MRS Red Clay Soul Gift Guide: For the Women You Love

A lot of you guys have questions about what to get the ladies.  I am not qualified to answer.  At all.  Instead, I turned to Mrs. RCS, who is more stylish than all of us put together.  Let’s take a little break from the standard RCS gift guides and let the finer sex have a go…this one is for the women that you love:

It’s almost that most wonderful time of the year, guys. Each year, a growing number of my guy friends, brothers-in-law, coworkers, and now, my husband, quietly ask for help and advise for gifts for their women. For their baby sisters, older sisters, mothers and grandmothers, sisters-in-law, best friends. My advise is typically the same: just be thoughtful. Think of what she enjoys, and go from there. This list is by no means all inclusive, but it should have something, or more likely, many things, that any of the girls/chics/women in your life will truly appreciate.

 

1. BKR Bottle in Kitten: Yes, this is a fancy water bottle. She will love it, regardless of how often she hits the barre, the mat, the pavement or the gym. They are available in any trendy color, but even the pink wary will enjoy this cute hue.
2. Rodin Crema: We ladies love a great hand cream, and Rodin is the best. It’s rich but still light, and won’t leave her hands greasy or overly scented.
3. Sip & Savor: Drinks for Party & Porch by James Farmer: James can do no wrong in my mind, and there is not a woman in your life that won’t enjoy the stories, photographs and yes, recipes, in this great collection.  Everything is beautiful, tasty and inspiring.
4. Brass Pineapple: What does she collect or love? Pineapples, old winding clocks, vintage barware? Check sites like 1st dibs and Chairish and don’t neglect vintage shops in your neighborhood. Have an eye out for things that are uniquely special to her, and the effort won’t go unnoticed.
5. Harper Cuff by Julie Vos: This is for every girl. Classic and fun and perfect, regardless of her age.
6. Ella Mae Bread Board by Lamon Luther: Women love to host, so most of us have the cheese boards, serving bowls and platters locked down. This bread board is a welcome and oft overlooked staple! These beauties are made locally in Atlanta from reclaimed oak. Check out the Lamon Luther story, and be sure to share it with her. She will love it ever more.
7. Tory Burch for Fitbit Metal Hinged Bracelet in Rose Gold: Finally a tracking bracelet that isn’t a total style killer. About time!
8. GiGi New York Uber Clutch in Cognac Embossed Python: A grown up clutch is so much more appropriate than most of what she carries.
9. Echo Touch Speckled Nep Gloves: Our hands are cold guys, and these casual gloves are fun and still stylish. The conductive thumbs and index finger tips mean she can text with, like, everyone, and still feel her fingers.
10. Hornvarefabrikken Horn Hair Hook from Ann Mashburn: A must for anyone with long hair.
11. WWake Double Rectangles Ring: More classic than trendy, this is actually two rings that can be switched around to her hearts desire.
12. Knotted Brass Beads & Tassel by Gold & Gray: She will wear this brass and leather beauty everyday.
13. Oversize Cashmere Scarf from Demylee: Every woman longs for a perfectly oversized cashmere scarf. This pick is effortlessly chic and so soft, she won’t want to leave the house before wrapping up in its goodness.
14. Delfonics Wood Ballpoint Pen in Silver: Whether she’s taking notes in class, hammering out details with a client, or just working on her crossword puzzle, this pen is a much improved choice above a bic stick.
15. Agate Coaster Set from C. Wonder: A pretty place for her cups.
16. Eccolo Concave Sterling Beaded Frame: The only gift your grandmother wants is a nice picture of you. Print a great shot of yourself with your pup, your girl or just casually posing as the great grandson she knows you are. Then put it in this classic frame and wrap. It’s all she wants, so don’t disappoint.
17. Liz Caan Cocktail Tray in Gold Splatter: Yes we all have platters and bowls and trays… but this one is splattered in Pollock-esque glittery gold and it’s really something special. I recommend coupling this with Sip & Savor.
18. Moon & Lola Like A Boss Coffee Mug: For the overachieving, type-A workaholic in your life. Or the girl that just acts like one. Either way, she probably drinks coffee.

Saturday Sales (At the Very Least)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have turned into a week or two of serious savings, and we’re here t help you take full advantage.  A lot of sales are starting today, so this week on Red Clay Soul will be very busy…keep checking back.  To get started, here’s a list of the goodies to check out:

*New*

Levi’s is doing 30% off of everything site wide.  You know how I feel about Levi’s, so here is a great opportunity to stock up.  Me?  I’d grab a pair of the Timberwolf tan 501s.  Mainly because I’ve already worn one pair out.

Nordstrom Rack has all of their winter jackets up to 50% off.  Lots of good options, especially the dress wool coats like this one by VC.  A very cool dressed up military look.

Indochino is doing up to 70% off EVERYTHING.  Pretty serious business…

North River Outfitters is offering 25% off all full priced merchandise (promo code: NOPROBLEM).  It includes just about everything on the store (except Alden), but they carry a TON of brands that 25% off would make a nice dent (Barbour, Patagonia, Bill’s, etc.).  Me?  I’d pick anything from Dale of Norway.  Incredible stuff…

Orvis is offering an extra 20% off their sale items, which is really nice because they just restocked.  Me?  I like the Quarter-Neck Sun-Soaked Sweatshirt (above) for $45 and the Running Dog T-Shirt for $11.  Both line right up with my Christmas list.

Allen Edmonds just started their Black Friday sale, knocking 25-30% off a TON of stuff.  Me?  I’m a sucker for suede chukka boots, so these Gobi’s would come home with me.

Brooks Brothers just marked ALL of their sweaters and outerwear 30% off.  All of them.  Yes, there are a TON to choose from, but the good deals will be on the cotton cashmere stuff.  The sweater above is awesome – the Mock Neck Four Button version is an outstanding deal at $68.  These go with EVERYTHING and are machine washable (DO NOT DRY).

Neiman Marcus Last Call has everything on sale.  I love it when they do this.  They have tons of good stuff, including these silk camo Magnanni slippers for $209.  Give your tuxedo a little life…

Ralph Lauren is doing 40-60% off select styles for their Thanksgiving sale.  I’m impressed with how much they are offering.  Polos for $29, loafers for $44, and scarves for $35.  No reason not to…

J. Crew is doing a big 30% off sale of their ‘Winter Picks’ (which means just about everything in the store that isn’t on sale), and an additional 30% off their sale section (which is everything else).  It’s hard to beat a Thomas Mason dress shirt (above) for $70.  That’s as good a deal as you’ll ever find.

Five Mile is running a HUGE sale on their shoes – 50-70% off EVERYTHING.  Get some good staples here, especially their Horse Bit driving mocs for $85.

Looking for a good gift for someone that’s tough to buy for?  My friend Martin Dingman has a sale on his awesome wool stadium blankets (above) for $99.  There aren’t many on your list who wouldn’t love to get one of these…

Moosejaw is running a 20% off sale on a ton of stuff – most of the store.  Included are a good bit of their Suunto watches.  Very cool watches for the outdoorsman, or the wanna-be outdoorsman.

More outdoors stuff: REI is doing a 30% off pre-Thanksgiving sale on a ton of stuff.  Seriously, too much to list – over 6500 items.  But in all honesty, you are not going to find a better deal than $169 on the Patagonia Down Sweater (in almost every color) (above).  These usually go for $229, and the sale ends tomorrow…step on it.

I’ll be updating this as I find more goodies…be sure to check back frequently…

The Red Clay Soul X Huckberry Shop

 

I’m really pleased to announce the opening of the Red Clay Soul shop over at Huckberry.  Super cool stuff….here’s my curated view of their world.  Head over and see what you think.  I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days and weeks, so be sure to check back frequently.

The J. Press Shaggy Dog

Head’s up, folks: the iconic Shaggy Dog sweaters at J. Press are on sale – 25% off!!  These never go on sale, so don’t miss your chance…lotsa colors, lotsa sizes.  Get on it.

Serious Question: Filson Rucksack?

Earlier this week, Filson released the first items from their Restoration Department.  I’ve been pretty pumped about this, and am not disappointed.  I understand the price points, and am not surprised.  There is a high value in that wear and tear.

One item they restored was a tan Rucksack (above).  Now, I haven’t been a backpack guy since I retired my Jansport back in high school, but it has made me think…  The utility could be good for my needs, but is it out of the comfort zone?  I don’t know…

I have a serious question for my readers – do any of you use the Filson Rucksack?  If so, what for?  And if you do, do you like it?

 

State Traditions Fall 2014

After doing this blog for a number of years, I’m so happy to see companies that I came to know in their infancy start to flourish.  A prime example is State Traditions, the state-inspired outfit based in Birmingham, Alabama.  When I first met the guys, they were just starting, making hats for only a few states.  I knew they had something, and they were an inspired trio working diligently to make their vision a reality.  I year or so later, they had moved and outgrown their first space, with an expanded lineup of visors, belts and t-shirts.  Now they are firing on all cylinders, offering a full line of menswear in the theme of their state inspired goods.  I really am happy that I’ve been along for the ride.

They recently released a full line of new fall goods for the masses, and they asked me to take a look.

First, the tattersall Sportsman shirts.  Offered in the same state inspired colors (see the Athens, Georgia version above), they are a dressed up version of a gameday shirt that easily transitions from the tailgate to the office.  The state logo is unassuming on the front pocket, and the theme colored button thread is a dressy touch.  The fit is good; not too boxy but not slim cut.  I’m a medium, and it fits great on it’s own, and isn’t bulky under a sport coat or a sweater.

State Traditions has offered belts for some time, but these new embroidered options are a step up.  The level of quality is very high, with detailed threading and really nice leather.  The colors are neutral, and I’m excited to sport this with khakis and loafers.  Again, a dressed of version for the discriminating fan that doesn’t buy their gameday gear at the gas station.

They really knocked it out of the park with their cotton and cashmere quarter-zip sweaters.  They bent the rules a bit with these by offering them in an array of primary colors with a small state logo on the chest:

There is cashmere involved, so it’s as soft as it gets, but it’s still machine washable – just don’t dry it.  I’m a big fan of this green sweater with a brown Georgia state logo on the chest.  Just right for this time of year.

Lastly, they’ve released a line of vests and jackets for a limited number of states.  These are exactly what you’d expect: a very versatile piece that goes with everything.  This grey vest with crimson trim is different than anything else out there.  They come with and without the state embroidered on the left chest.  Instead of the state, I’m letting the colors speak for themselves.

Smart moves.  That’s what it takes to stay relevant after a fast start, and State Traditions is winning the chess game.  Good products, good price points, and good style is a winning combination.  Be sure to let Santa know what you’ve got your eye on…

Hands On: Billy Reid’s MSL Denim

With much fanfare, Alabama homeboy Billy Reid released his MSL-ALA denim at the end of last month.  These jeans are machine sewn in the US, and are made of Japanese selvedge denim.  The bright brass details are a really nice touch.  What’s cool about this release is that they are available in a regular cut and a slim cut, both in three different washes: dry (raw), 6-month wash, and 12-month wash.  Billy Reid rarely misses, and these jeans line up with his collection of wearable Southern couture.

I’m pretty set in my ways in terms of jeans, opting for Levi’s 501s, and splurging for A.P.C. New Standards and Imogene + Willie Bartons.  Any deviation from this makes me anxious.  Especially when talking about denim at this level of both style and price.  Given that I had a gift card and a small store credit, I decided to take advantage and give these jeans a whirl.  I don’t have anything like their 6-month wash, so I was immediately drawn to these.  They are dark enough to look ‘dressy’, but worn enough so that they don’t look new and shiny.

I went with the slim fit, and I am extremely impressed.  They are made with a 12-oz denim, so they aren’t too heavy, but substantial enough to hold their shape.  The sizing is a lot like J.Crew (for reference).  They have a good slimmer cut, but it’s not skinny.  The inseam is right at 34 inches, so I’ll have to get them hemmed, but that’s fine.  The leg opening on their slim fit is 7.5 inches, so they will work with boots and shoes.

From a styling perspective, these fill a decidedly open spot in my closet.  Since I don’t wear jeans every day, it would take me MUCH longer than six months to develop any sort of honeycomb like what is offered here.  These are more of a rugged look, so I’ll pair them with a solid oxford and a solid sweater, as these jeans add plenty flare.  For a more casual look, I’ll pair them with some suede chukka boots and the Kenner Henley that came home with me as well.  The point is to let these jeans be the focal piece of the outfit.

Overall I think these are the best jeans that Billy Reid has produced to date.  From a quality perspective, they line up with jeans in the same price point, but the fit is what really brings me to give them a thumbs up.  More to come on these once I give them a few laps.