I’ve been digging on the polo belts lately. I love the idea, as well as the culture from which the polo belts originate. Born in Argentina, they are typically leather belts with color-specific designs woven in to represent a team or a location. While they’ve been around forever, they were made popular, maybe even mainstream, by royalty:
In terms of where to find them, well, there are actually quite a few places on the Internet. The color combination you like is out there, whether it’s a college theme, something patriotic, or just a combination that you like. The folks at Pampeano have an outstanding selection. Here are a few that caught my eye. I think any Auburn or Virginia fan would like #2, and the Tarheels could handle #4:
Estribos produced #1 for the Silver Medal British polo team back in 2015, and it has a great look, and a cool buckle. La Matera produced a like of polo belts (#2 and #3) in some cool color combinations. I have #3 and wear it often. Sid Mashburn recently got into the polo belt game, with #4, a nice navy, green, and cream look:
Beyond these belts, there are some other options as well. Gaucho Belts are based across the pond, and have some great designs and color combinations. I particularly like #3, known as Badminton. Very cool look, and a good price point:
Zilker Belts is an outfit out of Texas, which produce some great belts, with an American feel. Below you’ll notice America, Argentina (of course), Mardi Gras, and ATX, in the appropriate color combinations. Sharp:
Utilizing these belts in the wild, rather than on the polo field is relatively easy. Think of these as a needlepoint belt or a Leatherman LTD belt. This will be the ‘flare’ piece of your outfit, and stay pretty basic, middle of the road elsewhere.
A polo belt with a pair of jeans, oxford shirt, loafers, and a solid sport coat is just about perfect. You can go casual with boots and a vest, or dress it up with khakis and a sweater. Either way, stay with solids or very muted plaids, otherwise you’ll look like bathroom wallpaper. These belts are meant to be symbolic and stand out, so let them do the talking.
It’s gameday, Falcons fans. No one expected our NFL team to make much noise in the playoffs this year, but something has clicked. Our offense has exploded, led by MVP Matt Ryan and a stable of wide receivers. Julio Jones is a once-a-decade receiver. He can’t be covered. Vic Beasley finally figured out how to rush the QB, and rookie LB Deion Jones (LSU alum) has been the spark our defense needed to get mean.
Mrs. RCS and I are heading down for the game today, so be sure to follow the trip on RCS’s Instagram. Should be a good time.
Prediction? I’m scared to death of Aaron Rogers, as he seems to always find a way to win. The Packers’ win over Cowboys last weekend was a great example of that. But the Falcons are hot. They are firing on all cylinders, playing with some serious speed (see image above), and no one is hurt. It’s going to be a good game, but I predict the Falcons pull away in the forth quarter, winning 37-27, and heading to Houston to take on Brady and the Patriots.
What do you think? Who you got?
I can’t decide what to think of these. I was perusing around the Internet and saw these 1000 Mile boots from Wolverine in GREEN on East Dane. Apparently they’ve popped up on a few sites. What do we think? Green is good, but can there too much of a good thing?
Let’s hear it.
Today is the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States. No matter your politics, each President has a style all their own. For the most part, they don’t deviate too far from the mean. Suits, suits, and suits. Obama got a ton of flack for that tan suit, but I’ll give him kudos for trying something different than the navy or charcoal norm. W got flack for wearing cowboy boots with his suits, but again, kudos for bringing a little personality.
Jimmy Carter, a proud Georgia-boy, knows what’s up in the inseam game:
I always thought George W. Bush looked a little uncomfortable in a suit. Not in a bad way, but this is how I see W as most comfortable.
On the other hand, Bill Clinton’s suit game has been incredible. In the past few years, he has really stepped it up. This pinstripe option is one which we should all aspire:
Ronald Reagan was our president in the 80’s, a widely recognizable low point in the style timeline. That said, this California Cowboy wore a smile as well as anyone. That fresh, welcoming demeanor was part of his style, and it worked. Remember that Time Magazine cover? Penley caught quite a few of his looks in his book.
JFK. What more can be said about his style? He’s wearing a shaggy dog sweater at the pool. And nailing it.
George H. W. Bush brought Trad to the forefront. Massachusetts born and Yale educated helped. He loved sack suits, ribbon watch straps, and club ties, and from the image below, hanging out with his dog while dapper:
Barack and Michelle Obama (moreso Michelle) had great style. Barack was more a pre-#menswear guy, with the dad-jeans and the pleats. All of that is forgiven because of the tuxedo. He always looks outstanding in a tux. He’d give Don Draper a run for his money…
Donald Trump is rarely seen without a suit or wearing golf attire on the course. I respect that, but wanted to give a tip of the hat to his weekend casual look below. Nice work on the two button open collar look:
Extra Credit: Theodore Rosevelt. This man took on nature, and won. Ahh…when men were men. NO one messed with this guy.
Who did I miss?
Watching the PGA’s Hawaii swing really makes me miss golf. The tour will continue through California and Florida during our colder months, forcing us to watch green grass, warm temperatures, and unlimited sunshine while we struggle to find any worthwhile sports on TV (save March Madness). The Masters is a little under three months away, so our golf season will be here before you know it.
Look at this this way: you have time to get ready. Doing a little offseason golf work will pay dividends when your calendar starts to fill up with tee times. For me, it’s more of a cleansing. Personally, I didn’t play a ton of golf last year, but it was more than I played in 2015. I expect to play a lot more this year. Mrs. RCS plays (and is really good), so it has become a theme of our quality time together. We are really excited for golf season to get here, and I don’t want to feel like I’m starting at zero on the first tee. Here are a few things that I do when it is NOT golf weather:
1. Clean out your golf bag. Over the course of a golf season, it’s amazing what collects in the black hole-like pockets of your golf bag. I usually keep a few shoeboxes and containers in the basement for golf “stuff”, and I unload everything into those boxes. Balls, gloves, tees, change, markers, towels, receipts, warm Coors Light cans…whatever. Then I take the shop vac and go to work on the inside of the pockets. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, folks. And this only takes about an hour.
2. Check the condition of your equipment. This is a no-brainer, but take some time and check your grips, your hosels, and the general condition of your clubs. Now would be a good time to send in your putter for a refresh (like I did with my old Cameron… #1 is about to head over for a re-do as well). Upgrading grips is like having new clubs. In addition, check your soft spikes, clean your shoes, toss your old gloves, and replace the batteries in your range finder.
3. Restock the necessities. It’s offseason, and it’s after Christmas, so most golf stuff will be on sale until mid-March. Check all the online golf websites and Amazon for golf balls, golf gloves, new spikes, tees, etc. All of that stuff is marked way down, as the new 2017 models fill the coffers over the next couple of months. Think about it, 2016 model golf balls hit just the same, at a 25%+ discount on Amazon. You know what size/style golf glove you wear, so buy a multi-pack for a steep discount. You get it.
4. Evaluate your golf ‘look’. Look through your golf shirts, hats, etc. and toss the stuff with mustard stains, sweat stains, holes, and bad fits. Trust me, it’s important. Get a few updated nice golf shirts (check out Holderness & Bourne), a pullover or two, some new pants, and a hat or two (skip the golf logo and go for something unique, like the Onward Reserve bear). It’s important to look good on the golf course, especially if you are known as a Red Clay Soul reader.
5. Get a few lessons. Beat the Spring rush and get a few lessons with a club pro. This may be tough, as the weather may not cooperate, but here’s how you do it: Call a club pro, and let him know you want some lessons. Get a 3-session discount. Scheduling will be tough, so ask that you can schedule based on weather. When the high is 60 on Saturday, call the pro and ask for a lesson at 3:00PM. You won’t get to practice as much as you would in the Spring, but it’s better that sitting on the couch.
6. Get flexible. Speaking of sitting on the couch… By now you’ve probably fallen off your New Year’s resolution and ‘going to the gym’ is a thing of the past. Well, here’s a reason to get back: your flexibility is key to play better golf. You have to be able to turn, and Bowl Season and the NFL Playoffs are gym prohibitive. Spend 45 minutes stretching a few times a week. Hell, do a yoga class with your significant other. Don’t laugh: there’s nothing worse than being tight on the tee box.
Beyond these, think about setting goals for the year, and work backwards on how to accomplish them. Want to break 80? Figure out how to get there, with more practice, more lessons, and getting fitted for your equipment. Want to take a golf trip? Price out that long weekend in Kiawah or Pursell Farms and start recruiting your significant other and golf buddies. Want to go to the Masters? Good luck!
What are your off-season golf tricks?
Now is an excellent time of year to take a long weekend trip with your significant other. You’ve got plenty of vacation time, and a half-day on a Friday is completely worth a fun and relaxing weekend with your best girl. Think about it: now is a great time to take advantage of lower-than-normal hotel fare, and plenty of available reservations at great restaurants. We’re in the post-Christmas lull. Here’s how you do it: find somewhere four or so hours away, take half a day on Friday, and hit the road.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a particularly fancy trip. There are plenty of great towns around that deserve 48 hours of you and your better half’s attention. So do a little research, reserve a nice hotel room, find a good spot for breakfast, and the spot for local fare. Think of it as a Bourdain-esque, or ‘Alternate Route‘-like adventure…she’ll love it. And most importantly, pack smart.
For a weekend trip, bring items that can be mixed and matched, and easily refreshed. A sweater over a button up, the button up by itself, a vest over a long sleeve t-shirt, etc. Make sure all your goods are good together, and it’ll never look like you wore the same thing twice. Here’s how to do it:
From top left:
1. Beretta Soft Shell Fleece Vest: A good vest is a must for any trip. It provides just enough warmth inside on cold days, and an extra layer under your coat when banging around outside. Don’t sleep on Beretta’s line…they have super-nice stuff.
2. Ledbury Lamont Plaid Shirt: More of a ‘brushed cotton’ rather than a flannel shirt, so it’s dressy for weekends like this. You can give it a pit-stop ironing before your dinner reservations. Dressed up at the steak place or dressed down eating fried seafood and beer out of a pitcher, it’s the way to go.
3. Ball and Buck Lightweight Merino V-Neck Sweater: A good v-neck sweater over a sharp shirt like #2 will get you into 95% of places you’d like to eat.
4. Eddie Bauer Bainbridge Field Jacket: A good field coat with tons of pockets is a must on this trip. She’ll work hard filling them up with local mementoes from your adventure. This Eddie Bauer is an excellent choice, and the price is just right.
5. Edgevale Cast Iron Pants: Canvas pants wear like jeans, but can be ironed for a more dressed up look. Edgevale has an excellent option with their Cast Iron pants…they work in the field and at the dining table. More on these later…
6. Drifter Pocket Knife: There’s always room for a pocket knife
7. Aviate Hat: A traveling hat…either bring one from your neck of the woods, or pick one up on your trip. They’ve got it covered, but it’s up to you and yours to make the memories.
8. Colonel Littleton #1 Belt: One of the coolest waist huggers out there. Enough flare to get a nod, but professional enough to wear in the boardroom.
9. Truman Boot Co. Marine Horse Hump Pull Up Boots: Tough enough for traveling, and nice enough for dinner. The Dianite soles will keep you comfortable while exploring a new city.
10. Over Under ‘In the Blind’ Long-Sleeve T-shirt: Always pack an extra t-shirt. These are perfect for the drive home on Sunday under the #1 vest, or for her to steal.
11. Orvis Bootlegger Leather/Canvas Small Duffle: You get to a point in life where you need good luggage. Use trips like these to take advantage of filling out those needs. A small duffle is a great bag for those weekend trips when you only need one pair of shoes, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better one than this one from Orvis.
12. Martin Dingman Rudyard Farrier Wine Caddy: You’ve got that great bottle you’ve been saving, and that bottle of Basil…give them a ride in style in this handsome wine caddy. It’s the details that count…and she’ll forgive you for forgetting the wine glasses at the ultra-exclusive hotel room pre-party.
What did I miss?
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr
Image: Steve Penley