As we all prepare for the Thanksgiving weekend and all that media-inflamed hoopla surrounding Black Friday (what an awful phrase) why don’t we all chime in on our own here at SP. Not that I will be anywhere near that madness, no thank you. But it occurred to me that the readers who gather here in our little civilized corner probably have better insight into what’s truly quality out there and what is under the radar, free of hype, etc. Here are SP’s Fall favorites that could serve as a little Gift Guide, if you will. What are yours? Your fellow readers would like to know.
SP Gift Guide: Holiday 2010 Edition
Wayfarers – yes, they are trendy at the moment, but it’s all part and parcel of the current Prep Revival as everything old (or classic, rather) is new again. Can not live without my over-size Ray Ban Wayfarers.
Sperry Mocs – It’s nothing new to say that SP lives in Sperrys, the original – and doesn’t play around with new and improved — but this shoe was a gift and has turned out to be as comfortable as, well, an old shoe. The suede upper breaks in very quickly and lays soft on the top of your foot while the red rubber bottom is soft yet sturdy and non-slip. Witness the perfect casual shoe. Comfort times twelve.
Formal Bow tie – well, you know we weren’t going to get too far down this list without hawking the Social Primer for Brooks Brothers Reversible bow tie collection. But wait! This is a new announcement. We did a very limited little collection of reversible ties for the holiday party season. Black satin reverses into plaid. Brilliant you say? Thank you. Pictured above. Available at selected Brooks Brothers and online here.
Brooks Brothers English Gingham shirt – when I spotted these shirts in the store I bought them in every color. I am a fool for gingham to begin with and these Autumnal colors lets you take the summer favorite right on through the fall. Great price. Great shirt.
A Custom Shirt you can afford -The words custom and bespoke probably send most of you running for your wallet. To hide it. The same goes for SP. I always looked at pictures of guys in custom shirts looking so sharp and stylish and expensive and added that to the list of things I could afford. One day. Well, that day is here. There are quite a few outlets on the internet where you can order custom anything through the marvel of measurement, but this still makes the buyer a little nervous. The answer? J. Hilburn. The company is online but also employs Style Advisors who will come to your house, office or club and measure you right up. And the kicker? These great shirts don’t cost an arm sleeve and a leg. Especially if you use the the SP proven, money-saving trick of buying at the end of the season. Stock up now on your linen custom shirts for next summer.
and Brooks colorful corduroys – These cords are the cool weather khakis and this collection from BB hits all the right notes. Excellent for work, church, school or a date they are stylish, classic and comfortable. Oh, but don’t wash them. When the label says Dry Clean Only, it means it. My yellow pair shrunk up and now they are truly floods. My only complaint? I want more colors!
Velvet slippers – SP is a crazy for velvet slippers. Wear them with jeans and a navy blazer, wear them with your dinner suit to a fancy party, hell, I’ve seen men wear them with shorts and a polo. Comfortable and very dandy, they are the height of cool sophistication. I have a couple of pairs I alternate, depending on my mood. Stubbs & Wootton black velvet with gold Prince of Wales emblem are definitely for the light-hearted gent while the Del Toro forest green solids are understated and elegant. At $395 and $195 respectively, these are definitely investment shoes, but much more affordable than the competition’s offerings which start at $800 and run upwards to $5000.
Watch & Bands – I am often asked “What kind of watch does SP wear?” Simple. Classic gold Timex with the gold band removed and replaced with an interchangeable repp stripe grosgrain bands. It started off as a summer fling which I planned to leave on the beach when school started and switch back to a vintage Rolex, but suffering from a a heady mix of familiarity and laziness I now rarely take it off.
Dubose Heyward biography by James M. Hutchinson– DuBose Heyward wrote the novel Porgy (among others) which he and his wife Dorothy turned into a play and then Heyward and George Gershwin made in to America’s first native born opera, Porgy & Bess. This book chronicles this extraordinary and iconoclastic Charlestonian’s career yes, but also places him firmly in the pantheon of Southern writers of the Southern Renaissance. Overlooked no more, DuBose Heyward is an American original.
Eshu Skin Care – SP is not a product guy. I usually buy the least expensive moisturizer at the corner drug store and call it a day. That said, I have discovered the Australian skin care for men line called Eshu. The moisturizer comes in a discreet, manly package (important when guest root through your medicine cabinet) and the lotion is light and has no scent. The face scrub is nice on your face with a good grainy mix that makes you feel clean shaven and the body wash has a pleasant smell and does the trick. Give it a try.
Jeans – Again, no surprise that Levi’s are the go-to jean for the trad man. When Levi’s collaborated with Brooks Brothers, you know the product is going to be right. Dark, fitted, but not too skinny. This 514 is the perfect jean when you step out of cords and khakis. The Supima denim ensures a comfortable, broken in feel.
Tweed Blazer – the Alex Carlton (Rogues Gallery) collaboration with LL Bean Signature is one of the better happenings in menswear this year. Classic pieces evoking the rough hewn Maine woods but with modern tweaks and colors and fit. This tweed jacket is my new navy blazer. Oh, what the hell. While we’re here, go ahead and check out the Hall of Fame shoe for the chilly seasons. The one, the only, LL Bean Duck Boot, I couldn’t resist.
Boat & Tote – THE default gift for all the people on my list every Christmas is the famous Boat & Tote from LL Bean and they just went one further and made it custom. Check out the site here. I just ordered an extra large tote made up in Hunter Green with natural straps with a crest monogram that will be my new weekend bag. Oh wait, I mean, the perfect gift for my brothers.
Sweater – You can’t beat a shawl collar sweater for casual good dressing in the chilly months. Nice style at a good price? See here.
Bumper Sticker - Bumper sticker? Yes, you heard right. This Pencey Prep bumper sticker cracks me up. I tried to order but it doesn’t seem that the Canadian company ships to America. Hey, Canucks! Call me. We’ll put it up in the SP Shop. This polo is pretty clever as well.
So that’s all folks. Check ‘em out and let me know what you think. I’ll be off for a few days with travel, giving thanks and football. There’s a huge game on my horizon and that’s where I’ll be focusing for the next week. Enjoy your time off wherever you are and wherever you go. We’ll meet back here again soon.