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Posts from the “Reviews” Category

American Trench Wool Herringbone Socks

Posted on February 26, 2013

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I’ve never written a review for socks before but I figure these are a pretty good first pair to talk about. American Trench has socks, in addition to their namesake trench coat, and man are they cool. They’ve got a few different types, some more universally useful than others, but today we’ll be talking briefly about their wool herringbone ones. If you’re not familiar with the Philadelphia based company, I suggest you become acquainted as soon as possible.

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Socks are pretty simple when it comes down to it. There isn’t much to the anatomy of one and most components are rather self explanatory (toe, heel, etc.), though a term you probably haven’t heard is “gusset”. The “gusset” is the triangular piece that holds the leg and foot portion of the sock together. There’s your vocab word for the day. I had to dig for that one.

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These socks are a little heavier in weight; I’m enjoying them in our fall-like temperatures here in Southern California and I’m certain that the rest of you toiling away in a snowy existence would find these quite comfortable as well. They’re unbelievably soft and thus far have been a total joy to pair with breaking in some new boots. They’re not terribly thick; they don’t remind me of my ski socks I wear under my Red Wings when I visit family and friends in the midwest and East coast, but they’re not summer weight socks either. When you’ve gotta have socks and you want something a bit classier with some heft, here’s your pair. Definitely better looking than my usual go-to smart wools.

Pair these with some wingtips or your dress-shoe of choice and something that fits your color scheme and you’ve got a winning sock combo. They come in three shades, a navy/red pair (pictured), a light/dark grey (pictured), and a dark grey/red/black.

They currently retail for $27. You can purchase these socks from American Trench directly by clicking here.

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The Battle Royale of the American-Made Shirt: Vol. 1 Taylor Stitch & Rogue Territory

Posted on November 20, 2012

Welcome to Volume 1 of the Battle Royale of the American-Made Shirt. The idea behind this article started with a simple purchasing conundrum; there are plenty of great brands out there and with a few parameters set forth, how can we really narrow down what shirt is the best for our needs as a consumer? Our rules were simple:

  1. We wanted a shirt that would appeal to the masses, though showcased each company’s best effort, that fit the average cut guy very well.
  2. The shirt had to be made in the United States of America.
  3. If it could be helped, the shirt had to be under $200.00

After doing research, this proved to be far more difficult than we had anticipated. When it comes down to it, many brands aren’t familiar with the origins of their fabric or didn’t make the shirts themselves. Most of our favorites – the really distinctive patterns – were typically beyond the allotted price point. You will see that we did make a few exceptions along the way but stayed true to these rules for the most part. Most of the brands were quick to point out that in differentiating between most labels with the exception of a very select few American makers, all shirts are essentially the same. The variables are in the fabric and the cut with only slight variation in construction seen across the board. Once you’ve seen one shirt, you’ve seen most of them; or so it seemed.

We have taken the approach to looking at these shirts as someone who puts average wear on clothing with occasional days working in the field on creative projects and more frequent days sitting behind a desk. We tested all of these shirts and combined our opinions with those of the fit models who wore them for the photo shoots. The first brands we will review are Taylor Stitch from San Francisco, CA. and Rogue Territory from Los Angeles, CA., hence the Californian imagery in our masthead. Click below to view the full article and photos.

The Battle Royale of the American Made Shirt

Posted on November 7, 2012

Over the past few months, we’ve been rolling around Los Angeles photographing shirts from several of America’s premiere makers. This has been an awesome hands-on opportunity for us to get very familiar with the construction and fabric offerings from these companies as we’re always trying to expand our knowledge on brands and their products. Over the coming weeks we’ll be rolling out a new mini-series featuring these shirts and our critiques and praise for each. The bottom line with shirting is that no cut will fit everyone perfectly, but some of these have gotten pretty damn close. Featured will be Hamilton 1883, New England Shirt Co., Taylor Stitch, Brooks Brothers, Rogue Territory, and Lumina Clothing Co. We’re very much looking forward to sharing these photos and opinions with you. Stay tuned.

In Support of Lumina Clothing Co.’s Kickstarter Campaign

Posted on May 15, 2012

It seems like we’ve been talking about Kickstarter projects quote a bit lately and it’s true, they’ve somehow waltzed into our lives in a pretty big way. Not only did the Eliot & Eads campaign launch using our video and promo images but our new friends over at Lumina Clothing Co. have launched theirs as well and need your help. These guys run an awesome company out of North Carolina making solid menswear staples in neighboring South Carolina at a pretty amazing price point for being made in the USA. We met Lumina at Confirmed Stock in Baltimore and were smitten with their honesty and…well…the affordability of their sharp-looking products.

The rewards available on Lumina’s Kickstarter page are pretty incredible, especially some of the bigger ticket items. My favorite within the everyman buying range is the $135.00 price point which gets you your choice of a button down and pocket square or t-shirt, and a tie, bow, or tote, and a handful of stickers. If you were to buy that stuff from a big box retailer you’d shell out $200+ for something made in Mauritius. If you’ve been looking at giving your wardrobe a little revamp, this will help you pick up some of the basics. There’s also some other staples in the works like a pair of pants and a deconstructed jacket. All things you should probably have in case the need arises.

Do bear in mind that Kickstarters are time sensitive and there are only a few days left to partake in the offerings listed here. As of the posting of this article, there are 24 days remaining.


Steve and I headed out of the city limits a ways with our good friend Dan (of Mt. Vernon Book Co.) to snap a few photos of one of their shirts and ties in action. This is the Classic Oxford in Royal Blue and the Chatham tie. Dan’s a pretty built guy having done construction on the weekends for most of his life and the slimmer fit of this shirt seems to suit him just fine. The shirt fit me pretty well, too (seen in the white background shots). All around, it’s a great cut. We’re looking forward to seeing what Lumina puts out in the future and certainly hope their Kickstarter is successful.

Click here for Lumina Clothing Co.’s Kickstarter page.

Click here to check out Lumina Clothing Co.’s website.

Notes From the Field: Wardrobe 19 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Posted on October 24, 2011

A good friend of mine, Kasey Klimes who has guest posted here before, is traveling/working in Europe currently and sends me photo updates every once in a while of things I might like. Today’s comes from Copenhagen where he discovered a shop called Wardrobe 19 featuring presumably mostly menswear goods. A visit to their website tells you not a whole lot about what they do there and their brands list is clearly either out of date or has some very eclectic items on it. Judging by the photos that Kasey sent over, I’d say they’ve updated their stuff and currently stock some things worth checking out.

Regardless, Kasey’s photos are awesome and I’m jonzing for one of those duck cloth Sandqvist bags right now (see above). As Kasey said in his e-mail to me, it seems like they’re taking notes from what many American shops are doing to feature smaller brands making higher quality goods. If you ever find yourself in Copenhagen, among the other ridiculously cool design related stuff to do there, make sure to swing by this shop. Thanks to Kasey for the submission. Check the rest of the photos by clicking below.

“Bad As Me” by Tom Waits Preview Video

Posted on October 18, 2011

If you neglect to watch anything else over the coming week, give this video a view. Let’s be real, most of the other malarky floating out there right now just ain’t worth your time and by skipping all of that and watching this instead you might just increase productivity for yourself. And truthfully, we could all use that. So just when you think Tom’s rambling and the video’s losing focus, the scene changes and things get a boat load better. Such is Tom’s style, I guess. So take a look at the promo video for one of my all-time favorite artists, Tom Waits and his upcoming record “Bad As Me”. Out on October 24th, 2011.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeTja7JXK9A]