A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Inflation Be Damned

Jan 9th, 2015 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Made in Scotland, Menswear, Scotland | by Jake Gallagher

William F. Buckley, Jr.

Inflation hurts. If you’ve bought a car, or a house, or hell even a regular ol’ cup of coffee lately, you know all too well that a dollar just doesn’t go as far as it used to. And never is this more true than with sweaters. Yes that’s right, sweaters. Or really, just one sweater: the J. Press Shaggy Dog. There was a time, a time that now seems mythical, when you could buy a Shaggy Dog for under a hundred bucks, and I don’t even want to think about how little JFK, or John Updike, or even George H.W. Bush paid for their Shaggy Dogs back in the day. Now, I’m not a complete economic nincompoop and I completely understand that prices rise naturally with time, but Shaggy Dogs now clock at $230 full retail (to be fair they are currently on sale for $172.50), and quite frankly that price hurts.





The Raccoon Coat | Have Some Fun Dammit!

Jan 6th, 2015 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear, Outerwear, Preppy | by Jake Gallagher

Raccoon

With all the rules and lists and “wear this, don’t wear that” articles that get lobbed our way, it’s easy to forget that clothing should never be taken too seriously. If what you’re wearing doesn’t make you smile, then you’re probably doing something wrong. Sometimes though, we all need to be reminded of this, and so in the spirit of fun, let’s give it up to the ol’ raccoon coat. As a staple of East Coast style that popped up during the roaring twenties, the raccoon coat is ostentatious, gaudy, and downright fun. Undergrads wore them on game day and blue bloods tossed them over their tuxes. The raccoon coat said, “I’m dressed better than and I know it.” Just look at these guys, they’re dressed ridiculous, and they’re loving it. As styles have changed, today that message reads more like, “I’m trying way too hard to be Jay Gatsby,” but at least we have these photos to remind us that if you’re having fun, you can pull off just about anything.

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Stuff That Gets Used.

Jan 5th, 2015 | Categories: Al James, Gear | by Al James

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2014 was a big one for me – bought our first house, a new baby boy arrived in August, I quit my band after a decade of touring and started a new business. With all this change I found myself doing lots of grown-up (i.e. old man) things – cleaning gutters, walking dogs, changing diapers, working long hours and a fair bit of fishing as well. As the new year begins I took stock of the items I use every single day and this is the list I came up with – no sponsors, no pretense – just the stuff that got used and gets used all the time. —Al James

Patagonia Nano-Air Jacket

Normally I would say leave well enough alone, but Yvon Chouinard and his Patagonia crew tinkered with their already awesome Nano Jacket and made it better. The Nano-Air has the same lightweight, super-warm design, but now it has a little stretch in the fabric and the texture of the material is much better – softer and lighter. It’s still water-resistant and breathable like the original Nano, but the fit and feel is far superior. This is my go-to for layering up on a steelhead trip, trail running in the elements and for walking the dog every morning and night in the Oregon rain and cold.

Bobo’s Mountain Sugar – Dark and Robust

When you marry a Mainer you have to resign yourself to the fact that there’s going to be a lot more maple syrup in your life. When our secret stash of Maine Grade D black tar syrup ran out, I started looking for another source and came upon Bobo’s Mountain Sugar. It’s a small family farm run by Tina Hartell and Skye Chalmers in Weston, Vermont and they make fantastic maple syrup. Their tagline is “A Taste of Tree” and it’s right on the money. Their grade B syrup (Dark and Robust) is smoky, earthy and flavorful – suitable for pancakes, granola bowls or (my favorite) after-dinner shots.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay

I wrote about my Tudor Heritage Ranger back in July and any doubts I may have had about owning and wearing an automatic watch have been abandoned. I love putting this watch on every day and I reference the Heritage Black Bay for this list because that would be the next watch I buy. Like everyone else I dig a Rolex Submariner, but a Tudor Heritage Black Bay with snowflake dials just says something different.





They Certainly Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore.

Dec 26th, 2014 | Categories: Jake Gallagher, Magazines, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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Scan through Gentry Magazine and you’ll recognize many of the same characteristics that define contemporary men’s magazines. There’s street style shots, spreads on seasonal trends, a nice dose of sports and culture to round things out, and advertisements from all your standard household names. What’s unique about Gentry Magazine (no affiliation to the store in Williamsburg with the same name) is that it’s not contemporary, in fact it’s older than most people reading this site right now.

Gentry’s inaugural issue was published way back in 1951, and while these similarities certainly do shed some light on its role as a groundbreaking men’s magazine, what’s most extraordinary is just how different Gentry is from the magazines that fill our shelves today. It is hard to imagine a publication today running a philosophical (not sensational) article titled “What Does It Mean To Be a Man?” or giving detailed instructions on “How to Build Your Own Finnish Bath” complete with blueprints, or dedicating sixteen pages to an excerpt from Siddhartha. And yet, it’s all right there in Gentry, and I’m just talking about the first issue. Even the sports covered in this issue are striking – bare-knuckled boxing, tuna fishing, and equestrian tips. But oh not for you, for your child.

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The Original Ugly Holiday Sweater.

Dec 23rd, 2014 | Categories: History, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

FairIsle

“Who let that guy in?”

If we look at winter as one giant holiday party, then fair isle is the perennial gatecrasher. Tweed? Corduroy? Flannel? Sure, they’re on the list. But fair isle? Who let that guy in? Yes, fair isle has its heritage, and the tiny Scottish island from which it derives should certainly be proud of how their signature style has gone, but I for one am I surprised by the endurance of fair isle. It’s both goofy and garish in equal measure. Certain fair isles appear as outdated as your grandmother’s curtains, while others can be as blindingly bright as overdone Christmas lights. So really what is it about fair isle that brings us back to this absurd pattern year after year? It’s the green-bean casserole of the knitwear world – a reliable seasonal stalwart that will always have a place at the table. It’s not the best, most attractive winter pattern, but it just wouldn’t be winter without it.





Bloomingdale’s | Gifting the Holidays

Dec 19th, 2014 | Categories: Gift Guide 2014, Sponsored Post | by Michael Williams

ACL

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The number one question that arrives in the ACL inbox concerns gift giving. We frequently hear from girlfriends, wives and significant others looking for suggestions for holiday gifts. Like holiday parties, when it comes to gift guides the philosophy is always: the more the merrier. So with that in mind, we’ve assembled our top ten giftable items from Bloomingdale’s.

We’ve pulled together a nice selection of interesting, well-made and stylish gifts for a myriad of men in your life. There’s something here for everyone in your life at pretty much every price point. From the long-lasting (Rimowa) to the American Made (Shinola) to the exceedingly cool (Garrett Leight) you’re in good shape. Check out all of our picks below and have yourself (and those on your gift list) a very happy holiday.





Get to Know Australia’s Most Stylish Tailor.

Dec 19th, 2014 | Categories: A Conversation With, Jake Gallagher, Menswear | by Jake Gallagher

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One of the most telling facts about Patrick Johnson, the Australian tailor behind P. Johnson, comes well after our interview has officially concluded. Johnson is in New York for his brand’s first official U.S. trunk show, and as we’re exiting the Bowery Hotel on the Friday before the show starts, he tells me that during his younger years he had trained to become a winemaker, only to learn that he had a serious allergy to a key ingredient in wine. It’s the sort of discovery that would have crippled a lesser man, and yet Patrick tells me this story with a wide grin on his face. In fact he says just about everything with that grin on his face. By the time Patrick learned of his allergy he had already found a new passion, clothing. Winemaking is a career, but it’s also a labor of love, much like tailoring. And so he traded one passion pursuit for another, becoming the most famous name in Australian menswear, and growing his eponymous label from one small tailoring shop into a global business, one that is large enough to require regular visits to America, with a permanent New York City shop on the way.

ACL: You’re pretty established in Australia, what made you guys want to start looking towards the states?

PJ: Well, the Australian market is quite a small market. We obviously enjoy it there, but it’s pretty small. We have a lot of clients who live in America, either Americans or ex-pats, and so we decided after a while that we’d start showing here, basically just to grow a bit. To grow inside of Australia, from a business point of view, we’d have to change our aesthetic a little bit and I didn’t want to do that. So yeah, just client demand and a bit of an adventure, get us outside of our comfort zone a bit.