RCS Review: The Filson 2-Zip Travel Kit

So I know I talked about this in last week’s Lust piece, but I found this Filson 2-zip Travel Kit on sale for $79 on Amazon (link).  I saw this over at Sid’s last week when previewing their sale, and knew I had to have it.  Here’s the deal: I have the original Filson Travel Kit but I don’t use it that much, especially when traveling with Mrs. RCS.  The original is great for a single guy traveling, but the canvas construction gives it a little more bulk, and doesn’t seem to use the real estate very well.

This 2-zip model seems to be the answer.  It is a little bigger in size, but the space is much more efficient as compared to it’s older brother.   The two zippers allow for easy access to anything and everything.  Why did I choose orange?  Because.  That’s why.  In additions, it’s lighter than the dark green or navy, so it won’t look as dirty.  The kit is made of coated cotton, so this can be cleaned up when needed.  This will be going with us this weekend during #48HoursInCleveland…I’ll let you know how it travels.

More images:

The Want List: July 2015

Hey, let’s be honest…we’re all continually looking, right?  Here are a few things that I’ve got my eye on:

From Top Left:

1. Hamilton Two-Tone Gingham Shirt:  I saw this shirt at Miller Brothers last time I was in, and can’t stop thinking about it.  The chocolate and aqua really work well together.
2. La Matera Cordillera Belt:  The uniqueness of this design shouldn’t go unnoticed.  It’s a perfect for summer.  It looks light but mature.  Try this with a good fitting pair of khakis and a lightweight sport shirt.  Home run…
3. Richard Bishop Upland Decanter Set:  This might be one of the coolest sets out there.  Onward Reserve is doing a great job of curating a great selection of gifts…this may be one of the best groom gift ideas.  Think about this for those upcoming bachelor parties.
4. A Vintage Valet:  I don’t think this is the type of thing you shop for, rather something you find.  I want to find one, and pull the trigger.
5. Sid Mashburn Pigment Dyed Sport Trousers:  These pants are incredible.  They are a light-weight canvas material, and wear almost like jeans.  I pulled the trigger on these bottle green ones…I can’t wait to get them back from getting tuned up.
6. Frank Klegg Compass Duffle:  Here’s the thing with duffles…they are great for one person, but most of my traveling happens with my better half, who ends up claiming a bit of real estate in my bag(s).  This Compass bag from Frank Klegg adds the perfect amount of additional space to what is already the perfect bag.  Tip ‘o the hat, Mr. Klegg.
7. Res Ipsa Wool Loafers:  It’s like they are smiling at you…
8. Filson 2-Zip Travel Kit:  I’ve talked about this before, but just found it in ‘Russet Orange’.   And it’s on sale…
9. USA Bourbon Drinking Team Baseball T:  If you need me to give you a reason to buy this, then we need to have a serious talk.

What’s on your list?

“7 Days in Hell”

HBO-ers: Please do yourself a favor and watch “7 Days in Hell” immediately.  It is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  It’s essentially a 41 minute long SNL skit without the network TV restrictions.  You’ll love it.

For those that don’t enjoy this type of humor, try not to dislocate your retinas while eye-rolling.  The trailer:


RCS Tricks of the Trade: Shorts

A couple themes that this blog is all about include good style, and good value proposition.  I have a few tricks that me keep my closet lined up with those themes.  As most of you know, I frequent thrift stores quite a bit.  While I don’t buy a ton of stuff, there are some great finds that help offset larger purchases.  I practice what I preach, and thought I’d pass one of these tricks on to the readers.

I’m a stickler for shorts.  First: I can’t stand long inseams.  This is the main reason I don’t play in the NBA.  Second: I’m a 5″-6″ inseam guy (depending on the rise), which is actually really tough to find these days.  Shorts that work for me are usually pretty pricy ($50+ per pair).  My favorite shorts are Sid’s canvas shorts.  I have a few pairs of these…the fit is spot on.  Beyond these, Patagonia Stand Ups get some good traction, but mostly for weekend wear (more on this later).

I’ve come up with a really good trick that keeps my shorts drawer, and my wallet full.  Since most shorts at thrift stores are of the 9″+ variety, I don’t pay too much attention, unless they are an interesting pattern or a great fabric.  Instead, I find my shorts in the pants section.

When looking in the pants section, I look for waist size only.  Inseam doesn’t matter.  While there are a ton of pants that might be my size, I’m able to be very picky in what I buy.  Not to mention that pants from Goodwill usually cost around $5.  My process of elimination-  Pants don’t get picked if they are (in no particular order): dirty/stained beyond tolerance, in need of serious repair (from the knee up), bad fit, or that weird really thin cotton material.  Examples of what I do like are above.  Details:

These shorts from Banana Republic are a really nice duck canvas, which wear very well.  They were pants with a seriously long inseam.

These green gingham shorts from Polo had an 11″ inseam.  I had to double-check to ensure that they weren’t women’s capris.  Apparently some men do wear shorts that fall below the knee.

The cost of these shorts was $5 each.  I brought them both to my tailors and had them cut to the right inseam for $8 each, and I’m in business.  Think about that: I got a couple pairs of great shorts for under $15 each.  Not only is this easy on the wallet, but it also allows a sort of laissez faire attitude when wearing them.  If they get ruined, who cares?  I’m only out a few bucks.

These are the latest pair that are lined up to head to the tailors:

These are a GREAT pair of nantucket red canvas shorts from Murray’s (retail: $79.50). Again with the long inseam…it seems like we need an intervention.  Anyway, I found these a couple weeks ago at the Junior League store for $4.  They’ll make a visit to the tailors this week and be brought to an acceptable inseam for $8.  Then they’ll be ready to beat up.

More tricks to come, but I thought I’d get us going with something pretty seasonal-appropriate.  Your thoughts?

RCS Review: The Atlantic Drift Beaufort Button Down

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing the Atlantic Drift guys for a few years now.  What’s great about the AD crew is that they actually live the lifestyle of their brand.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard ‘sorry for the early email, we are heading out to the water’.  It’s great, because they are essentially doing product development for their entire line.

They asked me to give my opinion on their new Beaufort button down shirt.  Before we get started, let’s talk about the rise of offshore wear over the last ten years.  Columbia and Ex Officio have really gotten a foothold on this market, and do a good job with the performance fishing gear.  The problem is that the look is just that: very functional.  There is a lot of velcro, loops, vents, and SPF built into every shirt…  While this is great for the intended purpose, it doesn’t really work for everyday wear.  A fishing shirt at dinner 400 miles from any sort of water looks weird.  Period.

Atlantic Drift is in the thick of this industry, and seemed to have solved that problem with their Beaufort button down.  From a distance, the shirt looks like any other button down that you have in the closet:

This shirt fits into any business casual environment.  Pair it with a pair of khakis and loafers and you are ready for a day at the office.  In addition, the shirt is packed with little tricks that will keep you cool and protected from a long day on the water.  The shirt is a very comfortable blend of 65% polyester and 35% cotton, so it’s very breathable.  The chest is mesh-lined so it won’t stick to your body.  There are a bunch of hidden features:  the collar has hidden buttons, there is a hidden zipper front pocket, and a hidden sunglass loop.  Think of this as the “Inspector Gadget” of fishing shirts.

From a fit perspective, it is NOT boxy.  I wear a Medium, and I would say that it is consistent with a Brooks Brothers Slim Fit medium, or a J. Crew Medium.  There is plenty of room to move, but it is NOT boxy.  The style of the shirt is a really nice plaid (there are four plaids available) that works on the water, but really turns it into a versatile shirt with a more prominent spot in the rotation.  The logo is small and tasteful.

Mine has survived a trip to Lake Martin, as well as a full Saturday of errands followed directly by an afternoon at the pool and an evening cooking out.  It cleans up nice, too.  Wash it as you would anything else, but hang to dry.  Give it a quick iron and you are ready to rock.  I’ve got a new workhorse in the arsenal.


High Five – Saturday, July 11th

Five things that I’m digging right now:

1. Marcel: Ford Fry’s new steak house opened in our neighborhood this week.  We stopped by on Thursday night to check out the place and stayed for a couple drinks.  The space is very handsome; I’d venture to say that it’s one of the coolest bars in Atlanta.  The menu looks great, but buyer beware – this is the most expensive steakhouse in Atlanta…by a stretch.

2. Howard Yount Linen/Wool Summer Windowpane Jacket:  My blazer game is heavily tilted towards the cooler months, so I’m looking for a few really lightweight summer options.  Anything with linen will breath very well in the heat and high humidity, but it’s still advisable to wear an undershirt.  Howard Yount knocked it out of the park with this one.

3. Creature Comforts Brewing Co’s Tropicalia IPA:  I am, admittedly, the opposite of a beer snob.  I’m not a big fan of 99% of the ‘microbrews’, dark beer or anything else in a bottle with a catchy name.  I like Yuengling, and most beers in a green bottle.  My friend offered me one of these Tropicalias the other day, and I am hooked.  This beer is delicious.  I can only drink two or three at a time, but my pallet is maturing.

4. Fuji X100T Digital Camera:  Camera technology is awesome.  I have a big nasty DSLR, and really love the photography experience with the big Nikon. But the pack-mule mentality necessary to haul that camera and its lenses around gets old.  Enter the new Fuji X100T.  Small, compact, and a perfect walking around camera.  I’ve been gushing over this with Caroline, and both of us agree that this is on the list.

5. Col. Littleton’s Private Stock Items:  Col. Littleton is such a great niche on the Interwebs.  They have some of the coolest leather stuff out there.  Recently, they have started selling extremely limited (read: ONE) items in their Private Stock Collection that actually feature the farm brands on the leather.  The markup isn’t that material, and it really looks great.  Take a look next time you stop by.

Grandmother’s Pan Fried Chicken

This is a piece I did for my friends over at Onward Reserve for their Gazette.  Fun stuff…I thought you RCS readers would enjoy it as well:

Family recipes have a strange way of being a common denominator in childhood memories. When reflecting on memories growing up, it’s funny how comments like ‘Remember when Grandmother made (this or that)? Man it was good…’ One recipe that has stuck with my family is my Grandmother’s pan fried chicken.

Her talent in the kitchen is almost unmatched – when visiting, every morning started with a spoonful of lard to cook the eggs, and ended saving the bacon grease for the next meal. Most of the vegetables came from the garden in their back yard, and the meat came from the butcher down the street. They grew up in a very small South Carolina town, so everyone knew everyone – including the butcher. We’d call for chicken, and he already knew the amount.

Grandmother’s pan fried chicken is clearly the way God intended for chicken to be served. It is possibly the perfect food – served fresh out of the pan for dinner with rice and gravy for dinner, served cold for lunch, for tailgates, for family gatherings, or for events in town, she never seemed to make enough.

The good part about pan frying chicken is the thin, but crisp crust that forms on the outside of the meat from touching the pan. Deep fried chicken almost floats in grease, and usually has a lot more breading. While I won’t turn down fried chicken, I would choose pan fried seven days a week and twice on Sunday.

Here’s how she does it:

Salt and Pepper chicken pieces (bone in, skin on)
Refrigerate for two hours
Rinse chicken

Roll chicken in the flour mixture (2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper)

In an electric frying pan
Heat ½” Wesson oil on medium heat
Cook the breasts first, then the thighs, legs, and wings, turning regularly until internal temp is 165 degrees (and the juices run clear)

The icing on the cake? Make gravy with the drippings:

Drain the fat from the cooking grease
Add flour in the drippings until it turns golden brown
Add milk and stir until it turns to a gravy consistency

Serve over white rice. Instantly make friends.

Got a family recipe you’d like to share?