Tyler Thoreson. Today, he’s the VP of Men’s Editorial, Creative & Customer Experience for GiltMan. At the time I learned of him, he was co-hosting a web series called “In the Closet” for MenDotStyle. And around that time, I recalled a photo of him showing up on The Sartorialist. There he was, this guy at a runway presentation wearing garish, yellow socks, staring dead-eyed into the camera. Since then, I’ve come to know Tyler through his writing and the segments he does on television. I appreciate his ability to explain the world of men’s dress with a few simple sentences. I have to assume it comes from the lessons in mechanics handed down from his father.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 10.34.54 AM My father, Wayne Thoreson, grew up on a farm in Southeastern Minnesota. After college, he enlisted in the Navy, where he flew A4s (the single-engine dive bombers flown by the instructors in Top Gun), and after the navy he spent nearly 40 years as a corporate pilot at 3M. He still owns the Corvette convertible he bought new in 1965, has owned several tractors over the years, and in the winter he likes to go out ATVing (ATV–that’s a verb, right?) in the Arizona desert with his retiree pals. Growing up, I remember regularly coming home from school to find my dad finishing up a brake job on the family Oldsmobile, or mowing the lawn on a massive, rear-steering lawn tractor that would’ve been more at home on a fairway.

You might say that my dad is a mechanically-inclined guy.

And while he was never all that big on teaching or advice-giving, he taught me plenty about the importance of knowing how things work, and instilled in me a mechanical dexterity that’s a welcome counterpoint to my digital/creative day job, not to mention quite handy now that I have my own home and family. That said, I still haven’t yet gone so far as to do my own brake job. I have my wife and kids’ safety to think about.

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 10.34.34 AMWhen my dad and I bond, we bond over machines.