Kempt

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Farewell to the Dandy Congressman

David Dreier

It’s a dark day for Congressional style.

Representative David Dreier (R-CA), widely considered the best-dressed Congressman in the House of Representatives, announced yesterday that he would not be seeking a 17th term in office. “After three decades on Capitol Hill,” he said jokingly on the House floor, “I am finally doing my part to improve Congress’s sorry image.”

Of course, he’d been doing that all along»

The Icon: Charles Eames

Designers have gotten a lot more hip in the past few years, and along with the newfound cachet, we’ve seen a resurgence in the kind of minimalist style that rules most design firms with an iron fist. So for this week’s icon, we thought we’d turn the spotlight on one of the men who made the style—and, incidentally, one of the best American designers of the 20th century. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Charles Eames…

See five iconic pictures of Charles Eames»

Make it Raen

raenoptics

It’s always nice to have a source for a $100 pair of shades. Not because you’re unhappy with the ones you’ve got…but the way you live, accidents happen.

So you’ll want to keep Raen Optics on file in case your clubmasters fall prey to a tragic windsurfing mishap. They’re a California brand specializing in mid-century style shades and optical frames. At the moment, our favorite is the Squire, inspired by James Dean’s 50s frames—something like Wayfarers by way of Moscot.

Just try to keep them out of the ocean.

The Boys of Summer

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At the moment, flannel’s more associated with bearded mountain men than flaxen-haired Californians, but it wasn’t always so. For proof, check out this picture of the Beach Boys—erstwhile masters of summertime Americana—decked out in five matching lumberjack shirts and impeccably geeky white undertees, and somehow still channeling the endless summer.

We’re not alone in being impressed. As it happens, Hurley seized on this particular photo to turn out red and blue versions of the Pendleton flannel, which has since found its way onto racks at Bloomingdales and Fred Segal. It’s a pretty good twist on a classic item and some classic style icons.

But mostly, we’re glad no one showed them this.

See the shirts»

Summer Days

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Trovata’s been overshadowed by their former collaborators Shipley & Halmos these past few seasons, but they’re still a pretty reliable source for breezy West Coast gear. This Miro shirt, for instance, is the kind of garment they can turn out pretty reliably, a linen-weave summer shirt lined up for their Spring/Summer 2010 line.

It’s not enough to call a comeback, but if they meet January with a whole line of these items, they’ll definitely raise a few eyebrows—even more than the storytelling stunts that got them noticed in the first place. Four years in, they may finally be hitting their stride.

The Tin Man

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For all our gushing about ACL’s American List, we’re more interested in how things are made than where. Of course, it’s easier to keep an eye on things if they’re domestic, but really we just want to see what those factories really look like.

Patagonia is giving us the next best thing with their latest site, the Tin Shed (via Josh Spear). It’s not exactly complete transparency, but it gives a peek into the early history of the brand, which turns out to look a little different than you’d expect.

More on the Tin Shed»