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The British Invasion | Bloomingdale’s Style.

Oct 18th, 2013 | Categories: Sponsored Post, Video | by Michael Williams

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to New York and the start of the British Invasion, Bloomingdale’s has looked to Britain for inspiration this fall. The iconic retailer has assembled over 50 British brands like Turnbull & Asser, London Undercover and Hardy Amies. to create more than 30o excellent exclusives for the season. You can shop it all here.

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My Friend Jack and Other Adventures in San Francisco.

Oct 16th, 2013 | Categories: Shoes, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

Jack Purcell

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This fall Converse tapped San Francisco’s Unionmade, a store that has emerged as one of America’s best sources of well-made and good-looking menswear, to showcase the life and style of the Jack Purcell sneakers. In addition to being one of the best merchandised and art directed independent shops out there, Unionmade has mastered the art of mixing brands and showcasing an evolved sense of style and taste that serves as a source of inspiration for many. Much of this comes from the store’s founders Todd Barkett and Carl Chiara, both vets of big brands (Gap and Levi’s respectively), but Unionmade’s Brand Director Spencer Lemon also brings an interesting dimension to the team. I took the chance to catch up with him and talk about classic kicks, finding a hassle free beer and his favorite book shop in San Francisco.

What’s your favorite way to wear Jack Purcells?

Any way is typically a good way.  Part of the beauty of a classic style and silhouette like the Jack Purcell is that it’s incredibly versatile.  They look great brand new or worn in and pair well with most outfits.

Talk to me about where Jack Purcell takes you on the weekend. What’s your favorite brunch stop?

Bar Tartine.  Friend and owner, Chad Robertson (who also owns Tartine Bakery) has been re-imagining his restaurant over the last couple years and it’s been really exciting to try and visit regularly as the menu evolves.  Drawing heavy inspiration from Eastern Europe and working primarily with local produce, there’s often a new seasonal offering to try and a number of staples to indulge in.

What neighborhood in San Francisco is your favorite?

Alamo Square.  I’m biased because I also live in this neighborhood, but it’s relatively low key and central to most of the other areas I get to regularly.  There’s a lot of change happening right now, some interesting and some not so interesting, but it’s always a game of pros and cons.





Levi’s®: The American Uniform for Generations of Pioneers.

Oct 14th, 2013 | Categories: Denim, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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When we think of the uniform of the American frontiersman, one brand comes to mind: Levi’s®. The brand’s iconic Trucker jacket, Western shirt, and 501® jeans have been synonymous with the American working man for generations. And just as the people who originally wore these garments helped pioneer America as we know it today, Levi’s® pioneered the American wardrobe by creating clothing sturdy enough to stand up to the toughest jobs. But it’s no longer just cowboys, miners, and farmers wearing Levi’s®. Today’s unknown exists within our ideas and creativity, and Levi’s® is still working to outfit the explorers of this modern frontier.

As we arrive on the cusp of fall, none of these items are more necessary than the Trucker. Originally introduced in 1967, the Trucker is the third generation of Levi’s® denim jackets. The most recognizable of the three, it follows on the heels of the aptly named Type I and Type II.

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The Type I, the first iteration of the Levi’s® denim jacket, was created in the 1900s and relied upon a cinched buckle back to provide a better fit for the wearer. Made with raw Cone Mills denim, it was a jacket that men earned the more they wore it. A little over fifty years later, the Type II improved upon this style by adding two patch pockets with flaps on the front chest and swapping out the buckle back for adjustable buttons. Apart from these and a few other details, however, the Types I and II were relatively similar in design. But the Trucker is an entirely different beast. Unlike its boxy predecessors, it has a slimmer fit with higher, narrower flap pockets. And instead of the heavy, raw denim used on the others, it’s rinsed and preshrunk denim made it more comfortable and instantly accessible.





THIS IS AN AMERICAN SNEAKER.

Oct 7th, 2013 | Categories: Made in the USA, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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Good looking and made right here, the New Balance Made in USA collection perfectly combines so many good things in one package. If it were up to me, New Balance would be on everyone’s feet and in everyman’s closet. They are the true American sneaker. It’s not everyday that a company can hit the style notes and get the pedigree all together in one pleasing package. The New Balance Made in the USA collection is just that.

As I said in a previous post, I can’t settle on just one pair, I’m loyal to several styles. I love how they look and at the same time, I believe in the message. While the 993 and the 996 are my personal favorites, the 1300s have played a big part in my wardrobe this summer. I love the versatility they possess. If I had to travel with one pair of sneakers, these would be the ones. They’d be with me on the plane and they would be with me everywhere else. They’re about as classic as it gets.





Where We’re Going and Where We’ve Been.

Sep 30th, 2013 | Categories: Shoes, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

Jack Purcell at Unionmade III (1)
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Since its launch in 2009, Unionmade has, for so many brands, become the go-to menswear shop in the U.S. Founded by Carl Chiara and Todd Barket in 2009, the shop has emerged as one of menswear’s best in terms of both style and selection. Any chance I am in San Francisco and I get to shop there, I always relish the opportunity to discover something new, or to marvel at the vast amounts of things that I want to buy.

Unionmade’s classic point of view was what must have been what led Converse to focus its attention on the California shop as one of the best destinations to find the classic canvas Jack Purcell sneakers. There are so many elements of Unionmade that fit perfectly with Jack Purcell. They both represent the natural style-evolution of the American man. Both are interested in classic and enduring things as a basis for a versatile modern wardrobe. And both Jack Purcell and Unionmade are focused on style that lasts long into the future.





Hit the Books: The Warby Parker Fall Collection.

Sep 12th, 2013 | Categories: Eyewear, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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If you’re into style, then you’re likely a “fall is the best time of the year” type of person. Autumn is the best season for dressing up and the weather allows the perfect opportunity to layer on all of the great clothes you have spent the entire summer thinking about. Though it’s not all fun and games, fall is when you have to hit the books and get back down to work. With the cool weather, football games and changing of the season, fall is all about adding in that extra sweater, the jacket and all of the other important aesthetic accoutrements. Gone are the days of the minimalist summer where all you need is a tee shirt and shorts.

Warby Parker’s collection is the perfect compliment for the transition from summer to fall. The cult New York-based eye-wear has just released a 1960s inspired range of glasses that loves of classic style are sure to get behind. What could literally be more fitting for the time when we all need to get back to the books. These are exactly the types of frames that I want to pair with my tweed, shetland sweaters, waxed canvas jackets, duck boots and the rest of my fall closet so I can get back down to work and look good doing it.

My selections from the fall 2013 Warby Parker collection:

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Ripley in Oak Barrel.

 

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Ames sunglasses in Whiskey Tortoise.

 

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Duckworth in Oak Barrel.





Enduring Icons: Jack Purcell

Sep 4th, 2013 | Categories: Footwear, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

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There’s a comforting feeling when you wear a pair of Jack Purcell sneakers. Classic is the word that springs to mind. Timeless is another. Stylish the third. You don’t have to worry about them ever going out of favor, about them ever failing to make you look cool. They should be an essential part of every man’s wardrobe. That’s what keeps you coming back, year after year to these enduring icons. Shoes with no obsolescence. More than just a footwear choice, it’s a state of mind.

Originally introduced as an especially made badminton sneaker by its Canadian National Badminton Champion namesake Jack Purcell. These classic canvas sneakers first appeared in 1935 debuting as a purely athletic shoe, though there’s more to the story.

A Selected History of the Jack Purcell.

1873: Duke of Beaufort invites British soldiers to his house in Badminton. After drinking champagne, they played the Indian game of Poona with feather impailed corks, referring to the game thereafter as the Badminton game.


1879: Badminton Club of NY is founded and still active today, making it the world’s oldest Badminton club.

1900: Badminton first played in Canada.

1903: John Edward Purcell is born in Guelph, Ontario.

1924: Jack Purcell takes up Badminton.

1929: Jack Purcell is undefeated national singles champ. He starts writing an instructional column in Toronto’s weekly star.

1933: Jack Purcell proclaimed Badminton champion of the world, after beating the best players from Canada, England, and the USA.

1935: B.F. Goodrich develops the original Jack Purcell Badminton shoe.