Black Watch Friday

I’m stuffed. Rather than fight the crowds, I’m going to stay home and cozy up on the couch with a good book and a warm blanket. Consider doing the same. Make your Black Friday a Black Watch Friday. [Read more...]

Faribault Woolen Mill x All Plaidout

When the time came to name this All Plaidout, a blog with posts about things that are not trendy, about the stories of style over fashion, about the stories behind the clothes we wear, I turned to the rich history of a cloth pattern known as a tartan. I chose the tartan most emblematic of my style, my appreciation of history, and the one that most often showed up in my closet from as early on as I can remember, the Black Watch.

A dark, neutral tartan, it was first worn by the watchmen, highly trained members of the Scottish military who’d combined their clan’s patterns to stand as one. Owed primarily to its widely appealing aesthetic quality, it has become one of the most popular and sought after plaids.

When collaborating with John Mooty at Faribault Woolen Mill on a Black Watch plaid blanket, he offered a unique suggestion.

“Let’s ground it in the threads of the U.S. Military blankets for which we’re most well-known,” he said.

By combining the green from the U.S. Army, the blue from the U.S. Navy, and the black from the West Point Academy blankets, Faribault has created a subtly new, beautiful, and altogether American take on a pattern with a rich and wonderful history.

To capture the evocative nature of the fall blanket, I turned to Carolina Mariana Rodriguez, whose self-portraits fill a frame with emotion and texture, a feeling that extends far beyond a model draped in a blanket.

As for the blanket itself, far from those rough ones I remember wrapping myself in while sitting on the bleachers at high school football games, these thick, warm blankets are made of the same MIL-SPEC yarns as those that protect those whose job it is to protect and serve the rest of us.

Finished with the flourish of a red-yarned whipstitch – which too nods to the various derivations in the Black Watch plaid, a red line in the pattern signified at times difference in rank or platoon – every effort has been made to ensure each blanket provides the utmost in functionality and comfort.

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Read Laura Pearson’s piece on blankets in the Chicago Tribune, featuring this blanket.

Available from these fine online retailers.*

Faribault Woolen Mill 
Ampersand Shops
Ewin’s
Old Faithful (Canada)
Orvis
The New York Times
TRNK

All photos courtesy of Carolina Mariana Rodriguez and Kyle Smith.

*Ask for the “Shadow Plaid Foot Soldier” blanket with the All Plaidout label anywhere Faribault Woolen Mill products are sold.

She’s Like July

July swept into the room like she’d been there before. This time, though, she turned and looked at me. With a single glance, I found I’d floated within her general vicinity, with a quickening breath, with each beat of my warm heart, soon we were dancing. As the lights around us flashed, either from cameras or from the electric excitement, as our feet flit across the pine, it felt as though July and I flew from one coast to the other as quickly as we could snap our fingers to the sharp bass of the dance floor beat. Leaning in so close I could smell the coconut in her sunscreen, she sang to me. What she said… what she said… well, this is what she said:

She’s Like July (on Spotify)

1) The Pointer Sisters – Yes We Can (on KSAN’s Live Jive)
2) Kim Weston – Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)
3) Haim – Honey & I
4) Jessie Mueller & The Beautiful Ensemble – Beautiful
5) Toots & The Maytals w. Bonnie Raitt – True Love Is Hard To Find
6) First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
7) Ruth Brown – Wild Wild Young Men
8) Marcia Griffiths – Band of Gold
9) Cesaria Evora & Bonga – Sodade
10) Bobbie Gentry – Touch ‘Em With Love
11) Darlene Love – My Heart Beat A Little Faster
12) Merry Clayton – Southern Man
13) Aretha Franklin – Make It With You (Live at the Fillmore West, 2/5/71)
14) Gladys Knight & The Pips – If I Were Your Woman (Live on Ed Sullivan, 2/7/71)
15) Alabama Shakes – I Found You
16) Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It
17) Laura Veirs – July Flame
18) Sean & Sara Watkins – Your Bright Baby Blues
19) Tanya Tucker – What’s Your Mama’s Name Child
20) Dolly Parton – My Blue Tears (Acoustic Demo)
21) Bonnie Raitt – Come To Me
22) Jenny Lewis – Just One Of The Guys
23) Wild Belle – Shine
24) The Jones Girls – You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else
25) Sylvan Esso – Coffee
26) St. Vincent – Digital Witness
27) Joni Mitchell – Carey (Live)
28) Carly Simon – It Keeps You Runnin’
29) Lavelle White – Into The Mystic
30) Linda Ronstadt – Rescue Me
31) Cat Power – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)
32) St. Paul & The Broken Bones w. Lizzo – A Change Is Gonna Come (Live at SXSW, 2014)

The Illustrations of Christine Mitchell Adams

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So incredibly stoked for my friend N’East Style’s Christine Mitchell Adams’ new site. Some of you may recall that when it was time for us to create the logo for Buckshot Sonny’s, Christine was our first call. When Basil Hayden’s asked me to create an image to go along with my title of “Cultural Bloodhound,” well, you know the rest. As she tells it, “99% of my commissions to date have been folks approaching me through word-of-mouth. With my new site, I will be promoting/pitching my illustration services for the first time. This is a big challenge for me since I hate talking about myself. But in doing so I hope to collaborate with a wider range of clients including individuals, brands, and editorials.”

Hound2Hopefully, you will consider Christine when it comes to you and your brand’s illustration needs. Oh, and while you’re at it, if you haven’t already, go ahead and bookmark her blog, N’East Style. Couldn’t be prouder of her.

One Part Plant

Recently, my girlfriend, Jessica Herman, co-hosted a “For Reals Meals” party for Jessica Murnane’s One Part Plant, a blog devoted to clean eating.

Faced with a “change your diet or else” verdict from her doctor, Murnane went whole plant and her symptoms improved.  Since then, she’s completed training with the T. Colin Campbell Foundation in Plant-Based Nutrition.

As she explains on the site, “for some, it’s digestive problems or low energy. For others, cramps from hell or simply feeling ‘off.’” And now, in addition to the terrific content on her blog, she offers her services in real time. “From inspiring corporate group sessions and shopping trips to one-on-one lifestyle coaching,” she’s making herself available for “wellness coaching sessions.”

I can tell you firsthand, Jess is kind and approachable, harnessed with a diligent work ethic and downright funny. I’ve never met someone who is as quick to quote Dr. Alejandro Junger as she would  Jay-Z. With an approach that is kind and judgment-free, she works hard to ensure that you’re armed with the best information possible – so you can maintain your new plan in a way that feels most comfortable to you.

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If you’d like more information on her programs or would like to hear successful testimonials, please contact Jessica Murnane at hola@onepartplant.com.

Union Square Donuts

“When you get off the airplane, I have a little surprise for you.”

Union Square Donut’s Heather Schmidt

That’s how the text message read. What it didn’t say was that it was the best thing one road-weary traveller and his girlfriend could’ve possibly encountered. With a bottle of Basil Hayden’s bourbon whiskey in hand, Mr. James Fox of the blog 10 Engines met us in Sommerville, Massachusetts’ Union Square. He then lead us into Heather Schmidt’s Union Square Donuts grand opening.

Among her first batch of donuts were a Dulce de Leche Cinnamon Bun, a Honey Almond, an Orange Ginger Cream, a Chocolate Chipotle, and my personal favorite a Maple Bacon Donut.

For more on Heather’s delicious morsels (and her recipe for Basil Hayden’s caramel sauce), please visit Basil Hayden’s Whiskey… Among Other Things.

Brasserie by Niche

On a recent trip to my hometown of Saint Louis, Missouri, I swung into Brasserie by Niche for Basil Hayden’s Whiskey… Among Other ThingsIt was there I met Layla Linehan who devised a special cocktail she’s calling “My Old Missouri Mistress.” A cross between a Manhattan and an Old Pal, you can read all about it here.
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The Yoga Poses of Marilyn Monroe

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Recently, yoga scholar Eric Shaw compiled twenty-one images, photographs of Marilyn Monroe doing yoga. He also provided some historical context in a separate post.
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Bobbie Gentry

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 10.36.02 AMIn the fall of 2002, cast as Doc Porter in a college production of Beth Henley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Crimes of the Heart, I received the following note from our director:

Go make a mix tape for your cast-mates.

What a gem of an assignment. Because the play takes place in Henley’s hometown of Hazelhurst, Mississippi in 1974, I spent a week researching music that would’ve emanated from the area’s popular music radio stations in the summer and fall of 1974, and — in addition to discovering that one of my favorite songs, Rufus & Chaka’s “Tell Me Something Good,” was the most-played song in Mississippi that year — on these smelly, old microfiche copies of handwritten playlists from a Jackson radio station, I discovered the smokey-voiced, insouciant, beautifully crafted songs of Bobbie Gentry.
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Upstate

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Astrid Chastka and Kalen Kaminski are the creators of Upstate, a line of clothing and accessories that feature Shibori, a Japanese method of dying using various techniques. Where I come from, we call it tie-dye. They make every piece themeselves, turning each one out in their new studio space in Brooklyn, which makes every piece one of a kind.

I’ve become a fan by watching my girlfriend wear the scarf my mother bought her for occasions of all stripes. I’ve also admired their collaborations with Archival Clothing and Fairends. Recently, they shared their fall lookbook with me, and I was compelled to interview them.

The result is below.
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