Sunday, October 30, 2016

5 Month Progress - Red Wing Beckmans

I bought these boots back in May, so we're about 5 months into it and I have to say the rumors about the tough break in are not unfounded - no blisters or raw spots thankfully, but they've been eased in gently for a couple hours a day a few times a week, and finally taken hiking in the Smokey Mountains recently to soften up the stiff uppers and get to the point where I don't feel like my feet are fighting them.

Earlier, I swapped out the ludicrously short stock laces for a longer (and unfortunately less waxy) pair that can be loosened considerably for easier on/off without unlacing and relacing the top eyelets every time. It makes a big difference, if you've been considering it on your own pair.

Surface dust/dirt cleaned off with a paper towel

After wiping them down and cleaning them up with a damp cloth, I just gave them a quick polish and a touch of burnishing to the toe and heel for a little more tonal depth. I have to say, I like how these are coming along.

Cleaned, polished, burnished

I noted this a post or so ago, but keep your eye on the seconds quality Beckman line at STP if you're in the market for a pair of knock-around boots. They're not on extra discount at the moment, but when they are they will move fast. On the other hand, there are some great Blacksmith models with speed hooks and a mini lug sole, and limited edition Lineman and Postman boots as well - looks like STP just restocked on a bunch, and they qualify for an extra 25% off and free shipping by email code. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wolverine 1000 Mile from $134.99 - Extra Discounts on STP (some Red Wing Heritage included)

Sierra Trading Post issued a snail mail letter earlier this year that I promptly threw away stating they were going to try and move to a more sustainable marketing strategy that relied less on steep DealFlyer coupons that would often take 30-40% off many items daily that customers had become accustomed to. Truth be told I kind of dismissed it at the time, but seasoned customers have probably noticed that the extra discounts have indeed been fewer and far between.

That's not to say they don't still exist, though - in fact, I was able to snag my Black Cherry Featherstone Beckman seconds a little while back for ridiculously cheap ($140 shipped), even without an old-fashioned DealFlyer, using a web monitor to alert me when they went on closeout. STP seems to be using this clearance/closeout strategy more often, and I'd advise using the monitor system for that reason - it's a pretty predictable series of events: I set my page monitor --> it alerts me when the price goes down --> I buy boots --> wife yells at me --> a cool down period begins, usually taking a few months --> repeat.

Today, STP sent out an email with an extra 25% off and $.99 shipping on orders >$50 that applies to Wolverine 1000 Miles in smaller sizes (what appears to be a murdered out black Steven Alan special edition I quite like and a brown suede version) and some Red Wing Heritage models, including an amber harness Iron Ranger that promptly sold out and one of my favorite versions with a mini lug sole, though the black version remains excluded for unclear reasons. Beckmans are also excluded at the moment, though I would watch them closely over the coming weeks to months for the above reasons.

The 1000 Miles are priced at $134.99 with $.99 shipping, which is extremely low (though seconds quality) - I sized down 1/2 size from my usual 8D when I bought the Centennial model, which gives me ample space to wear mid weight socks without issue. If you're subscribed to STP emails, you likely got a code for that today. If not, use mine so I can't. The cool down period is still very much in effect from my Yuketen Maine Guides, but I'm still having trouble resisting. In fact, as I'm writing this, I am considering how much punishment would be "worth it." Dammit, just buy these. My marriage can't take this.

Link to Wolverine 1000 Miles and Code NFZ5916H (limited uses and expires midnight 10/22)  **Update - NGF0946N expires Thursday midnight, also applies to many Red Wing Heritage models

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A Philadelphia Treasure - Briar Vintage

Outerwear racks at Briar Vintage showcase studio

Truth be told, I kind of like having Briar Vintage to myself, and I'm a little hesitant to share it with anyone. I've spent a couple Saturday afternoons now up at the Briar Vintage warehouse showcase studio rifling through racks, trying on anything and everything that looked like it might fit me, and shooting the breeze with David Lochner, managing partner at Briar Vintage. It's definitely off the beaten path, and not the sort of place you just wander across while looking for a Starbucks - in fact, you have to be trying to get there to get there - but the journey is worth the effort. I've written previously about a handmade Cowichan style sweater I purchased there, and on this most recent trip I took home a drapey convertible belt back double-breasted herringbone wool coat (pictured in part below).
Deadstock shirts, pants, oddities

Briar Vintage was based in Old City for many years until climbing rent prices forced a move to 618 S. 6th St on South Street where they now share a space with sister store Sazz Vintage. I've been down there and it's definitely worth checking out if you're in the area. But I think the real prize is Briar Vintage's 1600 sq. ft. showcase studio on the second floor of the Bulk Vintage warehouse in North Philadelphia, which is pure, raw vintage menswear and accessories in all their glory.

DB herringbone wool coat at left (purchased), horsehide shearling-lined bomber at right (agonized over, details below)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What's on my Wrist - Jaeger-LeCoultre

I've written about my Seagull 1963, but on my wrist today is something very different. This watch holds a lot of sentimental value for me, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Reserve de Marche. It was a wedding gift I received from my in-laws a little over two years ago, and was my first "real watch," something I spent months of time researching before settling on it.

Unfortunately, these days it just doesn't get much time on my wrist as I don't dress as tailored as I used to when I was wearing a shirt and tie to work, and I've been thinking real hard lately about passing it on so I can pick up more of a daily wearer - something like an Omega Speedmaster Professional (the "moon watch") or perhaps a Nomos joint.

Until then, still proud to wear this whenever I get the chance, especially now that jacket weather is starting to come around. Sophisticated but a little quirky with its offset and asymmetrical sub registers, I've caught myself having more than one Gollum moment staring at it. The scotch isn't bad either.