All posts in Style

Ivy Art by Wes Robinson

If you know me you know that I love a good menswear illustration. That’s why I am excited to showcase some of Wes Robinson’s super cool art. He does a lot of Trad/Ivy/Preppy/Americana inspired illustrations that I really dig. What I like about them the most is that they seem to seamlessly blend clothes with art. I have included a few of his images below, but head over to his Instagram (see here) to see more.

Hitting the Books

In my opinion there is no better way to wake up, spend lunch, or end the night than reading a book (ideally outdoors on a porch). In honor of one of my favorite pastimes I have been doing an “OCBD reads” series on my Instagram page (my IG). I have posted a few of these on the blog before, but this is the whole lot together. I hope that you all enjoy and I’ll start the conversation, what are you reading?

Camp Mocs for Summer

Boat shoes may be the casual footwear of choice for most of the trad world, but I myself like camp mocs. I mentioned last week that I had some camp moc ideas and I do. In fact, I was this close (imagine that you can see my gesture) to pulling the trigger.

I didn’t pull the trigger on the Rancourt Gilman Camp-moc in unlined natural Horween Chromoexcel (see here). The ones with red clay soul. The ones in the image directly above. Now in my eyes that is one good looking camp moc. The problem I am having is spending $250 on a pair of shoes that I am only going to wear casually without socks. I also have hard to fit feet and these are MTO so you can only return for fit or store credit if they don”t workout. Not the easiest sell.

While the Rancourt mocs are not totally out of the picture I have another camp moc project in motion. Some of you may recall that I have a pair of LL Bean Signature camp mocs (on left foot below). They never fit quite right. I had to wear them with thick socks or they slipped. If I wore them without socks they rubbed my ankle raw. They did look good though.

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I did what I always do in these situations. I tossed them in the washer on hot. I am hoping to shrink them up a bit so that they fit a little more snug and don’t rub my ankle raw. I will try to get a few wears in the coming weeks to gauge the results. If not, Rancourt here I come!

Twice to Work

How many times can you wear your chinos between washes? My personal opinion is that you can wear them to work twice between washes. I will share my chino care routine below along with a little tip with how to use your chinos that have been work to work twice.

My chinos get worn to work twice before washing them. Let me walk you through my routine. I wash my chinos on cold and hang dry. At first I kind of hated how stiff this made the cotton, but now I see it as a benefit in addition to the fact that washing on cold and hang drying extends their life. The stiffness also works as a starch especially because I hang them to try with the crease in place. This way I am not trying to iron out any creases. It’s always easier to work with mother nature than against her.

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I iron my clothes every morning before work. I don’t actually use starch on my pants. I use a sizing spray (only on my chinos) which makes them crisp, but not as hard as starch. After their first trip to the office I hang them up in the closet in my work section. Then I iron them the next time that I wear them. During the second wear the crease is a little sharper and they are a little softer. I think that my rule only wearing them to work twice has a lot to do with ironing and not that the pants are actually dirty. Ironing my chinos a third time would be too much. You risk a stressing the fabric, creating a sheen, and ironing in dirt/stains.

My little trick is that I said you can wear them twice to work without washing. I didn’t say anything about casual wear. I hang my work chinos that I have worn twice in the casual section of my closet. I then wear them in the evening or on the weekend. I don’t iron them again, but they still look pretty good from all of the the previous ironing. They can be dressed up or down at this point. Both images in this post are chinos on round 3.

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That sums up my chino wear and care routine. I think that my casual tip is a good one. It saves time and energy which is what you want during your downtime. Other than that, wash on cold and hang dry is all that you need to know when it comes to washing work clothes.

Japanese Ivy at Your Doorstep

Not only am I going to share a few of my recent Amazon Japan purchases with you today, but I will also give you the down low on how to make these types of purchases yourself. Anyone that follows the blog knows that I enjoy menswear illustrations. I especially like those of the trad, ivy, and preppy variety and am partial to those from Japan. This is why I turn to Amazon Japan.

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How do I do it? It’s really very easy. So easy that I made these purchases from my phone. I go to Amazon.co.jp using a browser such as Chrome or any browser that offer to auto translate the page. I translate the page and I am off and running. I am always looking for books or magazines so I generally use the words ivy or trad to get started in the right direction. Like the US version of Amazon it has excellent “those who bought” and “if you like” type options.

The last thing to know about Amazon Japan is the checkout. Don’t try to your Amazon US password. It won’t work. At least mine did not. No big deal. You just set up a new account which is very easy. The shipping will be expensive, but still within reason. Let’s say my purchase was $60. I paid $40 in shipping. You have to bundle to make it worthwhile.

For those of you that I left hanging on my purchase details I did not forget about you. I purchased two books and two magazines. The clear winner is a collection of Hiroshi Watatani’s work called Style (Here is a link). You will quickly recognize some of his more famous trad/ivy illustrations from the blogosphere, but there are lots of others you have not seen. While it’s not strictly trad/ivy any one that enjoys menswear illustrations will enjoy it. It is fantastic.

The others all have their moments. I personally enjoy the hiking images in the heavy duty book (See here) a lot but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea. However that Ivy collage in 2nd magazine with MJ in it is perfection. The best thing in Pen Magazine was the cover, but David Marx did get a shot out so it can’t be all bad. I have included images from each below with the cover first and its illustrations directly underneath. Enjoy!

Style by Hiroshi Watatani

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Heavy Duty Book

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2nd Magazine

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Pen Magazine

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