April 27, 2010

Alfred Eisenstaedt: Summer On The Cape 1940

I was born in Plymouth, MA and spent the first bit of my life on Cape Cod until my parents decided they didn't want to deal with the tourism and left for greener pastures, so to speak.  (I'm sure there were job considerations for my father as well.)  If summers on Cape Cod then had been more like the way Alfred Eisenstaedt's photos make them appear to have been in 1940, perhaps my folks might have stuck it out (and I could have developed a wicked awesome accent.)  In any case, the photos below speak volumes.

April 24, 2010

Good Mail: The Cordial Churchman

Like a lot of guys these days, I enjoy getting a little dressed up in a traditional sense.  I look for excuses to wear items that feel traditional and time-honored but I don't want to look like the average politician or someone who sells stuff for a living.  Last Fall at my place of employment, I started something called "Ties on Tuesday" and I was honestly surprised at how many fellows actually responded to the invitation to wear a tie to the job one day a week, sort of as the antithesis of "casual Friday."  Some guys wear crazy looking ties.  Some wear vintage ties.  Some like to rock the wool tartans, even now that it's Spring.  It all works because people are doing things they're comfortable with.  I tend to like bow ties.  I don't wear them exclusively but I wear them often.  I don't remember how I stumbled across The Cordial Churchman but when I did I was instantly impressed with the selection and I knew I had to have one.  As luck would have it, my wife got the hint and the week of my birthday, lo and behold, I received a cotton patch madras model in the mail.
No mistaking what's in this envelope.

A handwritten note from Ellie Laveer, who makes each tie by hand. (And the seersucker is such a nice touch.  I'm a sucker for presentation.)

A fantastic choice of colors in a butterfly cut without being predictable.

In action, paired with a rumpled and frayed Brooks shirt, worn by a bum who needs a shave.

The quality on this tie is on par with my J. Press and Brooks bow ties and it was about half the price of either of those.  The stitching is great and it ties easily.  There are no size markings but adjustment wasn't difficult; I just matched it up with one of my other ties and got a great fit.  I will definitely be ordering more of these.  Ellie also converts long ties into bow ties so if you have a pattern you like but maybe the width is out of date, send it over to her and let her turn it into something that will make your neck more handsome.  Bottom line:  The Cordial Churchman is a fantastic value and whether you wear bow ties or you're considering a first bow tie you owe it to yourself to go order one now.

April 23, 2010

Attention Ladies Of America: Please Copy This.

I think American girls could take a tip from this classic Brooks Brothers photo that I ran across in the LIFE archives.  Let's just say it together: "No more Juicy Couture.  No more dirty flip-flops.  No more snap-flap jeans."  This is where it's at.

April 21, 2010

Heavy Tweed Jacket Is Back!

I'm so happy that one of my favorite blogs is back after being absent for a few months.  Heavy Tweed Jacket has everything to do with my enthusiasm for brands like J.Press and Brooks and I really dig how he maintains a personal feel without ever developing a "me, me, me" thing.  The thing that distinguishes HTJ from most other "trad" bloggers is his apparent respect for the history of the brands themselves.  Welcome back, Heavy Tweed Jacket!

From the LIFE Archives: Vintage America's Cup

The LIFE google archives continue to excite me.  These vintage America's Cup photos are enough to make me want to get a new hobby.  (I'll let you know how that goes as it develops.)

April 11, 2010

Cold War Summer

Ever dreamed of owning a retired military vehicle from the cold war era but weren't sure how to get your hands on it?  If the answer is yes, then look no further than Cold War Remarketing.  These folks specialize in buying Communist Block and European military equipment directly from said militaries and imports them to Colorado.  Their current inventory ranges from the ridiculous (tank destoyer) to the practical (1939 Swiss Army bicycle) to the super cool (Condor Swiss military motorcycle or soft top Land Rover.)

Hagglunds BV-206 (as low as $35,000)