Early Spring Prep: Needlepoint Belt Giveaway With Smathers & Branson

I’d love to say that Spring is just around the corner, but it’s still a couple of months away.  No reason to put off getting your wardrobe in shape…

We’re teaming up with the good folks at Smathers & Branson to hurry along the Spring season by giving away any in-stock, non-monogrammed needlepoint belt.  That’s right: one lucky reader gets a belt of their choice.  Leave a comment to this post for your chance to win.

For additional entries:

  • +1 (2 Total) ‘Like’ Smathers & Branson on Facebook
  • +1 (3 Total) ‘Like’ Red Clay Soul on Facebook
  • +1 (4 Total) ‘Follow’ Smathers & Branson on Twitter
  • +1 (5 Total) ’Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Twitter
  • +1 (6 Total) ‘Follow’ Smathers & Branson on Instagram
  • +1 (7 Total) ‘Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Instagram
  • +1 (6 Total) Tweet the following about the giveaway ‘Thank God Spring is coming..I entered to win a needlepoint belt from @SandBBelts and @redclaysoul Enter here: http://www.redclaysoul.com/?p=7261’

Entries must be in by midnight on Monday, February 9th.  I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday, February 10th around lunchtime.

Special thanks to Smathers & Branson for providing the goods for the giveaway…

Happy Groundhog Day

“It’s Groundhog Day….again…”


Super Bowl Commercials – And A Cool Bit of History

Regardless of tonight’s game, I do enjoy marketing.  Especially Super Bowl marketing.  The ad-space is so expensive that companies take a ‘going for the green in two’ mentality.  Some are huge misses, and some are huge successes.  Some of the best, and consistent campaigns have been from some of the bigger brands.  Pepsi (Cindy Crawford), Coca Cola, McDonalds, Snickers, Apple, and GoDaddy have been knocking it out of the park for years.

One of the biggest marketing successes is from a brands that is synonymous with the Super Bowl: Budweiser.  Now, the commercials are great; generally some sort of Americana with horses and now, puppies.  Being a history buff, I was pretty jazzed to find this little nugget about the Clydesdales…I think you’ll enjoy it:


So let’s talk…what’s your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?  Leave a comment with your pick…

My pick?: Terry Tate, Office Linebacker (Reebok).

50% off Sitewide at Onward Reserve


Folks – Onward Reserve is doing their annual 50% off site wide sale…seriously…get over there quick.  I’ve already put a dent in my bank account, let’s see what sort of damage you can do.



A Deeper Shade of Tweed

My guess is that the majority of us don’t wear a bullet proof vest everyday.  While the necessity to stop stray bullets may not be a daily requirement, the ability to stay warm and look good is always at the top of the list.  This is where tweed jackets enter the picture.  Probably one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe, a tweed jacket is an absolute must have for guys.

First, they are very warm.  They are made of a thick wool tweed, and do a great job of blocking the wind.  The jackets are a great layer of warmth, and can be worn over a dress shirt and sweater (see #2 below) or alone with a tie (#1, #4, and #7).  Besides all the functionality that tweed jackets provide, they look great.  There really isn’t a plaid that hasn’t been tweeded up for a jacket.  The vast majority are seasonal, with darker hues and checks blending in to the cold surroundings.  Some tweed jackets are solid, but the texture gives them depth; much more so than a navy blazer.

I have a collection of tweed jackets that makes Mrs. RCS want to call Hoarders.  I don’t care…I wear them all the time.  Honestly, I wear them with everything – the only caveat being that I wear solids underneath the jacket.  No bold plaids, as not to look like a 70’s lounge.  Maybe a tattersall shirt.  As with everything else we wear: fit is key.  Be sure that they aren’t too boxy, but give yourself an extra inch in the chest to account for that sweater.  Oh – and extra points for leather buttons.

From Top Left:

1. J. Crew Ludlow Tweed Jacket:  A good example of a solid tweed.  For the more conservative, anti-plaid type.  The grey will work with everything, and the Ludlow cut is excellent for an OTR option.
2. Harris Tweed Taransay Wool Sport Coat:  Olive tweed herringbone with a faint orange windowpane?  Yeah – that’ll work.
3. L.L. Bean Slim Fit Signature Tweed Sport Coat:  LL Bean is an excellent source for tweed, and this glen plaid option is outstanding.  Not only is it offered in a slim fit, it is also on sale…and a GREAT price.
4. Bloomingdale’s Harris Tweed Jacket:  An example of the tweeds available on Ebay.  Just be sure to know your measurements, and check the return policy.  If it all lines up, you can find some AWESOME deals on Ebay.
5. Orvis Laksen Dorset Tweed Jacket:  For a more sporty look, opt for the collar button and leather elbow patches like this jacket from Orvis.  Gold star for the ticket pocket.
6. Harris Tweed Shop Patrick Jacket:  This has everything you’d ever need from a tweed jacket: an awesome check, great fit, leather buttons, and shipping from across the pond.
7. O’Connell’s Grey Herringbone Harris Tweed Sport Coat:  I’d venture that O’Connell’s is THE place for tweed in the States.  This is the iconic Grey Herringbone pattern that your Grandfather wore…it hasn’t, and won’t, go out of style.
8. Brooks Brothers Harris Tweed Blackwatch Plaid Sport Coat:  Tweed + Blackwatch Plaid = Yes.

What’s even better?  Most of them are on sale now…so stock up.

Alright, Alright, Alright…

It’s award season, so we are constantly inundated with the red carpet and after party photos of Hollywood’s finest.  After a while, it all starts to blend together.  Black tuxes with little variation.  Of course, 90% of them look just fine, with the only variation being a shawl vs. peak lapel.  You’ll see some velvet or some off-colored dress shirts, but it’s almost exclusively a black and white look.

Today, this picture popped up from the SAG Awards:

Our man Wooderson doing is RIGHT in this royal blue dinner jacket.  Kudos, Mr. McConaughey.  I’m a big fan.  I like a traditional black tuxedo…I own one.  But I will absolutely get on board with this look.  This ranks right up there with the white dinner jacket he wore and some other award show a couple months ago.

To pull something like this off, you have to have the right attitude.  It’s safe to say he carries one of those along with him.  What say you?

Image: Getty Images

Advice: Winter Boots?


I’m in the market for a pair of winter boots.  I’m looking for something that is relatively casual, but can be dressed up.  Rubber sole, relatively inexpensive, but built to last.  Caveat: I’m not looking for something as utilitarian as Bean boots, or as dressy as lace up John Lobbs.  Something in the middle.  Right now I’m leaning towards these Blundstone 585s:

What do you think?  I like the price point, and I like the style.  Do any of you have any experience with Blundstone?  Any other boots I should be looking at?  Lemme know in the comments section.