I know, I know. Derek just reblogged this picture.
I want to add one more defense of the guy on the left, relative to the guy on the right.
In direct contrast to the guy on the right, the guy on the left doesn’t look like he’s gripped by SERIOUS BALL DISTRESS.
The guy on the left is all, “Well, off to another fashion show.”
The guy on the right is all, “OH MY BALLS MY BALLS OOH OOH OW OW BALLS OH OW OOH.”

I know, I know. Derek just reblogged this picture.

I want to add one more defense of the guy on the left, relative to the guy on the right.

In direct contrast to the guy on the right, the guy on the left doesn’t look like he’s gripped by SERIOUS BALL DISTRESS.

The guy on the left is all, “Well, off to another fashion show.”

The guy on the right is all, “OH MY BALLS MY BALLS OOH OOH OW OW BALLS OH OW OOH.”

(Source: ethandesu, via ethandesu)

Lotuff and Clegg: A Review

Lotuff and Clegg contacted me about reviewing one of their products, so I agreed to have them send me their English briefcase. I received the bag some time ago and find it to be absolutely incredible. The vegetable-tanned leather is exceptionally handsome, with a lot depth and richness to its color, as well as a bit of texture to its skin. It’s also very soft and pliable, but still resilient. I’ve noticed that it doesn’t scuff or scratch as easily as many high end bridle leathers. To secure its construction, there are pure brass buckles, rivets, and clips, which together not only make the bag more sturdy and reliable, but also more beautiful. 

Styling wise, the briefcase is modeled after old-school, English schoolboy, book bags. Instead of the centered, buckle flap closure you would find on most briefcases, this one has two straps that wrap fully around the bag, and then buckle down at the front. Inside is a typical organization system: two leather separators that create four large compartments for your books, laptop, and notebooks; a zippered pocket for your miscellaneous items; and some small pockets for your pens, calculators, and business cards. On the outside, there is a large pouch so that you can have easy access to things while your bag is closed. All in all, it doesn’t carry an extraordinary amount, but I can fit a laptop, two books, some papers, and a notepad. I would liken it to a Filson 256’s carrying load. 

The only downside is the price. At $950, it’s a pretty pricey, to say the least. Whether this is a smart buy for you is largely dependent on your budget, but I can tell you about some other options around this price point, so that you can have comparisons. North of this is Swaine Adeney Brigg’s Wrap-Around document case, which costs roughly $1,500-$2,000. Having handled this bag, I can tell you that it’s indeed superior to anything else on the market. The problem is that it’s so spectacularly romantic in its workmanship that unless you’re carefully dressed to match its class, you will look like the bag’s accessory. South of Lotuff and Clegg’s price point is Filson’s satchel, which costs between $600 to $800. The quality of this bag is a bit less opulent, so it’s easier to carry for everyday use, but its thicker bridle leather tends to wrinkle more. This is especially evident in the folds of the accordion, where Filson has glued and stitched two slabs of leather together (compared to SAB’s one slab of leather). The result is a kind of wrinkly, clump near the base of the bag, instead of the nice folds you would find on a SAB. Lotuff and Clegg’s bag has the same problem, but since the leather is a bit textured, it’s less noticeable. Filson’s also feels like a rugged version of the SAB, whereas Lotuff has a more refined, but casual, sensibility. 

In the end, I’ve found the Lotuff and Clegg bag to be just easier to pull off than other similarly high-end messenger/ satchel styled briefcases. I bring my bag into classrooms, libraries, and cafes, and something like this is much more suitable. It’s superbly handsome, and will age better than a Filson and keep things much more casual than a Brigg.  I liked it so much, in fact, that I bought the sample they sent me (which they kindly sold to me at a discount). It’s quite an expensive purchase, but if you’re on the market for a high-end bag, and considering things like the SAB or Filson, I think Lotuff’s model is well worth your consideration. 

(By the way, Bruce Boyer recommended me the book shown in the picture above - The Craftsman by Richard Sennett. I’m nearly halfway through the book and am really enjoying it. You can read a review of it here to see if you’d like to also pick it up). 

Addendum: Jesse and two readers (Michael and Joe) reminded me that there some other really great companies that make this style of bag - Saddleback LeatherNarragansett Leathers, and Custom Leathers. They’re much more affordable than the ones discussed above, so be sure to check them out as well. 

J Press Sale

J Press is having a sale right now, with discounts of up to 40% off. 

I think there are some good deals to be had. If you’re on the market for ties, I think their garza fina grenadines and knits, as well regimentals, would make for good buys. I also like their navy attache, wine surcingle belt, and collection of pocket squares. Additionally, if you think you might get the itch to buy a university scarf this fall, you might want to do it now while they’re on sale. 

For things that haven’t been marked down, punch in the code PSJUN11 at checkout to score some savings. 

Sale ends on the 16th. 

Don’t get it twisted like Cinnabons, Put This On is about everything from thrift store to couture, and the things in between. One day I blog about $150 Drakes ties, the next day I’m writing about Lands End sales. Like Montell Jordan, this is how we do it. 

Lands End is having a Fathers Day sale and offering 30% off everything in mens. I took a gander and found some nice attaches (a big one for $50 and small one for $30). I also like their belts and ties, as well as this StormRaker shell jacket. Just click here to activate the coupon and the new prices will show up.

30% off is always good enough to blog about, but this time, you can also combine it with their other promotion codes! If your order comes to $50 or more, use MJ11 (pin 4423) to get free shipping and $10 off. If your order is under $50, then use COOLER (pin 4353) to just get free shipping. 

The Father’s Day promotion ends tomorrow. 

Handmade in Italy

Before I started blogging about this stuff, I was an avid reader of menswear blogs for years. One of my favorite blogs was A Continuous Lean, partly because I shared Michael’s passion for knowing how my clothes were made, not just how they were styled. Some of my favorite posts by him were those that showed the manufacturing process behind the stuff I loved so much. 

So, given my (well documented) love for Italian menswear, I thought I’d share a special set of videos of hand craftsmanship in Italy. The videos were produced by Mad About Town, an online boutique that brings some of Europe’s most exquisite luxury items to customers around the world. 

There are three videos. The first is of a Genovese tie maker, Finollo. Lapo Elkann once named this as one of his favorite companies, and given that their wares are so beautifully handmade, it’s easy to see why. The second is of Riccardo Bestetti, an Italian cordwainer based out of Vigevano. Bestetti handmakes everything from Italian styled double monks to British styled wingtips to American styled cowboy boots; the man has an incredible range. Finally, we have Barbisio, a hat company inspired by the Italian notion of La Dolce Vita (“the good life”). These hats were big in Italy during the 1940s and ’50s, and men would wear them to tell the world they’ve reached an apex in their careers. Today, Barbisio makes hats with the same machines they used a hundred years ago. The manufacturing process is truly something to behold. 

There are two other videos that I haven’t included here. The first is of Nicky, one of the finest tie makers in the world. The company was founded in Milan sometime in 1920, and since then, they’ve been hand making incredibly elegant ties. The other is of Valigeria Beretta, another Milanese company. They handhandcraft luxury bags out of French and British leathers. I’ve left them out because they’re not motion picture videos, but rather a sequence of photographs. However, you can see the two videos here and here. I do think they’re still worth watching, however, if you’re as into European menswear as I am. 




Q and Answer: What Color Should My Briefcase Be?
Charlie asks: I’m getting close to the end of my grad school years and am looking to hang up my backpack for good and replace it with a briefcase.  We always match our belts and shoes, but what about leather bags?  Is matching one’s shoes with one’s bag something best left for the ladies?
Generally speaking, don’t worry about it. The above photo (by the Sartorialist) is a great example of a man whose case does not match his shoes, but nonetheless looks great.
The briefcase basics largely breakdown along serious/less serious lines: black is a little more serious than brown. Hard is a little more serious than soft. A refined aesthetic is a little more serious than a rough one. Bear in mind, though, that these are for the most part fine distinctions.
Matching bag to shoes can be nice, but few people want to take everything out of their briefcases in the morning to match them to their choice of footwear. My recommendation is to consider the color shoe you’ll most frequently wear, and buy a case in that color. If you’re a brown casual shoe type guy, maybe a black hard case isn’t the choice for you. If you’re a sober banker, perhaps a floppy brown bag won’t fit your style. You can also consider a color like burgundy, which will relieve you of the pressure to match almost completely.

Q and Answer: What Color Should My Briefcase Be?

Charlie asks: I’m getting close to the end of my grad school years and am looking to hang up my backpack for good and replace it with a briefcase.  We always match our belts and shoes, but what about leather bags?  Is matching one’s shoes with one’s bag something best left for the ladies?

Generally speaking, don’t worry about it. The above photo (by the Sartorialist) is a great example of a man whose case does not match his shoes, but nonetheless looks great.

The briefcase basics largely breakdown along serious/less serious lines: black is a little more serious than brown. Hard is a little more serious than soft. A refined aesthetic is a little more serious than a rough one. Bear in mind, though, that these are for the most part fine distinctions.

Matching bag to shoes can be nice, but few people want to take everything out of their briefcases in the morning to match them to their choice of footwear. My recommendation is to consider the color shoe you’ll most frequently wear, and buy a case in that color. If you’re a brown casual shoe type guy, maybe a black hard case isn’t the choice for you. If you’re a sober banker, perhaps a floppy brown bag won’t fit your style. You can also consider a color like burgundy, which will relieve you of the pressure to match almost completely.

Over the holiday, my wife and I fretted over what to buy for my brother-in-law Daniel, who’s 18 and a senior in high school. My in-laws suggested a piece of luggage, and we figured a duffel would be the most useful for someone his age - light enough for very short trips, large enough for long trips.
We wanted something simple and classic, and after much research, we went with a piece from Beckel Canvas in Portland. Beckel manufactures traditional tents in addition to bags, and their price point, while reflective of the high-quality, Made-in-the-USA product they offer, is set for people who will actually use their products, not shoppers at Bergdorf Goodman or Fred Segal.
It ended up arriving a few days after Christmas, so when Danny came to visit this weekend, I got to see it for the first time in-person. Not only is he delighted with it (if you can get a teenager to willingly pose for a photo, you know he’s excited about something), it really is a lovely product. Heavy canvas, handsome styling and rugged hardware. Dan will get to use it for years to come, and my wife and I are very happy with the purchase.

Over the holiday, my wife and I fretted over what to buy for my brother-in-law Daniel, who’s 18 and a senior in high school. My in-laws suggested a piece of luggage, and we figured a duffel would be the most useful for someone his age - light enough for very short trips, large enough for long trips.

We wanted something simple and classic, and after much research, we went with a piece from Beckel Canvas in Portland. Beckel manufactures traditional tents in addition to bags, and their price point, while reflective of the high-quality, Made-in-the-USA product they offer, is set for people who will actually use their products, not shoppers at Bergdorf Goodman or Fred Segal.

It ended up arriving a few days after Christmas, so when Danny came to visit this weekend, I got to see it for the first time in-person. Not only is he delighted with it (if you can get a teenager to willingly pose for a photo, you know he’s excited about something), it really is a lovely product. Heavy canvas, handsome styling and rugged hardware. Dan will get to use it for years to come, and my wife and I are very happy with the purchase.

Lands End is having a pretty nice sale right now. 30% off everything, and free shipping, with promotion code FAMILYSHARE (pin 6319 4422).

That means you can get their storm jacket for $25, striped ties for $17.50, and deluxe attache for $42 (they also have a smaller model for $28). Browse through their overstock section for other really good deals, but remember to size down on all of their apparel; they fit big. 

As for me? I picked up one of their knit ties for $21. It’s labeled as a narrow tie, but knit ties are typically much narrower. Since this one  measures 2.75”, it’s actually a fairly wide knit tie, which I’ve been really feeling lately. Consider it a Mad Men antidote. 

The promotion ends today, so get on it. 

It’s On eBay
Valextra Briefcase
Wow. Now that’s a bag.
Buy It Now for $849

It’s On eBay

Valextra Briefcase

Wow. Now that’s a bag.

Buy It Now for $849

It’s On Sale
Filson Bucket Bag
$74.99 from $135 at Filson

It’s On Sale

Filson Bucket Bag

$74.99 from $135 at Filson