Flannel in the Summer?

Last night Mrs. RCS and I attended the Allyn Scura party at Sid Mashburn.  We loaded up…more on that later.  Lots of Fall stuff is filling the racks at Sids, including some flannel shirts.  There is one that caught my eye when it hit their website:

Now, I don’t know about you, but flannel is the last thing on my mind when the forecast calls for a high of 92 degrees.  Unless it’s a design like this: spread collar, good cut, MOP buttons, and a color way that I’ve never seen before (grey, salmon, and green…).  I had to pull the trigger, and I’m glad I did:

Donnie told me that these are almost gone…and it’s August.  In Atlanta.

Goes to show that good stuff knows no seasons.

Lust: The Filson Weatherproof Leather Duffle

Have you seen this beauty?  Filson just released a line of weatherproof bags that are made out of a very sturdy leather:

The medium duffle bag’s size has changed to a more travel-friendly overhead size, but it is still one of the bigger leather duffles on the market.  From my 2D perspective, I love it.  It will be very hard not to pull the trigger on this bad boy.  Available at Filson and over at East Dane.  Get it while the gettin’s good.

Orvis Fly Fishing 101

Mrs. RCS and I have been seriously intrigued with fly fishing for quite some time.  There is something about the solitude and the commune with nature that appeals to both of us, as well as the hunt.  The idea of landing a trout, and eventually a bonefish on a fly is one that we are planning future vacations around.

Both of us have meager fly fishing experience; essentially limited to casting for fun.  We don’t own any rods or reels (yet), so we thought it would be a good idea to start from the ground up.  Orvis offers free fly fishing classes out of their stores, so we signed up for the 101 class a couple Saturdays ago.

Orvis does a great job with instruction.  Each store has fly fishing experts on staff not only to help customers find the right gear, but to help with fishing questions, instruct these classes, and to shoot the preverbal breeze about fishing.  I’m serious – those guys can talk about fishing all.  day.  long.  And they know their stuff.

The class started at 9:00, and there were a dozen of us.  Ten guys and two ladies (Mrs. RCS was one of them).  We signed in, went over the agenda for the day, grabbed a rod and reel, and headed for the parking lot behind the store.

Our instructor gave us the ins and outs about an overhead cast.  …Let the rod do the work…don’t push the rod…pause at back…don’t whip the fly…etc.  Fundamentals.

Then he put us to work.  Pardon the photography, but there was plenty of room to cast.  I didn’t catch a 4Runner.  No one was throwing it 80 yards, most of us were concentrating on keeping the line in the air and getting comfortable with the motions.  This went on for about 15-20 minutes while our instructors walked around made sure everyone understood.  They took a very hands on approach, which seemed to work for this type of class.

After getting comfortable with the rod, we moved on to line work.  In lieu of an actual fly, our lines had a velcro tip that weighed about the same.  They gave us each a fish so we could practice casting.  This was another 15-20 minutes.  This turned out to be a lot of fun….the bonefish was very elusive…

During ‘fishing’, the instructors talked to each of us individually about why we were getting into fly fishing, and what we wanted to do.  Mrs. RCS and I love having hobbies like this, so for us it is about finding reasons to fish locally (here at the Hooch, up north in the southern Appalachians, and eventually in the Caribbean).  We spend a lot of time in the Bahamas, and have no problem scheduling our vacations around fishing.

This class taught us that we have a ways to go before we get there, but it is attainable.  I’m not saying we’ll be fishing the Seychelles any time soon, but one day…

After we finished the physical rod and reel work, we moved inside for some classroom work.  Being that this was a 101 class, we focused on the basics: how to put your rod together, how to attach a reel:

How not to break a tip, etc, and how to do ALL this while considering that you may be standing in a river while all this is happening.  We talked about line, leaders, nippers, tools of the trade, and the best fly out there: the Wooly Bugger.

We spent quite a bit of time on knots, and our instructors ensured that we knew exactly what we were doing.  Everyone left with the ability to tie a clinch knot and a surgeons knot.

The class portion lasted for about 45 minutes.  Considering I was starting from roughly zero, I feel like I learned a TON from the class.  It gave Mrs. RCS and I both a renewed sense of excitement about our new hobby.  So much so that we went ahead and signed up for the 201 class, where we meet at a local park and fish with actual flies.  Sunday morning can’t come soon enough.

Special thanks to Andy, Aaron, and Matt for being great instructors, and even better dudes.

Then we shopped…we both have our rigs picked out, and will pull the trigger much sooner than later.

If I’m to give the class a grade, I would give it an A.  The instructors were very friendly, and very knowledgeable.  They managed the flow of the class, but ensured everyone had a grasp of what we were doing before we moved on.  No one was rushed.  I would highly recommend the class to anyone with access to an Orvis.  Check out their website and you can see what’s available.  This would be a great date for any couple, a couple bros, or for anyone looking to do something different.  This is the kind of time investment that will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

Jim - August 24, 2016 - 10:25 AM

My wife and I took the 101 class at the Avalon store back at the end of June. They did a great job of making it fun and informative. Trying to make some time on the calendar for the 201 class.

Randy - August 24, 2016 - 12:08 PM

I started fly fishing in earnest when I moved to Colorado about 15 years ago and one of my first stops was the Orvis 101 class.

I agree wholeheartedly that these classes are a great resource and are taught by people who come with a wealth of knowledge on local opportunities to catch fish and a real world background in what works.

Just like any other hobby, fly fishing can be as simple or as complicated as you choose to make it and from my experience these classes offer a good demystification of the sport.

Good luck RCS, hope to see some good trip reports on this blog in the near future.

DH - August 24, 2016 - 12:23 PM

Just started fly fishing around WNC this summer after an Orvis FF101 class at the Charlotte store in May. It didn’t take long to get completely hooked. I have to agree that the class is the perfect way to get to know the sport and begin your journey.

RCS, make sure to do the 201 class, which should put you on some body of water, and the definitely the 301, which is essentially a discounted guided trip. Had a great time back in July on a 301 trip in Tennessee.

Landy - August 24, 2016 - 12:52 PM

Even with instruction it can be frustrating if the bite isn’t on when just starting out with a fly rod. Regardless if you’re bringing fish to hand on a given day use each opportunity on the water to develop your craft – casting, placement and presentation.

North Georgia and WNC offer a much better variety of water and significantly less fishing pressure than the Hooch, which is one of my least favorite fisheries

Matt - August 24, 2016 - 6:41 PM

Great article and spot on. GF and I took the 101 class earlier this summer in preparation for a trip on the Snake River in the Tetons. Great refresher for myself who grew up fishing East Tennessee and excellent lesson for my GF who has never fished before. We were ready to fish immediately once we hit the river in Wyoming. While I caught 3 10 inchers, she took the day with a 16″ cutthroat. I’m hooked and she is looking forward to Montana next summer. Couldn’t have higher praise for Aaron, Bob, and Matt at Orvis, they’re fantastic.

201 is usually at Murphy Candler Park on Ashford Dunwoody.

Brad - August 24, 2016 - 9:27 PM

Best fly out there is a Lighting Bud – tie a fly worm 18″ down and you have Chattahoochee Cocaine…none of those SNIT’s can say no to one of those two hooks.

ATTN Atlanta: Miller Brother’s Pig Roast

The fine folks at Miller Brother’s are celebrating the college football kickoff with a pig roast and tailgate party at their place on September 3rd from 12-3PM.  Come on down and grab a bite before you head down to the Dome for the UGA vs. North Carolina game.  See you there!

Miller Brother’s
3207 Paces Ferry Place
Atlanta, GA 30305

Drake’s Autumn/Winter ’16 Look

Since Fall is getting close, you are about to see a barrage brand catalogs in the form of emails, social media, and carrier pigeon announcing their new lines.  It’s about time…this time of year is the sweet spot for quite a few of my favorite brands.  Today we are happy to show off the good work from Drake’s.  The London-based company’s lookbook features the British designer, writer and man-about-town Jason Jules and model Eshan Kali, individuals who are both noted for their style.  Under the direction of Drake’s Creative Director Michael Hill, the lookbook represents the most complete collection yet; a diverse, confident and refined expression of the brand’s aesthetic.

This season for the first time, Drake’s will be offering their own British-made denim and dress trousers, allowing the brand to complete the ensemble and tell its full story.

The collection draws on Britain’s deep connection to the land and outdoors, pairing it seamlessly with Drake’s everyday wearable design philosophy.  Jackets are both rustic and elegant.  Ties, scarves and pocket squares focus on texture and handcraft, featuring a broad range of new designs and some reinterpreted classics.  The theme of texture continues across the brand’s brushed cotton shirting and beautiful lambswool and Donegal knitwear.

Here’s what I like about Drake’s: They create a handsome, luxurious pop to a traditionally traditional look.  They are a British version of Sid Mashburn.  There are elements of weekend casual for 007, as well as dressier options for an RSVP’ed Saturday night party.  They do such a good job of making high end menswear dressy, rustic, and Earthy.  These pieces are built for every man.

See for yourself:

Visit Drakes.com to get down to business.

Cory - August 22, 2016 - 11:40 AM

Damn! Could I have one of everything, please? What a lookbook!

Fall Wish List

With Fall just around the corner, I have been taking stock of what’s in my closet, as well as what’s in storage.  Over the next couple months, I will begin the transition of bringing all my cold weather stuff out of storage and packing my warm weather stuff so it can hibernate for the winter.  This is also when I do a purge.  This years’ purge will be biblical.

It’s this time of year that I look for holes in my wardrobe; pieces that I’d like to add to round out not only my closet, but to keep up with my slowly evolving style.  Right now I’m really excited about adding texture to my fall and winter wardrobe.  Oxford cloth and wool trousers will be a major part of the rotation, but there are a few key pieces I’d like to add.  Here’s what I have my eye on:

From top left:

1. Solid Brushed Dress Shirts (Ledbury):  I have one brushed cotton shirt from New England Shirt Company and I absolutely love it.  Sure, it’s a form of flannel, but it’s cut like a dress shirt.  I’d like to add a couple more this year.  These are dressy enough to work under a tweed jacket, and thick enough to go without a sweater.  No starch…that would defeat the purpose.
2. Natural Cashmere Sweater (Johnstons of Elgin):  Mrs. RCS got me a medium grey cashmere v-neck from Sid a couple years ago, and I wear it all the time.  It’s a very versatile piece that goes with almost everything.  I actually found myself dressing it down with a beat up oxford, jeans, and boots more often than not.  I’d like to add a natural colored cashmere sweater this year.  Maybe a cable-knot option like this one from Johnstons.
3. Solid Tweed Wool Jacket (Drake’s):  I have so many tweed jackets, but they all have some sort of herringbone, windowpane, or funky design.  I love all of them, don’t get me wrong, but this year I want a solid wool tweed jacket.  Something that I don’t mind wearing over a plaid shirt.  This jacket from Drakes may be the perfect option.
4. Green Wool Trousers (Sid Mashburn): I have plenty of grey and blue trousers, but no green.  Why?  I don’t know, as it’s a great Earthy color that can spruce up a winter wardrobe.  Pair these with a blue oxford, #2, and #7 and you are in business.  Remember: dark green is a neutral.  It goes with almost everything.
5. A 1″ Alligator Belt Strap (Trafalgar):  I have the Trafalgar monogrammed buckle, and my current strap has just about had it.  I want to upgrade to an alligator strap, but only want a 1″ job.  Sure, it can accommodate a 1 3/8″ strap, but I want something a little more streamlined.
6. A Shooting / Commando Sweater (Ball & Buck):  I saw this last year at Ball and Buck’s pop up in Atlanta, and am kicking myself for not picking on up.  I have plenty normal sweaters, but want to add something a little more rugged.  I’m wearing jeans a lot more, and this hunter green option from some of Boston’s best is right up my ally.
7. Chocolate Suede Tassel Loafers (Sid Mashburn):  I don’t think there is a better dress shoe for Fall and Winter than a chocolate suede tassel loafer.  And I haven’t pulled the trigger on a pair. Big miss.  They look great with almost everything, a pair of jeans (blue, tan, cream…), any grey or navy (or green!) trousers, or any well cut chinos.  Being that I’m such a tassel loafer guy, these may make it into my closet before long.  Don’t forget shoe trees, and a suede brush.
8. A Quilted Pullover (Patagonia):  I’m a huge fan of the Better Sweater (as is just about everyone else), but this quilted snap-t is a great vintage look for weekend casual.  To any owners: how is this cut?  Is it wide (like most Snap Ts), or is it a little on the slimmer side?
9. Medium Brown Chelsea Boots (George Brown BILT):  I’ve got two pairs of Chelsea boots now, and I wear them both quite a bit.  The problem is that they are both dark brown, and look pretty formal.  I’d like to add a pair of medium/snuff brown suede chelsea boots to the line up.  I like the look with jeans and #6…  These George Browns are great, and so are the R.M. Williams option, if I could find them in the states.

That’s my list…what’s caught your eye?  Anything good?

Tyler Bankhead - August 19, 2016 - 9:48 AM

Great roundup Jay! I really like the green trousers, I’ve been hesitant to add these to my rotation for sometime but it looks like this year might be the year. I’m a proud owner in the Patagonia you have listed at #8. If you can imagine a fit in between your Snap-T and the Better Sweater, thats where this jacket falls. Out of the box it’s a little slim but with time does stretch slightly but still retains its shape. I would certainly recommend hang drying as the material will shrink up substantially in the dryer. Hope this helps!

Ryan - August 19, 2016 - 10:04 AM

The quilted snap-t is cut WAY slimmer than a traditional snap t. I went up a size and it’s still a slimmer cut than my other snap-ts.

Edwin Bell - August 19, 2016 - 10:07 AM

Buy the RM’s from this guy. Bought Gardners from them – great price and cheap delivery

http://www.bootsonline.com.au/boots/comfort-craftsman-brown-suede/

Seth - August 19, 2016 - 10:18 AM

Snag the RM Williams Chelsea boots from their website, the US dollar is strong against the AUS…

Mike - August 19, 2016 - 11:07 AM

Hot tip on the suede loafers – wait until the next F&F sale at BB and you can pick up their brown suede Alden tassels for ~$385 or so. I bought them in snuff last year, and they’re among my most worn shoes. I plan on snagging the brown suede next go around.

James - August 19, 2016 - 11:47 AM

I have a pair of chocolate suede tassels from Alfred Sargent that I’m wearing right now. Definitely a very versatile shoe. I’ve been drooling over that Patagonia snap-t for weeks but I think the Mrs. would kill me if I added to an already large collection of those….

Nem - August 22, 2016 - 8:59 AM

Try eBay seller “epboots” for custom made genuine alligator straps in all widths. I have 2 from him and they are of a quality far and away better than most overpriced mass production units. 1 1/8″ deep gloss brown for my sterling slide, and a 1″ chestnut brown matte for my ancient brass prong monogram plate. You’ll be pleased.

August Trip to Scott’s

Full Disclosure: Mrs. RCS and I are neck-deep in our kitchen renovation.  We have been without a kitchen for two months, and this has taken a toll on our livelihood inside the house.  Living without a kitchen is tough.  With only a few weeks left, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and we can’t wait.

Since we bought the house last Fall, our focus has been on furnishing the house, which can become an expensive venture.  Our style isn’t from the typical Pottery Barn/Restoration Hardware/Ballard’s-everything look.  Of course we have a few pieces from those stores, but the majority was scored at antique stores, flea markets, and, mostly Scott’s Antique Market.  It is one of our monthly hobbies – we really enjoy going down together every month.

For those of you that aren’t familiar, Scott’s is a once-a-month event that happens just south of Atlanta at the Exposition Center.  The market encompasses two buildings that are roughly the size of four Wal-Marts, each packed with home decor, rugs, art, memorabilia, textiles, chachkies, some junk, and a lot of antique furniture.  Think of it as mix between an antique shop, an interior furnishings store, a flea market, and a thrift store.

Over the last 10-11 months, we have spent A LOT of time at Scott’s.

Since it is so big, you have to go with a plan.  Showing up to look around is too overwhelming and not much fun. In our new kitchen, we have a spot where we need a piece of furniture with drawers, with very specific size requirements for the space.  We are also in the market for art, a new desk for Mrs. RCS, and furniture pieces for our back deck.  You have to go with a plan, folks.  This is rule #1.

We showed up Sunday in comfortable shoes, with a tape measurer and our checkbook in hand.  Here’s how it went:

First, we needed to fill the spot in our kitchen.  We found 10 or so pieces we liked, but only a few that were sized appropriately. This first one was an early 20th C. French piece that was very nice, but didn’t really have the ‘umph’ we were going for…

 

This chest was our second contender, as we both really liked the bowed front, but it was pricy.  This one is very old, from England, and in outstanding shape.  We have purchased from this dealer before, and they are great.

 

Funny enough, we turned around and saw this one.  Bingo.  Big, fat handles for easy access, a beautiful patina, plenty of character, and it is perfectly sized for the niche it will live in.  Check and check.  Old, English, and in outstanding condition.  This one came home with us.

 

We always look for art when we are at Scott’s.  We have had some GREAT luck, finding three Peter Keil paintings at fair prices.  Patience is required while hunting for art at Scott’s, but there is plenty of good stuff if you know where to look.  Mrs. RCS has excellent taste in art, and she tolerates my style…

We should have bought this one – we have a perfect spot and the price was great.  I guarantee we’ll look for this one next month:

 

The subject of the next painting is somewhat funny, but it was extremely well done.  Perfect for a bathroom. You laugh, but the Mrs. was ready to pull the trigger on her immediately.

 

Lastly, this pheasant was very handsome, but a bit overpriced.  There were 100 paintings of pheasants at Scott’s, so we didn’t miss anything. And the Mrs. isn’t into pheasants.

 

Mrs. RCS really liked this desk.  We passed, but I don’t know if we should have… The picture doesn’t do justice…

 

We are very lucky in that we have a really large back deck.  We’ve made a few purchases, be we aren’t the matching-set type. We want our outdoor space to be comfortable and useful, which means we are putting it together as we find pieces.   I came across this market table and am kicking myself for not buying it.  The table is 70″ long, and could be a perfect coffee table with shortened legs.  If this is at Scott’s next month, it will come home with us.

 

This was another work table that I really liked.  It is bar height, and would be great with some stools underneath as an outdoor dining table, it could work as a bar, or as it was originally intended: as a work table.  It was a little more than I wanted to spend, so we passed.  Not much immediate remorse for this one, but the more I think about it, the more something like this makes sense for our home if Mrs. RCS can be convinced.

 

There are a couple vendors that we know and like always peddling random wares, and we always check out their stuff. This last weekend was no different.  Mrs RCS didn’t pick a silver pattern (or china) before our wedding because a) we didn’t have room, and b) we enjoy hunting for sterling sets with these guys. This is one of our favorites:

 

And the official winner of the ‘I’m kicking myself for not buying’ goes to these vintage French chairs, with kilim upholstery.  These are so unique and stole the show.  Looking back on it, we really should have gotten these, but Mrs. RCS will have to find a home for them first. These were from another dealer that we’ve bought from before, so we may give them a call and see if they are still available…

Are you a Scott’s person?  Ever find anything good?  More to come next month…

Kim - August 16, 2016 - 4:54 PM

Oh yes, tons of things here in my house from Scott. I’ve scored so many good finds there, but since now all I’m looking for is a couple of candle sconces, my visits have tapered off. When the daughters are ready for stage 2 of decorating, we’ll hit it again, but right now they are in saving$$/usewhatyoualreadyhave mode. My house is “Southern with a French twist”, Daughter #2 is “British Colonial/West Indies” traditional and Daughter #1 has a Postwar Bungalow in East Nashville that we just did with some industrial touches and lots of travel type stuff.

I get lost in the maps and prints and old books. I could stay there all day.

jay - August 17, 2016 - 1:53 AM

You know some of that shit is haunted. Be careful what you bring in.

Nem - August 17, 2016 - 5:50 PM

Going on Sunday is a smart play. Most vendors are ready to make deals on Sunday while packing unsold items to take back to their warehouse.

But, you missed the real hero at SAM. The chicken salad.

JAG - August 18, 2016 - 3:12 PM

What’s the link to those Spotify playlists?