The conflux of style and art.
I’m much more active nowadays on my other blog: a simple combination of fashion I like and art it reminds me of. It is meant to be simple and attractive with a focus on design aesthetic. Check it out!
This Adidas Originals windbreaker, available over at End Clothing, is the most dope. It’s starting to feel like the men’s animal prints, which were a relative novelty just a few years ago, are starting to be over-saturated in the same way camo is, but the truth is that I don’t really care. I love both patterns. There’s something about the badassery of camo, and the surprising baller element of leopard prints.
The Windmill Club's newest lookbook (shot by Liam Goslett) is that fire, but more important is how much I need that Porsche. Like pretty much every other remotely car interested adrenaline-filled young male out there, I'm all about the old 911s… Even though the new ones are exactly the same. Porsches are the definition of signature design—those headlights, and the sloping rear end, it's beautiful.
Product Review: Penfield Rochester Jacket
In the months since I purchased it online from Bonobos, the Penfield Rochester jacket has cemented itself as a staple in my wardrobe—and has been, without doubt, my most worn piece since purchase. The Hudson, Mass-based outdoors outfitter, founded in 1975, is known most for making quality outerwear and rain gear that can stand the year-round tests of New England weather, and this piece, my first from Penfield, is no exception.
The fit is modern, slim (but not overly so), with noticeably high armholes and cut very trim through the arm. As a man normally shuffling between M and L, I was worried that the medium would be too small, as there was definitely some pulling across the shoulders and tightness on my upper arm at first… However, I haven’t even noticed those issues recently—though I’m not sure if that’s due to my continued weight loss or the jacket forming better to my body over time. That said, it runs true to size: no need to size up as with a lot of other fashionable brands. But, be wary if you’ve got especially broad shoulders or jacked biceps, because you will have some fit issues.
The details are all right. White contrasting cinches, buttons, and zipper tape all help to set off the vivid color of the jacket itself. The removable hood is a welcome detail, as I love to take it off on sunny days and rock the Rochester as a light spring jacket rather than a raincoat.
It does the job at keeping rain away, too—I haven’t noticed any gaps or problem areas. Made from two layers of DWR water resistant polyester, with mesh lining, the jacket is meant to be both water-resistant and highly breathable. It manages to do both while staying lightweight and durable. My previous raincoat was a Land’s End Canvas jacket that, for some reason, allowed water to seep in around the armholes. This Penfield has no such problems, with an extended collar and drawstrings at the waist and hood to help keep moisture away in extreme conditions.
I would say the only drawback is the lack of internal pockets. One or two there would make it just slightly more functional, and it is a shortcoming that I’ve noticed once or twice—but nothing that would keep me from recommending this jacket. Additionally, I’ve noticed some loose strings here and there, but, again, nothing to write home about, as I haven’t had any issues with buttons falling off or any other construction pitfalls.
Functionally, then, I would score it a 9/10. Stylistically, it performs as admirably (if not moreso).. I’ve always loved brightly colored rain gear, as a way to illuminate days that are otherwise gray and drab—canary yellows, Kelly and lime greens, and bright oranges are my preferred choice for outerwear. Available in green, yellow, navy, and royal blue, as well as some new color-blocked versions, the Rochester will satisfy any style.
I highly recommend the Penfield Rochester to anyone looking for a new rain jacket, and I do plan on investing in some of the brand’s other apparel—that’s how happy I am with this purchase. It is not often you come across a piece as functional as it is stylish, all while remaining relatively affordable. With a retail price of $125, it is certainly not cheap, but a very reasonable price for the quality as I envision this jacket lasting me years given the minimal problems I’ve had so far and Penfield’s reputation for quality.
I’m in London working for Disorder Magazine. I’ll have posts up on the site soon, which you can check out at http://disordermagazine.com
I’ll also be posting sporadically here throughout the summer, with a review of Penfield’s brilliant Rochester jacket coming soon.
Brunello, Meet Michael: When Italian Menswear Meets Streetwear
Recently, I’ve been spending more of my time on MFA and a thread about personal style got me thinking about how I would define my style now. After all, this blog has been all about how my personal style has evolved and what I’ve learned from other outlets.
I’ve thought more and more (especially because of the discussions here of MFA clones) about what personal style is and what mine is. I started getting into style with Jordans and Nikes early on in high school and it just naturally progressed to higher quality, more tailored clothing. Though I do dress casually put-together (chinos and button-downs are my not-quite uniform) as I’m a Midwestern college student, the style I shoot for—and, start to employ more and more—is essentially “Old Italian dude with a streetwear attitude.”
That just happened naturally. The guys I look up to most in street style and elsewhere are Italian men with their slim fits and casual tailoring. Same reason why my favorite brands are Brunello Cucinelli, Isaia, and LBM 1911. It’s the cut and the fabrics and the way it’s all pulled together with this sense of incredible comfort and style at the same time.
But, on the other hand, I got into fashion/style originally through streetwear, and though I rarely actually wear full-on streetwear fits, I like to inject a little bit of the attitude into everything I wear.
At the same time, I also draw influences from lots of other arenas: Americana hunting/outdoors gear is probably the third most important in my personal style, but trad/prep (I did go to a NE boarding school) and just about everything else catch my eye from time to time.
Since I started blogging and reading fashion blogs, it’s always been about me cultivating my own style—and trying not to mimic other people’s. That doesn’t mean Clarks DBs, dark wash denim, and OCBDs aren’t at the core of my wardrobe, I just like to have my own style that I aim for.
What I find most inspiring about the style of “old Italian men” is how they blend refined tailoring and casual comfort into looks that are both put-together and completely natural looking. Italians do especially well in mixing bold colors and patterns—especially non-navy blues. For a lesson on pattern mixing or aggressive (but not silly) color combinations, there’s no place better to look.
Streetwear, on the other hand, is what I grew up with. It’s what I hear in my headphones as I listen to Jay-Z, Pusha T, and (especially) A$AP Rocky. Blending them is a challenge, because, in many ways, they are on opposite ends of the style spectrum. For me, it’s not necessarily about borrowing items from either style and mashing them together so much as it is me gathering influences from all over. I could wear an outfit entirely made up of items that would be considered Streetwear, and still take color and pattern influences from the old Italian gents I so admire.
I am becoming more adventurous and taking more risks with clothing purchases these days, as I feel my collection of basics is well rounded and mostly complete. No doubt, my normal outfits fail to mirror the styles I admire so much. As a 20-year-old broke college student, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Maybe in a year’s time, my closet will match my aspirations a little better. Or maybe those stylistic aspirations will be completely different. Only time will tell. For now, I’m happy mixing ideas borrowed from the likes of Lapo Elkann, Gianni Agnelli, and the Brunello Cucinelli lookbook with Michael Jordan, the aforementioned A$AP Rocky, and the guys I see on MFA.
I’m going to start writing here again! Get pumped. Product Reviews and Brand Spotlights coming! A new era is on the horizon.