If I haven’t affirmed this enough already, let me do so again: I love hats. They are a quintessential summer accessory for guys for their fashion and grab-and-go functionality. For those gentlemen looking for quality headwear with unmatched style and personality, Kangol is the brand to buy.
Kangol hats are cool; I mean really cool. They come in updated styles and colors to fit any aesthetic. The summer line is brimming (pun intended) with hats that are easy to wear and perfect for weekends and work days alike. The pork pie shape of the Wheat Stingy may be classic, but the bold color is anything but. You will be seen in this hat, so be prepared to field compliments from friends and strangers alike. Wheat Stingy Pork Pie $54
I love this hat. Made in the USA, the Swirl Pork Pie features a swirl effect on the felt brim. The green is the perfect hue for summer but also subtle enough to transition into fall. This hat will never go out of style or out of sight. Swirl Pork Pie $120
A special thanks to Erica Bushong of Erica Lee Style for these incredible product shots. Another thanks to Kangol for feeding my fix and delivering these two stellar hats to my door. Check out their entire Summer collection online now.
August may just have started, but rugged and stylish workwear is essential for every season. No company knows this better than Carhartt. The American label has a history rich with craftsmanship and a legacy of dependable clothing as tough as the people who wear it. Comfortable enough to wear now and into the latter days of summer, Carhartt’s current collection features pieces that can easily be layered once temperatures begin to cool down for fall.
With husband in tow, friend and photographer Erica Bushong of Erica Lee Style trekked into the woods with me to shoot some of the best pieces from Carhartt’s summer line.
Made from a polyester and twill blend, these pants resist stains as well as wrinkles. Twill Work Pant $27
Waterproof and breathable, the canvas Astoria jacket is perfect for warm weather rain showers. Astoria Jacket $180
For those of you whose patriotic spirits were ignited by yesterday’s hot grills and even hotter weather, TOMS has the only casual shoe you’ll be needing this summer. Inspired by the greatest nation on Earth, this latest style all but guarantees I’ll be sporting TOMS from now until the salt trucks come out of hibernation.
These stars and stripes are something we should all salute this summer.
TOMS Stars and Stripes Vegan Classics $54
One brand has helped us “run faster and jump higher” since 1937: PF Flyers. For 75 years the Boston based shoe company has been making quality footwear that’s as comfortable as it is stylish. Long before Benny un-boxed his now iconic black Center Hi’s to face The Beast in The Sandlot, PF Flyers built its reputation as a classic, American brand dedicated to “Authentic American Style.”
On Tuesday PF Flyers will celebrate its 75th anniversary by releasing a capsule collection featuring three limited edition unisex styles resonating with the tradition of innovation synonymous with the brand’s heritage. The Center Hi and Windjammer stay true to their roots, while the Grounder II is a fresh take on the original shoe of the same name. Crafted from unbleached linen canvas and veg-tanned leather, each of these PF Flyers is laden with detail, right down to the hand stamped logo. A limited run of 500 pairs of each style will be available at retailers like KITH NYC, the J.Crew Liquor Store, Bloomingdale’s 59th Street, American Rag, and The Tannery.
At the helm of the anniversary collection is PF Flyers’ Footwear Designer James Lee. Mr Lee was kind enough to talk with The Modern Minion about how his team “balanced old and new elements to create a collection that appears raw and handmade” and that honors the brand’s esteemed history.
The Modern Minion: PF Flyers is known for its “Authentic American Style.” What do you think has drawn customers to that style for the past 75 years?
James Lee: American style has evolved over the decades, but PF Flyers has remained relevant through classic styling.
MM: The workmanship on the capsule collection is incredible, right down to the hand stamped logo. Were there sleepless nights spent worrying over getting every detail on the shoes perfect?
James Lee: It was definitely a long process as we went through several rounds of prototypes to craft the details and materials. We are used to making sure every detail is consistent coming out of production, so our biggest concern was actually communicating to our production team that we wanted “imperfect” details on the shoes (i.e. every ankle logo is slightly different due to the fact that they were hand stamped).
MM: The three shoes each represent an iconic PF style that has been popular for decades. What makes each of them so special to fans of the brand?
James Lee: We wanted a collection of three shoes that had very different silhouettes. The Center Hi was an obvious choice as it is an important part of our brand DNA. The Windjammer came out in 1965, so we wanted to include this in the collection due to it’s archival relevance. Lastly, the Grounder II because it’s a brand new model that is releasing in Fall 2012. It’s an update to the Grounder, which was a big shoe for us in the past.
MM: What are you hoping the 75th anniversary collection will communicate to new customers of PF Flyers?
James Lee: The 75th Anniversary Collection pays homage to our heritage, celebrating the era when there weren’t a lot of machines and computers that processed cookie cutter shoes. Therefore, we used raw materials like unbleached linen canvas and vegetable tanned leather to give the collection a raw feel and add further value with the hand-stamped logo and hand-stitched leather.
MM: For people who won’t be lucky enough to pick up one of limited edition pairs, will this capsule collection be inspiration for future Flyers?
James Lee: We always build onto what we’ve created in the past so this collection definitely will, either directly or indirectly, inspire what’s to come in the future.
MM: Last question. We all know Benny would favor the Center Hi style. If you could only wear one pair, which from the capsule collection would you go with? And yes, I know it’s like trying to pick a favorite child or flavor of ice cream.
James Lee: Lucky for me, I got to wear test all three of them! If I had to pick a favorite child, I’d choose the Grounder II because not only is it a new model for us, it has a great aged appearance after wearing it for some time.
Thanks to PF Flyers for providing all the images.
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) is one of my favorite movies for its satire, soundtrack, and style. The film’s brilliant cast and perfectly written dialogue are matched only by its iconic visual aesthetic. The main characters all don the same baby blue uniforms complete with custom Adidas sneakers and bright red watch caps for chilly nights at sea. While I tried to find pieces true to the film’s original look, I swapped out the blue pants for a more practical white chino (not that a beanie in summer makes any sense).
Style is a journey.
This is an adventure. -Steve Zissou
A special thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Cassie Calamity whose Wes Anderson movie marathon inspired this post.
America is never more alive than in summertime. Backyard barbecues, bonfires, and lazy days by the water are filled with the sights, sounds, and smells of this country’s grand heritage. Few things say summer like seersucker, and even less speak of American heritage like red, white, and blue. This pair of shorts from New York based Ovadia & Sons says both. The paint splatters and cut off legs perfectly offset the classic preppiness of the seersucker. These shorts, first spotted on Selectism, serve as an iconic representation of everything that makes this nation great.
…O’er the land of the free and the home of the well dressed.
$275 at Boylston Trading Co.
I come from a long lineage of stylish gentleman. For generations the men of my family have known how to dress well. My great uncle, photographed here in 1937, had a dapper style I have come to respect.
The list of men who can successfully pull off a white double breasted suit in 2012 is a short one, and I imagine it was even smaller back then. But he wears it impeccably, adding a simple black tie and pocket square. And from the air of confidence radiating from these photographs, he knew exactly how perfect he looked. He also understood the power of versatility, pairing the white DB jacket with black pants for a look that’s much more James Bond (not that he knew that).
I count myself lucky to be able to look to the past to draw inspiration for my own style future.
I get it; a jacket that costs more than my first car is a bit ridiculous. I’ve got you covered. Try a white DB sport coat from Brooks Brothers for $398 or a John W. Nordstrom linen alternative for $345.
Style is more than just having a polished wardrobe; it’s also important to have a polished face.
For years I suffered under the tyranny of expensive multi-bladed razor cartridges that never lasted more than a week against my thick beard. Sick of shelling out so much cash to get a silky smooth mug, I switched to a classic double edge razor. After mastering the learning curve, I’m a believer in simple blades.
For my extremely sensitive skin, my new routine is a God send. The single blade doesn’t dig into my skin unlike with previous razors. Although my beard is thick enough to warrant a new blade every shave, the blades themselves are only about $.40 a piece. I completed my shaving set up with a proper badger hair and shave soap.
Once an awful chore, shaving has become an experience I actually look forward to.
What say you, minions? What does your shaving routine look like?
Hats are a summer staple and a simple way to add instant style. Seeing as how I look ridiculous in baseball caps, I stick with fedora and trilby type headgear. There are plenty of premium milliners (yes, I did have to look that up) that offer perfectly crafted pieces, but I prefer low priced options from local retailers like Target (selection is much better in store than online).
Barbecue and beach friendly, these hats give you style and shade all while covering up that receding hairline you hope has gone unnoticed.
My official outfit of summer is Levi’s 510′s, Converse, and of course a great white tee. It’s a classic look that’s survived the decades. Inspired by a photo of my grandpa from 1937, I’m going for a vintage feel this year. White makes room for off white and fitted folds to loose.
I can only hope I’ll look as cool and classic as this guy.
I unapologetically love jean shorts. They elicit images of long summers filled with beaches, backyard barbecues, and bonfires. Although jean shorts have often been pegged as the trashy cousin of conventional denim, they’ve been resurrected in recent seasons by fashion designers and mass market retailers alike.
Plenty of brands like Levi’s and American Eagle offer a variety of fits and washes, but Zara strikes the perfect balance between style and value. Their jean shorts are available in an excellent mix of colors and seem to hit at a good point on the leg. I also like that should I get these shorts on and find they’re more Jim Dangle than anticipated, shipping and returns are free.
And yes, I suppose you could just cut off an old pair of jeans and make your own, but that post would have been shorter and far more anticlimactic.
Whoever said money can’t buy happiness never owned Nike Free Runs.
As a former avid runner struggling to get back in shape, my Free Runs have been a God send. They’re lightweight, super comfortable, and fit well enough to wear sans socks (something I’ve never done before). As a runner of almost 15 years, I can honesty say they’re the best pair of running shoes I’ve ever pruchased.
The only problem ahead of me is picking out a color (probably blue).
All images via Zappos.com
While slipping on an alien ring and transforming into an intergalactic superhero is my preferred way of going green, I suppose wearing eco friendly clothing is just as good (but not really).
Being environmentally conscious doesn’t mean dressing like a third generation hippie anymore. Companies are increasingly offering cool and stylish options for guys who want to look good without needlessly ravaging Mother Earth. I’ve collected 4 products that are just as eco fly as they are eco friendly.
Shirt: Made from natural seeded cotton knitted and sewn in Los Angeles.
Shoes: Vegan friendly and constructed from recycled and sustainable materials.
Watch: Accented with a bamboo dial, this Sprout watch is made from corn resin that’s “99% biodegradable to carbon dioxide and water within 365 days.”
The Green Lantern image was scanned from my own collection but copyrighted by DC Comics Inc. in 1983.
I was feeling a bit adulterous after today’s previous post. And while my eyes may stray from time to time, I always come home to Mr. Taylor. There’s just something special about unboxing a new pair of Converse that elicits excitement like nothing else.
Since it’s been an Americana sort of week for me, I decided to post some Chucks that read and bleed red, white, and blue.
For idolizing another, Mr. Taylor, mea culpa.
It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Any of these PF Flyers would do the trick. And while I’m a fervent worshiper at the church of Chuck Taylor, I find myself coveting these pieces of classic Americana.
Of course I had to include the iconic black on black. Benny would’ve wanted me to.
What say you, minions, Chucks or Flyers?
Yes, this is becoming a trend for me. I love that something so simple can look unexpectedly sophisticated. This week I played with texture by pairing a wider, athletic lace with a simple v-neck sweater and my favorite charcoal suit jacket. The royal blue is a nice contrast against the light teal.
Just so you know, I plan on riding this wave until it breaks. Go forth and dress well.
For some reason this post didn’t want to cooperate this afternoon (technical issues). I was pretty smitten with it myself, so I wanted to share it again. If you already saw it earlier, let it’s awesomeness sweep over you one more time.
It’s amazing how easily $3 Target shoelaces tackle a hump day slump. Boots via Aldo.
A good lightweight navy blazer is a warm weather staple no man’s closet should be without. Being that my own spring sportcoat was under $100, I figured you gents might appreciate equally economical options. And yes, the ASOS blazer is technically over budget, but skipping 2 lattes from Starbucks should cover the difference.
All are 100% cotton and 100% cool.
Nine times out of ten, there’s no way you’d catch me wearing yellow. I’m willing to make an exception for any of these cool kicks. Ranging from mellow to “Hello!” these sneakers epitomize spring and are sure to brighten your day.
If you ask me, I’d say they’re pretty mcfly. Anyone?
There’s an epidemic sweeping this nation: awful laptop bags. You know the ones I’m talking about; cheap canvas, usually black or blue, a random company logo, and more mesh than a Right Said Fred comeback tour. No, thank you.
Might I instead suggest this bag from Filson. Constructed from durable twill and made in the USA, it’s stylish yet rugged enough to endure everything you’ll no doubt cram into it.
From home to work to coffee shop, lug your laptop the right way.
Here’s yet another obligatory “What I Wore on Easter” post.
I was feeling festive so I decided to wear some color, actually a lot of color. I usually don’t wear yellow, and I only own this sweater because I found it on clearance last year. I used 2 pieces of scrap fabric to make a reversible bow tie that I think pairs perfectly with this look.
Instagram would have come in handy for this one.
It’s a bow…that’s tied…on Friday.
I happen to like my clever interpretation of Bow Tie Friday. The neon shoelace really pops against my dark denim shirt (Levi’s). Consider this my teddy boy twist.
Can I at least get credit for creativity?
While I’d love to endorse $148 GANT hippo swim trunks (because I love them), a lot of guys don’t have the gumption or cash to swing them. Thus for cheap, appropriately cool swimwear, H&M is a good bet. My only concern with H&M’s selection isn’t the price, it’s the length.
But as inseams continue to shorten, it would seem that me and my chicken legs will be doing squats for the next two months.
What say you, gentleman? How short is too short?
I think most people (at least the normal ones) can agree that the fashion industry has a tendency of taking itself a little too seriously. Sometimes we just need to step back and poke fun at ourselves. Enter Tosh.0. This season comedian Daniel Tosh has been satirically sporting high fashion looks that have often been as ridiculous as they are expensive. To honor tonight’s final episode of #highfashion, I’ve put together a little ensemble of my own from Comme des Garçons, a designer I inexplicably love.
You may think it’s kooky and even a bit tacky. But at the end of the day, they’re just clothes, guys.