A wise man once asked: “What the hell just happened?” And for good reason. There is value in looking back. It gives us all a good gauge as to what is good, and more importantly, what is not good, going forward. Sure, the “clip show” is mostly a cheap (affordable?) device to create new content out of already published stuff. But they’re also a good way to catch up in case you missed something. So cue the flashback music. Here’s the very best from the month that just was…
Best Return of an Old Favorite: Orivs Lambskin Drivers – $89
Honestly thought these things were gone for good. Nope. The unlined, just ventilated enough, supremely comfortable lambskin driving gloves from Orvis are back. A little spendy, but Orvis does run a code or two here and there. (If you can get free shipping? Get it.) Not as dead looking in person as they look on the Orvis site, but will look even better as they pick up a patina with use (as seen above). A great, transitional glove that unlike lined gloves, won’t leave your hands sweaty if the temps get unexpectedly warm.
Best Attempt to Re-Boot their Image: Lands’ End
Give em’ credit. They’re trying. There has been a noticeable shift in their imagery. Can Lands’ End pull off subtle sexy? Or is this attempt to de-frump their image only destined to backfire as it could fall flat with their core customer base? Remember what happened with JC Penney during the Ron Jonson Era? Will history repeat itself with Lands’ End? Who knows. Cue Asia.
Best New Refined Boots: Jack Erwin Ellis Chelseas – $220
Jack Erwin has produced, quite possibly, the best looking, relatively affordable, but still high quality dress boot of the year. And it’s a dead simple Chelsea. Also available in black or brown calfskin, but it’s the suede… good gracious the suede, that really stands out. Made in Spain. Rubber sole. Sleek profile. Would look dynamite with everything from jeans to seasonal fabric suits (such as this). Ships and returns free. Full review here. Looking for something a little less expensive? Banana Republic’s Chelsea Boots are starting to come up for codes here and there.
Best New Rugged Boots: Rancourt x Huckberry – $399.98
Sweet Sassy Molassy those are spectacular. A collaberation between Huckberry and heritage shoe & boot maker Rancourt. Sleek instead of clunky, cap toe stitching, Horween #8 burgundy uppers, and a super squishy Lacta Heva sole. NOT cheap. Far from it. But they’ll last forever and go with everything casual to smart-casual in your closet. Also available in natural chromexcel and/or with a wedge sole. NOTE: If you’re a first time buyer from Huckberry, they’ve been kind enough to offer a 20% off code for those who have yet to jump on board with them. And it works on those boots. Code DAPPERED20 would knock em’ down to $319.98. It should work site wide, with only very limited exclusions (like, some of the mattresses they carry) and expires 10/31/15.
Best Use of Elbow Patches: JCF Crew Sweater & Sportcoat
Some guys cannot stand elbow-patches. Others kinda like em. Especially when they’re used on otherwise bland garments like a merino wool crewneck sweater. Or, if they’re thrown on a tweedy sportcoat… but the fabric is in a different shade than the standard, professorial earth tones (like the blue from J. Crew Factory). They can add a nice bit of contrast if you’re more of the dead-simple type of dresser, and J. Crew Factory seems to have nailed their use of the ol’ elbow patches this year.
Best Affordable Use of “Camel”: BR’s Topcoat is Back – $178.80*
*Now 40% off with the code BRSAVE (was $298 to start and often getting excluded from codes). Shown above is last year’s model, but this year’s design seems to be virtually identical. Warm without being bulky, and hugely versatile. Big thanks to Michael K. for the tip on the code working on this coat!
Made from their fantastic lambswool/nylon blend in a chunky, but not clunky cable knit. Shawl collar keeps your neck nice and toasty. Big fat burgundy rugby stripes are a nice touch. Always on sale. Just one drawback… there’s no pockets on this thing. So, if your hands get cold, you gotta tuck ’em into your pants pockets or arm pits. Or if you’rel Al Bundy…
Best Sale: Allen Edmonds Rediscover America Sale
Featuring, but not limited to…
- Strand Oxfords – $279 ($385)
- 5th Avenue Oxfords – $279 ($385)
- Warwick Single Monk Straps – $279 ($385)
- Dalton Wingtip Boots – $329 ($425)
The Rediscover America Sale is one of AE’s best sales of the year, and this time around, some of their most popular models are getting some serious price cuts. With costs going up everywhere, prices rose in the not too distant past, and getting a pair of first quality Strands for under $300 became a bit of a challenge. Not during the Rediscover America Sale this year though. Sale runs through October 13th. And don’t forget, Factory 2nds are also marked down an extra 15% – 30% off during the sale. Some real deals to be had there too.