Monday, December 22, 2008

Duck, Duck, Boots!

I've lived in Chicago my entire life. When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for winter so I could wear my moon boots - elastic topped affairs with removable warm foam inserts. I felt like an astronaut. Fast forward to adulthood, and winter has become a dreaded affair. Cold winds, dirty brown-black salt water filled puddles and icy sidewalks await my morning commute. After years of dealing with it - the wet sock, salt stained jeans and cold ass feet, I decided to strike back. I bought these:
Simply the best money I've ever spent. The shearling lining (and Thinsulate insole) keep my feet warm, and the dark brown color is much preferred to the normal. The 10 inch height allows my pants to stay salt free and the bottoms do actually provide traction. They even look something (at least I can imagine there is a resemblance) like WW2 era high altitude boots:
Bring it on, snow!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas to me!

My lady let me open a Christmas gift last night (she picked which one). Hello Chambray!
I had been eying this chambray shirt from J.Crew for a while now, but hadn't really thought I was gonna get it, and couldn't quite bring myself to pull the trigger on it. She took care of that for me, and I'm wearing it today. It's nice and soft, with a vintage feel that I really appreciate, and unlike all the Buzz Rickson or NOS ones I can find on eBay, I can actually button the damn neck!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How did this happen?

At the risk of seeming corny, I can say without reservation that I wouldn't be blogging if it weren't for my Grandfather. He's the dude in the middle looking at the camera. I owe pretty much all of my interests to him in some way. In clothes - he was in the garment industry until about 10 years before he died. In flying and history - he was a B-24 co-pilot in the Central Pacific during World War 2. And in music as well. My love of music passed directly through him. My Dad is a professional musician, my Grandfather, a good piano player, if you could sing in G. He bequeathed me his wartime diary, his photos, his medals, his personal belongings, and more importantly, he was willing to talk to me about any and all of it, starting when I was a kid, but as I became an adult, too. None of it was really off limits. Because of his generosity, I got to know my Grandfather, not just as an old man, but as a 20-something pilot, trying to live to complete
his 30 missions. For his willingness I will always be grateful. And if you read my blog and like it, you have him to thank for it (if you hate it, it's my fault).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lets talk about sneakers

I personally am of the opinion that while athletic shoes are fine for athletic endeavors - going to the gym, running, playing basketball and so on - they should not be worn for most casual purposes over the age of say, 12. Don't get me wrong, I do believe there are exceptions - shelltoes, for instance, walk a fine line between casual/athletic styling. But for the most part, when you want to wear something casual, but not a leather boot or shoe, a pair of canvas sneakers are never a poor bet. Here are a few of my favorites, along with some editorial about them:

1) Converse Chuck Taylors -

Your basic black, low top sneaker. The classic, often imitated, but, in terms of iconic status, never topped. Of course, your foot on the inside might not care about the coolness of the outside, because the insole can feel like cardboard. But hey, if you want a shoe that looks appropriate with jeans and a t-shirt, or 'edgy' with a pair of khakis, or 'artsy' with a suit - your foot may have to suffer.

2) Converse Jack Purcell -
What these lose out in iconic cool, they make up for in actual comfort. Besides being comfortable, they are a slightly more preppy alternative to the chuck.

3) Pf Flyers Center Lo -

These are my personal favorite. They work in all the same contexts as the above do, but look the most interesting. The ribbed toe, the red and blue stripe - I think they are the "coolest", but I also think they are the most comfortable on my feet, though the low back takes a bit of getting used to.

4) Pro Keds Royal Lo Canvas -

These are also a good option - more comfortable than the chuck, and quite similar looking. The red and blue stripe on the sidewall are quite distinctive.

There are other good options of course, but few shoes are as versatile as a good canvas sneaker. And of course, in my opinion, they should only come in the following colors: Black, White, Natural or Navy. Any louder colors, and their versatility is sacrificed.