Category: things we wear

French Mending

Wednesday 07.18.12

Well here is a skill I wish I had. If only I knew how to repair that unsightly little hole in my shirt…comme ça! This linen chemise, found in a flea market by my friend Molly Meng during her annual visit to southern France, is remarkable. It’s also a reminder of how beautiful something can be when it is no longer new. Photo by Molly.

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L.L. Bean Boot

Thursday 06.14.12

Have you ever really looked at this thing? It is UGLY. Really really ugly. At least to my eye. But in a good way…I think. We moved from Philadelphia to Maine when I was 11, and I have distinct memories of going to the original L.L. Bean store in Freeport, in the dead of night  — they have always been open 24 hours, 365 days a year — to go shoe shopping. Specifically boot shopping. The Classic Bean Hunting Shoe is almost a wardrobe requirement in that state. Coming from Pennsylvania though, I had never before seen such a hideous piece of footwear. And while I never ever came around to appreciating its aesthetic merits, there was something in its utility that made me a convert. (It’s important to note that Mainers, as they refer to themselves, take great pride in their common sense and practicality.) Yes, your feet froze in winter. And they didn’t do much to save you on the ice. But they were great in the mud (of which there is an abundance) and in the rain, which is near constant at times. If your soles wore out, or the stitching gave way, all you had to do was send in your boots and they would fix them for free. The shoes pictured above are from the catalog itself. And they look a little different from the ones I grew up with. These are a reissue/redesign in honor of the boots’ 100 year anniversary. Oh, and one other thing, these are still made in Maine, one pair at a time.

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Collars & Cuffs

Tuesday 06.05.12

All of these cuff and collar styles probably mean something. And they most certainly say something about the person wearing said shirt. But what? Images from here, and here.

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Tuesday 07.12.11

I rarely talk about fashion. Mostly because I have a lot of mixed feelings regarding the throwaway nature of a majority of the industry. This isn’t to say that I don’t like clothing or shoes, or whatever. I do. But I don’t necessarily want to be a party to their bad habits. Enter Upla, a French bag company which has been in the business since 1973. They are most famous for their “fisherman’s pouch” (besace du pêcheur, en francais), a classic messenger-style satchel. The design has remained virtually the same since its introduction. It comes in a variety of fabrics and leathers, and I guarantee that it will be one of the last bags you ever buy. This is a concept I can totally get behind. Fair warning — these aren’t cheap. In fact, they are quite pricey. Especially the leather ones. But, if you decide to spring for one, I swear it will last…forever. I have one bag that goes back to 1985, and it is still in mint condition. The only drawback is that the bags are nearly impossible to find here in the US. Although a search online yields a few used ebay options, your best bet is to pony up for the shipping, and just order from the French site.

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Type on a Bun, Please

Tuesday 07.05.11

Are we, or are we not, a nation of sandwich lovers? I would venture that we are probably more obsessed about sandwiches than most any other food, other than perhaps pizza and barbeque. David Schwen, a subversively funny designer, has captured our preoccupation with all that fits between two slices of bread. But he has brilliantly distilled it down to the barest of elements. I think you can buy a print version of a hamburger here. And a tee shirt here. I am going to lunch now…

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Fathers Day Gift?

Wednesday 06.15.11

I received a similar pair of these as a gift a couple of years ago. I laughed so hard when I opened the box. It was the last thing I expected to be inside. Looking for something special for dad? Well, your search may be over. These bread slippers are being shipped from Lithuania, courtesy of Mother Eleganza, so they might not make it here on time, in which case a voucher will have to do. The small ones are obviously for junior.

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Work Gloves

Tuesday 06.07.11

What, you don’t have 17 pairs of work gloves? What’s wrong with you? I don’t know why we have so many pairs of gloves, but we do. Some of them have specialized uses. Some are clearly worn out to the point of uselessness. Some are unused, but waiting for the right pair of hands.

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