Monthly Archives: January 2009

Longs Peak

longs-peakHollister sent this photo of her great-grandfather and his friend “all the way up there, just chillin’ in their tweeds,” Longs Peak, 1915.

I love Longs Peak.

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Plaidies of the Week: The Sisters Hovey


hollister-hovey-living-roomIt was their Halloween costumes, a nod to There Will Be Blood, that first brought them to my attention. The sisters Hovey of Williamsburg, Brooklyn have curated an apartment of “taxidermy, militaria, Victorian library do-dads, [and] chesterfield couches” as Hollister laid out in a recent post on her blog. apartment


Many have referred to her obsession with Hemingway, but The New York Times nailed it, calling her aesthetic “decaying WASP-y, Teddy Roosevelt by way of John Derian.” Hollister’s blog speaks to my tweedy, genteel, professorial nature like a sermon on the mount.

a-weekends-purchasesPorter, a photographer with a sharp eye for texture has the innate ability to see beauty in the everyday as can be seen in her Polaroid Project: the floor of a bathroom, the leather-covered buttons of a chesterfield, a field of lavender.



lavenderIn the messy celebration of modernity, it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate a well-made classic. Please take a moment to pay respect to two of them, Hollister and Porter Hovey.


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Bye Bye Baby, It’s Been a Sweet Love.

Billy Powell, rest in peace. Powell’s solo begins at 3 minutes.


Photo c/o The New York Times.

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Down With the Tweed?

look61Compelled to share this photo because, it pertains to a prior post and it is virtually what I wore to work today.

This look, from the archives of Japanese clothier Nepenthes, perfectly embodies what I meant when I referred to wearing a down sweater vest with a suit jacket. By “less formal occasions,” I meant “sportier” ones.

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Scott Sternberg’s Stern Rules

scottsternberg-3Scott Sternberg of Band of Outsiders waxes poetic in Details Magazine‘s series “Rules of Style.” I’ve pored over the CFDA Award-winner’s musings a few times now, and my opinion has flipped back and forth so often that I assume he must be brilliant. I’ll say one thing: he’s right about airplane farts. Disgusting. See if you agree.scottsternberg-4


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Partners & Spade

hms-booze-cruiseThe half-brains, excuse me, half the brains behind J. Crew’s Tribeca Men’s Store, The Liquor Store, Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti opened a new store on Great Jones Street this week that perfectly exemplifies my aesthetic. Partners & Spade, their shop of miscellanea curios large and small offers everything from vintage smut (look for Dude Magazine, my favorite) to a collection of toy alligators hitherto unseen. More photos available c/o Urban Daddy.



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Andrew Bird

birdOn heavy rotation in plaidland, Andrew Bird’s latest, Noble Beast, in particular “Masterswarm,” has made the dark days of winter a little brighter. And by the look of his Le Chameau boots, leather is with Mr. Bird as well.noble-beastBuy Noble Beast at your local record shop. As Nick Hornby will tell you, “Record stores can’t save your life. But they can give you a better one.”


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Jackson Pollock

pollockCelebrate the birthday of Jackson Pollock with a Pollock of your own.


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The Goods: Patagonia’s Down Sweater

black-down-sweater It’s never been too great a problem that I bothered mentioning it to a doctor, but occasionally, down comforters cause me some congestion. That, compounded by the fact my entire family is allergic to feathers, lead to a down-free life; that is, until last year, when something was given me by a former employer.

The Patagonia Down Sweater has become a source of lifeblood. I wore it nearly every day last winter and never felt congested or sick. In fact, it was so warm, it may have prevented a cold or two. In a pinch, short on blankets, while company was in town, I slept in the thing. Then, spring came. Warmer was the weather, but at night I would still reach for the down sweater. Summer, too, I packed it in the convenient internal mesh pocket that doubles as a stuff sack and brought it to night games at Shea and Yankee Stadiums. desert-clay-down-sweater-interiorpirate-blue-down-sweater-ball1

Down breathes incredibly well. This 800-fill-power goose down, the highest quality Patagonia offers, we learned last week, carries with it a great warmth variance. That is, it reacts to body heat and compensates extremely well. You sweat? It breathes. You cold? It’ll warm ya.

I used to swear that puffer jackets made me look like the Michelin Man. Unlike some other down coats, at just under 2″ wide, the stitch-paneling isn’t so overwhelming. Now from time to time, as just happened not two minutes ago, two girls in thick white worsted wool pea coats and big pastel scarves will stop me on the street and ask about it. On the C train the other day, a guy drowning in a hulking black parka said, “Patagonia? Snap. That the Biz. Nuss.” I think there were other words in there.

The polyester rip-stop nylon, recycled from plastic bottles, treated with Deluge® Durable Water Resistance (DWR), will stand up to the splash of light rain, but I recommend tossing something hooded and waterproof over it if you’re caught in a downpour. pirate-blue-down-sweater-vest

As far as down and a suit goes, I have seen it and I manage the Down Sweater Vest beneath my suit coat on less formal occasions. A friend of mine marveled the other day, “Is that all you need to stay warm?” I told him the story of how after facing a frigid weekend morning otherwise shirtless (gross, I know) to pop ’round the corner to pick up the Sunday Times and coming away unscathed, I was completely sold.

Simply wash it once a year or as needed in cold water and tumble dry low with a couple clean tennis balls to renew the loft of the feathers, and you’re set.

Try it. Even if, like me, you think you look silly in puffy jackets, people will ask. It’s Patagonia’s best seller for a reason. That’s it for now, I’m all plaidout.


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Marvin Gaye

Do you ever find yourself singing a song in your head or just under your breath as you walk or drive to work? In the last several years, I’ve kept an informal tally of the songs I sing to myself. Mid-verse this morning, I realized Marvin Gaye’s “Pride and Joy” must far and away top the list. In the video above, you can catch him lip synchronizing on an early 60s television program.

Notice Marvin’s matching pocket square and ascot. The cut of his jacket looks not unlike something you might find at Thom Browne’s showroom, and his back-up dancers are fab in their Beach Clown/ Saint James garb.

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