A Subtle Sartorial Halloween Flourish

Through my early thirties, I would get really into Halloween. I’ve been a vampire, a zombie, a mummy, Mr. Spock, a Hooters waitress and, yes, a bloodied Drew Barrymore from Scream (complete with a cordless phone in one hand, Jiffy Pop in the other, and a knife in my chest). I even once had a pair of black contact lenses that just covered the iris, which were wonderfully and eerily off-putting at parties. When I went out, I went all out, as one should when you want to do it right.

As I ease into my mid-forties, I’ve toned it down considerably. Since Halloween and its ghostly, ghoulish splendor remains one of my favorite holidays on the American calendar, I still enjoy a little sartorial flourish to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve.

Continue reading A Subtle Sartorial Halloween Flourish

Rethinking Meat: My Personal Evolution

I grew up in Cleveland, OH, among other regular meat-eating folk. For the first 40 years of my life, I enjoyed meat, pork, chicken or ham with almost every dinner, most lunches and weekend brunches. I loved a good steak, a perfect cheeseburger, or a stack of crisp bacon. But after I adopted my dog in late 2009, something started to change for me, and my perspective of and relationship with animals began to shift. The belief that “real men eat meat” didn’t make as much sense to me anymore, for a variety of reasons that involved health, ethics and the environment. Since then, I have undergone (and continue to undergo) a personal evolution of sorts, which I talk about in this episode of the podcast.

The Importance of Cedar Shoe Trees

You cannot underestimate the importance of shoes. They say a lot about us. And it’s not about expensive shoes versus inexpensive ones. It’s about well-chosen shoes that are well-tended. I apply the same degree of care to my Florsheims as I apply to my Aldens.

In addition to regular leather conditioning and shine, and maintenance and protection of the soles with taps, I also preserve the appearance and longevity of my shoes with cedar shoe trees. Continue reading The Importance of Cedar Shoe Trees

My Cordovan Chukka Boots from Alden

With many things pertaining to smarter modes in menswear, I’m often late to the party. I didn’t fully understand the pleasure (or importance) of a well-tailored suit or what went into a well-made shoe until my late 30s. When I “discovered” things like Warby Parker, J.Crew’s Ludlow suits, Indochino, Kamakura or The Tie Bar, I learned that other smartasses in the menswear ether had known about them for years. I don’t claim to be inventing any wheels here, and I will never pretend to be an expert. We get there when we get there.

Another party to which I arrived late is Alden. To be clear, I’ve certainly been aware of Alden and their gold standard in American shoe and boot making for a long time. In fact, I’ve been coveting a pair of Alden’s cordovan chukka boots for several years. My new arrival to the Alden party comes in the form of actually owning a pair. Continue reading My Cordovan Chukka Boots from Alden

Fall Sportcoat from Indochino

I was in the mood for another jacket for the fall. Years ago, I had a beautiful bold check Givenchy wool sportcoat that I loaned to a friend and never saw again, and I’ve quietly longed to replace it for ages. This season, the exquisite collection from the Italian tailoring house Isaia featured a stunning sportcoat that reminded me of my long lost Givenchy. When Indochino rolled out their Fall 2014 collection weeks ago, my eye was caught by their Loden Check Wool Sportcoat, which was strikingly similar to (and far closer to my budget than) the gorgeous Isaia jacket. So I pulled the trigger. Continue reading Fall Sportcoat from Indochino