Archive for the ‘Materialism’ Category

Paint ‘n Play With J. Crew

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

It came as a quirky surprise to me but last fall, during their Men’s Spring 2010 preview party, J. Crew featured a pair of ragged, paint-ravaged shorts that completely tripped my trigger. For the past many months I’d visit their on-line shop with stalker-like frequency, waiting for the super-splotched shorts to appear.

They never ever did, so I called upon the supreme services of one of J. Crew’s online Personal Shoppers and soon learned that the shorts featured in the fall show, and later in GQ, never made it to production, and a similar though not identical design sold out swiftly as a Men’s Shop at the Liquor Store limited edition in New York in early May.

So I had no choice but to take matters and splatters into my own hand, and permanently ruin some shorts myself. It wasn’t exactly rocket science, but here’s the Step-By-Step instructions for my adventures in Self Destruction.

I’d wanted a pair of boot campy green shorts that weren’t too thin, but I couldn’t find a pair I liked anywhere and so after ordering a pair of J. Crew Sun Faded Stanton Shorts in an almost-green color called Canteen, as well as picking up a pair available in stores in a grey-er shade dubbed Bottle, I went for the Bottle, as its buttons matched its fabric better.

I then placed a strip of one inch masking tape above the hem of each leg to provide a fail-safe guide for even, easy-shearing, but for me short is never short enough, and so I hacked off an additional 3/4 of an inch, almost 3 inches total.

I then jacked up my inner Pollock to whip ‘n flick bursts of white, then dusty blue, then creamy sage, then sky blue, then barely pink splotches of wall paint over the front of my shorts, allowing for a bit of natural-looking wraparound on the outer sides. In between each color I’d brush blobs of extra paint onto the sides of my hands and then blot the splotches into the fabric. I wanted the painted stains to look handy-mannish and authentic, not crisp and 80’s like a teen’s Esprit overalls.

Wondering if I had gone a bit overboard with the paint compared to my original inspiration, I washed my shorts twice, holding them up under the washing machine’s gushing water-fall during the fill cycle to erode away half a layer of my thickly caked-on paint.

And that was it.

I thought I had messed up my messing-up at many points during my shorts’ Self Destruction, but in the end they turned out pretty much how I had always envisioned them: Sawed-off and splotched, salvaged from some Dad’s dusty Nantucket shed during the trip I never took there, sometime last summer.

The thing I like most about them is, on the surface, they dress down everything you pair them with. And yet, they’re such a statement piece that they almost dress everything else up in a witty way too.

Gitman Bros. x Monocle

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

In a 50’s fashioned dream world, I would’ve found a short-sleeve, plaid Gitman Bros. Vintage button up for summer, but the proper pattern and size combo never materialized for me this spring, online.

As a consolation prize, I placed an order for the Gitman Bros. x Monocle short-sleeve popover instead. As much as I appreciate Monocle as a magazine, I have to admit it makes me feel a little lobotomized or slavish to purchase a piece of clothing the publication plopped its name on. Following the leader is the march of the uncool, right?

But a classic broadcloth oxford shirt rendered in such an indigo-ink-y hue seemed so quietly quirked out, I knew I could wear the piece with just about anything, and any time of year.

I’m looking forward to how the piece will fade, but it’s actually so intensely inky, I worry/wonder a bit if it even ever will.

Paris Prizes pt. 1

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

– From a nothing-special supermarket in Paris, some super special grid-lined notebooks.

– From down at the Porte de Vanves Flea Market, a mysterious hand clamp/claw used for reasons so far unknown. We’ve been calling it an Automatic Eyeball Remover.

– A box of 24 macarons for the family who babysit our dog.

– The only real article of clothing I found in France. A pair of, I think, Jil Sander designed Uniqlo pants.

– And a pair of pairs of Great Gatsby styled tennis court socks.

– The prettiest stuffed bird in all of Deyrolle.

– His little I.D. bracelet is my favorite part.

Adding Up

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

For over a year I came up empty handed in a number of online auctions for the fancy little 660 calculator from Panasonic.


But one sits smartly on my desk, at last!


I’m thinking of taking it and a thin stack of books on an early Spring stroll and pretending I’m an Algebra-obsessed exchange student in Osaka, circa 1981.

Just seems like the right thing to do.

Reader Wish List: Yuko

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Here are the Holiday Wishes of frame shop employee Yuko from NYC. Her own blog details her love for frocks and food trucks and is always fun and mouth watering to read.

1) Sonya’s Shopping Manual (#202~301). I have the first two books (#1~101 and #102~201) and just noticed that a new one is out. These books are a great list (even if i cannot read Japanese) of the most perfect items.


2) Conroy and Wilcox prasiolite ring. Totally a fantasy ring…I love everything that they make, very simple and classic but unique-looking jewelry.


3) Arts & Science rib dress. Anything from this brand I would absolutely love.


4) Pyrex! I bought some bowls and containers this past summer at flea markets…and now I want more!


5)  Saint James “Ouessant” shirt (ecru & red stripe). I know I am a little late to this game…


6) Dickson’s Whole Beef Punch Card. This one is a bit crazy… but who doesn’t like to get food as a present? And…it kind of sounds like a deal, right?



_ _ _

Wow. All these Wish Lists make me feel really lucky to have such cool and quirky people as readers and phantom-friends. It’s been really nice to stop blabbing about my own world and hear about yours!

Reader Wish List: Peter-Frank

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Peter-Frank sets The Netherlands on the map for the ongoing Treasury reader Holiday Wish List series.

“1) A TENORI-ON. It’s the sweet sound and old skool feeling. Some pick up a guitar in my group of friends – this will be the thing to be picked up and played with!

2) A proper coffee grinder, it should be old but this is the closest we like for our photostudio. The coffee machine is already heaven but the search for the matching coffee grinder is on!

Afbe 5

3) It’s my biggest wish to find a climbing pole for my cats Ed and Dizzee. Everything I have seen so far is U G L Y and makes your house look stupid, for example see picture.

Afbeelding 6

4) More respect and less judgement on each other life styles, the Netherlands used to be very tolerant but it has been changing, I wish for more common sense and just accepting of each other, it sounds cheesy but it is high on my priority list. If I can enjoy my life with my boyfriend than I can also enjoy the material things in life. Otherwise I would be unhappy and grumpy and all nice things wouldn’t matter.

5) Always good to have a bike, this one will be for my boyfriend. He always has problems with his bike and I have a bike that always rides, this will be so good for him.


6) For my best friend, Jojan, single mum and raising her daughter Beer (almost 2 years now – I’m her gaysitter, as she always calls me) that she will have a Nr. 1 record as a DJ.


Pffffttttttttt. That’s it, Ciao !!!!!”

_ _ _

Well, God bless Peter-Frank for thinking about other people this Christmas besides just himself. Remember what that was like?

Before his entry and especially after I’ve wondered about launching a spin-off series of posts about what we’re all excited to GIVE this year too.

Reader Wish List: Saucy

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Saucy, the afore-mentioned awesome Aussie is the author of today’s Reader Wish List. She’s like the Liz Lemon of the Down Under, Under 30, Stylista set.

To me, at least.

“Number One:
I will forfeit all other previous items on this wishlist if I get this one. In fact I won’t need a christmas present for the next 20 years if I get this one. I am referring, of course, to an American Greencard.


Number Two:
I need a new camera body and this is the one I have had my eye on for awhile, the Canon 5D Mark II. It also records HD video.


Number Three:
These mustard Swedish Hasbeen peep toes in the super high style. I love any shoe that is mustard. Wait, except crocs. Gross.


Number Four:
A mini short haired daschund (but my cat will kill me so this one will probably stay a dream).


Number Five:
This retardedly awesome horse lamp.


I have about a billion other things but these are the first that popped into my head. I have to go pass out now, I just ate the weight of a small child in cake related products.


_ _ _

If the holidays have you feeling bogged down in too much holly jolly and good will toward men, read a few entries from Saucy’s Cigarette Jeans Blog. Her acerbic sass will instantly jolt you back into your original, jaded state. A precious, rare gift to be handed this treacly time of year.

Reader Wish List: Mitch

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

The latest in the line of Treasury reader Holiday Wish Lists: Mitch Frank, a who-knows-what from who-knows-where who clearly has a taste for the finest things both man and nature has to offer us.

“Rounding out my kit:

1. This coat. I dearly hope that Folk expands to the US in the near future. I dig them to death. Their priorities are straight and I’d buy almost anything they make. They have the fabric, the fit, the details….This coat in pertickler is beautiful, and I need a beautiful coat in pertickler.


2. A pair of boots. I think the Alden plain toe boot is basically the boot. The Boot. I want any of them.


3. These wingtips. I’d like to throw my weight behind some young, new shoe outfit. But as long as Alden makes shoes like these, there’s no point.


4. A sweatshirt that fits right. A sweat like this could split duty as a nice sweater and a grease-monkey pullover. When you think of it that way, it’s a steal at twice the price! No it’s not. It’s absurd, but I still want it.



1. These nature ID books are the most useful ever. They’re like choose your own adventure books, sort of: ‘if the tree you’re looking at has rough bark, go to page 3. If it has smooth bark, go to page 5.’ And so on, until you narrow it down to the tree you see. Super easy, super gratifying. Plus, trivial knowledge is my favorite accessory.

Screen shot 2009-12-09 at 4.03.28 PM

2. Charles Causley is the most accessible good poet of the last century. I am telling you so. You’ve never heard of him because he spent his life teaching grade school in Cornwall. Where is that, even? I don’t know. King Arthur is from there, I guess? Anyways, the important people of poetry say that Mr. Causley wrote nursery rhymes for adults, but the man himself said he recognized no distinction between his children’s poems and adult poems. And they’re really powerful because of that — because they walk and talk like nursery rhymes, but then all of the sudden you’ve read a poem about destitute, bombed-out southern England after WWII and you feel pretty bombed out yourself. And that is how I like to spend my afternoons, sometimes.


3. Dinosaurs are so cool. I want to be one when I grow up.


4. Aldo Leopold intended to write a textbook for the newly formed US Parks service, but he ended up writing this, which should be America’s claim to philosophical fame instead of that highfalutin’ stuff from Emerson and Thoreau. I mean, the ethics of nature is one of America’s great contributions to the world, and this books is the best expression of it. Oh my gosh, it is so much better to read than I am making it sound. Anyways, I love it but I don’t own a copy, so I want to fix that.


Breaking The Bank:

1. A really good camera. There were some game-changing developments in the digital camera world this year, and I’d really like to own one of them. It’s probably good that there’s no way I’ll get one of these in the foreseeable future — by the time I can afford one, maybe they’ll have all the bugs worked out.”


_ _ _

There’s still time to send me your Wish Lists, fellow Treasurers. I’m pretty much open 24/7.

Reader Wish List: Kate

Monday, December 14th, 2009

The next Holiday Reader Wish List is from a local reader. Minneapolis represent!

Name: Kate Levine
Occupation: Architect-In-Training

“My Mom starts her Xmas shopping in October and religiously asks me for a list, so throughout the year I put things I like in an online list so I don’t have to scramble when Autumn arrives.”

1.  Nixon Iris Watch – white/gunmetal
“I tend to wear a lot of black and gray (that architect stereotype exists for a reason…) but I like to have some relatively funky accessories. I also don’t wear leather, so I’m always looking for a nice non-leather watch.”


2.  Bodum Columbia Tea Press
“Is there anything more homey than a tea kettle on the stove? This one is exquisitely detailed, and yet understated.”


3.  Recycled Felt Portfolio Bag
“For meetings with clients, I often need a smaller bag to carry just the essentials.”


4.  Architectural Graphic Standards
“This is the go-to book in my field for pretty much everything. Plus, it’s beautiful.”


5.  Matt & Nat Bauhaus Bag
“Often, non-leather means cheap. But not with Matt & Nat. They have fabulous attention to detail and materiality. They also have a lot of unisex pieces that are good for smaller people (like me).”


6.  Asics Ultimate 81 Vegan
“I love colorful footwear.”


_ _ _

Thanks for breaking up the boys club, Kate.

Whether near or far, male or female, keep sending in your Wish Lists, folks!

Reader Wish List: Damien

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

The next in the ongoing series of Treasury reader Holiday Gift Wish Lists: Damien D. of California and author of his own aesthetically obsessed blog.

1. Kanye West’s Tour Book GLOW IN THE DARK. “Because no matter what he always makes you want to look.”


2. Makr Horween Leather Wallet. “Simple, functional, beautiful.”


3. Calabrese Washbag. “More leather (I know, cows hate me.)”


4. Hover Board. “My affinity for 80s nostalgia begins and ends here.”


5. This Guy’s Life, The Sartorialist.


6. His Girl. Jane Birkin.


_ _ _

I find it interesting that in both Reader Wish Lists posted so far there’s always the inclusion of some dream/fantasy item(s). I guess it’s the time of year to dream big if you’re gonna bother dreaming.

Keep sending me your Wish Lists, friends.

Reader Wish List: Bernard

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Here is the first Treasury reader Holiday Gift Wish List submitted by Ontario-based Biology student Bernard Pawlowicz. In the lists that have been submitted so far I’ve already proven my Holiday 09 Hypothesis that other people’s greed feels just as good as your own.

On to Bernard’s list which he separated into two categories: Realistic and Just Dreams.

1) Original Skateboards Apex 34 Longboard (Realistic) “I’ve been looking into longboarding for some time now and I think Original Skateboards makes some pretty sweet looking ones.  They also have great vids on youtube of the Team’s Longboard Adventures.  I recommend a peak.”

2) Weezer’s: Raditude (Realistic) “The Latest CD from my favourite band Weezer.”


3) Arkadius Goggles – Model A04 Brown Lens (Dream) “I’ve wanted these for a couple of years now but they are way out of my price-range at the moment.  They are incredible; very stylish and virtually indestructible.  Arkadius has many styles to choose from as well.”


4) A pair of Anna Laub Glasses (clear) (Dream) “I think these just look great!  Very very cool glasses, therefore I want.”


5) A B&N Nook e-book reader (Realistic) “I want an e-book reader and I think the Nook is a pretty stylish and functional.”


6) A few books (Realistic) including Ticket to Ride.  “I always ask for a few books for Christmas to read over the break.”


_ _ _

So thanks to Bernard for his submission. He seems to share my obsession with un-understated eyewear. It’s interesting how you can start to form a picture of a person based solely on their material cravings.

If you haven’t submitted your Wish List yet, there’s still plenty of time. In the first wave of submissions I’m coming across a lot of brands and products I never knew I should be salivating over so let’s all share our swanky, secret cravings.

Holiday Reader Request

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I thought it’d be fun to know what the (five and a half) readers of The Treasury are wishing for this Holiday Season so share your secret list and e-mail me your:

• Name
• Location
• Occupation or Claim to Fame
• The half a dozen or so things that you want most this season, with photos or web links, and if you want, the reasons why.

The Stag Shop2

Then I’ll post the submissions to The Treasury over the coming weeks and we can all marvel at the good taste and greed of one another, Stags and Stag-ettes, alike.