I make one exception for wearing socks: boots. You can’t do boots without socks. There really isn’t a boot season anymore, as they are a part of any long-pants wardrobe. That said, colder weather lends itself to many more boot options. I like to think there are three categories of boots:
First, dress boots. These are the boots that are essentially tall dress shoes. Typically leather bottoms or some sort of dress rubber sole, like Dianite. These are typically treated just like dress shoes: polish, brush, shoe trees, etc. Suede for extra points.
Second, work boots: Boots that only look sort-of out of place on a hipster wearing skin tight black jeans. Brands like Red Wing, Wolverine, Truman, and Blundstone all fit here. Don’t let the bearded hipster scare you off, they are great boots for us in the middle 80%. Good with jeans and khakis, or with a more rugged pair of canvas pants. Keep them clean, while allowing the patina develop.
Lastly, utility boots: These are the boots that serve a specific purpose. Duck boots and field boots fit this mold. Gore Tex is a must. Easily transitioned into normal, non-dressy wear. My entire pledge class wore duck boots because, well, we needed to wear duck boots. You get it.
Here is a rundown of some great boot options. Some you know, some you don’t. Here we go:
From top left:
1. Cobbler Union Chukka II Boots: A very dressy option for colder months The ankle height gives these boots a somewhat heavier feel, but the sleek vamp and toe give them a sleek and sophisticated look. The price point is right on for a boot of this quality.
2. Loake 1880 Chatsworth Suede Chelsea Boots: Chelsea boots have become my post-grad way to maintain some level of cool. I lived in boots back in the day, and while something like #10 isn’t appropriate for an office environment, these give me a a chance to keep it real. And suede…bring it.
3. Alden Unlined Chukka Boots: I have a couple pairs of these and wear them to death. They look great with jeans and khakis, and are much more dressy than a normal desert boot. Treat these like dress shoes (cedar shoe trees) and they will do you right.
4. Frye Weston Chelsea Boots: I’ve started wearing black dress shoes more and more. I’ve got a nice pair of cap toes and some Barker Black Wolfes that I love, but want to add some black Chelsea boots to the arsenal. Not only are they great around the office, but they work with a tuxedo when it’s too wet for velvet loafers.
5. Blundstone 561 Work Boots: Easy-on work boots with a style all their own. Will this be the year you add a pair of Blundstones to your rotation? Be sure to try them on before buying – the sizing is tricky.
6. Bean Boots by LL Bean: What is there to say about the iconic Bean Boots that hasn’t been said? When it’s wet, this is what you need. Period.
7. Truman Boot Company Iceberg Kudu Pull On Boots: These look completely badass. I love the Truman story, and want to support an American-made company. The grey Kudu will patina extremely well. I like these with dark jeans, an oxford, and a lambswool sweater.
8. Dubarry Kildare Boots: The utility boots you need to own. They are lightweight, very comfortable, and Gore-tex lined. Great for walks with the dog, fly fishing on the bank, and sloshing through some nasty winter weather. Need to keep your feet dry? Here you go.
9. Tecovas Earl Boots: While I have a pair of cowboy boots, I’m easing into ropers. The simple fact is that I wear them more. Quite a few of my friends have ordered the Tecovas, and all of them rave about them. Mine will arrive in October, and needless to say, I can’t wait.
10: Red Wing 1178 Work Boots: I just got a pair of these to replace my old work boots from college (they were also Red Wings – of the 1155 variety). You know what you get from Red Wing: tough, and cool boots. These fit the bill. If these last as long as those, then I’m in for a very good value proposition.
What did I miss?
I’ve been a big fan of the Omega Speedmaster for quite some time. First introduced in 1957 as a sports and racing chronograph, it has a storied history including being the first watch to walk on the moon.
Time and Watches did an excellent historical piece on the Speedmaster. An excerpt:
Beginning in about 1962, NASA purchased a series of chronographs of different brands including Breitling, Longines, Omega, Rolex and others with the task of finding the best watch available for their astronauts to wear in space.
When NASA received the watches, they were subjected to a series of tests and pre-selection processes called the “Qualification Test Procedures”. Only three watches out of six chronographs successfully survived this arduous pre-selection phase. The finalists were then subjected to 11 different tests – the most rigorous trials endured in the history of horology:
1. High temperature: 48 hours at a temperature of 160°F (71°C) followed by 30 minutes at 200°F (93°C).
2. Low temperature: 4 hours at a temperature of 0°F (-18°C).
3. Temperature-Pressure: 15 cycles of heating to 71°C for 45 minutes, followed by cooling to -18°C for 45 minutes at 10−6 atm.
4. Relative humidity: 240 hours at temperatures varying between 68°F and 160°F (20°C and 71°C) in a relative humidity of at least 95%.
5. Oxygen atmosphere: 48 hours in an atmosphere of 100% oxygen at a pressure of 0.35 atm.
6. Shock: Six shocks of 40 G, each 11 milliseconds in duration, in six different directions.
7. Acceleration: From 1 G to 7.25 G within 333 seconds, along an axis parallel to the longitudinal spacecraft axis.
8. Decompression: 90 minutes in a vacuum of 10-6 atm at a temperature of 160°F (71°C) and 30 minutes at 200°F (93°C).
9. High pressure: 1.6 atm for a minimum period of one hour.
10. Vibration: Three cycles of 30 minutes vibration varying from 5 to 2000 Hz.
11. Acoustic noise: 130 db over a frequency range of 40 to 10,000 Hz, duration 30 minutes.
On March 1, 1965, the test results were completed and only the Omega Speedmaster passed. At the time, NASA’s testers wrote, “Operational and environmental tests of the three selected chronographs have been completed; and, as a result of the test, Omega chronographs have been calibrated and issued to three members of the Gemini Titan III crews.”
On the 20th of July, 1969 the first manned lunar landing was certainly one of the most dramatic scientific achievement in human history. Neil Armstrong was the first to step onto the moon’s surface. Since the electronic timing system on the Lunar Module was not functioning correctly, Armstrong had left his watch aboard as a reliable backup. Nineteen minutes later he was joined by Buzz Aldrin, who was wearing his Omega Speedmaster Professional was the first watch worn on the moon. It was a Omega Speedmaster Professional with a Calibre 321 movement. A few months after this mission, Buzz’s watch was stolen and never returned.
…and Omega rode this in their advertising:
More Speedmaster history from Hodinkee, and Hodinkee again, and a Buyer’s Guide from Fratello.
Good stuff, Omega. All the right stuff…
I am giddy. College Football Season is FINALLY here. There are a few times a year where I have a visceral feeling…and at the start of Fall, on that first Saturday when all the talking stops, and the playing starts.
Mrs. RCS and I bought a house, and this will be our first season here. We are entertainers, and have a great family room with plenty of seating, and a big back porch to accommodate friends and family on Saturdays. We are all BIG college football people. It’s as much a culture thing for us as it is a seasonal thing. Our combined families have connections to a TON of teams, so there’s always a game worth watching. Our worlds all revolve around Saturdays from Labor Day through Thanksgiving, then Bowl Season.
Over the years I’ve done a good job of accepting losses, and not going to bed in a rage. Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age. Or maybe I’m better at acceptance. Either way, there’s always next week. I do get pissed, but it’s relative. We’ve been looking at our calendars and we are going to try and get to a few games this year. I’m sure we’ll head to Athens, as well as North Avenue. I’d love to get down to Auburn, as well as over to Carrollton (West Georgia is ranked #2 in the country, and it’s only an hour away). I will always try to get to a few live games a year. Even though TV coverage is incredible, nothing replaces the feeling of being in the stands.
Game ticket from the first game at Sanford Stadium (1929)
With that said, I’m ready to rock. I’ve done my research, I listen to sports talk radio, follow the right folks on Twitter, and read quite a bit on line. I feel as though I’m my own authority on College Football right now, without there having been a single snap in the 2016 season. Let’s get started: the Red Clay Soul Playoff Picks:
How they’ll finish:
1. Clemson. Deshaun Watson is as good as we will ever see. NFL teams are going to try and lose this year so they can draft him. The defense will be hungrier this year, and don’t think the National Championship game hasn’t been the perfect motivator for this team to press the accelerator that much more.
2. Alabama. How do you pick against the Crimson Tide? They reload every year, and seem to be in the mix. My prediction is a higher scoring team this year, with a crop of receivers that will ALL be in the NFL. Not only that, but this year’s Crimson Tide defensive front may be one of the best ever.
3. Oklahoma. This is a loaded Oklahoma team, and the only things they have to worry about are teams they play. I’d be more worried about Houston opening week rather than the Ohio State game on September 17th. The Buckeyes come to Norman, and might get rolled by 20. If so, they’ll be #2 or #3 all year long.
4. LSU. Notre Dame fans go insane. They try and argue that they deserve to be there because they went .500. The reality is that LSU is good. After this season, Leonard Fournette will be talked about in the same discussions as Herschel and Bo. The rest of the team will ride his success and Heisman Trophy to the College Football Playoff.
Next, let’s talk about the teams to watch:
Texas: The Longhorns get 9 wins this year, and make their way to a respectable bowl game. With Baylor down the tubes, Texas starts the rebuilding process and starts putting together a team that can compete for the Big 12 title.
Tennessee: There are so many people calling for BIG things from Tennessee, but they aren’t that good…yet. They have all the pieces to win the East, but let’s not forget: they are Tennessee. There’s a Vandy/Kentucky loss waiting to happen. Still, 9 wins minimum.
Georgia: A new coach, and it looks like they’ll be starting a freshman at QB. Being an optimist, I think we get 9 wins. That would be a successful year, and the beginning of big things in Athens.
Finally, and most importantly, here is the RCS take on this seasons’ disappointments:
Georgia Tech: Paul Johnson continues to run a flag football offense and a ‘speed’ defense in the middle of the most fertile recruiting in the country, where none of those players want to play at Georgia Tech. I’m married to a Yellow Jacket, so I have skin in this game. Time is the only variable for Paul Johnson. Tech can get rid of him soon enough.
South Carolina: Will Muschamp, huh? Yeah, good call. They don’t go .500 this year. Muschamp blames it on something stupid like ‘facilities’, but he can’t recruit, he can’t coach, and he can’t keep his composure. He’ll be a defensive coordinator in less than three seasons.
Notre Dame: A disappointment because the won’t get to the college football playoff, which is music to any college football fan except those that pull for Notre Dame. Now that Lou Holtz has retired, who is going to blindly sing Notre Dame’s praises? No one. Losses to Texas, Michigan State, Stanford, Miami, and USC will land them in Shreveport for the Weed Eater Bowl. Who cares.
We are going to do quite a bit more college football coverage on the blog this year. Some of it you’ll agree with, and some of it you won’t. That’s what makes college football so good. We don’t have to agree. Feel free to leave your comments below. I’d love to hear how brilliant, or how much of an idiot you think I am. College football invokes passion, so be fanatical.
Team – the Legendary Vince Dooley will be signing his Penley book at the Onward Reserve store in Buckhead this Friday from 4-6PM. To top it off, the Varsity will be on hand to quench that college football pallet.
Onward Reserve is located at 3072 Early Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30305
See you there!
Always looking to expand the wardrobe, I’ve had my eye on this unique jacket ever since I saw these images of Bill Cunningham (RIP) back in 2013:
Not quite a blazer, but still a simple piece of outerwear, this is a “Chore Coat”. And it’s a utility coat for the masses.
The chore coat (or chore jacket, work jacket, etc) originated in France, and hs had a bit of a resurgence over the last few years. They were typically constructed out of some form of denim, either a heavily indigo’ed version or as a lightweight option in chambray or linen. They usually had two large pockets across the midsection, and one or two chest pockets. Very utilitarian:
Vintage French Chore Coat
Today, chore coats are made in a variety of styles out of almost every fabric you can think of. They all share the same general characteristics: big pockets and buttons to the neck. I really like the idea of adding a chore coat to my lineup. Specifically for days that I don’t want to wear a blazer, but need some sort of non-vest outerwear. One thing is 100% certain: no matter how cool my chore coat is, I will NEVER be as cool as this guy:
With that said, there are quite a few good ones on the market. I look at these as a ‘business casual’ type of outerwear, but still very versatile. I would wear this with jeans and boots over an oxford, or as a coat over a sweater and chinos with loafers. Since it’s a coat, get one that is a neutral. Navy blues, tans, or olives. If you want something louder, get a sport coat. Here is the rundown of ones I’m considering:
From top left:
1 Aether Apparel Bowery Chore Coat: Aether does GREAT work, and this chore coat is no exception. This one falls in the middle – it can be dressed up or dressed down. The zipper on the arm gives it a modern twist, but not in a negative sense.
2. Apolis Indigo Wool Chore Jacket: This is an iconic interpretation of the of the chore jacket, and one of the pieces that Apolis is known for. The navy wool formalized this version, so it is good for the dressier type. I’m leaning towards this one or #1.
3. Copin Chore Coat: Very simple, and tan. Mid-range, essentially a casual jacket that can be worn almost anywhere. Boots and jeans preferred.
4. J. Crew X Wallace & Barnes Chore Coat: A good, very unconstructed version of the chore coat. Essentially a work shirt with front pockets. For the minimalist.
5. Iron & Resin Industry Chore Coat: A cool green look, and exposed rivets give it a military vibe. More casual than dressy, this coat ranks low on the ‘formal’ scale, but high on the ‘tough and cool’ scale. Don’t sleep on green.
6. Pointer Brand Duck Chore Coat: This is the duck canvas, tough, roughneck version of the chore coat. For the boot-everyday folks. The thick tan canvas wakes up the Filson and Carhartt senses, and the light lining makes this a little more winter-friendly. The label and the green writing on the buttons are nice touches. I’m tempted to get one of these and do some modifications: First, wash it about 25 times. Second, have the collar rounded (like this dude):
Beyond these, you can find some vintage models on Etsy that are worth a look.
Remember, folks, it ain’t all blazers and gunboats. Have fun, after you get your chores done.
It’s been a while, and it’s time to back on the giveaway train. We are starting off with a home run from our DC friends Read Wall. These guys are redefining custom work at their DC showroom as well as online. They make insanely cool sport coats and suits, they have a trouser section, and their sport shirts are 100% on point. They offer solids, stripes, and gingham in just the right colors. The spread collars give them a grown up look that works with or without a tie, under a sport coat or on it’s own, and these only get better with age. I’ve had mine for about a year, and can attest.
One lucky reader is going to score their choice of one of these sport shirts. Leave a comment to this post with your favorite shirt to enter. For additional entries:
- +1 (2 Total) ‘Like’ Read Wall on Facebook
- +1 (3 Total) ‘Like’ Red Clay Soul on Facebook
- +1 (4 Total) ‘Follow’ Read Wall on Instagram
- +1 (5 Total) ‘Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Instagram
- +1 (8 Total) Tweet the following about the giveaway ‘I’m getting on board with @READWALL1 and @redclaysoul by entering to win a top-shelf sport shirt. Enter here: http://www.redclaysoul.com/?p=10345’
Get your entries in by midnight ET on Sunday, September 4th, and I’ll let everyone know the winner on Monday around lunchtime. Good luck!
Special thanks to Read Wall for providing the shirt for the giveaway.
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.