Sleeves are so overrated right now.  On outerwear only…seriously.  With the temperatures still hitting the 70s at peak of the day, Barbour season remains a little prohibitive, but the 40s and 50s in the AM make vest weather just right.  In terms of style and function, vests are all over the map.  You have the Marty McFly-esque puffer vests that look great with anything from jeans to khakis or just running out to grab the mail.  You have the technical vests that are typically a little lighter, and are great for the golf course, as a base layer, or for Walking on the Moon.  While a ‘shooting vest’ isn’t the term that producers of those quilted jobs with deep front pockets were going for, they are great for burning gunpowder.  Finally, the dressier vests are making inroads into the #menswear discussion, doubling as a blazer, or actually over a blazer.

See folks, there’s something for everyone.  The point is, get one and wear it.  It’s a great look; a masculine look.  Here’s what I like:

Clockwise from top left:

1. Filson Reversable Down Vest:  Filson rarely misses, and after seeing this, their newest vest release, I was more amazed at how long it took them to produce a down vest.  This is a great look, and the reversible blaze orange is awesome for Tennessee Volunteer fans.
2. Belstaff Tenby Down Quilted Gilet:  I really like what Belstaff does.  It’s very ‘English’, but more than just in a Bond way…  Think 007 riding a motorcycle instead of driving an Aston Martin.  Cool, but with an edge.  And probably more hair grease.  Badass vest, though.
3. Sid Mashburn Shetland Down Vest:  The sort of vest that you wear with dress shoes.  The color is spot on; who says a vest has a be a dark shade of anything?  The shetland wool gives it a great texture, and will keep your core nice and toasty.
4. Peter Millar Potomac Quilted Vest:  Peter Millar has been doing an excellent job of expanding beyond golf shirts and pullovers.  While I always look forward to seeing their stuff in pro shops, I’m just as excited to see their off-the-course stuff as well.  Their Potomac vest is a great example of that transitional style that Peter Millar has perfected.
5. Southern Proper Varsity Vest:  The ladies really did us all a favor with their vest.  This one will work in almost any of the categories I outlined above: the quilted looks makes it dressy, the down fill makes it warm, and the big front pockets will hold all the shells you can shoot.  Oh – and it’s Masters Green.
6. K-WAY Valen Light Thermal Vest:  This vest reminds me of the old mountain climbing ads I used to see at High Country and Go With the Flow.  Bright colors, mirrored sunglasses, and giant hiking boots with shorts.  In other words: AWESOME.
7. Dubarry Yeats Quilted Vest:  By now you are familiar with Dubarry (more to come on RCS – I assure you…).  They are more than those really cool hunting boots; they have expanded to a full range of men’s and women’s clothing and outerwear.  Their Yeats vest is a great example of shooting style.  Great lines and deep pockets.
8. Penfield Outback Vest:  Personally, I call this the standard.  I’ve had an Outback vest for years, and it always finds a way into all sorts of outfits and situations.  That vest has seen a lot, and continues to kick ass.  This one has the RCS stamp of approval.

Saturday Stuff

Happy Saturday, folks.  Lots of good stuff going on on RCS land.  I’ve got some super new brands to talk about over the next couple of weeks, a new ten part series that I think you’ll all get a kick out of, and I’ve had some really good luck at the thrift store(s) lately.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, there are some awesome sales going on…here is a rundown…  Send me what I’ve missed and I’ll update the page:

The good folks over at Allen Edmonds are having their biggest sale of the year.  There is way too much to pick from…but let’s just say there is some shell cordovan involved…

The Friends and Family sale is going on at Jack Spade.  30% off your entire purchase.  For all you front pocket wallet folks, check out their version.  It’s unique and very functional (and only $62!)

J. Crew is doing 30% off their sweaters…good time to stock up!

Onward Reserve has their Cotton Brothers gingham button downs on sale for $62 a pop.  Awesome shirts, and an awesome price for these staples.

All the Player’s Shirts polos from Criquet Shirts are 25% off.  The biggest problem with Criquet polos is that you can’t buy just one…you’ll end up with a closet-full.

You need dress shirts?  Check out the clearance section at Brooks Brothers…they have you covered.

Orvis has their Fleece Sherpa Vest on sale for $59 a pop…great addition to any man’s closet, especially this time of year.  Check out ‘Steel Blue':

Ralph Lauren just added a TON of stuff to their clearance section.  Check out their Wading Coat – its’ a very dressed up version of a winter jacket, and it comes with a removable vest.  All for a very good price…

Be sure to check out the sale section at Billy Reid…holy lord there is a ton of great stuff.

For those looking for some decorating ideas, Huckberry has a great selection of Old Try prints for 30% off.  See if one strikes your fancy…

Let me know if I’ve missed any good sales…leave me a comment.

Blankenship Has You Fleeced

Remember those awesome vintage fleeces from Patagonia?  The ones with the crazy patterns…  It seemed like they only made about ten of each size, because they were impossible to find.

Well, not only has Blankenship Dry Goods been killing it with their shorts, but their tailgating fleeces are filling that niche.  Excellent patterns, good fit, and pockets for beers.  What else could you ask for?

Get ‘em here on their website…and tell your friends.

Louisiana Folks: Head’s Up

Louisiana folks – head on over to George Bass in Baton Rouge today, and in New Orleans tomorrow to see what all this Strong Suit fuss is about…

Kick Around: Chelsea Boots

I’m a big fan of chelsea boots.  I like everything about them.  They look slick, and can be dressed up or dressed down.  Chelsea boots come in a variety of styles, with leather bottoms for a dressier look, or rubber bottoms that are built for comfort.  When shined up, they look like dress shoes – good dress shoes.  Be careful, though, go for a pair that has a traditional or rounded toe.  Avoid squares at all costs.  Think of these as a cool replacement for wing tips.  Well, that’s how I look at them.

Want to get fancy?  Try a pair in dark brown suede for a really good cool-weather look, or get a pair of black chelsea boots to wear with a dark suit or a tux.  Today, though, we are going to focus on the tan leather jobs.  Here are some of my favorites:

Clockwise from top left:

1. RM Williams Chelsea Boots: They’ve probably been making these boots forever, and had no idea that these options from the outback would be such a big hit.  Essentially, they don’t make them any better.  There are tons of sole options…so knock yourself out.
2. Sid Mashburn Chelsea Boots:  Of course Sid would have a chelsea boot.  Makes perfect sense.  His have a leather sole, so it’s essentially a dress shoe.  Wear these with anything from jeans to khakis to wool trousers (2″ cuff preferred).
3. Dubarry Kerry Leather Chelsea Boots:  Dubarry makes some outstanding stuff…and their Kerry boots are no exception.  The feature a rubber sole, so I’d avoid wearing them with wool trousers.  However, they will be comfortable all day long.  College football tailgating approved.
4. John Lobb Misty Leather Chelsea Boots:  The Rolls Royce of cheslea boots (and most other shoes).  It doesn’t get any better than a pair of Lobbs…and from their perspective – proven by the Dianite sole, these should be worn often, and for many hours at a time.
5. Ted Baker Camroon Chelsea Boots:  A lower profile option, but a super-sharp natural sole.
6. Wolverine Garrick Chelsea Boots: A great cost-friendly option, complete with football-grain leather and a really nice toe.

What did I miss?

Allow Me To Introduce: Little Brown Dog Trading Co.

The Mrs. and I were enjoying Charleston one weekend, and when we stopped in Grady Ervin, I noticed a belt:

Having a lot of family connections to South Carolina, as well as being completely in love with Boykins, I was immediately hooked.  Little Brown Dog Southern Trade Company is a new company based out of Columbia by Ashley & Will Batson, and their Boykin Spaniel Scarlett.  I reached out, and had an outstanding conversation with the LBD team.  We are catching these folks early, as their goods are only available at retailers (don’t worry, ecommerce is coming).  Here is all you need to know:

What is the history of Little Brown Dog?  Little Brown Dog Southern Trade Co’s outdoor apparel first hit retail stores in 2013, when our first batch of custom-made t-shirts flew off shelves. Our story? Well, it started years ago. when we got a Boykin Spaniel, and life as we knew it changed.  Scarlett’s small size is misleading. Her enthusiastic and energetic nature is unlike any other dog we’ve met, to say the least. (Birds! Squirrels! Trees! Time for our morning walk!)

We had no idea just how much this lovable, little brown hunting dog would enrich our lives and help us appreciate the great outdoors even more. She’s the real inspiration behind the Little Brown Dog Brand and our celebration of fabulous outdoor living.

What is so special about the Boykin Spaniel?  Boykins are the most loyal companions and best family dogs, but they also assert their own independence. They are the perfect size (can fit in your lap) but also make wonderful retrieving and flushing dogs. That was the happy medium Will and I struck when we decided on the Boykin breed. They also happen to be the South Carolina State Dog and were bred for hunting in the southern swamps in small boats.
What type of person is a Little Brown Dog customer?  Everyone–but mostly people who appreciate southern culture and have a relaxed lifestyle. They love dogs, the outdoors, hunting/fishing, football, tailgating, the South…etc
What is the ideal weekend for the Little Brown Dog team?  Currently the past 4 weekends have involved taking Scarlett (and our lab Cheerio) out to the Dove Field to shoot doves, cooking out and watching football with our friends and enjoying this fabulous fall weather with our baby boy (6 months old). An ideal weekend usually involves spending time on our family farm and enjoying the outdoors with our dogs and family OR in Edisto on a boat fishing or going on a sunset cruise.
Clemson Tigers or South Carolina Gamecocks?  Clemson Tigers all the way (Ashley is a 2003 grad of Clemson) but we live in Columbia and have been known to enjoy a Carolina game or 2…
What’s coming from Little Brown Dog?  We are in the process of launching e-commerce and expanding our reach. The possibility of some LBD lifestyle events in Charleston, SC. Also new t-shirt and hat designs in the works!
What’s playing on your iPod?  Darius Rucker Radio on Pandora
Check out Little Brown Dog on their website, Facebook, and Instagram.  You won’t be disappointed.

Christopher Columbus’ ships have…(wait for it)…SALES?

Wipe that grin of your face, Chris.  I know you’ve got sales.  Big sales.  Here you go:

Brooks Brothers:  Columbus Day sale.  50% off sale section, and 3 dress shirts for $189.  Click here.

J. Crew:  30% off full price and 40% off sale section.  Do some damage.  I got this awesome sweatshirt.

Bonobos: Extra 25% off all sale items.  Click here.

Jack Spade:  Extra 25% off all sale items.  Check out this Expedition Tote for $75(!)

Orvis: They have their softest Quarter-zip Sweatshirts on sale for $49 each.  Pull the trigger.

Onward Reserve:  They just added a bunch of Barbour stuff to their sale section.  Get some.

East Dane: They just added the Imogene + Willie Barton slim fit selvedge jeans in Indigo to their sale section.  You won’t believe the price.

Club Preppy: Go ahead and get signed up today…there is a HUGE sale starting tomorrow.  Trust me.

Anything else I missed?