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Posts from the “Reviews” Category

Otis & Eleanor Bongo

Posted on December 20, 2015

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I don’t review a lot of tech gadgets here but this is the first of a few I have coming up and what better way to start it off with a bit of a potential holiday gift item. I’ve spent about two months with the Bongo Bluetooth Speaker by Otis & Eleanor and while a bluetooth speaker isn’t something I had considered as a purchase decision before, it’s now on my radar as something that people should absolutely own. The thing about gifts is you want to get the person something they’d really like but probably wouldn’t purchase for themselves. This takes the cake in that department; I think a bluetooth speaker is a great gift for folks who already have everything or won’t cough up what they really want. As a form of further affirmation, this has passed the “significant other” test with flying colors; my girlfriend loves this thing. Click here to view the full article.

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Two Colognes: Juniper Ridge & Portland General Store

Posted on November 20, 2014

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We’ve recently come into possession of two very interesting colognes and gave them a spin for a few weeks to keep your knowledge and nose interested and informed. With the Holidays coming up, there’s no better way to treat yourself or someone who’s company you generally enjoy to some fine, unique scents. The first is a solid cologne, dubbed a “Trail Resin Cologne”, from Juniper Ridge in their Big Sur scent. The second is Portland General Store’s Farmer’s Natural Cologne. I’ve been a fan of both companies for a while so this is a fun review for me. I was aware of Juniper Ridge for quite a while before I met founder Hall Newbegin at Unique USA’s Camp in Big Bear, CA. earlier this year. Now I’m a full blown nerd for his stuff and was very excited to get some in the mail. We burn Juniper’s campfire incense around the house every now and again and I frequently use the Cascade Trail Soap in the shower when I want to smell like a God from the woods. I’ve been wearing Portland General Store’s Tobacco cologne for 2+ years now, though have recently run out so was excited to get some of their Farmer’s scent for testing. They claim that this was developed specifically for farmers to wear when working with cows as they find this scent particularly pleasing/relaxing. I don’t have a cow to put this through the paces with but I tested it for relaxation with our resident dog as well as my significant other. PGS has gone through frequent branding adjustments over the years so it’s tough sometimes to tell their products apart without specifically seeing the indicator on the bottom of the bottle; that being said their quality has not waned one bit and I’m very glad to present them here as well. Click here to read the full review.

Aroh Made

Posted on October 15, 2014

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I received an email from Ben Aroh of Aroh Made a few weeks ago introducing me to his company and telling me a bit about how he got started. He’s a young dude, 24 and fresh out of college, with a good eye for branding and photography as well as product design. Ben’s done some great stuff with his newly launched line and while some pieces are certainly more original than others, there’s definitely something for everyone. He has zero formal training in product design or anything related to this, though went to school for marketing so his chops aren’t unearned. His father is a professional wood worker and showed Ben the ropes; they work together in his father’s studio out of which Aroh is run. Ben sent me his Minimalist Desk Lamp for review and I’ve been thoroughly pleased.

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Field Trip: LA Foodshop

Posted on May 27, 2014

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Everything comes and goes with time. Trends rise, appearing from seemingly nowhere with no explanation for their popularity, climb to significance only to disintegrate as they fall from grace, perhaps lost in a fog of neglect: the ultimate void into which hipness disintegrates. In chronicling the ever-changing “cool”, we see this quite a bit. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s for the best, and sometimes it simply is what it is. There are very few things in life that do not succumb to these delightful and tragic pitfalls but two that will forever be a part of our lives are food and fellowship. These two things alone can drive communities to be built from the ground up, serve as the foundation for neighborhood economies, and solidify one’s self-perception within a group.

In 2012, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles with my girlfriend.  I had moved most recently from Philadelphia where the burgeoning food industry provided many of my friends with gainful employment and gave me the opportunity to sample a variety of high end offerings in the area. The food in Philly is unusually good; that is to say that due to the compact spread of the city, the ratio of exemplary food offerings to neighborhoods is second to none in the US today. I had extraordinarily high standards set by the time I rolled into LA and without a doubt they were blown out of the water, though in ways I hadn’t expected. We found the most diverse selection of ethnic foods I’ve ever seen anywhere. The Mexican food is obviously fantastic but the offering across the board, representing nearly every culture in the world, is paralleled by none. While you might try to go to a bar or restaurant in Philly that’s too crowded and be in luck with a host of 10 other offerings within walking distance, LA’s a different animal but as long as you’re willing to jump in your car for 10-20 minutes the options are limitless.

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Alfred Lane Solid Colognes

Posted on March 5, 2014

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On today’s docket, we have a small company in Chicago selling “solid colognes”. Ever heard of it? Neither had I. Unsolicited reviews are a tricky beast here at The American Classic; our policy is typically that we’ll take a look at whatever you’ve got but there’s no guarantee you’ll get a review. We’d much rather talk about the things we love and think you should love, too, rather than dwell on negative things. The gents from Alfred Lane reached out a few weeks ago for a review and following our policy, they’ve found themselves with this review because their product is fucking cool. Based in Chicago, these guys have released a line of compact, solid colognes that are designed to be thrown in a bag and reapplied whenever. They’re unobtrusive, packaged in a super slick vintage-inspired sliding tin, and provide an easy way to apply with zero mess. Read the full article here.

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Jeffrey George Co. Shirts

Posted on December 20, 2013

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I live in Santa Monica, CA. which means that the weather is amazing almost all of the time. While you chumps were out shoveling snow, my friend Wes and I were out shooting shirts for Jeffrey George Co. in perfect 75 degree weather. We went to a park near where I live which was jammed with primarily families as well as a pretty massive group of geriatric residents doing tai chi. Santa Monica is home to many different walks of life but predominantly families as well as elderly folks. I do a lot of photo shoots in my neighborhood; it’s a beautiful place. Every time I do, I get a lot of weird looks and a lot of people asking questions. When we shot the Battle Royale of the American Made Shirt in 2012, I was asked no less than 10 times if we were shooting for GQ. Flattering, yes of course but it got the models in a weird mood and suddenly it felt like we had to put on a show of making this a “fashion photo shoot”. I went to 7-11 before we met and grabbed an Arizona Iced Green Tea and shoved it in a paper bag. No one will ask you questions when you’re carrying a tall can in a paper bag. Thusly, we had a very peaceful photo shoot. I had Wes jump in a shopping cart we found just for fun and a homeless man passed us (you can see him in the photo). He didn’t even bat an eye. Perfect camouflage.

Jeffrey George is a young company designing mens shirts and neckwear. Like most companies, this is a great starting point because there are many manufacturers based in the US specializing in these products and they’re quick sells to get a brand off the ground. Everyone needs shirts. I find that just when I think I’ve got enough and won’t be needing any more, something happens (read: life) and I have to replace one or get another for some sort of event. We reviewed two shirts for Jeffrey George: their standard Blue Oxford shirt featuring Japanese oxford cloth and their denim shirt featuring a very lightweight denim, almost like chambray. Click here to read the review and view the photos.

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Meriwether Field Gear pt. 1

Posted on July 23, 2013

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A writeup on The American Classic about Meriwether Field Gear has been a long time coming. Danny reached out to me in April of this year to review some of his products. We’ve never reviewed home goods for the site before and though we have an immense appreciation for well crafted things, this was a new challenge to approach with a different mindset from looking at mens clothing. There’s a lot of great design happening right now, particularly in this sector, and getting a fresh look at this made me reexamine my own home and for that I am very thankful. Meriwether sent us their coat rack/personal organizer, classic six-pack carrier, cedar tree swing, and magnetic key ring holder and shelf. They sent us so much amazing stuff that we have to divide it into two segments in order to give it the attention it deserves. I sent half of the goods to Philly for Steve to try out, most notably that tree swing because if I so much as laid a hand on a tree here in California someone would murder me. In this review, we’ll be talking about the six pack carrier and coat rack. Click here to read the entire post.

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