Fall Prep: Chocolate Leather

With Fall arriving shortly, let’s get focus on some preparations.  I’ve got a few posts like this coming in the next few weeks, so bare with me.  First, we’re going to talk about a seasonal shoe color that is finally ready to see the sunlight again.  Chocolate brown.  This shade really doesn’t get much play this time of year.  Instead we wear a lot of the lighter shades of brown, such as British tan.

Chocolate is a GREAT shoe color to wear in the winter.  Our wardrobes tend to darken up a bit in the colder months, and our shoes should follow.  Essentially replace the lighter tan shoes with these darker models and watch how ‘dressy’ you’ll be.  These go great with the usuals: dark pants (except charcoal), dark jeans, and any tan or green Earth-tone pants.  Match the belt.  Socks optional.

From top left:

1. Sid Mashburn Two-Eyelet Gibson Oxfords:  These are the sports car of the chocolate brown oxfords.  Very slick.  These are some serious sleds…think good jeans and a sport coat.
2. Loake Scarfell Cap Toe Oxfords:  You already have a pair of black cap-toes, so add these as an alternative with a navy or medium grey suit.
3. Oak Street Bootmakers X TWEEDS Bit Loafers:  How can you go wrong with bit loafers?  You can’t.  Period.
4. Alden #561 Tassel Loafers:  Maintain that nice little ‘snap’ noise when walking around in these bad boys.  Appropriate flare with a pinstripe suit.
5. Crockett & Jones Chelsea Loafers:  Instead of work boots or cowboy boots, try these this Fall.  Be sure to get the Dianite soles for the all day tailgate and the 7:45PM kickoff.
6. Allen Edmonds Mora 2.0 Oxfords:  Double monks haven’t gone out of style, and the dark brown version is the most muted option available.  Looking to make the plunge?  Start with chocolate.
7. Peal & Co. Lightweight Tie Loafers:  Something fun…something sporty.  Very Barbour-friendly.
8. Church’s Enmore Medallion Cap Toe Oxfords:  For those that prefer to give their cap toes a little something extra…

What have I missed?

Head’s Up: The Mad Men Auction is Live

So the good folks at ScreenBid have 1384 items from the Mad Men series.  You won’t believe what’s there…everything you can think of, and a bunch of stuff that you forgot about.  Careful, this is a complete black hole…you’ll get lost and lose an hour or two in a hurry.  I mean, that’s what I hear…

 

#OrvisFlyFishing Trout Bum Contest – Hurry!

The good folks over at Orvis are having a #OrvisFlyFishing contest. Tag your fly-fishing adventure photos #orvisflyfishing on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and you could win an awesome prize package of fly-fishing gear and clothing from our men’s Trout Bum collection (above).  From personal experience, I got that quarter zip for my dad, and he absolutely loves it.  You will, too.

I know there’s a day left, but don’t act like your phone is loaded up with pictures…get to tagging! Here’s the video teaser:

Harbour Island Reverb: One Year

One year ago…not only did I marry my angel, but we got to experience Harbour Island for an extended period of time.  Looking back at some of my images:

 

Yes, we are planning our return trip for 2016.

The Red Clay Soul Gifts for Guys Guide

I get questions readers quite frequently about what gifts to get for guys.  Whether its from a mother, wife, sister, brother, etc, for a wedding, graduation, groomsman gift, birthday, or Christmas, guys are TOUGH to buy for.  Clothes are tricky, as there is rarely an element of surprise (unless you just know…).  Gift certificates are always safe, but it doesn’t really have the punch of a perfect gift.  So what is the right thing to get for a guy?

Well, we’re here to help.  Below is a list of tried and true gift ideas that are sure to please any guy for any occasion.  In addition, these are the gifts that keep on giving for years; the non-disposable stuff.  These are the items with a high value proposition (and you know how much we love those around here).  So let’s get going:

From top left:

1. Monogrammed Double Old Fashion Glasses:  Every man needs a set of appropriate glasses to serve guests.  PLEASE give him a reason to throw away those free pint glasses.  Think it through when buying: two is good, four is better.
2. Sterling Silver Engine Turned Slide Belt Buckle:  The iconic Tiffany belt buckle.  It’s been in style for fifty years, and will be in style for another fifty.  This wears very well, so start ‘em early.
3. Cedar Shoe Trees:  Shoe trees should be purchased with any pair of leather shoes that cost over $150, but are frequently overlooked.  These will keep your shoes smelling good and help keep their shape – two things that are paramount to any gentleman’s well being.
4. Engraved Brass Luggage Tags:  An under-appreciated gift that will save a lot of mileage at the airport.
5. Leather Golf Headcovers:  Let’s face it: the stock headcovers are extremely gaudy, and you aren’t sponsored by anyone.  Class it up a little bit with these bad boys from Stitch Golf.
6. Sterling Silver Collar Stays:  A great idea for a gift from the significant other.  Engrave a secret message to him…he’s the only one who will see it…
7. Razor Set:  One of those things that a guy would never buy for himself, but it is a perfect gift.  Spend a little extra on this one; razor sets take a beating, so you don’t want to go cheap here.
8. Drake’s Necktie:  Drake’s makes the finest neckties in the world, so he’d be lucky, and gracious to have on in his closet.
9. Bullet Pen:  Can you think of anything better that shows you mean serious business?  Reminds me of a line Ellis said in “Die Hard”…
10. A Nice Duffle Bag:  Something every man should have as an ingredient to a complete life.  A good traveler is a good man.
11. French Press Coffee Maker:  Maybe somewhat extravagant, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving.  He’ll appreciate the simplicity and the ease of making his own espressos and coffee…for much less than going to Starbucks.
12. Pocket Knife:  No man can have enough knives.  Especially a good Case pocket knife.  This will last a lifetime…unless he tries to get it through security at the airport.
13. Autographed Replica Helmet:  Can you think of a better office accessory?  Not to wear of course, but to display with pride.  It’s like having Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker, or Eli Manning in your backfield.

What did I miss?  What are other great guy gifts?

Front Pocket Wallet People: I Found Something…

I’m a front pocket wallet guy…and I’m also a minimalist when it comes to my EDC.  I have been through a couple of front pocket wallets over the past year, and haven’t landed on the right solution.  I used a traditional card case for quite some time, but it ended up stretching out to the point where it wasn’t functional.  I recently got a good deal on the Bottega Veneta card case, but it isn’t a good case for carrying cash.  The opening is tight, and pretty shallow, so folded bills stick out like a shark fin.

As you all know, the Mashburns have been having quite a sale, and I came across this card case when I was in Ann’s store yesterday afternoon.  I immediately knew this was it.  It holds 6-7 cards, and has a great slot for cash, all while staying ‘inside the lines’.  It’s just a touch bigger than the traditional card case, but in no way too big for any front pocket.  The leather is very soft, and thick enough to keep it’s form.  So far, so good.  I’ll report back after a couple weeks worth of work.

So the case is on sale at Ann Mashburn, and they have a few colors available.  I got Navy blue, but the green is pretty nice as well…check out the whole collection here.

Here’s mine:

Oh – and do I care that it says “Ann Mashburn”?  Absolutely not.  Neither should you.

 

Drake’s At East Dane

Team: Looking to seriously up your tie game?  Drake’s, as most of you know, are arguably the nicest ties in the world.  There is a really nice sale on a nice selection of Drake’s ties over on East Dane.

There aren’t many left, so get some while the gettin’s good…