The California Shirt on Esquire.com

The California Shirt on Esquire.com I woke up this morning to a text message from Michael B. Dougherty, author of the latest post at Esquire.com. The text simply read, "BOOM." It was followed by a link to his story. It's about my journey to making the first product to carry my name, The California Shirt.  BOOM is right. It's fitting that the first story about a product made from my life's history (this shirt's pattern is based on my father's first custom shirt which became a hand-me-down for me and my brother) would come from

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Rotgut Ingenuity: The Cornucopia

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine Bobby’s Orange Sweater, The Missouri Horn Of Plenty, Like A Greek Mother’s Milk and The Sacred Place. As the season of halls decked with boughs of holly beckons, we hope you’ll celebrate the harvest by putting aside differences to come together around the same table in appreciation for the bounties of our lives. Today we recognize one symbol of this bounty: the cornucopia. The pastoral fortune displayed in that horn of plenty personifies a year of hard work to plant, to fertilize, to grow, to

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The California Shirt

Photos courtesy of Carolina Mariana Consideration is defined as “careful thought, typically over a period of time.” For the past decade, my central focus has been men’s clothing. For a time in 2009 and 2010, I traveled a twelve-state territory in the center of the country selling shirts and ties to high-end men’s boutiques. Prior to this experience, it had been my dream to build button-downs with flourishes that I liked in a well-made men’s shirt. Through my experience as a traveling salesman, I learned that many of those flourishes were just that,

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Linen Shirts & Lemonade

I’d like to resurrect the slow dance. Yes, I know. It’s not really dead, but its prominence at casual social gatherings among my friends and loved ones has diminished continually throughout my life. I recall a time as a young boy seeing couples at backyard barbecues swaying their hips between sips from a bottle of Bartles & Jaymes or a tall, gold can of Coors, the light butt taps in time on pastel-colored madras shorts and flirty sundresses, the meeting of the eyes, the widening of the smile, the soft nuzzle, and then the emphatic

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The Vehicles of Camp Wandawega

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine. For more than a decade, David Hernandez and wife Tereasa Surratt have been busily restoring Hernandez’s boyhood summer camp in Elkhorn, Wisconsin to its former glory; dressing the place with vintage treasures culled from garage and rummage sales all over Walworth County. The result is Camp Wandawega—a living, breathing time capsule, where it’s 1975 as far as the eye can see. The place benefits from the vision of its professionally creative owners. In addition to running Wandawega, Hernandez and Surratt still maintain their

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The Kitchen Sink

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine. We’re taking a slightly different tact with this edition of Rotgut Ingenuity. Our intrepid reporter Max Wastler recently moved halfway across the country. Prior to doing so, he gathered his friends and loved ones in his backyard for a going away party and cleared out his liquor cabinet by improvising on a number of cocktails. From the sound of things, Max spent the entire party feverishly throwing anything he could find in his shaker tins. Here are the greatest hits from those experiments. A Plethora

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Planes, Trains & Other Mobiles

Originally Published for Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine Armed with only a flask and a little ingenuity, Max Wastler elevates common cocktails with supplies from his seasonal surroundings. Plane Class Up Coach: The Aviation There are those of us who still wear a tie when flying, in hopes it inspires a special occasion. For the imbibed equivalent, rely on the last known cocktail recipe book published before Prohibition, Hugo Ensslin’s Recipes for Mixed Drinks. The book is famous for the inclusion of The Aviation, a cocktail created by Ensslin and replicated less effectively in subsequent cocktail books —

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Max Wastler’s City Guide for Barneys New York: The Window

I'm thrilled to share some of my favorite Chicago spots in Barneys New York's City Guide: Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, King Spa & Sauna, Longman & Eagle, the pool at The InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile, Intelligentsia Monadnock, A New Leaf, Optimo Fine Hats, and Bavette's Bar & Boeuf.

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Surviving Tax Season

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine. Armed with only a flask and a little ingenuity, Max Wastler elevates common cocktails with supplies from his seasonal surroundings. The Harold Crick Water “Crick Water” was a cheap cocktail I recall pulling from a ladle in college. It usually involved combining citrus sodas and powdered lemonade and every possible clear spirit we could find. This slightly upscale take on that delightful drink draws its name from the IRS Auditor Will Ferrell played in the highly underrated 2006 film Stranger Than Fiction. Now, if you’re

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Leap Year Cocktails

This originally appeared in Five O'Clock, Harry's Magazine. Armed with only a flask and a little ingenuity, Max Wastler elevates common cocktails with supplies from his seasonal surroundings. The Sadie Hawkins (Savoy’s Leap Year Cocktail) Celebrating Leap Years has spawned traditions like women proposing marriage and digesting a cocktail that may lead to such activities. On February 29th, also known as Sadie Hawkins Day thanks to hillbilly comic strip Li’l Abner, try this martini with a tart citrus smack. This hillbilly’s hack at Savoy’s Leap Year Cocktail is sure to leave even the

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