Replacement boot laces
For several years now I’ve appreciated the ruggedness of my L.L. Bean Boots for winter. They’ve held up quite well in rain, snow, slush and that slurry of dirt, melted snow and rock salt that seems to stick around well after the storms are gone. 
But I can’t say I’ve been impressed with the stock laces that came with my Bean Boots. Perhaps I was an outlier, but both began to fray and fail the very first winter I wore them. In a pinch, I decided to pick up a pair of Kiwi leather laces at the local Walmart. Those lasted at least a winter until a few weeks ago when I went to lace up my boots and one of them snapped in my hand while tightening them. Perhaps that accounts for their 2-star rating on Amazon. 
I spent a bit more time doing some research and came across an old, 2009 post from Sartorially Inclined (R.I.P.) on Danner boot laces. Price has gone up a buck (now $6), but I figured they’re worth a shot. I’m hoping they’ll stay together for more than a year. Perhaps I should’ve just bought two pairs to have a spare. 
My friend also recommended a good idea: paracord, which was used by the U.S. military for their parachute lines. You can usually buy a significant length of it for a few bucks at your local military surplus store. Simply cut to length and burn the ends with a lighter to keep them from fraying at the tip. 
-Kiyoshi

Replacement boot laces

For several years now I’ve appreciated the ruggedness of my L.L. Bean Boots for winter. They’ve held up quite well in rain, snow, slush and that slurry of dirt, melted snow and rock salt that seems to stick around well after the storms are gone. 

But I can’t say I’ve been impressed with the stock laces that came with my Bean Boots. Perhaps I was an outlier, but both began to fray and fail the very first winter I wore them. In a pinch, I decided to pick up a pair of Kiwi leather laces at the local Walmart. Those lasted at least a winter until a few weeks ago when I went to lace up my boots and one of them snapped in my hand while tightening them. Perhaps that accounts for their 2-star rating on Amazon. 

I spent a bit more time doing some research and came across an old, 2009 post from Sartorially Inclined (R.I.P.) on Danner boot laces. Price has gone up a buck (now $6), but I figured they’re worth a shot. I’m hoping they’ll stay together for more than a year. Perhaps I should’ve just bought two pairs to have a spare. 

My friend also recommended a good idea: paracord, which was used by the U.S. military for their parachute lines. You can usually buy a significant length of it for a few bucks at your local military surplus store. Simply cut to length and burn the ends with a lighter to keep them from fraying at the tip. 

-Kiyoshi

Q and Answer: How Should I Dress in the Rain?
Steve writes: I live in Vancouver; can you suggest how I should dress for the rain?
The answer is yes.  We can suggest how you should dress in the rain.
You’ll want to start with an umbrella.  I really love the ones at Howard Yount, which are lovely, with solid wood handles and beautiful hand-sewn canopies.  They also cost $165.  If that’s out of your range, there are plenty of other options, just go with something simple.  There are usually good choices at a luggage shop.
On your head, you can wear a hat.  A wool flat cap is a great choice.  If you’re going to wear a proper hat with a brim, this is a good time to do it, especially if it’s not too blustery.
You’ll want some kind of covering for your body, of course.  A classic trench coat or Mackintosh is a good option here for pairing with more formal clothes.  Khaki is the traditional color.  There are plenty of choices for more casual wear - I like waxed cotton, and own a Barbour Beaufort, which I bought on UK eBay for about a hundred dollars.  A number of companies also make lightweight, packable rain coats, which are very useful for climates like Vancouver where rain and cold do not always go hand in hand. 
For your shoes, you’ll want to avoid leather soles.  When leather soles get wet, they wear much faster.  Shoes with rubber or dainite soles are best.  Alternately, you can wear rain-specific shoes like Bean Boots and switch them when you get where you’re going, or cover your dress shoes with galoshes.

Q and Answer: How Should I Dress in the Rain?

Steve writes: I live in Vancouver; can you suggest how I should dress for the rain?

The answer is yes.  We can suggest how you should dress in the rain.

You’ll want to start with an umbrella.  I really love the ones at Howard Yount, which are lovely, with solid wood handles and beautiful hand-sewn canopies.  They also cost $165.  If that’s out of your range, there are plenty of other options, just go with something simple.  There are usually good choices at a luggage shop.

On your head, you can wear a hat.  A wool flat cap is a great choice.  If you’re going to wear a proper hat with a brim, this is a good time to do it, especially if it’s not too blustery.

You’ll want some kind of covering for your body, of course.  A classic trench coat or Mackintosh is a good option here for pairing with more formal clothes.  Khaki is the traditional color.  There are plenty of choices for more casual wear - I like waxed cotton, and own a Barbour Beaufort, which I bought on UK eBay for about a hundred dollars.  A number of companies also make lightweight, packable rain coats, which are very useful for climates like Vancouver where rain and cold do not always go hand in hand. 

For your shoes, you’ll want to avoid leather soles.  When leather soles get wet, they wear much faster.  Shoes with rubber or dainite soles are best.  Alternately, you can wear rain-specific shoes like Bean Boots and switch them when you get where you’re going, or cover your dress shoes with galoshes.