Disaffected Prep

Monday, November 30, 2009


The Medium is the Messenger

I love taking pictures of the quirky things in my West Village neighborhood - especially the vehicles.  Here's another for you.

This bicycle is usually parked out either in front of Cafe Cluny or Smorgas on West 12th and West 4th, though I remember seeing it on Perry Street last year.  The decorations change with the seasons: right now we're in Autumnal mode.

At the moment, stripped down fixed-gear bikes are very popular in Manhattan. I see the appeal of these bicycles and at times I've considered getting one myself.  However the parade of minimalist two-wheelers gets a little repetitive at times.

That's why I like the unapologetic-over-the-topness of this particular bicycle. Sometimes you need a little flair when traveling through Manhattan.  Note the streamers. 

If you are going to bicycle for peace, you can't just bop around in any old neighborhood beater. You do yourself a favor and you step up your decorating game. This isn't amateur hour - this is the West Village and you need to decorate hard or go home.  

See all the photos at my Picasa page (Bicycling for Peace) 

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Thursday, November 26, 2009


Have a Go-To-Hell Holiday

Holidays - like Summers - are always a good excuse to break out the Go-To-Hell gear.  More than a few have caught my eye recently.

Always good to find clothes with a sense of humor. 

Rugby by Ralph Lauren Slippers

(via Kempt)

Ralph Lauren Embroidered Striped Shirt

(via Selectism)

Mister Mort's F-U Club Tie
Seen at the Pop Up Flea

(via The Trad)

Brooks Brothers Clark Fit Tartan Plaid Pants

Ralph Lauren Embroidered Corduroy Pant (On Sale)

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A Second Pass on the Pop Up Flea

As I mentioned in Sunday's post, I didn't quite touch upon everything from the Pop Up Flea the first time around.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving consider this your second helping.

Billykirk isn't my thing - but I know some people enjoy their work - so here are some shots of their leather gear.

I had a good talk with the guys from Epaulet. To be honest, I wasn't that familiar with their store (had no idea it had a physical location in Brooklyn).  Lawrence had referenced them a few times but it really didn't click until I checked out their goods in person. 

I was impressed with their take on the Alden Indy boot.  The original Alden Indy is a little rough around the edges for my tastes, but this version is a thoughtful take that adds some polish to a classic item. 

Their ties were sweet looking and had a great price point of $60. I mentioned that the multi-colored tie (second from the right) reminded me of one of my favorites from J. Press and learned that it's basically an updated version of it from the same factory, except in a slimmer width.  I don't gush over product often, but if there is one article of clothing there that hit the "disaffected prep" aesthetic it was this tie. Nice work guys.

Just wrapping up my thoughts on the weekend - I can see how some people would walk into the flea and be put off by $200 workshirt shirts and $350 work boots.  You know what?  That's not my bag either.  However, I thought the place offered a pretty diverse selection of goods and an opportunity to meet and greet both the clothing in person and the folks behind it.  As my friend Adam mentioned, they even had beer.

Personally I didn't spend any money, but I did get inspiration for new looks and was introduced to a new brand and a new store.  I can understand some of the backlash on the workwear stuff, but having fun at the flea is pretty easy to do if you don't get grumpy on the gear that's not in your sartorial wheelhouse.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009


Pilgrimage to the Pop Up Flea - First Impressions

In what can only be described as the Superbowl of the Americana fashion/blog community, the lady and I took a walk towards SoHo this past Saturday afternoon for the second ever Pop-Up Flea from Michael Williams and Randy Goldberg.  Equal parts shopping experience and networking event (I was asked for a business card multiple times - what?) the shop was nonetheless very successful as I met some good people and was introduced to a few things I had not seen before.

The view from Mulberry Street. There was a guy at the door blocking access if you weren't wearing selvedge denim or Red Wing Boots.

Just kidding - there were three guys doing that.

In a testament to the growing popularity of the Flea and perhaps the improving economy (a rising tide lifts all boat shoes?) the Pop-Up was overflowing with goods this time around. On the near right you can see Schott and near left the guys from Rogue's Gallery.

Here is my iambic tetrameter contribution of the day: This coat from Schott I liked a lot.

Their PR person told me it was a unique color that was produced for the German market and the few jackets that didn't sell were brought to the Flea. So basically you can wear a piece of clothing produced by an American clothing firm for the German market based on the jackets originated by 19th century European navies and popularized by the US Navy. Wrap your head around that.  The price was  in the mid $200s - which I thought was quite reasonable for a unique item.

Jack Spade bringing the quirk. Learn it, know it, live it. Figured Skip would enjoy this photo.

One of the pleasant finds of the trip was the Portland, OR based Tanner Goods. They produce simple, high quality leather goods that I found really beautiful. The usual suspects are all there - wallets, belts, bags - you name it.

Tanner produces unfinished leather goods as well that patina over time. Here is an example of an unfinished leather wallet and the same type of wallet that's been worn in for a year just above it. As you know, part of the reason I like unfinished denim is its ability to wear, durably, over time to the nuances of your body. I never really thought about this as a feature of leather - but consider me converted.

This is a picture of Michael Williams' left hand. It is also a picture of the goods he brought to market under the ACL & Co. label.

One of his bags he did with the Billykirk guys. Kinda reminded me of the Orvis Battenkill bags - but a little more streamlined.

Overall it was an afternoon well spent as getting up close with the goods is way more worthwhile than looking at web images - case in point: Tanner Goods.

Congratulations to all those involved and it was a pleasure meeting some of the industry girls and guys. There are more pictures available at my Picasa page (Pop-Up Flea Fall 2009) and I'll be publishing a followup post shortly on some finds from the Epaulet table and others.  Look for it Monday or so.  

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Saturday, November 21, 2009


The best thing from the Pop-Up Flea not at the Pop-Up Flea

So walking back to the West Village from the Pop-Up Flea this afternoon I spotted a terrific Bentley with an amusing vanity plate and had to take a few pictures.

The view from the street

Hamptons. Of course.

From a different angle.

It reminded me a lot of a Rolls Royce I found in the West Village back in August. What's with crazy license plates and the Rolls/Bentley crowd? Must be the eff you money talking.

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Friday, November 20, 2009


Fit for the Weekend 2: Presented by SI x DP

We had a great response to last week's Fit for the Weekend feature so we're rolling out a couple more to stretch our imaginations and our budgets. 

This week Lawrence from Sartorially Inclined and I took the outfit in a different direction - whereas last week was all about outdoorsy comfort, this outfit is straight evening.  Think taking out your significant other out to dinner - you don't want to show up in torn up boot cut jeans and a hoodie.  Show some class, brah.

For the uninitiated, Lawrence and I bounce back an item of clothing to each other over the course of the week until we have a complete outfit.  Each person's descriptions are below.

Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars in Charcoal...$45

Me:  Some things you just feel cool doing.  Listening to the Rolling Stones.  Getting a high-five when you walk into a bar.  And walking in low-top converse all-stars.  You can't go wrong.

Hickey Denim Blue Trouser...$325

Lawrence: It's the weekend and there is a good chance you may be going somewhere nice. Time to man up. Lose the jeans, ditch the chinos and rock a pair of trousers. Not suit pants, or the pleated monstrosities you see on Joe Business Casual, but a cool pair like these from Hickey. The cut, fabric and color will keep you from feeling stuffy and odds are you'll at least look like the most confident guy in the restaurant.

Brooks Brothers White Button Down...$79.50

(note: pinpoint collar shown here)

Me: Forget the IBM image of robots in white shirts.  Take a look at Tom Ford.  He's always decked out in a crisp white shirt - and he does not program computers.  There is a reason this shirt was named "Best Dress Shirt" by New York Magazine.  Classic looks and reasonable price point.

Baracuta G9 Jacket...$220

Lawrence: You are not going to find a cleaner jacket. Period. The golf jacket is an iconic piece of outerwear that works in the fall and spring so it's definitely worth the cash. The khaki couples up real nice with the white shirt, ads some layering and the plaid liner looks good on top of all solids.

Paul Smith Umbrella...$195

Me: If you are out on the town you don't want to look like a chump with a pocket umbrella the size of a teacup.  Drop some coin on a real umbrella.  This Paul Smith umbrella features a chestnut wood handle and a tasteful trim along the edge of the umbrella.

Polo Navy Knit Tie...$54.99

Lawrence: This is a no brainer.  A simple, classy knit tie is always a good call especially when it's navy and you've got on a white shirt.  And it appears as if we have the exact situation going on.  Planned?  Yes.  Killer?  Obviously. 


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Maine Nor'easter - Part 1

Over the weekend the girlfriend and I went up to Maine to her family’s beachhouse around Kennebunk as we wanted to get in a weekend of relaxation before the holiday crazies set in. The weather, though, was a totally different story – as we endured a (smallish) Nor’easter.

It was as pleasant as Nor’easters come – enough to whip up the waves and toss a few rocks on the road, but nothing to make you fear for your safety. Feeling the need to explore a bit we took the car down Ocean Ave and captured a number of good photos of the storm.

The view off Ocean Ave on the side closer to Kennebunkport. I liked how the stillness of the surroudings constrasted with the waves crashing hard.

Surfers taking advantage of the killer waves. The Colony out in the distance in the first two photos from the set.

I don’t surf (the gf does) but even with my limited knowledge I could appreciate the good waves. It was pretty cool to think all these guys hopped in their cars and trucks during a Nor’easter with the same thing on their mind.

Out near Walker's Point. The waves were epic, brah.

Funny how in the midst of all the gray these colors totally popped out. I've seen this before a few times but it seemed like the right time to document it. Came right at the end of the car right too.

More photos at the Picasa page


Friday, November 13, 2009


Fit for the Weekend: Presented by SI x DP

When I first found Lawrence's blog, Sartorially Inclined, it felt like I found a long lost style brother.  Minor differences aside (he wears a size 30 APC New Standard jean, I'm a 31), we have in commmon a love of finding great clothes and sharing our finds and thoughts with others. 

Lawrence is a lot like James Brown - the hardest working man in the business.  He consistently puts out great posts day in and day out and seems to have an unflaggable energy about him that comes through his writing.  Sart Inc has also developed a great sense of community in the past few months, as Lawrence provides thoughtful responses to each comment on his posts.

So when I thought about doing a collaborative project, Lawrence popped into my head immediately.  We batted around a few ideas over email, and came up with a collaborative head to toe post that as Lawrence described it, would be "fit for the weekend." Over email, Lawrence went first and selected the boots, and then I would respond with pants that I liked that went well with the boots.  You'll see how this works below.  It felt a lot like a clothing chess game, and we had a lot of fun putting it together and hope to do this a few times for you all. 

[Note: Items presented in the order in which they were compiled.]

Polo Ranger Boots...$153.00

Lawrence: You should have a pair of boots for F/W and you shouldn't have to pay upwards of $300 to get them.  I mean, they are going to get beat to shit anyway.  Polo's Ranger boot comes equipped with classic park ranger styling and look damn good.  A Moc toe, lug sole and buckle strap make this one of the best and affordable boots on the market.

LL Bean Double-Knee Katahdin Iron Works Pant...$49.00
Me: Whether or not you were knocking tin all morning or just hanging out on the weekend, a reinforced double-knee workpant is a useful addition to your wardrobe.  In addition to durability (triple stitching, bar-tacks), these pants give another choice for guys who too often are forced to make a boring choice between denim or khaki for their pants and feature a great price point of $50.  These pants by LL Bean will stay in style as long as they will last - which is to say - forever. 

Martin + Osa Washed Flannel York Plaid Shirt...$69.50
Lawrence: Martin + Osa is American Eagle's answer to J. Crew, except it's 10 bucks cheaper.  This flannel features some cool detailing (button-flap pockets, tabbed collar, seam gussets), a trim fit, and a real easy price-point.  Wear it while doing yard work or throw it on before you head out for the night.  It'll look good either way.

Patagonia Synchilla Vest...$75.00

Me: Both functional and effortlessly cool, this classic by Patagonia kicks up your outfit a notch and is perfect for fall or spring days.  When it gets really cold, layer up and wear it underneath your jacket.  Though the "Patagucci" moniker is earned for its pricey gear, if you pony up $75 for this vest you'll get yourself a quality garment that will be used year in and year out.

Orient Quartz Alarm Chronograph Red...$150.00

Lawrence: This Japanese watch maker has been producing watches since 1950, though they just recently entered the US market.  Good thing they did because you are not going to find a cooler looking watch for under $200.  Everyone, including myself, has been telling you to grab a black face watch, but try this instead.  Simple yet classy, this watch (and black leather band) will dress up any rugged weekend gear.  And most importantly, it looks 3 times more expensive than it actually is.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


e-readers - a door closes...

A fundamental aspect of my reality will change soon.

What I mean is, I'm going to buy an e-reader within the next month.  And whether I go for the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook, the way I consume the written word -- and trust me I'm a big consumer -- will be changed

Now, many people bemoan the loss of the tactile sensation of holding a book in your hand when you change to an e-reader - the heft, the weight of the book is a very viceral experience for them.  I get that.

What I'll miss most though, is the jacket cover.  Please tell me, how will something as beautiful as the Gatsby cover be replicated?  In other words, what will happen to jacket cover art?  Also - how will people know how smart if they can't tell what book you are reading? (Don't over look this point - it's very important on New York City subways!)

(from bioinfo.mbb.yale.edu)

So while e-readers lack the proper jacket covers of the hardcovers they replace, Barnes & Noble has commissioned a few "designer" covers for their new Nook e-reader.  And some of them are pretty cool.

My favorite are from Jack Spade.

From Nook

From Nook

From Nook

Don't get me wrong - there is no way to compare the beauty of a classic jacket cover with a simple protective slip cover.  And I don't think jacket covers will die off completely as I think we'll still be reading on paper for decades and decades to come. 

However, I think it is interesting that where one door is closed in terms of design, another opens in an unexpected fashion. 

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I love it when a plan comes together.

From DP

Took this as I was walking to work. The truck got into trouble making a maneuver to back into a service loading dock, messing up traffic on West 54th Street. The group above went to work to get the truck off the ledge that was giving it trouble.  After few college tries the truck was off safely and peace was restored to the busy streets of Midtown. 

Never know what you'll run into in this city. 



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