Archive for July, 2010

L.L. Bean Signature Sneak Peek

Friday, July 30th, 2010

The pretty-great goods don’t go live on the web ’til Monday, but a sneak peek at L.L. Bean Signature’s Fall 2010 Catalog reveals my new must-have boot.

The super-famous Bean Boot’s been pictured on all the bearded, East Coast hipsters over the past few years and thus many times I almost pulled the e-bay trigger on a vintage pair of mid navy blue or tall tan ones.

But I never ever did, which I’ve just today decided was a secret blessing. Because now I am free to guiltlessly bag these full grain, black-topped treasures for fall.

For five seconds I thought they’d be even better with black rubber bottoms to match the ebony leather. But then I reversed my position completely.

They’re just right just as they are!

Bagging A Bargain

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Strap-free document cases seem to have struck a chord with readers earlier this week.

Everyone’s looking for something a little different and some commenters are even contemplating fashioning their own out of sweat, leather and sturdy sewing machines to avoid unsatisfying e-bay investigations or three hundred dollar price tags.

(I’m impressed!)

But if you’re broke and lazy and man enough for mass-market, these warm and woolly cases from O’Hanlon Mills make a strong case for zipping up your essentials come September. At thirteen inches wide, they’re the ideal form factor, and for twenty-four dollars they’re, if nothing else, price-perfect as a fill in ’til you sight or stitch yourself your dream case.

Best of all, their flannelly fabrication adds instant fall flare to your post-Labor Day outfits, when it’s (regrettably) still too hot to slip into S.N.S. Herning sweaters and thick, tweedy trousers.

Passing On The Savings

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Although I flirt with and photograph Byredo bottles of fragrance, I tend to end up with whatever scent COMME des GARCONS spritzes into the ether.

The essence of the line’s newest, WONDERWOOD, is richly wooded and thickly forested – yet fine and fancy; too luscious for luggy ol’ lumberjacks. It’s the smell of black-tie in a birch grove, of tuxedos in tree houses. And although I’m not afraid of an offbeat, edgy scent WONDERWOOD’s calmer and quieter than CdG’s Man 2 or Hinoki fragrances which I also favor.

For a limited time you can indulge in any of COMME des GARCONS’ scents at 25 percent off at BeautyHabit.com with a semi-secret coupon code. The code is applicable to any of BeautyHabit’s myriad of brands including Treasury favorites Valobra soaps and shaving cremes and Couto Portuguese toothpaste.

Click below to learn the not-so-secret code, and pinky promise me you won’t make fun of me for knowing it.

Promise!

(more…)

Trouble Makers

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

When was the last time you were a real rascal? There’s a real and rare thrill in rustling up some trouble, a thrill we willfully deny ourselves as we sulk into adulthood.

So pop an Old Time Sling Shot into your back pocket this weekend, perch yourself up somewhere sneaky, then fling bubble gum or your wadded up phone number at eye-catching passers-by until things get thrilling.

You’ll end up either engaged or arrested, but either option makes for a better story than whatever you had going on this weekend otherwise, I reckon.

Plus, you’ll be doing my homestate suburbs some ecological good.

Get this. According to Hickorees: “This classic sling shot is hand made from branches of the Buckthorn bush, a European hedge plant commonly found in suburban neighborhoods in Minnesota, and now considered an invasive species. Buckthorn’s hard “Y” branches are perfect for sling shots, and harvesting Buckthorn wood helps with efforts to control the species.”

So when that mean mom on your block starts wagging her finger at you for slinging away at all the pretty young things in your hood, flatly ask her when was the last time she did anything to help control an invasive species?

By the time she sorts out her answer, you’ll be halfway home and fantastically full of yourself. Just like a kid, but with cooler clothes.

Strapless Little Numbers

Monday, July 26th, 2010

I have a collection of imperfect vintage ones archived in my attic, but this fall I’m finally gonna get a handle on finding the perfect handle-less bag.

Portfolios, attachés, document envelopes – whatever one may call them, I’m hereby declaring we’ll all need one this season.

AI_ out of Milan offers a wide range of such leather accessories in oil slick-like blacks and beach pebbly greys.

For me the trick has been to find a bag that’s neither too floppy nor too firm, and that’s large enough to slip in a Monocle mag. Anything wider and taller than that and everything starts sliding all around inside, sloppily.

The A4+ bag, pictured top, looks just about right!

Mad Men: The Morning After

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

For many, Sunday night will ooze with indulgence and idiotic indiscretions as slick-sters across America over-toast Draper’s return with three or four cocktails too many at parties both public and dangerously private.

Your doting Treasurer therefore recommends mending your Monday morning hangover with a stacked plate of dry, hard toast and a frosted, full glass of Coffee Time-laced milk. By the time you arrive at the office no one will be able to guess the shameful ways you celebrated Sunday night.

Really, if there’s anything Don’s taught us its the importance of concealing completely one’s unattractive truths.

Overnight your Coffee Time Syrup: Here or Here.

Arthur S. Allen

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

The packaging design of Arthur S. Allen, founder of the Allcolor Company, Inc., New York City and “an expert on the application of color in product packaging”.

Are there still any experts on the application of color in product packaging?

Walking into the after-shave or facial tissue sections of your neighborhood Target store today, it sure doesn’t seem like it.

I miss you, Mr. Allen.

The Perfect Summer Car Wash

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

My car is nothing fancy. In fact its pretty much a rolling disaster. But when I bother to spiff her up I refuse to take her anywhere but The Mermaid.

First off, The Mermaid’s logo and branding is pre-millenial, photo shoot perfect, and perched just about everywhere.

As you exit your vehicle, rolling waves murals carry you through the air-conditioned corridor toward the cash register (and candy bar/greeting card shop).

Before they drop you off on dry land, the painted waves roll you past a plastic dome of complementary donuts and pastries. (If its still early in the day and they haven’t all vanished yet. If its after 2pm, you’re left to just pout in the surf.)

Once you’ve paid your bill and picked out an Obama-themed birthday card for your mom/boss/parole officer, you can play with the chatty parrot perched in front of the car freshener section. Its at this point in my visit each time where I’m certain a strange Steve Buscemi film will shoot here someday.

After all this fluorescent and feathery fun, your car is usually already done.

The final mermaid bids you farewell, and your soaped up and sea-sprayed car carts you off into another two (but for me, more like six) months of dead bugs and grime.

If only every mundane errand could be ran in such amusing establishments as The Mermaid.

Lessons In Boat Shoe Survival

Monday, July 19th, 2010

PROLOGUE: ASOS

Initially reticent to re-board the boat shoe trend, I began last March with these shiny half loafers/half deck shoes from ASOS. I ended up wearing them all spring, but also wanted something a bit dressed down and de-glossed, although still black and not brown, to better avoid looking like my 6th grade suburban self.

When it comes to boat shoes I’m just not on board with visible branding, so that ruled out Sperry and its boastful little boat-stamps, as well as Parabot, Rogues Gallery, and Sebago and their fabric heel tag/flags.

CHAPTER 1: QUODDY

By early May, I thus wound up at  Quoddy and their custom-order options and accompanying six week waiting times. I figured I’d finally have my summer shoes by mid/late June which is technically when true summer begins, and as a bonus, I’d always suspected I had truncated but wide feet and so got to order my boat shoes not in a standard D width but E.

Nine-instead-of-six weeks after early May, the made-just-for-me Quoddy boat shoes washed up on my battered city shores.

I don’t know if it was their inherent style or the fact that I’d ordered them in the wider E size, but they seemed bizarrely shaped and bloated somehow, and the leather was awfully injured-looking, and struck me not so much as thin, taut shoe leather, but as puffy foamed rubber or something.

With $235 plus the weight of all my summer-shoe dreams weighing on them, it took me minutes instead of the usual hours/days to decide to return them for a refund.

Summer was half over and I was drowning in disappointment. Was it worth pinning my hopes on a pair of black rescue-boat shoes? Or should I just dead man’s float until next spring and start all over?

CHAPTER 2: LANDS END CANVAS

Having worn in my black and buffed ASOS pair to an even more beloved place in my heart during my wait for Quoddy, and then spotting Joel Goodsen on TV dicking around his driveway in a pair of short cut-offs and banal brown, white-soled boat shoes, I re-set my course.

With the visual search engine at ShopStyle.com as my skipper, I sailed toward Lands End’s new hipped-up Canvas branded line, and ordered their chestnut brown boat shoes marked down from $80 to $60 and waited but two days for them to arrive in two different sizes so I could pick which fit best.

When they did, I wasn’t sure if they looked cheap or not, but I was certain their laces didn’t match their leather well enough. Or that the two I had ordered were the right size, so I ordered a third, returned the smallest and the largest, and kept the median 8.5s.

But only as a back-up plan. (Why, after everything I already went through, would I make things easy for myself now?)

CHAPTER 3: QUODDY BY WAY OF O’CONNELLS

Because earlier this year I had seen Ryan at YouHaveBrokenTheInternet order a pair of the Quoddys – but in brown instead of black, and with a white sole, and from O’Connells in NY which gloriously didn’t require agonizing wait times (as long as you were down with the white soles, which, thanks to Risky Business, I now completely was). And I just wanted to be sure if Quoddy was or was not an option for me in my boat shoe adventures.

I considered forgoing the wider E style again for a less bloated-looking D, but, perhaps out of self-sabotage, I again went wide, and when the second summer Quoddys arrived the leather and laces did look a little bit better than my back-up Lands End pair, but with three lace holes instead of two, they seemed trickier to slip right into and out of. Which, to me, is the most super of the boat shoe’s powers.

And the real stickler to me about the brown Quoddys was: They looked handsome and heritage-y and very now. But what I’d ended up really wanting, I realized, was something really dated and Dad-ish. Duh.

And so back went the second Quoddys.

And out into the light of a summer Friday night went the Lands Ends.

EPILOGUE

Until, after wearing them out to dinner, I realized they were sadly too small and needed to be replaced by the exact same style, just a half/size larger.

I’m waiting for those shoes to arrive, but I have to say, wearing the Lands Ends for even an hour (not pictured) stretches and shines the leather in a way that instantly rids them of whatever “patina of cheap” I worried if they initially had, and the laces darken and soften and pair better with the leather of the shoes too.

For $80 (the Lands End sale just ended, natch), and after all my misadventures, they’re remarkably unremarkable. Just like the ones I had in 1988, and just like Joel’s.

Which means they’re way, way, way beyond perfect.

Do they warrant the longest Treasury entry in history? Probably not. But what in fashion is ever truly warranted?

Out Of The Woodsmen

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

I don’t know that I’m up for (again) outfitting myself exactly like this lumberin’ Jack this fall.

But I’ll tuck his look deep down in the bottom of my rucksack so that traces of it might sprout up around and on me in new, non-logger ways.

From Riviera Club’s A/W 10 lookbook.

Elizabeth and James Hudson Pant

Friday, July 16th, 2010

The built-in calendar on my iMac assures me it’s 2010.

But I just purchased pleated pants, cuffed, from those mini-moguls from Full House. So most of my brain thinks I’m now living in 1996 (again).

After years of ridicule the pleated pant started to finally seem smart again about a year ago, but only thrift stores seemed to offer any hope of finding a proper pair, and we all know what happens the second you purposely look for something in a thrift store. (You won’t ever, ever find it.)

So some on-line searching sussed out these summer-thin Hudson slacks from the Olsen Twins’s mid-price range. They’re a pretty good start but my deep, deep need for plenty of pleats has only just begun.

I’m hoping the fall of the flat-front will finally make its appearance in some of the A/W 2010 offerings popping up in stores and online in the next few weeks. We’re right on the cusp of my favorite time of year!

Felt So Good

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

I’m thinking about fuzzing up my home this fall with a duo or trio of these sixteen inch fibery felt cushions from Canvas Home.

Would just have to pick a room…

Orchestrate the right color palette…

And rationalize the cost.

(Help me rationalize the cost.)