Donegal Sweaters

We’re on the cusp of sweater weather, and this fall, I’m most looking forward to wearing this grey "Donegal" knit from Inis Meain. I put Donegal in quotes because the sweater wasn’t actually made in Donegal, but rather, it’s reminiscent of the hallmark tweeds that come of that region. Those tweeds have flecks of color, which are allowed to glob onto the yarns in irregular ways. You learn about it in this wonderful video Jesse put together on Molloy & Sons, one of the region’s best mills.  

The nice thing about speckled sweaters is that you can wear them on their own with an oxford cloth shirt or a brushed flannel. I like hardier shirtings in this case because they have a visual weight that feels a bit more at home with such rugged looking knits. By itself, the flecks make the sweater a little more interesting than the smooth, plain-colored merinos you see everywhere else. At the same time, the pattern is also easy to pair with any kind of outerwear. 

This season, it seems everyone is selling a Donegal knit. Here are some you may want to consider, from most to least expensive. 

Over $300

Over $200

  • East Harbour Surplus ($265): A Japanese brand with Italian-made, American-inspired designs. These vintage-y looking cardigans fit really slim, so be sure to size up. 
  • O’Connell’s ($225): My favorite source for Shetlands. Well made stuff that stands up to abuse. Plus, O’Connell’s has a great pedigree that’s hard to beat. 
  • Oliver Spencer ($225): A slightly more interesting look piece. Pair this with more modern looking coats and jackets, and perhaps a slim pair of charcoal trousers.  
  • Epaulet (~$220): A popular brand among menswear enthusiasts. They just released some cabled Donegal sweaters with shawl collars and mocknecks. 
  • Alex Mill ($207): A new label headed by the son of J. Crew’s CEO, Mickey Drexler. Designs tend to be basic, but easy to incorporate into any wardrobe. This black Donegal sweater has a sort of chic look to it. 

Over $100

Under $100

Q and Answer: What to Pack for Traveling to Cold Climates?
Erieking writes us to ask: I’m looking to travel to Europe next year, and will be in many different climates. I have my summer wardrobe covered, but am curious what you’d recommend for winter travel in Scandinavia? I have a budget of about $500-1,000. 
I used to travel a lot to Russia in the fall and winter months, so I can relate to how difficult it can be to pack light, but also have everything you need. The good news is that above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you can rely on smart layering. Doing so will allow you to be a bit more adaptable as the weather changes, whereas if you pack a big, warm coat, you might be too warm on days that are only chilly. I recommend the following:
Baselayers: Baselayers will be your best friend. Layer them underneath everything and you’ll be surprised by how little else you need. I like Smartwool, which you can often find on sale at Campmor and Sierra Trading Post. The second has options by other companies as well. Just make sure you get the heavyweight stuff. 
Outerwear: If you mostly wear tailored clothing (suits, sport coats, and the like), then you’ll need a traditional coat (some stores call these dress coats). Brooks Brothers and O’Connell’s are good places to start, but for something more affordable, check your local thrift stores. For anything more causal, pick whatever suits your taste. Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren often have nice looking designs, and they regularly discount stuff by 25% during their mid-season sales. J. Crew is a more affordable option, but their constructions often feel lighter and thinner. 
Sweaters: Cashmere is warmer than regular wool, but nice cashmere is expensive, unless you hunt for something vintage. For practicality and price, I recommend thick wool sweaters (ideally in turtleneck form, so you get some extra protection). Inis Meain’s merinos and O’Connell’s Shetlands are some of my favorite sweaters, but they’re a bit expensive. For more affordable options, I like Club Monaco. Just make sure to avoid the cashmere stuff, as it’ll be too thin for your needs. 
Tailored jacket: Get a heavy brown tweed, ideally with some kind of pattern, such as a herringbone or check. Any place that sells suits should also have sport coats. You can check out these stores to start. 
Pants: For casualwear, I like raw denim. It’s typically heavier than your run-of-the-mill jeans from Levis, so it feels warmer to me (even if the effect is just psychological). I wear 3sixteen’s SL-100x model, and really like them, but you can find more affordable options from our advertiser Gustin. For something dressier, get a pair of mid-grey wool flannels. Again, you can check out these stores to start.
Shirts: Bushed cotton flannels, chambrays, and wool-cotton blends all make for great cold-weather shirtings, but when I travel, I like to pack light, so I bring my favorite shirts of all: oxford cloth button downs. The upside is that they work equally well with sport coats and casualwear. 
Thick, wool socks: Feet can be hard to keep warm, so get thick wool socks (they’re warmer than cotton, and help wick sweat away). Just make sure your feet still fit comfortably into your shoes. An overly tight fit can restrict circulation, which will make your feet feel cold. Again, I like Smartwool. 
Gloves: I find that leather gloves lined in cashmere or rabbit hair feel warmer than wool gloves alone. You can get them from Dents or Merola, or have them custom made through Chester Jefferies (I had them make me this design, which you can order if you show them those pictures). For something more affordable, browse Nordstrom. They have some great options and an unbeatable return policy to boot.
Scarves: I love Drake’s scarves, but they’re expensive. Luckily, cheaper options will keep you just as warm. Just make sure to get something made from cashmere or merino, and in a long enough length so you can wrap your scarf around your neck twice. You can get Johnston’s of Elgin scarves for about $40-50 from Sierra Trading Post once you apply one of their DealFlyer coupons. 
Shoes: When it’s cold, it’s likely wet. Shoes made with what’s known as a storm or fudge welt will be more waterproof, but truthfully, I’ve been fine with regular Goodyear welt constructions, even in the snow. I just recommend bringing at least two pairs (ideally boots), and rotating between them. Commando or studded Dainite soles will also give you better traction, and they won’t grind down as easily as wet leather. For where to turn, the sky is the limit when it comes to expensive makers, but you can use this list for more affordable buys. I really like Meermin. 
The above should get you through any kind of weather that’s 20 degrees and above. Even in Moscow, things only dip below that for maybe two or three weeks per year. If you find yourself in icier conditions, then you’ll need a down parka, but good ones will cost you dearly (if you care to know, my dream pick is Nigel Cabourn’s Everest parka, which you know is serious business because it has the word Everest in it). I say plan your trips smartly so you don’t have to buy such a thing. 

Q and Answer: What to Pack for Traveling to Cold Climates?

 writes us to ask: I’m looking to travel to Europe next year, and will be in many different climates. I have my summer wardrobe covered, but am curious what you’d recommend for winter travel in Scandinavia? I have a budget of about $500-1,000. 

I used to travel a lot to Russia in the fall and winter months, so I can relate to how difficult it can be to pack light, but also have everything you need. The good news is that above 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you can rely on smart layering. Doing so will allow you to be a bit more adaptable as the weather changes, whereas if you pack a big, warm coat, you might be too warm on days that are only chilly. I recommend the following:

  • Baselayers: Baselayers will be your best friend. Layer them underneath everything and you’ll be surprised by how little else you need. I like Smartwool, which you can often find on sale at Campmor and Sierra Trading Post. The second has options by other companies as well. Just make sure you get the heavyweight stuff. 
  • Outerwear: If you mostly wear tailored clothing (suits, sport coats, and the like), then you’ll need a traditional coat (some stores call these dress coats). Brooks Brothers and O’Connell’s are good places to start, but for something more affordable, check your local thrift stores. For anything more causal, pick whatever suits your taste. Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren often have nice looking designs, and they regularly discount stuff by 25% during their mid-season sales. J. Crew is a more affordable option, but their constructions often feel lighter and thinner. 
  • Sweaters: Cashmere is warmer than regular wool, but nice cashmere is expensive, unless you hunt for something vintage. For practicality and price, I recommend thick wool sweaters (ideally in turtleneck form, so you get some extra protection). Inis Meain’s merinos and O’Connell’s Shetlands are some of my favorite sweaters, but they’re a bit expensive. For more affordable options, I like Club Monaco. Just make sure to avoid the cashmere stuff, as it’ll be too thin for your needs. 
  • Tailored jacket: Get a heavy brown tweed, ideally with some kind of pattern, such as a herringbone or check. Any place that sells suits should also have sport coats. You can check out these stores to start
  • Pants: For casualwear, I like raw denim. It’s typically heavier than your run-of-the-mill jeans from Levis, so it feels warmer to me (even if the effect is just psychological). I wear 3sixteen’s SL-100x model, and really like them, but you can find more affordable options from our advertiser Gustin. For something dressier, get a pair of mid-grey wool flannels. Again, you can check out these stores to start.
  • Shirts: Bushed cotton flannels, chambrays, and wool-cotton blends all make for great cold-weather shirtings, but when I travel, I like to pack light, so I bring my favorite shirts of all: oxford cloth button downs. The upside is that they work equally well with sport coats and casualwear. 
  • Thick, wool socks: Feet can be hard to keep warm, so get thick wool socks (they’re warmer than cotton, and help wick sweat away). Just make sure your feet still fit comfortably into your shoes. An overly tight fit can restrict circulation, which will make your feet feel cold. Again, I like Smartwool
  • Gloves: I find that leather gloves lined in cashmere or rabbit hair feel warmer than wool gloves alone. You can get them from Dents or Merola, or have them custom made through Chester Jefferies (I had them make me this design, which you can order if you show them those pictures). For something more affordable, browse Nordstrom. They have some great options and an unbeatable return policy to boot.
  • Scarves: I love Drake’s scarves, but they’re expensive. Luckily, cheaper options will keep you just as warm. Just make sure to get something made from cashmere or merino, and in a long enough length so you can wrap your scarf around your neck twice. You can get Johnston’s of Elgin scarves for about $40-50 from Sierra Trading Post once you apply one of their DealFlyer coupons. 
  • Shoes: When it’s cold, it’s likely wet. Shoes made with what’s known as a storm or fudge welt will be more waterproof, but truthfully, I’ve been fine with regular Goodyear welt constructions, even in the snow. I just recommend bringing at least two pairs (ideally boots), and rotating between them. Commando or studded Dainite soles will also give you better traction, and they won’t grind down as easily as wet leather. For where to turn, the sky is the limit when it comes to expensive makers, but you can use this list for more affordable buys. I really like Meermin

The above should get you through any kind of weather that’s 20 degrees and above. Even in Moscow, things only dip below that for maybe two or three weeks per year. If you find yourself in icier conditions, then you’ll need a down parka, but good ones will cost you dearly (if you care to know, my dream pick is Nigel Cabourn’s Everest parka, which you know is serious business because it has the word Everest in it). I say plan your trips smartly so you don’t have to buy such a thing. 

It’s On Sale: Nigel Cabourn at Marrkt

The British flash sale site Marrkt is very quiet, but they do have semi-annual sales on the brilliant English designer Nigel Cabourn. Their Spring/Summer sale just went up, and it’s really full of great stuff. The green military shirt-jacket pictured above is one I own and wear all the time, and the other two are ones I wish were on sale in my size.

Orders ship to the US free(!), and folks outside of the EU get a 20% discount in the cart to account for VAT. Remember that these are Euro sizes so drop ten - I’ve found that a 52 is a pretty true 42.

Here’s our invite if you don’t have an account already.

It’s On Sale: Nigel Cabourn at Marrkt

Derek and I are both enamored of the British menswear designer Nigel Cabourn, whose work tweaks archival military and expedition clothes in just-right ways, making a sort of Platonic ideal of classic streetwear.

Cabourn’s rarely on sale, but the English flash sale site Marrkt is currently offering a selection of items, along with some stuff from Highland 2000 and Edwin Vintage. Lots of beautiful outerwear for those of you who need coats for the fall and winter cold.

As usual, the site is by invitation, and if you’d like to use ours, we get a kickback.

Cheap Shoes That Age Well
Although I wouldn’t call it a “rule” for myself, when I can, I try to buy things that I think will look better with time, rather than worse. That is, after all, why most of us value full grain leather shoes over corrected grain ones. It’s not because they’re cheaper in the long run (because they’re not). It’s because high quality shoes acquire a beautiful worn in look that only good materials and years of wear can impart. Shoes made from corrected grain leather, on the other hand, look terrible new and even worse with time.
Unfortunately, shoes that age well are typically expensive. The exception to this is canvas sneakers, which always look better with a bit of dirt and grass staining. Think:
Converse Chuck Taylors and Jack Purcells
Vans Authentics and Classic Slip-Ons
Superga 1705 and 2750
Sperry Top-Sider’s striped CVOs
Tretorn Nylites
All of these retail for under $75, but can be had for less than $50 if you wait for sales.
The best thing about these shoes isn’t their price, however. It’s their designs. Most have been around for decades and their designs are hard to improve on. Take Maison Martin Margiela’s interpretation of Vans’ slip-ons, for example. The heavier look and feel of leather doesn’t evoke the airiness of summer like canvas, even if the design itself looks more luxurious. Similarly, Nigel Cabourn’s interpretation of Chuck Taylor All Stars has a nice retro feel, but truth be told, I think the standard model today is hard to beat.
You can wear these with any number of spring or summer ensembles. I often wear my Chuck Taylor high tops with a white t-shirt, leather jacket, and pair of jeans, and my Superga 1705s with chinos and a madras shirt. On a cooler spring day, the madras shirt gets swapped out for a sweatshirt and light parka. Neither of these feel like compromises over full grain leather shoes, and they’re appreciably much cheaper. It’s nice that good things don’t always have to be expensive. 

Cheap Shoes That Age Well

Although I wouldn’t call it a “rule” for myself, when I can, I try to buy things that I think will look better with time, rather than worse. That is, after all, why most of us value full grain leather shoes over corrected grain ones. It’s not because they’re cheaper in the long run (because they’re not). It’s because high quality shoes acquire a beautiful worn in look that only good materials and years of wear can impart. Shoes made from corrected grain leather, on the other hand, look terrible new and even worse with time.

Unfortunately, shoes that age well are typically expensive. The exception to this is canvas sneakers, which always look better with a bit of dirt and grass staining. Think:

All of these retail for under $75, but can be had for less than $50 if you wait for sales.

The best thing about these shoes isn’t their price, however. It’s their designs. Most have been around for decades and their designs are hard to improve on. Take Maison Martin Margiela’s interpretation of Vans’ slip-ons, for example. The heavier look and feel of leather doesn’t evoke the airiness of summer like canvas, even if the design itself looks more luxurious. Similarly, Nigel Cabourn’s interpretation of Chuck Taylor All Stars has a nice retro feel, but truth be told, I think the standard model today is hard to beat.

You can wear these with any number of spring or summer ensembles. I often wear my Chuck Taylor high tops with a white t-shirt, leather jacket, and pair of jeans, and my Superga 1705s with chinos and a madras shirt. On a cooler spring day, the madras shirt gets swapped out for a sweatshirt and light parka. Neither of these feel like compromises over full grain leather shoes, and they’re appreciably much cheaper. It’s nice that good things don’t always have to be expensive. 

Thick Flannel Shirts
Over the weekend, Jesse listed this Spring’s Seven “Must Have Or You’ll Die” Essentials. Do you know why? Because he lives in Los Angeles, and in Southern California, the four seasons are: spring, summer, summer with slightly chillier nights (but not by much), and spring with slightly chillier nights (but again, not by much). Dear readers: know that I - as your correspondent in the Bay Area - understand that we’re still solidly in winter. Here in the Bay, it’s still cold enough to need chunky sweaters, heavy coats, and the occasional pair of gloves. 
It’s also useful to have a few thick flannel shirts around. I’ve been wearing mine every once in a while with jeans and a leather jacket, and prefer ones made from heavy, coarse fabrics. My favorite sources so far include:
John Lofgren: A highly underrated and underappreciated workwear label. Really nice, thick fabrics made into shirts with slightly short, vintage-y cuts. Available at John Lofgren’s site directly, but also Self Edge and Bench & Loom (although the last two don’t have woven shirts right now).
Flat Head: A Japanese workwear label that draws a lot of inspiration from American motorcycle and hot rod subcultures. They have two lines of shirts – the mainline, which is slim and shorter fitting, and Glory Park, which is just a touch bigger. Of all my flannels, these are easily my favorite, but they’re expensive. If you don’t mind the price, they’re available at Self Edge and Rivet & Hide.
Five Brother: A genuine workwear label that recently started making slim fitting shirts for the fashion crowd. These are made from vividly colored fabrics with coarse weaves and a dry hand. Of all the companies on this list, Five Brother probably offers the best price to value ratio. You can find them now at Bench & Loom, but in the past, Context and Hickoree’s has also carried them (they will again this fall).
Nigel Cabourn: Always a favorite, but his prices are stratospherically high. If it matters, his flannel shirts are sometimes reversible, although the other side of the one I bought is perhaps too “fuzzy” to realistically use. Still, he has some nice subtle detailing that the other brands don’t offer (unique pocket designs, smoke mother-of-pearl buttons, and extra, extra thick fabrics). Available at Nigel Cabourn’s own website or any of his stockists. If you’re not able to afford those retail prices, you’ll have to trawl Yoox and eBay like me.
RRL: Ralph Lauren’s ranch inspired sub-label. The fabrics on RRL shirts really run the gamut, but in general, they’re typically a bit flimsier than the aforementioned brands (at least when it comes to fall/ winter shirts). On the upside, they can often be found on deep discount (I bought mine for about $75). These are available at Ralph Lauren’s website, and certain niche stockists such as Unionmade and Frans Boone.
The best part about wearing thick flannel shirts? With designers such as Daiki Suzuki and Heidi Slimane incorporating them into last year’s looks, you can simultaneously feel very “aritansal heritage workwear” and “high fashion au courant.” Plus, Rick Owens wears them! The dream of the 90s is alive in menswear. At least until spring comes for the rest of us. 

Thick Flannel Shirts

Over the weekend, Jesse listed this Spring’s Seven “Must Have Or You’ll Die” Essentials. Do you know why? Because he lives in Los Angeles, and in Southern California, the four seasons are: spring, summer, summer with slightly chillier nights (but not by much), and spring with slightly chillier nights (but again, not by much). Dear readers: know that I - as your correspondent in the Bay Area - understand that we’re still solidly in winter. Here in the Bay, it’s still cold enough to need chunky sweaters, heavy coats, and the occasional pair of gloves. 

It’s also useful to have a few thick flannel shirts around. I’ve been wearing mine every once in a while with jeans and a leather jacket, and prefer ones made from heavy, coarse fabrics. My favorite sources so far include:

  • John Lofgren: A highly underrated and underappreciated workwear label. Really nice, thick fabrics made into shirts with slightly short, vintage-y cuts. Available at John Lofgren’s site directly, but also Self Edge and Bench & Loom (although the last two don’t have woven shirts right now).
  • Flat Head: A Japanese workwear label that draws a lot of inspiration from American motorcycle and hot rod subcultures. They have two lines of shirts – the mainline, which is slim and shorter fitting, and Glory Park, which is just a touch bigger. Of all my flannels, these are easily my favorite, but they’re expensive. If you don’t mind the price, they’re available at Self Edge and Rivet & Hide.
  • Five Brother: A genuine workwear label that recently started making slim fitting shirts for the fashion crowd. These are made from vividly colored fabrics with coarse weaves and a dry hand. Of all the companies on this list, Five Brother probably offers the best price to value ratio. You can find them now at Bench & Loom, but in the past, Context and Hickoree’s has also carried them (they will again this fall).
  • Nigel Cabourn: Always a favorite, but his prices are stratospherically high. If it matters, his flannel shirts are sometimes reversible, although the other side of the one I bought is perhaps too “fuzzy” to realistically use. Still, he has some nice subtle detailing that the other brands don’t offer (unique pocket designs, smoke mother-of-pearl buttons, and extra, extra thick fabrics). Available at Nigel Cabourn’s own website or any of his stockists. If you’re not able to afford those retail prices, you’ll have to trawl Yoox and eBay like me.
  • RRL: Ralph Lauren’s ranch inspired sub-label. The fabrics on RRL shirts really run the gamut, but in general, they’re typically a bit flimsier than the aforementioned brands (at least when it comes to fall/ winter shirts). On the upside, they can often be found on deep discount (I bought mine for about $75). These are available at Ralph Lauren’s website, and certain niche stockists such as Unionmade and Frans Boone.

The best part about wearing thick flannel shirts? With designers such as Daiki Suzuki and Heidi Slimane incorporating them into last year’s looks, you can simultaneously feel very “aritansal heritage workwear” and “high fashion au courant.” Plus, Rick Owens wears them! The dream of the 90s is alive in menswear. At least until spring comes for the rest of us. 

Ten Sales Here and There

In addition to Pete’s recent post on Hickoree’s sale, I thought I’d list ten end-of-the-season sales I’ve been looking at. Much of the stock has been sold, but there are still some nice items here and there. 

  • Haven: Haven is a Canadian shop with a strong streetwear focus. At the moment, they have a bunch of stuff from Yuketen, Levis Vintage Clothing, Common Projects, and Engineered Garments on discount. I’d like to think I can look as cool as Takahiro Kinoshita in this varsity, but that’s definitely not happening.
  • Totokaelo: Totokaelo mostly stocks “edgy” designer labels, but they also have a lot of casual footwear that I think would appeal to men with classic tastes. Although the discounts aren’t that deep, these APC Ranger boots and Common Projects track sneakers look great. 
  • Bodega: A buddy of mine recently picked up these sneakers by Converse and Nigel Cabourn. They look a bit funky, but work well with the right kind of clothing. Bodega has them for $60, albeit in very limited sizes. Nigel Cabourn and End have them in a wider range of sizes, but not in white. 
  • Roden Gray: Another Canadian operation. They have some Randolph Engineering aviators on sale right now for $107. 
  • French Garment Cleaners: Lots of nice stuff from Engineered Garments and Oak Street Bootmakers. I like this chambray and these boots.
  • Berg & Berg: Lots of accessories at half off. Included are some neckties, scarves, and leather laptop sleeves, the last of which I reviewed a few months ago. 
  • Soto: These guys have a Barbour Bedale made from a very unique grey wool (it usually comes in a waxed green cotton). You might want to check with the store about sizing before you buy, as many people size down on the Bedale, but also have to take it to Barbour to have the sleeves lengthened. I can’t say for sure if Barbour can lengthen the sleeves on this model. 
  • Gentry: Lots of stuff on sale, including a very well-priced pair of chukkas from Eastland’s Made in Maine collection. Eastland’s Made in Maine is … well … made in Maine, and produced from much better materials than what Eastland uses for their mainline.
  • UnionmadeTake another 20% off sale prices with the discount code PLUS20. You can check this old post to see what I thought was particularly nice the first day the sale went up. 
  • J Crew: The official line is that “final sale items” can be discounted by an additional 40% with the checkout code BYEWINTER, but the code also seems to apply to things that aren’t marked as final sale. Such as these tan workboots by Chippewa, which get dropped down to $156 with the code. 

Australian Convict Uniforms

Here’s a curious thing. Above is what the Australian government used to make their convicts wear. The broad arrow you see on the pants originate from the UK, which used to be put on government owned property (such as their convict uniforms and military items). Today, it’s been used by designers such as Nigel Cabourn for decorative effect. Dare I say, the UK version of broad arrow convict pants look much more stylish, and I can can see them being recreated today and sold at fashion boutiques for a crazy price. 

To be fair, the Australian ones were made to look silly on purpose. These were used in the mid-19th century to distinguish repeat convicts from others. The loud, bi-color design was made so that their wearers would feel humiliated and stand out in a crowd (thus preventing any escape attempts). The long trousers had broad arrows stamped on them, and the jacket was unusually short and had a high, stand-up collar. The cloth used was also a very itchy woolen, apparently so that the wearer would be extra uncomfortable (I mean, what’s up with that hat?). Prisoners who wore these were nicknamed “canary men.” 

(Photo via New South Wales Government page on “A Convict Story”)

It’s (always?) On Sale: Yoox
My favorite place to order Italian, Yoox, has cut prices further on a lot of items, putting a lot of really nice pieces at half retail or less (even considering Yoox’s occasionally inflated “retail” prices). Check out bargains on tailoring and outerwear from L.B.M. 1911, bicycle culture casual from Pedaled, soft Italian tailoring from Boglioli, unusual, texture-heavy fabrics from Barena, Drake’s scarves, Cote et Ciel accessories (I recommended their backpack awhile back), hard-to-find Filson Italy gear, Incotex group shirts from the regrettably named Glanshirt, good value shirts from Guy Rover, oddball Japanese old timiness from Haversack, very good prices on slim Incotex trousers, a single but very nice Nigel Cabourn jacket, more soft Italian tailoring from Piombo, Sartoria Partenopea's traditional Italian tailoring, a small selection of Tricker’s British shoes (I’d avoid their sneaker-styled models), Valstarino blousons, unusual Yuketen moccs and boots, and understated Zanone knitwear.
Pictured: Yoox’s giant Italian warehouse.
-Pete

It’s (always?) On Sale: Yoox

My favorite place to order Italian, Yoox, has cut prices further on a lot of items, putting a lot of really nice pieces at half retail or less (even considering Yoox’s occasionally inflated “retail” prices). Check out bargains on tailoring and outerwear from L.B.M. 1911, bicycle culture casual from Pedaled, soft Italian tailoring from Boglioli, unusual, texture-heavy fabrics from Barena, Drake’s scarves, Cote et Ciel accessories (I recommended their backpack awhile back), hard-to-find Filson Italy gear, Incotex group shirts from the regrettably named Glanshirt, good value shirts from Guy Rover, oddball Japanese old timiness from Haversack, very good prices on slim Incotex trousers, a single but very nice Nigel Cabourn jacket, more soft Italian tailoring from Piombo, Sartoria Partenopea's traditional Italian tailoring, a small selection of Tricker’s British shoes (I’d avoid their sneaker-styled models), Valstarino blousons, unusual Yuketen moccs and boots, and understated Zanone knitwear.

Pictured: Yoox’s giant Italian warehouse.

-Pete

Notebooks
I’m a little late to the notebook party, but I picked up a pack of Moleskine Cahiers a few months ago and have found them to be incredibly useful. The Cahier is a small paper journal that differs from Moleskine’s other models in that it’s significantly smaller (measuring just 3.5” x 5.5”) and made with a soft, flexible cover (rather than the hardbacks that their more famous journals feature). They come in packs of three for about $9, but unsurprisingly, you can find them for a little cheaper on eBay. 
I mostly use my Cahier for writing down shopping and to-do lists, but when on the go, I find it’s also useful for keeping phone numbers, addresses, and directions that I might need to refer to later. I like that the back half of the notebook has perforated pages, so that I can easily tear things out once I’m done with them, and that the cover is simple and plain, rather than designed with some graphic. The back inside cover even has a small pocket where I can keep things such as return receipts and subway tickets.
Of course, there are dozens of other companies that make notebooks like this. Leuchtturm 1917’s Jottbook is similar to the Cahier, but has a few more features, such as numbered pages and a blank table of contents. Word is nice in that it has a unique “check off” system for people who primarily use these for to-do lists. Rhodia and Field Notes are good if you want something a bit more robust (useful if you keep your notebook in your back pocket, rather than jacket pocket). And Scout, Hit List, and Banditapple Carnet are better for use with fountain pens, while ELAN and Rite in Rain are made for use in the field.
For people who want their notebooks to look a bit more “hip,” check out Skilcraft, Calepino, Doane Paper, and these used by the US Department of Defense. If you have a bit of money to spend, there’s also this collaboration design between Midori and Nigel Cabourn. It features two broad arrow symbols, which were used in the mid-20th century on British military items. It looks quite handsome, even if the price is hard to swallow. For the opposite of that, there’s PocketMod, which is essentially a free notebook you can make yourself. 
(Photo via Hooman Majd, who’s seen above using a notebook from Muji)

Notebooks

I’m a little late to the notebook party, but I picked up a pack of Moleskine Cahiers a few months ago and have found them to be incredibly useful. The Cahier is a small paper journal that differs from Moleskine’s other models in that it’s significantly smaller (measuring just 3.5” x 5.5”) and made with a soft, flexible cover (rather than the hardbacks that their more famous journals feature). They come in packs of three for about $9, but unsurprisingly, you can find them for a little cheaper on eBay

I mostly use my Cahier for writing down shopping and to-do lists, but when on the go, I find it’s also useful for keeping phone numbers, addresses, and directions that I might need to refer to later. I like that the back half of the notebook has perforated pages, so that I can easily tear things out once I’m done with them, and that the cover is simple and plain, rather than designed with some graphic. The back inside cover even has a small pocket where I can keep things such as return receipts and subway tickets.

Of course, there are dozens of other companies that make notebooks like this. Leuchtturm 1917’s Jottbook is similar to the Cahier, but has a few more features, such as numbered pages and a blank table of contents. Word is nice in that it has a unique “check off” system for people who primarily use these for to-do lists. Rhodia and Field Notes are good if you want something a bit more robust (useful if you keep your notebook in your back pocket, rather than jacket pocket). And Scout, Hit List, and Banditapple Carnet are better for use with fountain pens, while ELAN and Rite in Rain are made for use in the field.

For people who want their notebooks to look a bit more “hip,” check out SkilcraftCalepinoDoane Paper, and these used by the US Department of Defense. If you have a bit of money to spend, there’s also this collaboration design between Midori and Nigel Cabourn. It features two broad arrow symbols, which were used in the mid-20th century on British military items. It looks quite handsome, even if the price is hard to swallow. For the opposite of that, there’s PocketMod, which is essentially a free notebook you can make yourself. 

(Photo via Hooman Majd, who’s seen above using a notebook from Muji)