Episode 26: When to Splurge

As a frugal consumer and creator of content that advocates living well and looking good without being a millionaire, I got called out by a follower on Instagram when I posted a picture of a new pair of Alden Chukka Boots. With a price tag of nearly $700, Alden Chukka boots aren’t cheap, and my follower had a point… to a point.

In this episode, I make the argument for when a splurge is justified. It’s all about value and what a particular item means to you. As my friend Glenn Gissler eloquently put it: value is quality over time. Continue reading Episode 26: When to Splurge

Charles Tyrwhitt’s Return to Real Cotton White Dress Shirts

Non-iron cotton is the death of dress shirts. Any semi-serious sartorialist who appreciates real soft cotton that breathes would have nothing to do with these formaldehyde-soaked (and potentially toxic) Frankenshirts. The wash/dry/wear convenience of non-iron shirts has made them extremely popular and very profitable for shirt makers. These days, it seems you have to go on a black-ops covert mission to find a handsome, affordable and well-made white dress shirt made with real cotton. Even trusted brands like our stalwart Brooks Brothers have gone as far as making regular cotton shirts unavailable entirely, at least for any reasonable cost. Continue reading Charles Tyrwhitt’s Return to Real Cotton White Dress Shirts

The Kenmoor: A Smart Long Wingtip from Florsheim’s Imperial Line

I know… “Florsheim.” But hear me out…

When I hear the name Florsheim, I think of shoes my dad would wear. “Old man-ish,” “conservative,” or “uncool” are some descriptives that come to mind. I wouldn’t consider Florsheim an edgy brand on the “get” list for most hipsters.

But when someone makes a smart and well-crafted long wingtip shoe with a quality leather upper, a leather lining, and a Goodyear Welted double leather sole with nice English “heft” to the thickness and width, I don’t care what the perception of the brand is. Introduced by Florsheim in 1949, the Florsheim Imperial Kenmoor Wingtip is that shoe.

I’m a sucker for a pair of wingtips. Shoes from Alden, Church’s, Grenson and other top-tier shoemakers are glorious, but a pair of them will run you a half a grand or more. Florsheim Imperial Kenmoor Wingtips, on the other hand, will set you back an easy $225. They come in black, burgundy, “tumbled” pebble-grain black, and cognac (pictured below). They’re fabulous shoes.

I have three pairs.


TIP: Florsheims tend to run narrow for my foot. Where a medium D width is my usual, E is actually better for me with the Kenmoor Imperials.

Three Days of the Condor

Three Days of the Condor (1975) is a stand-out thriller among the great crop of movies made in the “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” era of filmmaking in the late 1960s and the 1970s. It stars Robert Redford as a CIA operative (codename “Condor”) working in a branch of the agency that researches foreign books that might contain hidden codes and messages.

After Redford steps out to get lunch, he returns to the office to find all of his coworkers murdered. The movie unfolds over three days as Redford tries to find safety and to get the truth about why his department was wiped out. He can trust no one, especially his bosses at the CIA. Continue reading Three Days of the Condor