All posts in Accessories

L.L. Bean Boat & Tote Souvenir Bag

I mentioned in my life update post that I have been doing more travelling since I met my wife. I am actually headed out of town tomorrow which prompted this post. As a kid I didn’t really go for souvenirs. I would’ve rather put that money towards new sneakers, but as an adult I am all in. I started picking up patches on our trips with the goal of creating a souvenir something (jacket or bag) in the future. Well the future is here and so is my cool souvenir bag.

At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to make a souvenir styled jacket or a bag. I went with a bag because I thought that I would get more use out of it. I actually picked up this L.L.Bean Boat and Tote at the L.L.Bean Flagship store in Maine while visiting my sister. So it’s kind of a double souvenir bag.

If you are interested in creating something like this I do have a few tips. The first is that if you don’t see a patch you like or any patches at all don’t worry. The internet is your friend. I picked up quite a few of my patches on Ebay and Etsy either while still travelling or after I got back. I typically buy a patch for each state (or country) and then one that’s more specific to what we did there. For example, I have both a Utah patch and a Zion National Park patch.

The second tip is about placement. Before you start ironing or sewing them on do a dry run. By that I mean arrange them a few different ways. I took pictures of several different layouts before selecting what I thought looked the best. I then provided the pictures to my mom (S/O to my mom!) who did a bang up job executing.

I love my souvenir bag. I look at the patches and start thinking about all the good adventures that we have had like my first visit to a rain forest in Puerto Rico, Climbing Mt. Lafayette, or cycling through the country side in Costa Rica. It also gets me excited for all of our future adventures. I’ve included pics of all my patches below. See you all in 2 weeks!

LL Bean Boat & tote Souvenir Bag

Souvenir Bag

Back to Guatemala and Down to Fitz Roy

Update: Leather Man Ltd. reached out to me after discovering this post and generously wanted to offer my readers 15% off the blue Guatemalan belt (see here). Use coupon code OCBD at checkout!

New belt alert. I posted about my Guatemalan dogs surcingle belt years ago (see here). It has been a great belt. It’s fun, it adds a pop of color to my uniform along with a touch of personality. At the same time it is still kind of low-key because it’s only a belt. I like this belt so much that when I saw the denim Guatemalan belt being offered at Leather Man LTD it was an automatic purchase.

My new Guatemalan patterned belt has been a hit (see above & below). I like it a lot. Maybe even more so than the dogs. People also like it. I have gotten quite a few compliments on it. One thing that I really like about both of these belts is that they feel trad, but at the same time they break out of the typical nautical and upland hunting box that we often find ourselves in when it comes to motif belts.

I said belt, but that should have been plural. I added a 3rd patterned belt and it’s not a surcingle. I am pushing the bounds of trad with this one, but it’s still well within my own wheelhouse. The new belt’s a Patagonia friction belt with the pattern basically being the Patagonia logo (which is a stylized depiction of Monte Fitz Roy) without the words Patagonia. Typically I am not a logo-centric guy, but this one is fun and I will admit that I do love some Patagonia. I have figured out a few combinations where the belt looks good. For example, I think it looks great with my Carhartt pants and denim shirt (see below) as well as my classic khaki and blue OCBD uniform and of course my most casual pairing of khaki pants/shorts with a grey-t.

I picked up both my Guatemalan belts from Leather Man Ltd. and the other from Patagonia. Leather Man ltd. (see here) is where I get almost all of my surcingle belts. They have a great selection, great pricing, and what seals the deal for me is their belts are 1.25″ wide where as lot of surcingles are 1.5″ wide (aka too wide). I have seen similarly cool belts such as the African beaded belts at Sid Mashburn (see here) or the polo/woven belts from La Matera (see here). Both are great, but they are priced a bit higher ($150-$200) than the Leather Man belts. I am sure that there are even more options out there if you want to do a little poking around yourself.

These belts all understood the assignment. To me, they all communicate a preppy-outdoorsy-traveler type of vibe that reflect my interest in hiking, camping, cycling, and more recently travelling. They also provide a nice break from the more traditional symbols (whales, boats, dogs) found on emblematic belts which is refreshing. At the same time these belts’ little patterns bring a ton of color to my otherwise staid uniform. Doing all the above for under $50 is what I call a lot of bang for your buck.

These belts are what some people call statement pieces. If you are familiar with the cult classic movie Office Space we might call them flair. I know that I don’t have to say this, but I am going to say it anyways. Statement pieces and/or pieces of flair should be limited to no more than 1 item per outfit. Please do not exceed the recommended limit per outfit.

Patagonia Web Tech Belt

Patagonia Web Belt

SailBoats, Whales, & Guatemala?

I picked up a new surcingle belt and the design is not the most typical. Generally you will find surcingle belts embroidered with nautical themes, preppy animals, or preppy sports themes. None of these things are bad, I wear them myself, but sometimes you want something a little different. Cue the belt.


I loved this Guatemalan design with dogs (link here) the moment I saw it. I posted it in on one of my Instagram stories and I got a ton of questions about it so I knew I was not alone in my admiration. I thought that this belt would be a great way to add some color to my outfits. I imagined it would look great with olive chinos as well as the standard khaki/blue OCBD combo. Along with adding color it will be a nice way to break up my standard look and add a little bit of individuality into the mix.

I got this belt at Leather Man on the Eliza B site (see here). In my opinion it is a steal at $42. Leather Man is my de facto place to get belts. If this belt does not do it for you they have you covered as they have plenty of others.

It’s Your Thing

I found Christian Chensvold from Ivy Style’s post on Beatnik Prep refreshing. It’s not so much that I loved the style, but that I liked seeing someone inject their own point of view, interests, and style into the look whether that look be Ivy League Style, Prep, or Trad. One way that I do this is with my sneakers.
Polo Shirt & Sneakers
patagonia and sneakersI love running sneakers. I especially love running sneakers from the late 80’s-90’s. Even though I have weaned myself off of sneakers over the years they are still a part of my life. I primarily wear these sneakers for errands (especially when too cold or rainy for no-socks), neighborhood walks, hiking, canoeing, urban exploring, and the most casual of social events. Like Christian I even have a name for this style which I call 90’s hip-hop cross country team prep. Not a real thing or very catchy I know. I take a pair of khaki chino shorts and a polo shirt or chinos and a blue OCBD add my sneaks and there you have it.
Nike Icarus
OCBD Sneaker CollectionThis style is clearly not for everyone, because it is extremely tailored to me. This is in fact my point. This inclusion of running sneakers speaks to my personal interests and experiences. It makes my style my own and not just rules from a book, but still keeps the Trad vibe or at least I think it does. It also speaks to a great comment that a reader Fred left on the Modern Trad blog post,

I’m glad to see that you are looking at a modern take on trad. Trad was in its hey day around fifty years ago. Trad has evolved and I don’t want to dress like it’s 1966. I want to take the trad ideas and evolve them into today. That’s the intellectual challenge. What is the modern equivalent of trad. What does it mean to be trad in 2017?

While I may disagree with Fred about Trad existing in 1966 I think that his underlying point is spot on or at least the point I took away is. This point is that you cannot stop growing and changing which I truly believe. My other point is that it is okay to incorporate non-trad articles of clothing that you like into you Trad wardrobe. It does not make you less Trad. Just don’t try to convince others that these items are the Traddest and everything will be fine.

What are Polo Belts?

I want to get a leather belt that is thinner than 1.25″. The reason why is that I have grown very accustomed to the thinner front of surcingle belts. I don’t want it to be a dress belt as I plan on wearing it with my 5-pocket cords. This search led me to Sid Mashburn. While looking at their selection of 1″ leather belts I noticed a belt (pictured above) that they referred to as a “polo” belt. I had never heard the term and thought nothing of until I saw a post on polo belts on Red Clay Soul.

I’ve been digging on the polo belts lately.  I love the idea, as well as the culture from which the polo belts originate.  Born in Argentina, they are typically leather belts with color-specific designs woven in to represent a team or a location.  While they’ve been around forever, they were made popular, maybe even mainstream, by royalty:
Polo Belts

Head over to Red Clay Soul for more examples of the polo belt, where to find them, and a few ideas on how to wear them. Read the full post here: Polo Belts by Red Clay Soul