Sunday, October 25, 2015

Gap + GQ: 40% Off This Weekend (Exp. 10/25)

As you are probably aware, Gap and GQ run an annual collaboration with "the best new menswear designers in America." This year, that includes The Hill-side, Stampd, NSF, and David Hart. Originally released on Sept 29, Gap launched a 40% off, no exclusion sale yesterday (Oct 24th) that was set to expire at midnight. However, it looks like it was extended through today, Oct 25th, which still leaves time to pick up a few pieces from the collaboration at a good discount.

Gap + GQ: David Hart Tweed
I was personally more interested in the Hill-side and David Hart items and took a look at them in store yesterday. In general, on brief review, the collections all look relatively well-designed and cohesive. Just be aware there are a lot of synthetic blend fabrics, if that's a deal-breaker for you. The jackets are also predictably a bit short in the tail (though not any more so by modern standards), judging from Gap's pictures and some fit pictures posted online. I ended up buying the David Hart tweeds for $58 (trousers) and $90 (jacket). The jacket I ordered online just to take a look, but the wool blend pants fit pretty slim through the thigh and leg. The waist I surprisingly had to size down from my normal size (to 30 x 32) - something I've heard other people have had to do as well. I also tried on the Hill-side herringbone trousers, which fit in the waist at the usual 2" vanity sizing, but were much fuller in the seat, thigh, and leg with more of a slim/regular straight fit as the Gap reference pictures demonstrate well. 

What I'm looking for in value at this price point is exemplary design and fit with, at least, decent materials and construction. Look out for some impressions/review of the tweed pants/jacket coming up.

In the meantime, if you're interested in any of the collaborations, check out the Gap x GQ online storefront here. Code "MAJOR" also works in store as well, though it wasn't advertised when I went yesterday in person.

*Update 10/26 - looks like Gap moved their collaboration collections to the sale section in stores (at least in Philadelphia) + an extra 60% off. That put some of the pieces into ludicrous area of sales if you can find them in person (also reported that someone was able to call in an order at the extra sale prices as well). YMMV and good luck.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Corter Leather Bracelet Pack - First Impressions

Bought a Spring Bracelet Pack (two included) from Corter Leather the other day. They're made using surplus belting leather and finished with a solid brass stud closure. The leather itself is an assortment of vegetable tanned harness, latigo, and bridle leather of varying shades and thickness (grab bag style), and measures about 5/8" in the middle of each bracelet, tapering to 1/4" at the ends.

Leather bracelet in natural finish

There are two sizing holes on each bracelet. With about a 6.5" wrist, I was expecting the large to be way too big, but it actually works fine when closed on the tighter configuration (the small I wear on the longer hole).  Of note, there's not really any edge finishing to speak of, though it's hard to expect that at this price. I received one in what appears to be a reddish latigo and one tan saddle, judging by the belting pictures.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

In Review: Uniqlo x Lemaire Collaboration

Uniqlo x Lemaire Sweatpants

Collaborations are one of the best things about menswear, and Uniqlo and Lemaire make a natural pairing. While Uniqlo excels at simple basics, Lemaire offers a clean minimalist aesthetic that marries well with Uniqlo's base design philosophy.  H&M x Balmain this is not.

Uniqlo x Lemaire Wool Cashmere Coat
Uniqlo brought out the Lemaire collection in just a few physical stores around the US (and many with only selected items).  The general online release was announced to start midnight Friday, Oct 2 but went live for sales well before then, causing many to miss out as eager customers snatched up available items.

Pieces were restocked in a stuttering fashion for the next couple of days over the weekend, during which I scrambled to place four separate orders to get the garments I was interested in.  In the end, I ended up checking out the sweatpants in dark green, the wool blended cashmere flat front pants in black and dark green, navy lambswool hooded cardigan, a navy merino blended mock neck sweater, and the dark green sweat long-sleeve full-open shirt. Some impressions and thoughts after the jump.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Unionmade Archive: On Sale Now

Unionmade carries some of the coolest clothes and accessories available on the market, and a couple of times a year has a blowout clearance sale - one of the best of the year for some higher end pieces. Items include Gitman Vintage, Levi's Vintage Clothing, Barbour collaboration, Golden Bear, and some interesting Japanese brands like Beams+, TS(S), and Haversack - all on deep discount. Items usually go quickly (we're talking minutes to hours for the more compelling items), so if you're interested now is the time to buy.  Note all items are final sale, so caveat emptor.

I picked up the Japanese brand Haversack Safari Jacket show above in small from $900 on sale at $100.  Gotta admit, no idea on the Japanese vs. US sizing (some items have size charts, this didn't), but too good to pass up at that price  

Wolverine 1000 Mile Centennials (review here) also on for $139, which is the lowest I've seen ever. To me, though, the Wolverine stuff is some of the least interesting of the bunch.  Nevertheless, a truly killer sale and one not to miss.

Check out the archive sale here.

PS - Someone please buy this coat.

*Update 10/23/15 - just got an email that they oversold the Haversack Safari Jacket and are refunding me. Ugh. Would have definitely picked up something else during the sale - now we wait for the next sale hopefully in a few months.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Chester Mox: #53 Compact Bi-Fold Wallet on Massdrop

I'm a fan of Massdrop, particularly Ian Anderson's input on some of the menswear products and goods they've offered in the past, like the Don't Mourn! Organize bridle leather belt I bought a while back that's quickly become my favorite by a long margin.  Looks like they're at it again, this time with an offering from Chester Mox, an American leather goods company receiving rave reviews around the community.  Bellanie Salcedo, the co-owner and co-founder of Chester Mox, completed an apprenticeship under a master craftsman and has been hand painting, hand saddle stitching, hand burnishing and buffing some beautiful pieces of leather into wallets, bags, and accessories with quality and craftsmanship that supposedly rivals such houses as Hermes and outright bests many others at multiple times the cost.  Needless to say, when I saw these compact bi-folds on the Massdrop page being made with a beautiful horse front Horween Chromexcel (there are also cowhide Chromexcel options in many shades as seen below) for $88.89 shipped I couldn't pass it up, even though the full-grain Tumi wallet my wife gave me a few years ago has admittedly been holding it's own admirably (I can use two wallets, c'mon).

Not the Bi-Fold Wallet, but all the CXL variations offered (first 3 are cowhide)

The run is limited to 150 units, or until Oct 12th - whichever comes first (looks like there are only ~50 spots left with 6 days remaining, so I would jump on it if you're interested. 

If you aren't already on Massdrop, joining is free and there's no annoying subscription service or anything like that. It just gives you the ability to get in on great group buys like this.  Here's a referral link where you can sign up if you aren't registered already.

The only "downside" is items like this are made to order (which I think is actually a positive thing), so there's a lag time between your purchase and when you get your product.  Good things come to those who wait.  Expect to see pictures and impressions when it arrives (estimated Ship date Nov 6).  We'll talk about saddle stitching, see if these hold up to scrutiny, and shoot some leather porn.

More reviews on Chester Mox products here and here to find out a little more about what makes these products worth your attention.

*Update 10/22/15 - this drop has long ended, but Massdrop is taking requests to repeat the drop on the product page.  Bellanie has also been amazing with uploading progress pics of the work ongoing.  It's really interesting to see the wallets in different stages of production, and something that makes the process all the more personal and special.  Can't wait to get mine shortly.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Uniqlo: Lemaire Collaboration Restocked

Uniqlo's latest collaboration with Chrostophe Lemaire (formerly of Hermes) is a study in minimalism with interesting draping, subtle detailing, and a lot of shawl collars.  Though I think the women's collection is better, there are some interesting mens pieces worth looking at.

They initially sold out of everything basically within a few hours of them being released, and today silently restocked on many things on the site. Sadly, the shawl overcoat and asymmetric shawl sweater weren't included, but if you like something I'd decide quickly.  Of note, only the flagship stores are carrying the collection in physical stores, so don't bother going in person to your local to see them.  Prices are more expensive than normal Uniqlo pieces, but not prohibitively so and supposedly with higher quality on many of the pieces as reported by some early feedback.  Really you're buying for the aesthetic, if you're into it.

I ordered the wool/cashmere pants with side adjusters and some sweats and sweaters in various fits. More impressions here when they arrive.

**Edit - Remember to check the size charts.  I incorrectly assumed that it would run with standard Uniqlo sizing and size charts, and was surprised after ordering to find that that isn't the case.  The wool/cashmere pants, for example, run much truer to size.  Ugh.  I gotta take my own advice now and again.

Here's a post with some fit advice I found helpful.

SF also has a running post with a lot of useful feedback