Menswear | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Northampton | The Cradle of Shoe Civilization

Nov 4th, 2014 | Categories: Made in England, Menswear, Shoes | by Jake Gallagher

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“Finishing” is the dirtiest word in high-end footwear. As shoe companies have exported their production to China or Bangladesh or any other country where the production practices are as questionable as the quality of the shoes, many English, Italian, and American brands have begun to exploit a convenient loophole when it comes to marking the country of origin. A shoe might be almost entirely produced overseas, but if it is “finished” in England then that company is free to tack on a “Made in England” label.

What exactly is finishing? Well in some cases it means that the shoe is completed in England – pieces are stitched together, the sole is affixed, etc. but in some cases it means that the shoe was finished and little more than the laces were added in England. Of course, countries have now begun to crack down on this, and it’s not exactly clear how many companies have taken advantage of these loose guidelines, but it’s enough to make savvy shoe-buyers weary. As a result, that “Made in England” tag no longer holds as much weight as it once did. Customers now want greater clarity on the exist origin of their footwear, which has narrowed the scope of “Made in England,” down to one area in particular: Northampton.

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An Ode to the Original Six.

Oct 22nd, 2014 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Sports | by Jake Gallagher

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Hockey is America’s biggest little sport. In the post-lockout era, hockey games are harder to find on TV and the average American probably couldn’t name five current players without the aid of ESPN. But for true hockey fans, the sport is as enthralling as ever and it still is far and away the best professional sport to watch live. Though, most professional leagues are now as polished as a freshly minted trophy, but hockey still feels endearingly ragtag in a way, though much of that is disappearing by the season. Yes, part of this stems from the sport’s lack of true mainstream superstars (in comparison to the NBA or NFL), and the aggressive, often manic gameplay, and of course the fights. But, a large part of it has to do with the jerseys. Tune into a hockey game today and you’ll see many of the same (or close enough to the same) jerseys that players have worn for decades.

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Ralph Lauren and The Boy Scouts of Nippon.

Oct 20th, 2014 | Categories: Camping, History, Jake Gallagher, Japan, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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There are vintage finds that make you cry tears of joy. There are vintage finds (mostly of the stained variety) that make you weep for what could have been. And then there are vintage finds that simply leave you scratching your head. A few weeks back, in a downtown consignment store I came upon a vintage find so confounding, so downright unexpected that it has sent me on a quest. The shirt itself was nothing out of the ordinary. Two front pockets, patches on each sleeve, epaulettes up top, really, it looked like any old scouting shirt. Which is why I was drawn to it. Why was this shirt here? Why would a store that sells everything Thom Browne, Rick Owens, and Junya Watanabe be selling a regular old Boy scout shirt? And then I saw the tag. “Boy Scouts of Nippon Designed By Ralph Lauren.”

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Why the Knick is TV’s Most Stylish Show.

Oct 17th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Menswear, TV | by Jake Gallagher

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Don Draper is not the best dressed man on TV.

There, I said it and I meant it. Now, the FCC might kick down my door at any second for speaking ill of the holy Don Draper, but I just can’t hold my tongue any longer. Mad Men is not the most stylish show on TV, The Knick is.

Now before you start crying out that this statement is sacrilege, allow me to explain. After seven seasons the slim-suited, slicked-haired, tie-barred “Mad Men Look” is just plain boring. When Mad Men premiered in 2007 (2007!), it was nothing short of a sensation. Don Draper’s sharp flannel suits, pressed white shirts and narrow ties were undeniably cool. The style of the show was clean, modern, and pretty much still worked just as well in ‘07 as it did in ‘67. Suddenly, everywhere you looked, whether it was a glossy magazine editorial or your standard suburban office building, you could find a Don Draper lookalike. With the detached gaze to boot.

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J.Crew’s Top Secret Chinos.

Oct 15th, 2014 | Categories: Menswear | by Michael Williams

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You’re looking at the most underrated pair of khakis on the market.

Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed something interesting relating to these particular J.Crew chinos. After randomly talking to three people who work for three different clothing companies (who are not J.Crew) I began to notice a pattern. Curious, I had asked each of these people a simple question “who makes your pants?” One by one they all told me (in a hushed voice, seriously) that they are from J.Crew. It was almost as if these pants were some sort of speakeasy and they didn’t want the rumor to get out. I understand that they didn’t want to be seen as a defector, but this was an amusing situation considering we are talking about a pair of cotton pants.

All of the intrigue around these khakis led me to the J.Crew Liquor Store to take a look for myself. I ended up leaving with my own pair and have gone to wear them roughly 25 times in the span 30 days. I had to ask myself had I joined a secret club of amazing pants?





On the Hunt for the Perfect Fall Jacket.

Oct 8th, 2014 | Categories: Italy, Jake Gallagher, Made in Italy, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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The Valstar story could be divided up into two distinct eras: Before-Valstarino and After-Valstarino. B.V. Valstar was a completely different brand, one that had been founded in the late eighteen-hundreds as “English Fashion Waterproof” with a focus upon raincoats. In 1911, this company moved their offices to Milan to become Italy’s first rainwear company, dropping their convoluted name along the way in favor of the more streamlined Valstar moniker. For the next twenty-four years they continued to churn out effective, if not ordinary, trench coats, until the creation of the Valstarino in 1935. With its cropped body, knit collar and unstructured design, the Valstarino was a revolution, not just for Valstar, but for Italian style as a whole.





The Bloomingdale’s 7 | NYC Fall Style Icons.

Oct 6th, 2014 | Categories: Menswear, New York City, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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If you were to pick 7 men who encapsulate every facet of style available from Bloomingdale’s, you would have a hard time finding a better group than the iconic retailer chose for its new campaign. Launching today, this fresh new editorial features Esquire Fashion Director Nick Sullivan, restaurateur Michael Chernow, model and entrepreneur Armando Cabral, musician Matt Hitt, Eidos designer Antonio Ciongoli, S10 Training founder Stephen Cheuk and Bruce Bozzi, the EVP of The Palm Restaurant. Each guy shows off his own personal style through a selection of brands from the handsome new Bloomingdale’s fall offerings.

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