Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goodbye backpack, Hello tote

It's time to kiss your trusty North Face backpack goodbye. Blasphemy!

If you're classic prepsters like ourselves, you've been relying on The North Face to tote your goods around since you had goods that needed to be toted around. But, gentlemen, the time has come to lay the nylon contraption to rest and welcome something that has looks and utility, to boot.

Enter the man-tote. Now, let's first negate anything girly about the tote bag. So it may look like a purse, but classic male prepsters have been sporting monogrammed L.L. Bean totes since their very inception. Their catch-all utility beats out the backpack by far when on the go, and you don't spend 45 minutes unzipping secret compartments and discovering new ones each time you delve deeper into the depths of the North Face black hole.

The looks you get in the city are atrocious when seen sporting a backpack, but people passing with totes are completely the norm. And we're not basing our opinions on those of the masses, but the recent switch to toting instead of backpacking has been an enlightening experience.

If you're secure enough in your manhood and you're ready to make the switch, there are countless options to choose from. We have picked up a couple from Rugby and Filson that suit our personalities. We've seen cool bags in canvas with leather accents, all leather bags, nylon bags, and so on. So when it comes time to grab your things for Fall, on your way to class or to work, look cool doing it with your man-tote instead of a bulky black backpack.

If you don't trust our opinion (which you should...hah) look at the Fall '08 and Spring '09 runway shows from across the world and you'll see countless designers sending variations of the tote down the runway.

When you're ready to hit the tote market, here are a couple of suggestions on where to start. John Varvatos has a cool linen and leather tote in stores right now. The price is slightly ridiculous, but the bag is cool. RRL, RL and Rugby have several cool options. The navy/yellow bag pictured is from Rugby. The other bag pictured is by Filson, an outdoorsy brand for the manly man ( Try going vintage at What Goes Around Comes Around ( or your local vintage store. Or if you're in the mood to give back, try Lauren Bush's Feed Bags ( that feed needy children across the world with the purchase of one of the bags. And, of course, if you're a traditionalist, check out the old school L.L. Bean totes.

Happy hunting.

Jorts...making a comeback?

We never thought we would see the day that jean shorts made a comeback. Enter Summer in New York City. Every time we turn around we are seeing jorts...being worn by men. And we actually like them...

Now before you go writing this post off, there are many stipulations to acceptable jorts. The cool factor this summer comes from the cutoffs. Sure you could probably pick up a pair of pre-made jorts at your local J.C. Penny, but whoa is me if you look cool wearing them. This summer, the look is taking an old pair of (preferably) fitted denim and cutting them off right above the knee. To complete the look, run them through the washer and dryer a couple of times to get a good fray going and bam, you're suddenly fashionable in the city.

Some precautions: if they have any form of cargo pockets, carpenter hooks, sparkly embroidery or anything of the like, steer clear. Keep is simple. But if you feel the need to jazz them up, we have seen some pretty cool renditions with a couple of paint splatters, tears, rips, stains and so on. Avoid the baggy jinco look, keep them tailored and respectable looking and you're well on your way.

Oh yeah, make sure they're somewhere in the blue color family...wouldn't want to stray away from our navy roots...

The picture is taken from the Sartorialist...a good look, but too long for my taste. We are on the hunt to find the perfect look, when we do, we'll update the post. There should be plenty of opportunities at the office on Monday...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hidden In Plain Sight

Although it is not quite navy (nor classically preppy), camouflage is going be a popular color for the fall and winter. It is beginning to make itself visible in all levels of fashion. Louis Vuitton has introduced a new pattern, which resembles the classic monogram with camouflage background as opposed to the traditional brown. There are stilettos from Christian Louboutin (although not helpful to us men). Canvas totes with camouflage prints are beginning to creep out in departments and specialty stores.

Not only will camouflage (the print itself) be present but so will many military inspired pieces. Military jackets and fatigue pants will be available in many colors, including camouflage, and fabrics. Outerwear will be decked in camouflage as well.

We are not saying that camouflage has never had a presents in fashion but we do feel that this year it will be more pronounced and available then in past years. We think that camouflage may not be for everyone but if you do choose wear it please stick to basic camouflage and not the sand or snow camouflage military forces may be wearing. The fashion styles are much more wearable than actual military prints.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bandanas...not just for pirates

Bandanas are not just for pirates anymore. Bandanas are a multipurpose staple to every wardrobe and a great multitasking tool for the modern man. Bandanas can be found in multiple colors, patterns, and sizes. Paul Smith New York has a wide selection of unique bandanas that are full of life and color. We stopped in to browse around and found some authentic bandanas made in Mexico in crazy colors and patterns. We recommend bandanas as headwear, neckwear, an alternative pocket square, and even wristwear. Remember that the key to any great outfit are the details.

Ahead of the curve, we have been sporting bandanas around the neck as a cool touch to get a little edge, and after looking through the copious amounts of pictures from Spring 09 in Europe, Hermès stole our look! Check it out...and get on the bandana-wagon.