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Ed McMahon, 1923-2009

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All Plaidout in Valet Magazine

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In this week’s edition of Coveted, Valet Magazine’s series which “checks in with the creative minds on [Valet’s] radar to see what they’re digging right now,” I talk about my current fascination with ticking cloth. Continue reading


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Billykirk: The Documentary

blog_craftsmen_billykirk_grid_3This just in, The Scout’s documenting the process of craftsmanship behind the quality goods made by the Brothers Bray of Billykirk, an all plaidout favorite. The film is currently in production. Look for it at The Scout this fall.

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Things My Father Taught Me: Max Wastler

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Waiting for everyone to unravel the red box, they began to lay into their approximation of the Old Spice theme: a series of “dunhs” which warbled into a version of “The Scottish Hymn” that was as rank as their after shave. Continue reading


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Things My Father Taught Me: James Wilson

There’s a reason I’ve been trying to get James to write something for me. One of the more impressive men I’ve ever met, he lives his life like he runs his site, clean and simple, and cool as a cucumber wedged in a Pimm’s Cup. I’m happy to report I managed to drag him out of his well-appointed Secret Fort just in time to share a few words on his father.


IMGThis isn’t about my father’s style necessarily, although he had it. Nor is this about what my father taught me, although that is plenty. It is, however, a complicated thing to sit and try to do this, in that it is certainly the first time since his passing that I have confronted the idea of actually writing about him, to sit and try to distill something succinct about what he was to me and what he left me with. I will try to keep it light. I apologize if I fail. Continue reading


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Things My Father Taught Me: Sean Sullivan

The guy named his blog The Impossible Cool. Need I say more?


“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
-Clarence Budington Kelland

The salty water swirls around my back. The sun beats down on my already burnt shoulders. I’ve been in this water for close to an hour, which for a 9 year old seems like an eternity. Especially one that, for now, is mildly scared of the backbay that snakes behind Avalon, NJ. I’ve already drunk enough of the briny wash to last a lifetime.

“One more try!” yells my Dad from behind the wheel of his Boston Whaler, the boat that currently has me tethered twelve feet behind it. “You can do it…just stay focused! I’ll start off slow. Wait and let the boat pop you out of the water.”

He gives me the thumbs up and eases the throttle forward. The boat launches ahead. A wave of water engulfs me as the engine screams. I can feel my tired shoulders being pulled up. I am a human cannonball being dragged behind this vessel.

“Just remember to keep knees tucked, knees tucked until it feels like the right time.” I tell myself.

Dad’s words repeat over and over in my head. Stay focused.

Something clicks. I stand up. The old skis plane out below me.

I’m out of the water in one piece…I did it. Dad lets out a heart-felt “YEAH!” and raises his arms in the air. Nothing else in the world matters to me at this second. I am a world champion water-skier.

We cruise around the bay for a while, a huge smile across my face. Dad looks back every once and a while to make sure I didn’t fall off and float out to sea.

We eventually get back to where we started and I drop the rope, gently gliding towards the back of the boat. Once I’m back on board, shivering, Dad tells me with a smirk…

“Next year I’ll teach you how to slalom.”

He stuck to his words. Along with eventually learning to slalom, my Dad would continue to teach me hidden lessons all throughout life. The words he told me that day always lingering behind each one.

“You can do it…Stay focused.”

It’s not until later in life that you begin to realize the gifts your parents give you in your youth. This one has always stuck with me, through ups and downs, no matter the situation.

So thanks Dad.
These knees are tucked…forging ahead…staying focused.

Happy Fathers Day.




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Things My Father Taught Me: Brandon Capps

In the last few months, this guy has become a close friend. I’m forever impressed at how well-spoken he is and forever more impressed by how effortlessly well-dressed he is. Sometimes, I think they do it better in the south. Mr. Capps, he of Brooklyn by way of Nashville, makes a strong case here.


scan0001-3-1First of all, my father will be the first to tell you as far as casual, weekend fashion, there’s not a whole lot to it besides unwavering comfort. Looking through old photographs, the items don’t really change much from the time he was my age to today. A pair of sneakers with denim or trousers topped with a knit polo. However, regarding finer dress, suiting, I learned all I know from my father. Whether it be the basics on ties or the fit of a jacket, he taught me from a very young age how to do it right. Looking back at pictures of his father, you can definitely tell it’s something that my grandfather taught him along the way. Always dressed in a narrow tie, pressed trousers, and crisp white shirt. While I don’t have the means to share a picture of my father, featured are a few photos of my grandfather in his everyday suit. The best part is that it’s damn near the same cut and look of my father’s suit with a bit more hair on top. As I grew older, found my own way, and began to try my hand at throwing on fine-tailored garments, he helped along the way but also allowed me to make some mistakes.

scan0003-2When it comes to life, his lessons are all centered on how to lead a happy and successful one. Hard work, a willingness to take a chance, and the notion that life is too short to take anything too seriously are three things that were instilled in me early on. Whether he and my mother realized it or not, through all my years of not knowing what the hell I was doing, those three things stuck with me. They’ve certainly played a part in where I am today, and I couldn’t give my folks enough thanks for everything.
– Brandon Capps, Drinkin’ and Dronin’

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