12 Menswear Tumblrs Worth Following

The #menswear scene on tumblr is an interesting one; there is a lot of wonderful original content out there, but also a ton of stock photography and runway shots that get passed around endlessly. There is nothing wrong with having a blog that highlights those things, but we all know the feeling that comes from seeing the same Ovadia & Sons lookbook photos dozens of times on your dashboard.

The tumblr gods have been smiling upon me recently, and after being a trending blog on tumblr’s mobile app and now a spotlight blog under the fashion tag, I wanted to point my new readers toward other blogs churning out the good stuff. These are small blogs run by normal guys that are actively putting out great content and have a sense of style that I appreciate (or envy, in most cases). Enjoy!

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Spring Garb: Shirts

Spring is here, and if you’re a dude with a closet full of unmentionables looking to up your style game, then just go to Valet’s site. But I mean, you’re already here, so you could also just continue reading because I’ve got some knowledge to drop on you and it starts with shirts for spring.

OCBDs

If you don’t know by now, get familiar because the oxford cloth button-down is basically Menswear 101. OCBDs will get you through most days. Especially if you live in an area with such mild weather like us Californians, you can wear them quite literally everyday. In this sense, it’s more of a four-season shirt than a spring/summer shirt exclusively. It’s classic and basic enough to go with almost everything which means you don’t have to contemplate too hard in the morning about what to wear. Solid white and blue are safe choices, but you can venture out a little and get a poplin button-down with some pattern. You ain’t know, now you know now.

Brooks Brothers, Taylor Stitch, Kamakura.

Chambray

Chambray might be overdone these days, but whatever. They still look fresh in my opinion. A chambray shirt can give some nice texture to an outfit without added weight and it’s a great alternative to linen. Rogue Territory just came out with some great chambray shirts that come in several colors, all of which have a breezy open weave. Fun fact, chambray is not the same as denim.

Rogue Territory, Gant

Popovers

For those times you want to look steezy but you’re too lazy to button a full length placket, a popover shirt is the option to go for. It’s sort of an in-between shirt; not quite a button-up and not quite a polo. Popovers cover the wide gap between casual Italian and dressed up Californian, so they’ll work with a solid array of bottoms. Show off your clavicles, but make sure to oil yourself up before heading out the door so street style photogs can get a nice lens flare from your collar bones. Lens flares always make a photo good.

Proper Cloth, J. Crew

Now, there are plenty of other appropriate options out there, but I’m not trying to compile a menswear encyclopedia. It’s nerdy enough that I have a menswear blog. Dang.

Check back next week for the second part of the series where I’ll cover bottoms. Until then, don’t risk making any embarrassing pants decisions and just go pantsless.

The Gateway Garment

I know that this blog has somewhat of a leaning toward denim. “Sorrynotsorry” I believe is the term.

When I introduce my friends to the world of better-made clothing, I often reference raw denim first. Beside shoes, denim is probably the best and most accessible example of the benefits of better-made clothing. Indeed, it seems that most dudes who dip their toes into menswear start off with denim before moving on to shirts, outerwear, accessories, etc. To many, the idea of raw denim is romantic and, in ways, inspiring. They see the value of wearing a garment that gains beauty with time and they literally buy into it. It’s a little more difficult to see this concept with, say, a pair of shoes, at least to the untrained eye.

Brands like A.P.C., Nudie, and Naked and Famous tend to be the most popular for a man’s introduction into raw denim. With many companies today offering raw denim at more affordable prices, more and more men are willing to test the waters. If you’re unsure about dishing out the cash on these first three brands, Gap and Levi’s 501 shrink-to-fits are common choices for those of us who are on a tighter budget. And I’ve definitely seen some mad fades from these.

On the more advanced end, brands like Rising Sun, 3Sixteen, Momotaro and a whole slew of others, offer much more detail and craftsmanship for guys who are looking for something beyond a basic blue jean. Typically men will wear their first pair devotedly, blow them out, and move on to the next level of the denim experience, paying closer attention to denim weight, sourcing, and other finer details. 

At one point or another, one eventually “masters” denim and looks to other garments. Beyond denim, the growing menswear aficionado will expand his horizons and research reputable names for shoes, suits, and more. This process spreads to every part of the body that needs to be clothed, and before he knows it, he’s at the end of his life sprezzaturally alone lying in a pile of fine, artisanal clothing. He will struggle to get his precious last words out of his lungs, but he’ll find that the Drake’s seven-fold tie is tied too tightly on his bespoke shirt, both of which lay beneath a cashmere roll-neck sweater for some reason. His final breath will yield no words, but his last thoughts will undoubtedly go back to the first time he tried on a pair of A.P.C.’s.

It starts with denim.

6

Denim Bruin 2013: Day 1

Nice gathering of denim heads at the Levi’s HQ to kick off the first day of Denim Bruin 2013. It was amazing to see the LVC pieces altogether. But it was even crazier to see the vintage Levi’s garments that have been recovered from over a century ago. One has to wonder, with all of these vintage Levi’s jeans being discovered in coal mines and what have you, how does one even abandon/forget their pants?

I’m not going to make it out for Day 2, but I’ll probably show up on Saturday for the final day of Denim Bruin, so I hope to see you all there! All of you. The entire Internet needs to show up.

Summer Garb

As much as I love wearing sport coats and neckties, sometimes the mere thought of wearing any more than a single layer gets me sweaty. And though I am an advocate of function over form, the desire to look cool can often be too much for me to take and I break down internally as I struggle between maintaining my vague sense of dignity and giving in to the whims of fashion. Here are some ways that I cope sartorially.

To balance the desire to stay cool with the need to look cool, I like to wear mewelry for some texture and street cred. But mostly for street cred. Rather than slapping on layers to fulfill the texture requirement, I tend to leave the jacket in the closet, throw on a button-down (open collar, sans tie), roll up the sleeves, wear a few bracelets on my wrists, and tuck a bandana in my back pocket. Pretentious? Probably. But I will say that I actually use my bandana to wipe my hands or blow my nose. I’m out here tryna function. Did I use that right?

As far as footwear goes, I like to stay true to my California roots and go with a pair of Vans. Jack Purcells run through the rotation as well as any pair of loafers I have lying around. I don’t like to fuss with laces too much, so I’ll take any chance I can get to avoid this. Plus, if I’m ever mugged, I can kick off my Alden tassels violently into the nether regions of my attacker and run to safety. I can try it with a pair of Allen Edmonds, but the weight of the metal shank can mean the difference between life and death. Of course I’d make sure to return to the scene of the incident to get my shoe back because Aldy’s aren’t cheap. Anyway, all this goes without saying that I wear all of these with no-show socks. Again- form and function.

If it’s not too heavy, raw denim can get me through most days. But if the weather gets above 85-90, I’ll switch to a pair of chinos or shorts. I like the weight and fit of the Alpha Khakis from Dockers. The lightweight versions of J. Crew’s urban slims are great too. Since I’m not really looking to buy too many clothes right now, I make do with what I already have, so my shorts from H&M get a lot of wear. I can’t get away from wearing jeans from time to time, so when my Tellason’s are too hot, I like to wear my old Levi 514’s. They’ve got rips in them, which is nice for ventilation and keeping the boys cool.

Overall, I still prefer cold weather to hot weather because at the end of the day, you can always add more layers when it gets too cold. But when it gets too hot, there’s nothing left to take off once you’re naked. If global warming keeps up, I’ll have to update my summer garb to accommodate. Until then, I’ll continue to wear clothes in the summer.

2

On the Importance of Sock Liners and the Sockless Look

Spring is supposed to come early this year according to unreliable sources, so to adjust my garb accordingly, I like to do the sockless look because I’m dressed by the internet an individual. HOWEVER, I also like to keep my shoes intact, which poses a problem. Did you know that your feet can sweat up to one full cup of sweat in a single day? Delicious. But no matter how delectable one’s bodily secretions may be, I know of none that would actually be beneficial to an article of clothing. This is especially true for shoes.

Shoes need to remain dry in order to avoid being wet. Duh. The shoe’s material absorbs all of the sweat that your feet put out which can lead to chronic smelly shoes, and possible mold growth. But worst of all, it can actually cause your shoes to break down more rapidly. A shoe needs to be able to breathe to stay “healthy,” so it’s hard for that to happen if your sweat is clogging it up. In addition to using shoe trees (BTW USE SHOE TREES), and rotating your shoes, wearing socks is a must.

To achieve the sockless look while saving my shoes, I wear sock liners. They’re basically really really low cut socks. If ankle socks are the crew necks, then sock liners are the deep-v’s. They won’t show even with shoes that are designed with a low vamp like a penny loafer. Some people do actually go full on foot commando but throw some baby powder on their feet and into their shoes. This way, the moisture gets absorbed by the powder. I’m not very fond of this method because the powder will only last a few hours before it’s all been soaked up and you have to re-powder. This can be really inconvenient for the rest of the day. I don’t want to carry a baggy full of baby powder with me all day. I might get it confused with my other baggy of white powder. (Please know that that’s a joke. Please.)

I’ve had good experiences with Ralph Lauren’s version of sock liners. Nordstrom also makes them, which I recently purchased. They’re a bit thicker than RL so I expect these to be better at absorbing moisture. Both have a non-slip heel on the inside that helps to prevent them from slipping off of your foot since they’re so low-cut. One qualm that I have about sock liners is that they get lost way more easily than any other socks since they’re about a quarter of the size. Other than that…

WEAR SOCKS HOMIE.

8

Another successful menswear meet up, this time at Ghurka’s new flagship store in San Francisco.

One might think that Ghurka has been around for over a century considering the strong heritage sort of feel that the brand exudes, but in fact it has only been open since 1975. It’s gone through some ups and downs in its relatively short history, but its most recent acquisition has redirected the brand back to its roots. The original factories Ghurka used before moving operations overseas are back up and running, even employing some of their former factory workers. As of now, roughly 3/4’s of Ghurka’s production is located in America. But with their new owners, Ghurka will soon have their entire production on American soil; good news for OG Ghurka fans.

Be sure to check out Ghurka’s new beautiful space located at 245 Post St. in San Francisco.

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