Orvis Shopping

Way before this blog started, before there were #hashtags, there were a few stores that I frequented.  One of those was Orvis.  I had one of their original shotgun shell belts, but it had the actual Winchester shell on the loop rather than the Orvis logo’ed version they carry today.  I wore that belt out, and eventually had to put it to bed.  I kick myself every day that I didn’t keep that original shell loop.

Orvis has kept a consistent, unique drumbeat that’s refreshing in the flash-in-the-pan #menswear world.  I consider them in the same categorization as Filson, Red Wing, and Barbour.  They just keep doing what they are doing, and know that ‘cool’ will eventually come their way.  I have 100% respect for this, and remain a loyal Orvis customer.

Now that it’s Fall, the Orvis catalog carries a lot of weight.  There is so much good stuff in there…here’s what I’d bring home with me:

From top left:

1. Donegal Notch Crew Sweatshirt: I wear a sweatshirt out every Winter.  And by ‘wear out’, I mean it gets stolen by my better half.  Hello, 2014 version.
2. Trigger Finger Uplander Gloves: There isn’t a huge need for gloves in Atlanta, but there are a few mornings when that steering wheel is like grabbing ice.  I like these with the open trigger finger.  Sure, it’s good to pull a trigger, but it’s also perfect for pressing ‘ignore’ on your smart phone when a call comes in.
3. Barbour Tapton Jacket: I like the dressed up look of this quilted Barbour.  The herringbone collar and the trimmer fit make this one great as a replacement for a tweed coat.  Wear this one over a cashmere v-neck.
4. Battenkill Gun Case: If you’re going to spend the money on a good gun, why would you put it in a cheap sock?  Do it some justice.  And spring for the monogram.
5. Fleece Sweater Jacket: An OUTSTANDING alternative to more expensive options out there.  This fleece is as good as there is, especially considering the easy price tag.  Minimal logo-ing is even better.  Think of this as the ‘dog walker’.
6. Cavalry Bison Leather Belt: You know I love a good belt; especially one with a cool buckle.
7. Luxury Cotton / Merino Wool Shirt:  These cotton and wool blend shirts are great.  The key is to wash and half dry them.  Then hang to dry the rest of the way.  Give it a quick steam iron, and then wear it…extremely soft and warm.
8. Field Chronograph Watch: There are a ton of alternatives out there, but try and beat this one for $150.  It looks great, and wears very well.
9. Shotgun Shell Coasters: Because why not.
10. Gokey Heritage Duffle: A secret Ebay obsession is vintage Orvis luggage…and it looks like they beat me to the punch.
11. Gokey Sandanona Pull On Boots: Some of the coolest boots out there.  The rubber soles make them comfortable for all day wear…after all, they were made for walking the field.  This reminds me: I need to recondition mine…maybe worthy of a post?

Front Pocket Wallets

I am a front pocket wallet guy.  All things considered, I only carry about 5-6 cards including a driver’s license and some cash.  I do this for a couple reasons: first, I don’t like to carry that much.  Travel light.  Second, I don’t like sitting on a wallet.  Remember the Costanza wallet?

I have used quite a few, but these are the options that have RCS approval:

1. Martin Dingman Jamison Credit Card Case: Simple and elegant design.  Two card cases – one on each side – that holds about 3-4 cards each.  Middle pocket that hold folded cash.  Add in the matte alligator and you are ready to rock.
2. Col. Littleton Front Pocket Wallet: A good option for the heavier cash user.  The Col. Littleton front pocket wallet has one pocket that will hold about six cards (more as time goes on and it stretches out), and has a really handy flap pocket for folded cash and receipts.  Initials are encouraged.
3. Sid Mashburn Credit Card Holder: New to the game…Sid’s take on the front pocket wallet.  I saw it yesterday, and am impressed.  Two long slots on one side, and one long one on the other (for cash), with three slots for more cards.  The leather is outstanding.  Take this one seriously.

What did I miss?  Do you use a front pocket wallet?

Seriously Cool: The Turtleson Popover

You know how random catalogs show up in your mailbox?  I have no idea how they get my name…I assume that some companies sell names and addresses to others…but 90% of them are junk.  Every once in a while, a good one makes it way via the mailman.  The other day I got a catalog from Turtleson.  Never heard of them.  Regardless, I gave it a look.  Not too shabby…especially these popovers:

These bad boys have everything I’m looking for in a popover: flap front pocket, four button placket, long sleeves, an English cutaway collar, and must-iron oxford cloth.  It’s going to be very difficult for me not to order all three.  At $99 a pop, I just might do it…

Does anyone have any experience with Turtleson?  Is it worth a try?

Quilted Vests

I’m really into ‘smart’ looks.  By smart, I mean looks that are classic, but in a sense transitional: from the office to a date without much effort.  Also, I don’t buy too many things that are fashion forward…however, every once in a while, a bold sport coat or a brighter shirt are a great seasonal addition.

With Fall coming, I’m eyeing a quilted vest.  I really like this look.  It’s smart.  They work with a dressed up outfit – like a pair of APCs, a solid oxford, and a pair of double monks, or with a pair of beat up Levi’s, a plaid flannel, and a pair of boots.  Fleece vests are fine, but they don’t add much to the outfit, other than warmth.  There are some great options available…here you go:

From top Left:

1. Belstaff Quilted Waistcoat:  The tip of the pyramid in terms of a ‘dressy’ quilted vest.  Belstaff is as nice as it comes, and their waistcoat in British Racing green is outstanding.  Check out Mahogany as well.  From a thickness perspective, this vest doubles as a liner, so it’s not too bulky.
2. Southern Proper Varsity Quilted Vest:  A great option for anyone looking for a general vest.  This option from Southern Proper can be dressed up or down and will provide a little more warmth than the others.  Think mid-October football game, and then a trip to the bars afterwards.
3. Brooks Brothers Quilted Vest:  Another dressy option; the Brooks Brothers quilted vest lines right up with what you would expect from Brooks Brothers.  Not too thick, but warm enough for cool Fall mornings.
4. LL Bean Signature Down Quilted Vest:  Not as thick as a goose down puffer vest, but warmer than a liner.  Signature did a great job with this one, especially for the guys that are looking for a little more utility.  Pack this one on your next camping trip.
5. Patagonia Nano Puff Full Zip Vest:  Patagonia leads the pack in outerwear, and their Nano Puff is no exception.  Thin enough to wear all day, but nice enough to wear with khakis.  Good price point as well.  Walk your dog in this one.
6. Barbour Lowerdale Gilet Vest:  Barbour wrote the book on quilted outerwear.  Their Lowerdale Gilet is an excellent example of Mashburn-esque ‘cool’.  It can be dressed way up or way down, and will never look out of place.  This one will never go out of style.

Any vests that I missed?  Which one do you like?

Have You Seen: “Teen Wolf” (1985)

Introducing a new segment to Red Clay Soul today…we’re calling it ‘Have You Seen:”.  These reviews are meant to give you a first had account of some excellent movies, from a first rate perspective.  By first rate, I mean they are written by one of my oldest friends, MM.  First up, the 1985 classic: “Teen Wolf”.  Enjoy:

Teen Wolf is a movie about the trials and tribulations of a tiny high school kid who is also a wolf.  The main guy is Scott Howard who is played by Michael J. Fox.  Michael was also in the hit movie “The Secret of My Success” in which he had sex with his aunt.  There are no other real stars in Teen Wolf except for Scott’s dad who I’m pretty sure is somebody from Happy Days.

So Scott is just this normal teenager with a girlfriend named Boof and a best friend named Stiles.  These are two seriously dumb names and literally no one in the movie ever says a word about it.  Not one word about there being two kids in the high school named Boof and Stiles.  I’m not buying it for one damn minute.  Anyway, Scott and Stiles and some other people are on their way to a party.  They want to stop for beer first, though.  Scott goes up to the beer store counter and the guy says “You look young as sh!t. I need to see some ID.”  Scott gets super pissed at this and is all like “I said GIVE ME A KEG OF BEER!” in this weird tranny voice.  Then he also orders a bag of chips which won’t be nearly enough chips to share so it’s kind of a dick move.  So they roll up to the party and start to get drunk from beer.  Then everyone gathers around Stiles and his assistant (who I think is a prostitute) to play this game where contestants draw names out of a hat and then Stiles tells them how they have to make it to each other.  There’s this one time when a guy named Chubby has to eat jello out of a girl’s bra.  Everyone is laughing because Styles totally made his friend live out all of his high school insecurities by having to eat in front of everyone.  So now it’s Boof’s turn to draw a name for her next sex partner and she rigs it where she gets Scott.  Stiles tells Boof and Scott that they have to go into a closet for a few minutes.  Inside the closet, Boof is totally ready to get naked but then Scott gets all super aggressive and apparently Boof just wanted to make it all tender like.  When they come out, Boof’s shirt is ripped and Scott is so sweaty.  No one calls the police.

Later that night, Scott starts to feel sick from too much beer and chips.  He runs into his bathroom and starts growing all this gross hair and fangs and other dog parts.  He’s way freaking out about this because he is now a wolf.  His dad hears Scott crying and starts to bang on the door.  When Scott finally opens it, his dad is standing there and is also a wolf now.  Oh my god, though, the wolf that his dad turns into is the weakest looking thing ever.  It’s like Santa Clause if Santa were also a Care Bear and a dog.  So now the dad tells Scott that everyone in the family is a wolf and that nobody knows why. Scott decides that he wants to be called Teen Wolf and his dad is cool with that.

Later, Scott walks to school with Boof and they don’t talk about the almost sexual assault from the night before.  Then some school shit happens and Stiles probably acts like a sociopath some more.  After school, Scott’s basketball team, the Beavers, has a game against the red team who’s roster is made up of handsome adult males.  Also, Chubby is on the Beavers which is kind of confusing because I don’t think he’s all that athletic.  The best part is the basketball coach, Coach Finstock, who looks like he’s been in a ton of other movies, but he hasn’t.  Finstock is apparently there on some work-release program because he literally gives no f@$ks about coaching basketball.  So, as usual, Scott’s team is getting trounced.  Finstock is eating a boiled egg on the sidelines and Chubby is having a hard time keeping up.  Even though Scott is 4’1″ he somehow comes down with a rebound but then the red team all jump on him because he’s so small.  Scott gets super-pissed at this and turns into Teen Wolf.  Everyone literally BACKS. THE. F@$K UP. and is in shock because there’s now a wolf wearing a basketball uniform.  Finally, Teen Wolf breaks the tension and dribbles down for an easy two-hander.  Now they all start playing again.  I don’t think Finstock has even noticed that Teen Wolf is playing.  Turns out that wolves can way dominate a basketball game and the Beavers win.  Then they go have pizza and someone gives Teen Wolf a beer to bite into.  Also, this one hot girl that Scott likes sits next to him.

After the basketball game, Scott becomes super popular because everyone loves Teen Wolf.  He cruises down the halls at school all the time and high-fives tons of people.  Stiles wants to sell a bunch of Teen Wolf branded apparel because he’s pretty much a scumbag.  At first, Boof is all cool with Teen Wolf because he’s super masculine but then she starts to get pissed for some unknown reason.  So, Teen Wolf is doing high-fives and being awesome at basketball when the director of the school play wants him to play the main part.  Teen Wolf is way excited because that girl he likes, Pamela, is also in the play.  The play is about olden times and looks lame as all sh!t.  Teen Wolf doesn’t care though because in the dressing room, the girl gets naked.  Pamela is now dating Teen Wolf because of getting naked for him at the play.  One time, Teen Wolf and Pamela go bowling and they run into Pamela’s ex-husband, Mick.  Mick plays basketball for the red team and hates Teen Wolf so hard and then Teen Wolf throws a bowling ball.

So, the Beavers basketball team is kicking so much ass and the school dance is coming up.  Teen Wolf wants to go with Pamela, but Pamela says that she is back together with Mick from the red team.  Now Scott is all bummed because he has to go ask is old basic-ass girlfriend, Boof, to the dance.  Boof says “I’ll go with you but you can’t be Teen Wolf the whole time because of all the totally hot babes you’ll talk to.”  Scott agrees and then he starts to get dressed for the dance.  Since he’s going to be the wolf for a little bit at the dance, he has to blow dry all of his body hair and also wear this way cool suit that will make ladies want to do it with him.  Boof and Teen Wolf go to the dance and Teen Wolf rolls out this pretty badass wolf dance that everyone learns how to do.  Then Boof wants him to take off the wolf stuff and be Scott again which, how lame is that?  So now Scott and Boof are dancing when Mick from the red team starts beating him up.  This pisses Scott off greatly so he turns into Teen Wolf and scratches Mick on his adult male chest.  The principal comes in and kicks Teen Wolf out of school.  Then Scott’s dad shows up as SantaCareBearDog and uses his wolf powers to make the principal pee his pants.

The last scene is when Scott tells Coach Finstock that he doesn’t want to be Teen Wolf for the championship game against the red team.  Finstock is all like “The f@$k you say, bub?  You better be the wolf or else.”  Scott refuses and Finstock goes back to not giving a sh!t.  The Beavers are holding their own against the all adult male red team.  The Beavers are down by one as time expires but Mick from the red team gets a technical foul called on him so Scott gets to shoot free-throws.  He makes them both and the red team is humiliated in defeat.  The movie ends when everyone runs on the court to taunt the losers.  There’s also man with his actual penis out in the background as the credits roll.


Image: Wikipedia

1000 Words: Southern Proper Fall 2014

The ladies at Southern Proper are wonderful.  They continue to redefine the Southern young man’s style.  They are leaders in this niche, and have maintained this perch for years.  We here at Red Clay Soul are lucky enough to call them friends.

Their Fall 2014 lookbook is absolutely outstanding.  It harkens back to that late-90′s Fraternity life that quite a few of us experienced, and is continually being re-lived today.  Consider us thoroughly impressed:


This Thursday: Southern Proper Oyster Roast @ Onward Reserve Buckhead

To all you Atlanta folks – come on by Onward Reserve for an oyster roast to celebrate Southern Proper’s new Heritage Shop.  We talked about it a little earlier, and it is awesome.  The new Southern Proper goods look great, and you won’t find any hospitality finer that at Onward Reserve.  Tell your mama, tell your friends…see you tomorrow night!