J Press and La Portegna Sales

Some nice sales happening right now at J Press and La Portegna.

For J Press, there’s a “Spend More, Save More” event, where you can knock $50 off any purchase over $250, $100 off any purchase over $500, or $250 off any purchase over $1000. This can be combined with other sale offers. Their third-party lines, for example, have been discounted by up to 60%. That includes Barbour jackets (e.g. Beaufort for $275) and Eastland’s Made in Maine shoes (e.g. nubuck ankle boot for $220). With some clever combining, you can also lower the Shaggy Dog sweaters in sale section (though available stock is pretty limited). 

Additionally, La Portegna is having a sale on select items. They specialize in travel accessories, but really, much of what they sell can be used for everyday purposes as well. Their canvas laptop bag, for example, is as good for bringing stuff on a flight as it is for carrying things to a cafe. Those start at $150 once you apply the checkout code SUMMER, which knocks an additional 10% off your total purchase price. 

Finding An Eyewear Case
It’s been unexpectedly wet and cloudy in San Francisco, but to prepare for what should be a real summer, I recently went in search for an eyewear case. Having to wear eyeglasses all the time means that I need some place to put my regular frames when I put on sunglasses, and although eyewear often comes with cases, none of them are particularly attractive.
I found mine through Ghurka. It’s a tan leather sleeve with a sueded interior and nicely turned edges (meaning the leather on the edges is turned inward and stitched down, rather than being left exposed). I like that it’s simple enough that I can use just one hand to hold the sleeve and slip my glasses in (useful if you’re on the run and carrying a bag of some sort). It also fits comfortably in my interior coat pocket. The leather quality leaves much to be desired, however, and for the price, I was hoping for something better.
Still, I decided to keep it, as it seemed to be the best option for my needs. In my search though, I found a number of options that might work better with a backpack or briefcase. La Portegna, Glenroyal, Freeman’s Sporting Club, Makr, and Emil Erwin, for example, make softly shaped cases that give a bit more protection. They’re not exactly hardcases, per se, but  should your case ever wind up at the bottom of a bag, their fuller shape should fare better than a simple sleeve.
I also like this unique design by Tanner Goods, but it requires a bit more work to open and close. Probably not good for someone who’s always on the run, but it looks nice.
If you’re interested in other sleeve designs besides Ghurka’s, there’s Daines & Hathaway, Barrett Alley, and Col. Littleton. I also liked the uniqueness of these silk repp striped sleeves sold by Ben Silver, Shibumi, and E. Marinella.
Finally, for something just cheap and simple, you can find these Ralph Lauren cases all over eBay for about $25 (just search around). The material isn’t that great, but the front side is completely hard, which is nice if you’re a bit rough on your things.

Finding An Eyewear Case

It’s been unexpectedly wet and cloudy in San Francisco, but to prepare for what should be a real summer, I recently went in search for an eyewear case. Having to wear eyeglasses all the time means that I need some place to put my regular frames when I put on sunglasses, and although eyewear often comes with cases, none of them are particularly attractive.

I found mine through Ghurka. It’s a tan leather sleeve with a sueded interior and nicely turned edges (meaning the leather on the edges is turned inward and stitched down, rather than being left exposed). I like that it’s simple enough that I can use just one hand to hold the sleeve and slip my glasses in (useful if you’re on the run and carrying a bag of some sort). It also fits comfortably in my interior coat pocket. The leather quality leaves much to be desired, however, and for the price, I was hoping for something better.

Still, I decided to keep it, as it seemed to be the best option for my needs. In my search though, I found a number of options that might work better with a backpack or briefcase. La Portegna, Glenroyal, Freeman’s Sporting Club, Makr, and Emil Erwin, for example, make softly shaped cases that give a bit more protection. They’re not exactly hardcases, per se, but  should your case ever wind up at the bottom of a bag, their fuller shape should fare better than a simple sleeve.

I also like this unique design by Tanner Goods, but it requires a bit more work to open and close. Probably not good for someone who’s always on the run, but it looks nice.

If you’re interested in other sleeve designs besides Ghurka’s, there’s Daines & Hathaway, Barrett Alley, and Col. Littleton. I also liked the uniqueness of these silk repp striped sleeves sold by Ben Silver, Shibumi, and E. Marinella.

Finally, for something just cheap and simple, you can find these Ralph Lauren cases all over eBay for about $25 (just search around). The material isn’t that great, but the front side is completely hard, which is nice if you’re a bit rough on your things.

A Laptop Case Roundup

I’ve been looking for a good laptop case for the last few months. My two briefcases, a Filson 257 and Lotuff English brief, don’t have any cushioning on the bottom, so I need something to protect my computer when I set my bag down. Unfortunately, most cases are made from neoprene or ballistic nylon, and I prefer more natural materials.

Luckily, there are still plenty of good options. On the expensive end, there’s Vaja and Want Les Essentiels. Both companies make exceptionally good products and their cases strike me as a bit smarter designed than most. Unfortunately, they’re also very pricey, and you might end up with something that won’t work with your next laptop purchase. Still, if money were no object for me, I would probably start here.

For slightly more affordable options, I really like Calabrese, Carga, and Ally Capellino. Calabrese is an Italian manufacturer of high-end bags with refined and sophisticated designs. Their laptop sleeve comes in a very beautiful tan leather, as well as dark and light canvas materials. Likewise, Carga has a very nice, simple option made from a single piece of vegetable tanned leather, and Ally Capellino’s is made from (what seems to be) a tumble-washed canvas. If you’re a student, you can take a 12% discount at Ally Capellino, which makes theirs a bit more affordable still. 

There are also some really nice contemporary designs by Scandinavian companies such as Mismo, c.dellstrand, P.A.P. Accessories, and wood wood. For something that has more of a traditional sensibility, consider Saddleback Leathers and Restoration Hardware. Saddleback Leathers is known for making very high-quality leather goods, but I suspect Restoration Hardware is using cheaper materials (though, to be fair, I haven’t had a chance to handle it). I also like WM J Mills and La Portegna. Their sleeves have handles, which may be convenient if you plan to carry them on their own.

For non-leather materials, consider Hard Graft and Pack & Smooch. They have some felted wool models that don’t look too shabby. Additionally, there are coated canvas sleeves from Incase and McManus, as well as a denim sleeve that came out of an Incase and APC collaboration. Perhaps most affordable of all is Wrappers, where you can buy a basic, no frills linen sleeve for about $30.

Finally, should none of these excited you, try searching Etsy. You have to get through a bit of chaff, but if you put in the work, you can find some decent looking designs. Check out Harlex and Byrd & Belle, for example. 

As for me, I’m hoping that Calabrese will make something for 13” laptops soon. I’m pretty set on that tan leather model

House Shoes
Although it’s very much a cultural issue, I prefer having separate shoes for when I’m at home. You can change between shoes at the porch, and doing so will ensure that you don’t track in filth. Indoor shoes can also provide your feet with support and, at the same time, be more comfortable than lace ups.
There are a variety of options. On the more “formal” side, there are Prince Albert slippers, which are typically velvet and have quilted silk linings. The English aristocracy used to wear these when they received people into their homes. They were worn with tuxedos and smoking jackets, but in the past few decades, they’ve migrated to the more casual side of the spectrum. I think they look quite smart with a pair of casual trousers, button up shirt, and a sweater. Black is the most traditional color, but brown, navy, and British racing green work nicely as well. I like them plain, but if you get an emblem, I suggest that it be of something with personal relevance (e.g. your initials, a sport you play, or a school you attended). You can buy such slippers from Brooks Brothers, Stubbs & Wooton, Broadland, Bowhill & Elliot, and Shipton & Heneage. You’ll also find that most major English shoemakers have them for sale.
For more casual options, there are Grecian, mule, and moccasin-styled slippers. These typically come in leather and sometimes have sheepskin lining. I think such slippers look best with a heel cup, but the mule style will be easier to take on and off. Drapers of Glastonbury makes really excellent models, and Pediwear has them for pretty attractive prices. You can also get some handsome ones at Brooks Brothers, Morlands, Jeremy Law, and Mr. Porter.
Some American men may want even more casual options still. For those men, I’d recommend LL Bean, Lands End, and Ralph Lauren. I personally don’t find those styles to be as attractive, but they can look more suitable if you wear jeans or sweatpants at home. You can also check out Muji (both the European and American webshops). They have slippers at extremely affordable prices.
Finally, two additional pairs I think you should consider are the travel and bath slipper. If you travel a lot, a pair of travel slippers can be nice for when you’re at the hotel. They’re also wonderful for long flights since your feet swell during air travel. La Portegna makes some really handsome ones, but as I’ve written before, their shipping is a bit high. I’ve been told, however, that they’re working on expanding their US distribution. The other pair of slippers you may need are terry cotton bath slippers. These should be worn underneath a bathrobe when you’re heading off to the shower. Having a separate pair helps ensure that you don’t stick damp feet into your lounge slippers, which can be bad for both your feet and your shoes. If you buy nice slippers, you might as well make sure they last.
(pictured above: Derek Rose Gower slippers)

House Shoes

Although it’s very much a cultural issue, I prefer having separate shoes for when I’m at home. You can change between shoes at the porch, and doing so will ensure that you don’t track in filth. Indoor shoes can also provide your feet with support and, at the same time, be more comfortable than lace ups.

There are a variety of options. On the more “formal” side, there are Prince Albert slippers, which are typically velvet and have quilted silk linings. The English aristocracy used to wear these when they received people into their homes. They were worn with tuxedos and smoking jackets, but in the past few decades, they’ve migrated to the more casual side of the spectrum. I think they look quite smart with a pair of casual trousers, button up shirt, and a sweater. Black is the most traditional color, but brown, navy, and British racing green work nicely as well. I like them plain, but if you get an emblem, I suggest that it be of something with personal relevance (e.g. your initials, a sport you play, or a school you attended). You can buy such slippers from Brooks Brothers, Stubbs & Wooton, Broadland, Bowhill & Elliot, and Shipton & Heneage. You’ll also find that most major English shoemakers have them for sale.

For more casual options, there are Grecian, mule, and moccasin-styled slippers. These typically come in leather and sometimes have sheepskin lining. I think such slippers look best with a heel cup, but the mule style will be easier to take on and off. Drapers of Glastonbury makes really excellent models, and Pediwear has them for pretty attractive prices. You can also get some handsome ones at Brooks Brothers, Morlands, Jeremy Law, and Mr. Porter.

Some American men may want even more casual options still. For those men, I’d recommend LL Bean, Lands End, and Ralph Lauren. I personally don’t find those styles to be as attractive, but they can look more suitable if you wear jeans or sweatpants at home. You can also check out Muji (both the European and American webshops). They have slippers at extremely affordable prices.

Finally, two additional pairs I think you should consider are the travel and bath slipper. If you travel a lot, a pair of travel slippers can be nice for when you’re at the hotel. They’re also wonderful for long flights since your feet swell during air travel. La Portegna makes some really handsome ones, but as I’ve written before, their shipping is a bit high. I’ve been told, however, that they’re working on expanding their US distribution. The other pair of slippers you may need are terry cotton bath slippers. These should be worn underneath a bathrobe when you’re heading off to the shower. Having a separate pair helps ensure that you don’t stick damp feet into your lounge slippers, which can be bad for both your feet and your shoes. If you buy nice slippers, you might as well make sure they last.

(pictured above: Derek Rose Gower slippers)