Don't let all the back-to-school sales fool you. We've still got weeks of summer left, and plenty of late evenings and warm weather to embrace. Keep the spirit going well into early autumn with these picks to prolong the season.
Everything has history, and some of our daily accessories have stories you wouldn't believe. From the evolution of the world’s first t-shirt to the desert boots you probably own, this little ditty from Jack Threads breaks down the stories behind some of our most commonplace clothing items.
After 98 years of a singular design, Converse has revamped the infamous "Chuck Taylor" shoe to add a little more comfort. Named after the basketball player and shoe evangelist, Charles Hollis "Chuck" Taylor, Chuck Taylors are considered "the most successful basketball shoe in history" with over 80% of the market share in 1966.
If you're interested in the actual design, style, and swagger of a forgotten era, step into this time-capsule and see life as it really was in 1970's New York City. As someone who was once able to claim the moniker of a New Yorker, I found this footage engaging but I think any stranger to the land will as well. I feel like as modern men, most of our experience of the styles of the past are filtered through cinematic recreations, which is why I found this silent footage so striking. Just seeing the streets, the lights, and the people (especially void of sound) casts the whole nostalgic experience a different light.
Watch this widescreen POV
I recently heard an episode of the NPR podcast, Selected Shorts, in which Sean Astin read Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Sound of Summer Running." The story tells of special place a pair of sneakers holds in the heart and imagination of a young boy, and how he passes along that imagination to those around him as he tries to acquire a pair. I don't know if it was Bradbury's genius or the nostalgia of hearing it read by Rudy / Samwise Gamgee, but the story moved me. I got the thinking about the sneakers I loved as a boy and how quickly I wore them out.
“It is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes.” – Hardy Amies
Handmade shoes are one of those things. The "once you try it, you'll never look back kinda thing..." And, yeah, they're a bigger initial investment. But they'll probably last for the rest of your life with proper care and maintenance.
Saville Row shoemakers Foster and Son were recently featured in The Victoria and Albert Museum‘s, How Was It Made? video series. This entry, The Art of Shoe Making, chronicles a cobbler at Foster and Son creating a pair of brogues from scratch...and its crazy fascinating.
In the winter of 1965, Gary Talese was flown out to Los Angeles with a assignment to profile the legendary Frank Sinatra. Sinatra at this point was aged and uncomfortable, with no intention of being interviewed. Rather than giving up, Talese decided to stick around and talk with Sinatra's assistants, valets, and even his personal toupee manager in the hopes that the Boss would come around. What resulted was a breakthrough piece of narrative nonfiction that spawned the birth of New Journalism and introduced America to the man behind the iconic voice and swagger.
Working with your hands can take a lot of forms. Just take it from Anthony Bourdain as he visits Frank Shattuck, a boxer and tailor famous for his "bench-made suits" in this unique process video.
The series is called "Raw Craft" and features great conversations about the dedication to craftsmanship and simply about how suits should fit.
They say no man is fully finished dressing if he's not wearing a belt (or suspenders, I guess), and, for some reason, that small strip of leather or weaving ready does bring a whole look together. I've always been a coil-them-up-in-the-sock-drawer kinda guy, but as someone with more closet space than dresser real estate, I'm definitely interested in hanging them up long and easy-to-find.
In case your A/C bill hasn't told you yet, it's summer time. Well, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. And summer is the season of sunscreen and short sleeves and socks as little as possible, and...to wear sunglasses. Unfortunately, many men consider sunglasses to be more fashion accessories, and therefore optional, or even frivolous. But there are actually several health benefits to wearing sunglasses, particularly polarized lenses, when spending a day outside: they protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and blue light, as well as protecting the skin around your eyes and preventing wrinkles and "crow's feet." Furthermore, they allow you to see better when outside, helping you to better operate a car, motorcycle, bicycle, boat, lawnmower, backhoe, grill, etc.
So, we at ManMade think they're an essential, and while we're advocates for stepping up from the $3.99 pair from the gas station, we don't think you've got to drop a whole week's worth of pay, either. So - five classic, masculine pairs of sunglasses, all under $100. Enjoy the sunshine!
Fashion trends come and go, but true class never tires. And unless it's a suede jacket with fringe on the sleeves or a pair of bondage pants, investing in quality, handmade leather goods is always a wise decision for every guy. They'll last for decades, look better with age, and simply make you look like a guy. I've rounded up fifteen quality leathergoods that particularly hit the spot this week.
This is a commerce post in partnership with Frank & Oak
I'm the sort of guy who holds on to super-comfortable, super-threadbare, moth-hole-ridden t-shirts for far too long, much to my wife's great chagrin. And while there is a place in your life for that favorite, falling-apart shirt, let's make sure it's just one. Recently, I cut down and donated a good portion of my wardrobe, editing out anything I hadn't put on in the last six months. Doing so allowed me to replace staples and add a few new pieces to my closet.
I'm long-limbed and lanky, so I often have trouble time finding clothing that fits. Pants are too baggy, and shirts are too
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination." So says acclaimed auteur Jim Jarmsuch, and I think it's something every design-oriented man ought to take to heart. So here's a little inspiration to fuel your imagination.