Thursday, June 25, 2015

Worth the Read: A Microscopic Look at the OCBD

A clever mechanical engineer with access to a microscope took the time to examine some of his oxford cloth button downs and post some of his thoughts.

True kindred soul, and worth a look.

In Review: Don't Mourn, Organize! Bridle Belt

Don't Mourn, Organize! Havana Belt

Some time ago, I learned that there are leather belts out there that don't suck. This came at a huge surprise to me as for decades I was buying whatever belts I could find around the mall when they went on sale - some reversible plasticky thing that felt more like a hard binder than a piece of leather. Time and normal use were not kind to them - they aged like old tupperware. Crap would flake off, the compressed leather will separate at seams, etc. It wasn't pretty.

So I wanted to get a good, tough-as-nails, Made in the USA casual belt made of quality leather I could wear for a long, long time. After I started researching the topic, my first stop was Orion Leather Belt Company, recommended as a good place to start and a great value for the money. Their belts are all made with top or full grain vegetable tanned leather, and they sport an impressive array of leathers, widths, colors, and finishing with generally very good feedback and loyal customers. I ordered a 1.5" tan leather show harness belt from them a while back that I've been really happy with. It's a slightly oily-feeling thick slab of leather, vegetable pit-tanned with a great pull-up effect - meaning as the leather bends certain parts become lighter due to the oils, waxes, and tallow.

A couple months later, I saw the Massdrop on Don't Mourn, Organize! I have come across Don't Mourn's work before and was always impressed. DMO is a one-man organization run by a guy named Scott working out of Utah who makes belts, small leather accessories, and bags. For some reason his website isn't up currently, but his old blog features a lot of beautiful custom work he's made in the past for customers. I'd been meaning to get another belt for some time, so was quick to jump on this drop after I heard he was making them.

Here's what I found.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

In Review: Burberry Prorsum Cotton Garbardine Trench Coat


There's no question the trench coat is a menswear staple.  Worn for over a century, it still holds its own as arguably something every man should own at some point.  No other name is tied to it in the public consciousness as much as Burberry, a British company which grew its reputation and company over this very item through multiple world wars and beyond into the commercial arena.

To be honest, I wasn't even really looking for it at the time, though of course I've always wanted one.  It's hard not to lust over such a pillar of menswear history and style, but the MSRP on Burberry has always made my eyes glaze over.  Then I randomly came across a fresh rack of Burberry Prorsum trench coats a couple of weeks ago down from a list of $2195 to $529.99 at Century 21.  Sometimes I have time to go home, research a particular item to exhaustion, and then make a choice.  But some deals you know will not last long, and this was one of them.

Here's what I found.

Monday, June 15, 2015

It's On - Mr. Porter Starts 70% Off Sale

As mentioned in the previous Mr. Porter post, discounts have now been bumped up this morning to as much as 70% off.  Word is in another two weeks, discounts will increase even again.

As always, Mr. Porter also includes free shipping both ways and an excellent return policy.  They encourage you to try something on at home, and if you don't like it, just send it back.

Mr. Porter Sale Link

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Don't Sleep on Sierra Trading Post

I don't think it's all that much of a secret to seasoned deal hunters that Sierra Trading Post can be a goldmine if you catch things at the right time.  If you sign up for their DealFlyer emails (which I would recommend) they will send you extra discount codes as well.  The discounts vary pretty drastically, but keeping track of a few items/brands can pay off.  A few weeks ago I posted an extra discount that brought Wolverine 1000 Mile seconds to ~$160 shipped (there is actually a pair at this second in Size 13 black and a tan Centennial in 11) and there were a ton of sizes.  I recently also got a Barbour Tailored Waxed Sylkoil Sapper (in size small) for $84 + shipping.  Booyah.

A couple of things to note:

#1 - STP stocks everything from Isaia and Incotex to weird fedoras and iPhone covers that somehow come up under "clothing."  It can be a bit like trying to find a needle in an huge stack of ugly and unfortunate pieces of hay if you don't know what you're looking for.  I would suggest reviewing the brand list once and make a note of it for the future so you don't have to waste more time later trying to filter through a lot of nonsense.

#2 - The discount codes vary a lot.  Sometimes the discount details may say they exclude

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wolf vs. Goat Clearance Sale (and First Impressions)

Wolf vs. Goat is continuing its clearance sale at large markdowns online.

I heard of WvG first when the clearance sale was announced a couple weeks ago.  Those on the inside track of Wolf vs. Goat have nothing but great things to say about Wolf vs. Goat, an operation run by Mauro Farinelli out of Washington DC, who sources premium fabrics and materials to make his own clothing line made in the US and Italy.  To this point, the company has been working on a membership system.  Basically,  you pay a membership fee of $100 and then everything you buy is at wholesale price.  The clearance sale is even further discounted, and when it was announced a lot of people went crazy buying up everything they could get their hands on, so I had to do a lot of research pretty quickly to jump on something worthwhile as the sale is Final Sale.

Here's a bit of distilled information I found to be helpful:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mr. Porter Sale

Kingsman Black Watch Waxed Cotton Field Jacket by Mackintosh

The Mr. Porter sale has been going on for a little while, but that does not mean it's not worth tracking.  For those not familiar with Mr. Porter, they are an online menswear store that carries well-known quality brands from all over, including everything from perennial favorites like A.P.C. and Gitman Vintage to some really cool Japanese brands I've been interested in getting my hands on.  In general, they do a great job of stocking good investment pieces.   Here is how the sale works:

Initially the discounts will be anywhere from 30-50%, which will later progress to much deeper discounts as the sale goes on.  Popular items will sell out quickly, but due to Mr. Porter's very good return policy items will go in and out of stock.  If you are willing to put in the time, you can get yourself some great pieces at even better prices.  Things in high demand (and those that are not discounted often) have a tendency to sell out fast, so as always try to know what it is you want and what you're willing to pay before you're put on the spot.  Once sales start hitting 70% good pieces will often sell out in hours if not minutes.  I've had my eye on that Mackintosh for Mr. Porter Black Watch jacket pictured above, but all sizes are still available meaning it may be prudent to wait for deeper discounts to come.

Last season I was able to pick up a Schott Hand Oiled Perfecto, which has become one of my favorite items I've ever owned, at a steal price of 50% off.

Mr. Porter Sale

Monday, June 8, 2015

In Review: Wolverine Centennial 1000 Mile Boot

Front View


My name is Dan, and I'm a 30-something year old professional in Center City Philadelphia.  I grew up as a skinny Asian kid in basketball shorts and ill-fitting T shirts who wore a bowl cut through the 9th grade and didn't know the first thing about dressing himself - it didn't get much better than that for a long time, and I'm still learning every day.  Over the past few years the internet has become an invaluable place to mine information, but it can take a good deal of time and effort to know where to look and how to be a good judge of value.  The aim of this site is to act as a resource for those with similar interests and goals.

I want to continue to improve my style and invest in quality.  I want to look good while getting the absolute best value for my money.   And I don't mind achieving that by going over everything with a fine-tooth comb.

I sincerely hope this series is able to help you do the same.