Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year And Many Thanks

[Picture via The Selvedge Yard.]

And to think that at this time last year I was blown away by what this blog was becoming.  I want to sincerely thank everyone who visits Sart Inc, whether they enjoy it or not, and all my friends and family who have supported me in my endeavors no matter how ridiculous they may seem.  At the end of the day I'll be the first to admit that a lot of what I do is complete and utter nonsense so everyone's encouragement means all that much more.  2010 was one hell of a year and my gut is telling me that 2011 is gonna be even better.  Here's to a happy and healthy new year for you and yours.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The King Of Cashmere

Check out this awesomely cliche promo video, shown recently at a presentation in Berlin, from the Cucinelli camp to get a closer look at the inner workings of The King of Cashmere's operation.  Brunello can be seen donning a look I've recently adopted as my own - cutaway collar shirt sans tie.  Who knew cashmere could be so damn epic?

BRUNELLO CUCINELLI - Video Istituzionale from promovideo on Vimeo.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Rugby University Duck Boot Tie

My own F/W novelty can now be yours thanks to Rugby's University Duck Boot Tie.  Critter anything is always a good time, but when Bean boots are somehow involved it's even better.  I can't think of a more appropriate tie for this time of year, especially as I write this very post from a quasi winter wonderland version of Atlanta.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their loved ones and that we can all take ourselves a little less seriously in the new year.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lusting After: The Merrell Wilderness Collection

Just the other day I slighted Merrell for making boots that were a little too technical for my tastes and, most likely, for yours as well.  But can you really blame them?  Merrell is an outdoors brand who makes boots for outdoors enthusiasts - end of story.  Do they care about style blogs? Do they care about dudes who read style blogs? I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that they don't.  Anyhow, I was thinking about all this today and I realized that I had failed to previously mention Merrell's Wilderness Collection when it was first announced this past August.  The Wilderness Collection is in collaboration with NY based shoe retailer David Z and their callabo mastermind Ronnie Fieg.  Mr. Fieg took arguably the most classic Merrell silhouette, The Wilderness, and paired it up with some new fabrics.  I really like The Wilderness because unlike a lot of the other hiker style boots on the market this boot has an elongated toe box resulting in a more natural looking shape.  These made in Italy special edition boots are still available and will run you $300.  I can't remember the last time I did a "Lusting After" post here on Sart Inc, but, then again, I can't remember the last time I saw some Merrell boots look this good.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Attn: Oak Street Goes Navy

So you want more boots, eh?  Well Oak Street Bootmakers will give you some more goddamn boots.  At 10 am EST today all of their boot styles are going live in navy.  Yeah, you heard me right - Navy Chromexcel.  The stuff dreams are made of no doubt.  Rock and roll.  But seriously, stop looking at shoe porn and go to bed.  They will be there in the morning.  I promise.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Native Fitzsimmons

If you're like me then you enjoy the idea of hiking boots more so than actually dropping upwards of $250 on a pair.  Lots of us don't need a new winter boot, but hikers are tempting.  Tempting and risky.  By risky I mean that hikers are a very unique and niche item.  Some people love them, and some people think they look like shit.  We've all probably seen as many examples of hikers done well as we've seen hikers done terrible.  Unfortunately there aren't many entry level pairs that someone could grab and test drive, for lack of a better term.  Some brands sell cheaper hikers, such as L.L. Bean or Merrell, but they are more technical versions of the style - probably not the best look if you do more walking than actual hiking if you catch my drift.  If you're still with me on all this, you may want to check out Native's Fitzsimmons.  The Fitzsimmons is a traditional hiking boot, but with an EVA shell and neoprene sock liner.  I've been wearing a brown pair on and off for the past 2 months and I've been pleasantly surprised at how well they have held up, even in the rain.  They're light, warm and comfortable as hell, not to mention the metal hardware is a nice touch.  What I thought was gonna be a somewhat gimmicky shoe has actually been the real deal - form and function accounted for.  So, I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you are eying some Danner or Diemme hikers, but are wary of how they are gonna work out for you, the Native Fitzsimmons might be your best starting point.  And, quite frankly, at $70 a pop they are one of the better boot deals on the market.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Moleskin Jeans

I see your five pocket cords and raise you.  Moleskin trousers already popped up on Sart Inc as a great F/W alternative so I figured I would muse a little on moleskin jeans as well.  Polo put their killer moleskin jeans on sale and, as someone who owns an earlier version of this pant, I offer my full endorsement.  If you had passed on moleskin trousers up until this point because they were a little out of your comfort zone, this is probably a better starting point.  The 5 pocket silhouette is extremely familiar to everyone who reads this blog, but when done in moleskin the style gets a wonderful upgrade - don't be afraid of juxtaposition.  I really can't say enough good things about Polo's moleskin jean.  The cut is great (if you've never tried on their slim-fit), the fabric is luxurious and they look badass.  The thing I like most about these is how you can beat the shit out of them.  A 5 pocket style pant is an everyday pant and the moleskin ages in a really unique way.  You can wear them a lot this time of year and they are machine washable.  After one season you are going to have a non-denim pair of jeans that are truly all your own.  For $105 that's one of the best deals around.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Attn: Barbour Sale At Jonathan and Olivia

Toronto's own Jonathan and Olivia are currently have a nice little sale on both Barbour and Barbour To Ki To.  Standard Barbour is 30% off and the To Ki To pieces are 20% off.  Gotta love the holidays.  Stay warm.  Stay steezy.


New Year's Specs

So you're one of those menswear geeks who asked Santa for some new trousers.  Or maybe you find a little extra cash in that stocking of yours, which is immediately funneled into that "to-tailor" pile building up in your closet (I see you, Doc Hu).  I don't know about you, but I like a very specific look to my trousers, perfectly illustrated by the picture seen below courtesy of my friends the Ovadia brothers - little to no break, 7"-8" leg opening and a 1.75"-2" cuff.  I find that this produces the best looking and fitting trouser, at least for me.  Now, this is obviously not some concrete rule or anything, just my personal preference and something to consider if you haven't already.  In fact, I think that most guys can find the perfect look for them residing within the confines of the range of measurements listed above.  If you like what you see then try taking a crack at it.  If not, then forget I even mentioned it.  Ultimately, if your list of new year's resolutions includes "getting dapper" (along with "lose ten pounds" and "avoid all sexual harassment charges at work") these are some specs you may want to consider.


[Editor's Note: Ovadia and Sons trousers feature a 7" leg opening and a 2" cuff for reference.]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Debate: The Rise Of Gilt Manual

I ran this quick piece on my Tumblr earlier this week, but I wanted to repost it here.  The moves Gilt, and subsequently their editorial site, is making are down right impressive and I wanted to see if anyone had any insight or thoughts to add to the discussion...

"Word just broke that Josh Peskowitz has jumped ship from Esquire and has joined the already impressive staff over at Gilt Manual.  He joins Andy Comer, formerly of GQ, and Jared Flint, formerly of Antenna, as the newest members of Editorial Director Tyler Thoreson’s dream team.  With each passing week Gilt Manual’s masthead seems to grow with the best and brightest talent in menswear journalism.  One can only imagine the stock options being thrown at these guys [Editor's note: gross speculation] and once Gilt Groupe goes public there are gonna be a lot of 'rich, former menswear editors' as a friend put it.  Gilt Manual is quickly becoming the Miami Heat of this menswear shit.

Josh Peskowitz joins a lineup already flush with household names.  Seriously, Gilt Manual’s masthead reads like a menswear nerd’s fantasy blog team:

-Tyler Thoreson
-Andy Comer
-Jared Flint
-Gay Talese
-Mordechai Rubenstein
-Joshua David Stein
-Michael Williams
-Jake Davis"

We haven't had a lively discussion around these parts in a while so have at it.  Do you read Gilt Manual?  Where does Esquire go from here?  Is this definitive proof that menswear print media in the USA is dead?  Is this all part of Gilt's masterplan to take over the blogosphere ala Bloggercon 2010?


Hey Frank, How You Livin'?

One year ago Mr. Frank Muytjens gave Lonny Magazine a glimpse inside of his Brooklyn apartment.  The J. Crew Men's Design Chief has never been shy with sharing his personal stuff, but this is far and away my favorite look into his very stylish life.  Check out the spread below featuring quotes from the man himself and some tips on how to get Frank's look.  Livin', indeed.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oi Polloi's Icon Cards

Here's something light for a Tuesday and the holidays in general - Oi Polloi have introduced some blank greeting cards featuring illustrations of some cultural/style icons.  Right now McQueen, Thompson and Nicholson are accounted for thanks to illustrator Ben Lamb who is an extremely talented chap and has collaborated with Oi Polloi before.  So, before you start mailing out holiday cheer to all your blogger friends you might want to pick up a few of these.  Season's Steezings.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Attn: L.L. Bean Signature's New Boots

Damn, this came out of nowhere.  Today sees the launch of a bunch of new items from L.L. Bean Signature just in time for the holidays.  The standouts of all the new arrivals are three boots - 2 wholly new styles (the wedge sole boot is handsewn in Maine by the way) and one new version of the instant classic waxed canvas L.L. Bean boot.  I'm pretty impressed with the new designs, which are definitely a step in the right direction, no pun intended, for Signature.  Based on looks alone, these boots all appear to be surefire winners and will definitely be climbing the ranks of many holiday wish lists and gift guides right


[Editor's Note: Get free shipping and 10% off with promo code HOLIDAY]

Diemme Laces

If you are fairly new to the blog you might not know this, but I am a huge proponent of changing out your shoelaces as a cheap and effective way to switch up your footwear.  Your motivation behind doing such doesn't really matter since buying new shoelaces is as cheap as clothing related purchases get.  Get some new laces. Test them out. Proceed however you see fit.  Done and done.  Most people know Diemme as the Italian brand smashing the burgeoning hiking boot market.  Their boots are my favorite hikers available right now and when you see them in person you'll probably feel the same way.  Anyhow, Diemme also sells pretty awesome laces to compliment their wide array of boot styles and various uppers.  C.H.C.M. Shop, who sells Diemme boots, has a bunch of these laces in stock right now.  For $4.95 there are two sizes in a bunch of colors/materials - 51" and 61".  Figure out what size you need and grab a couple to test out with your F/W boots and shoes.  Giving your Bean boots, brogue boots or longwings a facelift has never been easier or cheaper.


Attention Varisty Enthusiasts

Ryan briefly mentioned Gant Rugger's F/W 2011 incarnation of their instant classic Homerun Varsity and after seeing it in person this past Saturday I'm here to back up his sentiments.  Basically, if you are the kind of guy who likes the varsity jacket look you should start saving up some money now.  That's how good this new version is (I'm calling it Homerun 3.0 in my head).  The solid wool body of the past Homerun jackets has been replaced by an incredible red herringbone wool weave and the beige leather sleeves feature a new treatment that takes this jacket to a level few varsities have previously been.  On top of all that, this version is unstructured (as is a lot of the new F/W 2011 outerwear) making it easily the most comfortable option out there.  With the recent explosion in varsity jacket popularity lots of brands have been trying to rework things.  I am here to say that no one is doing a better job than Chris & Co. and after seeing F/W 2011 I can say, without a doubt, that Gant Rugger is coming as hard as ever with all their new stuff.  Thanks to Tenue de Nimes for taking way better spy pics than I ever could.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Know Your Welts

In this era of blogs, bloggers and bloggers who blog about blogs there is no excuse for being an uneducated consumer.  The plethora of information available online is indeed staggering, but with so much knowledge at our disposal one would think that many of us would be at the top of our game.  Ironically enough, I believe there is a misconception when it comes to shoe construction - that is, if a shoe is not Goodyear welted it is a piece of shit.  This could not be further from the truth and, while a Goodyear welted shoe is something to look for in an expensive shoe purchase, let us not forget about the other methods used in making high quality shoes.  With that being said, I'd like to briefly talk about Blake construction.

Ducal shoes sums up Blake construction as such:

"In the Blake construction the last is removed from the shoe; and the welt, the sole, the insole and the upper are sewn together using a single seam.  The last in reintroduced and the workmanship continues with milling, grinding and dying of the soles and heels.  The final result is an extremely comfortable and light shoe."

As with any construction, Goodyear and Blake alike, the quality of the construction depends on the factory producing the shoes.  At the end of the day, you cannot tell how good a shoe's quality may or may not be solely based on the welt alone.  All of that aside, I'd like to dispel any rumors or misconceptions that Goodyear welts are the be all end all when it comes to shoe construction.  A high quality Blake constructed shoe will often be sleeker than it's Goodyear welted counterpart due to the simple fact that its stitching is of the interior variety, whereas a Goodyear welted shoe's stitching is visible on the outside of the shoe.  It is my personal opinion that Blake construction improves the looks of more "formal" shoes, such as shortwings and double monks.  Please refer to the incredibly nerdy diagrams below for more information.



[Diagrams courtesy of La Botte Web.]


Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Brief Conversation With Mark McNairy

I'll keep this one short and sweet - Mark McNairy just gave the most detailed, thoughtful and, downright, awesome interview of his career.  Read it over at The Contemporary Standard.


Attn: Oak Street Bootmakers Boots Pre-Order

When Oak Street Bootmakers popped up on the scene a few months ago lots of people wanted to know where the actual boots were.  Yeah, their shoes were awesome, but where were the heavy duty kicks for F/W?  Well, after debuting their line of boots at this year's Pop Up Flea, Oak Street has just put their boots online for pre-order.  I saw these in person and I want everyone to know that they are indeed incredible.  The three styles, a camp boot, a hunting boot and a hunting chukka are all handsome as hell and made with the kind of attention to detail you normally see in boots twice as expensive.  The stats are identical to their shoes - Horween Chromexcel leather and made in the U.S.A.  If you are into the Americana look and need a new pair of boots for the next, I don't know, 20 or so years, I highly recommend heading down Oak Street.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Real Animal House

I'm not sure how many of you guys consider yourselves southern frat style scholars, but this video of the DKE house at LSU circa 1980-something is important research material.  It's a fun watch in general, whether you were in a fraternity yourself or not, and it's cool to see southern prep in its natural environment.  Ironically enough, these guys look much more Risky Business than Animal House - gotta love the 80's.



This Saturday at 6am Gant Rugger will be streaming their F/W 2011 photoshoot session from NYC.  For 24 hours the good folks at Gant are putting everything out there for whoever is so inclined to check it out.  Expect heavy doses of great clothes, Christopher Bastin and US Royalty.  I've briefly mentioned Gant's foray into new multimedia to help build/further their identity in America and the day long livestream looks to continue this initiative.  Head over to their website this Saturday and get your Rugger on.


Dried Blood

Did you guys catch this post on The Trad last week?  John got an incredible Mercer & Sons shirt in a beautiful Buffalo Bill dried blood gingham.  I loved the shirt because it not only looks awesome, but reinforced something I've been saying for a while - wear some goddamn gingham in F/W!  The only hard part is finding the right color.  Well, guess what? Dried blood is "the right color".  Ironically enough, Hamilton 1883 just released their own version of the exact same shirt.  I own a few Hamilton 1883 shirts and I stand by them 100%.  From the quality, to the collar to the fit - it's all gravy.  Yes, I know, this stuff is expensive, but when you put on a Hamilton shirt you can feel the difference versus, say, a shirt from Brooks Brothers.  Now, there is nothing wrong with a Brooks Brothers shirt, I just wanted you to know that the price difference isn't merely a markup.  At the very least, think of this as a reminder to add some gingham to that Christmas list of yours - unfortunately, you can't wear a Hess truck.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Attn: Mark McNairy Gets A Webstore

This just in - Mark McNairy has launched his own official webstore along with a comprehensive list of stockists worldwide.  The guy you all love or all love to hate is selling everything from his made in Maine mocs to his one-of-a-kind fun shirts in one convenient place.  There is even something for the ladies.  The only thing missing is the return of these badboys, but I wouldn't hold my breath.  'Bout damn time.


GQ Rules

GQ's popular video series, GQ Rules, is back at it for 2010.  This year it's all about Glenn O'Brien aka The Style Guy.  All 15 videos in the series are currently available to watch online and I highly recommend signing up if you haven't already.  Glenn is joined by various members of the GQ brain trust and the best videos in the series are when Glenn teams up with Hooman Majd to wax poetic on everything from beards to flip-flops to booze.  It's a must watch for everyone from Glenn O'Brien "Stans" (you get to see his personal shoe collection for example) to sartorial novices looking for some video tutorials.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Noodle Park

Noodle Park is a newish Italian brand who focus their clothing around the three elements of "ideas, research and low cost".   That's a pretty loaded agenda, but luckily their gear, primarily outerwear, speaks for itself.  The F/W 2010 collection is kinda "tech-y" in terms of fabric (Italian and Korean sourced), yet many of silhouettes draw inspiration from classic jacket styles (i.e. puffers, duffel coats, parkas, etc).  Their name comes from the traditional take-out noodlebox, used to package Asian food all across the world, in an attempt to reinforce this cross-cultural appeal.  It's all quite ambitious and I appreciate what they're trying to do.  At the end of the day, however, Noodle Park seems to be a pretty niche brand.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.