HUGE East Dane Sale – The Big One

…and East Dane is having a HUGE sale…get on over and do some damage.  What’s good?  The more you spend, the better the discount!  Let me know what you get…

Thanksgiving Dinner with Ledbury


The folks at Ledbury are doing a serious sale for Black Friday – how does 30% off the entire site sound?  Seems like a great opportunity to do some work…


Here’s how I’d do Thanksgiving dinner:

What about you?

The Fair Isle Sweater(?)

I had an interesting conversation with a stylish buddy of mine the other day.  We were talking about Fair Isle sweaters, and whether there is a place for them in a man’s wardrobe.  I think they look good, but I wonder if it’s an idea vs. execution situation.  What I mean by that is the idea of a Fair Isle sweater is good, but the execution (or actual wearing) of said sweater is poor.

His point was simple: in a professional, even business casual environment, a Fair Isle sweater would be frowned upon.  I’ve never thought about that, but I’ve never considered wearing a Fair Isle sweater to work.  Full disclosure: I don’t own a Fair Isle sweater.  I’ve had a few of the iconic Bean Norwegian sweaters, but I rarely wore those, and have since sold them.  I agree with my friend.  I don’t believe I would ever wear a Fair Isle sweater to work.

My argument is this: there is a place for a Fair Isle sweater in a man’s closet, but the opportunities to wear them (especially in the South) are limited:

  • Late Fall/Winter – they are usually made of wool/cashmere, so they are going to provide a bunch of warmth.
  • Casual environment – look at all the models below.  They are all dressed casually.

So, if you are heading to the mountains for the weekend, picking out a Christmas tree, hanging by the fire with your significant other, or your heat goes out, then bust out the Fair Isle sweater.  A Fair Isle sweater is the adult version of the vintage loud Patagonia fleece snap-Ts that we all clamored over in college.

The second part of the discussion went in the direction of “Tacky Sweater”.  This is touchy.  A Google Image search on Fair Isle sweaters will display some jewels.  There are some really nice ones out there; wearing one gets you a free bowl of soup.  You have to be careful, so stick with Fall and winter hues.  Here are a few that I like:

From Top Left:

1. Polo Ralph Lauren Fair Isle Merino Wool Sweater: The breakfast buffet.  Lots going on here.
2. Bonobos Fair Isle Raglan Sleeve Lambswool Sweater:  Good looking – the two colors keep it muted.
3. Penfield Freeman Fairisle Crew Sweater:  Probably my favorite of the bunch.
4. Several Fair Isle Wool Sweater:  Nice, but maybe a little too Charlie Brown?
5. Brooks Brothers V-Neck Fair Isle Sweater:  If you are really on the fence, go with The Mothership.
6. Brooks Brothers V-Neck Fair Isle Sweater, part deux:  Again, she rarely steers wrong.
7. LL Bean Fair Isle Sweater:  Another two colored option.  Very Grand Cherokee.
8. Marc by Marc Jacobs Fair Isle Sweater:  Frosty the Snowman-esque.
9. O’Connell’s Scottish Shetland Fair Isle Sweater:  Everything from O’Connell’s is cool.  Period.

What do you think about Fair Isle sweaters?  Are you a fan?

Red Clay Soul Gift Guide #2: From Russia With Love

For our second act, we are looking out for the travelers, the road warriors, the tire burners…  In the 007 vein, let’s call this on “From Russia With Love,” one of Sean Connery’s best Bond films from 1963.  If you have not seen this film, and I do not want to know the reason why not, then add it to your Netflix queue immediately.

If you are looking for a gift for someone who spends time on the road, this guide is for you:

From Top Left:

1. Travel Sized Hand Sanitizer:  Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  Keep one of these in your dopp kit, one in your travel bag, and one in your suitcase.  Use liberally.  The easiest way to get sick as a result of traveling is touching something disgusting.  And all airports are disgusting.  Fight back.
2. Aviate Hat:  I always bring a hat in my travel bag or briefcase.  It’s good for when your part gets mess up, and your hair just don’t look right, or for pulling it down over your eyes when you need some shut-eye.  The good folks at Aviate hit the nail on the head with airport codes…show some hometown pride.
3. Lotuff Leather Luggage Tag:  Don’t be the guy (or gal) that has some gross Hello Kitty, neon pink, and glittered luggage tags.  You aren’t in a video game.  You are an adult.  Stand out by getting a quality leather luggage tag.  They are just as easy to spot.
4. Braun Travel Alarm Clock:  Yeah, I know your phone has an alarm clock.  But – if you have a hard time sleeping in hotels (like most people), then the ‘tick-tock’ of this travel alarm clock will put you to sleep in no time.  Don’t believe me?  Try it…
5. Res Ipsa Weekender Travel Bag:  We’ve talked about leather duffles for quite some time, and while they are great, Res Ipsa’s kilim weekender is a welcome alternative.  If you dress well and carry yourself with confidence, their bags, and shoes, are for you.
6. Hudson Sutler EDC Bags:  For those that are organized, which should be everyone, you know all about packing bags.  I love them, and use them every time I travel.  Hudson Sutler just released their EDC bags, which are a GREAT size for packing specific goods while traveling…one for chargers and cords, one for notes and books, and one for unmentionables.
7. Travel Charger Adapter:  You have the power…but connecting on the other side of the ocean can be prohibitive without an adaptor.  Here you go.
8. SunCloud Explorer Zip Sunglasses Case:  This is a $10 investment that will save your sunglasses.  Keep it in your travel bag and don’t give your shades a second thought.
9. AKG Noise Cancelling Headphones:  There are a ton of noise cancelling headphones out there, but a lot of them look like ET phone home.  These are still over-the-ear, but are a little more streamlined.  And the sound quality is great.
10. Tumi Alpha2 International Suitcase:  I’m a little anti-black suitcase, as I like to stand out from the crowd.  I’ve also been dipping my toe into the hard shell options.  This Tumi might be the perfect option – the blue and grey is a masculine alternative, and the shell has a little give for those heavy packs.  Oh, and four wheels.  A must.
11. Col. Littleton Passport Cover:  Take care of the things that are important.  When you need your passport, it’s extremely important, so take care of it.
12. Ghurka Breast Pocket Wallet:  There are a bunch of cards that we don’t carry every day (insurance, frequent flyer cards, gift cards, etc.), so I got into the habit of having a breast pocket wallet to carry the non-wallet essentials when I’m traveling.  These are also a great place to store receipts for those damn expense reports.
13. Filson Double-Zip Tin Cloth Travel Case:  I recently converted to this thing, and haven’t found a better travel bag.  The tin cloth isn’t as bulky as their canvas, so there is more room for ‘stuff’.  The two zippers give easy access.
14. Sharper Image Travel Speaker and Microphone:  When you are trying to participate on a conference call on an iPhone, you sound exactly like you are trying to participate on a conference call on an iPhone.  This little upgrade will do wonders for your virtual meetings…and you can jam out to some tunes while you are raiding the hotel mini-bar.
15. Boast Pique Double Face Quarter Zip:  I learned the hard way that traveling is a cold game.  I prepare accordingly and always carry an extra layer.  Something cotton.  This quarter-zip from Boast is perfect for the bus from the rental car place, a beer at the airport bar, or a redeye flight from a couple time zones away.  Doubles as a pillow.

The RCS Wish List

I love doing gift guides…they are seriously a lot of fun.  But what is on my Christmas list?  Well, thanks for asking:

From top left:

1. Fox Brass Belt Buckle:  Extra foxy.  I’d put this on one of my Dingman gator straps…for that extra umph.
2. Orvis Two-toned Waxed Cotton Hat:  For morning walks with #FrankDawg
3. Glock 19 Gen.4:  We must protect this house.
4. Col. Littleton No. 28 Pocket Journal:  I’ve been using Moleskines for a few years, and love them.  The problem is I don’t use them up as fast as I should.  The outsides get pretty danky after a few months.  This is the solution I’ve been looking for – and they hold the 80-page journals.
5. Moleskin Refills:  For number 4.
6. “Cheer the Fox” DOF Glasses:  I have the Snooty Fox set, and get compliments all the time.  These would be yet another compliment.
7. South Sweatshirt from Bitter Southerner:  I know, I can’t believe I don’t have one yet.
8. L.L. Bean Slippers:  The last pair of these I owned lasted for about ten years.  Time to re-up.
9. Ball & Buck X Randolph Engineering Hunter Sunglasses:  I told you these were on the list.
10. Cobbler Union Noah III Suede Shoes:  These are seriously cool shoes.  I’ve seen these in the flesh, and they are just about perfect.  These with jeans, khakis, or tweed trousers…they would be immediately added into the lineup.

What’s on your list this year?

Get to Know: Cobbler Union

I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel and Stephen of Cobbler Union not too long ago.  Cobbler Union is a men’s shoemaker that keeps the bespoke mentality, but gives greater accessibility.  They are doing their part in keeping Atlanta as a prime source for outstanding mens style.

Their shop is located in Inman Park, right in the thick of it.  The feel of the shop is very specific: there aren’t a lot of frills, except for the shoes.  And the shoes are outstanding; they are as nice as any shoes I’ve seen.  Cobbler Union’s shoes keep to the classics, but there are some great options available for the more adventurous.  It’s a very comfortable environment, with good conversation and some excellent options.  Quite frankly, the price point is what sets these shoes apart.  The value proposition is extremely high with Cobbler Union.  You can see the full collection on their website.

Daniel and Stephen were nice enough to do an interview and let me snap a few pictures of their store.  Enjoy:

What is the history of Cobbler Union?  Cobbler Union was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 2014 with the vision of disrupting the luxury industry by offering men access to bespoke-inspired luxury shoes at half to one-fourth of the price of similar shoes at luxury boutiques. At Cobbler Union we believe in the power of style and self-expression and believe that a great pair of shoes can transform a man. One of our biggest priorities is to help preserve, promote and celebrate our wonderful craft and to serve as facilitators between the artisans making our shoes and the men wearing them. We’re committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that the shoemaking craft can grow and prosper for years to come. With Union members (aka customers) in over 30 countries and an ever expanding product offering, we look forward to continuing to build a new type of luxury brand focused on authentic design and craftsmanship.

What type of guy is a Cobbler Union customer?  Our typical Union member is above all a real guy who appreciates style and quality and has a certain level of sophistication and aesthetic sensibility. Some members lead on their college campus; others run multi-national organizations. No matter the age, or where he is in life, the one thing they all have in common is they know how to express their viewpoint.

What is it like getting a custom pair of shoes?  Our members love creating made-to-order shoes with us. Even with the customizations, their shoes still end up being about half the cost of another off-the-shelf luxury shoe. But more importantly, our process allows for each guy to express his style exactly the way he wants to. Whether it’s a man just looking to change to rubber soles for his winter commute, or a shoe aficionado wanting to create his dream shoe, it’s rewarding to be part of the creative process.

Describe “value proposition” as it relates to a pair of dress shoes?  A great pair of dress shoes screams confidence and success. It’s that simple. Whether we are trying to improve personal or professional relationships, the right shoes can make a huge difference. A good looking, well-fitting pair of shoes will be the best part of your outfit and something that everyone will notice.

What makes Cobbler Union shoes unique?  Cobbler Union shoes represent an entirely new value proposition in the luxury market. By cutting middlemen (third party retailers), we are able to offer men exquisitely designed and handcrafted shoes made with beautiful top grade French calfskins at a significant fraction of what a similar shoe from those heritage brands we all know would cost. Our teams’ background in bespoke shoemaking means that we not only know how to make a phenomenal shoe, but that we have the mindset to actually want to make a phenomenal shoe. Our attention to details, quality of materials, and focus on craftsmanship – at our price point – is unheard of in the industry. We’re gentleman here, but we’re causing a ruckus… and we like it.

What do you like about being headquartered in Atlanta?  We are very fortunate to be in a city that’s going through an amazing transformation. And, most importantly, we’re excited to play a role in that transformation. Atlanta offers us a unique opportunity to build a global business without sacrificing quality of life. We also enjoy how willing other successful entrepreneurs are to offer their advice and support as we grow. And, of course, we love having direct flights to New York and Barcelona – two common routes in our hectic journey.

What is the most important pair of shoes a man needs to have in his closet?  The most important pair will be different for every man. However, this one pair will be the one he would wear to close the deal. If forced to pick just one, he’ll definitely have a perfectly shined black cap-toe Oxford – a timeless classic perfectly capable of attending a wedding, shining in a big business meeting and stylish enough to wear with jeans on Friday evening.

What is on your Spotify playlist?  We have three go-to playlists we use depending on mood and time of day: Cobbler Union Gents, Cobbler Union Lounge, and Cobbler Union Latino. The Gents play list begins with It’s a Man’s World by James Brown. At Cobbler Union “it’s a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing with out a woman or a girl.” When the sun does down we cue the Lounge playlist which leads off with M83’s We Own the Sky. And we turn up our Latino playlist to liven things up and get back to our roots.

Be sure to stop by the store next time you are in the neighborhood…


Near Mint Vintage Orvis Gokey Bag on Ebay

Seriously…someone please buy this before I do.  Sometimes you find jewels like this on Ebay…  You won’t find a better example of an Orvis Gokey bag in such good condition.

I really may not be able to stop myself.  Mrs. RCS – I apologize in advance if this shows up on our doorstep.