Chris Olberding of Gitman Vintage

Starting in on a story about Chris Olberding is like walking into a corn maze and immediately hitting walls on three sides. Lost amid the seven foot stalks, I find myself in this field of dreams as I share a bit about the man who was my mentor for the last year of my twenties.
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Ezra Caldwell

I only have a cursory familiarity with Mr. Caldwell. I don’t think we ever met, and if we did, it was brief. For a time several years ago, his wife and I were coworkers. While we were, I had the unique privilege to test ride one of his early bicycles. I have yet to find a bike that rides as smoothly or as comfortably as the one I tried that day. One day, I would like to document the building of one of Ezra’s Fast Boy Cycles and perhaps own one of his fine creations. Till then, take a few minutes to watch this video and join me in becoming a fan of Mr. Ezra Caldwell.

Time-permitting, watch all the work from Made by Hand. It’s a great series, made with hearts similar to that of mine and those of my cohorts at Made Right Here.

Terrapin Stationers

TS Bloodhound 3

Thanks to the work I’ve been able to do with Basil Hayden’s this year, I was finally able to spend some time visiting Terrapin Stationers’ Ted Harrington and my old pal, Heather Pieske — you may remember her from the Baja Fish Taco Party.

TS Bloodhound 1

Read the story of the bloodhound business cards.
Here is a full album of photos from my visit.

TS Bloodhound 2

Extra special thanks to Christine Mitchell for illustrating the bloodhound.

Be sure to check out Terrapin Stationers for more of their great work.

Basil Hayden’s & Winter Session at Warby Parker’s Annex

Warby Photo Pine Cone_CroppedFacebook

Earlier this year, my good friends Roy Katz and Tanya Fleisher at Winter Session asked me to bring Basil Hayden’s to a party at Warby Parker’s Annex in New York’s Meatpacking District. The coolest dude, Fedora’s Fernando Trujillo tended bar.

For the complete rundown, head over to Whiskey. Among Other Things….

Hickoree’s Bow Tie

Without fail, the day after Christmas, I will receive at least one e-mail that reads as follows:

“Dude, my (girlfriend / wife / mother) bought me a bow tie to wear to __________’s wedding this summer. Send help.”

And for a long time, one could find several nice videos on the internet that could help. I even posted such a video — one of the earliest posts — on All Plaidout.  

Well, last fall, with the long overdue debut of their bow ties, the Corsillo Brothers at Hickoree’s shared this stop-motion-animation video.

It is the most well-done video on the subject. Hands down.

Also, Emil Corsillo, you borrowed my favorite Carrot & Gibbs bow tie for inspiration four (4) years ago and never returned it. Don’t think I’ve forgotten.

The New York Times

Over the weekend, I was quoted in an article in The New York Times, the Old Gray Lady. Fortunately, owing to it being a holiday weekend, I was able to witness firsthand the reaction of several family members. My parents, old and graying themselves, excitedly grabbed for their reading glasses the minute they learned the news. As she finished the piece, my mother simply laughed a little and shook her head in disbelief. My father asked, “What does it say that it took leaving New York for you to appear in the Times?” He was half-right in his asking (more on that in a minute). My great-aunt, a retired nun and one of the smartest people I know, said, “I guess I should be paying closer attention to men’s suits.” Of course, I assured her she absolutely shouldn’t, or I would begin to question her intelligence. My aunt and uncle gave a resounding “Oh, cool!” at breakfast that morning.

As I walked the mile-or-so to the nearest Starbucks to pick up a couple copies (Why is Starbucks is the only place in the Midwest to carry The New York Times?), I thought about what it meant to have my picture taken for The New York Times. Friends of mine, close ones even, have appeared several times in this paper-among-papers. I thought about them. After they appeared, my impression of them remained the same. But these were great people receiving great attention for doing or saying great things. Why was I tapped to talk about slim suits? I wear one. I know a bit about construction of suits. I am a champion of one Chicago suit maker in particular. But, I’m a fairly regular guy, who — yeah — I wear a suit, or at least a suit jacket a lot, but I wouldn’t consider myself an expert. On my walk, I thought to myself that I hope this doesn’t change peoples’ impression of me.

And I suppose it’s fitting that I was as gussied up as I was appearing in the paper this time around. That’s right. I appeared in the paper one other time.
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