Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Pursuit Aesthetic x Gant by Michael Bastian

My buddy Brennan, who you probably know from his O.G. blog The Pursuit Aesthetic, has teamed up with the good folks over at Gant for a social media/marketing/kit creation hybrid experiment that is just beginning to take shape.  Brennan, along with two other bloggers, will have their wardrobes "tracked" with daily uploads of their gear.  Check out Brennan's introduction video below where he talks about the origins of his blog, what style vs. fashion means to him and some thoughts on Michael Bastian's inaugural collection for Gant.


JandHP F/W 2010

A little while back I introduced you guys to the couple/team behind JandHP, who were offering their own unique take on vintage clothing.  Well, fall is officially here and with that comes new gear.  This time around there's even a vest or two to compliment all the great repurposed tailored goods.  You know that one awesome blazer you might have passed on for whatever reason during your last thrifting excursion?  Imagine that same blazer in a new modern cut and now with elbow patches.  That's JandHP.  They do it all and keep the prices right.  Even if you're just looking for that great new lapel accessory they have you covered.  This gear is the definition of limited, though things are being added this weekend, so hurry up and get it in.


Steven Alan For Dockers Ranger Cargo

Slim cargo pants seem to have finally hit American shores for good.  Or at least for the time being.  This means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but I think we can all agree that they look much better than what was previous being offered in the not so hallowed halls of A&F.  I've been talking about front pocket cargos for a while in my own not so hallowed halls and it always pleases me when I see my favorite brands release their own take on this classic style - maybe "nuevo-classic" is a better way to describe it.  Bastian has been doing them for a "long time", but not everyone has the kind of money or resources to go out and grab a pair.  I mean, you want to have some money left over to put in all those extra pockets, right?  Anyhow, you might have noticed that Steven Alan's capsule collection for Dockers features their own take on the front pocket cargo.  These Ranger cargos are actually available now in the Dockers' webstore for $148.  The cool thing about these pants are how they walk the line between chinos and cargos.  They're much easier to swallow than a lot of other pairs out there and are a better transition piece for guys who want in on the style, but aren't really sure how to wear them (my advice - flip through a Cucinelli lookbook).  They're very similar to Bastian's own paratrooper pants, minus pleated pockets and a certain expectation of quality.  I have a feeling that while these pants might be popular now they are going to be hard to find in, say, a year.  Menswear, even the classic stuff, can be quite cyclical here in The States based on what's trending and more fringe styles, such as these, don't usually last for long durations of time.  They'll be back, of course, at some point, but who really wants to wait that long?  So, what's the moral of the story? Get 'em if you want 'em.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rediscover America!

They took our jobs!  Well, not really, but right now Allen Edmonds is having their "Rediscover America" sale in honor of Columbus Day and American Manufacturing Week.  From now until the 12th of October you can grab up to 14.92% off (see what they did just there?) on some of AE's most popular styles.  Maybe you want to yell, "Women and children first!" without feeling super awkwardOr maybe you want the style of shoe Michael Bastian is always recommending and wearing himself.  Regardless, check out some new shoes and save a little money all while supporting one of America's last great shoe brands.


Sweater Discrimination

Can you wear a cotton beach sweater in the F/W? I'd like to think so.  Call me crazy, but I'm doing my part to abolish sweater discrimination.  Wool is warm as hell, but it's often uncomfortable against your skin and, if you're all layered up on a crisp day, can get real hot real fast.  My key for F/W layering?  Keeping warm of course, but staying comfortable first and foremost.  I think of it like this. You wear your cotton crew neck sweatshirts this time of year, so what's the problem with wearing a traditional cotton knit?  Grab one with some heft and use it as a top layer on a moderate day (over an OCBD) or as an intermediate layer if the weather is gonna dip (over an OCDB and under a parka).  Right now I'm really loving this large gauge cable knit from Rogues Gallery.  It's the perfect early fall sweater in my eyes - 100% cotton, but of the heavy knit variety.  Sweater discrimination is in full force here (read: on sale), but you, the consumer, benefit.  The thing is practically half off and a full grip of sizes are still up for grabs.  At the end of the day, this ends up being a year round piece.  You can't wear wool in the summertime (I mean, you could, though that would be kinda foolish), but you can definitely still wear cotton in fall, especially if you layer accordingly.  A note on fit: my previous RG knits have been very satisfying - no need to size down or up in my experience.



Here's another great Etsy shop for those of you on the hunt for the latest and greatest vintage (oxymoron much?) Americana finds to help fill out that F/W wardrobe.  Much like my good friends Wooden Sleepers, Pimento Cheese does all the hard work for you.  They scour the best spots and then offer the fruits of their labor for prices that are as easy on the eyes as that perfect L.L. Bean Norwegian sweater.  Etsy is slowly, but surely becoming superior to eBay in a sense thanks to well curated shops like this.  The key is getting the jump on the good ones before everyone else.  Hopefully that's where blogs like Sart Inc come in - a sartorial liaison of sorts.  Anyhow, be sure to spend some time over at Pimento Cheese, especially in the coming days.  Kina and Carl, the good folks to who run the shop, have assured me that they have some amazing gear lined up.

- L.A.S

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Oversized Buzz

It's readily available. Finally. Now I can stop talking about Timex's new oversized Camper.  Since it graced the pages of GQ a few months back it seemed like this was the only watch people in the blogosphere wanted to talk about - I will take some of the blame on this one.  And you know what? I get the commotion.  The original Camper was a great looking field watch that was cheap as hell.  You could even jazz it up with whatever Nato style strap you wanted.  The only issue, if there was one, was that it was really small - definitely too small for anyone looking for a watch with a little heft.  I tried the new oversized Camper on last weekend and I was underwhelmed.  The new 42mm face is a nice size and the band is now 20mm wide, which is preferable to the original's 18mm.  I can dig it for the most part, but wasn't compelled to drop a Ulysses on it.  I guess I bought into the buzz myself and raised the bar a little too high.  At the end of the day the oversized Camper is a classic field watch on steroids.  Nothing less, nothing more.  Take that for what it's worth.  Maybe it's exactly what you're in the market for.  Will the buzz die down?  I guess that depends on how well these sell.


Bold Sols

Now that the sock rule is back in play you are going to have a lot of internet cats pointing you in this direction or that direction to pick up the newest must have's in sock technology.  Maybe that's an overstatement, but you get my drift.  If you are a bold soul, and I hear fortune favors those folks, you might want to head over to Hickoree's and check out their absolutely bananas Solmate Socks.  Solmate makes their socks domestically in Vermont from recycled cotton yarns.  Yeah, these are a little hippy dippy, but they are statement socks for a specific kind of sartorialist who doesn't mind a little levity.  They're kinda like the illegitimate love child of fair isle socks and Happy Socks - that's some fine lineage.  So how would these work?  If your fall wardrobe consists of neutrals, as I'm sure many of your's do, these socks are all you need to inject a little personality.  I think they'd look pretty damn good peeking out over a pair of brown leather double monks, hidden by your gray flannel trousers for most of the day.  Solmate's motto is, "life is too short for matching socks."  Life is also too short to take yourself extra seriously.  Especially when it comes to your socks.


Attn: Clarks Desert Mali At Topman

Looks like Topman is more than just good for nothing.  I wasn't expecting this, but these guys are the first US stockists to be selling the much buzzed about Clarks Desert Mali reissue that I know of.  Now before you start going bonkers and making it rain like you're at Pacman Jones' bachelor party, you should know that Topman is currently only stocking the leather versions - apologies to my suede soldiers out there.  The brown version looks great.  The black, not so much.  Both are pretty much Doc Martens for the crepe sole set.  The pricepoint has been floating around for a while so hopefully no one is caught off guard with the kinda off putting $178 tag.  This boot is quickly shaping up to be a must have for Desert Boot fanatics and something nice to look at for the rest of us.  Personally, I'll stick with what I've got.


[Editor's note: If you don't care about  shipping charges you can find another Mali colorway at Asos.]

Monday, September 27, 2010

Milano In The Wintertime

I've talked about the Brooks Brothers Milano pant a few times here on Sart Inc.  That's because they are awesome.  Not skinny, but trimmed up for a classier slim Neapolitan inspired look - known as "grown man pants" around these parts.  They are low rise, which for Brooks isn't anything crazy, and feature a flat front.  It's pretty much one of the better off the rack pants all American guys should be wearing, but don't because dudes over here dress like shit for the most part.  Obviously I recommend trying them on in store if you haven't already - one man's slim is another man's potato sack.  If you're thinking about making that first Milano purchase, skip the chinos and grab one of the killer F/W options that's been rolled out recently.  From wide wale cords to donegal tweed, it's all here.  There are even some crazy holiday themed pants for those of you looking to really waste some of that hard earned dough.  One of the motivations behind this post is to bring your attention to the last day of BB's current friends and family sale.  Use "03friend" at checkout to get 25% off your entire purchase.  That's, like, almost a 1/4 off, right?! Wowsers!  Now you have no excuse not to get your trouser or cord game up to snuff.  You might even want to load your cart up with some of those tasty new extra-slim fit plaid joints.


Tactical Layering

Farm Tactics is a brand that has gotten a little bit of hype around the blogosphere and it's not hard to see why.  Repurposed materials, a growing collection, and made in the U.S.A. manufacturing are just a few of the reasons Kyle Ng's brand is on the steady come up.  I have been interested in these guys for quite some time, but had yet to find a stockist carrying some of the newer pieces from their ever expanding line.  Well, Context has two impeccable Farm Tactics crew necks up for preorder right now in shades of both blue and red.  I talk about crew neck sweatshirts a lot because they are an essential item that is often hard to get right.  Farm Tactics rolls with a pretty slim fit (think Japanese sizing), which is good in this case.  That's going to help eliminate a blousing effect around the waist and better suit someone who plans on layering pretty heavily in the coming weeks.  You can always get a cheaper crew neck, but I doubt it will be this nice as far as fit, quality and looks are concerned.  And it still comes in at under $100 to boot.  These babies ship Oct. 1st and I have a feeling we are looking at a potential sell out, so get on it if you want it.  If you have any questions about sizing you can always call up the Context guys and they will talk you through it hostage negotiator style.


Friday, September 24, 2010

E. Tautz S/S 2011

The most recent fruit of Patrick Grant's labor has gone live.  E. Tautz S/S 2011 is one of the few shows at LFW that menswear enthusiasts can get excited about - superb tailoring, great fabrics and none of this bullshit.  Like the personal nature of Saville Row tailoring the E. Tautz show was an intimate affair.  Instead of music, Mr. Grant talked show attendees through each of the looks presented.  The focus of S/S 2011 seemed firmly on fabric.  Fresco, a warm weather plain weave known for it's strength, was featured prominently throughout in various weights.  Another characteristic that marked the collection was the emphasis on the double breasted jacket, which was shown in both six and four button stance versions. Double breasted sport coats are obviously having a serious moment.  Below you will see some great examples of how to wear one casually and undone, even, without looking uncouth.  Also notice how color can be worked into your wardrobe without veering into "go to hell" territory, which is slowly becoming a cop out for those looking for easy ways to dress "cool".  Darker and deeper colors can work in warm weather when paired up with lighter counterparts like ivory, white and khaki.  The one downside here is the pricepoint.  You can find E. Tautz in Barneys if you live in NYC, but be prepared to drop some serious coin.  E. Tautz is pretty much charging bespoke prices for off the rack gear.  If you've got $400 to drop on a shirt however, you'd be hard pressed to find a better place to send your monies.

[Pictures courtesy of GQ UK.]


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Patrick Grant: An Introduction

While those of us who were unable to attend London Fashion Week wait patiently for E. Tuatz's S/S 2011 collection to hit the internet and Barneys, I'd like to quickly talk about Patrick Grant.  For those unaware, Patrick Grant is arguably Saville Row's most interesting personality.  Patrick, age 38, is currently the youngest Guv'nor on Savile Row and received his MBA from Oxford.  He runs the bespoke tailor Norton & Sons and their ready-to-wear subsidiary E. Tautz, who you might have read about recently.  He's nothing short of a menswear master even if he never really planned on getting into the business in the first place.  As he told Swipe Life:

"It was an accident really, well, not an accident. A fabulous coincidence. I stumbled upon it completely by chance. I was at Oxford finishing off an MBA and a friend of mine was supposed to meet me for lunch. He called to say he couldn’t come, so I grabbed a copy of the Financial Times and sat and read it because there was nothing else to read. I got as far as the ‘Businesses for sale’ section and there happened to be an advert on that one day for Norton & Sons. There was just a little advert that said ‘Bespoke tailor for sale, 16 Savile Row. Contact Mr. Granger by letter’. That’s as much as it was planned. There was no planning whatsoever. It was just completely fortuitous.

I came and met the owner and came to the shop and looked around and having never worked in clothing before I just fell in love with the place. I’d always been very interested in craft and making things, I’d always worked in manufacturing companies and I’d always been very interested in clothes but I’d never thought ever, to work in the clothing and tailoring industry."

Seems like fate, no?  Anyway, not only is this guy renowned for rescuing not one, but two iconic English "brands", but he's also one of the rare few working in menswear today that truly gets the whole style vs. fashion thing and the relationship between the two. And lest we not forget the attention to detail and craftsmanship (I mean, just look at a picture of a Norton & Sons suit) that is at work.  From bespoke to ready-to-wear, from Saville Row to the runway,  Patrick is someone you need to know about if you don't already.

[Pictures courtesy of Swipe Life.]