All Plaidout Morning Spotify Playlist

Playlist: Morning

I cherish the morning, and I have especially since a friend of mine gave me a copy of Mason Currey’s first book Daily Rituals, a book which recounts the routines of “inspired minds,” everyone from musicians and artists to politicians and writers. While I was reading his recounting of so many of my heroes, I kept a running tally of...
Sheryl Crow Audible Original Words and Music

Sheryl Crow: Words + Music

Today is Sheryl Crow’s birthday, and I’m writing to encourage you to celebrate with me by listening to her tell her life’s story in 97 very short minutes. Audible has an ongoing series, free to its subscribers and produced in part by the inimitable rock journalist Bill Flanagan (a lifelong personal hero of mine) called Words + Music. When the...
Lifeguard Max Wastler

An Ode to Lifeguards & A Review: Class Action Park

As we say goodbye to the strangest summer in our lifetime, one in which I — someone who hasn’t gone more than a few weeks without swimming — has not been in a pool since February, inspired by a new documentary that tells a fascinating, dark tale of a swimming pool, I thought I’d take a look back at my...

Dock Rockers

Dock Rockers on Spotify. An avowed, unabashed dad-rocker, of late I cannot unshackle myself from these A.M. Goldilocks: not too hot, not too cold, the tunes I want to listen to are caught somewhere in between last year’s Linen Shirts & Lemonade and 2015’s Friday Night Feels. Not for night swimming nor for backyard swinging, Dock Rockers encapsulates a summer vibe all its own. This is for...

Three of My Favorite NBA Uniform Stories

As the 2015 NBA Basketball season gets underway, I wanted to take a moment to recount three of my favorite basketball uniform design stories. One of the first stories about uniform design I remember reading had something to do with the 1988 debut of the Charlotte Hornets‘ purple pinstripe uniforms. They were designed by Charlotte native, Alexander Julian. With his...

A Playlist for Ledbury: Route 66

The good folks over at Ledbury asked for me to put together a road trip mix. I could think of no road finer than ol’ Route 66. You can get the whole playlist here.

Letterman: Paul Newman

Before I considered devoting a week’s worth of posts to David Letterman, I intended to share this story. For some time, I have been fascinated by the evolution of Dave’s relationship with a personal hero of mine, Paul Newman. For the uninitiated, I wrote a lengthy piece a couple years ago about Mr. Newman, and I have for many years prior...

Letterman: Zevon

If Dave had been a musician…. Like Letterman, Warren Zevon was an oft-misunderstood, feeling, thinking, snorting, spitting, mad man. Like Letterman, Zevon was born in the Midwest and found early success in Los Angeles. Like Letterman, Zevon threw it all out there. Prior to a dive into his back catalog in college, I think I only owned Excitable Boy (likely thanks to...

One Part Plant: Dude Edition

The multi-talented über-connector Jessica Murnane recently asked me to host one of her For Reals Meals for her plant-based site, One Part Plant. You may recall my girlfriend co-hosted one last year. Murnane was adamant on two fronts: 1) ALL PLANTS. 2) YOU CAN’T KNOW ANYONE YOU INVITE. One was easy. Though I might share innumerable photos of the insides...

Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic, 1974.

Willie Nelson, Texas World Speedway, July 4th, 1974. Now in its fortieth year, Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnics are the barbecue to end all barbecues. Though each year is legendary in its own right, today, I’d like to focus on the 1974 celebration which looms large in its legend. Nelson was inspired to start a yearly festival by the...

The Lone Ranger

Today sees the return of The Lone Ranger, one of the most enduring characters of the West.

Things My Father Taught Me: Brad Wastler

Most of the stories I know of my grandfather and my great-grandfather are largely exaggerated. They’re tales handed down from my father and his siblings. I was told my great-grandfather was the only man in Alton, Illinois who drove a convertible with reclining front seats, and his friend Robert Wadlow, the tallest man to have ever lived, would occasionally borrow...

Things My Father Taught Me: Ben Wastler

A couple years ago, on the phone with an ex-girlfriend, I made mention of the word, “hero.” “You use that word a lot.” “Hero?” “Yeah. Have you ever thought about making a list of all your ‘heroes?’ Maybe you could do a blog post on it.” I sat down after that conversation, and I jotted down the name of the...

Things My Father Taught Me: Sean Callahan

Sean and I work together. I sit in a division of the office lovingly referred to as “Callahan’s Corner.” I can’t tell you just how happy it makes me to come into work every morning knowing I’m a member of Callahan’s Corner. Sean does that to people. I no sooner started, and Sean made me feel like family. We are...

Things My Father Taught Me: Jesse Thorn

As host of NPR’s Bullseye and creator of the blog Put This On, Jesse Thorn is a man of many interests, allowing them to drive the cultural content he covers: everything from comedy to rap music, from oxford cloth shirts to German Army trainers. Like me, Jesse is interested in continuing to grow, to educate himself by studying that which truly...

Things My Father Taught Me: James B. Stewart

When I learned I’d be able to attend the university of my choice, my father familiarized me with the work of one of its most famous living alums, Mr. James B. Stewart, then front page editor of the Wall Street Journal. My father had a vested interest in Mr. Stewart. They grew up in the same town in western Illinois,...

Teva

Men, there are those among us who swear off sandals. Take for example, Rule Number 121 from Walker Lamond’s Rules for My Unborn Son, which states “Men should not wear sandals. Ever.” And then, there are men like me, men who grew up wearing shorts and sandals every day of his humid, sticky summers in the Midwest. After discovering Teva,...

Basil Hayden’s: Whiskey Among Other Things

I’ve been tapped to travel and write for the brand new website for Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, Basil Hayden’s, basilhaydens.com. We’re calling it “Whiskey Among Other Things.”

Sign Painters

When thinking about how to express what a shop dedicated to our fathers and grandfathers would look like, Joe Gannon and I turned to sign painters like Jeff Canham and one time sign painter, the artist — and one of my personal heroes — Ed Ruscha. Because as good a friend as she is, she’s an even better artist, we...

Kletterwerks

I have a problem. It’s not a real problem like an economic crisis borne of these uncertain times, nor is it mental, physical, or otherwise somehow internally harmful. It’s not financial. It’s not like the problem of pesky neighbors nor a nagging parent nor an out-of-control rodent infestation. Truthfully, in the grandest of life’s schemes, this is rather small potatoes. I...

Nora Ephron

Though the certificate says “English-Writing,” by eschewing my non-fiction professor’s urges to stick to a more common narrative form in my senior seminar class, I was effectively a screenwriting major. Where others wrote of period pieces in dreamlike bucolic settings or modern tales of their disdain of suburbia, I favored the explication of an well-executed exterior shot or the baritone notes of a...

Wandawega Camp Store

Friends of mine, David Hernandez and Tereasa Surratt, husband and wife/father and mother/web developer/author/and superstar ad folks, have added a new slash to their already impressive list of titles: Shopkeep. Their Camp Wandawega in Elkhorn, Wisconsin might be recognizable to you, as virtually every clothing company and editorial publication in the United States have used their well-appointed, idyllic summer camp...

HOMAGE

You park your car on High Street in Columbus, Ohio’s Short North neighborhood. You’re so excited, you forget to pay the meter. You walk around a shady corner where a red sign reads “HOMAGE.” You walk into the little shop to the sounds of The Brothers Johnson’s “Get the Funk Out Ma Face.” You smell the wood of old backboards...

Things My Father Taught Me: Lisa Congdon

Lisa Congdon came to me through my very soulful friend, Mary Randolph, someone I hold very dear to my heart. Way, way back in The Aughts, Mary Randolph and I would send each other inspirational e-mail with the simple subject heading “Thoughts?” These e-mail were nothing more than a series of links to things we loved. One day, among the...

Things My Father Taught Me: Micah Ling

Before I worked around and talked about clothes, I tried to be a writer. I worked hard to live the artist’s life. While I was busy divining inspiration from Indiana’s natural surroundings: sleeping on the rock bed of the quarry just off-campus, hiking Hoosier Hill by moonlight, and whittling wood on smoke breaks in poetry class, Micah Ling quietly and...

Kenny Fabrikant of Rosey Jekes

“The Rasta Ralph Lauren.” I’m not sure he would appreciate me saying so, but that was my initial impression of Kenny Fabrikant owner of Hanover, New Hampshire’s Rosey Jekes.

Fathers: Joe Gannon

Joe Gannon is great. The way he encourages me to post more often, the way he’ll whisper a story idea in my ear and beg for none of the credit when the story’s well-received, or the way he’s introduced me to a great many ridiculously out-of-this-world cool things, at times our relationship feels more like that of a father and...

Things My Mother Taught Me: David Coggins

I speak often of my heroes, and I count Mr. Coggins among them. He’s too humble to admit it, but the man is a great writer. And he has excellent taste. And in our various encounters, he’s exemplified decency, a lesson he learned from his mother, Wendy.

Things My Mother Taught Me: Walker Lamond

Because of the overwhelming response to last June’s series Things My Father Taught Me, I thought it only right to devote this week to Mothers. I’ve invited some of my more stylish friends and my favorite writers to share a few words on how their moms have influenced their style. Up first, Mr. Walker Lamond, author of the bestselling book...

On the Road: Pittsburgh

Iron City. Those words. That accent. In college, I took care of this couple’s lawn while they were visiting family in Pittsburgh. She was from there. “You wann us to bring ya some Iron City Beer?” I’d never heard of it. It sounded so tough, so gritty, so much more of-the-earth than my commonplace hometown Bud. It wasn’t. However, when...

Black Watch on Mister Mort

Mister Mort, Mordechai Rubinstein’s online handle, has become my font of street style inspiration The Sartorialist once was. While the quality and content of Mr. Schuman’s photos continue to impress me, and while I still look to The Sartorialist for inspiration, at some point, his photos’ focus shifted from the general to the specific. As he’s granted access to fashion...

Steven Grasse of Art in the Age

Art in the Age is a store in Philadelphia’s Old City named for one of German essayist Walter Benjamin’s most famous works. It is the brainchild of advertising executive Steven Grasse. After reading two interviews with him this week, Mr. Grasse has fast become a hero of mine. The man whom Philadelphia Magazine called, in the same breath, a Legend...

Repaired: Alden Tassel Moccasin

In the summer of 2008, I found my favorite pair of shoes, a used pair of cognac-colored tassel moccasins from Alden, buried in a giant L.L. Bean duffel at the Brooklyn Flea. I purchased them from my man Tutek for $30.00. I wore the hell out of them. When I found two gaping hole in the soles this fall, rather...

The Spades

This week in New York Magazine, writer Amy Larocca profiled one of my heroes, Andy Spade and his wife, Kate. It is a fantastic read if you’re at all interested in turning your passion into your career, and being wildly — well, the fourth place kind of wildly (more on that in a bit) — successful along the way.

On the Road: Madison, Wisconsin

The people of Wisconsin live and die by this beautiful quote from English writer John Ruskin. I pulled in to Madison on a snow-covered evening, late enough that the last of Context Clothing‘s customers was just bundling up before heading home with a new pair of Momotaro jeans, but co-owner Ryan Huber was kind enough to keep the shop open...

American Originals: Crown Candy, A Chevy, & Mr. Nowack

Earlier this year, on a trip to St. Louis, I stopped by Crown Candy Kitchen, situated in a neighborhood in North St. Louis County now referred to as Crown Square. Crown is home to one of the best milkshakes known to man. As featured on Man vs. Food, the buttery concoctions created at Crown are the most filling I’ve ever...

The Blind Five: Drinkin’ and Dronin’ & Secret Forts

I cannot recall what first lead me to Drinkin’ and Dronin’, but its gorgeous compilation of tattoos, booze, shoes, and music have become manna — that is, divine or spiritual food. I look to DD for a certain edge that I’ll never possess. I found the head-to-toes of Secret Forts when looking for a high quality image of a Max...

Things My Father Taught Me: Jake Davis

Filmmaker and blogger extraordinaire, Jake Davis is attuned to an aesthetic so similar to my own, its remarkable how often I visit his site and think, “Oh, man! Beat me to it.” He’s a hero, hammering out the hits time and again, and he does such a good job of explaining style — something I struggle with daily. I’m so...

Wood You Ski with Me?

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about some – often times, quite literally – killer bi-athletes slash war heroes and their hulking wood skis. On the train this morning, I read about Rønning Ski, a father and son operation out of Skotterud, a small town in eastern Norway that specializes in making skis made entirely of wood from their local...

The Goods: Wellington Boots

When I turned seven, I asked my mom for a pair of Spiderman “rain boots” to match the raincoat I received for my birthday. I remember they were navy blue with a thick, red tread. The spring showers that year had nothing on my Spidey skills. Countless puddles emptied, left trembling in the wake of my endless traipsing, I was...

Designers Dressed for Success

I uncovered an incredible article in Playboy from July 1961 about some of my heroes: midcentury designers Nelson, Wormley, Saarinen, Bertoia, Eames, and Risom. What struck first was this photo. Notice Eames’ bow tie, Saarinen’s specs and pipe, Risom’s hefty pocket square, and all those dark socks. Take this as proof that to be the best, you’ve got to dress...