with a focus on interesting experiences (dining, drinking, hotels, travel etc) rather than product. It’s a good complement (and logical extension) of the gear-centricness of Uncrate. If it is anything like the Devour, the previous launch from Uncrate’s parent company Zombie Corp., I’m expecting big things. The launch of Gallivant also offered me rare opportunity to talk to Zombie Corp’s low-profile founder on the record. Our conversation and more about the new site after the jump.





ACL Endorses | Luma Labs Cinch

Feb 1st, 2012 | Categories: ACL Endorses, Camera, Photography | by Michael Williams

The search for a camera strap for my DSLR is over for good. Finally someone came up with something that is both comfortable to wear (especially important while traveling) and functional when it comes to actually taking photos. The strap is called Cinch and it is designed and made by Portland, Oregon-based Luma Labs. The key to what makes Cinch special is the ability to easily make the strap longer so you can quickly bring up your camera to take a picture — then tighten it all right back up and be on your way. The other huge plus is the fact that the design puts the camera in a perfect cradle while you are on the go. This is a very important aspect if you are walking around all day, because no one likes a camera impaling you in the side the whole time. Or maybe you do get down like that, though probably better if we don’t talk about it.





A Man With True Grit

Jan 11th, 2011 | Categories: ACL Endorses, Books, Movies | by Michael Williams

Better late than never…
Three word movie review: Go see it.

Charles Portis did something that few of us have the stones to do. He gave up a well paying job as a journalist and left the city to move to a cabin and write the great American novel.

A few months back when I heard the news of the Coen brothers remake of True Grit, it was exciting. Mostly because — unlike the 1969 version starring John Wayne — the new True Grit would very closely follow the original Portis story. In fact, Ethan and Joel Coen instructed Matt Damon not to watch the original film, they told him to read the book. And the book is truly great.

I can identify with what Portis did by giving up his job and life in the city by moving back home (to Arkansas) to follow his true passion. It is at least a feeling I can appreciate. It takes a lot of guts and the fact of the matter, change is almost always difficult.

Both True Grit and Charles Portis’ first novel Norwood both became popular movies. John Wayne ended up winning an Oscar for his role as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, which is the same thing I can see happening to Jeff Bridges, who is magnificent in the role. But the real star here is the story. If you haven’t read the book, I suggest you do so. Going to see the new True Grit after having read the book made it all that much more enjoyable. The Coens executed the film perfectly, in my opinion. Even Jason Bourne, er, Matt Damon was surprisingly great. I say surprisingly because, prior to this, I couldn’t see Damon as much of a Western guy. But Matt Damon is terrific, as is the whole cast.

All that said, none of it could come close to being as great as the book. I suggest you own it and read it.





ACL Endorses | Monocle Mediterraneo

Aug 3rd, 2010 | Categories: ACL Endorses, Media | by Michael Williams

Have you seen Monocle’s new iPad app? One actually came in the mail for me this morning. No, seriously.

This app isn’t Apple compatible, it is a special summer-edition of Monocle printed on newspaper stock. Because you can’t read an iPad on a beach. I first heard about Monocle Mediterraneo at a lunch with a contingent of Monocle staffers (including a very pleasant Mr. Brûlé) at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Now don’t get too excited, that’s not how I normally roll. But the Monocle crew was at the hotel for a conference, so it was an obvious choice.

Apparently the idea behind Mediterraneo was that, while this is the “summer of the iPad,” you can’t use one of those things at the beach. So being the rebellious pub that they are, Monocle went the other direction and struck gold. The summer edition is laid out beautifully and is an equally interesting read. The only problem is that while Mediterraneo can transport me in spirit, it can’t get the physical me to the Côte d’Azur. Or can it? [Monocle Mediterraneo]





ACL Endorses | The William Brown Project

May 28th, 2010 | Categories: ACL Endorses, Americana | by Michael Williams

Bacon, guns, waxed canvas, Rolexes. Anything a modern man may need — The William Brown Project has it.

And it is not everyday that you find it all in one place. I had a chance to chat with the site’s creator Matthrew Hranek, who when not working as a farmer or photographer (he’s shot for everyone from L.L. Bean to GQ), documents his upstate and downstate adventures for all to enjoy.  I was curious about the The William Brown Project back story, and the motivation that went into creating such a well edited and inspirational corner of the internets. “The William Brown project started simply as a diary of sorts, a document of events, places, objects, finds and obsessions. A big part of the blog is about what takes place in upstate New York at WM. BROWN FARM. There, animals are raised and hunted. Things made, foraged and found. The William Brown project is my life’s edit.”

And what a life it is. The William Brown Project guides you through one man’s life. It details everything from hunting (like his May 1st turkey hunt),  to shopping (at ACL favs Labour & Wait and Imogene + Willie), cooking, note-taking (on Smythson and Pield Notes pads), dining, going to butcher camp (amazing!) and living between the city and the country. All of this just makes me think that if this is so much fun to read and see on a blog, it must be that much more rewarding to experience first hand. Read it, save it, live it. [The William Brown Project]

WM. BROWN FARM bacon