We’ve filtered through all of the online sale noise and graded your best options out there, should you feel inclined to do any menswear browsing this weekend...
For the Laid-Back Trad:Steven Alan’s hotly anticipated online sample sale has hit the web. Up to 70% off his single-needle shirting and plenty more good stuff. Discount: A+ Sizes Available: B Selection: A+
For the Fashion-Forward:Blackbird has just launched their semiannual sale, with everything from furniture to aprons marked down. Discount: B+ Sizes Available: C+ Selection: B-
For the Swedish Fishing:Tretorn is having a midsummer celebration by marking 30% off all regular-price items for this weekend only (through Monday). Discount: A Sizes Available: A Selection: A
We’ve filtered through all of the online sale noise and graded your best options out there, should you feel inclined to do any menswear browsing this weekend... and this one is shaping up to be a real doozy.
For the Billy Reid Effect:Mr. Reid is shaving 20% or more off a wide range of menswear—it’s heavy on the shirts, but there are some blazers and even sweaters in the mix. Discount: B Sizes Available: B- Selection: B+
For the Single-Needle Shirting:Steven Alan is knocking 50% off a good selection of menswear—you can find some steals if you get lucky with the sizes. Discount: A+ Sizes Available: C+ Selection: A-
For the Hard-to-Find Euro Brands: Take 30% off everything in the webshop at C’H’C’M’ with the code Memorial through Monday. Discount: A Sizes Available: A Selection: A+
For the Americana-Heads:Left Field and sister brand Choctaw Ridge are taking 15% off their entire stock with the code Memorial15. Discount:B Sizes Available: A Selection: B+
Sure, it’s got us looking forward to the prospect of dusting off the white bucks, but we’re mostly excited to roll out the barbecue grill for the season and fill up a cooler with ice and beer.
And anyone who’s manned a grill in this modern era understands that a handsome apron is par for the course. Blame it on a few overeager souls who took the heritage trend a little too seriously—or a captive audience willing to spend countless hours reading up on 1930s butcher shops and perusing handlebar-laden Tumblrs—but the apron scene is perhaps hotter than it’s ever been. So we took a moment to check in on the state of the apron, to see what’s out there these days (luckily, another side effect of the heritage trend is that they’re all going to last you a lot longer than a dozen tanks of propane).
Deep within the Ralph Lauren empire, past all the preppy swathes of piqué and tweed, lies its heart and soul: the RRL line. (An Americana-glorifying assortment of jeans, shirts, bags and saddles that feels how that iconic snap of Mr. Lauren wearing denim on denim looks.)
It’s hard enough finding the stuff online (most shops agree to carry the collection in-house only), but we’ve stumbled upon something even more rare: Seattle’s Blackbird is quietly moving some stock out the door at 30% to 50% off. Naturally, it’s not online, so you’re in luck if you happen to be in the Pacific Northwest this weekend, but those of us not in town can give Blackbird a ring to see what they’ve got in stock (and hope that includes your size). A little extra legwork is the American way.
With winter safely in the rear-view mirror, there’s a whole new breed of tie up for grabs. Forget the gray wools and somber brown hues. Now that the sun is out, we’re more partial to raw silks, textured cotton and madras ties—the rare breed of neckwear that actually looks good on a beach. And in case you want to join in the celebration, we’ve pulled together a few of our favorite examples after the jump.
Blackbird just launched the online part of their seasonal warehouse sale, and it makes for pretty good browsing. For starters, these gray chukkas manage to match the season just about perfectly. We’d also direct you to the in-houseties, going for around $30 a pop, and this denim jacket… but really, you’ll want to explore for yourself.
It's a time-honored rule: If you take a sufficiently refined approach to your vices, they stop being vices. (See also: scotch and dueling gloves.) So naturally, we're always game for a well-made pipe.
Blackbird has put together a pretty good set, including this one carved from a soapstone-y mineral called meerschaum. Even with the carrying case, it's pretty darn country. But if you've already taken the leap into pipe tobacco, we have to assume you're ready for it.
This is how a pair of undyed leather shoes looks after a year of non-stop wear.
The story is here, courtesy of the good folks at Blackbird, who seem to endorse this kind of shoe abuse, but we see it more as a cautionary tale. A scant twelve months ago, these were bright, clean loafers, full of potential. Now they’re covered with the kind of creases and raw scuffs that cause weaker souls to run out of thrift stores in tears.
There, but for the grace of shoe trees, go all of us.
So in the interest of saving any other wayward oxfords that have yet to fall into weathered perdition, we thought we’d reiterate the one central rule of wearing in shoes: don’t wear them more than two days in a row. There are others—keep them out of the rain, keep a shoe tree or some newspaper inside when you’re not wearing them—but they pale before that one cardinal dictum.
When you ignore it 364 times in a row, you end up with something like the shoes above—great color, but a cloudy patina and too much scuffing for a shoeshine to cure. Consider yourself warned.
Fortunately, Blackbird just rolled out a crewneck that’s just about perfect—all the way down to the $55 price tag. The heathered gray is just as flat as it should be, and there's no other bells and whistles to distract from it. Our favorite part: they dubbed it “the Colton Harris-Moore” after the famous barefoot bandit, presumably as a tribute to the sweatshirt’s outlaw tendencies. You’ve been warned.
The short-sleeved button-up has been getting a lot of attention now that it’s too muggy for oxford shirts, but it’s a remarkably tough shirt to wear. Play it too safe and you’ll end up looking like an accountant. Our suggestion: get adventurous.
This Native Son shirt does it just about perfectly, with oversized stripes to elevated it out of CPA territory into something a little bit riskier. The box pleat in the back and generally shrunken cut keep things slim, and the button-down collar means you’ll emerge with your preppy cred intact.
It’s the rare class of shirt you can wear under a suit or above a bathing suit, which should be a pretty useful trick once July rolls around.
For all the emphasis on old-school production, the average shirt is still pretty homogeneous. No matter how distinctive they look on the runway, every single Band of Outsiders button-down will come out of the factory looking exactly the same. Pick one up, and there will be thousands more out there with exactly the same pattern. And, with the notable exception of raw denim, we’d guess true of every item in your closet.
But not these. In the DIY spirit, Blackbird put together a line of hand-dyed oxford shirts with know-how borrowed from a local dye shop called Earthhues. Each shirt was dyed in their Field House shop, and they’ve got watermarks and other irregularities to show for it—kind of like the distinctive wear patterns you worked so hard to cultivate on your jeans.
Large prints have been mostly left behind in the recent tie renaissance—probably because when they’re bad, they’re very bad—but this one’s subtle enough to slip under the radar. Our only complaint: at two inches, it’s a bit on the trendy side…but nobody’s perfect.
Blackbird’s seasonal sale is well under way, and we couldn’t help but notice one of our favorite shoes dipping into a less-than-stratospheric price range. The shoes are Chausser’s Cordovan cap-toes—sturdy, comfortable, and just about everything you could want from a shoe. Consider it our envy of the day.