Jake Gallagher | A Continuous Lean.

On the Hunt for Gurkha Shorts.

Apr 17th, 2014 | Categories: England, History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Military | by Jake Gallagher

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With its dual strap waistband, barrel cut legs, high inseam, and row upon row of pleats, the Gurkha short is certainly not for the faint of heart, but we’re sure the original Gurkha wouldn’t have it any other way. This overloaded short can be traced back to the Gurkha, a legendary Nepalese military regiment that consisted of that nation’s most fearless soldiers. The Gurkha were so revered for their bravery that even after suffering a loss to the British during the Anglo–Nepalese War in the early eighteen-hundreds, the kingdom enlisted them to fight for the English Empire.

Their legendary prowess at combat was not the only thing the Gurkha brought along with them when they joined forces with their former adversaries, for they also contributed, well their name. Overtime these shorts, which like almost all colonial garb featured a tan color and loose cut that could easily combat the often oppressive heat, were given the Gurkha name as they were so popular within the region.





Five Umbrellas Worth Hanging Onto.

Apr 15th, 2014 | Categories: Accessories, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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There’s been so much talk about this year’s endless winter that it almost seems cruel to discuss the weather at this point, and yet as we finally begin to thaw out from this infinite freeze, we also enter into Spring’s inevitable rainy season. Without the escape brought by a car, life in the city during the rainy months requires preparation and advance planning not accustom to most men. It also offers the opportunity to a stylish and useful tool like the umbrella. We’ll leave it to The Wirecutter to obsess over price and function, and we’ll focus our efforts on style.





Jack Purcell | 80 Years Later a Legend Evolves.

Apr 14th, 2014 | Categories: Footwear, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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It began with a smile.

More even than the man himself, the Jack Purcell line is best represented by a smile. Not everyone can recall that Jack Purcell was a Canadian badminton player, but we can guarantee that most people can recognize that subtle black “smile” that’s stamped on the front of his signature sneakers. And now nearly eight decades after Jack first took to the court in those white plimsolls, Converse is taking the brand to new heights thanks to that smile.

Converse has transformed that upturned line into a logo, stamping it proudly on a tee alongside their straightforward, unflappable message, “Smile.” That t-shirt is just the start of the brand’s newly formed apparel collection, which includes a polo (again with an all-over print smile motif that is almost reminiscent of waves), a lightweight blazer, and a unique barn jacket/blazer mash-up. Of course, the sneakers are still the most extensive part of the collection, adding a premium edge to the iconic silhouette, most notably on an indigo colored pair that features the wavy smile pattern.





America’s “Forgotten” Vacation Destinations

Apr 11th, 2014 | Categories: Americana, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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Americans just don’t vacation like they used to. Cross country road trips, picturesque mountain resorts, and far off seaside towns have been replaced by “staycations,” transcontinental cruises, and brief weekend jaunts to the city. The glory days of Griswold-ian journeys, Borscht belt summers, and month long excursions across the midwest are now behind us, and in their wake many of America’s once mighty vacation destinations, such as the five spots below, have begun to fade off into obscurity.





A Conversation with Michael Hill of Drake’s London.

Apr 8th, 2014 | Categories: A Conversation With, Accessories, Jake Gallagher, London, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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At thirty-five years old Drake’s London Creative Director Michael Hill is roughly the same age as the brand itself. This fact is interesting because when Hill took over as lead designer for Drake’s in 2010, he did so with the vigor and sensibilities of a man well immersed in the diversified mentality of the fervent post-millennial menswear set. Prior to assuming this principal role, Hill had apprenticed under Michael Drake himself, earning an invaluable education which primed him to assume creative control once Drake sold the company was purchased by Mark Cho of The Armoury. It has been Hill’s ability to align Drake’s tradition of incomparable accessories with his own taste for more progressive pieces that has kept Drake’s as one of the preeminent brands in the world. I had a chance to speak with Hill about the brand’s growth, both in scope and in style, as well as his personal style, the role of the internet in menswear, and the future of Drake’s.

ACL: When you took over as lead designer for Drake’s in 2010, you really took the brand to new heights, what was your mission when you assumed that position?

Michael Hill: I wanted to ensure the continuity from the previous ownership, both in terms of the quality and style of the product and our longstanding, loyal customers.Continuity was as important as anything new I wanted to do with the business and our mission was to give us some longer term stability by putting down roots in terms of our first brick and mortar store, our website and a factory fit for purpose and the coming decades. I also wanted to reassure our own staff as well, as I was relatively young when I took over the company.





Server Style | Charting A Century of Tennis Attire.

Apr 7th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Sport | by Jake Gallagher

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While the look of most major sports is dictated (quite literally) by uniformity, tennis stands on the opposite end of the spectrum, as one of the last few athletic pursuits that allows for freedom of choice. Barring the influence of their sponsors, and the implicit standards of good taste, most contemporary tennis players remain unrestricted in their clothing choices. The same could arguably be said about golfers, but the staid visor and baggy synthetic pant look has long ago erased any shred of style that existed out on the links.

For tennis though, style is intrinsic to the very soul of the sport. On the court the player stands alone in front of an audience that picks their favorite racketeer based not only on their playing prowess, but also on their penchant for panache. This is the sport that gave us not only understated essentials such as polo shirts and Stan Smiths, but also technicolor headbands and Andre Agassi’s “Hot Lava” Nikes, so please join us as we celebrate the many faces and phases of tennis style over the years.

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A Guide to New York’s Least Pretentious Coffee Shops.

Apr 3rd, 2014 | Categories: Food, Jake Gallagher, New York City | by Jake Gallagher

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When it comes to a quality cup of coffee, we’ll admit that New York City has been traditionally late to the game. Unlike our West Coast counterparts, who have always been armed with a more acute understanding of how beans and brews work; we don’t have a long history of destination coffee shops, and rare roasts. It’s not that coffee has not played a significant role in daily life here in New York, rather it’s that coffee has been historically been known as more a functional fuel, rather than a culinary pursuit. Like gas to a car, coffee has literally powered New York for as long as anyone can remember, but until the past couple decades, there hasn’t been a very visible coffee culture here in the city.

All that began to change with the inescapable onslaught of Starbucks, followed shortly by the steady rise of independent coffee shops which has now propelled New York into an age where you could quite literally step outside your front door and find a great cup of coffee just a few blocks away. Unfortunately, the by-product of this dark-roasted, slow-pressed, high-ticket coffee mania has been the ever-present sense of pretension that surrounds New York coffee. Snobbery abounds on both sides of the counter in many of New York’s most popular shops, and so for all of you that enjoy a great cup coffee with a splash of milk not arrogance, we give you the five least pretentious quality coffee shops in New York. It’s a shame a list like this would even need to exist.