Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Been Awhile

So it's been awhile since I updated here, I tend to go through spurts. We're now in the middle of winter here in Eastern Canada, and I've definitely spent most of the late fall - early winter wearing dark washed Jeans, flannel shirts, and a pair of Kodiak suede boots in a work boot sort of style (but with no steel toe).

Excuse the salt stains, my city uses a tremendous amount of salt on the roads and sidewalks, I had to brush these when I got home.

Levi 501's for the jeans. I took some other pictures but they came out too dark or blurry and I started getting frustrated with my phone.

That was yesterday. Today I went for a return to a bit more of my smart casual look. A little bit Steve McQueen inspired with the light khakis and dark sweater.

This is probably one of my prefered day-to-day 'looks'.

Cheers until next time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Inspirations Part II

Just thought I would share a few other photos that are inspiring me in terms of both my life and style:

Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givins in Justified. I really love this show, the first season was great, and I think the style here of Raylan is interesting. southern Federal Agent Gentleman in Kentucky. I don't think I can pull of the Stetson in my neck of the woods but the mix of nice jeans, a good patterened button-down and blazer suits me I think. Its a look that works very well in Academia, especially if you are a young guy. Its also relatively cheap when done through thrift shopping. The most expensive part tends to be the jeans, hard for me to find good jeans at thrift shops that are in good shape.

Timothy Olyphant again as Sheriff Seth Bullock in HBO's too short lived (3 seasons) Deadwood. Raylan is a very similar character, and Olyphant does the stoic lawman archetype very well IMO. There are some things about this "Old West" style that I love, especially the prevalence of waistcoats, boots, and suspenders. Not much I can directly incorporate but I find it inspiring nonetheless. Also good inspiration in life. Bullock had a temper that sometimes made him act rashly, but he always stood up for what he thought was right, regardless of the consequences. I dig that. A lesson for any modern gentleman.

Neil Caffrey from Whitecollar. He rocks a very sophisticated wardrobe with a leaning towards 60's vintage styles and I really love it. I can't get away with wearing suits everyday to work, especially as a grad student, but I do like the thought of dressing this way every day. At least I can pull in some elements and definitely rock it for those occasions where a suit is appropriate.

I was also looking for some photos of Tom Hardy as Eames in Inception but not having much luck finding any good ones. The styling and wardrobe in Inception were particularly good, lots of stuff I liked there.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Copenhagen Declaration on Religion in Public Life

Not my usual post for this blog, but posting it here nonetheless :

The recent Gods and Politics conference in Copenhagen adopted the following Declaration on Religion in Public Life. The conference was the first European event of Atheist Alliance International, and was co-hosted by AAI and the Danish Atheist Society.
We, at the World Atheist Conference: "Gods and Politics", held in Copenhagen from 18 to 20 June 2010, hereby declare as follows:We recognize the unlimited right to freedom of conscience, religion and belief, and that freedom to practice one's religion should be limited only by the need to respect the rights of others.
  • We submit that public policy should be informed by evidence and reason, not by dogma.
  • We assert the need for a society based on democracy, human rights and the rule of law. History has shown that the most successful societies are the most secular.
  • We assert that the only equitable system of government in a democratic society is based on secularism: state neutrality in matters of religion or belief, favoring none and discriminating against none.
  • We assert that private conduct, which respects the rights of others should not be the subject of legal sanction or government concern.
  • We affirm the right of believers and non-believers alike to participate in public life and their right to equality of treatment in the democratic process.
  • We affirm the right to freedom of expression for all, subject to limitations only as prescribed in international law - laws which all governments should respect and enforce. We reject all blasphemy laws and restrictions on the right to criticize religion or nonreligious life stances.
  • We assert the principle of one law for all, with no special treatment for minority communities, and no jurisdiction for religious courts for the settlement of civil matters or family disputes.
  • We reject all discrimination in employment (other than for religious leaders) and the provision of social services on the grounds of race, religion or belief, gender, class, caste or sexual orientation.
  • We reject any special consideration for religion in politics and public life, and oppose charitable, tax-free status and state grants for the promotion of any religion as inimical to the interests of non-believers and those of other faiths. We oppose state funding for faith schools.
  • We support the right to secular education, and assert the need for education in critical thinking and the distinction between faith and reason as a guide to knowledge, and in the diversity of religious beliefs. We support the spirit of free inquiry and the teaching of science free from religious interference, and are opposed to indoctrination, religious or otherwise.
Adopted by the conference, Copenhagen, 20 June 2010.
Please circulate this as widely as you can among people and groups who advocate a secular society.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Inspirations Pt I

Just a short post where I throw up some random pics of the things (both fashion and non-fashion related) that inspire me:

Some summer footwear. This is the actually the same style and colour of docksides that I have on my feet right now.
A great drink:

The ever ubiquitous Mad Men:

Especially with a great pair of shades:

Many summer days I really wish I was on a boat, dressed like the fashionable Northeasterner that I am (although I hail from a little further North and East than New England):

And of course Kennedy rocked a casual gentleman's wardrobe quite well even when not on a boat:

And a perfect summer ride when on land:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Summer Wear

This weekend I managed to pick up some new clothes for the still struggling spring/summer season here on the Canadian East Coast. Classic Fit Dockers were on sale at Sears for about half-price, Moore's has 100% Indian Cotton polo shirts on for $20 a piece, and I found a pair of Sebago Docksides at the local Winners in my size for $50.

I also has to pas up an Oscar de la Renta, grey, double breasted suit at one of the thrift shops. It was $70 and I just couldn't justify it (the other clothes I got this weekend were a gift courtesy of my wonderful mother and my lovely and wonderful girlfriend).

If the suit is still there in a few weeks I will be sorely tempted...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thrift Shopping

So, because I haven't bought any new clothes recently (you'll have to wait a few more weeks when I have money for that), and because most of what I have purchased (and will purchase) is of the thrift shop variety I thought I would post a brief guide to how I approach dumpster diving (as my boss calls it) in your local charity/thrift shops. I'm sure there have been many of these written over the years on the internet but... here is my two cents.

1) Thrift Shop Often! Rule one is, I think, the most important. Thrift shopping takes a lot of time input, which is fine if you can't afford to buy quality items brand new. Obviously if you have the time, leave the thrift shops to those poorer sartorialists and students in need. Your local thrift and charity shops change their inventory on a pretty much constant basis as new items are brought in. Many employees of various thrift stores are also interested in quality clothes, meaning they can beat you to the punch BUT, I have noticed that for men many of these fall into the more fashion forward, trendy, edgy, alternative looks. Which means a lot of classic pieces will escape their notice. Depending on the store once a week or so is probably a good rule of thumb here.

2) Go to many shops. As a follow up to going often, go to a lot of different places. We have a few different major thrift or charity shops near me and they their prices and selection are totally different. Some are smaller but are more likely to have great finds for cheap, others have a much larger selection but that means that I have to do a lot more digging.

3) Have a search strategy. This is especially true in the larger shops with more selection. Are you looking primarily for pants or suits today? Odd jackets? Outerwear? Shirts? Whatever your primary focus is, start there. My personal exception is that no matter what I am primarily looking for I almost always start at suits and odd jackets (sport coats and blazers). That is because it is where I am most likely to find a great bargain. Classic designer odd jackets at bargain basement pricing ($5-$15 typically). That is the most bang for your buck since those items new cost hundreds of dollars (or maybe thousands in the case of full designer label suits). Then I will go from there to what I am looking for in particular that day. I may have to put something back later but it is worth having found it first, I can agonize over the decision later when it is in my hand and not someone else's.

4) Vintage stores are great but go to them later. Good vintage stores will generally have less selection than your average thrift shop obviously, but it will be targeted more towards those classic vintage finds you are looking for. But you will pay a premium for someone having done a lot of the thrifting effort for you. Most vintage shops acquire their clothes through a variety of sources but one of them is thrifting. They frequently go to the local thrift and charity shops as well and pick through for the great finds. Beating them to the punch is better for your wallet as long as you have the time to invest. Otherwise you'll pay the mark up. It isn't unusual to see that great $10 Odd Jacket be $40 or more at the vintage shop. That said I do usually drop by when I have a chance because sometimes I find something really worth the mark-up since I missed it at a thrift store.

5) Don't worry about perfect fit, get to know a tailor. A lot of the best finds you'll come across at thrift shops have already been tailored for their previous owner, which means chances are it won't fit you perfectly. Learn how to estimate how much a particular garment can be altered, how difficult that particular alteration is, and how much a tailor will charge for it where you live. Keep in mind that you can almost always resell that garment for at least what you payed for it, if not at a slight mark-up for your efforts on ebay, craigslist, kijiji, or similar so it isn't a big risk often to just go ahead and buy it anyway and worry about the alterations later. Sleeve length is often the easiest alteration to make, as is taking in or letting out the waist of an odd jacket. Then you just need to find a good tailor who can do the work, but you'll have to factor in that cost to your total cost of ownership.

I hope these tips help someone out there. Happy Thrifting!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Haircut

So I went to the Barber who lives a few blocks from me yesterday, first time I have been there. He's been cutting hair there for over 40 years and definitely knows his trade. Lots of good conversation, quite old fashioned, and a wonderful result. I'm really happy with the result. (Compare with my other pictures on here for the difference)