Thursday, August 18, 2011


If you think of American style, particularly west coast style, the first and most notable thing that comes to mind is denim. Indigo blue masculine jeans.
There are so many types of jeans out there, so many 'Originals' and so many manufacturers…

Whats the best? What should you be looking for? Easy answer my friends:
a pair from a company called, Tellason.

They are made from great fabric ( the most important) great cut ( equally important) and a great company! but the really good news is that for what i would consider the 'Maserati' of denim, the price is only $198.
If you have been shopping around for a real good pair of raw selvedge denim you know this is a GREAT PRICE. I can tell you- you get more than your moneys worth.

Just before i left San Francisco i had the pleasure of sitting down with Tony Patella & Pete Searson from Tellason  ( yup, last names mashup makes Tellason) right next to their factory in the heart of San Francisco. Where denim ( or at least jeans as we know them today) was born.
Talking about denim and its place in a mans wardrobe.  Tony defines for me some basic basic terms when it comes to denim:  'Raw Denim' for example,  is denim that has been dyed but has not been washed after that process. When you buy a pair, the fabric has not soaked up a single drop of water and the "extra" dye has not been washed away.  If you google 'denim pollution' you will see jeans factories in Asia polluting the rivers with chemicals and dye. Not only is this disastrous to the environment, but its not necessary for a really good pair of jeans Tony explains.
What makes a good pair of jeans is  how it fits the person who is wearing it. By not washing it you are allowing the fabric to mold to you and your life style:
Where you put your wallet, where you wipe you hands, Pete points this out as the Barista at the coffee shop  where we are sitting  wipes his hands on his apron and denim after making every cup of coffee. We are sitting at Blue bottle coffee in Mint Plaza a few doors down from the Tellason factory. Incidentally the best coffee on the west coast FYI)) how you sit and walk. All those affect how the fabric and the dye in it reacts, how it moves. after wearing it for  a while raw denim become YOUR denim!

To get the best effect its suggested to wash raw denim as infrequent  as possible. After you wear it for a while (a year or until its unbearably smelly which ever comes first) once you do wash it (cold water, black woolite. soak for an hour rinse and dry flat) it will gain the most beautiful color and patina. a deep indigo blue (like those vintage jeans) with marks of your lifestyle..
I asked Pete: Whats the difference between these and a pair of jeans at the gap for $39?
We do everything ourselves he tells me (his indigo stained fingers speak volumes by themselves). We get the best fabric from Cone Mills in south carolina (where Levis get their denim) and we do everything right here in San Francisco, where jeans come from. right in the heart of the city. We want to create a really great pair of denim that you can wear for years. We also want to make sure that the price point if affordable and reasonable and that the style is timeless masculine and classic"
Pete is right, Indeed, the pair i have (now for over 6 months) is the best pair i own, and if you know me you know i own many.
You see, if you always want the best, ( lets say you wont settle for less.. Mr luxury car driving, Rolex wearing, mansion living man…or even if you are just an average man who wants a great pair)
 Tellason is what you want.
Look for it (their stockists are listed at )
its worth it!

a.Selvedge means that the fiber of the denim is long and wont fray at the end. its a better kind of fabric - thanks Tony :)
b. The name Denim comes from the name of a French town. In French de means of, denim mean of NĂ®mes. The original fabric is a cotton twill in which the weft is woven under under two or more warp threads. This produces the diagonal ribbing on the reverse side of the fabric ( the " white" side…)  which distinguishes denim from cotton duck also know as canvas…
Denim has been used in  American since the late 18th century.  Some say that the name 'Jeans' comes from the names in french for the Italian town of Genoa were pants were made of denim..

Thursday, August 11, 2011

new menswear site... Park and Bond

The newest kid in Menswear/meanstyle-town is Park and Bond ( named after two very stylish streets). The new site comes from the Gilt Group that we all know and love. This site however is trying to cash on the new trend ( might not be a trend anymore, seems to be more 'de rigor' at this point…) of the editorial content and e-commerce intersection.

The site is designed exclusively for men ( i have no doubt a women's version is coming next) and offers full price items from about 80 brands for the man who is interested in clothes and style that are current and modern.  Much like Mr.Porter (.com) the site offers an array of clothes, accessories and life style guides in a sleek interface.

Shopping on-line can be overwhelming, especially if you are not  exactly sure what you are looking for and have more of a general idea of what you would like…
Sites like and and Yoox before them offer us a well curated online department store that tries to make shopping easier and more manageable.
While knowing what is classic and stylish can still be hard (not to mention getting something, trying it on and realizing its not flattering AT ALL!) sites such as this one attempt to offer those who do not want to spend whole days shopping for that one "fill in the blank"…  a shopping experience that is more intimate and much more 'knowledgable', In today economy, one wants to get the most of out of their money and knowing what the brands are, the craftsmanship and material is important.

No doubt that the site is aiming at men who can afford spending top dollar on a vintage watch ($3700 for a fantastic Rolex air-king with a nato strap) or $50 on a shampoo. but its worth the visit, and looking out for those specific items you might be looking for or get inspired by.

While at the moment the site stocks great  brands and the variety of products, whats worth looking at most is their C.O Bieglow apothecary and their Cedes travel accessory shop and of course their 'how to?' and advice section, aptly named "the intersection".

for the time being they offer free shipping and an impressive assortment of merchandise ( i got a pair of shoes vie been hunting down for a few weeks.. il let you know when they arrive)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Summer Shoes

As the weather is warming up (sorry east coasters..) and summer is approaching it's time to think about summer shoes. ( yes, it time!)

Here is the deal. I hate wearing Flip Flops; they were never comfortable for me. Sandals are more comfortable but I can only bring myself to wearing them in resorts or hotels in places like Hawaii, since the streets of NY, LA or SF are too grimly and gravely.

For the day-to-day boat shoes, loafers and canvas sneakers are great (below is a fantastic chart helping you differentiate between types of shoes; it was drawn just for this blog by the talented illustrator Evan Wolkenstein).   But what do you do about the invitation to a beach party of a pool side bbq or even a boat trip? None of these everyday shoes will work really.

Luckily we have Swims (nothing short of genius!) Based in Norway they make galoshes and other great winter gear but most importantly they make a summer loafer. These shoes are made in their signature rubber, nylon mesh and non-marking soles. They have ventilation gills (that serve as draining gills too) and the foot bed is made from an odor resistant material.
Most importantly, since they are waterproof and super durable they are perfect for wearing at the beach, pool or on a boat. I wore my first ones last summer and I got them completely wet and full of sand multiple times at the beach and yet they still look great!

The BEST! -To have functional beach shoes that are cool without sacrificing style or comfort.

They run around $150 at select location in the US. 

Check for the one nearest you.
If you want a more unique shoe that serves as well but has more personality,  try one made by the amazing Vivian Westwood, one of the most influential designers of our times. She is the person largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave avant-garde fashions into the mainstream and is a personal favorite of mine.

She has designed a rubber loafer in some unique and fashion forward styles (duh). I got these ones in ‘white with blue paint strokes’ , they look like Dutch ceramics…and you cant miss the copper orb that very subtly notes their pedigree from the Vivian Westwood studio…

Indeed, versions of her rubber loafers have been around since last year but more and more designers are picking up this trend. They cost  between $190-210 and are available either at her store in LA (the only
location outside of the UK) or on

Similar to swims, Y3 by Yoji Yamamoto, a line for Adidas designed by super talented Japanese fashion designer, offer a very chic black version of a mesh shoe. These have leather lining but a rubber sole.
They are also more expensive, $350 also on

Finally, if you don’t like rubber at all and want a light slip-on that’s not a sneaker or a boat shoe, try this slip-on made from Canvas designed by the company Riviera (founded in 2010 by French duo Fabrizio Corveddu and Dan Amzallag)  The shoe is made with a  heavy-duty plain-woven fabric so strong and waterproof that it is used to cover the wooden hulls of canoes (not kidding).   It has a navy mesh upper and red canvas terrycloth-lined heel and a rubber sole. It's effortlessly stylish as you would expect from a company known for its relaxed 50s' inspired style.

One last thing,  Please note, I did not include here the ugliest shoe ever made – Crocs.  But if you do want to go with a resin shoe, try the Jefferson, made by Native. These are light, affordable ($45 at  shoes that look like a converse sneaker. They come in a variety of colors, are completely waterproof and would do very well at the beach. They are rather comfortable, totally fun and in their way  kind of classy…


Keep Shopping I.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dopp Kit

Im about to go on a two week trip, so I spent some time this week to go through my dopp kit. I wanted to make sure all my favorite things are in it. I decided to share with you  some tips on the best things to pack in that kit to liven up your next trip.

Let's start with the dopp kit itself. I prefer the clear zipper cube from the container store for $5.99. Because it's clear plastic it is easy for me (and the airport security officers) to see what's inside. Also, unlike fabric bags, the plastic prevents spills from ruining the rest of your packed items.

While I'm fairly certain that everyone remembers to pack tooth paste, I have found one that blows all the rest of them (sorry Colgate..) out of the water.
It's called Marvis. Made in Italy, it has had a cult following for many years (before they were easily available via the internet I would  stock up on them when in London so I would have enough until my next trip). It comes in a variety of amazing flavors including clssic strong mint, jasmine, aquatic, ginger and whitening mint( yup!!)
Get the travel size of a few flavors and decide which one you like the best.
I' partial to the ginger mint; it has the classic mint flavor with a subtle hint of hot ginger… some days I crave that taste, so I brush my teeth a few times an evening..
And your dentist will be happy that all flavors include flouride.
Between $6 - $13… depending on the size on

Never travel without a Tongue scraper ( what? you don’t scrape your tongue????)
Ever brush your teeth in the morning but still have an odd taste and even some morning breath afterwards?
Well, sometimes its not because of your teeth but because of your tongue. To scrub off the bacteria and food  debris that take up residence on your tongue and is the cause of this "morning breath" I scrape ("brush") my tongue in the morning. The best product is called Tonguedetox. Unfortunately you may have to physically go to a pharmacy in Europe to get it ???? .
There are good substitutes at your local pharmacy like Dentek Tongue cleaner work well too… $2.99

Traveling these days is stressful, and even worse when the stress causes a breakout on your face. To prevent this, make sure you pack a good (face) soap. I recommend the Wonder bar (and it is!) This soap bar is 5.65 PH just like our skin, while most soaps are 9 all day way to 11PH. This bar, cleanses and moisturizes all in one and rejuvenates the skin like no other. (You know people notice great skin!)
The soap takes some getting use to as  it slowly restores your skin to a healthy place (read about the healing phase on their website) Its not cheap but if you like it, it cannot be replaced by anything else… $40 at

For some men, carrying (and using) two different kinds of soap is a burden. For those who want one soap that they can use for both face and body, I recommend. Dove men + Care. It is a body and face bar in one: It’s a Dove moisturizing cream and a cleanser that rinses off easily without leaving skin feeling dry and tight like regular soap does.
Around $9 at your local pharmacy or online. 

Another great option is the Anthony Logistics for Men Glycerin Cleansing Bar.
This is a great soap - filled with botanical extracts and aloe vera and glycerin to clean and moisturize. It comes in a citrus scent, which is fresh and relaxing. Around $7 at

Nothing is more mortifying that spending the day outside, and coming back to your hotel room to find out you look like a red raccoon (think of the hot person you just met and invited  to dinner or drinks? Or just the business dinner your about to have.… uchhhh.. To prevent this, use the day-to-day moisturizer with sunscreen called Face Fuel from Kiehl’s.  It’s a vitamin-enriched, non-oily moisturizer that also protects it against the sun's harmful UV rays (SPF 15). It has a great cool feeling when you apply it on
(it feels super refreshing) and If used daily it can improve your skin texture and look all together...oh, and very importantly, unlike other moisturizers its very light and absorbs very easily into the skin.
$25-$35 depending on the size at your local Kiehl’s or on line at

Everyman that shaves on a regular basis knows that few things hurt and annoy like an ingrown hair (splinters maybe..) For these purposes reach for the tweezers designed for removing anything embedded under the skin. These ultra-sharp, perfectly aligned elongated points, tweezers are unsurpassed. They also come in handy if you are fighting the unibrow look.

Deodorant is perhaps the MOST important thing in your kit. If you wear a cologne that is strong, you might want to consider wearing the same sent deodorant,  usually the company that makes your favorite sent makes a deodorant with the same fragrance as the    au de toilette. But if you don’t wear a particular sent, or just prefer soap and water, you should consider a deodorant that is subtle but will keep you smelling fresh even on a hot day. 

Dr Harris Arlington Stick Deodorant is a solid deodorant stick (also comes in a roll on) with the classic fragrance of Arlington. This deodorant contains a bacteriostat to destroy the bacteria which cause odor. $20

In the past I have also used Weleda’s herbal fragrance with pure essential oils is a spray deodorant that takes care of any residual odor and neutralized and  purified with this earthy, (unisex) deodorant. It’s a, non-aerosol spray that helps eliminate body odor. It comes in sage, citrus and wild rose. ( If you’re a man,  don’t get the wild rose please…) $13 at

Note that I never recommend anti-perspirants, as they contain Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly, a common ingrediant that may be hazardous to health. At a minimum it is the cause of "armpit stains" on clothing, reacting with sweat to create that ugly yellowing.

The fuller, more slick style of hair cuts that we are seeing lately requires a hair product that can give you more hold with a less greasy appearance.
The best product to use depends on your activity (dinner at a fancy restaurant or snowboarding in Aspen).

Oribe Rough Luxury Molding Wax is more paste than wax. This product has a lot of umph to it and gives that rough luxury feel of "cool" hair… and it smells amazing!

Malin + Goetz Sage Styling Cream. This cream adds shine without to much weight. This one is best when my hair is a little longer. $20;

Satin Design White Tea Polishing Milk, this is a moisture rich lotion that provides a weightless conditioning. It gives the hair beautiful polish (a la Carrie Grant...look)

As for shampooing, when I travel, the easiest way to pass through security with a shampoo is with the amazing invention,
Burts bees Rosemary Mint Shampoo Bar (yeah, you rub your hear with it like a soap..) Its 99.9% Natural and it’s a natural shampoo bar .
It has a rich lather and a Peppermint scent with also some Rosemary oil and Oat Proteins will help nourish your hair, leaving it looking shiny and healthy.

Since a painful experience on a transatlantic flight with dry lips, I make sure to never leave home without ChapStick. (On that fateful flight, I ended up doing something a man should NEVER do:  I asked a young lady to borrow hers…
They function as both a sunscreen, available with SPFs as high as 35, and a skin moisturizer and lubricant to help prevent and protect chafed, chapped, sunburned, cracked, and wind burned lips (great for ski and snowboarding).
They come in a huge variety of tastes and forms but I'm partial to the classic black one. Have been using them since I was a child..
(By the way, ChapStick tubes with hidden microphones played a role in the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s…)

Lastly, For those of you like me who have a short beard, you know that some days it starts to itch. Help comes in the way of Mr Natty & Frank's Beard Elixir  (again a product from the UK, sorry, but they do not ship to the US). Add a few drops onto your palms and massage in to your beard to keep it soft and not itchy…
About 5.50 BP which is roughly $9 at

Safe Travels, and keep shopping, I.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The New Brogue

Of all the shoes I own (and I own a lot!) my favorite are what we Europeans call the Brogue shoe (in America they are called wingtips).

This style of low-heeled shoe (sometimes a boot) have leather uppers (see chart below) with decorative perforations called  "brogueing” and serration.  To my mind they are the most versatile shoes ever made.
With a suit they complete the outfit in a sophisticated elegant way.
With denim they evoke a sense of 1950’s coolness and with shorts and no socks (or loafer socks) they transform the outfit into “casual comfort”, a look you can take from poolside to cocktails…

This type of shoe first appeared in Scotland and Ireland. The perforations were designed to allow water to drain from them after crossing streams or bogs.  (Personally, I hate wet socks so I would have had to find a way around those bodies of water.  

I have amassed quite a collection of these shoes in different styles and colors (there are multiple variations to the brogueing- I won’t bore you with the details...if you are interested you should email me for more specifics).

Recently, I have been surprised by some new variations of this classic; For example, these two which were featured in GQ’s street style section (Shot in Paris). As I just got a new pair from Tsubo seeing these made me think this could signal a new trend…

I can never get enough of these kind of shoes, The pair I just got as I said are from Tsubo (a progressive, design-driven company founded in 1997 that makes shoes with a unique style and an ergonomic design.)  They are black brogues with a grey leather strap that hugs the shoe. They also come in a brown cognac color and are unmistakably cool looking, sporty, witty and an affordable $148 at What is most impressive about them, is that they are as comfortable as a sneaker due to the sole technology that Tsubo is so known for.

To get a classic shoe that will last your life time and even longer choose a shoemaker that uses quality leather and makes shoes mostly by hand.  I’m particularly partial to Church’s (not easy to find in the US unless you live in New York where they have a shop on Madison Avenue).

They have been around since 1873 in Northampton (not far from London UK) where they have been tanning leather for the footwear industry since the Middle Ages. They are pricey (they run about $600, but are no doubt top of the line. I like the “Grafton” but they come in other styles as well in both leather and rubber soles.

 Crodovan leather brogues made by Alden are also a fantastic investment (and yes they too are pricey, $605 at ) From experience I can tell you that the shoes may outlive the person buying it…( I still have and wear my grandfathers shoes..)

If you want to wear Brougues but don’t want to spend a sizable chunk of change on them, there are some great options.
Try a pair from Florsheim by Duckie Brown.  Florsheim has been making shoes in Chicago IL since 1892. A few years ago the company asked rebel designer Duckie Brown to create a collection for them.  This has produced an amazing line of shoes that pay homage to classic Americana while producing a fashion forward look. This particular pair are not only a great Brougue but because of the elastic bands attached to the tongue of the shoe they can be worn lace-less for a more casual look (or as I mentioned with shorts…).  They are $295 at

They also offer a pair in a canary yellow, for those of you (uhhmm… like me ) who like a bold color from time to time..

For $138 (also at you can find this great Brougue made by Cole Haan. The company was started in 1928 by Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan, but is now owned by Nike. What this means to you is that the soles are made with some advanced technology for extra “sneaker like” comfort… (Not quite as good as Tsubo though…)

Lastly, I hope this chart of the parts of a well-made show will help you figure out the  difference between a welt and a vamp…

Keep Shopping  I

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


If you want your outfit to say Attitude! and show sophistication, nothing does it better  than a good pair of sunglasses.

Jack Nicholson got it perfectly when he said “With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and 60.”

When you put a good pair of sunglasses on, you set yourself apart from the world, making the world softer, less harsh.
You’re protecting yourself from it, and if the eyes are indeed the windows to the soul
then wearing sunglasses closes that window to the world.

Sunglasses can also change a whole outfit making a casual outfit more sophisticated. Making you stand out in a crowd or just simply say: I'm cool…

In 1952 Ray Ban designer Raymond Stegeman came out with the Wayfareres. A model of sunglasses so successful that over 50 years
later it is still one of the best selling accessories for men (rivaled only by the Aviators).

This model is so classic and so unmistakably American that it has been copied, changed and adapted by almost every accessory company in the world (Even for women, remember Audrey Hepburn wearing sunglasses in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's? well, they might look like rayban’s but those are actually made by Persol..)

The latest model from Ray-Ban are the Wayfarer Ultra Limited Edition.
A reproduction of the model launched in 1952. Like the original, the Wayfarer Ultra is made of black acetate (this time with a unique serial number stamped inside the temple). On the outside, the Ray-Ban logo and 1952 are engraved in 18k gold.

Apart from being the coolest sunglasses out there right now, what makes these a great buy are the P3PLUS lenses; they offer a very
high quality polarization with enhanced color definition and an anti-reflective and hydro-oleophobic coating for strong protection and high resistance.

If you shop diligently you can find them for as little as $280.

By the way, if you are fearful that you will "blend in" too much because of the popularity of these glasses, no worries:
the white gold accents will set you apart for sure!

If you want sunglasses that are a modern version of a classic
look, a relatively new company called Barton Perriera ( is selling spectacular choices, redefining elegance and style.

Their best offering (but not the only great one) is “The Albert Maysles,” named after the filmmaker of "Grey Gardens" and the man  Jean-Luc Godard called “the best American cameraman,”

Turns out that he is not just super talented (…sigh of jealousy) but he also has a signature look! (something one should always strive for). His look is artistic and literary; in his case this look is achieved with spectacles from the 60s. An item he always wears (both as reading glasses and

These fantastic specs have been modernized and streamlined to fit any outfit but they work best with a  casual look..

Luckily for us, Barton Perriera has taken these and replicated them
exclusively for Barney’s New York. $350-$365 (

The result: amazing sunglasses and readers (get a reader and change the lenses for your regular everyday prescription if you have one).

Here some other options from Barton Perriera:

Finally a fantastic company that makes very unique sunglasses is "Anne and Valentine."  Opened in 1981 in Toulouse, in the south of France, the company  creates sunglasses (and regular frames) that are fun and quirky without being bizarre or outrageous.  They are just different enough to make you stand out. As always it’s all in the details.
The glasses have a sense of style and a certain French chic that is very hard to describe.

 These particular ones I got at ‘Invision optometry’ in San Francisco a while ago; they are just the right amount of style and flair. In a sea of suits, putting these on will immediately make you stand out!

Look for your local retailer at