Canada: great at exporting comedians, pancake accoutrements and, apparently, fun. Last week, we stumbled across these photos of a 1930s songbook put together by the owners of the venerable Labatt Brewing Company. The book, filled with traditional drinking songs, was given to all employees—as a too-seldom-invoked method of ensuring company bonding.
It’s not that people don’t get drunk and sing anymore (that is the distilled essence of karaoke, after all), but it is rare that grown gentlemen sing together in spirited voice without accompaniment.
Sure, there are exceptions. There’s the occasional shouting of “Hey” during Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part II” at sporting events, fratty sing-alongs of “Sweet Caroline” when it’s closing time at a bar or, most dreadfully, the awkward, all-office version of “Happy Birthday” for that girl who may or may not work in Accounts Receivable.
Dreams, et al.: In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the King Center has done a revamp of their site. Worth browsing, if you’re feeling reflective. [The King Center]
Man in Florence: 250 Pitti photos in one place. By the end, your eyes will be double-breasted. [Men of Habit]
All The World’s a Stage: In the hands-down the coolest thing to happen at Milan Fashion Week, the Prada show employed Gary Oldman, Adrien Brody, Emile Hirsh, Tim Roth and Willem Dafoe as models. A neat trick. [GQ]
Love, Canadian Style: Apparently Canadian menswear brands are politely elbowing their way to the forefront of fashion. We’ll believe it when we see it. [Financial Times]
The buttoned-up look doesn’t have many icons, but we’d like to shine a light on one of the best: Mr. Glenn Gould. His origin’s a perfect storm of tweediness—a hypochondriac boy genius of classical music in 1950s Canada—but out of it came some brilliant twists on the staples of menswear—the blazers, ties and sweater-vests that the more ambitious trads are still tussling with today.
The sweatshirt doesn’t get much respect, but if you’re either training for a prizefight or stumbling through a hazy Sunday, it can be the best thing you’ve got in your closet. And it’s not above learning a few new tricks.
This shawl collar pullover from Reigning Champ is the perfect example. It’s a slightly cozier twist on the crewneck, cribbed from a long line of chunky knit chalet sweaters. , and made by one of the best fleece companies in the biz. (The factory’s in Canada, which is close enough to count as Americana.)
It’s every bit as cozy as your usual college crewneck, but thanks to the extra bit of collar, you won’t have to think twice about wearing it outside the gym.
Lobster aside, Prince Edward Island’s main exports seem to be cold fronts and grandmotherly affection, so it’s only natural they make a hell of a cardigan.
Brooklyn outlet C’H’C’M’ just restocked their knitwear section with a few hats, scarves, and this cardigan from PEI’s Northern Watters. The color scheme is pretty twee, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and the wool is thick enough to inspire all sorts of warm, fuzzy feelings.
The design corps spiced things up with a tricolor stripe this time around, but more importantly, they opted for the pullover parka rather than the usual zip-up. That means a bit less convenience on your way out the door, but a more impermeable feeling once you get outdoors.
And the way New York weather’s been lately, you may not have to take it off all day.
For chiefly functional items like raincoats, the styles haven’t changed much in 70 years. So absent a bit of new technology (i.e. the Nau crowd), your best bet is a brand that’s been building up cred for a few decades…or one of their more recent collabs.