10 for 10 – The 2014 Preseason College Football Rankings (and 10 hat giveaways)

How refreshing is it to see college football news and reports starting to frequent the Interwebs and the local sports reports?  With Spring practice in full swing, it’s a great sign that we are only a few short months away until kickoff.  With that, I’ve put together the Red Clay Soul pre-season College Football Rankings, sponsored by my friends over at State Traditions.  I’ve picked my top ten, and to commemorate the event, the boys from Birmingham want to give away ten hats and koozies to ten lucky readers:

1. Florida State Seminoles – 8 returning starters on offense including Jameis Winston and 6 on defense…no reason that they won’t be back at the dance this year.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide – They have a machine in Tuscaloosa.  They just reload.
3. Auburn Tigers – Will the 2013 luck continue into 2014?
4. Oklahoma Sooners – Sophomore QB Trevor Knight is the real deal, folks.
5. Oregon Ducks – An easy schedule and Heisman frontrunner QB Mariota.
6. Michigan State Spartans – Wins over Ohio State and Stanford in 2013 will provide some serious momentum.
7. Stanford Cardinals – They’ve played in four straight BCS games, and don’t show any signs of slowing down.
8. UCLA Bruins – Averaging almost 10 wins a year and a strong returning offense.
9. Baylor Bears – They may rack up a million yards on offense this year.
10. Georgia Bulldogs – They have as much talent as anyone in the country.  If they can stay healthy, look out…

As I mentioned, the good folks at State Traditions want to give away a hat and a koozie of their choice to ten lucky readers.  Leave a comment to this post with your thoughts to enter.

For additional entries:

  • +1 (2 Total) ‘Like’ State Traditions on Facebook
  • +1 (3 Total) ‘Like’ Red Clay Soul on Facebook
  • +1 (4 Total) ‘Follow’ State Traditions on Twitter
  • +1 (5 Total) ’Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Twitter
  • +1 (6 Total) Tweet the following about the giveaway ‘The Preseason CFB top 10 from @statetraditions X @redclaysoul and I entered to win a new hat! Go here to enter: http://www.redclaysoul.com/?p=5826’

Entries must be in by midnight on Monday, March 31st.  I’ll announce the ten winners on Tuesday, April 1st around lunchtime, who gets a State Traditions hat and koozie from the school of their choice.

Special thanks to State Traditions for providing the goods for the giveaway…

Friday Jam: Phil Collins – ‘Sussudio’

In honor of my new record player, and stack of insanely awesome vinyl, let’s celebrate with a classic

Onward Reserve Spring Wishlist…Bloggers Unite

I always get excited in the Fall and in the Spring.  Those are the transition times for my favorite season: college football in the Fall, and golf in the Spring.  Wardrobes change as well.  Spring is about rebirth – whether it’s my golf game or my closet.  They both need some work this time of year.

While my usual day-to-day attire is mostly conservative, office appropriate attire, I do like to add a little of my own style into the rather mundane monotony.  I buy classic pieces that are going to last for years.  Whether it’s ‘in-style’ or not, the pieces will work in outfits ten years from now.  Now, since I have to get dressed everyday, I do it right, and focus on style, fit, and quality.  I shop in the right places and don’t take a disposable attitude towards anything I buy.  I want it to work for the long haul.

The good folks over at Onward Reserve reached out and asked what I would pick for my Spring Wish List…there is so much, but here’s what I’ve settled on:

In no particular order…

Martin Dingman Field Jacket in Ticking Weave – A great tan jacket is a must for spring.  It can be worn with jeans, khakis, and even wool slacks in neutrals.  Martin knows what he’s doing, and in his second season of his Countrywear line, he has knocked it out of the park.

Onward Reserve Gingham Button down in Aqua – You can’t have enough gingham.  It goes with everything.  The Onward shirts are great – they have just enough non-iron fabric in them that they don’t need ironing after every wash, but they don’t feel “plastic-y” like a lot of other non-iron shirts.  The aqua color will get a lot of play this time of year

Southern Proper Plaid Shirts – I am so glad to see the ladies bringing those big plaids back.  It has been tight around the plaid shirt jungle over the last few years, and the big plaids actually work better with any non-tie outfit.  Pair these with jeans or khakis, or un-tucked with shorts or over a swimsuit and you are ready to rock.

Barbour Ashby in Navy – It still gets cool at night during the spring, and Mother Nature likes to dump some rain at the most in-opportune times.  The Ashby is a trimmed down version of the Bedale, and the Navy color is much more spring appropriate than Barbour’s typical olive.

Onward Reserve Shorts – I make no bones about my distaste for man-pris.  No guy can call anything longer than a 7” inseam “shorts”.  Onward Reserve released their private label shorts and they are spot on.  They are very comfortable, pleat-less, only sport a 7” inseam, and all the colors are the new neutrals.

Criquet Player’s Polo Shirts – I’ve owned Criquet Player’s shirts for years, and the biggest issue with owning a Criquet shirt is this:  you’ll want to own all of them.  They have a style all their own: the updated version of the 70s and 80s Arnold Palmer polo in soft, organic cotton and in a prime choice of colors.

Strong Boalt Geometric Swim Trunks – I prefer my swim trunks to be unique, and Strong Boalt is a great way to stand out from the crowd.  The fit is spot on, and the designs are whimsical without being annoying.

Smathers & Branson Bonefish Needlepoint Belt – Since I’m getting married down in the Bahamas later this year, we are planning on getting some flies in the water after some bonefish on our honeymoon.  Only seems appropriate that my belt fits right in.

Martin Dingman Callahan Suede Loafer in Chestnut – I really like casual loafers this time of year.  Not as formal as a pair of bits and not as casual as a pair of driving loafers.  These Dingman jobs hit the mark.  The knotted detail and the chestnut suede are perfect for church, casual Fridays, or even with a pair of shorts.  Never with socks, though.  Never.

Onward Reserve “On the Rocks” Hat – Now is the time when I start breaking in my hat for gameday this Fall.  The Bulldogs look like they might be on the upswing, even without Murray (think UT after Peyton graduated – yeah, they won the National Championship).  UGA Mascot UGA looks great chilled out on a bag of ice…a red one with a summer’s worth of fade will look mighty fine in Athens this fall.

You can read more about this over on The Gazette.  Oh – and want to see what my good buddy James Farmer picked?  Go check out his selections here.

Happy Spring, folks.

39 x 43 Pop Up Shop – This Weekend

This weekend is the 39×43 Pop Up happening at the Shops Around Lenox.  It’s pretty cool that someone is finally doing this.  There have been various conversations over the last couple of years about getting a bunch of the good Atlanta-ish brands together for some sort of party.  Jess Graves and a couple co-horts found the space and are taking the bull by the horns:

From Jess: “The 39×43 Pop Up Shop is a curated mix of independent Southern style. We had some space at Shops Around Lenox that was going to be empty for a bit before we built out a new shop, so I thought it would be cool to utilize it by offering up high-traffic luxury retail space to a variety of hand-picked brands who maybe don’t have their own brick and mortar or just wanted access to our customer. Brian, Clay and I pulled together a rag tag group ranging from big guys like Billy Reid to startups like Res Ipsa and staples like The Old Try for a weekend-long party complete with good booze and tunes – and then invite everybody to come hang with us. We’re so psyched to see it all come together now that it’s only days away.”

Jess reached out and asked me to put together a pick list of what I’m looking forward to seeing.  While there isn’t enough space to highlight everything, here are a few:

Clockwise from top left:

Red’s Outfitters Newell Sunglasses:  Chrystal Clear.
Leather Belts from Tweeds:  Cool shop here on the Westside that is run by two of the greatest guys you’ll meet.  Their take on the ring belt is the best one out there.
Bird & Trout Knife from Oakleaf & Acorn: Everyone needs a stag-handle knife, whether you use it to open mail or field dress a bird.
39 x 43 print from The Old Try: How appropriate for this event.  Micah rarely misses, and this is truly a symbol of ‘To Dixie With Love’.
#8 Wool Loafers from Res Ipsa: I’m really excited to see the Res Ipsa collection.  I’ve been talking with Josh and Odini for a while, and they have some really great stuff.
Andover Trask Coal Bag: Totes, totes, and more totes.  The coal bag is the perfect size for a beach bag.  Andover Trask doesn’t disappoint.

Be sure to make your way over this weekend.  It is sure to be a good time.

Seeing Green

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, folks.

Jacket: Sid Mashburn Green Silk Matka Sport Coat

A Must Have: The Tory Leather Silver Hoof Pick Belt

I talk about belts a lot.  I know.  The thing is, I can’t remember the last time I wore a plain leather belt with a plain buckle.  I always wear a belt that is either an exotic leather, a monogrammed buckle, something needlepoint or woven, or something embroidered.  No joke.  Everyday.

I’ve been wearing a hoof pick belt since I found Orvis’ Ferrier belt way back when.  It’s a great belt, but has a brass buckle.  There’s nothing wrong with this, but it has an upper limit on how much I can dress it up.  Maybe because the pick isn’t shiny…I don’t know.  I wear it all the time with jeans, boots, and a sport coat, but again, nothing too dressy.

Tory Leather recently released a very affordable option with a polished silver hoof pick, and I couldn’t resist.  I have seen these in mens stores both online and in person, but they fall in the $125-$150 range, which is too rich for my blood.  The $35 price tag on this bad boy is a no-brainer.

Beyond the polished silver buckle, the leather color of the leather is a very nice medium brown, which matches most of my loafers.  The call it ‘oakbark’, but I’ll call it almond.  This goes great with jeans of any color, navy, tan, or green khakis, and any color shorts.  From a fit standpoint, it is just a bit tighter than the traditional 2″ delta.  I wear a 32 or 33″ waist, and a 36″ belt is just right – it fastens to the middle hole.  I can’t recommend this one enough, readers.

La Matera Giveaway

I couldn’t be happier to announce that La Matera has jumped on board as a partner on Red Clay Soul.  I absolutely love their belts; the style is mature enough to wear with just about everything – jeans, shorts, khakis, etc.  The Brooklyn based company is run by brothers Alex and Brook Stroud, and they are taking off.  Their belts harken from the feelings of southern Argentina, including the rustic lifestyle, rugged charm, and the elegance of their traditional woven fabrics.  You’ll be seeing quite a bit more of these guys…so get on board.  To celebrate our partnership, we’re doing a giveaway for any in stock belt:

Here are the details:  leave a comment to this post with an email address to enter.

For additional entries:

  • +1 (2 Total) ‘Like’ La Matera on Facebook
  • +1 (3 Total) ‘Like’ Red Clay Soul on Facebook
  • +1 (4 Total) ‘Follow’ La Matera on Instagram
  • +1 (5 Total) ‘Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Instagram
  • +1 (6 Total) ‘Follow’ La Matera on Twitter
  • +1 (7 Total) ’Follow’ Red Clay Soul on Twitter
  • +1 (8 Total) Tweet the following about the giveaway ‘I’m getting on board with La Matera and @redclaysoul by entering for a new @lamaterashop belt.  Go here to enter: http://www.redclaysoul.com/?p=5719’

Entries must be in by noon on Wednesday, March 19th.  I’ll announce the winner on Thursday, March 20th around lunchtime.  The lucky winner gets a La Matera belt of their choice.

Special thanks to La Matera for providing the goods for the giveaway…