Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Penny loafers for women at J. Crew

I was looking through the most recent J. Crew and was surprised to see that they are now offering a classic penny loafer for women, made by Bass, nonetheless. In spite of being popular with women during the 80s, and presumably during the 60s (the high points in preppy style), I'm not sure that I've seen a girl in peer group wearing a pair. Ever.

Seeing as how J. Crew has managed to emerge as more of a trendsetter than a trend-follower, it will be interesting to see if any other retailers follow suit. It should be noted that J. Crew is currently asking $120 for this pair of shoes. If you ask me, that's pretty ridiculous. Then again, crazy-high prices at J. Crew seem to be the rule rather than the exception nowadays...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Trip Down South street style

A couple of months ago, my friend Eric Holsomback, a graphic designer and photographer in Birmingham, mentioned that he was interested in getting into the "street style" photos. I was in Birmingham about a month ago for my brother's graduation, so I got in touch with Eric and we met up, along with our friend Sarah Margaret, and we took some photos. The photos came out pretty great, in spite of the model. Be sure to check them out, and also be sure to check out Eric's blog and some of his other photography.

A few notes:
1. My look was somewhat inspired by the guys at Sid Mashburn. The execution was nowhere near as good.
2. The tie should have been a bit longer
3. The jeans have since been hemmed
4. Posing for such pictures is much more awkward and narcissistic-feeling than it looks

Monday, June 7, 2010

Southern Staple: Buffalo Trace bourbon

While I wouldn't consider myself a bourbon connoisseur, I would consider myself a bourbon enthusiast. I haven't tried as many of the high-end bourbons as I would like to, but I do know what I like.

For my 23rd birthday, my buddy Sanders gave me a bottle of Buffalo Trace bourbon,. I was unfamiliar with it because, at the time, it was only sold in Kentucky. I really liked it, and was impressed with its drinkability, especially at 90 proof, and I've been hooked ever since. It's sweeter than some bourbons, but in my opinion, not as sweet as Maker's Mark, which I know some true bourbon fans aren't too keen on. It's more expensive than Jim Beam, but a little cheaper than Maker's, so I feel like it's at a good price point as well. It's good for making Manhattans, Old Fashioneds, Mint Juleps, drinking on the rocks, or even drinking straight with a splash of water.

Buffalo Trace is produced at, not surprisingly, the Buffalo Trace Distillery which is located in Frankfort, Kentucky. The distillery is owned by the Sazerac Corporation and also produces Sazerac rye, Ancient Age, Elmer T. Lee, and, perhaps most famous of all, Blanton's. They also produce an annual "Antique Collection" of limited release whiskeys, of which I know that Tucker is a fan. These can be expensive and hard to find, and while I'm sure they're good, I think I'm just going to stick with the regular one.

Buffalo Trace can be found in Birmingham and now in Atlanta. Which is awesome.

Volunteer Traditions

You may remember my post back in December about the Southern state flag belts being sold Traditional State/Volunteer Traditions. While I recommended the products back then, I hadn't actually put my hands on any of them. Well, a couple of weeks ago, Mason, the founder of the company, offered to send me a few of their products to check out for myself. While they had previously been selling their products under both the names "Volunteer Traditions" and "Traditional State," they recently decided to consolidate things and sell them all under the (original) name "Volunteer Traditions." While there is always the threat of isolating potential non-Tennessee SEC, as I told Mason, I think that it was wise move and that "Volunteer Traditions" is a solid name. The products for states other than Tennessee are sold under their new "Heritage Line."

Mason sent me one of their new Georgia flag hats, an Alabama belt (I went to school in Alabama), as well as a pair of Croakies and a koozie (that's a whole nother post, though). I know that Daryl from Southern Gent and Jay from Red Clay Soul recently talked about how good their products are, but really, once I got my hands on them, I was impressed.

The belts are made by Leather Man Ltd., who, in my opinion, make the best emblematic belts on the market, and these are certainly no exception. The backing is khaki-colored, and looks really good with khakis. Also, the flags are slightly bigger than the flags on another flag belt I have, and I think this makes them look even better. The hat is probably where I was most impressed. While I am not a big "hat guy," I do own my fair share and wear them from time to time. While Jay noted on his post that the hats are not too shallow, I would like to point out, that the hat is not too deep either (that being my number one complaint about a lot of hats). In fact, I would say that the hat is the Goldilocks of hats, and is basically just right. The koozie and Croakies are both solid as well, and I've got to say that I really like the dog logo on the koozie.

If you haven't looked at the Volunteer Tradition website in a while, be sure to pay it a visit. They have expanded their offerings, and from what I have tried out, they are solid. Also, their prices are still very good. While Mason didn't indicate whether they have any other states in the works, here's to hoping.